The Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled on April 24 in Brandon-Thomas v. Brandon-Thomas, 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 6051, 2015 WL 1874457, that a same-sex couple that married in Massachusetts but resides in Florida could seek a divorce in a Florida court. The unanimous three-judge panel found that the state had no rational basis for treating such a marriage differently from other out-of-state marriages. The ruling reverses a 2013 decision by Lee County Circuit … <Read More>
After a string of about three dozen affirmative marriage equality rulings by federal and state judges, including 2-1 rulings by two federal circuit courts of appeals, a Tennessee judge, Roane County Circuit Court Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr., has departed from the growing consensus and ruled on August 5 that the court is bound to reject a federal constitutional claim for marriage recognition because of Baker v. Nelson and the public policy exception to the … <Read More>
In a gutsy move, U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger has rejected a request by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to stay her order requiring the state to recognize the out-of-state same-sex marriages of three Tennessee couples while Haslam appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Trauger issued a short opinion explaining why on March 20.
Trauger had issued her order in Tanco v. Haslam on March 14, finding that the plaintiffs … <Read More>
On October 17, two different panels of the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in cases where lesbian co-parents were battling over child custody. In one, a birth mother prevailed because the court refused to recognize the couple’s Canadian same-sex marriage. In the other, however, the court found that the state’s full-faith-and-credit obligation required recognition of an out-of-state second-parent adoption that could not have been done in-state, and affirmed a sole custody award to the second … <Read More>
Under U.S. v. Windsor, Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and we are left with no broadly applicable federal statutory definition of marriage. What we have are 13 states and the District of Columbia, which now grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and several other countries (including neighboring Canada) in which such licenses are also available. At this point, there are thousands of same-sex couples living in the United States who … <Read More>