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Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Ban Overturned by Judge
May 20, 2014 11:56 AM   Subscribe

Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs — a widow, 11 couples and one of the couples' two teenage daughters — courageous.

"We now join the 12 federal district courts across the country which, when confronted with these inequities in their own states, have concluded that all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage," Jones wrote.

An appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is likely. Gov. Tom Corbett's office had defended the law after Attorney General Kathleen Kane called it unconstitutional and refused to defend it.
posted by Chrysostom (188 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy cow, like dominos!
posted by lizjohn at 11:57 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Well, if it's really the keystone then they should all fall now.
posted by psoas at 11:58 AM on May 20 [78 favorites]


One of my good friends from high school, along with his husband, was an amicus or intervenor or somehow or other a late party to the case. I am sending them high-fives with my brain right now. My former rabbi from when I lived in Philadelphia was *not* a party to the suit but I am super psyched that she can get a marriage license now.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:01 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


GWB appointed Judge Jones III who was supported by Rick Santorum.

/ha ha
posted by Sophie1 at 12:06 PM on May 20 [63 favorites]


Every now and then we get something right here.
posted by Mister_A at 12:06 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Oh, also \o/
posted by Sophie1 at 12:06 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


flagged as a fourteen-ouple
posted by Think_Long at 12:06 PM on May 20 [26 favorites]


I'm so happy about this! I was getting a little nervous that my home state would be one of the last.
posted by elvissa at 12:07 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Here's the opinion.

The Register of Wills in Philadelphia will stay open an extra hour today for couples to take advantage of the ruling.
posted by gladly at 12:07 PM on May 20 [11 favorites]


Kaboom.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:08 PM on May 20 [15 favorites]


Way to go, Register of Wills!
posted by Mister_A at 12:08 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I am (very pleasantly) surprised by this news. The "Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between" trope has a lot of truth to it, so this is very refreshing.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:09 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


So if all the federal courts agree, is there any reason for the Supreme Court to review? Are there any circuits that we're still waiting on? 5 maybe?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:09 PM on May 20


So excited about this! Hoping that Corbett finally gets the memo, but I'm not holding my breath. Also hoping to see Bill Peduto do the first ceremony, but I've been told there is a 3 day waiting period between license and ceremony, so it may be stayed before anyone can get hitched.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 12:09 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


I'm doin' a little dance right now!
posted by rtha at 12:10 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Marriage equality, Peduto as mayor, Wolf looking strong for governor - exciting times for PA progressives.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:12 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Like firecrackers on a string!
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:12 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I am happy to see that this court appears to be continuing the new awesome tradition of citing Scalia in support of their opinion.

\o/
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:13 PM on May 20 [20 favorites]


Here's the opinion.

Worth reading if only for the section headers:
For richer, for poorer
The plaintiff couples share their resources and support each other financially[...]

In sickness and in health
The plaintiff couples have supported each other through illness and medical emergencies[...]

For better, for worse
The plaintiff couples have shared in life’s joys[...]

Until death do us part
The plaintiff couples demonstrate an intention to live out their lives together.

Plaintiff Maureen Hennessey and her partner of 29 years, Mary Beth McIntyre, present a powerful example. When Mary Beth was diagnosed with inoperable Stage 4 lung cancer, Maureen left her job to care for her and to help run Mary Beth’s business until her death. Towards the end of her life, Mary Beth required Maureen’s help to get out of bed and to the bathroom, and to assist in self-care and administer medications. They were married in Massachusetts after Mary Beth fell ill, but because Pennsylvania does not recognize their marriage, the line for “surviving spouse” was left blank and Mary Beth was identified as “never married” on her death certificate. Maureen was listed as the “informant.”

Wishing to have their relationships recognized for what they are in the state they call home, and by doing so to transcend the pain, uncertainty, and injustice visited by the Marriage Laws, Plaintiffs brought this suit...

...The issue we resolve today is a divisive one. Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage. However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees...we are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them to the ash heap of history.
posted by cjelli at 12:14 PM on May 20 [113 favorites]


So if all the federal courts agree, is there any reason for the Supreme Court to review? Are there any circuits that we're still waiting on? 5 maybe?

We are waiting on every circuit. Right now all the rulings are at the district court level, and none of the appeals have been decided.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:15 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Judge Jones issued an order that prevents any stay for the ban. Therefore, the ruling takes effect immediately.

I wonder if Corbett will do much more on this. He's already incredibly vulnerable in November, and he's using taxpayer money to pay an outside legal team to fight this doomed battle. He'd be better served to quietly read the writing on the wall and back down. Wolf is a major threat to him with lots of money to run ads about Corbett's wasteful bigotry.
posted by gladly at 12:16 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Is this going to be happening every day now? Because I want this to happen every day in the US for the next, um, I guess it would be 3-4 weeks?
I get back from lunch, check the news, and BOOM equality somehwere else. It's awesome.
posted by pointystick at 12:17 PM on May 20 [20 favorites]


Dang, it's getting harder and harder to keep up.... so how many states is it now? Isn't this number 20?

\o/
posted by easily confused at 12:17 PM on May 20


Here's the updated marriage map. It seems that with Pennsylvania, over 50% of the U.S. queer population lives in a state that allows same sex marriage.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:18 PM on May 20 [18 favorites]


Is there some sort of up-to-date map of all these decisions? I can't even keep track anymore.

Just a little over ten years ago, we had exactly one state where this was legal. I can hardly believe how fast that's changed.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:18 PM on May 20


um, jinx I guess
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:19 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Yay for gays in PA!

Proud of my homestate and the people who worked hard on this.
posted by sio42 at 12:19 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


PA does have a 3-day waiting period, but it sounds like there may not be a stay. PA is also one of a handful of states that issues Quaker self-uniting marriage licenses which makes it super easy to get married, as all you need is 2 witness signatures (no officiant).

YAY!
posted by coppermoss at 12:20 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


Yay. I was afraid that we'd be last.
posted by octothorpe at 12:20 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


So according to that map, nine states are currently at "Judicial ruling against a same-sex marriage ban stayed pending appeal." Wow.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:21 PM on May 20


We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them to the ash heap of history.


