Media stories are more favorable to marriage equality than not, a new study from the Pew Research Center says. The New York Times reports:
News organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view, according to a content study by the Pew Research Center to be released on Monday. The researchers assessed a representative sample of mainstream coverage for two months this year, and found that many stories contained either a balanced mix of views or no views at all. But of the rest, roughly five times as many stories were weighted toward support for same-sex marriage as were weighted toward opposition. “A story was deemed to be in support of or opposition to same-sex marriage if the statements expressing that view outnumbered opposing statements by at least 2-to-1,” the report stated.
It’s good to know that many of the media organizations have our back in this fight.
Marchers in both Italy and Croatia called for marriage equality on Saturday, as the Global Post reports. In Rome:
In Rome, gay, lesbian and transgender activists and sympathisers, dancing on floats to electronic music and waving rainbow flags, held up signs reading “In France I can now get married, when in Italy?” “People’s rights cannot be negotiated. Rome will become the capital of rights. There have been too many attacks in the last few years, too many tragedies of loneliness,” the city’s new centre-left mayor Ignazio Marino said.
A similar march took place in Zagreb, a day after Croatia’s parliament received a petition signed by one-fifth of the country’s voters seeking a referendum that could rule out same-sex marriage. “We have to show that we love Croatia where we live, but it also has to show that it loves all its citizens,” Marko Jurcic, one of the organisers told the rally at a downtown square after an hour-long march. “For Marriage Equality” read a giant pink banner carried at the head of a column of the Gay Pride marchers, escorted by special police who were however less visible than in previous years.
“Croatia’s parliament received a petition signed by one-fifth of the country’s voters seeking a referendum that could rule out same-sex marriage.” Seriously? That’s an amazing number – anyone hear anything else about this part?
The Caribbean country of Bermuda just passed an anti-discrimination law. Pink News reports:
A change to Bermuda’s Human Rights Act prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexuality was passed on Friday, despite concerns that it would override the country’s ban on same sex marriage. The same day, an amendment to the Act prohibiting same-sex marriage was defeated by the nation’s House of Assembly on Friday, 18 votes to 12. Wayne Fubert, the MP who tabled the anti-equal marriage amendment, said the Human Rights Act change was controversial as Bermudians were worried it would lead to the adoption of same-sex marriage.
So far, only some islands of the former Netherlands Antilles recognize or are close to recognizing marriage equality – seems like there’s a hole in the market a savvy Island Nation might exploit…
Out gay marines Matt and Russ are gonna get married. The Advocate reports:
Boyfriends Matt and Russ, the two Marines who have a delightful habit of posting adorable videos on Russ’s YouTube channel RussMarine2014, have melted our hearts once again by sharing a video of Matt proposing to Russ. The proposal, which was a surprise Matt had been planning for months, took place at Russ’s welcome home party, where the couple was celebrating alongside a few of their friends.
Watch the video below – the proposal comes at about 4:00:
So much for the hope that the new pope was stepping back a bit from the marriage equality fight. Gay Star News reports:
Pope Francis encouraged French politicians to take matters into their own hands in a speech apprently directed at gay marriage. Speaking to a delegation of French politicians and representatives at the Vatican yesterday, Pope Francis called France a ‘nation to which the eyes of the world often turn,’ pointing to the controversial Marriage for All Bill that split the country into in an unprecedented show of public discord between gay marriage opponents and supporters… According to a Vatican statement, the Pope said to the delegation, whose arrival coincided with Rome’s annual gay pride parade: ‘Your task, technically and legally, is certainly to propose, amend or even repeal legislation.’
So different pope, softer tones, but ultimately the same message – gays are second class citizens and don’t deserve marriage. We had hoped for more from this Pope of the people.
So far, we have three more announced dates for rulings from the US Supreme Court this month – tomorrow, thursday, and the following monday. And Rachel Maddow’s statement Friday night that some court watchers expected them to come tomorrow, we’ve seen nothing else to support one day over another, other than a general feeling that the biggest rulings usually come at the very end of the term.
So we’ll look at some more of the analysis and speculation today – starting with Antoinette Weil at Edge Boston, who thinks the Prop 8 ruling is particularly difficult to predict:
Another issue of DOMA the SCOTUS must debate is whether the federal government even has the right to regulate marriage, since unions have traditionally been determined by states. This one is tricky: should SCOTUS decide to strike down DOMA on the grounds that the power to grant, deny and recognize marriage is one held sovereignly by each of the states, then not only would there be no declaration of violation of the measure’s Equal Protection Clause, but it would also leave more room for Proposition 8 to be validated. If the merits of each case are not addressed, they could prove to be a hindrance to one another, each issue’s rationale cancelling out the other’s. “This could be really bad,” said Scott Squillace, Esq. who predicted a narrow ruling. “We could win the battle and lose the war if we don’t remember our roles in the system.”
Richard Wolf looks at the complexity of the cases at USA Today:
What happens if legally married couples have moved to a state without same-sex marriage? The section of DOMA that protects those states from having to recognize marriages performed in other states would apply to state benefits, but what about federal benefits? That could be up to President Obama — and future court cases.
