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Marriage Equality Notes

 


Marriage Equality Nationwide

 

June 26, 2015

 

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."

 

LINKS:

 

APT Capitol Journal: Alabama Perspective on Marriage Equality

President Obama: Gay Marriage Decision is a Victory for America

LGBTQ Nation: Supreme Court Rules for Nationwide Marriage Equality

Huff Post: Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage Nationwide

CNN: Supreme Rules States Must Allow Same Sex Marriage

NY Times: Gay Marriage Backers Win Supreme Court Victory

Supreme Court Declares: Same Sex Marriage Now Legal in All 50 States

Wash Post: President Obama's Comments on Supreme Court Decision

USA Today: White Turns Into a Rainbow After Court Ruling

NBC News: White House Lights Up with Rainbow Colors


 

President Obama issued these remarks:

 

"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."

 

LINKS:

APT Capitol Journal: Alabama Perspective on Marriage Equality

President Obama: Gay Marriage Decision is a Victory for America

LGBTQ Nation: Supreme Court Rules for Nationwide Marriage Equality

Huff Post: Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage Nationwide

CNN: Supreme Rules States Must Allow Same Sex Marriage

NY Times: Gay Marriage Backers Win Supreme Court Victory

Supreme Court Declares: Same Sex Marriage Now Legal in All 50 States

Wash Post: President Obama's Comments on Supreme Court Decision

USA Today: White Turns Into a Rainbow After Court Ruling

NBC News: White House Lights Up with Rainbow Colors

Winter Wonderland: Lesbian Wedding

 


Marriage Equality Stats & Updates
 

June 2015

 

5 Things You Need to Know About Same Sex Marriage

Same Sex Marriage Receives Record Breaking Support From Americans

Chart: Where is Same Sex Marriage Legal?

Alabama Teen Talks About Her Moms' Wedding

Social Revolution: Irish Voters Back Gay Marriage

 


Marriage Equality in 37 States
 

February 2015

 

24 by Court Decision Alaska (Oct. 17, 2014), Arizona (Oct. 17, 2014), California (June 28, 2013), Colorado (Oct. 7, 2014), Connecticut (Nov. 12, 2008), Idaho (Oct. 13, 2014), Indiana (Oct. 6, 2014), Iowa (Apr. 24, 2009), Kansas (Nov. 12, 2014), Massachusetts (May 17, 2004), Montana (Nov. 19, 2014), Nevada (Oct. 9, 2014), New Jersey (Oct. 21, 2013), New Mexico (Dec. 19, 2013), North Carolina (Oct. 10, 2014), Oklahoma (Oct. 6, 2014), Oregon (May 19, 2014), Pennsylvania (May 20, 2014), South Carolina (Nov. 20, 2014), Utah (Oct. 6, 2014), Virginia (Oct. 6, 2014), West Virginia (Oct. 9, 2014), Wisconsin (Oct. 6, 2014), Wyoming (Oct. 21, 2014), Florida (Jan 2015), Alabama (Feb 9, 2015)

 

8 by State Legislature:  Delaware (July 1, 2013), Hawaii (Dec. 2, 2013), Illinois (June 1, 2014), Minnesota (Aug. 1, 2013), New Hampshire (Jan. 1, 2010), New York (July 24, 2011), Rhode Island (Aug. 1, 2013), Vermont (Sep. 1, 2009)

 

3 by Popular Vote:  Maine (Dec. 29, 2012), Maryland (Jan. 1, 2013), Washington (Dec. 9, 2012)

 

Plus: Washington, DC (Mar. 3, 2010)

 

18 Countries (Nationwide):  Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand, Britain, Luxembourg, Finland

 

2 Countries (Provisionally):  Mexico, United States

 

LINKS:

 

USA Today: Timeline of Same Sex Marriage Rulings

ProCon: States With Legal Same Sex Marriage

Freedom to Marry: List of States

Slate: Guide to the Gay Marriage Fight (Map)

Marriage Equality: State by State Report
Wikipedia: Same Sex Marriage in the United States
About: Same Sex Marriage License Laws in US

