Gay Rights or Voter Rights? Federal J...

Gay Rights or Voter Rights? Federal Judge Could Rule on Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Ban Today

There are 44 comments on the Patch.com story from Mar 19, 2014, titled Gay Rights or Voter Rights? Federal Judge Could Rule on Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Ban Today. In it, Patch.com reports that:

A federal judge who heard nine days of often stormy testimony in Michigan's same-sex marriage trial, could rule as early as today whether to uphold the state's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage backed by 2.7 million voters a decade ago.

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“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#1 Mar 19, 2014
And we wait....

TomInElPaso

“Impeach the reality show actor”

Since: Dec 08

El Paso, TX

#2 Mar 19, 2014
Tapping foot impatiently..........

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

#4 Mar 19, 2014
While there is no more ardent supporter of equal marriage rights for LGBT Americans, and all of the court challenges in the past few years have been in our favor, I hope he rules against us in this case.

The reason I say this is because we need a definite ruling from SCOTUS on this issue to settle the matter once and for all. Does the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution mean what it says or not ?

And SCOTUS will not consider the issue until at least 2 federal appeals courts disagree with one another on this issue. And the sooner 2 or more federal appeals courts disagree on this, the sooner the question will go to SCOTUS to make a final ruling on the matter.

So if the judge rules in our favor in this case, then GREAT !

And if the judge rules against us in this matter, then GREAT !

It's really a no-lose situation for us even if we do lose here. Which I hope we do.:)

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#5 Mar 19, 2014
I'm starting to wonder if we really do, ultimately, need a sweeping decision from the SCOTUS. Wouldn't the effect be the same if court after court after court found FOR our equal rights and the SCOTUS simply refused to hear any of the appeals?

I know that we all want a Brown vs. the Board of Education or a Loving vs. Virginia-type decision to end this whole mess once and for all, but wouldn't a landslide of decisions in our favor and no opinion from SCOTUS do essentially the same thing?

It would take longer, for sure, and without a major sweeping SCOTUS decision, you could still have idiots trying to pass any little thing they could pass to try to deny gay folks our equal rights, but look at Roe v. Wage--four decades later and the a-holes are STILL doing everything in their power to chip away at the protections it supposedly assured.

So is a sweeping SCOTUS decision really that critical, knowing that those that make their paycheck by beating up on the gays will never stop beating up on us either way?

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

#6 Mar 19, 2014
eJohn wrote:
I'm starting to wonder if we really do, ultimately, need a sweeping decision from the SCOTUS. Wouldn't the effect be the same if court after court after court found FOR our equal rights and the SCOTUS simply refused to hear any of the appeals?
I know that we all want a Brown vs. the Board of Education or a Loving vs. Virginia-type decision to end this whole mess once and for all, but wouldn't a landslide of decisions in our favor and no opinion from SCOTUS do essentially the same thing?
It would take longer, for sure, and without a major sweeping SCOTUS decision, you could still have idiots trying to pass any little thing they could pass to try to deny gay folks our equal rights, but look at Roe v. Wage--four decades later and the a-holes are STILL doing everything in their power to chip away at the protections it supposedly assured.
So is a sweeping SCOTUS decision really that critical, knowing that those that make their paycheck by beating up on the gays will never stop beating up on us either way?
Since we have won every challenge in the federal courts so far, you are correct in saying that our goal would be achieved without a SCOTUS ruling, if every federal appeals court ruled our way, and SCOTUS refused to hear any of the cases.

Although possible, I think that scenario is unlikely, as the SCOTUS justices, and the federal courts, recognize that SCOTUS has moral authority, as well as constitutional authority. Americans will be better satisfied if SCOTUS makes a definitive ruling on this question, rather than a LOT of judges on numerous federal district courts, and the many judges on the various federal appeals courts do, even though they may all agree with one another.
hi hi

