Policy & Legal UpdatesOctober 14 – 20, 2013
- On 18 October 2013, the NJ Supreme Court decided to start same-gender civil marriages on 21 October 2013, so MEUSA updated its National Marriage Map to reflect that 33% of Americans live in 15 states with full, state-level equality (CA, CT, DC, DE, IA, MA, MD, ME, MN, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA), and 17% live in cities, counties, or states with partial equality (mainly CO, HI, IL, NM, NV, OR, WI), but 50% live in 29 states that still ban all types of unions except one-man-one-woman couples. • Map
On 11 October 2013, Pew Research Center surveyed earlier polls, and reported that from 2001 to 2013, support for same-gender civil marriage grew from 35% to 50%, and opposition declined from 57% to 43%. Opposition is strongest among evangelical Protestants, Republicans, and political conservatives, but even in those groups is rising, as older voters die off and younger people reach voting age. • Survey Details
MEUSA Summary • News Source VIRGINIA • On 3 Ocober 2013, in National Organization for Marriage v. U.S. Internal Revenue Service, NOM filed a federal lawsuit claiming that IRS unlawfully released its confidential tax data. • MEUSA Summary • News Source NORTH CAROLINA • On 15 October 2013, in preparation for a lawsuit, Buncombe County, NC Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger began accepting marriage license applications from same-gender couples, and he asked NC Attorney General Roy Cooper to decide whether the NC statutory and constitutional bans on same-gender civil marriage violate the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause. • MEUSA Summary • News Source ALASKA • On 14 October 2013, in Debra Harris v. Millennium Hotel, et al., Lambda Legal appealed to the AK Supreme Court to obtain survivor benefits for same-gender couples, for whom marriage is banned by AK’s law and its constitution. • MEUSA Summary • News Source OREGON • On 15 October 2013, in Deanna Geiger et al. v. OR Governor John Kitzhaber et al., two couples filed a federal lawsuit challenging OR’s constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, and OR’s refusal to recognize legal marriages from other jurisdictions. • MEUSA Summary • News Source MICHIGAN • On 16 October 2013, in April DeBoer & Jayne Rowse v. MI Governor Rick Snyder, et al., U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman denied both sides’ petitions for summary judgment, saying that he will expedite completion of the case, witness lists will be exchanged in October 2013, and expert testimony will be heard during a trial starting on 25 February 2014. • MEUSA Summary • News Source ARKANSAS • On 12 December 2013, in Kendall Wright et al. v. AR Governor Michael Beebe et al.,11 same-gender couples who are seeking to overturn the AR constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, the state law banning same-gender civil marriage, and the federal law allowing states to ignore same-gender marriages from other states, and also seeking parental rights, birth certificate names, insurance, and other benefits, will request a preliminary injunction and a declaratory judgment. • MEUSA Summary • News Source NEW JERSEY • On 18 Octobner 2013, in Garden State Equality, et al. v. NJ Attorney General Paula Dow, et al., the NJ Supreme Court ended a 12-year legal battle when it unanimously affirmed a Superior Court ruling that same-gender civil marriages may begin on 21 October 2013. Despite the governor’s appeal which will get decided in 2014, the court concluded that starting marriages now benefits the couples, without harming the state. • MEUSA Summary • News Source NEW MEXICO • By 18 October 2013, NM county clerks had issued over 1,000 civil marriage licenses to same-gender couples, in advance of the NM Supreme Court hearing on 23 October 2013. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source VIRGINIA • On 16 Ocober 2013, Christopher Newport University surveyed 944 registered VA voters including 753 likely voters, and reported that 56% oppose VA’s 2006 constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, and 36% favor it. • MEUSA Summary • News Source TENNESSEE • On 16 October 2013, Knoxville, TN expanded employee benefits coverage to include same-gender and opposite-gender domestic partners, effective 1 January 2014. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source
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MEUSA Cheers New Jersey Supreme Court Decision; Continues to Press for Legislative Override of Governor's Veto
Policy & Legal UpdatesOctober 7 – 13, 2013
MEUSA Summary • News Source IOWA • On 7 October 2013, in Betty Ann & Richard Odgaard v. Iowa Civil Rights Commission et al., two bistro owners (the Odgaards) sued IA, claiming that: (1) their religious beliefs compel them to discriminate against same-gender couples, (2) the IA anti-discrimination law violates their religious beliefs by outlawing discrimination, and (3) their bistro business qualifies as a religious institution. • MEUSA Summary • News Source ILLINOIS • On 8 October 2013, in Darby v. Orr, opponents of marriage equality challenged the county judge’s decision (to allow the case to proceed) by appealing to a higher court, where arguments are scheduled to be heard on 14 November 2013. • MEUSA Summary • News Source NEW JERSEY • On 10 October 2013, in Garden State Equality, et al. v. NJ Attorney General Paula Dow, et al., Justice Jacobson denied NJ’s request to delay same-gender civil marriages (scheduled to start on 21 October 2013) until Governor Christie’s appeal is concluded in 2014. • MEUSA Summary • News Source NEW JERSEY • On 11 October 2013, in Garden State Equality, et al. v. NJ Attorney General Paula Dow, et al., the NJ Supreme Court announced it will rule on: (1) marriage equality, and (2) the 21 October start date for same-gender civil marriage licenses. Plaintiffs have until 15 October to file objections. • MEUSA Summary • News Source UTAH • On 11 October 2013, in Kitchen, et al. v. Utah Attorney General John Swallow, et al., UT Governor Herbert requested a summary judgment favoring the state, and argued that: (1) marriage is not a right; (2) states can exclude some citizens from marriage; (3) “responsible procreation” is a reason to exclude same-gender couples, and (4) raising children with mixed-gender parents is better. Plaintiffs also requested a summary judgment in their favor, and argued that UT’s constitutional ban restricts rights and liberties. The court will hear both of these motions on 4 December 2013. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source TEXAS • On 8 October 2013, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Board voted 9-3 to adopt a domestic partner employee benefits plan. • MEUSA Summary • News Source NEW JERSEY • On 8 October 2013, Fairleigh Dickinson University surveyed 702 registered voters, and reported that 62% support the NJ court’s ruling in favor of same-gender civil marriage, 30% oppose it, and 8% don’t know or refused to answer. Also, 62% oppose NJ’s appeal of the court’s ruling, 29% support it, and 9% don’t know or refused to answer. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
MEUSA Summary • News Source INDIANA • On 9 October 2013, the anti-LGBT Indiana Family Institute surveyed 504 likely IN voters, and reported that 62% support a constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, 33% oppose a ban, and 6% are undecided. • MEUSA Summary • News Source
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