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Author Topic: Supreme Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage  (Read 77791 times)
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« Reply #950 on: February 09, 2012, 08:28:22 AM »

By Mario Diaz
The Washington Times
Wednesday, February 8, 2012




The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit just ruled that Proposition 8, California’s constitutional marriage amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional. This decision is one of the most radical to come out of a circuit known for fringe rulings. It’s little wonder that this circuit is the nation’s most overturned.

The decision presents a clear example of judicial activism, in which you can see the court struggle to find the arguments to substantiate a predetermined decision. Neither law nor fact stood a chance before the judges.

To advance the cause, the 9th Circuit concludes that the only plausible explanation for Californians to want to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman is “the constitutionally illegitimate basis of animus toward” homosexuals. Every reasonable person knows this to be false. Many of us know supporters of traditional marriage in California, and we know they are not hostile toward homosexuals. They merely have an honest desire to preserve an institution that has served as the foundation of society for thousands of years.

The court’s generalization shows its true intent.

Supporters of traditional marriage provided many reasonable bases for preserving marriage as the union between one man and one woman, including two on which the dissenting judge focused in disagreeing with the majority:

(1) A responsible procreation theory, justifying the inducement of marital recognition only for opposite-sex couples, because it “steers procreation into marriage” and because opposite-sex couples are the only couples who can procreate children accidentally or irresponsibly, and (2) an optimal parenting theory, justifying the inducement of marital recognition only for opposite-sex couples because the family structure of two committed biological parents - one man and one woman - is the optimal partnership for raising children.

Of course, these are just two of the many other completely reasonable bases for Proposition 8. But again, blinded by their desire to advance the cause of “equality” and “tolerance,” the 9th Circuit judges seemed to twist and turn laws and facts until they fit. They simply dismissed these rationales by saying things like, “Proposition 8 had absolutely no effect on the ability of same-sex couples to become parents or the manner in which children are raised in California.”

The court conveniently chose to ignore the reason the state got involved in the business of marriage in the first place. The state gets involved in marriage only because it has an interest in promoting certain behavior. In the case of the unique relationship between one man and one woman, the state wants to encourage couples to rear children within the context of marriage, which offers the best chance for children to become productive members of society.

The court recognized the importance of the institution of marriage in our society, saying, for example, “We do not celebrate when two people merge their bank accounts; we celebrate when a couple marries.” It even made an attempt at humor by using Groucho Marx, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, among others, to illustrate how revered the institution of marriage is. But the court still concluded that it is irrational for Californians to think that preserving marriage as the union between one man and one woman would encourage couples to marry so that their children could have that stability in their development.

If the court’s decision makes no sense to you, you are not alone. The 9th Circuit concocts a convoluted, delusional argument to make its decision somewhat sustainable, at least among the most radical readers. According to them, it is not the supporters of same-sex “marriage” who are redefining the word marriage, it is the supporters of traditional marriage who are doing so.

Yes, apparently same-sex “marriage” always had been recognized in California until those bigots enacted Proposition 8 on Nov. 4, 2008, “to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry,” for no other reason than hostility toward homosexuals.

This is the very dangerous path of judicial activists whose ideology has so blinded them that their reality morphs to fit their goals. It’s hard to win an argument against that.

Mario Diaz is legal counsel for Concerned Women for America.
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« Reply #951 on: February 09, 2012, 09:44:06 AM »

why did you quote my post when you didnt address anything in it?
because you're fun to tease; I can always get a rise outta ya.
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« Reply #952 on: February 09, 2012, 08:26:47 PM »

because you're fun to tease; I can always get a rise outta ya.
youre right, ignorance is my kryptonite...

I cant seem to keep my mouth shut when morons are spouting off Smiley
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« Reply #953 on: February 10, 2012, 10:06:51 AM »

youre right, ignorance is my kryptonite...

I cant seem to keep my mouth shut when morons are spouting off Smiley
see, to quote RR, 'there you go again'
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« Reply #954 on: February 13, 2012, 02:35:50 PM »

Why gay marriage is inevitable
With more openly gay people and strong support for same-sex unions among the young, the war is over even as the fighting continues.
By Michael Klarman

The year 2012 is shaping up as a big one for same-sex marriage. Last week, the Washington state Legislature passed a bill allowing gay marriage, and legislatures in Maryland and New Jersey may follow suit shortly (though New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has promised a veto). North Carolina and Minnesota are conducting referendums this year on constitutional amendments to bar gay marriage, and Maine is likely to conduct a referendum on legalizing it.

On Tuesday, the U.S. 9th Court of Appeals reminded us that courts too have something to say on the subject. In a case challenging the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, that court ruled in favor of gay marriage. Because its ruling was so narrow that it may not be applicable outside California, theU.S. Supreme Court may decide not to review this decision. Eventually, though, the Supreme Court will take a gay marriage case. How might the justices decide it when they do?

As recently as seven or eight years ago, there might not have been a single justice prepared to declare a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Opinion polls then showed that Americans opposed gay marriage by a 2-1 margin, and a Massachusetts court decision declaring a right to gay marriage under the state constitution produced an enormous political backlash in 2004, with 13 states enacting constitutional bans. Even liberal justices such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg andStephen G. Breyer, who probably sympathize with gay marriage, might well have been wary of venturing too far in advance of public opinion and stoking further political backlash.