Lancaster, PA

#7 Mar 19, 2014
eJohn wrote:
I'm starting to wonder if we really do, ultimately, need a sweeping decision from the SCOTUS. Wouldn't the effect be the same if court after court after court found FOR our equal rights and the SCOTUS simply refused to hear any of the appeals?
I know that we all want a Brown vs. the Board of Education or a Loving vs. Virginia-type decision to end this whole mess once and for all, but wouldn't a landslide of decisions in our favor and no opinion from SCOTUS do essentially the same thing?
It would take longer, for sure, and without a major sweeping SCOTUS decision, you could still have idiots trying to pass any little thing they could pass to try to deny gay folks our equal rights, but look at Roe v. Wage--four decades later and the a-holes are STILL doing everything in their power to chip away at the protections it supposedly assured.
So is a sweeping SCOTUS decision really that critical, knowing that those that make their paycheck by beating up on the gays will never stop beating up on us either way?
I have said (and gotten flak; don't care) that I do not care HOW the rights are achieved; even if the court rules for marriage equality on a technically, don't care.

The antigay are walking, talking monstrosities. So long as they are defeated legally, I care *zero* how it happens. Well, nearly zero.

Your last sentence is what's key: They will not stop literally no matter what.

TomInElPaso

“Impeach the reality show actor”

Since: Dec 08

El Paso, TX

#8 Mar 19, 2014
hi hi wrote:
<quoted text>
I have said (and gotten flak; don't care) that I do not care HOW the rights are achieved; even if the court rules for marriage equality on a technically, don't care.
The antigay are walking, talking monstrosities. So long as they are defeated legally, I care *zero* how it happens. Well, nearly zero.
Your last sentence is what's key: They will not stop literally no matter what.
I rather like the idea of doing state by state up to a point. But, and it's a big but, without that Supreme Court ruling we don't have settled law and we could get cases by uber conservative states who want to drag the fight out for generations.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

#9 Mar 19, 2014
TomInElPaso wrote:
<quoted text>
I rather like the idea of doing state by state up to a point. But, and it's a big but, without that Supreme Court ruling we don't have settled law and we could get cases by uber conservative states who want to drag the fight out for generations.
Exactly. We need to get this thing settled once and for all, by SCOTUS, so we can move on to more important things. Like impeaching The Obamaniac.

OBAMACARE has been a catastrophe as most people knew it would be.

I have been trying for MONTHS to get a copy of a single bill from Medicare, and have gotten a staff member from my congresswoman's office involved in trying to get a copy of it.(Medicare has told me on the phone several times that they paid the bill, but the physician said they didn't so I am trying to get documentation and a definitive answer from someone without any luck).

If I can't get a copy of a single supposedly paid medical bill from the federal government, after months of trying, how can ANYONE have any faith at all that OBAMACARE is going to work ???!!!

If I was calling a private company for a copy of a bill, i know for certain I would have it within a week by snailmail, or within a day by email. I may wind up just giving up and paying the bill myself even though the Medicare people have told me 4 times via phone that they paid it.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#10 Mar 19, 2014
Fa-Foxy wrote:
While there is no more ardent supporter of equal marriage rights for LGBT Americans, and all of the court challenges in the past few years have been in our favor, I hope he rules against us in this case.
The reason I say this is because we need a definite ruling from SCOTUS on this issue to settle the matter once and for all. Does the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution mean what it says or not ?
And SCOTUS will not consider the issue until at least 2 federal appeals courts disagree with one another on this issue. And the sooner 2 or more federal appeals courts disagree on this, the sooner the question will go to SCOTUS to make a final ruling on the matter.
So if the judge rules in our favor in this case, then GREAT !
And if the judge rules against us in this matter, then GREAT !
It's really a no-lose situation for us even if we do lose here. Which I hope we do.:)
I'd rather the judge rule in our favor and leave it up to the very conservative 6th circuit to overturn him.

There will be at least 3 cases (probably 4) pending before the 6th circuit by year's end:

Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, & possibly Tennessee.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#11 Mar 19, 2014
eJohn wrote:
I'm starting to wonder if we really do, ultimately, need a sweeping decision from the SCOTUS. Wouldn't the effect be the same if court after court after court found FOR our equal rights and the SCOTUS simply refused to hear any of the appeals?
I know that we all want a Brown vs. the Board of Education or a Loving vs. Virginia-type decision to end this whole mess once and for all, but wouldn't a landslide of decisions in our favor and no opinion from SCOTUS do essentially the same thing?
It would take longer, for sure, and without a major sweeping SCOTUS decision, you could still have idiots trying to pass any little thing they could pass to try to deny gay folks our equal rights, but look at Roe v. Wage--four decades later and the a-holes are STILL doing everything in their power to chip away at the protections it supposedly assured.
So is a sweeping SCOTUS decision really that critical, knowing that those that make their paycheck by beating up on the gays will never stop beating up on us either way?
A SCOTUS decision isn't critical per se, but all things considered will most likely be necessary. I just can't see EVERY appeals court ruling in our favor- especially the 5th, 6th, & 11th which are dominated by conservative appointees.

