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USA, Virginia: Democrats Elect Anti Marriage Equality Politician to Run State Party

Monday, March 17th, 2014

VirginiaLet’s see, the Governor runs on marriage equality. He wins, and then the state turns around and puts someone who doesn’t support marriage equality into the top position with the state party. Seriously?

The Washington Blade reports:

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones on Saturday was elected chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia in spite of his opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples. The majority of the 300 members of the DPVA’s State Central Committee backed Jones in a voice vote during their meeting at a suburban Richmond hotel. Jason Graham, chair of the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee, is among those who opposed the Richmond mayor’s nomination.

The LGBT Democrats of Virginia initially opposed Jones’ nomination after Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier this month announced he had tapped the Baptist minister who served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1994-2008 to chair the state party. Joel McDonald, a member of the Virginia Beach School Board who is the vice chair of technology and communication for the LGBT Democrats of Virginia, told the Washington Blade on Monday his group dropped its opposition after Jones said during a March 10 meeting he is “not out there railing against” same-sex marriage.

Well, good to know he’s not going to actively rail against us, I guess.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Virginia.

USA, Wisconsin: Democrats Introduce Marriage Equality Bill

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Wisconsin MapThe tide really has turned. State Democrats today are introducing a bill to bring marriage equality to the state.

On Top Magazine reports:

Wisconsin Democrats on Thursday announced a legislative effort that seeks to repeal the state’s ban on gay marriage. Flanked by marriage equality advocates, Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa and Senator Tim Carpenter, both Democrats, announced the effort at the state Capitol in Madison. A majority (59%) of voters in 2006 approved a constitutional amendment which defines marriage as a heterosexual union. Wisconsin law also makes it a crime for gay couples to legally marry in another state. Neighboring states Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois have legalize same-sex marriage. All 15 Senate Democrats are backing the proposed legislation, which faces an uphill battle in the Republican-led Wisconsin Legislature.

With the state under conservative control, chances of passage are low, but still!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Wisconsin.

USA, New Jersey: Senate Democrats May Take up Marriage Equality Bill

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

New Jersey mapAlthough same-sex marriage is now legal in New Jersey, there is no official law supporting it. New Jersey Democrats are considering changing that.

NJ.com reports:

Key Senate Democrats are moving forward with a plan to turn a court decision legalizing gay marriage into state law, saying they want to protect same-sex couples from having this right removed by a future court. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday is scheduled to hear a new bill called the Marriage Equality Act, (S3109) which is a slightly modified version of a bill (S1) to legalize gay marriage that Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed in 2012. The measure was posted for a committee vote late today. Sponsors said while they believe this is the best option, the debate isn’t over.

The proposed bill does have a religious exemption, which does not exist in New Jersey under the current arrangement. I also wonder if Governor Christie would sign the bill.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Jersey.

USA, Indiana: 13 Mayors Speak Out Against Proposed Marriage Equality Ban

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

IndianaA group of Indiana mayors has banded together to speak out against the proposed ban on gay marriage.

Gay Star News reports:

13 mayors, including a large group of Republicans, have gone public with their opposition to efforts to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana. The mayors include 6 Republicans and 7 Democrats and represent the cities of Lafayette, Evansville, Angola, Kokomo, West Lafayette, Anderson, Bloomington, Hammond, Valparaiso, South Bend, Fort Wayne, Carmel and Indianapolis. 11 of the mayors have joined forces with Freedom Indiana to form a group called Mayors for Freedom, while another two made their support known to the media on Tuesday.

It’s fantastic to see that almost half of the mayors in the group are Republicans. A sign of things to come?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Indiana.

USA, New Jersey: Democrats Call on State Supreme Court to Expedite Marriage Equality Decision

Monday, September 30th, 2013

New Jersey mapNew Jersey House and Senate Democrats called for the state supreme court to hurry up and decide the state’s marriage equality issue, following a favorable ruling last week.

CBS NY reports:

On Monday, Democrats held a news conference at the Statehouse to urge Christie to drop the appeal – although the Republican governor who is a possible candidate for president in 2016 is unlikely to abandon the fight. “The governor is a trained attorney,” State Sen. Loretta Weinberg said. “He knows there is no way he can win this appeal. There is no logic behind it.” With Christie unlikely to budge, Democrats urged the Supreme Court to act quickly. The court hasn’t been petitioned yet, though everyone watching the case expects that the high court will be asked to decide on gay marriage eventually.

Of course, as we learned well with Prop 8, even an expedited review can take months or years. Does this mean they’ve given up on a veto override?

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USA, Hawaii: House Dems to Caucus on Marriage Equality Bill

Friday, September 6th, 2013

HawaiiHouse Democrats are gathering Friday to push for a special session on the marriage equality bill.

Edge Boston reports:

Democrats in the Hawaii House plan to meet with Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the state attorney general on Friday to discuss a draft of gay marriage legislation as Abercrombie considers whether to call a special session on the issue. A House spokeswoman said Thursday the meeting is scheduled to be held at the state Capitol. The meeting comes more than a week after Abercrombie publicly released an 18-page draft of legislation that would allow marriage licenses to be issued starting Oct. 3 and ceremonies to begin Nov. 1.

Can you imagine how much money the state could make if it legalized marriage equality? Who doesn’t want to get married in Hawaii?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, Hawaii: Democrats to Meet To Discuss Possible Special Session For Marriage Equality Bill

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

HawaiiWhite House Democrats are considering a special session to vote on the marriage equality bill. The Washington Post reports:

If there is sufficient support, and if legislative leaders can agree on language that would withstand court challenges, Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) will call a special session to deal with the issue this fall. Abercrombie told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser he thinks it’s “very likely” there will be a special session. “I think we can put together something that can achieve a solid majority, that will give us the opportunity to establish marriage equity in the state of Hawaii commensurate with the recent Supreme Court decisions, and will satisfy and resolve the issues that are presently before the appeals court on the mainland,” Abercrombie told a gathering of state Democrats.

The financial rewards could be huge if Hawaii finally decided to legalize marriage equality. Hopefully the Mormon Church will not get in the way this time.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, Pennsylvania: Democrats Slam Governor Corbett Over Anti Marriage Equality Stance

Monday, August 5th, 2013

you tube bigThings are still moving on marriage equality in Pennsylvania. Joe.My.God reports on a new ad:

From the YouTube channel of the Pennsylvania Democrats.

It’s fantastic to finally see the Democratic Party using marriage equality as a wedge issue against the GOP, isn’t it?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Pennsylvania.

USA: Congressional Democrats, Republicans Moving in Opposite Directions on Marriage Equality

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

US CongressIn the wake of Wednesday’s historic DOMA ruling, Congress is moving in two wildly different directions on gay marriage. First the Democrats – Gay Star News reports:

US Democrats Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Jerrold Nadler have re-introduced a bill to repeal the rest of the Defense of Marriage Act after the US Supreme Court struck out Section 3 of the law which prevented over a thousand federal benefits going to same-sex married couples. The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal the entire Defense of Marriage Act and would allow those benefits to flow to legally married same-sex couples whether they reside in a state where same-sex marriages are performed or not. ‘Today’s Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor affirms what we stand for as Americans – the guarantee that every person and every family is given equal respect under the law,’ Nadler said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the GOP plans to reintroduce a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality throughout the country, led by a Kansas republican (no surprise). Towleroad.com reports:

Representative Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) is waisting no time in his push to to see gay marriage outlawed nationwide. Today, Huelskamp announced his intention to introduce the Federal Marriage Amendment later this week. The Huffington Post reports: Huelskamp said he plans to introduce the Federal Marriage Amendment later this week, a measure that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. DOMA did the same thing, but was a federal law, not a constitutional amendment. As such, the Federal Marriage Act is more far-reaching but also a tougher climb. It requires the support of two-thirds of the House and Senate, and ratification by three-fourths of the states, or 38 states. “This would trump the Supreme Court,” Huelskamp told The Huffington Post.

So much for a new direction for the GOP…

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USA: Democrats Reluctant to Include Gay/Lesbian Binational Couples in Immigration Bill

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Congress - Capitol BuildingSenate Democrats are considering offering an amendment to include gay and lesbian binational couples to the immigration reform bill on the floor instead of in committee. The Washington Blade explains:

Late Thursday, Politico reported that Democrats are asking the White House to tell Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to withhold amendments for bi-national same-sex couples until the larger measure reaches the Senate floor — where passage will likely be more difficult. “They’re increasingly uneasy about risking Republican support but reluctant to tell gay rights advocates that an amendment allowing American citizens to seek green cards for their same-sex foreign partners may not get a vote in the Judiciary Committee,” Politico reported. Concern over the amendments follows remarks from Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — as well as comments from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to the Washington Blade — that including the pro-gay language would kill immigration reform.

Their mistake was to not include it in the original bill, where it would have been much harder to strip out. Senate Dems must be hoping the US Supreme Court will step in with their DOMA decision and take this decision off their hands.