The situation has since changed dramatically. Opinion polls now consistently show that a slender majority of Americans support gay marriage. State supreme courts in California, Connecticut and Iowa have ruled in its favor, and legislatures in five states have enacted gay-marriage statutes. If liberal judges on state supreme courts now regularly support gay marriage, liberal justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are likely to do so as well.

A number of constitutional issues today — abortion, affirmative action, campaign finance reform and the death penalty — divide the Supreme Court 5 to 4, with Justice Anthony Kennedy providing the critical swing vote. How might Kennedy approach the gay-marriage issue?

Kennedy often converts dominant social mores into constitutional commands to bring outlier states into line with the majority. In this case, the states that allow gay marriage are in a distinct minority, suggesting he might be reluctant to identify such a constitutional right.

On the other hand, Kennedy has written the court's only two decisions supporting gay rights, and he comes from a part of the country — Northern California — where support for gay marriage is strong. Moreover, Kennedy seems especially attuned to his historical legacy, and if gay marriage is inevitable, then a court ruling in its favor will probably be seen one day as the Brown vs. Board of Education of the gay rights movement.

Why is gay marriage inevitable? First, the basic insight of the gay rights movement over the last four decades has proved powerfully correct: As more gays and lesbians have come out of the closet, the social environment has become more gay friendly. In turn, as the social environment has become more hospitable, more gays and lesbians have felt free to come out of the closet. This social dynamic is powerfully reinforcing and unlikely to be reversed.

One factor that most strongly predicts support for gay equality is knowing someone who is gay. As more gays and lesbians come out of the closet, more parents, children, siblings, friends, neighbors and co-workers know or love someone who is gay. Because few people favor discrimination against those they know and love, every gay person coming out of the closet creates more supporters of gay equality.

The number of Americans reporting that they know somebody who is openly gay tripled between 1985 and 2000, reaching 75%. One study in 2004 found that among those who reported knowing someone who is gay, 65% favored either gay marriage or civil unions, while only 35% of those who reported not knowing any gay people supported them.

A second reason that gay marriage seems inevitable is that young people so strongly support it. One study by political scientists found a gap of 44 percentage points between the oldest and youngest survey respondents in their attitudes toward gay marriage. A 2011 poll found that 70% of those age 18 to 34 supported gay marriage. It is hard to imagine a scenario in which young people's support for gay marriage dissipates as they grow older.

The trend in favor of gay marriage has accelerated dramatically in the last three years. Before 2009, the annual rate of increase in support for gay marriage was about 1.5 percentage points, but since then it has been closer to 4 percentage points. Statistical models predict that in another dozen years, every state will have a majority in favor of gay marriage.

In recent years, many conservatives have begun to acknowledge the inevitability of gay marriage, even as they continue to strongly oppose it. In March 2011, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on a Christian radio program that "it is clear that something like same-sex marriage … is going to become normalized, legalized and recognized in the culture."

"It's time," he continued, "for Christians to start thinking about how we're going to deal with that."

That a particular social change may be inevitable, given certain background conditions, does not mean that opponents will cease fighting it. White Southerners continued to massively resist Brown long after most of them came to believe that school desegregation was inevitable.

Similarly, those who believe that gay marriage contravenes God's will are not likely to stop fighting it simply because their prospects of success are diminishing. Moreover, because religious conservatives are both intensely opposed to gay marriage and highly mobilized politically, they are likely for the next several years to continue exerting significant influence over Republican politicians who need their support to win primary elections.

Although the ultimate outcome of the contest over gay marriage no longer seems in doubt, plenty of fighting remains until that battle is over.

Michael J. Klarman is a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of "Same-Sex Marriage Litigation and Political Backlash," to be published this fall.
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« Reply #955 on: February 13, 2012, 03:14:00 PM »

Washington state makes 7: Governor signs gay-marriage law

"My friends, welcome to the other side of the rainbow!" state Sen. Ed Murray declared Monday as Washington became the seventh state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

In a boisterous ceremony at the state Capitol in Olympia, Gov. Christine Gregoire -- a Catholic who weathered strong opposition, including a last-minute "action alert" from the state's Catholic Church leadership -- signed legislation to give same-sex couples the same right to a marriage license as anyone else.

"Look into your hearts and ask yourselves: 'Isn't it time?'" said Gregoire, as cheering supporters chanted "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

"We did what was just. We did what was fair. We stood for equality, and we did it together, Republicans and Democrats, gay and straight, young and old, and a number of our faith organizations. I'm proud of who and what we are as a state," the governor said.

There was a decidedly festive mood at the statehouse, where the debate in the state Legislature -- which approved the bill on split votes in both houses -- had been measured, lacking the name-calling and fireworks that often characterizes the issue.

The legislation exempts churches, religious institutions and members of the clergy from participating in same-sex marriages if it goes against their beliefs -- a compromise aimed at hundreds of churches whose members phoned and emailed lawmakers in an attempt to defeat the bill. Several faith organizations signed on in support of the measure, however, Gregoire noted.

"Years from now, our kids will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, but those of us who lived through the last 20 years appreciate how challenging this has been," said state Sen. Jamie Pedersen, who sponsored the bill through its contentious charge through the Legislature. On Monday, he introduced onlookers to his "future husband," a former high school administrator who stood on the sidelines cradling one of the couple's four children.

