US Judge Strikes Down Florida’s Gay Marriage Ban

Via the craptacular Tampa Tribune:

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that the ban added to Florida’s constitution by voters in 2008 violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Hinkle issued a stay delaying the effect of his order, meaning no marriage licenses will be immediately issued for gay couples.

[snip]

“When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination,” Hinkle wrote in a 33-page ruling. “To paraphrase a civil rights leader from the age when interracial marriage was struck down, the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”

So, no in-state marriages yet since the effect is stayed, but another brick in the wall falls. Florida’s wingnut AG, Pam Bondi, is pursuing appeals to similar rulings against the ban in several counties. She’s trying to hang onto her wingnut cred by appealing the rulings on the one hand while saying that the US Supreme Court should make the final ruling, which will preserve her political viability amongst the youngs, or so she thinks. She’s got ambition, does our Pamikins.

Anyway, this is good news. There has been a sea-change on gay rights over the last several years, and the Obama administration deserves a lot of credit for that.

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98 replies
  1. Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BGinCHI: I’m holding out for a fatal stroke.

    Hey, if the religiwackos can pray for the death of the Notorious RBG, I can wish death on a fascist shitstain.

  2. Belafon says:

    Has anyone clicked on the newsmax link about the GAO saying that the pentagon broke the law in the Bergdahl trade?

  3. Shakezula says:

    Well what do you expect with a state shaped like that??

    @Belafon:

    The Department of Defense (DOD) violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 when it transferred five individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the nation of Qatar without providing at least 30 days notice to certain congressional committees. Section 8111 prohibits DOD from using appropriated funds to transfer any individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay unless the Secretary of Defense notifies certain congressional committees at least 30 days before the transfer. As a consequence of using its appropriations in a manner specifically prohibited by law, DOD also violated the Antideficiency Act. http://www.gao.gov/products/B-326013#mt=e-report

  4. Trollhattan says:

    @Belafon:
    Heck no, but here’s the Beeb:

    The exchange of five senior Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo Bay for a US soldier held captive by the Taliban violated the law, an independent US government watchdog agency has said.

    The defence department did not give Congress the required 30-days notice before releasing the men, the Government Accountability Office said.

    Sgt Bowe Bergdahl was freed in May after five years in captivity.

    Many opposition Republicans objected to the Taliban fighters’ release.

    In the 31 May exchange, the Taliban leaders were transferred to the custody of the Gulf state of Qatar, which brokered the deal, and Sgt Bergdahl was handed over to a team of US special forces soldiers.

    Among other issues, Republicans said the Democratic Obama administration failed to give Congress advance notice of the swap, required under federal law governing releases from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    In response to the criticism, the administration said it could not wait 30 days to make the swap because Sgt Bergdahl’s life was in danger, and said the requirement for 30 days’ notice was unconstitutional because it interfered in the Bergdahl case with the president’s authority to protect US soldiers and citizens abroad.

    In a memorandum released on Thursday, the GAO rejected that rationale.

  5. Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Florida’s wingnut AG, Pam Bondi, is pursuing appeals to similar rulings against the ban in several counties. She’s trying to hang onto her wingnut cred by appealing the rulings

    If Ms. Bondi points out that even the prospect of gay nuptials in Florida destroyed her first marriage, and then, inexorably, her second marriage, she will have no trouble retaining her credibility.

  6. Patrick says:

    @Belafon:

    No, I didn’t click on the right-wing link. But elsewhere I read the following:

    The Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon violated the 2014 Defense Appropriations Act, which requires the Pentagon to give certain congressional committees 30 days advance notice before any detainee transfer from the Guantánamo Bay detention facility.

    In other words, Pentagon had to break the rule. Otherwise, Diane Feinstein, who has a story of not being able to keep her mouth shut, or any of the Republicans would have leaked it.

    It’s a non-story. Just a reminder what a fricking useless Congress we have. It sickens me to no end that my tax money pay for their salaries.

  7. Hal says:

    At this point I’m just wondering how the Supreme Court can rule in favor of these gay marriage bans. There have been over 30 appellate court decisions in favor of same sex marriage and now that the court might hear an appeal it’s hard to imagine a decision that would not result in an end to marriage bans everywhere. I get the Kennedy is a conservative, but hasn’t he been pretty good on the gay rights front?

  8. Suzanne says:

    @Trollhattan: Based on the bad news about John’s shoulder, I think we’re going to have to go without any new hilarious incidents of ass-shaving or naked mopping. I am still holding out hope for the mustard.

