Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg to perform another same-sex wedding – Pink News

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg to perform another same-sex wedding

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will perform another wedding

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is to perform yet another same-sex wedding.

It was announced that justice Ginsburg will officiate the wedding of her former law clerk, Danny Rubens, to his partner Danny Grossman.

The justice, 81, is no stranger to performing weddings for same-sex couples, having first officiated at the wedding of a gay couple last September.

She has quietly officiated weddings for at least two other same-sex couples to date, and is the only Supreme Court justice known to have done so.

A statement from the court said: “Justice Ginsburg will not have any comment beyond confirming she will officiate at the wedding of Danny Rubens and Danny Grossman this weekend.”

The judge, known for her liberal views, is seen as a certain vote in favour of same-sex marriage if the court takes up a case later this year.

In legal briefs this week, 32 US states called on the Supreme Court to issue a ruling on same-sex marriage.

Filings from the huge number of states urged the court to take up one of the pending marriage ban cases from Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia when it begins its new session next month.

Massachusetts’s brief calling for marriage bans to be struck down was backed by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.

Meanwhile, Colorado’s call for the Court to intervene on the issue to prevent further legal battles was supported by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

A Blunt Defense of Marriage Equality – New York Times

A Blunt Defense of Marriage Equality


As important as the federal appeals court ruling was on Thursday declaring same-sex marriage bans in two states to be unconstitutional, the clarity and blunt reasoning behind the decision was equally momentous.

Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Judge Richard Posner put the case for equality starkly. “Homosexuals are among the most stigmatized, misunderstood, and discriminated-against minorities,” he wrote. Denying them the freedom to marry imposes “continuing pain,” he said, and claims that allowing same-sex marriage would harm heterosexual unions or children, or other state interests, were “totally implausible.”

“Our pair of cases is rich in detail but ultimately straightforward to decide,” Judge Posner wrote in the decision striking down bans in Wisconsin and Indiana.

“The challenged laws discriminate against a minority defined by an immutable characteristic, and the only rationale that the states put forth with any conviction — that same-sex couples and their children don’t need marriage because same-sex couples can’t produce children, intended or unintended — is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously.”

Thursday’s ruling made the Seventh Circuit the third federal appellate court to conclude that state marriage bans violate the Constitution’s promise of equal protection since the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling invalidating core provisions of the discriminatory federal Defense of Marriage Act. This latest victory for marriage equality was foreshadowed by some blistering questions and comments during last week’s hearing in the case.

It was all the more welcome coming just a day after a federal district judge in Louisiana ruled in exactly the opposite direction — upholding that state’s same-sex marriage ban. The judge’s reasons were as flimsy as the arguments rejected by the Seventh Circuit panel.

The Louisiana ruling was an outlier, coming after a remarkable winning streak for marriage equality in more than 20 federal decisions and does not erase the near-consensus so far in federal courts. But it is a reminder that this fight is not over, and of the need for a nationwide ruling by the Supreme Court recognizing the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry. The Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2013 U.S. v. Windsor case was based on a conclusion that the federal law against granting benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples violated equal protection and due process guarantees, but did not declare marriage equality a constitutional right across the nation.

Petitions for Supreme Court review of pro-marriage-equality rulings from the Fourth and Tenth Circuits have been filed and are supported by both sides of the issue. There is no reason at this point for the justices to prolong the harm to same-sex couples and their families by waiting for all the remaining state battles to play out.


Gay Marriage Proposals: Ugh, What Do I Do? –

Gay Marriage Proposals: Ugh, What Do I Do?

All the rules have been written for heterosexual marriage proposals, but what about for same-sex marriages? Do the rules stay the same, or are they different?


