Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
In 2004, George W. Bush initiated a war over gay marriage when he was running against Kerry, and Karl Rove helped to extend that battle to states in 2004 and 2006, according to Bush Campaign Chief and Former RNC Chair, Ken Mehlman (previously, twice). GWB won in 2004, and voters passed all 11 bans on gay marriage. The latter shook Tim Gill, a quiet and successful software entrepreneur, who had been a political activist since 1992.
Gill became radicalized. “I got depressed and angry,” he says. “But, in the end, my response was to say, ‘Well, how am I going to fix this? These were political defeats. The way you fix political defeats is through politics. And so I thought, ‘These people are in office. We can’t have that. How do we go about undoing it?’ ”Bloomberg Politics: America’s Gay Corporate Warrior Wants to Bring Full Equality to Red States. [more inside]
The Seven Minutes In 2000 When The Clinton White House Considered Endorsing Marriage Equality (SL Longform Buzzfeed)
"In their youthful days, they took each other as companions for life, and... this union, no less sacred to them than the tie of marriage, has subsisted, in uninterrupted harmony, for forty years, during which they have shared each other’s occupations and pleasures and works of charity while in health, and watched over each other tenderly in sickness."
This afternoon, the Puerto Rican Secretary of Justice announced that Puerto Rico will no longer defend the lawsuit against the ban on same-sex marriage, which is pending at the First Circuit Court of Appeals. [more inside]
Oklahoma. This was a place where Kathryn's workplace had a cussing jar, a quarter per swear, and the words written on it, “Let Go and Let God.” Here, Christianity was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and Oklahoma football was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and people could be decent and kind and judgmental, sometimes all at once, which was why, when Tracy told some Rotary Club friends that she and Kathryn were getting married, she kept her eyes planted above their heads so she wouldn't have to look at their faces.
Missouri state court judge Rex M. Burlison has ruled that Missouri cannot keep St. Louis officials from marrying same sex couples. [more inside]
A federal judge in Idaho has issued a ruling (PDF) declaring Idaho's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, and today denied Gov. Butch Otter's motion for a stay on her decision overturning Idaho's ban on same-sex marriages. [more inside]
A federal judge in Indiana has ordered that the state recognize the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney. [more inside]
With the bill approved by the Illinois House of Representatives, Illinois will become the 15th marriage equality state. [more inside]
Marriage equality comes to Minnesota and Rhode Island at midnight, August 1, and the Minnesota DFL state senators wanted to congratulate their same-sex newlywed constituents. [more inside]
Today is the last day in session for the Illinois House before the summer break, and LGBT advocates are hoping that when they convene at 10:30am, they will address and vote on SB10, legislation already passed by the state Senate to enact marriage equality in the state of Illinois. [more inside]
Rhode Island is about to vote to become the 10th state (and last state in New England) to enact marriage equality with the unanimous support of the State Senate Republicans. [more inside]
The national Republican Party still continues to oppose same-sex marriage, one of the factors of social conservatism that lost it the youth vote in the 2012 election and may have caused Romney's defeat. Many Republicans, however, have been arguing for a sea change to revitalize the party. They may have found it, in an unlikely appeal that "The party of Lincoln should stand with our best tradition of equality and support full civil marriage for all Americans.". A large number of prominent Republicans have signed onto an amicus brief opposing same-sex marriage bans in the Proposition 8 case currently before the Supreme Court - and some believe that the Republican support may allow the justices the political and legal support to rule for national marriage equality.
Following an incident at Fort Bragg where Lt. Colonel Heather Mack's wife, Ashley Broadway, was told she could not join the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses, the Marine Corps has issued guidance that spouses clubs operating on its bases and installations must offer membership to the same-sex spouses of gay and lesbian service members. [more inside]
In 2009, William Marotta, donated his sperm to a lesbian couple. Although they did not go through a licensed physician, per Kansas state law, the three signed an agreement relieving Marotta of any financial or paternal responsibility. The women, who co-parent 8 children, broke up in 2010, and the state of Kansas is now attempting to get Marotta to pay child support. [more inside]
In a private conference this morning, the Supreme Court of the United Stated discussed ten petitions relating to the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. [more inside]
During his tenure as George W. Bush's campaign manager and later as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Ken Mehlman helped push an anti-gay agenda which eventually led to legislation that banned same-sex marriage in 21 states. He came out of the closet in 2010. Since then, he's openly supported gay marriage. Now, his newest endeavor, Project Right Side, is trying to attract conservatives to the fight for marriage equality. He discusses the non-profit's goals in a WSJ editorial: Making the Same-Sex Case. [more inside]
Today, the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that "we conclude that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates equal protection and is therefore unconstitutional" [PDF of decision]. Plaintiff Edie Windsor has also petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear her case. [more inside]
"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
In 1971, "decades before any state had seriously considered legalizing gay marriage, long before anyone had thought of creating—never mind repealing—a policy called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” before Reagan, before AIDS, before the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness, and before half the people currently living in America were even born, a man named John Singer stepped into the King County marriage license office in Seattle." Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist who pioneered the fight for same-sex marriage in Washington State, 41 years ago. Via.
