Four years ago this week, Connecticut became the second state to allow same-sex couples to legally marry. Since then, four states — plus the District of Columbia — have joined Connecticut and Massachusetts in ending marriage discrimination.
In the last four years, the momentum was palpable. But nothing provided quite the same jolt to the national consciousness and sense of momentum as last week’s Election Day. Marriage equality was on the ballot in four additional states and won.
With that four-state sweep in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota, the opponents of marriage equality lost their final talking point, putting to rest the last desperate argument that victories in courts and legislatures somehow are not legitimate and that only a vote of the people counts.
via Voters boost marriage equality movement – Courant.com.
Chicago, IL — Tuesday, voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington approved same-sex marriage; in Colorado and Washington they legalized recreational marijuana. The problem? In both instances it violates federal law and rules.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996 by Congress and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton, came about after fear that Hawaii would legalize same-sex marriage, long before the nation would embrace such an adjustment. DOMA defines marriage as between and man and a woman. Attitudes about same-sex marriage have changed dramatically in the last sixteen years and current polling suggests the more than 50% of Americans approve of the unions. Recent Federal Court rulings have declared DOMA to be unconstitutional, but there are further appeals available which will ultimately put the controversy in the Supreme Court before a final resolution is determined. It could be a long path before it is all ironed out.
Although DOMA seems to be on the way out the door via the courts, currently married same-sex couples, while endorsed by the state they live in, will be denied marriage benefits from social security, estate taxes and federal pensions.
via States legalizing same-sex marriage and marijuana now face battle with Feds.
Three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — became the first to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote, and the national trend toward full implementation of same-sex marriage continues and, in fact, is likely to pick up momentum.
That is good for the country. We do not progress by relegating any segment of society to second-class status. We should celebrate with our gay and lesbian friends when they enter into committed relationships, just as we celebrate with our heterosexual friends when they get married.
More people are understanding that marriage is a civil contract with the government giving a couple a series of specific rights under the law. There is no legal reason two consenting adults should be prohibited from entering into such a contract, regardless of gender.
And the marriage of my gay friends certainly does not threaten my 33-year marriage to my wife Veronica.
This can be a religious issue, and that’s understandable.
But churches forever have decided which marriages they would bless or deny. My wife and I were married in a Baptist church, but we would not have been able to have, say, a Catholic wedding or a Mormon wedding. Just as those denominations have a right to refuse to bless marriages of same-sex partners, they also have a right to refuse to bless marriages of those who aren’t members of their congregations (many other denominations follow the same practice; these are only examples).
via Same-sex marriage wins big on Tuesday, as the march toward equality continues (Joey Kennedy) | al.com.
On Tuesday, American politics became much more gay-friendly. Wisconsin voters elected a lesbian senator. Three gay men, and potentially one bisexual woman, will join the House of Representatives. And the approval of ballot initiatives means homosexuals can marry in three more states.
The gay rights movement had come to dread election days, when voters often reversed measures that legislatures and governors had backed. And opponents of same-sex marriage consistently won decisive statewide votes with far less money and manpower than its advocates.
As recently as May, North Carolina voters delivered another drubbing in a string of 30-plus statewide losses for gay-marriage activists, adding the state’s ban on same-sex marriage to its constitution. In Tuesday’s vote, those advocates welcomed a different result. “Winning for the first time at the ballot box in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington is truly historic,” said Chad Griffin, who recently took over the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest gay rights organization. “You’re seeing how fair-minded Americans are, coming down on the side of full equality and inclusion in this country.”
via Gay rights advocates welcome election-day results for a change – The Washington Post.
Olympia, Wash. — Washington state has approved gay marriage, joining Maine and Maryland as the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote.
With about three-quarters of the expected ballots counted Thursday, Referendum 74 was maintaining its lead of 52 percent. Opponents conceded the race Thursday, while supporters declared victory a day earlier.
Zach Silk, a spokesman for Washington United for Marriage, called it a “historic day.”
“We have always understood that there are good people on the other side of this issue,” he said in a statement issued Thursday. “Yet, we remain confident that once people see how much marriage matters to families, they will realize that the love and commitment that marriage embodies only strengthens families, neighborhoods and communities.”