SEPTEMBER 05 2014 7:07 AM ET

A follower of mine, Philip Aaron (Twitter: @philip_b_aaron) recently reached out to me with the wonderful news that he and his boyfriend are now engaged. He shared the following story with me about how it all went down:

On Labor Day, my lovely boyfriend, Derreck, and I were enjoying the day off from our heavenly corporate lives. Nothing was out of the ordinary — we woke up and made our staple eggs sunny-side up, crispy bacon and cheese sandwich, and laid around catching up on KUWTK (guilty pleasure). We decided to go see a movie, followed with some chicken & waffles, and then he wanted to go to Central Park really bad. After arguing which end of the park we were going to, I budged and let him have his way for us to walk to the Central Park Mall with the big beautiful fountain, as long as we could take a nap in Sheep’s Meadow afterwards. As we walked up to the fountain, a friend of ours noticed me and started motioning for us to come over (little did I know Derreck had already planned for her to be here). We sat and talked to her for a while until Derreck asked, “Do you have a penny for us to throw in the fountain and make a wish?” I responded, “No, when do I ever have change?” still clueless as ever. Our friend gave us both a penny — his original plan was for us to close our eyes and when I opened mine he was going to be on his knee to pop the question. Instead, I quickly flicked the penny in the fountain in the middle of our conversation, putting an end to that plan. He then asked our friend to take our picture by the fountain. I was still very confused because we had taken pictures in front of the fountain so many times before, but he was very eager for us to get another. Lastly, he had us turn towards the fountain to take a picture, then pointed to something at the Boathouse restaurant. When I turned around, he was on one knee — the love of my life— on his knee asking me to spend the rest of my life together with him. I did not have to think a millisecond about it, I was a little embarrassed and shocked and surprised and so happy — so many emotions all at once. He took the ring out and slowly put it on my finger, and then I finally came to, hearing everyone around us cheering and clapping for this awesome moment in our life. The onlookers came to congratulate us and we walked off to Sheep’s Meadow for the nap he promised me, except I couldn’t sleep. It was such a spontaneous and beautiful proposal and I would never have wanted it to be any different.

After sharing his beautiful story, he asked me a ton of questions about engagement etiquette, and the only resource I have is Peggy Post’s classic book titled Etiquette, which of course says zero about gay proposals. Here are my own personal responses to his questions:

Question #1: OK, so he proposed to me — so now do I go out and find a ring for him and propose back?
Answer: Nope. He took the lead in this one; there is no need to reciprocate the gesture unless you are absolutely dying to.

Question #2: How did your engagement go with your husband?
Answer: It was actually pretty obvious and practically staged. We both chose rings we liked and then went to Paris for a trip. He asked me during a dinner and didn’t get on one knee, so you’re very lucky. After I put my ring on, he started wearing his.

Question #3: How did you do your wedding party and planning, etc. and who paid for what?
Answer: Not to disappoint you, but our wedding was so low-key. It was just the two of us on our terrace with a justice of the peace. We had just moved to Connecticut and didn’t have any close friends here yet, so we kept it just the two of us. We exchanged vows, and that was it. No party. Unfortunately. Keep in mind, we had been together for 10 years prior to this, so we essentially felt married already.

Question #4: I just don’t know what to do from here — who do we invite, how do we involve our parents, what happens next, etc. etc.?
Answer: First of all, calm down and breathe. It’s great to be excited, but people get married all the time. The best way to approach this is with communication. Set a date with your fiancé, and ahead of time, say that all you want to talk about is the wedding. This way you can hammer out the details and eliminate all of your lingering questions. Start forming a vision as to what both of you want. There are no formal rules for gay weddings (yet) so you are essentially pioneers. What this means is, you get to do it your way. Find what works best for both of you. Get your families involved. It doesn’t hurt to ask your parents if they would help pay for anything. Keep it classy and smart and well put-together and you can’t go wrong. In the meantime, you might want to just casually ask him if he wants to wear a ring as well. That could be a fun weekend activity to go pick one out for him! Major congratulations and please send me pictures of the actual wedding!!

Half the Country’s Attorneys General Ask Supreme Court to Decide Marriage Equality –

Half the Country’s Attorneys General Ask Supreme Court to Decide Marriage Equality

Attorneys general from 32 states filed briefs Friday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a definitive ruling on marriage equality.


