Thursday, October 16, 2014

Never piss off the judge

Now that I have time to get to the marriage news of the week...

A judge in Wyoming will issue a ruling on Monday on whether the 10th Circuit rulings for Utah and Oklahoma for same-sex marriage apply to Wyoming as well.

By today the AG of Arizona was to file a brief with the 9th Circuit on whether or not the 9th Circuit's rulings on same-sex marriage should apply. The Arizona AG seems to concede that it does.

The AG in South Carolina rants that "I'm only for the rule of law." Well, since the 4th Circuit has declared bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, isn't that now law? Lambda Legal has filed a suit to hurry things along.

The ACLU asked for summary judgment in Montana. That's a request for a ruling when the facts are so obvious no trial (or lengthy proceedings) are needed.

Lots of same-sex couples were married in Idaho. Photos here. There's still a bit of fear their joy might be taken away because the Gov. said marriages may take place "for now."

The GOP Gov. in North Carolina says he'll now defend the right for same-sex couples to get married. Commenters note the other nasty things he has done – cut unemployment, opt out of Obamacare, etc. – and aren't impressed.

The 9th Circuit issued a temporary stay of same-sex marriages in Alaska to give the state time to appeal to the Supremes.

The AG of Florida had asked that the various cases in that state be put on hold until the Supremes have their say. Well, the Supremes decided to say nothing (in a rather loud voice). So the AG has asked the state Supremes to rule on the issue "once-and-for-all." Some speculate that means she sees her crusade against same-sex marriage coming to an end. And, yes, the state Supremes can rule against an article in the state constitution. Does it conflict with the national constitution? Does it conflict with other clauses in the state constitution?

The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage in Nevada filed suit against the 9th Circuit. The three judges for any particular case are supposed to be selected randomly. The CPM analysis says that one particular judge has appeared on way too many 3-judge panels for cases involving sexual minority rights for it to be purely random. Therefore the ruling in the Nevada same-sex marriage case should be thrown out and the case heard again with a panel of all of judges of the circuit. Those versed in statistics say the analysis is wacky. Those versed in legal matters say this suit violates the first rule of litigation: Never piss off the judge.

In an article printed in Between the Lines Lisa Keen asks why the Supremes refused to hear those same-sex marriage cases on the first day of the term? That court doesn't need to rush. They could have waited until the 5th or 6th Circuits ruled to see if there was a conflict in the rulings. But they didn't. If the Supremes were seriously thinking of taking another case down the road with the possibility of the mess of all these marriages happening in the meantime, they would have waited for the right case. That rush to refuse these cases is what prompted Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to declare the issue "resolved."

The anti-gay mob is furious that "unelected judges" can overrule the will of the majority. As part of that fury Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (a fancy name for a hate group) pulled out the old slogan that children do best with a mom and a dad. John Greenberg of PunditFact tackles that and the ten claims the FRC uses to support it.

Five of the ten claims have nothing to do with children. They say opposite-sex marriage promotes domestication of men, paternal commitment, sexual fidelity, "gender-typical" roles, and links between marriage and procreation. Ah, a guide to fathering, which is rather nice of them (though that "gender-typical" roles thing sets off some red flags), but not related to any scientific study.

A sixth claim is about how children conceived through artificial insemination "hunger" to know about their fathers. Likely true, but not proven and not a reason to ban same-sex marriage.

A seventh claim cites studies where a father is absent. But those studies examine single parent households, not same-sex households. An eight claim says children need mothers. But the studies cited don't compare same-sex and opposite-sex households.

Claims nine and ten say that studies of children growing up in same-sex households are flawed – were not "conducted according to generally accepted standards of scientific research." This is called cherry-picking of findings.

There is a great deal of research that shows kids of same-sex parents do just as well as those raised by straight parents. Therefore the claim that Perkins made is rated as false.

But we knew all that and are rather tired of going through it all again.

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