Despite yesterday’s announcement from the Supreme Court and rulings at the appellate court level, Republican governors are refusing to follow the law on same-sex marriage.
When the Supreme Court declined to review any of seven same-sex marriage case from five states, rulings by the appellate courts became the final ruling and all stays the Supreme Court and the appellate courts had place on those rulings were lifted.
The immediate effect was that same-sex couples inÂ Virginia, Utah, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma were allowed to marry, and they did.Â
But the next effect is that all states in the same judicial circuit, or region, as those cases were in, must follow theÂ ruling of that Circuit Court.
Virginia, for example, is part of the 4th Circuit. West Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina make up the rest of that Circuit, so same-sex marriage should be, theoretically, legal in those states as well.
Utah is part of the 10th Circuit, so same-sex marriage should be, theoretically, legal in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas as well.
So, same-sex marriage should now be legal in 30 states — the previous 19 plus the five from yesterday’s announcement and the additional six states that are part of those Circuits. Technically, states can wait for federal judges or their state supreme courts to specifically declare their marriage bans unconstitutional, but since the judges have no choice but to make that declaration, any wait is both manipulative and political — not to mention cruel and punitive. Governors or attorneys general could easily decide to make marriage available to same-sex couples now, without delay, as Colorado’s Republican Attorney General did today based on an earlier court ruling, or they could petition their state supreme court to overturn the ban immediately, or the rule immediately on an existing case.
In other words, they could take action to pave the way for marriage, rather than promising to block it.
AsÂ The New Civil Rights Movement reported yesterday, state and local officials are applying the Supreme Court’sÂ same-sex marriage announcement differently.
And unfortunately, governors and attorneys general in some ofÂ the six states are outright refusing to follow what is now, whether they like it or not and whether they agree or not, the law.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, a supposed devout Roman Catholic who has turned Kansas into an unmitigated disaster and is in a very rough re-election campaign, yesterday announced he would not follow the law.
“I swore an oath to support the Constitution of the State of Kansas,” Brownback in aÂ statementÂ “An overwhelming majority of Kansas voters amended the Constitution to include a definition of marriage as one man and one woman. Activist judges should not overrule the people of Kansas.”Â
It’s unclearÂ whenÂ the most conservative Supreme Court in recent history became “activists” on same-sex marriage (although on other issues, yes.)
Couples in Kansas have been denied their now legal right to marry.
In South Carolina, Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson is also refusing to follow the law. The APÂ reports Wilson “pointed out that a judge has not ruled on a lawsuit by a gay couple legally married in Washington, D.C., seeking to overturn the South Carolina gay marriage ban.”
The State reports Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, along with AG Wilson, “said Monday they would keeping on fighting in federal court a lawsuit filed in 2013 by a South Carolina same-sex couple.”
â€œGovernor Haley,” a spokesperson said, “agrees with Attorney General Wilson â€“ our voter-approved state law should be followed until a court rules on it directly.â€
In other words, stalling until the inevitable arrives.
In Wyoming, Republican Gov. Matt Mead, who, ironically is an attorney, said that theÂ “decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has no impact on the case before the Wyoming District Court.â€
“The attorney general will continue to defend Wyoming’s Constitution defining marriage between a man and a woman,” Mead added.
Same-sex couples will have to wait there, too.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, asÂ The New Civil Rights Movement reported last night, made clear she is vehemently opposed to allowing same-sex marriage. The divorced GOP governor actually railedÂ against “unelected federal justices” and their “D.C. values.”
How long can these anti-gay Republicans stall?
Not much longer.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated for clarity.
Related AtÂ The New Civil Rights Movement:
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“She is the Worst”: AZ Senator Kyrsten Sinema Leaves the Democratic Party
After causing years of obstruction within her own party, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has announced she’s leaving the Democratic Party to register as an Independent.
“I know some people might be a little bit surprised by this, but actually, I think it makes a lot of sense,” she said in a Thursday CNN interview.
“I’ve never fit neatly into any party box. I’ve never really tried. I don’t want to,” she continued. “Removing myself from the partisan structure… [is] true to who I am and how I operate. I also think it’ll provide a place of belonging for many folks across the state and the country, who also are tired of the partisanship.”
In a natural extension of my service since I was first elected to Congress, I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington and formally registering as an Arizona Independent. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/jUQHAeuxym
— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) December 9, 2022
The move will make her the third Independent Senator in addition to Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME). It also means that if she runs for re-election, she will face a Democratic and Republican opponent,
Contrary to her belief, Sinema’s move isn’t even a little bit surprising. Over the last two years, she has consistently alienated herself from her Democratic colleagues by obstructing votes on key Democratic legislative priorities.
She has given speeches on why it’s important to uphold Jim Crow-era filibuster rules in the Senate, even though the rules helped block important voting rights legislation and more.
Her antics, and her refusal to help stump for Democratic candidates during the latest midterm election cycle, have led to her being censured by the Arizona Democratic Party and low approval ratings amongst state Democratic voters. Top Democratic donor groups had also pulled their endorsements and funding from Sinema.
