Gay Marriage Bills

What's up in the news today? If it's newsworthy, it should be discussed here.

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Postby furface » Wed May 06, 2009 3:50 pm

Michael; each state has different procedures and it'll vary depending on how it (marriage equality) came about.

MA: The state supreme court decided the law barring marriage tween same sex spouses was unconstitutional under the state constitution and directed the legislature to remedy the situation. They passed a law allowing any two legal adults to marry. The hard right conservatives launched a referendum to overturn the law and amend the state constitution. The referendum went nowhere. And the amendment route went down in defeat as it required the proposed amendment to pass the legislature in two consecutive sessions and then be approved by the general electorate. It never passed the legislature.

CA: Very similar to MA except the court directed the state to implement the changes as their opinion stated no legislative action was required. SSM started there. The conservatives mounted a campaign to amend the state constitution barring SSM, Prop. 8, and got it on the ballot for the November 2008 elections. It passed and threw the 18K+ marriages into legal limbo. Proponents went back to the supreme court with the argument the prop was a revision, not an amendment, and was invalid since it shouldn't have been on the ballot. Their decision is due by June 6th (I think that's the date).

DC: This is different. They have very limited self government there; all acts of the city council are subject to concurrence by Congress. What the council adopted was a statute recognizing legal SSMs from other jurisdictions, but not authorizing DC to perform them. Congress is very likely to overturn the statute.

ME: This was just signed today. The right wing has already announced a campaign to get a referendum on the ballot as early as this November to overturn the law. They're calling it a peoples' veto. The effort is backed by the RCC and the Mormons. Proponents of marriage are gearing up to defeat the petition effort; the conservatives need to gather 55,058 signatures in the next 90 days to make it to the ballot. Failing that the marriage equality folks will work to educate voters to defeat any prop that makes it to the ballot.

VT: They have also passed a marriage equality bill into law. Don't know the actions opponents have taken.

IA: State supreme court ruled the opposite sex marriage restriction was unconstitutional under the state constitution by a unanimous vote. Any two consenting legal adults may marry in IA. IA has no provisions for either voter propositions or easy amendments to the state constitution. They're constitutional amendment process is very similar MA.

CT: Again the state supreme court route. Haven't heard much about what the anti-equality forces are up to.

NH: The legislature is voting on a marriage equality bill as I type this; the prospects are very good for passage and governor's signature.
Update: 05/05/08, 1635 CDT, House passed the bill and they are working out differences tween House and Senate versions. In effect it passed. The New Hampshire House narrowly approved its marriage equality bill today by a vote of 178-167, sending the bill to the desk of Gov. John Lynch, who has not said whether he will sign the bill.

RI: Nothing happening just yet.

NY: Governor Patterson has a marriage equality working in the legislature right now. Passage is possible, but no predictions as yet.

Hopes this sheds a bit of light on what's happening.
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Postby olywaguy » Wed May 06, 2009 11:17 pm

What happened in California is that the state Supreme Court declared that the ban of gay marriage violated the California constitution.

Anti-gay marriage organization didn't care for the decision, so they got signatures to get an anti-gay marriage initiative on the ballot.

The initiative came to a vote and was passed by the majority of Californians. California can amend their Constitution via such initiatives.

Of course, the thing is that it is up to the California state Supreme Court to decide whether this process is constitutional or not. If they declare this process unconstitutional, then the gay marriage ban will be overturned.

Don't know what Maine's process is like, but D.C. has to have its laws approved by the U.S. Congress. I find it extremely silly that D.C. has to get Congress' approval for everything they do. It's time that DC be declared its own entity without having Congress approve everything they do.
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Postby michaelk69 » Thu May 07, 2009 1:27 am

wow, that is interesting, thanks. Still kind of confusing, but interesting. Thanks for taking the time to type that all up!!

Everything is so different here. The so-called Gay Marriage law was passed with virtually no fanfare - and virtually no opposition. It went through as if it it were a law about recycling or something mundane like that. We got "married" about a year later, and I never even considered that the law would be reversed? I don't know if that happens so much here?

