Gay Marriage Bills

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Gay Marriage Bills

Postby olywaguy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:58 am

The State of Washington has two bills, a state Senate and House version, to make gay marriage legal in the state.


Senate Bill 5674

State of Washington 61st Legislature 2009 Regular Session

By Senators Murray, McDermott, Kohl-Welles, Regala, Pridemore, Keiser, Kline, and Jacobsen



AN ACT Relating to civil marriage equality, recognizing the right of all citizens of Washington state, including couples of the same gender, to obtain civil marriage licenses; amending RCW 26.04.010 and 26.04.020; and creating a new section.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 (1) Civil marriage is a legal institution recognized by the state in order to promote stable relationships and to protect individuals who are in those relationships. Civil marriage is based on a civil contract between two persons and does not require the sanction or involvement of religious institutions. Civil marriage provides important protections for the families of those who are married, including not only children and other dependents they may have, but also members of their extended families. The legislature and the people of the state of Washington find that strong, healthy families promote social stability and economic growth, and that these families are supported and protected by the contractual obligations and benefits conferred by civil marriage licenses. On these bases, the state therefore has a compelling state interest in ending discrimination against otherwise qualified applicants for a civil marriage license, including discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation of the applicants.

(2) The legislature finds and declares as follows:

(a) Despite longstanding social and economic discrimination, many gay and lesbian Washingtonians have formed lasting, committed, caring, and mutually supportive relationships with persons of their same gender. These couples live together, participate in their communities together, and many raise children and care for family members together, just as do heterosexual couples who have the option to marry under Washington law.

(b) The state of Washington has a proud tradition of respect for the principle that no human being should be denied his or her full rights and responsibilities under the law.

(c) According to the 2000 census, Washington state is home to at least sixteen thousand same gender couples, ranking ninth among the fifty states in the number of same gender couples. Seattle ranks second among large cities in the United States in the percentage of couples who are of the same gender. Same gender couples live in all thirty-nine counties in Washington, and nearly one in four of these couples is raising children. While some of these couples may have domestic partner registries in their jurisdictions, such arrangements do not offer the same scope and depth of rights, responsibilities, privileges, and protections offered by civil marriages, nor do they provide any legal standing outside the jurisdiction in which they occur.

(d) Marriage laws support the core values of commitment and responsibility. Washington's discriminatory exclusion of same gender couples from marriage harms those couples and their families by denying those couples and their families specific and equal rights and responsibilities under state and federal law. At least four hundred twenty-three Washington state statutes conferred either rights, benefits, or obligations depending upon marital status, nearly all of which are currently unavailable to Washington's same sex couples. These include the right to bring a wrongful death action, the right to inherit property when there is no will, the right to invoke the evidentiary privilege not to testify against a spouse, the right to certain employment and pension benefits as well as other specific benefits, and the right to transfer property between spouses without paying the real estate excise tax. The federal benefits withheld include the right to file joint federal income tax returns, the right to sponsor a partner for immigration to the United States, the right to social security survivor benefits, the right to family and medical leave, and many other substantial benefits and obligations.

(e) Washington's discriminatory exclusion of same gender couples from marriage further harms same gender couples and their families by denying them the unique public recognition and affirmation that civil marriage confers on other couples, and the opportunity to express their mutual dedication through the uniquely recognized rituals of marriage.

(f) The legislature has an interest in encouraging and supporting loving, stable, committed, caregiving relationships regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the partners. The benefits that accrue to the general community and to the state's economy when couples undertake the mutual obligations of marriage accrue regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the partners.

(g) The highest courts in four states have held that denying the legal rights and obligations of marriage to same gender couples is constitutionally suspect or impermissible under their respective state Constitutions. These states are Hawaii, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. In 2005, both houses of the California legislature approved a bill, "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act," which would have ensured that the right to marry in California applied to all of its citizens. In so doing, the California legislature determined that ending the exclusion of lesbian and gay couples from marriage is necessary to fulfill the state constitution's guarantees of due process, privacy, equality, and free expression. While challenges to the discriminatory exclusion from marriage continue around the United States, countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and South Africa have ended the denial of marriage to same sex couples and provide full marriage equality to all of their citizens.

(h) No official of any religious denomination or nonprofit institution authorized to solemnize marriages shall be required to solemnize any marriage in violation of his or her right to free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or by the Washington state Constitution.

