- ALABAMA #1 • On 16 December 2013, in Paul Hard v. AL Governor Robert Bentley, et al., SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) filed a federal lawsuit to: (1) overturn the 1998 AL law and the 2005 AL constitutional amendment which ban same-gender civil marriage; (2) issue a revised Death Certificate for Charles Fancher showing Paul Hard as the surviving spouse, based on their 2011 MA marriage; and (3) disburse the proceeds of a wrongful death suit to Paul Hard. On 20 March 2014, Ms. Pat Fancher, mother of Charles Fancher, asked to intervene because (a) she opposes same-gender civil marriage; and (b) she wants to remain her deceased son’s next of kin and receive all the wrongful death proceeds of his estate.
- ALABAMA #2 • On 12 March 2014, in Shrie Michelle Richmond & Kirsten Allysse Richmond v. Madison County Circuit Clerk, a judge denied a divorce for two women who married in IA in 2012. The case is currently under appeal.
- ALABAMA #3 • on 7 May 2014 two Alabama women, Cari. D. Searcy and Kimberley McKeeand, filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriage so they can both be legal parents to their 8-year-old son, "KS."
- ALASKA • On 24 September 2012, in Debra Harris v. Millennium Hotel, et al., Lambda Legal filed suit because Alaska denies survivor benefits to same-gender couples, for whom marriage is banned by AK’s law and its constitution. On 14 October 2013, Lambda Legal appealed to the AK Supreme Court.
- ALASKA #2 • On 12 May 2014 five gay couples filed a lawsuit challenging Alaska's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional; four couples who were married outside Alaska and one unmarried couple. The plaintiffs are Matthew Hamby and Christopher Shelden; Christina LaBorde and Susan Tow; Sean Egan and David Robinson; Tracey Wiese and Katrina Cortez; and Courtney Lamb and Stephanie Pearson. Lamb and Pearson are unmarried.
- ARKANSAS #1 • On 2 July 2013, in Kendall Wright et al. v. AR Governor Michael Beebe, et al., 21 same-gender couples filed suit in a Pulaski County court. Amendments were filed on 21 July, 5 August, and 15 August. The plaintiffs seek to overturn the 2004 AR constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, the state law banning same-gender civil marriage, and the federal law allowing states to ignore same-gender marriages from other states, and they also seek parental rights, birth certificate names, insurance, and other benefits. Plaintiffs planned to request a declaratory judgment by 12 December 2013. On 12 December 2013, defendants for Faulkner County and AR asked the judge to dismiss the suit, and plaintiffs asked that other couples be allowed to marry during the suit. On 19 December 2013, the judge refused to dismiss the suit, but also refused to let couples marry while the case is underway. The case was argued on 17 April 2014 and Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza stated he would rule within two weeks. On 1 May 2014 a clerk for Judge Piazza told attorneys in a letter that the judge was taking another week and expected to issue a ruling by May 9. On 3 May 2014 the Attorney General stated that although he supports marriage equality, he believes it is his responsibility to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriages. On 9 May 2014 Judge Piazza ruled that the Arkansas ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. The state filed a motion for an immediate stay. On 16 May 2014 the stay was granted. On 29 May 2014 the plaintiffs filed a motion requesting attorney's fees and costs.
- ARKANSAS #2 • On 15 July 2013, in Rita & Pam Jernigan et al. v. Crane et al., a federal lawsuit was filed for 2 unmarried female couples and 1 already married male couple who seek same-gender civil marriages in AR. On 31 January 2014, AR asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the 2004 AR constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage.
- ARIZONA • On 20 July 2010, in Joseph Diaz, et al., v. Janice Brewer, et al., a federal judge barred enforcement of an AZ law that would withhold health benefits from LGBT employees, their partners, and children. On 6 September 2011, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed. On 2 July 2012, AZ asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. On 27 June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Arizona’s appeal of a preliminary injunction suspending the voter-approved benefits ban, so the benefits will remain in effect while the case proceeds. Motions for summary judgment were expected by 15 September 2014. The trial is expected to take 4 days, but no start date has been proposed. On 23 December 2013, the judge certified the case as a class action lawsuit representing all AZ state workers with same-gender partners.
- ARIZONA #2 • On 6 January 2014, in Joseph Connolly & Terrel Pochert, et al., v. Pinal County Superior Court Clerk Chad Roche, four couples filed a federal class action lawsuit challenging AZ’s 1996 statutory marriage ban and 2008 constitutional marriage ban. On 16 April 2014 U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick refused to combine this case with Nelda Majors & Karen Bailey, et al. v. AZ Attorney General Tom Horne, et al. and ordered that both cases be assigned to him.
- ARIZONA #3 • On 13 March 2014, in Nelda Majors & Karen Bailey, et al. v. AZ Attorney General Tom Horne, et al., Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit for 7 couples, and the surviving spouses of 2 additional same-gender couples, challenging the AZ 1996 and 1999 laws and the AZ 2006 constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage. On 24 March 2014, plaintiffs asked that their case be (1) merged with Joseph Connolly & Terrel Pochert, et al., v. Pinal County Superior Court Clerk Chad Roche, and (2) decided by the same judge. On 16 April 2014 U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick refused to combine the cases and ordered that both cases be assigned to him. On 7 May 2014 attorneys for both sides filed a joint motion asking U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick to reject the motion to intervene filed by Chris Sevier.
People of Colorado, John W. Suthers, and Colorado v. Hall, Case #: 2014CV30833. Hillary Hall, in her official capacity as Clerk and Recorder for Boulder County, Colorado began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on 25 June 2014 and ceased to desist when ordered to do so by the state. The People of the State of Colorado, via Attorney General John W. Suthers and the State of Colorado (collectively, the “State”), filed a Complaint against Hall and filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction. On 10 July 2014, District Court Judge Andrew Hartman ruled that though same-sex marriage was still technically illegal in Colorado, Hall could ignore the 9 July 2014 stay in the Brinkman ruling (see below) and keep issuing licenses.
Burns v. Hickenlooper, Case #: 1:14-cv-01817. Six same-sex couples who have civil unions, but wish to marry, filed suit on 1 July 2014 seeking the right to marry in Colorado and recognition for out-of-state marriages. The plaintiffs also filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction. On 2 July 2014, the defendants filed a non-opposition to an agreed form of preliminary injunction subject to that injunction being stayed pending the final disposition of the 10th Circuit’s decision in the Utah case Kitchen v. Herbert. On 2 July 2014, Debra Johnson, the Clerk and Recorder for the City and County of Denver, filed a joinder in motion to stay the proceedings.
Rebecca Brinkman & Margaret Burd v. Adams County, Colorado Clerk & Recorder Karen Long, a lesbian couple filed a state lawsuit on 31 October 2013, challenging CO marriage law and the 2006 constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage. On 23 December 2013, the CO Attorney General was allowed to intervene as a defendant, after the Clerk decided not to defend the law or the constitution. On 29 January 2014, the Clerk asked to be excused from participating in the case, but remain as a defendant cooperating with both sides. Brinkman v. Adams County Clerk and Recorder was consolidated with McDaniel-Miccio v. the State of Colorado (below) and with Burns v. Hickenlooper. On 16 June 2014, Adams County District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree heard oral argument. The judge mocked the state's argument that Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage protects the "nature of marriage" and the ability to produce children. He was also skeptical of the state's claim that previous judges had erred in their rulings. "They all got it wrong?" Crabtree asked, referring to 15 other state and federal judges. "What am I supposed to do then when presented with this? Just punt?" Crabtree will issue a written order at a later date. He noted that his decision likely will be appealed. On 16 June 2014, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican Attorney General John Suthers asked the federal court to issue an injunction declaring Colorado's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. However, they want the court to delay implementation of the ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue. On 9 July 2014, Judge Crabtree ruled that the Colorado ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional. He stayed his decision pending appeal.
G. Kristian McDaniel-Miccio and Nan McDaniel-Miccio, et al., v. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, et al., Reilly Pozner filed a state lawsuit on 18 February 2014 for 5 lesbian couples and 4 gay couples challenging CO Amendment 43, the 2006 constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage. This case was consolidated with Brinkman v. Long (above).
- CONNECTICUT • In October 2011, in Carmen Cardona v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, a sailor filed suit over denial of spouse disability benefits. On 19 April 2012, she filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. On 2 August 2013, the Republican-controlled BLAG (Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group) ceased being a defendant in the case, leaving the United States as the only defendant. VA Secretary Shinseki says he will recognize same-gender civil spouses of military personnel only after direction from the U.S. Department of Justice or President Obama. A favorable ruling in this case would affect every military veteran.
- DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA • On 15 August 2013, in James Spellman v. Washington DC, a surviving same-gender partner sued to get his relationship with Michael Kelly recognized as a common-law marriage for purposes of settling Kelly’s estate. States recognize common-law marriages fully (AL, CO, DC, IA, KS, MT, OK, RI, SC, TX), if established before a certain date (GA, ID, OH, OK, PA, and a few others), for probate only (NH), or if validated by court order (UT). The U.S. Labor Department recognizes common-law same-gender marriages as defined by state law where the employee resides, but other agencies differ.
- FLORIDA #2 • On 7 November 2013, in John Becker v. University of Central Florida, a state judge ruled that FL must disclose records showing who approved Associate Professor Mark Regnerus’ anti-LGBT parenting study, how it got published immediately, and why no qualified peers reviewed it. The Regnerus study is cited more often than any other by anti-LGBT groups worldwide, and Regnerus is scheduled to testify in February that children of same-gender parents are less successful than children of mixed-gender parents in April DeBoer & Jayne Rowse v. MI Governor Rick Snyder, et al. On 22 November 2013, FL hired former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Wells to fight the release of over 50,000 public records related to the publication of the widely discredited Regnerus study. Also, Judge Donald Grincewicz who had handled the case since its start in spring 2013, inexplicably recused himself from further involvement, and an appellate court granted a stay in the case until a replacement judge is appointed.