Sorry, that just needed to be said again.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:23 PM on May 20 [53 favorites]


I'm really enjoying how as the dominoes go on, the judges are feeling freer and freer to be poetic, and also to not bother with stays.
posted by tavella at 12:25 PM on May 20 [21 favorites]


According to Freedom to Marry: More than 70 cases are currently pending in state and federal court in more than 30 states and territories across the United States.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:25 PM on May 20


Now that the institution of marriage is destroyed and all morality abandoned, any stats on how many people have married their dogs during the past year? 100,000? 500,000?
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:25 PM on May 20 [39 favorites]


Also according to Freedom to Marry - no stay.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:26 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I also really thought we'd be one of the last. Once in a while, my adopted home state surprises me by doing something not-terrible. I'm a bit weepy over here.
posted by Stacey at 12:27 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I have personally married seventeen thousand dogs and six box turtles.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:28 PM on May 20 [34 favorites]


I'm sitting here reading the decision and genuinely weeping with joy. I have so many friends who can get married now, if they want. Like octothorpe, I was afraid PA would be the last, and now I'm so, so proud of my home state.

May I be the first in the thread to say a hearty fuck you to Corbett, as well.
posted by kalimac at 12:28 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


I seriously thought my good ol' home state of PA would be one of the last states, perhaps after Texas, to have the gay marriage ban overturned. Pennsyltucky, and all...

One of my favorite quotes goes something like, "The best thing about being a pessimist is that you're either always right, or pleasantly surprised." It's refreshing to be pleasantly surprised for once!

\O/ Huzzah!
posted by cardinality at 12:29 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Hairy Lobster: I am happy to see that this court appears to be continuing the new awesome tradition of citing Scalia in support of their opinion.

You get bonus points if you cite Scalia's dissenting positions from both Windsor and Lawrence v. Texas.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:30 PM on May 20 [15 favorites]


There is already an existing open thread or two about gay marriage bans being overturned, just as an FYI.
posted by corb at 12:31 PM on May 20


What about all of the conservative Christian married men in Pennsylvania who will now have literally no choice but to go blow a bunch of dudes in the airport restroom? Won't anyone please think of them and their rights?
posted by chasing at 12:31 PM on May 20 [16 favorites]


One thing that is really cool about the critical mass that's happening is that I bet it will make right wing bigots more hesitant to donate to campaigns against marriage equality: the more it's clear they're throwing their money in the garbage, the less money will flow.

That said, this symbolic equality is encouraging, but ENDA is a bigger deal to me in the long run. And it would be really nice if I could legally donate blood sometime in the near future. I don't know why that one pisses me off so much, but it really does.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 12:31 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


Oh yeah...kaliman, it's kind of poetic that this has happened on Primary Day. :D

/seconding a hearty fuck-you to Corbett. Here's to hoping the door DOES hit his ass on the way out, just as a small symbol of our statewide displeasure.
posted by cardinality at 12:31 PM on May 20


Now that the institution of marriage is destroyed and all morality abandoned, any stats on how many people have married their dogs during the past year?

I'm going to check in with a friend of mine - she and her husband have been married 20-some years now (having met originally at a drunken orgy, no kidding) - to ask if their marriage is showing signs of finally wrecking.
posted by rtha at 12:33 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Drunken orgies are the best kind, really.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:35 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


There is already an existing open thread or two about gay marriage bans being overturned, just as an FYI.

I'm just gonna throw caution to the wind here and choose today as a day to, by administrative fiat, not really give a fuck. We'll return to hemming up topic creep tomorrow.
posted by cortex at 12:36 PM on May 20 [151 favorites]


There is already an existing open thread or two about gay marriage bans being overturned, just as an FYI.

Three, by my count - Idaho, Arkansas and Oregon. I admit, I'm starting to wonder when double-post rules will start applying here. "Oh, another judge struck down a gay marriage ban? Wake me when something new happens."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:36 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


For the record, I am 100% okay with these double posts.

We don't get enough good news. Might as well spread it around.
posted by schmod at 12:37 PM on May 20 [16 favorites]


Man, how many states are there? Still just the 50?
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:38 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


My two favorite places, New England (plus the rest of the northeast) and the Pacific Coast are now both solidly and uniformly pro-equality! Go Team Freedom.
posted by Justinian at 12:38 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


And, with this, marriage equality is now legal in the entire Northeast.
posted by schmod at 12:38 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


In any case, it's a derail. Start a MeTa post, if you feel it is critical.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:38 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


There is already an existing open thread or two about gay marriage bans being overturned, just as an FYI.

Three, by my count - Idaho, Arkansas and Oregon. I admit, I'm starting to wonder when double-post rules will start applying here. "Oh, another judge struck down a gay marriage ban? Wake me when something new happens."


This is the happy consequence of a moderator shortage.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:39 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


Question: How would an appeal by Corbett affect the prevention of a stay?
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 12:41 PM on May 20


What state is next up?
posted by drezdn at 12:44 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Wow, you step away from a computer for a moment and another district judge issues an order allowing for equal marriage rights.
posted by Area Man at 12:48 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Man, how many states are there? Still just the 50?

Once the appellate rulings start coming in that's when the dominos really fall in a hurry, since there are only 11 of the things. If the 5th Circuit upholds the Texas ruling, that knocks out Louisiana and Mississippi. Idaho gets you Nevada and Montana. Wisconsin? Illinois and Indiana. Kentucky or Ohio gets you both, and Tennessee as a freebie. Et cetera. I think the only circuit with no appeal pending (outside of New England and New York where the issue is settled) is the 11th, with Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:49 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I'm getting married in PA in September. I never had the balls to boycott marriage until everyone in my state had it, so this doesn't change my plans, but I'm thrilled I can get married guilt free! Congrats everyone!
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:50 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I thought drunken orgies were an urban legend. Also, good work, PA. Scrapple and cheesesteaks for all!
posted by jonmc at 12:51 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Oh, also \o/

  You scream, I scream, we all scream...
                                  Edvard Munch said that.
posted by y2karl at 12:52 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Just yesterday, I was complaining on Facebook that PA would be the last state to legalize same-sex marriage. That sound you heard was my jaw hitting the floor.

I still think PA will be the last state to legalize marijuana, though. (Worked last time!)
posted by SansPoint at 12:52 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


I think this post might be a dupe...
posted by Aizkolari at 12:54 PM on May 20


I was just the other day disgustedly reading about a move to impeach PA's attorney general because she regarded the marriage ban as unconstitutional and wouldn't defend it. I liked reading this better.

I celebrated by being, at 3:30 in the afternoon, the 36th person to bother to show up and vote at my polling place today... ah, democracy...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:54 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


cjelli: "...we are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them to the ash heap of history."

