WATCH: FRENCH WAITRESS CELEBRATES PASSAGE OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY LAW
In France, a lesbian waitress’s excitement over passage of the marriage equality bill is captured on video. She Wired explains:
It was a glorious day on April 23, when French lawmakers voted marriage equality into law. And for one French diner waitress, that day became revelatory as she hopped on to a banquette and proclaimed her lesbianism before hungry customers. When I was a child I had a dream. Now I am an adult and I realize I am a lesbian,” the waitress shouted. “I can be MARRIED!”
THE SEVEN CRAZIEST THINGS ANTI-GAY FOLKS ARE SAYING
Queerty has collected some of the wackiest (and sadest) things our opponents are saying about us:
Titled “How They See Us,” it’s climbed its way to the top of the Scribd’s political category over the last few months. Here are a few of our favorite excerpts, emphasis ours throughout.
Homosexuality is “…one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love’” – Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel
See the rest at the link above.
LGBT RIGHTS ADVANCE IN PUERTO RICO
Two stories out of Puerto Rico – first, the Mayor of San Juan signed two executive orders. The Washington Blade reports:
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz ordered her city’s police department to apply the island’s current domestic violence laws with what the Primera Hora newspaper described as “the highest degree of respect” regardless of the reported victim’s sexual orientation. She also banned discrimination against San Juan municipal employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
And the Puerto Rico Senate passed some LGBT legislation as well. The Blade reports:
The Puerto Rican Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in the U.S. territory. The 15-11 vote took place after lawmakers for several hours debated Senate Bill 238 that Sen. Ramon Nieves Perez introduced in January
MSNBC SPENT FAR MORE TIME ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY FIGHTS THAN FOX OR CNN
Following on the heels of the revelation that Fox News devoted about a minute, total, to the three recent US state fights on marriage equality, Equality on Trial looks at how long all three 24 hour news networks spent on the issue:
Of the three legislative victories, MSNBC mentioned marriage equality stories 35 times, CNN mentioned them 13 times and Fox made just three mentions. The duration of each network’s coverage differed dramatically, with MSNBC devoting substantially more time to the issue than the other two networks. For example, MSNBC devoted more than 10 minutes of time to Rhode Island’s marriage equality law, while CNN spent a little over a minute and Fox News only 16 seconds.
I gotta say, we watched our favorite shows on MSNBC for weeks to see something on the amazing progress being made. Rachel Maddow finally did a segment on Minnesota, but was absent on Rhode Island and Delaware. For three such epic victories back to back, MSNBC’s 37 minutes looks pretty dismal, and they were by far the best on the issue.
TEXAS CHRISTIAN GROUPS TRY TO INTIMIDATE SAN ANTONIO OVER DOMESTIC PARTNER BENEFITS
It’s just shocking and offensive to me to see so-called Christian groups fighting tooth and nail to remove health benefits form gay and lesbian couples. Joe.My.God reports:
Two San Antonio-based Christian groups are threatening to sue the city in order to overturn insurance benefits granted to the partners of LGBT city employees. Pastor Gerald Ripley [left] of Voices for Marriage and Philip Sevilla of Texas Leadership Coalition made the request Wednesday with backing from a few sign-carrying supporters at City Hall. Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion April 29 stating cities that offer marriage benefits to employees’ same-sex partners are violating the Texas Constitution.
First of, how petty can you get? It’s not marriage, and it has absolutely nothing to do with you. And second… Christian? Seriously? I think they may have a surprise coming at the Pearly Gates.
GAY FORMER GOP CONGRESSMAN TO MARRY PARTNER
Arizona’s Jim Kolbe, out former republican congressman from Arizona, will marry his partner in Washington, DC. The Washington Blade reports:
Jim Kolbe, who represented Arizona in the U.S. House from 1985 to 2003, is set to marry Hector Alfonso, a Panamanian native who came to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship to pursue studies in special education and has been a teacher for two decades. The couple will marry at a private event at the Cosmos Club on Massachusetts Ave. in D.C. “Two decades ago, I could not have imagined such an event as this would be possible,” Kolbe told the Blade. “A decade ago I could not imagine that I would find someone I could be so compatible with that I would want to spend the rest of my life with that person. So, this is a very joyous day for both of us.”