- FLORIDA #3 • On 26 February 2014, in Catherina Pareto, et al., v. Miami-Dade County Court Clerk Harvey Ruvin, a case challenging the 2008 FL constitutional ban on same-gender marriage, the anti-LGBT hate group Liberty Counsel (author of the ban) requested permission to intervene in the case, along with PULSE (African-American churches), Florida Democratic League (right wing Cuban-Americans), and Florida Family Policy Council (anti-LGBT hate group). On 1 May 2014, the plaintiffs asked a state court to rule that the state’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional. In their motion, the six couples and Equality Florida Institute argue that Florida’s ban on marriage equality violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution. A hearing has been set for July 2. On 3 June 2014 the request to intervene from the anti-gay groups was denied.
FLORIDA #4 • On 28 February 2014, in James Domer Brenner & Charles Dean Jones vs. FL Governor Rick Scott, attorneys Bill Shepard and Samuel Jacobson filed a federal suit seeking FL recognition of the couple’s same-gender civil marriage in Canada in 2009. This case was consolidated with Sloan Grimsley & Joyce Albu, et al., v. FL Governor Rick Scott, et al. on 21 April 2014. The consolidated case is James Domer Brenner et al. v. Rick Scott, etc., et al.
FLORIDA #5 • On 12 March 2014, in Sloan Grimsley & Joyce Albu, et al., v. FL Governor Rick Scott, et al., ACLU filed a federal lawsuit for 8 same-gender couples and SAVE, challenging the FL ban on recognizing marriage licenses from elsewhere. This case was consolidated with James Domer Brenner & Charles Dean Jones vs. FL Governor Rick Scott on 21 April 2014. The consolidated case is James Domer Brenner et al. v. Rick Scott, etc., et al.
- FLORIDA #4 & #5 • On 24 April 2014 U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle denied a motion by Florida Family Action to intervene in James Domer Brenner et al. v. Rick Scott, etc., et al.
- FLORIDA #6 Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on behalf of a widow and three same-sex couples challenging Georgia’s discriminatory marriage ban. The case was filed on behalf of Christopher Inniss and Shelton Stroman of Snellville, Rayshawn Chandler and Avery Chandler of Jonesboro, Michael Bishop and Shane Thomas of Atlanta, and Jennifer Sisson of Decatur. On 2 April 2014 in Aaron R. Huntsman and William Lee Jones v. Amy Heavelin, Aaron Huntsman 42, and William Jones 43, filed suit against Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin after her office refused to issue them a marriage license. The men are being represented by attorney Bernadette Restivo of the Key Largo law firm Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Fariñas. The case was assigned to Monroe County Chief Judge David Audlin. The plaintiffs are challenging the constitutionality of the Florida laws that exclude same-sex couples from marriage. The plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on 20 May 2014. A Request For Hearing On Case of Major Public Importance was filed on 22 May 2014.
- GEORGIA • Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on behalf of a widow and three same-sex couples challenging Georgia’s discriminatory marriage ban. The case was filed on behalf of Christopher Inniss and Shelton Stroman of Snellville, Rayshawn Chandler and Avery Chandler of Jonesboro, Michael Bishop and Shane Thomas of Atlanta, and Jennifer Sisson of Decatur.
- HAWAI'I #2 • On 8 August 2012, in Natasha Jackson, et al., v. Governor Neil Abercrombie, et al., a federal judge in Honolulu ruled against LGBT couples seeking to marry. The plaintiffs had argued that Hawaii’s 2011 civil union law is unconstitutional because it provides full state benefits but prevents couples from receiving any federal benefits. The plaintiffs appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. On 26 September 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the plaintiffs’ request to extend deadlines, since the legislature may legalize same-gender civil marriage in a special session starting 28 October 2013. Plaintiffs’ opening briefs are due 22 November 2013, defendants’ brief is due 23 December, and reply briefs are due 6 January 2014. On 25 October 2013, 12 of the first 15 states with marriage equality (CA, CT, DC, DE, IA, MA, MD, ME, NH, NY, VT, WA) plus IL, NM, and OR filed a brief urging the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down gay marriage bans in HI and NV. On 19 March 2014, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the 9th Circuit determined the case "not does not appear suitable for summary disposition at this time" and requested an opening brief by 25 April 2014, an answering brief by 27 May 2014, and an optional reply brief 14 days after delivery of the answering brief. Lawmkers legalized same-gender civil marriage in 2013, but the court still wants to ensure an orderly disposition of the appeal for future reference. On 6 May 2014 the director of Hawai'i's Dept. of Health noticed the court that she would not be filing a response brief. On 27 May 2014 the Hawai'i Family Forum filed an answering brief.
- IDAHO #1 • On 7 November 2013, in Sue Latta, et al. v. ID Governor C. L. Butch Otter, four lesbian couples, represented by National Center for Lesbian Rights and Boise attorneys Deborah Ferguson and Craig Durham, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the 2006 state constitutional amendment, and Idaho laws, banning same-gender civil marriage and civil union. On 24 December 2013, the plaintiffs asked the judge to block the state from intervening in their lawsuit. On 9 January 2014, the ID attorney general filed motions seeking (1) to dismiss the case on the premise that marriage is not a fundamental right, and (2) to intervene in the case. On 22 January 2014, the judge allowed the ID attorney general to intervene. On 18 February 2014, the judge set 5 May 2014 for hearing the plaintiffs’ motion to skip the trial and issue a ruling. On 13 May 2014 the judge ruled that the Idaho ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and ordered that his decision take effect on 16 May 2014. The defendants filed for a stay pending their appeal, and on 15 May 2014 the plaintiffs responded with their opposition to a stay. On 20 May 2014 the stay was granted and an expedited schedule for the appeal was set. On 30 May 2014 the governor filed a petition to have the initial hearing for appeal heard en banc.
- IDAHO #2 • On 10 February 2014, In the Matter of the Adoption of John Doe and John Doe I, Jane (2013-25) Doe Petitioner-Appellant, the ID Supreme Court ruled that a spouse may adopt the children of her same-gender spouse.
INDIANA #2 • On 14 March 2014, in Midori Fujii, et al. v. IN Governor Michael Pence, ACLU of IN filed a federal suit for 13 plaintiffs (5 gay couples, 1 widow, and 2 children) challenging the IN ban on same-gender civil marriage in IN and elsewhere, funeral arrangements, and inheritance taxes. This case was assigned to same judge hearing Love v. Pence. On 3 April 2014, plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction and to advance trial to date of preliminary injunction hearing. On 3 June 2014, answer to amended complaint filed by Defendants. On 25 June 2014, in Baskin v. Bogan, "For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that Indiana’s same sex marriage ban violates the due process clause and equal protection clause and is, therefore, unconstitutional." The state immediately filed notice of appeal and an emergency motion for a stay of the ruling pending appeal. On 27 June 2014, the stay was granted.
INDIANA #3 • On 14 March 2014, in Pamela Lee & Candace Batten-Lee, et al. v. IN Governor Michael Pence, et al., a federal suit was filed seeking marriage rights and benefits for public workers.
- INDIANA #4 • On 10 March 2014, in Rae Baskin & Esther Fuller, et al. v. Bogan, et al., Lambda Legal filed a federal suit for 3 couples challenging the IN same-gender civil marriage ban, and especially end-of-life health care. On 10 April 2014 On 8 May 2014 Chief Judge Richard Young granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) requiring the state of Indiana recognize the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, who are preparing their family for the end of Quasney’s epic fight with ovarian cancer, and ordering the state to issue an accurate death certificate recognizing their marriage in the event Quasney died before the case could be decided. On 8 May 2014 the judge approved a preliminary injunction re: the same. The state immediately filed an appeal to the injunction and requested a stay pending the appeal. On 12 May 2014 Quasney and Sandler filed their opposition to the stay pending an appeal. On 25 June 2014 Judge Young struck down the Indiana ban on marriage equality and did not stay his ruling; same-sex marriages began immediately. The state immediately filed a Notice of Appeal and a motion for an emergency stay. On 27 June 2014 the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay. On 30 June 2014, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion to lift the 7th Circuit's stay for terminally ill Nikole Quasney and her family. On 1 July 2014, the 7th Circuit ordered Indiana to recognize the marriage of Lambda Legal clients Amy Sandler and Nikole Quasney on an emergency basis "until further order of this court." On 9 July 2014, Mark Ahearn, General Counsel to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, issued a Directive instructing state agencies to deny recognition of all marriages of same-sex couples except that of Amy Sandler and Nikole Quasney. "Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1 is in full force and effect and executive branch agencies are to execute their functions as though the U.S. District Court Order of June 25, 2014 had not been issued. Also in compliance with the rule of law, the State will comply with the Court of Appeal's individual order recognizing the marriage of Amy Sandler and Nikole Quasney." On 11 July 2014, the State Defendants filed a Petition for an Initial Hearing en banc.
INDIANA #5 • On 14 March 2014, in Bowling, Bowling & Bruner v. IN Governor Michael Pence,2 lesbian women filed a federal lawsuit to have their IA marriage recognized by IN, and an additional plaintiff sued because her IA marriage was never recognized by IN. This case was assigned to same judge hearing Love v. Pence. On 21 April 2014, plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment. On 29 May 2014, defendants filed their motion for summary judgment and opposition to plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.
