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]
Two years after Elizabeth and Mary Cheney publicly fought each other on marriage equality, another set of sisters, also named Elizabeth and Mary, write about their own challenging experiences:
I know that in this day and age many thousands, if not millions, of families find themselves in predicaments similar to ours. My desire is that our joint disclosure might help others begin to open their hearts and minds to one another. I hope that they can find both the courage and the charity to have those difficult but potentially transformative conversations that they, like we, have avoided for such a long time.
"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."
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.
Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase! A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
At long last the College Of Arms has released offical guidelines on the effects of same-sex marriage on heraldry.
New Jersey court to allow same-sex marriages. A stay was not granted to an earlier ruling allowing gay people to marry in New Jersey. Asbury Park and Newark are already issuing marriage licenses for couples to marry at the first possible time on Monday. This defeats a long-term move by governor Christie and conservatives to push a statewide referendum rather than go ahead with the court's ruling. New Jersey is now the fourteenth state to allow gay marriage.
Yep it's another proposal video. The woman being proposed to works for Washington Bus, a group which focuses on youth involvement in Democracy and was instrumental in helping get Marriage Equality passed in Washington state. SPOILER ALERT: She gets to take advantage of that law! [more inside]
Today, at noon (central daylight time) the Minnesota Senate will begin debate on a bill to legalize same sex marriages. The bill already passed the Minnesota House. As Reuters reports, the Senate will likely pass the bill, and Governor Mark Dayton has promised to sign it into law. [more inside]
Earlier today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the California Prop 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry. SCOTUSblog has a round-up of their analysis of today's arguments here. NYT article. LA Times article. [more inside]
Conservative Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) came out in favor of marriage equality today, in an interview on CNN and an Op-Ed in the Columbus Dispatch. This reversal comes via Portman's son, who came out as a gay man to his parents two years ago. Reaction has been mixed.
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]
A preacher rebukes North Carolina media over asking the wrong questions about marriage. North Carolina votes today on Amendment 1, which states that, "Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." Here are some of the people who would be affected.
A progressive Australian political advocacy group have produced a 2-minute advertisement showing their support of Marriage Equality Down Under. Warning: May pull heartstrings. [more inside]
Why A Heterosexual, Married, North Carolinian Father Of Three Cares About LGBT Equality. Married father of three boys writes eloquently about the reasons why he opposes the proposed constitutional amendment banning any legal relationship recognition for same-sex couples. The amendment goes before voters in May primary election, when heavy Republican turnout is expected. Meanwhile Senator Goolsby says that it is all about "empowering voters" "so no activist judge is able to decide on his or her own what marriage is." [original]
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.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is an opinionated and sometimes very strange webcomic. (several times previously) The National Organization for Marriage is an organization that lobbies to protect heterosexual-only marriage rights. Today's SMBC is about the future! The NOM does not like this future. The NOM blog hotlinks this comic. Wait, that's not the same picture, is it... [more inside]
Record-breaking numbers of Finns leave the national church of Finland following a gay rights panel discussion on TV. [more inside]
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.
Pope Benedict XVI has announced the establishment of a new Vatican department dedicated to tackling what he called 'a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church." The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation will (per Archbishop Vincent Nichols,) focus on countries "in which, even though the Christian Gospel has shaped an entire culture," secularism now reigns, in what the Pope termed an "eclipse of a sense of God." [more inside]
What with all the changes lately, sometimes I'm not sure where my right to marry whomever I want to has been ensured. Can I Marry Gay? is a handy reference with state by state information, and keeps me up to date. Worried about recent state Supreme Court decisions forcing you to join teh gay? Must I Marry Gay? is for you. [via mefi projects]
If it looks like a duck and it smells like a duck and it sounds like a duck it's a . . . . Holy Union?