Marriage Equality The Law of the Land

SATURDAY UPDATE: Last night’s celebration at the Colorado Capitol was fittingly historic in itself, photo courtesy One Colorado:



Graphic via Rep. Jared Polis

UPDATE #4: Colorado Democratic legislative leaders weigh in:

“’Justice delayed is justice denied,’ and today – finally – the delay is over, and all loving families have the right to marriage. It is about time!” said Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, Senate Democratic Leader. “Today we should honor those who fought for equality before us, but sadly aren’t here to see the outcome of their struggle. And we should also celebrate the fact that love finally won. Love will always prevail over hate and intolerance. What a great day for all Americans!”

“The Court has brought the finishing touch to the long journey for equality in marriage,” said Sen. Lucia Guzman, D-Denver. “On the Eve of our country celebrating our freedom, may we all stop for a moment and give thanks to all who have fought the great battles for Justice.”

“Colorado Democrats have been fighting for equality for the LGBT community for a long time,” said Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder. “Today’s decision in the Supreme Court affirms what I’ve known since this fight was just getting started: no matter how long it takes, no matter how hard it gets, no matter what the opponents of equality throw in our way, in the end, love wins.”

“In the 90’s, Colorado was called the ‘hate state’ with the passage of Amendment 2,” said Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver, co-chair of the House LGBT Caucus. “Since then, we have acted quickly and broadly on LGBT equality. Colorado set the table and helped shape the debate that led to today’s Supreme Court decision, and I couldn’t be more proud to have been a part of it.”

“From designated beneficiaries to two-parent adoption, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, to civil unions and today’s decision, Colorado has been on the right track for LGBT individuals and families for a long time,” said Rep. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, co-chair of the House LGBT Caucus. “I’m proud to have been part of the caucus to sponsor and pass the Colorado Civil Unions Act in 2013, and today’s decision finally gives all Americans the right to marry who they love.”

UPDATE #3: Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver is ready to officiate more weddings:

“Finally, every loving couple in the United States may choose to express their commitment in marriage and be assured of its legal benefits and responsibilities. This is a proud moment in our ongoing march towards full equality.

“I was particularly touched by Justice Kennedy’s observation about the children of same sex couples, who have borne the burden of the inequality of their parents’ relationships, observing:

‘[e]xcluding same-sex couples from marriage thus conflicts with a central premise of the right to marry. Without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser. They also suffer the significant material costs of being raised by unmarried parents, relegated through no fault of their own to a more difficult and uncertain family life.’

“That stigma ends now.

“I have proudly officiated services for same sex couples, and I have my minister’s license ready to perform more.”


UPDATE #2: Polar opposite statements two Colorado congressmen–Rep. Jared Polis:

“The road to LGBT equality in America has not been an easy one. From the Stonewall riots in 1969, to an epidemic that killed hundreds of thousands of gay men; from a Supervisor assassinated for refusing to blend in, to a Wyoming college student beaten to death for his sexual orientation, that road has been paved with far too many tragic days.

“Today is not one of those. Today is a day to celebrate, as we’ve overcome one of our most challenging obstacles yet.

“With today’s decision, the Court ruled in no uncertain terms that the bonds of love, commitment, and responsibility that all our families share exist without regard to gender and deserve the dignity of being recognized under the law.”

Compare that to GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs:

“I am very disappointed that the Supreme Court chose to utilize their power to disenfranchise millions of Americans with valid moral and cultural concerns via this decision. By undertaking this staggering judicial overreach, the Court, in its very finite wisdom, has decided to throw out thousands of years of tradition and societal structure. Decisions of this magnitude should absolutely be made on a state-by-state basis with local and individual citizen involvement. This decision is a slap in the face to all Americans who value this tradition of local government.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Coffman is ready to change the subject:

“The world is changing, and while I’ve supported traditional marriage, the court has ruled a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. It is time we move forward and focus on the big debates of our day — how to keep our country safe and get Americans back to work.”


UPDATE: LGBT advocacy group One Colorado:

“Today’s historic Supreme Court ruling means same-sex couples will soon have the freedom to marry and equal respect for their marriages across America. This is a momentous win for freedom, equality, inclusion, and above all, love. We can celebrate that ours is a country that keeps its promise of the pursuit of happiness, liberty, and justice for all.