IOWA #1 • On 8 August 2013, the IA Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board voted to investigate NOM (National Organization for Marriage) for unlawfully concealing donors. NOM spent about $735,000 in 2010 and 2012 trying to unseat 4 of the 9 Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled unanimously for same-gender civil marriage in 2009. On 21 August 2013, the Board voted unanimously to retain its current executive director and staff attorney during the investigation.
IOWA #2 • On 7 October 2013, in Betty Ann & Richard Odgaard v. Iowa Civil Rights Commission al., bistro owners (the Odgaards) sued IA, claiming that: (1) their religious beliefs compel them to discriminate against same-gender couples, (2) the IA anti-discrimination law violates their religious beliefs by forbidding discrimination, and (3) their bistro business qualifies as a religious institution.
KANSAS • On 31 December 2013, in Michael Nelson, et al. v. KS Department of Revenue, two legally married same-gender couples sued for the right to file joint state income tax returns.
- KANSAS #2 • On 8 January 2014 four Missouri taxpayers filed a lawsuit challenging Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s 14 November 2013 executive order that permitted some same-sex couples to file a Missouri combined income tax return for 2013. A request for a Temporary Restraining Order was filed on 26 March 2014 to try to prevent couples from filing jointly before the 15 April 2014 tax deadline. On 4 April 2014 the TRO was denied.
KENTUCKY #1 • On 26 July 2013, in Timothy Love, et al. v. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (formerly Gregory Bourke & Michael De Leon, et al. v. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear), 4 same-gender couples and their children filed a federal lawsuit challenging KY’s ban on recognizing same-gender couples married elsewhere. On 1 October 2013, KY Attorney General Clay Barkley asked the court to dismiss the case, claiming that the plaintiffs have no standing to bring this lawsuit. On 12 February 2014, the court struck down that specific ban, and rejected arguments about “responsible” procreation, tradition, and harm allegedly caused by same-gender marriages to mixed-gender marriages. On 27 February 2014, a judge ordered KY to immediately start recognizing same-gender marriage licenses issued outside KY; whether KY must also issue such licenses is being decided separately. On 28 February 2014, the court denied KY’s request for a 90-day stay of the order requiring KY to recognize same-gender marriages performed elsewhere, and issued a 21-day stay instead. The recently added plaintiffs (Timothy Love & Laurence Ysunza) seeking marriage within KY had requested an injunction allowing marriages immediately, but the court also denied that request. On 4 March 2014, KY Attorney General Jack Conway decided not to appeal the federal court order that KY must recognize out-of-state same-gender marriages, which would have left as the only remaining issue the question of whether KY must issue marriage licenses to its own residents, but KY Governor Steve Beshear said he will hire outside lawyers to appeal that ruling. On 14 March 2014, KY Governor Steve Beshear asked the court to delay the 20 March 2014 effective date when KY must start recognizing same-gender civil marriages from other states. On 20 March 2014, the court stayed enforcement of its final order (requiring KY to recognize marriages performed elsewhere) pending the outcome from the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Briefing on the intervening couples’ claims is slated to finish by 28 May 2014. On 28 March 2014, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals set the briefing schedule: KY principal brief (7 May 2014), plaintiffs’ principal brief appendix (9 June 2014), KY Amicus Briefs (16 June 2014), KY reply brief (26 June 2014).
- KENTUCKY #4 • On 25 October 2013, in Romero v. Romero, Alysha Romero filed in KY Family Court to be divorced from Rebecca Sue Romero, whom she legally married in MA in 2009.
LOUISIANA #1 • On 16 July 2013, in Jonathan Robicheaux & Derek Pinton, et al. v. LA Attorney General James Caldwell, two couples represented by attorney Scott Spivey filed a federal lawsuit challenging the LA constitutional amendment and state law banning same-gender civil marriage, and sought LA recognition for same-gender couples married elsewhere. On 27 November 2013, the court dismissed the case because it named as defendants only the LA attorney general and omitted the LA Department of Revenue. On 2 December 2013, plaintiffs asked the court to reconsider its dismissal, and to allow the addition of another defendant. On 25 February 2014, LA Attorney General hired Kyle Duncan (from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty) as Special Attorney General to defend the LA ban on same-gender civil marriage. On 18 March 2014, the court consolidated Forum for Equality Louisiana v. Louisiana Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield, et al., a federal suit for 4 same-gender couples challenging the LA constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriages performed in LA or elsewhere, and challenging LA’s refusal to recognize both spouses as parents to children that are born to them or children that they adopt, into this case. The common issues (equal protection; due process for recognizing out-of-state same-gender civil marriages) will be decided first; the non-common issues (1st Amendment; LA marriage rights; Full Faith and Credit between states) will be decided later. The consolidation caused a revised 2014 schedule: cross motions for summary judgment (due 17 April), amicus briefs (12 May), cross responses to motions (19 May), replies (2 June), oral arguments (25 June), ruling (1 July), appeal to 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (1 August).
LOUISIANA #2 • In 2013, In Re Costanza and Brewer, a same-gender couple (Angela Marie Costanza and Chastity Shanelle Brewer) sought LA recognition of their CA marriage and a joint adoption. On 26 July 2013, a state judge ruled against them. On 25 September 2013, they appealed that decision. On 25 February 2014, LA Attorney General hired Kyle Duncan (from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty) as Special Attorney General to defend the LA ban on same-gender civil marriage.
LOUISIANA #3 • On 12 February 2014, in Forum for Equality Louisiana v. Louisiana Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield, et al., a federal suit was filed for 4 same-gender couples (Jacqueline & Lauren Brettner, Nicholas Van Sickels & Andrew Bond, Henry Lambert & Carey Bond, Havard Scott & Sergio March Prieto) challenging the LA constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriages performed in LA or elsewhere, and challenging LA’s refusal to recognize both spouses as parents to children that are born to them or children that they adopt. On 25 February 2014, LA Attorney General hired Kyle Duncan (from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty) as Special Attorney General to defend the LA ban on same-gender civil marriage. On 18 March 2014, the court consolidated this case into Jonathan Robicheaux & Derek Pinton, et al. v. LA Attorney General James Caldwell. The common issues (equal protection; due process for recognizing out-of-state same-gender civil marriages) will be decided first; the non-common issues (1st Amendment; LA marriage rights; Full Faith and Credit between states) will be decided later. The consolidation caused a revised 2014 schedule: cross motions for summary judgment (due 17 April), amicus briefs (12 May), cross responses to motions (19 May), replies (2 June), oral arguments (25 June), ruling (1 July), appeal to 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (1 August).
- MICHIGAN #1 • On 23 January 2012, in April DeBoer & Jayne Rowse v. MI Governor Rick Snyder, et al., a lesbian couple went to federal court to challenge MI laws that deny adoption to certified foster parents when they are not married. On 7 September 2012, as suggested by the judge, they amended their suit to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s 2004 ban on same-gender marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, and joint adoption. On 19 February 2013, Oakland County, MI clerk Lisa Brown withdrew her request to dismiss the lawsuit, saying that she agrees with the plaintiffs and wants their suit to succeed. On 7 March 2013, a U.S. District judge heard arguments challenging the constitutionality of the state same-gender marriage ban, and heard the state’s request to dismiss the suit. The judge decided not to dismiss, and to postpone making a ruling until after the U.S. Supreme Court decides two other marriage-related cases about the DOMA and California Proposition 8. On 1 July 2013, the court denied state’s request to dismiss the suit. On 10 July, the judge set a trial date of 1 October 2013. On 22 July 2013, the MI Governor and Attorney General claimed that same-gender civil marriage is not guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, that denying the plaintiffs their marriage license does no harm, and that the state constitutional amendment banning same-gender marriage is necessary to “promote responsible procreation” and to ensure that every child has mixed-gender parents. On 10 September 2013, the trial date was re-scheduled for 16 October 2013. On 16 October 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman denied both sides’ petitions for summary judgment, saying that he will expedite completion of the case, witness lists will be exchanged in October 2013, and expert testimony will be heard during a trial starting 25 February 2014. On 15 November 2013, the state confirmed that sociology Associate Professor Mark Regnerus and three other witnesses will testify that: children of same-gender parents are less successful than children of mixed-gender parents, that lesbian parents produce violent boys, that children raised by same-gender couples are 35% less likely to progress normally in school, and that there is no scientific evidence showing that children of same-gender parents do as well as children of mixed-gender parents. On 24 November 2013, the plaintiffs asked that their trial be split into 2 parts: (1) constitutionality of marriage/adoption laws; and (2) deciding what scrutiny level is required when judging laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation (whether they are politically powerless, whether they have immutable characteristics, whether they contribute to society). On 13 December 2013, MI officials asked the court to ignore which level of judicial scrutiny applies to laws that discriminate against same-gender couples, and to not split the trial into two parts. On 3 January 2014, the judge granted the plaintiffs’ request to split the trial into 2 parts. On 15 January 2014, lawyers from ACLU and G&LA&D joined the plaintiff legal team. On 6 February 2014, the plaintiffs sought to ban the testimony of sociology professor Mark Regnerus because his flawed methods, rejection by peers, lack of qualifications, unreliability, irrelevance don’t meet the minimum requirements for federal evidence. Trial was held from 25 February through 7 March 2014, with the potential landmark decision slated for 17 March or later. On 21 March 2014, the court: (1) overturned the law and constitutional amendment that banned same-gender civil marriage in MI, (2) said that MI testimony calling same-gender parents inferior was "entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration," and (3) said that no available science contradicts the consensus that same-gender and mixed-gender couples are equally good at parenting. On 22 March 2014, officials in at least 5 counties married over 323 county-resident, same-gender couples until 5:00 p.m., when the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay, effective through Tuesday, 26 March 2014. On 25 March 2014, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals stayed the district court ruling pending the outcome of the MI appeal. Appeal deadlines are: 7 May (MI brief), 9 June (plaintiff brief), and 26 June (MI response brief). On 28 March 2014, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that the federal government is recognizing the 322 same-gender civil marriages performed in MI between the time that the MI marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional and the time that MI appealed that ruling, even though MI is ignoring those same marriages. On 28 April the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state's request for an initial hearing en banc. On 7 May 2014 Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a brief suggesting judges come to the same finding as the U.S. Supreme Court on Michigan's affirmative action ban and uphold the state's 2004 voter-approved ban on marriage equality. On 29 May 2014 the plaintiffs filed a motion for Preliminary Injunction so that marriages performed before the stay would be recognized.
