Blog

Marriage vs. civil union: What’s in a name matters

NJVoices.com
February 18, 2008
For too many families across New Jersey, the warning of former New Jersey Chief Justice Deborah Poritz has proven prophetic. "What we name things matters, language matters," she wrote in her dissent in the 2006 Supreme Court decision that led to civil unions rather than marriage for same-sex couples. "By excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage, the state declares that it is legitimate to differentiate between their commitments and the commitments of heterosexual couples."[link]

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Report criticizes NJ civil union law

Philadelphia Inquirer
February 18, 2008
A New Jersey commission has found in an initial report that civil unions - approved a year ago in an attempt to ensure equal rights for same-sex couples - are falling short of the goal. It said that employers were still discriminating against those in same-sex relationships and that civil unions were "not clear to the general public, which creates a second-class status." [link]

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WA State House Passes DP Bill

Advocate
February 15, 2008
"It is indeed symbolic that this vote comes as the 11th annual National Freedom to Marry Week comes to a close," Equal Rights Washington's Connie Watts said in a statement. "Equal Rights Washington and the prime sponsors of the Domestic Partnership Expansion Bill have been clear and unequivocal in stating that we are seeking full marriage equality for families formed by gay and lesbian couples." [link]

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Friends of the Court: Cities, counties push for change

The Bay Area Reporter
February 14, 2008
In all, over 20 California cities and counties, including seven of the 10 largest cities in California, signed onto this amicus brief. In recognition of Freedom to Marry Week, Marriage Equality USA is featuring this cities and counties' amicus brief, along with an amicus brief filed by Professor M.V. Lee Badgett and senior research fellow Gary Gates, which analyzes U.S. Census data on same-sex couples in California. In partnership with the Bay Area Reporter, MEUSA is highlighting each of the 30 amicus "friend of the court" briefs submitted by hundreds of supportive organizations, professional associations, and religious institutions filed before the California Supreme Court in favor of same-sex couples' freedom to marry. [Link]

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‘How can love ever be wrong?’: Partners of 15 years to wed in Canada next month

Manitowoc Herald Times
February 13, 2008
When Judy Stock is offered the chance to kiss her bride in a few weeks, she's going for it. Under the Canadian sky she'll stand, hand-in-hand with Leigh Robert, ready to validate the union the two formed 15 years ago. But why Canada? The answer is simple: It's legal. Unable to wed lawfully in Wisconsin, the women plan to hold an additional ceremony in April at a Sheboygan County church. But they're not willing to let the state hold them back from a white wedding. [link]

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Israel Grants Full Adoption for Gay Couples

The Advocate
February 13, 2008
Gay and lesbian couples in Israel will be allowed the same adoption rights as heterosexual couples, the Israeli government announced Tuesday. [Link]

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As marriage battle looms, CA gay people look back

Reuters
February 13, 2008
The trajectory of the battle for gay rights from Milk's era to today was on the minds of the movie extras for "Milk." If the upcoming California court ruling legalizes gay and lesbian couples' marriages, many supporters will see it as an epic victory and the climax of the work that Milk began. [Link]

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High schooler spars with Rove over so-called “gay marriage”

Think Progress
February 12, 2008
During his controversial speech at New England prep school Choate Rosemary Hall yesterday, former Bush adviser Karl Rove was challenged by a student “to explain how giving gay people the right to marry would endanger other people.” Rove dodged answering her at first, saying that the issue “should be resolved by a legislature or a referendum, not a court.” But the student, Choate senior Marla Spivak, continued to press him. [Link]

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Marriage discrimination challenge set for hearing

Denver Post
February 12, 2008
The first legal challenge to Colorado’s anti-marriage constitutional amendment goes to court Wednesday, with the goal of unraveling Amendment 43, which voters passed in 2006. The main legal case is misdemeanor trespassing: Catherine Burns and Sheila Schroeder, a lesbian couple from Englewood, went to the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office on Sept. 24 to get a marriage license. [Link]

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County residents say same-sex marriage bill will help them

The Frederick News
February 11, 2008
At least 15 residents from Frederick County will travel to Annapolis to attend an Equality Maryland rally in support of legislation that would end the exclusion of same-sex couples and their families from marriage in the state. [Link]

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