LGBT Out-of-staters can marry in Provincetown, MA

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Sam Gamgee, May 12, 2004.

  1. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    78,928
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Western MA
  2. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    78,928
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Western MA
    Provincetown will issue marriage licenses to out-of-state couples


    Out-of-state couples will be able to obtain marriage licenses in Provincetown. Mass., after the board of selectmen voted unanimously Monday to defy Gov. Mitt Romney's residency instructions, likely setting the stage for another gay marriage legal battle. Romney immediately issued a statement on Monday, threatening legal action against clerks who defy his interpretation of the law. The Provincetown board said that gay couples who live outside Massachusetts and have no intention of moving there will still be issued marriage licenses as long as they attest that they know of no legal impediment to their union. Provincetown is a well-known vacation spot for gay couples. For months business owners and hoteliers in the seaside town have been preparing for an anticipated summer rush of gay wedding celebrants.

    Romney's office has instructed city and town clerks around the state that out-of-state gay couples who do not plan to move to Massachusetts should be barred from marrying under a 1913 law that prohibits marriages that would be illegal in a couple's home state. "We are a nation of laws," Romney said in a statement. "If they choose to break the law, we will take appropriate enforcement action, refuse to recognize those marriages, and inform the parties that the marriage is null and void." Under state law, officials who issue a license "knowing that parties are prohibited" can face a fine of $100 to $500 or a prison sentence of up to a year. Romney said clerks should follow the 1913 law, regardless of their personal beliefs about gay marriage.

    But attorney Mary Bonauto, who represented the plaintiffs--seven gay couples--in the landmark case that resulted in the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, argued that it is Romney's personal opposition to gay marriage that has led to his broad interpretation of the 1913 law. If constitutional at all, Bonauto argues, the law would prohibit marriage only for those gay couples from states that have laws on their books declaring same-sex marriages "null and void." She estimates that only about 20 states have that type of law. "It's because of his personal beliefs that he is applying the law to all 49," Bonauto said. "There was a time when our state took the lead and refused to bow to the discriminatory laws of other states. But now I find it sad that the Massachusetts governor would penalize a town for recognizing that Massachusetts has no business denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples whether they are Massachusetts residents or not."

    Romney spokeswoman Shawn Feddeman said an enforcement action "could include referring cases to the district attorneys or the state attorney general, depending on the circumstance." Huge crowds are expected May 17 in Provincetown, located at Cape Cod's tip. That is the day the November supreme judicial court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts takes effect. The legislature has given preliminary approval to a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, but the measure must still receive additional rounds of approval from lawmakers during the 2005-2006 session and then by voters in November 2006. The constitutional amendment would simultaneously legalize civil unions.

    Romney's chief counsel has told the state's city and town clerks that they must satisfy themselves of a gay couple's state of residence either by receiving documentary proof or relying upon the couple's sworn affidavit that they are Massachusetts residents or intend to be. If the couple writes on their marriage license that they are out-of-state residents, however, the license should be denied, said chief legal counsel Dan Winslow. The Provincetown board voted, however, that the town clerk could issue licenses to those couples as long as they signed the "Notice of Intent to Marriage" and attested that they knew of no impediment to their marriage in their home state. The decision was based on a legal opinion by town counsel John Giorgio, issued March 12. "In my opinion, it would be reasonable for the Town Clerk to rely upon an affidavit signed by the applicants that there is 'no legal impediment to the marriage,"' Giorgio wrote.
     
  3. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    78,928
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Western MA
    And as luck would have it, we'll be vacationing there August 22 - 29.

    Looks like wedding bells will be a-ringing that week for me. :blue:
     
  4. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
    [​IMG] something will be a-ringing...
     
  5. Taylor

    Taylor Guest

    Congrats again Sam... glad to hear this.
     
  6. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    78,928
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Western MA
    :CockRinging:
     
  7. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
    ...you understood!!!
     
