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Same-sex 'marriage' issue percolates in 4 state courts, 1 federal court
Baptist Press ^ | Aug 29, 2003 | Michael Foust

Posted on 08/29/2003 1:02:50 PM PDT by jgrubbs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--While the nation awaits a ruling by Massachusetts' high court on the issue of same-sex "marriage," the legal battle is spreading to other states.

Arizona, Indiana and New Jersey are all involved in separate state court cases where homosexual couples are seeking marriage licenses. Additionally, activists have filed suit on the federal level asking a U.S. district court to overturn Nebraska's constitutional ban on same-sex "marriage."

Matt Daniels, president of the pro-family organization Alliance for Marriage, believes it is only a matter of time before a state court grants marriages licenses to homosexual couples.

"Massachusetts really represents the culmination of a decade of litigation," he told Baptist Press. "That's why it's such a big deal. It's a watershed moment. Maybe it'll be New Jersey, but it'll be a watershed moment."

Any day the highest court in Massachusetts -- the Supreme Judicial Court -- is expected to issue its ruling on whether homosexual couples in the state can be granted marriage licenses. The court was expected to rule in July but passed a non-binding 130-day deadline. It heard the case in March.

While a state supreme court has never ruled for same-sex "marriage," lower state courts have.

In the mid-1990s a Hawaii court case involving three homosexual couples set off a national firestorm, leading to Congress passing the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which protects one state from having to recognize another state's same-sex "marriages."

A Hawaii circuit court judge's ruling in 1996 for same-sex "marriage" was the nation's first, although it was appealed and eventually rendered meaningless after Hawaii voters passed a constitutional amendment giving the state legislature the power to limit the definition of marriage.

A similar event took place in Alaska in 1998, when a state superior court judge threatened to strike down Alaska's ban on same-sex "marriage." That same year Alaskan voters passed a constitutional amendment banning homosexual "marriage."

But a similar groundswell of opposition to same-sex "marriage" has yet to surface in Massachusetts and New Jersey -- the two states observers believe are most likely to broaden the definition of marriage. New Jersey's high court is the one that ruled the Boy Scouts must accept openly homosexual troop leaders -- a ruling that was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A poll in Massachusetts showed that 50 percent of its adults favored same-sex "marriage," while a poll in New Jersey found that 55 percent of its residents supported it.

Both polls bucked nationwide trends. In fact, a recent FOX News poll showed that 58 percent of Americans favored amending the Constitution to ban same-sex "marriage."

The Alliance for Marriage has authored such an amendment -- the Federal Marriage Amendment -- that has more than 75 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission supports it.

"There's no question that as the American people realize the fact that our marriage laws are about to be struck down, that public opinion as we always expected is moving in our direction," Daniels said.

"Most Americans believe that gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose, but they don't have a right to redefine marriage for our entire society. They are crossing a line that people are not willing to see them cross."

Social conservatives also fear that the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision, which struck down anti-sodomy laws, will provide support for those arguing for homosexual "marriage."

Benjamin Bull, chief counsel for the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, told Baptist Press he doesn't believe Massachusetts will rule for same-sex "marriage" although it may grant Vermont-type civil unions. Bull also doubts that other courts will rule for same-sex "marriage."

"There may be a rogue court somewhere someday, but there's a reason why it's never happened, and that reason is that you can't turn a racehorse into a toadstool," said Bull, whose organization filed a friend-of-the court brief with the state in the Arizona case, saying homosexuals should not be granted marriage licenses.

Following is a brief summary of the current cases involving same-sex "marriage," courtesy of data from


ARIZONA -- The case involves two men who are suing the state, asking for marriage licenses. Their case was heard by the Arizona Court of Appeals Aug. 19.

Observers on both sides of the issue say it has the least likely chance to succeed. In fact, three of the nation's largest homosexual-friendly organizations -- the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union -- refused to sign on.

The case is Standhardt v. Superior Court.

INDIANA -- The Indiana chapter of the ACLU filed suit on behalf of three homosexual couples seeking marriage licenses or recognition of their Vermont civil union licenses.

A superior court judge dismissed the case in May, although it has been appealed to the state court of appeals.

The case is Morrison v. Sadler.

MASSACHUSETTS -- The New England-based Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders filed suit on behalf of seven homosexual couples. The Massachusetts Bar Association filed a friend-of-the court brief.

The state's highest court heard oral arguments in March and is expected to issue a ruling any day.

The case is Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.

NEW JERSEY -- Lambda Legal filed suit on behalf of seven same-sex couples. In June a superior court judge heard arguments on a motion to dismiss the case. Her ruling is expected in the next few weeks.

The case is Lewis v. Harris.


NEBRASKA -- Lambda Legal, along with the Nebraska chapter of the ACLU, filed suit in a U.S. district court in Nebraska asking that the state's constitutional amendment banning same-sex "marriage" be overturned.

