Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Preview: Supreme Court argument April 28
by Lisa Keen

This article shared 3437 times since Mon Apr 20, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

When the Supreme Court of the United States hears arguments next Tuesday about marriage for same-sex couples, there is much more on the line than whether states can ban the licensing and recognition of marriage for same-sex couples. The court could also decide what level of judicial scrutiny must be applied to laws that seek to disadvantage LGBT people. At a time when some states are seeking to pass laws that enable people to discriminate by simply expressing a "religious" motivation, such a ruling could have far-reaching implications. And even beyond the law, a ruling that allowed discrimination against LGBT people under some circumstances or in some places could stall momentum that has been clearly building in favor of greater acceptance of LGBT people and their families.

To help readers prep for the April 28 argument and the crush of media reporting on the case, the following is a quick guide to the issues, the attorneys, and what to listen for:

When: Tuesday, April 28, from 10 a.m. EDT. The oral arguments are not broadcast, but there will be many television and radio news outlets reporting on the arguments as soon as they are completed at 12:30 p.m. An audio recording and transcript of the arguments will be available on the Supreme Court's website by 2 p.m.

Case name: The appeal being heard is a consolidation of four cases, Obergefell v. Hodges ( Case No. 14-556 ) from Ohio; Tanco v. Haslam ( Case No. 14-562 ) from Tennessee; DeBoer v. Snyder ( Case No. 14-571 ) from Michigan; and Bourke v. Beshear ( Case No. 14-574 ) from Kentucky.

Issue in play: Whether states can discriminate against same-sex couples in the licensing and recognition of marriage.

Questions posed by the court: The court broke the issue into two questions: Question 1: Does the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? Question 2: Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Petitioners bringing the appeal: There are 28 plaintiffs ( called "petitioners" when appealing to the Supreme Court ) from four states. The Michigan case arose when a lesbian couple sought to adopt children together but were prevented from doing so because that state's law allows only married persons to adopt children. The Ohio lawsuit involves 12 plaintiffs denied rights in three different circumstances: while seeking a death certificate that identified the deceased's spouse, while seeking a birth certificate that listed both legal parents, and seeking recognition of marriage licenses obtained in other states. The Tennessee lawsuit was brought by three same-sex couples who married while living in other states, then moved to Tennessee. And the Kentucky lawsuit was filed on behalf of four same-sex couples married in other states who sought recognition from Kentucky.

States defending the bans: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. They are among the 13 states that still enforce bans against same-sex marriage. But if the bans are upheld, another 10 states would likely re-start enforcement of bans that have been struck by other circuits.

Attorneys arguing Question 1:

For same-sex couple plaintiffs: Mary Bonauto, civil rights director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. Bonauto led the successful lawsuit that established the right to marry for same-sex couples in Massachusetts, the first state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This is her first time arguing before the Supreme Court. ( She has 30 minutes )

For the United States: U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli is expected to present the U.S.'s position against state bans on same-sex marriage. In 2013, Verrilli argued against the Defense of Marriage Act in U.S. v. Windsor and against California's ban on same-sex marriage in Hollingsworth v. Perry. ( 15 minutes )

For states seeking to retain the bans: Joseph Whalen is one of two associate solicitors general for Tennessee. Whalen argued for Tennessee's ban before the Sixth Circuit, saying it is rational to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples because only opposite-sex couples can procreate accidentally. This is his first time arguing before the Supreme Court. ( 45 minutes )

Attorneys arguing Question 2:

For same-sex couple plaintiffs: Douglas Hallward-Driermeier, partner at prominent conservative-leaning Ropes & Gray and head of its Supreme Court practice. He served as Assistant to Republican Solicitor General Paul Clement during the administration of President George W. Bush and handled Supreme Court litigation for the U.S. Department of Justice. An article in the Journal of Law for Emory University School of Law said Hallward-Driemeier ranked 26th among the most frequent Supreme Court advocates between 2000 and 2012, having argued 13 cases. ( 30 minutes )

For states seeking to retain the bans: John Bursch, special assistant attorney general and former solicitor general of Michigan. Bursch did not argue the case before the Sixth Circuit. Michigan's primary argument has been that the democratic process allows "the people get to decide what marriage is." Bursch has argued eight cases before the Supreme Court and is fond of bow ties. ( 30 minutes )

History behind the appeal: In early June 2013, only 12 states had paved the way for same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. On June 26 of that year, the high court made that 13 by letting stand a Ninth Circuit ruling against California's ban. It did not rule whether California's ban was unconstitutional; it ruled only that the party who brought an appeal seeking to defend the ban did not have legal standing to do so. That prompted marriage equality supporters to file lawsuits in every other state that had a ban, with the aim of putting another case in front of the Supreme Court seeking a ruling on merits.

