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Federal Judge Strikes Down Utah’S Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

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It's about time. :-)

Finally, a dissenting opinion that will resolve the issue at the highest court of the land.

I apologize for my tardiness in posting. My fiance and I have been busy planning our December family wedding here in Park City. ;-)

The family invites have been sent out, my fiance's oldest son's ministerial license endorsed, our tuxes fitted, the flowers ordered, and the cake-taste-test completed (it doesn't get better than Costco's All American triple layer chocolate cake). In fact, we apply for our marriage license tomorrow at the Salt Lake county office.

Marriage Equality for same-sex families is here to stay. I do not say this to mock, demean, boast, or brag. I say it with a deep sense of patriotism, of gratitude, and a recognition of how precious and important family and freedom are. Where much is given, much is required.

Because of today's 6th circuit ruling, SCOTUS will finally take up a case, and gay families everywhere will ultimately finally experience similar joy and peace.

This has been a contentious issue for years. I look forward to the end of contention, and the return to the unity found in e pluribus unum. I look forward to proving to my LDS family that I am not out to get them, and marriage stengthens all families.

I know many of my LDS family and friends are worried about the future of their religious freedoms. Defending them from unjust attacks by gay and lesbians zealots is a fight well worth fighting for, and one I will gratefully join with as much zeal and enthusiasm as I have fought for my own equality.

I am going to marry the man I love. I am filled with love, joy, and the spirit of reconciliation. I couldn't be happier.

I hope that each of us finds and holds fast to this same sense of happiness, peace, and joy in our own freedom to pursue happiness according to the dictates of our own conscience.

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It's about time. :-)

Finally, a dissenting opinion that will resolve the issue at the highest court of the land.

...

 

First thing, congrats.

 

Second, be careful what you wish for. If the 6th Circuit had ruled 2 weeks ago, it could have prevented your wedding plans. SCOTUS allows petitions for re-consideration of a cert denial up to 25 days after the denial. If the 6th Circuit had ruled while the 25-day window was still open for Utah (cert was denied on Oct. 6) then Utah conceivable could have stayed all marriages while it sought reconsideration of its cert petition based on the new circuit split. In fact, considering that the 6th Circuit decision had already been argued and a decision pending at the time SCOTUS denied Utah's cert petition, I'm surprised Utah did not wait until the 25-day window expired before it began granting licenses. Looking back, the state may have given up too soon.

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First thing, congrats.

Second, be careful what you wish for. If the 6th Circuit had ruled 2 weeks ago, it could have prevented your wedding plans. SCOTUS allows petitions for re-consideration of a cert denial up to 25 days after the denial. If the 6th Circuit had ruled while the 25-day window was still open for Utah (cert was denied on Oct. 6) then Utah conceivable could have stayed all marriages while it sought reconsideration of its cert petition based on the new circuit split. In fact, considering that the 6th Circuit decision had already been argued and a decision pending at the time SCOTUS denied Utah's cert petition, I'm surprised Utah did not wait until the 25-day window expired before it began granting licenses. Looking back, the state may have given up too soon.

Thanks, Buckeye.

I understand what you're saying in your second paragraph... even accounting for the personal risk it could have presented to my personal marriage, momentum towards nation-wide equality would be worth it. I subscribe to Dr. King's feeling that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Gay families in the south and other states still await for equal protrctions; their children are at increased risk, and they are unable to protect their spouses. If I had to wait a bit more for the cause to move forward so we all can be free and equal, then so be it.

I have read the ruling, and several opinion pieces about it. I thought about posting some, but they are too numerous and xan be easily found by those willing to find them.

After reading the majority opinion of the ruling and evaluating the strength (or, rather, the weakness...) of the piece, I am confident the Supreme Court will rule firmly in favor of same-sex couples' right to marriage, in keeping with the mountainside of pro-LGBT rulings.

My fiance and I picked up our marriage license this morning from the Salt Lake County office.

Behind us was an older gay couple waiting for their license. They told us their story... they have been together for 20 years. One has served as the youngest mayor of Kaysville many years ago. He quit office so he could live with his partner out of the public eye. He has survived a car crash and a four-day coma, all the while with his partner at his side. They asked my fiance and I if we would serve as their two witnesses. We accepted the honor, and watched as they wept tears of joy and gratitude that after so much, the can finally call one another "husband." My eyes refused to stay dry, as well. He was so grateful he could wake from his coma and live to say, "I do." It was a sacred moment, and I was blessed to be a small part of it.