- MICHIGAN #2 • In Theresa Bassett, et al., v. MI Governor Richard Snyder, five same-gender couples challenged the constitutionality of MI’s Public Act 297 which denies fringe benefits to same-gender partners of government employees. On 28 June 2013, the U.S. District Court issued an injunction that temporarily prevents the law from taking effect until the entire case is decided.
- Michigan #3 On 29 May 2014 the plaintiffs in Caspar v. Snyder filed a motion for Preliminary Injunction so that same-sex marriages performed before the stay in the 21 March 2014 ruling in DeBoer would be recognized. On 5 June 2014 the defendants filed a motion to hold this case until all appeals in DeBoer have been settled and also filed a motion to dismiss.
- MINNESOTA #2 • In 2010, in Douglas Benson, et al. v. Hennepin County Local Registrar Jill Alverson, et al., three same-gender couples filed suit challenging the MN Defense-of-Marriage Act. A trial court dismissed the suit, but on 10 July 2011, the couples appealed. On 23 January 2012, a MN appeals court overturned the dismissal, and ordered a full trial back in district court. Plaintiffs’ request for a summary judgment is pending, after which either they will win their case or else it will go to trial. In February 2013, both parties agreed to put the proceedings on hold until at least 1 June 2013.
- MISSISSIPPI • On 11 September 2013, in Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham v. Dana Ann Melcon, Ms. Czekala-Chatham asked MS to first recognize their CA marriage, and then grant a MS divorce involving property, alimony, children, and inheritance. On 2 December 2013, the judge refused to grant a divorce because MS doesn’t recognize the marriage. Czekala-Chatham said she is appealing the ruling.
- MISSOURI #2 • On 8 January 2014, in MO Baptist Convention, et al. v. MO Governor Jay Nixon, et al., anti-LGBT groups sued MO for accepting jointly filed tax returns from same-gender couples who were legally married in other states.
- MISSOURI #3 • On 12 February 2014, in Janice Barrier & Sherie Schildt, et al., v. MO Health & Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling, et al., ACLU filed a MO state lawsuit for 8 couples challenging the 2004 ban on recognizing same-gender civil marriages legally performed elsewhere.
- MISSOURI #4 • On 26 March 2014, in Kerry Messer, et al. v. MO Governor Jeremiah Nixon, et al., the MO Family Baptist Convention Christian Life Commission and the MO Family Policy Council sued to stop MO from accepting tax returns from same-gender couples with legal civil marriages who file joint federal and MO returns, because the plaintiffs claim that they are already suffering “immediate and irreparable damage.”
- MONTANA • On 17 December 2012, in Donaldson & Guggenheim v. Montana, in a 4-3 decision based on the state constitutional marriage ban of 2004, the MT Supreme Court rejected the claim for equal benefits for inheritance, burial, worker compensation, death benefits, taxation, health care decision-making, divorce, custody, and child support. But the court also wrote that the plaintiffs did not specify which laws discriminate against them, thereby inviting the couples and ACLU Montana to submit a modified request. On 15 July 2013, ACLU of Montana amended its complaint for 7 gay couples and now seeks all of the benefits of marriage, other than marriage itself.
- NEBRASKA #1 • On 27 August 2013, in Greg Stewart and Stillman Stewart, et al. v. NE Governor Dave Heineman et al., ACLU Nebraska filed a suit challenging NE’s constitutional 1995 ban on unmarried, cohabiting, unrelated adults serving as foster parents, as well as gays or lesbians serving as foster parents.
NEBRASKA #2 • On 28 March 2014, in Bonnie Nichols v. Nebraska, Ms. Nichols petitioned the NE Supreme Court for permission to divorce Margie Nichols, whom she married in IA in 2009. In August 2013, a district court dismissed the case because the NE 2000 constitutional ban on same-gender marriage bars recognition of same-gender marriage and same-gender divorce. The NE Attorney General is arguing before the state court of appeals that: the NE marriage ban is irrelevant, and no one has any federal right to divorce. The Nebraska Supreme Court heard arguments on 28 May 2014. Several judges asked about technical and procedural aspects of the case, a possible sign that they could decide without ruling directly on same-sex marriage.
- NEVADA #1 • In 2002, NV amended the state constitution to ban same-gender marriage. In 2009, the legislature created domestic partnership. On 10 April 2012, in Beverly Sevcik, et al., v. Governor Brian Sandoval, et al., a lawsuit seeking full marriage equality was filed in federal district court by Lambda Legal on behalf of 8 same-gender couples. On 26 November 2012, a Mormon judge ruled that same-gender couples have no constitutional right to marry: (1) because they usually do not procreate; and (2) because if same-gender couples start marrying, then opposite-gender couples might marry less often. The judge also ruled that laws related to sexual orientation should not be tested under heightened scrutiny (a greater assumption that they’re unconstitutional) because gays and lesbians now have substantial political power, and thus no longer qualify as a minority class. On 5 December 2012, the anti-LGBT group Coalition For the Protection of Marriage from Boise, ID asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. Simultaneously, Lambda Legal appealed the November 2012 ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and on 7 January 2013, that court set June 2013 deadlines for filing briefs. On 27 June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review this case, and returned it to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Briefs are expected in October 2013, with arguments and a decision in 2014, in tandem with a HI same-gender marriage appeal (see Hawaii for details). If the Supreme Court issues a decision, that would not occur until 2015. On 25 October 2013, 12 of the first 15 states with marriage equality (CA, CT, DC, DE, IA, MA, MD, ME, NH, NY, VT, WA) plus IL, NM, and OR filed a brief urging the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down gay marriage bans in HI and NV. On 22 January 2014, NV’s brief argued that same-gender civil marriage should be banned because mixed-gender marriage should be promoted. On 27 January 2014, the Carson City, NV Clerk-Record Alan Glover withdrew his Answering Brief in the appeal case, and no longer opposes the Plaintiffs. On 10 February 2014, the plaintiffs asked the Appeals Court to expedite the hearing date. On the same day, the NV attorney general and governor asked the appeals court for permission to withdraw their earlier brief defending NV’s constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage because the state’s arguments are no longer defensible, leaving no defendants from NV government. The only remaining defendant is an anti-LGBT group, Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, which lacks standing for any federal appeal (just as the CA Proposition 8 authors lacked standing to appeal). On 12 February 2014, the court agreed to a fast-track review, but set no dates. On 28 February 2014, the anti-LGBT Coalition for Protection of Marriage argued that: (1) only the U.S. Supreme Court can decide the constitutionality of banning civil marriage for same-gender couples; (2) there is no animosity in banning same-gender couples from civil marriage; (3) same-gender couples who marry have “gender-less” marriages; (4) same-gender couples make inferior parents; and (5) all the government defendants who withdrew from the case are still enforcing the voter-approved ban. On 23 May 2014 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals orderd that this case be placed on the September 2014 calendar. On 6 May 2014 the Intervenor-Defendant Coalition for the Protection of Marriage used the 5 May 2014 SCOTUS decision on prayer before legislative sessions to argue that "Any 'test the Court adopts' for determining Fourteenth Amendment limitations on a State’s authority to define marriage ought likewise respect 'a practice'—namely, the man-woman definition of marriage—that was universally 'accepted by the Framers' of the Fourteenth Amendment." Think Progress noted that Monte Neil Stewart, the lead attorney defending Nevada’s practice of anti-gay marriage discrimination, basically told the federal appeals court that Brown v. Board of Education was wrongly decided and we should return to the days when public school discrimination was allowed. "Stewart didn’t say so in explicit terms, but that’s the clear consequence of an argument he just presented to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, as part of his effort to defeat marriage equality in [Nevada]." On 22 May 2014 the plaintiffs requested that the court set a schedule for oral argument - the motion was granted and argument is on the calendar for the week of 8-12 September 2014.
NEVADA #2 • On 27 March 2014, in SmithKline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories, one or more judges at the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals requested re-review of this previously decided appeal (which both parties already decided not to pursue any further), so the court asked both parties to state by 17 April 2014 whether their case should be re-heard by all 11 judges of the 9th Circuit, after which the 11 judges will vote whether to re-review the case. On 21 January 2014, the appeals court ruled that “heightened scrutiny” is the new standard by which all future sexual orientation discrimination cases will get decided, so that could change if all the court decides to re-hear the case by all 11 judges.
- NEW YORK #3 • On 19 June 2012, in Jane Roe & Jane Doe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield & St. Joseph's Medical Center, a class action suit for LGBT spouse health benefits was filed in U.S. district court. Additional filings are due 1 November, 3 December, and 17 December 2012. Being self-insured, St. Joseph’s is exempt from federal regulation.
- NORTH CAROLINA #1 • On 13 June 2012, in Marcie Fisher-Borne, et al. v. John Smith, et al., the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued several state judges in federal court on behalf of 6 same-gender couples and their children seeking adoption rights. On 12 July 2013, the ACLU amended the suit to add a demand that the plaintiffs are entitled to marriage. On 20 December 2013, Republican lawmakers engaged free legal help from Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBT law firm, to defend the state’s constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage.
