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    gay marriage Tag

    The PBS cartoon Arthur is shockingly entering its 22nd season as one of the longest continuously running children's shows on television. For those of you who didn't grow up with it or aren't being forced to watch PBS Kids regularly, the show is effectively a series of moral lessons about a group of kids growing up and handling different life events such as bullying, medical problems, friends moving away and how to deal with them. It's a very gentle show and appropriate viewing material for young children.

    The UK Supreme Court has ruled in favor of two Christian bakers who refused to bake a cake iced with the slogan "support gay marriage." In a unanimous ruling, the five member Supreme Court bench reversed the previous rulings, upholding a business owners' right to freedom of expression and conscience.

    "This court has held that nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe,” court president Brenda Hale said.

    As the left loses its collective mind over immigration, President Donald Trump has decided to keep President Barack Obama's executive order that protects the LGBTQ community in the workplace. From The New York Post:
    “President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a Tuesday morning statement.

    Alabama was at the center of much national discussion concerning same-sex "marriage," and at the center of much of that was Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.  Moore first came to national attention regarding a Ten Commandments monument and was removed from office as a result.  He ran for and won reelection and now has again been suspended for the entirety of his remaining term.  This time, however, he will be unable to run for reelection because he is over the Alabama state age requirement. AL.com reports:
    Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended from the bench for telling probate judges to defy federal orders regarding gay marriage. It's the second time Moore has been removed from the chief justice job for defiance of federal courts - the first time in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building. The Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ) issued the order Friday suspending Moore from the bench for the remainder of his term after an unanimous vote of the nine-member court.

    NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has his problems, including a probe into alleged campaign fundraising improprieties. So what did he do? Pick-a-Fight with Chick-fil-A. Via BizPac Review (h/t Bo Snerdly):
    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a boycott of popular restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, presumably for its founder, Dan Cathy’s, past public statements supporting traditional marriage.

    In December 2013, we reported on how a Utah federal judge strikes down key part of anti-polygamy law in a challenge by the  Brown family of "Sister Wives" TV fame:
    The legalization of polygamy followed logically from the legal arguments against one man-one woman, as was predicted not just by me, but also by Professor Martha Nussbaum, one of the leading legal advocates for gay marriage, “Polygamy would have to be permitted.” And it’s coming true in a small step, as a federal court in Utah, while not holding that polygamists were entitled to state-sanctioned civil marriage, nonetheless struck portions of Utah’s anti-polygamy laws banning polygamous “cohabitation” and polygamous “purported” marriages. The full decision is embedded at the bottom of the post....

    When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that there was a right under the Fourteenth Amendment to gay marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, this meant that the marriage laws in each of the states had to be interpreted without discriminating against same-sex couples. As I wrote here last month, "[f]or gay couples living in a state that allows common-law marriage, especially those states that did not allow gay marriage prior to the Obergefell decision, they may find themselves meeting their state’s definition of a common-law marriage." Now, this has become a reality. A judge in Texas has issued a ruling recognizing a same-sex common-law marriage.  

    Key issue: Did the couple hold themselves out to the public as married?

      In most cases where the court is attempting to determine if a common-law marriage exists, the key legal inquiry is whether the couple had held themselves out to the public as married. With many gay couples having wedding celebrations even before their states legally recognized them, and calling each other "husband and husband" or "wife and wife," that certainly seems likely to meet the standard to establish a common-law marriage. That was the reasoning used by Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman earlier this week, finding that two Austin women were in a common-law marriage. As the Austin American-Statesman reported, Stella Powell and Sonemaly Phrasavath began dating in 2006. In 2008, they had a wedding ceremony performed by a Zen Buddhist priest even though Texas did not recognize gay marriage at that time. Powell and Phrasavath also "lived openly as spouses in a Northwest Austin home," according to the Statesman, until Powell passed away from cancer in 2014.

    Pope Francis' tour of the U.S. turned normal alignments upside down. Liberals -- who spare no effort to denigrate the Catholic Church -- all of the sudden found the Pope's progressive economic and immigration pronouncements to be just dreamy. At brunch on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in Brooklyn, kind words were spoken in the same sentence as "Pope" and "Catholic." Eyes did not roll. We can now return to the prior alignment of the political universe. The Pope met secretly with Kim Davis, via NY Times:
    Pope Francis met privately in Washington last week with Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who defied a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a Vatican spokesman confirmed on Wednesday. Ms. Davis, the clerk in Rowan County, has been at the center of a nationwide controversy over whether government employees and private businesses have a legal right to refuse to serve same-sex couples. She spent five days in jail for disobeying a federal court order to issue the licenses. On Tuesday night, her lawyer, Mathew D. Staver, said in a telephone interview that Ms. Davis and her husband, Joe, were sneaked into the Vatican Embassy by car on Thursday afternoon. Francis gave her rosaries and told her to “stay strong,” the lawyer said. The couple met for about 15 minutes with the pope, who was accompanied by security guards, aides and photographers. Mr. Staver said he expected to receive photographs of the meeting from the Vatican soon. On Wednesday, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed that the meeting took place, but he declined to elaborate. “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no other comments to add,” he said.

