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]
An Idaho State Senator, Paul Shepherd, has called on the state to impeach federal judges who struck down the state's anti-SSM law. One mistake, though. He forgot to renew the domain for his re-election campaign, and now a gay nerd has taken it over.
"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.
"Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental." U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman posts a ruling that Louisiana’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages is constitutional. [more inside]
What's better than reading a judge ruthlessly dismantling arguments against marriage equality? Hearing the judge's own voice as he makes lawyers arguing for Indiana's and Wisconsin's bans on same-sex marriage look like fools. Previously.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the decision overturning Virginia's ban on Same sex marriage:
"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance."[more inside]
Monroe County Circuit Judge, Luis Garcia, has ruled that a provision in the Florida Constitution that outlaws same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. [more inside]
A federal judge in Indiana has ordered that the state recognize the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney. [more inside]
Following the state Supreme Court's decision in Griego v. Oliver [pdf], New Mexico has become the 17th U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. [more inside]
West Australian MP Stephen Dawson and his partner Dennis Liddelow have become the first same-sex couple to legally marry in Australia. But the High Court of Australia may declare the legislation that allowed them to get married — and thus their marriage itself — invalid next week. [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]
You are likely already familiar with many of the arguments for and against marriage equality but here are cogent arguments for precisely why it is needed, unthreatening, and beneficial; patiently explained by a gay philosopher who recently spent quite a bit of time hanging out with NOM’s co-founder, Maggie Gallagher. [more inside]
Gov. Chris Christie vetoes New Jersey bill granting marriage equality. Meanwhile, the Maryland House narrowly passes such a bill. The MD Senate passed a similar bill last year, and no senators have announced any plans to change their votes, and Gov. Martin O'Malley has promised to sign it.
Republican state rep. Maureen Walsh (WA, 16th District) gives a heartbreakingly earnest speech on behalf of marriage equality.
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.
Maine Ways (SLYT)
Today, the Vermont Legislature voted to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill allowing same sex marriage, making Vermont the 4th state in the nation (and the second state this week) to legalize same sex marriage. Vermont is the first state to do it legislatively; it happened in the other three states via court ruling.
The Iowa Supreme Court has just unanimously declared the state's ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. "The decision strikes the language from Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil marriage to a man and a woman. It further directs that the remaining statutory language be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage." (full summary PDF) The ruling effectively legalizes same-sex marriage in the state of Iowa.
Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage... California joins New York in a lower-court decision for marriage equality, with the judge stating, "The idea that marriage-like rights without marriage is adequate smacks of a concept long rejected by the courts — separate but equal," ... And in DC, Ken Mehlman, (closeted) head of the RNC, in an interview with the AP, backslides on his party's trumpeting of anti-gay sentiment: - It's not his job as head of the party to tell states whether they should allow same-sex couples to wed or form civil unions. "Certainly our platform states that the party is committed to ensuring that there is traditional marriage," he said, but he didn't think the party should take a position on state initiatives. More on today's court decision here.