“As happy as we are to see this day arrive, we also know that our work is not done. We know that even as we achieve this milestone, our opponents will continue their fight against equality for LGBT people in the form of religious exemption laws. So, though we celebrate this joyous, incredible victory today, we will also not forget that we have to keep working until all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people can lead lives that are fulfilling, inclusive, and equal in every corner of our state.

“While the work toward equality for all Americans is far from over, the campaign for the freedom to marry has been transformative in helping Americans understand who LGBT people are. We hope state officials move swiftly to implement the Constitution’s command in the remaining 13 states with marriage discrimination. Same-sex couples and their families have waited long enough.”

A celebratory rally is set for 6:30PM this evening at the Colorado State Capitol.


Another big U.S. Supreme Court decision today settles the long-fought question of marriage equality for LGBT Americans, CNN:

In a landmark 5-4 opinion, the Supreme Court ruled Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, handing gay rights advocates their biggest victory yet.

The relevant cases were argued earlier this year. Attorney John Bursch, serving as Michigan’s Special Assistant Attorney General, defended four states’ bans on gay marriage before the Court, arguing that the case was not about how to define marriage, but rather about who gets to decide the question.

The case comes before the Supreme Court after several lower courts have overturned state bans on gay marriage. A federal appeals court had previously ruled in favor of the state bans, with Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals writing a majority opinion in line with the rationale that the issue should be decided through the political process, not the courts…

“Gay and lesbian people are equal,” Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. told the justices at the oral arguments earlier this year. “It is simply untenable — untenable — to suggest that they can be denied the right of equal participation in an institution of marriage, or that they can be required to wait until the majority decides that it is ready to treat gay and lesbian people as equals.”

From today’s opinion, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.

We’ll update with local coverage and statements as they come in.

And tonight, we expect a party from sea to shining sea.

76 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    Way Cool! And the decision comes out 2 days before the Pride Parade in NYC!

    • notaskinnycook says:

      It's better than that, even, Frank. This was also the date of Lawrence v Texas, which struck down the last of the "sodomy" laws, and the date upon which, two years ago, Edie Windsor's marriage was validated by this same Court. A date which lives in history.


  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    Another good decision from the Roberts’ court.

  3. mamajama55 says:

    About time! A good day, and a good week.

  4. Chickenheed says:


  5. Davie says:

    Another sign that the GOP-led Dark Ages with scientific thought consisting of Sorcery, Alchemy and Astrology are finally waning, and a new Renaissance is starting to bloom?

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Today's decision got me thinking back to the Dark Ages (i.e., the Republican National Convention in Houston in 1992) when Pat Buchanan declared the Cultural War had started. (It had actually started before that point. He just wanted to make it official.)
      Who would have thought we would have traveled so far in so short a length of time…..

      • Davie says:

        The same year Colorado passed Amendment 2.  It was overturned the following year based on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, laying the foundation for today's SCOTUS ruling.

        So something positive actually came out of that misguided attempt to institutionalize discrimination 🙂

        • notaskinnycook says:

          Amendment 2 actually wasn't overturned until four years later. Romer v Evans 517 U.S., 620; 116 S Ct. 1620; 134 L. Ed. 2d 855. U.S. LEXIS 3245 (1996).
          Just being nitpicky, but who’s counting? I’m too happy today.

          • FrankUnderwood says:

            You're both right. In 1993, Denver District Court Judge Jeffrey Bayliss issued a temporary injunction prohibiting implementation of Amendment Two. It was later made permanent, and affirmed by the CO Supreme Court. In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the lower court's decisions. 

            • notaskinnycook says:

              Yeah, okay, Frank. You're right. I'll spotDavie the 1993 date. I've just been immersed in reading the decisions and overlooked Judge Bayliss' ruling that kept that evil thing from ever taking effect.

  6. MADCO says:

    (thank you to anyone who tried to assist before – I cannot embed. In this case the old way was better. Actual HTML would be ok. But…I can’t)

  7. BlueCat says:

    Guess they were so busy with Obamacare they forgot to back mail Chief Justice Robert's over this one. Of course, they got the satanic decision they wanted anyway since 5 is enough. Kind of makes you wonder why they went to all that trouble blackmailing him in the first place to get the superfluous 6-3 on the Obamacare decision.

