Today the U.S. Supreme Court announced its landmark decision. It has ruled in favor of nationwide marriage equality. The U.S. Supreme Court has officially declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.
Historic Supreme Court Ruling Brings Joy to Families and Victory to Alabama’s LGBT Community....
Today the Supreme Court held that same-sex couples can no longer be denied the freedom to marry guaranteed by the Constitution, assuring that soon all loving and committed couples will be able to marry throughout the United States.
ALGBTICAL Board member, Paul Hard, said: "Marriages are significant, and my marriage is due the same respect as any other."
"Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. The Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. In doing so, they have reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law; that all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love. This decision will end the patchwork system we currently have. It will end the uncertainty hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples face from not knowing whether they’re marriage, legitimate in the eyes of one state, will remain if they decide to move or even visit another. This ruling will strengthen all of our communities by offering to all loving same-sex couples the dignity of marriage across this great land. If we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. It is gratifying to see that principle enshrined into law by this decision. This ruling is a victory for America. This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free. We are people who believe every child is entitled to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There is so much more work to be done to extend the full promise of America to every American. But today, we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect. That’s the consequence of a decision from the Supreme Court, but more importantly, it is a consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up, who came out, talked to parents, parents who loved their children no matter what, folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts, and stayed strong, and came to believe in themselves and who they were. And slowly made an entire country realize that love is love."
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the court's majority opinion. Here are some of his comments:
"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
Benjamin Newbern, Board Chair of Equality Alabama, released the following statement:
“Today, the United States again took a giant step toward the more perfect union we the people aspire to. Today, the Liberty Bell rings alongside wedding bells across an ocean of joy. Equality Alabama calls on probate judges across the state that swore an oath to faithfully and impartially uphold the duties of their office to abide by this ruling. Same sex couples have waited long enough. Today, we celebrate a national decision that will change everything. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for the entire country, meaning that all loving, committed couples everywhere in America will soon be able to marry the love of their life. This is huge news for the nation – and Alabama. This decision from our highest court shows that, for once and for all, the freedom to marry is the law of the land, and no one should face marriage discrimination based on who they love. There’s no excuse to deny devoted couples the rights and responsibilities of marriage any longer – the whole country agrees. This is the decision we’ve been waiting for – the day that all families will be respected in our home state.
Love has won, but marriage equality is not the finish line. It is the starting gate. While LGBT Alabamians – and Americans nationwide now have the freedom to marry, they do not have full equality under the law. LGBT Alabamians can still be fired from their jobs, forced out of their homes, or denied service at a restaurant or other public accommodations simply based on who they love. Equality Alabama's work will continue and we will harness the momentum from winning the freedom to marry to secure additional advances towards full equality.”
Richard Cohen, President, Southern Poverty Law Center, released this statement:
"What a great day for our country! With today’s historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling, marriage equality for the LGBT community is now enshrined in our Constitution.
It’s good news for not only people like our client Paul Hard but also for everyone in our country who cherishes equality.
Earlier lower-court decisions reaching the same result propelled a positive change in public attitudes. We hope this ruling will do the same – because we still have a lot of work to do, particularly in the Deep South, where old attitudes are most slow to change.
Members of the LGBT community, like our client Tristan Broussard, are still being fired from their jobs because of who they are. People like our client Ashley Diamond are still fighting to receive medical care for the same reason. And LGBT people everywhere are still at risk of being the victims of violent hate crimes by those with hate in their hearts.
We’ll have to continue to fight for the rights of the LGBT community for years to come. But, today, we pause to celebrate. A tremendous battle has been won."
Alabama Becomes 37th State to Legalize Same Sex Marriage
in parts of
9, acting on the
yet from the US
Supreme Court in
favor of gay
of an expected
licenses to gay
defiance of the
Court earlier in
the day cleared
the way for
become the 37th
state where gay
request by the
to keep them on
hold until it
violate the US
couples in 42 of
said, with some
to gay couples
This followed an
order by Roy
chief justice of
to issue no
licenses to gay
a federal court
out the state's
married at the
park, where they
were greeted by
with a handful
28, said he was
overjoyed to be
marrying the man
he has been in a
with for the
all of these
years, I can
finally say this
is my husband,"
The number of Marriage Equality
states doubles in 48 hours...