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With the 6th Circuit's ruling causing a plurality of decisions, the pressure towards a SCOTUS ruling is again on the move and increasing.

A new stay request to SCOTUS already has reached the court by Kansas: a state in the 10th Circuit (and outside of the juristiction of the 6th Circuit), even thought the appeals of the states affected by the 6th Circuit haven't yet reached SCOTUS.

SCOTUS' blog weighs in:

New test of Court’s view on same-sex marriage

http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/11/new-test-of-courts-view-on-same-sex-marriage/#more-221330

Posted Mon, November 10th, 2014 5:07 pm

by Lyle Denniston

The state of Kansas, making a strong states’ rights claim, asked the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon to order a delay in same-sex marriages that could occur as early as tomorrow evening, if there is no postponement. The application (14A503) was filed with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency legal matters from the Tenth Circuit’s region, which includes Kansas. She can decide it on her own, or share it with her colleagues.

This marked the first time that the same-sex marriage issue has returned to the Court since a split developed in the federal appeals courts on the power of states to ban such unions. The Kansas application made heavy use of the decision last Thursday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, upholding bans in four states in that circuit. The text of the Sixth Circuit decision was filed along with the application; that will put it before the Justices for the first time, but it is not directly under review at this point; appeals from it are likely to be filed later this week..

The filing attempted to show that the Kansas case is different from other cases that the Supreme Court has declined to review and refused to delay, contending that a federal judge’s decision striking down that state’s ban conflicted with a previous decision by the Kansas Supreme Court, blocking the issuance of marriage licenses.

Because Kansas is located in the Tenth Circuit, and that appeals court has ruled — in cases involving two other states — that state bans are unconstitutional, federal courts in Kansas are bound by that ruling. The federal trial judge who struck down the Kansas ban has ruled that his decision will go into effect as of 5 p.m. Tuesday (Eastern time), unless delayed by a higher court. The Tenth Circuit Court refused a state request for delay last Friday.

The Kansas case has been one of the fastest same-sex marriage cases to develop. It was filed by two couples in federal court on October 10 within about an hour after the Kansas Supreme Court, in a temporary order sought by state officials, had put on hold the issuance of marriage licenses anywhere in the state.

After the federal judge issued his ruling, the state’s highest court cancelled plans to hold a hearing on what to do about marriage licensing, and called for new briefs on whether it should stand aside while the federal case goes forward.

The stay application filed today with Justice Sotomayor contended that the federal judge’s ruling had altered “the status quo” because it interfered with the state Supreme Court’s review. It argued that the federal judge’s decision amounted to “a de facto circumvention” of the state court’s power to go forward with the state case.

“By disregarding the pending efforts of the Kansas Supreme Court to address the issue of same-sex marriage, the preliminary injunction order [issued by the federal judge] ignored the principle of comity,” the Kansas filing said. “No federal court should intervene to interrupt that adjudicative process.”

Relying upon the Sixth Circuit’s decision sustaining four states’ bans, the Kansas application said there is now an “irreconcilable conflict” among various federal appeals courts, so “the final resolution of these important constitutional questions by this Court will certainly be required.”

The application asked the Court to block the judge’s ruling while the state appeals it to the Tenth Circuit Court. If Justice Sotomayor does not grant a delay, the application asked that the question be referred to the full Court.

The need for a national resolution is increasingly obvious.

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Justice Sotomayor moves quickly:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Stops Same-Sex Marriages In Kansas For Now

Sotomayor calls for a response to Kansas’ request for a stay pending appeal by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Posted on Nov. 10, 2014, at 3:07 p.m.

Chris GeidnerBuzzFeed Staff

WASHINGTON — Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an order early Monday evening that stops same-sex couples in Kansas from being able to marry beginning after 5 p.m. CT Tuesday. She added, however, that she or the full Supreme Court could issue an order that changes that at some point in the future.

The move came in response to the request from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed with Sotomayor earlier Monday.

After the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals deniedthe state's request for a stay last week, Schmidt had said he would be asking for a stay from Sotomayor — who hears procedural requests like this from the 10th Circuit.

