clear
Friday September 4th, 2015 2:57PM

Federal appeals court says states must allow gay couples to marry

By The Associated Press
DENVER (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled for the first time that states must allow gay couples to marry, finding the Constitution protects same-sex relationships and putting a remarkable legal winning streak across the country one step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.<br /> <br /> The three-judge panel in Denver found it "wholly illogical to believe that state recognition of the love and commitment between same-sex couples will alter the most intimate and personal decisions of opposite-sex couples."<br /> <br /> The decision upheld a lower court ruling that struck down Utah's gay marriage ban. However, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel immediately put Wednesday's ruling on hold so it could be appealed, either to the entire 10th Circuit or directly to the nation's highest court.<br /> <br /> "All I can say is that we are thrilled," said Kody Partridge, one of the Utah plaintiffs. She was working in the garden with her wife, Laurie Wood, when they heard about the ruling.<br /> <br /> "This is such as historic thing, not just for Utah but for Laurie and me" and plaintiffs across the country, Partridge said. "This is a big day."<br /> <br /> The decision gives increased momentum to a legal cause that already compiled an impressive winning streak in the lower courts after the Supreme Court last year struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Since then, 16 federal judges have issued rulings siding with gay marriage advocates.<br /> <br /> The latest of those rulings was in Indiana, where a federal judge on Wednesday struck down that state's same-sex marriage ban in a ruling that immediately allows gay couples to wed. (See separate story. Second link below.)<br /> <br /> Two of the most striking lower court rulings were in the conservative states of Utah and Oklahoma, which saw their voter-approved gay marriage bans overturned in December and January, respectively. In Utah, more than 1,000 same-sex couples wed before the Supreme Court issued a stay.<br /> <br /> The 10th Circuit panel considered both cases. It did not rule on the Oklahoma ban.<br /> <br /> Though the Utah and Oklahoma cases have been closely watched, it is unclear whether they will be the first to reach the Supreme Court. The high court could choose from cases moving through five other federal appellate courts, and wouldn't consider a case until next year at the earliest.<br /> <br /> Attorneys representing Utah and Oklahoma argued voters have the right to define marriage in their states. Gay rights lawyers countered that they cannot do so in a way that deprives gay people of their fundamental rights.<br /> <br /> The appellate ruling comes 42 years after the Supreme Court refused to hear a case of two men who were refused a marriage license in Minnesota, finding there was no legal issue for the justices to consider, and just 10 years after 11 states voted to outlaw gay marriage.<br /> <br /> Now same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Recent polls show a majority of Americans support it.<br />
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 8 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 8 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 8 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 8 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 8 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 8 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 8 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 8 months ago )
Politics
Hall deputies arrest suspect in 2014 molestation case
Acting on a tip, Hall County Sheriff's Office warrants deputies arrested a man this week, suspected of child molestation in 2012.
1:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
Alto man arrested for growing pot
An Alto man is behind bars after authorities say he tried to cut down and dispose of marijuana plants while authorities were searching for pot growers from a helicopter.
12:38PM ( 2 hours ago )
Alto man injured after motorcycle leaves road near Unicoi Gap
An Alto man was injured Thursday when he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed near Unicoi Gap on Highway 75 north of Helen
12:12PM ( 2 hours ago )
Gainesville woman arrested on prostitution charge
A Gainesville woman is charged with prostitution stemming from her arrest Thursday on West Ridge Road in Gainesville.
10:14AM ( 4 hours ago )
Urban camping and panhandling amendment gets first okay in Flowery Branch
Flowery Branch City Council is one step closer to amending the city's solicitation ordinance to prohibit urban camping and aggressive panhandling in city limits.
By Tyler Nutt
7:15AM ( 7 hours ago )