Voters boost marriage equality movement – Courant.com

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.

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Md In MD? Becoming We In ME? Let The Gay Wedding Destination Duke-Out Begin | GayCities Blog

Now that voters have approved marriage equality in three new states, the savvy tourism folks in Maine, Maryland and Washington are wasting little time in rolling out their red carpets to gay and lesbian nuptial-planning couples.

And no wonder: A study released Monday by the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law suggests that same-sex weddings in the states could generate more than $166 million in revenue over the next three years, with $88.5 million coming from WA, $62.5 million from MD, and $15.5 million coming from ME

via Md In MD? Becoming We In ME? Let The Gay Wedding Destination Duke-Out Begin | GayCities Blog.

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Same-sex marriage wins big on Tuesday, as the march toward equality continues (Joey Kennedy) | al.com

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.

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‘Historic day’ for Washington state as voters OK gay marriage | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com

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.

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Gay Marriage Makes Gains in States – WSJ.com

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.

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Brad Pitt Donates 100000 To Marriage Equality Campaign | E! Online

“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.

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Jay Michaelson: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage: 4 Points for Undecided Voters to Consider

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.

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Same-sex marriage does not obstruct your religious liberty – LGBTQ Nation

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.

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Nordstrom backs marriage equality in message to employees – Puget Sound Business Journal

Nordstrom Inc. has come out in support of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

“It is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides under the law as our other employees,” Nordstrom President Blake Nordstrom said in an internal email to company employees Thursday.

The email was signed by Blake Nordstrom and his brothers – Pete Nordstrom, executive vice president and president – merchandising, and Erik Nordstrom, executive vice president and president – stores. Nordstrom joins a growing number of companies taking a position on the issue of marriage equality.

In the email, Nordstrom said supporting freedom to marry “will help us create a more attractive and inclusive workplace for our current and prospective employees.”

The publicly traded Seattle-based retailer has long been supportive of gay and lesbian employees, adding sexual orientation to its anti-discrimination policy in 1995 and offering life partner benefits to employees starting in 1998.

via Nordstrom backs marriage equality in message to employees – Puget Sound Business Journal.

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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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