“After years of struggle and the dedicated work of thousands across the movement, we are finally within sight of the day when same-sex couples across the country will be able to share equally in the joys, protections and responsibilities of marriage.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit heard oral arguments in Robicheaux v. Caldwell, the appeal challenging Louisiana’s discriminatory marriage ban. The appeal was brought by Forum For Equality Louisiana and seven same-sex Louisiana couples represented by Lambda Legal and New Orleans Attorneys Dalton Courson, Lesli Harris, Scott Spivey and Richard Perque.
Lambda Legal announced that Douglas Hammett-Lair (Doug) started receiving spousal survivor benefits after CNA Financial Corporation amended its retirement plan to allow many surviving same-sex spouses to receive benefits. The change came after Lambda Legal and private counsel Louis Ascherman urged CNA to grant spousal benefits to same-sex couples together for years, if not decades, but only recently able to marry due to discriminatory marriage exclusions.
Today Lambda Legal, the ACLU and private firm Gerhardstein & Branch filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ aberrant ruling upholding discriminatory bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples in Ohio and three other states.
Today, the U. S. District Court for the District of South Carolina struck down South Carolina’s ban on marriages for same-sex couples as unconstitutional, paving the way for same-sex couples across the state to marry.
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.