Three judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are expected to hear arguments on Monday on gay marriage bans in Hawaii, Idaho and Nevada.
As The Associated Press reports, “The hearings come as gay marriage supporters have piled up legal victories in federal courts across the country this year, nullifying bans in more than a dozen states.”
In the Hawaii case — Jackson v. Abercrombie — the state argues that a legal challenge by gay couples to Hawaii’s now-defunct 1998 law restricting marriage to one man and one woman is moot since the state legalized same-sex marriage in November 2013.
But, as the AP explains, “attorneys representing the Hawaii Family Forum, which opposes gay marriage, are asking the court to keep alive the forum’s legal case. …”
Hawaii Deputy Attorneys General Robert Nakatsuji and Girard Lau will be appearing on behalf of Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Marriage equality supporters at the Hawaii State Capitol, November 2013.
Chad Blair/Civil Beat
In related news, the AP reports, “Fifteen states that allow gay marriage, led by Massachusetts, filed a brief asking the justices to take up three cases from Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma and overturn bans.”
The AP adds, “Thirty-two states that either allow gay marriage or have banned it asked the U.S. Supreme Court on (Sept. 4) to settle the issue once and for all.”
Hawaii joined in support of the Massachusetts amicus brief.
“The time has come to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from the institution of marriage,” according to the executive summary of the Massachusetts brief in Kitchen v. Herbert. “Twenty jurisdictions currently permit same-sex couples to marry, and they contain nearly half of the Nation’s population.”
The summary adds, “Some estimates suggest that as many as 200,000 same-sex couples have already wed in the United States. Yet many of these couples experience few, if any, of the benefits, protections, or obligations that flow from civil marriage, because they reside within the thirty-one States that currently ban such unions. Thousands of other couples anxiously await the chance to wed the partner of their choosing in their home States.”
Finally, the AP also reports, “The Mormon church and four religious organizations are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and settle once and for all the question of whether states can outlaw gay marriage.”
In a statement Friday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it joined a friend-of-the-court brief “asking the high court to hear Utah’s marriage case.”
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