Same-Sex Marriage License Issued In Kansas

Amazing and wonderful and totally unbelievable. Kansas is so conservative and I was sure it would be one of the last states to allow same-sex marriage. And here I am in Missouri, and I had to fly to Baltimore, Maryland to get married. At least Missouri recognizes our marriage. But wow! Kansas issuing marriage licences! HURRAY! The world is a better place!

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Same-Sex Marriage License Issued In Kansas

By John Hanna

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A court office in Kansas’ most populous county has issued a marriage license to a gay couple, believed to be the first such license in the state.

Liz Dickinson, a member of the gay-rights group Equality Kansas, said she was at the county courthouse Friday when the couple received their license. The Johnson County District Court clerk’s office confirmed that a license was issued but declined to identify the couple.

That came two days after district court Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty directed clerks and other judges to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples — even though the Kansas Constitution bans gay marriage under a provision voters approved in 2005.

Moriarty acted after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five other states seeking to preserve their gay-marriage bans.

Original article can be found by Clicking HERE

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Two MORE States!! Unbelievable! Incredible!

TUESDAY
So as the states began to one by one strike down same-sex marriage bans, and as I spoke to friends, co-workers and acquaintances said something I knew wasn’t’ true. They seemed to think it would take about ten years before all our states allowed same-sex marriage.

I knew they were wrong. I knew it. I said two years. And if anything I figured our President would do what a lot of presidents have done before him and that is shove certain pet projects through right at the end when nothing can happen do him. And Obama is a friend to the GLBT community.

And now look! OMG! Two more states have struck down same-sex bans. And I was just commenting earlier about my disappointment in Idaho!

Let freedom ring!

Gay Marriage Bans in Idaho, Nevada Struck Down

By Paul Elias Associated Press
Original Article Here

A federal appeals court declared gay marriage legal in Idaho and Nevada on Tuesday, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage in 30 other states.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco struck down Idaho and Nevada’s bans on gay marriage, ruling they violated equal protection rights.

The court also has jurisdiction in three other states that still have marriage bans in place: Alaska, Arizona and Montana. Lawsuits challenging bans in those states are still pending in lower courts and have not reached the 9th Circuit.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel that laws that treat people differently based on sexual orientation are unconstitutional unless there is a compelling government interest. He wrote that neither Idaho nor Nevada offered any legitimate reasons to discriminate against gay couples.

“Idaho and Nevada’s marriage laws, by preventing same-sex couples from marrying and refusing to recognize same-sex marriages celebrated elsewhere, impose profound legal, financial, social and psychic harms on numerous citizens of those states,” Reinhardt wrote.

He rejected the argument that same-sex marriages will devalue traditional marriage, leading to more out-of-wedlock births.

“This proposition reflects a crass and callous view of parental love and the parental bond that is not worthy of response,” Reinhardt wrote. “We reject it out of hand.”

Technically, the court upheld a trial judge’s ruling striking down Idaho’s ban and reversed a lower court ruling upholding Nevada’s ban.

Reinhardt ordered a “prompt issuance” of a lower court order to let same-sex couples wed In Nevada.

“We are absolutely delighted that wedding bells will finally be ringing for same-sex couples in Nevada,” said Tara Borelli, the lawyer who argued the Nevada case for Lambda Legal.

Monte Neil Stewart, the Idaho-based attorney who argued the case for Nevada on behalf of the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, declined to say whether he’ll challenge the order for the prompt start to same-sex marriages. Nevada’s governor and attorney general dropped out of the appeal earlier this year.

Reinhardt didn’t say when marriages should start in Idaho.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s spokesman Todd Dvorak said his office believes the 9th Circuit’s stay on marriages pending a U.S. Supreme Court appeal remains in place.

“We are reviewing the decision by the court and assessing all of Idaho’s legal options,” Wasden said in a prepared statement.

Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers sued Idaho last year to compel Idaho to recognize their 2008 marriage in California. Three other couples also joined the lawsuit to invalidate Idaho’s same-sex marriage ban.

“This is a super sweet victory,” said Latta, who said the ruling came much sooner than she expected.