  8. Davie says:

    Uh, huh. So Congressman Lamebrain thinks his followers are "disenfranchised" because their ignorance of history and intolerance no longer have the force of law on this matter.

  9. FrankUnderwood says:

    I like Coffman's comment about traditional marriage. Is that the arrangement where the husband and the wife live together under the same roof?

    • BlueCat says:

      Your comment got me curious about just how traditional the Coffman marriage is so I tried looking at biographies etc. and couldn't find anything except that they got married in 2005 when he would have been about 50 and have kept separate residences. Couldn't find anything about Cindy Coffman's age or any mention of previous marriages or children for either of them. I also saw that he attends church with his mother.  Anybody know anything more about the traditional Coffman family?

      • MADCO says:

        Don't know. Don't care.

        • Zappatero says:

          Cindy a beard? 

          • BlueCat says:

            Or Mike? Or both? True it's of no concern, especially since neither is a particularly strident gay basher or to the mat gay marriage resistor. Seems more like they just go along with the party line without a lot of overt enthusiasm. But it's certainly not a 50s TV traditional marriage which is perfectly fine regardless. 

            • Davie says:

              FWIW, working backwards from Cynthia's work history on her wiki page, I estimate she was born around 1968, making her about 47.

            • Zappatero says:

              agreed……don't care. From my exp meeting Mike, shaking his firm hand and looking him square in the eye, I'd guesstimate he's ________.

            • FrankUnderwood says:

              I seem to recall hearing that he was married once before in the '80s. And it lasted about 15 minutes. Never heard anything about her being married before.

            • MADCO says:

              You mean like Ike and Kay Summersby?


              Again- don't care.

              Until the voters stop caring about the meaningless trivia – it will not be meaningless trivia.

              Is Senator so and so gay?  Don't care.

              Did the President have an affair? Don't care.

              Sexuality – assuming conesnting adults- is not and should not be a crime.  DOn't care, don't care, don't care.


              Now – even when not a crime, when hypocrits like VItter and Wright, Livingston Hastert, Governor "Hicking the Appalachian Trail" et al, get caught being hypocritcal – that should be news. Not so much as "Politician Lies" but more in the – "Whoinhellis this guy anyway?"

  10. ZMulls says:

    The Wiggles Sing Scalia #AskTheNearestHippie

    — Pint Diaries (@PintDiaries) June 26, 2015

  11. Zappatero says:

    the hetero natives are restless in CO Springs…………Richard Randall on KVOR playing on the fear, paranoia and asked what ISIS will think of us now?

    Ted Haggard, Klingonschmitt, Dobsy to have a high-level meeting on whether to gay marry or not.

  12. ZMulls says:

    World Premiere:  NINO!  The Broadway musical.  The zany life and times of Antonin Scalia, starring Nathan Lane in the lead role.  Featuring everybody's favorite sing-along hits:  Argle-Bargle, Jiggery-Pokery, and Ask The Nearest Hippie.

  13. davebarnes says:

    I just assume that Lambchop was commenting on Loving vs Virginia.

  14. Diogenesdemar says:

    It's about time!  

    Finally, Hobby Lobby can marry another corporation without fear of discrimination!!  Be looking for that Lobby/Fil-A announcment any day now!

  15. MichaelBowman says:

    …and still no Twitter puke from my Congressman?  Maybe he and Trey Gowdy are hunkered down in the closet stroking the big ol' barrel of that AR-15 he smuggled in to town – preparing for the Armageddon that is surely to follow.  I've already gotten my "arm yourselves, Christians!" for the fight ahead, as prophesied by the Colorado Catholic Conference (I've already gotten the email).  Apparently they don't understand 'the fight is over'. 

    On a happy note, I'm sure Chappy will have one helluva fundraising bonanza today.

  16. FrankUnderwood says:

    None of our resident trolls have weighed in on this yet. Between yesterday's King v. Burwell decision and now this, they experienced the ideological equivalent of a double atomic wedgie.