Same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and
Nevada violate the U.S. Constitution
and cannot be enforced, the 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on
Oct 7, one day after the nation’s
highest court cleared the way for
marriage equality’s expansion to 30
states plus the District of
Columbia. It is the fourth federal
appeals court to strike down state
laws prohibiting same-sex nuptials.
With the 9th Circuit’s ruling,
marriage equality remains undefeated
at the appellate level. That means
that there’s still no “circuit
split” for the Supreme Court to
resolve, so it’s unlikely the
justices would grant review to a
marriage case out of the 9th Circuit
should state officials appeal. Thus,
Oct 7’s ruling will apply throughout
the entire 9th Circuit, effectively
striking down same-sex marriage bans
in three other states – Alaska,
Arizona, and Montana – and bringing
the total number of states where gay
and lesbian couples can wed to 35
plus the District of Columbia.
That’s nearly double the number of
states where same-sex couples could
marry as of Oct 12.
Virginia Attorney General Fights
State's Ban on Gay Marriage
"As attorney general, I cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginians' rights. The commonwealth will be siding with the plaintiffs in this case and with every other Virginia couple whose right to marry is being denied."
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring will announced that he believes the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and that Virginia will join two same-sex couples in asking a federal court to strike it down. Almost overnight, Virginia has emerged as a critical state in the nationwide fight to grant gay men and women the right to wed.
This purple state was once perceived as unfriendly and even bordering on hostile to gay rights. That's changed after a seismic political shift in the top three elected offices, from conservative Republicans to liberal Democrats who support gay marriage. Two federal lawsuits challenging the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage are moving forward, and a hearing on one of the cases is scheduled for Jan. 30. The lawsuits say the state's ban violates the Constitution's equal protection and due process clauses. The decision by Herring drew divided responses — celebration from attorneys challenging the ban and condemnation from conservative activists. The lawyer representing the couples challenging the ban in Norfolk, praised Herring's position "on the basic human right of being able to marry the person of your choice." Along with the recent court rulings in which federal judges struck down gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma, gay rights advocates are heartened by the new mood in Virginia.
Netherlands was the first country to grant gay marriage in 2001.
Currently, eighteen countries have approved the freedom
to marry for same-sex couples nationwide (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain,
Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina,
Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand, Britain, Luxembourg and
Finland), while two others have regional or court-directed provisions
enabling same-sex couples to share in the freedom to marry (Mexico and
the United States).
With little fanfare or controversy, the United Kingdom has legalized gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow told lawmakers that the royal assent had been given. The next day, July 17, the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales cleared Parliament. Official word that the queen had approved the bill drew cheers in the usually sedate House of Commons. The queen's approval was a formality. It clears the way for the first gay marriages next summer.
The bill enables gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales. It also will allow couples who had previously entered into a civil partnership to convert their relationship to a marriage. "This is a historic moment that will resonate in many people's lives," Equalities Minister Maria Miller said in a statement. "I am proud that we have made it happen and I look forward to the first same sex wedding by next summer."
The US Supreme Court dismissed the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8 which banned same sex marriage. In a pair of major victories for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court on ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there.
The rulings leave
in place laws banning same-sex
marriage around the nation, and
the court declined to say
whether there was a
constitutional right to same-sex
marriage. But in clearing the
way for same-sex marriage in
California, the nation’s most
populous state, the court
effectively increased to 13 the
number of states that allow such
In Boston, Massachusetts, at the May 27, 2013 American College Health Association (ACHA) Annual Meeting, the association’s Board of Directors unanimously approved an organizational Statement in Support of Marriage Equality. After reasoned and thoughtful discussion and deliberation, the board's decision to set forth such a statement was based on: board members’ determination that marriage equality is both a human rights and a civil rights issue; and, their recognition that denial of equal rights for all has clear links to diminished health outcomes for those who are disenfranchised.
As a health organization, ACHA holds a compelling interest in eliminating health disparities and enhancing the health of all college students and their campus communities. Moreover, this statement made by the board is consistent with ACHA’s mission and in furtherance of its core values encompassing social justice.
ACHA is proud to continue its legacy of advancing the health of college students and campus communities through advocacy, education and research. Therefore, with respect for varying philosophical positions and alternative viewpoints, ACHA has joined other health professional organizations in supporting marriage equality, including: the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Nursing, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Family Therapy Academy, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Psychological Association, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, National Association of Social Workers, and National Association of the Deaf.