- NORTH CAROLINA #2 • On 15 October 2013, Buncombe County, NC Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger began accepting civil marriage license applications from same-gender couples, and when they applied for their fifth time, Brenda Clark and Carol McCrory became the first such couple in any southern state to be allowed to file an application. The Register said he would ask NC Attorney General Roy Cooper to decide whether the NC statutory and constitutional bans on same-gender civil marriage violate the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause, and whether a license can be issued.
- NORTH CAROLINA #3 • The United Church of Christ (UCC), other local clergy and same-sex couples have filed suit against the State of North Carolina and its anti-LGBT constitutional amendment, citing First Amendment guarantees of freedom of religion. The group of Charlotte-area ministers helped launch the country’s first faith-based challenge to same-sex marriage bans, claiming that North Carolina’s laws block them from practicing their religion. The lawsuit is the 66th legal challenge to marriage bans now in the courts, three of them in North Carolina. It is the first to attack same-sex marriage bans on religious grounds. This suit is also the first time an entire denomination has joined the marriage battle. The United Church of Christ (UCC), headquartered in Cleveland, has more than 1.1 million members and 5,100 local churches.
OHIO Gibson v. Himes, Case # 1:14-cv-00347, filed on 30 April 2014. 6 same-sex couples filed a claim citing violations of the freedom of association and due process and equal protection clauses. The case urges a federal judge to strike down Ohio's ban on marriage for same-sex couples, following two federal court victories in cases that struck down parts of the ban. On 19 June 2014, plaintiffs filed a motion for declaratory judgment and permanent injunctive relief.
- OHIO Jim Obergefell & John Arthur v. OH Public Health Director Theodore Wymyslo. On 19 July 2013, a gay male couple filed a federal lawsuit to have their MD marriage recognized in OH (despite OH’s 2004 constitutional ban on same-gender marriage) before John, who is fatally ill, passes away. On 22 July 2013, the federal court ordered OH to recognize their marriage on any Death Certificate via a temporary injunction while the case proceeds. On 23 July, Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) announced that he will defend OH for the right to discriminate against all other same-gender couples. On 13 August 2013, a federal judge extended the previous temporary restraining order through 31 December 2013. The judge will hear oral arguments on 18 December. On 3 September 2013, the court allowed David Michener to join the lawsuit as an additional plaintiff so that he could be listed as spouse on the Death Certificate of his spouse, William Ives, who died unexpectedly on 22 July 2013. On 24 September 2013, a federal lawsuit to get same-gender couples recognized on Death Certificates was expanded to include all such couples, and Cincinnati, OH funeral director Robert Grunn joined the lawsuit. On 22 October 2013, John Arthur passed away, after winning a temporary order from a federal judge which forced OH to recognize their out-of-state marriage on Mr. Arthur’s death certificate. On 1 November 2013, a federal judge ruled that the suit can proceed, and that OH funeral director Robert Grunn can remain one of the plaintiffs, which will ensure that the outcome (expected in December 2013) applies to every OH same-gender couple married outside of OH. On 23 December 2013, a judge ruled that OH’s ban on same-gender civil marriages (made in OH or anywhere else) is unconstitutional, and ordered OH to recognize such unions on all Death Certificates. On 16 January 2014, OH attorney general Mike DeWine appealed the district court ruling to the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. On 14 February 2014, the plaintiffs asked the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to collect briefs and hear arguments as soon as possible. On 26 February 2014, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied the plaintiffs’ motion for an expedited briefing schedule, and instead set a deadline of 30 May for all 3 briefs from both parties. On 10 April the opening brief was submitted for appellant Himes. On 17 April 2014 Roberta Kaplan, the attorney who represented Edie Windsor in her DOMA challenge, submitted a letter to the 6th Circuit on behalf of Equality Ohio and Equality Ohio Education Fund indicating an intention to seek intervention in the appeals. On 23 April 2014 Equality Ohio, Equality Ohio Education Fund, and by four same-sex couples filed a motion to intervene in and participate in oral argument. On 2 May 2014 both the plaintiffs and defendants opposed the motion to intervene. Also on 2 May 2014, the Williams Institute filed Friend of the Court briefs on behalf of the plaintiffs. On 20 May 2014, this case was consolidated with Henry v. Himes for the purpose of argument. Oral argument was set for 6 August 2014.
OHIO Brittani Henry, et al. v. OH Public Health Director Theodore Wymyslo. 4 same-gender couples (3 married lesbian couples who expect to give birth and a gay male couple seeking to adopt) filed a federal lawsuit on 10 February 2014 to force OH to name both parents on the birth certificates. The case originally only sought respect for their marriages for the purpose of being listed together on the birth certificates of their children, but the challenge was expanded to ask that OH respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states. On 14 April 2014, the judge ruled that that marriages entered by same-sex couples outside the state must be recognized for all purposes and that adoptions secured by same-sex couples in other states must be given full faith and credit. On 16 April 2014, the ruling was stayed pending appeal. The case was appealed to the 6th Circuit on 12 May 2014. on 20 May 2014, this case was consolidated with Obergefell v. Himes for the purpose of argument. Oral argument was set for 6 August 2014.
- OKLAHOMA #1 • The November, 2004 federal case of Mary Bishop, et al. v. United States and Tulsa County Court Clerk, et al. challenges the state constitution for denying the right to marry the person of one’s own choice, for refusing to recognize same-gender marriages performed in other states, and for other aspects of the federal Defense-of-Marriage Act. (This is one of 14 cases in which the Republican-controlled House of Representatives defended the DOMA, and charged taxpayers for the cost.) In 2009, after the district court denied the OK governor & OK attorney general’s motion to dismiss, the case reached the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the couples lacked standing. They amended their complaint, removing the governor and attorney general and adding the Tulsa County Court Clerk who issues marriage licenses. On 28 September 2011, the four plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment. As of 30 March 2012, the court suspended all deadlines, so no trial date was set. The Tulsa, County OK district attorney hired 3 anti-LGBT groups (Alliance Defense Fund, Alliance Defending Freedom, Oklahomans for Protection of Marriage) to defend the state law, and the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives was defending the federal law (both laws being defended at taxpayer expense). On 16 July 2013, the plaintiffs requested permission to file a supplemental brief. On 18 July 2013, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner announced that the Republican-controlled Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) had ceased defending DOMA in all 14 of the federal lawsuits on which it wasted $3 million in taxpayer funds, including this one. On 26 July 2013, plaintiffs asked for final judgment in their favor regarding DOMA §3, based upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor decision (26 June 2013). On 2 August 2013, BLAG withdrew from the case, leaving the United States as the only defendant. On 22 December 2013, lawyers filed a brief pointing to the federal ruling two days earlier in which UT’s marriage ban was declared unconstitutional. On 14 January 2014, the federal district court ruled that the OK ban on same-gender civil marriage is unconstitutional. That ruling is stayed pending appeal(s). On 16 January 2014, Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe Smith, represented by the notorious anti-LGBT group, Alliance Defending Freedom, appealed to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. On 17 January 2014, OK requested the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to: (1) set a fast briefing schedule; (2) assign this appeal to the same judges hearing the UT appeal; and (3) allow amicus briefs to be filed jointly covering both cases. On 24 January 2014, 2 of the 4 plaintiffs appealed the district court’s ruling that they don’t have standing to challenge: (1) OK’s refusal to recognize their CA marriage, (2) part B of the Oklahoma constitutional amendment, and (3) Defense of Marriage Act, Section 2. On 28 January 2014, the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided to review the OK and UT appeals (a) on a fast-track schedule, and (b) by the same panel of judges. The appeals will be briefed separately and argued separately, while the OK defendant's appeal and the OK plaintiffs’ cross-appeal about out-of-state marriages will be reviewed together. The OK appeal schedule is: cross-appeal 1st brief by 24 February, 2nd/supplemental briefs by 17 March, 3rd brief by 1 April, optional reply brief by 7 April, and oral arguments 17 April. The first brief was filed on 24 February 2014. The second brief was filed on 17 March 2014. The third brief was filed on 2 April 2014.
- PENNSYLVANIA #3 • On 9 July 2013, in Deb & Susan Whitewood v. PA Governor Tom Corbett et al., 23 people (a widow, 10 same-gender couples, 4 of which were legally married in other states, and 2 of their teenage daughters) filed a federal lawsuit challenging the 1996 PA law that bans same-gender marriage for residents, and that ignores out-of-state same-gender marriages. On 1 November 2013, Washington County, PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane, and PA Governor Tom Corbett all were dismissed as defendants, and Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser and Health Secretary Michael Wolf were added to join the two county officials who are already defendants. On 15 November 2013, the judge rejected two separate efforts to dismiss the suit. On 22 November 2013, the judge rejected a request to delay the case, and set a trial date of 9 June 2014, but the former state Supreme Court justice defending the state said he would appeal the district court’s refusal to dismiss the case to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On 20 May 2014, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones, III issued a decision striking down the PA marriage ban as unconstitutional. On 21 May 2014 the governor announced he would not appeal the decision. An anti-gay organization was denied intervention by the district court; waiting for ruling from Circuit about whether appeal will be dismissed as frivolous or a briefing schedule will be set. On 6 June 2014, the Skuylkill County clerk moved to intervene in the district court in order to be able to appeal. On 18 June 2014 the district judge denied the clerk’s motion to intervene. On 18 June 2014 the clerk appealed the denial of motion to intervene to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. On 3 July 2014 the 3rd Circuit denied the appeal, and the motion for a stay pending appeal was dismissed as moot. On 7 July 2014, after the Third Circuit ruling, clerk Santai-Gaffney again applied for a stay of judgment, this time to Justice Samuel Alito at the U.S. Supreme Court (Santai-Gaffney v. Whitewood, No. 14A19). On 9 July 2014, Justice Alito denied the clerk's application for a stay. On 17 July 2014, Santai-Gaffney filed for a 10th Circuit rehearing en banc.