In addition, there is already a binding precedent in the 8th circuit from a Nebraska case- Citizens v Bruning (2006). It was based on the Nelson v Baker precedent, and the decision wasn't appealed by the plaintiffs, so it stands as binding precedent on all federal courts in the 8th circuit- ND, SD, NE, MN, IA, MO, AR. So unless we can find a way to get around that, the only way we get the rest of the 8th circuit states is by a SCOTUS decision.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

#12 Mar 19, 2014
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>
I'd rather the judge rule in our favor and leave it up to the very conservative 6th circuit to overturn him.
There will be at least 3 cases (probably 4) pending before the 6th circuit by year's end:
Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, & possibly Tennessee.
I don't want this to go on, on a state-by-state basis for years on end. There's no reason for it. The sooner we get a conflicting ruling, the better, because it increases the chances that SCOTUS will agree to take up a case and finally decide the issue.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

#13 Mar 19, 2014
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>
A SCOTUS decision isn't critical per se, but all things considered will most likely be necessary. I just can't see EVERY appeals court ruling in our favor- especially the 5th, 6th, & 11th which are dominated by conservative appointees.
In addition, there is already a binding precedent in the 8th circuit from a Nebraska case- Citizens v Bruning (2006). It was based on the Nelson v Baker precedent, and the decision wasn't appealed by the plaintiffs, so it stands as binding precedent on all federal courts in the 8th circuit- ND, SD, NE, MN, IA, MO, AR. So unless we can find a way to get around that, the only way we get the rest of the 8th circuit states is by a SCOTUS decision.
Since there is a conflict in the rulings of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, that is all we need. It's up to SCOTUS to decide if and when they want to resolve these conflicting rulings.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#14 Mar 19, 2014
Fa-Foxy wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't want this to go on, on a state-by-state basis for years on end. There's no reason for it. The sooner we get a conflicting ruling, the better, because it increases the chances that SCOTUS will agree to take up a case and finally decide the issue.
Conflicting rulings at the federal district court level won't change the pace of appeals, as we've seen in the Nevada case where the federal judge ruled against us nearly 2 years ago and that appeal is STILL pending before the 9th circuit.

It's only going to get to the SCOTUS by conflicting appeals court rulings.

Look for the 9th, 4th, & 10th circuits to rule the bans are unconstitutional sometime this summer/fall.

Either the 5th or 6th circuit (or both) will likely uphold the bans in rulings sometime early next year- they tend to work slower, and may even delay their cases on purpose.

So unless something unexpected happens, look for the SCOTUS to take a marriage case for the '15/'16 term, with a ruling by Jun 2016.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#15 Mar 19, 2014
Fa-Foxy wrote:
<quoted text>
Since there is a conflict in the rulings of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, that is all we need. It's up to SCOTUS to decide if and when they want to resolve these conflicting rulings.
The 8th circuit ruling was never appealed, and the 9th circuit ruling on Prop 8 was nullified by the SCOTUS when they denied standing.

So we still have no conflicting appeals court rulings.

It IS true that any ruling overturning marriage bans from either the 9th, 10th, or 4th circuits would technically result in conflicting rulings considering the 8th circuit case, but I doubt that will be enough for the SCOTUS to jump in this year.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

#16 Mar 19, 2014
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>
Conflicting rulings at the federal district court level won't change the pace of appeals, as we've seen in the Nevada case where the federal judge ruled against us nearly 2 years ago and that appeal is STILL pending before the 9th circuit.
It's only going to get to the SCOTUS by conflicting appeals court rulings.
Look for the 9th, 4th, & 10th circuits to rule the bans are unconstitutional sometime this summer/fall.
Either the 5th or 6th circuit (or both) will likely uphold the bans in rulings sometime early next year- they tend to work slower, and may even delay their cases on purpose.
So unless something unexpected happens, look for the SCOTUS to take a marriage case for the '15/'16 term, with a ruling by Jun 2016.
Well, that' snot too far away. I don't want this stretching into 2020 and beyond on a continuing state-by-state basis.(which would be fine if Bob was a vampire. But he's not. He's an architect...)