  9. Kropadope says:

    @Trollhattan: Hadn’t that deal been put in front of the appropriate Congressional committees years ago? Like, back when Hillary Clinton (who was against the deal) was still SoS? I don’t know exactly how the law is supposed to work, whether informing Congress that this is being considered is enough or if they need 30 dyas prior notification once you have committed to that course of action. Even if this was illegal though, it’s splitting hairs.

  10. chopper says:

    @Patrick:

    It’s a non-story all right. Mostly because it’s the same shit we all hashed out back when the swap actually happened. none of this argument is new.

  11. Cervantes says:

    @BGinCHI: Well, it’s not the worst law school, actually, and John Stetson was not the most hypocritical philanthropist. I agree that Ms. Bondi is a lousy Attorney General but that’s her fault more than anyone else’s.

  12. Calouste says:

    @Hal:

    Have you seen the Hobby Lobby decision? The right wing of the Supreme Court isn’t bound by such details as consistency, precedence or logic.

  13. Baud says:

    @Hal:

    At this point I’m just wondering how the Supreme Court can rule in favor of these gay marriage bans.

    Four justices almost certainly will. I think we’ll get Kennedy. Gay marriage is accepted enough that I think he’d feel comfortable joining the libs.

  14. Patricia Kayden says:

    @Trollhattan: And if President Obama had told Congress about the planned swap, and the plan had been leaked, then everyone would be blaming him if Bergdahl was then killed by the Taliban. I’m with the President on this one. I guess Republicans can add this swap to their reasons for impeaching President Obama. Oh well.

  15. Waynski says:

    Betty,

    I respectfully submit craptastic as an alternative or an accompaniment to craptacular. Think it over.

  16. Kropadope says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Yeah, you know the workflow by now:

    1. Obama does something
    2. Whatever Obama did is wrong.
    3. Figure out why.

    I remember at one point they tried criticizing Obama for what they expected him to do, but that didn’t work because he would often defy their expectations and they would be stuck criticizing him for doing what they said they wanted him to do.

  17. Percysowner says:

    Sadly Scalia seems to be determined to make sure America lives by HIS Catholic religious beliefs. Now to be clear, many of not most American Catholics don’t hold those beliefs. Scalia is willing to make Catholicism the defacto controlling religion in America, while ostensibly not calling it the official required religion.

  18. BGinCHI says:

    @Percysowner: It’s like he thinks the Establishment clause and the Free Exercise clause don’t apply to him.

    He only wants to establish and feels like he is free to exercise power as he sees fit.

  19. EthylEster says:

    re: the craptacular Tampa Tribune

    Isn’t it just?

    I don’t see why anyone would subscribe to that right wing POS paper when the Tampa Bay Times is also available. Now THAT is a real newspaper.

    I have just written my mother’s obit and was surprised to find that the Tribune charges an arm and a leg while the same 200 word piece is free in the TB Times. My parents were Tribune readers for 4 decades so we gotta put her notice there. But $400 is serious money IMO.

  20. Trollhattan says:

    @Kropadope: @Patricia Kayden:
    I truly don’t see this as covering any new ground but will sit watching, avec popcorn, the Republican response to the GAO, which tends to range from “Partisan hackery!” when they have a finding the R’s don’t like to “See, look at what the non-partisan GAO said!” when they do.

    Life as a human pretzel must be complicated.

  21. Eric U. says:

    @EthylEster: sorry to hear that you are writing an obit. Newspapers used to live off of classifieds, now they only have death notices and a few ads to live off of. It’s a tough business

  22. the Conster says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I’m not sure how much chipping away at the middle is going on, but I will say that I suspected that Obama’s election – the fact of Obama’s very existence – would act like a poultice on the infection that is racism in this country, and I think that’s what we’re seeing. The ugliness, the overtness, the neo-confederate freak flag flying is the poison being drawn out of the body politic. The fact that white people have mostly flipped their shit is awful to witness, but ultimately disinfecting. There is no going back, only forward. At least that’s the story I tell myself so I won’t pass my despair on to my lovely daughters, who both married black men.

  23. BGinCHI says:

    @the Conster: I think we need a whole thread on this subject.

    It’s a really provocative thesis (see the link above for what I’m referring to) and needs a robust discussion.

    I agree that racism in this country needed to be confronted. One of the things the civil rights legislative acts did was force things against peoples’ wills. This was necessary, but it left a LOT of unfinished work. I’m not sure we have done that work very openly (or with much diligence) until now. Obama’s presidency has forced a lot of things out that were well hidden before.

