In this case—actually, two consolidated cases—taxpayers in New York challenged a local executive order and a state policy that recognized out-of-state same-sex marriages. At the time, same-sex marriages were not permitted under New York law. Although the taxpayer plaintiffs lost in the lower courts they appealed to the Court of Appeals.
A church in Orlando, Florida, had a ministry of holding church services for and of feeding the homeless in a public park. After residents in the surrounding neighborhood complained, Orlando passed an ordinance specifically aimed at making the church’s services impossible. The church sued, arguing the ordinance violated its First Amendment rights of free speech, free exercise of religion, and free assembly; and the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Unfortunately, the district court and the court of appeals ruled against the church.
The Association of Christian Schools International, one of its member schools, and 5 of that school’s students sued the University of California officials who are responsible for determining whether high school courses qualify as “college preparatory” courses. These officials had denied that status to 38 course by Christian schools. Unfortunately, the district court and the court of appeals ruled against the plaintiffs.
In her valedictorian speech, Erica Corder mentioned Jesus Christ, His death, and resurrection. In retaliation her school told her she would not receive her diploma until she publicly apologized. She sued the district for violation of her rights of free speech, free exercise of religion, and related rights. Unfortunately, both the district court and the court of appeals ruled in favor of the school district.
As explained by the court:
“When defendant Department of Civil Service announced that it would recognize the parties to a same-sex marriage as spouses if their marriage were valid in the jurisdiction where it was solemnized, thereby allowing such spouses of state employees access to the benefits provided under the New York State Health Insurance Program . . . plaintiffs commenced this action as individual taxpayers seeking a declaration that the Department’s recognition of such marriages is illegal, unconstitutional and results in the unlawful disbursement of public funds.”
The District Court erred in treating numerous “ultimate” facts and sociological judgments as findings of fact. This court should reverse the District Court because the fundamental right to marry only includes opposite-sex marriage. The District Court also erred in Citing Justice O’Connor’s concurrence in Lawrence.
The District Court should be reversed in the following instances: First, Congress’s primary purpose was reducing the military forces and encouraging early retirement; Second, the Secretary of Defense acted Ultra Vires in promulgating the regulation of organizations that former service personnel could work.
Whether the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, which affords custody and visitation orders full faith and credit, or the Defense of Marriage Act, which does not require full faith and credit be afforded to rights arising from same-sex unions treated as marriage, controls when Virginia is asked to give full faith and credit to Vermont parentage and custody rights arising from a Vermont civil union insofar as Virginia’s laws expressly declare the civil union “void in all respects.”
First, the District Court was incorrect in holding that “since neither term is defined, the difference in scienter standards creates uncertainty in COPA’s application and renders the terms vague.” The Supreme Court has held “that the language of the statutes that Congress enacts provides ‘the most reliable evidence of its intent.’”
Second, this court can review the District Court’s findings of fact because courts must engage in an independent review of the record when, as here, errors of law have infected factual findings.
Finally, the ACLU’s argument in this case is inconsistent with its argument to the Supreme Court in United States v. American Library Association regarding computer filtration software.