In addition to arguments raised by other states' officials in support of a stay, Kansas officials argue that the federal courts never should have taken on the issue — as the Kansas Supreme Court had ordered briefing on the implications of the 10th Circuit's ruling that Utah's similar marriage ban is unconstitutional on Kansas' ban.

In her Monday order, Sotomayor also called for a response to Kansas' request by 5 p.m. ET Tuesday. Sotomayor can then decide the matter on her own, or she can refer the question to the full court.

Although the Supreme Court had been granting stays in similar circumstances earlier this year, it changed course in October after denyingseveral states' requests to hear appeals of challenges to their states' bans. Since then, the court has allowed multiple rulings against bans on same-sex couples' marriages to take effect, even during appeals.

Notably, as to a request made by Idaho officials, Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a brief stay in October while the court considered the matter. Later that week, the court deniedIdaho's request for a stay.

After last week's decision from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding four states' bans, however, lawyers on both sides of the issue will be watching the Supreme Court's handling of the Kansas issue for some signals on whether the 6th Circuit decision has changed the dynamic on the issue with the justices.

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Justice Sotomayor moves quickly:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Stops Same-Sex Marriages In Kansas For Now

http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/kansas-officials-ask-supreme-court-to-stop-same-sex-marriage?s=mobile

Sotomayor calls for a response to Kansas’ request for a stay pending appeal by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Posted on Nov. 10, 2014, at 3:07 p.m.

Chris GeidnerBuzzFeed Staff

WASHINGTON — Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an order early Monday evening that stops same-sex couples in Kansas from being able to marry beginning after 5 p.m. CT Tuesday. She added, however, that she or the full Supreme Court could issue an order that changes that at some point in the future.

The move came in response to the request from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed with Sotomayor earlier Monday.

After the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state's request for a stay last week, Schmidt had said he would be asking for a stay from Sotomayor — who hears procedural requests like this from the 10th Circuit.

In addition to arguments raised by other states' officials in support of a stay, Kansas officials argue that the federal courts never should have taken on the issue — as the Kansas Supreme Court had ordered briefing on the implications of the 10th Circuit's ruling that Utah's similar marriage ban is unconstitutional on Kansas' ban.

In her Monday order, Sotomayor also called for a response to Kansas' request by 5 p.m. ET Tuesday. Sotomayor can then decide the matter on her own, or she can refer the question to the full court.

Although the Supreme Court had been granting stays in similar circumstances earlier this year, it changed course in October after denying several states' requests to hear appeals of challenges to their states' bans. Since then, the court has allowed multiple rulings against bans on same-sex couples' marriages to take effect, even during appeals.

Notably, as to a request made by Idaho officials, Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a brief stay in October while the court considered the matter. Later that week, the court denied Idaho's request for a stay.

After last week's decision from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding four states' bans, however, lawyers on both sides of the issue will be watching the Supreme Court's handling of the Kansas issue for some signals on whether the 6th Circuit decision has changed the dynamic on the issue with the justices.

Best reaction from the internet so far, IMO:

Two men might want to marry each other? Emergency! Pull out all the stops! Act now! The sky is falling!

Homeless and hungry kids? Homeless vets? Seniors eating cat food? Students who can't afford college but are perfectly capable of doing well? People who can't afford health care?

(crickets)

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In South Carolina, another judge strikes down its same-sex marriage ban:

District Judge Richard Gergel opens the door to gay marriage in South Carolina but stays until Nov. 20

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20141112/PC16/141119800/1177

Jennifer Berry Hawes

Nov 12 2014 10:02 am

A federal judge ruled Wednesday morning that South Carolina officials cannot enforce the state's gay marriage ban, although a temporary stay means those marriages will not happen any time before Nov. 20.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel granted a motion for summary judgment and enjoined any state official from enforcing the state's constitutional gay marriage ban or not allowing same-sex couples marriage licenses.

However, Gergel also granted defendants Gov. Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson a temporary stay until noon on Nov. 20, giving them slightly more than a week.

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By a 7-2 decision (Scalia and Thomas dissenting), SCOTUS just lifted its short stay on the Kansas district court ruling striking down the state's SSM ban. SSM in Kansas now official:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/11/12/supreme_court_allows_gay_marriage_in_kansas.html

Thanks for that update, Buckeye.

