Marriage Equality USA

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Policy and Legal Update - January 13-19, 2014

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

January 13 – 19, 2014

NATIONAL MAP


NATIONAL POLLS


NATIONAL LEGISLATION


LAWSUITS

PENNSYLVANIA  •  On 13 January 2014, in Cara Palladino & Isabelle Barker v. PA Governor Corbett et al., a federal suit to force PA to recognize all out-of-state marriages equally, the plaintiffs asked the court for a summary judgment (without a full trial).  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source OKLAHOMA  •  On 14 January 2014, in Mary Bishop, et al. v. United States and Tulsa County Court Clerk, et al., a federal suit challenging the OK constitution for denying same-gender civil marriage rights and for refusing to recognize same-gender marriages performed elsewhere, the district court ruled that the marriage ban is unconstitutional.  That ruling is stayed pending appeal(s).  Of all the same-gender civil marriage cases nationwide, this one is the oldest unresolved case.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source KENTUCKY  •  On 14 January 2014, in Gregory Bourke v. KY Governor Steve Beshear, et al., a challenge to the 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-gender civil marriage, the plaintiffs filed their final brief, and the court is about to decide whether to issue a final ruling without a trial.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source OHIO  •  On 16 January 2014, in Jim Obergefell & John Arthur v. OH Public Health Director Theodore Wymyslo, about OH recognition of legal marriages from other states when issuing death certificates, OH attorney general Mike DeWine appealed the district court ruling to the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source PENNSYLVANIA  •  On 13 January 2014, in Cara Palladino & Isabelle Barker v. PA Governor Corbett et al., rearding recognition by PA of legal marriages performed elsewhere, the plaintiffs asked the court to skip the trial and issue a final ruling.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source OKLAHOMA  •  On 16 January 2014, in Mary Bishop, et al. v. United States and Tulsa County Court Clerk, et al., challenging the state constitution for denying the right to marry the person of one’s own choice, and for refusing to recognize same-gender marriages performed in other states, 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.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source UTAH  •  On 17 January 2014, in Kitchen, et al. v. Utah Governor Gary Herbert, et al., a federal lawsuit challenging UT’s constitutional amendment banning same-gender civil marriage, 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.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source OKLAHOMA  •  On 17 January 2014, in Mary Bishop, et al. v. United States and Tulsa County Court Clerk, et al., a challenge to 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, 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.    •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source OREGON  •  On 17 January 2014, in Rachel Cryer & Laurel Bowman vs. Sweet Cakes by Melissa Bakery, the OR Bureau of Labor and Industries decided that a bakery violated the civil rights of a same-gender couple by refusing to bake a cake for the women’s wedding.  If the state is unsuccessful helping the parties reach a settlement, the Bureau may pursue court charges.  The bakers insist that their religion compels them to unlawfully discriminate against same-gender couples.  Equality opponents often cite this case when arguing that marriage equality laws eliminate religious freedom.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source UTAH  •  On 16 January 2014, in Kitchen, et al. v. Utah Governor Gary Herbert, et al., a federal lawsuit challenging UT’s constitutional amendment banning same-gender civil marriage, 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 in March.  Their fee for the U.S. Supreme Court appeal would be similar.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

STATE LEGISLATION & POLLS

VIRGINIA  •  On 9 January 2014, VA House Privileges and Elections Committee Chair Mark Cole (R) postponed all constitutional amendment hearings from 2014 to 2015.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source UTAH  •  On 14 January 2014, the Salt Lake City Tribune surveyed 600 UT adults on same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 48% said yes, 48% said no, and 4% were unsure.  •  MEUSA Summary  • News Source COLORADO  •  On 14 January 2014, CO Senate Bill 19 passed the Senate Finance Committee, which would allow same-gender couples who file federal tax returns as legally married to also file state tax returns using the same marital status.  The bill now proceeds to a vote of the entire Senate.  •  MEUSA Summary  • News Source IDAHO  •  On 14 January 2014, the ID House Revenue and Taxation Committee approved a rule denying legally married same-gender couples the right to file ID state tax returns jointly.  If no lawmaker objects before the end of this legislative session, the tax rule becomes final.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source ARIZONA  •  On 15 January 2014, AZ state Senator Steve Yarbrough (R) proposed SB-1062, a law that would legalize discrimination by any person, business, agency, or organization against anyone, whenever the perpetrator says the discrimination is related to religious beliefs.  On 16 January 2014, the AZ Senate Government and Environment Committee approved it, 4 Republicans to 2 Democrats.  The same law was passed by the legislature in 2012, but vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer, not for any reason related to the law, but in retaliation over a fiscal dispute with lawmakers.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source UTAH  •  On 15 January 2014, the UT Tax Commission reversed an earlier UT decision, and confirmed that same-gender couples who got legally married in UT or elsewhere may file UT income tax returns jointly.  • MEUSA Summary  •  News Source UTAH POLLS  •  On 17 January 2014, after surveying 746 UT residents, the Deseret News (owned and operated by the Mormon clergy) reported that 57% oppose it, 36% support it, and 6% are undecided; that 51% want to legalize religion-based discrimination by individuals and businesses, 40% don’t, and 9% are undecided; and that among active Mormons, 89% oppose same-gender civil marriage for anybody (people of all faiths, and people of no faith).  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source SOUTH CAROLINA  •  On 15 January 2014, SC House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford (D) filed a bill that would let same-gender couples who are legally married elsewhere file SC state income taxes jointly.  • MEUSA Summary  •  News Source SOUTH CAROLINA  •  On 15 January 2014, SC House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford (D) filed a bill to repeal the 2006 constitutional amendment that banned same-gender civil marriage.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

STATE BALLOTS & POLLS

INDIANA  •  On 14 January 2014, two IN city councils (Muncie, South Bend) joined three others (Indianapolis, Evansville, Bloomington) and voted to oppose any constitutional amendment that would ban same-gender civil marriage.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source ARKANSAS  •  On 18 January 2014, Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality began petitioning to repeal the 2004 constitutional ban against same-gender civil marriage, via the 2016 ballot.  Valid signatures are needed from at least 10% of all 2014 voters and 5% of the voters in 15 counties.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source
Send questions and comments to:  NFlaherty@MarriageEquality.org.

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