Anyway, thanks for the info!! And good luck to all the gays who want to marry . . . if you want to do it, then you should be allowed to do it, sure, why the hell not? lol . . .
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Postby UnRepublicanstraightactor » Thu May 14, 2009 3:18 pm

furface wrote:NH: The legislature is voting on a marriage equality bill as I type this; the prospects are very good for passage and governor's signature.
Update: 05/05/08, 1635 CDT, House passed the bill and they are working out differences tween House and Senate versions. In effect it passed. The New Hampshire House narrowly approved its marriage equality bill today by a vote of 178-167, sending the bill to the desk of Gov. John Lynch, who has not said whether he will sign the bill.


Breaking news:

Thank You, Governor Lynch!

(Thanks Kathy - promoted by Mike Hoefer)

[I have changed the title from Breaking, Governor Lynch on Marriage Equality because someone should say thank you]

Gov. Lynch Statement Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch released the following statement today regarding same-sex legislation in New Hampshire:

"The gay marriage debate in New Hampshire has been filled with passion and emotion on all sides.

"My personal views on the subject of marriage have been shaped by my own experience, tradition and upbringing. But as Governor of New Hampshire, I recognize that I have a responsibility to consider this issue through a broader lens.

"In the past weeks and months, I have spoken with lawmakers, religious leaders and citizens. My office has received thousands of phone calls, letters and emails. I have studied our current marriage and civil union laws, the laws of other states, the bills recently passed by the legislature and our history and traditions.

"Two years ago, we passed civil unions legislation here in New Hampshire. That law gave same-sex couples in civil unions the same rights and protections as marriage. And in typical New Hampshire fashion, the people of this state embraced civil unions and agreed we needed to continue our tradition of opposing discrimination.

"At its core, HB 436 simply changes the term 'civil union' to 'civil marriage.' Given the cultural, historical and religious significance of the word marriage, this is a meaningful change.

"I have heard, and I understand, the very real feelings of same-sex couples that a separate system is not an equal system. That a civil law that differentiates between their committed relationships and those of heterosexual couples undermines both their dignity and the legitimacy of their families.

"I have also heard, and I understand, the concerns of our citizens who have equally deep feelings and genuine religious beliefs about marriage. They fear that this legislation would interfere with the ability of religious groups to freely practice their faiths.

"Throughout history, our society's views of civil rights have constantly evolved and expanded. New Hampshire's great tradition has always been to come down on the side of individual liberties and protections.

"That is what I believe we must do today.

"But following that tradition means we must act to protect both the liberty of same-sex couples and religious liberty. In their current form, I do not believe these bills accomplish those goals.

"The Legislature took an important step by clearly differentiating between civil and religious marriage, and protecting religious groups from having to participate in marriage ceremonies that violate their fundamental religious beliefs.

"But the role of marriage in many faiths extends beyond the actual marriage ceremony.

"I have examined the laws of other states, including Vermont and Connecticut, which have recently passed same-sex marriage laws. Both go further in protecting religious institutions than the current New Hampshire legislation.

"This morning, I met with House and Senate leaders, and the sponsors of this legislation, and gave them language that will provide additional protections to religious institutions.

"This new language will provide the strongest and clearest protections for religious institutions and associations, and for the individuals working with such institutions.
It will make clear that they cannot be forced to act in ways that violate their deeply held religious principles.

"If the legislature passes this language, I will sign the same-sex marriage bill into law. If the legislature doesn't pass these provisions, I will veto it.

"We can and must treat both same-sex couples and people of certain religious traditions with respect and dignity.

"I believe this proposed language will accomplish both of these goals and I urge the legislature to pass it.

Link.

furface wrote:CT: Haven't heard much about what the anti-equality forces are up to.


They've given up, same as MA.
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Postby olywaguy » Wed May 20, 2009 1:20 am


Gov. Gregoire Signs Legislation to Expand Rights to Domestic Partners

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2009

SEATTLE – At a ceremony in Seattle today, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed Senate Bill 5688, which ensures that under state law state-registered domestic partners are treated the same as married spouses.

“Today we are strengthening Washington by strengthening families,” Gregoire said. “From the first bill I signed in 2007 to today’s bills, we have proudly made immeasurable strides on behalf of LGBT individuals and families. This represents the culmination of incredible work to treat all Washingtonians equally.”