Scout's blog adds a bit more context, as well:

Same-sex marriages may go ahead in Kansas

http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/11/setting-up-another-same-sex-marriage-case/#more-221416Posted Wed, November 12th, 2014 5:29 pm by Lyle Denniston

Wednesday 5:28 p.m. The following is an updated version of a post that appeared earlier today, taking account of the Supreme Court’s action in the Kansas case.

————–

The Supreme Court, with two Justices dissenting, on Wednesday afternoon cleared the way for same-sex couples to marry in Kansas — the thirty-third state on the list. Ina brief order, the Court voted to leave intact a federal judge’s order nullifying the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. There was no explanation, for the order or by the dissenters.

Because the judge’s ruling had been on hold only because of a temporary Supreme Court order issued Monday, the Kansas ruling took effect when the Justices’ new order lifted the earlier postponement. State officials are now under a federal court requirement to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Court has issued a series of orders in same-sex marriage cases over the past eleven months, but the Kansas order marked the first time that members of the Court had recorded dissents. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas noted only that they would have granted the delay sought by the Kansas attorney general.

Kansas officials had attempted to show that their case was different from others that the Supreme Court had chosen to leave undisturbed, arguing that the federal judge’s order was an invalid attempt to second-guess a Kansas Supreme Court order delaying the issuance of same-sex marriages. The federal judge had rejected that claim, but it may have been the one that drew the implied support of Justices Scalia and Thomas.

The state still has an appeal pending at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, but that has little promise, because that appeals court has struck down bans in two other states in its region — Oklahoma and Utah. The Supreme Court refused to review those Tenth Circuit rulings on October 6. The Kansas ban is almost identical to those in other states.

The Kansas plea for delay to the Supreme Court had been closely watched, since it was the first such request to go to the Court since a split developed in the federal appeals courts on the constitutional controversy over same-sex marriage. It is unclear whether that made any difference to the Supreme Court’s discussion of how to react to the Kansas case.

However, the new split in the courts of appeals might also have been a reason for the dissents by the two Justices.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, creating the split because it upheld same-sex marriage bans in four states, has not yet been appealed to the Supreme Court, but several petitions for review are expected to be filed in coming days, perhaps even later this week.

————-

NOTE TO READERS: The following is the earlier post that appeared on the blog, dealing with a ruling in South Carolina.

A federal judge in South Carolina, finding the outcome dictated by a higher court, ruled on Wednesday that the state may not continue to enforce its ban on same-sex marriage. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Mark Gergel in Charleston sets the stage for another case to make its way to the Supreme Court, even as the Justices are considering how to react to a similar case from Kansas. Action in the Kansas case may come at any time.

South Carolina, along with Kansas and Montana, are the only states where same-sex marriages had not yet been allowed even after a federal appeals court had nullified such bans in other states in their regions. The South Carolina judge put his ruling on hold until November 20 to allow the state time to ask for a delay from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The judge said the state had not made a case for a longer delay while it appealed.

A ruling by the Fourth Circuit in a Virginia case led Judge Gergel to rule against South Carolina’s prohibition on new same-sex marriages. Another federal judge in South Carolina is considering whether the state must recognize existing same-sex marriages performed in other states for South Carolina couples.

Kansas has asked the Supreme Court for a delay in that state, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denied a postponement. The Tenth Circuit’s view against state bans was spelled out in rulings on Oklahoma and Utah. Montana is in the Ninth Circuit’s geographic area; that appeals court has nullified bans in Alaska, Idaho, and Nevada. A federal trial judge in Great Falls will hold a hearing next Monday on a challenge to the Montana ban.

If marriages are now allowed in South Carolina and Kansas, that would make a total of thirty-four states, plus Washington, D.C., where such unions are legal.

While Judge Gergel noted that there is now a split among federal appeals courts on the underlying constitutional issue, with the decision last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholding bans in four states in its region, the Charleston jurist said the more important fact was that the Fourth Circuit had taken a position against such prohibitions and he was bound to follow that precedent.

Since the Supreme Court in the case ofUnited States v. Windsor some seventeen months ago launched a series of new court rulings on the constitutional controversy, only the Sixth Circuit and two federal district court judges have upheld bans. As of now, there have been no post-Windsorrulings in four federal appeals courts — the First, Fifth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits — but cases are working their way toward each of those courts.

Two dissentors....

