(Denver) (AP) – Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is talking about the landmark gay marriage ruling as he tries to woo conservative voters in Denver.
Santorum says the Supreme Court’s decision making same-sex marriage the law of the land is “based on a lie.” He says the lie is that opponents of gay marriage are bigots.
Santorum is one of seven presidential hopefuls in Denver this weekend addressing the Western Conservative Summit.
Also attending the conference are Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Rounding out the slate are businesswoman Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Santorum won Colorado’s GOP presidential caucuses in 2012 and 2008.
by Mark Sherman, AP
(Washington) (AP) – The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, a historic culmination of decades of litigation over gay marriage and gay rights generally.
Gay and lesbian couples already could marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court’s 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
A court in Atlanta issued marriage licenses to three same-sex couples Friday morning, soon after the decision.
Gay rights supporters cheered, danced and wept outside the court after the decision, which put an exclamation point on breathtaking changes in the nation’s social norms.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court’s previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996. It came on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions.
“No union is more profound than marriage,” Kennedy wrote, joined by the court’s four more liberal justices.
The stories of the people asking for the right to marry “reveal that they seek not to denigrate marriage but rather to live their lives, or honor their spouses’ memory, joined by its bond,” Kennedy said.
As he read his opinion, spectators in the courtroom wiped away tears after the import of the decision became clear. One of those in the audience was James Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court fight.
Outside, Obergefell held up a photo of his late spouse, John, and said the ruling establishes that “our love is equal.” He added, “This is for you, John.”
President Barack Obama placed a congratulatory phone call to Obergefell, which he took amid a throng of reporters outside the courthouse.
Speaking a few minutes later at the White House, Obama praised the decision as “justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.” He said it was an affirmation of the principle that “all Americans are created equal.”
The four dissenting justices each filed a separate opinion explaining his views, but they all agreed that states and their voters should have been left with the power to decide who can marry.
“This court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in dissent. Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so in nearly 10 years as chief justice.
“If you are among the many Americans – of whatever sexual orientation – who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision,” Roberts said. “But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
Justice Antonin Scalia said he was not concerned so much about same-sex marriage but about “this court’s threat to American democracy.” Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas also dissented.
Several religious organizations criticized the decision and a group of pastors in Texas vowed to defy it.
Kennedy said nothing in the court’s ruling would force religions to condone, much less perform, weddings to which they object.
The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration. But some state officials and county clerks might follow the lead of the Fulton County, Georgia, probate court and decide there is little risk in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The cases before the court involved laws from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Those states have not allowed same-sex couples to marry within their borders and they also have refused to recognize valid marriages from elsewhere.
Just two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law that denied a range of government benefits to legally married same-sex couples.
Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor formed the majority with Kennedy on Friday, the same lineup as two years ago.
The earlier decision in United States v. Windsor did not address the validity of state marriage bans, but courts across the country, with few exceptions, said its logic compelled them to invalidate state laws that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying.
The number of states allowing same-sex marriage has grown rapidly. As recently as last October, just over one-third of the states permitted it.
There are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute, which tracks the demographics of gay and lesbian Americans. Another 70,000 couples living in states that do not currently permit them to wed would get married in the next three years, the institute says. Roughly 1 million same-sex couples, married and unmarried, live together in the United States, the institute says.
The Obama administration backed the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Justice Department’s decision to stop defending the federal anti-marriage law in 2011 was an important moment for gay rights, and Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage in 2012.
The states affected by Friday’s ruling are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, most of Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko, Sam Hananel and Glynn Hill contributed to this report.
(Mountain Home) – Due to weather conditions, the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce has canceled the Red, White, & Blue Parade scheduled for today at 5:30 PM, and the parade will not be rescheduled.
Chamber officials say all candy sponsors for this event will be carried over to the 2015 Christmas Parade.
Please contact Tracy Jones at 870-425-5111 for further information.
(Gainesville) – No major injuries are being reported after a small airplane crashed Friday morning near Gainesville High School.
Officials with the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department told Ozark Radio News that there were two people in the plane at the time of the accident, and both people suffered minor injuries.
