LIVE BLOG: The freedom to marry comes to 5 more states, paves way in 6 more
October 06, 2014
Today, October 6, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of five cases seeking the freedom to marry, leaving standing marriage victories in three federal circuits and opening the door to the freedom to marry in many more states. It's a joyous day, and soon, same-sex couples will have the freedom to marry not only in 24 states and the District of Columbia, including today's new additions of Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Virginia - but the path to marriage in 6 other states (Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming) is now paved. Despite the amazing momentum and wins today, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to defer for another day the national resolution that Freedom to Marry, businesses, elected officials, and families across the country have urged now.
As news comes in today from any of the 11 states impacted by today's amazing movement, Freedom to Marry will maintain this live blog, embedding tweets and reporting on the latest news.
6:30pm Today, Love Won
It was an amazing day for the freedom to marry - and for all of America. Same-sex couples won the freedom to marry in five more states, and the path is paved for the freedom to marry in six more, bringing the total of states where same-sex couples can marry to a majority for the first time ever - 30!
Now, after we finish celebrating this truly historic day, we must recommit to working toward marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. Leave your mark by signing the pledge HERE and donating to Freedom to Marry HERE.
6:10pm Marc Solomon talks SCOTUS denial on MSNBC
This morning, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petitions on marriage and cleared the way for the freedom to marry in 11 additional states, Freedom to Marry's National Campaign Director Marc Solomon appeared on MSNBC to discuss the big news. WATCH:
6:00pm Colorado Governor Hickenlooper applauds the freedom to marry in CO as same-sex couples begin marrying in the Centennial State
CO Gov. Hickenlooper made a statement today following the major movement today from the U.S. Supreme Court. He said: "Today marks a historic day on the march towards marital equality. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to review the same-sex marriage cases in other states means that 10th Circuit's decision is binding in Colorado. While there are a few more steps in the process, we are that much closer to declaring marriage equality for all Coloradans."
And this afternoon, Pueblo County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Read more about the movement here. Several other counties have said they will wait until the procedural loose ends are closed.
5:50pm What's Happening in the Other 10th Circuit and 4th Circuit States?
The freedom to marry came to five more states today, bringing the national total of marriage states to 24. But the Supreme Court's decision to deny review in the five cases also impacted an additional 6 states - the other states in the 10th Circuit and the 4th Circuit. The freedom to marry should arrive in those states very soon. Here's a run-down of what's going on:
Colorado: A federal ruling from this summer has been stayed since the decision was issued in late July 2014. The decision was stayed pending further action from the U.S. Supreme Court in the other two 10th Circuit marriage cases, Oklahoma's Bishop v. Smith and Utah's Kitchen v. Herbert. Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed reports: "The plaintiff same-sex couples and state and county officials in the federal Colorado marriage case filed a joint status report on Monday afternoon, asking for “the temporary stay previously implemented by this Court to the ruling of the Court below striking down Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage ban [to] be lifted” and for “the Order of the Court below [to] be immediately effectuated and same sex couples [to] be allowed to immediately marry in the State of Colorado.”" The Colorado Attorney General also added that the freedom to marry will be the law of the land in Colorado "once the formalities are resolved."
Kansas: Shortly after today's ruling, same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in some Kansas counties (see below), but were denied. The couples will likely file a legal challenge to the Kansas marriage ban. The American Civil Liberties Union also says it is readying a case now.
North Carolina: Proceedings in two North Carolina marriage cases, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking to strike down Amendment 1, were put on hold earlier this summer pending action from the U.S. Supreme Court in the 4th Circuit ruling from Virginia. Today, the judge in the case asked the legal teams for a status update on whether the 4th Circuit ruling leaves any questions unresolved.
South Carolina: Proceedings in a federal South Carolina marriage case were put on hold earlier this summer pending action from the U.S. Supreme Court in the 4th Circuit ruling from Virginia. There has been no action in the case today, but South Carolina Attorney General explained today, "Our case has not yet been decided. Until the courts rule on the matter, South Carolina will seek to uphold our state constitution."
West Virginia: Proceedings in a federal West Virginia marriage case filed by Lambda Legal were put on hold earlier this summer pending action from the U.S. Supreme Court in the 4th Circuit ruling from Virginia. Today, Lambda Legal and the plaintiffs filed a motion to lift the stay and enter judgment in favor of the freedom to marry.
Wyoming: Wyoming Governor erroneously posited today that the Supreme Court action leaves no impact on the state of the freedom to marry in Wyoming. Further legal action in a state case, Courage v. Wyoming, is likely.