The issue is far from over, however. Conservative and religious leaders have vowed to begin collecting signatures on a referendum to overturn the new law. The statute, slated to take effect on June 7, would be held in abeyance if referendum proponents succeed in placing it on the November ballot.

"Much hangs in the balance over the next few months. This is a time for people of faith to work together," Gary Randall, president of the Faith & Freedom Network, said in an appeal to supporters. He added in another statement: "This is a dark day for people of faith and those who honor natural, traditional marriage. It is a tipping point for the state."

A separate initiative proposal to define marriage as occurring between one man and one woman is also pending before a judge in Thurston County, and could also make its way to the ballot. "Right now, the condition of marriage is an unmitigated disaster and needs a lot of reform, but we need to begin that reform with an accurate definition," the proponent of that measure, Stephen Pidgeon, said in an interview.
Opponents of the new law were scheduled to meet with presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who was traveling to Washington on Monday as part of his presidential campaign. Santorum was planning a public address later in Tacoma in which same-sex marriage opponents hoped he would discuss the new Washington law.

But Gregoire and other supporters of the measure expressed confidence that Washington voters, who backed domestic partnerships on a 53%-47% vote in a 2009 referendum, will support the new law as well.

"We know that it's going to be a hard campaign, and we're going to have to fight really hard to protect this victory, but we believe we can be victorious in November," Zach Silk, spokesman for Washington United for Marriage, told the Los Angeles Times.

Washington joins six other states -- Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont -- plus the District of Columbia in legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples. An additional eight states, including California, provide same-sex couples with access to state benefits and responsibilities offered married couples, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships.

The New Jersey state Senate passed a same-sex marriage bill on Monday, but the ultimate outcome in that state was expected to be much different. Although the Assembly is expected to approve the measure, Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to veto the bill should it reach his desk.


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« Reply #956 on: February 13, 2012, 06:51:49 PM »

Washington state makes 7: Governor signs gay-marriage law

"My friends, welcome to the other side of the rainbow!" state Sen. Ed Murray declared Monday as Washington became the seventh state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

In a boisterous ceremony at the state Capitol in Olympia, Gov. Christine Gregoire -- a Catholic who weathered strong opposition, including a last-minute "action alert" from the state's Catholic Church leadership -- signed legislation to give same-sex couples the same right to a marriage license as anyone else.

"Look into your hearts and ask yourselves: 'Isn't it time?'" said Gregoire, as cheering supporters chanted "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

"We did what was just. We did what was fair. We stood for equality, and we did it together, Republicans and Democrats, gay and straight, young and old, and a number of our faith organizations. I'm proud of who and what we are as a state," the governor said.

There was a decidedly festive mood at the statehouse, where the debate in the state Legislature -- which approved the bill on split votes in both houses -- had been measured, lacking the name-calling and fireworks that often characterizes the issue.

The legislation exempts churches, religious institutions and members of the clergy from participating in same-sex marriages if it goes against their beliefs -- a compromise aimed at hundreds of churches whose members phoned and emailed lawmakers in an attempt to defeat the bill. Several faith organizations signed on in support of the measure, however, Gregoire noted.

"Years from now, our kids will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, but those of us who lived through the last 20 years appreciate how challenging this has been," said state Sen. Jamie Pedersen, who sponsored the bill through its contentious charge through the Legislature. On Monday, he introduced onlookers to his "future husband," a former high school administrator who stood on the sidelines cradling one of the couple's four children.

The issue is far from over, however. Conservative and religious leaders have vowed to begin collecting signatures on a referendum to overturn the new law. The statute, slated to take effect on June 7, would be held in abeyance if referendum proponents succeed in placing it on the November ballot.

"Much hangs in the balance over the next few months. This is a time for people of faith to work together," Gary Randall, president of the Faith & Freedom Network, said in an appeal to supporters. He added in another statement: "This is a dark day for people of faith and those who honor natural, traditional marriage. It is a tipping point for the state."

A separate initiative proposal to define marriage as occurring between one man and one woman is also pending before a judge in Thurston County, and could also make its way to the ballot. "Right now, the condition of marriage is an unmitigated disaster and needs a lot of reform, but we need to begin that reform with an accurate definition," the proponent of that measure, Stephen Pidgeon, said in an interview.
Opponents of the new law were scheduled to meet with presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who was traveling to Washington on Monday as part of his presidential campaign. Santorum was planning a public address later in Tacoma in which same-sex marriage opponents hoped he would discuss the new Washington law.

But Gregoire and other supporters of the measure expressed confidence that Washington voters, who backed domestic partnerships on a 53%-47% vote in a 2009 referendum, will support the new law as well.

"We know that it's going to be a hard campaign, and we're going to have to fight really hard to protect this victory, but we believe we can be victorious in November," Zach Silk, spokesman for Washington United for Marriage, told the Los Angeles Times.

Washington joins six other states -- Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont -- plus the District of Columbia in legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples. An additional eight states, including California, provide same-sex couples with access to state benefits and responsibilities offered married couples, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships.

The New Jersey state Senate passed a same-sex marriage bill on Monday, but the ultimate outcome in that state was expected to be much different. Although the Assembly is expected to approve the measure, Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to veto the bill should it reach his desk.

Twice before, in California and Maine, the voters in those respective states have REVERSED a gay "marriage" law mere months after it was enacted. So, the idea of the so-called inevitability of gay "marriage" that you posted earlier is in severe question.