  8. SantorinA4

    SantorinA4 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,827
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sachse, Texas
  9. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    15,260
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nowhere in particular
    That's awesome. I love P-Town. Now I just need to find someone to marry. :(
     
  10. SantorinA4

    SantorinA4 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,827
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sachse, Texas
    :rofl: Me too. My SO isn't ready. :hs:
     
  11. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    15,260
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nowhere in particular
    Well....my ex is off going to find himself and I'm here twittling my thumbs wondering what the hell I should do. :rolleyes:

    I've been single for 8 months, and I can't say I'm any more used to it now than I was 8 months ago.:squint:
     
  12. SantorinA4

    SantorinA4 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,827
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sachse, Texas
    :( Hopefully he will hurry up and find himself. I say you just go out and have fun.

    I understand. I was never used to it after my ex and I broke up.
     
  13. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
    Always gotta be haters out there....:squint:

    Boston Won't Wed Out-Of-State Gay Couples By MARTIN FINUCANE
    May 13, 2004
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    BOSTON (AP) -- Boston will not offer marriage licenses to out-of-state couples, a decision that adds to the confusing patchwork of rules less than a week before gay marriage becomes legal in Massachusetts.

    The city's chief lawyer, Merita Hopkins, issued a statement Wednesday saying the city will accept marriage applications "from everyone except partners who do not reside in Massachusetts, and neither one of which intends to reside in Massachusetts."

    However, officials said the city would not require proof of residency. Instead, couples would be required to fill out a form saying they plan to move to Massachusetts, and sign the form under penalty of perjury.

    The move apparently falls in line with Gov. Mitt Romney's efforts to limit same-sex unions by making them illegal for non-residents, although communities across the state are divided.

    So far, officials in Worcester, the state's second-largest city; the Cape Cod town of Provincetown; and the Boston suburb of Somerville have said they will issue licenses to out-of-state couples.

    But officials in Cambridge and Northampton, a western Massachusetts city with a large gay population, said they would adhere to Romney's guidelines.

    Meanwhile, the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, headed by three bishops who support gay marriage, said it would nonetheless bar clergy from performing gay or lesbian weddings. The diocese cited restrictive language in the canons and prayerbook of the church.

    Several other denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Presbyterian Church (USA), have asked clergy not to officiate at same-sex marriages. The Unitarian Universalist Association has endorsed same-sex unions, and other denominations, such as the United Church of Christ, have left the decision to individual clergy members.

    Romney has said a 1913 state law prohibits couples from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would not be legal in their home state. No other state recognizes same-sex marriage.

    A spokesman for Romney declined to comment on Boston's decision. He has in the past threatened legal action against city and town clerks statewide who defy his interpretation of the law.

    Boston's move came as conservative groups asked a federal judge for an injunction on the decision by the state's highest court permitting marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples.

    "It's an unusual time that we live in, and we're asking this court to intervene to prevent this constitutional train wreck," said Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of the Florida-based Liberty Counsel.

    The judge said he would issue a decision Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. Both sides said they would appeal if they lost.
     
  14. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
    :rofl: The brilliant Wendy Kaminer responding to jurisprude Gerard Bradley:

    ". . . I have yet to hear an argument against gay marriage that is not based either on religious beliefs or some visceral reaction to the idea of gay sex, though as one of our legislators [jokingly] said, 'If you don't like gay sex, you should really be in favor of gay marriage, because everybody knows there's no sex after marriage.'

    But you know, I do think that what is driving this is – well, it reminds me of what Bertrand Russell supposedly said. I actually think he did say it, which is that 'I can't believe the only thing wrong with murder is the fact that I don't like it.' And I think I hear you saying the opposite of that, which is that the only thing wrong with gay marriage is the fact that I don't like it. You seem to be offering that as a good enough reason, and I don't think it is. I think you have to offer more than that when you're debating the law and public policy and constitutional rights, and I think you can't just offer a sectarian notion, so please offer us something else."
     