The plaintiffs say they are not seeking marriage licenses but instead want to strike down an amendment that bans "equal access" rights, such as hospital visitation rights.

The amendment reads: "Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska. The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar same-sex relationship shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska."

The case is Citizens for Equal Protection v. Attorney General. --30--

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Arizona; US: Indiana; US: Massachusetts; US: Nebraska; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: gaymarriage; homosexual; homosexualagenda; prisoners; samesexmarriage; sodomites

1 posted on 08/29/2003 1:02:50 PM PDT by jgrubbs
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To: jgrubbs
2 Timothy 3

Godlessness in the Last Days

1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth--men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
2 posted on 08/29/2003 1:11:57 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: jgrubbs
Homo's marrying is insane.
3 posted on 08/29/2003 1:44:23 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (No longshoremen were injured to produce this tagline.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
COMMUNIST GOALS (From The Congressional Record, Jan. 10, 1963)
4 posted on 08/29/2003 4:10:27 PM PDT by Patriotways
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To: jgrubbs
I'm waiting for Copious-sex marriages to become the rage. That's what I want - & govt. recognition 'n stuff.
5 posted on 08/29/2003 4:12:26 PM PDT by Jim Cane
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To: jgrubbs
Our American way-of-life softened us into ignoring the subtle "warning signs"... if something didn't affect our immediate life we turned a blind eye to it. We have lost our ability to distinguish evil until it is fast upon us.

Every compromise made on our morals has only emboldened those who wish us harm. The church has stood silent, infiltrated from within by those who undermined it's strength, spreading moral relativism as the "little leaven" that ruins the whole loaf. America is asleep and the wolves have thrown off their sheep's clothing...sad but sobering.
6 posted on 08/29/2003 4:59:05 PM PDT by Tarl ("Men killing men, feeling no pain...the world is a gutter - ENUFF Z'NUFF")
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To: jgrubbs
We really need to take this off the political plane and bring it down to a basic level. Words mean things, and marriage is what it is. Homos have always had the ability to contractually arrange anything they want between one another (which begs the question, just what is it they want?), but it will never be marriage.
7 posted on 08/29/2003 8:24:47 PM PDT by Clinging Bitterly (Keep forgetting to update this thing from thread-specific taglines. Am I the only one?)
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To: Dave in Eugene of all places
Homos have always had the ability to contractually arrange anything they want between one another (which begs the question, just what is it they want?), but it will never be marriage.

It's all a politcal ploy, to gain their desired goal of eliminating any moral restraint in society, so they can be free to publicly do whatever it is they want to do, and gain new, young recruits. Lesbians generally don't like "marriage" since it smacks of male domination, and male homosexuals are generally so wildly promiscuous that the whole "marriage" push is a transparent farce. They want to gain the sympathy of ill-informed people ("oh, the poor gays, they can't get married") and force the rest of the world into submission before their will.

Homosexual activists want domination, not tolerance. They are the most intolerant, domineering, fascistic group in existence. They want to eliminate the age of consent (or at least lower it to 12), legally force everyone to accomodate their weird practices, and legally prevent anyone from ever criticizing them and their goals. They will not stop until they are soundly defeated. Giving in to them will only increase their power (as we have witnessed in the last couple of decades). Capitulation will destroy society.

8 posted on 08/29/2003 8:50:25 PM PDT by First Amendment
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To: pram
***Homosexual activists want domination, not tolerance. They are the most intolerant, domineering, fascistic group in existence.***

A lesbian couple in Eugene, OR is suing a Catholic school that refuses to enroll the couple's child.
9 posted on 08/29/2003 8:57:28 PM PDT by Kuksool
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To: steve50
Looking for a bit of consistent application of the principles of "states' rights" supporters here, but I doubt we'll be seing that.
10 posted on 08/29/2003 9:02:10 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine (Give death the finger. Try new things, live, enjoy simple pleasures.)
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To: Kuksool
A lesbian couple in Eugene, OR is suing a Catholic school that refuses to enroll the couple's child.

Odd - a "couple's" child - how is it both of their child?

Can Catholic schools legally not admit students of non-Catholic families? I know many non-Catholic families send their kids to teh Catholic schools; I'm just wondering if the C. school has any legal defense. So if the kid goes to the school, will the lesbians then sue the school whenever traditional Biblical sexual morality standards are taught?

11 posted on 08/29/2003 9:05:38 PM PDT by First Amendment
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To: Chancellor Palpatine
The one good thing I see coming from this is many people are choosing to abandon the license of the state and just have a preacher marry them.
12 posted on 08/30/2003 5:30:43 AM PDT by steve50 (Democracy; The art and science of running the circus from the monkeyhouse. Mencken)
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To: jgrubbs; scripter; *Homosexual Agenda; GrandMoM; backhoe; pram; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; ...
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13 posted on 08/30/2003 8:36:12 PM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - Become a Monthly Donor)
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