In fact, some left-winged activists have criticized the "it's going to happen anyway" mentality of many of their supporters, citing that as a reason they often end up losing at the ballot box.

For all the polls you cited in that other article, it appears that those people are MIA when it's crunch time. Remember that people in California, citing similar polls, swore that Prop.8 would never passed. Same goes for Question 1 in Maine. Gay "marriage" supporters continue to underestimate the voters; then, they act shocked when they lose on election day.

Whether gay "marriage" becomes the law of the land, nationwide, isn't a matter of time. But it IS a matter of timing.

Proponents of same-sex "marriage" are looking to cash in as many victories as they can, before the possibility of a more conservative Washington (DC) and more conservative state governments hit next year. With North Carolina and Minnesota, voting on marriage amendments (with some other states joining the fray), that tide could soon reverse, especially if Washington state does what California and Maine did.

 
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« Reply #957 on: February 17, 2012, 03:24:45 PM »

NJ Gov. Christie Vetoes Gay Marriage Bill as Vowed
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie has followed through on his promise to reject a bill allowing same-sex marriage in New Jersey by quickly vetoing the measure Friday and renewing his call for a ballot question to decide the issue.

The veto came a day after the state Assembly passed the bill. The state Senate had passed it on Monday. Christie, a Republican who opposes same-sex marriage, had vowed "very swift action" once the measure reached his desk.

In returning the bill to the Legislature, Christie reaffirmed his view that voters should decide whether to change the definition of marriage in New Jersey. His veto also proposed creating an ombudsman to oversee compliance with the state's civil union law, which same-sex couples have said is flawed and promotes discrimination.

"I am adhering to what I've said since this bill was first introduced — an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide," Christie said in a statement. "I continue to encourage the Legislature to trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing our citizens to vote on a question that represents a profoundly significant societal change. This is the only path to amend our State Constitution and the best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state.

"I have been just as adamant that same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples — as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits," the statement continued. "Discrimination should not be tolerated and any complaint alleging a violation of a citizen's right should be investigated and, if appropriate, remedied. To that end, I include in my conditional veto the creation of a strong Ombudsman for Civil Unions to carry on New Jersey's strong tradition of tolerance and fairness."

Democrats who had pushed the bill forward said they were disappointed, but not surprised, by Christie's action.

"It's unfortunate that the governor would let his own personal ideology infringe on the rights of thousands of New Jerseyans," said Reed Gusciora, one of two openly gay New Jersey lawmakers and a sponsor of the bill. "For all those who oppose marriage equality, their lives would have been completely unchanged by this bill, but for same-sex couples, their lives would have been radically transformed. Unfortunately, the governor couldn't see past his own personal ambitions to honor this truth."

Senate Democratic leaders were more blunt in their criticism of the governor.

"He had a chance to do the right thing, and failed miserably," Senate President Steve Sweeney said.

"Don't be fooled by the governor's call for a public referendum or his idea of an ombudsman for civil unions — it is nothing more than a political smoke screen designed to cover the tracks of those retreating from their leadership and lawmaking responsibilities," Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said. "Civil unions have already proven to be a failure and no ombudsman can change that."

Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization focusing on gay rights issues that last year filed a lawsuit for marriage equality in New Jersey, called Christie's veto "an unfortunate detour" in the quest for gay marriage.

"We are disappointed that Governor Christie did not do what is right for New Jersey families, but we are not discouraged," said Hayley Gorenberg, the group's deputy legal director. "We'll continue to make our case for equality with our plaintiffs in court."

Proponents of the bill said gay marriage is a civil right being denied to gay couples, while opponents said the definition of marriage as a heterosexual institution should not be expanded. The legislation contains a religious opt-out clause, meaning no church clergy would be required to perform gay marriages and places of worship would not have to allow same-sex weddings at their facilities.

Steven Goldstein, chairman of the state's largest gay rights group, Garden State Equality, said Christie's national political ambitions guided his action.

"He won't veto the bill because he's anti-gay," Goldstein said in a statement issued before the veto was issued Friday. "He'll veto the bill because the 2016 South Carolina presidential primary electorate is anti-gay."

Goldstein, who said he has a cordial relationship with the governor, promised to continue fighting him vigorously on the issue. "And we will win, so help me God," he said.

Another gay marriage supporter, Washington state Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, also reached out to Christie, a practicing Catholic. Gregoire sent the governor a letter last month offering to talk about gay marriage because, in her words, "while I am a Governor, I am also a Catholic."

The Roman Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriage.

Gregoire signed a gay marriage measure into law in Washington on Monday. Her spokeswoman, Karina Shagren, said Christie hasn't responded to the letter.

Thirty states, including South Carolina, have adopted constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriages, most by defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Six states and Washington, D.C., allow gay marriage. Washington state's new gay marriage law is set to go into effect in June.

Lawmakers in New Jersey have until the end of the legislative session in January 2014 to override the veto.

They would need two-thirds of the lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate to agree. Both votes to pass it fell short of that mark. Christie has virtually guaranteed that no override would succeed because Republicans wouldn't cross him.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature has failed in every previous attempt to override Christie, most notably on a cut to women's health care and an effort to reinstate a tax surcharge on millionaires.

Christie — and most Republican lawmakers — want to put the issue to a public vote. One GOP lawmaker, Sen. Kip Bateman of Somerset, has proposed a ballot question asking voters to allow same-sex nuptials. However, the most powerful Democrat in the Legislature, Senate President Steve Sweeney, has said that won't happen.