  15. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    78,928
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Western MA
    Hilarious piece in today's Boston Globe...

    Civilization in ruins
    By Brian McGrory, Globe Columnist | May 18, 2004

    Back in the old days, which now count as every day before yesterday, I used to look at Mitt Romney as a governor with a lot of unfulfilled potential. Now, I look at him as a guy with a gorgeous head of hair. For that matter, check out those deep-set eyes, that almost unnaturally trim waist, the incredibly muscled gams. All you Bobbys, Billys, and Brads of the world, you’re honestly going to tell me you’ve never noticed how his exquisitely tailored suits fall just perfectly so?

    While we’re at it, why do I keep thinking about the old campaign ad in which he strides bare-chested from the surf? Or his manicured hands? I’m sorry, did someone turn on a light or did Mitt flash another smile? All of which might explain how I came to be standing in the marble corridors of the State House yesterday nervously contemplating the one question I had climbed Beacon Hill to ask: Governor, would you marry me? Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not gay. At least I don’t think so. I mean, I have 42 years of avowed heterosexuality behind me, and enough women who would gladly testify to my physical incompetence and emotional detachment to prove it.

    But now, with the advent of gay marriage in Massachusetts, I have these strange feelings, sensations really. Let’s call them, for lack of a better word, emotions. I’m confused.

    First and foremost, I’m confused as to how to pop the big question. How about, “Mitt, we’ve grown beyond the usual governor/columnist relationship, and it’s time for us to accept the fate that is inexorably ours?” Or, “Mitt, I’d like to invite you to a gay wedding, and you’re in it.” Or maybe, “Mitt, I know you already have a wife, but how about a husband?” I was weighing those exact issues when—holy moley, check it out! -- Tom Finneran, the speaker of the House, sauntered past. I mean, you normally need a zoning variance to have shoulders that broad, but he’s got his on unabashed display.

    Tommy has returned not one of my calls in my entire career, and it suddenly strikes me that maybe he’s just bashful. Or playing hard to get. Could he be combating the same deep desires that I’ve suddenly found I have? What’s it mean that I’m actually starting to think that Bob Travaglini is cute?

    And then it occurs to me that Mitt and Tommy and all those other equally handsome chaps who keep railing on about the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, the undermining of family values, and the bedlam that such a profound social change will cause, they’re right. Every one of them. On every point.

    One day into a new, threatening reality, everything’s changed. I think I saw Bert and Ernie holding hands yesterday morning outside of Cambridge City Hall, and was that Gilligan and the Skipper publicly necking in Provincetown?

    I mean, it’s all crashing down now, isn’t it? Lions and tigers are suddenly eyeing each other in a much different way. Male bonding will soon be taken to unthinkable extremes among otherwise perfectly red-blooded men. Girls’ night out will lead to something entirely too permanent. And then what? Emotions will undoubtedly fray. Families will invariably crumble. This whole marriage thing—one big house of cards? And yesterday, the whole thing just came crashing down.

    Or did it? Did anything really change? Did strong marriages between men and women suddenly weaken, and the weak ones collapse? Did straights suddenly think gay? Has heterosexual commitment become cheap all because a bunch of people of the same gender were finally granted a legal, public, and equal expression of their love?

    Actually, you know what, Mitt? Never mind about that little proposal. I think I got caught up in the emotion of the day. It’s true, you look great. But given where you are on issues of basic human decency, I’m starting to think you might not wear well over time.

    Brian McGrory is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at [email protected].
     
  16. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
    :rofl: :rofl: OMG, that was awesome!!! :rofl: :rofl:
     
  17. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
    summation

    And just so that we all have an updated summation as to what everyone has been doin on the SSM Issue, here....

