NEBRASKA: AG Refuses To Allow Gay Spouses To List Names On Children’s Birth Certificates

The Associated Press reports:

The Nebraska attorney general’s office is objecting to a new effort by a civil liberties group to have both same-sex spouses listed as parents on their children’s birth certificates. State attorneys argued in a news release Tuesday that plaintiffs in the case are adding statements from couples who were not part of their original lawsuit and claiming additional rights not addressed in the original filings. The original lawsuit challenged Nebraska’s same-sex marriage ban. The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska asked a judge last week to order state officials to list both spouses on birth certificates. The group says the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has refused to provide married gay couples with birth certificates for their children on the same conditions as married straight couples.

Attorney General Doug Peterson took office in January 2015. In March he filed an emergency appeal of the ruling that overturn Nebraska’s marriage ban. His appeal remaining pending until the Obergefell ruling.

  • clay

    This was expressly addressed in the Obergefell ruling. Just ’cause your neighbor to the south is being an asshole, doesn’t mean you have to follow, Neb.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    The Great Seal of The State of Nebraska includes the words, “Equality Before The Law.”

    • Todd20036

      Well, to paraphrase Animal Farm, “Equality Before the Law, but some are more equal than others…”

      • Ginger Snap

        That was such a great book. It was required reading in high school and its still fresh in my mind like I read it yesterday. I wonder if kids still read it at school.

        • Dagoril

          Yeah, but you read it in the original cuneiform…it’s just not the same in English! *smooch * 😉

          • jmax

            Ooooh…

          • Ginger Snap

            Shush you mouth.

          • Michelle Harrod

            as Jimmy said I am dazzled that a single mom can get paid $28273 in four weeks on the internet ……..Easy online work for all. Make $5000 to $9000 per week online.4-5hour daily work………read the full info here
            .zol….
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        • Paula

          Yes.

    • Ontogenesis

      If only they possessed the ability to feel shame!

  • chris james

    Class action lawsuits coming, millions in reparations paid by the taxpayers of Nebraska…what is wrong with this idiot? Dumb ass Christianist, it’s the Kim Davis syndrome.

    • nowaRINO

      but…but…but “gay marriages” are not real marriages and the South shall rise again!

      • Mr. President, we must not allow a mineshaft gap!

        • Xuuths

          Love the Dr. Strangelove reference! Hooray for George C. Scott!!

    • crewman

      I’m surprised he didn’t just claim it was his religious freedom not to add their names to the birth certificates, or maybe that’s next, after this fails.

      • StraightGrandmother

        Yeah that is the way it works now, if any public official has conscience objection to anything he doesn’t have to do it.
        He can just say, “No I object to that”

    • Gerry Fisher

      Hey, he personally doesn’t have to pay for it!

  • Mark

    Old white men. Need we say more?

    • MDB

      Old bigoted homophobic white men.

    • Oh’behr

      Also bloated. Full of gas. I wonder if he could run his own vehicle?

  • Sam_Handwich

    Losers gotta lose!

    In other morning news, Joaquin is now Hurricane

    • Ginger Snap

      I see the Big Gay Lobby” was hard at work last night planning our next big disaster. Were do you think it will strike?

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        We set the dial to hit Big Kim’s house, but it seems iffy.
        We need more gay sex to ensure our target. Please do your part.

        • Ginger Snap

          I’m visiting my Mum so I won’t be able to do my part but live but I’ll do a bit of cam sex.

    • LonelyLiberal

      You’re welcome. It took a great deal of swirling and puffing him to get him there. He refused to stiffen that last 5 MPH.

  • neonzx

    Psst. Walk next door to Iowa. They’ve had this figured out since 2009.

  • Joe in PA

    nope, no animus towards the gheyz here, none at all.

  • CB

    They’re always old white guys. Makes me ashamed to be an older white guy.

    • Oh’behr

      Exactly, as people might associate us with people such as him. Ugh.

    • Cosmo Tupper

      Most are p*ssed off because of the ethnicity of our President, most likely. It’s the “I will not be led by one of those people” syndrome. Once we elected an African-American there has been nothing but push back from every corner of our governmental representation. As they all said from the outset, they will fight everything that the Pres supports “tooth and nail” whether good or bad for the country. Obstructionism is all that we’ve seen since.

    • delk

      I’m an older off-white guy.

  • mikeinrkfd

    Yeah keep clinging to past.

  • oikos

    So sick of the hate and they wonder why we despise them.

    http://www.paychex.com/a/i/articles/protect-your-business-from-employee-lawsuits.jpg

    • fuow

      Yup. Pity we don’t despise them enough to vote against them.

      • Ninja0980

        Alas, the problem is in places like Nebraska and Kansas, you either have Blue Dos like Ben Nelson that think the government should serve to help people and hurt LGBT people at the same time or worthless spineless jellyfishes like Paul Davis in Kansas.
        On the latter state, it can’t be understated how bad it’s gotten there.
        Bob Dole is considered a RINO there now and anyone with common sense (which includes younger members of my family) have gotten the hell out of there as fast as they can.
        All you have left are angry folks who think Sam Brownback is the greatest guy ever or people who are blocked from voting due to Kris Kobach’s meddling.

  • TJay229

    These idiots never learn. Why won’t he just call up the AG of MI and ask him how THAT case turned out.

    Just a waste of money. No judge is gonna side with them especially after DOMA & OBERGERFELD, where CHILDREN were specifically mentioned … Idiots.

  • Prion

    Par for the Nebraska course. There’s a loud and angry voter referendum in the works to restore the death penalty, which was recently repealed by the legislature over the governor’s veto. Oh, and the governor is an asshat like the AG.

  • Wynter Marie Starr

    How much more money are we going to waste on discriminating against the LGBT community?

    • fuow

      As much as possible.

      • Wynter Marie Starr

        I hope there is someone keeping tabs on the cost. Since the party of “fiscal responsibility” are the ones who are literally throwing this money at a lost cause.

  • billbear1961

    This is off-topic, but has anyone seen People4Humanity recently?

    • Sam_Handwich

      i don’t think so, not in a few days anyway

      • billbear1961

        Thank you, Sam.

        I’ll see what I can find out.

        • Sam_Handwich

          i checked his disqus profile, but it’s kept private so i can’t see when his last post was

          is there some reason to be concerned?

          • billbear1961

            I hope not.

            It’s just he used to be here quite often. Then I noticed him less often. Now I haven’t seen him in a while.

            He’s a dear, sweet man, always full of good humour.

            I can communicate with him privately.

            I’ll see if I can find out how he’s doing.

          • Sam_Handwich

            please do, Mister Bear! sometimes people just get busy and take a few days off

          • billbear1961

            Yes, I hope he’s just busy, Sam.

          • Sam_Handwich

            i consulted the googles best i can, and looks like his last post may have been Sept 11

            https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=people4humanity&nfpr=1&tbs=qdr:m,sbd:1

          • billbear1961

            Thank you, Sam.

            I’ll mention that in my email.

    • Silver Badger

      Thank you for noticing and caring. Too many of have our “names writ on water”.

  • Cosmo Tupper

    I think it is time to take a “sho*t first, ask questions later approach”. Go ahead and jail all of the state AGs fighting against our existence and them let them out one by one only when they relent that we ARE human beings, or until they just go the f*ck away!

  • Galvestonian

    when a jackass gets all het up and balky ya whack him with a two by four. I’m thinking this critter neeeds some whacking.by some Federal Agency.

  • Mark

    I know I am gonna get jumped on…but….I’m not sure I agree with having same sex spouses on a birth certificate. My reasoning has nothing to do with anything other than biology. I get it that both parties to a reproduction may not be known (sperm donors, egg donors, etc) but at the end of the day – the child owns that cert. Biologically, it is important for the child to know as it could well play out in genetic info of medical events.

    As far as legal stuff goes, and of course as long as there isn’t a law that needs to be overturned, adoptions should cover everything else.

    I am 10 million percent about equality – but I don’t think it does anyone any good when our equality is used to obscure pertinent information for another person (child). Sooner or later – that will come back to bite us.

    • Cosmo Tupper

      Because the birth certificate is the document that is used to determine parental rights and if one or the other parents are not listed, then that unnamed parent would be in a world of hurt if something happened to the listed parent. So when a child is adopted, the child’s birth certificate will be changed to reflect that information.

      • Mark

        I don’t believe the cert is changed with adoptions. Yes, there are legal docs supporting the adoption – but I don’t think the actual birth certificate is altered.

        • Cosmo Tupper
          • Mark

            “The original records will be sealed and filed in confidentiality, only
            to be released under specific court orders in rare situations.”

            This would cover the bases for any needs later on. But note that the original is required – and that record would have the biological information should it be needed. Hence, at birth – the data needs to be documented.

          • Cosmo Tupper

            Depends on the state but the state in question modifies the birth certificate for straight adoptive parents so there should be no difference in how gay adoptions are handled. No different than some suggesting that “civil unions” should be for gays and marriage should be for straights.

          • Mark

            With one exception. It is only a matter of time before the child – not the parent – the child learns biology. Then that child is going to have questions when s/he sees their birth certificate.

            Once we become proficient with DNA – then all of this is moot point. The science will prevail.

            I get it that there are a million loopholes, gotchas, etc. The SCOTUS ruling should knock down the ass-nine adoption laws. And in that, I think we have to proceed with caution so that our win doesn’t create a sub-set of difficulties for a child.

          • Circ09

            Our win is creating no difficulties for a child except the ones you are inventing in your own mind. When a committed gay couple goes through the difficult, expensive process of paying for donor sperm or eggs the paper trail is significant. That includes known donors signing documents giving up any parental rights.

            There is much less of a biological paper trail when, for example, a single mom gives birth and lists her imaginary friend Joe Smith on the birth certificate because she doesn’t want her child to suffer the indignity of having UNKNOWN listed under “Father”. Or like one of my best friends whose mother listed a second cousin as her “Father” at her family’s insistence because her family was too ashamed to have her admit who the “real father” was.

          • Mark

            Really? Who’s my daddy?

          • Circ09

            You are making a lot of assumptions that the mother provided accurate information about the “Father” on the first certificate. I’ve found that often isn’t the case. Don’t look for a birth certificate to prove much about biology.

          • Mark

            No assumptions were made on anything. I am ‘challenging’ the status quo.

          • fuow

            Mark, we’ve all acknowledged the need for biologically relevant information. What none of us understand, is your objection to two men or two women being on the birth certificate as parents.
            Explain this, please, else we’re going to begin wondering if you’re not just really objecting to two men or two women being ‘granted’ the full recognition which our fully secular and absolutely not fundagelical christian republic considers lawful.

          • Mark

            As long as the biological data is collected – then it matters not whose names are on the cert. And, as we discovered, ‘new’ birth certs that empower/support parental responsibility are issued with the original remaining intact. I have zero objection to two guys or gals being on the ‘new’ cert.

            I know it looks like my objection is to gay parenting. Gay parents are every bit as good as any other parent. Had i found the ‘right’ guy – I would have probably been a pretty damned good Dad. But alas – that is another story! LOL

            And, it wasn’t so much an ‘objection’ as it was a questioning of how any person as they move on through life would be able to reference pertinent data, especially in medical areas, if the biological info is removed. That’s all. No judgements passed of any kind.

        • Incorrect. Adoptions change birth certificates.

          http://www.floridahealth.gov/certificates/certificates/Amendments-Corrections/index.html

          “If an adoption has occurred, the clerk of the court will forward to our office a report of the adoption within thirty days of the order. Based on this document, a new birth record will be filed for the child.”

        • Stev84

          The original might be sealed and kept, but parents definitely get a new birth certificate.

          As said, it’s really about how is legally the parent than a record of genetics.

        • JustSayin’

          An adoptive parent can have the birth certificate changed. If adopted at birth the change is relatively easy.

          if a step parent adoots they have to get what amounts to a release of parental authority from the listed coparent or a court order vacating parental rights of a deadbeat or criminal parent. With that the birth certificate is changed to reflect the new parents.

          This is a matter of economy and has been done since formal adoption has been the law of this country. It prevents the new parent from backlash from those that in our history disapproved of adoption because they assumed that an adopted child was somehow illegitimate. It modern times it prevents step parents from having to carry around tons of extra legal documents and provides rights of support and inheritance to the child.

          Whatever your real Hardin about gay adoptions is, your stated arguments are fallacious at best.

    • fuow

      I see where you’re coming from. As one of the two adoptive fathers of a (now in his early 30’s) child, I can speak with authority as to the advantages of having both nurturing parents on the certificate.
      First – our son came to live with us when he was 13. I’m not going into details, but the fact that the county sheriff turned a blind eye to it pretty much says it all.
      Second – until we adopted him just before his 18 birthday (and that was a bit of legerdemain, to say the least), we had lots of fights on our hands.
      Those in the county who knew the score were cooperative, those who were nasty Christians did everything to throw up roadblocks they could. Even on trivial things like registering for middle-school. Vaccinations. Emergency room visits were such a problem, we finally bought a permission slip from the life-form which had legal rights over him (and think about that wording for a moment, ‘rights over him’) for enough money that that person promptly bought a new double-wide and car and land to pile them up on. We paid that every year for the next four years, in increasing increments.
      Even with the legal document, there were times when Christians made life for our son hell on earth.
      The day the adoption went through, all of that ended. Not because the Christian haters stopped hating, but because they knew we could afford lawyers to force them to actually act like followers of Jesus – and, the law would back us up.

      I’m a dog breeder. I understand the need for a child to have access to all pertinent health-related information on their forbears. This need not be in conflict with the authority the birth certificate conveys upon the nurturing parents to discharge their responsibilities to their child.

    • BobSF_94117

      Biologically, it is important for the child to know as it could well play out in genetic info of medical events.

      You make the mistake many make in thinking that a birth certificate validates that Joe and Suzy had a baby, Michael. That’s not what it does. What it says is that baby Michael was born here on this date and Joe and Suzy are on the hook legally and financially for him until his 18th birthday.

      Biology is certainly important, more so today than in the past, but day-to-day responsibility and the legitimization of the kinship is far more important and has been for millennia. Heteros have been perfectly happy to go along with the fiction of biological parenthood “proven” by a birth certificate when it has accommodated “the heterosexual lifestyle” of infertility/adoption and adultery/silence. No reason they can’t apply the same if-you-say-so attitude to us.

      • Mark

        Like I said – i know I am going to get jumped on – and I understand your point. But (you knew that was coming! :)……. science trumps homo’s and hetero’s and any other O’s. When that kid turns 18 – and is no longer under parental jurisdiction – they own that birth certificate lock, stock, and barrel.

        By not documenting the actual biological data – aren’t we engaging in the same obscuring fiction?

        I need to add: I don’t have any kids – bio or adopted. None. Zilch. And at this point in my life – I don’t want to take on that responsibility. Also, at this point in my life (60) I am clearly seeing in myself and my siblings the impact – the spelled out ‘potential’ fate – of genetics. My grandmother died of Alzheimer’s. My mother appears to heading for it as well. My sister, at 62, already shows signs of memory loss. My father died of kidney disease. His twin brother died of kidney disease. My brother has laready lost one kidney to cancer. This information becomes incredibly important – especially during a visit to the doc who asks “Is there any history of “x” in your family”.

        • Circ09

          If that is your argument then you need to petition to have the rules changed for hetero people too. Mandatory DNA tests with only bio parents listed under Mom/Dad and when DNA does not match or not available list UNKNOWN. If a couple uses donor sperm or eggs then that non-bio parent must go through the courts to legally adopt their own child after it is born. That is what the AG is asking gay couples to do.

          Anyone that has spent time doing genealogy work knows better than to ever take much stock in birth records to determine biological parentage especially with the male line. Our records have never been about genetic accuracy.

          Our personal/family record keeping may need to change now that the technology exists to record every minutia of a person but you need to petition for those changes to apply to all instead of a few.

          • Mark

            We don’t live in 1924 any more. By the time we are all dead and gone, there is good chance a mandatory DNA database is established. So we hand out the birth cert to establish parental rights – but that DNA sample they took when the child was born is that child’s absolute truth – regardless of who lied on the cert.

          • Circ09

            And this still has nothing to do with birth certificates or the case at hand in Nebraska. Which is what most of the rest of us has been trying to point out.

          • Mark

            well – maybe I see the BC a bit different. It is MY record of who MY parents are. Yes, I was lucky enough to have one man and one woman as parents, and I am 99.999% certain they were in fact my real biological parents. They are MY starting point for my genetic history.

            IF people want to put bullshit references on their kid’s BC for whatever reason, then that is their right, I suppose. But it seems the BC should be the one fucking time in their lives they consider truth more important than their vanity.

        • BobSF_94117

          By not documenting the actual biological data – aren’t we engaging in the same obscuring fiction?

          Of course, and I’d be all in favor adding biological origins to birth certificates or creating a different document for them in addition to birth certificates. BUT THAT WON’T HAPPEN because the heterosexual need for (frequently fictitious) legitimacy is too deeply ingrained.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Hey -Look at me teabitches, I stood up against scotus, the law and Big Gay Inc.
    It only costs a few mill, didn’t do a lick of good, but we got to poke a few queers and their kids in the eye. Vote for me again !

    • Bj Lincoln

      Exactly.

  • Florida’s been doing the same thing. It’s ridiculous. No animus towards gays my ass.

  • Gerry Fisher

    Doesn’t seem to comprehend the statement “You lost!”

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Bitter and petty……sadly, that’s par for the course for these douches.

  • SoCalVet

    my birth certificate was changed after birth…my original name was removed and my infertile adoptive parents names replaced my birth parents names. There was no indication of the original information being replaced. If they can pervert a document like that for heterosexuals, why can’t they do it for homosexuals????

    • Because gays are icky.

    • Steverino

      Exactly. Just as their arguments against marriage equality take the form of an argument against divorce, their arguments against same-sex spouses being included on their children’s birth certificates take the form of an argument against adoption.

      The kicker being they don’t apply these arguments toward heterosexual couples.

    • Bj Lincoln

      My mother remarried and my step-father adopted us. I hated the new name and him. My mom was supposed to throw out our original birth certificates when the new ones were issued. She didn’t. Still, we all had to go through the process of changing our names back before we had kids/got married. I had to have my court order for the name change with the second birth certificate to use my birth name.

    • Stev84

      Birth certificated are really “certificates of legal parenting”

    • SoCalVet

      because the lie is more believable?

  • Cosmo Tupper

    Well I have tried but I am unable to explain the law to Mark sufficiently. The law is to be applied consistently whether the adoptive parents are straight or gay. It is as simple as that. And since the law uses birth certificates to document everything related to child-rearing – rights, vaccinations, visitation, inheritance, etc, there should be zero difference in how birth certificates are handled related to gay adoption. You can argue that this document will ensure this and that document will ensure the other, but straight couples get that decision made on a single piece of paper so why should gay couples have to fill a filing cabinet full of documents that may or may not be honored by the state in which they reside because the state deems us to be inferior in all aspects compared to our straight brethren. And if you move to another state, then you must start all over again. We shall NOT be burdened any more than the straight community for it is unconstitutional to do so.

  • Kim Davis Therapy

    Two words: Jail Time.

  • Richard

    Haters are gonna hate….. its in their republican blood. Thank god for the ACLU.

  • DaveMiller135

    That’s a bigger change in record keeping. Birth certificates don’t just record who welcomed you into the world, they record whose DNA you’re probably carrying. Consider the child who wants to locate their biological parents. But I don’t see any reason the form couldn’t acknowledge the people who intend to raise the child, as well as the sources of biological content.

    I have a friend who was adopted by his step-father, and they move in some of the same ways. I remark on it every time I see them, and some one will always try to swat me down by saying the friend is adopted. Yeah, and he adopted his Daddy’s walk, and style of dancing.

    • Stev84

      Wrong. Birth certificates aren’t meant to be a record of the biological parents. They record the legal parents. When someone is adopted, their original birth certificate is sealed and a new one issues containing the names of the legal parents.

      This isn’t anything new. Adoption and cheating have always existed.

  • Here is additional information, including a link to filings by plaintiffs and the Nebraska AG:

    http://on.fb.me/1KRNQhw

  • Octavio

    The stupidity is beyond my ability to care. Little AG needs to resign and work for his church.

  • TexPlant

    If these idiots would focus on real issues instead of trying to enforce discrimination the actual business of the people may happen. nah, they are too busy with their heads firmly planted up their asses!

  • Gexxr

    If, because I’m gay, religious people can refuse to serve me in a public
    place, fire me from my job, refuse to rent or sell housing to me, if
    they can deny parental rights, if they can deny marital rights, what
    else can they deny? If the Constitution and the law cannot draw a line,
    how can I feel safe?

    The Pope’s new bestie, Kim, has friends (Liberty Counsel) who are cozy with those who call for our extermination.

    And I have to wonder…is my life something they are allowed to deny me based on their religious beliefs? And for those who say no, the law would not allow that, how can you say so when the law allows so many other violations and denials of my rights?

    We need to start having a serious discussion about what limits there are to acts taken in the name of religious belief and how those limits will be determined and applied if the rule of law must bend to religious belief.

    • This post deals with Supreme Court ruling’s regarding religion in this country and religious accommodations in this country over 100 years. I will try to keep it as small as possible, but I recommend as many people read this as possible so they can Arm themselves against the far religious right

      Based on ALL THESE RULINGS, KimDavis doesn’t hav a leg to stand on…. and neither does the Nebraska Attorney General …..Plus note what the decision said “at least some religious accommodation ” – Kim Davis wants a major religious accommodation… Forms changed and her job description changed because of its faith…this is fan r more of an accommodation then allowing some terrorist held in Guantanamo Bay the ability to grow a beard

      There are already limits but people are afraid to enforce them. The Supreme Court and the federal government can pass laws that ban any religious practices so long as they do not target one specific religion, and in a 1993 Supreme Court case there has been an exception to this rule: if a religious practice harms other people, or infringes on the rights, silver rights, or constitutional rights of an individual or individuals the Supreme Court or the federal government can ban said religious practice

      Granted a practice is a huge difference between a belief system. Hosever, when you are at work, and you deny people something based on your religious beliefs system, then you are practicing your religion at work. So the Supreme Court or the government could come in and say “sorry, if religious practices in the workplace are causing harm or denying rights we are hereby did nine people the ability to practice religion in the workplace ”

      They can actually do that, but there’s no way a Republican base Congress would pass such a law, but somebody could sue any government agency, based on this 1993 Supreme Court ruling and probably get religion banned in the workplace altogether in the Government – be it elected or a hired position… This could also apply to the standard workplace as well (however the hobby lobby case mucks this up for the private sector but not government jobs)

      PRE 1963
      Pre-Smith understanding
      The first Supreme Court case that addressed the issue of free exercise was Reynolds v. U.S. (1878), in which the Court upheld a federal law banning polygamy over objections by Mormons who claimed that the practice was their religious duty. The Court in Reynolds distinguished between religious belief and religious conduct or action, stating that Congress was “deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive to good order.” Recognizing the religious defense, the Court said, would “permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.” While the government could not punish citizens because of their religious beliefs, it could regulate religiously motivated conduct, provided that it had a rational basis for doing so. This “rational basis test” became the standard for determining whether a law that impinged on a religious practice violated the free-exercise clause. As that standard was easy for the government to satisfy, for almost a century the courts generally rejected religious-freedom claims against generally applicable laws.
      It is important to note also that until the decision of Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940), opened the door to federal litigation against the states for religion-clause claims (by ruling that the 14th Amendment’s protections against state action “incorporates” or absorbs, the free-exercise clause of the First Amendment) there was no cause of action against the state for laws that may have impinged on religious practices. In effect, the Supreme Court did not have opportunity to review this issue until the mid-20th century, when various free-exercise clause cases made their way through the state courts to the Supreme Court.

