Which states will be the next to institute marriage equality - and just how will it happen?
Within just a few weeks, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Minnesota have established marriage equality for same-sex couples, following an equally successful Election Day in Maryland, Maine, and Washington last November. In the past year, the number of states that extend marriage rights to same-sex couples has literally doubled. But now that same-sex couples in 12 states plus the District of Columbia can legally wed, LGBT people in 38 other states are left waiting for full marriage rights. That's why we've ranked the remaining states in the order of likeliness to establish marriage rights for same-sex couples.
The Advocate's ranking takes into account current relationship laws, pending lawsuits and legislation, the number of gay state officials, the percentage of gay couples, the latest opinion polls, the governor's political affiliation, and whether there has been any attention from national organizations such Freedom to Marry, the Human Rights Campaign, or the American Civil Liberties Union on particular states. The states were awarded points based on these various factors, with the number after each state representing its total score. This produces a list of sure bets and surprises that outline the marriage equality lobby's playbook for the next couple of years. That is, of course, unless the U.S. Supreme Court miraculously decides to not only overturn the Defense of Marriage Act but also Proposition 8 and all constitutional marriage bans in every state.
Illinois Coalition Recommits To Winning Gay Marriage After 'Disappointing' Session
June 16, 2013
Supporters of legalizing gay marriage
in Illinois on Sunday said that they would increase their lobbying
efforts on a stalled marriage bill.
After passage of the bill in the Senate on
Valentine's Day, the measure's champion in the House, Rep. Greg
Harris, surprised proponents on the last day of the spring
legislative session when he announced that he would not call the bill
for a vote. Harris choked back tears as he explained that he had
assurances from colleagues that they would support the measure in the
fall and pledged to call a vote on the bill in November.
WASHINGTON - A Supreme Court ruling this month that could overturn the
ban on federal benefits for same-sex couples is presenting the Obama
administration with a series of complicated and politically sensitive
decisions: how aggressively to overhaul references to marriage
throughout the many volumes that lay out the laws of the United States.
The decisions could affect Social Security checks, immigration laws and
military benefits for same-sex couples, among other issues, with the
outcomes based on whether the couples live in a state that allows them
Gay rights advocates, aware that a Supreme Court ruling that overturns
the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act would be the beginning of their push to
have the federal government recognize same-sex marriage, are urging
White House officials to plan to modify hundreds of mentions of marriage
throughout federal statutes and regulations. Many legal analysts say
there is a substantial chance that the Supreme Court will strike down
the 1996 law, which in defining marriage as a union between a man and a
woman denies federal benefits to same-sex couples.
Click here to read the complete article.
Groups Prepare For SCOTUS Decisions On Gay Marriage
June 12, 2013
Groups which advocate for gay rights
are preparing for the release of two Supreme Court rulings related to
The high court in March heard oral
arguments in cases challenging the constitutionality of the Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits federal agencies from
recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, and
Proposition 8, a voter-approved amendment to the California
constitution which limits marriage to heterosexual unions.
While the court could release the
opinions at any moment, most court watchers believe it will hold off
until the end of this year's session, on June 26 or 27.
Two Gay Couples Join New Mexico Lawsuit Which Seeks Right To Marry
June 12, 2013
Two gay couples have joined a lawsuit
which challenges New Mexico's laws limiting marriage to heterosexual
Longtime partners A.D. Joplin and Greg
Gomez and Monica Leaming and Cecilia Taulbee became plaintiffs last
week in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of New
Mexico (ACLU-NM) on behalf of two gay couples in March.
solid majority of Americans opposes a broad national right to same-sex
marriage, saying the power to legalize gay unions should rest with the
states - even as most support marriage equality for gay people,
according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
survey comes as the Supreme Court is preparing to issue decisions this
month on two high-profile same-sex marriage cases. Justices are weighing
the constitutionality of California's ban and the Defense of Marriage
Act, a 1996 law that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples; the
public appears squarely in favor of overturning that law.
A bill which seeks to make Britain the
15th nation to legalize gay marriage was approved by the
House of Lords on its second reading Tuesday, leaving little doubt
the bill will become law.
After roughly 3 hours of debate,
members approved the measure with a voice vote. The House of Commons
approved the measure last month. The bill now heads to the committee
An amendment aimed at derailing the
project was widely defeated by a 390-148 margin. The "wrecking
amendment," as it has been dubbed by the media, sought to allow
straight couples to enter civil partnerships. Opponents were
disappointed by the meager support the amendment received.
Lawmakers back gay marriage, union bills in Wyoming
By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
January 15, 2013
For the first time in his career, Jackson Republican Rep. Keith Gingery is backing a gay marriage bill.
After eight years in the Legislature, Gingery has signed on as a co-sponsor of two measures sanctioning same-sex unions.
Democratic Rep. Cathy Connolly filed legislation late Monday afternoon
that would create a path for gay couples to form civil unions or get
The dual approach already has won the backing of Reps.
Ruth Ann Petroff, R-Jackson, and Gingery. Both Teton County lawmakers
said they would prefer to see gay marriage allowed in Wyoming but are
willing to debate whether civil unions might be a better way to go.
a basic human rights and fairness issue," Petroff said Monday. "It's a
basic constitutional issue. There should just be no reason why same-sex
couples shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else."
Nevada lawmakers are expected to consider a bill which would repeal a 2002 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the state.