Damn right.
posted by zarq at 12:59 PM on May 20


cortex: " I'm just gonna throw caution to the wind here and choose today as a day to, by administrative fiat, not really give a fuck. We'll return to hemming up topic creep tomorrow."

*applauds*
posted by zarq at 1:00 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


This is very good news to hear after getting home from voting in the primary. Granted, we'll have to wait till November to try to kick Corbett out face-first, but it all puts me in an almost good mood about this state, for once.
posted by branduno at 1:02 PM on May 20


!

I admit, I'm starting to wonder when double-post rules will start applying here.

Having a double-ish post every couple of days about another state striking down its gay marriage ban every sure is a nice problem to have. :D
posted by Jacqueline at 1:03 PM on May 20 [14 favorites]


Now that the institution of marriage is destroyed and all morality abandoned, any stats on how many people have married their dogs during the past year?

There are more states where it's legal to marry your cousin than legal SSM.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:03 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


John E Jones III sounds familiar. I think this is the same man that decided the Kitzmiller v Dover intelligent design case with this blistering opinion. His remarks on 'activist judges' still seem pertinent nearly a decade later.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:04 PM on May 20 [10 favorites]


The district court opinions seem to be getting stronger and stronger in terms of wording and in terms of not staying themselves pending appeals. Good on them.

I guess Corbett is still courting the nutbag vote.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:07 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Has someone animated the change in the map over time? Because I'd like to watch that blue creeping in.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:15 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I love living in PA right now.
posted by glaucon at 1:15 PM on May 20


I'm just gonna throw caution to the wind here and choose today as a day to, by administrative fiat, not really give a fuck. We'll return to hemming up topic creep tomorrow.

Hah, yeah, I'm not crying into my beer over it, but check back with me after five or ten more.
posted by corb at 1:16 PM on May 20


. "That said, this symbolic equality is encouraging, but ENDA is a bigger deal to me in the long run."

ENDA is very important, and the fight for rights will not be over when same-sex marriage is the law of the land ... but same sex marriage is not just symbolic. This is about real rights, important ones, that affect real people and real lives.

(That being said, being able to say "when" same-sex marriage is the law of the land, with confidence, feels pretty awesome ...)
posted by kyrademon at 1:16 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


I mean, not that you'd need to. Poor phrasing.
posted by corb at 1:16 PM on May 20


I like that there are so many of these happening that we have to consider if maybe we should have just posted in this in one of those other open marriage equality threads.
posted by Theta States at 1:17 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


> "Has someone animated the change in the map over time? Because I'd like to watch that blue creeping in."

Of course they have. This is the internet.
posted by kyrademon at 1:18 PM on May 20 [9 favorites]


U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs [...] courageous.

"We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history," Jones wrote of the 1996 state ban.


God damn. :)=)
posted by IAmBroom at 1:21 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Kadin2048 : I guess Corbett is still courting the nutbag vote.

They are his people, after all.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:23 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Hey Pennsylvanians, one of the BEST things is that now you can enjoy other states getting gay marriage with unadulterated (ha!) happiness instead of joy mixed with jealousy/anxiety. Before it was the sort of happiness where you have a friend who got a job you really really wanted so you're happy but jealous, but now that my state has gay marriage, when other states get it, it's straight up, "YAY! PUPPIES!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:27 PM on May 20 [11 favorites]


I wonder, I hope, that the preponderance of rulings plays some role in the Circuit Court deliberations. Given the number of court cases going this way I would hope that it would make it harder to then go 'oops nope, all of you are wrong'. In a way it seems like a dicey move to appeal it up the chain as doing so opens the door for other states to be affected by a case ruled against you already.
posted by edgeways at 1:28 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


So you see, we're no longer just about obesity and sporting atrocities anymore!
posted by Mister_A at 1:28 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


"Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."
-- Winston Churchill
posted by the painkiller at 1:28 PM on May 20 [19 favorites]


Can we see a USA gay marriage map, where the states are size-distorted to represent population?
posted by Theta States at 1:29 PM on May 20


Checking in from PA. No farm animals have rented tuxedos/gowns and married any humans yet. Seems like equality is not the end times.

The weather is actually nice out today, though, that's what's alarming.

Congrats to the attorneys and plaintiffs and all those couples who benefit from this ruling.
posted by GrapeApiary at 1:30 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Can we see a USA gay marriage map, where the states are size-distorted to represent population?

Use the link that kyrademon posted and check "cartogram."
posted by jedicus at 1:32 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


Unadulterated joy, indeed. It's primary day here, and I'm gonna roll into the polling place with a big smile!
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:33 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Greater Philly has one of the most visible and vocal gay communities on the east coast and all I can say to them is well done, here's to more victories to come. Here's to a day when, sweet as they are, we won't need moments like this.
posted by Mister_A at 1:33 PM on May 20


But same sex marriage is not just symbolic.

I realize that. Of course those rights matter. Poorly phrased on my part.

I do, however think it's high time unmarried queer people got equal rights. Right now, I feel like the straight mainstream is potentially getting conditioned to feel like marriage is what it takes to sanctify gay as OK. It's a step forward and problematic at the same time.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 1:33 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


This is awful news. While you're all celebrating this farcical judicial activism the fabric of America is crumbling to the ground like a wet sandcastle.

Ever since they legalized gay marriage here in Washington I've been forced at gunpoint to marry three huge, hairy dudes with odd taste in leather pants, a polygamous and polyamorous lesbian biker triad with strange haircuts, fifteen dogs, an octopus, an entire littoral field of geoducks, a pair of skinny and greasy hipster jeans, a big fat sack of greasy Dick's, and a three ton pile of nutritional brewer's yeast.

My bed smells like a motorcycle garage in a sourdough bakery turned into a dog shelter under a marine aquarium and a fish market.

On the upside I have a dozen totally fabulous wedding gowns, but they're full of sand and dog hair.
posted by loquacious at 1:34 PM on May 20 [34 favorites]


So happy to FINALLY be living in a state where my marriage is legally recognized! Any other Pittsburghers here going to the rally at the 5800 block of Ellsworth tonight?

(If this had happened last year, I SO would have wanted to get married at Kennywood ...)
posted by DingoMutt at 1:38 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


Come on, Virginia...
posted by Jacqueline at 1:40 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


Freedom! Off to seduce my 24-gallon tank of goldfish into a gay lifestyle, and then marry my favorite Matchbox replica of a 1978 Trans-Am, just like Rick Santorum predicted! Whoohoo!