Did the court just show its hand on how the final vote will go...?

Will we ultimately be looking at a 7-2 SCOTUS decision in favor of same-sex marriage...?

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Thanks for that update, Buckeye.

Scout's blog adds a bit more context, as well:

Two dissentors....

Did the court just show its hand on how the final vote will go...?

Will we ultimately be looking at a 7-2 SCOTUS decision in favor of same-sex marriage...?

 

More likely a 6-3 decision. I could see Roberts joining Kennedy and the majority because he is the chief, strongly wants to avoid the appearance of politics that comes with 5-4 decisions, joined with the more liberal wing on the high-profile ACA decision, and realizes that this will be one of the few decisions issued under his watch that will be studied by high school kids 100 years from now.

 

Scalia and Thomas are never going to support it. Alito switching is possible, but not as likely as Roberts. More likely files a separate dissent.

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The Vatican summit is in full swing, and religious leaders from around the world are commendably exercising their full religious liberty to come together to promote the tenets of their Faiths. I do not and would never deny them that right and priviledge.

Meanwhile, back in America:

11/19/2014

FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN MONTANA'S BAN ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris has ruled that Montana's ban on same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, thus making it unconstitutional. Morris' order is effective immediately and is not stayed, though the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court may still intervene and stay the decision. As Think Progress reports, Morris relied heavily on the Ninth Circuit's decision which struck down marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada but also tackled head on the question of Baker v. Nelson's role in determining whether there exists a constitutional right to marriage, a subject even more in the spotlight now following the Sixth Circuit's ruling which upheld marriage bans:

Montana, like many states before it, had argued that Baker v. Nelson, a 1972 case about same-sex marriage that the Supreme Court decided not to hear, was controlling and thus the court could not challenge the precedent. Here’s how Morris handled that argument:

"Defendants contend that Plaintiffs’ complaint presents the same issue rejected in Baker: whether a constitutional right to same-sex marriage exists. The Court agrees. Defendants further argue that no sufficient doctrinal developments have occurred to render this issue a substantial federal question. The Court disagrees."

Morris also took time to opine about how Montana’s same-sex families will benefit from this ruling:

"These families want for their children what all families in Montana want. They want to provide a safe and loving home in which their children have the chance to explore the world in which they live. They want their children to have the chance to discover their place in this world. And they want their children to have the chance to fulfill their highest dreams. These families, like all of us, want their children to adventure into the world without fear of violence; to achieve all that their talent and perseverance allows without fear of discrimination; and to love themselves so that they can love others. No family wants to deprive its precious children of the chance to marry the loves of their lives. Montana no longer can deprive Plaintiffs and other same-sex couples of the chance to marry their loves."

Montana and Kansas... that's something kike either the 34th or the 35th state, now...

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SCOTUS denies another stay request, this time on South Carolina, thereby striking down its same-sex marriage ban. Two Justices say they would have heard the request for a stay:

U.S. Supreme Court decision paves way for same-sex marriage in SC

http://m.wistv.com/wistv/db_331935/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=SCopHNSc

Jeremy Turnage

Nov 20, 2014 08:49 AM

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - In a 7-2 decision, the United States Supreme Court has decided to not issue an emergency stay in the ongoing political drama surrounding same-sex marriage, paving the way for the marriages to begin in the Palmetto State at noon Thursday.

With that decision, South Carolina becomes the 35th state in the United States to allow same-sex couples to marry.

In a brief statement, seven of the nine Supreme Court justices denied the stay, but Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas said they would hear it.

Thursday's decision means there is very little left for Attorney General Alan Wilson to do to stop marriages from beginning at noon.

The attorney general's office released a statement shortly after the decision came down, saying that despite Thursday's ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has not resolved conflicting rulings by other federal appeals courts.

"When the U.S. Supreme Court. decides to consider the case, our office will be supporting the position of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is more consistent with South Carolina State law, which upholds the unique status of traditional marriage," the statement said.

Same-sex marriage supporters celebrated the high court's decision. 

"The order from the U.S. Supreme Court officially puts an end to the long fight for access to marriage for South Carolina's same-sex couples and their families. This decision clears away the last obstacle to marriage equality in the state," attorney Beth Littrell said. “We congratulate all the happy couples as South Carolina becomes the 35th state where same-sex couples can marry.”

