USA: What’s Next for Marriage Equality?

Written by scott on July 2nd, 2013

Gay Wedding - HandsNow that the Supreme Court has vanquished Prop 8 and section 3 of DOMA, what happens next? Some speculation for you.

NBC News looks at the next ten states likely to get marriage equality, including:

Illinois: Gay marriage almost passed the Legislature this spring, but a Democratic state representative tearfully told his colleagues that he didn’t have the votes and would give them time to talk it over with constituents. Advocates say the next try will probably come in late October, when lawmakers gather for a short session. They believe the Supreme Court rulings, particularly one extending federal benefits to gay spouses, could make the difference. “It’s one thing to be against the marriage bill ideologically,” said Randy Hannig, director of public policy at the pro-gay-marriage group Equality Illinois. “It’s another thing to stand in the way of people receiving benefits.”

The Washington Post looks at what the upcoming fight is likely to cost:

Freedom to Marry. Since 2012, Freedom to Marry has invested $5.8 million through its Win More States Fund directly into state campaigns, and leveraged another $2.4 million from other groups. Marc Solomon, the group’s national campaign director, said that the group aims to “raise at least $20 million between now and the end of 2016 to win more states and in order to finish the job and get back to court as quickly as possible.” Even in states where there is not a current ballot initiative underway, such as New Mexico, Freedom to Marry is spending money on a public outreach effort along with major Hispanic groups such as National Council of La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund to sway Latino voters. The campaign, called “Famila es Famila,” includes paid advertising as well as online and social media efforts.

The article also looks at four other groups, pro and con.

Over at NBC News, they’re looking at the effect on gay travel:

Gay travel is surging — and not just for Gay Pride Weekend. This week’s marriage equality ruling is expected to fuel a gay honeymoon boom. Savvy travel operators are already figuring out how they can court the so-called pink dollar without turning away straight business. “Obviously, there’s more camaraderie with fellow guests” at a gay-friendly accommodation, said Ed Jones, a gay traveler and New York accountant. But it’s more than that. “I’ve stayed at straight-owned B&Bs,” said Jones, “and it’s definitely not something that’s always welcomed. When two guys check in, there’s that surprise that clearly registers on people’s faces.”

In the US House, a Kansas state representative is pushing for a constitutional ban on marriage equality. LGBTQ Nation reports:

Under Huelskamp’s bill, “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.” The bill has 28 Republican co-sponsors, but it remains to be seen whether House GOP leaders will offer any support in light of the recent Supreme Court rulings.

Chances of success – about zero.

On the other side, Senator Barbara Boxer is calling on the Social Security Administration to confirm that gay couples will receive survivor benefits regardless of whether they live in a marriage equality state or not. The Washington Blade reports:

In a letter dated July 1, Boxer asks Social Security Administration Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin to use “administrative authorities” to extend benefits to the fullest extent possible following the Supreme Court decision striking down Section 3 of DOMA. “All federal agencies should endeavor to provide swift and equal access to programs and benefits for all same-sex couples, regardless of their state of residence, using existing administrative authorities,” Boxer said. Social Security survivor benefits are among the benefits that are in question for legally married same-sex couples post-DOMA. Social Security law looks to the state where a couple lives, not where a couple is married. That means a gay couple that marries in New York but moves to Florida may not be eligible if they apply for those benefits there.

Things continue to move quickly across the country (and increasingly around the world).

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.


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