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USA, New Hampshire: New Constitutional Amendment Threatened – For the Gays

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

In what’s likely a first, New Hampshire is considering a constitutional amendment that would actually protect gays from discrimination.

New Hampshire, USA: Third GOP House Member Supports Defense of Marriage Act RepealLGBTQ Nation reports:

A House panel is holding a hearing on a proposed amendment to New Hampshire’s constitution that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. The measure passed the Senate unanimously and if three-fifths of the House agrees, it would go before voters in November. The constitution currently prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex and national origin. The amendment would add sexual orientation. The state already prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in statute, but supporters want to enshrine the protection in the constitution.

Wow – in the space of ten years we’ve gone from amendments to strip us of constitutional protections in more than 30 states to a state proposing to enshrine protections for the LGBT community in one of these sacred documents. I feel like I’m living through history sometimes.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Hampshire.

Russia: Will Country Get Its Own Defense of Marriage Act?

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

RussiaOne of Russia’s political parties wants to enshrine marriage inequality in the country’s constitution.

RT.com reports:

The head of the Russian Pensioners’ Party has come up with an initiative to change the Constitution and define marriage as only being between a man and a woman. Igor Zotov, who is also a Lower House MP on the ticket of the center-left Fair Russia Party has explained his move by his assertion that Russia’s traditional values were under threat from the latest modern tendencies.

“I got this idea from the members of the Pensioners’ Party branches in Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk [major industrial regions in the Urals]. These people were extremely concerned over the processes that are currently taking place all over the world, in particular by the fact that the laws allowing gay marriage have been passed in 15 different countries and four regions within larger nations. Granting the same status to gay and traditional couples leads to the destruction of the family institution because the community tends to perceive as natural those models approved at the state level,” the lawmaker has told the popular daily Izvestia.

Bashing the gays is a tried-and-true path to political power. And in homophobic Russia, it’s probably the closest thing to a sure bet right now.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA, New Mexico: Governor Martinez Will Not Push for Marriage Equality Ban

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

New Mexico Governor Susana MartinezNew Mexico Governor Susana Martinez says marriage equality is now the “law of the land”, and will not push for gay marriage ban in her state.

The Advocate reports:

Last summer, as several New Mexico counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Martinez repeatedly said she believed voters should have the final say on legal recognition of such marriages. But in a news conference Monday, she said she wouldn’t advocate for an anti-marriage equality constitutional amendment to go before the electorate. “I think what I said before was that yes, the people should have decided on it, but the Supreme Court has decided,” she said, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. “And it’s now the law of the land.” Asked if that meant she wouldn’t support efforts to place the question on the ballot, she said, “It’s the law of the land. The Supreme Court has spoken.”

At last, one conservative politician with the sense to see where things are going. It’s refreshing to see some sense of finality in New Mexico.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Mexico.

Ohio, USA: Lucas County Commissioners Support Marriage Quality Amendment

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

OhioThe Lucas County Board of commissioners voted unanimously to support the repeal of Ohio’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Lucas County is home to the city of Toledo.The Blade reports:

Lucas County commissioners have thrown their support behind the campaign for an Ohio constitutional amendment to allow same-sex marriage. The commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday endorsing the Ohio Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment, a statewide ballot proposal that could go on the November ballot. They are Ohio’s first board of commissioners to officially support the marriage-equality campaign, according to FreedomOhio, which is collecting signatures for a referendum to repeal the 2004 state constitutional amendment recognizing only unions of a man and woman as a marriage in Ohio.

Momentum continues to build in Ohio to bring marriage equality to state – could Ohio be the first state to repeal a constitutional amendment against gay marriage?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Ohio.

Nevada, USA: Senate Panel Passes Bill to Repeal Marriage Equality Ban

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Nevada mapA Nevada Senate panel passed a bill that would repeal the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports:

On a party-line, 3-2 vote, the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections amended and passed Senate Joint Resolution 13. It not only repeals the state’s heterosexual definition of marriage, but says Nevada recognizes all marriages regardless of gender. Because it is a constitutional amendment, the measure must be approved by the Legislature this year and in 2015 before it would go to voters in 2016 for ratification. Supporters said they’ll keep up their campaign for passage.

There was a significant amendment to the bill:

The original proposal sought only to repeal language in the state constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. But a late amendment adopted by the committee Thursday adds that the state “shall recognize marriages and issue marriage licenses, regardless of gender.”

Kudos to Nevada for taking this up. We’ll see if they can sustain the momentum, but I’m cautiously hopeful.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Nevada.

USA: National Organization for Marriage Threatens Federal Amendment Banning Gay Marriage

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

NOM LogoNOM must be getting nervous. Yesterday, the group’s leader Brian Brown threatened to pursue a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality if the Supreme Court rules against them. Joe.My.God reports:

“I think we’re going to win these cases. But say the worst happens and we lose in a broad way – that means that the Court somehow does a Roe, a Roe v. Wade, on marriage and says that all these state constitutional amendments are overturned, gay marriage is now a constitutional right – well, we’re going to press forward on a Federal Marriage Amendment. We’ve always supported a Federal Marriage Amendment, and there’s a lot of misconceptions about it. Some people try and argue, ‘Well, this is against federalism.’ No, our founders gave us a system where we can amend the Constitution.”

Good luck with that. There wasn’t the will to do it back in 1996, when Defense of Marriage Act was passed, and a mch larger percentage of the US population supports us now.

Texas, USA: Democrats Push for Repeal of Marriage Equality Ban

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

TexasTwo Texas democrats are pushing to repeal the state’s constitutional ban against marriage equality, which will likely go nowhere in the gerrymandered, republican-controlled legislature. On Top Magazine reports:

Representatives Rafael Anchia of Dallas and Garnet Coleman of Houston would like to see reversed the state’s 2005 voter-approved amendment, which declares heterosexual marriage the only union recognized by the state. “Two-thirds of Texas’ voters now believe the state should allow some form of legal recognition for committed same-gender couples,” Coleman told the Dallas News.

Maybe one day the sheer number of latinos will overcome the gerrymandering there…

USA: Rubio Against Marriage Amendment; Trump, Morris Bloviate; Amicus Briefs Dissected

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

US Supreme CourtIn a surprise move, tea party Senator Marco Rubio said he’s against a federal amendment that would ban gay marriage across the US, instead preferring to let each state decide. On Top Magazine reports:

“I’ve always been uncomfortable with a federal constitutional amendment on anything, in particular on that, because I think it steps on the rights of states to define marriage,” Rubio said. “That’s a two-way street, though,” he added. “If states define marriage as between one man and one woman … if you’re going to say it belongs to the states, then you have to respect whatever decision they make.

Over at The Nation, Nan Hunter dissects the anti-gay marriage side’s legal briefs:

In the end, the main argument of those defending Prop 8 and DOMA boils down to a real headscratcher: the institution of marriage mixes economic advantage and cultural privilege with social control and discipline (as it should), so maybe if we talk enough about how heterosexuals will misbehave without the latter, the Supreme Court will let us keep the former to ourselves.

At Care2, Steve Williams looks at five ridiculous claims being made to the Supreme Court by marriage equality foes.

Self-Loathing Homosexuals: Oh yes, there are homosexuals out there in America who believe that denying gay people the right to marry is a perfectly sound idea. One shining example comes from David Benkof, Doug Mainwaring and Robert Oscar Lopez who together have filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court over the Proposition 8 challenge, writing: “We believe children have a right to a mother and father; marriage is society’s institutional expression of that right. This is not just a theoretical abstraction for us. One of us was raised by two lesbian mothers, and knows first-hand the longing of a child for a father and the hardship a boy faces growing up without a dad. Another of us has taken his ex-wife back into his home, realizing he can only offer his children half of what they truly need.”

Towleroad.com reports that discredited conservative pundit Dick Morris uses some unfortunate language:

“My view on gay marriage is that if a state decides to go for gay marriage, the legislature or the voters, that’s great. That’s up to them. I’ve got no problem with it. I don’t believe that the courts should jam it down anybody’s throat.”

Ever notice how often conservatives use this particular trope? Makes you wonder…

And Donald Trump throws in his own two unwelcome cents, as reported at Queerty:

“I’m not [for gay marriage]. It’s not an argument that’s been discussed with me very much. People know it’s not my thing one way or another.”

That’s ok, The Donald – you’re not our thing either.

Hawaii, USA: Linda Lingle Calls for Vote on Constitutional Ban on Marriage Equality

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Hawaiian Ex-Governor Linda Lingle Calls for Vote on Constitutional Ban on Marriage EqualityFormer Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, a longtime foe of equality and currently the GOP nominee in Hawaii’s U.S. Senate reace, talked same-sex marriage with her Democratic opponent, Hawaii Congresswoman Mazie Keiko Hirono, in a debate last week On Top reports. Lingle says she thinks it’s appropriate that the people vote on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Said Lingle: “Well this is a question that I have spent an awful lot of time on as governor. And I know people have very strong feelings on both sides. It’s something that I’ve wrestled with, President Obama has wrestled with it. I would certainly support putting this constitutional amendment on the ballot. Personally, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I also think the people of Hawaii should be able to make that decision.”

Authored By Andy Towle – See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

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NJ Paper Calls for Pro Marriage Equality Constitutional Amendment

Friday, January 13th, 2012

New Jersey Marriage EqualityThe New Jersey Star-Ledger — the state’s largest newspaper — on Thursday called for an amendment to the New Jersey state constitution that would legalize same-sex marriage in the Garden State.

In its opinion piece, the editors wrote:

It is heartening to see Democrats rally for a second charge on gay marriage after their failure to pass the measure in the days before Gov. Chris Christie took charge.

But let’s face it: This is not likely to succeed while Christie remains in office. He will veto it, as promised, and obedient Republicans in the Legislature will fall in line behind him, as always.

Full Story from LGBTQ Nation

Click here for gay wedding resources in New Jersey.

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