How to Change Minds on Same Sex Marriage

About: FAQ Same Sex Marriage Laws in US
About: Why Gay Marriage Should be Legal
NPR: Legal Battle Over Gay Marriage (State by State Map)

People Who Are Allowed to Get Married While Gay People Are Not

 


Alabama Becomes 37th State to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

 

February 2015

Same-sex couples began marrying in parts of Alabama on Monday, February 9, acting on the strongest signal yet from the US Supreme Court in favor of gay marriage ahead of an expected ruling, but numerous state judges avoided granting marriage licenses to gay couples in apparent defiance of the high court.  The Supreme Court earlier in the day cleared the way for Alabama to become the 37th state where gay marriage is legal by refusing a request by the state's Republican attorney general to keep them on hold until it decides later this year whether laws banning gay matrimony violate the US Constitution.

But same-sex couples in 42 of Alabama's 67 counties encountered difficulties in getting marriage licenses, gay rights advocates said, with some counties refraining from issuing licenses to gay couples and others shutting down their marriage license operations altogether.  This followed an order by Roy Moore, the conservative chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, instructing probate judges to issue no marriage licenses to gay couples despite a federal court ruling in January throwing out the state's gay marriage ban, effective on Monday.  In Birmingham, dozens of same-sex couples married at the courthouse and an adjacent park, where they were greeted by supporters supplying cupcakes along with a handful of protesters bearing crosses and Bibles.  Wiping away tears, Eli Borges Wright, 28, said he was overjoyed to be marrying the man he has been in a relationship with for the past seven years. "After all of these years, I can finally say this is my husband," he said.

 

LINKS:

 

NPR News: Alabama Courts Issue First Marriage Licenses to Same Sex Couples

USA Today: Alabama Now 37th State to Allow Gay Marriage

AP/YouTube: Alabama Becomes 37th State with Same Sex Marriage

CNN: Same Sex Couples Wed in Alabama

ABC News: Same Sex Marriage Stand Off in Alabama

Yahoo News: Judge Roy Moore Refusing to Cooperate with Federal Ruling

Reuters: Same Sex Marriages Begin in Some Parts of Alabama

NY Times: Gay Marriage in Alabama Begins

 


Marriage Equality Sweeps Nation

 

October 2014

 

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.

 

LINK:

 

MS NBC: Marriage Equality States Double in 48 Hours

Tampa Bay Times: Same Sex Marriages in Florida Could Begin in January

Advocate: Florida Could Have Marriage Equality in January

Dallas Voice: Court Refuses to Extend Florida's Gay Marriage Ban

MS NBC: Breaking Out the Wedding Bells in Florida

 


Gay Marriage Legal in 20 States

 

June 2014

 

 

Gay Marriage Wins in Indiana and Utah

Meet First Gay Couple to Marry in Arkansas: Waited 42 Years

Celebrating Marriage Equality

Current List of States That Have Legal Same Sex Marriage

Great Same Sex Wedding Kisses

Mass Wedding Ceremony in Toronto

Same Sex Couples Have Constitutional Right to Marry

LGBTQ Nation: First Same Sex Marriage Licenses Issued in Arkansas

Huff Post: Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

LGBTQ Nation: Court Asked to Suspend Gay Marriage Ruling

ABC News: Gay Couples Marry in Arkansas

USA Today: Gay Marriages Go Ahead in Arkansas

Meet First Gay Couple to Marry in Arkansas: Waited 42 Years

New Gay Rights Anthem by 95 Year Old Ally

Great Same Sex Wedding Kisses

People Who Are Allowed to Get Married While Gay People Are Not

 


Virginia Attorney General Fights State's Ban on Gay Marriage

 

January 2014

 

"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.