Minnesota became the 12th state to approve same-sex marriage when Gov. Mark Dayton appeared before a jubilant crowd to sign a marriage equality bill into law. "What a day for Minnesota," Dayton told the spectators, who huddled on the steps of the State House in St. Paul. "What a difference a year and an election can make in our state. Dayton's signature came just a day after the state Senate approved it with a 37-30 vote.
"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should certainly include the right to marry the person you love," he noted. Echoing those sentiments was State Rep. Karen Clark and Sen. Scott Dibble, who are both openly gay.
14 nations now allow same sex marriage! Viva La France! The French parliament has approved a bill legalizing gay marriage and adoption for same-sex couples in its final vote on the legislation. The landmark reform has been the source of months of heated debate and demonstrations. And the president has now signed the bill into law.
The bill was passed by 321 votes to 225 in the French parliament. The decision follows a divisive public debate with some of the biggest protests seen in France in recent years. Hundreds of opponents of the measure rallied outside the National Assembly building in central Paris as the result was announced.
Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told lawmakers that the first weddings could be as soon as June. "We believe that the first weddings will be beautiful and that they'll bring a breeze of joy, and that those who are opposed to them today will surely be confounded when they are overcome with the happiness of the newlyweds and the families," she said. Following the vote members of the gay and lesbian community flocked to a square in central Paris, just behind City Hall, to celebrate the vote. "I feel immense joy, gigantic joy," said 39-year old Sylvain Rouzel. "At last, everyone has the same rights. This is huge! France was lagging behind. We had to wait 14 years after the civil union to finally obtain the right to get married, with equal rights for everyone. I feel great!" Paris' openly gay mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, was among the crowd of hundreds gathered for the street celebration in the Marais, the city's historic gay neighborhood.
Delaware became the 11th U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage, with Gov. Jack Markell signing the legislation into law immediately following a 12-9 vote. This is the latest in a string of victories for those working to extend marital rights to gay and lesbian couples. “This is a truly historic day for our state,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) is quoted by the Washington Blade as saying. “The passage of HB 75 ushers in a new era of equality in our state and marks an important moment in our state’s history. I am incredibly proud.” “All couples under the law should be treated equally by their government,” Lisa Goodman, president of Equality Delaware, a gay rights group that drafted the legislation and led the effort to get it passed, told lawmakers near the end of Tuesday’s three-hour debate. During three hours of emotional debate before the vote Tuesday, State Senator Karen Peterson, a Democrat, said she had lived with a female partner for 24 years, and she challenged opponents of extending marriage to gay couples. “If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, then you need to work on your marriage,” she said, eliciting cheers and laughter.
Rhode Island on April 25 became the 10th US state (11th if you count Washington DC) to legalize same-sex marriage, with just a 56-15 vote, joining the rest of New England on the controversial issue and turning the region into a haven for homosexual rights. Governor Lincoln Chafee, a Republican turned independent, was set to sign the bill into law after it passed by 56-15 votes in the state lower house. "This truly is a historic day for our great state," Chafee said.
Just before he signed the legislation into law, Gov. Lincoln Chafee took to the steps of the Rhode Island State House, where he told a jubilant crowd, "Today we are making history ... we are living up to the ideals of our founder." He went on to note, "When your belief and heart is in something, it's easy work. I am proud to say that now, at long last, you are free to marry the person you love."
Echoing those sentiments was Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox, who teared up noted, "True equality is something that is inherently human." Fox, who is openly gay, spoke about his longtime partner Marcus. He then added, "We're not going to be talking about same-sex marriage anymore, we're going to be talking about marriage." Hundreds of supporters of gay marriage gathered at the legislature for the occasion. The state Senate had separately voted for a slightly different version to one approved initially by the House, requiring the House to vote again on Thursday. It will take effect from August 1. The law puts Rhode Island in the company of nine other states, most of them in relatively liberal New England -- Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Hundreds of jubilant gay-rights advocates celebrated at New Zealand's Parliament as the country became the 13th in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage.
Lawmakers voted 77 to 44 in favor of the gay-marriage bill on its third and final reading Wednesday night. People watching from the public gallery and some lawmakers immediately broke into song after the result was announced, singing the New Zealand love song "Pokarekare Ana" in the indigenous Maori language.
Uruguayan lawmakers voted on April 10, 2013 to legalize gay marriage, making the South American country the third in the Americas to do so.
Supporters of the law, who had filled the public seats in the legislative building, erupted in celebration when the results were announced. The bill received the backing of 71 of the 92 members of the Chamber of Deputies present.
