Maryland gay marriage will make many people happy – Baltimore Sun

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.

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Second Circuit Declares Section 3 Of DOMA Unconstitutional – Forbes

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.

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Anti-gay-marriage campaign: Launched with a false story – seattlepi.com

“Religious groups such as Catholic Charities, in Boston and Washington, D.C., have had to choose between fulfilling their social mission — based on their religious beliefs — or accepting this new definition of marriage. As a result, they had to close their adoption program.”

The message: The placing of children for adoption was threatened and curtailed by adoption of marriage equality in Massachusetts.

The truth is quite different. The man who, in 2005, was chairman of the board of directors for Catholic Charities of Boston, Peter Meade, has set out, in his words, to “set the record straight.” Meade writes:

“Opponents of the freedom to marry ignore the truth and distort history when they talk about Catholic Charities of Boston and its decision to shut down its adoption services. I’m shocked and amazed that so many years later, they are making the false claim that Catholic Charities’ decision had anything to do with allowing committed gay and lesbian couples to marry.”

As the Boston Globe has documented, Catholic Charities placed 13 children with gay couples BEFORE the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The children were largely from difficult backgrounds and among those “harder to place,” in Meade’s words.

Taking up Meade’s narrative:

“We placed these children according to their needs and according to the love and stability they would receive in their adoptive homes. Most children — more than 700 — were, in fact, adopted by straight couples, but 13 over 17 years were placed in loving homes headed by gay or lesbian couples.”

Action by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in legalizing same-sex marriage, did NOT force a halt to such adoptions. The orders came from above — and from across the Atlantic.

“In 2005, tragically and out of the blue, the Vatican ordered our diocese to cease using the single criteria of ‘best interest of the children,'” writes Meade. “They ordered us to stop facilitating adoptions to qualified gay and lesbian households.

“I objected strenuously for two reasons. First and foremost, the Church hierarchy was telling us to violate the best interests of the children who were in our care. It was an arbitrary edict that, to many of us, had nothing to do with what was best for these kids and undermined our moral priority of helping vulnerable children find loving homes.”

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/connelly/article/Anti-gay-marriage-campaign-gets-launched-with-a-3944449.php#ixzz29I40qEzh

via Anti-gay-marriage campaign: Launched with a false story – seattlepi.com.

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As a Mom, I Will Be Voting Yes on 1 – – Free Press Online – Rockland, ME

I’m a mom. I can’t write a letter as a lawyer about marriage inequality or as a pastor about how the Bible should be interpreted in terms of marriage. There are many others who have and, hopefully, will continue to speak to those issues.

I’m a mom who can write about my family. I am so proud of our six children. We have eight grandchildren and expect our ninth by the end of this year. I have been blessed with kids that are tolerant of others and grandchildren who are being raised to be tolerant of others.

I have watched five of my kids get married. I have watched the ceremonies with tears in my eyes and my heart filled with joy that they were able to commit to the person they loved in an open, loving way. As a parent, I want that for all my kids. I can’t imagine how anyone would think that my gay son is less deserving than my other children to be able to share in the security that a marriage brings and the recognition of their commitment. I don’t mean the ceremony of the wedding – as beautiful as they are – but the legal rights that marriage affords to people. Yes, I would love to watch the ceremony for all my children but, more than that, I want them to be able to commit under the law and benefit from the protection that brings to them. I want to know that they are all treated fairly and equally.

One of my grandkids was talking to his mom about marriage equality and asked her why anyone would care who someone else loved. She couldn’t explain it to him and if he had asked me, I wouldn’t have been able to explain it either to him. The very fact that he wonders at his young age or that my mom, of an older generation, wonders why others care gives me hope that this inequality will end in November in Maine.

As a mom I will be voting Yes on 1 on November 6th. I will do this with all the love I have in me for my kids and their kids and others who believe that people deserve to be treated equally. I will do it with great pride in all my kids – pride in who they are and who they love. I will do it knowing that when the time comes that all my kids want to be legally married, they will be and I will be one happy mom.

Please join me in voting Yes on 1.

Debbie Seaver, Waldoboro

via As a Mom, I Will Be Voting Yes on 1 – – Free Press Online – Rockland, ME.

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5 Lies Maryland’s New Anti-Gay Marriage Ad Uses | Care2 Causes

1) “Marriage, the union of a man and a woman…” – Unless you live in one of America’s six states or the District of Columbia, or one of the several nations, that has legalized marriage equality. It’s about denying reality, folks.

2) “Marriage is more than what adults want for themselves, it’s also about the next generation.” – This pretends that marriage is what makes babies happen. Out-of-wedlock teen mothers bedevil this. Also, we know the “marriage is for procreation” line doesn’t hold water because we do not deny the elderly or the infertile a right to marry.

3) “Marriage provides children with the best chance of being raised by a mother and a father.” – Well, yes it would do if you only let straight people marry and then tie adoption rights to heterosexuals-only marriage, as has happened in some states.

4) “Children do best when raised by their married mom and dad.” — The implication of this non sequitur is that children need a mother and father in order to flourish. No peer reviewed, consensus-backed study has shown that the gender of a child’s parents matters, and there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that same-sex parents provide kids with just as nurturing an upbringing as their straight counterparts.