Congratulations to the happy couple!
NEW COUNTRY SONG SUPPORTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY
The Huffington Post has the story of a new country song and video with a marriage equality theme:
Need a good country tune to hold you over until Dolly’s next album (or at least until the next episode of “Nashville”)? Then look no further than the new gay ditty “Two Men Who Do Si Do.” Written by Robert Gould and composed by Rob Arbelo, the song is accompanied by a cute animated video, courtesy of Alex Salsberg, and tells the story of two country boys who happen to like to dance together at the rodeo and hope to walk down the aisle together.
A group of lawyers is pushing the Chinese government to allow marriage between gay and lesbian couples. Gay Star News reports:
Ten lawyers in China petitioned the communist government’s National People’s Congress (NPC) yesterday to legalize same-sex marriage. ‘The most effective way to eliminate discrimination against homosexuality is to acknowledge same-sex couples’ rights to marriage,’ said Huang Yizhi, one of the lawyers behind the campaign, South China Morning Post reports. The lawyers from Beijing, Shenzhen and other cities across the country signed a joint letter advising the government to legalize same-sex marriage to give equal rights to LGBT people.
A bill that takes the first step toward repeal of Nevada’s ban on gay marriage took another step today. RGJ.com reports:
SRJ13 was approved Thursday by the Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. Next up is a full vote by the lower house, where passage is expected. It was previously approved by the Senate. The measure repeals language in the Nevada Constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Protection of Marriage Act was ratified by voters in 2002.
If all goes well, Nevada could recognize marriage equality by 2015.
NEW MEXICO CATHOLIC SCHOOL TELLS TRANSGENDER TEEN HE MUST DRESS LIKE A GIRL FOR GRADUATION
A transgender teen in Albuquerque has run afoul of the Catholic Church’s lack of understanding of trans issues. LGBTQ Naton reports:
A transgender student at a Catholic high school in Albuquerque, N.M., says he is has been told he must wear female student gown at his graduation procession, or not walk at all. Damian Garcia is a senior at St. Pius X High School, where at the graduation ceremony, the girls wear white gowns and the boys wear black. Damian, who identifies as male and had a legal name change last year, said he’s been told by the school that he must wear the white gown reserved for females, or not participate in the ceremony.
It’s sad that the school can’t bend this rule – after all, once Damien graduates they’ll never have to see him again. Our hearts are with you, Damien!
TRANSGENDER SOLDIER ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE PENTAGON
For the first time, the US Military has changed the records of a former solder to reflect her gender accurately. Buzzfeed reports:
In a short letter dated May 2, a Navy official told Autumn Sandeen, a veteran and transgender activist: “Per your request the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) has been updated to show your gender as female effective April 12, 2013.” Sandeen’s military identification card now reflects the change, a move called “quite significant” by the head of OutServe-SLDN, a national organization for LGBT service members and veterans and their families.
Well, that’s a relief – Minnesota republicans said they have no plans to try to repeal the new marriage equality law. The Advocate reports:
The two Republican candidates for governor in Minnesota say they won’t try to overturn the state’s new marriage equality law, according to Minnesota Public Radio… So far, he faces Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson and Orono businessman Scott Honour. Both told MPR there are more important issues, though neither supports marriage equality. “I think Minnesotans are ready to talk about something other than gay marriage for a change,” Johnson told MPR. The state has been actively debating the issue for a long while, having turned back a ballot measure in 2012 that would have banned same-sex marriages in the state constitution… A spokesman for Honour dismissed the notion that a repeal of the bill is possible because the current makeup of the Senate ensures it is solidly in favor for the foreseeable future. The spokesman said, “Political symbolism will not be a prominent feature of Scott’s time as governor.”
Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D) is thrilled at the bill’s passage. On Top Magazine reports:
“I’ve been married to Franni for 37 years and it’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” Franken said in a statement. “As a long-time supporter of marriage equality, I believe that every loving couple – in Minnesota and across the country – should have the same opportunity. And now, thanks to courageous – and not to mention, bipartisan – votes by the Minnesota State Legislature and support from Minnesotans statewide, we are the latest state to legalize same-sex marriage. Today I’m proud that Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation bringing marriage equality to Minnesota. Our country is beginning to understand that it’s not about what a family looks like: It’s about their love and commitment to one another.”
