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UPDATED: Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage To Be Law Of The Land Nationwide In Historic Ruling

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In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has just handed down one of the most consequential civil rights decisions in its history.

Same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry, and states cannot take that right away from them, says the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling handed down moments ago. The decision requires all 50 states and all U.S. territories to recognize all legally-performed marriages from all jurisdictions, and to extend marriage to same-sex couples. In short, the court’s decision requires all states to treat marriages of same-sex couples exactly as they treat marriages of different-sex couples.

The United States now becomes one of about 21 countries that have extended marriage to same-sex couples.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. The Chief Justice, John Roberts, along with Justices Alito, Thomas, and Scalia dissented. 

The case, Obergefell v. Hodges, was filed by Jim Obergefell, a man whose legally-married husband died. Obergelfell sued to have his name placed on his husband’s death certificate.

READ: Here’s The Full Supreme Court Decision Finding Same-Sex Couples Have The Right To Marry

The Court heard four same-sex marriage cases in April, all from the 6th Circuit Court of appeals, the only appellate court that ruled states may practice marriage discrimination against same-sex couples. That decision was in Michigan’s DeBoer v. Snyder, a case filed by two women, both pediatric emergency room nurses, who have adopted four special needs children and wanted to marry so they could jointly adopt each child. 

On April 28, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in cases from each of the four states that comprise the 6th Circuit: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. It had challenged plaintiffs and defendants to answer two questions:

Question 1: Must states allow same-sex couples to marry under the United States Constitution? 
Question 2: Must states recognize the legal marriages entered by same-sex couples in other jurisdictions?

The Court this morning answered yes to both.

UPDATE – Watch: Obama Speaks On Marriage Win – ‘A Victory For America’ (Full Video And Text)

Today’s historic ruling may well be one of the most important civil rights rulings since 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, in which the Supreme Court struck down banning interracial marriage, and paved the way for today’s decision by stating marriage is a civil right.

Along the way, in 2003, the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas ruled all bans on sodomy were unconstitutional and that criminalizing same-sex relationships is a violation of privacy rights.

In 2013’s U.S. v. Windsor, the Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, in a historic case brought by Edie Windsor of New York. Windsor had married her partner of four decades, Thea Spyer, in Canada shortly before Spyer’s death. The IRS demanded she pay $363,000 in inheritance taxes that she would not have had to incur had she been married to a man.

Since the DOMA decision two years ago, state marriage bans have fallen at historic speed, and the support for same-sex marriage has escalated faster than any other social issue. Today, polls find that up to 60 percent of Americans support the right of same-sex couples to marry, and the majority of Americans also wanted the Supreme Court to decide in favor of a national, 50-state right to marry.

UPDATE: Tweets Of The Day: President Obama And A Gazillion Democrats Celebrate Supreme Court Marriage Win

Before today’s ruling, same-sex marriage was legal in 37 states and one U.S. territory. Of the remaining 13 states, bans remained in place in the four states of the 6th Circuit. In the remaining nine states, rulings or decisions were placed on hold in deference to the impending Supreme court ruling.

There will assuredly be a backlash, as the religious right has promised. The Southern Baptist Convention, which boasts 16 million members, has vowed to defy the ruling. At least two current Republican presidential candidates, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, have signed a pledge to defy today’s ruling. Every Republican likely and declared GOP presidential candidate is formally opposed to same-sex marriage. Some high-ranking state officials, like Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, have suggested they will not follow today’s ruling.

While today’s historic ruling advances civil right for LGBT Americans, this is far from the completion of the fight for equality. As more and more same-sex couples marry, they can still be fired in the majority of states for being gay. Just yesterday President Barack Obama again called on Congress to pass ENDA to protect LGBT employees.

UPDATE: WATCH: Pres. Obama Calls Marriage Lead Plaintiff Jim Obergefell – ‘We’re Really Proud Of You’

 

This is a breaking news and developing story and has been updated.
Stay with The New Civil Rights Movement all day for reports, reactions, and other important marriage news.

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Image by Meghan Hess via Flickr and a CC license

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Fox News Host Suggests Trump ‘Force’ Court to Throw Him in Jail – by Quoting Him

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The Fox News host who targeted a juror serving on Donald Trump’s criminal New York trial is now suggesting the ex-president should violate his gag order and “force” the court to throw him in jail, by quoting the Fox News host.

Jesse Watters came under fire earlier this week for profiling juror number two, sharing possibly identifying information published by a myriad of reporters but then using that information to pass judgment on her ability to serve.

“I’m not so sure about juror number two,” Watters concluded on Fox News.

Jurors, at the judge’s direction, were to remain anonymous, for their protection and the protection of the trial.

The judge excused her, after she said she felt she was not able to be impartial because friends and family were calling her asking if she had been chosen to serve on the Trump trial, after the media blitz.

New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan admonished the press for reporting the information, but some news outlets appeared to ignore his warning.