(DingoMutt, when is it?)
posted by IAmBroom at 1:41 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]




Hah, yeah, I'm not crying into my beer over it, but check back with me after five or ten more.

Should I cackle?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:48 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


I do, however think it's high time unmarried queer people got equal rights. Right now, I feel like the straight mainstream is potentially getting conditioned to feel like marriage is what it takes to sanctify gay as OK. It's a step forward and problematic at the same time.

I understand the frustration, but I doubt the normalization of gay marriage will retard the passage of legislation like ENDA. My guess is that the effect will be the opposite one. It becomes a lot harder to justify discrimination against people on the grounds of sexual orientation in employment and so forth when judge after judge is coming out with these kinds of rulings and when the first thing people think of when they think "gay couples" is people shopping for matching wedding dresses or wedding tuxes. What the anti-gay bigots always feared about gay marriage was its broader cultural normalization of homosexuality, and I really do think that will be a powerful force.
posted by yoink at 1:50 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


I'll bet you that in the inevitable Supreme Court decision, Scalia's mandatory outraged slippery-slope dissent will talk about how striking down gay marriage bans means the next step will be mandatory ENDA. And judges have been ever so eager to prove him right so far...
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:53 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


honeymoon inns in the poconos brace for new biz. wish i owned stock!
posted by bruce at 1:56 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I do, however think it's high time unmarried queer people got equal rights. Right now, I feel like the straight mainstream is potentially getting conditioned to feel like marriage is what it takes to sanctify gay as OK. It's a step forward and problematic at the same time.

It must be remembered that Loving v Virginia did not end racism any more than marriage equality will end homophobia. Those of us who support marriage equality have had many victories lately, but until its federal law, there's always going to be the chance that things backslide. As the saying goes, the price of freedom is vigilance - in this case, meaning we have to be on our guard lest these hard-won rights are stripped away by the usual crowd of torch bearing cretins.

In the meantime, hurray Pennsylvania. Another step forward.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:59 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Iambroom (and anybody else interested!), here's a link to the Pittsburgh Decision Day Rally Facebook page - it'll be at 7 tonight at 5800 Ellsworth. Happy fun times!
posted by DingoMutt at 1:59 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Great news, wondering how this is going to play out here in Pennsyltucky, where support for the "Pennsylvania Family Institute" is strong and gay couples showing up at the courthouse are certain to get sideways looks, at the very least.

But this throws Corbett a hand grenade right as he tries to pivot toward the general election (against Wolf, probably, who's probably doing a little dance right now). If Corbett doesn't appeal it, he'll piss off the fundagelicals, a good portion of his base and those most likely to support him otherwise, as business-type Republicans have quietly been abandoning ship.

Great news for Pennsylvania, disastrous news for Corbett. Which is ALSO great news for Pennsylvania.
posted by kgasmart at 2:00 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Since it's PA, the happy couples can choose to avail themselves of the self-uniting marriage law. Actual DIY weddings!
posted by zamboni at 2:00 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I'm just gonna throw caution to the wind here and choose today as a day to, by administrative fiat, not really give a fuck.

It would be so cool, at the end, when the last ban in the last state falls (or if SCOTUS preempts by issuing an opinion that overturns all state bans), to see a post or comment that links to every single MeFi post about every ruling that expanded the right to marry to same-sex couples. A mighty wave of justice sweeping away the bigotry enshrined in law.
posted by longdaysjourney at 2:01 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


I'm extremely glad that this stupid, patently unconstitutional law was overturned.

But it dismays me immensely that our political situation is such that the people's time and money was wasted passing and then defending this incredibly shitty law and others like it in the first place. The American left, such as it is, seems to be stuck in a reactive mode fighting arbitrary, regressive bullshit like this, which was a completely gratuitous piece of legislation from the very beginning, rather than making any positive progress. Its defeat is both gratifying and frustrating news, on different levels.
posted by clockzero at 2:03 PM on May 20


My friend, proudly from "Pennsyltucky", died very unexpectedly a week ago yesterday. She would have \o/ 'd.

Laurie this \o/ is for you.
posted by Sophie1 at 2:05 PM on May 20 [11 favorites]


honeymoon inns in the poconos brace for new biz.

Oh man. Sales of heart-shaped pools and jacuzzis that look like champagne flutes are about to skyrocket.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 2:05 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I am going to marry a skein of high-tension wires! WOOHOO! BZZZZZT!
posted by Mister_A at 2:11 PM on May 20 [8 favorites]


I do, however think it's high time unmarried queer people got equal rights. Right now, I feel like the straight mainstream is potentially getting conditioned to feel like marriage is what it takes to sanctify gay as OK. It's a step forward and problematic at the same time.

Well, it is what it takes to get equal rights because gay marriage was not on the legislative horizon or activism agenda in most states in the 1990s when conservatives rushed to pass statutory bans and state amendments. It was a big-old bait-and-switch that conservatives used to attack piecemeal insurance benefits by employers, municipal anti-discrimination law, private powers of attorney, school curricula, and adoption and child-custody agreements.

This is why many of those amendments include language like "A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized." (Proposed Indiana Amendment, 2011 version.) Similar language was notoriously used in Florida a few years ago to deny hospital visitation to a woman who had medical and legal powers of attorney and shared child custody with her partner.

So really, conservatives picked this fight by making marriage the pretext for their opposition to ALL forms of gay rights.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:25 PM on May 20 [19 favorites]


Metafilter: like a motorcycle garage in a sourdough bakery turned into a dog shelter under a marine aquarium and a fish market.
posted by jonp72 at 2:25 PM on May 20


Judge Jones is a judicial rock star. First the Dover, PA Intelligent Design decision, now this one. Fucking awesome.

And, yay, for the state where I was born and raised.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:29 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


The American left, such as it is, seems to be stuck in a reactive mode fighting arbitrary, regressive bullshit like this, which was a completely gratuitous piece of legislation from the very beginning

Have you met the American far right? Their idea of political resistance doesn't stop short of terrorism and mass murder.
posted by bleep-blop at 2:29 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


The nice thing is that while the laws being fought in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Utah, etc. are petty, reactionary bullshit, the victories are real victories. None of these states had marriage equality before the laws/amendments were passed, but if the court decisions stand they do, and that's progress.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:32 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


This is the happy consequence of a moderator shortage.