In 2007, Substitute Senate Bill 5336 created the state domestic partnership registry. The legislation allows individuals to enter into a state domestic partnership if they meet established criteria. Some of the powers and rights of spouses were granted to domestic partnerships in that legislation.

The Legislature passed, and Gregoire signed, House Bill 3104 in 2008, which added additional rights and responsibilities relating to issues such as dissolutions, community property, estate planning, taxes, court process, conflicts of interest for public officials and guardianships.

“Many brave families have come forward to share their lives, their struggles and their moments of joy – hard-working men and women who are in committed relationships, raising children, attending their places of worship, and volunteering in their communities,” Gregoire said. “After meeting these families, people have come to know that lesbian and gay families are no different than their own. And what has naturally followed is the unsettling notion that despite the sameness of straight couples and gay and lesbian couples, there are, in fact, legal barriers that prevent the same treatment.”

This new legislation requires state agencies to ensure that all privileges, immunities, rights, benefits, or responsibilities granted to married individuals are granted to an individual who is or was in a state registered domestic partnership.

“There can be no question that the landscape of equality for gay and lesbian families is changing, here and across the nation,” said Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle), who sponsored the bill in the Senate. “Today, eleven years after our state established the intolerance of DOMA into law, Washington law will finally treat gay and lesbian families the same as married couples. Recently, Iowa and Vermont have legalized full marriage equality. Of course, marriage equality is the final goal for gay and lesbian families here in Washington too. We will pursue full equality, but with our full but cautious commitment.”

“This bill is about protecting families – mine and over 5,300 others in 278 cities and towns across Washington state,” said Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle), who sponsored the bill in the House. “Making sure that all Washington families enjoy the full and equal protection of the law strengthens our whole community.”

Gregoire also signed House Bill 1445, which permits domestic partners to receive the survivor and death benefits available to spouses from the Washington State Patrol Retirement System and House Bill 1616 to provide qualified domestic partners the same pension and Public Employees’ Benefits Board reimbursement benefits available to spouses of members of Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System Plan 2. These include retirement and disability survivor benefits, military service credit benefits, and withdrawal and annuity benefits paid upon a member’s death.


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Postby blackmet » Wed May 20, 2009 8:04 am

michaelk69 wrote:Everything is so different here. The so-called Gay Marriage law was passed with virtually no fanfare - and virtually no opposition. It went through as if it it were a law about recycling or something mundane like that. We got "married" about a year later, and I never even considered that the law would be reversed? I don't know if that happens so much here?

Anyway, thanks for the info!! And good luck to all the gays who want to marry . . . if you want to do it, then you should be allowed to do it, sure, why the hell not? lol . . .


LOL. You think a law about recycling would pass here without fan fare? You should have heard the shrieking when Denver considered a plastic bag tax...

Colorado is going to take a while to get it...we've got an amendment to repeal and replace, and it's going to have to be done via citizen vote, so we're pretty much screwed until either there's a U.S. Supreme Court ruling or someone shoves a repeal on the ballot and enough old people die. We're thinking 2012 or 2016.
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Postby madsglen » Fri May 22, 2009 1:36 am

Well, I guess this was predictable. Always feel a bit bad for the city and the people of the District of Columbia. In so many ways they have no real automomy and are at the mercy of Congress. Will be interesting to see what type of press this gets, if any.

DC Defense of Marriage Act introduced in House to thwart city council
BRIAN WESTLEY Associated Press Writer
3:30 PM MDT, May 21, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican-led group of lawmakers wants to define marriage in the District of Columbia as between a man and a woman.

The group introduced a bill in the House on Thursday, hoping to thwart a city council vote this month recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Five states — Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont — allow gay marriage.

Congress, which has final say over laws in the nation's capital, has until July to act against the district measure. Otherwise, it automatically becomes law. Some council members have said the legislation is the first step toward eventually allowing gay marriage in Washington.

