Tag Archives: Marriage Equality

News & Comment

Justice Prevails

infograf-yall-all

I became a supporter of this movement in the mid-1990s at a time when the odds of success were roughly zero to none. It was personal for me and mine, of course, but there was a larger purpose too. This is our legacy — our generation’s — a hard-won gift to future generations of young people that will enable them to grow up without stigma and go on to lead full and productive lives. Sometimes justice prevails. This is one of those times.

Andrew Sullivan, then affiliated with the GOP, was one of the first advocates of gay marriage. I saw him speak on the topic at an event in West Hollywood in 1996 or so. He’s posted a brief history of those early days here.

News & Comment

Sorry, Christians – Under Religious Freedom Laws, the Bible Also Requires You to Refuse Service to Adulterers

art-confederate-gay-marriedPublic outrage over the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that have passed in 21 states, so far, appears to be the latest sign of a massive shift toward support for gay civil rights. It also suggests people looked past Republican rhetoric and saw these laws for what they’re really meant to be — licenses for right-wing Christians to discriminate against gays, particularly Christians in the wedding business who want to refuse to bake cakes and provide floral arrangements for same-sex weddings based on moral grounds.

It is not only petty to withhold wedding flowers and cakes from a particular class of sinners, it is also unlawful on its face. RFRAs not only violate public-accommodation laws and would arguably be unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause, their use of religion to single out a particular class of people runs afoul of the separation of church and state — the legal barrier that prevents our democratic republic from sliding into theocracy. It’s as un-American to discriminate against gays based on the Old Testament as it would be to restrict gay rights based on Sharia law, for example.

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News & Comment

GOP Frontrunner Jeb Bush Fumbles Position on Marriage Equality

Bush
Bush
Supporters of marriage equality celebrated a milestone yesterday when county clerks in Florida began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. With the expansion of marriage rights into the third largest state, marriage equality is now the law of the land in 70 percent of the United States, a remarkable turnaround on an issue that was considered political poison just a few years ago.

The victory was not welcomed unanimously, of course. Among the first to speak for the dyspeptic was Jeb Bush, Florida’s former governor and the GOP’s putative 2016 presidential frontrunner. It was Bush’s first campaign-related statement this year — and it did not go smoothly.

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News & Comment

On Fox: Republican v Republican on Marriage Equality

On Fox News Sunday, Ted Olson, the Republican on the legal team that argued for marriage equality in California’s Prop 8 case — but who led the witness-bribing, anti-Clinton “Arkansas Project” in the 1990s, and who represented Bush/Cheney in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case in which Republicans on the Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush as president — debated Tony Perkins, one of the grand wizards of the anti-gay hate movement. Transcript follows:

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News & Comment

Candidate for Texas Governor is Arguing for a Ban on Marriage Among Older People

oldermarriageOne of the dearest moments during the wedding of my friends Cathy and Warren came when the minister accidentally stumbled into the part of the vows where he often asked those gathered to support the couple as they raised any children resulting from their union. A stunned silence was followed by Cathy saying, “Um, we can skip that.”

At the time, Cathy was 56 and Warren was 68. Both of them widows, their children from their previous marriages — all in their 20s and 30s, some with children of their own — led the laughter.

Abbott: ‘Same-sex marriage does not advance the state’s interest because same-sex unions do not result in pregnancy’

But according to the “traditional” marriage crowd, Cathy and Warren shouldn’t even have been allowed to marry. Instead, they claim marriage should be reserved for those who plan to conceive and raise children. So older folks, the infertile, and all who chose to remain childless should be barred from legal marriage. Being “partners,” “companions,” or as gay couples used to have to call themselves, “lifelong friends,” should be enough.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), who is running against Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) to replace Rick Perry as governor, said exactly that in a brief filed before an appeals court to uphold the Texas ban on same-sex marriage.

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News & Comment

Supreme Court Rejects Marriage Equality Bans in Five States

Gannet: The Supreme Court refused to get involved in the national debate over same-sex marriage Monday, leaving intact lower court rulings that will eventually lead to legalizing the practice in 11 additional states.
Gannet: The Supreme Court refused to get involved in the national debate over same-sex marriage Monday, leaving intact lower court rulings that will eventually lead to legalizing the practice in 11 additional states.

The Supreme Court’s decision today not to hear appeals on lower court rulings overturning bans on gay marriage raises the number of states where same-sex marriage is legal from 19 to 24, and will likely lead to overturning bans in six more states.

News & Comment

Map Shows Progress on Marriage Equality

Source: Mother Jones

Marriage equality is now the law in the Pacific Coast states and Hawaii, the Northeast, New Mexico and four states in the Midwest.

To access an interactive version of this map on the Mother Jones website that provides status and updates on laws state-by-state, click here.

News & Comment

Utah’s GOP Governor Puts Hundreds of Legal Same-Sex Marriages on Hold

Herbert
Has anything like this ever happened before? After the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on a federal judge’s ruling that same-sex couples have the right to marry in Utah, the state’s Republican governor, Gary Herbert, issued an order effectively divorcing, at least temporarily, as many as 1,300 couples who had legally obtained marriage licenses.

In California, after the Mormon Church in Utah effectively drove the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, and Attorney General Jerry Brown, a Democrat — who is now the California governor — allowed the marriages of 1,800 couples to stand. Because of this, two classes of gay couples were created in the state: those who had legally married and those who were, as a result of Prop 8, prohibited from exercising that right. Prop 8 was later rescinded by court rulings.

(It should be noted that as governor, Schwarzenegger vetoed bills passed by the legislature that would have legalized marriage equality twice.)

Gov. Herbert’s decision to put a hold on the legal marriages appears to be motivated by politics — Utah is one of the most anti-gay states in the nation, which is saying a lot — rather than the law. The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed yesterday that it is reviewing the decision.

News & Comment

Prop 8 Revenge: Mormons Meddled in California Politics to Stop Gay Marriage in 2008, Now Marriage Equality Is the Law in Their Own Home State

A pro-marriage advocate protests Mormon meddling in the 2008 Prop 8 debate outside the LDS tabernacle in West Los Angeles

The sudden legalization of a gay marriage in Utah, of all places, will likely go down as the biggest and best pleasant surprise in the American civil rights movement last year. The fact that gay people are exercising their fundamental right to marry in a state that is a de facto right-wing religious theocracy is a huge step forward.

In California, the fact that Utah, the Mormon stronghold, has become the 18th state, along with the District of Columbia, to legalize marriage equality has been quietly celebrated with a soupçon of schadenfreude. Like a nice gazpacho, as they say, revenge is best served chilled.

After all, it was just five years ago, in the 2008 election season, that the Mormon Church chose to interfere in California politics by funding a nasty anti-gay campaign that many Californians believe led to the passage of Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that rescinded marriage equality in California.

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Enumerati

Illinois Legalizes Marriage Equality – Now 115 Million Americans Live in States Where Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal

115 Million

Combined population of the 16 states, now including Illinois, and the District of Columbia where marriage equality is legal.