No. It's the direct result of Obama declaring his support of same-sex marriage and the inevitability of social change driven by the opinion of the president. It's Obama's fault we have too many Metafilter threads about gay marriage. THANKS OBAMA.
posted by Talez at 2:45 PM on May 20 [11 favorites]


Can we see a USA gay marriage map, where the states are size-distorted to represent population?

I forked a d3 area-proportional cartogram project from Github, changing how it colors states by the state of marriage laws as of May 19, 2014 (via: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/where-state-laws-stand). It's fun to play with because it is animated and has a few other statistics, including 2010 and 2011 population stats.

If you want to see it on your browser, I put it up on Dropbox here (some browsers may issue a warning about needing to download d3.js scripts via http).

If you want to download the code with my small modifications, here's my fork. The colorTable and stateTable variables in index.html are the ones to modify, if you want to play around with classifications or other statistical categories.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:47 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


The nice thing is that while the laws being fought in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Utah, etc. are petty, reactionary bullshit, the victories are real victories. None of these states had marriage equality before the laws/amendments were passed, but if the court decisions stand they do, and that's progress.

I think that's the thing that delights me the most. If these reactionary and unconstitutional laws and amendments had never been passed, no court could have made same sex marriage a possibility except SCOTUS. But because these homophobic jerks made a stink and passed something that can't be legal, it actually furthers the cause when they are overturned.

Slow going, but awesome nonetheless.
posted by teleri025 at 2:48 PM on May 20 [8 favorites]


Have you met the American far right? Their idea of political resistance doesn't stop short of terrorism and mass murder.

Yeah, you're certainly correct that we unaccountably call radicals "conservatives" for reasons that nobody ever seems to openly discuss. But I think a competent and genuine opposition would look for ways to turn that reactionary politics against them, since it's not all that hard to observe how wildly anti-democratic and anti-American it is to base your entire political platform on a commitment to oppression.
posted by clockzero at 2:52 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


It's Obama's fault we have too many Metafilter threads about gay marriage.

To be fair, there are a finite number of these threads we can have, while the number of potential Game of Thrones FPPs remains infinite. What has Obama done about that, I ask you?
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:54 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Smarter people who've thought more about this than me probably have said this before, but I can't help but wonder if the petty reactionary bullshit is exactly while the U.S. is where it is right now in 2014 when just 10 years ago that seemed almost unimaginable to most of us.

2004 Mike would have been happy -- probably thrilled -- to live in a 2014 where states had cobbled together some sort of separate-but-equal civil union arrangement. But as the possibility of that reality grew closer, those opposed to it stepped up with this bullshit and made it more difficult and tried to make it impossible.

So from both a legal tactics route, as teleri025 notes, and really from the point of view of activists as well, where the voices who were tired of compromising with bigotry became the voices to which we listened, things changed.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:54 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


If these reactionary and unconstitutional laws and amendments had never been passed, no court could have made same sex marriage a possibility except SCOTUS.

Oh, in regards to vigilance, the odds look like the Republicans will take the Senate this fall. if they then take the Presidency in 2014, they can resume the process of replacing all of the SCOTUS Justices with clones of Scalia.

To maintain and expand progressive social justice, we need progressive candidates in charge in state legislatures, we need to undo years of destructive gerrymandering, and we need to persuade people to get out and vote for the more progressive-leaning candidates in contested Senate races this year.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:55 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Pennsylvania has some great people and we just heard from one of them. I'm just so very happy right now that my birth state has joined the present, and feel a sort of weird creepy elation that this sort of clear thinking might actually spread to all 50 states. I really want to go out and shake pom-poms or something. And what that Judge said? Pure poetry.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:56 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you're certainly correct that we unaccountably call radicals "conservatives" for reasons that nobody ever seems to openly discuss. But I think a competent and genuine opposition would look for ways to turn that reactionary politics against them, since it's not all that hard to observe how wildly anti-democratic and anti-American it is to base your entire political platform on a commitment to oppression.

Are you kidding me? America was built on the back of anti-democratic measures and oppression! According to them, the white, land-owning male hegemony is what made this country great in the first place!

To be fair, there are a finite number of these threads we can have, while the number of potential Game of Thrones FPPs remains infinite. What has Obama done about that, I ask you?

He's asked the US Ambassador to Australia to ask the Australian people to stop pirating the show thereby limiting its popularity.
posted by Talez at 2:57 PM on May 20


It is worth it to spend a few minutes reading Judge John E. Jones III wikipedia entry, especially the section on Kitzmiller vs Dover and his speech at Bennington College.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:08 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


how wildly anti-democratic

Well this is judges overturning voter-approved bans so...
posted by codswallop at 3:14 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Woot! This morning I even got to vote for the lady running against Daryl "Bigot Supreme" Metcalfe (it was a primary and she was running unopposed, but still)!
posted by dirigibleman at 3:15 PM on May 20


Voter-approved does not necessarily equal constitutional.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:15 PM on May 20 [11 favorites]


Well this is judges overturning voter-approved bans so...

As they should. Just because the voters approved something unConstitutional doesn't magically make it OK.
posted by KathrynT at 3:15 PM on May 20 [12 favorites]


codswallop is just making a distinction between democracy and rights. They are not the same thing. The judge here preserved rights by overriding democracy. That's not a bad thing.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:19 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


Oh, in regards to vigilance, the odds look like the Republicans will take the Senate this fall. if they then take the Presidency in 2016, they can resume the process of replacing all of the SCOTUS Justices with clones of Scalia.

Even if the GOP wins the Senate this fall and the presidency in 2016, they'll have a hard time *keeping* the Senate in 2016, for much the same reason that the Democrats are having a hard time now. This map of incumbent parties in the Senate races in 2016 illustrates what I'm talking about; both 2014 and 2016 would have to be particularly bad years for Democrats in order for the GOP to come out of 2016 with control of the Senate.

The House, on the other hand, is probably screwed until we get new districts in 2022, primarily because of district maps like this.


Also: does anyone know what did John E. Jones do before Kitzmiller v. Dover that made conservatives a fan? Wikipedia suggests that he was being considered by Bush for a seat on the Supreme Court, which sounds like a great idea to me, but I'm a member in good standing of the coastal academic liberal elitist conspiracy...
posted by freelanceastro at 3:19 PM on May 20


Well this is judges overturning voter-approved bans so...

And if they voted to kill all black people you'd expect judges to...............................
posted by Talez at 3:23 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Of course they have. This is the internet.

