Supreme Court

Clock ticking as Religious Freedom Restoration Act awaits action in Michigan Senate

Clock ticking as Religious Freedom Restoration Act awaits action in Michigan Senate

The fate of a House-approvedReligious Freedom Restoration Act remains uncertain in the Michigan Senate, which is scheduled to meet just four more times this week before ending the 2013-14 session.

Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said Thursday that the Senate may take up the measure “if we have time.” And while he indicated there may be appetite among his fellow Republicans, he also made clear the upper chamber is looking at a pretty full plate.

“That’s a relatively new thing to our caucus, so I’m not going to let things leapfrog to the front of the agenda, the prioritized agenda, unless I get a clamoring for it,” Richardville said. Read more »

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What If: Lawmakers pass another SB 1062?

What If: Lawmakers pass another SB 1062?

What If: Two lawmakers weigh the pros and cons of another religious-liberty bill.

Speculation abounds that lawmakers will try to pass another bill like Senate Bill 1062, described by supporters as religious-liberty measure and by opponents as a denial of service to gays.

We asked two experts: What would happen if the Legislature passes another SB 1062?

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WE'D PROTECT RIGHTS

It's not hard to imagine what Arizona would look like if SB 1062 had been signed into law earlier this year, or if it were to ever come up again: It would look very similar to how Arizona — and the nation — look today. Read more »

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BREAKING: Marriage Equality Comes to South Carolina

BREAKING: Marriage Equality Comes to South Carolina

The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday morning denied the state of South Carolina's request for a stay on a ruling that struck down the state's ban on marriage equality, meaning same-sex couples should now be free to marry in the state. 

In a two-sentence order without additional explanation, Chief Justice John Roberts denied the request from South Carolina's Republican Attorney General, Alan Wilson, to place on hold aNovember 12 ruling that found the state's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. The order did note that Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would have granted the stay.  Read more »

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Gay marriage’s long and messy road: What we misunderstand about this tortured legal saga

Gay marriage’s long and messy road: What we misunderstand about this tortured legal saga

Nearly 10 years ago, on the heels of the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage in the state, gay-rights advocates faced a strategic decision. With the Legislature about to consider a constitutional amendment reining in the court’s decision, they could either push legislators to back civil unions as a compromise or face the full wrath of the opposition.

Marc Solomon, national campaign director for LGBT-rights group Freedom to Marry, called Los Angeles City Councilman (now mayor) Eric Garcetti to ask for advice. “Fight for love,” Garcetti said. Civil unions were about legal status, about “rights”; marriage was about love. Read more »

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U.S. Supreme Court Clears Gay Marriage to Start in Kansas

U.S. Supreme Court Clears Gay Marriage to Start in Kansas

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared Kansas to become the 33rd state with same-sex marriage, turning away a bid by state officials who sought to stop the weddings while a legal fight plays out.

The action comes as both sides in the fast-moving battle prepare for the possibility that the court will take up the issue next year and consider legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

Today’s rebuff, which came without explanation, tracks similar Supreme Court orders that let gay marriage start in Idaho and Alaska in recent weeks. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have granted the request and blocked gay marriages in Kansas. Read more »

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U.S. justice temporarily blocks gay marriage in Kansas

U.S. justice temporarily blocks gay marriage in Kansas

 A U.S. Supreme justice on Monday temporarily blocked gay marriage in Kansas a day before it was due to go into effect.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an order saying that the court wanted gay marriage advocates to respond to the state’s application seeking to put gay marriage on hold. U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree struck down the state’s gay marriage ban last week, ruling that it would go into effect on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Eastern Time (2300 GMT) if no other court intervened.

Sotomayor's action does not mean the high court will grant the Kansas application. Read more »

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BREAKING: Marriage Equality Just Got A First Class Ticket To The Supreme Court

BREAKING: Marriage Equality Just Got A First Class Ticket To The Supreme Court

On Thursday afternoon, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit just became the first federal appeals court in the country to side with marriage discrimination. Although the immediate effect of this court’s 2-1 decision is that marriage equality will not quickly become the law in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, the most important consequence of the Sixth Circuit’s holding is that there is now a “circuit split” on the question of whether same-sex couples must be allowed to marry under the Constitution. A circuit split, which occurs when two or more federal appeals courts disagree on the same question of law, is one of the most common reasons that the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case. Read more »

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Donors to Gay Causes Consider Their Next Steps

Donors to Gay Causes Consider Their Next Steps

The Arcus Foundation’s latest effort in support of gay and lesbian issues began with an ominous question: "Is there a future for the LGBTQ movement?"

The tagline speaks to a bubbling uncertainty among the movement’s philanthropic vanguard. After a number of legal victories on same-sex marriage, where should longtime supporters put their money now? And will today’s triumphs make tomorrow’s donors think the struggle for gay equality has already been won? Read more »

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Utah Supreme Court Lifts Hold On Same-Sex Adoptions

Utah's Supreme Court lifted its stay on same-sex adoptions Thursday, two weeks after the state dropped its legal fight over the issue.

In May, the state's high court placed a hold on several district judges' rulings that ordered the Utah Department of Health to issue birth certificates to same-sex couples who were adopting children. The stay halted any movement on the issue until judges could decide whether or not the adoptions were legal under state law.

Thursday's ruling clears the way for those adoptions to proceed. Read more »

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Breaking: Pope Ousts Top Vatican Judge Known For Incendiary Anti-Gay Comments

American Cardinal Raymond Burke, a darling of conservative Catholics who is virulently anti-gay, has confirmed to BuzzFeed what rumors from Rome have said for weeks. He will be demoted by Pope Francis from the head of the Roman Catholic Church's version of the Supreme Court to a figurehead role as the Patron of the Knights of Malta, a chivalrous order known for its work among the sick. Read more »

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