More than 30 lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors of the House bill, said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. However, all but two are Republicans, and it will be a fight to get the bill approved in a Democratic-controlled Congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

Obama publicly supports civil unions and believes states should be allowed to make their own decisions about marriage.
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Postby UnRepublicanstraightactor » Fri May 22, 2009 1:48 am

madsglen wrote:Well, I guess this was predictable. Always feel a bit bad for the city and the people of the District of Columbia. In so many ways they have no real automomy and are at the mercy of Congress. Will be interesting to see what type of press this gets, if any.


Irrelevant. What do you expect from the current batch of House Republicans, anyway? Pelosi has already said she is very much against this.
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Postby UnRepublicanstraightactor » Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:58 pm

furface wrote:NH: The legislature is voting on a marriage equality bill as I type this; the prospects are very good for passage and governor's signature.
Update: 05/05/09, 1635 CDT, House passed the bill and they are working out differences tween House and Senate versions. In effect it passed. The New Hampshire House narrowly approved its marriage equality bill today by a vote of 178-167, sending the bill to the desk of Gov. John Lynch, who has not said whether he will sign the bill.


Further update, 6/3/09:

HB73 PASSES!!!
by: Jennifer Daler
Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 16:17:41 PM EDT

David Pierce's floor speech brought tears to my eyes.

Whoa! Another wild ride in the New Hampshire House!

But it passed. It passed! What an effort on the part of all concerned!

Great work by all concerned. Freedom rings in the Granite State!

Update: NHPR reports that Gov. Lynch will sign at 5:15 TODAY!

More (Dean):

Governor to Sign Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch will sign the same-sex legislation today at 5:15 p.m.

TIME: 5:15 p.m.
DATE: Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WHERE: Governor and Council Chambers
State House
Concord


More here.
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The $9.5 Billion Gay Marriage Windfall

Postby chidiver » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:53 am

Howls of protest erupted last month when California's Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, stripping gay and lesbian couples of their right to marry. Adding to the din: all the disappointed planners, seamstresses, jewelers, travel agents and caterers who comprise the massive yet plodding American wedding industry.

There are 781,267 same-sex couples living together in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau's 2005-07 American Community Survey. The Williams Institute, a research arm of UCLA's law school, predicts that if gay marriage were legalized nationwide--only Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, Iowa and (as of earlier this month) New Hampshire allow it now--about half of those couples would tie the knot within three years.
Article Controls

Talk about a stimulus package. While wedding-related revenues--snagged by small shops to giant corporations like Tiffany ( TIF - news - people ), Williams-Sonoma ( WSM - news - people ) and Marriott International ( MAR - news - people )--top $160 billion (an average wedding now costs $20,400), the industry has shrunk at an annualized 1.9% rate after inflation since 1999. If half of the same-sex couples got hitched, Forbes estimates that the industry would reap nearly $10 billion in additional revenue...

http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/15/same-s ... =earthlink
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Postby olywaguy » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:41 am

You must remember that what was upheld was the process by which California makes amendments to their Constitution and not with gay marriage itself. Gay marriage advocates were using that process to invalidate the vote.

I think the state supreme court still believes that gay marriage is something that should be legalized in their state but the state are going to have to find a way to make it happen in such a way that it won't get invalidated by another referendum. This ping-pong could go on forever.
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby olywaguy » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:15 am

Earlier this year, Washington's state legislature passed a bill that allowed gays the same rights as everyone else pertaining to benefits, etc. but coming short of calling it marriage. The bill allowed gay couples to be with their partner in case of a hospital emergency, etc.

Well, here in WA State, if you can get a certain number of signatures, you can put it to a vote as a referendum before the voters.

Of course, the more conservative voters are working hard to defeat it. Most of Washington State counties are mail-in ballots. Folks have started receiving their ballots since this past weekend. So, the voting is going on now.


Referendum Measure 71

The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill.

This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

Should this bill be:
[ ] Approved
[ ] Rejected
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby olywaguy » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:01 am

As Election Day nears in Washington State, the push is getting stronger for commercials approving Referendum 71

Commercials
http://approvereferendum71.org/71-on-the-air

The thing I noticed about both of these commercials is the fact they are featuring lesbian couples. None of the commercials that are seeking approval for the referendum are using gay men in the commercials.

I think I have an idea why that is happening. But, why do you think that is the case?
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby olywaguy » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:20 am

Washington State has voted to retain expanded civil union rights with the passage of Referendum 71. The vote was 51.13% in favor to 48.83% against expanded rights for gays.

