Blog Entries by Angela Dallara

Hawaii and Delaware celebrate first civil unions of the New Year

Hawaii and Delaware joined a growing number of states extending relationship recognition to gay and lesbian couples when their historic civil union laws went into effect on New Year’s Day.

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Standing Up for New Hampshire Families launches touching TV ad

Did you catch the new television ad circulating in New Hampshire about the freedom to marry?

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Senator Bob Menendez announces support for the freedom to marry

Today, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) announced his support for the freedom to marry and the Respect for Marriage Act in the Star Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper.

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SLDN plaintiffs discuss DOMA on MSNBC

Charlie Morgan and Karen Morgan, two plaintiffs in the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) lawsuit challenging the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), appeared on MSNBC yesterday to talk about their marriage and the harms of DOMA.

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Australia’s Labor Party endorses the freedom to marry

Australia’s ruling Labor Party endorsed extending the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples throughout the country this past Saturday, according to the Associated Foreign Press. Delegates agreed to reverse their party platform and support marriage after hearing from citizens on both sides of the debate at the Australian Labor Party conference in Sydney over the weekend.

The decision conflicts with Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s support of a national ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Gillard called for the party to accept a conscience vote on the issue, which they did by a vote of 208-184. Currently, Gillard’s party holds a slight majority in Parliament over the conservative Liberal Party, which opposes the freedom to marry.

Although civil unions for gay and lesbian couples are recognized by five states, Australia’s federal government prohibits these couples from many protections and responsibilities of marriage due to the Marriage Act. Polls by Australian Marriage Equality demonstrate that 62% of Australian citizens were in favor of the freedom to marry in 2010.

Click here to read more about international progress for the freedom to marry around the world.

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Freedom to Marry lauds HUD Secretary Donovan for supporting marriage

Freedom to Marry founder and President Evan Wolfson praised U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan for becoming the first sitting cabinet secretary to announce support for the freedom to marry.

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Senate Judiciary Committee passes the Respect for Marriage Act

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-8 in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act (S-598), the bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The bill will now advance to the full Senate.

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Freedom to Marry and HRC release issue brief on how DOMA harms children

Today Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign released an issue brief documenting the harms of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act on the children of gay and lesbian parents.

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Victory in Iowa a win for the freedom to marry

Last night’s election of Democrat Liz Mathis to the Iowa state Senate was an enormous victory for the freedom to marry both within the state and across the nation. Mathis defeated Republican Cindy Golding by a 56% to 44% vote to represent Iowa’s District 18, ensuring Democratic control of the state Senate.
Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, had this to say about the results:
“Today’s election of Liz Mathis is a tremendous victory for the state of Iowa.  The voters rebuffed the anti-gay attacks that sought to make undoing the freedom to marry a critical factor in the race, and instead elected a candidate who supports the freedom to marry for all Iowa families.  One Iowa worked hard to make sure that marriage remains secure in Iowa and to elect a legislator who will focus on the real challen
ges confronting the state.  Freedom to Marry looks forward to working with One Iowa to continue telling the stories of families strengthened by marriage in Iowa, and growing support for fairness and respect for all.”
The special election was crucial because it presented a possible shift in the balance of power in the Iowa state Senate by creating a tie in Republican and Democratic leadership, which could have caused Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal to lose control of the chamber. Gronstal has promised that as long as he retains his position, he will make sure that a state constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples will not be introduced. With the addition of Mathis, Democrats retain a 26-24 majority throughout the 2012 legislative session.
Iowa extended the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples following a ruling by the state Supreme Court in 2009 finding the denial of marriage to be against the state’s constitution. 
Click here to read about Freedom to Marry’s Roadmap to Victory and other ways in which we are working to preserve marriage for gay and lesbian couples in Iowa and the rest of the country.

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Governor Cuomo makes touching speech in support of the freedom to marry

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a passionate speech at a dinner for the Empire State Pride Agenda on Thursday evening to encourage other states and elected officials to follow in New York’s footsteps and support the freedom to marry.

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