What happens to couples in civil unions, from New Jersey to Hawaii, who currently receive virtually the same state benefits as those who are married?
Both good questions. I’m especially interested to hear what happens to married couples who move to a non-marriage equality state, as we have considered moving to Portland, oregon, and most of my family is in Arizona. Does our California marriage transfer for federal purposes?
Sam Baker at The Hill wonders if the Court is taking the huge shift in public opinion into account:
“I have to think the justices — and especially the chief — are very cognizant of the shifting public opinion,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.\0×2028\0×2028 The justices aren’t driven by polling the way elected lawmakers are, but they are often mindful of the court’s credibility. Chief Justice John Roberts, in particular, has shown himself to be an “institutionalist” who wants to protect the court’s legitimacy, Tobias said. That was clear in last year’s decision on ObamaCare.
Alan Greenblatt at NPR suggests that both sides want the fight to continue in the states:
“People forget that durable rights don’t come from courts, they come from consensus and strong support from society,” says Jonathan Rauch, author of Denial, a recent memoir about growing up gay. “We are winning the right to marriage in a bigger, deeper way by winning it in the court of public opinion.” After losing political battles in a majority of states, gay marriage supporters have won a number of legislative victories and ballot measures in recent years. Sensing momentum is in their favor, it may not be surprising that they’re glad they’ve had time to make their case to the public.
I do wonder if a sweeping ruling at this point would really have the same effect as Roe v. Wade did on the abortion fight, given the string and growing public support marriage equality already enjoys.
AFER has a new video out on the hostpry of the Prop 8 fight:
With just days left before the US Supreme Court rules on Proposition 8, AFER has compiled this look back at the last three years of working to attain full federal marriage equality. The American Foundation for Equal Rights is dedicated to protecting and advancing equal rights for every American. As the sole sponsor of the federal court challenge of California’s Proposition 8, known as Perry v. Schwarzenegger, AFER is leading the fight for marriage equality and equality under the law for every American.
Edge Boston reports on the Day of Decision rallies planned to celebrate (or protest) the rulings:
When it does release its decision in the Prop 8 case, rallies are planned to occur that evening in both San Francisco and San Jose. In San Francisco a group of volunteers known as the Day of Decision Committee is planning for a party, hopefully, in the heart of the gay Castro district. Police are expected to shut down the 400 and 500 blocks of Castro Street from 5:30 to 9 p.m. for the event.
There’s also a Kiss-In going on online – Queerty reports:
Have you kissed someone for equality today? The Supreme Kiss: Let’s Kiss Inequality Good-bye is a social media campaign launched this spring to raise awareness about marriage equality and equal rights through one of the most universal acts of human expression: a kiss. With decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA expected this month, the Supreme Kiss campaign invites everyone — regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation — to kiss someone they love and share that kiss with the world in an act of solidarity.
And finally, Dan Stein at Scotus Blog lets us know they will be live blogging the Day of Decision:
My name is Dan Stein, and I’m writing from SCOTUSblog to let you know that we will be live blogging when the Supreme Court issues its decisions in the same-sex marriage cases, Perry v. Hollingsworth (Prop 8) and United States v. Windsor (DOMA). We expect the opinions to be announced on or before June 27. A calendar of expected decision days is available here: http://www.scotusblog.com/events/. The Court may be adding additional days, which we will include on the calendar as they are announced. Opinions are announced at 10 a.m. Eastern on decision days.
We’ll probably have the decisions in the next 8 days!
In the wake of a court ruling a week and a half ago saying gay and lesbian couples were entitled to the same tax breaks married straight couples receive, there’s a bill to do so moving through the government. Pink News reports:
The German cabinet has adopted a bill granting same-sex couples in civil partnerships the same income tax benefit as married opposite-sex couples, which will now be considered by parliament. Married couples in Germany are allowed to use a “spousal splitting” tax break in which they pool their incomes and divide their earnings to calculate individual income tax. If the bill passes through parliament same-sex couples in civil partnerships would be able to use the same spousal splitting to pay less income tax, applying retroactively from 2001, when Germany introduced civil partnerships.
Nice that it would be retroactive. Will Germany ever consider full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples? That would seem to be the easiest fix.
Let’s hope so – CBS Local reports that Minnesota opponents of marriage equality were outspent by a 10-1 ratio:
Minnesota for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, said Friday that it spent more than $200,000 to try to defeat the measure. Minnesotans United For All Families has previously said it spent more than $2 million in a successful lobbying campaign that featured phone banks, television commercials and personal appeals to lawmakers.
Is this a side-effect of the big wins for marriage equality in November? Are NOM’s backers no longer willing to pour money into something that’s not a sure bet?
As the House of Lords prepares to enter the committee stage in consideration of the marriage equality bill, a rally is planned for Monday in London in support of the bill. Pink News reports:
Supporters of equal marriage have organised a rally in favour of the bill for England and Wales, which will take place on Monday, the same day the bill goes to the House of Lords for committee stage. Some supporters will begin to rally at 3.30pm, but the majority are expected to arrive between 6pm and 8pm. The meeting point is the statue of George V at Old Palace Yard, London. Advocates of the rally encouraged supporters to arrive with rainbow and pink jack flags.