Policy & Legal UpdatesFebruary 3 – 9, 2014
MEUSA Summary • News Source UTAH • On 6 February 2014, in Jonell Evans, et al. v. State of Utah, a case seeking immediate recognition of all marriages between same-gender couples who were married from 20 December 2013 through 6 January 2014, the plaintiffs asked for an expedited hearing. • MEUSA Summary • News Source LOUISIANA • On 27 January 2014, in Jonathan Robicheaux and Derek Pinton, et al. v. LA Attorney General James Caldwell, a federal case challenging the LA constitutional amendment and state law banning same-gender civil marriage, and banning LA recognition of same-gender couples married elsewhere, Judge Martin Feldman denied a request to un-consolidate this case (#2013-cv-05090) from another case (#2014-cv-00097). • MEUSA Summary • News Source ARKANSAS • On 31 January 2014, in Rita & Pam Jernigan et al. v. Crane et al., a federal lawsuit seeking same-gender civil marriages, AR asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit challening the 2004 AR constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage. • MEUSA Summary • News Source WISCONSIN • 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. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source UTAH • On 29 January 2014, UT state Representative Merrill Nelson proposed a law so that citizens can donate funds via their UT tax return for legalizing discrimination against same-gender couples. • MEUSA Summary • News Source KANSAS • On 6 February 2014, HB-2453, which would legalize discrimination by individuals, businesses, and government against same-gender couples whenever the excuse is religious beliefs, passed from committee to the full House for a vote. • MEUSA Summary • News Source INDIANA • IN Republicans criminalized the performance of any religious ceremony that religiously marries two people of the same gender, starting 1 July 2014. • MEUSA Summary • News Source UTAH • On 27 January 2014, state Rep. Jacob Anderegg (R) introduced 2 bills (HB-231, HJR-1) that would prevent clergy from being forced to solemnize marriages against their beliefs. • MEUSA Summary • News Source VIRGINIA • On 3 Febuary 2014, the Republican-led VA House of Representatives passed HB-706, a bill that would let any state lawmaker defend the VA ban on same-gender civil marriage in place of the governor and attorney general. The bill also needs approval of the VA Senate, then the VA governor. • MEUSA Summary • News Source WEST VIRGINIA • On 4 February 2014, the Morgantown, WV City Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting marriage equality in the WV legislature. • MEUSA Summary • News Source ARIZONA • On 4 February 2014, an AZ House Government Committee passed HB-2153, which legalizes discrimination against LGBT people whenever the perpetrator claims religious beliefs as the excuse for the discrimination. SB-1062 also passed its respective committee in the AZ Senate. • MEUSA Summary • News Source TEXAS • On 4 February 2014, Bexar County, TX extended health benefits to county workers' same-gender spouses. • MEUSA Summary • News Source ARIZONA • On 5 February 2014, an AZ House committee approved a bill to legalize discrimination against LGBT people whenever religious belief is the excuse. • MEUSA Summary • News Source TENNESSEE • On 6 February 2014, TN state Senator Brian Kelsey (R) and Representative Bill Dunn (R) proposed SB-2566 and HB-2467, to legalize discrimination against same-gender couples in domestic partnerships, civil unions, and marriages, whenever the discrimination is excused by claims of religious belief. • MEUSA Summary • News Source KENTUCKY POLLS • On WKYT-TV, WHAS-TV, and 2 newspapers surveyed 1,082 registered voters on same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 55% oppose it, 35% support it, and 10% aren’t sure. • MEUSA Summary • News Source WISCONSIN POLLS • On 29 October 2013, Marquette University surveyed 800 WI registered voters on same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 53% support it, 24% support only civil union, 19% oppose all legal recognition of same-gender couples, with 4% unaccounted for. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source Send questions and comments to: NFlaherty@MarriageEquality.org.
Policy & Legal UpdatesNovember 4 – 10, 2013
MEUSA Summary • News Source FLORIDA & TEXAS • On 5 November 2013, the FL Army National Guard began issuing full benefits to same-gender couples by using only federal facilities to process benefit applications. • MEUSA Summary • News Source CALIFORNIA • On 4 November 2013, in Michael Dragovich v. U.S. Treasury, U.S. IRS and CalPERS,the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated part of an earlier decision, and sent the case back to U.S. district court to reconsider recent legal changes affecting same-gender domestic couples who: live out of CA, can’t marry because of impairment, can’t marry because one partner died, delay marriage, don’t marry, or who want remedies because they were denied marriage in the past. • MEUSA Summary • News Source HAWAII • On 7 November 2013, in McDermott v. Abercrombie, an Oahu, HI circuit judge refused to stop the HI legislature from passing a same-gender civil marriage bill, and told Republican state Representative Bob McDermott that he could return to court once the legislation is passed to pursue his case. • MEUSA Summary • News Source ARKANSAS • On 7 November 2013, in John Moix v. Libby Moix, the AR Supreme Court considered reversing a county judge’s restriction barring John Moix from letting his gay partner stay overnight when John’s son is visiting. • MEUSA Summary • News Source FLORIDA • On 7 November 2013, in D.M.T. v. T.M.H., the FL Supreme Court ruled that a woman who donated an egg to her lesbian partner now has parental rights regarding the 8-year old child, including custody and visitation. • MEUSA Summary • News Source IDAHO • On 7 November 2013, in Sue Latta, et al. v. ID Governor Butch Otter, four lesbian couples, represented by National Center for Lesbian Rights and Boise, ID attorneys Deborah Ferguson and Craig Durham, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the 2006 state constitutional amendment and multiple Idaho laws which ban same-gender civil marriage and civil union. • MEUSA Summary • News Source NEW MEXICO • On 8 November 2013, in Elane Photography v. Vanessa Willock, a photographer asked the U.S. Supreme Court: (1) to reverse prior decisions (NM Civil Rights Commission, NM district court, NM appeals court, NM Supreme Court) that fined her for violating the NM Human Rights Act and refusing to photograph a lesbian wedding, and (2) to approve commercial discrimination against same-gender couples as a religious practice. Equality opponents cite this case more than any other case when arguing that marriage equality reduces religious freedom. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source ILLINOIS • On 4 November 2013, 300 clergy members and faith leaders wrote to IL House members and urged passage of the same-gender civil marriage bill. • MEUSA Summary • News Source SOUTH CAROLINA • On 3 November 2013, Winthrop University surveyed 887 SC adults on same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 52% oppose it, 39% support it, 6% are unsure, and 3 refuse to answer. • MEUSA Summary • News Source ILLINOIS • On 5 November 2013, the IL House approved the equal marriage bill, the Senate concurred, the Governor said he will sign it on 20 November 2013, which would allow marriages to start on 1 June 2014. • MEUSA Summary • News Source HAWAII • On 5 November 2013, a HI state House committee finished hearing testimonty from over 5,184 citizens, and voted to advance the equal marriage bill for a full House vote. On 8 November 2013, the HI House of Representatives passed the equal marriage bill, 30-to-19. The Senate’s approval of changes made in the House is expected in a 21-to-4 vote on 12 November, followed by the governor’s promised signature, and the start of same-gender civil marriages on 2 December 2013. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source ARKANSAS • On 7 November 2013, the AR attorney general approved the Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equaliy ballot measure to repeal the existing 2004 ban on same-gender civil marriage, and also to legalize such unions, via the 2016 ballot. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
Send questions and comments to: NFlaherty@MarriageEquality.org.