Tennessee Judge Ignores Supreme Court, Rules Parental Rights Apply Only To ‘Husbands’

by JOSH ISRAEL – Last June, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its historic Obergefell ruling, bringing marriage equality to every part of the nation. But on Friday, a Tennessee judge decided that the protections need not apply in his courtroom, refusing to recognize the parental rights of a mother in a same-sex divorce case because she is not the biological parent. Though Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion held that no state may discriminate against same-sex couples in the licensing and recognition of marriage — and the rights and responsibilities that accompany it — the case included a specific challenge to Tennessee’s same-sex marriage ban. “Excluding same-sex couples from marriage thus conflicts with a central premise of the right to marry,” Kennedy wrote. “Without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser. They also suffer the significant...

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What the Supreme Court Decision Means for Gay Marriage

by David Masci – Click to view an interactive map detailing how state policies on same-sex marriage have changed over time. The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected requests to review lower court decisions that overturned bans on same-sex marriage in five states: Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. By denying these requests, the court effectively legalized gay marriage in these states. The lower court rulings had been on hold until the Supreme Court weighed in, but soon after the high court’s decision was made known, a number of states, including Virginia and Wisconsin, announced that gay and lesbian couples would be able to marry almost immediately. While today’s decision settles the issue in some states, it has not ended the battle over same-sex marriage. Here is an explainer of today’s news and its possible impact. Has the Supreme Court approved same-sex marriage across the country? No, it hasn’t. When the...

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For First Time, Census Data on Married Couples Includes Same-Sex Spouses

by D’Vera Cohn – The Census Bureau released new data today that for the first time counted same-sex spouses along with all other married couples in its largest household survey, which, despite the new additions, showed no reversal in the long-term national decline in marriage. The share of Americans ages 18 and older who are currently married inched downward in 2013, to 50.3%, compared with 50.5% in 2012, according to Pew Research Center calculations from the 2013 American Community Survey. The Census Bureau did not supply a breakout of the number of same-sex married couples in this round of data, but in 2012, the bureau estimated there were 182,000 households headed by same-sex married couples, compared with 56 million headed by opposite-sex married couples. In the past, if two people of the same gender said they were married, the Census Bureau reclassified them as cohabiting partners. Because there are relatively...

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Florida Plaintiffs in Marriage Equality Case Request The Case Go Directly To Florida Supreme Court

  by librarisingnsf – Florida’s AG Pam Bondi has already appealed the Monroe County (the Keys) marriage equality case to the State Appeals Court for the Third District. And, now the plaintiffs in the case are requesting that appeals court to allow the case to pass through and be heard next at the Florida Supreme Court. On June 17, Judge Garcia ruled that Florida’s ban on marriages of same-sex couples was unconstitutional (in this case) From the Miami Herald: Lawyers for two Monroe County men who won the right to marry asked an appeals court Monday to move the case directly to Florida’s Supreme Court.“The constitutionality of Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage is an issue of great public importance that has a great effect on the proper administration of justice throughout the state,” lawyers Bernadette Restivo and Elena Vigil-Fariñas, who represent Key West bartenders Aaron Huntsman and William...

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