5:35pm Same-Sex Couples denied marriage licenses in Kansas, readying legal case
Today, Dan Barnes and Wade Honey applied for a marriage license in Kansas after hearing that the Supreme Court denied review of the 10 Circuit Court's ruling in favor of the freedom to marry. They drove to a more liberal town an hour away from theirs to try to apply for a marriage license, reports The Topeka-Capital Journal.
However, they were denied. "You can’t do that in the state of Kansas,” Nancy Escalante, supervisor for marriage licenses at the court, said. “Our application says ‘man and woman.’ The Legislature has not changed it.”
Although several couples have applied for marriage licenses, they cannot yet legally get married. The couples may become plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging Kansas' anti-marriage constitutional amendment -- this time, with this morning's decision from the Supreme Court to support them.
5:25pm LISTEN: Marc Solomon talks Winning Marriage on Siris XM Radio
In this interview today, OutQ's Xorje Olivares chats with Marc Solomon, the national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, whose new book Winning Marriage will be released next month. Listen:
5:00pm Missouri Attorney General cites SCOTUS news, says state will not appeal ruling requiring MO to respect marriages of same-sex couples
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced today that he and the state of Missouri would not appeal a ruling in Barrier v. Vasterling from Friday, October 3 declaring that Missouri must respect the marriages of same-sex couples. His announcement means that same-sex couples who are married will continue to be respected as such in the Show Me State. His statement reads, in part:
A consequence of this morning’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court is that gay marriage will soon be legal in as many as 30 states. At a time when Missouri is competing to attract the nation’s premier businesses and most talented employees, we should not demand that certain individuals surrender their marriage licenses in order to live and work among us.
4:30pm PHOTOS from the first same-sex couple marrying in Arlington, VA
3:55pm VIDEO featuring Indiana marriage plaintiffs
Don't miss this great video featuring the plaintiffs in the Indiana marriage case that brought the freedom to marry for all Hoosiers today! Check it out HERE.
3:20pm Virginia Plaintiffs Tony London & Tim Bostic marry
About an hour ago, Tony London and Timothy Bostic, the named plaintiffs in the legal challenge to Virginia's law denying the freedom to marry to same-sex couples, received a marriage license in their home state. They are the first same-sex couple married in Norfolk County. Read more.
3:15pm VIDEO of Utah Plaintiffs reacting to the freedom to marry in UT
Don't miss this great check-in with the plaintiffs in Utah's landmark marriage case, Kitchen v. Herbert. And learn more about the plaintiffs from the case, led by NCLR.
2:55pm Meet the first same-sex couple to marry in Virginia
Buzzfeed has a great story up now about Nicole Pries and Lindsey Oliver, the first same-sex couple to wed in Virginia. The couple is from Richmond, Virginia. Check out the story here!
2:50pm South Carolina Attorney General says he will fight the freedom to marry in his state
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said today that he would continue to fight the state's marriage ban, although the 4th Circuit's mandate today in a Virginia marriage case is now binding precedent in all of the 4th Circuit states, including South Carolina.
Attorneys in a federal challenge to South Carolina's marriage ban have said they will seek an expedited ruling, in light of today's action from the Supreme Court.
2:23pm Oklahoma marriage plaintiffs get married
Right now, one of the same-sex couples in Oklahoma's marriage case, Mary Bishop & Sharon Baldwin, are getting married in Oklahoma County! Read this interview Freedom to Marry did with them, an oral history of their case.
Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin are filling out their license now and plan to marry at the courthouse today. pic.twitter.com/QZOwKNGLQn— Max Resnik (@meresnik) October 6, 2014
2:15pm Same-Sex couples begin marrying in Utah and Oklahoma
Today, just hours after the 10th Circuit issued its mandate in Bishop v. Smith and Kitchen v. Herbert, meaning that the rulings in favor of the freedom to marry took effect, same-sex couples in Utah and Oklahoma began marrying. Here's a great photo of one of the first to wed in Oklahoma:
1:45pm GLAD & NCLR Declare victory for the freedom to marry in Utah
Our friends at the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders declared victory in the Utah marriage case Kitchen v. Herbert. Derek Kitchen, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said: "We are thrilled by today’s decision, which means that same-sex couples are now equal citizens of this state. We are honored to be part of this historic moment and to know that as a result of today’s decision by the Supreme Court, never again will same-sex couples and their families be subjected to the discrimination and indignity that has caused so much harm to so many children and families over the years in Utah.”