(i) It is the intent of this act to end discrimination in marriage based on gender and sexual orientation in Washington, to ensure that all persons in this state may enjoy the freedom to marry on equal terms, while also respecting the religious freedom rights of clergy and religious institutions to determine for whom to perform marriage ceremonies and which marriages to recognize for religious purposes.

Sec. 2 RCW 26.04.010 and 1998 c 1 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:

(1) Marriage is a civil contract between ((a male and a female)) two persons who have each attained the age of eighteen years, and who are otherwise capable.

(2) Every marriage entered into in which either ((the husband or the wife)) person has not attained the age of seventeen years is void except where this section has been waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides on a showing of necessity.

(3) Where necessary to implement the rights and responsibilities of spouses under the law, gender specific terms such as husband and wife shall be construed to be gender neutral, except with respect to chapter 26.26 RCW.

Sec. 3 RCW 26.04.020 and 1998 c 1 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:

(1) Marriages in the following cases are prohibited:

(a) When either party thereto has a ((wife or husband)) spouse living at the time of such marriage; or

(b) When the ((husband and wife)) spouses are nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whether of the whole or half blood computing by the rules of the civil law((; or

(c) When the parties are persons other than a male and a female)).

(2) It is unlawful for ((any man)) a person to marry his ((father's sister, mother's sister, daughter, sister, son's daughter, daughter's daughter, brother's daughter or sister's daughter; it is unlawful for any woman to marry her father's brother, mother's brother, son, brother, son's son, daughter's son, brother's son or sister's son)) or her sibling, child, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.

(3) A marriage between two persons that is recognized as valid in another jurisdiction is valid in this state only if the marriage is not prohibited or made unlawful under subsection (1)(a)((, (1)(c),)) or (2) of this section.

Use the link to see the text that was stricken for amendment to the law.

-----------------------------------

House Bill 1745


State of Washington 61st Legislature 2009 Regular Session

By Representatives Moeller, Williams, Walsh, Hunt, Takko, Upthegrove, Sells, Springer, Simpson, Darneille, Liias, Eddy, Pedersen, Jacks, Cody, Chase, Dunshee, Kirby, Sullivan, Kenney, Ericks, Haigh, McCoy, Roberts, Appleton, Hasegawa, Santos, Rolfes, Conway, Wood, Clibborn, Hudgins, Morris, Nelson, Carlyle, Quall, Flannigan, Dickerson, White, Ormsby, Seaquist, and Kagi



AN ACT Relating to civil marriage equality, recognizing the right of all citizens of Washington state, including couples of the same sex, to obtain civil marriage licenses; amending RCW 26.04.010, 26.04.020, and 26.60.010; and creating a new section.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 (1) Civil marriage is a legal institution recognized by the state in order to promote stable relationships and to protect individuals who are in those relationships. Civil marriage is based on a civil contract between two persons and does not require the sanction or involvement of religious institutions. Civil marriage provides important protections for the families of those who are married, including not only children and other dependents they may have, but also members of their extended families. The legislature and the people of the state of Washington find that strong, healthy families promote social stability and economic growth, and that these families are supported and protected by the mutual obligations and benefits conferred by civil marriage licenses. On these bases, the state therefore has a strong interest in ending discrimination against otherwise qualified applicants for a civil marriage license, including discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation of the applicants.

(2) The legislature finds and declares as follows:

(a) Despite longstanding social and economic discrimination, many gay and lesbian Washingtonians have formed lasting, committed, caring, and mutually supportive relationships with persons of their same sex. These couples live together, participate in their communities together, and many raise children and care for family members together, just as do heterosexual couples who have the option to marry under Washington law.

(b) The state of Washington has a proud tradition of respect for the principle that no human being should be denied his or her full rights and responsibilities under the law.

(c) According to the 2000 census, Washington state is home to at least sixteen thousand same sex couples, ranking ninth among the fifty states in the number of same sex couples. Same sex couples live in all thirty-nine counties in Washington, and nearly one in four of these couples is raising children. While some of these couples may have domestic partner registrations, such arrangements do not offer the same scope and depth of rights, responsibilities, privileges, and protections offered by civil marriages, nor do they provide any legal standing outside the jurisdiction in which they occur.

(d) Marriage laws support the core values of commitment and responsibility. Washington's discriminatory exclusion of same sex couples from marriage harms those couples and their families by denying those couples and their families specific and equal rights and responsibilities under state and federal law. At least four hundred twenty-three Washington state statutes confer rights, benefits, or obligations depending upon marital status, many of which are currently unavailable to Washington's same sex couples even with Washington's domestic partnership law.

