July 1, 2012
By Jacob Combs
What you may have missed over the past week at Prop8TrialTracker.com…
On Monday, June 25, I started out this week’s coverage with news of a proposed piece of legislation in the California legislature that would reiterate religious protections for churches that choose not to recognize marriage equality. The bill is being sponsored by openly gay Sen. Mark Leno, but has been opposed, somewhat surprisingly, by some religious groups. We began our inaugural legal symposium on whether or not it is better for the LGBT rights movement for the Supreme Court to take the Prop 8 case with a post by Chris Stoll, the Senior Staff Attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, arguing that having a Supreme Court decision upholding the Ninth Circuit’s ruling striking down DOMA would be a major victory. Scottie also posted an equality news round-up and covered the remarkable news that David Blankenhorn, one of the key witness who testified in support of Prop 8 in court, has switched sides and now supports marriage equality.
On Tuesday, I analyzed the plaintiffs’ opposition for a motion to stay submitted in the DOMA case Pedersen v. OPM. The Pedersen case was filed in 2010 and has been fully argued, but no decision has been handed down yet, and the lawsuit’s plaintiffs oppose a request by the House of Representatives’s Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to postpone that decision pending the results of another DOMA case, Windsor v. USA that has been appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Ari Ezra Waldman, the legal columnist for Towleroad, wrote another entry in our legal symposium, asserting that the Ninth Circuit boxed itself into a legal corner which could have been avoided with its ruling in the Prop 8 case. Scottie brought us the news that BLAG had filed an appeal of the DOMA case Dragovich v. US Dept of Treasury to the Ninth Circuit, and also posted a retrospective on Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in the landmark case of Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down sodomy laws in the U.S. nine years ago.
On Wednesday, I started our coverage off with a post reporting that opponents of marriage equality in Maryland are finding themselves in debt despite their success in turning in the number of signatures required to put repeal of a marriage law on the ballot and covering the formation of a new LGBT group in Colorado that plans to challenge anti-civil unions lawmakers up for reelection in November. Scott Wooledge, an activist and writer on Daily Kos, wrote the next installment in our legal symposium, analyzing the risks and costs of taking the Prop 8 case to the Supreme Court. Finally, Scottie posted another equality news round-up for the day.
On Thursday, I reported that a bill banning ex-gay therapy which had passed the California Senate had also passed out of committee in the state’s General Assembly, paving the way for a full chamber vote in the near future. Vienna Hagen, a longtime P8TT follower and commenter who goes by the screen name ‘AnonyGrl’ wrote the next installment in our symposium, framing the Prop 8 case in the larger context of the marriage equality movement in general. Scottie rounded out the days coverage with another equality news post, including the biggest development of the day: the upholding of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act by the Supreme Court.
Friday morning, I started out the day by reporting that the Minnesota Secretary of State had announced the proposed title for his state’s ballot amendment on marriage equality. Bill Santagana brought us the next installment in our legal symposium on the Prop 8 case and the Supreme Court, and Scottie reported that Gordon Fox, Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, had announced that the state would vote on marriage equality in the next legislative session. He also posted another equality news round-up for the day, and late in the afternoon brought us the news that BLAG had formally filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of the First Circuit decision striking down DOMA. The Massachusetts DOMA case will be the first of its kind to reach the high court.
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