On December 6th, 2011, International Human Rights Day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech in front of the United Nations proclaiming freedom and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (transcript included). [more inside]
"Clay and many magazine people told me not to include a lesbian article in the first issue—and so, of course, we did."
The December 20, 1971 issue of New York Magazine came bundled with a 40-page preview of the first periodical created, owned, and operated entirely by women. The first issue sold out in eight days. 40 years later, New York Magazine interviews Gloria Steinem and the women who launched Ms. Magazine. (single page version.) From the same issue: How the Blogosphere Has Transformed the Feminist Conversation [more inside]
Early this morning, the law that legalized Same-Sex Marriage in New York State went into effect, with many couples choosing to tie the knot at the stroke of midnight. In New York City, the city clerk will be working overtime to process marriage licenses for the 823 same-sex couples expected to wed there today, having adding extra capacity to ensure that all couples who signed up in advance would not be turned away. LGBT weddings are expected to bring an additional $155 million in tourism revenues into the state over the next 12 months, and governor Andrew Cuomo's approval ratings are currently the highest of any US state governor following the passage of the bill.
The New Republic examines what they're calling "America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle" and asks, "What will it take for America to accept transgender people for who they really are?" [more inside]
Brazil's supreme court recognises same sex unions. The Brazilian Supreme Court voted 10-0 (one abstention) yesterday to recognise same-sex civil unions as of equal legal validity to marriage/ with "stable" same-sex couples now able to gain certificates that allow access to equal legal rights. "Discrimination generates hatred," said Justice Carlos Ayres Britto, who wrote the ruling. [more inside]
Photos of US soldiers and vets engaged in non-violent protest against "DADT" in front of the White House.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an exhibit of photographs by Jeff Sheng that is currently on tour in the US. A sharp contrast to his previous work: Fearless, which highlighted young Canadian and US athletes who openly identify as gay, lesbian or transgendered, this new exhibition shows gay American servicemen who cannot, so they have been photographed in uniform with their faces hidden or outside the photo's frame to protect their anonymity. Flash Galleries: DADT 1, DADT 2. [more inside]
Two weeks ago, a Jewish newspaper in New Jersey, the Jewish Standard, published a wedding announcement for a same-sex Jewish couple. Now they're apologizing for it and saying it won't happen again. [more inside]
Not all queer or LGBT people are for legalizing gay marriage. The Against Equality collective argues that legalizing marriage values one type of relationship over another (.pdf), doesn't do enough for queer people of colour, and plays into the larger class struggle. Beyond Marriage calls for "access to a flexible set of economic benefits and options regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender/gender identity, class, or citizenship status". Queer activists in Maine consider the marriage issue a "distraction from improving the lives of gay people", and Questioning Transphobia argues that "marriage by its very nature is an exclusive practice, its purpose is to ennoble some relationships and by default render other relationships to be less meaningful and less worthy of legal and social recognition". Mainstream queer women's website Autostraddle ponders all this and asks: does gay marriage make gays straight?
With a ruling scheduled today on Prop 8 — the California ballot measure that took away the right to marry from same-sex couples — Dave Fleischer has an in-depth analysis of all of the polling data on Prop 8, and his findings include some counter-intuitive numbers, like that the confusing wording actually ended up helping the No vote more than the Yes.
"We know it's a little clichéd – but here's what we want to tell the census: We're here. We're queer. And we want you to ask us about it."
The 2010 United States Census will be able to count gay marriages and partnerships. George Takei and his husband tell you how. Even with the restrictions placed on that data by the Defense of Marriage Act, that's good news for the LGB part of the spectrum, but what about T? If you're transgender, despite what the Census might tell you, it's not so simple to be counted. (hat tip to nadawi) [more inside]
Yesterday, US President Obama signed a $680bn military policy bill, which cuts military spending, including $2bn in funding for new F-22 fighter jets. However, the bill also contained the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, and fulfilled an Obama campaign promise: acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have now been added to the list of federal hate crimes.