(e) Washington's domestic partnership laws have provided limited relief for same sex couples, but the state's discriminatory exclusion of same sex couples from marriage harms same sex couples and their families by denying them the unique public recognition and affirmation that civil marriage confers on other couples, and the opportunity to express their mutual dedication through the uniquely recognized rituals of marriage.

(f) Most states do not recognize civil marriage between same sex couples, but some of those states may have domestic partnership laws and may recognize domestic partnerships created in Washington. In addition, Washington's reciprocity statute recognizes domestic partnerships created in other states. Therefore, to protect Washington citizens traveling to other states and to allow Washington to continue recognizing domestic partnerships created in other states, the legislature intends to retain Washington's domestic partnership statutes until there is consistency throughout the states that provide adequate protection for Washington's citizens.

(g) The legislature has an interest in encouraging and supporting loving, stable, committed, caregiving relationships through civil marriage regardless of the sex or sexual orientation of the partners.

(h) No official of any religious denomination or nonprofit institution authorized to solemnize marriages shall be required to solemnize any marriage in violation of his or her right to free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or by the Washington state Constitution.

(3) It is the intent of this act to end discrimination in marriage based on sex and sexual orientation in Washington, to ensure that all persons in this state may enjoy the freedom to marry on equal terms, while also respecting the religious freedom rights of clergy and religious institutions to determine for whom to perform marriage ceremonies and which marriages to recognize for religious purposes.

Sec. 2 RCW 26.04.010 and 1998 c 1 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:

(1) Marriage is a civil contract between ((a male and a female)) two persons who have each attained the age of eighteen years, and who are otherwise capable.

(2) Every marriage entered into in which either ((the husband or the wife)) person has not attained the age of seventeen years is void except where this section has been waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides on a showing of necessity.

(3) Where necessary to implement the rights and responsibilities of spouses under the law, gender specific terms such as husband and wife shall be construed to be gender neutral.

Sec. 3 RCW 26.04.020 and 1998 c 1 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:

(1) Marriages in the following cases are prohibited:

(a) When either party thereto has a ((wife or husband)) spouse living at the time of such marriage; or

(b) When the ((husband and wife)) spouses are nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whether of the whole or half blood computing by the rules of the civil law((; or

(c) When the parties are persons other than a male and a female)).

(2) It is unlawful for any man to marry his father's sister, mother's sister, daughter, sister, son's daughter, daughter's daughter, brother's daughter or sister's daughter; it is unlawful for any woman to marry her father's brother, mother's brother, son, brother, son's son, daughter's son, brother's son or sister's son.

(3) A marriage between two persons that is recognized as valid in another jurisdiction is valid in this state only if the marriage is not prohibited or made unlawful under subsection (1)(a)((, (1)(c),)) or (2) of this section.

Sec. 4 RCW 26.60.010 and 2007 c 156 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

Many Washingtonians are in intimate, committed, and exclusive relationships with another person to whom they are not legally married. These relationships are important to the individuals involved and their families; they also benefit the public by providing a private source of mutual support for the financial, physical, and emotional health of those individuals and their families. The public has an interest in providing a legal framework for such mutually supportive relationships, whether the partners are of the same or different sexes, and irrespective of their sexual orientation.

((The legislature finds that same sex couples, because they cannot marry in this state, do not automatically have the same access that married couples have to certain rights and benefits, such as those associated with hospital visitation, health care decision-making, organ donation decisions, and other issues related to illness, incapacity, and death. Although many of these rights and benefits may be secured by private agreement, doing so often is costly and complex.))

The legislature ((also)) finds that the public interest would be served by extending rights and benefits to different sex couples in which either or both of the partners is at least sixty-two years of age. While these couples are entitled to marry under the state's marriage statutes, some social security and pension laws nevertheless make it impractical for these couples to marry. For this reason, chapter 156, Laws of 2007 specifically allows couples to enter into a state registered domestic partnership if one of the persons is at least sixty-two years of age, the age at which many people choose to retire and are eligible to begin collecting social security and pension benefits.

The rights granted to state registered domestic partners in chapter 156, Laws of 2007 will further Washington's interest in promoting family relationships and protecting family members during life crises. Chapter 156, Laws of 2007 does not affect marriage or any other ways in which legal rights and responsibilities between two adults may be created, recognized, or given effect in Washington.