SEPTEMBER 05 2014 3:58 PM ET

Attorneys general from 32 states have asked the nation’s highest court to determine, once and for all, if same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, theAssociated Press reports. 

Top legal officials from 15 states that have already established marriage equality — and 17 states that have yet to do so — filed a pair of amici curiae, or friend-of-the-court briefs Friday, asking the Supreme Court toreview three cases currently pending before the court, regarding same-sex marriage in Virginia, Utah, and Oklahoma. 

The first brief, written by Colorado solicitor general Daniel D. Domenico, asks the nation’s highest court to review two cases: Oklahoma’s Bishop v. Smith as well as Rainey v. Bostic, a case out of Virginia brought by the American Foundation for Equal Rights and the legal team who defeated California’s Proposition 8. By granting review, a process known as writ of certiorari, the Supreme Court has an opportunity to answer a question that only it can answer, the brief contends. Colorado, and by extension, other states withoug marriage equality, could face substantial legal fees from defending existing marriage bans if the Supreme Court ultimately strikes down such laws, the brief reads, according to the AP.  

Signing on to Colorado’s brief are attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin. 

Top legal officials from 15 states that embrace marriage equality signed on to an amicus brief inHerbert v. Kitchen, a challenge to Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage that, when initially overturned last December, resulted in a brief window in which more than 1,300 same-sex couples were legally married in Utah. Led by Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley, attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington argue, “States do not need more time to ‘experiment’ with marriage equality or study its side effects.”

“The time has come to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from the institution of marriage,” reads the brief. “Twenty jurisdictions currently permit same-sex couples to marry, and they contain nearly half of the Nation’s population.”

The 16-page brief is straightforward in its explanation of why the nation’s highest court cannot wait to determine, once and for all, whether same-sex couples are constitutionally guaranteed a right to marry the person of their choosing. 

“The Court should settle this important issue to ensure equal access to marriage because the continued exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from the institution of marriage is unconstitutional and the harm suffered by these couples and their families is significant,” reads the brief. “Same-sex couples and their families are harmed legally, economically, and socially by being denied access to critical rights ranging from intestate inheritance to guaranteed access to healthcare benefits to joint filing of tax returns. They also suffer physical and psychological harm as a result of their second-class status.”

The brief also outright rejects the claims of antigay advocates who contend that allowing same-sex couples to marry will fundamentally change the institution of marriage and bring about dire, unintended consequences. 

“The consequences of permitting same-sex couples to marry are well understood in those States that have embraced marriage equality,” the brief reports, pointing to Massachusetts, 18 other states, and Washington, D.C., where same-sex couples can legally wed. “Ten years ago, same-sex couples were permitted to wed for the first time in the United States. While that historic moment reflected a significant advance toward equality for gay men and lesbians, it did not fundamentally change the institution of marriage. To the contrary, including same-sex couples has strengthened the institution and benefitted individuals, families, and communities. After a decade of experience with marriage equality, it is clear that there is no need for further ‘experimentation.'”

The Supreme Court is not obligated to take up any of the marriage equality cases before it, though many court-watchers expect a ruling regarding nationwide same-sex marriage within the next year or two. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently told Katie Couric that the court won’t duck its obligation to decide the issue and implied that she expects a decision to come down by 2016 at the latest.

“Based on our collective experience, the Amici States can attest that marriage equality has invigorated the institution,” concludes Coakley, writing for all 15 states that signed the brief. “After more than ten years of marriage equality, we understand its implications: more couples who love one another are free to marry; more children are able to enjoy the benefits and protections that attend their parents’ marital relationship; more families enjoy the privileged status and security conferred by civil marriage; and more communities benefit from the stability marriage facilitates. The institution has not suffered or been fundamentally altered. Nor has marriage equality diminished the privileged status of marriage in our society. It is time for marriage equality nationwide.”