Marriage Equality USA

Stay Informed

Policy and Legal Update - November 4-10, 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 4 – 10, 2013





WEST VIRGINIA & TEXAS  •  On 1 November 2013, the WV Army National Guard confirmed that it is now processing ID cards at state facilities for same-gender couples.  •  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


MONTANA  •  On 24 October 2013, Montana State University surveyed 410 adult residents regarding same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 46% support, 42% oppose, and 11% are undecided.  •  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


WISCONSIN  •  On 30 October 2013, Marquette Law School surveyed 400 WI voters, and reported that53% support same-gender civil marriage, 24% favor civil union, 19% oppose any legal recognition at all, and 4% are unaccounted for.  •  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
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