Friday, February 14, 2014

The Good, The Not So Good, and the Downright Bad

A lot is happening in terms of equality right now...

Virginia, Kentucky, Idaho, Indiana, Texas, and Kansas all made the news this week.

The GOOD:

Federal judge strikes down Va. marriage ban  

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, marking the first time that a marriage ban has been struck down in the South. "We have arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect," Judge Arenda Wright Allen wrote in her decision. The ruling comes less than a month after Attorney General Mark Herring announced the state would no longer defend the ban in court.
CNN (2/14), Advocate.com (2/13), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/14)


Judge orders Ky. to recognize out-of-state marriages  

A federal judge this week struck down a portion of Kentucky's marriage equality ban on Wednesday, ordering the state to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed in other states. "It is clear that Kentucky's laws treat gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them," Judge John Heyburn wrote in the ruling, which cited June's Supreme Court decision against the Defense of Marriage Act. Although Heyburn clearly declared the law unconstitutional, he stopped short of immediately invalidating the state's ban on same-sex marriages, scheduling a hearing "in the near future" to discuss the timing of such an action.
The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/12), ABC News/The Associated Press (2/13), Advocate.com (2/12)


Idaho high court strikes down same-sex adoption ban  

The Supreme Court of Idaho ruled Monday that married same-sex couples are entitled to adopt children, siding with two Boise women who married last year. The court ruled unanimously that neither sexual orientation nor gender should affect an adult's ability to adopt. The ruling does not affect a pending lawsuit filed by four same-sex couples seeking to overturn the state's marriage-equality ban.
Reuters (2/11), The Idaho Statesman (Boise) (2/10)




The Not So Good:


Ind. Senate panel advances marriage referendum
An Indiana bill that would put a marriage-equality ban before voters advanced out of a state Senate committee on Monday and is on track to be voted on by the full chamber. The state House has already passed the bill. The earliest that the marriage ban could come before voters is 2016.
The Indianapolis Star (tiered subscription model)(2/10), Advocate.com (2/11)





Arguments heard in Texas marriage case
A federal judge in Texas heard arguments Wednesday in a case challenging the state's ban on marriage equality, but declined to issue a ruling. "Counselors have made some excellent arguments on both sides," U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia said, noting that he expects the case or one similar to it to reach the Supreme Court.
U.S. News & World Report/The Associated Press (2/12), Lone Star Q (Texas) (2/12)

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To be clear.... these things are bad, but in the both cases decisions being made and upheld in other places might make both of these things moot. So, these are perhaps the last vestiges of the fight.


The Downright BAD:


Kan. bill could foster LGBT discrimination, critics say
The Kansas House approved a bill Wednesday that would allow individuals and businesses to cite religious grounds in denying goods and services to same-sex couples. The bill heads to the Senate. Equality Kansas Chair Sandra Meade issued a statement calling the bill “a blatant attempt to maintain second class citizen status for tax paying gay and lesbian Kansans.”
The Kansas City Star (Mo.)/Wichita Eagle (Kan.), The (2/12), MSNBC (2/12)


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