Gay Primary Source

Monday, October 13, 2014

Federal Court Strikes Down Ban on Same-Sex Marriage in Alaska

“... The Court finds that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage and refusal to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully entered in other states is unconstitutional as a deprivation of basic due process and equal protection principles under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution...

Alaska’s laws prohibiting same-sex marriage “usurp, disregard, and disrespect” the fundamental right of all homosexuals to choose who to marry; a right of liberty, privacy, and association freely given to heterosexuals...

...The basic principle is that “fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”...

...There is no sensible reason to deny same-sex families the same advantages and benefits already given to opposite-sex couples.

In sum, any relationship between Alaska’s same-sex marriage laws and the government interests asserted by Defendants is either nonexistent or purely speculative. Alaska’s same-sex marriage laws are a prime example of how “the varying treatment of different groups or persons is so unrelated to the achievement of any combination of legitimate purposes that we can only conclude that the legislature’s actions were irrational.” Refusing the rights and responsibilities afforded by legal marriage sends the public a government-sponsored message that same-sex couples and their familial relationships do not warrant the status, benefits, and dignity given to couples of the opposite sex. This Court finds that Alaska’s same-sex marriage laws violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment because no state interest provides “exceedingly persuasive justification” for the significant infringement of rights that they inflict upon homosexual individuals.


With this ruling, the Court hereby DECLARES that Alaska’s same-sex marriage laws are unconstitutional for violating the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court IMMEDIATELY ENJOINS the state of Alaska, including state officers, personnel, agents, government divisions, and other political entities, from enforcing Alaska Constitution Article 1,
Section 25 and Alaska Statute Sections 25.05.011 and 25.05.013 to the extent that the laws prohibit otherwise qualified same-sex couples from marriage and refusing to recognize lawful same-sex marriages entered in other states. IT IS SO ORDERED."

Judge Timothy M. Burgess, U.S. District Court, District of Alaska, October 12, 2014.

      click here to read entire decision

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Appeals Court Rules for Idaho and Nevada Same-Sex Marriage

"... private disapproval is a categorically inadequate justification for public injustice...

...Raising children is hard; marriage supports same-sex couples in parenting their children, just as it does opposite-sex couples...

...In extending the benefits of marriage only to people who have the capacity to procreate, while denying those same benefits to people who already have children, Idaho and Nevada materially harm and demean same-sex couples and their children...

Denying children resources and stigmatizing their families on this basis is “illogical and unjust.”... It is counterproductive, and it is unconstitutional...

...To allow same-sex couples to adopt children and then to label their families as second-class because the adoptive parents are of the same sex is cruel as well as unconstitutional. Classifying some families, and especially their children, as of lesser value should be repugnant to all those in this nation who profess to believe in “family values.”...

...Because defendants have failed to demonstrate that these laws further any legitimate purpose, they unjustifiably discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and are in violation of the Equal Protection Clause...

...When same-sex couples are married, just as when opposite-sex couples are married, they serve as models of loving commitment to all.

The judgment of the district court in Latta v. Otter is AFFIRMED. The judgment of the district court in Sevcik v. Sandoval is REVERSED, and the case is REMANDED to the district court for the prompt issuance of an injunction permanently enjoining the state, its political subdivisions, and its officers, employees, and agents, from enforcing any constitutional provision, statute, regulation or policy preventing otherwise qualified same-sex couples from marrying, or denying recognition to marriages celebrated in other jurisdictions which, if the spouses were not of the same sex, would be valid under the laws of the state."

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, October 7, 2014.

         click here to read entire decision


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Virginia Governor Issues Executive Order for Full Equality

"The highest priority of state government should be to guarantee every person’s right to live, learn, work, and do business, regardless of their race, gender, creed or sexual orientation. This principle guided my first act as Governor when I signed Executive Order #1 banning discrimination in the state workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This principle also guided the Virginia leaders, advocates and allies who fought for marriage equality and won when the Supreme Court declined to review the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Bostic v. Schaefer. Same-sex marriage is now legal in Virginia. This is a historic and long overdue moment for our Commonwealth and our country.

The decision has opened new doors to my administration’s guiding principle of equality. An open and welcoming environment is imperative to grow as a Commonwealth, and to build a new Virginia economy that will attract vital businesses, innovative entrepreneurs, and thriving families.

On issues ranging from recognizing same-sex marriages to extending health care benefits to same-sex spouses of state employees, state government is already well-prepared to implement this landmark decision. My administration will act quickly to continue to bring all of our policies and practices into compliance so that we can give married same-sex couples the full array of benefits they deserve.

Pursuant to the authority vested in me as the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth, and pursuant to Article V of the Constitution and the laws of Virginia, I hereby order, effective immediately, that all entities in the executive branch, including agencies, authorities, commissions, departments, and all institutions of higher education further evaluate all policies and take all necessary and appropriate legal measures to comply with this decision.

In addition, the Director of the Department of Human Resource Management shall notify all state agencies that employees whose same-sex marriage is recognized as legal in the Commonwealth, and who are eligible, may enroll their spouse and eligible dependents in the health benefits program for state employees within sixty (60) days of marriage.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Executive Order #30, October 7, 2014.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Governor Lauds Final Same-Sex Marriage Outcome in Virginia

This is a historic and long overdue moment for our Commonwealth and our country. On issues ranging from recognizing same-sex marriages to extending health care benefits to same-sex spouses of state employees, Virginia is already well-prepared to implement this historic decision. Going forward we will act quickly to continue to bring all of our policies and practices into compliance so that we can give marriages between same-sex partners the full faith and credit they deserve.

I applaud all of the Virginians who gave so much time and effort in the fight for equality, and congratulate my friend Attorney General Mark Herring on this important victory for justice and equal treatment under the law.

Equality for all men and women regardless of their race, color, creed or sexual orientation is intrinsic to the values that make us Virginians, and now it is officially inscribed in our laws as well.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari in the case that overturned Virginia’s ban on gay marriages, October 6, 2014.

Missouri AG Won't Appeal Marriage Ruling

"The circuit court's judgment in Barrier v. Vasterling held that Missouri must recognize marriages lawfully entered into in other states. We will not appeal that judgment. Our national government is founded upon principles of federalism – a system that empowers Missouri to set policy for itself, but also obligates us to honor contracts entered into in other states.

A consequence of this morning's ruling by the United States Supreme Court is that gay marriage will soon be legal in as many as 30 states. At a time when Missouri is competing to attract the nation's premier businesses and most talented employees, we should not demand that certain individuals surrender their marriage licenses in order to live and work among us.

Missouri's future will be one of inclusion, not exclusion."

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, October 6, 2014.