  17. Diogenesdemar says:

    On a personal (and therefore selfish) note, my extreme thanks and profound gratitude to the Supremes . . . 

    . . . this decision is apparently why my (traditional) marriage ended in divorce five years ago!!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, and again, thank you!!!

  18. BlueCat says:

    Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito says that the Constitution "says nothing about a right to same-sex marriage." It didn't seem to bother him that it also says nothing about corporations being people and enjoying all the rights people have. If ever there was a pure apple sauce decision, that was it. Let me know when they manage to try a corporation, find it guilty and throw it in prison just for starters.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      The solution was obvious……gay couples should have sought to incorporate, not marry.

    • Canines says:

      The Constitution doesn't say anything about marriage period.


      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        No, the Constitution does not address marriage. But the 14th amendment is pretty clear about equal protections. And the 3rd, 4th, 5th amendments contain implied rights to privacy, which is a big part of married life. One can also make a case, I think, that bans on gay marriage violate the 1st amendment regarding freedom of religion.

        Being a never-married heterosexual (altho came close once), I have never thought that allowing two gays to marry had any impact at all upon my rights. All in all, a good decision for common sense conservatives and many other citizens.   C.H.B.  

        • BlueCat says:

          Too bad  "common sense conservative" has become an oxymoron in the US political landscape. At least among elected and electable Rs.

        • MADCO says:

          Ding! Ding!  Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

          he wrote it different, but that's sort of how I see the marjority opinion.

          • BlueCat says:

            I also see it as a simple discrimination issue. Just as with state laws against blacks and whites marrying or against blacks using public schools and other public institutions that were overturned by the court. The right of persons to marry without regard to race was considered to supersede the state's right to decide marriage laws. Here the right for persons to marry without regard to gender similarly supersedes states rights.

            Segregated schools, drinking fountains and marriage may not be mentioned in the constitution but equal rights of all citizens under the law, not subject to discrimination based on race, color or creed is a long established core constitutional principle. It's natural progress for the principal of equality to be extended to those with a minority sexual orientation as it was to extended to other groups in the past. Like women.

  19. FrankUnderwood says:

    Two of the Centennial State's freedumb fighters, Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn, have signed on as co-sponsors to H.R. 2802 a/k/a the First Amendment Defense Act which purports to protect the rights of homophobic bigots hiding behind their professed religious beliefs to discriminate (much as Bob Jones University used to try to mask its racism as godliness). 

    The Senate version of the bill is sponsored by Mike Lee of Utah (a state with its own rich history of defining marriage in an unusual way). One of his co-sponsors is none other than Diaper Dave Vitter. Interestingly enough, Colorado's Junior Senator has not signed on as a co-sponsor. At least not yet.

  20. notaskinnycook says:

    As if this "done-nothing" Congress needed anything more to waste time on. Find me a clergyperson who has been forced to officiate a same-gender marriage and I'll shut up. As for the business owner ordered by a  state to provide a service, well, there are laws. But I think picketing outside the business is far more effective.Then we're matching freedom of speech and assembly against freedom of religion and more people see it. Bet I know who wins that match-up.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Find me a clergyperson who has been forced to officiate a same-gender marriage and I'll shut up 

      Absolutely right, Nota. Can't happen under the existing free exercise clause of the First Amendment. (That's why they don't need a First Amendment Defense Act.) It's why my Roman Catholic parents who divorced and then married new partners wouldn't even attempt to ask a Catholic priest to perform their second marriages. Nobody can force a member of the clergy of any church to perform a sacrament which runs counter to the church's teaching.

      I laugh at reference to the florist or the baker or the photographer as "participating in a gay wedding." You'd think they were being forced to go on the honeymoon by the way these bigots put it.

      These folks are engaging in a commercial activity – something the Chamber of Commerce wing of the GOP ought to celebrate – for which they provide goods or perform a service to buyers and for which they get compensated.

      And if some of these rgiht wing nuts are really freaking out that they might inadvertently receive a invitation to attend a same sex wedding (remember, Ted Cruz was invited to dinner at the apartment of that gay couple in NYC a few months ago and attended), at the risk of sounding like Emily Post, the appropriate thing to do is simply check the box on the RSVP that says you regret you cannot attend. Sending a gift is optional.

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