    Steve King, the fuckhead from Iowa, is a walking, talking, slobbering example of this: he keeps articulating beautifully the way whites, in general, have had the luxury of ignoring the consequences of institutional racism. The system does not seem to have bias in it because they (we) are the beneficiaries of it. We create it and are created by it and it doesn’t break down until something like Ferguson happens (for many people, not those who already understand what is happening). When King says that the Congressional Black Caucus “plays the race card” and that “there is no ‘Congressional White Caucus’,” he articulates perfectly how the system works and allows (white) people to ignore the fact that it is there at all.

    Much more to be said about this….

  24. Lahru says:

    I believe that Obama is going to troll Republicans from here on and their hate will blind them form seeing what those that don’t hate him see. Which should be the majority of the populace. Some dislike him, but less hate him.

  25. Kropadope says:

    @Lahru:

    I believe that Obama is going to troll Republicans

    That may be dangerous. Sounds too much like fighting them on their home turf.

  26. the Conster says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    So, that’s one factor to put in the Hope column. I happen to agree, the world is so different than the one of just a generation ago, never mind two generations ago. Loving v. Virginia was only decided in 1967 – well within most of our lifetimes.

    Substitute the right to marry someone of a different race, with the right to marry someone of the same sex, and we’re where we are now. There is no going back.

  27. Kropadope says:

    @Trollhattan: All I’m saying is that if you’re fighting professional trolls, the place to be isn’t under the bridge. Although, I expect you would be the expert, Trollhattan.

  28. Jebediah, RBG says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I used to think I had a fair handle on how much racism is out there. Yesterday I spent several minutes reading through #Ferguson on the twitter. I couldn’t read it for more than several minutes – I felt like my brain was breaking. I still feel sick to my stomach.

  29. Roger Moore says:

    @Percysowner:

    Sadly Scalia seems to be determined to make sure America lives by HIS Catholic religious beliefs. Now to be clear, many of not most American Catholics don’t hold those beliefs. Scalia is willing to make Catholicism the defacto controlling religion in America, while ostensibly not calling it the official required religion.

    I think you’re being grossly unfair to Catholicism. Scalia is willing to make his personal religious beliefs the law of the land, even when they directly conflict with Catholic doctrine, e.g. capital punishment. Right wing Catholics are at least as bad with the whole cafeteria approach as they’re always blaming the left wing as being.

  30. SatanicPanic says:

    @Jebediah, RBG: This is another thing- I grew up in redneck county, where open racism is just part of the background noise. After moving to the big city, I can see where people start to think it’s gone, because it’s pretty rare that I even hear an off-color joke nowadays.

  31. Jebediah, RBG says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    Yeah, I think that’s why my perception was so off – I grew up in a small New England town but have been living in Los Angeles since ’91. I can’t remember the last time I heard a racist joke IRL.

  32. burnspbesq says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Right wing Catholics are at least as bad with the whole cafeteria approach as they’re always blaming the left wing as being.

    They’re worse. They take all the wrong stuff from the cafeteria line.

    Try telling one of that lot that (to cite only one example) Catholics should be environmentalists because we are called by God to be responsible stewards of His Creation for the benefit of future generations, and watch the fun.

  33. gogol's wife says:

    @BGinCHI:

    The very nice woman who cuts my hair, who never talks politics, was treating me to her view of Ferguson this afternoon. That poor policeman, everyone is jumping to the conclusion that he’s guilty without knowing the facts, and how do you honor the young man’s memory by looting stores, and why did the president make a statement blaming the policeman, and on and on and on. I tried feebly to turn her attention to the fact that an unarmed man was shot six times, and that that can’t possibly be proper police procedure, but I didn’t get very far. Sorry, but I don’t see any chipping away at the middle. They’re much more likely to be swayed in the wrong direction.

  34. Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Kropadope:

    I live in MA and hear plenty.

    I don’t doubt that at all – I heard some too, just not a whole lot and not very virulent. I don’t know why that was, and I don’t know if other similar size (<5000 population) Western MA towns had more or less. I just know that I didn't hear much.

  35. El Caganer says:

    If racism really is on the decline, someone forgot to pass the news on to the residents of Philadelphia. The first dozen years I lived here there were some changes (probably due to the Feds coming in and hammering the construction unions), but since about 1980 I haven’t seen any progress. In fact, we might even be moving backward.