Maine, on the other hand, is very close with 52% against gay marriage and 48% voting in favor to retain gay marriage.

I really would like to see the pro gay marriage folks pull this one out.

Would be great to hear from Maine gays about this vote. Come on...give us your voice!!
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby DeckApe » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:42 am

Carlos--the numbers for R-71 continue to improve, with King County approving it by 88%. Most of the conservative vote is already in, and (liberal, for the non-PNW contingent) King County is still turning in numbers.
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby olywaguy » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:04 am

Take a look at the county map for the state of Washington on how the voting went for Referendum 71.

As you can see, it is the heavily populated counties with large cities that brought about the approval. A few of the counties near Thurston County (where Olympia is located) the rejection of Referendum 71 was within 3% margin. It was surprising to see Pierce County (home to Tacoma) defeat Referendum 71 but it also has a large African-American population. Remember that it was African-Americans that defeated the California marriage bill last year.

A bad defeat in Maine. May pro-gay marriage activists took it for granted that it would be a shoe-in. I don't know what happened there.
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby olywaguy » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:23 am

Saw this article in the Seattle Times this morning.

A new take on why gay marriage is so important.


Columbia prof says Prop 8 adds to gay health woes

A Columbia University social scientist says California's voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriages contributed to the social stigma that makes gay men and lesbians more susceptible to depression, suicide and substance abuse.

By LISA LEFF

Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO —

A Columbia University social scientist says California's voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriages contributed to the social stigma that makes gay men and lesbians more susceptible to depression, suicide and substance abuse.

Testifying in the federal trial to decide if Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution, Ilan Meyer said the measure sent a message of "You are not welcome here" to gay people by erecting a barrier to a "desirable and respected" institution.

"People in our society have goals that are cherished by all people, that are part of the social convention," Meyer said. "We are all raised to think there are certain things we want to achieve in life, and this Proposition 8 says if you are gay or lesbian, you cannot achieve this particular goal."

The trial, the first in a federal to examine the constitutionality of state gay marriage bans, is scheduled to resume Friday with testimony from Michael Lamb, a Cambridge University psychologist who will discuss gay and lesbian parenting and the benefits to children of allowing same-sex couples to marry.

During Thursday's session, Howard Nielson Jr., a lawyer for the measure's sponsors, mounted an exhaustive cross-examination, using Meyer's own research showing that black and Latino gays had fewer mental health problems than white gays to try to undercut the professor's assertion. Meyer had hypothesized in his study that black and Latino gays would have more mental health issues because of their dual minority identities.

Nielson also challenged Meyer on his statement that California's domestic partnership law, which grants same-sex couples the same legal benefits and responsibilities as married spouses, was itself a source of stigma and emotional distress. Equality California, the state's largest gay rights group, sponsored the 2003 law.

"Do you believe Equality California would sponsor legislation that would stigmatize (gay) individuals," Nielson asked.

"No, but that doesn't change my answer," Meyer said. "Having a second type of an institution that is clearly not the one that is designed for most people clearly is stigmatizing."

Earlier Thursday, an economist for the city of San Francisco testified that preventing gays from getting married costs the city millions of dollars a year in lost revenue and increased services.



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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby olywaguy » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:26 am

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/02/ ... index.html


D.C. same-sex marriage law takes effect this week
By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer
March 2, 2010 5:46 p.m. EST

Washington (CNN) -- The District of Columbia's same-sex marriage law will go into effect as scheduled this week, after the Supreme Court refused to stop its enforcement.

Chief Justice John Roberts issued a three-page order Tuesday, a day before the law becomes official. He concluded the high court should defer to local matters in the federal district of Washington. And he said a separate ballot initiative to overturn the law would give voters a chance to weigh in on the question.

A group of Washington residents had objected to the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act, which expands the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

Those opponents had argued city residents should have been given a chance to vote on the high-profile issue before the city council passed the measure. They still seek to force a ballot initiative after the law takes effect. Local courts had turned down various lawsuits to block it.