Use the link to see the text that was stricken for amendment to the law.
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Postby UnRepublicanstraightactor » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:16 pm

New Jersey will definitely beat Washington state to this. Washington may be on track to beat New York state, tho...


olywaguy wrote:Then HB 1980 wants to prohibit state registered domestic partnerships and have marriage be only between a man and a woman.

Got to love our state. :D


I wouldn't make too much of this. Bills like this are introduced in the state legislatures of just about every single state, whether it's those so conservative no one even bothers bills to legalize gay marriage because it's a total waste of time and won't happen in the next 100 years or those that actually have gay marriage now (although they don't bother to introduce those kinds of bills after the fight is over and equality has won).
Last edited by UnRepublicanstraightactor on Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby olywaguy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:56 am

Bills related to domestic partnership, HB 1727, will allow state registered domestic partners have equal rights as those of married couples.

Then HB 1980 wants to prohibit state registered domestic partnerships and have marriage be only between a man and a woman.

Got to love our state. :D
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby UnRepublicanstraightactor » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:20 pm

olywaguy wrote:The State of Washington


a state Senate



Senate Bill 5674

State of Washington 61st Legislature 2009 Regular Session

By Senators Murray, McDermott, Kohl-Welles, Regala, Pridemore, Keiser, Kline, and Jacobsen



AN ACT Relating to civil marriage equality, recognizing the right of all citizens of Washington state, including couples of the same gender, to obtain civil marriage licenses; amending RCW 26.04.010 and 26.04.020; and creating a new section.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 (1) Civil marriage is a legal institution recognized by the state in order to promote stable relationships and to protect individuals who are in those relationships. Civil marriage is based on a civil contract between two persons and does not require the sanction or involvement of religious institutions. Civil marriage provides important protections for the families of those who are married, including not only children and other dependents they may have, but also members of their extended families. The legislature and the people of the state of Washington find that strong, healthy families promote social stability and economic growth, and that these families are supported and protected by the contractual obligations and benefits conferred by civil marriage licenses. On these bases, the state therefore has a compelling state interest in ending discrimination against otherwise qualified applicants for a civil marriage license, including discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation of the applicants.

(2) The legislature finds and declares as follows:

(a) Despite longstanding social and economic discrimination, many gay and lesbian Washingtonians have formed lasting, committed, caring, and mutually supportive relationships with persons of their same gender. These couples live together, participate in their communities together, and many raise children and care for family members together, just as do heterosexual couples who have the option to marry under Washington law.

(b) The state of Washington has a proud tradition of respect for the principle that no human being should be denied his or her full rights and responsibilities under the law.

(c) According to the 2000 census, Washington state is home to at least sixteen thousand same gender couples, ranking ninth among the fifty states in the number of same gender couples. Seattle ranks second among large cities in the United States in the percentage of couples who are of the same gender. Same gender couples live in all thirty-nine counties in Washington, and nearly one in four of these couples is raising children. While some of these couples may have domestic partner registries in their jurisdictions, such arrangements do not offer the same scope and depth of rights, responsibilities, privileges, and protections offered by civil marriages, nor do they provide any legal standing outside the jurisdiction in which they occur.

(d) Marriage laws support the core values of commitment and responsibility. Washington's discriminatory exclusion of same gender couples from marriage harms those couples and their families by denying those couples and their families specific and equal rights and responsibilities under state and federal law. At least four hundred twenty-three Washington state statutes conferred either rights, benefits, or obligations depending upon marital status, nearly all of which are currently unavailable to Washington's same sex couples. These include the right to bring a wrongful death action, the right to inherit property when there is no will, the right to invoke the evidentiary privilege not to testify against a spouse, the right to certain employment and pension benefits as well as other specific benefits, and the right to transfer property between spouses without paying the real estate excise tax. The federal benefits withheld include the right to file joint federal income tax returns, the right to sponsor a partner for immigration to the United States, the right to social security survivor benefits, the right to family and medical leave, and many other substantial benefits and obligations.

(e) Washington's discriminatory exclusion of same gender couples from marriage further harms same gender couples and their families by denying them the unique public recognition and affirmation that civil marriage confers on other couples, and the opportunity to express their mutual dedication through the uniquely recognized rituals of marriage.