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel, who ruled the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional late last week.

After the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to issue an emergency stay on Gergel's ruling on Tuesday, Attorney General Alan Wilson said he would appeal to the high court. 

Wilson filed that 38-page appeal Wednesday and said the state had the duty to define marriage -- not the federal government. Wilson argues that even the Supreme Court made a similar ruling when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last year.

That court decision was considered to be a major victory for supporters of same-sex marriage because so many state marriage bans were based on the federal law. 

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SCOTUS denies another stay request, this time on South Carolina, thereby striking down its same-sex marriage ban. Two Justices say they would have heard the request for a stay:

U.S. Supreme Court decision paves way for same-sex marriage in SC

http://m.wistv.com/wistv/db_331935/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=SCopHNSc

Jeremy Turnage

Nov 20, 2014 08:49 AM

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - In a 7-2 decision, the United States Supreme Court has decided to not issue an emergency stay in the ongoing political drama surrounding same-sex marriage, paving the way for the marriages to begin in the Palmetto State at noon Thursday.

With that decision, South Carolina becomes the 35th state in the United States to allow same-sex couples to marry.

In a brief statement, seven of the nine Supreme Court justices denied the stay, but Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas said they would hear it.

Thursday's decision means there is very little left for Attorney General Alan Wilson to do to stop marriages from beginning at noon.

The attorney general's office released a statement shortly after the decision came down, saying that despite Thursday's ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has not resolved conflicting rulings by other federal appeals courts.

"When the U.S. Supreme Court. decides to consider the case, our office will be supporting the position of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is more consistent with South Carolina State law, which upholds the unique status of traditional marriage," the statement said.

Same-sex marriage supporters celebrated the high court's decision. 

"The order from the U.S. Supreme Court officially puts an end to the long fight for access to marriage for South Carolina's same-sex couples and their families. This decision clears away the last obstacle to marriage equality in the state," attorney Beth Littrell said. “We congratulate all the happy couples as South Carolina becomes the 35th state where same-sex couples can marry.”

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel, who ruled the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional late last week.

After the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to issue an emergency stay on Gergel's ruling on Tuesday, Attorney General Alan Wilson said he would appeal to the high court. 

Wilson filed that 38-page appeal Wednesday and said the state had the duty to define marriage -- not the federal government. Wilson argues that even the Supreme Court made a similar ruling when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last year.

That court decision was considered to be a major victory for supporters of same-sex marriage because so many state marriage bans were based on the federal law. 

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The orders in Utah are now permanent:

Utah agrees to pay attorney fees in same-sex marriage benefits case

http://www.sltrib.com/news/1872019-155/utah-agrees-to-pay-attorney-fees

By JESSICA MILLER | and Jennifer dobner The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Nov 25 2014 09:39AM

Last Updated Nov 25 2014 10:09 pm

The state of Utah will pay attorney fees for the plaintiffs in the Evans v. Utah case, which sought spousal benefits for same-sex couples wed in the Beehive State during a 17-day window when their unions were temporarily legal.

The state will pay $95,000 to attorneys for the eight plaintiffs, according to an order signed by U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball on Monday.

The order also makes permanent, a temporary injunction Kimball issued last May, directing the state to recognize the marriages and officially closes the case.

The Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is pleased that Kimball’s order is now permanent and that an agreement was reached on the fee issue, agency spokesman and legal director John Mejia said in an email to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Utah Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Missy Larsen declined to comment, saying the order speaks for itself.

More than 1,200 couples wed after the Dec. 20, 2013, ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby, which struck down the state’s gay-marriage ban as unconstitutional. The decision was stayed Jan. 6 by the Supreme Court as the state appealed.

Brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of four Utah couples, the Evans case was prompted by Utah’s refusal to recognize or extend spousal benefits to couples until after the state’s appeal of Shelby’s ruling reached a legal conclusion.

State officials had expressed concern for the legal conundrum that would ensue if Utah won the right to restore its same-sex marriage ban, nullifying the unions and requiring those benefits to be revoked.

Evans v. Utah became moot in October days after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay and lesbian unions in Utah and 10 other states by letting stand several circuit court rulings that declared bans on same-sex marriages unconstitutional.

According to separate filings in the appeals court and the U.S. District Court, plaintiffs attorneys in the case were seeking nearly $200,000 from the state to pay for their services. Two of those attorneys are employed with the American Civil Liberties Union, according to court records.