The same-sex marriage law that voters passed in November went into effect at midnight on December 29th. Maine joins Washington, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut and the District of Columbia in enacting same-sex marriage laws; same-sex couples there may obtain marriage licenses and get married. Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington state approved gay marriage in November, making them the first states to do so by popular vote. Gay marriage already was legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia, but those laws were either enacted by lawmakers or through court rulings. In Maine, Gov. Paul LePage signed off on the certified election results on Nov. 29, so the new law was to go into effect 30 days from that date. The law already is in effect in Washington state; Maryland's takes effect on Tuesday, the first day of 2013.
December 6 as a
King County, the
the doors to its
in Seattle just
people had lined
building on a
night. By mid
450 licenses had
been issued in
the first states
to pass same-sex
They joined six
other states —
Vermont — and
the District of
enacted laws or
and Secretary of
State Sam Reed
of Referendum 74
on Wednesday Dec
5, and the law
took effect at
12:01 AM on
Thursday Dec 6.
had asked voters
reject the state
this year. That
law was signed
by Gregoire in
February but was
put on hold
outcome of the
54 percent of
The actor Morgan Freeman is
narrating a new TV spot in
support of same-sex marriage
released by the Human Rights
Campaign. The commercial, titled
"Dawn of a New Day for Marriage
Equality," began airing
nationally on November 26.
"Freedom, justice and human
dignity have always guided our
journey toward a more perfect
union," Freeman says. "Now,
across our country, we are
standing together for the right
of gay and lesbian Americans to
marry the person they love. With
historic victories for marriage,
we've delivered a mandate for
Human Rights Campaign president
Chad Griffin issued a statement
in conjunction with the ad
heralding a new turning point
for gay rights.
"As we continue the march toward
full equality in legislatures
and the courts, it is crystal
clear that the prospect of an
equal future is no longer up for
debate; the question now is how
soon it will arrive," he said.
"While we celebrate today, we
will keep fighting until full
equality has reached every
single person in every corner of
this vast country.”
Earlier this month, three more
states voted to legalize
same-sex marriage: Maine,
Washington and Maryland.
Minnesota voters also rejected a
measure to ban same-same
The Supreme Court will decide
this week whether to hear cases
against the federal marriage
equality ban and California's
"I take a position similar to a position that
Martin Luther King, Jr. took many, many years ago, that races don't fall
in love and get married. Individuals fall in love and get married. So if
two men or two women fall in love and want to get married, they should
be able to do just that. No government, state or federal, should tell
people who they can fall in love with and get married or not."
-John Lewis / Congressman
"We shouldn't just
allow gay marriage. We should insist on gay marriage. We should regard
it as scandalous that two people could claim to love each other and not
want to sanctify their love with marriage and fidelity." -David Brooks /
New York Times
"It's insane that civil rights
are being denied people in this day and age. It's embarassing and it's
heartbreaking. It goes without saying that I am completely in
support of gay marriage. In ten years we'll be ashamed that was an
issue." -Chris Evans /
President Supports Marriage Equality
his endorsement of gay marriage on
May 9, President Obama electrified
his liberal base, incensed cultural
conservatives and may have ensured
that a debate on social issues will
play a part in the debate ahead of
the November election. His
announcement raises the political
stakes on an issue over which
Americans are evenly split. The
announcement was the first by a
sitting president and put Obama
squarely at odds with presumptive
Republican presidential nominee Mitt
Romney, who on Wednesday said during
an appearance in Oklahoma, "I
believe marriage is a relationship
between a man and a woman." For
almost two years, President Obama
had said that his views on gay
marriage were "evolving."
Gay-marriage proponents hoped that
would signal a full embrace of
marriage rights for gay and lesbian
couples. But after days of renewed
pressure for clarification on the
issue following strong endorsements
of gay marriage from Vice President
Biden and Education Secretary Arne
Duncan, Obama decided to change his
stated position. "At a
certain point, I've just concluded,
that for me, personally, it is
important for me to go ahead and
affirm that I think same-sex couples
should be able to get married,"
"I had hesitated
on gay marriage,
in part, because
I thought civil
unions would be
"I was sensitive
to the fact
that, for a lot
of people, the
word marriage is
But, Obama said,
shifted as he
were "not able
themselves in a
A Gallup Poll
indicated 50% of
be recognized by
law as valid,
with 48% saying
should not be
Keith Hartman, who grew up in Huntsville,
wrote and directed two PSA's, which point out the dangers of
"traditional marriage" politics, and do so in a very funny way.
