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Justice Anthony Kennedy Blocks Gay Marriage Ruling

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A U.S. Supreme Court justice on Wednesday temporarily blocked a lower-court ruling that declared gay marriage legal in Idaho and Nevada, dashing plans in Las Vegas to start performing gay nuptials in the self-proclaimed marriage capital of the world.

Nevada and Idaho had joined the growing number of states where same-sex marriage is legal when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that gay couples' equal protection rights were violated by the gay marriage bans in both states.

In Las Vegas, the Marriage License Bureau had been expected to issue licenses for same-sex couples starting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, but Clark County Clerk Diane Alba told The Associated Press that it's clear, at least for now, that she can't issue gender-neutral marriage licenses after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's order temporarily halting gay marriage.

Kennedy's order came a little more than an hour after Idaho on Wednesday filed an emergency request for an immediate stay. The state's request said that without a stay, state and county officials would have been required to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday morning.

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said Wednesday that he was glad Kennedy acted quickly.

"I'm pleased that Justice Kennedy has given us the opportunity to make our case in a way that helps avoid the confusion some other states have faced," Otter said. "I intend to be faithful to my oath of office and keep working to protect the Idaho Constitution and the mandate of Idaho voters in support of traditional marriage."

The delay could last just a few days. Kennedy's order requested a response from the plaintiffs involved in Idaho's gay marriage lawsuit by the end of Thursday.

The full court almost certainly would weigh in to extend the delay much beyond the weekend. That has been the justices' practice in other cases in which a single justice initially blocked a ruling from taking effect.

Las Vegas had been preparing for gay weddings. The county's marriage licenses went gender-neutral a couple weeks ago, just in case. Chapels had photographers practice with models to see how they might best shoot two brides in gowns.

In its decision Tuesday about Nevada and Idaho's gay marriage bans, 9th Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel that laws treating people differently based on sexual orientation are unconstitutional unless there is a compelling government interest. He wrote that neither Idaho nor Nevada offered any legitimate reasons to discriminate against gay couples.

That decision came a day after the Supreme Court turned away state appeals, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in several more states, bringing the U.S. total to 30.

The original Nevada lawsuit, Sevcik v. Sandoval, was filed in April 2012 on behalf of eight couples in the state. It said the 2002 state constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by denying same-sex couples in Nevada the same rights, dignity and security that other married couples enjoy.

In Idaho, Sue Latta, with Traci Ehlers, sued the state last year to compel the state to recognize their 2008 marriage in California. Three other couples also joined the lawsuit to invalidate Idaho's same-sex marriage ban.

Source

How will this end, I wonder? Is this an attempt to make a very thorough statement, moreso than the statement made by refusing to hear the cases?


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
October 27, 2014: NOA2. (5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day after NOA1)
October 31, 2014: USCIS ships file to NVC (five days after NOA2) Happy Halloween for us!

November 18, 2014: NVC receives our case (22 days after NOA2)

December 17, 2014: NVC generates case number (50 days after NOA2)

December 19, 2014: Receive AOS bill, DS-261. Submit DS-261 (52 days after NOA2)

December 20, 2014: Pay AOS Fee

January 7, 2015: Receive, pay IV Fee

January 10, 2015: Complete DS-260

January 11, 2015: Send AOS package and Civil Documents
March 23, 2015: Case Complete at NVC. (70 days from when they received docs to CC)

May 6, 2015: Interview at Montréal APPROVED!

May 11, 2015: Visa in hand! One year less one day from NOA1.

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There are two questions here - one is whether the SCOTUS will make a more thorough statement and the other is whether this applies to NV at all. NV has not asked the SCOTUS to weigh in - only Idaho has. NV was prepared to move forward with issuing marriage licenses and as I have just found, it appears that they will. Kennedy has indeed clarified that the order only applies to Idaho. My take is that the days of the same sex marriage ban in Idaho are counted as well and that there are only a few of them left.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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Well that's good that it's only Idaho. I still wonder what the point of stepping in like this is. Is it for a statement or is it to give them enough rope to hang themselves when they can't bring forth a compelling reason to stop the marriages?


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
October 27, 2014: NOA2. (5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day after NOA1)
October 31, 2014: USCIS ships file to NVC (five days after NOA2) Happy Halloween for us!

November 18, 2014: NVC receives our case (22 days after NOA2)

December 17, 2014: NVC generates case number (50 days after NOA2)

December 19, 2014: Receive AOS bill, DS-261. Submit DS-261 (52 days after NOA2)

December 20, 2014: Pay AOS Fee

January 7, 2015: Receive, pay IV Fee

January 10, 2015: Complete DS-260

January 11, 2015: Send AOS package and Civil Documents
March 23, 2015: Case Complete at NVC. (70 days from when they received docs to CC)

May 6, 2015: Interview at Montréal APPROVED!

May 11, 2015: Visa in hand! One year less one day from NOA1.

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Well that's good that it's only Idaho. I still wonder what the point of stepping in like this is. Is it for a statement or is it to give them enough rope to hang themselves when they can't bring forth a compelling reason to stop the marriages?

From the article I linked to above:

Having allowed those other rulings to take effect without a full review by the Supreme Court, it would be surprising if the justices were to put the 9th circuit ruling on hold for any length of time.

The high court's action Monday suggested that only an appellate ruling upholding a gay marriage ban would prompt the court to step in.

So it could just become a preemptive "** off" to states that potentially want to approach the SCOTUS in the future when they lose their cases in the appellate courts. It would appear that the SCOTUS will only step in to settle the matter once an appellate court issues a ruling upholding a same sex marriage ban and maybe the good justices don't want to be bothered anymore until then.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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Makes sense. I don't even understand the court system of Canada, and I had to take classes on that, let alone the US one. My wife's explained it to me, but it seems so convoluted. *shrugs* I'm working on it.

I really just hope the Fifth Circuit isn't the one to go 'yeah, let's uphold the ban!' I'd like thsi settled.


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
October 27, 2014: NOA2. (5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day after NOA1)
October 31, 2014: USCIS ships file to NVC (five days after NOA2) Happy Halloween for us!

November 18, 2014: NVC receives our case (22 days after NOA2)

December 17, 2014: NVC generates case number (50 days after NOA2)

December 19, 2014: Receive AOS bill, DS-261. Submit DS-261 (52 days after NOA2)

December 20, 2014: Pay AOS Fee

January 7, 2015: Receive, pay IV Fee

January 10, 2015: Complete DS-260

January 11, 2015: Send AOS package and Civil Documents
March 23, 2015: Case Complete at NVC. (70 days from when they received docs to CC)

May 6, 2015: Interview at Montréal APPROVED!

May 11, 2015: Visa in hand! One year less one day from NOA1.

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Makes sense. I don't even understand the court system of Canada, and I had to take classes on that, let alone the US one. My wife's explained it to me, but it seems so convoluted. *shrugs* I'm working on it.

I really just hope the Fifth Circuit isn't the one to go 'yeah, let's uphold the ban!' I'd like thsi settled.

If the Fifth Circuit would uphold the ban, then the SCOTUS would be more likely to take up the case and settle it nationally. If the Fifth Circuit rules like the other appellate courts have then there will still be states where same sex marriage is banned - more cases would then have to work their way through the courts. Were the SCOTUS to take on the issue, I don't see how they could reverse marriage equality that now covers a significant majority of the states and a majority of the population - and basically reverses the SCOTUS itself which has already struck down DOMA not too long ago at the federal level affording federal benefits to same sex couples. Either way, marriage equality will be the law of the land in the not too distant future.

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