Showing posts with label Same-sex marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Same-sex marriage. Show all posts

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Obama Evolves: Welcome to the 21st Century, Barry!

As you've all heard by now, President Obama has come out in full support of Marriage Equality in an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts.
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."
This is an historic event in the history of the LGBT rights movement. This is the first time a sitting president has made such a statement of support for full marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

We all have reason to celebrate this morning, but I have to say that this news is bitter sweet, coming a day after the passing of Amendment One in North Carolina. I can't help but wonder about the timing of this announcement.

On Sunday Joe Biden made a statement on Meet the Press that he supports Marriage Equality, only to have the White House spin doctors go ape shit trying to back peddle and say that Biden didn't say what we all heard him say. Meanwhile, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said at a Monday news conference that he agrees with Biden's position.

The official off-the-record explanation from unnamed White House sources is that "The Big O" evolved earlier this year, but chose not to make it public until this week, on the heals of Biden's and Duncan's statements and increased pressure from LGBT critics and high dollar donors.

The question now is whether or not this will hurt or help the president in the lead-up to the fall elections. Naturally Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, as well as Tony Perkins of the hate group Family Research Council and other professional bigots have jumped all over this story claiming that the battle lines have been drawn and that the president's words now match his actions.

Gallagher seems to think this is a good thing for the anti-gays and is happy that the president is "no longer lying" about his support for marriage equality.

CNN's Soledad O'Brien went head-to-head with Perkins this morning, grilling him about the "redefinition of marriage" argument. O'Brien pointed out that marriage has changed over the years as society has changed, but Perkins would have none of it. Via Mediaite:

“You’re talking about redefinition,” Perkins said. “There is no rational reason to keep people of different races that were of opposite sex to marry. They met the qualifications of the definition of marriage. What we’re talking about here is a further redefinition of marriage…”
“But hasn't marriage been redefined and redefined?” O’Brien interjected.
“It’s going to intentionally create environments where you have children growing up without a mom and a dad,” Perkins argued.
“But we have environments where children grow up…” O’Brien countered. “Forgive me for interrupting, but we have environments already in heterosexual couples where they grow up without a mom or dad. You’re certainly not arguing gay marriage is fine as long as the couples don’t want to have kids because you will avoid that problem, kids growing up without a mom or a dad, or an older couple who aren’t going to have kids?”
All I can say is haters gotta hate and people who don't believe in evolution never evolve.

The anti-gay folks were never going to vote for Obama anyway, or should I say the anti-gay white folks. It remains to be seen whether or not black and Latino voters, who turned out in record numbers for Obama in 2008, will shift their support to Romney over this, or just say home. It's hard to believe that anybody is a single-issue voter any more. The bigots are betting that they are enough of them left to unseat the president.

Although Obama says this was a personal decision, not a political one, there can be no doubt that he considered every angle before making his statement to ABC, which, according to those same anonymous sources, was recorded on Monday, on the condition that it not air until Wednesday. We are left to wonder whether influencing the NC vote was a consideration.

For now, let's be glad in the moment. Welcome to the 21st century, Mr. President!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Elon Poll: 60% Oppose NC Amendment One

A new Elon University poll released Monday shows that 60% of North Carolinians oppose Amendment One, the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban any legal recognition of same-sex relationships. With just over a month left before the vote, the poll reveals not only a majority of opposition to Amendment One, but a marked shift in support for either marriage equality or civil unions.
"...support for full marriage rights for same sex couples (38%) or support for civil unions or partnerships for same-sex couples (29%) among the state’s residents continues to increase over the four cycles since September 2011 that we have asked the question. Opposition to any legal recognition for same-sex couples continues to decrease and is now at 29%."
This is great news for LGBT's living in the south. North Carolina is the only southern state without a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heteros-only club. While same-sex marriage is already illegal in the Tar Heal State, defeating this ballot measure at the polls, with a Republican majority running the state for the first time in ten years, would send a message that same-sex marriage is not the wedge issue it once was.

