Marriage Equality USA

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Policy and Legal Update - January 27-February 2, 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

27 January – 2 February, 2014

NATIONAL MAP


NATIONAL POLLS


NATIONAL LEGISLATION


LAWSUITS

VIRGINIA  •  On 31 January 2014, in Joanne Harris, et al. v. Staunton, VA Court Clerk, et al., a lawsuit for two couples seeking full marriage equality for all VA residents, including couples married elsewhere, the court granted class-action status, so the case now affects all same-gender couples.  • MEUSA Summary  •  News Source NEVADA  •  On 27 January 2014, in Beverly Sevcik, et al., v. Governor Brian Sandoval, et al., a lawsuit seeking full marriage equality for 8 couples, the Carson City, NV Clerk-Record Alan Glover withdrew his Answering Brief in the appeal case, and no longer opposes the Plaintiffs.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source VIRGINIA  •  On 27 Januar y2014, in Joanne Harris, et al. v. Staunton, VA Court Clerk, et al., a federal class action lawsuit for two couples seeking full marriage equality for all VA residents, including couples married elsewhere, 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.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source OKLAHOMA  •  On 28 January 2014, in Mary Bishop, et al. v. United States and Tulsa County Court Clerk, et al., a case 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, the Tenth Cicuit 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.  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 after 7 April.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source UTAH  •  On 28 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, the Tenth Cicuit U.S. 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.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source UTAH  •  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.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source VIRGINIA  •  On 28 January 2014, in Timothy Bostic, et al. vs. VA State Registrar Janet Rainey, et al., a federal lawsuit challenging VA’s 2006 ban on in-stateand out-of-state same-gender marriage, 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.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source VIRGINIA  •  On 28 January 2014, in Joanne Harris, et al. v. Staunton, VA Court Clerk, et al.,a federal class action lawsuit for two couples seeking full marriage equality for all VA residents, including couples married elsewhere, 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.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source HAWAII  •  On 29 January 2014, in McDermott v. Abercrombie, a state judge ruled that the HI Marriage Equality Act of 2013 violates neither the state nor the federal constitutions.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source WEST VIRGINIA  •  On 28 January 2014, in Casie Jo McGee, et al. v. Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole, et al., a federal lawsuit for three couples challenging the state law that bans marriage equality, the judge denied WV’s motion to dismiss the suit, but dismissed the complaint about recognizing out-of-state marriage licenses, unless additional plaintiffs are added.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source UTAH  •  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.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

STATE LEGISLATION & POLLS

KANSAS  •  On 24 January 2014, KS state Representative Charles Macheers introduced a bill to legalize discrimination against same-gender couples whenever a person, group, or business claims that their discrimination is religiously based.  The KS House Federal and State Affairs Committee scheduled a hearing for 28 January 2014.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source SOUTH DAKOTA  •  On 21 January 2014, SD state Senator Ernie Otten proposed SB-67, which would legalize discrimination against same-gender couples whenever the perpetrator claims religions as the excuse.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source SOUTH DAKOTA  •  On 21 January 2014, SD state Senator Ernie Otten proposed SB-66, which would prevent clergy and religions from being sued for not performing a same-gender civil weddings.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source SOUTH DAKOTA  •  On 30 January 2014, SD SB-67 was withdrawn, and replaced by SB-128, which would legalize religion-based discrimination against LGBT people in 4 settings:  (1) employment; (2) public accommodation; (3) commercial services; and (4) state courts.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source IDAHO  •  On 28 January 2014, ID state Representative Lynn Luker proposed a bill to legalize discrimination by people in 28 licensed professions who use religion as their excuse for the discrimination.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source NEBRASKA  •  On 28 January 2014, Sarpy County, NE commissioners extended health insurance benefits to spouses of county employees with same-gender spouses who got legally married in another state.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

STATE BALLOTS & POLLS

INDIANA  •  On 27 January 2014, by 57 to 40, the IN House approved HJR-3, a proposal to revise the IN constitution to ban same-gender civil marriage, after revising it to delete a ban on civil union, domestic partnership, and worker spouse benefits, but whether same-gender civil marriage goes before voters, and in what year, remains undecided.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source PENNSYLVANIA  •  On 29 January 2014, Franklin & Marshall College surveyed 580 PA voters about same-gener civil marriage, and reported 56% in favor, 39% opposed, and 6% don't know.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source
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