Skip to comments.Gay marriage has second appellate court hearing
Posted on 04/17/2014 11:16:48 AM PDT by Olog-hai
Gay marriage has its second hearing at the federal appellate level Thursday as lawyers for two Oklahoma women and the county clerk who would not give them a marriage license square off in a Denver courtroom.
The appeal of a lower courts January ruling that struck down Oklahomas gay marriage ban is the second time the issue has reached appellate courts since the U.S. Supreme Court shook up the legal landscape last year by finding the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.
The same three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard a similar Utah case last week, giving lawyers in the Oklahoma case a preview of what questions they might face.
Essentially, (the cases) are not that different, said Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Byron Babione, who is representing Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe Smith. Both of them involve challenges to state marriage amendments that were passed by an overwhelming majority of the people.
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One problem I see here is governments do not usually have a budget for lawsuits. For example, the Park Service in DC used to use a highly accurate method of determining crowd size. Then they got sued because they said the Million Man march was actually (as I recall) less than a hundred thousand. They didn’t have a budget to fight it so they (as I recall) they said, “Okay. It’s a million men.” And, that was the last time they estimated a crows in DC.
Beware of possible distortions of what the Supreme Court decided about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Note that the following reference indicates that Section 2 of DOMA is still in effect.
Section 1. Short title
This Act may be cited as the "Defense of Marriage Act".
Section 2. Powers reserved to the states
No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.
Section 3. Definition of marriage (ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court) [emphasis added]
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
Noting that the states have never amended the Constitution to expressly protect so-called gay rights, DOMA's Section 2 is reasonably based on the Constitution's "Full Faith and Credit Clause," Section 1 of Article IV, this clause giving Congress the power to regulate the effect of one state's acts and records in the other states. DOMA's Section 2 indicates that a given state isn't required to acknowledge gay marriages from other states imo.