    Arizona:
    More than 40 couples exchanged wedding vows at a Phoenix resort May 15 to seal their relationship and challenge Arizona's marriage equality ban. The weddings were part of an offensive against the state's ban on same-sex unions and part of an effort that coincides with Massachusetts' decision to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on May 17. The four ministers who performed the ceremonies will present affidavits on May 18 in Maricopa County Superior Court certifying that they married gay couples and demanding licenses for the unions. Event organizers said the ceremonies ran smoothly and that there were no protesters outside the resort; however, opponents of marriage equality plan a rally May 17 at the state Capitol.

    California:
    A key Assembly committee deferred action May 13 on a bill to legalize equal marriage rights in California, placing the legislation in limbo as lawmakers examine its financial effects and supporters determine if they have the votes to pass it this year. After the Assembly Appropriations Committee heard testimony on the bill, it placed it in its suspense file without a vote. Legislation that has the potential to cost the state more than $150,000 generally is placed in the Assembly Appropriations Committee suspense file; the state Franchise Tax Board has said the bill would cost the state $1 million in lost revenue for every 4,900 same-sex couples whose filing status changed to married. Although the bill passed another Assembly committee last month, the legislation will most likely go no further this year.

    Colorado:
    The Log Cabin Republicans are launching a state campaign against a proposed constitutional amendment to ban marriage rights for same-sex couples. The television ads coincide with a hearing on the amendment before the House Judiciary Committee on May 13, and feature Vice President Dick Cheney, in an interview from four years ago, saying that gay unions should be regulated by states, not the federal government.

    Florida:
    Four gay and lesbian couples filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which became model legislation for 38 states. The law defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman and allows states to refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples from other states. The lawsuit adds a new strategy to the legal campaign against bans on marriage equality. For the last decade, gay advocacy groups have been pursuing a state-by-state strategy to win marriage for same-sex couples in state courts only, intentionally avoiding a direct challenge to the federal law. A federal appeals court in January upheld a ban on gay adoptions in Florida, the only law of its kind in the nation. No one is confident that the U.S. Supreme Court is either ready to step into the politically charged issue or prepared to legalize marriage rights for same-sex couples.

    Illinois:
    A proposal to amend the state constitution to ban marriage rights for same-sex couples died last week when a deadline passed without legislative action.

    Iowa:
    A prominent gay rights group and the American Civil Liberties Union have asked the state Supreme Court to uphold a divorce granted by a state judge to a lesbian couple. The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund filed its friend-of-the-court brief May 10. The state's high court in February agreed to review a divorce decree granted last November by the Woodbury County District judge to two Sioux City women. Seven state lawmakers and an Iowa church appealed the ruling, arguing that the judge overstepped his authority because Iowa law does not recognize the marriages of same-sex couples.

    Louisiana:
    Legislation to place the state's existing ban on on marriage rights for same-sex couples in the state Constitution received approval May 11. State law has long held that people of the same sex cannot marry, and the state does not recognize such unions from other states, but supporters said those existing laws could one day be thrown out by the state Supreme Court because of the ``due process clause" in the state Constitution.

    Massachusetts:
    On May 14, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to step in and block equal marriage rights in the state, when, without comment, the justices declined to block municipal clerks from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. The Supreme Court's decision did not address the merits of the claim that the state Supreme Judicial Court overstepped its bounds with its landmark decision. The petition was sprearheaded by the Florida-based Liberty Counsel and joined by the Catholic Action League, 11 state lawmakers and conservative legal groups in Boston, Michigan and Mississippi. City clerks began handing out marriage-license applications to gay couples just after midnight May 17.

    Two district attorneys said they have no plans to prosecute city and town clerks who defy a 1913 law that prohibits out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying in the state. The Middlesex County District Attorney said Republican Gov. Mitt Romney's interpretation of the law was politically motivated and that it would not be a wise use of her office's resources to prosecute clerks for a criminal violation. Issuing a marriage license to a couple in violation of the 1913 law carries a fine of between $100 and $500 or up to a year in prison or both, according to state statutes. The Norfolk County District Attorney said the 1913 law was enacted in part to enforce interracial marriage bans and that it had been nullified by the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia, which struck down interracial marriage bans.

