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State Assembly approves marriage law

Gay City News
June 19, 2007

In an historic vote late in the evening on Tuesday, June 19, the New York State Assembly approved legislation guaranteeing marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. The measure was approved by a vote of 85 to 61 after a floor debate that lasted more than three hours. "Fresh from the historic Massachusetts victory last week, we now have a state that many thought couldn't do it become the second legislative body in the country to step toward marriage equality," Evan Wolfson said. "The fact that states such as New York, California, and New Jersey are so dramatically within reach ought to inspire all of us, gay and non-gay people, funders, and allies to go the extra mile now, and really work for what is now within our reach."

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NY State Assembly approves marriage law

Gay City News
June 19, 2007
In an historic vote late in the evening on Tuesday, June 19, the New York State Assembly approved legislation guaranteeing marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. The measure was approved by a vote of 85 to 61 after a floor debate that lasted more than three hours. "Fresh from the historic Massachusetts victory last week, we now have a state that many thought couldn't do it become the second legislative body in the country to step toward marriage equality," Evan Wolfson said. "The fact that states such as New York, California, and New Jersey are so dramatically within reach ought to inspire all of us, gay and non-gay people, funders, and allies to go the extra mile now, and really work for what is now within our reach." [Link]

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COLUMN: Do Southern Baptists really support ‘Biblical’ marriage?

Ethics Daily
June 19, 2007
Before marriage was elevated to a sacrament during the Council of Trent (1563), it was not regarded as sacred. The ideas that marriage must be licensed by the state or sanctioned by the church are modern innovations that go beyond the biblical tradition. Our modern definition of the traditional marriage based on love, trust, vulnerability and commitment is neither traditional nor biblical. In fact, what we call the traditional marriage is quite a modern invention (since about the 17th century). [Link]

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OPINION: Tyranny by ballot

The Boston Globe
June 16, 2007
When the Massachusetts Legislature voted this week, it acted upon the knowledge that for too long, gay and lesbian people — like people of color, women, and the physically challenged before them — were penalized by the details of life, enslaved mentally and physically to the will of the majority... This was a moment the Legislature had to be the guardian angel. It acted in the spirit of Federalist No. 51: "A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions." [Link]

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Waves of change swept away bid against gay people’s marriages

The Boston Globe
June 17, 2007
Over the years, one legislator after another moved into the pro-marriage equality camp, or at least into the anti-amendment one. Some did so after immense personal struggles over the issue; some after they discovered that switching sides had few electoral costs. In 2004, the year of the most impassioned debate over gay and lesbian marriages, all of the lawmakers who switched their positions to oppose the ban were reelected, even though supporters of the amendment had warned them of bruising battles and certain defeat. [Link]

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WA woman shares tale of denial at bedside of her dying partner

The Olympian
June 17, 2007
Four months ago, Lacey resident Janice Langbehn, her partner Lisa Pond and their children Katie, David and Danielle, ages 10 to 13, were set for a relaxing cruise from Miami to the Bahamas. But Pond, Langbehn's partner for nearly 18 years, was stricken in Miami with a brain aneurysm and died. After Pond was taken to the emergency room, Langbehn said she was informed by a social worker that they were in an "anti-gay state" and that they needed legal paperwork before Langbehn could see Pond. The family was not allowed to be with her in the emergency room, and Langbehn's authority to make decisions for Pond was not recognized. [Link]

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BLOG: Surging past WA on gay rights: CA, MA, OR… and Colombia?

The Stranger's Blog
June 16, 2007
Dan Savage writes, "The Washington State domestic partnership law includes the right to inherit property in the absence of a will but it does not mandate health insurance coverage for DPs or social security benefits (which are, unfortunately, in the hands of the feds). Still, if they're passing laws in Colombia—Colombia!—that go farther than Washington's DP law, we can and should do better, and demand more, during the next legislative session." [link]

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A way to keep domestic partner benefits in MI

Inside Higher Ed
June 15, 2007
Michigan's public colleges and universities were barred by a state appeals court in February from offering health and other benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of employees. So Michigan State University is trying another tack: extending benefits to people it labels "other eligible individuals." [Link]

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Straight Rabbi at gay shul set to be not-quite-married

New York Magazine
June 15, 2007
"This is one of the major social injustices of our time," Rabbi Ayelet Cohen said. "I cannot, in good conscience, participate in a system that actively excludes and discriminates against same-sex couples" — including her 4,000 congregants. [Link]

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Personal stories changed minds

The Boston Globe
June 15, 2007
The urgency, and power, of telling your stories, supporting public education efforts, and talking about why marriage matters: Representative Richard J. Ross, a Republican from Wrentham, had a revelation Wednesday afternoon after meeting with a gay Republican who presented him with this challenge: As director of his family's funeral home, Ross had surely treated every family the same, no matter what their race, religion, or sexual orientation. So why would he do anything else in his other job, as a lawmaker? [Link]

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