Two and a half months until gay and lesbian couples can marry in Minnesota.
MATTHEW MORRISON SHOOTS PSA FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
Let’s start with Glee’s Matthew Morrison – he’s doing a video for HRC, releasing a new album, and donating part of the proceeds to fight for marriage equality. Gay Star News reports:
Earlier today, he released new video for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in which he speaks out for gay marriage… ‘I’m thrilled to join HRC in their vital work to bring full equality to all Americans,’ Morrison said in a statement. ‘At this decisive moment, when there is so much work still ahead, I’m standing with HRC and LGBT people across the country until this fight is won.’
EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROES SUPPORTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY
The folksy rock group Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes also came out for marriage equality today. Dot429 reports:
The band isn’t only influential on a musical note but in the political sphere as well. Drummer, Orpheo McCord, and accordion player and keyboardist, Nora Kirkpatrick, revealed their opinions on same-sex marriage in an interview with 429Magazine. “I think anyone should do what they want” Nora said. Orpheo continued, “I think it’s awesome.” Although the two band members couldn’t act as the spokes-people for the whole band, Nora took 429Magazine aside to say that if she had to guess, “everyone is for it.”
I’ve liked them since I heard “Home” in a local coffee shop a few years back. Now I have a another reason.
NFL ALLY CHRIS KLUWE LANDS NEW TEAM, WILL STILL PUSH FOR EQUALITY
Gay ally and NFL player Chris Kluwe just got picked up by the Raiders, and is still speaking out for marriage equality. TwinCities.com reports:
“I’m excited to be an Oakland Raider and be playing in California,” Kluwe told Brendon Ayanbadejo, the former Baltimore Ravens linebacker who now writes for FoxSports.com. The former UCLA punter added that “Now, my family can actually come to games.” … “I’m still going to be myself socially and continue to tweet and interact with my fans,” Kluwe said.
Maybe he’ll bring us luck on Prop 8 here in California.
ZACHARY QUINTO SAYS MARRIAGE EQUALITY IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME
Star Trek star and openly gay actor Zachary Quinto put in his own two cents o marriage equality – SDGLN reports:
“Being the first sitting president in the history of the United States to acknowledge his support for marriage equality is a huge step and is not to be underestimated,” Quinto said. “I think we have a lot more work to do, but I think everybody’s unified behind the cause. You can see now we have 13 states in the union that have adopted marriage equality, and that’s an unstoppable wave as far as I’m concerned,” he added. “Whether it comes from the federal government or all 50 states just find their way to it, I feel like it’s only a matter of time at this point.”
ALL LIVING DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES NOW BACK MARRIAGE EQUALITY
With the addition of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis, every living democrat who has run for President of the USA now supports marriage equality. Think Progress reports:
Former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis told ThinkProgress this week that they support marriage equality. With their endorsements, every living former Democratic presidential nominee is now on record in support of same-sex marriage. Every other living Democratic nominee had previously made their support explicit.
BOY GEORGE WISHES MARRIAGE EQUALITY HAD BEEN MENTIONED IN QUEEN’S SPEECH
And finally, Boy George wishes Prime Minister David Cameron had mentioned marriage equality in the Queen’s Speech. Pink News reports:
In an interview with the London Evening Standard, the Culture Club star said: “I am shocked we are still having debates like gay marriage. On one hand, I think it’s very conservative to want to get married, that it’s a case of ‘if we’re more like them, they’ll like us more’. But on the other hand, who cares? The idea that it is somehow going to destroy civilisation is so retarded. Nigel Farage said Cameron was ‘wasting his time’ on gay marriage. Is he stupid? Why should we feel privileged to have equality? I would never vote Tory but I wish Cameron had put it in the Queen’s Speech.”
If you’re interested in blogging, we have a great opportunity for you. We’re looking for marriage equality activists who would like to write articles for the blog, especially marriage equality news and articles about getting married for gay and lesbian couples. Our bloggers are all volunteers, but you can link back from your posts to your own website or blog if you have one.