Shannon Minter, legal director of the NCLU, said: “This is a huge step forward for Utah and the entire country. We are hopeful that the other cases pending across the country will also vindicate the freedom to marry so that all couples, no matter where they travel or live, will be treated as equal citizens and have the same basic security and protections for their families that other Americans enjoy.”
Mary Bonauto of GLAD said: "It is also a powerful signal to the many other courts considering the issue that there is no reason to delay and perpetuate the harms to same-sex couples around the nation."
1:30pm Same-Sex Couples begin marrying in Virginia
Now that the 4th Circuit's mandate has issued, same-sex couples are beginning to marry in Virginia! Congrats to this couple, reportedly one of the first to marry in VA.
First same sex couple to be married in Virginia this go round.
1:11pm Same-Sex Couples in Florida urge AG Bondi to drop appeal of marriage ruling
The Associated Press reported today that the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is calling for Attorney General Pam Bondi to drop her appeal and lift the stay on rulings in two cases in favor of the freedom to marry. Read more here.
1:04pm REMEMBER: Still waiting on marriage rulings in the 6th & 9th Circuits
Today's movement from the U.S. Supreme Court marks a major step forward for the United States - and as we celebrate this fantastic day, we also eagerly await rulings on the freedom to marry from the 6th Circuit and the 9th Circuit. Cases in both circuits - in the 6th (Two Kentucky cases, two Ohio cases, a Michigan case, and a Tennessee case) and in the 9th (A Nevada case and an Idaho case) had oral arguments in August and September, respectively. Rulings in these cases could also seek review from the U.S. Supreme Court.
1:01pm VIDEO: Salt Lake County begins issuing marriage licenses
12:55pm Stays in rulings are terminated in all 5 marriage cases - IN, OK, VA, WI and UT
It's official: The stays have been lifted in all five of the marriage cases whose petitions for Supreme Court review were rejected today. That clears the way for marriages to begin very soon in all five states. BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner reports:
"Per an earlier order of the Supreme Court in the Virginia case out of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, "Should the petition for a writ of certiorari be denied, this stay shall terminate automatically." Per earlier orders of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the stays stopping same-sex couples from being able to marry in Indiana and Wisconsin are to “terminate automatically if the certiorari petition is denied.” In the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, the court already issued orders lifting the stay of the mandate in the Oklahoma and Utah cases."
12:50pm ACLU asks for immediate ruling in North Carolina marriage case
The Charlotte Observer reports that the American Civil Liberty Union plans to file a motion for the immediate overturning of North Carolina's ban on marriage between same-sex couples today. There were several cases in the courts challenging the ban that had been put on hold pending a Supreme Court decision. Chris Brook, the legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said: "The Supreme Court’s decision means that the freedom to marry for same-sex couples must be recognized here in North Carolina without delay."
12:40pm ACLU plans to file case against anti-marriage ban in Kansas
The Associated Press reported today that the ACLU plans to file a case calling for a federal judge to block a ban on marriage between same-sex marriage soon. The decision from the Supreme Court today affects the 10th Circuit, which makes the ruling binding for all states within the Circuit, including Kansas.
12:30pm The freedom to marry is law in Colorado!
The stay orders on marriages between same-sex couples have been lifted in Colorado. Today, following the 10th Circuit mandate, Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers said: "We have consistently maintained that we will abide by the Supreme Court's determination on the constitutionality of marriage laws. By choosing not to take up the matter, the court has left the 10th Circuit ruling in place. We expect the 10th Circuit will issue a final order governing Colorado very shortly. Once the formalities are resolved, clerks across the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to all same-sex couples. We will file motions to expedite the lifting of the stays in the federal and state courts and will advise the clerks when to issue licenses." Read the full statement.
12:25pm 10th Circuit issues mandate in marriage ruling; Oklahoma & Utah now have the freedom to marry at last
The mandate has been issued in the 10th Circuit's marriage rulings in Bishop v. Smith and Kitchen v. Herbert, establishing that same-sex couples must have the freedom to marry in Oklahoma and Utah. This means that effective immediately, same-sex couples are free to marry!
The order says: "Order filed by Judges Kelly, Lucero and Holmes - On this date, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari review in this matter. Consequently, the stay of the mandate directed in our decision dated 6/25/14 is lifted, and the mandate shall issue forthwith. A copy of this order shall stand as the mandate of this court."