R-74 asked people to approve or reject a state law legalizing same-sex marriage that legislators passed earlier this year. That law was signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire but has never taken effect. It was on hold pending the election’s outcome.
Washington is one of four states where voters were asked about the issue this election cycle. Maryland and Maine approved gay marriage Tuesday night, while Minnesota voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121108/POLITICS01/211080486#ixzz2BpbRHmdz
via ‘Historic day’ for Washington state as voters OK gay marriage | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com.
Ten things we may have learned from the 2012 elections:
1. The culture war is over.
For real. GOP strategist Karl Rove needs to tear that chapter from his playbook and burn it in the nearest fireplace. The tired old tactics of the Far Right to demonize LGBT Americans and minorities no longer work. Just look at the ballot box on Nov. 6 for proof.
2. America reaffirms that it is a progressive nation.
The Democrats understand the rapidly changing demographics of the populace, and embrace multiculturalism, inclusiveness and tolerance. The Republicans continue to shrink into the party of grumpy old men … mostly white Southern “good ol’ boys” who don’t like change.
via Autopsy on an election: Ten things we learned in 2012 – LGBTQ Nation.
Americans for the first time approved gay marriage at the ballot box on Tuesday, pointing to changing attitudes on the divisive issue.
In Maine and Maryland, voters approved ballot initiatives to begin allowing same-sex unions. Those wins mark a first for a cause that previously had been rejected by voters in more than 30 states, including as recently as 2009 in Maine.
And in Minnesota, where gay marriage already isn’t allowed, voters declined to back an initiative that would have enshrined in the state’s constitution a definition of marriage as only a union between a man and a woman.
In Washington state, where voters also weighed an initiative to legalize gay marriage, the vote count was expected to stretch for days. With about half of the precincts counted nearly 52% of voters supported the idea.
In Maine, campaigners for same-sex marriage said the win marked a turning point for their cause.
via Gay Marriage Makes Gains in States – WSJ.com.
“It’s unbelievable to me that people’s lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days,” Pitt wrote in an email sent to HRC members and posted on the HRC website. “In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, voters will go to the polls to decide if gay and lesbian couples—our friends and neighbors—are worthy of the same protections as everyone else. But that’s the system we have and I’m not going to back down from the fight of loving and committed couples to have the ability to marry.”
via Brad Pitt Donates 100000 To Marriage Equality Campaign | E! Online.
Recently I visited Minnesota to meet folks involved in the same-sex marriage debate. I was inspired by the amount of energy that people were devoting to the cause, and to emphasizing dialogue and conversation instead of shouting and slogans.
One thing we’ve learned is that a lot of Minnesotans (and Marylanders, Washingtonians and Mainers) are sincere in supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians and simultaneously sincere in their misgivings about same-sex marriage. Yes, there are absolutely-sure people on both sides, but there are also a lot of people sincerely in the middle. If you’re one of those people, I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned as someone involved in this issue for several years now — and as someone who married my same-sex partner in New York a year ago.
First, I want to say that I get it. I know many people in the gay community who say that if you don’t support marriage equality, then you must be a bigot or a homophobe, but I know that that isn’t true. I know plenty of people who are sincerely concerned about the consequences of same-sex marriage for their communities and their values — and some of them are my friends. So this is not about bashing people who disagree. (Of course, it’s also true that there are some bigots and homophobes out there, too. But I’m not really speaking to them, because they’re not interested in what I have to say anyway!)
To those sincerely wrestling with this issue, I offer four points to consider.
Jay Michaelson: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage: 4 Points for Undecided Voters to Consider.
opponents of marriage equality still miss the point: Marriage equality is not about “holy matrimony” or the religious sanction of a “lifestyle” (Question 6 would force no faith to recognize any marriage inconsistent with its religious traditions). It’s about civil marriage licenses and civil status under the law, which confers to people basic respect and dignity.
Moreover, marriage equality doesn’t undermine Judeo-Christian values. In fact, it advances one of the two most important teachings of the Bible: treating others the way you would want to be treated yourself. How I wish that commandment had opened people’s eyes to injustice long ago.
via Marriage equality and the golden rule – The Washington Post.