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#17 Mar 19, 2014
TomInElPaso wrote:
<quoted text>
I rather like the idea of doing state by state up to a point. But, and it's a big but, without that Supreme Court ruling we don't have settled law and we could get cases by uber conservative states who want to drag the fight out for generations.
That's an interesting point, but I don't think this whole thing will drag out much longer, regardless.

I've always said that I thought *MONEY* would be the eventual undoing of most anti-gay bigotry. We're already seeing major employers adopting equal treatment for same-sex couples, not because they necessarily want to, but because they recognize that it's good business. You can't attract or keep good employees if you're business policies aren't as inviting as your competitors' are. It's that simple. If your competition offers benefits you don't, you're going to lose your staff to them.

So as more and states offer full equality, the landscape will be more and more tilted toward the states that offer full equality. GLBT employees won't take transfers to places that don't offer equality, so those companies will either lose good people or choose not to do business in those places that their employees don't want to work.

Several major players, including Verizon, recently told Jan Brewer that their expansion in Arizona would come to an immediate halt if she signed the "coddle ignorant anti-gay bigots" law that she recently vetoed. Not because people wouldn't want phone and Internet service in Arizona, but because delivering that service would be next to impossible if any employee could summarily decide not to serve any customer based on any religious hate they chose to apply. Money talks.

And that doesn't just go for their GLBT employees. Back in the late '90s, friends of mine working in the HR field were telling me that *straight* people that they were interviewing were asking about their domestic partner benefits and if the company extend the same benefits to their employees in domestic partnerships as the married ones get. They weren't asking for themselves. They were asking because it told them a lot about the company they were interviewing with and whether or not it was a company they wanted to work for.

Also, some of the higher-level positions had people coming in that already had in mind people that they wanted to bring with them for key positions. Knowing whether or not those people would be willing to come work with them at a company was critical to them considering accepting a position there. You could easily love a valuable applicant if they thought they wouldn't be able to hire the people the needed to support them.

So between the obvious better business practices of ensuring full equality for all your employees, and the fact that the knuckle-dragging idiot (mostly southern) states will be plunged even deeper into their self-created economic depressions from refusing to live in the 21st Century, I think the issue of people kicking and stomping and refusing to get with the program will be resolved by money, or lack thereof, as the case may be.

If the courts don't rule and resolve the issue, it'll become more and more painfully obvious that institutionalized animus toward certain people just won't work anymore.

TomInElPaso

“Impeach the reality show actor”

Since: Dec 08

El Paso, TX

#19 Mar 19, 2014
Fa-Foxy wrote:
<quoted text>
Exactly. We need to get this thing settled once and for all, by SCOTUS, so we can move on to more important things. Like impeaching The Obamaniac.
OBAMACARE has been a catastrophe as most people knew it would be.
I have been trying for MONTHS to get a copy of a single bill from Medicare, and have gotten a staff member from my congresswoman's office involved in trying to get a copy of it.(Medicare has told me on the phone several times that they paid the bill, but the physician said they didn't so I am trying to get documentation and a definitive answer from someone without any luck).
If I can't get a copy of a single supposedly paid medical bill from the federal government, after months of trying, how can ANYONE have any faith at all that OBAMACARE is going to work ???!!!
If I was calling a private company for a copy of a bill, i know for certain I would have it within a week by snailmail, or within a day by email. I may wind up just giving up and paying the bill myself even though the Medicare people have told me 4 times via phone that they paid it.
Why in the world would you get involved between your Doctor and your insurer? It's not your problem to deal with, it's your doctors. If he doesn't want to deal with it that's his problem not yours. If Medicare didn't pay it YOU and the doctor would have received a denial letter. If he has no such letter only his office can deal with Medicare regarding his claim.

Medicare has just changed their policy and are now sending out quarterly Medicare Summary Notice which lists who filed bills, what was paid and what you might have to pay. Medicare isn't a private carrier and you well know it.