His latest film, "You
Should Meet My Son," has won him multiple awards at several film
same-sex marriage supporters celebrate
recent victories in Washington and
Maryland, they are keeping a wary eye on
New Hampshire, where lawmakers may soon
vote to repeal the state’s two-year-old
law allowing gay couples to wed.
court. Gov. Chris Gregoire handed gay rights advocates a major victory, signing into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state, making it the seventh in the nation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. Gregoire signed the bill surrounded by gay rights supporters. "I'm proud our same-sex couples will no longer be treated as separate but equal," she said. It's a historic moment for the state, but same-sex couples can't walk down the aisle just yet. The law takes effect June 7, but opponents on multiple fronts already are preparing to fight.
Maryland's governor plans to sign a bill making same-sex marriage legal, while opponents were making plans to challenge the new law at the ballot box. The legislation, making Maryland the eighth state in the nation to legalize gay and lesbian nuptials, heads to Governor Martin O'Malley's desk for his signature. The Democratic governor has supported the measure and promised to sign it once it was passed by lawmakers. The state Senate voted in favor of the bill last week after it was passed by the state's lower House of Delegates. While still controversial, same-sex marriage has been gaining acceptance nationally in recent weeks as Washington state legislators voted to allow gay marriage and the New Jersey legislature passed a gay marriage law through both houses, although it was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie.
Same-sex couples can marry in the District of Columbia and in six states -- Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York. Washington state will join the list in June unless opponents stop it ahead of a possible ballot initiative. Opponents of same-sex marriage in Maryland were working to get a referendum seeking to repeal the law on the ballot in November.
American Psychological Association declares support for
"full marriage equality." The APA cites studies that show same-sex
spouses have "sense of security, support and validation." The American Psychological Association is calling on
state and federal officials to stop anti-gay legal measures and to
legalize same-sex marriage. The scientific and professional organization's guiding
body voted unanimously at its annual meeting this week in Washington to
declare its support for "full marriage equality for same-sex couples." The resolution "clarifies the Association's support for
same-sex marriage" in light of new research, the group said. A similar
resolution in 2004 opposed discrimination against same-sex
relationships, but refrained from a more formal policy recommendation. Dr. Clinton Anderson, APA associate executive director,
said that the timing of the resolution is an indirect result of several
states' legalization of marriage. "We knew that marriage benefits heterosexual people in
very significant ways, but we didn't know if that would be true for
same-sex couples," said Anderson, who is also director of the APA's
Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns. Now that six U.S. states permit same-sex marriage,
researchers have been able to conduct studies with those couples. The research, Anderson said, indicates that marriage
"does confer the same sense of security, support, and validation" to
same-sex couples as to heterosexual ones. The resolution also points to evidence that ongoing
political debate about marriage creates stress for gay men and lesbians
and perpetuates stigmas and prejudice about their communities. This
stress can make people physically and psychologically sick, the APA
says, calling the link between stress and illness "well established." Maggie Gallagher, chairman of the board of the National
Organization for Marriage, takes issue with the assertion that
legalizing same-sex marriage would improve community acceptance of
homosexuality. "There is no evidence that gay teens are better off in
Massachusetts, a state that has gay marriage, than they are in
Wisconsin, a state which has passed a marriage amendment defining
marriage as one man and one woman," she said in an e-mail response to
CNN. Gallagher continued, "The release of this statement is
unfortunately going to undermine confidence in APA statements generally,
I would predict." Both the National Organization for Marriage and the APA
are skeptical of one solution to the gay-marriage debate: civil unions.
Rhode Island NOM executive director Chris Plante is quoted in a press
release on the NOM website calling the move "nothing more than a Trojan
Horse that will usher in same-sex marriage sooner rather than later."
Elsewhere on its website, NOM calls for dealing with legal and economic
benefits separately from any discussion of marriage or unions. The APA also feels that civil unions miss the mark. "Anything other than marriage is, in essence, a
stigmatization of same-sex couples. Stigma does have negative impacts on
people," Anderson said. "That's the analysis that we've come to and why we've
decided to support full marriage equality -- because domestic
partnership or civil union will still convey the message that same-sex
couples are not as good."