Democrats are hoping that support for gay marriage — 52 percent for gay marriage, 42 against it, in New Jersey, according to one recent voter poll — will continue growing.

If same-sex couples can't win gay marriage through legislation, they have engaged in a parallel fight in the courts. Seven gay couples and several of their children have sued, claiming that the state's civil union law doesn't work as intended.

Civil unions were designed to provide the benefits of marriage to gay couples without the title. They were adopted after the Supreme Court instructed the Legislature to provide marriage equality to same-sex couples.

The state's own review commission has since found problems with the law, and same-sex couples have backed that up with testimony before the Legislature.

John Grant and Daniel Weiss, an Asbury Park couple who are in a civil union, are among those who testified in support of gay marriage.

When Grant was in a life-threatening automobile accident and rushed to a New York hospital in 2010 — before that state legalized gay marriage — Weiss said he couldn't authorize badly needed surgery or even go through his partner's wallet to find his health insurance card. He said their civil union was essentially worthless; Grant's neurosurgeon even asked, "What is a civil union?"

A gay marriage bill was defeated in the Senate two years ago, just before Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat who supported the measure, left office. Advocates' hopes dimmed with the arrival of Christie, who spoke against gay marriage when asked about it during his campaign.
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« Reply #958 on: February 17, 2012, 03:30:33 PM »

you should also add that the dems in NJ dont want to let the public vote on gay marriage they would rather try and ram it down their throats a la the horrible health care bill.
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« Reply #959 on: February 17, 2012, 04:43:07 PM »

Same-sex marriage bill passes Maryland House of Delegates
By John Wagner, Friday, February 17, 3:46 PM

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage won approval in the Maryland House of Delegates on Friday night, capping a dramatic turnaround from a year ago and all but assuring the measure will be sent to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) for his promised signature.

After a day of emotional and contentious debate, the Democrat-led House voted 71-67 in favor of the bill, sending it to the Senate, which approved a similar measure last year. No senators have announced plans to change their votes.

Maryland is poised to join seven states and the District in allowing gay nuptials, but opponents are widely expected to launch a petition drive that could give Maryland voters the final say on the November ballot.

The state’s move toward same-sex marriage comes amid a fresh wave of momentum nationally for gay-rights activists. Gay nuptials bills were signed by the governors of New York in June and Washington state this month. And just Friday, the New Jersey legislature sent Gov. Chris Christie (R) a same-sex marriage bill, which Christie promptly vetoed as he had promised to do.

In Annapolis, O’Malley and other supporters scrambled in recent days to nail down enough votes to avoid a repeat of last year when the legislation died on the House floor.

Their efforts were buoyed by the support of two Republican delegates who announced their support of the legislation just this week: Robert A. Costa of Anne Arundel County and A. Wade Kach of Baltimore County.

During Friday’s debate, supporters — including seven gay delegates in the chamber — hailed the measure as a major step forward in equal rights. Opponents decried the redefinition of “marriage” and said it was an affront to long-standing religious traditions.

“We should extend to families, same-sex loving couples, the right to marry in a civil ceremony,” Del. Maggie L. McIntosh (D-Baltimore) said in a hushed chamber after relaying her experience coming out as a lesbian. “I’m going to ask you today, my colleagues, to make history.”

Kach told the chamber that his views on the issue changed after a bill hearing last week, when he heard testimony from loving same-sex couples, including some with children. “My constituents did not send me here to judge people,” Kach said.

In the hours before the bill passed, its prospects had appeared clouded by the hospitalization Thursday of a key supporter, Del. Veronica L. Turner (D-Prince George’s).

Although both chambers of Maryland’s legislature are heavily Democratic, the bill proved a tough sell among African American lawmakers from the party, including many Prince George’s delegates, who cited opposition by churches and constituents in their districts.

“Same-sex marriage is wrong,” Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr. (D-Baltimore County) told the chamber before the vote. “I believe that people who are gay have a right to be that, but the word ‘marriage’ should not be attached.”

Burns joined several Republicans in vowing to defeat the measure on the ballot.

One of the unexpected supporters was Del. Tiffany T. Alston (D-Prince George’s), who co-sponsored last year’s bill but withdrew her support in response to what she said was strong opposition in her district.

On Friday, Alston said she was satisfied that the bill would get petitioned to the ballot, in part based on a procedural amendment of hers that the chamber adopted.

“Right now, as a state, it’s time for us to move beyond the issue,” Alston told her colleagues. “I think the community needs to vote on this.”

Friday night’s vote marks a victory for O’Malley, who previously supported civil unions as an alternative to same-sex marriage. The governor agreed to sponsor this year’s in bill in July, in the wake of its failure in the House last year.

O’Malley said his reworked legislation provided greater protections for religious organizations opposed to gay nuptials.

During debate Friday, delegates rejected a proposed amendment, 78 to 45, to legalize civil unions rather than same-sex marriage.

This month, a federal appeals court also declared California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, saying it was a violation of the equal rights of gay and lesbian couples.
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« Reply #960 on: February 23, 2012, 03:32:58 PM »

Judge’s Ruling Adds to String in Favor of Same-Sex Couples
By ADAM NAGOURNEY

A federal judge in San Francisco on Wednesday threw out a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, becoming the latest court to rule that the law passed by Congress to prohibit federal recognition of same-sex marriage violated the constitutional rights of same-sex couples.