12:20pm Attorney for Utah plaintiffs celebrate "big day" for marriage
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said ""It’s inevitable that marriage licenses will be issued to same-sex couples. The only question is when." Attorney Peggy A. Tomsic, who represented three couples in the case, said "Families in Utah and the 10th Circuit finally have the dignity, the fairness and the equality that the constitution guarantees,." One of the plaintiffs, Derek Kitchen, simply said "It's a big day."
12:18pm Indiana Attorney General issues statement on SCOTUS action
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said today: "Our nation and all sides involved needed a conclusive Supreme Court ruling to bring finality to the legal question of state authority to adhere to the traditional definition of marriage. Although it is unfortunate the Court did not accept the question and has again left states stuck in the limbo of uncertainty, ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final word on the subject of state authority to regulate marriage. Strong opinions exist on all sides of this issue but we continue to urge Hoosiers to show respect for the Court, the attorneys, the county clerks and the rule of law while this complicated process plays out."
12:13pm UPDATE: List of counties issuing marriage licenses
Reports indicate that the following counties are issuing marriage licenses or plans to today:
- Oklahoma: No reports yet on counties issuing marriage licenses
- Indiana: Marion County
- Wisconsin: Dane, Milwaukee, Outagamie, & Waushara Counties
- Virginia: AG Herring says that the 4th Circuit mandate should issue at 1pm today, and that he will urge all county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
- Utah: No reports yet on counties issuing marriage licenses
11:41am Several Indiana counties begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples
The Attorney General in Indiana today announced that as soon as the mandate issues in the 7th Circuit's September 4 ruling, the freedom to marry will be the law of the land.
11:00am County clerks in Wisconsin say they will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples today
Shortly after this morning's ruling came down, the Dane County clerk in Madison, Wisconsin announced that they would begin issuing marriage licenses as soon as posisble to same-sex couples.
Madison.com reported: "Dane County Clerk Scott McDonald said Monday that he was ready to start issuing licenses to couples after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Wisconsin's appeal in its gay marriage case."
10:30am Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says marriages will begin in VA at 1pm
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that Virginia will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 1pm today. He tweeted, "The 4th Circuit says their mandate will issue at 1 PM & marriages can then begin. What a momentous & joyous day for thousands of Virginians."
The 4th Circuit says their mandate will issue at 1 PM & marriages can then begin. What a momentous & joyous day for thousands of Virginians.— AG Mark Herring (@AGMarkHerring) October 6, 2014
He later issued a statement, where he said:
"A new day has dawned, and the rights guaranteed by our Constitution are shining through. All Virginians have the constitutional right to be treated fairly and equally, to have loving, committed relationships recognized and respected, and to enjoy the blessings of married life. We should all be proud that our fellow Virginians helped lead us forward. This is a tremendous moment in Virginia history. We will continue to fight discrimination wherever we find it, but today, we celebrate a moment when we move closer to fulfilling the promise of equality ignited centuries ago in Virginia, and so central to the American experience."
10:10am Wisconsin Attorney General says that the freedom to marry is the law of the land
The Associated Press reported today that Wisconsin's Attorney General JB Hollen has announced that the freedom to marry is officially the law of the land. The AP reports: "His spokeswoman issued a statement Monday saying the Department of Justice made every attempt to defend the state constitution but acknowledged gay marriage is now legal."
The Attorney General said: "Today's action by the U.S. Supreme Court allows Judge Crabb's order to take effect. The Department, having made every effort to fulfill its duty to defend the state constitution, will now work with its state agency clients to implement the order."
9:50am Soon, more than 60% of the U.S. population will live in a state with the freedom to marry
With the addition of these five marriage states and the six others in the 10th Circuit and 4th Circuit, 60% of the U.S. population will soon live in a state with the freedom to marry, translating to a total of 186 million Americans in 30 different states and the District of Columbia. Here's the new marriage map:
9:40am U.S. Supreme Court denies review in seven marriage petitions from five states
Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson explained today:
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court leaves in force five favorable marriage rulings reached in three federal appellate courts, ensuring the freedom to marry for millions more Americans around the country. The Court’s letting stand these victories means that gay couples will soon share in the freedom to marry in 30 states, representing 60% of the American people. But we are one country, with one Constitution, and the Court’s delay in affirming the freedom to marry nationwide prolongs the patchwork of state-to-state discrimination and the harms and indignity that the denial of marriage still inflicts on too many couples in too many places. As waves of freedom to marry litigation continue to surge, we will continue to press the urgency and make the case that America – all of America -- is ready for the freedom to marry, and the Supreme Court should finish the job.