(From Alden Mahler Levine /
New York Becomes 6th
State for Gay Marriage
Start spreading the news... Celebrating late into the night, thousands of
gay marriage supporters poured into the streets after New York became
the sixth and largest state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage. After days of contentious negotiations and
last-minute reversals by two Republican state senators, the bill was
passed, breathing life into the national gay rights movement that had
stalled over a nearly-identical bill here two years ago.
Pending any court challenges, legal gay marriages can begin in New York
by late July after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed his bill into law just
before midnight Friday. What does it mean? "It means that all of my
friends can finally do the thing that they wanted to do, that I
can do," Alison Casillo told CBS Station WCBS. "It means that we're
equal." CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports that
New York is a state with no residency requirement for marriage - meaning
couples can come from anywhere to get married here. One local high schooler was
quoted as saying, "I'm proud to be a New Yorker!"
Just in time for
Valentine's Day, The Birmingham News posted its first wedding/union
announcement for a same sex couple on Sunday, February 13, 2011. The happy couple
is Jeremy Cooper Erdreich and Larry Zuendel Slater, both of Birmingham.
Mr. Erdreich is
the son of former Congressman Ben Erdreich and Ellen Erdreich. A
graduate of Harvard and Yale, he is the President of the Erdreich
Architecture firm. Mr. Slater is
the son of Frances Slater of Biloxi, MS and Robert Slater of Atlantic
Beach, NC. An Auburn graduate, he is currently a PhD candidate at the
UAB School of Nursing where he is an adjunct professor. Ceremonies will
take place in June at City Hall in Provincetown, Massachusetts and
locally at Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham (Rabbi Jonathan Miller
The American Bar Association on August 10, 2010 unequivocally backed civil marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. In a resolution adopted less than one week after a federal judge in San Francisco struck down California's Proposition 8 as unconstitutional, the group acknowledges that same-sex couples "are only seeking to participate in an equal basis in a foundational institution of our civil life," former ABA president Tommy Wells told the organization's house of delegates. "They simply want to share in the legal blessings that we give to married couples. It can only strengthen marriage.” Text of the ABA resolution is as follows: "Be it resolved that the American Bar Association urges state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex who are otherwise eligible to marry."
(From The Advocate)
Gay Marriage Quotes
Puhlease. With a 50 percent divorce rate, rampant domestic violence, Las
Vegas drive-through chapels, and I wanna-marry-a-really-rich-guy reality
TV shows, there's no way gays could trash marriage the way straight
people have." -Good Times /
Santa Cruz County News
"We shouldn't just
allow gay marriage. We should insist on gay marriage. We should regard
it as scandalous that two people could claim to love each other and not
want to sanctify their love with marriage and fidelity." -David Brooks /
New York Times
non-gay people talk about marriage, they mean love, clarity, security,
respect, family, intimacy, dedication, self-sacrifice and equality -- qualities that describe the relationships and lives of gay and lesbian
couples just as well."
-Evan Wolfson /
Freedom to Marry
"The consecration of
Gene Robinson as bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese of the Episcopal
Church is an affront to Christians everywhere. I am just thankful that
the church's founder, Henry VIII, and his wife Catherine of Aragon, and
his wife Anne Boleyn, and his wife Jane Seymour, and his wife Anne of
Cleves, and his wife Katherine Howard, and his wife Catherine Parr are
no longer here to suffer through this assault on traditional Christian
"Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman.
As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in
encouraging, supporting, and protecting this unique relationship in
order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of
society and its children. A marriage contracted between individuals of
the same sex is invalid in this state."
"Marriage is a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman,
which, when the legal capacity and consent of both parties is present,
establishes their relationship as husband and wife, and which is
recognized by the state as a civil contract."
"No marriage license shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties
of the same sex. The State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any
marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have
occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of
whether a marriage license was issued. The State of Alabama shall not
recognize as valid any common law marriage of parties of the same sex."
On the heels on the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, these
remarks were made...
amendments to the Alabama Constitution should not be proposed on the
whims of special interests or without due consideration and in-depth
deliberation. Intelligent citizens realize that this amendment is a bad
idea and flies in the face of democracy."
"Amendments to any constitution are usually proposed to EXPAND, not
RESTRICT the freedoms of citizens. Every amendment to the US
Constitution expands freedoms and liberties."
citizens, regardless of their religious affiliation, also recognize the
importance and necessity of the separation of church and state. No
law that seeks to advance a religious doctrine or agenda should ever be
imposed on citizens."