Jeffrey S. White, a United States District Court judge appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002, ruled that the act violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution by denying Blue Cross health benefits to the spouse of Karen Golinski, who works as a staff lawyer in the United States Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit. She married her partner of 20 years, Amy Cunninghis, in August 2008 during the brief period when same-sex marriages were permitted in California.

The decision is the latest in a string of federal court rulings against the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages conducted in states where it is legal. More challenges are moving through other federal courts, and the Supreme Court seems likely to take up the question.

Judge White ruled that the act did not provide “a justification that is substantially related to an important governmental objective” which would be necessary for a law that is aimed at one specific group of people, in this case gay men and lesbians.

“The imposition of subjective moral beliefs of a majority upon a minority cannot provide a justification for the legislation,” he said in his 43-page ruling.

The act was passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in the midst of his re-election campaign in 1996. President Obama instructed his attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., not to defend the act, arguing that it was in fact unconstitutional. As a result, the case for the law was made on behalf of a lawyer hired by the House of Representatives.
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« Reply #961 on: February 23, 2012, 04:37:17 PM »

http://www.examiner.ie/ireland/poll-73-of-public-back-allowing-same-sex-marriage-in-constitution-184849.html
present law allows civil partnership for both gay and straight relationships
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« Reply #962 on: February 24, 2012, 04:00:15 PM »

Gay Texas Judge Refuses to Perform Marriage Ceremonies
By CHRISTINA NG

Texas Judge Tonya Parker cannot legally marry a woman in her state, so she refuses to perform any marriage ceremonies until there is equality. She finds it "oxymoronic" to perform a ceremony that cannot be performed for her.

Parker, an openly gay judge, told a group at a Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meeting Tuesday that when she turns a couple away, she uses it as an opportunity to teach them a lesson about marriage equality.

"I don't perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality and until it does, I'm not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn't apply to another group of people," Parker said in a video of the Tuesday discussion. "And it's kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can't be performed for me, so I'm not going to do it."

A spokeswoman for the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct said the commission had no comment.

Parker is the first LGBT person elected as a judge in Dallas County and she is believed to be the first openly LGBT African-American elected official in the state's history, according to the Dallas Voice.

Parker described examples of discrimination in the courtroom that she has seen and been able to stop.

She once heard a case involving a man who allegedly molested a young boy in which a participant used the terms "homosexual" and "child molester" interchangeably.

"When a man molests a little girl, people don't call him heterosexual," Parker said in the video. "So, when this man molests this little boy, assuming [the] allegations to be true, you are not going to stand in my courtroom and call him a homosexual."

Another example she gave was the Texas Supreme Court's jury instruction that dictates that jurors cannot discuss cases with their husbands or wives.

"Well, I might have modified it a little bit," Parker said to her audience. "And I said, 'Do not discuss this case with your husband, your wife or your partner.'"

She said these are small ways of making her point but she believes it is important to go out of her way to do things that others in the LGBT community might not be able to do because they are not in her position of power.
"I want to help those folks to have dignity, in that moment that they are with me, to know that I see you," she said. "I see you."

Parker did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABCNews.com. A court clerk said she was in court today.

Parker's goal as a judge is to "make sure laws are applied equally to everyone who comes to court and that we take the opportunity to put issues on people's radar's that might not otherwise be there."

Seven states allow gay marriage and Maryland would become next one if the governor signs recently passed bill, as he has promised to do next week.
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« Reply #963 on: March 01, 2012, 04:13:48 PM »

Maryland governor signs same-sex marriage law
By Ian Duncan

Cheers rang out in the marble hallway of the Maryland State House as Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a gay marriage law and handed the pens to gay members of the General Assembly who were gathered behind him.

"For a free and diverse people, for a people of many faiths, for a people committed to the principle of religious freedom, the way forward is always found for the greater respect of the equal rights of all, for the human dignity of all," O'Malley said before sitting down to sign the law.

The bill narrowly passed the House of Delegates on Feb. 17 and the state Senate less than a week later, and it now faces a campaign by its opponents to put it to a public vote in November. If that challenge fails, the law will be enacted on Jan. 1 next year.

After a similar measure died in the state House of Delegates last year, O'Malley, a Democrat, announced in July his intention to sponsor a new law. This year's version of the bill included protections for churches and other religious institutions, allowing them to opt out of holding gay weddings.

In debate on the bill, opponents questioned whether the protections were strong enough, and a last-minute attempt to broaden the exemption was defeated in the Senate.

The Maryland Marriage Alliance, a coalition of religious groups, is leading the campaign to overturn the law at the polls. The organization is gathering petition signatures, the first step in the referendum process. The organization is linked to the powerful National Organization for Marriage, a group formed to fight for California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex unions.

"It is clear that while the opponents of marriage have been seeking influence from an elite group of politicians and supporters, the average citizens of Maryland continue to believe in the time-tested, unalterable definition of marriage," Derek McCoy, executive director of the alliance, said in a statement earlier this week.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a coalition that backs same-sex marriage rights, expects the efforts to get the referendum on the ballot to succeed and is mounting a campaign to uphold the law.

