LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Vetstein Law Group: Worcester Catholic Church Pulled Out of Mansion Sale To Prevent Gay Marriages, Lawsuit Says

By Richard D. Vetstein, ESQ Worcester Diocese Allegedly Pulled Out of Deal Over Possibility Of Gay Marriages at Mansion James Fairbanks and Alain Beret, married business partners from Sutton, had been searching for the perfect property for nearly two years when they discovered Oakhurst, an aging...

State Net Capitol Journal: More Hot - And Reheated - Issues For States In 2013

Last week, SNCJ took a look at some of the most pressing issues facing states in 2013. Here are a few more, some of which are either ongoing considerations for state lawmakers or matters likely placed square on their radars by last month's elections. VOTER ID - According to the National Conference...

Fulbright Team Files Amici Curiae Briefs on Behalf of Over 60 Public Interest Organizations in DOMA and Proposition 8 Cases

On February 28, 2013, Fulbright filed amici curiae briefs on behalf of over 60 public interest organizations with the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases. The briefs urge the Court to apply heightened scrutiny under the Equal Protection clause to classifications...

State Net Capitol Journal: Gay Marriage Battle Begins in Minnesota

Emboldened by Minnesota voters' simultaneous rejection of a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex unions and termination of GOP control of both houses of the Legislature in November, a pair of DFL lawmakers have introduced legislation seeking to overturn the state's statutory ban on same-sex...

Illinois House of Representatives Fails to Vote on Marriage Bill

"This is a stunning failure in the Illinois House. Lambda Legal's lawsuit will move forward..." At the close of the legislative session, the Illinois House of Representatives did not call for a floor vote or advance The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, the bill that would grant...

High Court: Ban On Benefits For Same-Sex Married Couples Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) In a 5-to-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 struck down as unconstitutional Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife for purposes of all federal statutes...

Supreme Court Finds No Standing To Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) Proponents of California's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage did not have standing to appeal a ruling finding the ballot initiative unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 26 in a 5-4 ruling ( Dennis Hollingsworth, et al. v. Kristin M. Perry, et...

State Net Capitol Journal: Governors Brace For Marriage Fight To Return To States

Governors reacted somewhat predictably to the Supreme Court's historic decisions supporting same-sex marriage last Wednesday, with Democrats hailing the rulings and Republicans bemoaning them. But there is one thing both sides can agree on: the battle over gay marriage is sure to now shift back to...

Ask Lambda Legal: After DOMA: What Does it Mean for You?

By Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation Q: Now that DOMA is gone what will it mean for my family? A: The victory at the Supreme Court was an amazing time for our community but we also know there will be a lot of questions in the weeks and months ahead. There are more than 1,100 places...

Abercrombie Calls Gay Marriage Special Session

Saying the votes are there, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) called for a special session next month to allow lawmakers to act on legislation that would make the Aloha State the 14th to legalize same-sex marriage. The session has been scheduled for Oct. 28. "The decision to call a special session...

State Net Capitol Journal: Momentum Shift On Gay Marriage?

With Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) signing of SB 10 last week, his state became the 16th to legalize same-sex marriage. But that action may have marked a major turn in the battle over the issue. This year five states with Democrat-controlled legislatures — Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota...

State Net Capitol Journal Politics & Leadership: Abortion Restrictions Retreat While Gay Marriage Advances

NM VOTERS REJECT RESTRICTIVE ABORTION BAN: Thirteen states have passed "fetal pain" laws banning abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy or earlier, spurred by the belief that 22 weeks is the point at which fetuses have developed the ability to feel pain. Last Tuesday, voters in Albuquerque, New...

Ask Liza: Should We Get Married? Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples Now

By Liza Weiman Hanks | Dear Liza: My long term domestic partner of 30 years and I were registered domestic partners for a few years and then she decided she wanted to be totally financially independent of me so we terminated the agreement last year. We are still together as a couple and live five...

State Net Capitol Journal Spotlight: Last Year's Hot Issues Likely To Keep Smoldering In States

In part II of our legislative preview, we take a look at a few more issues likely to occupy state lawmakers' attention in 2014. The majority were hot issues in the states last year and even before, but they have only been stoked by recent Supreme Court decisions, continued Congressional inaction...

Virginia Department of Taxation Will Not Recognize Joint Returns for Same-Sex Couples After Windsor

BY: THOMAS W. ALDOUS, JR. The Virginia Department of Taxation recently announced that same-sex couples married in another state must file separate Virginia income tax returns even though they file a federal return as a married couple. Background . In United States v. Windsor , 186 L. Ed. 2d...

Once Again: Voting Rights and Gay Marriage In The News

VOTING RIGHTS BILL INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS: A bill introduced in Congress last month would require four southern states to once again obtain federal preapproval before making any changes to their voting laws by replacing parts of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. The...

Skirmishes In States Over Same-Sex Marriage

SKIRMISHES IN STATES OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Last week was a busy one for same-sex marriage, with significant developments on the issue in multiple states. Some of the biggest news came out of Nevada, where Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) announced the state was...

Brewer Vetoes Anti-Gay Bill, More Loom Across States

BREWER VETOES ANTI-GAY BILL, MORE LOOM ACROSS STATES: Amidst much hue and cry last week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed SB 1062, the highly controversial measure that would have allowed businesses to legally cite their religious beliefs as reason to refuse services to gay, bisexual and transgender...

Governor Beshear Orders Defense Of Kentucky Gay Marriage Ban

BESHEAR ORDERS DEFENSE OF KY GAY MARRIAGE BAN: Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said the Bluegrass State would hire a private sector attorney to defend the state's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states. Beshear made the announcement last Tuesday shortly after state Attorney...

Michigan Federal Judge Is 6th To Strike Down Prohibition On Same-Sex Marriage In Wake Of United States v. Windsor

On March 21, Senior U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan struck down MCLS Const. Art. I, § 25 , an amendment to the Michigan Constitution prohibiting same-sex marriage, Deboer v. Snyder, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37274 ( E.D. Mich. Mar...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Abortion Rules, Abortion Rules, and More Abortion Rules

SOCIAL POLICY: A federal judge upholds an ARIZONA law that bans pill-induced abortions after seven weeks of pregnancy. U.S. District Judge David C. Bury said overturning the law was "not in the public interest," allowing it to go into effect last Tuesday (AZCENTRAL.COM). • WEST VIRGINIA...

Federal Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Resulting in Significant Impact on Employee Benefit Plans

On May 20, 2014, a federal judge in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf struck down both Pennsylvania's ban on marriage for same-sex couples and its prohibition against recognition of same-sex marriages legally entered into in other jurisdictions, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ...

State Net Capitol Journal Spotlight on Constitutional Rights: States Have Mixed Reaction To Court Rulings, Non-Rulings

In a historic non-decision, the United States Supreme Court last week allowed to stand — without comment — the rulings of three separate federal appeals courts striking down same-sex marriage bans across five states. The high court's decision prompted speculation that same-sex unions...

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP: 8 Key Estate Planning Opportunities Arising From The Supreme Court's Decision On Same-Sex Marriage

By Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that a state ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional, in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The landmark ruling in the combined cases known as Obergefell v. Hodges [1] struck down every...

State Net Capitol Journal – August 3, 2015; Congress Settles On Highway Funding Extension

Budget & Taxes Congress Settles On Highway Funding Extension After battling over rival transportation funding bills for a week, with U.S. House Republicans favoring a five-month extension they passed last month and Senate Republicans preferring a longer-term plan, the House passed a three-month...