(f) The legislature has an interest in encouraging and supporting loving, stable, committed, caregiving relationships regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the partners. The benefits that accrue to the general community and to the state's economy when couples undertake the mutual obligations of marriage accrue regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the partners.

(g) The highest courts in four states have held that denying the legal rights and obligations of marriage to same gender couples is constitutionally suspect or impermissible under their respective state Constitutions. These states are Hawaii, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. In 2005, both houses of the California legislature approved a bill, "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act," which would have ensured that the right to marry in California applied to all of its citizens. In so doing, the California legislature determined that ending the exclusion of lesbian and gay couples from marriage is necessary to fulfill the state constitution's guarantees of due process, privacy, equality, and free expression. While challenges to the discriminatory exclusion from marriage continue around the United States, countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and South Africa have ended the denial of marriage to same sex couples and provide full marriage equality to all of their citizens.

(h) No official of any religious denomination or nonprofit institution authorized to solemnize marriages shall be required to solemnize any marriage in violation of his or her right to free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or by the Washington state Constitution.

(i) It is the intent of this act to end discrimination in marriage based on gender and sexual orientation in Washington, to ensure that all persons in this state may enjoy the freedom to marry on equal terms, while also respecting the religious freedom rights of clergy and religious institutions to determine for whom to perform marriage ceremonies and which marriages to recognize for religious purposes.

Sec. 2 RCW 26.04.010 and 1998 c 1 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:

(1) Marriage is a civil contract between ((a male and a female)) two persons who have each attained the age of eighteen years, and who are otherwise capable.

(2) Every marriage entered into in which either ((the husband or the wife)) person has not attained the age of seventeen years is void except where this section has been waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides on a showing of necessity.

(3) Where necessary to implement the rights and responsibilities of spouses under the law, gender specific terms such as husband and wife shall be construed to be gender neutral, except with respect to chapter 26.26 RCW.

Sec. 3 RCW 26.04.020 and 1998 c 1 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:

(1) Marriages in the following cases are prohibited:

(a) When either party thereto has a ((wife or husband)) spouse living at the time of such marriage; or

(b) When the ((husband and wife)) spouses are nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whether of the whole or half blood computing by the rules of the civil law((; or

(c) When the parties are persons other than a male and a female)).

(2) It is unlawful for ((any man)) a person to marry his ((father's sister, mother's sister, daughter, sister, son's daughter, daughter's daughter, brother's daughter or sister's daughter; it is unlawful for any woman to marry her father's brother, mother's brother, son, brother, son's son, daughter's son, brother's son or sister's son)) or her sibling, child, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.

(3) A marriage between two persons that is recognized as valid in another jurisdiction is valid in this state only if the marriage is not prohibited or made unlawful under subsection (1)(a)((, (1)(c),)) or (2) of this section.

Use the link to see the text that was stricken for amendment to the law.


Not sure if this is the same bill as the one referenced, but...

Wash. Senate passes "everything but marriage" bill
The state Senate has approved a bill giving same-sex domestic partners all of the rights and benefits the state offers married couples have.

By RACHEL LA CORTE

Associated Press Writer

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state Senate has approved a bill giving same-sex domestic partners all of the rights and benefits the state offers married couples have.

The bill was passed on a 30-18 vote and now heads to the House.

It adds domestic partners to all remaining areas of state law where currently only married couples are addressed, statutes ranging from labor and employment to pensions and other public employee benefits.

The underlying domestic partnership law, spearheaded by Seattle Democratic Sen. Ed Murray two years ago, provided hospital visitation rights, the ability to authorize autopsies and organ donations and inheritance rights when there is no will.


Wow, 38-10? I knew you guys took the state senate in '04 and expanded that majority to give you a far more comfortable majority in '06, but did you guys really do well on the state legislative front in '08 as well? Guess state senate candidates taking on incumbent GOP senators were able to take advantage of Obama's vast coattails and weren't limited by Gregoire's considerably less potent ones...

UPDATE -- sorry it wasn't 38-10, it was 30-18, which makes a lot more sense. The 38-10 number was gotten from this crummy Advocate article, and it doesn't surprise me how wrong they got it, considering just how many pro-war letters they were publishing in their letter column in late '02 and early '03, and how they also published another retarded op-ed piece a few weeks ago which cited that Bill Moyers of all people was anti-gay, written by idiot neocon James Kirchick. Good job again, Advocate!
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Postby Bramasole_iowa » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:50 pm

Don't think Washington is some unique legislative body. Seems same-sex marriage equality is the new black.
Minnesota has a marriage equality bill.
Illinois has a civil union bill.
Vermont has a marriage equality bill.
New Hampshire has a marriage equality bill.
New York has a marriage equality bill.
Maryland has a marriage equality bill.
Maine has a marriage equality bill.