What strikes me about that map is how cowardly and scared it paints the red states. It's unfortunate people who vote for things like laws against homosexuality are to a person generally psychopaths and incapable of self-reflection, empathy or shame.

And yay! PA.
posted by maxwelton at 3:25 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Whoooooooooooooo PA!!!!! Orphan Court* doors with little hearts** for all**!

*this will never not be hilarious
**made of red construction paper hopefully by the adorable civil servants within!
posted by jetlagaddict at 3:26 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Democracy is a not a god to be worshiped without question or qualm. Democracy is group-think in action. Sometimes - a lot of times! - it's pretty awesome. But it's not a talisman that you can wave and think that doing so means you're fighting totalitarianism. Such an attitude is naive and simplistic.
posted by rtha at 3:27 PM on May 20 [11 favorites]


What about all of the conservative Christian married men in Pennsylvania who will now have literally no choice but to go blow a bunch of dudes in the airport restroom? Won't anyone please think of them and their rights?

You jest but I have long suspected the whole point of oppressing gay men was to ensure they were desperate and marginalized enough to be readily available in men's washrooms for married men with wide stances.
posted by srboisvert at 3:37 PM on May 20 [8 favorites]


Also: does anyone know what did John E. Jones do before Kitzmiller v. Dover that made conservatives a fan?

What I find interesting is that Kitzmiller can be viewed as a conservative decision. Jones found that Kitzmiller's rights to raise her daughter in accord with Catholic doctrine were harmed by an aggressively sectarian activist school board.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 3:58 PM on May 20


I suspect the rapid succession of federal district court cases owes to last year's decision in US v. Windsor, where SCOTUS held that part of DOMA was unconstitutional because it violated Due Process and Equal Protection rights. I haven't read every district court decision following, but I know two in the 10th Circuit were decided essentially by saying that Windsor made such a ruling all but inevitable.

In all likelihood, advocacy organizations around the country, who have been developing these cases pre-emptively, selecting sympathetic plaintiffs, preparing arguments, etc., sprung on this ruling as the opening to attack state bans on same-sex marriage all around the US. So you're seeing the fruits of all these cases at the same time because they were all filed in response to the same event.

For what it's worth, the District Court rulings in the 10th Circuit seem likely to be upheld by the appeals court. I think we all know SCOTUS is the endgame here but the marriage equality movement would sure love to get as many circuit courts behind them as possible.
posted by shoe at 4:02 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Wow. The threads on Free Republic. Oh my god never have I seen so many homophobes so salty at once.
posted by Talez at 4:19 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Wow! These posts keep coming. Amazing.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 4:35 PM on May 20


Mmmmm salty homophobes....
posted by rtha at 5:09 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


They've got a big crunch!
posted by psoas at 5:10 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I decided to wander over to volokh to see what was happening and the second comment is someone snarking about if a man can marry another man, why can't he own another man?

Words fail me.
posted by rtha at 5:19 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I just want to ask those people, "do you believe that men can own *women*?" but I fear the answer may be "yes."
posted by KathrynT at 5:42 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I decided to wander over to volokh to see what was happening and the second comment is someone snarking about if a man can marry another man, why can't he own another man?

Words fail me.


Almost as bad as "what the hell in the constitution makes gays equal?"
posted by Talez at 5:47 PM on May 20


if a man can marry another man, why can't he own another man?

Everyone knows equality is the same thing as the opposite of equality.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:08 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


Exactly, KathrynT. I started to scroll down the comments there to see if anyone had asked, but I just couldn't stand to read more than a dozen or so.
posted by rtha at 6:09 PM on May 20


I just want to ask those people, "do you believe that men can own *women*?" but I fear the answer may be "yes."

Well at least then they know better than saying so out loud

but yes they do
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:34 PM on May 20


Duplicate thread?

We need 50+ threads! Gotta get in the territories, too.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:47 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Do us next! Do us next! If only because it will make those reactionary asshats in Columbus explode with rage, thus handily wiping out any potential Kasich presidential campaign.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:54 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


Democracy is a not a god to be worshiped without question or qualm. Democracy is group-think in action.

Seriously anyone who has ever participated in or borne witness to a contentious metatalk thread should already peer suspiciously at democracy in action.
posted by elizardbits at 9:11 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


There is already an existing open thread or two about gay marriage bans being overturned, just as an FYI.

Three, by my count

Isn't it delightful?
posted by JiBB at 10:47 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


Late to the thread. I saw the WA one earlier today and was like OH PA WHATEVS. Literally 12 hours later, here I sit being really, really proud of where I am from and still live. There is such joy here tonight :)
posted by deep thought sunstar at 10:52 PM on May 20


I've been married for six years this July. We went to Toronto to do it. This is the first time that I've ever lived somewhere that it was a legally recognised union. I honestly feel more confused than anything else--it's one of those things that's been so close and yet so far for so long, and now I'm just sort of...waiting for the other shoe to drop, I guess? Because I've spent six years fighting with administrators and doctors and landlords and insurance companies that no, we're next of kin, and no, really, please cover us both, I swear---

First thing tomorrow is telling my partner's HR department that there's been a qualifying life event and it's time to add the wife and child to the policy. It'll be the first time in three years that I've had insurance. We're doing it immediately, because I can't get past the fear that there'll be an appeal and failure to act right away, in whatever tiny window we get, will mean that we've missed our chance until we've waited out another year of appeals. I hope I'm wrong and in thirty days every queer in the state can breathe a sigh of relief.

I honestly didn't expect this to happen for years yet. I'm not sure what to do with myself. Thanks, Judge Jones.
posted by MeghanC at 10:59 PM on May 20 [28 favorites]


I do, however think it's high time unmarried queer people got equal rights. Right now, I feel like the straight mainstream is potentially getting conditioned to feel like marriage is what it takes to sanctify gay as OK. It's a step forward and problematic at the same time.

I think it's been interesting to watch this process (as an ally, to be sure). When it began a lot of veteran LGBTQ activists were not on board, precisely for the reasons you're bringing up (there were also cultural reasons involving rejection of marriage as a value and things related to that). But the DOMA era has given way quite quickly to the SSM era and the community has gotten on board, with many people taking advantage of the process, which has indeed normalized gay marriage and by extension gayness for a lot of mainstream Americans who may have been on the fence before.

