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Policy and Legal Update – December 30, 2013 – January 5, 2014

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

30 December 2013 – 5 January 2014


NATIONAL MAP

On 25 December 2013, a National Public Radio broadcast on marriage equality reviewed 2013 and previewed 2014 with MEUSA’s Ned Flaherty.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source


NATIONAL POLLS

On 7 October 2013, Associated Press-GfK Public Affairs surveyed 1,227 American adults (demographically balanced by age, sex, education, race, phone type) on same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 36%support it, 33% do not, and 29% are undecided, and 3% did not answer.  •  News Source


NATIONAL LEGISLATION


LAWSUITS

ARIZONA  •  On 23 December 2010, in Joseph Diaz, et al., v. Janice Brewer, et al., a federal judge certified the worker benefits case as a class action lawsuit representing all state workers with same-gender partners.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

UTAH  •  On 30 December 2013, in Kitchen, et al. v. Utah Attorney General John Swallow, et al., a federal case challenging Utah’s constitutional amendment banning same-gender civil marriage, the Appeals Court set an expedited 2014 schedule:  state’s appeal brief by 27 January, couples’ response brief by 18 February, state’s reply brief by 25 February, oral arguments in March.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

UTAH  •  UTAH – On 31 December 2013, in Kitchen, et al. v. Utah Attorney Governor Gary Herbert, et al., UT asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the original ruling and suspend same-gender civil marriages while appeals go through the U.S. Tenth Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.  A reply from the same-gender couples is expected on 3 January, with a decision on the stay request the following week.  • MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

TEXAS  •  On 31 December 2013, in Jack Pidegon & Larry Hicks vs. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, et al., a case about worker same-gender spouse benefits, Houston’s attorney got the case moved from state district family court into federal court, where the next court date is 6 January 2014.  •  MEUSA Summary  • News Source

WEST VIRGINIA  •  On 31 December 2013, in Casie Jo McGee, et al. v. Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole, et al., in this suit challenging the WV law that bans marriage equality, the plaintiffs asked for a summary judgment.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

KANSAS  •  On 31 December 2013, in Michael Nelson, et al. v. KS Department of Revenue, two legally married same-gender couples sued for the right to file joint state income tax returns.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

TEXAS  •  On 2 January 2014, in Jack Pidegon & Larry Hicks vs. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, et al.,the federal judge denied the Houston Republican Party’s request for a stay against the city policy, and reversed the district court approval of that stay, thereby restoring equal worker benefits for same-gender spouses.  Republican plaintiffs said they will try to move the case back to state court on 21 January 2014.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

UTAH  •  On 3 January 2014, in Kitchen, et al. v. Utah Governor Gary Herbert, et al., the same-gender couples filed a reply arguing why marriages should continue during the state’s appeal of the district court ruling.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source


STATE LEGISLATION & POLLS


STATE BALLOTS & POLLS

TEXAS  •  On 1 January 2014, Equality Texas and Freedom to Marry launched Why Marriage Matters Texas, a campaign to increase TX support for marriage equality.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

UTAH  •  On 19 December 2013, UT state Representative Jacob Anderegg introduced H.J.R.-1, Joint Resolution on Religious Liberty, which would amend the UT constitution to excuse religious organizations from having to recognize any marriage in violation of conscience of faith.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source

UTAH POLLS  •  On 3 January 2014, Salt Lake City’s Fox-13 TV surveyed readers on same-gender civil marriages, and reported that 73% support, 21% don’t, 5% want government not involved, and 1% don’t know/don’t care.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source


Send questions and comments to:  NFlaherty@MarriageEquality.org.

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About Marriage Equality USA

Marriage Equality USA is a volunteer-driven national grassroots organization whose mission is: "To secure legally recognized civil marriage equality for all, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, at the state and federal level through grassroots organizing, education, action and partnerships". We are a registered 501(c)3.

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