same-sex marriages

Ky. to Use Outside Counsel in Gay-Marriage Case

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday that the state will hire outside attorneys to appeal a decision granting legal recognition to same-sex couples married in other states and countries after the attorney general announced that he would not pursue the case further.

The split legal decisions from two Democrats come four days after a federal judge in Louisville gave the state 21 days to implement a ruling overturning a voter-imposed ban on recognizing same-sex unions.

Conway said at a news conference that he decided he would not appeal the case because "I would be defending discrimination. That I will not do." Read more »

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Eric Holder To State AGs: You Don't Have To Defend Gay Marriage Bans

Eric Holder To State AGs: You Don't Have To Defend Gay Marriage Bans

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urged his state-level counterparts to recognize that they're not required to defend any state ban on same-sex marriage, speaking to The New York Times on Monday.

Holder argued that attorneys general should apply significant scrutiny to laws -- like gay marriage bans -- that raise constitutional issues before deciding to defend them.

“Engaging in that process and making that determination is something that’s appropriate for an attorney general to do,” he told the Times. Read more »

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Kentucky Ban On Recognizing Out-Of-State Gay Marriages Struck Down By Federal Judge

A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, striking down part of the state ban.

In 23-page a ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II concluded that Kentucky's laws treat gay and lesbians differently in a "way that demeans them." The constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2004. The out-of-state clause was part of it.

The decision came in lawsuits brought by four gay and lesbian couples seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.

Heyburn did not rule on whether the state could be forced to perform same-sex marriages.

The question was not included in the lawsuit.

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2 religion 'fixes' we don’t need

2 religion 'fixes' we don’t need

Legislation thrown together in response to a crisis almost always turns out to be heavy-handed or ineffective once it becomes a statute. Hard cases, as they say, make bad law.

But for really bad law — the kind with the potential for creating serious unintended consequences — nothing beats legislation that provides a solution for a non-existent problem.

Legislation sponsored in the House by Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, and in the Senate by Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, represents a good example of the latter. Both of their bills — identical, for the time being, at least — would reframe and expand the state’s religious-expression protection laws. Read more »

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Gay and lesbian weddings to boost the local economy, experts say

Gay and lesbian weddings to boost the local economy, experts say

In the three years following legalized same-sex marriage, about half of the 103,000 same-sex couples living in California will get married, a UCLA study estimated.

The weddings will generate about $64 million in revenue, reported the Williams Institute, a think tank that supports LGBT equality.

Regardless of the social debate, legalized same-sex marriage is good business, said Angeliki Kastanis, a public policy research fellow at the UCLA School of Law. Read more »

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U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriages Despite State Stance

U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriages Despite State Stance

The Obama administration on Friday said that it would recognize as lawful the marriages of 1,300 same-sex couples in Utah, even though the state government is refusing to do so.

Wading into the fast-moving legal battle over same-sex marriage rights in one of America’s most socially conservative states, the administration posted a video on the Justice Department’s website making the announcement. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that the federal government would grant federal marriage benefits to the same-sex couples who rushed to obtain marriage licenses after a federal judge last month unexpectedly struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. Read more »

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As Wedding Bells Ring, So Do Cash Registers

As Wedding Bells Ring, So Do Cash Registers

While couples, and courts, in Utah await a decision on the issue of gay marriage there, businesses and state treasurers across the nation are taking note of the wedding windfall that same-sex unions have brought to the state of Washington, which recently marked its one-year anniversary of gay matrimony.

During Washington's initial year of marriage equality, same-sex unions took place at a rate of 25 a day, according to the state's Department of Health, which recorded more than 7,000 gay-marriage licenses issued between December 2012 and the end of September last year. The ceremonies represented nearly a fifth of all weddings performed in the state, and included more than 1,600 couples who came from outside Washington to marry. Read more »

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Utah Tells Clerks To Finish Gay Marriage Documentation, Without Guarantee Of Validity Later

Local clerks in Utah can finish paperwork for same-sex marriages completed before the U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary halt on Monday, the state's attorney general said Thursday.

Attorney General Sean Reyes' office issued the legal advice to county clerks Thursday afternoon.

The directive comes as Utah officials struggle with the knotty legal mess that gay marriage created in the state in recent weeks.

More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples took home marriage licenses from local clerks after a federal judge overturned Utah's same-sex marriage ban on Dec. 20. Utah voters approved the ban in 2004. Read more »

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Attorney hopes to see Ariz. same-sex marriage lawsuit decided in 2014

Attorney hopes to see Ariz. same-sex marriage lawsuit decided in 2014

An attorney who filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban said Tuesday he hopes to get a decision from a federal judge before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on any similar challenge from another state.

The lawsuit filed by four same-sex couples who live in Arizona came Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages in Utahwhile a federal appeals court considers the long-term question of whether gay couples have a right to wed in that state.

The nation’s highest court didn’t rule on the merits of the Utah case or on same-sex marriage bans in general, but is expected to eventually decide the issue. Read more »

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Utah Will Not Recognize Same-Sex Marriages That Have Already Been Performed: Governor's Office

The office of Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) said same-sex couples who were married after the state's ban on gay marriage was struck down, but before theSupreme Court halted gay marriages in the state, will not be recognized as legally married.

Herbert's chief of staff Derek Miller emailed the following instructions to Cabinet Members on Tuesday:

Dear Cabinet,

I'm sure you are all aware of the issuance of the stay regarding same-sex marriage in Utah from the United States Supreme Court yesterday. This stay effectively puts a hold on the decision of the district court, which found state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage in Utah to be unconstitutional. Read more »

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