I think, though, that the interesting part of the court rulings is how entwined the marriage "right" turns out to be with all sorts of other law, such as privacy and employment. That cannot fail to be a critical legal wedge in future cases involving discrimination against unmarried LGBTQ persons.

I think it's going to also have an effect in the political world in that gay-married politicians will be able to put that more normalized, acceptable face forward to an electorate and gain entry to office that may not have been possible before. It's also been, I feel, crucial in gaining acceptance for a broader wave of celebrities, and I think you can see that for instance in the reaction to Michael Sam's kissing his partner. Before that sort of thing would have meant for a lot more of the public an allusion only to hot nasty sweaty gay mansex and with gay marriage out there, that particular association is being replaced by wedding cakes and proposals and "I do". I know that in 2000 I was working with a guy who was very evangelical and prejudiced and basically said that seeing two men kiss was like flaunting gay sex in front of him. Several of us (unfairly, TBS) cornered him and basically all of us asked why seeing a hetero couple kiss didn't make him think of sex. So in that respect I think the fight has resulted in some particular changes in attitude.

Straight guy talking, so I hope I haven't stepped in any puddles, but that's what I see.
posted by dhartung at 12:15 AM on May 21


Breaking news in PA: it is overcast here so conservatives aren't sure the sun has risen.

But seriously: this is so awesome: now EVERYONE can have a self uniting marriage like my wife and me. I never thought this would happen so soon in Pennsyltucky but here we are.
posted by The Michael The at 5:03 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]


Via Feministing, Jos Truitt in the Guardian:

“We deserve better than the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.”

Forty years ago last week, Bella Abzug introduced the Equality Act in Congress, which would have amended the Civil Rights Act to include protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, public accommodations and employment. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which covers employment discrimination, was introduced 20 years later, in 1994.

It's now 2014, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people still have no national law that prevents employers, landlords, hoteliers or even restaurant owners from discriminating against us because of our sexual orientations or gender identities. It's long past time to change that, in sweeping fashion – not just one more bill.

This year, organizers used the anniversary of the Equality Act to launch a campaign calling for better protections against discrimination than ENDA would offer. Queer Nation launched a Twitter campaign, #ENDAisNOTequal, and Matt Foreman, former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, released this statement:
It's pathetic that four decades have gone by without Congress extending basic civil rights protections to LGBT Americans. It's even more pathetic that what's left of Bella Abzug's comprehensive legislation is ENDA – a small-bore bill that is now riddled with giveaways to anti-gay forces, including a religious exemption big enough for an 18-wheeler to cruise through. It's time to pull the plug on this essentially lifeless corpse and demand full equality under the federal civil rights statutes.
National LGBT leaders need to agree that we deserve better than ENDA. This weakened legislation doesn't address discrimination in housing, public accommodations, education or federal programs. And it would only extend to us the employment protections that the majority of Americans think LGBT people already have – that's how far Congress is behind the mainstream. It's finally time to push for the broad protections that we actually need.

posted by mediareport at 5:14 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]


There is already an existing open thread or two about gay marriage bans being overturned, just as an FYI.

Sorry, but I would have been pissed if PA didn't get it's own thread after all the other states had gotten one. I really never thought that it would happen here.
posted by octothorpe at 5:14 AM on May 21 [7 favorites]


I was online at work yesterday, anxiously refreshing websites waiting for the announcement. When it finally hit my Twitter stream I turned to my boss and burst into tears. Finally! Finally! I'm so thrilled for all of my friends and family members who can finally move forward in our home state. I honestly thought we'd be an embarassment on the northeast for much longer.

And MeghanC - I'm wiping away tears again this morning. That was beautiful.

There were church bells ringing downtown last night. My drive through Pittsburgh was a bit later than usual, so I don't know if that's a regular occurence but I'm chosing to think of them as bells of joy and celebration. WOOT!
posted by librarianamy at 5:26 AM on May 21 [6 favorites]


There's a line out the door of the Pittsburgh City County Building, where the Marriage License Bureau is located. Happy day!
posted by punchtothehead at 5:31 AM on May 21 [8 favorites]


There is already an existing open thread or two about gay marriage bans being overturned, just as an FYI.

Looking at the map, there are likely to be 37 more. Speaking as someone who is not personally affected by these decisions, I'm still OK with this.
posted by parliboy at 7:15 AM on May 21 [7 favorites]


I just want to ask those people, "do you believe that men can own *women*?" but I fear the answer may be "yes."

For fun and wacky hijinks*, try googling "Christian Dominionists."


*By hijinks I mean tears.
posted by corb at 7:17 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


Gahhhhhhhhhh Wisconsin, you're killing me! Our state motto is FORWARD, fer chrissake.
posted by desjardins at 7:28 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


There is already an existing open thread or two about gay marriage bans being overturned, just as an FYI.

Different states, different laws, different jurisdictions, and different politics on the ground. I don't see a reason to consolidate unless there's some good links that compare and contrast the recent decisions.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:07 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]




There's almost always something that both affects my tear ducts and makes me want to scream some combination of "hallelujah" and "fuck yes" in each on of these threads -- this picture from MonkeyToes second link did it for me here.

Something about them probably being around my dad's age and their sign using one of his favorite words ("helluva") really hits me right there.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:09 AM on May 21 [4 favorites]


Thanks, dingomutt! I was there, and so were 4 of my (straight) friends! Equality means ALL OF US!

Soon, there will be no more "gay marriage"; just marriage. Same license. Same laws. Same rights, responsibilities, privileges, problems, and joys.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:55 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]


Here's our hero, folks! The Honorable Judge John E. Jones III. Handsome devil back in his Indiana University days. Confusingly, there are towns in Pennsylvania named Indiana and California.

Appointed by President George W. Bush (Ha ha!) as federal judge on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in February 2002 and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on July 30, 2002.

His previous most-important case was the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case, in which he ruled the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classes to be unconstitutional. Yes, this is the same great guy! (YAY!)

On public backlash (from inbred degenerates who threatened his life and ill-informed mouthbreathers such as Bill O'Reilly) on the Kitzmiller decision, he stated,
If you look at public polls in the United States, at any given time a significant percentage of Americans believe that it is acceptable to teach creationism in public high schools. And that gives rise to an assumption on the part of the public that judges should 'get with the program' and make decisions according to the popular will.
There's a problem with that....The framers of the Constitution, in their almost infinite wisdom, designed the legislative and executive branches under Articles I and II to be directly responsive to the public will. They designed the judiciary, under Article III, to be responsive not to the public will--in effect to be a bulwark against public will at any given time--but to be responsible to the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
That distinction, just like the role of precedent, tends to be lost in the analysis of judges' decisions, including my decision.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:10 AM on May 21 [7 favorites]


In breaking news, Corbett has decided not to appeal the ruling.

