Marriage Equality USA

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Policy and Legal Update - December 2-8, 2013

Marriage Equality USA Projects Manager Ned Flaherty closely monitors marriage equality polls, ballots, laws, and lawsuits nationwide, and keeps the MEUSA website updated with changes in these areas on a near-daily basis. Every Monday we update you via our blog with policy and legal updates covering the preceding week. You may always find the most up-to-date information, including changes that have taken place between these weekly posts, on the Current Policy & Legal Status page on the MEUSA website.

Policy & Legal Updates

December 2 – 8, 2013

NATIONAL MAP


NATIONAL POLLS


NATIONAL LEGISLATION


LAWSUITS

PENNSYLVANIA  •  On 2 December 2013, in Pennsylvania Health Department v. Montgomery County Court Clerk Bruce Hanes, lawyers for Hanes urged the PA Supreme Court to overturn the order that stopped Hanes from issuing any more same-gender civil marriage licenses.  •  MEUSA Summary  • News Source WASHINGTON  •  On 3 December 2014, in Michael Hall, et al. v. BNSF Railway Company, two legally married same-gender couples filed a federal suit to obtain spouse health insurance coverage for themselves and all other workers because although same-gender civil marriage is legal in WA, the employer refuses to comply.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source MISSISSIPPI  •  On 2 December 2013, in Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham v. Dana Ann Melcon, a state judge refused to grant Ms. Czekala-Chatham a divorce involving property, alimony, children, and inheritance (because MS doesn’t recognize legal same-gender civil marriages from any jurisdiction), and Czekala-Chatham said she is appealing the ruling.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source LOUISIANA  •  On 3 December 2014, LA Army National Guard Lt. Col. Michael Mazmierzak confirmed that LA now issues same-gender spouse benefits by using federal personnel, funds, and systems for processing applications, leaving only GA and MS still unlawfully denying benefits.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source WASHINGTON  •  On 3 December 2013, in Michael Hall, et al. v. BNSF Railway Company, two legally married same-gender couples filed a federal suit to obtain spouse health insurance coverage for themselves and all other workers because although same-gender civil marriage is legal in WA, employer BNSF refuses to comply.  On 4 December 2013, America’s largest freight rail carriers (BNSF, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, CSX, and others) announced they will all provide health care benefits to same-gender spouses of their workers, starting 1 January 2014.   •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source LOUISIANA  •  On 2 December 2013, in Jonathan Robicheaux and Derek Pinton, et al. v. LA Attorney General James Caldwell, two couples challenging the LA bans on same-gender civil marriage asked the court to reconsider its dismissal, and to allow the addition of another defendant.

STATE LEGISLATION & POLLS

NEBRASKA  •  On 3 December 2013, Douglas County, NE extended all benefits, starting 1 January 2014, to same-gender spouses of workers who are legally married in other states.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

STATE BALLOTS & POLLS

INDIANA  •  On 3 December 2013, 13 IN mayors (7 Democrats and 6 Republicans from Anderson, Angola, Bloomington, Carmel, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Hammond, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayete, South Bend, Valparaiso, West Lafayette) opposed banning same-gender civil marriage via the state constitution.  • MEUSA Summary  •  News Source OREGON  •  On 7 December 2013, Oregon United for Marriage annouced it had collected more than the 116,284 signatures needed to put marriage equality on the 2014 ballot.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source
Send questions and comments to:  NFlaherty@MarriageEquality.org.

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