US: Arkansas couples ask federal judge to strike down state’s same-sex marriage ban

Arkansas attorneys for two same sex couples have asked a federal judge to rule on the state’s same-sex marriage ban Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

Attorneys for two same-sex couples asked an Arkansas federal judge Wednesday to order the striking down of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The attorneys requested a summary judgment, asking US District Judge Kristine Baker to rule the state’s constitutional amendment which outlaws same-sex marriage, and any other related laws, unconstitutional.

The lawsuit filed by the couples against the state was submitted last year before the state’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down, only to be reinstated.

On 9 May 2014, Judge Chris Piazza found that the state’s ban was unconstitutional, stating it was

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US: ACLU asks federal government to recognise Indiana same-sex marriages

The ACLU has asked Eric Holder to issue a statement for Indiana same-sex couples married in June Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

The American Civil Liberties Union has asked US Attorney General Eric Holder to issue a statement saying the federal government will recognise Indiana same-sex marriages done before a federal appeals court stayed the striking down of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

A statement by Holder would make same-sex couples married in the state before the stay was put in place eligible for federal benefits granted to other married couples.

Holder has issued similar statements for both Utah and Michigan in the presence of similar stays to their marriage bans.

In a letter mailed to the attorney general’s office Friday, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana Ken Falk said:

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US: Federal court rejects attempt to appeal against equal marriage in Pennsylvania

Theresa Santai-Gaffney is attempting to appeal the ruling Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Share on WhatsApp 3 reader comments

An appeals court has rejected a county clerk’s attempt to appeal against same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Pennsylvania following a ruling by Judge John Jones on May 20.

It was cemented as law when the state’s Governor, Tom Corbett, refused to appeal, alongside the Attorney General.

Despite the law already being in effect, Schuylkill County clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney had earlier this month sought permission to file an appeal, claiming that she had standing to appeal as the ruling had made the scope of her duties unclear.

As the deadline for any potential appeals has now passed, Santai-Gaffney’s appeal is now the last stand of opponents of marriage equality in the state.

Judge Jones found against her last month, ruling that her

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US: Federal appeals court rejects appeal attempt by county clerk against same-sex marriage

The request was rejected by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

A federal appeals court has rejected an attempt by a county clerk to appeal a ruling which made same-sex marriage possible in Pennsylvania.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Pennsylvania following a ruling by Judge John Jones on May 20.

It was cemented as law when the state’s Governor, Tom Corbett, refused to appeal, alongside the Attorney General.

A Pennsylvania judge in June rejected an attempt by Schuylkill County Orphans Court Clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney to appeal against the ruling.

Now the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals has also rejected the request to appeal.

Santai-Gaffney now says she intends to appeal to the US Supreme Court.

In his original ruling striking down the same-sex marriage ban, Judge Jones wrote:

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Texas Senators Pick Gay Judicial Nominee For Federal Court Seat

WASHINGTON — Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are finally moving forward with filling judicial vacancies in their state, and one of their picks is an openly gay U.S. attorney.

President Barack Obama announced three Texas judicial nominees on Thursday, including Robert Pitman to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Pitman made history in 2011 when he became the first openly gay U.S. attorney in Texas. If confirmed by the Senate, Pitman will make history again as the first openly gay federal judge in the state.

Cornyn and then-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) recommended Pitman for his current U.S. attorney post, despite opposition from social conservatives. This time around, Cornyn and Cruz, who aren’t exactly stalwarts on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, are backing him for the federal bench.

“Sen. Cornyn sent these nominees to the White House and spoke to each one yesterday. He looks forward to their confirmation hearings,” said Cornyn spokeswoman Megan Mitchell.

A request for comment from Cruz’s office was not returned.

It’s notable that the Texas senators are moving forward with three nominees, but that makes only a small dent in the state’s judicial vacancy crisis. Texas still has eight vacant court seats — the most of any state — that have no nominees in the queue. On top of that, three more federal judges have announced plans to retire or take senior status.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the three nominations are “an important step” in filling out Texas’ courts and said to expect another batch of diverse nominees in the fall.

“We share the Democratic congressional delegation’s commitment to ensuring that the judiciary resembles the nation it serves,” Schultz said. “We also appreciate the support of Sens. Cornyn and Cruz as we work cooperatively to fill these important vacancies.”

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