5) “Nobody is entitled to redefine marriage.” — Really, because we’ve been doing it for quite a while now. From contracting for land, to trading women for cattle, to allowing multiple partner marriages, and, yes, allowing same-sex marriage; marriage has been redefined countless times throughout the ages. Furthermore, we as a society do have the right to change what we consider a civil marriage, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to define away gay marriage rights, and therein also have a right to end the inequality same-sex couples face in tax laws, state level recognition and federal benefits, all of which are tied to marriage.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/5-lies-marylands-new-anti-gay-marriage-ad-uses.html#ixzz29HwYlpms

via 5 Lies Maryland’s New Anti-Gay Marriage Ad Uses | Care2 Causes.

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Paul Ryan On DOMA: ‘Mitt And I’ Promise To ‘Protect Traditional Marriage’ In Court | The New Civil Rights Movement

Paul Ryan told Focus on the Family president Jim Daly that he and Mitt Romney will defend DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, in the courts, and attacked President Obama for not. Ryan promised Daly that he and the Romney administration will work hard to oppose any LGBT equality measures.

Just a week ago, while speaking to supporters at a town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, Paul Ryan said that preventing same-sex marriage was part of America’s “universal human values.”

via Paul Ryan On DOMA: ‘Mitt And I’ Promise To ‘Protect Traditional Marriage’ In Court | The New Civil Rights Movement.

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Twin Freedoms | Center for American Progress

Religious liberty—the ability to freely exercise one’s religious beliefs—is a cornerstone of American democracy. It is a right woven throughout the legal fabric of our nation, one that is espoused in state laws, state constitutions, and most importantly in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Unfortunately, however, conservative lawmakers have increasingly turned to misusing religious freedom as a political tool to obstruct policies they oppose. With regard to marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, for example, conservatives are charging (and misleadingly so) that laws and policies that level the playing field for same-sex couples threaten the free exercise of religion in the United States.

An increasing majority of Americans, including President Barack Obama, believe that we should afford the freedom to marry to all couples. And Americans from all faith backgrounds support the ability to practice one’s religion free from government interference. These twin freedoms—the freedom to worship and the freedom to marry—are both important American values, and they are wholly compatible with one another.

But opponents of marriage equality would like to think otherwise. They disingenuously argue that marriage equality will unduly require clergy to officiate weddings between same-sex couples even if doing so violates their religious beliefs. Opponents similarly claim that marriage equality laws violate the religious freedom of shopkeepers, restaurant owners, and private citizens by compelling them to provide goods and services to same-sex couples, even if they already must do so under existing nondiscrimination public accommodations laws.

We’ve seen much of this show before. Opponents of interracial marriage employed similar arguments and tactics as a way to gin up opposition to laws and court rulings that advanced equal marriage for couples of different races. Of course, following these laws and rulings, no religious leader has been forced to officiate a wedding ceremony that violated his or her faith, including ceremonies for interracial couples. The only thing that changed with the legalization of interracial marriage is that governments were no longer able to deny these couples a marriage license or the benefits that come with marriage. The state of religious liberty remained and continues to remain unchanged with respect to interracial marriage. The same rings true in those states that have legalized marriage equality for same-sex couples.

via Twin Freedoms | Center for American Progress.

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Four major Washington state newspapers endorse marriage equality ballot measure | LGBT Weekly

Washington United for Marriage, the broad coalition working to defend the state’s bipartisan marriage law, today hailed four editorials from leading newspapers across the state which endorsed Referendum 74 and the state’s pro-marriageequality law this past weekend.

The Columbian which serves the greater Vancouver area, the Seattle Times, and The Spokesman Review which covers Spokane and the surrounding towns, and The News Tribune which serves Pierce County, all endorsed R-74 in strong editorials. In addition, the Seattle Times established a page on its website where readers and supporters can send in photos with people holding a “I do Approve Referendum 74 Same sex marriage” sign literally showing their support.

The four newspapers follow the editorial board decision to endorse Referendum 74 by the Walla Walla Union Bulletin on Sept. 12th.

via Four major Washington state newspapers endorse marriage equality ballot measure | LGBT Weekly.

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Pelosi and 144 House Democrats File Brief Against DOMA – Poliglot

Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and 144 other House Democrats filed a brief on Friday arguing that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

The brief was filed in the case of Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old lesbian widow who sued the government after she was taxed more than $363,000 on assets that passed to her after the death of her wife in 2009 because the government did not recognize their marriage.

The two women first met in 1963 and were married in New York in 2007 after a more than 40-year engagement.

Windsor’s case has reached the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and been petitioned to the Supreme Court for review.

The brief dissects arguments made by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), instructed by House Republicans to defend the constitutionality of DOMA in court after the Obama administration refused to do so in February 2011, and argues that the Court of Appeals should uphold a New York District Court’s June ruling that DOMA violates the Constitution.

Pelosi was joined by Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in signing the amicus brief, which voluntarily offers information to the court. According to the brief, there is no legitimate federal interest in denying same-sex couples the rights that come with marriage.

“It is impossible to believe that any legitimate federal interest is rationally served by depriving a widow like [Edie] Windsor of the marital deduction that allows married couples to pass property to the surviving spouse without penalty, thus maximizing the survivor’s financial well-being,” the document reads.

via Pelosi and 144 House Democrats File Brief Against DOMA – Poliglot.

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