    A wedding is not just two people exchanging rings; it is an entanglement of their personal, legal, and business affairs. For better or for worse, marriage affects a broad and substantial list of rights involving inheritance, property, child custody, and more. Now that gay marriage is legal in all fifty states, both the people involved in gay relationships and the legislators drafting the laws that govern all these rights need to carefully analyze the issues presented. The issues involved are beyond whether one is in favor or opposed to gay marriage. When the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to say that gay marriage was a constitutional right in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, many who were opposed to the decision worried about the possible consequences for religious liberty and states' rights. As it turns out, those who cheered the decision may have their own reasons to worry. The Law of Unintended Consequences plays no favorites, and the Obergefell decision may create headaches for gay couples, especially in common-law marriage states.

    Background on common-law marriage

    Common-law marriage functions to create the legal relationship of marriage even though the two spouses have not completed the formal procedures to register their marriage with the government.

    In Kentucky, a county clerk refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses despite the Supreme Court's recent ruling has made her way into national headlines. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis claims her religious beliefs have created an issue of conscience which prohibits her from participating in or condoning gay marriage. Citing God's authority, Davis has stopped issuing all marriage licenses. The whole affair turned into one horrid media circus:
    ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

    Welcome to the flashback sequence no one asked for: it's time to talk about Chick-fil-A again. The fast food chain's reputation as a supporter of traditional marriage has drawn another series of boycott threats, this time from the Denver city council. The council is currently debating whether or not to sign a contract with the restaurant for a spot at Denver International Airport. From the Denver Post:
    Councilman Paul Lopez called opposition to the chain at DIA "really, truly a moral issue on the city." His position comes despite ardent assurances from the concessionaires — who have operated other DIA restaurants — that strict nondiscrimination policies will include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    A New York State Judge recently denied an attempt by a group acting for Tommy the Chimp to obtain habeas corpus relief. (Full embed at bottom of post.) But in so denying relief, the judge predicted possible future change citing the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the same-sex marriage case. #Seriously. Now we have covered the slippery slope as much as anyone in the area of polygamy and polyamorous clusters, including in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage: But there's the slippery slope, and then there's this slippery slope as reported by Slate: https://twitter.com/Slate/status/627600511492063232 Don't worry, it's not as bad as the tweet makes it sound, depending on what the definition of "bad" is:

    Last night, a writer at Gawker outed and gay-shamed someone at the behest of an unnamed (for his safety!) source. It was a story steeped in sex, fame, cash, and blackmail, which made it a perfect target for today's salacious clickbait culture. Today, Gawker's managing partners voted 5-1 (with the lone dissenter being the editor who approved the story) to take the story down---but the damage has already been done. Sorry, Nick Denton---you don't get to take this one back. (The link above is a web archive link; if you wish to read their hit job, you can click knowing that you won't be giving Gawker any traffic.) Long story short, Gawker allegedly received a series of text messages and photos showing a planned liaison between Condé Nast CFO David Geithner (his name sounds familiar because he's Tim Geithner's brother) and a gay porn star and escort. Gawker claims that the escort, whose story is told under the pseudonym "Ryan," sent them the photos and text messages after Geithner (who is married to a woman) was unable to meet him as planned during a Chicago business trip. Major money was involved: $2500 plus airfare for "Ryan's" plane ticket from Texas to Chicago. Geithner forwarded a chunk of the cash to "Ryan" in advance, and sent his photo and lodging plans to "Ryan" via text:

    Last week, we took a look at an insurance notification received by a church in Oregon. National Review's David French originally reported the story.
    Those fearful Obergefell v. Hodges could spell trouble for religious liberty were validated much sooner than anticipated. Less than 48 hours after the decision was handed down, New York Times columnist Mark Oppenheimer called for the end of tax exemptions for religious institutions. And the piecemeal dismemberment on religious liberties continues. Now infamous for their intolerance of Christianity, Oregon continues to be ground zero for the Biblical Principles vs. Ideological Fascism showdown. National Review’s David French explains an emerging problem for Oregonian pastors seeking liability insurance.
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