Monday, January 12, 2015

SD gay marriage ban ruled unconstitutional; backward Nebraska now surrounded by marriage equality states

Above: Tiffany & Co. ad soliciting business from gay couples; Borsheim's, of Omaha, the largest single-location jewelry store in the U.S.A., appears to neither advertise to gay couples nor support marriage equality. It is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate founded by Warren Buffett, which received a zero in HRC's Corporate Index, making it the most gay-hostile of all ranked Omaha-based companies. UPDATE: Borsheim's would like you to know that it does underwrite playacting about gay marriage, which, alas, is more than any other Omaha-based jewelry store seems to do. Sigh.
Partial Wiki map of marriage equality states; SD's amber
color means gay marriage is pending
Here is the conclusion of the 28-page federal district court ruling, handed down today:
     In Loving, the Supreme Court addressed a traditionally accepted
definition of marriage that prohibited Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving
from marrying. Because Virginia’s laws deprived that couple of their fundamental right to marriage, the Court struck down those laws. Little distinguishes this case from Loving. Plain tiffs have a fundamental right
to marry. South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification.
     Accordingly, it is ORDERED that plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment (Docket 20) is granted, and defendants’ motion for summary judgment (Docket 43) is denied.
    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that SDCL 25-1-1, SDCL 25-1-38, Article 21,
§ 9 of the South Dakota Constitution, and any other provision of state law that precludes people from marrying, or refuses to recognize an existing marriage,solely because the individuals are of the same gender are unconstitutional because they violate the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
     IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants are enjoined from enforcing
those laws or otherwise declining to issue a marriage license solely because the applicants are of the same gender.
There will be a stay in the ruling, to accommodate an appeal by South Dakota should it decide to waste taxpayer money attempting to salvage its marriage equality ban. Similar bans are also being fought in every other state in the Eighth U.S. District Court of Appeals. Such appeals have failed in every U.S. District Court to which states surrounding Nebraska belong.
     Many in Nebraska are wondering how much of their taxes just-elected GOP Attorney General Doug Peterson will spend to further his anti-choice, anti-gay agenda.

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