The district's marriage bureau says same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses Wednesday. However, by law, "three full days must pass between the day of application to the day that the license can be issued," the bureau, part of the district's superior court system, says on its Web site, so no marriages would be held this week.

A $35 application fee is waived for couples who are registered domestic partners, although a $10 fee for the license is not, the bureau said.

District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty signed a measure recognizing same-sex marriages as legal in December, after the city council overwhelming passed it. It then had to go through a review period during which Congress had an opportunity to intervene.

The district joins Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Iowa in allowing same-sex couples to marry.




From Washington Times


First gay marriages in D.C. begin
By Joseph Weber

The first same-sex weddings in the District of Columbia will be performed Tuesday.

The city is now the sixth jurisdiction in the county in which such marriages can be performed -- joining Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

More than 300 same-sex couples have applied for a license since the application process began Wednesday.

The 13-member D.C. Council voted in December in favor of the Marriage Equality Act.

Opponents of such marriages tried several ways to stop the legislation, including an unsuccessful, last-minute attempt to get the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a temporary injunction.

They said D.C. residents should vote on the legislation, not the council. However, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said voters will have the right to challenge the legislation in D.C. courts and pointed out that Congress declined to stop the law from taking effect.

The D.C. Court of Appeals in late February unanimously rejected the case.

Republicans in Congress have said they lacked the votes to oppose the legislation successfully.

More than 100 couples are expected to pick-up their licenses and marry Tuesday.

Among them will be Angelisa Young, 47, and Sinjoyla Townsend, 41. They were the first couple in line Wednesday to apply for a license and will marry at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters in downtown Washington. Several nondenominational services are scheduled to be held there Tuesday.

D.C. churches are exempt from having to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington does not support the marriages. The group announced last week that it will not extend benefits to partners or spouses not already enrolled, after saying for months the cost of extending such benefits would jeopardize the services it provides to nearly 70,000 needy residents.

The D.C. Council vote was 11-2, with yes votes from the two openly gay members -- David A. Catania, at-large independent, and Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat. Council members Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, and Yvette Alexander, Ward 7 Democrat, voted no. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, a Democrat, promptly signed the bill.

Same-sex marriage was approved last year in California, but the law later was struck down by a voter referendum, as was a similar measure in Maine.

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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby Bramasole_iowa » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:27 pm

olywaguy wrote: It was surprising to see Pierce County (home to Tacoma) defeat Referendum 71 but it also has a large African-American population. Remember that it was African-Americans that defeated the California marriage bill last year.


There's also a large military population. Military families tend to be a bit more religious than the average joe.
And it wasnt African-Americans that defeated California marriage last year. Look at how the No on 8 campaign went about ostracizing large LGBT activist groups, their leaders and volunteers, waiting until the last bit of the campaign to start phonebanking, etc. It was a failed campaign against Prop 8 to begin with.
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby olywaguy » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:14 pm

Heard the latest?


U.S. Judge Overturns California Gay Marriage Ban
By Jim Christie, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Wednesday struck down a California ban on same-sex marriages as unconstitutional, handing a key victory to gay rights advocates in a politically charged decision almost certain to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Legal scholars said the decision has wide implications for nearly 40 states with similar laws on their books, making it more difficult to defend those measures in court on the basis of moral grounds or social tradition.

Still, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ordered the voter-approved ban, known as Proposition 8, to remain in place at least temporarily until he decides on a request by supporters of the ban to keep it intact while the case moves to a higher court.

Although the result leaves gay men and lesbian couples unable to marry for now, Walker said Prop 8 opponents "demonstrated by overwhelming evidence" that it violates due process and equal-protection rights under the U.S. Constitution.

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license," Walker wrote in the conclusion of his 136-page opinion.

Supporters of Prop 8, which California voters passed 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent in November 2008 after one of the most expensive ballot-measure campaigns in U.S. history, expressed confidence they would ultimately prevail.


Battles Ahead

"There aren't five votes on the Supreme Court for gay marriage," Maggie Gallagher, chair of the National Organization for Marriage, said of the high court's conservative 5-4 majority.

Outside the federal courthouse in San Francisco, a cheer went up among a group of about 70 same-sex marriage supporters carrying small U.S. flags, as a large rainbow-striped flag -- the symbol of the gay rights movement -- waved overhead.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has said he personally supports gay marriage but would abide by the will of voters and the courts, said the decision "affirms the full protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves."