- PENNSYLVANIA #7 • On 25 September 2013, in Sasha Ballen, et al. v. PA Governor Tom Corbett, et al., attorney Alexander Bilus sued in state court for 28 couples who claim that (1) the PA same-gender civil marriage ban violates both the PA and the U.S. constitutions, and (2) the legality of the plaintiffs’ Montgomery County, PA marriages should be affirmed. On 18 February 2014, PA asked the court to dismiss the suit. Petitioners filed brief 18 March 2014 and amended brief 21 March 2014. On 23 May 2014, respondents filed an application to dismiss for mootness as a result of the federal Whitewood decision. On 29 May 2014, oral argument before the Court sitting en banc scheduled for 18 June 2014 was canceled. Plaintiffs filed their answer to the application on 6 June 2014. On 16 June 2014, plaintiffs filed an amended answer to application to dismiss.
- PENNSYLVANIA #9 • On 25 October 2013, in In re Estate of Burgi-Rios, Ms. Barbara Baus objected to paying a 15% tax of about $11,000 for inheriting the estate of her wife Catherine Burgi-Rios. On 29 April 2014, oral argument was held, during which attorney Thomas Gohsler, representing Pennsylvania, asked Northampton County Judge Craig Dally to dismiss Barbara Baus' petition to have her out-of-state marriage to the late Katherine Burgi-Rios recognized by the state. The issue wasn't about civil rights or same-sex marriage, he reasoned, but one of tax law that belonged in front of a review board. In June 2014, Gohsler asked Dally to dismiss the petition as moot in light of the federal ruling ordering the state to recognize same-sex marriages (20 May 2014, in Whitewood). As a result, the department agreed Baus is entitled to the inheritance tax exemption offered to spouses and Baus will no longer have to make a payment of more than $10,600. Baus’ attorney Attorney Benjamin Jerner said the case still isn’t settled - that he would like Dally to rule on sections of the inheritance tax law that speak of "a husband and a wife," language that on its face excludes same-sex couples. While the state has indicated it will interpret those provisions to include gay marriages, Jerner said he worries future revenue departments may think differently. "We've come so far, we want to make sure that all of the claims that we've raised are addressed," Jerner said.
- SOUTH CAROLINA • On 28 August 2013, in Katherine Bradacs & Tracie Goodwin v. SC Governor Nimrata Haley, et al., a lesbian couple filed a federal lawsuit challenging the SC Defense-of-Marriage Law and the SC 2007 constitutional amendment banning same-gender civil marriage. On 14 November 2013, Judge Joe Anderson of Columbia, SC recused himself from the case because as an executive board member of a Boy Scouts of America council, he (1) voted to ban LGBT Scout leaders, and (2) voted to fire a Scoutmaster who (a) brought her partner to a BSA event, and (b) is one of the plaintiffs in the case
- SOUTH DAKOTA • On 22 May 2014 six couples filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging South Dakota‘s 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The couples are represented by Joshua A. Newville of Madia Law LLC and Debra Voigt of Burd and Voigt Law Office.
- TENNESSEE Valeria Tanco, et al. v. TN Governor William Haslam, et al. On 21 October 2013 four legally married same-gender couples filed suit in U.S. District Court in Nashville, in a constitutional challenge to the TN law that bans recognition of their marriages. On 19 November 2013, attorneys from National Center for Lesbian Rights and lesbian legal activist Abby Rubenfeld asked a federal court for immediate protection of their families while their lawsuit challenging the TN marriage ban proceeds. On 14 March 2014, a judge issued a preliminary injunction requiring TN to recognize the marriage licenses obtained by the (now) 3 plaintiff couples from other states, so long as their lawsuit remains in progress. The judge noted that “all signs indicate that, in the eyes of the United States Constitution ... that proscriptions against same-sex marriage will soon become a footnote in the annals of American history.” On 18 March 2014, the TN attorney general: (1) asked for a stay of the injunction requiring TN to recognize the civil marriages of 3 same-gender couples, and (2) notified the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that TN is appealing the order requiring recognition of marriages made elsewhere. On 20 March 2014, the court denied the state’s request. On 25 March 2014, TN asked the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay on the district court’s order banning TN from enforcing the TN ban on same-gender marriage against the 6 plaintiffs. On 28 March 2014, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals set the briefing schedule: TN principal brief (7 May 2014), plaintiffs' principal brief appendix (9 June 2014), TN Amicus Briefs (16 June 2014), TN reply brief (26 June 2014). On 25 April 2014 a stay was issued halting recognition of the marriages. On 16 June 2014, oral argument was scheduled for 6 August 2014 at 1:00 pm EDT.
- TENNESSEE Borman v. Borman Case #14-CV-36. In 2011 a same-sex couple who married legally in Iowa in 2010 separated and on 14 March 2014 Frederick Borman filed for divorce in Roanoke County, Tennessee. The case was argued in Roanoke County on 27 June 2014 and the judge said he would rule soon.
- TEXAS #1 • In January 2009, in J.B. and H.B. vs. Dallas County, TX, the plaintiffs, a gay male couple, sought to dissolve their MA marriage. In September 2009, the district court ruled that the state’s 2005 marriage ban amendment was unconstitutional, and that same-gender divorce was possible. In August 2010, the state court of appeals overturned that decision. In March 2011, the plaintiffs appealed to the state Supreme Court. On 3 July 2013, the TX Supreme Court ordered supplemental briefs about impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions that overturned DOMA §3 and denied standing to the authors of CA Proposition 8. On 5 November 2013, the TX Supreme Court heard arguments.
- TEXAS #2 • On 25 July 2013, in TX v. Angelique Naylor & Sabrina Daly, TX Attorney General (and candidate for governor) Greg Abbott (R) filed a brief arguing that couples in same-gender civil marriages from other states can’t get a divorce in TX. Final briefs were due by 6 August 2013 regarding impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions that overturned DOMA §3 and denied standing to the authors of CA Proposition 8. On 5 November 2013, the TX Supreme Court heard arguments.
TEXAS #6 • On 18 September 2013, in Nikki Araguz v. Texas, a trans woman argued before 3 state appeals court judges that they should overturn the 2010 state court decision that denied her $600,000 in death benefits just because she was born a male, which makes her TX marriage to her former (now deceased) firefighter husband invalid. On 13 February 2014, a 3-judge TX appeals court panel overturned the lower court ruling that had voided the marriage, and thus prevented her from receiving the estate of her deceased firefighter husband. The appeals court returned the case to the district court to determine the plaintiff’s gender at the time of her husband’s death.
- TEXAS #8 • On 28 October 2013, in Cleopatra De Leon, et al., v. TX Governor Rick Perry et al., two same-gender couples (Cleopatra DeLeon & Nicole Dimetman, Mark Phariss & Vic Holmes) represented by Lambda Legal filed a federal class action lawsuit for all TX couples, challenging the 2003 law and the 2005 TX constitutional ban on marriage inside and outside TX. On 22 November 2013, the plaintiffs asked that the court halt the ban at the start of the case, instead of at the end, so that marriages may take place while the case proceeds. On 11 December 2013, the judge agreed to hear the case starting 12 February 2014. On 7 January 2014, the judge denied anti-LGBT group Texas Values permission to file a friend-of-the-court brief (which cited work by discredited University of Texas assistant professor Dr. Mark Regnerus) because the brief cited no legal authority, and did nothing to resolve the legal issues. Texas Values wrote that same-gender couples are inferior to mixed-gender couples, and that the American Psychological Association wrongly concluded that LGBT parents raise well-adjusted children. On 9 January 2014, the judge rejected an effort by the TX attorney general to consolidate two other suits into this one. On 9 January 2014, the judge rejected an effort by the TX attorney general to consolidate two other suits (Shannon Zahrn, et al. v. TX Governor Rick Perry, et al., and Christopher McNosky, et al. v. TX Governor Rick Perry, et al.) into this one. On 12 February 2014, the court heard oral arguments, and a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the state from enforcing the ban during the litigation. On 26 February 2014, a federal judge declared that the TX 2003 law and 2005 ban on same-gender civil marriage both violate the U.S. Constitution (but stayed his decision until appeals are completed), and also issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the bans because (1) they cause irreparable harm, and (2) plaintiffs are likely to win. The next day, TX scheduled an appeal for May 2014. On 7 March 2014, the preliminary injunction against the TX same-gender civil marriage bans while the district court case is proceeding was appealed by TX to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and the district court case proceedings were stayed pending the appeal ruling. On 30 May 2014 The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals filed an order setting the briefing schedule.
- TEXAS #9 • On 17 December 2013, in Jack Pidegon & Larry Hicks vs. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, et al., with plaintiffs represented by Harris County GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill, a TX district judge temporarily prohibited Houston, TX from offering partner benefits to same-gender couples. On 20 December 2013, Houston said it would appeal the 17 December court order barring domestic partner benefits for same-gender spouses of city employees. On 31 December 2013, Houston’s attorney got the case moved from state district family court into federal court. On 2 January 2014, the federal judge denied the Houston Republican Party’s request for a stay against the city policy of providing equal benefits, and reversed the district court approval of that stay. On 21 January 2014, the plaintiffs said they will try to move the case back to state court.
