Speed Read: ‘Reasoned consideration’
SIXTH CIRCUIT STAYS MICHIGAN: The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a stay at 5 p.m. Saturday of a district court decision Friday that struck down Michigan’s ban on same-sex couples marrying, but hundreds of couples had already married by that time. The appeals court indicated the stay would remain in place until Wednesday, March 26, so there could be “a more reasoned consideration of the motion to stay.” Briefs from the plaintiffs’ attorneys are due Tuesday. Read full story.
COUPLES MARRIED IN MICHIGAN: Michigan’s first marriage of a same-sex couple took place just after 8 a.m. Saturday morning in Mason, just south of Lansing, Michigan. The couple was Marsha Caspar and Glenna DeJong, both in their 50s, who have been together for 27 years. The Detroit Free Press reported that at least four other counties had hours on Saturday and issued an estimated 300 marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In Oakland County, the paper said, a line stretched out the door when the office opened at 9 a.m., and marriages were being performed in auditoriums and hallways. About 100 of those couples were able to marry before the Sixth Circuit issued its stay.
OREGON IS ‘PREPARED’: Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a brief last week saying “the state is prepared to implement” a ruling that the state ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. Such a ruling has not yet been made in Oregon, and Rosenblum announced last month that she could not defend the constitutionality of the ban in federal district court in Geiger v. Kitzhaber. Rosenblum’s brief last week said “Oregon’s interest in stable opposite-sex couples would not be affected by same-sex marriages and therefore does not provide any justification for the ban.” But she said it should be left to the legislature to determine whether existing domestic partnerships are to be automatically transformed into marriages.
GAY SPEAKER RESIGNS FOLLOWING RAID: The openly gay speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, Gordon Fox, abruptly resigned his leadership position Saturday following a raid by state and federal investigators on his home and State House office Friday. The subject of the investigation has yet to be disclosed. The Providence Journal reported Saturday night that federal and state police agents with search warrants entered Fox’s home and State House office Friday and took away “boxes of evidence.” Read more.
BIDEN SETS THE BAR: As the 2016 presidential primaries begin to creep into view on the political horizon, Vice President Joe Biden sounded well prepared to take on all comers for the LGBT vote Saturday night. Speaking to an audience of one thousand people at a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser in Los Angeles, Biden reminded the crowd of his remarks on Meet the Press in 2012 which many believe led President Obama to announce his support for same-sex couples marrying much sooner than he had planned. He also prodded Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and denounced draconian laws and practices in Russia and African countries. And he praised the LGBT community for its efforts in standing up for and demanding equal rights. “Many of you paid a personal and professional price for stepping up and speaking out,” said Biden, but the effort has “bent the moral arc of this nation.”
GAY CANDIDATE SNUBS GOP CON-FAB: Massachusetts Republican Congressional candidate Richard Tisei took the unusual tact Saturday of snubbing his state party convention. Tisei said he decision was in protest of the party’s platform, including its support of “traditional marriage.” Tisei is making a second bid to unseat Democratic incumbent U.S. House Rep. John Tierney. Tisei lost to Tierney in 2012 by less than one percentage point.
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