Politico reported Friday that mainstream Republicans don't seem to have the stomach to fight gay marriage any more.
"It’s not like the GOP has become a bastion of progressiveness on gay rights, but there has been an evolution in the political approach — and an acknowledgment of a cultural shift in the country. Same-sex relationships are more prominent and accepted. There are more gay public figures — including politicians — and it’s likely that many Washington Republicans have gay friends and coworkers. Just as important — there’s also a libertarian streak of acceptance on people’s sexuality coursing through the House Republican Conference."

Just three weeks ago, polling showed only 54% opposition, but also revealed that a lot of voters don't understand exactly what Amendment One would do, if passed. Once they understood, they were opposed to it.


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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The NOM Papers: Glamorous Non-cognitive Elite

Probably the most revealing tidbit of information gleaned from the newly released (by court order) confidential files of the National Organization for Marriage is the disdain they feel for their celebrity supporters are and how stupid they think they are. That's probably why they have so few of them.

I have to say I agree with Maggie Moo on this point, but talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

"Hollywood with its cultural biases is far bigger than we can hope to be. We recognize this. But we also recognize the opportunity - the disproportionate potential impact of proactively seeking to gather and connect a community of artists, athletes, writers, beauty queens and other glamorous non-cognitive elites across national boundaries. (This is applying the Witherspoon and IAV model to non-intellectual elites.)"


This comes directly from NOM's own Files.

You can't make this shit up.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Court Documents Prove NOM's Plan to Divide Gay and Black Communities

By Alvin McEwan
Cross-posted from Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters.


The National Organization for Marriage's unsuccessful fight to skirt Maine's financial disclosure laws just backfired majorly on the group by revealing a  distasteful part of its game plan to stop marriage equality.


According to a court document that was uploaded online, NOM specifically worked to drive a wedge between the black and gay community on the subject of marriage equality:


According to page 11 of this document called Marriage: $20 Million Strategy for Victory:



3. Not a Civil Right Project 
The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks - two key democratic constituencies. We aim to find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; to develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; and to provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.
NOM has portrayed whatever African-American opposition to marriage equality its spotlighted as spontaneous attempts by leaders and members of the black community to keep its civil rights legacy from supposedly being "tainted" by a comparison to gay equality.


But now we see that there was nothing spontaneous about this. It was a cynically planned effort by NOM - which the organization continues to exploit - in order to drive a wedge between blacks and gays.


And notice how NOM says that one of the purposes of creating this division was to create a negative reaction from gay equality supporters against the African-Americans speaking out against marriage equality.


One doesn't have to spell out how this benefits NOM's efforts. The two sides attack each other with extreme anger causing magazine articles to be written about the division, news programs to focus on the division, and venomous chats to occur on places like Facebook and Twitter.


Some heterosexual African-Americans will let loose with homophobia against the gay community.  And some white lgbtqs will express racist comments about the black community. Both communities will be at each other's throats. There will be no intelligent conversations on the matter and neither community will benefit an iota.


And NOM wiill sit back and reap the benefits of causing this chaos.


It reminds me of an Aesop fable I once posted:
An Eagle had made her nest at the top of a lofty oak. A Fox, having found a convenient hole, lived with her young in the middle of the trunk; and a Wild Sow with her young had taken shelter in a hollow at its foot. The Fox resolved to destroy by her arts this chance-made colony. She climbed to the nest of the Eagle, and said: "Destruction is preparing for you, and for me too. The Wild Sow, whom you may see daily digging up the earth, wishes to uproot the oak, that she may, on its fall, seize our families as food." Then she crept down to the cave of the Sow and said: "Your children are in great danger; for as soon as you shall go out with your litter to find food, the Eagle is prepared to pounce upon one of your little pigs." When night came, she went forth with silent foot and obtained food for herself and her young; but, feigning to be afraid, she kept a look-out all through the day. Meanwhile, the Eagle, full of fear of the Sow, sat still on the branches, and the Sow, terrified by the Eagle, did not dare to go out from her cave; and thus they each, with their families, perished from hunger.
Moral - Gay folks and black folks can argue all day as to who gets to be the "sow" and who gets to be the "eagle." But both groups better damn well recognize who the hell the fox is.


Editor's note - There are a lot of court documents and I'm sure that in the coming days, we will learn more about NOM's exploits. Stay tuned not only to this blog but several others.


