Tag Archives: Gay Marriage

Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage

WASHINGTON — Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election.

Jon M. Huntsman Jr., who opposed same-sex marriage
 during his 2012 presidential bid, signed the brief.
Meg Whitman supported Proposition 8
when she ran for California governor.

The document will be submitted this week to the Supreme Court in support of a suit seeking to strike downProposition 8, a California ballot initiative barring same-sex marriage, and all similar bans. The court will hear back-to-back arguments next month in that case and another pivotal gay rights case that challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.”
The Proposition 8 case already has a powerful conservative supporter: Theodore B. Olson, the former solicitor general under Mr. Bush and one of the suit’s two lead lawyers. The amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief is being filed with Mr. Olson’s blessing. It argues, as he does, that same-sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up in two-parent homes, and that it advances conservative values of “limited government and maximizing individual freedom.”
Legal analysts said the brief had the potential to sway conservative justices as much for the prominent names attached to it as for its legal arguments. The list of signers includes a string of Republican officials and influential thinkers — 75 as of Monday evening — who are not ordinarily associated with gay rights advocacy, including some who are speaking out for the first time and others who have changed their previous positions.
Among them are Meg Whitman, who supported Proposition 8 when she ran for California governor; Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York; Stephen J. Hadley, a Bush national security adviser; Carlos Gutierrez, a commerce secretary to Mr. Bush; James B. Comey, a top Bush Justice Department official; David A. Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s first budget director; and Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership from Ohio who is retired from Congress.
Experts say that amicus briefs generally do not change Supreme Court justices’ minds. But on Monday some said that the Republican brief, written by Seth P. Waxman, a former solicitor general in the administration of President Bill Clinton, and Reginald Brown, who served in the Bush White House Counsel’s Office, might be an exception..

New York Times, February 25th 2013
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Approval expected but full House vote likely to be tough battle 21 FEBRUARY 2013 | BY GREG HERNANDEZ The next step in the path to Illinois becoming the 10th state in the US to make gay marriage legal will come next Tuesday (26 February) when it is to be considered by the House Executive Committee.

The committee is comprised of seven Democrats and four Republicans. At least six of the members must vote in favor of sending the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act to the full House for a vote. 
Since the Illinois State Senate passed the marriage equality bill by a vote of 34-21 last week, a full House vote would be the final step before Illinois Governor Pat Quinn can sign gay marriage into law. 
At least 60 House members must vote ‘yes’ to pass the legislation for it to move on to the governor.

Illinois already allows civil unions. It is believed legalizing marriage equality could generate the state anywhere from $39 to $72 million and up to $8 million in new tax revenues. 

But the marriage bill has seen strong criticism from religious and far right-wing groups.

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"Respect for Marriage" Ad Campaign

A pro-gay marriage group is set to launch a $1 million media campaign in support of same-sex nuptials, with full-page ads in several major newspapers and a television spot featuring President Barack Obama, former first lady Laura Bush and former Vice ,President Dick Cheney.

The Respect for Marriage Coalition, co-chaired by the Human Rights Campaign, is behind the ad campaign, which begins with TV spots airing on national cable and the Sunday-morning talk shows, along with ads in POLITICO, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, officials with the group said.


The goal of the spot is to show voices from both sides of the political aisle supporting gay marriage, an issue which saw statewide victories in Washington, Maryland, Maine and Minnesota on Election Day last November.

The spot doesn’t feature fresh sit-down interviews, but uses clips from Bush, Cheney, Obama and former Secretary of State Colin Powell discussing gay marriage.

In the ad, Bush is quoted as saying, “When couples are committed to each other and love each other, then they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has.”

Obama’s clip is from his inaugural address last month, in which he said, “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.”

There are two major cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court that relate to gay marriage — one about the California gay marriage ban, the other about the federal Defense of Marriage Act — and the ad campaign takes place in the context of landmarks in the pro-gay marriage movement.

Pennsylvania Voters support Gay Marriage

A slim majority of Pennsylvania voters supports legalizing gay marriage, an issue that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court next month.

Fifty-two percent support gay marriage, a Franklin & Marshall poll made public Thursday shows, up from 33 percent support measured by the college in a 2006 poll. The increased support mirrors a national trend and the results of a Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll in December 2011.
Muhlenberg pollster Chris Borick has been watching views on gay marriage shift dramatically. Support rose from 35 percent in 2004, to 42 percent in 2009, to 52 percent in 2011. In polling terms, he said, that’s “meteoric.”
It’s also largely generational. Of Pennsylvanians younger than 35, 79 percent support gay marriage, while those over 55 back gay marriage by 42 percent, said G. Terry Madonna, pollster for F&M in Lancaster.
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“I think in 25 years this is not going to be much of an issue,” Madonna said.
The issue has seen significant turning points in just the last year. President Barack Obama voiced his support for gay marriage ahead of the 2012 election, the national Democrats added it to their party platform and the president’s inaugural address last month was the first to include mention of gay rights.
At the end of March, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over the constitutionality of two laws, one federal and one from California, that define marriage as between one man and one woman. Nine states — Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington — have legalized gay marriage.
Adrian Shanker of Bethlehem, president of Equality Pennsylvania, a nonprofit that advocates for gay equality, said Pennsylvanians and most Americans, particularly younger ones, are now viewing the gay marriage issue as a matter of civil rights.
“In six years, which is not that long in terms of public opinion on most issues, we’ve just seen a sea change,” he said. “I think hearts and minds have been changing. … Those who actively oppose it are shrinking every single day.”

– continue reading at  F&M 

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Thai government drafting same-sex civil partnership law

 The Thai government has formed a committee to draft legislation on civil-partnership law for same-sex couples.

One of the committee members, Anjana Suvarnananda of LGBT rights group Anjaree told Gay Star News that the committee has already met and the timetable for drafting recognition of same-sex partnerships is six weeks.
‘It’s just drafting,’ said Suvarnananda. ‘And then they will send it to a legal department who will iron it out and make it more legal language. And then it needs to get approval from the government. I’m not sure how long it will take.’
No country in Asia currently has comprehensive civil partnership law. So if this legal recognition is passed, Thailand will be the first.
Thailand has a reputation for tolerance for LGBT people but there is no anti-discrimination law (and widespread discrimination) and even though it is a Mecca for sex reassignment surgery, Thai transexuals cannot change the gender written on their official documents. �

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Uruguay Lower House Approves Gay Marriage

Uruguay has moved closer to legalising gay marriage after the lower house of Congress approved a law making all marriages equal.

The measure, which was passed by a wide margin, now goes to the Senate where it is expected to be approved. After a long debate, Uruguayan deputies voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday night to approve the Marriage Equality Law.
“This is not a homosexual or gay marriage law. It is a measure to equalise the institution independent of the sex of the couple,” said Julio Bango, one of the bill’s authors.
The bill now goes to the Senate where President Jose Mujica’s governing coalition has a majority.
In recent years, Uruguay has moved to allow same-sex civil unions, adoption by gay couples, and to allow gay members of the armed forces.
It would make Uruguay the second Latin American country after Argentina to allow gay marriages.
Uruguay’s neighbour Argentina legalised gay marriage in 2010. Same-sex marriages have been legal in Mexico City since 2009. 
Same-sex marriages are legal in Mexico City, while civil unions are recognised in several countries in the region. In a recent decision Mexico’s Supreme Court overturned a law in the state of Oaxaca that banned gay marriage. The ruling could pave the way to legalisation across Mexico, according to legal experts.

In May, Brazil’s Supreme Court voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing same-sex couples the same legal rights as married heterosexuals.

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