 

LINKS:

 

NPR: Virginia's New Attorney Genl Will Not Defend Ban on Gay Marriage

Wash Post: Virginia to Fight Same Sex Marriage Ban

CBS News: Virginia Becoming Battleground for Same Sex Marriage

ABC News: Att Genl Says Virginia's Ban on Same Sex Marriage is Unconstitutional

Huff Post: Va Att Genl Will Not Defend Virginia's Ban on Gay Marriage

WSJ: Virginia's Same Sex Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional Says Att Genl

 


Legalizing Same Sex Marriage in New Mexico, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey

 

ABC News: Long Wait for New Mexico Same Sex Marriage Ruling

Huff Post: New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Gay Marriage Constitutional

NPR: New Mexico's High Court OKs Same sex Marriage

Wash Post: New Mexico Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage

NPR: Gay Marriage Takes Hold in Hawaii

USA Today: Same Sex Weddings Begin in Hawaii

Time Mag: Hawaii Rings in Speedy Start to Gay Marriage

Huff Post: First Gay Weddings Take Place in Hawaii

ABC News: Plans for Illinois Same Sex Marriage Law in the Works

USA Today: Obama Proud of Illinois Same Sex Marriage Vote

Huff Post: Illinois Gay Marriage Bill Passes

Wash Post: Illinois Lawmakers Vote to Approve Same Sex Marriage

Reuters: Gay Marriage Becomes Legal in New Jersey
CNN: New Jersey is 14th State to Recognize Gay Marriage
NY Times: NJ Gov Withdraws Appeal on Gay Marriage Fight
NBC News: Same Sex Marriage in New Jersey

NPR: NJ Gov Won't Fight Gay Marriage

Huff Post: Gay Marriage Comes to New Jersey

Newark Mayor Cory Booker Performs First Same Sex Wedding Ceremonies

New Jersey Love Story: HS Sweethearts Marry After 40 Years

 


Same Sex Marriage Notes

 

New Poll: Gay Marriage Inevitable

Top Ten Arguments Against Gay Marriage

Nothing Taboo: Love Song for the Outcast

Wikipedia: Same Sex Marriage Legislation Around the World

Gay Marriage Jokes

Truth About Gay Marriage

 


Nations That Recognize Gay Marriage

 

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). 

 

LINKS:

 

Countries With Freedom to Marry
Recognition_of_Same-Sex_Unions_in_Europe
About: Where Can Gays Legally Marry?
Huffington Post: Same Sex Marriage Laws Around the Globe

 


Britain Legalizes Gay Marriage

 

July 2013

 

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."

 

LINKS:

 

Huffington Post: Britain Legalizes Gay Marriage

CBS News: UK Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

ABC News: Britain and France in Contrast re Gay Marriage

NBC News: Gay Marriage Legalized in England

 


Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA and Prop 8

 

June 2013

 

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 unions.

 

Same Sex Marriage Victories Draw Big Crowds for Gay Pride

First Gay Couple Wed in Washington Raises Equality Flag on Space Needle

Same Sex Marriage Alive Again in California

Gay Marriage Resumes in California in a Flurry

Katami-Zarillo Wedding Ceremony Live on TV

Plaintiffs in California Marriage Case Marry in SanFrancisco

Yahoo: Mississippi Newspaper Owner Defends Gay Marriage Cover Story

 


ACHA Endorses Gay Marriage

 

May 2013

 

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.

 

LINKS:

 

ACHA Statement in Support of Marriage Equality

ACHA Mission Statement

 


Minnesota Approves Same Sex Marriage

 

 


France Legalizes Gay Marriage

 

 


Delaware Approves Gay Marriage

 

 


Marriage Music

 

Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Matt Nathanson Marriage Equality Video: Modern Love

Ray Boltz: Don't Tell Me Who to Love

Arro Verse: Marry Me

Michael Koppy: Love Conquers All

Same Love: Music for Marriage Equality

Waiting All My Life: Marriage Equality Song
My Beloved Wife

I Have a Right

Let's Be Civil

Same Love: Hip Hop Music for Marriage Equality

Mary Lambert: Music for Marriage Equality Commentary)

Mary Lambert: Same Love

Marriage Equality Song
Marry Me, Girl
Marry Me Boy
 


Rhode Island Passes Gay Marriage Law

 


New Zealand and Uruguay Legalize Gay Marriage

 

April 2013

 

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.