If you’re interested, we can add you as an author on the blog, and guide you through the process – post an article every couple days, once a week, once a month – whatever makes sense to you.
Some ideas for blog posts:
–The amazing wave of marriage equality laws passing in the US and around the country
–Who will be next?
–If you are in a state that recognizes marriage equality, how have things changed? What are the weddings like? What still needs to change?
–If not, what are the prospects for equality in your state?
–Your thoughts on the lawsuits over Prop 8 and DOMA and the Supreme Court
–Your own local marriage equality/gay rights news
–Personal, local stories of gay and lesbian couples getting married or seeking to marry
You can view the blog here: http://purpleunions.com/blog/
If you’re interested in either option, just email us at email@example.com – we’d love to have you!
From France, we get word that President Hollande is ready to sign the marriage equality bill into law almost at a minute’s notice. And that notice might come tomorrow. Joe.My.God reports:
Translation by JMG reader David in Paris: “As soon as the Constitutional Council has made its decision known, I will sign the #MariagePourTous [mariage equality] law.” The decision on the constitutionality of the marriage equality law is supposed to come by May 23rd, but some believe it may come tomorrow. Most expect a positive ruling.
France may have full marriage equality this week or the next!
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HATE CRIMES AGAINST GAYS UP IN FRANCE
As the opposition ramped up against marriage equality in France, hate crimes agisnt the LGBT community also increased. Gay Star News reports:
The number of calls to SOS Homophobie’s helpline were up by 27% on the previous year. Homophobic hate crime spiked last year in the run-up to the French parliament’s approval of a Bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. Incidents doubled in October and November when compared with the previous year, and tripled in December.
ANTI-GAY DISCRIMINATION A BIG PROBLEM IN FIJI
In Fiji, gay rights activists say discrimination is still an issue. Pink News reports:
Drodrolagi Movement spokesman Kris Prasad, said in an interview with Radio Australia that, despite Fiji having decriminalised gay sex in 2010, there is still bullying and discrimination in the country. “In Fiji, we removed the sodomy laws in 2010 and…we have some policies in place in terms of workplace and other human rights protection,” he said. “A lot of people are facing discrimination in their families, workplaces and [there are] also cases of bullying,” he said. He continued: “There is a lot of discrimination from the state as well, especially when it comes to access to security services, as in getting access to police, and getting access to health services.”
GAY SOUTH KOREAN DIRECTOR TO MARRY BOYFRIEND IN SEPTEMBER
A gay South Korean film director plans to marry his boyfriend, although the wedding will not be legally binding. Gay Star News reports:
‘We wanted to convey the message that all sexual minorities should be given rights equally in a beautiful way,’ Kim Jho said at a press conference, where he and his boyfriend were dressed in tuxedos and kissed for the cameras, Reuters reports. Kim Jho said he will apply to get his marriage legally registered after the ceremony on 7 September. ‘It will most definitely be denied,’ he said. ‘But then I will file a constitutional appeal… and I will fight to legalize gay marriage.’
There are a few new stories out of the US, too:
DC CONSIDERING TRANSGENDER BIRTH CERTIFICATE BILL
A bill is pending in committee in Washington DC that would allow transgender citizens to receive a new birth certificate showing their actual sex, not their birth sex. The Washington Blade reports:
The bill calls for amending the city’s Vital Records Act of 1981 “to require the Registrar to issue a new certificate of birth designating a new gender for any individual who provides a written request and signed affidavit from a licensed health-care provider that the individual has undergone a gender transition, to require that an original an original certificate be sealed when a new certificate is issued.”
NEVADA PASSES HATE CRIME BILL INCLUDING TRANSGENDER CITIZENS
Nevada has passed legislation to protect its transgender citizens, and it’s headed to the Governor’s desk. The Advocate reports:
A bill is headed to desk of Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s desk that would add crimes based on a person’s gender identity and expression to the state’s hate crimes laws after the state assembly passed the legislation 30-11 on Tuesday. “This does not afford victims special rights,” openly gay Assemblyman Andrew Martin said Tuesday according to the Associated Press. “This is a statement of what our society is, and that we will not tolerate the systematic targeting of individuals who are historically disadvantaged groups.”
ACTOR DEAN CAIN ENDORSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY
The Lois and Clark alum who played gay in the Lonely hearts Club has come out in support of marriage equality. The Huffington Post reports:
Actor Dean Cain, who is best known for playing the “Man of Steel” on “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” spoke out in defense of marriage equality during a HuffPost Live appearance. “If anybody wants to get married, go ahead,” the 46-year-old actor, who will next be seen in the VH1 series “Hit The Floor,” said. On a more serious note, he added, “I have a lot of gay friends … I can’t understand why it’s an issue. For me, it’s a non-issue.”
ACLU PUSHES FOR “MODERN FAMILY” GAY WEDDING
The ACLU wants to se Cam and Mitchell get married on the popular sitcom “Modern Family”. LGBTQ Nation reports:
The campaign aimed at ABC’s “Modern Family” comes as momentum for gay marriage builds in parts of the country. ACLU Action started a campaign to urge the show’s producers to write a wedding episode for Mitchell and Cameron, fathers of an adopted child and one of three couples at the heart of the show. The ACLU says it is appealing to the fictional family to draw more attention to the real issue as the Supreme Court deliberates on two important marriage equality cases.
The stories keep pouring in!
A European gay rights group has released a new map scoring each country for its gay friendly policies. Joe.My.God reports:
ILGA-Europe has issued its annual overview of LGBT rights. Although it does not yet have full marriage equality, the United Kingdom received the highest rating of the 49 nations in the report, earning a 77% score. Russia got the lowest score at 7%. Via Pink News: Among the EU member states causing major concern are Hungary and Greece. The report notes that the economic crisis in Greece has given a platform to extremist groups, such as the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, who target minority groups including LGBT activists.
Interesting that the UK gets the highest score, despite not having yet passed a marriage equality bill.
After the passage of marriage equality in Minnesota, some are wondering if Wisconsin could follow suit. Not likely any time soon. The Cap Times reports:
State government here remains under the control of leaders who championed the successful effort to constitutionally bar gay nuptials in 2006. In the seven years since then, Wisconsin Republicans have generally tried to avoid the topic, although Gov. Scott Walker and others have acknowledged the generational shift on the issue — and even suggested they may eventually surrender to it.
“I’ve had young people ask me I think an appropriate question, is not expanding it to include folks who are not one man and one woman but rather questioning why the government is sanctioning it in the first place,” Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in March. Although in the same interview Walker reaffirmed his opposition to gay marriage, his suggestion that defining marriage may not be proper government business would have been an anathema in past years, when conservatives have argued that it is critical for government to endorse social institutions that support traditional families and lifestyles.
Walker’s not exactly a liberal – look at what he did to decimate unions, and to cut taxes for the rich in Wisconsin. Our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in the state may have a long wait for equality.
Minnesota, USA: Advocacy Group Will Become a PAC to Protect Politicians Who Approved Marriage Equality Bill
The marriage equality advocacy group, Minnesota United, is pivoting to become a political action committee, with a mission to help protect politicians who voted for the bill in the next election. CBS reports:
With gay marriage soon to be the law of Minnesota, the political group that led the push to pass it will live on as a political action committee to help legislators who voted for it. Minnesotans United announced its next step Wednesday. A day earlier, Gov. Mark Dayton signed the legislation to extend civil marriage rights to same-sex couples beginning Aug. 1.
PolicyMic says the bill’s passage is Senator Michelle Bachmann’s failure:
As a Minnesota state senator, Bachmann attempted to fast track a bill containing a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage through the state senate. The bill died in committee. Bachmann once remarked, “Every American citizen has the right to avail themselves to marriage but they have to follow what the laws are. And the laws are you marry a person of the opposite sex.” Now that her efforts have failed, the LGBT community in Minnesota will turn its attention to the U.S. Supreme Court.
That such a bill could pass now in Bachmann’s home state speaks volumes. Let’s work to keep these legislators in office.
Liberal MP’s will be allowed to vote freely in the third reading of the marriage equality bill. Pink News reports:
Liberal Democrat Voice reports at Tuesday’s parliamentary meeting of Lib Dem MPs, it was agreed that all would be given a free vote during next week’s Commons debate on a number of amendments to the bill. Previously, it was only agreed February’s second reading vote would be unwhipped… Mr Clegg signalled that he was now in favour of allowing his party’s MPs the freedom to vote with their conscience on the issue. “As I say, I’m not going to be illiberal in pushing through a liberal measure,” he said. “I just fully expect Liberal Democrat MPs will vote in favour of something that we have recently formally adopted as our party policy in the Liberal Democrats.”
In the second vote, four liberal MP’s went against their party to vote against the bill.
Expectations are high as the wait continues for two decisions expected in June on marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, just as they were 10 years ago when gay rights supporters awaited what amounted to landmark rulings in two other cases.
In 2003, two cases reshaped the landscape for gay rights: the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down state sodomy laws throughout the country, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which for the first time led to the legalization of marriage equality in a U.S. jurisdiction.
The two cases currently before the court — Hollingsworth v. Perry, which aims to strike down California’s Proposition 8, and United States v. Windsor, which is challenging the Defense of Marriage Act — are different in many respects from the cases 10 years ago. Lawrence was related to sodomy laws and Goodridge was a state lawsuit that resulted in a change only in Massachusetts. Still, they’re similar in terms of their potential significance.
The month of May started out strong for civil unions. CW2 reports:
According to the Office of the Clerk and Recorder, 255 civil union licenses were issued in the first two weeks of the Colorado Civil Union Act, including 114 that were issued solely during the midnight civil unions event held on May 1. The statewide advocacy group One Colorado hosted the festivities, and the Denver clerk’s office remained open until 3 a.m. to issue civil union licenses to couples eager to take advantage of their rights under the new law.
How long before Colorado takes the next logical step and recognizes full marriage equality?
A majority of Italians now support marriage equality. The Huffington Post reports (original is in Italian):
54% of Italians favor marriage between people of the same sex: the poll was conducted by the research institution Datamonitor. The poll also showed that a large majority are also against gay adoption. The percent in favor of marriage equality has grown since the last survey, in May of 2012, that showed that 53.4% approved. 43.2% of Italians are against marriage equality, vs. 44.2% in May of last year.
Regarding the possibility of gay adoption, 77.1% think it should not be a possibility (vs. 77.5% in 2012), and only 20.5% are in favor – an improvement over last year’s 19.8%. The survey was taken nationally on December 10th, 2012, via telephone, with a sample of 4,561 individuals.
Sadly, the new Prime Minister just put the kibosh on a modest civil unions proposal.
Thanks to Linda Giovanna Zambanini for bringing this to our attention!
5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF CALIFORNIA MARRIAGE DECISION
Yes, five years ago today, the California Supreme Court opened a brief windo for marriage equality in the Golden State. Shumway reports:
As the L.A. Times noted, the ruling was the most historic and sweeping decision of its kind to date: The court was poised 4 to 3 not only to legalize same-sex marriage but also to extend to sexual orientation the same broad protections against bias previously saved for race, gender and religion. The decision went further than any other state high court’s and would stun legal scholars, who have long characterized George and his court as cautious and middle of the road.
EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON PROP 8
Equality on Trial recaps some of the latest analysis on the Prop 8 case at the US Supreme Court:
Greg Stohr, writing in Bloomberg News, takes a look at the looming decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Prop 8 case. The Justices are widely expected to issue the decision in late June, possibly in the last days of the Term. The piece examines the issue of the Prop 8 proponents’ legal standing to appeal the case, an issue that was briefed and argued in the case and is a threshold issue the Justices will need to decide before reaching the merits. The issue of Article III standing is important in the case because none of the government defendants appealed the district court’s decision striking down the initiative, and that left only the ballot initiative proponents to appeal.
DOES ROE V. WADE MEAN A CAUTIOUS RESPONSE ON PROP 8, DOMA?
Over at Slate, they’re looking at Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s statements about Roe v. Wade:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg doubled down over the weekend on her ongoing criticism of Roe v. Wade. Ginsburg’s concern is about backlash: She says that by issuing the ruling that legalized abortion across the country in 1973, a group of “unelected old men” stopped the momentum that was building among the states. “That was my concern, that the court had given opponents of access to abortion a target to aim at relentlessly,” she said at the University of Chicago Law School. “My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change.”
OLDER AMERICANS PUSHING UP SUPPORT OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN USA
Think Progress has another take on that Gallup poll yesterday showing 53% support for marriage equality:
For example, that 41 percent for 65 and over sounds, and is, low compared to the 70 percent figure for the 18-29 demographic. But that 41 percent is also 27 points higher than the figure for 65 and over in 1996 (a mere 14 percent supported legal same-sex marriage then). Essentially none of this change is accounted for by the entrance of younger cohorts into the 65 and over group because 50-64 year olds in 1996 were just as conservative (15 percent support) as those 65 and over.
ONLY 18% OF REPUBLICANS THINK AMERICANS SUPPORT MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Another interesting number from the poll – just a small percentage of republicans think Americans support marriage equality. On Top Magazine reports.
Less than half of Democrats (43%) and independents (30%) believe the public supports marriage equality. And 18 percent of Republicans say the public supports gay nuptials, while 77 percent say the public is opposed. For roughly two years, polls have found that a majority of Americans support marriage equality. Gallup’s poll found 53 percent of respondents support its legalization, while 45 percent remain opposed.
VIRGINIA SENATOR LAUNCHES PETITION TO REPEAL DOMA
Virginia’s Senator Mark Warner is launching a petition to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. Joe.My.God reports:
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) has launched a petition to the Supreme Court demanding the overturn of DOMA. Via email from Warner’s office: “Even though many states now recognize the rights of committed same-sex couples to marry, the federal government continues to discriminate. Same-sex couples are denied all sorts of legal rights – like access to their spouse’s insurance benefits and Social Security survivor benefits – because of an outdated law called DOMA. That’s just wrong.”
WHAT DO AMERICANS ON THE STREET THINK ABOUT MARRIAGE EQUALITY?
Next up from Towleroad.com, a fun video where Susie Sampson asks Americans on the street what they think about marriage equality (spoof).
SOME SPECULATE NORTH DAKOTA COULD BE NEXT
OK, it’s a long shot, but it’s amazing progress that we’re even talking about marriage equality and North Dakota in the same sentence. Watermark reports:
Voters would have to approve same-sex marriage in North Dakota because marriage is defined in the state’s constitution as being between a man and a woman. Tom Freier, executive director of the North Dakota Family Alliance, which favors that view of marriage, said he doesn’t think much has changed in voters’ minds in the past nine years. He said he doesn’t think the state’s political views align with Minnesota or the other states that recently legalized same-sex marriage. UND law professor Steven Morrison said North Dakotans’ views on marriage laws won’t change overnight, but he believes “the tide is shifting” nationally and change eventually will come to North Dakota. “You’re going to see a lot of North Dakotans who know people (in Minnesota) who are gay or lesbian and who are married,” he said.
MARRIAGE EQUALITY TESTIMONY FRON THREE YOUNG PEOPLE IN NEVADA
The Advocate flags videos of three young people in Nevada who gave testimony last week in favor of marriage equality:
The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada has released a handful of videos from last week’s testimony regarding a resolution that would remove language from Nevada’s constitution that limits marriage to opposite-sex couples and replaces it with language recognizing all marriages.
ANG LADLAD FAILS TO WIN SEAT IN THE PHILIPPINES
The world’s first LGBT party, Ang Ladlad, failed to get enough votes to win a seat in the House. Gay Star News reports:
The early results for the Philippines’ midterm elections suggest that Ang Ladlad, the world’s only LGBT political party, has failed to win a seat in congress. Official election results report that the party got 75,913 votes, only 0.37% of the vote. A party needs at least 2% (570,112 votes at this election) of the vote to get a seat under the Philippines’ partylist system.
CHINESE LGBT ACTIVISTS PUSH FOR RIGHTS
Over at SDGLN, they’re reporting on a push for LGBT rights in China:
Xiao Tie works at Beijing’s LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender] center, working to end discrimination against homosexuals in China. Last February the battle became personal, when Xiao tried to marry her partner, Elsie Liao. She went to the local Civil Affairs Bureau to apply for a marriage certificate. “When we went to register, the local officer was a man, he was very impolite and very bad to us. He kept saying ‘it’s not possible, the marriage law says no’ and told us to go elsewhere. But when we decided to do that we knew it would never happen, our main aim was to express our need,” she said.
GLOBAL KISS-IN PLANNED FOR MAY 17TH
Gay Star News reports on a gloabl kiss-in planed for IDAHO day, May 17th:
It does not matter whether you are gay, bisexual or straight, there is a worldwide call to combat homophobia with a kiss this week. Across the globe, there will be several ‘kiss-ins’ promoting the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. In the UK, Manchester’s Lesbian & Gay Foundation will ‘Kiss Hate Goodbye’ with a flash mob on 18 May.
Finally, three transgender-related stories for you:
NEVADA ASSEMBLY PASSES HATE CRIME BILL
Edge Boston reports on a bill to protect transgender citizens:
The Assembly passed SB139 by a 30-11 margin Tuesday. The bill already cleared the Senate and now heads to Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. The bill adds “gender identity or expression” to the list of motivations deemed to be hate crimes already in statute. Violators would be subject to the penalties for the actual crime committed and additional penalties because of the motivation.
TEXAS PROPOSES BILL TO BLOCK TRANSGENDER CITIZENS FROM MARRYING
Texas is going in the opposite direction with a late-session bill that would require ID for getting married. The Dallas Voice reports:
The Texas Senate on Tuesday passed SB 1218, which would prohibit anyone from obtaining a marriage license with a document that lacks a photo, including an affidavit of sex change. Daniel Williams, field organizer with Equality Texas, said the bill’s author, state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, stated that her intent with the bill was to require a photo be shown to get a marriage license. However, removing an affidavit of sex change from the list of documents that can be used to obtain marriage licenses could bar transgender people from marrying people of the opposite sex.
NEW REPORT TO DETAIL SUFFERING OF EUROPE’S TRANSGENDER CITIZENS
And finally, a new report is due to be released on IDAHO day, as Gay Star News reports:
Trans people are still suffering from discrimination, prejudice and persecution in Europe, a new report has found. Published on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (17 May), it will expose the ‘bleak’ legal challenges trans people face across 49 countries in Europe. Transgender Europe (TGEU) will show which of the countries require sterilization in legal gender recognition and which do not provide for any procedures.
Whew – what a day!
First, out of Michigan, Dave Agema, a former state representative who achieved infamy for saying that gays were promiscuous, spread AIDS, and were pedophiles on his Facebook page, is back at it again. On Top Magazine reports:
“If [gay marriage] were to pass nationwide, I fear what kids would be taught in school,” Agema told the Detroit News. “If it’s a government-sanctioned lifestyle, hate crimes would begin for those speaking out against it, and we would lose our freedom of speech. Then they would come to churches and take tax-exempt status away from churches that didn’t support the lifestyle. That’s what happened in other countries.”
Just like you lost your freedom of speech to call African Americans the “N” word?
Newcomer to this feature, Minnesota evangelist John Piper, has a lovely quote about gays living together, as Joe.My.God reports:
“Living in a sexual relationship with a person of the same sex is forbidden in Scripture with terrifying clarity. ‘Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). This means putting a child in the personal care of a same-sex couple would put the child’s soul at jeopardy along with the couple’s souls. The couple would be endorsed by the adoption, and thus their hell-bound pattern of life would be endorsed, implying that we don’t care if they go to hell, which would be unloving. And the child would be taught that a damning behavior is normal and acceptable.”
In Illinois, a group of religious leaders also played the religious freedom (ie: the freedom to continue to discriminate against the gays) card. CBS reports:
“We believe we are standing up for the best interests of families in this state. Once gay marriage goes forward…all religious freedoms shall then be assaulted and attacked and begin to be shut down,” said Pastor Richard Giovannetti, of Morris.
And finally, sometime’s its as much about what they don’t say as what they do. As Media Matters reports:
Fox News spent one minute covering the historic legalization of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota over the past several weeks. According to an Equality Matters analysis, the network completely ignored the passage of marriage equality legislation in Delaware and made only passing mentions of Rhode Island and Minnesota’s new marriage laws.
If I don’t talk about it, maybe it doesn’t exist?