Oh- and Connecticut has a bill to restructure the Catholic Church. hahaha.
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Postby PhillyAgenda » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:13 pm

Bramasole_iowa wrote:Vermont has a marriage equality bill.

Looks like Vermont's Governor is gonna veto that bill

http://www.sacbee.com/830/story/1728238.html
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Postby UnRepublicanstraightactor » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:45 pm

PhillyAgenda wrote:
Bramasole_iowa wrote:Vermont has a marriage equality bill.

Looks like Vermont's Governor is gonna veto that bill

http://www.sacbee.com/830/story/1728238.html


Yeah, but it also looks like they'll have the votes to override. Also I don't think Douglas realizes how much he's putting his own reelection in jeopardy by doing this. So far he's allowed himself to appear as a moderate. But unlike California, he doesn't have the Prop. 22 excuse to fall back upon for a veto, and now Howard Dean, who preceded Douglas and is still immensely popular in VT has come out in favor of the bill. Hell hath no fury like a gay scorned, they say...

oh and most of those other bills won't go anywhere any time soon. It's only NJ and Vermont that look likely to get to passage and either a signature (in NJ's case it would most likely be in the lame duck session between Corzine and whoever else, or perhaps another Corzine term, tho that is far from a shoo-in at this point) or a veto override. Those two, and then maybe Rhode Island.
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Postby olywaguy » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:19 am

Iowa Supreme Court just decided that the ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional making it the third state to allow gay marriage.

The Vermont House of Representatives passed their gay marriage bill yesterday. They just need a few more votes to override the governor's veto. If it does, they will be the fourth state to allow gay marriage.

What is it about New England, that is making all this possible?
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Postby foxeyes2 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:40 am

They are more liberal and not as religous as the rest of the country.
It is the fundamentalists that want to deny us equality.
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Postby olywaguy » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:30 am

foxeyes2 wrote:They are more liberal and not as religious as the rest of the country. It is the fundamentalists that want to deny us equality.


What a simplistic analysis especially since New Englanders come from conservative background themselves. Rhode Island was founded as a Catholic colony and Massachuasetts as a Puritan colony.

The west coast is quite liberal and even Oregon and Washington don't have gay marriage. Oregon has a DOMA law and Washington has civil unions.
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Postby foxeyes2 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:57 am

Just because it is simplistic does not mean that it is inaccurate. While it is true that New England was founded by religious settlers the fact is that the demographics have changed in the last 200 hundred plus years.
If you do some research it will show that the population of church goers especially fundamentalists are lower in the New England States as compared to other regions of the Country such as the Midwest and the South and the middle of the country.

In California with regards to Prop. 8 it was the Mormons and other fundies that supported discrimination. while they may not have been the only ones they did raise the money for the ads and were the most vocal.

If you ask the Southern Baptist Convention what their stance is it will be against marriage equality. If you poll Church of Christ congregations (Not United Church of Christ) you will find the same thing. Talk to any of the megachurch pastors in your area or those on any of the "Christian" televison networks and you will get the same answer.

So yes my first answer was short and to the point but also true.
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Postby olywaguy » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:15 am

Some good analysis by Dan Brown on the Iowa decision.
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Postby furface » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:41 am

Vermont overrides governor's veto! Marriage equality comes to Vermont!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: 8) 8)

Law becomes effective September 1, 2009.
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Postby foxeyes2 » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:04 pm

YES YES YES! This is great, wonderful, fantastic news and the conservatives are having fits! Way to go Vermont!
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Postby Pazuzu P. Sasquatch » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:58 pm

We're seeing the beginning of something pretty remarkable. Five years from now, we're gonna be amazed at where things are.
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Postby chidiver » Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:25 pm

Council Bluffs Senator Tells Personal Story to Explain Same-Sex Marriage Position

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs is publicly saying he will block any attempt to amend the Iowa Constitution to make same-sex marriage illegal. Last week, the Iowa Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in the state in a unanimous ruling, saying a legislative ban on same sex marriage violated the state's equal protection clause. That means only an amendment to the state constitution would ban same sex marriage. Gronstal's opposition to an amendment effective kills any chance of one being put before voters this year.

