Slatest PM: Federal Court Considers Utah's Gay-Marriage Ban

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 10 2014 4:46 PM

Slatest PM: Federal Court Considers Utah's Gay-Marriage Ban

465680021-supporters-hold-a-pro-gay-marriage-rally-outside-the
Supporters hold a pro-gay marriage rally outside the Utah State Capitol on January 28, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Utah's Marriage goes Federal: Denver Post: "Oral arguments over Utah's gay marriage ban focused on exactly what marriage is, its role in rearing children and the question of whether the ban wrongly singles out one class of citizen. The two sides in the gay marriage debate made their arguments Thursday morning before a panel of three 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges. Kitchen vs. Herbert is the first such case in which a state has defended its gay marriage ban at the federal appellate level. Legal experts expect that the issue of gay marriage is headed to the U. S. Supreme Court."

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Refresher: New York Times: "In December, Utah briefly became the 18th state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage when a federal judge tossed out the state’s voter-approved ban on such nuptials, one of about 11 similar prohibitions that passed in 2004. The judge, a registered Republican who was appointed by President Obama with support from conservative Utah politicians, said the ban violated the'“fundamental right' of same-sex couples to marry. ... His ruling touched off 17 days of often-jubilant legal chaos as hundreds of same-sex couples poured into county clerks’ offices across the state to wed while Utah officials scrambled to stop them and put a halt to the marriages. By the time the United States Supreme Court intervened and issued a stay in the case — effectively suspending the Utah judge’s ruling and temporarily reinstating the ban — more than 1,000 same-sex couples had married, and many had changed their names, signed up for spousal health insurance and taken steps to become the legal parents of children they were raising together."

Not The End: NYTimes, again: "The decision [in Utah] of the three-judge panel — with two Republican appointees and one Democratic appointee — will reverberate across the socially conservative Mormon state of Utah, but it will hardly be the last word on whether same-sex couples have the same rights to marry as heterosexuals. Next week, the same appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments over Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage, which a federal judge declared unconstitutional in January. Marriage cases in several other states, including Virginia and Texas, are percolating through the courts, and the Supreme Court is widely expected to tackle the issue."

It's Thursday, April 10th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @k_tunney and the whole team at @Slatest.

Late Show With Stephen Colbert: CBS News: CBS didn't waste too much time finding a new host for the Late Show. Exactly a week after David Letterman announced his plans to retire, his successor has been named. Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of The Colbert Report, will replace Letterman in 2015. ... The 49-year-old Colbert, who signed a five-year deal, said in a statement: 'Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career. I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead. I'm thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.'"

HS Stabbing Update: Associated Press: "The district attorney says a 16-year-old charged with stabbing 21 other students and a security officer at his Pittsburgh-area high school used two "ordinary kitchen knives." Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck called the weapons "common items you'd find in a kitchen." However, he stopped short of saying that the suspect, Alex Hribal, took them from his own home. Hribal is being held without bail in a juvenile detention center, though he's charged as an adult with attempted homicide and aggravated assault."

Jesus May Have Had a Wife: Associated Press: "A team of scientists has concluded that a controversial scrap of papyrus that purportedly quotes Jesus referring to "my wife," is not a fake, according to the Harvard Theological Review. Scientists tested the papyrus and the carbon ink, and analyzed the handwriting and grammar, according to Harvard. Radiocarbon tests conducted at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology produced an origination date for the papyrus of 659-859 CE, according to Harvard. MIT also studied the chemical composition of the papyrus and patterns of oxidation. Other scholars studied the carbon character of the ink and found that it matched samples of papyri from the first to eight century CE, according to Harvard."

Highway Danger In KC: Reuters:"Local and federal authorities, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are trying to find out who is behind more than a dozen shootings over the past month -- 13 incidents between March 8 and April 6 on major highways and roads around the city, police said. Most of the cars have been shot in the driver or front passenger door. Three people have been shot, but none of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries. Ten of the reported shootings were in Kansas City, and there's been one each in nearby Blue Springs, Leawood and Lee's Summit. Police are also looking into other claims to see if they should be added to the total. Some of those reports were for incidents before March 8, police said. No new shootings have been reported since Sunday night, but police say they expect the numbers to change as they investigate more incidents and rule out others."

Ryan's Budget: USA Today: "The House approved a spending framework Thursday that would shave more than $5 trillion of expected spending, advancing Rep. Paul Ryan’s final budget proposal on a largely party-line vote. The Wisconsin Republican, whose term as Budget Committee chairman expires later this year, offered a last fiscal framework that included his controversial overhaul of Medicare and other entitlement programs, while also advocating a reduction of top individual tax rates down to 25 percent. The vote on Ryan’s budget, which followed the rejection of several other proposals, including Van Hollen’s, was 219 Republicans for the measure and 193 Democrats opposing it. Twelve Republicans voted against the Ryan measure, most of those believing that it was not conservative enough."

That's all for today. See you back here Thursday. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

Kelly Tunney is a Slate intern in New York City.

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