      1963 this deals with religious accommodations

      In its 1963 decision Sherbert v. Verner, the Supreme Court found that the Constitution afforded at least some degree of government accommodation of religious practices. Adele Sherbert, a Seventh-day Adventist, was discharged by her South Carolina employer because she would not work on Saturday, her faith’s Sabbath. When she could not find other employment that would not require her to work on Saturday, she filed a claim for unemployment benefits. South Carolina law provided that a person was ineligible for benefits if he or she failed, without good cause, to accept available suitable employment when offered. The state denied Sherbert benefits, saying she had not accepted suitable employment when offered, even though she was required to work on her Sabbath. The decision was upheld by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

      Recent interpretation
      1990
      The Supreme Court has been closely divided on this issue. In its 1990 decision Employment Division v. Smith, the Court greatly narrowed a 35-year-old constitutional doctrine that had required a government entity to prove that it had a “compelling interest” whenever a generally applicable law was found to infringe on a claimant’s religious beliefs or practices. Under current constitutional law as explained in Smith, a government burden on a religious belief or practice requires little justification as long as the law in question is determined to be generally applicable and does not target a specific religion or religious practice

      1993
      The Court in 1993 clarified how these principles were to apply in Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah. There, the Court closely analyzed a facially neutral and generally applicable law and determined that it was neither neutral nor generally applicable. Since the law burdened a religious practice (here the animal sacrifice ritual of the Santeria religion), the government would have to demonstrate that it had a compelling interest in passing the law. The Court would then “strictly scrutinize” the government’s claims. In Hialeah, the government could not meet this burden and the law was stuck down.

      Granted the law targeting this specific religious practice was struck down, legal precedent was set saying that as long as the government has a compelling interest, it can strike down a practice. I would argue that if people practicing religion in the workplace are interfering with the rights or constitutional rights, then those practices in the workplace need to stop, The law could be passed saying that religious practices in the workplace are not allowed if they violate another person’s rights. A law like that should be able to hold up under scrutiny under the 1993 ruling. By the same logic, the Supreme Court should be able to strike down any laws that use religion to deny people the rights.

  • This post deals with Supreme Court ruling’s regarding religion in this country and religious accommodations in this country over 100 years. I will try to keep it as small as possible, but I recommend as many people read this as possible so they can Arm themselves against the far religious right. The parts of it that are long are condensed versions of the very Supreme Court cases

    Based on ALL THESE RULINGS, KimDavis doesn’t hav a leg to stand on…. and neither does the Nebraska Attorney General …..Plus note what the decision said “at least some religious accommodation ” – Kim Davis wants a major religious accommodation… Forms changed and her job description changed because of its faith…this is fan r more of an accommodation then allowing some terrorist held in Guantanamo Bay the ability to grow a beard….

    There are already limits but people are afraid to enforce them. The Supreme Court and the federal government can pass laws that ban any religious practices so long as they do not target one specific religion, and in a 1993 Supreme Court case there has been an exception to this rule: if a religious practice harms other people, or infringes on the rights, silver rights, or constitutional rights of an individual or individuals the Supreme Court or the federal government can ban said religious practice

    Granted a practice is a huge difference between a belief system. Hosever, when you are at work, and you deny people something based on your religious beliefs system, then you are practicing your religion at work. So the Supreme Court or the government could come in and say “sorry, if religious practices in the workplace are causing harm or denying rights we are hereby did nine people the ability to practice religion in the workplace ”

    They can actually do that, but there’s no way a Republican base Congress would pass such a law, but somebody could sue any government agency, based on this 1993 Supreme Court ruling and probably get religion banned in the workplace altogether in the Government – be it elected or a hired position… This could also apply to the standard workplace as well (however the hobby lobby case mucks this up for the private sector but not government jobs)

    PRE 1963
    Pre-Smith understanding
    The first Supreme Court case that addressed the issue of free exercise was Reynolds v. U.S. (1878), in which the Court upheld a federal law banning polygamy over objections by Mormons who claimed that the practice was their religious duty. The Court in Reynolds distinguished between religious belief and religious conduct or action, stating that Congress was “deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive to good order.”