- TEXAS #10 • On 26 December 2013, in Noel Freeman, et al. v. Houston, TX Mayor Anise Parker, et al., Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit seeking to restore worker benefits for same-gender spouses. The lawsuit was filed on behalf three City of Houston employees legally married to same-sex spouses in other jurisdictions and follows notification these employees received that the City, one month after extending the coverage to their spouses, was being forced to withdraw these benefits and cancel the coverage. Awaiting judge’s ruling on a motion to consolidate with Pidgeon (above).
- TEXAS #11 • On 31 October 2013, in Shannon Zahrn, et al. v. TX Governor Rick Perry, et al., 2 same-gender couples filed a federal class action sexual-orientation-discrimination suit seeking equal marriage rights for all TX couples, and challenging the TX statutory and constitutional bans on same-gender civil marriage. On 9 January 2014, the judge for Cleopatra De Leon, et al., v. TX Governor Rick Perry et al. rejected an effort by the TX attorney general to consolidate this case and Christopher McNosky, et al. v. TX Governor Rick Perry, et al. into the De Leon case. On 12 March 2014, TX asked the court to stay proceedings in this case pending the outcome at the 5th Circuit of Cleopatra De Leon, et al., v. TX Governor Rick Perry et al.
- TEXAS #12 • On 29 July 2013, in Christopher McNosky, et al. v. TX Governor Rick Perry, et al., a same-gender couple representing themselves filed a federal lawsuit seeking equal marriage rights, challenging the TX statutory and constitutional bans on same-gender civil marriage. On 9 January 2014, the judge for Cleopatra De Leon, et al., v. TX Governor Rick Perry et al. rejected an effort by the TX attorney general to consolidate this case and Shannon Zahrn, et al. v. TX Governor Rick Perry, et al. into the De Leon case. On 12 March 2014, TX asked the court to stay proceedings in this case pending the outcome at the 5th Circuit of Cleopatra De Leon, et al., v. TX Governor Rick Perry et al.
TEXAS #13 • On 18 February 2014, In the Matter of the Marriage of A.L.F.L. and K.L.L., Allison Leona Flood Lesh and Kristi Lyn Lesh filed for divorce and child custody. A hearing was scheduled for 20 March 2014. On 22 April 2014 state District Judge Barbara Nellermoe ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, paving the way for Flood Lesh and Lesh to proceed with their divorce and subsequent child custody battle. Nellermoe identified three portions of the Texas Family Code as unconstitutional, as well as Section 32 of the Texas Constitution. On 24 April 2014, the state intermediate court granted an emergency motion by the state Attorney General to stay that ruling while it considers his motion to vacate the ruling. On 28 May 2014, a Petition for Writ of Mandamus was conditionally granted, vacating the trial court’s opinion on the ground that notice of the constitutional challenge was not given to the Texas AG as required by statute. On 13 June 2014, a motion for involuntary dismissal was filed by the Appellees. On 16 June 2014, the trial court judge vacated her order. The appeal of that order is pending in the 4th court of appeals.
- UTAH #1 • On 25 March 2013, in Kitchen, et al. v. Utah Governor Gary Herbert, et al., 3 couples filed a federal lawsuit challenging UT’s constitutional amendment banning same-gender civil marriage, passed 66%-to-33% in 2004. The plaintiffs are one gay couple, one lesbian couple, and a second lesbian couple whose IA marriage is ignored by UT. On 11 October 2013, UT Governor Herbert requested a summary judgment favoring the state, and argued that: (1) marriage is not a right; (2) states can deny marriage to certain citizens; (3) “responsible procreation” is a reason to exclude same-gender couples, and (4) same-gender parents raising children is harmful. Plaintiffs also requested a summary judgment in their favor, and argued that UT’s constitutional ban restricts rights and liberties. The court heard both motions for summary judgment on 4 December 2013. On 20 December 2013, the court declared the ban an irrational, unconstitutional denial of a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution, and allowed marriages to begin the same day. On 22 December 2013, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied UT’s request to stay (suspend) the district court ruling while the district court decides whether to suspend its own ruling during the time that the case is on appeal. On 23 December 2013, UT made the request again, and the Court of Appeals denied it again. On 23 December, UT made a 3rd request for a stay, and Federal District Judge Robert Shelby denied it. On 24 December, UT made a 4th request for a stay, and the Court of Appeals denied it, mainly because: (a) the appeal appears likely to fail; (b) the lack of a stay is not likely to cause irreparable harm to the state; (c) a stay is likely to harm the plaintiff couples who now can marry legally, and (d) lack of a stay is not likely to harm the public interest. UT then announced that it will make a 5th request to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Justice Sonia Sotomayor will grant the stay, or deny the stay, or ask the full Court to decide. On 27 December 2013, Republican lawmakers committed about $2 million for opposing marriage equality in the U.S. Appeals Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. On 30 December 2013, the Appeals Court set the expedited schedule: state’s appeal brief by 27 January, couples’ response brief by 18 February, state’s reply brief by 25 February, oral arguments in March. On 31 December 2013, UT asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the original ruling and suspend same-gender civil marriages while appeals go through the U.S. Tenth Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. On 3 January 2014, the same-gender couples filed a reply. On 6 January 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the district court ruling until the Appeals Court ruling is issued. On 8 January 2014, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) joined as co-counsel for the plaintiffs. On 8 January 2014, the UT Attorney General said that for the 2,720 people who married a same-gender spouse from 20 December through 6 January, those marriages are doubtful, and their validity will be determined by appeals to the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in 2014 and possibly the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. In the meantime, recognition and benefits for those 2,720 citizens will be decided by a special review team, on a case-by-case basis. On 9 January, the UT Attorney General confirmed that a marriage certificate can be completed for each marriage that was performed prior to the decision to issue a stay. On 9 January 2014, Human Rights Campaign asked the U.S. government to recognize all same-gender couples who were legally married in UT between 20 December 2013 and 6 January 2014. On 10 January 2014, the U.S. government confirmed that it recognizes all same-gender civil marriages performed in UT from 20 December 2013 through 6 January 2014. On 16 January 2014, UT decided to pay $300,000 to the 3 attorneys who, with help from 2 UT state employees, will argue to ban same-gender civil marriage before the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Their fee for the U.S. Supreme Court appeal would be similar. On 17 January, UT asked the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for 10 extra days to write its arguments opposing same-gender civil marriage, and the plaintiffs opposed that request. On 21 January 2014, the Appeals Court allowed UT 7 extra days to prepare, so the opening brief is due 3 February, the response brief 25 February, and any reply brief 4 March, with oral arguments in March or April. On 28 January 2014, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to review both the UT and OK cases (a) on a fast-track schedule, and (b) by the same panel of judges. The UT and OK appeals will be briefed separately and argued separately. The UT appeal schedule is: last filings 4 March; oral arguments 10 April. On 25 June 2014 a 3-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's ruling that Utah's ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional and violates the Fourteenth Amendment. This decision was stayed pending appeal by the state to either the full 10th Circuit or to the Supreme Court of the United States.
- UTAH #2 • On 21 January 2014, in Jonell Evans, et al. v. State of Utah, ACLU sued UT in state court (a) for ignoring the marriages of 2,600 people who were legally married as same-gender couples in UT, and (b) for harming their children. On 6 February 2014, the plaintiffs asked for an expedited hearing. On 28 February 2014, UT argued that over 1,000 same-gender civil marriages performed for UT couples between 20 December 2013 and 6 January 2014 may get voided by the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in summer 2014, but the ACLU argued that those marriages would always remain fully legal no matter what the Appeals Court decides.
- UTAH #3 • On 28 January 2014, in Jonell Evans, et al. v. Utah, an ACLU suit to force UT to recognize about 1360 marriages performed from 20 December 2013 through 2 January 2014, the case was moved from state court to a federal court.
- UTAH #4 • On 30 January 2014, in Kate Doe & Beth Roe v. Utah, a lesbian couple sued UT for refusing to recognize their 2010 marriage in another state.
- VIRGINIA #1 • On 18 July 2013, in Timothy Bostic, et al. vs. VA 4th Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer, et al., a gay couple filed a federal lawsuit challenging VA’s 2006 ban on same-gender marriage, joined by a lesbian couple seeking to have their 2008 CA marriage recognized in VA. The court assigned an expedited schedule. On 30 September 2013, AFER (American Foundation for Equal Rights), the sole sponsor of the lawsuit which defeated CA Proposition 8, joined this lawsuit to win full federal marriage equality nationwide. On 3 October 2013, VA Attorney General (and candidate for governor) Ken Cucinelli argued that same-gender civil marriage should be banned because: (1) some religious beliefs from the 1500s also ban it; (2) some dictionaries still describe marriage as only between mixed-gender couples; and (3) some mixed-gender couples procreate. On 21 January 2014, the plaintiffs’ attorneys asked the court to follow the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recent ruling, and apply heightened scrutiny (the assumption that a law is probably discriminatory) when evaluating VA’s marriage ban. On 23 January 2014, VA’s new attorney general, Mark Herring, said that VA’s ban on same-gender civil marriage violates the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment (equal protection, due process), and that instead of defending the ban, he will join plaintiffs in two lawsuits arguing that it be struck down. A hearing is scheduled for 2 February 2014. On 28 January 2014, VA Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) told dozens of Republican lawmakers he would not appoint any special prosecutor to defend the VA same-gender civil marriage ban. On 13 February 2014, the federal judge declared the VA ban unconstitutional. On 24 February 2014, two defendants (Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer and State Registrar of Vital Records Janet Rainey) appealed the 13 February ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is likely to also hear similar cases this year from NC, SC, and WV. VA Attorney General Mark Herring requested an expedited appeal schedule. On 25 February 2014, Prince William County Court Clerk Michele McQuigg joined Prince Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk Schaefer and VA State Registrar Janet Rainey in filing a notice to appeal the federal court ruling declaring VA’s constitutional ban on same-gender marriage unconstitutional. All 3 defendants claim that same-gender couples make inferior parents. On 25 February, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that defendants’ opening briefs are due 7 April 2014, the response brief is due 9 May 2014, and any reply brief is due 14 days after the response brief is delivered. On 26 February 2014, Lambda Legal, ACLU, and attorney Paul Smith requested permission to intervene in AFER’s case, while their own class action case, Harris v. Rainey, awaits a ruling. On 10 March 2014, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed plaintiffs for Joanne Harris, et al. v. VA State Registrar Janet Rainey, et al. to join the appeal, with an expedited hearing date of May 12-15. Briefs are due from defendants by 28 March 2014, from plaintiffs by 11 April, and the defendants’ reply is due by 30 April. On 20 March 2014, the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals confirmed the hearing of oral arguments on 13 May 2014 from attorneys for the original plaintiffs, assisted by attorneys from Lambda Legal and ACLU (in Joanne Harris, et al. vs. VA State Registrar Janet Rainey, et al., a certified class action case). On 28 March 2014, VA court clerks argued that marriage is solely for the purpose of procreation between mixed-gender spouses, and that same-gender civil marriage would lead to legalization of incest. On 18 April 2014 28 companies filed an amicus brief in this case, urging the federal appeals court to uphold the lower court's ruling. Amazon, American International Group, Blu Homes, CBS Corp., eBay, Equality NC, Facebook, 500 BC, Google, Intel Corp., Jackson Hole Group, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, Levi Strauss & Co., Marriott International, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, McKinstry Co., Northrop Grumman Corp., Pfizer, Oracle America, Qualcomm, Replacements, Starbucks, Sun Life Financial Services, Support.com, United Therapeutics Corp., Viacom and Witeck Communications. On 1 May 2014 the defendants in this case filed their final briefs, one and two. Oral Arguments took place on 13 May 2014.
