Illinois lawmakers approve gay marriage in historic vote – chicagotribune.com

Lawmakers approved gay marriage Tuesday in a historic vote that saw supporters overcome cultural, racial and geographic divides and put Illinois in line with a growing number of states that have extended the right to wed to same-sex couples.

After more than a year of intense lobbying by both sides, gay lawmakers made emotional pleas to colleagues to give their families equal rights even as opponents argued that doing so would unravel the foundation of society.

“At the end of the day, what this bill is about is love, it’s about family, it’s about commitment,” said sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris, clutching an American flag he said was sent by a supportive soldier stationed in Afghanistan.

“At the end of the day, this bill is about the vision that the founders of our country had and wrote into our Constitution, where they said America is a journey. … And we’ll continue to walk down that road to make America a better place, to make ourselves a ‘more perfect union,’ to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” the Chicago Democrat said.

Gov. Pat Quinn said he intends to sign the bill, which would take effect June 1

via Illinois lawmakers approve gay marriage in historic vote – chicagotribune.com.

Related Images:

Hawaii House Committees Pass Marriage Equality Bill After Five Days Of Testimony

HONOLULU — After more than 55 hours of testimony, the joint House committees voted Tuesday to pass Hawaii’s marriage equality bill, Senate Bill 1. The House Judiciary Committee and Finance Committee voted 18 to 12. The bill now goes to the full House for a final vote.

The vote comes during a special session called by Gov. Abercrombie for Hawaii’s marriage equality bill, and after a Senate hearing by the Committee of Judiciary and Labor and a full Senate vote to send the bill to the House.

Before they voted, the House committees amended Senate Bill 1 to broaden a religious exemption that allows religious leaders to refuse service for same-sex marriage ceremonies and moved the effective date from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2.

via Hawaii House Committees Pass Marriage Equality Bill After Five Days Of Testimony.

Related Images:

Senate Advances Marriage Equality Bill | Hawaii Reporter

REPORT FROM THE STATE SENATE MAJORITY- The Hawaii State Senate today passed a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in the State of Hawaii.

“The Senate’s passage of this bill marks an historic step towards equality, fairness, and justice,” said Senator Clayton Hee, Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. “I look forward to working with our colleagues in the House as this measure moves forward.”

Senate Bill (SB) 1, Relating to Equal Rights, recognizes marriages between individuals of the same gender. In addition, the measure extends to same-sex couples the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of marriage to which opposite-sex couples are presently entitled.

“This measure represents the Senate’s best effort to strike a balance between religious freedom and equal rights,” said Senator Hee. “Language has been included that preserves the sincerely held religious beliefs of religious organizations.”

via Senate Advances Marriage Equality Bill | Hawaii Reporter.

Related Images:

Defense Secretary Hagel calls out 9 states for refusing to issue military IDs to same-sex spouses – U.S. News

Nine states that continue refuse to issue military IDs to same-sex spouses of service members at National Guard facilities are “wrong” and causing “division among the ranks” that furthers prejudice, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

He called out the states for the first time in a speech before the Anti-Defamation League in New York City.Hagel said he has directed the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Frank Grass, to “take immediate action to remedy this situation,” and to “meet with the Adjutants General from the states where these ID cards are being denied.

“Texas this summer announced a “potential conflict” between state law, which does not allow same-sex marriage and the U.S. Department of Defense policy. The Defense Department is now abiding by a Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act that banned federal recognition of gay marriages.

Texas, meanwhile, said the state would not issue ID cards to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities, saying  those identity cards can only be obtained at federal facilities in the state.

Since Texas’ decision, eight other states have made similar decisions: Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia.

via Defense Secretary Hagel calls out 9 states for refusing to issue military IDs to same-sex spouses – U.S. News.

Related Images:

Christie withdraws same-sex marriage challenge, as NJ recognizes unions | Fox News

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday withdrew his challenge to legalized same-sex marriage in the state, after a court determined that the appeal is not likely to prevail.

The decision by Christie came as, in response to the court move, the state on Monday began to recognize same-sex marriages. Christie’s administration formally withdrew the appeal in a letter to the state Supreme Court.

“Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his Administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

via Christie withdraws same-sex marriage challenge, as NJ recognizes unions | Fox News.

