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Supreme Court Could Choose a Marriage Equality Case Tomorrow

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

US Supreme Court ColorTomorrow is the first day the US Supreme Court could actually choose a case or cases in the marriage equality fight this year.

NBC News reports:

The justices, who will meet in a closed-door conference on Monday, will consider whether to hear any of three same-sex marriage lawsuits during the next term, which officially starts Oct. 6. If they decide to review one or more of the cases, a ruling could be reached by July on whether same-sex marriage must be allowed nationwide. If they choose not to hear the cases, the decision would allow gay nuptials in the ten states covered by the three lawsuits. The court could also wait for a circuit court to disagree with the others and support the state bans. The justice have until January 2015 to make their decision. Both opponents and supporters of gay marriage predict that the justices will hear at least one of the cases.

Which case do you think they will take, if any? Utah, Oklahoma, or Virginia?

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New Poll Shows Three Quarters Want to Keep Marriage Equality Law

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

titleSome great new polling out of France this morning on marriage equality.

Pink News reports:

“…a poll today may crush the hopes of those wishing to block same-sex marriage – as a majority of UMP members now support keeping the law, as well as an overwhelming majority of the French public. 56 percent of UMP voters now support keeping the law in place, despite many being fiercely opposed before the law was implemented, with just 44 percent wanting it repealed. Across the public, at large, 73 percent now want the law to remain in place, with just 26 percent opposed and 1 percent unsure. Over 7000 same-sex couples married in France last year, with Paris alone recently celebrating its 2000th marriage – meaning any attempt to repeal the law would likely be a bureaucratic nightmare.”

Looks like marriage equality is here to stay in France, regardless of what Sarkozy says.

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US Marriage Equality Support Reaches 56%, Opposition Drops to 37%

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

titleA new poll shows that opposition to marriage equality has dropped to a new low.

Pink News reports:

The New York Times/CBS poll, released this week, asked voters: “Do you think it should be legal or not legal for same-sex couples to marry?” The long-running poll recorded 56% of people in favour of same-sex marriage across the US, while just 37% now oppose it. The poll, which has run with the same wording for several years, registered a three-point drop in opposition from a similar poll conducted in July this year, when 40% of people had still opposed same-sex marriage. The 37% finding also demonstrates a sharp fall in opposition from just two years ago, with a July 2012 poll finding 44% opposition.

I wonder what those 7% in the middle are thinking?

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New Group “Evangelicals for Marriage Equality” Formed

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

 Evangelicals for Marriage Equality ad

There’s a new group of evangelicals supporting marriage equality.

The Dallas Voice reports:

Evangelicals for Marriage Equality is serious and group spokesman Brandon Robertson has some impressive statistics to back him up: A third of evangelicals 34 to 48 support marriage equality and 43 percent of those 18 to 33 support marriage equality, according to Robertson. The group planned to launch with an ad that was rejected by Christianity Today. “There are hundreds of verses in the Bible that talk about love. There aren’t any that talk about the definition of civil marriage,” the ad reads. Whoa. That’s kind of racy for Christianity Today. How dare these evangelical extremists actually read the Bible.

More and more religious groups are supporting marriage equality, and it’s great to see some evangelicals jumping on the bandwagon!

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What Happens if the Supreme Court Doesn’t Take a Marriage Equality Case?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Matt BaumeAlthough it seems unlikely, it’s possible the US Supreme Court will decline to take any of the marriage equality cases before it this year. So what happens then?

Matt Baume at the Advocate explains:

It’s hard to imagine, but the court could choose to deny a writ of certiorari for the petitions currently pending and anticipated over the next few months. If it did so, the impact would be immediate and huge. The most significant effect would be the lifting of stays in states where marriage bans have been overturned. Courts had imposed those stays pending final resolution of the cases at the Supreme Court as a last resort. Without that last resort, pro-marriage equality rulings would become the law of the land in Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Those states alone would account for a massive surge in the number of Americans in marriage equality states. The population of those states adds up to a little over 27 million people. But it wouldn’t stop there. The victories in those states were at the appellate circuit level, which means the rulings would become precedent in neighboring states encompassed by the circuit as well.

Basically, marriage equality would become the law of the land immediately or shortly thereafter for about 65 million people, in the following states: Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. And if the expected Ninth Circuit ruling is favorable, add Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and Nevada to that list.

By my count, that pushes the total to 35 states, well over a majority of the country.

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US Supreme Court Could Choose a Marriage Equality Case As Early As Today

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

US Supreme Court ColorThe US Supreme Court could decide to take one or more of the marriage equality cases as early as today, or they could wait as long as January to decide.