"I celebrate with my gay friends today," Ezekiel Jackson, a political organizer with Service Employees International Union Local 1199, part of the group, said in a statement. "But we are clear that a referendum may be on the horizon. There is something uneasy about total strangers deciding whether my gay friends can marry and whether their kids can be protected equally under the law."

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times
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« Reply #964 on: March 01, 2012, 06:33:35 PM »

Maryland governor signs same-sex marriage law
By Ian Duncan

Cheers rang out in the marble hallway of the Maryland State House as Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a gay marriage law and handed the pens to gay members of the General Assembly who were gathered behind him.

"For a free and diverse people, for a people of many faiths, for a people committed to the principle of religious freedom, the way forward is always found for the greater respect of the equal rights of all, for the human dignity of all," O'Malley said before sitting down to sign the law.

The bill narrowly passed the House of Delegates on Feb. 17 and the state Senate less than a week later, and it now faces a campaign by its opponents to put it to a public vote in November. If that challenge fails, the law will be enacted on Jan. 1 next year.

After a similar measure died in the state House of Delegates last year, O'Malley, a Democrat, announced in July his intention to sponsor a new law. This year's version of the bill included protections for churches and other religious institutions, allowing them to opt out of holding gay weddings.

In debate on the bill, opponents questioned whether the protections were strong enough, and a last-minute attempt to broaden the exemption was defeated in the Senate.

The Maryland Marriage Alliance, a coalition of religious groups, is leading the campaign to overturn the law at the polls. The organization is gathering petition signatures, the first step in the referendum process. The organization is linked to the powerful National Organization for Marriage, a group formed to fight for California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex unions.

"It is clear that while the opponents of marriage have been seeking influence from an elite group of politicians and supporters, the average citizens of Maryland continue to believe in the time-tested, unalterable definition of marriage," Derek McCoy, executive director of the alliance, said in a statement earlier this week.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a coalition that backs same-sex marriage rights, expects the efforts to get the referendum on the ballot to succeed and is mounting a campaign to uphold the law.

"I celebrate with my gay friends today," Ezekiel Jackson, a political organizer with Service Employees International Union Local 1199, part of the group, said in a statement. "But we are clear that a referendum may be on the horizon. There is something uneasy about total strangers deciding whether my gay friends can marry and whether their kids can be protected equally under the law."

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

Again, there's little to see here. Maryland voters will get the referendum on the ballot; and this law get reversed just as the ones in Maine and California did.

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« Reply #965 on: March 03, 2012, 12:28:14 PM »

and get tied up in court battles. people will marry during this time and it will go the way CA is going; it will be overturned.
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« Reply #966 on: March 03, 2012, 10:58:02 PM »

and get tied up in court battles. people will marry during this time and it will go the way CA is going; it will be overturned.

Not quite! Maryland's law doesn't take effect until next January, by which time the people will likely have REVERSED that law, as was the case in Maine.

It was California's supreme court that came up with the stupid idea of giving marriage licenses to gay people, knowing that the Prop. 8 vote was on the horizon.

I've long suspected that the court did this (along with then-AG Jerry Brown and his shenanigans) to skew the vote against Prop. 8. That's why so many liberals were SHOCKED, when Prop. 8 passed.

Despite all the polling, claiming that the majority of Californians supported gay "marriage", despite Brown's re-wording of Prop. 8's title, despite the court giving licenses to gays (with the implication that, should Prop. 8 pass, those licenses might be voided), the people stated loud and clear how marriage should be defined: one man and one woman.
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« Reply #967 on: March 22, 2012, 07:28:41 PM »

Challenge to Gay Marriage Fails in New Hampshire
By ABBY GOODNOUGH

CONCORD, N.H. — An attempt to repeal New Hampshire’s same-sex marriage law failed on Wednesday in the House of Representatives, with members of the Republican-dominated chamber voting 211-116 to kill the bill.

Some opponents of repeal cited the state’s “Live Free or Die” motto, saying they were uncomfortable revoking any right that had already been granted. Others did not see the point of embracing the repeal when Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, had vowed to veto it.

Had the repeal succeeded in both chambers, New Hampshire would have been the first state in which a legislature reversed itself on the issue of same-sex marriage. National gay-rights groups had invested heavily in fighting the bill, focusing on lawmakers with libertarian leanings.

With Republicans outnumbering Democrats by three to one in the House, which has approved a number of socially conservative bills this session, proponents of same-sex marriage feared early on that there was little chance of preserving the law.

“Every step forward is a sign of momentum,” said Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, a group that lobbies for same-sex marriage nationwide. “The fact that we got two-thirds of the vote, in one of the most heavily Republican legislatures in the country, will make a serious impact.”

When New Hampshire became the sixth state to approve same-sex marriage, in 2009, it was not an easy feat. The law passed with close votes in both chambers, then under Democratic control, and with last-minute support from Mr. Lynch, who had preferred to retain civil unions.

Since then, about 1,900 same-sex couples have wed in the state.

Representative David Bates, a Republican who sponsored the repeal bill, had struggled to build support for it among his colleagues, even though William O’Brien, the House speaker, was strongly in favor. But Mr. Bates said after the vote that he had not expected such a resounding defeat. “It really became sort of a circus,” he said. “The majority of the opposition there was essentially people who are very libertarian-minded.”

Mr. Bates had tried to win more support for the repeal bill by proposing a nonbinding referendum in November to gauge public support for same-sex marriage. But such referendums are rare here, and many lawmakers rejected the idea.

