Archives – January, 2013
By Scottie Thomaston
The Ethics and Public Policy Center, a “nonprofit research institution dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy”, has filed an amicus curiae brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Prop 8 case. The brief lists Ed Whelan (also of National Review) as counsel of record.
The brief takes several shots at now-retired Judge Walker as well as the experts who testified at the trial. The brief has two purposes, they write:
First, we document the egregious course of misconduct by the district judge below in order to alert this Court to the fact that it should be especially wary of accepting at face value any assertion made by that judge.
Second, we explain that, if the Court is not inclined to reverse the judgment below outright (the disposition we believe to be correct), it should exercise its supervisory power to vacate the judgments below in their entirety.
They make several direct claims:
(1) Judge Walker violated the Supreme Court’s order on the release of the trial video
(2) Judge Walker “distorted” a statement made by proponents (“you don’t have to have evidence”) and it means something other than what he claims
(3) Judge Walker “distorted” a statement made by proponents that the effects of marriage equality can’t be known
(4) Judge Walker made procedural errors
(5) Judge Reinhardt at the Ninth Circuit should have recused himself
(6) Judge Walker didn’t disclose his long-term relationship in enough time for proponents to ask him to recuse
There’s more below the fold…
By Jacob Combs
The Colorado Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a civil unions bill, SB 11, by a 4-3 vote, ThinkProgress reports. The Senate Judiciary Committee also advanced the bill earlier this week, by a party-line 3-2 vote. The bill will now go to the full Senate, where Democrats hold 20 seats and Republicans hold 15, for a floor vote.
By Jacob Combs
The Wyoming House of Representatives last night defeated a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples in the state to enter into domestic partnerships providing most of the legal rights and responsibilities that the state offers married couples, the AP reported. The final House vote, with 24 representatives supporting the bill and 35 opposing it, marked the first time that any gay rights legislation received a full floor debate in Wyoming.
This Monday, the Wyoming House Corporations Committee voted 7-2 to advance the domestic partnership bill to a floor vote, although it narrowly rejected by a 5-4 margin another bill that would have legalized marriage equality in the state. The Corporations Committee has only one Democratic member, James Byrd, so both bills garnered significant Republican support in those initial votes. In addition, there are only a handful of Democrats in the full House, meaning many of the 24 legislators who voted in favor of the bill were Republican.
Although the failure of the two bills is frustrating for advocates in the state, the fact that so many Republican legislators were willing to vote in favor of them is a very promising sign. LGBT rights supporters have one more bill to hope for, a non-discrimination measure that was approved yesterday on a 4-1 vote of the Senate Judiciary Committee. One Republican voted against it, while one Democrat and three Republicans voted in favor.
Rep. Lynn Hutchings, a Republican from Cheyenne, testified against the non-discrimination bill, S.F. No. 131, saying that as a black woman, she wants gays and lesbians to “please stop carpet-bagging on our civil rights movement.”
It’s worth noting that Wyoming’s state nickname is ‘The Equality State’ and the state motto is ‘Equal Rights.’ Not surprisingly, those words clearly don’t mean the same thing to everybody.