Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 062415 Contents 8 // 6.24.2015 // SFGN.com // soflagaynews // SouthFloridaGayNews
(AP) The right of same-sex couples to
marry and the ability of low- and middle-
income Americans to receive subsidies to help
them afford insurance under the health care
overhaul are the two biggest cases among the
seven still to be decided by the Supreme Court.
The justices will meet again Thursday to
hand down more opinions and almost always
finish their work by the end of June.
In rare instances, the court will put off
decisions and order a case to be argued again
in the next term.
This is also the time of the year when a
justice could announce a retirement. But no
justice, including 82-year-old Ruth Bader
Ginsburg, has given any hint that retirement
Besides same-sex marriage and healthcare
subsidies, the remaining five cases involve
lethal injection, housing discrimination,
independent redistricting committees,
mercury emissions and repeat offenders.
Gay Marriage, Health Care
Among Last 7 Supreme Court Cases
Lead Plaintiff Ready to Help if
Marriage Ruling Goes His Way
(AP) If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex
marriage, the lead plaintiff in the historic case says he'll be
able to help out with the expected surge of couples wanting
Jim Obergefell (OH'-burk-uh-fel) of Cincinnati says he has
gotten ordained online in preparation. He says he wanted to
be able to offer to perform marriages for others as "a nod" to
his own proposal to his partner immediately after the high
court's 2013 ruling that struck down part of the Defense of
He and his dying partner, John Arthur, were unable to wed
in their home state because of Ohio's 2004 ban, so Arthur's
aunt got ordained and officiated their wedding in a medically
equipped plane on a Maryland tarmac.
Arthur died three months later, and shortly after,
Obergefell began the legal challenge titled James Obergefell,
et al, v. Richard Hodges, et al, that is before the high court.
(Hodges is the director of the Ohio Department of Health.)
Obergefell, a real estate salesman, has been in Washington
awaiting the decision. If the court rules for same-sex
marriage, he said recently by email, "I imagine I'll be out
Tenn. Ofﬁcials Waiting for Gay
Marriage Ruling before Action
(AP) In Tennessee, state and local officials say they are
taking a wait-and-see approach to the possibility that the
U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the state's ban on gay
Asked recently about any preparation, Gov. Bill Haslam
said "discussions have been happening" at the state Attorney
General's office and the various departments. But he said
until the ruling comes down, "it's hard to say what the 'ifs'
and 'buts' are."
County clerks' offices are where residents go for marriage
certificates, but it is not clear how soon they will begin
issuing certificates to gay couples if the ban is overturned.
Wayne Mashburn, president of the Tennessee County
Clerks Association, said the clerks will take their direction
from the County Officials Association of Tennessee. The
director of that association, Jay West, would say only that
they are "first waiting to see what the Supreme Court
The marriage certificates themselves, with their "bride"
and "groom" designations are issued by the state Health
Department. Spokesman Woody McMillin said the
department's attorney is reaching out to the Social Security
Administration to ask about possible changes to the form.
New forms will be printed if they are needed, but they are
not being prepared in advance.
Driver's license centers will also be affected if the ban is
overturned. Currently, gay couples married in other states
cannot get their names changed on their licenses by showing
marriage certificates because Tennessee does not recognize
Department of Safety spokeswoman Dalya Qualls said in
an email that "once the Supreme Court decision is released
the department will consult with staff attorneys and the
Attorney General's office on any action that may need to be
Gay Mentor, Belief in Dignity at
Roots of Kennedy's Views
(AP) The Irish Catholic boy who came of age in Sacramento
after World War II is an unlikely candidate to be the author of
the Supreme Court's major gay rights rulings.
But those who have known Justice Anthony Kennedy for
decades and scholars who have studied his work say he has
long stressed the importance of valuing people as individuals.
And he seems likely also to have been influenced in this regard
by a pillar of the Sacramento legal community, a closeted
gay man who hired Kennedy as a law school instructor and
testified on his behalf at his high court confirmation hearings
With three major gay rights opinions to his name already,
the 78-year-old Kennedy is the prohibitive favorite to write
the Supreme Court decision expected in the next few days
that could extend same-sex marriage nationwide.
Kennedy's friendship with Gordon Schaber began in the
mid-1960s when Schaber recruited the young lawyer to teach
at the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Schaber, who
served as the school's dean for 34 years, was in the process of
transforming McGeorge from an unaccredited night school to
a respected institution that now is a part of the University of
Schaber never married and was widely believed to be gay,
according to accounts from a dozen people who worked
for him or were active in Sacramento's political and legal
Justice Anthony Kennedy.
This Week:Waiting on SCOTUS
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