Same-sex marriage in the Tenth Circuit

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On June 25, 2014 the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling striking down Utah's same-sex marriage ban, setting a precedent in other states under the Tenth Circuit's jurisdiction. In addition, on July 18, 2014 the same panel of the Tenth Circuit invalidated Oklahoma's ban as well. Both Circuit Court rulings were stayed pending certiorari review from the Supreme Court of the United States. The Tenth Circuit consists of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. New Mexico is the only state in the circuit where same-sex marriage was legal prior to the decisions. Utah is the only state in the circuit where same-sex marriage was temporarily legal after its ban was struck down. A ruling requiring the state of Utah to recognize same-sex marriages performed within the state was temporarily stayed and was originally set to expire on July 21, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. The Supreme Court of the United States extended the stay on July 18, 2014.

A federal judge struck down Colorado's same-sex marriage ban and issued a temporary stay that was set to expire on August 25 at 8:00 a.m. but was later extended. The same-sex marriage ban was also struck down in Colorado by a state district court judge and was stayed pending appeal. Following the circuit court ruling, licenses were issued in Boulder County, Colorado. Attorney General John Suthers declared that they would be invalid. After a state district court judge refused, on July 10, 2014, to order the clerk to stop issuing the licenses, the Denver County clerk's office began issuing licenses to same-sex couples as well. The clerk of Pueblo County began issuing licenses to same-sex couples the next day. The Colorado Supreme Court ordered clerks in Denver and Adams counties not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples even though Adams County didn't issue any marriage licenses to same-sex couples. On July 21, 2014 it was announced that Pueblo County would stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, yet Boulder County continued to issue licenses. On July 29, 2014 the Colorado Supreme Court ordered the clerk in Boulder County not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[1]

On October 6, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected petitions for certiorari from five states where same-sex marriage bans had been struck down, including Utah and Oklahoma.[2] The same day, the Tenth Circuit dissolved the stays it had previously issued on its rulings allowing for same-sex marriages in those states.[3][4]

On October 7, the Tenth Circuit lifted its own stay, at the request of state officials, on the case Burns v. Hickenlooper which struck down Colorado's same-sex marriage ban, legalizing same-sex marriage throughout all of Colorado. The Colorado Supreme Court also dissolved stays against several county clerks who were prohibited from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[5]

On November 4, 2014, a preliminary injunction barring the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Douglas County and Sedgwick County from enforcing Kansas's same-sex marriage ban was issued. The Kansas attorney general contended that Crabtree's preliminary injunction only applied to the two counties and one state official involved in the lawsuit. However, many counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on their own initiative. The state government refused to recognize same-sex marriages until July 6, 2015 after the Supreme Court of the United States' landmark ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015. By June 30, 2015, all 31 judicial districts and all 105 Kansas counties were issuing licenses to same-sex couples or had agreed to do so. All states and all but one territory are complying with the ruling, which set a precedent that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. Kansas was the last state in the country to recognize same-sex marriages.

Status of same-sex marriage[edit]

Status of same-sex marriage in the Tenth Circuit
  Same-sex marriage currently legal
  Same-sex marriage ban struck down by Circuit Court
  Same-sex marriage ban struck down by District Court
  Outside of the Tenth Circuit
Same-sex marriage states
State Date Same-sex marriage went into effect Date Same-sex marriage ban was struck down Date Same-sex marriage ban was stayed pending appeal Method
1 Colorado October 7, 2014 July 9, 2014, & July 23, 2014 July 9, 2014, & July 23, 2014 A federal judge struck down Colorado's same-sex marriage ban in Burns v. Hickenlooper and issued a temporary stay that was set to expire on August 25 at 8 a.m. The stay was later extended.

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit rulings in Kitchen v. Herbert and Bishop v. Oklahoma set precedents for entire circuit. Enforcement stayed in initial rulings pending petition for writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court.[6]

In addition, a Colorado state district court decision, Brinkman v. Long, No. 13-CV-32572 (Colo. 17th Jud. Dist. Jul. 9, 2014) separately rules against that state's ban. That decision was stayed as well.

2 Kansas United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit rulings in Kitchen v. Herbert and Bishop v. Oklahoma set precedents for entire circuit. Enforcement stayed in initial ruling pending petition for writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court.[6]
3 New Mexico December 19, 2014 New Mexico Supreme Court ruling in Griego v. Oliver. Same-sex marriages were performed in select counties before the ruling, as New Mexico's pre-existing marriage laws neither prohibited nor allowed same-sex couples to wed; the ability for a same-sex couple to obtain a marriage license varied from county to county.
4 Oklahoma October 6, 2014 January 14, 2014 (upheld July 18, 2014) January 14, 2014 (circuit court decision stayed July 18, 2014) United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma ruling in Bishop v. Oklahoma.[7] Enforcement stayed in initial ruling, referencing the Supreme Court's stay in Kitchen v. Herbert. The Tenth Circuit heard oral arguments on April 17.[8] It upheld the District Court's ruling in a 2-1 decision on July 18, 2014, though immediately stayed the ruling pending appeal.[9]
5 Utah December 20, 2014 & October 6, 2014 December 20, 2014 (upheld June 25, 2014) January 6, 2014 (circuit court decision stayed June 25, 2014)

United States District Court for the District of Utah ruling in Kitchen v. Herbert.[10] District Court's order stayed on January 6, 2014, by the United States Supreme Court pending appeal. About 1,360 same-sex marriages were performed in Utah in the 17 days before the stay was issued.[11] The Tenth Circuit heard oral arguments on April 10,[12] and upheld the District Court's ruling on June 25, stayed pending appeal.[13]

6 Wyoming October 21, 2014 October 17, 2014 October 17, 2014 United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit rulings in Kitchen v. Herbert and Bishop v. Oklahoma set precedents for entire circuit. Enforcement stayed in initial rulings pending petition for writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/top-colorado-court-halts-gay-marriages-boulder-24764016
  2. ^ "High court refuses to rule -- and gives tacit victory -- on same-sex marriage". Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  3. ^ "Update: Stay lifted on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma; Same-sex couples can marry". Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  4. ^ "Same-sex marriage now legal in Utah". Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  5. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage Officially Legal In Colorado". Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Tenth Circuit p 64-65
  7. ^ Geidner, Chris (January 14, 2014). "Oklahoma Ban On Same-Sex Marriages Is Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Rules". BuzzFeed. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  8. ^ "Oral Argument Audio Recording for 13-4178, Kitchen v. Herbert". United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  9. ^ Associated Press (July 18, 2014). "Oklahoma same-sex marriages ruled constitutional for second time". The Guardian. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  10. ^ McCombs, Brady (December 20, 2012). "Utah Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down As Unconstitutional". The Associated Press. The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  11. ^ Ingram, David (January 10, 2014). "Obama administration recognizes Utah same-sex marriages". Reuters. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  12. ^ Mitchell, Kirk (April 10, 2014). "10th Circuit arguments on gay marriage ban focus on family and fairness". Denver Post. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  13. ^ Riccardi, Nicholas; McCombs, Brady. "Federal appeals court says Utah's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, puts ruling on hold". Associated Press (reported in US News). Retrieved 25 June 2014.