Even the White House weighed in with a brief statement saying that President Barack Obama "has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory."

The highly anticipated ruling marked a major turning point in an emotionally charged social debate that has sharply divided the American public and its political establishment.

Gay rights advocates and civil libertarians have cast the legal battle as a fight for equal rights, while opponents, including many religious conservatives, see same-sex marriage as a threat to the traditional family.

Both sides have said an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was certain regardless of the outcome on Wednesday. The case could then go to the Supreme Court, provided the high court's justices opted to hear it.

"I'm thrilled," gay marriage supporter Steven Ray Davis said at the courthouse. "We still have a long way to go."


Still Married

The decision has no bearing on 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who were legally wed in California from June 2008 when a state Supreme Court ruling overturned an earlier ban and November 2008 when Prop 8 passed.

The case against Prop 8, a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, marks the first challenge in federal court to a state law barring same-sex matrimony.

Thirty-nine U.S. states have laws explicitly prohibiting gay marriage -- 30 adopted in their constitutions. Five states and the District of Columbia recognize gay marriage -- Iowa, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.

Santa Clara University School of Law professor Margaret Russell said Walker's opinion, if sustained, would have broad consequences beyond California.

"Any marriage ban based on moral disapproval of gays would fall under that reasoning," she said.

Early last month, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled that a 1996 federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages, even in states where it is allowed, was unconstitutional.

The federal government has 60 days to decide whether to appeal that ruling.

The two lead attorneys in the California case are Ted Olson and David Boies, who opposed each other in the landmark Supreme Court case that decided the outcome of the disputed 2000 U.S. presidential election and put George W. Bush in the White House.

Some gay rights advocates were initially hesitant to bring a federal challenge to Prop 8, fearing an eventual loss before the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court.

(Additional reporting by Alexandria Sage, Dan Levine, Dan Whitcomb and Courtney Hoffman)

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Cynthia Osterman)


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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby butch » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:55 pm

Will wait to see how "sticky" the decision is. I find it surprising that it is such an issue in California where things seem more liberal than the rest of the USA which seems very, very, very conservative in nature. There seems to be a freak irony that European countries are so far ahead of the USA in terms of their laws regarding gay sex and marriage and, particularly the age of consent which is, I believe, 12 in Spain and averages 14 through many other countries.

The next few generations of humans, if they survive, will be interesting because I expect to see a huge rise in atheism which should revolutionize the planet... or cause an all out war (the more likely scenario). I expect a nuclear holocaust in the mid east starting with Tel Aviv vanishing under a nuclear cloud. But that's my opinion. Good riddance Israel, and that's also my opinion. :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby Rico » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:47 pm

This news today deserves at least a bump on this thread:

Moments ago the Maryland Senate approved a marriage equality bill by a vote of 25-21. The bill now moves to the Democrat-heavy House of Delegates where it is expected to pass easily before landing on the gay-friendly governor's desk.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby olywaguy » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:41 pm

Rico wrote:This news today deserves at least a bump on this thread:

Moments ago the Maryland Senate approved a marriage equality bill by a vote of 25-21. The bill now moves to the Democrat-heavy House of Delegates where it is expected to pass easily before landing on the gay-friendly governor's desk.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D


Read the article from the Baltimore Sun.
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby nimby » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:18 pm

Rico wrote:This news today deserves at least a bump on this thread:

Moments ago the Maryland Senate approved a marriage equality bill by a vote of 25-21. The bill now moves to the Democrat-heavy House of Delegates where it is expected to pass easily before landing on the gay-friendly governor's desk.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Woohoo!!! That's great. Congradulations!
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Re: Gay Marriage Bills

Postby Rico » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:44 am

I haven't read all of the details but it seems this is a real marriage bill, and not simply a civil union bill. From what I gather, if it finally becomes law, it will convey to same-sex couples all the legal rights and entitlements that convey to M-F couples.

Predictably, religious and right-wing groups have already started their petition drives to get repeal on the ballot, or to amend the State's constitution. So stay tuned. It's far from over.
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