Marriage Equality USA

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Policy and Legal Update - November 11-17, 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

November 11 – 17, 2013


  • On 12 November 2013, MEUSA’s National Marriage Map was updated to show:  (1) Over 37% of Americans live in 17 states that have adopted full, state-level equality (CA, CT, DC, DE, HI, IA, IL, MA, MD, ME, MN, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA); (2) another 12% live in cities, counties, or states with partial equality (mainly CO, NM, NV, OR, WI), but 51% live in 39 jurisdictions that still ban all types of unions except one-man-one-woman couples.  •  Map


  • On 13 November 2013, Public Policy Polling reported that in most states which adopt same-gender civil marriage, most voters later report that it has little or no effect on their lives, and also reported that after legalization, opposition declines.  •  Survey Details



HAWAII  •  On 14 November 2013, in McDermott v. Abercrombie, the court: (1) ruled that the HI same-gender civil marriage law is legal (thereby rejecting the new claim of some voters who now say that they misunderstood the constitutional amendment passed by voters 15 years ago), and (2) dismissed the complaint.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source ILLINOIS  •  On 14 November 2013, in Darby v. Orr, a county judge postponed action in the case of 25 same-gender couples seeking marriage until 2 June 2014 (one day after same-gender civil marriages are slated to begin), at which point the case is expected to be dismissed.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source SOUTH CAROLINA  •  On 14 November 2013, in Katherine Bradacs & Tracie Goodwin v. SC Governor Nimrata Haley, et al., Judge Joe Anderson of Columbia, SC recused himself from this same-gender civil marriage 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.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source PENNSYLVANIA  •  On 15 November 2013, in Deb & Susan Whitewood v. PA Governor Tom Corbett et al., a lawsuit in which 23 people challenged the 1996 PA law that bans same-gender marriage for residents and that ignores out-of-state same-gender marriages, a federal judge rejected two separate efforts to dismiss the suit, and scheduled a conference for 22 November to discuss starting the trial.  • MEUSA Summary  •  News Source MICHIGAN  •  On 15 November 2013, in April DeBoer & Jayne Rowse v. MI Governor Rick Snyder, et al., (a same-gender civil marriage case), the state identified sociology Associate Professor Mark Regnerus and three other “expert” witnesses, whose testimony has been:  (1) that children of same-gender parents are less successful than children of mixed-gender parents, (2) that lesbian parents produce violent boys, (3) that children raised by same-gender couples are 35% less likely to progress normally in school, and that (4) there is no scientific evidence showing that children of same-gender parents do as well as children of mixed-gender parents.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source FLORIDA  •  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.  •  MEUSA Summary  • News Source


HAWAII  •  On 12 November, the Senate gave final approval to the same-gender civil marriage bill.  On 13 November, the governor enacted it, ensuring the start of same-gender civil marriages on 2 December 2013.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source MAINE  •  On 13 November 2013, Public Policy Polling surveyed 964 ME voters on the same-gender civil marriage law passed in 2012, and reported that 72% felt no impact, 15% felt positive impact, and 13% felt negative impact.  Separately, same-gender civil marriage is now supported by 54%, and opposed by 37%, with 9% unaccounted for.  Even among the 37% who oppose it, 70% of those admit that it has had no negative impact.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source MISSOURI  •  On 14 November 2013, Governor Jay Nixon announced that he supports same-gender civil marriage for MO, and that same-gender couples who pay MO income taxes may file combined returns if they wish.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source


OHIO  •  On 12 November 2013, Freedom to Marry Ohio said it had gathered the minimum 385,245 signatures needed to put equal marriage on the November 2014 ballot, but would continue trying to collect a total of 1 million signatures from OH’s 12 million residents.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source INDIANA  •  On 14 November 2013, WISH-TV surveyed IN residents regarding a constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 58% oppose it, and 38% support it.  Separately, regarding marriage equality itself, 48% support it, 46% oppose it, and 6% have no opinion.  •  MEUSA Summary  • News Source
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