- VIRGINIA #2 • On 1 August 2013, in Joanne Harris, et al. vs. VA State Registrar Janet Rainey, et al., the ACLU, ACLU Virginia, and Lambda Legal filed a federal class action lawsuit for two couples seeking full marriage equality for all VA residents, including couples married elsewhere. On 30 September 2013, ACLU and Lambda Legal asked for a summary judgment. On 29 October 2013, federal judge Michael Urbanski considered whether: (1) to certify the case of two couples as a class action representing all same-gender couples in VA; and (2) whether to dismiss the governor and a circuit court clerk as defendants, leaving only the state vital records registrar. On 29 October 2013, the original date for arguing the merits of the case (3 January 2014) was canceled, and it may be re-scheduled. On 23 December 2013, a federal court refused to dismiss the case, but removed the governor as a defendant. On 31 January 2014, the court granted class-action status, so the case now affects all same-gender couples. On 27 January 2014, VA Attorney General Mark Herring notified the court that VA’s state laws banning same-gender civil marriage are unconstitutional, that VA is reversing its position in the case, that he will not defend them, and that he will argue that they are unconstitutional. On 28 January 2014, VA Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) told dozens of Republican lawmakers he would not appoint any special prosecutor to defend the VA same-gender civil marriage ban. On 20 February 2014, the judge began considering whether to stay the case pending an Appeals Court decision in Timothy Bostic, et al. vs. VA State Registrar Janet Rainey, et al., noted the plaintiffs’ request that he not issue any stay on his ruling, and said he does not need to hear oral arguments because he already has both the written briefs and the Bostic transcript.
- VIRGINIA #3 • On 3 October 2013, in National Organization for Marriage v. U.S. Internal Revenue Service, NOM filed a federal lawsuit claiming that IRS unlawfully released NOM’s confidential tax data.
- WASHINGTON #1 • On 28 June 2013, in Freed & Robert Ingersoll v. Florist Baronelle Stutzman, and WA State v. Florist Baronelle Stutzman, and Florist Baronelle Stutzman v. WA State, Benton County Superior Court Judge Salvador Mendoza: (1) refused to recuse himself from the cases; and (2) consolidated the first two lawsuits, in which a commercial florist refused to deliver flowers for the wedding of two gay men, in violation of the 2006 consumer protection and sexual orientation discrimination laws. ACLU represents the couple, and the anti-LGBT organization Alliance Defending Freedom represents the florist.
WEST VIRGINIA • On 1 October 2013, in Casie Jo McGee, et al. v. Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole, et al., Fairness WV and Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit for 3 couples challenging the state law that bans marriage equality. On 23 October 2013, the U.S. District court gave clerks from Kanawha and Cabell counties up to 60 extra days to respond to the suit, so that WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey can decide whether to intervene. On 22 November 2013, the WV Attorney General announced that he will defend the WV ban on same-gender civil marriage. On 17 December 2013, the WV attorney general asked the judge to dismiss the suit, arguing that the plaintiffs, who are not now legally married anywhere, are suffering no harm. On 31 December 2013, the plaintiffs asked for a summary judgment. On 28 January, the judge denied WV’s motion to dismiss the suit, and ruled that most of the suit can proceed, but because none of the plaintiffs is actually married, none have legal standing to challenge WV for ignoring out-of-state marriages.
- WISCONSIN #1 • On 17 September 2012, in Julaine Appling, et al., v. WI Governor Scott Walker, et al., the WI Supreme Court declined to review a case challenging the state’s 2009 domestic partnership law which covers 2,300 couples, and the court upheld a lower court’s ruling that that law does not violate the state’s 2006 constitutional ban on same-gender marriage, because domestic partnership offers only 43 of the 200 rights that come with full marriage. The case returned to the 4th District Court of Appeals for a hearing, and on 21 December 2012, the WI Court of Appeals upheld as constitutional the state’s 2009 Domestic Partner Registry law, and rejected arguments of the anti-LGBT group Wisconsin Family Action as “nonsense.” WFA appealed again. On 14 June 2013, the WI Supreme Court accepted the case. On 23 October 2013, 7 WI Supreme Court justices heard arguments, considered altering the existing domestic partner law, and adjourned without a decision, which is expected by summer 2014. The law is being defended by Fair Wisconsin and Lambda Legal.
WISCONSIN #2 • On 3 February 2014, in Virginia Wolf & Carol Schumacher, et al., v. WI Governor Scott Walker, et al., ACLU filed a federal lawsuit for 4 couples challenging the 2006 WI ban on same-gender civil marriage or civil union, and WI's unique ban on marrying elsewhere, for which each spouse faces up to $10,000 in fines and 9 months in prison as soon as they return to WI. On 28 February 2014, the ACLU added 4 more couples to the suit, bringing the total to 8 couples, and asked for an injunction against the WI same-gender civil marriage ban while the lawsuit is pending. A hearing is scheduled for 27 March 2014. On 4 March 2014, the judge refused to block the state ban while the lawsuit proceeds, but agreed that the case will proceed to summary judgment on an expedited schedule. On 11 March 2014, plaintiffs withdrew their request to suspend enforcement of the same-gender civil marriage ban while their lawsuit is pending, in exchange for (1) a quick ruling and (2) an agreement that two of the plaintiff couples will not be prosecuted for marrying in another state. On 14 March 2014, WI Department of Justice asked that the case be put on hold until the WI Supreme Court decides whether the WI domestic partner registry violates the WI ban on same-gender civil marriage in Julaine Appling, et al., v. WI Governor Scott Walker, et al. On 20 March 2014, WI DoJ claimed that existing mixed-gender marriage rights don’t include same-gender marriage rights, and asked that the case be dismissed. On 24 March 2014, the judge denied the WI motion to stay this case until the WI Supreme Court rules on the WI domestic partner registry case (Julaine Appling, et al., v. WI Governor Scott Walker, et al.), saying that a stay would be pointless, and scheduled the 2014 trial for August 25-29. On 23 May 2014 Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked federal Judge Barbara Crabb to place on hold any future order she may make that would strike down the state’s ban on marriage equality. On 30 May 2014 The American Civil Liberties Union urged the judge to reject Van Hollen’s request to stay any future ruling striking down Wisconsin’s ban. On 6 June 2014 U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the prohibition on same-sex vows in the state violated the rights of gay and lesbian couples to equal protection under the federal constitution and fair treatment under the law. She did not stay her ruling, but also did not immediately issue an order blocking the enforcement of the ban. The state immediately filed a motion requesting an emergency stay of the ruling. On 13 June 2014 the judge issued the injunction he had requested from the plaintiffs but issued a stay. The state asked the 7th Circuit to dismiss their appeal seeking a stay as moot. (This DOES NOT mean the state will not appeal. It just means that this particular appeal, in which the state asked the 7th Circuit to stay the district court order, is now moot because the order was stayed by Judge Crabb.) Judge Crabb issued the formal judgment and officially closed the case on 19 June 2014. On 23 June 2014 the ACLU of Wisconsin wrote a letterto State Attorney General Van Hollen asking that if he intends to appeal to please do so promptly. On 3 July 2014, the Plaintiffs filed a motion with the district court to lift its stay until the Defendants refiled a notice of appeal, and sought expedited briefing and hearing of their motion. On 10 July 2014, the defendants filed their notice of appeal and an opposition to the motion to lift the stay on the ground that an appeal had now been filed. On 11 July 2014, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for expedited briefing and consolidation with the appeals in Baskin v. Bogan, Fujii v. Dept. of Revenue, and Lee v. Pence.
WYOMING • On 5 March 2014, in Cora Courage, et al. v. Wyoming, et al., the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Wyoming Equality filed a state lawsuit seeking marriage equality for 4 couples and challenging the 1997 WY law.
Send questions and comments to Ned Flaherty: NFlaherty@MarriageEquality.org.