The attorneys had asked for over $164,000 in fees in the district court motion, and asked for another $33,000 in a motion filed with the appeals court.

The fees awarded Monday are for both the district court and appeals cases.

[email protected]

(Bold added)

Whew... It's been a long road...

And one week from today, my fiance and I will tie the knot up in Park City!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. :-)

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The orders in Utah are now permanent:

Whew... It's been a long road...

And one week from today, my fiance and I will tie the knot up in Park City!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. :-)

 

This might be a little late, but congratulations.

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This might be a little late, but congratulations.

Thanks, Toon.

Not late at all... we tied the knot this past Saturday. My husband's oldest son officiated, and we had lots of family gathered to witness the ceremony.

Best. Day. EVER. :)

Marrying the one you love...

I highly recommend it! :D

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Thanks, Toon.

Not late at all... we tied the knot this past Saturday. My husband's oldest son officiated, and we had lots of family gathered to witness the ceremony.

Best. Day. EVER. :)

Marrying the one you love...

I highly recommend it! :D

Congratulations!

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Thanks, Toon.

Not late at all... we tied the knot this past Saturday. My husband's oldest son officiated, and we had lots of family gathered to witness the ceremony.

Best. Day. EVER. :)

Marrying the one you love...

I highly recommend it! :D

 

And to think this thread is not even a year old.

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Thanks, Toon.

Not late at all... we tied the knot this past Saturday. My husband's oldest son officiated, and we had lots of family gathered to witness the ceremony.

Best. Day. EVER. :)

Marrying the one you love...

I highly recommend it! :D

 

Sounds great.  Best wishes and all.  Awesome that your husband's son could officiate and that family was there.  There's not much that beats being around loved ones.

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Justice Sotomayor moves quickly:

Best reaction from the internet so far, IMO:

 

Two men might want to marry each other? Emergency! Pull out all the stops! Act now! The sky is falling!

Homeless and hungry kids? Homeless vets? Seniors eating cat food? Students who can't afford college but are perfectly capable of doing well? People who can't afford health care?

(crickets)

 

 

I've heard similar couplets from right-wingers, too.  You know: "Muslim terrorists are about the destroy the country, and the lefties are worrying about athletic team names!"

 

False dichotomies.  Just because someone is concerned about gay marriage doesn't mean we are abandoning people in need of help finding food.   We can save the country from terrorists AND at the same time, rename the Redskins to something else.  It's not hard, we can multitask.

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I've heard similar couplets from right-wingers, too.  You know: "Muslim terrorists are about the destroy the country, and the lefties are worrying about athletic team names!"

 

False dichotomies.  Just because someone is concerned about gay marriage doesn't mean we are abandoning people in need of help finding food.   We can save the country from terrorists AND at the same time, rename the Redskins to something else.  It's not hard, we can multitask.

I think the point of the couplets are that no one has been able to define how gay marriage has hurt anyone, but terrorists have.  Until someone can specifically explain why gay marriage is harmful to anyone's marriage other than fear, gay marriage is a non event. 

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I think the point of the couplets are that no one has been able to define how gay marriage has hurt anyone, but terrorists have.  Until someone can specifically explain why gay marriage is harmful to anyone's marriage other than fear, gay marriage is a non event. 

 

Marriage itself is a religious rite. Make them all legally enforceable civil union contracts and get the government out of the religion business.

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You make one big assumption claiming that marriage is a religious rite.  I don't think there is any evidence that religion holds or has ever held a monopoly on marriage.  The most you could possibly say to support that position is that "marriage is a religious rite FOR SOME PEOPLE.  

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I'm not going to get into a "yes-it-is" "no-its-not" back-and-forth with you, but marriage was a religious institution long before it ever was a political or a governmental one.

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I'm not going to get into a "yes-it-is" "no-its-not" back-and-forth with you, but marriage was a religious institution long before it ever was a political or a governmental one.

How can anyone say with certainty that there even was a difference between "politics" and "religion" prior to our relatively modern political notions to try to separate the two?

It seems to me that more primitive societies closely intertwined the politics of tribe and their religion of the same.

Historical marriage certainly seemed more about "politics" then it did "religion," though the latter of the two was often used to promote the ideals of the former. ;)

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