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USA, Utah: New Poll Says 57% Oppose Marriage Equality

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

titleA new poll contradicts a poll last week that showed support and opposition to marriage equality in Utah split at 48-48%.

Deseret News reports:

The poll found 57 percent of residents oppose same-sex marriage, while 36 percent support it and 6 percent are undecided, according to the survey conducted by longtime pollster Dan Jones & Associates/Cicero Group on Jan. 14-16. It has a plus or minus 3.6 percent margin of error. “I believe that they felt very strongly about their opinions on this issue,” Jones said of the 746 Utahns who were queried by telephone and cell phone and online. “Most issues that involve religion and religious ideology bring out the strong emotions in respondents.”

The article also points out that a majority now support civil unions, and are evenly split on recognizing the marriages of same sex couples performed in other states.

Meanwhile, down in Park City, it was a marriage equality day at the Sundance Film Festival.

The Wrap reports:

“Love is Strange” gave the issue a human face, while “The Case Against 8\0x2033 raised an emotional audience response. The political issue of marriage equality hovered over Sundance like a thundercloud that broke on Saturday, with a documentary about Prop 8 raising high emotions and the premiere of a touching drama about a gay couple that faces troubles after they marry. There were tears and strong emotions at the premiere of “The Case Against 8,” a documentary about the effort to overturn the California law banning gay marriage. The movie elicited a lengthy standing ovation, and the lawyers who fought the battle in attendance, Theodore Olson and David Boies, hung around to answer questions after the movie.

And Prop 8 lawyer Ted Olsen said he wants to see marriage equality in all 50 states within 5 years.

The Hollywood Reporter has the details:

“The goal is to have marriage equality in all 50 states in five years,” Olson said. If you look at the progress that has been made since June, I think you can see that we are well on our way.” Olson and Boies have joined a case that is pending in Virginia. “There will be a variety of processes,” Olson said of the legal strategy moving forward. “You will see it in some states by legislation. You will see it in some states by a state court. And you will see it in states where it doesn’t work in a federal court. We’ve seen it in a federal court here in Utah in the past couple of weeks.”

Now we wait for the 10th Circuit hearing on this and the Oklahoma case.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.

USA, California: State Sees Huge Jump in Weddings In July

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Prop 8 OverFollowing the US Supreme Court’s rulings on Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, California saw a big spike in weddings.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Statistics from the California Department of Public Health show nearly 30,800 couples received marriage licenses in California in July, a 35 percent increase over July 2012. The data suggest that gay couples rushed by the thousands to purchase marriage licenses after the high court’s decisions paving the way for the legalization of same-sex nuptials in California and for federal recognition of them in Washington. But pinning down just how many of the 30,000 new marriages involved same-sex couples is tricky because California doesn’t make a distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. “The marriage applications don’t ask about the gender so we don’t have that information,” health department spokesman Matt Conens said.

There was a huge pent-up demand in the state after living for five years under Prop 8 – many couples married during the four month window in 2008, but many more didn’t, hoping to wait for the next year. Mark and I originally planned to have a 2009 wedding with all our friends and family. But we ended up getting married just three days before the hateful initiative passed, afraid we would miss our chance. It’s wonderful to see many of those couples, and many newer couples too, finally have the ability to marry in our state.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.

Traveling at the Speed of Love: Winning the Race for Equality

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Five years ago last week, on Election Day 2008, California’s electorate passed Prop 8, marking perhaps the most notable low point in the marriage equality movement as a minority was stripped of a previously recognized constitutional right. As of this week five years ago, only two states – Massachusetts and Connecticut – fully recognized the marriages of same-sex couples.

How far we’ve come since then. And how fast.

Read the full story on the MEUSA News Blog…

The Lay of the Land Post-Windsor and –Perry

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

With marriage equality now coming to Illinois and Hawaii, nearly 40% of the country lives in a marriage equality state. But just how federal and state governments will navigate the still-unsettled reality (and consequences) of marriage equality remains an open question.

Although Windsor invalidated Section 3 of DOMA, it left Section 2 in place, which allows states to refuse to recognize same gender marriages performed in other states. Marriages are not judgments or orders, and are therefore not entitled to equality under constitutional principles of full faith and credit among the states. This has the potential to impact benefits, parental rights, divorce, and other issues for same-sex couples depending on where they marry and where they live.

Read the full story on the MEUSA news blog…

USA, California: Anti-Marriage Equality Group Sues to Have Donors’ Names Stricken from Record

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Prop 8 OverProtect marriage, the group that passed Proposition 8 in California, is literally trying to erase history.

Joe.My.God reports

Protect Marriage has filed a lawsuit which demands that the names of their donors during the 2008 Prop 8 campaign be stricken from state records. Because the gays have been mean to them.
At a hearing Friday before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, backers of the hotly contested and now-overturned ballot measure, Proposition 8, sought to keep confidential the names of contributors of $100 or more. But members of the three-judge panel quickly pointed out that the identities of Prop. 8’s donors have already been released by court order. “They’ve got all this information on the Internet. You want us to ignore it?” asked Judge Milan Smith. “How can this court redress the grievance that you have?” asked Judge Sandra Ikuta. By ordering the state to remove the names from its website and seal its files, and by granting an exemption for future elections, replied James Bopp, lawyer for Prop. 8’s main sponsors, a conservative religious coalition called Protect Marriage. He said the organization expects to take part in additional “campaigns regarding protecting marriage.”


Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.

USA, Virginia: The Next Great Marriage Equality Case Is… Virginia?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

VirginiaThe two lawyers who took the Prop 8 case all the way that the US Supreme Court are getting involved in another marriage equality case, this time in Virginia.

The Washington Post reports:

The American Foundation for Equal Rights — with its attention-getting political odd couple of conservative Republican lawyer Theodore Olson and liberal Democrat David Boies — will announce Monday it is joining a lawsuit against what the lawyers called Virginia’s “draconian” laws prohibiting same-sex marriages, the recognition of such marriages performed where they are legal, and civil unions. It is one of dozens of lawsuits filed across the nation by same-sex marriage activists who say they feel emboldened by the Supreme Court’s decisions in June that overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that forbade recognition of same-sex marriages and separately allowed such unions to resume in California.

Why Virginia?

Olson said AFER was invited to join the case by attorneys for the plaintiffs, Norfolk residents Timothy Bostic and Tony London, whose marriage application was turned down, and Carol Schall and Mary Townley, who have a 15-year-old daughter and whose marriage in California is not recognized by the commonwealth. Virginia is an “attractive target,” said Olson, who lives in the state, because its rejection of same-sex marriage and civil unions is so complete. “The more unfairly people are being treated, the more obvious it is that it’s unconstitutional,” Olson said.

Eventually, another one of these test cases will reach the US Supreme Court, at which point, perhaps, the court will actually rule on the merits.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Virginia.

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: Justice Ginsburg Thinks the Court Struck the Right Balance on Marriage Equality

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgLiberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg thinks the Supreme Court got it about right with the two marriage equality decisions earlier this year. Bloomberg reports:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court’s foremost champion of civil rights, said the court struck the right balance with two rulings that backed gay marriage without legalizing it across the country. Gay-rights supporters had urged the court to declare a constitutional right for same-sex marriage nationwide. Ginsburg, who has said the court was too bold in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion-rights ruling, said in an interview that the court was right to take a more limited approach in the gay marriage decisions. “The court handled both of those cases just the way they should have,” said Ginsburg, who was a leading advocate for women’s rights before she became a judge.

Do you think the court was right to take such an incremental step? Or should they have gone all the way and ruled for marriage equality in every state?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA, California: “The Campaign” Shows How Prop 8 Fight Paved Way for Marriage Equality

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Prop 8 OverA new documentary looks at the role the Prop 8 fight played in the recent successes of the marriage equality movement across the US. The Seattle Times reports:

I first saw the previews for “The Campaign” when I attended a PBS workshop for producers back in 2011. Producer/director Christie Herring was also a fellow that year, and I remember being moved to tears by the excerpt she showed us. Herring received exclusive access in 2008 to the state headquarters of the “No on 8\0x2033 campaign, which means she had access to heart-wrenching stories of ordinary people moved to take action for a cause that directly affected their lives and families. Herring dedicated the next four years to raising funds to complete the project.

The documentary is currently screening in film festivals across the country. Gotta catch it when it comes here – I can finally watch things about Prop 8 without feeling numb inside. It’s screening tonight in Seattle.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Washington State.

USA, California: State Supreme Court Puts Final Nail in Prop 8 Coffin

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Prop 8 OverThe California Supreme Court shut down Prop 8 proponents’ hail mary pass to reinstate the odious law. SDGLN reports:

The California Supreme Court today decided not to take up the Proposition 8 case, a “Hail Mary” bid by anti-gay forces to stop same-gender marriage in the Golden State. The state’s high court decision likely ends all legal challenges to Prop 8. The decision elated Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Prop 8 is dead and never coming back,” Griffin said.

It’s finally dead. But maybe we should shoot it with a silver bullet and drive another stake through its heart, just in case.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.