“Taxes are easier, real estate is easier, parenting is easier, end of life planning is easier,” Latta said. “We no longer have to hire an attorney. We have a valid marriage license.”

State and federal court judges have been striking down bans at a rapid rate since a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year. The 9th Circuit ruling comes a day after the nation’s top court effectively legalized gay marriage in 11 more states, for a total of 30, when it rejected a set of appeals.

On Monday, the nation’s top court unexpectedly rejected appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans. The decision cleared the way for a dramatic expansion of gay marriage in the United States and might have signaled that it’s only a matter of time before same-sex couples can marry in all 50 states.

The appeals court panel did not rule on a similar case in Hawaii, which legalized gay marriage in December. Hawaii’s governor had asked the court to toss out a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban and an appeal to the 9th Circuit filed before Hawaii lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage.

All three judges on the panel were appointed by Democratic presidents. President Bill Clinton appointed Judges Marsha Berzon and Ronald Gould. President Jimmy Carter appointed Judge Stephen Reinhardt.

The court also has jurisdiction in three other states that still have marriage bans in place: Alaska, Arizona and Montana. Lawsuits challenging bans in those states are still pending in lower courts and have not reached the 9th Circuit.

More gay marriage bans fall in Idaho and Nevada

by Richard Wolf, USA Today
Original Article Here

A federal appeals court on Tuesday added two — and potentially five — states to the list of those where gays and lesbians can get married. The decision likely will raise the number of states with same-sex marriage to 35.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel, struck down same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada. The court has jurisdiction over three other states with bans still in place: Alaska, Arizona and Montana. Those bans now are likely to fall as well.

The court’s action came just a day after the Supreme Court refused to reconsider similar appeals of court decisions striking down gay marriage bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana and Virginia.

The high court’s action on Monday immediately spread gay marriage to those five states, bringing to 24 the number with legal same-sex marriage. Because the appeals courts that had struck down those five bans also have jurisdiction over Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, the number already was projected to jump to 30 states.

?”All across the country now, couples who love each other are able to join in that most meaningful of unions,” President Obama said Tuesday at a fundraiser in New York City.

More states could be on the way — unless the next appeals court ruling goes the other way, which is possible. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals heard cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee in early August but has not issued its decision. That three-judge panel included two judges appointed by President George W. Bush.

The 9th Circuit’s decision in Idaho’s case can be appealed, but with the Supreme Court’s action Monday, the result does not appear to be in doubt. The Nevada case will not be appealed.

“Idaho and Nevada’s marriage laws, by preventing same-sex couples from marrying and refusing to recognize same-sex marriages celebrated elsewhere, impose profound legal, financial, social and psychic harms on numerous citizens of those states,” the court said. “These harms are not inflicted on opposite-sex couples.”

“The lessons of our constitutional history are clear: Inclusion strengthens, rather than weakens, our most important institutions,” the opinion by Judge Stephen Reinhardt said. “When we integrated our schools, education improved. When we opened our juries to women, our democracy became more vital. When we allowed lesbian and gay soldiers to serve openly in uniform, it enhanced unit cohesion. When same-sex couples are married, just as when opposite-sex couples are married, they serve as models of loving commitment to all.”

Same-Sex Couples Across the US Marry After Landmark Supreme Court Non-Decisiong

How deeply amazing. I am buzzing. Tears of joy. They fight off any worries I have going on in my life today. What a silver lining! I look at the states still holding back, like Idaho (who will likely allow marriage before the end of the year) and my own state of Missouri (which declared this past Friday that they will recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states). I look at these hold backs and I wonder how they will feel in a decade to know that they were on the wrong side of history. WIll they be ashamed? I would imagine so. Never the less, this is a high and holy week. Love is prevailing. As it always will in the end.

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Same-Sex Couples Across the US Marry After Landmark Supreme Court Non-Decisiong
One State Remains Defiant Against SCOTUS Ruling

by Ryan Gorman
Original Article Here

Same-sex couples in multiple states across America are getting married after Monday morning’s landmark Supreme Court decision to not hear same-sex marriage cases.

The nation’s highest court paved the way for legalized gay marriages in 11 states Monday by voting against hearing petitions of lower court decisions that struck down laws restricting the unions.