No damage was reported to the high school facility. We’ll have more information on this story when it becomes available. Continue to check www.ozarkareanetwork.com for more information on this story.
(Washington) – The US Supreme Court ruled early Friday morning that same-sex couples have a right to marry.
The Supreme Court court affirmed in a 5-4 ruling that the 14th Amendment requires states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples and to recognize such marriages performed in other states. Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia, however, the ruling will strike down same-sex marriage bans in more than a dozen states, saying those bans are unconstitutional.
There are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute, which tracks the demographics of gay and lesbian Americans. Another 70,000 couples living in states that do not currently permit them to wed would get married in the next three years, the institute says.
The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he’ll be working in the coming weeks to make sure the decision will be implemented in Missouri.
“Today’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is a major victory for equality and an important step toward a fairer and more just society for all Americans,” Gov. Nixon said in a statement. “No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love. In the coming days, I will be taking all necessary and appropriate actions to ensure this decision is implemented throughout the state of Missouri.”
(West Plains) – Monday marks the start of another season of the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater West Plains Area’s Meet Up and Eat Up program, where youth in the region can come and get a free lunch.
Club executive director Amber Adamson told Ozark Radio News more about the program, which will take place at People’s Park once again this year:
She added that a number of great partners and volunteers have made this program possible over the past few years, and this year is no different:
City tourism and marketing director Todd Shanks says that the city is proud to help the Club and their project. He also talked about a new program the city is doing in conjunction with the Meet Up and Eat Up program:
Lunches will be served Monday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the People’s Park Pavilion off Broadway near the city water park.
The program will end August 7.
(Clarkridge) – No injuries were reported Wednesday evening after a massive house fire in northern Arkansas.
More than two dozen firefighters battled the fire at a home in the 6000 block of Highway 201 North between Clarkridge and Mountain Home.
The Clarkridge, Mountain Home and Oakland Promise fire departments fought the blaze for roughly an hour, but were on the scene for several hours after the fire was out.
Clarkridge VFD Chief Tom Rucker said the homeowner entered the house, noticed smoke and fire in the garage and called 911.
There were four people in the house, including an elderly woman, but they all were all able to escape out without injury.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
(Thayer) – A Thayer woman faces charges after she allegedly stole from a local store.
21-year-old Danielle Fullbright was arrested by the Thayer Police Department on June 16 and was charged with misdemeanor shoplifting, along with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
A press release from the Thayer Police Department states the Dollar General in Thayer contacted the police department the afternoon of June 16 and reported a woman had put a t-shirt on inside the store and left without paying for the merchandise. Police viewed security footage and, eventually, arrested Fullbright, who allegedly admitted to taking the shirt.
During her booking into the jail, police say they found marijuana and a couple of glass pipes in her purse that tested positive for methamphetamine.
She was held on $10,000 bond, and is scheduled to appear in court July 21.
(West Plains) – The Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) will be hosting a workshop concerning small business and intellectual property on July 16.
The workshop, which will be held at 6 PM July 16, will cover the basic types of intellectual property (IP), including patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets and discuss the importance of each to a small business. Officials say the workshop will explain how to use IP to strengthen the value of your business, as well as the challenges of securing IP for a start-up business. The workshop is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration.
Facilitators are from the SBTDC at Missouri S&T. Keith Strassner, Director of Technology Transfer and Economic Development, is responsible for the identification, analysis, and development of licensing and academic entrepreneurship opportunities on the campus. He works with individual researchers, various research centers, and the Office of Sponsored Research to promote the economic development mission of the University. Eric Anderson is the senior licensing and patent specialist. He reviews invention disclosures for the likelihood of intellectual property protection and technology commercialization. He is the advisor of the Technical Innovators and Entrepreneurs Society (TIES) student group at Missouri S&T and is an adjunct faculty member, teaching business law and cyberethics.
The cost is $35, or $20 for OzSBI members. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one after the presentation. Deadline to register is July 14.
To register, call 417-256-9724 or email email@example.com.
(West Plains) – With the heat this past week, yards and drying out, and West Plains City Clerk Mallory Hawkins reminds residents that they need to keep an eye on their grass:
For more information on the nuisance ordinances, call city hall at 417-256-7176.