Judge challenges gay marriage ban

Same-sex unions at stake in Oklahoma
Associated Press
Apr 19, 2014

 

A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

U.S. Circuit Judge Jerome Holmes is seen as the swing vote on the three-judge panel that heard the Oklahoma appeal and a similar case from Utah last week.

The two cases are the first to reach an appellate court since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Since then, gay rights lawyers have successfully convinced eight federal judges that the ruling means courts must strike down laws against gay marriage because they deprive same-sex couples of a fundamental right.

During Thursday’s hearing before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel, Holmes suggested he interpreted the Supreme Court’s ruling the same way.

“The state cannot define marriage in any way that would trample constitutional rights, right?” Holmes asked Jim Campbell, the attorney representing the defendant in the case, the Tulsa County clerk.

Campbell contended the court must defer to the democratic process if there is a rational reason for the state to choose who can marry and who cannot.

“The natural, procreative potential of opposite-sex couples distinguishes that group from same-sex couples” Campbell said.

With one judge strongly hinting he supported the lower court rulings that struck down the Oklahoma and Utah bans, and another appearing skeptical of them, all eyes were on Holmes to see where the panel might come down. Holmes last week said that if the yardstick is whether the state has a rational reason to single out gay couples, the same-sex plaintiffs would lose. But if the standard was any higher, they would win.

On Thursday, the judges spent most of their time either questioning Campbell or debating whether the plaintiffs sued the correct person and had legal standing for the court to intervene. The case has taken 10 years to reach this point, partly because another 10th Circuit panel in 2009 ruled the plaintiffs incorrectly sued the governor and attorney general and directed them to name a different party. The plaintiffs then sued the county clerk who denied them a marriage license.

The panel allowed the hearing to run 13 minutes over its 30-minute limit so it could further question Campbell on his arguments.

Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved that state’s gay marriage ban in 2004. A federal judge in January ruled the ban violated the constitutional rights of gays, triggering the appeal. That is almost identical to the Utah case, in which a federal judge struck down that state’s 2004 voter-approved gay marriage ban in December.

Legal experts say the Oklahoma and Utah cases are almost identical, though Utah does not have the same standing issues as Oklahoma. The justices’ decision likely will pivot on the level of deference they believe a court should give voters to deny a group of people the ability to marry.

Comments

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Our Judge has already made His ruling quite clear.

When Jesus quoted Genesis 1:27, He affirmed marriage is a union of a man and a woman and that God is the One who joins men and women together in marriage.

44846GWP

Were you there?

coasterfan

You actually think Jesus quoted Genesis?

Stop It

Anyone who quotes Genesis believes in fairy tales.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Jesus quoted from Genesis. He also quoted from Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Daniel, Hosea, Micah, Malachi…

Stop It

And that means what to me? You can keep your god under this new plan.

ladydye_5

YOUR judge...I have never been in front of a judge. Never been to court.

From the Grave

Do you think there were gay dinosaurs?

Justwow

That is gay

JACKEL

I went to a party and everyone one was gay! No one packed or licked though ! Wait until that congressman comes riding in on his sheep !

rbenn

Everyday the rainbow gazette keeps pushing the fruitloop agenda. Its getting old

coasterfan

Wrong. They are simply reporting a newsworthy event. You must have them confused with Fox News, a biased news outlet known for only reporting news that aligns with their rightwing political viewpoint.

Note: stories about gay rights will remain newsworthy as long as social Neanderthals such as yourself continue to fight their attempts to gain equal rights. You ensure that it stays in the news - I wonder if you have figured that out yet?

Donegan

Just think if they reported on Hillary losing 6 Billion or the fact that the Democrats have no option to blame for the next election. That might be more interesting than a civil right that was denied to those from the last democrat president.
Libertarians have a statute since 1972 about gay rights, they have all of them.

wasthere

Vs. news channels that skirt anything controversial to this administration. Typical liberal thinking from coaster......you libs are afraid of anyone having an opinion different than yours.

KURTje

ekoj: How many pianos did Liberace have? No one knows, but we do know he had organs up the a**.

44846GWP

Guess he had something in common with your mother.

Stop It

lol...

huronguy2

unnatural and disgusting! if it was natural our bodies would be built for it and would be reproductive, it is not and nasty! for the people who live and agree with this lifestyle are perverts. your so morally bankrupt you can't even see what's wrong with this. but then again libs love killing babies everyday but fight for criminals not to be executed! I wish they would just slice this country down the middle and let libs and conservs each have a half, we already know which side would have the highest crime rate.

From the Grave

What happens when you disagree with one of your conservative friends in your half of the country? Are you going to divide in half again? You'll end up dividing so many times that you'll find yourself all alone in your own little world. That should make you happy.

Buggers78

Wow... Hateful much?!? I guess your half of the country would most definitely be the one with most crime! I am far from a pervert or morally bankrupt! I do not agree with abortion (I would personally never have one) and I would be sad if someone had one when there are so many options out there and people that want to adopt, but again it is not MY body so therefore I really don't have a say in the matter. I have no problem with the death penalty either! I work hard and pay taxes so I'm a little bitter about my money housing people that will never be rehabilitated! So I guess the moral of my rant is that, you are a very closed minded ignorant person. I don't need to know how many degrees you have earned from whatever fancy college you have gone to either, because education doesn't make you less ignorant! I feel sorry for your family if they were raised with this hate!

paws4thought

If gay "marriage" can be recognized as being legal, then so can multiple spouses, incestuous marriage and marriage to non-human entities. No one ever considers the unintended consequences. For thousands of years, marriage was only between a man and a woman but to some, that's not good enough any more. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

The Big Dog's back

Why would you lump gays in with that?

JMOP

Paws is right. If the law will allow gays to marry, plural, and incest marriage are not far behind.

If it's simply about equality, no group should be denied right?

KURTje

See...no tolerance. Remember what Mandela said.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Truth or tolerance, that is the question. Truth is the answer.

Call me intolerant. I’ll wear that label like a badge of honor. We should never tolerate that which is wrong or that which is evil. Not only should we be intolerant of immorality, if you are a Bible-believing Christian, you know that we should even hate it. Romans 12:9: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

I serve a loving, intolerant God. Tolerance is the virtue of a man without principles. The word tolerance has degenerated into a synonym for compromise. We must not tolerate beliefs or lifestyles which are false and which will lead us away from truth.

Love the sinner, hate the sin. Are you unwilling to take a stand for God’s Word because you are concerned with what people will think about you? As Christians, God expects and commands us to stand against the evil in this world.

44846GWP

At least you know what people think of you. It must be a sad life, but you bring it on yourself. I don't know you, and yet if you dropped dead I wouldn't care. I got no time for ignorant fools.

KURTje

Clearly your agenda is paramount & you will not tolerate others. Blessed to be born a werewolf.

OSUBuckeye59

As long as our state and federal governments continue to define what is a "marriage", we will continue to have a problem. Let the States and the Fed define what is a legal union and let each Religion define what is a Marriage.