Same-sex marriage licenses are already being issued in Colorado, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, and are expected to soon begin in Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Pictures from those states showed joyous couples lining up to have their applications processed.

Many shed tears of joy as they were married, others smiled from ear to ear.

County clerks in Wyoming were reportedly declining marriage license applications Monday afternoon or insisting they did not know how to process them. Officials in “The Equality State” defiantly insisted their ban remained legal, according to reports.

Laramie County is neither accepting nor denying the applications. Rather, it is putting them into a pending status while waiting for the legal situation to be sorted out.

Wyoming’s justification for not recognizing the applications is on the grounds it’s state constitution clearly defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The stipulation was originally made during the state’s founding in order to prevent polygamy.

Legal experts believe an injunction will have to be granted by a federal court in order for same-sex marriages in the state to proceed.

Monday’s non-decision came 16 years to the day that Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old college student, was tortured in Wyoming for being gay. He died six days later.

It is not clear when marriage licenses will be issued to couples in the other states.

A total of 30 states, plus the District of Columbia, now have legalized same-sex marriage. The remaining 20 states have constitutional bans on the unions.

Photog Trent Nelson captures the first gay couple married in Utah
Photog Trent Nelson captures the first gay couple married in Utah

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Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity of Utah

Mazel tov to Craig Bowen and Jake Miller,  the first gay couple married in Indianapolis today
Mazel tov to Craig Bowen and Jake Miller, the first gay couple married in Indianapolis

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Sherri Ault, right, and Leslie McWilliams hug after getting married at the Salt Lake County clerk’s office in Salt Lake City.

Second gay couple to get marriage license in Richmond --  'We didn't even change clothes' says guy in flip-flops
Second gay couple to get marriage license in Richmond. “We didn’t even change clothes” says man in flip-flops

And Let Freedom Ring! Top Court Takes Historic Stance on Gay Marriage

YES

So I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop and the writing is going strong and I realize I need a piece of research info and I open the Internet and the first thing I see is this! I want to dance! I want to sing! OMG! Amazing! And let freedom ring!

I find out Friday that I am now legally married in Missouri. And now see I am in Kansas and North Carolina, the two states I thought would be last?

See world? There is justice! God is working in everything. God is love. And Love always conquers hate in the end.

Here it is! The words that I saw! Sharing this with you now. Or find the original article by CLICKING HERE! Meanwhile…

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!

YES 2

The Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in 11 More States

By Ryan Gorman

The Supreme Court effectively made same-sex marriage legal Monday in 11 additional states.

The nation’s highest court declined to review petitions from lower courts whose jurisdiction covers nearly a dozen states. The decision upheld court decisions striking down bans on same-sex unions in those states.

The decision was announced quietly, but the resulting shockwaves will be felt across the nation.

The court validated three federal appeals covering Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin, according to Bloomberg.

By declining to hear the petitions brought forth from the jurisdictions, the Supreme Court left intact appeals courts decisions to strike down same-sex marriage bans in the locales.

Couples in those states should soon be able to obtain marriage licenses and be legally wed.

The announcement led a large group of same-sex marriage supporters gathered outside the court to celebrate. They cheered, waved flags, hugged each other and embraced the landmark decision.

Supreme Court and #SSM (a same-sex marriage hashtag) immediately shot to the top of trending topics in the United States on Twitter.

Supreme Court of the United States immediately became the most talked about topic on Facebook.

“Practically, today SCOTUS recognized a right to SSM,” SCOTUS Blog, which covers the Supreme Court, said immediately after the decisions were made public.

The court unwillingness to wade into the gay marriage debate is noteworthy. It is highly unlikely the court would undo marriages in any future decision.

No reason was given for the decision.

The court has previously showed support for gay marriage when it struck down a federal law last year denying benefits to same-sex married couples.

Further appeals are currently under review in San Francisco and Cincinnati, according to Bloomberg. Rulings on those cases could come at any moment.

Refusing to hear an appeals on lower court decisions to strike down same-sex marriage bans sets a precedent. The remaining 20 states banning gay marriage will likely also be bound to appeals courts decisions should their bans be overturned.

The unions are now legal in a total of 30 states, plus the District of Columbia.

#SSM