  36. burnspbesq says:

    @Jebediah, RBG:

    There’s still plenty of it around, but SoCal is so multicultural that it’s not all directed at African-Americans.

    in OC, you hear a lot of anit-Asian shit, thinly disguised as complaints about the way certain people drive and cracks about Chinese-only signage in Monterey Park, Hacienda Heights, and Walnut, a/k/a “the eastern suburbs of Taipei.”

    If you listen carefully, you can also hear Mexicans hatin’ on Salvadorans, Japanese hatin’ on Koreans, and Vietnamese hatin’ on Hmong.

  37. Kropadope says:

    @Jebediah, RBG: I live in a pretty densely populated southeastern MA town and while this is pretty common, it’s never with intent to harm (though some behind-the-back things can be pretty venomous) and often demonstrates mutual interracial participation.

  38. Jebediah, RBG says:

    @burnspbesq:

    It might then be a fair conclusion that I just don’t get out enough. I will also admit that these days I feel pretty fucking silly for thinking we had made more progress than we actually have.

  39. Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    They’re worse. They take all the wrong stuff from the cafeteria line.

    I thought the official Catholic position was that it’s served banquet-style, with everyone getting exactly the same stuff whether they like it or not. It’s all supposed to be good for you, whether you like it or not. If there’s an area where the right wing appears worse to me (a non-Catholic) it’s in acknowledging what they’re doing. People on the left who disagree with Church teaching on things like abortion and birth control seem willing to admit that they’re going against dogma in the process. Those on the right who reject Church dogma on capital punishment and treatment of the poor don’t even acknowledge that the Church has anything to say on those matters.

  40. Comrade Dread says:

    “When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination,”

    Well, of course it will. Back in my conservative days, when I was against gay marriage because I was also a religious conservative, I tried to get folks to give me just one decent secular argument against it that didn’t ultimately resort to “Well, the bible says…” or “I find the idea of gay sex icky…” neither of which should have a place in forming public policy.

    All I got was crickets. Because they had nothing else. So I started to support SSM.

  41. divF says:

    @scav:

    the entire Kuiper belt of Eastern Catholic Churches.

    Great line.

    Also, from Tom Lehrer’s National Brotherhood Week:

    Oh, the protestants hate the catholics,
    And the catholics hate the protestants,
    And the hindus hate the moslems,
    And everybody hates the jews.

  42. Scamp Dog says:

    @Comrade Dread: yeah, I hear you. I think I started off vaguely against same sex marriage because it seemed weird, but when the debated started happening I noticed the anti arguments ranged from wrong, to irrelevant, and onward into downright creepy. So the pro arguments weren’t really needed for me, the antis were so bad they changed my mind. If nobody’s got a decent argument against, a free country should allow it.

  43. Percysowner says:

    @Roger Moore: You may be right that I am being unfair to Catholicism. To be fair, Pope Benedict did not seem terribly interested in capital punishment, alleviating poverty or anything other than stopping birth control, gay marriage and keeping pedophiles from prosecution. The new Pope is showing a different side on many of these issues. I did say that Justice Scalia was promoting HIS version of Catholicism, the right wing, anti-gay, anti-woman, pro-big money religion that he believes in. In any case, for many years the voices that are not right wing have been silenced by a hierarchy that is strongly right wing. I remember the strong condemnation from the higher ups for Nuns On A Bus, when they tried to talk about social issues that weren’t about sex. Many religions spring from a good base, but leave behind the parts that don’t suit those in power.

  44. Jasmine Bleach says:

    Well, regarding the same sex marriage thing, there are now 12 states waiting on a decision from the Supreme Court.

    Assuming the Supreme Court takes one of the appeals cases before it (if not, then all of those 12 would legalize same sex marriage before the end of this year, because the Court has to decide what cases it will hear in the upcoming session in the next few months), it would likely not make a final ruling until the Spring of 2015.

    Seems a long time away . . .

  45. Betty Cracker says:

    @Quaker in a Basement: It was always the “conservative” paper in town, but it had a decent sports section once upon a time and an editorial board which, while right of center, wasn’t outright crazy. But it has gone full metal wingnut. Makes me sad. My father taught me to read using the Trib.

  46. MaxUtil says:

    “Obama administration deserves a lot of credit for that”
    I’m not sure I’d go that far. They certainly got on board as the train was leaving the station, but they weren’t driving it. I don’t think Gavin Newsom gets enough credit for lighting the fire that’s sweeping the nation now.

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