Assemblyman Elliot Anderson, a Democrat from Las Vegas, announced that he will introduce a bill in February which would begin the process of repealing the ban.
Nevada is the only state which requires that a citizen-initiated amendment be voted on twice. An overwhelming 69.6 percent of voters first approved Question 2 in 2000. Support dropped slightly to 67 percent for the second and final vote in 2002.
Anderson told the Las Vegas Sunthat he believes attitudes on the issue have shifted since 2002.
The Faces of Family are everywhere. They are the common thread that runs through us all. Regardless of color, race, spiritual belief, love orientation or political persuasion, we all share a family heritage.
The Wedding Party is proud to announce The Faces of Family project! The Faces of Family project will continue The Wedding Party's promise to provide the media and the world with the honest and provocative truth about same-sex relationships and families.
How can you be a part? Send us your story! Tell us about your family and why it is important. Tell us what family means to you and how your understanding of marriage was affected by your experience of family. Send us your picture and we will tell your story.
The Faces of Family Project is raising funds
to send the message to Albany to leave no family
behind and that all families deserve protection
through marriage. Click
here to contribute to our Faces of Family
Values Are For Everyone
Gloria Steinem - Author and Activist
If I had married when I was supposed to, I would have lost my name, my legal residence, my credit rating, my ability to get a loan or start a business without my husband's permission - most of my civil rights.
It's taken almost four decades of work by the women's movement to make an equal marriage possible, a parallel to the struggle of suffragists to change marriage laws that turned wives into property, and became the legal model for slavery. Suffragists won a legal identity. Feminists won a legal equality.
Janice Langbehn - Finding Strength Through Tragedy
On February 18, 2007 my partner, Lisa Marie Pond, died from a brain aneurysm. On that day, our family was dreaming of white sandy beaches and blue waters as we were getting ready to set sail on the RFamily Vacation cruise out of Miami to the Bahamas. Instead, Lisa who was very healthy collapsed while watching our children play basketball on the top deck. The kids were brave souls and carried Lisa down to the stateroom where I took one look at her and knew it was very serious, she couldn't talk at all and had no ability to stand. I will always have to live with the memory of the trauma our children endured by watching as their "other" mom was dying before their eyes. Fortunately, Lisa and I knew sign language because we have had many foster children who had language delays. So I signed and asked her if she hit her head and she replied very sternly in sign language "NO". That is when I thought it was a stroke or some other serious brain event. Ship porter's helped me get her to the Ships' doctor who called for Miami Fire and Rescue. Click here to read the complete article.
Every year Lambda Legal hosts award galas, garden parties, intimate dinners and other events. We also hold educational forums, seminars and rallies, sometimes with partner organizations - and our attorneys and public education staff participate in a wide range of conferences and workshops open to the public. Click through below to find out what's happening in a town near you! Click here for more information!
WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Ariz.) made another threat on Thursday to walk away from his own comprehensive immigration reform bill, this time over an amendment to provide the same immigration benefits to LGBT couples as heterosexual ones.
"If this bill has something in it that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I'm done," Rubio said on the Andrea Tantaros Show. "I'm off it, and I've said that repeatedly. I don't think that's going to happen and it shouldn't happen. This is already a difficult enough issue as it is."
Nigeria lawmakers pass bill banning gay marriage, setting prison sentences of up to 14 years
By Bashir Adigun And Jon Gambrell, The Associated PressMay 30, 2013
ABUJA, Nigeria - Lawmakers in Nigeria passed a bill Thursday banning gay marriage and outlawing anyone from forming organizations supporting gay rights, setting prison terms of up to 14 years for offenders.
Nigeria's House of Representatives approved the bill in a voice vote, likely sending it immediately to President Goodluck Jonathan for him to potentially sign into law in Africa's most populous nation. Whether he will approve it remains unclear, and both the United States and the United Kingdom raised concerns over a measure that could put foreign funding for AIDS and HIV outreach programs in jeopardy.
Nigeria's Senate previously passed the bill in November 2011 and the measure quietly disappeared for some time before coming up in Thursday's session of the House. Under previous versions of the proposed law, couples who marry could face up to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps couples marry could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars.
ROME - For years, perhaps even centuries, it has been an open secret in
Rome: Some prelates in the Vatican hierarchy are, in fact, gay. But the
whispers were amplified this week when Pope Francis himself, in a
private audience, appeared to have acknowledged what he called a "gay
lobby" operating inside the Vatican, vying for power and influence.
Speaking to a meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation
of Religious Men and Women on June 6, Francis discussed a dossier he had
received from his predecessor, Benedict XVI. "The 'gay lobby' is
mentioned, and it is true, it is there... We need to see what we can
do," Francis said in Spanish, according to a loose summary of the meeting posted on a Chilean Web site, Reflection and Liberation, and later translated into English by the blog Rorate Caeli.
On Tuesday, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, did not
deny the reports of Francis' remarks, saying only that he had no comment
on a private meeting. Late Tuesday, the Latin American group, the
regional organization for priests and nuns of religious orders, known by
its Spanish acronym, CLAR, confirmed the remarks and issued an apology, saying it was distressed that its summary had been published on the site.
The "gay lobby" has long been the subject of speculation in Vatican
circles, and references to it emerged most recently in juicy, unsourced
reports in the Italian daily La Repubblica and a newsweekly, Panorama,
ahead of the March conclave in which Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge
Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, was elected.
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