Gronstal told the Senate he opposes the amendment in part because of a story his own daughter told him. A clip of his speech was also put on YouTube (see link on the left). Here's a transcript:

"One of my daughters was in the workplace one day, and her particular workplace at that moment in time, there were a whole bunch of conservative, older men. And those guys were talking about gay marriage. They were talking about discussions going on across the country.

"Any my daughter Kate, after listening for about 20 minutes, said to them: ‘You guys don't understand. You've already lost. My generation doesn't care.'

"I think I learned something from my daughter that day, when she said that. And I've talked with other people about it and that's what I see, Senator McKinley. I see a bunch of people that merely want to profess their love for each other, and want state law to recognize that.

"Is that so wrong? I don't think that's so wrong. As a matter of fact, last Friday night, I hugged my wife. You know I've been married for 37 years. I hugged my wife. I felt like our love was just a little more meaningful last Friday night because thousands of other Iowa citizens could hug each other and have the state recognize their love for each other.

"No, Senator McKinley, I will not co-sponsor a leadership bill with you."

In a related note, Vermont has also legalized gay marriage. The State House and Senate there have voted to override the Governor's veto of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
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Postby Bramasole_iowa » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:35 pm

In a related action on Tuesday, the Washington, D.C., City Council voted 12-0 to fully recognize marriages by lesbian and gay couples legally entered into in other jurisdictions. At the same time, the Council voted 12-0 to recognize civil unions and broad domestic partnerships entered into in other jurisdictions as domestic partnerships under the laws of the District of Columbia. (Both the D.C. measures must be approved again on May 5 and, if they are approved by Mayor Adrian Fenty, will face what is likely to be a contentious review by Congress.)
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Postby olywaguy » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:43 pm

Here's the transcript of a discussion pertaining to the DC decision to recognize gay marriages from other states.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02538.html
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Postby blackmet » Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:47 am

Here's something interesting:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/04/will-iowans-uphold-gay-marriage.html

A guess using mathematical models showing when each state would pass an amendment allowing gay marriage.

I think it's a bit optimistic in some spots, but Colorado should definitely throw the issue back on the ballot no later than 2012 or 2016, we'd probably pass it by then.
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Postby UnRepublicanstraightactor » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:25 pm

olywaguy wrote:
foxeyes2 wrote:They are more liberal and not as religious as the rest of the country. It is the fundamentalists that want to deny us equality.


What a simplistic analysis especially since New Englanders come from conservative background themselves. Rhode Island was founded as a Catholic colony and Massachuasetts as a Puritan colony.


You said it right there yourself -- conservative "background". That was over two centuries ago, and they were the first to evolve in many, many ways. Granted there are a few lone state exceptions from other parts of the country, but the entire region has been first in many ways, especially in recent decades.

The west coast is quite liberal and even Oregon and Washington don't have gay marriage. Oregon has a DOMA law and Washington has civil unions.


Calm down, guy. I think foxeyes overlooked the obvious three states on the West Coast, but meant the rest of the country excluding them as well -- i.e. the midwest, the "Bible" Belt, the mountain west, and the deep south. But really, New England has a different mentality -- they would never put something on the ballot that even "liberal" California (which I never thought was as liberal as many claimed it was) failed to defeat in the first place -- that is, the right of the minority should NEVER be voted on by the majority. I think Californian gays and straights were very complacent personally, something you did not see in Massachusetts during the marriage equality fights we had there.
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Postby chidiver » Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:36 am

http://www.reason.com
http://www.reason.com/news/show/133109.html
Reason Magazine
A Federalist Case for Gay Marriage
Let each state decide the issue for itself

Steve Chapman | April 27, 2009
The country used to be unanimous in rejecting gay marriage. But that consensus, like the polar ice sheets, is showing some cracks. Vermont recently became the fourth state to allow gays to wed, and New York will probably be next. Elsewhere, marriage remains as Miss California prefers—solely between a man and a woman.

It's at moments like this that the framers of the Constitution begin to look even wiser than usual. Somehow they anticipated that people in Massachusetts would not want to live under exactly the same laws as people in Mississippi. So they set up a system known as federalism, which allows different states to choose different policies. Thus we simultaneously uphold majority rule and minority rights.