Stop acting like you work for your Doctor, ask to see a copy of the payment denial notice. I'd wager they don't have one and credited another patient account. If they still say they didn't get paid they can always refile. Medicare doesn't have time to deal with individuals who are not involved in the billing process. Don't like it? Opt out.

More than 5,000,000 people have enrolled in Obamacare. It's actually very close to being very successful except in those states who refused to expand Medicaid. Stupid, stubborn Republicans, not unlike you.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

#20 Mar 19, 2014
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
That's an interesting point, but I don't think this whole thing will drag out much longer, regardless.
I've always said that I thought *MONEY* would be the eventual undoing of most anti-gay bigotry. We're already seeing major employers adopting equal treatment for same-sex couples, not because they necessarily want to, but because they recognize that it's good business. You can't attract or keep good employees if you're business policies aren't as inviting as your competitors' are. It's that simple. If your competition offers benefits you don't, you're going to lose your staff to them.
So as more and states offer full equality, the landscape will be more and more tilted toward the states that offer full equality. GLBT employees won't take transfers to places that don't offer equality, so those companies will either lose good people or choose not to do business in those places that their employees don't want to work.
Several major players, including Verizon, recently told Jan Brewer that their expansion in Arizona would come to an immediate halt if she signed the "coddle ignorant anti-gay bigots" law that she recently vetoed. Not because people wouldn't want phone and Internet service in Arizona, but because delivering that service would be next to impossible if any employee could summarily decide not to serve any customer based on any religious hate they chose to apply. Money talks.
And that doesn't just go for their GLBT employees. Back in the late '90s, friends of mine working in the HR field were telling me that *straight* people that they were interviewing were asking about their domestic partner benefits and if the company extend the same benefits to their employees in domestic partnerships as the married ones get. They weren't asking for themselves. They were asking because it told them a lot about the company they were interviewing with and whether or not it was a company they wanted to work for.
Also, some of the higher-level positions had people coming in that already had in mind people that they wanted to bring with them for key positions. Knowing whether or not those people would be willing to come work with them at a company was critical to them considering accepting a position there. You could easily love a valuable applicant if they thought they wouldn't be able to hire the people the needed to support them.
So between the obvious better business practices of ensuring full equality for all your employees, and the fact that the knuckle-dragging idiot (mostly southern) states will be plunged even deeper into their self-created economic depressions from refusing to live in the 21st Century, I think the issue of people kicking and stomping and refusing to get with the program will be resolved by money, or lack thereof, as the case may be.
If the courts don't rule and resolve the issue, it'll become more and more painfully obvious that institutionalized animus toward certain people just won't work anymore.
ok

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#21 Mar 19, 2014
TomInElPaso wrote:
<quoted text>
I rather like the idea of doing state by state up to a point. But, and it's a big but, without that Supreme Court ruling we don't have settled law and we could get cases by uber conservative states who want to drag the fight out for generations.
I agree. Fa Foxy and many others who feel that a SCOTUS decision will be the final word are ignoring today's reality. The fight against abortion continues. Then there is the effort to rollback all the gains made during the civil rights struggles of the 60's by passing laws that protect "deeply held religious beliefs". And look at the numbers of times the Republicans have tried to repeal the ACA, despite a favorable ruling by SCOTUS.

A SCOTUS ruling in our favor would do a lot of good, but we must remember we are dealing with people who insist they are right, everyone else is wrong and they are determined to impose their beliefs on everyone else.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

#22 Mar 19, 2014
DNF wrote:
<quoted text>I agree. Fa Foxy and many others who feel that a SCOTUS decision will be the final word are ignoring today's reality. The fight against abortion continues. Then there is the effort to rollback all the gains made during the civil rights struggles of the 60's by passing laws that protect "deeply held religious beliefs". And look at the numbers of times the Republicans have tried to repeal the ACA, despite a favorable ruling by SCOTUS.
A SCOTUS ruling in our favor would do a lot of good, but we must remember we are dealing with people who insist they are right, everyone else is wrong and they are determined to impose their beliefs on everyone else.
No, they're not ALL Democrats and Obamaniacists.(Or as my dad calls them, "The Old Evil Ones").

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