Stars Fell On Alabama’s Lesbian and Gay Couples

Forum For Equality:

Blog post from FFELA Chair, Mary Griggs

Originally posted on Mary Griggs:

I really thought I was going to wake up this morning to the news that the National Guard had been called out in Alabama to enforce the decision of U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. “Ginny” Granade. She had ruled in January that Alabama’s prohibition on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional but she had put her decision on hold until Monday, February 9.

See, late on Sunday night, in defiance of her ruling and ahead of any ruling by the Supreme Court on the state’s appeal, Alabama State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, wrote a letter that banned judges from issuing same-sex marriage license. This, of course, comes after former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s repeated calls for nullification of the many, many court decisions in favor of marriage equality across the nation and the 36 states with marriage equality, as well as Texas Senator Ted Cruz introducing a Federal Marriage Amendment (supported by Louisiana’s Governor, Bobby Jindal).

My…

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Love is Supreme!

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court agreed to take up appeals of the Sixth Circuit marriage cases from the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The Court has agreed to consider two questions: (1) does the U.S. Constitution allow states to refuse to marry same-sex couples, and (2) does the U.S. Constitution allow states to refuse to recognize the unions of couples who have legally married in other states?

These are the very questions which we argued before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals less than two weeks ago, and this means we should have final resolution of these issues by this summer, for residents of all fifty states, including Louisiana.

Today, as we celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we remember his words that “justice is indivisible.” It is also worth noting that his wife, the late Coretta Scott King, often spoke out in favor of LGBT rights and equality, as early as 1983 insisting that a lesbian speaker be included in a national march marking the 20th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic march on Washington, D.C. Dr. King and Coretta Scott King were both right in insisting that justice is indivisible, just as the right to marry the person you love should not change when you cross state lines, nor should anyone have to live in fear because of who they are.

We will continue to keep you updated on all our work, as we always do. As we remember Dr. King’s legacy today, we remember that we are a stronger nation when we tear down walls of hatred and division, and we look forward to the Supreme Court taking us one big step closer to that “more perfect union” in several months.

I am so proud and excited to share this news with you. Once the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality, individuals in Louisiana and indeed throughout the country will finally be able to marry the person that they love, but we will not stop fighting until every person in Louisiana enjoys full equality under the law.

Yours in Equality,

Signature Chris Otten

 

 

Chris Otten
Chair-Elect and Legal Committee Chair, Forum for Equality Louisiana

PS – Although the end is in sight for marriage litigation, we will not slow down our efforts to educate and fight throughout the state as we prepare for #MarriageAndMore. Please consider making a gift from the heart, whether that is $5 or $500, by clicking here now.

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Love Appeals

5h circut outsideToday, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the lawsuits filed against the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, challenging these states’ hateful and discriminatory bans on marriage equality.

In the Louisiana case, the Judges asked both sides very good questions and raised interesting issues concerning the nature of the right to marriage, and ultimately whether states may violate LGBT couples’ constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

The Supreme Court of the United States will also consider the case Forum for Equality Louisiana filed together with seven brave and heroic couples today. Although we do not know what will happen with either the Fifth Circuit or the Supreme Court, I can’t stress how proud I was, sitting in that courtroom, listening to the incredible arguments made by Lambda Legal attorney Camilla Taylor.

I can tell you unequivocally that we had the stronger argument today, and you already know why – because Love is Appealing.

Although we do not know where the road will lead us next, I am so proud and thankful of our legal teams at Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C. and Lambda Legal, as well as Richard Perque and Scott Spivey. I also want to thank all of the plaintiffs who have put themselves out in the public eye, which is no small feat of bravery. The plaintiffs are putting themselves out there so that everyone in this great State can enjoy equality under the law and marry the person they love.

Lastly, I want to personally thank you – your support helped make this possible. We can look back at the strides we have made over these past twenty-five years, and in particular the past eighteen months, with immense pride.

Yours in Equality,

Signature Chris Otten

 

Chair-Elect and Legal Committee Chair, Forum for Equality Louisiana

PS – Regardless of how we get to marriage equality, we will continue to educate and fight throughout the state as we prepare for #MarriageAndMore. Please consider making a gift from the heart, whether that is $5 or $500, by clicking here now.

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5th Circuit Events

5th circuit eventsRSVP for Thank You: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/page/s/5th-circuit-thank-you

RSVP for Celebration on the Steps: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/page/s/join-us-on-the-steps-of-the-5th-circuit-courthouse

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Let’s Toast to Equality!

forum for equality profile picAs we move forward from the holiday season, we begin to make resolutions for a new year.

And this is my chance to say one last “thank you” for helping us build a state of equality here at home and beyond.

Over 25 years, we have continually made incredible strides. From beating a repeal effort in Shreveport to challenging state government for the freedom to marry, we are engaging with even more allies and elected officials to shape the future of equality in Louisiana.

You made this possible, and for that we are so grateful.

But, as always, we face significant challenges ahead.

We are just a few months away from a legislative session in which we must continue to fight against sanctioned discrimination and for protections to secure the same basic human dignity and freedoms as all Louisianans. And Forum for Equality Louisiana will open 2015 by fighting for marriage equality alongside Texas and Mississippi in the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Just days following the Fifth Circuit arguments, the US Supreme Court will consider whether to take up one or more of the marriage lawsuit appeals, including our own!

The anti-LGBT industry working in our state will stop at nothing to subject us to a divisive culture war in the communities we call home. The New Year is about making a resolution for change and goodness, so be a part of that in these last days of 2014 and donate to our efforts to bring fairness and equality to Louisiana. We will make sure the momentum forged from our work in 2014 builds the movement necessary to fight for all Louisianans in 2015.

As we count down to the New Year, please accept my sincere thanks for your work to bring full-lived equality in our state and for making the protection of all Louisiana families a priority, year after year.

With sincere gratitude,
SJB Signature

 

SarahJane E. Brady
Executive Director, Forum for Equality

PS. If you haven’t purchased your “Love is Appealing” t-shirt for the upcoming Oral Arguments in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals , click over and get one before they are gone!

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Celebrate with us on Twelfth Night

play on

Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1564690693742867/

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Love is Appealing T-Shirts Available Now!

On January 9, 2015, Forum for Equality Louisiana, along with plaintiffs from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, will have their oral arguments heard in front of the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. As the one state that has had a lower court ruling AGAINST marriage equality, we have been appealing since the start and we have no intention of stopping. We will appeal to the US Supreme Court if we must!

Because… LOVE IS APPEALING!

10848055_10100617860738949_665973087696043436_nAnd now you can show it with this limited availability t-shirt! Place your order now and we will mail you your t-shirt within 5-7 business days of your order. To make sure that you get them in time for the January 9th arguments, please place your order before 5:00PM January 3, 2015. We will have remaining shirts available for purchase at the Forum for Equality Louisiana Twelfth Night party on Tuesday, January 6th at Reyn Studios.

Please put your first and second choice t-shirt size in the Notes section below — SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE, XLARGE, XXLARGE. We have a limited number of each size, so it will be first come, first serve on all sizes.

Place your order here: https://equalityfederation.salsalabs.com/o/35013/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=7844

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