    As of May 14, about 11 of the state's 1,200 justices have stepped down from their positions, mostly because of religious convictions, rather than perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. The rest are ready to do their jobs, according to the head of the state's Justices of the Peace Association.

    Missouri:
    State voters will decide whether a ban on equal marriage rights should be enshrined in the state constitution. In the final minutes of the 2004 legislative session, the state House agreed May 14 to put the proposed amendment on a statewide ballot. The measure passed the House on an announced 124-25 vote, after having cleared the Senate by a 26-6 vote earlier in the year. Voters will be asked to add just one sentence to the Missouri Constitution: "That to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman." The question would be put to voters on the November ballot unless the state's governor decides to place it on the ballot for August's political primary elections. Asked May 14 about the choice, the governor said he would consider the matter during the next week.

    New Hampshire:
    Anticipating future moves into the state by gay couples married in neighboring Massachusetts, the governor signed a bill May 14 that blocks recognition of marriages of same-sex couples performed by other states. Marriage equality is already prohibited in New Hampshire, but many lawmakers feared the state would be forced to honor same-sex unions sanctioned in Massachusetts, where the Supreme Judicial Court gave gay couples the right to marry starting May 17. The state Senate had wanted to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, but the House removed the definition and added a committee to look at what state laws need to be changed to allow civil unions. The Senate agreed to the changes last week without discussion.

    New York:
    With municipal clerks in neighboring Massachusetts set to start issuing license applications to same-sex couples May 17, the status of any New York couples who cross the state line to wed appears likely to be decided in the courts. In a letter to Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney last week, the state's attorney general enclosed a copy of the 28-page opinion he issued in early March that says while New York law doesn't authorize marriages of same-sex couples, it generally recognizes valid out-of-state marriages. Many states have laws that shield them from recognizing marriages between same-sex couples performed elsewhere; New York does not.

    North Carolina:
    Voters could decide this fall whether to place a ban on marriages between same-sex couples in the state's constitution with a bill introduced in the state Senate. The measure would place a referendum on the Nov. 2 ballot asking whether the state should add the ban to the constitution. The state has had a law on the books since 1996 that says North Carolina doesn't recognize marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states, and a law first passed in the 1870s refers to a valid marriage as one "created by the consent of a male and female person." The bill's sponsor said expanding the ban "... will insulate North Carolina from legal challenges in state courts." A three-fifths majority of the members in the House and the Senate is required to put the amendment on the ballot.

    A gay couple's lawsuit against Durham County for denying them a marriage license was dismissed Monday by a District Court judge. The judge agreed with the county attorney, saying the case involved constitutional questions that more properly belong in Superior Court, where judges have greater authority than in District Court.

    Oklahoma:
    A gay and lesbian human rights group started a million-dollar advertising campaign May 10 with an ad in a national newspaper saying the state is ``going out of business" because of its proposed constitutional amendment to ban equal marriage rights. Cimarron Equality Oklahoma said in a news release that telling homosexuals they are not welcome in the state would also drive away economic development. ``Studies show that a state's level of tolerance for its gay and lesbian citizens directly impacts its success in attracting the talented people and creative atmosphere essential for economic growth in today's competitive marketplace," the group said in its ad, which took up nearly half a page in the "Money" section of USA Today. The state House voted 92-4 on April 22 to send to voters a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

    Oregon:
    The State Supreme Court has approved the ballot title for an initiative to ban equal marriage rights. If supporters don't ask the court to reconsider before May 19, the authors of the ballot title can start gathering signatures by the middle of next week. To place the constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot in November, opponents of equal marriage rights would have to collect 108,840 valid signatures by the July 2 deadline.