 

LINKS:

 

New Zealand Parliament Breaks Into Song

Huff Post: New Zealand Lawmakers Approve Marriage Equality

Advocate: New Zealand Approves Marriage Equality

Huff Post: Uruguay Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

BBC: Uruguay Congress Approves Gay Marriage

Wikipedia: List of Countries Allowing Same Sex Marriage

 


Fight for Marriage Equality

USA Today: Supreme Court Questions Gay Marriage Bans

Chicago Tribune: Supreme Court Reluctance Regarding Ruling on Same Sex Marriage

NY Times: Supreme Court Willing to Restore Gay Marriage in California?

Huff Post: Gay Marriage Rallies Outside Supreme Court

GOP Senator Rob Portman Reverse Stance on Gay Marriage

Ronald Reagan's Son Slams Gay Marriage

The Ultimate Wedding Party

Ray Boltz: Don't Tell Me Who to Love

Music Video: Marriage Rights in California
 


Maine Approves Same Sex Marriage

 

December 2012

 

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.

 

LINKS:

 

First Gay Couple to Marry in Maine

Same Sex Marriage Law Goes into Effect in Maine

Huff Post: Minnesota, Maine and Maryland

LGBT Marriage Comes to Maine and Maryland

USA Today: Washington State OKs Gay Marriage

Atlantic: Same Sex Marriage Wins on Ballots

 


Washington State Legalizes Gay Marriage

 

December 2012

 

Hundreds of same-sex couples across Washington state started picking up marriage licenses December 6 as a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage took effect.  King County, the state's biggest county, opened the doors to its auditor's office in Seattle just after midnight to start distributing marriage licenses. But hundreds of people had lined up hours earlier, snaking around the downtown Seattle building on a chilly December night. By mid afternoon, about 450 licenses had been issued in Seattle.

 

 

Last month, Washington, Maine and Maryland became the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote. They joined six other states — New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont — and the District of Columbia that had already enacted laws or issued court rulings permitting same-sex marriage.  Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election results of Referendum 74 on Wednesday Dec 5, and the law took effect at 12:01 AM on Thursday Dec 6.  The referendum had asked voters to either approve or reject the state law legalizing same-sex marriage that legislators passed earlier this year. That law was signed by Gregoire in February but was put on hold pending the outcome of the election. Nearly 54 percent of voters approved the measure.

 

LINKS:

 

US Today: Washington Same Sex Couples Get Marriage Licenses
Washington Same Sex Marriage Measure Signed into Law
Washington Gay Marriage: Same Sex Couples Obtain Marriage Licenses for First Time

CNN: Washington Starts Issuing Same Sex Marriage Licenses

Washington Same Sex Marriage: Worth the Wait

Gay Marriage Legal on Caribbean Island of Saba

Married Gay Couples are Healthier According to Research

First Gay Couple to Marry in Maine

Same Sex Marriage Law Goes into Effect in Maine

 


Dawn of a New Day

 

November 2012

 

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 full equality."
 

 

 

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 marriage. The Supreme Court will decide this week whether to hear cases against the federal marriage equality ban and California's Proposition 8.

 

LINKS:

 

HRC Marriage Equality Ad: Dawn of a New Day

Freedom to Marry: State by State Progress

 


Support for Marriage Equality

 

"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 / Captain America

 


President Supports Marriage Equality

 

May 2012

 

With 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," Obama said. "I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part, because I thought civil unions would be sufficient," the president said. "I was sensitive to the fact that, for a lot of people, the word marriage is something that provokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs."  But, Obama said, his thinking shifted as he witnessed committed same-sex marriages and thought about U.S. service personnel who were "not able to commit themselves in a marriage."  A Gallup Poll released Tuesday indicated 50% of Americans believe same-sex marriages should be recognized by law as valid, with 48% saying such marriages should not be legal.

