Tag: Marriage Equality
The Pursuit of Happiness – Without Government Interference
“I have to think the justices — and especially the chief — are very cognizant of the shifting public opinion,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.
Before U.S. lawmakers decide whether they will address same-sex couples in a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill, the Supreme Court could make the decision for them.
The high court faces a choice this month to uphold or strike down all or parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. If DOMA is struck down, gay marriage advocates will view it as an unambiguously positive outcome for their cause because, in part, it also resolves the question of whether the immigration law can apply to same-sex couples.
“For the first time in immigration equality’s history, our legal team is now assisting couples in preparing their green card applications,” said Steve Ralls, the communications director at the advocacy group Immigration Equality. “We’re definitely preparing couples. The court ruling and the backup plan of congressional legislation make us confident more so than at any other time.”
But a court decision has its downsides as well. Although the Obama administration is likely to implement the court’s decision in a way favorable to gay marriage advocates, a future administration might not.
If DOMA is upheld or if the court’s ruling on the constitutionality of a federal definition of marriage is less clear, the result could be continued legal uncertainty for gay couples. One way Democrats in the Senate and gay marriage advocates have hoped to resolve this is by attaching an amendment to the immigration bill that would give same-sex couples the same benefits as heterosexual couples under the immigration law.
But Democrats face an uphill struggle in Congress where Republicans have staunchly opposed the inclusion of a same-sex marriage amendment in the immigration bill. A principal Republican sponsor of the legislation, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Thursday he would walk away from his own immigration bill if a same-sex marriage amendment is included.
With the court’s final decision fast approaching, here are some ways the issue could shake out:
Marriage equality. The phrase conjures images of gays and lesbians marching in front of state capitols, their multi-colored flags whipping in the harsh wind of intolerance, their shouts and gestures angry, hoarse, strident as they scream for this and that ‘right’, and generally make a nuisance of themselves, tie up traffic, and act like so many spoiled children. Watching them cavort, in their ragged clothes, unkempt appearance and tacky behavior, we straights are disinclined to even consider their ‘demand’ for marriage equality. Our impulse is to lock the car door, turn up the radio, take a detour to avoid this mob. What in the world could they be thinking? Marriage equality is the last thing we’d consider, even if these urchins were hetero, but a bunch of homos? Please.
Here’s why we straights need to look long and hard at the very issue that those urchins are demanding. Why, indeed, we ought to be out there marching with them, waving that colorful rainbow flag, shoulder to shoulder with that rag-tag group of warmed over hippies and recycled flower children. Marriage equality is, as any good conservative must admit if they’re honest and study its merits, a very conservative issue, indeed, an issue they need to not only accept, but embrace. Skeptical? I’m not surprised. You’ll change your mind after reading this.
There are currently 12 states, and the District of Columbia currently that allow same sex marriage. The Supreme Court decision will soon be made with Proposition 8, and DOMA. It is time to refocus to many advantages gay marriage would have, and the pursuit of marriage equality.
There are at least seven ways in which the legalization of gay marriage is beneficial for LGBTQ Americans and the United States of America.
Gay Marriage Promotes Equality and Non-Discrimination in Society
Millions of LGBTQ contribute daily to American life in a multitude of ways culturally, socially, financially, politically, vocationally, and spiritually. We are fundamental to this nation’s continued growth and evolution, the U.S.A. would suffer greatly from the withdrawal of our many contributions. The legalization of same-sex marriage affirms the inherent worthiness of LGBTQ people as valued American citizens deserving of equal rights under the law.
Just minutes before the Delaware Senate was set to vote on its marriage equality bill Tuesday, a Democrat senator who had been quiet about how she would vote announced on her Facebook page that she was a yes. The announcement by Sen. Bethany Hall-Long, who represents Dover, the state capital, came just minutes after the city’s other Democratic senator, Karen Peterson, came out as gay on the floor during debate.
The final roll call vote, after three hours of debate, was 12-9, with the gallery erupting into loud and prolonged applause.
Just minutes later, Democratic Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill, making Delaware the 11th state (plus the District of Columbia) to provide for equal protection under its marriage laws.
Meanwhile, a Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee gave the marriage equality bill there a green light Monday, and the House floor is scheduled to vote on the measure Thursday. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton is lobbying actively for the measure.
And Illinois is also poised to take a final vote on its marriage equality bill this week. The state senate passed the bill in February; the House bill needs 60 votes to pass.
When news came last week that the Nevada State Senate stood up for the freedom to marry, I was overjoyed. As bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada, I support marriage equality.
I support marriage equality not in spite of my religious beliefs, but because of them. As Christians, we are committed to cultivating love and compassion within our church and community. The moral imperative to respect and care for other people compels us to insist on their right to form loving relationships sealed in the legal bond of marriage. That right is part and parcel of being human.
Our ability to fall in love, commit ourselves to another person and build a life together is a gift of God. However different churches may view same-sex relationships, we should all agree that the state has no right to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples the way it once did against mixed-race couples. A basic sense of justice, found in all religions, stands against such discrimination.
I respect my fellow Christians who do not believe a same-sex relationship can be a sacramental marriage. They have a right to their convictions. But this law is not about sacraments. It is not about what constitutes a “Christian marriage.” That is a question for churches, not the state, to decide. This is about civil law. It is about the right to enter into the legal relationship of marriage. That right is fundamental and should not be denied to gay and lesbian citizens who are as capable of maintaining stable family relationships as straight couples.
Lawmakers took extra steps to ensure that this bill protects religious freedom. Let me make this crystal clear: Allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry will not change how each religion defines marriage. This proposal specifically protects the rights of clergy and religious organizations that choose not to perform marriages for same-sex couples.