    Pennsylvania:
    Legislators who sponsored Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act are suing two gay men who sought a marriage license in Bucks County. After unsuccessfully applying for the license, the two men said they would consider filing a lawsuit appealing the clerk's decision. An attorney for 11 Republicans and one Democrat who were sponsors of the state's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act has filed a suit to affirm the state law before Seneca and Stahl have it declared unconstitutional. "We want to establish the constitutionality of the law so that the register of wills does not have to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple," he said.


    FYI :wavey:
     
  18. SantorinA4

    SantorinA4 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,827
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sachse, Texas
    No Texas?? :wtc:
     
  19. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
    feel free to update me.....??? :greddy:
     
  20. SantorinA4

    SantorinA4 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,827
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sachse, Texas
    I have no updates. I'm sure nothing will ever change in Texas. :hs:
     
  21. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
  22. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
    California Supreme Court weighing gay marriage or mayoral powers?

    Monday May 24, 2004
    By DAVID KRAVETS
    AP Legal Affairs Writer

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Is California far behind Massachusetts, the union's first state to permit gay marriage?

    With legislation to legalize same-sex marriages stalled in Sacramento, all eyes have shifted to the state Supreme Court, which holds oral arguments here Tuesday on whether San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom abused his municipal powers when he issued 4,000 marriage licenses to gay couples this year.

    The highly charged hearing will have everything and yet nothing to do with same-sex marriage, since the justices already declined to address the civil rights issues involved. Those battles will have to percolate up through the state courts.

    Tuesday's arguments will be focused on how much leeway elected officials have to interpret the law and on that question, experts predict Newsom will lose. The justices are virtually certain, they said, to prevent the legal anarchy that could result if local officials are empowered to choose which laws to follow.

    ``The prospect of local government officials unilaterally defying state laws with which they disagree is untenable and inconsistent with the precepts of our legal system,'' California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said in a brief filed with the court.

    California laws clearly defines marriage as a union between a man and woman. In 2000, voters also approved a statewide initiative requiring the state to only recognize a marriage between opposite sexes.

    The California Supreme Court halted San Francisco's gay marriages in March at the request of Lockyer and gay marriage opponents. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger worried that Newsom's precedent, if allowed to stand, would encourage other local officials to subvert state law for example, permitting assault weapons despite a California law prohibiting them.

    That leaves the question of what to do about the gay and lesbian marriages already performed at City Hall. Lockyer and gay marriage opponents are urging the court to take the next step and invalidate them.

    Robert Tyler, an attorney for Alliance Defense Fund, which is opposing Newsom before the high court, said the marriage licenses ``are not worth the paper that they are written on,'' and urged the justices to declare them ``completely void.''

    Gay rights groups say the court need not go that far.

    ``They don't need to reach any conclusion on this. That is not the issue before them,'' said Shannon Minter, an attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is representing Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, a lesbian couple whose nuptials started the city's wedding march Feb. 12.

    San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said the justices should refrain from addressing that issue unless or until the court concludes that ``California can constitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples.''

    In the likely event the justices remain silent on the matter of the gay marriages already performed, it would neither validate nor invalidate them. For now, they carry great symbolic value, and virtually no legal weight.

    When Newsom sanctioned the marriages for gays and lesbians, he cited the California Constitution, which bars discrimination, and claimed he was duty-bound to follow this higher authority rather than the state laws against gay marriage.

    The justices, however, said they would only entertain his constitutional challenge if a lawsuit worked its way to them through the lower courts. Gays took that invitation and sued in San Francisco County Superior Court.

    That lawsuit brought by gay and lesbian couples denied marriage licenses is not expected to reach the justices for a year or two.

    It was a challenge by gays denied marriage licenses that prompted Massachusetts' highest court to allow the gay marriages that began there last week.

    Tuesday's arguments are scheduled for two hours. A decision is expected within 90 days.


    source => http://kcal9.com/california/CA--GayMarriage-Analy-kn/resources_news_html
     
  23. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
    :bigthumb: :bigthumb: :bigthumb: :bigthumb:

    Same-Sex Benefits Allowed


    [font=verdana, arial,geneva]SEATTLE - A King County Superior Court judge has affirmed the city's right to determine employee benefits for married same-sex couples.

    Judge Bruce Hilyer on Friday dismissed a lawsuit against Mayor Greg Nickels over his recognition of same-sex marriages from other states.

    Hilyer ruled that the executive order Nickels signed in March, directing city departments to extend benefits to employees in gay and lesbian marriages, isn't in conflict with state law and doesn't violate the city charter.

    "The court's decision is a great contribution to equality and family values," Nickels said in a statement Friday.

    The two out-of-state legal organizations that sued on behalf of 12 local residents said they will likely appeal.

    The mayor's action defied state law, said Randy Leskovar, a West Seattle pastor and one of the plaintiffs.

    "This is a very classic example of an activist judge making law rather than interpreting it," Leskovar said.

    Seattle has offered its employees in registered domestic-partner relationships the same benefits it offers opposite-sex couples since 1989. In April, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved legislation putting part of the mayor's order into law.

    The American Family Association Center for Law & Policy of Tupelo, Miss., and Liberty Counsel of Longwood, Fla., sued the mayor on behalf of Leskovar. Pacific Justice Institute of California also sued on behalf of 11 King County residents. The two cases were later consolidated. They claimed that Washington laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman prohibit employers, such as the city of Seattle, from recognizing same-sex marriages.

    [/font]source => http://www.komo.org/stories/31387.htm
     
  24. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    12,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland ; the land of Mary's...
    Az. Supreme Court lets stand gay marriage ban
    Michael Kiefer
    The Arizona Republic
    May. 25, 2004



    [font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday decided not to consider the case of Don Standhardt and Tod Keltner, two gay men who were denied a marriage license by the clerk of the Superior Court.

    The state's high court issued no comment with its refusal.

    The decision lets stand an Arizona Court of Appeals ruling that there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage in either the U.S. or Arizona Constitutions.

    "I'm sad. I thought they would see the injustice in the law that discriminates against people," Standhardt said. "The lower court's judgment was in the wrong. I thought the higher court should take it."

    The Alliance Defense Fund, an organization of attorneys opposed to gay marriage, filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing against Standhardt and Keltner.

    "This is a fantastic victory in the defense of marriage," said ADF senior counsel Gary McCaleb in a statement. "We are extremely pleased in the Arizona Supreme Court's decision not to hear the case."

    When Standhardt and Keltner filed suit, it raised many hopes and perhaps even more fears that Arizona would follow in the footsteps of Massachusetts and start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    Like the Massachusetts case, the Standhardt legal argument was based on a clause in the state's constitution stating that no citizens or businesses could be granted privileges or immunities that were denied to others.

    On July 1, 2003, days after the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down anti-sodomy laws in Texas, Standhardt and Keltner applied for a marriage license at the Clerk of the Superior Court's offices in Phoenix. They were denied, because Arizona state law expressly forbids same-sex marriage.

    A week later, they filed suit in the Arizona Court of Appeals, which upheld the clerk's decision. So Standhardt and Keltner petitioned the Arizona Supreme Court to hear the case, but that court refused, and does not have to give reasons for doing so.

    "I think the Supreme Court made the right decision," said State Senator Mark Anderson, who spoke out against

    same-sex marriage in a brief filed with the court.

    Anderson is sure there will be more challenges.

    "It's certainly not the be-all, end-all," he said. "Ultimately this is going to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court."

    "I'm a little bummed out," said Michael S. Ryan, the attorney for Standhardt and Keltner.

    Because Ryan raised issues of federal law in his petition, he can now take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    When asked if he would, he answered, "That's a very big step and I would have to consult with my co-counsel on the case. So I can't answer that yet."
    [/font]
    [font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] [/font]
    [font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Source => http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0525gaymarriage-ON.html[/font]
     

Share This Page