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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Breaking: Obama May or May Not Endorse Marriage Equality Before Election

Hold onto your hats, boys and girls! There's a 50-50 chance that something might, could, possibly, but not likely, happen and the LGBT acti-verse is all atwitter about it.

The argument rages unabated in the LGBT community as to whether President Obama should finish evolving on marriage equality and make a public endorsement before the November general election. Opinions are split and very passionate on both sides of the debate.

First Lady Michelle Obama didn't help matters much on Monday night when she spoke at a fundraiser in New York, hosted by actor Robert DeNiro at his restaurant in TriBeCa. Mrs. Obama told the $5000 a plate crowd, "And let us not forget what their decisions — the impact those decisions will have on our lives for decades to come -– on our privacy and security, on whether we can speak freely, worship openly, and, yes, love whomever we choose."

Naturally, the gay press has jumped all over the First Lady's words in an effort to glean some clue about the president's evolution.

Enter the inside source. The Washington Blade spoke an anonymous someone who claims to have knowledge of what's happening behind the scenes at he White House. The insider says that discussions are just as heated and divided in the Executive Mansion as they are in the real world. According to the latter day Deep Throat, the president is likely to announce something significantly pro-LGBT before the election, but it may or may not be what impatient activists want to hear.
According to the source, the administration would like to unveil another major pro-LGBT initiative before the November election, and an endorsement of marriage equality could fit the bill. But concerns persist on how an endorsement of same-sex marriage would play in four or five battleground states.
“We’re talking about the Michigans, the Ohios, the Illinois of the world; the real battleground states in which voters are already conflicted and may factor this into their judgment,” the source said.
Moreover, the administration may only want to expend political capital on one measure. It could come down to a choice between an endorsement of marriage equality and something else, such as the executive order requiring federal contractors to have LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policies.
“My feeling is you’ll get one, you won’t get both before Election Day,” the source said. “There is a great timidity in terms of their dealing with the gays, right? In many ways, they kind of consider our issues to be the third rail.”
In other words, one of two things could happen. One could blow the president's chances of re-election and the other probably won't.

So what do we make of this? For one thing, from the use of the words,"our issues", the insider is one of us. For another, the administration still sees LGBT issues as problematic, especially during an election year. That's about all we can know for sure.

But that doesn't keep queer politicos from weighing in on the subject.

Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for Protect All NC Families, one of the major NGO's leading the fight to defeat North Carolina's Amendment 1, told The Blade, “I think what the president said on Friday specifically on North Carolina was probably more helpful than coming out for same-sex marriage would be for us because this isn't a same-sex marriage fight here. Regardless of whether this amendment passes or fails, it’s not going to change the state of marriage in North Carolina.”

Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry was more adamant, saying, “Americans want their president to show moral leadership and stand up when the freedoms and rights of Americans are at stake.” 

While Wolfson is right, I think he's being shortsighted. As long as the president doesn't officially change his position on marriage equality, Republican conservatives will continue to say that his position on same-sex marriages is the same as theirs. I say let them think so if it means swing voters will support the rest of Obama's policies and help him get re-elected.

We have to accept the fact that Obama coming out with a grand announcement of support for marriage equality before the November election is unlikely.

It seems more likely that the president will continue to try to give us reason to believe that he supports us, by denouncing state anti-marriage equality initiatives, as he did last week and by passing an executive order banning discrimination against LGBT employees of government contractors, which could potentially effect millions of people in a significant way.

Love him or hate him, Barack Obama has done more for the LGBT community than any other U.S. president in history. If any of the Republican candidates win, one of the first things we can expect is a major rollback on all the progress we've made over the last three years. Of course Obama can do more for us, but only if he gets a second term. Why risk that now? It doesn't make sense.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Obama endorsing gay marriage now would be "politically suicidal"

Author, Political Analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson
The response to my posts this week, where I cautioned LGBT activists not to push for a plank in the DNC platform this year and Obama's public endorsement of marriage equality, has been met positively by a few readers, but not so favorably by a lot of others. That's cool. I enjoy a good debate with people who know the issues and can state them rationally, even if their position differs from my own.

