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.

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

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.

BY SUNNIVIE BRYDUM

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.”

 

Our Destination Full of Hope: Marriage Equality in Illinois – Huffington Post

Our Destination Full of Hope: Marriage Equality in Illinois

Posted: Updated: 

The much-loved poet Dr. Maya Angelou once wrote, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” It is that unrelenting power of love that unfolded during our fight for marriage equality in Illinois.

In the end, we succeeded in ensuring this civil right for all couples and put Illinois on the right side of history. Starting now, everyone in Illinois may receive the long-overdue rights of marriage. Advocates had to jump hurdles, leap fences and penetrate walls to make it happen, but we arrived at our destination. Last November 20th, I signed the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law.

In 2011, when I signed Illinois’ civil union legislation, few could predict that in a few short years, marriage equality would be the law of the land. Sometimes a struggle can take decades, but change can happen overnight. Now, through the tireless efforts of advocates who have stood up and spoken out for equality across Illinois and the nation, we made history and enacted a reform that will last forever.

Since taking office, I’ve worked to make Illinois a more welcoming state. After declaring marriage equality a priority in my 2013 State of the State Address, I worked with legislators and dedicated activists. It was a difficult battle, but eventually lawmakers passed Senate Bill 10, making Illinois the 16th state to embrace full marriage equality. The bill signing last November – before thousands of joyous people at the University of Illinois at Chicago – was among the proudest moments of my governorship.

The new law is simple and fair. It requires that Illinois laws pertaining to civil marriage must apply equally to all, and guarantees equal access to benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities for all couples entering into marriage and their families. These protections include provisions under the Affordable Care Act that require insurance companies to offer the same coverage for all spouses, regardless of gender. Families will be able to enroll in a plan together through a special 60-day enrollment period.

One person who made this day possible was Vernita Gray. A tenacious activist, Vernita was loved in the community and respected by politicians. She and her partner made history when a judge ruled that, due to Vernita’s declining health, they could marry late last year – ahead of today’s effective date. Vernita passed away in March with her new wife Pat by her side.

So today, I’ll think of Vernita Gray and others unable to witness this day. I’ll think of happy couples embarking on the adventure of marriage. And I will be proud to live in a state where the will of the people can become the law of the land.

Pink News – Michael Sam signs 4-year contract with St Louis Rams

Michael Sam has signed a four-year contract with the Rams
Michael Sam has signed a four-year contract with the Rams

Openly gay NFL player Michael Sam has signed a four-year contract with the St Louis Rams.

Sam, who came out in February this yearwhile playing for the University of Missouri, made history when he was drafted to the St Louis Rams in the seventh draft last month, becoming the first openly gay NFL player.

This week, Sam has officially signed onto a contract with the Rams, which Fox Sports reports is worth $2.65 million over four years, with $46,000 guaranteed.

Sam tweeted today: “Grateful, humbled, and motivated after officially signing with all my Rams rookie brothers. Let’s do this!! #RamUp”