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Americans for Equal Rights


The Four Worst Supreme Court Arguments on Marriage

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Matt BaumeMichigan says that they don’t want to let gay people get married because that would be demeaning to gay people.

Kentucky says that their marriage ban isn’t discriminatory, since LGBTs are free to get straight-married.

Ohio wants to maintain its marriage ban out of concern for the people who voted for it. And Tennessee is just fixated on sex.

By Matt Baume – Full Story at AFER

Matt Baume’s Marriage News Watch 2/3/14

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Matt BaumeA surprise twist in AFER’s Virginia lawsuit. The Indiana House passes a marriage ban, but in so doing could actually delay its progress.

Utah and Oklahoma cases are speeding towards the Supreme Court, and our chances for victory have greatly improved in Nevada. Plus there’s progress this week in West Virginia, Hawaii, and Kansas.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

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Matt Baume’s Marriage Equality Watch 10/14/13

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Matt BaumeWe’re just one week away from the start of marriage in New Jersey, but there’s still a chance it could be delayed at the last minute. We have a date for the next step in a Pennsylvania lawsuit. And Illinois lawmakers could consider a marriage bill as early as next week.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

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Matt Baume’s Marriage News Watch

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Matt BaumeMarriage may return to Pennsylvania, despite a ruling two weeks ago that put licenses on hold. Organizers in North Carolina are mounting a challenge to the state’s marriage ban, but first they need to find a clerk willing to challenge the law. Plus new guidance from the Labor Department means benefit plans must recognize marriages in every single state.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

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USA: AFER Releases New Marriage Equality Map

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

AFER MapAFER has released a new map and a list detailing the current marriage equality initiatives going on around the US.

AFER reports:

After the historic Supreme Court victories in June that paved the way for marriage equality in California and for all legally married couples to receive federal benefits, there is renewed energy from coast to coast to increase the number of states where gay and lesbian couples can get married. Which will be the next state to allow gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married? Here are the ones with active court cases, legislation and ballot initiatives that could expand the number of states with marriage equality.

It’s a great snapshot of just how many states are now in play for marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the USA.

USA, California: Counties See Big Boost in Marriage Licenses From Supreme Court Ruling

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

California Marriage License MapAcross California, the number of marriage licenses requested was up – way up – over the last month.

AFER reports:

Increases were especially high in romantic wedding destinations–such as the coastal counties of Santa Cruz (118%), Monterey (42%) and Ventura (42%), the Bay Area (Alameda, 52%, Marin, 86%, San Mateo, 46%), and wine country (Napa, 44%, Sonoma, 52%)–but also in more rural and historically conservative areas such as Amador (7)%), Colusa (167%), Nevada (46%), Riverside (62%), and San Bernardino (41%) counties. The state does not track the demographic information of people applying for marriage licenses, including gender, but it’s safe to say that a large part of the surge is due to the large number of gay and lesbian couples in the state who were waiting to tie the knot. Couples have 90 days to get married after they obtain a marriage license.

How much money do you think this all added to California’s coffers? States that don’t yet allow marriage equality should take note.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.

USA: Tomorrow Another Possible Day for US Supreme Court Rulings on Marriage Equality

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Prop 8 RulingSo 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.\0x2028\0x2028 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.

You can see the full list of events here.

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: 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!

USA: Behind the Prop 8 Marriage Equality Case

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Prop 8In a new video, AFER goes behind the scenes on the Prop 8 lawsuit to bring marriage equality back to California. reports:

The American Foundation for Equal Rights has released a poignant behind-the-scenes video about the days before and after the Supreme Court’s hearing on the Prop 8 case. Among those interviewed in this clip are of the several plaintiffs and their families, David Boies, Cleve Jones as well as Dustin Lance Black, who ends the video with the following quote: “We’re not done in this movement for LGBT equality. Next is, let’s get back to work and keep fighting to make sure the next generation’s lives are better than ours.”

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.