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
October 7 – 13, 2013
PENNSYLVANIA • On 7 October 2013, in Deb & Susan Whitewood v. PA Governor Tom Corbett et al., a federal lawsuit challenging the 1996 PA law that bans same-gender marriage for residents, and that ignores out-of-state same-gender marriages, the governor, chief legal officer, and health secretary asked to be released as defendants, and lawyers for PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane argued that she also should not be a defendant, which would leave only two county officials as defendants. • 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
WASHINGTON • On 4 October 2013, the WA Judicial Conduct Commission firmly reprimanded Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor for refusing to perform civil wedding ceremonies for same-gender couples for what he said were “philosophical and religious reasons.” WA law prohibits such discrimination, so Judge Tabor no longer performs weddings for anyone. • 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
ARKANSAS • On 7 October 2013, AR Attorney Genderal Dustin McDaniel rejected the wording of two ballot measures to legalize same-gender civil marriage, after approving a third ballot measure to repeal the 2004 constitutional ban on same-gender marriage. • 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
Send questions and comments to: NFlaherty@MarriageEquality.org.