On Election Day 2012, four states, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington will all have marriage equality on their ballots. Maryland, Maine and Washington would be the first states to enact marriage equality through voter referendums. In Minnesota, the issue on the ballot is an anti-gay marriage equality constitutional amendment.
Many of the “religious liberty” or “religious freedom” arguments against same-sex marriage equality depict scenarios using threatening language:
“Homosexual couples will be banging down the doors of your local church demanding to be married in your sanctuaries if this legislation passes.”
This is just not true.
What is up for vote in states is civil marriage. A civil marriage is a legal contract within a state; it is not a religious marriage.
Pastors will still be able to perform, or not, ceremonies at their will. No pastor will be forced to marry anyone. Period. It is true today and, no matter what the vote is on November 6h, it will be true then as well.
via Same-sex marriage does not obstruct your religious liberty – LGBTQ Nation.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has decried Republican leaders in Congress for hitting the $1.5 million spending cap on the legal defense of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which is led by House speaker John Boehner, has intervened in 14 DOMA challenges in federal courts now that the Department of Justice and the Obama administration have decided to stop defending the law in court. So far, $1,447,996.73 of the allotted $1.5 million to continue defending DOMA has been spent within one year and three months, according to the Committee on House Administration. The current contract, agreed upon by the committee’s chairman, Dan Lungren, specifies that spending to defend DOMA in court cannot exceed $1.5 million.
“The American people should no longer have to foot the bill for Speaker Boehner’s campaign to appease the most conservative forces within the Republican Party,” Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday. “It is time for the Speaker and Congressional Republicans to drop their frivolous, taxpayer-funded lawsuits without any delay. When they do, we will all look forward to the day when DOMA is relegated to the dustbin of history once and for all.”
via Boehner’s DOMA Defense Hits $1.5 Million Limit | Advocate.com.
Whether or not one is in favor of Maryland’s Question 6 that would legalize same-sex marriage, let’s be clear about one thing: The successful passage of this measure will make a lot of people incredibly happy. Happy that straight folk have decided it’s only fair to extend the same rights to their gay brethren and sistern that they themselves enjoy without ever having lifted a ring finger. Nothing in Question 6 will have any appreciable or deleterious affect on a straight person’s life in Maryland. None.
One’s genuinely held religious, moral and/or other convictions and beliefs do not trump my right to pursue an individual happiness that harms no one else. The happiness I pursue is being enabled to legally marry the man I love.
via Maryland gay marriage will make many people happy – Baltimore Sun.
When Clara Spyer died she left an inheritance for her spouse, Edith Windsor. The estate tax has an unlimited marital deduction. Nonetheless there was $363,053 in estate tax. The reason for this is that Ms. Spyer and Ms. Windsor were both women. Under federal law, specifically Section 3 of the Defence of Marriage Act, benefits of marriage can only go to opposite sex couples regardless of state law. The Second Circuit has upheld the decision of a district court that Section 3 of DOMA violates the Constitution. The decision is well worth reading. The list of organizations filing amicus briefs is entertaining by itself. Not too often you get to see Jay Sekulow and Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. on the same list. Since this case has gotten so much coverage, I think there is one thing that people need to get straight to properly understand it. It is not about DOMA in its entirety. It is about Section 3 of DOMA.
via Second Circuit Declares Section 3 Of DOMA Unconstitutional – Forbes.
IN 2007, EDITH Windsor married Thea Spyer, her partner of 42 years, in Canada. Two years later, Ms. Spyer died. If the New York couple had been been man and woman, Ms. Windsor wouldn’t have been hit with a big estate tax bill. But they were two women, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibited the federal government from recognizing their relationship. Ms. Windsor owed the Internal Revenue Service $363,053.
No government interest could justify such punitive discrimination, and, increasingly, federal courts are saying so. On Thursday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, which considered Ms. Windsor’s case, ruled that DOMA violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. That followed a similar result from the 1st Circuit, which in May also found the noxious federal law to be inconsistent with this nation’s foundational values.
via Defeating DOMA — case by case – The Washington Post.