Watters on Wednesday “did a segment with a jury consultant, revealing details about people who had been seated on the jury and questioning whether some were ‘stealth liberals’ who would be out to convict Trump,” the Associated Press reported.

READ MORE: Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

Trump later posted Watters’ quote on his Truth Social platform, leading some, including New York prosecutors, to ask the judge to cite him for allegedly breaking his gag order.

Judge Merchan ordered Trump to not mention witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, court staff, or the family members of prosecutors and court staff, CNN has reported.

New York prosecutors told Juge Merchan Trump has violated the gag order at least ten times.

“Prosecutor Christopher Conroy described the ‘most disturbing’ example as a social media message Trump posted on Wednesday evening quoting a Fox News host as saying, ‘They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury,'” Politico reports.

That host was Jesse Watters.

RELATED: ‘Afraid and Intimidated’: Trump Trial Juror Targeted by Fox News Dismissed

Friday afternoon, Watters appeared to egg Trump on, urging the ex-president to violate the gag order.

“I would make them put me in jail,” Watters said on Fox News. “I would have a tweet about something perhaps I said on ‘The Five’ or ‘Jesse Watters Primetime,’ and I would force them to throw me in jail.”

Watch Watters’ remark below or at this link.

 

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Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

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U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says some of his fellow House Republicans would “take a bribe” to throw the razor-thin GOP majority to the Democrats if a far-right faction calls up a motion to oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, allowing Democrats to hand the gavel to the Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries. he warned if that happens, Democrats would immediately declare Trump ineligible to be President, pack the U.S. Supreme Court, and pass numerous laws like the American Rescue Plan.

“I do believe in a one seat majority there could be one or two or three of my colleagues who would take a bribe in one form or another in order to deprive the Republicans of a majority at all,” Gaetz said Friday on his podcast (video below.)

He added, “the risk that one or two of my corrupt Republican colleagues might take a bribe, take a walk, feign an ailment and flip this thing to the Democrats is a risk that is too high for me at this time.”

Gaetz’s fellow far-right Florida Republican member of Congress, Anna Paulina Luna, told listeners, “I heard that when, if and when the motion vacate is introduced, that there will be immediate resignations of a couple of more moderate members of Congress. And in the event that that happens, that ultimately means it does go to a Democrat speaker.”

RELATED: Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last month filed a “motion to vacate,” which she can use at any time to force a vote to oust the GOP Speaker, Mike Johnson. U.S. Rep. Tim Massie (R-KY) and just today, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has signed on as co-sponsors.

Congressman Gaetz told listeners if Democrats do take the House through a force vote to remove Johnson, Democrats would “be declaring Donald Trump an insurrectionist and setting up a barrier to him being able to become the president United States.”

“That’ll be their leadoff hitter, and then the chaser to that shot will be a massive spending package that looks a lot more like the American Rescue Plan. They will blow past every concept of every cap ever imagined. You’ll be looking at Universal Basic Income, you could be looking at packing the Supreme Court.”

Watch a short clip of Gaetz’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

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Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

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Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries vowed Friday the majority of Democrats will support Republicans’ Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and Gaza foreign aid legislation as Republican Speaker Mike Johnson lost support of another member of his conference to a faction determined to oust him.

“Democrats will provide a majority of our majority as it relates to funding Israel, humanitarian assistance, Ukraine, and our allies in the Indo Pacific,” Minority Leader Jeffries said. “It remains to be seen what Republicans will do in terms of meeting the national security needs of the American people, but it was important for House Democrats to ensure that the national security bills are going to be considered.”

Despite Republicans having a one-vote majority, more Democrats on Friday voted to move the critical and long-awaited foreign aid bills forward than did Republicans.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

The 316-94 vote included 165 Democrats and 151 Republicans voting yes, and 55 Republicans and 39 Democrats voting no.

Axios’ Juliegrace Brufke posted the list of Republicans voting against their party’s legislation.

Calling it a “rare” moment in modern congressional history to have to rely on opposition party votes to pass legislation, BBC News reports Speaker Johnson’s “hold on power is tenuous, and the legislators who oppose him – and his bid to provide aid to Ukraine – occupy some key positions within the House’s power structure.”

Amid the procedural vote to move the foreign aid funding bills forward, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican of Arizona, announced he is joining Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Congressman Tim Massie (R-KY) in formally announcing their will vote to oust Speaker Johnson.

Gosar, like Greene, is reportedly a Christian nationalist. In 2022 CNN reported his “lengthy ties to White nationalists, [a] pro-Nazi blogger and far-right fringe received little pushback for years.”

RELATED: ‘Repercussions’: Democrats and Republicans Stand Against ‘Pro-Putin’ House GOP Faction

“We’ve been very honest in our assessment of the situation from the beginning,” Jeffries on Friday also declared. “At the appropriate time as House Democrats, we will have a conversation about how to deal with any hypothetical motion to vacate.”

“Moscow Marjorie Taylor Greene, Massie, and Gosar are quite a group. But central to our conversation is to make sure that the national security legislation in totality is passed by the House of Representatives.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

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