To review, there is an effort underway within the Democratic Party leadership to make an official endorsement of Marriage Equality in the party platform this year. I think that would be a tactical mistake. A lot of readers, including some bloggers that I know and respect, strongly disagree. They'd rather have a strong message that their president supports them and will fight for them. I pointed out in several FaceBook debates that the end result could conceivably be electoral losses for Democrats, and several more years of waiting before we attain full equality.

I put the question to them and to you: "Which would you rather have, a strong verbal statement of support from the president, or full equality?" Given the current political climate, you can't have both.

Much was made in the mainstream press and by LGBT bloggers (including yours truly) Friday about remarks made by the Obama Campaign's North Carolina spokesman, Cameron French, who declared that the president opposed Amendment 1, the proposed anti-Marriage Equality amendment to the NC constitution. As pointed out on Towleroad, it turns out "The Big O" made no such statement, but that French was extrapolating based on the president's track record on LGBT rights. I think French is correct in his assessment, but colossally foolish to make a public statement about it without running it past the White House.

This is just one example of what Democrats do when they start feeling cocky. Pushing for a Marriage Equality plank in the party platform this year would be another example.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, an author, political analyst and frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show, weighs in on the topic with an article at Eurweb, where he explains that pandering to impatient LGBT activists and bloggers would be a big mistake for the president:
"This doesn't mean simply his backing full equality, civil rights, and civil unions for gays, or support for gays in the military, calls on UN to end discrimination against gays, making supportive speeches to gay rights groups, or strongly opposing the seemingly never ending ballot initiatives and legislative efforts to outlaw gay marriage. He’s done all of that. No, he must say the words “I support gay marriage” to fully satisfy some gay rights activists. The “some” is a crucial qualifier.  Many gay rights activists understand that a GOP White House would be beyond a horror. GOP Presidential contender Mitt Romney would subtly and GOP Presidential contender Rick Santorum would openly back any and every anti-gay rights initiative measure, and piece of legislation any and everywhere in the country. But the president is different. He is clearly a friend of gay rights movement, and an African-American so therefore more, much more, is expected of him."
Hutchinson goes on to explain that although a slim majority of Americans support Marriage Equality, African Americans, who turned out in record numbers in 2008, are moving forward on the issue at a much slower pace, according to Pew research polling:
"Obama is no different than many other moderate, tolerant and broad minded African-Americans on diversity issues. But he, like many others, still can draw the line on gay marriage and that’s fueled by deeply ingrained notions of family, church, and community, and the need to defend the terribly frayed and fragmented black family structure. This mix of fear, belief, and traditional family protectionism has long been a staple among many blacks and virtually every time the issue of legalizing gay marriage has been put to the ballot, or initiative, or a legal challenge, or just simply the topic of public debate there has been no shortage of black ministers and public figures willing to rush to the defense of traditional marriage."
Hutchinson concludes by pointing out that the president's position should be inferred by his actions, even though he has not spoken the words publicly:
"... Obama still has gotten it mostly right on gay rights and given the grim GOP presidential alternative, and the near certainty that he’ll eventually get it right to the total satisfaction of gay activists in full support of gay marriage, to hold his refusal to utter the final words and endorse gay marriage now is worse than dumb and silly, it is politically suicidal."
Let me make something clear, and this shouldn't even be necessary. In order to overturn DOMA, defeat anti-gay state constitutional initiatives and achieve any of the other goals we've set, we need a sympathetic  Democratic president, House and Senate, as well as Democratic governors and state representatives. That's a tall order. While it' true that the GOP primary has shown just how far out of touch with reality the Republicans are, a Democratic victory is by no means guaranteed.

This year the Dems biggest challenge will not be whoever tumbles out of the Republican Clown Car last, but resisting their own instinctive urge to shoot themselves in the foot.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Obama Campaign Denounces NC Amendment One

President Obama's NC Campaign released a statement today declaring that he opposes NC Amendment 1, which would amend the state constitution to ban any legal recognition of domestic relationships other than hetero marriage. Via The News Observer:
President Barack Obama today came out against the proposed constitutional amendment on North Carolina's May 8th ballot banning same sex marriages and civil unions, weighing into a fight in a key battleground state. His campaign issued a statement saying the amendment was discriminatory.
 “While the president does not  weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” said Cameron French, his North Carolina campaign spokesman.
 “That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”  

The president's statement should help convince some in the LGBT community that his evolution on Marriage Equality continues. Others will never be convinced until Obama makes a more declarative statement that he fully supports equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. To them I say "grow up." The man is not stupid. He will  do so after the election, not before. Get over it.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Marriage Equality in DNC Platform Would be Disastrous

Over the last several weeks there has been a growing campaign for the Democratic National Committee to add a plank to the party platform endorsing Marriage Equality. The Huffington Post reported Thursday:
In the past month, almost half of all Democratic senators, several of Obama's national campaign co-chairs, the House Minority Leader and the chairman of the Democratic convention, among others, have said they support adding marriage equality to the platform. Were this the position that the president held, such proclamations would not be a problem. But Obama says he is still publicly “evolving” on marriage equality. And the wave of support to make it a component of his convention has both surprised aides and set off a private push to keep emotions and expectations in check. 
First, I want to say that I am overwhelmed that so many Democrats have finally jumped on the equality train. Better late than never, weekend liberals!

It was just two and a half years ago that we joined half a million of our LGBT brothers and sisters marching through the streets of the nation's capital demanding that the president and the Democrats stop paying lip service and start following through on their promises. Obama was still finding way around the White House. HRC president Joe Solmonese was the darling of the Capital Hill cocktail party set and just last year Obama revealed that his views on Marriage Equality were "evolving".

Here we are facing the end of the Big O's first term and DADT has been repealed, eight states and DC now have equal marriage. The administration announced last year that it believes DOMA is unconstitutional and will no longer defend it in court.

Same-sex partners can now be designated as next of kin in all hospitals receiving federal funds, which is virtually all of them. The Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes Act was passed and new HUD rules protect LGBT Americans from housing discrimination. (For a more complete list of the president's LGBT accomplishments, check out this article from The New Civil Rights Movement.)

With and majority of Americans now favoring marriage equality and the GOP clown car and its all-consuming vintage 1965 social agenda virtually assuring Obama a second term, over-confidant advocates are now gearing up to do what Democrats have always done best... snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

We are at a very precarious position now. We may have hit a turning point in the fight for our rights, but the culture wars are being fought more fiercely than ever. One false move and we plummet into the depths of a latter day Dark Ages, the likes of which has never been seen in this country. Republican voters find themselves in the difficult position of choosing between the lesser of the evils at the top of the ticket. Polling shows that voter turnout in the Republican primaries is at record lows of about 3 to 4%. The only people actually bothering to show up are extreme social conservatives and the elderly.

Republicans know they can't win on the issues, so they lie and deny that the economy is improving and ignore the over 3 million new jobs that have been created under this president. They lie about a thriving auto industry that all but collapsed under Bush's policies. They disown their own policies which led to this mess in the first place as a result of the eight years that they gave W everything he wanted.

The one word that best describes Barack Obama is "pragmatic". He's not about the blow the election by moving too quickly to endorse gay marriage during an election year. It's just a fact we're going to have to live with. Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villgairosa, the 2012 Chairman of the Democratic National Convention, has been one of the most vocal proponents of a Marriage Equality plank in the party platform.

Via Politico:
During a wide-ranging interview, POLITICO’s Mike Allen at one point asked the recently selected chairman, “Do you think that the Democratic national platform should have a marriage equality plank?”
“I do, I think it’s basic to who we are,” Villaraigosa said. “I believe in family values and I believe that we all ought to be about.
Villagairosa's words obviously caught the Obama administration off guard, because within hours he had softened his tone when asked by the Sacramento Bee about the party platform, saying, “It is up to the delegates of the Democratic Party to draft the Democratic Party platform. Our delegates will put the platform together and I suspect it will be very inclusive.” 

For democrats, the Republican primary is the gift that keeps on giving. Barring any unforeseen catastrophe, President Obama will handily defeat any one of the GOP candidates. All he has to do is let them speak. Do we really want to force him into a corner on marriage equality in the lead up to the general election? Do we really want to be the reason he loses? 