This, at least, is how federalism is supposed to operate—letting subsets of the national population get their way in their own locales. There's only one hitch: In this case, it doesn't quite work that way.

Why not? Because of a huge imbalance created by that longtime nemesis of state sovereignty—the federal government. Under the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Virginia has complete authority to deny the privileges and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex partners. But Iowa doesn't have the complete authority to grant them.

Oh, Iowa can provide recognition to gay marriages under all its laws and policies. But that's a surprisingly small part of what marriage encompasses. Under federal law, there are more than 1,100 rights and privileges that go with being a husband or wife. And none of them is available to married same-sex couples.

Under federal law, a person may transfer property to a spouse tax-free. Married couples may file their income taxes jointly. Someone whose spouse dies is assured Social Security survivor's benefits. A married person has the authority to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner.

Or say you're an American citizen living in this country who marries a foreigner. Normally, you would be entitled to bring your beloved to this country to live permanently and become a citizen.

But if you're both of the same sex, you can forget all of the above. Even though Iowa might like to put heterosexual and homosexual married couples on the same footing, it can't, because the federal statute blocks the way.

"In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States," says DOMA, "the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."

That decree may sound reasonable: Since most Americans and most states reject same-sex marriage, federal policy should as well. But it conflicts with how the nation has handled marriage up till now, which is to leave it up to individual states to decide who may wed—and then honor those diverse choices.

Some states, for instance, allow marriages between first cousins; others forbid it. Some states allow 15-year-olds to marry with parental consent, while most set the minimum age higher.

And the feds? They have consistently observed a policy of staying the hell out. Washington doesn't tell Colorado and New York which marriages it will acknowledge. Colorado and New York tell it.

Not so with same-sex unions. Under DOMA, the federal government insists that some marriages are not marriages.

That's particularly hard to justify because the other major provision of the law bends over backward to protect state authority over matters marital. It says no state is obligated to recognize a same-sex marriage that took place somewhere else. Gays married in Vermont magically become single when they venture into New Hampshire.

This part of the law goes beyond the norm to accommodate different preferences. Usually, states are obligated to enforce contracts made in other states. Back in the segregationist years, Southern states often honored interracial marriages transacted beyond their borders even though they regarded them as "so unnatural that God and nature seem to forbid them."

Given the strong feelings about gay marriage, the local option is the best option. States that abhor the idea should be free to implement policies reflecting that sentiment. But the other side should have exactly the same prerogative: giving both heterosexual and homosexual couples access to marriage in full.

Our system, unlike Mao's China, is supposed to let a hundred flowers bloom. But for the best growth, the federal sun has to shine on all of them.
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Postby furface » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:31 pm

New Hampshire has passed through both houses a marriage equality bill. There are some very minor differences to be ironed out before it goes to Gov. Lynch. Lynch hasn't been supportive, but he hasn't indicated he'll veto the bill. Some observers in the Granite State think he'll just not sign it and it'll become law without his signature.

Maine has also passed an equality bill out of the joint Judiciary committee, and passage by both houses of their legislature looks very good as well.

That would leave only Rhode Island in the New England states without a marriage equality statute.

Things are sure looking up since the passage of Prop. H8 in California. :D

On a slightly different tack, the US House has passed the Hate Crimes bill. Sen. Ted Kennedy introduced the companion bill in the Senate. It looks good for passage there as well. 8)
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Postby olywaguy » Wed May 06, 2009 9:08 am

Washington DC's City Council passed its recognition of gay marriage bill (where the city will recognize marriages taken elsewhere) today. It won't become official until the Congress approves it.
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Postby furface » Wed May 06, 2009 2:28 pm

Maine Gov. Balducci has signed the marriage equality bill into law! 8) 8)
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Postby michaelk69 » Wed May 06, 2009 2:47 pm

furface wrote:Maine Gov. Balducci has signed the marriage equality bill into law! 8) 8)


Yeah, I was just reading about that online - that's awesome! But I find the way that this kind of thing is handled in the USA to be kind of confusing.

Like, I remember being excited for all of the California couples who were allowed to legally marry . . . but then something happened . .. not sure what . . . and now it is banned/illegal again?

How does all that work, then?

How do we know that Maine won't be banning gay marriages this time next year, and annulling the one that have been granted?

What happened in California, and couldn't the same thing happen in Maine, DC, Connecticut, etc?

Sorry, not trying to put a downer on all this - it sound like great news - but just genuinely curious?
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