"The state should serve all citizens, and make no laws to
restrict or limit the human rights or civil liberties of the people it
Prior to the
vote on the Gay marriage ban, John Davis, of the Montgomery Advertiser,
decide in the June 6 primary whether to add another layer of barriers to
gays getting married or getting recognition for their marriages
performed in other states. Alabama already has a law that bans gay
couples from obtaining marriage licenses, but there will be a proposed
amendment on the ballot that would make the prohibition of gay marriage
part of the state's constitution.
The Christian Coalition of Alabama has announced it will print and
distribute up to 1.2 million voters' guides to make sure Alabamians know
to vote "yes" if they want to constitutionally bar gay marriage.
"It's just another way of saying, 'We don't like you. We don't want you
to benefit from having stable families,'" said Ken Baker of Montgomery,
an organizer for the gay rights group Equality Alabama.
John Giles, president of the Christian Coalition, predicted the proposed
constitutional amendment will get between 80 percent and 90 percent of
Howard Bayless of Birmingham, chairman of Equality Alabama, disagreed.
"Reality is, our neighbors respect us," said Bayless. "People are trying
to use fear and use other tactics for their political gain."
Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, voted in favor of the referendum last
year. Ross said he is opposed to gay marriages, but believes voters
should decide the issue. Ross declined to say how he would vote on
the amendment on June 6. "As a state official, we're elected by all
people," he said. "Of course, one's preference or sexual orientation
would be between them and their god."
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Montgomery has embraced the gay
community and opposes the constitutional change. Church member Mike
Tatum said the congregation has about a dozen openly gay members. "They
very much want to be able to take care of each other in their old age,"
Though the Christian Coalition is spending about $50,000 on fliers
supporting the gay marriage ban, Giles said the message isn't for gays
to leave Alabama. "This is about protecting traditional marriage," he
Same Sex Wedding Ceremony at ACA Conference on
awareness within the counseling profession of
the rights and benefits denied to same-sex
couples in the United States, ALGBTIC hosted an
official same-sex wedding event in Montreal,
Canada on April 1, 2006 for counselors attending
the joint meeting of the American Counseling
Association and the Canadian Counseling
Eight couples, four male couples and four female
couples, were married according to the laws of
the Canadian Province of Quebec in a civil
ceremony officiated by Brenda Langlois. The
ceremony included opening words from the
President of ACA, Patricia Arredondo, a
recitation of vows, a unity candle ceremony,
exchange of rings, and the official signature of
the registry. The couples came to Montreal from
as far away as Utah and have waited to get
officially married as long as 23 years.
Attending the ceremony were an estimated 300
family members, friends, ACA members, the
President of ACA, five ACA past presidents, the
ACA President-elect, and ACA divisional leaders
who wanted to show their support for the couples
and for the legal recognition of same-sex
marriage. Following the ceremony, the couples
were honored at a wedding reception with
champagne and a four-tiered wedding cake.
Newly married Dr. Joy Whitman, President of
ALGBTIC, stated, “our purpose in sponsoring a
public wedding for same-sex couples at this
conference is to highlight the inequity same-sex
couples experience and to raise awareness of
this inequity for counseling professionals.
Currently in the United States, same-sex couples
are spending their lives together with love and
commitment, but they are unable to access the
more than 1,138 automatic federal and additional
state protections afforded to legally married
couples. One of our goals was to identify
conditions that create barriers to the human
growth and development of lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) clients and
communities. All counseling professionals are
charged with the goal to advocate for clients
and to change oppressive systems, systems that
serve as barriers towards mental health. I see
this event as joining our mission with that of
ACA and in doing so, highlighting that same-sex
couples continue to face discrimination when it
comes to the option to marry in the United
States. It is our hope that all counseling
professionals, LGBT and heterosexual, will join
together to fight for this right and therefore
improve the mental health of LGBT clients.” The ceremony was
sponsored by ACA, the Association for Counselor
Education and Supervision and the American
Rehabilitation Counseling Association and
supported by Counselors for Social Justice and
the International Association of Addictions &
Offender Counselors, all divisions of ACA. The
organizations sponsored and supported the event
to demonstrate support for lesbian, gay, and
bisexual individuals and to bring to the
forefront ACA’s commitment to social justice.
ALGBTIC thanks our sponsors and supporters.