Yesterday, over a strenuous dissent, two Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals judges upheld discriminatory bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, becoming the first federal circuit court after the Supreme Court’s watershed 2013 Windsor ruling to uphold such bans and departing from recent decisions from the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits.
Today the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld as constitutional bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, becoming the first federal circuit court after the Supreme Court’s watershed 2013 Windsor ruling to uphold such bans and departing from recent decisions from the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits.
Many of us were surprised when the Supreme Court on October 6 declined to accept any of the seven pending petitions seeking further review of federal appeals court decisions that had struck down laws denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry in Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana, Wisconsin and Virginia. By rejecting those petitions, the decisions became final and same-sex couples in those states are now marrying. Quickly, several states that fall geographically within the same three federal appellate districts (Colorado, North Carolina and West Virginia) followed suit and struck their existing marriage bans, and a federal district judge soon compelled Wyoming to do likewise. The two remaining states in those districts — Kansas and South Carolina — are resisting complying with the federal mandate, and court cases, including one filed by Lambda Legal in South Carolina, are proceeding to secure compliance.
Today, Lambda Legal filed a notice of appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Conde-Vidal v. Garcia-Padilla, after the U. S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico dismissed the lawsuit seeking to end the Commonwealth’s discriminatory ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
Late yesterday Lambda Legal, in partnership with South Carolina Equality, filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and for summary judgment asking the U. S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to rule swiftly and strike down South Carolina’s discriminatory ban denying same-sex couples in the state the freedom to marry.
Today Lambda Legal filed suit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of Kathy Murphy, a Texas widow denied spousal benefits after the death of her wife, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (the National Committee), arguing that denying Social Security benefits to same-sex spouses because they live in states that discriminate against their marriages violates the U.S. Constitution.
Today Lambda Legal, in partnership with South Carolina Equality, filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court of South Carolina arguing that South Carolina is obligated to allow same-sex couples to marry.