In a poll released in early February by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, 59 percent of respondents were either strongly or somewhat opposed to repealing the law, while 32 percent said they supported repeal. But Mr. Bates said he did not believe that the results truly reflected public opinion.

Mr. Solomon said that Paul Singer, a wealthy Republican hedge-fund manager who was a lead investor in the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, had donated $250,000 to a campaign to defeat the repeal. “That played a huge role in our ability to pull off a really solid campaign,” Mr. Solomon said.

He added that a new political action committee, New Hampshire Republicans for Freedom and Equality, has pledged $100,000 to support Republican lawmakers who favor keeping the same-sex marriage law. The National Organization for Marriage has pledged to spend $250,000 to help lawmakers and candidates who support repeal.

Mr. Lynch is not seeking re-election this year, and both Republicans who have entered the race to succeed him support repeal. Mr. Bates said the repeal effort could return next year, adding, “I don’t think this is the end of it.”

In addition to New Hampshire, same-sex couples can currently marry in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Lawmakers in Washington State and Maryland approved same-sex marriage laws last month, though opponents are seeking referendums to nullify them.

After applauding the vote from the House gallery, Neil Blair and Jeffry Burr of Franconia, who married minutes after same-sex marriage became legal here on Jan. 1, 2010, said they remained apprehensive.

“We’re relieved for now,” Mr. Burr said. “But in New Hampshire, this can keep coming up every legislative session, so we’re obviously concerned about having to battle this again and again.”

Still, Mr. Burr said he sensed that most lawmakers were ready to move on.

“Irrespective of their party line or even their personal beliefs on the issue,” he said, “they’re tired of it. They’re saying, ‘Let’s focus on things that are more pressing and more important.’ ”
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« Reply #968 on: March 24, 2012, 11:31:59 AM »

Not quite! Maryland's law doesn't take effect until next January, by which time the people will likely have REVERSED that law, as was the case in Maine.

It was California's supreme court that came up with the stupid idea of giving marriage licenses to gay people, knowing that the Prop. 8 vote was on the horizon.

I've long suspected that the court did this (along with then-AG Jerry Brown and his shenanigans) to skew the vote against Prop. 8. That's why so many liberals were SHOCKED, when Prop. 8 passed.

Despite all the polling, claiming that the majority of Californians supported gay "marriage", despite Brown's re-wording of Prop. 8's title, despite the court giving licenses to gays (with the implication that, should Prop. 8 pass, those licenses might be voided), the people stated loud and clear how marriage should be defined: one man and one woman.

Marriage used to state one race as well. White could only marry white and so on.

That certainly has changed. As will this.

Every year more people care less about your faith based view of marriage.

That's just the way it is.
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« Reply #969 on: May 09, 2012, 11:31:50 AM »

Obama Backs Same-Sex Marriage
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and MICHAEL BARBARO

With his re-election bid looming, President Obama said in an interview Wednesday that he supported same-sex marriage.

“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.” President Obama said in the interview with ABC News.

The hastily arranged interview, with ABC’s Robin Roberts, gave Mr. Obama another opportunity to clarify what he has called his “evolving” position on a social issue that continues to sharply divide the American public.

In 2010, Mr. Obama said that his long-standing opposition to the idea of same-sex marriages has been changing. But he has refused to say since then whether he now supports extending the rights and privileges of marriage to same-sex couples.

“My feelings about this are constantly evolving,” he said two years ago. “I struggle with this. I have friends, I have people who work for me who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions. And they are extraordinary people. And this is something that means a lot to them and they care deeply about.”

The effort by the White House to set up the interview comes after several days of intense pressure on Mr. Obama following comments in support of gay marriage by Vice President Joe Biden and Arne Duncan, the secretary of education.

ABC secured the interview with Mr. Obama on Tuesday afternoon, according to two people involved in the planning. It will take place at the White House. The interview was so hastily arranged, in fact, that Ms. Roberts was still in New York on Wednesday morning to co-host “Good Morning America”– and was planning on returning to New York right after the interview, because her mother is visiting and the two have dinner plans on Wednesday evening.
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« Reply #970 on: May 09, 2012, 11:32:40 AM »

I love this - obama is going to go down even harder now.   

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« Reply #971 on: May 09, 2012, 11:37:35 AM »

I love this - obama is going to go down even harder now.   



The man has perfected flip-flopping. He makes Romney look like an amateur.
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« Reply #972 on: May 09, 2012, 11:47:58 AM »

The man has perfected flip-flopping. He makes Romney look like an amateur.

The thing is that its so obvious this is all about gay $$$$$ flowing to his campaign and little else. 

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« Reply #973 on: May 09, 2012, 11:48:37 AM »

The thing is that its so obvious this is all about gay $$$$$ flowing to his campaign and little else. 



Interesting that after three years in office he only discovered the "right side" of equal rights after crazy Biden slipped up and backed him into a corner. But hey, can't let that rain on the parade.
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« Reply #974 on: May 09, 2012, 03:30:40 PM »

Marriage used to state one race as well. White could only marry white and so on.

That certainly has changed. As will this.

Every year more people care less about your faith based view of marriage.

That's just the way it is.


Not quite! Different non-white races were allowed to marry, as was pointed out in the "Loving v. Virginia" Supreme Court case. The court didn't need to point that out to overturn Virginia's anti-miscegenation law. But, they justices noted that in their opinion:

There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.
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