Four federal appeals courts ruled that the state bans are unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court declined to hear those appeals last fall. But then one circuit, the Sixth Circuit, ruled the bans to be constitutional, and that essentially forced the Supreme Court to step in and resolve the conflict among the appeals courts.

What are the stakes? The decision in this case has the potential to reach far beyond marriage in two ways. First, if equal protection applies to same-sex couples under marriage laws, then LGBT people could presumably rely on existing laws for equal protection in other arenas, including employment, public accommodations, and adoption. And, second, in deciding this case, the court dictate what level of judicial scrutiny all courts must apply to laws that discriminate against people based on sexual orientation. The argument brief submitted by Verrilli and the Department of Justice urges the court to use "heightened scrutiny," an intermediate level of judicial review that is easier to meet than "strict scrutiny," but much more difficult to satisfy than mere "rational" review, which most courts use now.

This article shared 3437 times since Mon Apr 20, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

WORLD Japanese poll, Sydney Mardi Gras, mpox, rugby study, soccer player 2023-02-19
- Sixty-four percent of respondents to a Kyodo News poll believe same-sex marriage should be recognized in Japan, the media outlet noted. In the telephone survey, 88.4% also said recent remarks hostile to LGBTQ+ people by a ...

Gay News

Gay Calif. lawmakers introduce Prop 8 repeal 2023-02-14
- On Valentine's Day, two gay California lawmakers introduced a constitutional amendment to repeal Prop 8—the state's same-sex marriage ban that remains on the books despite being ruled unconstitutional years ago, according to The Bay Area Repo ...

Gay News

WORLD Church of England, Japanese officials, Hong Kong ruling, drag kings 2023-02-11
- The Church of England has voted to bless same-sex marriages for the first time in its history; however, its ban on conducting ceremonies will stay in place, PinkNews reported. It was approved after a six-year consultation ...

Gay News

WORLD Indian marches, delegation in Cuba, anti-LGBTQ+ investigation 2023-01-15
- Hundreds of people took part in the first Delhi Queer Pride march in three years as pressure grows for legal recognition of same-sex marriage in India, The Manila Times noted. In March, the South Asian's top ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Testifying in D.C., Brittney Griner, marriage law, school policies 2022-12-18
- WARNING: This week's news contains graphic content. Survivors of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs that killed five people and injured approximately 20 others joined GLAAD and other advocates in providing testimony before the House ...

Gay News

Cook County's Kevin Morrison attends signing of Respect for Marriage Act at the White House 2022-12-13
-- From a press release - Washington D.C. — December 13thth 2022 — Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison attended the signing of the historic Respect for Marriage Act recently passed by both chambers of congress. The bill guarantees the federal rights ...

Gay News

With President Biden's signature, Respect for Marriage Act is law 2022-12-13
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — celebrated today as President Biden signed the Respect ...

Gay News

President Biden signs Respect for Marriage Act into law; groups and leaders respond 2022-12-13
-- From press releases - In response to President Biden signing the Respect for Marriage Act into law, groups and leaders release statements. ...

Gay News

Respect for Marriage Act passage important step but not equity says LGBTQIA+/ally Catholic group 2022-12-09
-- From a press release - Dec. 8, 2022. DignityUSA, the nation's foremost organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in our church and society, is pleased that both houses of Congress have now passed the ...

Gay News

Groups and leaders celebrate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act 2022-12-08
-- From press releases - U.S. Representative Mike Quigley: Washington, D.C.— Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Vice-Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, released the following statement celebrating the passage of ...

Gay News

Congress passes Respect for Marriage Act, sends to President Biden for signature 2022-12-08
-- From a press release. Video below - (New York, NY - December 8, 2022) — GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. ...

Gay News

WORLD Japan ruling, Kenya groups, World Cup, Almodovar 2022-12-04
Video below - A district court in the Tokyo Prefecture ruled that Japan's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is legal, according to The Washington Blade. In a statement to Reuters, plaintiffs' attorney Nobuhito Sawasaki said, "This is actually a ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Trans officials, marriage equality, Karl Schmid, Pelosi, Buttigieg 2022-12-04
Video below - Once all of the newly elected officials are seated, there will be nine transgender state legislators (up from eight this year) and nine non-binary state legislators across the country, NBC News noted, citing The Victory Institute. ...

Gay News

Landmark step toward equality: Senate passes bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act 2022-11-29
-- From press releases - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — today celebrated the bipartisan passage of the Respect ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Respect for Marriage Act, lesbian judge, gay official resigns 2022-11-20
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said that debate on the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) is suspended and will continue on Nov. 28, when the Senate reconvenes after Thanksgiving, LGBTQ Nation reported. The RFMA ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.