I have a lot of feelings right now.
posted by MeghanC at 12:14 PM on May 21 [11 favorites]


ACLU (and I) jumped the gun on this before but now it seems to be official:

Corbett won't appeal. The case is over. Those licenses are here to stay.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:15 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]


Thanks, dingomutt! I was there, and so were 4 of my (straight) friends! Equality means ALL OF US!

So glad you went, it was wonderful to get to celebrate with so many other jubilant people (and what an honor to get to hear from so many of the people involved in the case)! Nakedmolerats (aka the DingoWife) and I were there, too, with a God Hates Potholes sign.

I have goosebumps all over right now at the news that Corbett isn't going to appeal. It's hard to believe it's really official, and that I'm now living in a state where my marriage is every bit as legally valid as every other marriage. Life is pretty damned awesome!
posted by DingoMutt at 12:45 PM on May 21 [6 favorites]


Congrats DingoMutt! I really am missing Pittsburgh right this moment and would have enthusiastically joined in the celebration.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:34 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


To be fair, there are a finite number of these threads we can have, while the number of potential Game of Thrones FPPs remains infinite. What has Obama done about that, I ask you?

THANKS, OBEALISH!
posted by Theta States at 2:16 PM on May 21


Appointed by President George W. Bush (Ha ha!) as federal judge on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in February 2002 and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on July 30, 2002.

This is the second most delicious part of this whole decision. He's also the second GWB nominee (NV) to strike down these laws.

The most delicious part obviously is:

\o/
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:43 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]


Wow. The threads on Free Republic. Oh my god never have I seen so many homophobes so salty at once.

I googled Free Republic and it came up with the site, but the first sub-site google suggested on their was "HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA" and wow, are they sad.
posted by Theta States at 6:35 AM on May 22


I believe the HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA is, "be treated the same as everyone else." Pretty shocking.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:12 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]


Free Republic is kind of an ironic name. "Free" for a limited number of white people, preferably dudes.
All Animals Are Equal. But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.
posted by edgeways at 7:16 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]


I believe the HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA is, "be treated the same as everyone else." Pretty shocking.

Mine also includes "Go see that new Godzilla movie," but I promise to turn off my cell phone and keep any chatter to a minimum.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:40 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


My HETEROSEXUAL AGENDA is to put the laundry in the dryer, then maybe make a sandwich.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:48 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]




I heard on NPR this morning that Wisconsin's Attorney General expects our ban to be struck down (pending case).

Wisconsin is the worst state for same sex marriage - if you get gay-married in another state and move here, you can be fined $10,000 and jailed for up to nine months (I'm not sure if this has ever been enforced). ACLU has a pending case challenging the law.
posted by desjardins at 11:59 AM on May 22 [5 favorites]


As reprehensible as that WI law is I don't think it has ever been enforced, the backlash against doing so would result in it's being struck down awfully quick. IMO it a window dressing law. Something for the Walker's of the world to point to and say how 'traditional' they are but nothing they would arrest people for.

Kind of like how adultery is 'illegal' in about half the states, but no one ever does anything about it. Which is bullshit, if you are going to have a 'law' either enforce it or repeal it. I think the WI law and adultery laws are pretty horrendous, but leaders should have the conviction of their stated beliefs and face the consequences, legal or public, thereof.
posted by edgeways at 12:20 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]


The law is from 1915, so I'm guessing the original intent was in case some other state legalized marrying children. It's not like gay marriage was on the radar then. I am 100% on board with making a criminal out of some pedophile who runs off to Texas to get hitched to a 12 year old. I'm fine with keeping the law on the books, actually, as long as same sex marriage is legal in Wisconsin. (Note: Massachusetts had a similar law, enacted in 1913, so apparently it was a thing back then.)
posted by desjardins at 1:23 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


To be fair, Texas's statutes don't allow anyone under 16 to get married even with parental consent. Massachusetts, on the other hand, does not have a statutory minimum age for marriage of a minor.

I agree that the Wisconsin law was likely adopted to deal with marriages to minors. It couldn't have been a racial thing as Wisconsin is one of the relatively few states never to have had an anti-miscegenation statute.
posted by Area Man at 1:53 PM on May 22


(I picked Texas as a random example, just to be clear.)
posted by desjardins at 1:57 PM on May 22


The law is from 1915, so I'm guessing the original intent...

I think if one has to guess at the intent of a law it is a badly written law.
So, in this instance if they want to keep child brides illegal in WI (which sounds good) you pass a law that says, no matter what state you where wed in, WI will not recognize marriages between minors, or minors + adults. Ambiguous laws are bad all the way around, as this instance clearly illustrates.
posted by edgeways at 1:59 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


I don't think anyone thinks it's a good law, but every state has dozens of laws on the books that are old, outdated, unenforceable, unconstitutional, but no time to actually repeal* them.

*is repeal what you do to reverse a law? I don't know the verbiage.
posted by Think_Long at 2:15 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


Chrysostom: "Wednesday, four couples filed a federal challenge to Montana’s same-sex marriage ban, leaving just two states – North Dakota and South Dakota – entirely untouched by marriage equality legislation."

You posted too soon, now it's just North Dakota!
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Six couples filed a federal lawsuit Thursday seeking to block South Dakota's gay marriage ban, leaving North Dakota as the only state in the country with an unchallenged law prohibiting same-sex weddings.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:56 PM on May 22 [3 favorites]


WaPo: “There will be a case filed challenging North Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban,” says Joshua Newville, a Minneapolis-based civil rights attorney who filed a suit Thursday against South Dakota’s ban on behalf of same-sex couples there.

Newville is in talks with advocates and attorneys in North Dakota and confirmed that either he or another attorney will bring a lawsuit against that state’s ban within six to eight weeks.

posted by Chrysostom at 1:03 PM on May 28


Via Talking Points Memo: GOP Congressman Comes Out In Favor Of Marriage Equality.

"Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) on Wednesday announced his support for same-sex marriage.

"'Life is too short to have the force of government stand in the way of two adults whose pursuit of happiness includes marriage,' he said in a statement to the Washington Post."
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:10 PM on May 28


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