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Jacob Combs
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Jacob Combs is an editor at EqualityOnTrial.com (formerly Prop8TrialTracker.com), a project of the Courage Campaign. There he blogs about marriage equality news and analyzes legal challenges and decisions on marriage from across the United States. He worked with Courage on the ground against Amendment 1 in North Carolina, and also works at Blue Sky Studios, a 3D animation studio in Greenwich, Conn.

Entries by Jacob Combs

Why I Fast: A Meditation for Yom Kippur

(1) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 11:44 AM

I am not a very observant Jew.

Yes, I would say that my Jewish heritage is central to my identity, as are the teachings and spiritual practices I learned from the conservaform, Kabbalah-inspired rabbi and cantor who Bar Mitzvah-ed me.

But when it comes to observing Judaism -- in...

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New Jersey Judge Presents Pointed Questions in Tangled Marriage Equality Case's Oral Arguments

(10) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 7:49 PM

A New Jersey state court judge in Trenton today expressed skepticism towards state officials' claims in defense of New Jersey's decision to offer civil unions but not equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, particularly in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision invalidating a key section of the Defense of...

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'It Feels Different': Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, Prop 8 Plaintiffs, Talk Winning, Wedding and What Comes Next

(5) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 12:11 PM

When I call up Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, they're in the car -- as Katami puts it, "We're running around today."  He asks me to wait a second so he can connect the phone to the car's Bluetooth and warns me ("I always make this disclaimer") that I may...

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After a Court Victory, New York's LGBT Community Reflects

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 4:31 PM

It was a sticky summer kind of New York evening as the throngs packed into the narrow intersection of Waverly Place and Christopher Street outside the steps of the Stonewall Inn. The event was equal parts rally, celebration, law lecture and thanksgiving. Edie Windsor, the newly-turned 84-year-old who today won...

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Analysis: Supreme Court Rules Prop 8 Proponents Lack Standing, Restores Marriage Equality to California

(10) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 6:29 PM

In a narrow yet major victory for marriage equality, the Supreme Court ruled today that the proponents of Proposition 8 did not have standing to defend the law in court, paving the way for equal marriage rights to return to California. The ruling focused specifically on issues of standing...

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Bending Toward Justice: A Reflection on President Obama's Marriage Equality Announcement One Year Later

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 2:46 PM

Exactly one year ago today, President Barack Obama sat down in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News and said, "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get...

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Marriage Equality Matters for All Americans: Lessons From the Supreme Court and Matthew Shepard

(1) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 2:53 PM

Toward the end of February, I had the opportunity to attend a performance of The Laramie Project cycle at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From mid-afternoon to late evening that Saturday, I sat in the audience scribbling notes in the dark on a pad of paper as I watched a...

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Oh, the Places We (Might) Go: A Roadmap of Possible Supreme Court Decisions on DOMA and Prop 8

(97) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 4:43 PM

After the whirlwind that has been the last two days at the Supreme Court, it's hard to point to any outcome in either the Prop 8 case or in Edie Windsor's challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act as more likely than another. There was division on the Court as...

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Supreme Court Likely to Strike Down DOMA -- Here's Why

(21) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 8:00 PM

This morning I had the chance to sit in the Supreme Court's press gallery and hear two packed hours of oral arguments on the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). A big first impression: It seems quite likely that Section 3 of DOMA will be...

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I Just Left the Supreme Court: A Quick Look at the Justices' Questions About Prop 8

(390) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 1:37 PM

I just walked out of oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court and waded through a huge crowd of supporters shouting, "Equal rights under the law!"  It was a whirlwind hearing, and all three lawyers faced tough questions from the justices.  Here's my initial take on the justices' questions and...

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The Broad Implications of the Obama Administration's Narrow Prop 8 Brief: Part 3

(6) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 1:20 PM

This piece is part of a three-part series examining the Obama administration's Supreme Court brief arguing that California's Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection provisions.  You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Last week, the Obama administration filed a Supreme Court brief challenging the constitutionality...

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The Broad Implications of the Obama Administration's Narrow Prop 8 Brief: Part 2

(2) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 1:28 PM

This piece is part of a three-part series examining the Obama administration's Supreme Court brief arguing that California's Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection provisions.  You can read Part 1 here.

In a Supreme Court brief filed last week on behalf of the Obama administration, Solicitor General...

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The Broad Implications of the Obama Administration's Narrow Prop 8 Brief: Part 1

(0) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 10:11 AM

This piece is part of a three-part series examining the Obama administration's Supreme Court brief arguing that California's Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection provisions.

Last Thursday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr. -- writing on behalf of the Obama administration and reportedly at the direction of the president himself...

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Analysis: The Prop 8 Plaintiffs Debunk the 'Responsible Procreation' Argument for Good

(32) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 9:26 AM

Last week, the plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 filed a brief with the Supreme Court in response to the arguments that the law's defenders had made in their filing with the Court last month.  At first blush, the most significant feature of the plaintiffs' brief might seem to be...

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Liberty, Equality and the End of Marriage Discrimination

(82) Comments | Posted January 23, 2013 | 4:54 PM

"I trust the Constitution," Edie Windsor told BuzzFeed reporter Chris Geidner in an interview for his recent profile of the 83-year-old whose lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act will be heard by the Supreme Court this March. "Sometimes there's a mistake, but...

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Supreme Court Will Hear Challenges to Prop 8, DOMA

(10) Comments | Posted December 7, 2012 | 7:20 PM

Big news: The Supreme Court announced today in an order that it will take up the Prop 8 case and one of the several Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) cases for further review. The next step in the review process for both cases is a scheduling order, which...

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Marriage Equality: Is It a Federal Issue or a State Issue?

(92) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 4:06 PM

Over the weekend, I wrote about President Obama's Friday interview with MTV, during which he responded to a question about marriage equality with the statement, "I think for us to try to legislate federally into this is probably the wrong way to go." As I mentioned in my...

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DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional in Connecticut Case Pedersen v. OPM

(38) Comments | Posted August 1, 2012 | 6:56 PM

Yesterday, July 31, Judge Vanessa Bryant, a George W. Bush appointee to the District Court of Connecticut, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional in Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, a case brought by Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) in November...

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Supreme Timing: Why It's Better for the Supreme Court to Hear the DOMA Case Before the Prop 8 Case (Part 5)

(11) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 8:38 PM

This is the fourth piece in a five-part series exploring the future of the DOMA and Prop 8 cases at the Supreme Court. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.

In Part 4...

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Supreme Timing: Why It's Better for the Supreme Court to Hear the DOMA Case Before the Prop 8 Case (Part 4)

(11) Comments | Posted July 6, 2012 | 9:22 PM

This is the fourth piece in a five-part series exploring the future of the DOMA and Prop 8 cases at the Supreme Court. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

In Part 3 of this series, I wrote...

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