Related Images:

The Marriage Equality Movement Could Change Dramatically In The Next Two Weeks

WASHINGTON — It’s been less than four months since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and put an end to California’s marriage amendment, but advocates have been busy over the summer — setting the stage for a very busy two weeks that could rock the marriage equality landscape and change the country.

The calendar for the rest of the month is packed with a dizzying array of potential developments: decisions and movement in lawsuits that are multiplying by the week, possible votes from lawmakers being prodded to action by governors in their states, and — for the state of New Mexico — a hearing at the state Supreme Court to resolve once and for all whether same-sex couples can marry in a state that doesn’t specifically ban or allow such marriages.

The coming weeks also will feature the first action in the federal appellate courts since the Supreme Court rulings, with a filing in the 9th Circuit in a challenge to Nevada’s marriage law. The quick reemergence of a marriage case at the appellate level is notable because that’s the path back to the Supreme Court, where marriage equality advocates are still seeking a ruling that would bring marriage equality to all 50 states.

From a Wednesday hearing in Michigan to a hearing regarding a challenge to Virginia’s marriage law on Oct. 29, here’s what you need to know:

via The Marriage Equality Movement Could Change Dramatically In The Next Two Weeks.

Related Images:

BOB INGLE: Fight against marriage equality is futile and foolish | Courier-Post | courierpostonline.com

Albert Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It makes you wonder what the smartest man of the 20th century, who was a New Jersey resident, would think of today’s political tomfoolery.

Einstein came to mind as another group trooped down to the Gold Dome to hold another news conference on Thursday’s news, same-sex marriage. This one started out by congratulating Gov. Chris Christie for appealing a Superior Court decision that said there could be same-sex marriages starting Oct. 21.

Anti-gay-marriage people keep on trucking down the highway that’s going to lead them over a cliff where they will crash on the hard rocks of history’s judgment — like the people who fought to block interracial marriage.

When I tell the younger people in my family that interracial marriage was illegal in many places, and when I assure them as an Associated Press reporter I covered the battle to remove that prohibition from Alabama’s constitution they think I am joking since a law like that could only have been before the Civil War.

That’s one reason comments from the Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress seem so out of place.

“As an African-American clergyman, it’s also alarming to me that you would call sexual orientation a civil right. Civil rights are birth rights.”

via BOB INGLE: Fight against marriage equality is futile and foolish | Courier-Post | courierpostonline.com.

Related Images:

Mormons join Hawaii’s gay-marriage fight, but with a new approach | The Salt Lake Tribune

In a letter dated Sept. 15 and read to congregations, LDS leaders across the state urged Mormons to “study this legislation prayerfully and then as private citizens contact your elected representatives in the Hawaii Legislature to express your views about the legislation.”

The letter did not tell members which side of the issue to take, only to study the church’s “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” a document that endorses one man/one woman as the ideal for marriage.

Whether Mormons favor or oppose the potential change, the letter said, they should push for “a strong exemption for people and organizations of faith” that would protect religious groups “from being required to support or perform same-sex marriages or from having to host same-sex marriages or celebrations in their facilities; and protect individuals and small businesses from being required to assist in promoting or celebrating same-sex marriages.”

via Mormons join Hawaii’s gay-marriage fight, but with a new approach | The Salt Lake Tribune.

Related Images:

Minneapolis mayor courts Chicago’s gay couples to marry in his city – latimes.com

When it comes to economic development, it is not unusual for some chief executives of states to sneak across a border or two to try to poach some jobs. The usual pitch, however, involves tax breaks, available land and a well-trained workforce.

But Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is counting on love to make a difference.

As part of his “I Want to Marry You in Minneapolis” tour, Rybak on Thursday went to a predominantly gay neighborhood in Chicago to remind people that they can visit their nearby neighbor of Minnesota for a while, or at least long enough to marry, because same-sex marriage has been legal since Aug. 1.

Illinois does not allow same-sex marriages, and nor do the other states, Colorado and Wisconsin, that the mayor plans on visiting soon to drum up business.

“Chicago is my kind of town, but it’s a second city in human rights, and right now that gives a tremendous competitive advantage to Minneapolis,” Rybak said.

via Minneapolis mayor courts Chicago’s gay couples to marry in his city – latimes.com.

Related Images: