Blog Entries by Megan Kinninger

NBC’s Raab Interviews Evan Wolfson on Marriage

Out Professionals
July 8, 2009

One of the true civil-rights leaders of our era, Evan Wolfson in a thought-provoking conversation with NBC News senior newswriter Barbara Raab. Wolfson spoke about our victories, losses - and what the future holds for marriage equality.

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Action Alert: Maine Donor Increased Generous Offer!

Pam's House Blend
August 21, 2009

Pam writes, "Hi folks- want to thank those who have been able to give to No On 1/Protect Maine Equality; you ROCK! smile

Apparently the donor thinks so too- because I just got this email with an incredibly generous offer:"
On Wednesday, I challenged you to raise $10,000 by Friday. If we met that goal, a generous Maine donor agreed to match dollar for dollar up to $10,000.

Well, guess what? In less than 48 hours, you raised $16,098 through 354 supporters.

I just shared the news with our donor, who is so impressed with your initiative that he has doubled his challenge: he will now match every dollar up to $20,000 raised by midnight tonight.

That gives us less than 12 hours to raise $3,902.
We need your help - tell your friends, post it on Facebook, and try to recruit at least one person you know to help us meet the goal.

Let's show that we can double the donor match to $20,000.


If you were thinking about giving, please do so now. If you've already given, thank you. You are the backbone of this campaign. We now need you to help spread the word about this latest challenge.

Together, we can do it!

Sincerely,

Jesse Connolly
Campaign Manager
NO on 1 / Protect Maine Equality
(Link)

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Freedom to Marry in the Supreme Court: How to Make the Timing Right


New York Times Room for Debate Blog
August 18, 2009

In response to the question, "Is this the right time to go to a conservative Supreme Court [with the freedom to marry]?" Evan Wolfson writes:
If the question is “Should the Supreme Court strike down the cruel and discriminatory exclusion of committed same-sex couples from marriage, an exclusion that serves no legitimate government interest?,” the answer is yes — and as soon as possible for couples who are doing the work of marriage in their day-to-day lives and who share an equal need for the protections and responsibilities marriage brings.

If the question is “Is now the right time to rush a case to the Supreme Court?,” I would draw on my own experience as the attorney who argued before the court in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale and participated in many other gay rights and other civil rights cases, including the case that ended race-discrimination in jury selection.

The first rule of Supreme Court litigation, I learned, is count to 5. If you don’t have a pretty strong sense that you are likely to be able to persuade and empower five justices to rule right, then why rush to a result that could be harmful?

The reality is, there are several freedom to marry cases already making their way through the courts, in addition to the case against Proposition 8 brought by Ted Olson, and his adversary in Bush v. Gore, David Boies. These include the challenge to the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” brought by married couples represented by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), which won the Massachusetts and Connecticut freedom to marry cases. The Attorney General of Massachusetts also filed a suit on behalf of the state’s interest in not being forced to discriminate against its own married couples.

So in that sense, the question, “Is this the right time?” is no longer pertinent. The more important question is, “How can we assure that when a case reaches the Supreme Court, the court is ready to do right?”

The best way to maximize the chances for a just ruling by the court is not just by hiring good lawyers, writing smart briefs, or, even, being right. What’s needed is creating the climate that enables justices to do the right thing.

That means winning the freedom to marry in more states and winning over more hearts and minds. If the Supreme Court sees that the lived experience of gay couples marrying means families helped and no one hurt, that the rationales offered up to defend discrimination are false, and that the momentum in America is toward inclusion, then the timing may indeed prove right for the justices to do right. The opportunity to use the time between now and the day it’s turned over to the justices is very much in our control. Since that day may come soon, let’s start talking now to the people we need to persuade (see www.freedomtomarry.org), and make the timing right.
(Link)

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Obama affirms DOMA is discriminatory, calls for repeal in legal brief

Politico
August 17, 2009

Following a furious outcry from the gay community, the Obama Administration is toning down its defense of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. President Barack Obama is also stepping out on the issue, issuing a written statement explaining his stance.

In a brief filed Monday morning in a lawsuit challenging the validity of DOMA, the Justice Department put on the record that the administration favors repeal of the statute — a position that was omitted from a controversial legal filing the department made in June. DOJ also explicitly rejected arguments put forward by conservative groups that the importance of marriage for child rearing is a legitimate justification for DOMA's ban on federal recognition of same-sex unions.

The brief states:
"The government does not contend that there are legitimate government interests in "creating a legal structure that promotes the raising of children by both of their biological parents" or that the government's interest in "responsible procreation" justifies Congress's decision to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. ... Since DOMA was enacted, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Medical Association, and the Child Welfare League of America have issued policies opposing restrictions on lesbian and gay parenting because they concluded, based on numerous studies, that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents. ... The United States does not believe that DOMA is rationally related to any legitimate government interests in procreation and child-rearing and is therefore not relying upon any such interests to defend DOMA's constitutionality"

(Link)

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Editorial: Waiting til 2012? Wise move

Mercury News
August 13, 2009

The day Californians overturn Proposition 8 can't come too soon. But the decision by Equality California, the state's largest gay-rights group, to delay going back to the ballot until 2012 makes perfect sense from a strategic viewpoint. (Link)

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The Fierce Urgency of Maine

Change.org
August 15, 2009

Michael Jones writes, "This year will be remembered as the year of marriage equality, with four states enacting marriage equality already in 2009. But if conservative activists succeed in repealing Maine's freedom to marry law this November, 2009 could be remembered as the year that the momentum for marriage equality stalled. And we can't let that happen...If we win in Maine, it will have become the first time we have ever defended marriage equality at the ballot box. And the ripple effect of that in places like California could be huge." (Link)

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Corvino: The Right’s immoral take on marriage equality

365Gay.com
August 14, 2009

John Corvino writes, "Via a moving account of his cousin Bill’s sudden hospitalization and Bill’s partner Mike’s bedside ordeal, Rauch underscores how the “Not my department” response is not merely lazy; it’s morally unconscionable...In November Maine voters, like California voters last year, will decide whether to repeal marriage equality in that state. Now is a good time to go to http://mainefreedomtomarry.com and make a financial contribution. (Link)

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Why I interrupted Bill Clinton’s speech at Netroots Nation

Huffington Post
August 14, 2009

Lane Hudson writes, "He [Bill Clinton] made the strongest objection to DADT he has ever made to the best of my knowledge. He clearly called for the policy being changed. On DOMA, he spent much less time, but lamented its passage and doing a half-hearted kind of call for repeal, "I don't like the DOMA"." (Link)

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Editorial: A welcome decision in fight to repeal Prop 8

The Sacramento Bee
August 15, 2009

One of the state's leading gay rights groups – Equality California – announced this week that it will not sponsor a ballot measure next year to try to repeal Proposition 8...waiting until 2012, as Equality California has decided to do, makes sense. It will give voters more time to reflect on the passage of the gay marriage ban and to see what is happening in other states that are taking the lead on this issue. Most importantly, the pause will allow the gay rights movement to engage in a low-key, grass roots campaign to communicate their message to Californians on a personal level, in a way that cannot be done in the heat of a ballot battle. (Link)

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Waiting for equality for same-sex marriages

San Francisco Chronicle
August 13, 2009

The editorial staff opines, "It's regrettable that the restoration of marriage rights to gays and lesbians has to be subject to strategic political calculation. But it's also hard to argue with the conclusion reached by Equality California, the state's largest gay-rights group, that the repeal of Proposition 8 would have a better chance in 2012 than in 2010." (Link)

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