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How I Changed My Mind About Marriage Equality

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

J. Nathaniel McWilliamsI am a 33-year-old Christian man who happens to be gay. My orientation is not what I ever asked for, but is merely my reality. Although I have opposed same-sex marriage in the past, I have recently realized that it is good for Alabama and the nation as a whole. I wish to address a few issues that, I hope, can help my more conservative neighbors better understand homosexuality and the issue of same-sex marriage.

Before I can speak to my own sexuality, I must first define what “sex” in “sexuality” actually is. People often perceive the word to be a reference to the sex act. For anyone to even begin to understand LGBT issues, one must first understand that “sex” in “sexuality” refers to gender identity, and not about one’s sexual acts.

The ambiguity of this word has led to an unnecessary confusion when it comes to matters involving gay people. With this being realized, a person can avert from an unnecessary distraction and, hopefully, understand my story. I was born and raised in Alabama to a conservative Christian family. I witnessed two different approaches when it came to matters of faith and both condemned homosexuality. My mother saw faith by the “the jot and tittle” while my father sought Scripture’s broader meaning.

Authored By J. Nathaniel McWilliams – See the Full Story at AL.com

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USA, Utah: Attorney General Will Issue an Opinion on Existing Same-Sex Marriages Today

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Utah Attorney General Sean ReyesMore than 1300 same-sex couples married in Utah during the brief window when a judge made it legal. Now we’re waiting for the state’s Attorney General to weigh in.

Joe.My.God reports:

The opinion, which is expected to be presented to Governor Gary Herbert on Wednesday, will determine if the state provides services to legally wed same-sex couples pending the appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to stay same-sex marriages in Utah pending an appeal of Amendment 3 has placed hundreds of couples in a legal gray area. After the Dec. 20 decision declaring it unconstitutional, Governor Gary Herbert directed state agencies to offer services in compliance with a federal judge’s order. But now that the Supreme Court justices have stayed the request, many agencies are wondering if they still must comply.

Given the Attorney General’s expressed hostility toward marriage equality, we’d be surprised if he declared the marriages valid.

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USA, Hawaii: Attorney General Gives Blessing to Marriage Equality Law

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Attorney General David LouieThe state AG has given his opinion on the pending marriage equality bill.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Hawaii’s attorney general issued a legal opinion Tuesday saying state lawmakers can act to legalize gay marriage without amending the Hawaii Constitution. Attorney General David Louie said the Legislature “unquestionably” has the constitutional authority to consider and enact a bill during a special session later this month. Louie’s opinion comes in the form of a letter to state Sen. Les Ihara, a Democrat and majority policy leader. Ihara had questions about the law and criticisms from opponents who say it can’t be passed without changing the state’s charter document.

One more nail in the coffin for Hawaii’s marriage equality ban.

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USA, Alabama: State GOP Won’t Silence Marriage Equality Supporter

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Stephanie PetalosThe Alabama GOP executive committee rejected an attempt to silence or oust a college Republican who had announced her support for marriage equality.

AL.com reports:

The party’s Executive Committee voted down a proposed rule change that said no member of the party’s steering committee could publicly oppose a resolution adopted by the party’s executive committee. The vote came after the president of the College Republican Federation of Alabama, Stephanie Petelos, upset some Republicans when she made remarks critical of the party’s staunch position against gay marriage.

The voice vote was apparently heavily in favor of the student. Although we don’t agree with conservatives on much, kudos to them in this case.

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The Things We Share: A Catholic’s Case for Same-Sex Marriage

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Gay Wedding - RingsThere’s this guy I know in Manhattan. Call him Jim. Jim Watson. We’re friends, I guess. We used to be friends, anyway–grabbing a hamburger together near Gramercy Park, from time to time, or meeting out on the Stuyvesant Town Oval on a summer afternoon to play some folk and bluegrass with the guitar strummers, mandolin pickers, autoharpers, and amateur banjo players who’d drift by. None of us any good, but fun, you know? Old-timey Americana like “Wayfaring Stranger,” “Pretty Saro,” and “The Orphan Girl.” A version of “Shady Grove,” I remember, was one of his specialties: When I was just a little boy, / all I wanted was a Barlow knife. / But now I am a great big boy, / I’m lookin’ for a wife.

A few years ago, his friendship began to cool, bit by bit. You understand how it is: a little here, a little there, and last time I was through New York he didn’t even bother to answer my note suggesting we put together one of our low-rent urban hootenannies. The problem, our conversations had made pretty clear along the way, was that I am a Catholic, and Jim is gay.

Well, actually, gay isn’t the word he would use. I have what might be the worst ability to recognize sexual orientation on the planet, but no one needed sensitivity to guess Jim’s views. Not that he was campy or anything when I knew him, but he was always vocal about his sexuality, naming himself loudly to anyone nearby with words that polite society allows only in ironic use by gay men themselves.

Authored By Joseph Bottom – See the Full Story at Commonweal Magazine

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New Mexico, USA: AG Advises Counties Not to Issue Same Sex Marriage Licenses; Gay Couple Files Suit

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

New Mexico MapThe New Mexico Attorney General declined to issue a formal opinion on marriage equality, but he did offer some advice. LGBTQ Nation reports:

Attorney General Gary King said Thursday he cannot issue an opinion on whether same-sex marriage is legal in New Mexico because there are lawsuits pending. King was asked earlier this year to issue a nonbinding opinion on the issue. At a news conference in Albuquerque Thursday, King said he won’t weigh in while lawsuits by two same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in Albuquerque are pending. He also urged counties to use caution in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple.

And meanwhile, a gay couple is filing a lawsuit to be allowed to marry. LGBTQ Nation also reports:

Two Santa Fe men filed a lawsuit Thursday to force New Mexico courts to decide the politically thorny issue of whether gay marriage is legal in the state. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson asks a state district court to order the Santa Fe County clerk to issue them a marriage license. The case lays the groundwork for the gay marriage dispute to potentially soon end up before New Mexico’s highest court.

New Mexico has declined to take any steps on marriage equality, especially since the state’s GOP governor Susana Martinez was elected.

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New Mexico, USA: Attorney General to Release Marriage Equality Opinion Today

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

New Mexico Attorney General Gary K. KingNew Mexico might be moving toward marriage equality this morning. The Santa Fe New mexican explains:

State Attorney General Gary King apparently will weigh in on the issue of same-sex marriage rights in New Mexico on Thursday morning. King declined Wednesday to say what his position will be, but said he plans a “press availability” in Albuquerque, months after a state legislator formally requested his opinion on the issue… King spokesman Phil Sisneros said Wednesday that the attorney general might not issue a formal opinion about whether state laws already allow marriage equality for gays, but he expects King to make some kind of statement.

New Mexico has no law defining marriage as between a man or a woman or banning marriage equality, and Santa Fe recently decided to open up its marriage licenses to same sex couples.

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Fifteen Year-Old’s Take on Marriage Equality

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

15 Year Old on Marriage EqualityMany people question whether or not it is right for people of the same sex to marry in our society. I think there is nothing wrong with people marrying their opposite sex or same sex. Growing up, I have never viewed this as a problem. Recently, my uncle got married. He met someone and he fell in love.

My uncle is gay and is married to another man. They are newlyweds and are happily in love. As a matter of fact, I was honored by them asking me to sing at their wedding! I was more than delighted! Yes, I now have two gay uncles and I’m not afraid to say it. There’s nothing wrong with two men (or two women) loving each other. I am so happy that my uncle has found someone to share his life with. I also love my uncle and will support him throughout anything.

One day, I was talking to my mom about my uncle being gay. (I trust my mom and know I can go to her for anything.) This conversation changed my viewpoint on people being gay and I will never forget it. Along with me, the rest of my immediate family sees that gay marriage is perfectly fine and that there’s nothing wrong with it. The thing that I take most away from this conversation is her saying, “anyone should be able to love whoever they want.” I remember pausing and thinking, “WOW, my mom’s really right. Anyone should be able to love whoever they want, even if they’re the same sex.”

Full Story from Patch.com

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Why My View on Same Sex Marriage Changed

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Iowa Gay Marriage

I served 12 years in the Iowa Senate, and I, like all other legislators, took an oath to defend the our state’s constitution. During my tenure in the Senate, I voted for a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman, and I was lead sponsor for a similar amendment.

I heard from my church and my fellow Republicans that homosexuality was wrong, and I thought I could lovingly disagree with them. I could “hate the sin, love the sinner” as people say when they do not believe gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry. But there came a point when I could no longer ignore how much this attitude hurt the people I know. Because this issue is not about rhetoric; this issue is about people and their freedom to choose a spouse.

Our constitution exists to protect the rights of individuals, and does so by limiting the government’s power to control the lives and properties of citizens. A constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, instead of limiting government control, would limit the ability of a select group of citizens to enter into civil marriage, therefore violating the very purpose of our constitution.

Full Story from Des Moines Register

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Obama: My Position on Gay Marriage May “Evolve”

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Gay MarriagePresident Obama told liberal bloggers on Wednesday that his opinion about same-sex marriage was evolving, and that he thought cultural “trendlines” were heading toward a broader acceptance of same-sex marriage. Obama, who’s been on the record as a proponent of civil unions but an opponent of same-sex marriage, said he wasn’t ready to reverse his position, but suggested his position on the issue could “evolve.”

Obama reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage, but said that “attitudes evolve, including mine,” during a roundtable meeting with liberal bloggers, according to a transcript published by Oliver Willis, one of the bloggers who was present. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships.

“And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about,” Obama added. “The one thing I will say today is I think it’s pretty clear where the trendlines are going…The arc of history.”

Full Story from The Hill

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To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.