We suffered through eight years of setbacks under Bush and any one of the Republicans candidates would be infinitely worse in the Oval Office, not just for LGBT's, but for women, Hispanics, seniors, the economy and for our reputation around the world. 

In the immortal words of RuPaul, "Don't fuck it up!" 

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Maryland Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill!

Maryland has become the 8th state, plus DC to legally recognize same-sex marriage. The state senate passed the bipartisan legislation Thursday afternoon by a vote of 25 - 22. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, following the example of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, made passing marriage equality a priority this year.

O'Malley said in a statement that that The Free State “will now be able to protect individual civil marriage rights and religious freedom equally”, adding, “All children deserve the opportunity to live in a loving, caring, committed, and stable home, protected equally under the law. The common thread running through our efforts together in Maryland is the thread of human dignity; the dignity of work, the dignity of faith, the dignity of family, the dignity of every individual.”

O'Malley says he will sign the bill into law during a signing ceremony on Monday, the 27th. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2013.

Anti-gay groups are already organizing to push for a referendum to amend the state constitution to ban marriage equality.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

WA Gov. Gregoire Will Sign Marriage Equality Bill Monday as Haters Plan Referendum to Overturn

English: Photo of , Governor of Washington sin...Washington Sate Gov. Christine GregoireWashington state is slated to become the 7th state to legalize Marriage Equality on Monday, as Governor Christine Gregoire signs the landmark legislation that passed both both state legislature with lightening speed.

Reuters reports:
A statehouse signing ceremony in Olympia, Washington's capital, was slated for 11:30 a.m. local time on Monday. The bill won final legislative approval from the state House of Representatives on Wednesday by a vote of 55-43.
The measure will not take effect before early June. Opponents have vowed to seek its repeal at the polls in November, but they cannot begin collecting signatures for a petition to overturn the measure by referendum until it is signed into law.
House approval of the Senate-passed bill came a day after a federal appeals court handed gay rights advocates a key legal victory in California by declaring a voter-approved gay marriage ban in that state to be unconstitutional.
Democrats, who control both legislative bodies in Olympia, accounted for the lion's share of support for the bill. The stage for swift passage of the measure this year was set after Gregoire, a Democrat in her last term of office, announced last month that she would endorse the legislation.
Several prominent Washington-based companies employing tens of thousands of workers in the state also have supported the bill, including Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks. Opponents were led by Catholic bishops and other religious conservatives.
In light of Tuesday's ruling upholding the overturning of California's Prop 8 as unconstitutional, it is going to be more difficult for opponents to take away the right to marry by voter referendum, but that won't stop them from trying. There are to measures planned, one to over turn the newly approved legislation and another to define marriage as a heteros-only club, according to separate Reuters report.
Chris Plante, regional coordinator for the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage (NOM), said that his group plans to back the referendum effort, but will "keep the initiative in our back pocket."
"We're going to go forward as a united group because what's more important than the process is the end game of overturning this law and restoring marriage to its rightful definition," he said.
His group has not decided how much money it could provide for a ballot campaign to ban same-sex marriage, Plante said, but he estimated that such an effort would cost over $2 million.
The group said it will also follow through on its pledge to spend $250,000 to defeat the Republican senators who voted for the bill, should they seek office again.
"Politicians have to understand that there's a price to pay for voting to redefine marriage -- it is not what the people of Washington want," Plante said.
It ain't over 'til it's over, folks, but we've got momentum and legal precedent on our side.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

BREAKING: Ninth Circuit Court to Rule on Prop 8 on Tuesday!

The LGBT community has waiting so long for another development in Perry vs Brown, the challenge to overturn Prop 8. This is HUGE!! (Click image to enlarge.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NJ Gov. Christie Calls for Voter Referendum on Marriage Equality

Latter Day Pontius Pilot, Gov. Chris Christie
As support for marriage equality builds in the New Jersey state legislature, LGBT advocates were hopeful that Republican Governor Chris Christie was coming around. Just yesterday Christie announced his nominations for two positions on the NJ Supreme Court, which includes Bruce Harris, 61, the openly gay former mayor of Chatham, NJ.

On Tuesday, however, Christie dashed the hopes of Marriage Equality supporters, saying he would veto any legislation aimed at legalizing Marriage Equality and  called for the issue to be put to a public vote. From NJ.com:
"I think this is not an issue that should rest solely in my hands, or the hands of the Senate President or the Speaker or the other 118 members of the Legislature," he said. "Let's let the people of New Jersey decide what is right for the state."
That's right, gays and gals. One more republican refusing to do his job and instead counting on mob rule to to resolve the foremost civil rights issue of our time.

Christie went on to say, "Let's make sure that political maneuvering is not what judges this and let's make sure this is not someone just trying to have fun and create a campaign issue," he said. "The institution of marriage if too serious to be treated like a political football."

Excuse me? Using same-sex marriage as a wedge issue to get the homophobic Republican base to the polls is a tried and true GOP political maneuver. The Bush campaign did it very successfully in '06 and North Carolina is doing the same in the coming primary in May with Amendment One.

Washing your hands of a controversial issue involving the rights of human beings and throwing it to the angry mobs goes all  the way back to Pontius Pilot. Abdicating your responsibility instead of showing true leadership is nothing more than cowardice, especially when new polling shows that 52% of New Jersey voters now favor marriage equality.

If Governor Christie can't take the heat, he should get his fat ass out of the kitchen.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lambda Legal says Canadian Gay Marriages Still Valid

In response to news this morning that foreign gay couples who got married in Canada may not be legally wed under Canadian law, Lamba Legal released the following statement:
(San Francisco, CA, January 12, 2012)—The following is a joint statement from Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and Freedom to Marry:
We write to respond to a news report from Canada that a lawyer in the current government has taken a position in a trial-level divorce proceeding that a same-sex couple’s marriage is not valid because the members of the couple were not Canada residents at the time that they married, and the law of their home jurisdiction did not permit them to marry at the time.
No one’s marriage has been invalidated or is likely to be invalidated. The position taken by one government lawyer in a divorce is not itself precedential.  No court has accepted this view and there is no reason to believe that either Canada’s courts or its Parliament would agree with this position, which no one has asserted before during the eight years that same-sex couples have had the freedom to marry in Canada.
Canada permits non-residents to marry and thousands of non-resident same-sex couples have married there since Canada first began recognizing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in 2003. Indeed, Canada’s Parliament codified the equal right to marry for same-sex couples in 2005.
The message for same-sex couples married in Canada remains the same as it is for same-sex couples validly married here in the United States: take every precaution you can to protect your relationship with legal documents such as powers of attorney and adoptions, as you may travel to jurisdictions that don't respect your legal relationship. There is no reason to suggest that Canadian marriages of same-sex couples are in jeopardy, or to advocate that people try to marry again elsewhere, as that could cause these couples unnecessary complications, anxiety, and expense.

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

NJ Legislators to Introduce Marriage Equality Bill Monday

Democratic leaders in New Jersey have scheduled press conference for Monday where they will announce the introduction of legislation making same-sex marriage legal in the Garden State. The main obstacle will be getting it past the desk of Republican Governor Chris Christie.

Via NJ.com:

TRENTON - In a dramatic move, Democratic leaders plan to announce at a news conference Monday that a bill legalizing gay marriage will be the first measure introduced in the new session of the Senate and the Assembly, sources with knowledge of their intentions said last night.


A unified Democratic leadership represents the best chance supporters will have to see a bill legalizing gay marriage move through both houses, according to three sources who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the plan.


State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), who is now said to be a pivotal supporter of the legislation, abstained the last time a similar bill was voted down by the Legislature in 2010 — a decision he later said he regretted more than any other in his career. A spokesman for Sweeney did not respond to questions about the plan last night.


Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) will also be at the news conference, ensuring that the proposal has the support of the state’s two most powerful Democratic lawmakers. She could not be reached for comment.


But there’s a major obstacle: Gov. Chris Christie.


A spokesman for the governor, Michael Drewniak, declined to comment on the move. But Christie has emphasized in the past that he opposes gay marriage and supports civil unions, civil unions, which New Jersey currently allows.
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