    **********Recognizing the religious defense, the Court said, would “permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.” While the government could not punish citizens because of their religious beliefs, it could regulate religiously motivated conduct, provided that it had a rational basis for doing so. This “rational basis test” became the standard for determining whether a law that impinged on a religious practice violated the free-exercise clause. As that standard was easy for the government to satisfy, for almost a century the courts generally rejected religious-freedom claims against generally applicable laws.**********

    It is important to note also that until the decision of Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940), opened the door to federal litigation against the states for religion-clause claims (by ruling that the 14th Amendment’s protections against state action “incorporates” or absorbs, the free-exercise clause of the First Amendment) there was no cause of action against the state for laws that may have impinged on religious practices. In effect, the Supreme Court did not have opportunity to review this issue until the mid-20th century, when various free-exercise clause cases made their way through the state courts to the Supreme Court.

    1963 this deals with religious accommodations

    In its 1963 decision Sherbert v. Verner, the Supreme Court found that the Constitution afforded at least some degree of government accommodation of religious practices. Adele Sherbert, a Seventh-day Adventist, was discharged by her South Carolina employer because she would not work on Saturday, her faith’s Sabbath. When she could not find other employment that would not require her to work on Saturday, she filed a claim for unemployment benefits. South Carolina law provided that a person was ineligible for benefits if he or she failed, without good cause, to accept available suitable employment when offered. The state denied Sherbert benefits, saying she had not accepted suitable employment when offered, even though she was required to work on her Sabbath. The decision was upheld by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

    Recent interpretation
    1990
    The Supreme Court has been closely divided on this issue. In its 1990 decision Employment Division v. Smith, the Court greatly narrowed a 35-year-old constitutional doctrine that had required a government entity to prove that it had a “compelling interest” whenever a generally applicable law was found to infringe on a claimant’s religious beliefs or practices. Under current constitutional law as explained in Smith, a government burden on a religious belief or practice requires little justification as long as the law in question is determined to be generally applicable and does not target a specific religion or religious practice

    1993
    The Court in 1993 clarified how these principles were to apply in Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah. There, the Court closely analyzed a facially neutral and generally applicable law and determined that it was neither neutral nor generally applicable. Since the law burdened a religious practice (here the animal sacrifice ritual of the Santeria religion), the government would have to demonstrate that it had a compelling interest in passing the law. The Court would then “strictly scrutinize” the government’s claims. In Hialeah, the government could not meet this burden and the law was stuck down.

    Granted the law targeting this specific religious practice was struck down, legal precedent was set saying that as long as the government has a compelling interest, it can strike down a practice. I would argue that if people practicing religion in the workplace are interfering with the rights or constitutional rights, then those practices in the workplace need to stop, The law could be passed saying that religious practices in the workplace are not allowed if they violate another person’s rights. A law like that should be able to hold up under scrutiny under the 1993 ruling. By the same logic, the Supreme Court should be able to strike down any laws that use religion to deny people the rights.

  • All it takes is – all it will take is for a married same-sex couple to sue the state and the attorney general, and chances are a circuit court will strike down any laws in Nebraska on this issue that treat gay and lesbians a second-class citizens when it comes to their names on the birth certificates of their children ….if circuit court upholds Nebraska law, the Supreme Court, with its current landscape would definitely strike it down

    This Attorney General is just posturing to the Farfar religious right wing to garner more support – probably need to get reelected… Or to get time on TV like Kim Davis dead. That woman tries to say she doesn’t want any publicity yet every time she goes on TV she’s glowing and radiant and has a lot to say … Clearly she’s enjoying her “15 minutes of fame”, and unfortunately, for her, she will go down in the history books as she now has a Wikipedia page that paints her in a very negative light. So I guess his attorney general wants to go down the same path she is… He wants his “15 minutes of fame” but doesn’t realize he’s going to go down in the history books as a bigoted bastard

  • Jim

    And the reason this fool is standing in the middle of the marriage equality freeway yelling “Stop!” is…what? What does he possibly hope to gain by this pointless, petty obstruction? He will overruled by the courts. That’s a sure bet. A bit of infamy to make his name sweet among the tea baggers? Is he hoping to be called “governor” or “senator” in future? What is his real motive? Obviously it has nothing to do with law or justice. Inquiring minds want to know.

  • JCF

    Looking for his meeting invite from the Pope. [Yes, I’m still fooking FURIOUS about Franny & La Kim!]

  • Ninja0980

    Not a surprise at all.
    Nebraska had one of the harshest bans in the nation so it’s not a shocker they are still being assholes now.