ScotusBlog reports:

With lawyers moving very rapidly, the number of appeals to the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage rose on Tuesday to seven, as state officials in Indiana and Wisconsin separately challenged a federal appeals court ruling against their bans, and lawyers for the couples planned to file immediate replies. The new cases landed at the Court five days after that decision; the states had the option of taking ninety days to file. Along with the two new filings, the Court has awaiting it individual petitions on the issue from Oklahoma and Utah and three from Virginia. In all of the cases, both sides and a lengthening list of “friends of the Court” have agreed that the Court should take on the constitutional controversy now. The Court may indicate as early as tomorrow which of the seven cases, if any, will be considered by the Justices at their first Conference of the new Term, on September 29… If the Court opts to take on the controversy anytime up to mid-January, a final ruling could be expected before the new Term is completed late next June.

My totally uneducated guess is that they’ll make us wait for a while.

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Lambda Legal Sues Veterans Affairs Over Marriage Recognition

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Department of Veteran's Affairs logoLambda Legal has brought a new lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs seeking to force the agency to recognize same sex marriages in all 50 states.

The Washington Blade reports:

Lambda Legal, along with Morrison and Foerster LLP, filed the lawsuit on Monday on behalf of the LGBT military group known as the American Military Partner Association. The defendant in the lawsuit, which was filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, is Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert MacDonald. The litigation alleges the Obama administration’s decision to withhold certain spousal benefits to married same-sex couples in states without marriage equality runs afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision against the Defense of Marriage Act. “Having weathered the federal government’s past, longstanding discrimination against them, lesbian and gay veterans and their families find themselves once again deprived of equal rights and earned benefits by the government they served and the nation for which they sacrificed,” the complaint says.

One more piece of the Federal benefits puzzle…

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Republicans Should Pray The Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage

Monday, August 18th, 2014

GOProudOne of the most widely discussed issues on the political right is the danger supposedly posed by judicial “activism,” when judges are said to substitute their personal preferences for the clear intent of the law and the Constitution. The Supreme Court in particular has been a target of those who oppose judicial overreach.

Overlooked by these critics, however, is the fact that many of the Supreme Court decisions the right loves to hate (from Roe v Wade to Lawrence v Texas) have actually expanded individual rights and limited government power, making them entirely consistent with the presumption of liberty found in the Constitution.

The latest issue to spark outrage on the right is gay marriage. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, for example, railed against it at a rally for traditional marriage this past spring in Washington, D.C. “Judicial supremacy is a curse upon this great Republic,” he screamed, calling last year’s Supreme Court rulings in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 cases the “greatest heresy of our time.” In the DOMA case, the court overturned that part of DOMA that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman for the purpose of awarding federal benefits and legal privileges.

By David Lampo – Full Story at Daily Caller

USA: New Marriage Equality Poll Pegs Support at 54%

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

titleA new poll from the Marist Institute shows support at 54% overall, while support form those 18-29 is at 75%.

LGBT Weekly reports:

The sea change in attitudes is being propelled by two major forces, the poll found. First, people aged 18-29 overwhelmingly favor same-sex marriage. Second, the ranks of Americans who say they know someone who’s gay has skyrocketed over the last decade and a half. And those who know someone who’s gay are almost twice as likely to support same-sex marriage, the survey found.

According to the poll: Adults now support same-sex marriage by 54-38 percent. For more than a decade, only about a third of Americans supported the idea, ranging from 27 percent in 1996, as measured by the Pew Research Center, to 35 percent in 2009. Support has increased steadily since then, however. In 2011, a plurality supported same-sex marriage for the first time. And in 2013, a majority of adults said for the first time that they favored it.

Gay Star News flags another part of the poll:

…the ranks of Americans who say they know someone who’s gay has skyrocketed over the last decade and a half… Of the over 1,035 adults interviewed via telephone for the poll, those 18-29 were overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage, the number who actually know a gay person has surpassed 70%, and those who know someone gay are almost twice as likely to support same-sex marriage.

It’s much harder to sanction discrimination against someone that you know than when he’s a perfect stranger.

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Half of Hispanics Back Marriage Equality

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

titleA new poll shows that 50% of Hispanics now support marriage equality in the US.

CBS News reports:

Hispanics are more in step with a majority of Americans on the issue of same sex marriage. More Hispanics think same-sex marriage should be legal (50 percent) than not legal (44 percent). Fifty-four percent of non-Hispanics think it should be legal, compared to 39 percent who say it shouldn’t be. As is the case with the public overall, younger Hispanics are more likely than those who are older to support same-sex marriage. Among Hispanics, views on these issues differ depending on whether they were born in this country, or immigrated here from somewhere else. Those born in the U.S. are more supportive of abortion rights and same-sex marriage. On the health care law, Hispanics born outside the U.S. are more likely to approve of it, while those born here are more divided.

An earlier study showed that Asians in San Francisco who were born there were also much more supportive of marriage equality and the LGBT community than recent immigrants.

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