Twitter users were unimpressed with Sinema’s announcement.
Kyrsten Sinema switched to being an independent because she was never really a Dem and couldn’t survive an Arizona Primary. She also waited until after the GA runoffs so the Dems can’t celebrate 51 anymore. None of this is surprising but it is confirmation that she is the worst.
— brittany packnett cunningham. (@MsPackyetti) December 9, 2022
Don’t overthink Sen. Kyrsten Sinema switching from Democrat to Independent.
She’s not driven by ideology.
She’s driven by which corporations and lobbyists are giving her the most money — which makes her an elected mercenary, not an elected representative of the people.
— Melanie D'Arrigo (@DarrigoMelanie) December 9, 2022
In the most shocking, surprising, and unexpected news in modern American political history, Senator Kyrsten Sinema is leaving the Democratic Party, which makes sense because 1) she was never really a Democrat, and 2) she can’t win a Dem primary in 2024. So Sinema being Sinema… https://t.co/3FoSZM8Mqu
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 9, 2022
Think about all the people in Arizona who worked so hard to elect Krysten Sinema as a Democrat only to be stabbed in the back now?!! I wish Sinema would resign so that once Democrat Katie Hobbs is sworn in as governor she could pick a Democrat for the seat!!
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) December 9, 2022
‘The Hypocrisy Is Just Absolutely Insane’: Morning Joe Slams GOP ‘Idiots’ for Criticizing Brittney Griner Release
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough bashed Donald Trump and other Republicans for their “absolutely insane” hypocrisy on the prisoner swap that returned WNBA star Brittney Griner from a Russian penal colony.
GOP lawmakers and conservative media attacked President Joe Biden for agreeing to free Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner, who had been convicted of possessing cannabis oil, and not former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who was convicted of spying. The “Morning Joe” host ripped their complaints.
“The hypocrisy is just absolutely insane,” Scarborough said. “I mean, the same Republicans that were criticizing Joe Biden for not bringing Paul Whelan home failed to place blame on the man who was actually in the White House when Whelan was arrested illegally, jailed illegally. Why didn’t Donald Trump do anything in 2018 to get Paul Whelan home? Why didn’t he do anything in 2019 to get Paul Whelan home? Why didn’t Donald Trump do anything in 2020 to get Paul Whelan home? He was praising Vladimir Putin the entire time, why not actually call his buddy and ask him to release an American? I guess because he just didn’t give a damn.”
“Despite celebrating the releases of other Americans imprisoned while he was in office, Donald Trump didn’t publicly utter Whelan’s name even once as president,” Scarborough continued. “This is according to a review of public remarks and tweets, carried out by The Independent. Trump clearly had the power to negotiate a prisoner swap deal, however, never was this evident in 2020, when he negotiated with, get this, not with his friend Putin to get Paul Whelan home. He didn’t give a damn that Putin arrested Whelan and let him rot in jail. Instead, no, he was negotiating with the Taliban, and he freed up 5,000 Taliban terrorists. What did he get in exchange? Nothing, he got nothing in exchange and he wanted to actually invite the Taliban, the people who actually allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen, to be launched from their country, he invited them on Sept. 11 to Camp David.”
“When these idiot, and they are total idiots, when these idiots going around talking about Joe Biden being a bad negotiator, they are literally talking in defense of with Donald Trump — the biggest loser, the worst negotiator we have ever had,” Scarborough added. “He falls in love with dictators in North Korea, he completely kowtows to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, and he doesn’t even give a damn about Paul Whelan, lets him rot in jail for three years while Biden and [secretary of state Tony] Blinken and this administration are working their tails off to try to get him home.”
‘Don’t Say Gay’ Florida GOP Lawmaker Quits One Day After Pleading Not Guilty to Federal Felony Fraud Charges
Joe Harding, the Florida Republican state representative who authored the highly-controversial and some say unconstitutional “Don’t Say Gay” law has just resigned, one day after pleading “not guilty” and assuring his constituents on social media he is working “for a fair and just resolution” to federal felony fraud and money laundering charges.
Harding’s resignation also comes one day after he was stripped of his committee assignments, and is effective immediately, Florida Politics reports.
The charges involve a COVID-related Small Business Administration loan for $150,000, according to the Dept. of Justice, which notes if convicted on all charges he could get 35 years in prison.
“I want the public and my constituents to know that I fully repaid the loan and cooperated with investigators as requested,” Harding told his constituents via Facebook on Wednesday. “On advice from counsel, I will be unable to say anything more specific about the legal proceedings until a later date and refer any questions or concerns related to this matter to my attorney. I ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers as we work for a fair and just resolution. Thank you, and may God bless you.”
Also on Wednesday Harding shuttered his Twitter account.
In another statement Harding wrote: “To my many colleagues that have reached out to me, including many I have deep policy disagreements with, thank you. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside you for the past two years.”
Florida Politics notes Harding ended his statement with a bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11-12. That verse can have several different meanings depending on the version of the Bible.
Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded to news of Harding’s resignation via social media: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”
Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.
“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics notes. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”
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