 

LINKS:

 

MS NBC: Rep. Barney Franks Reaction
USA Today: Obama Supports Gay Marriage
CNN: Obama Announces His Support of Same Sex Marriage
WSJ: Obama Backs Gay Marriage
NY Times: Obama Says Gay Marriage Should be Legal

 


Humorous Videos About Marriage Rights

 

February 2012

 

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 festivals.
 

LINKS:

 

Video 1: The Defenders

Video 2: The License

Video 3: Changing Times

 


Victories in Washington and Maryland

 

February 2012
 

As 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. Should the repeal pass, New Hampshire would be the first state in which a legislature has reversed itself on the issue of same-sex marriage. In Maine, voters repealed a marriage law through a referendum in November 2009, shortly after the Legislature approved it. This fall, a ballot initiative will ask voters to make same-sex marriage legal again. The California Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that same-sex couples there had a right to marry, but voters banned same-sex marriage in an initiative later that year. The issue remains in 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 boxThe 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.

 

LINKS:

 

NY Times: Gay Marriage Gains Ground
Huff Post: Washington Gay Marriage Bill Signed Into Law
Reuters: Maryland Gov Signs Same-sex Marriage Law

 


APA Backs Same Sex Marriage

 
August 2011

The
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 / CNN)

 


New York Becomes 6th State for Gay Marriage

 

June 2011
 

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!"
 


 

LINKS:

On Top Mag: Jubilant Crowds Celebrate
NY Times: Road to Gay Marriage in New York
Keith Olbermann: Commentary on Gay Marriage
CBS News: New York is Sixth State to Legalize Gay Marriage
Yahoo News: NY to Begin Gay Marriages as Early as July
Reuters: Same Sex Marriage Down to the Wire in New York
Reuters: Gay Marriage Hinges on Handful of Republicans
Pop Crush: Stars React on Twitter
 


Same Sex Wedding Announcement in Birmingham News

 

February 2011

 

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 officiating).

 


Gay Marriage Commentary

Gay Marriage: We Give a Damn
Dr. Phil: Same Sex Marriage Debate (Part1)
Dr. Phil: Same Sex Marriage Debate (Part2)
Dr. Phil: Same Sex Marriage Debate (Part3)
Dr. Phil: Same Sex Marriage Debate (Part4)
Ellen Degeneres Announces Marriage Plans
Gay Marriage in California (PSA1)
Gay Marriage in California (PSA2)
Gay Marriage in California (PSA3)
Gay Marriage in California (PSA4)
Judge Judy on Same Sex Marriage
The View: Elisabeth Hasselbeck Argues With Melissa Etheridge Over Gay Marriage
Gay Marriage in America: Persuasive Speech at Goshen College
Elderly Canadian Citizen Comments on Same Sex Marriage

 


American Bar Association Backs Gay Marriage

 

Gay Marriage Quotes


"Protect marriage? 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

 

"When 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."

-Owen Keavney

 


Alabama Ban on Same Sex Marriage

 

July 2006

 

The Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment of 2006, also known as Amendment 774, is a defense of marriage amendment that amended the Alabama Constitution to make it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 81% of the voters. Here are excerpts from the text of the amendment:


"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."


LINKS:

Wikipedia: Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment

365 Gay.Com
Equality Alabama
Montgomery Advertiser

Decatur Daily
Athens News Courier
NBC TV 15
CBS News
CNN

NBC TV 13
Ask Alabama: Center for Govt Services at Auburn Univ
Life Site
Polling Report
Against Same Sex Marriage

Traditional Values Coalition

 


Backlash on Alabama's Ban

May 2006

 

On the heels on the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, these remarks were made...

 

"Any 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." 

 

"Thoughtful 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 serves." 

 

Prior to the vote on the Gay marriage ban, John Davis, of the Montgomery Advertiser, wrote:

 

Alabamians will 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 the vote.


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," he said.


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 said.

 


Same Sex Wedding Ceremony at ACA Conference on Montreal

April 2006

 

To enhance 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 Association. 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.

 

 


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ALGBTICAL

Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama