New Jersey Senate Refuses to End Exclusion From Marriage, Flunking the Constitutional Command of Eq

Freedom to Marry
January 7, 2010

Lambda Legal
and Garden State Equality Going Back to Court to Seek
Freedom to Marry

Statement by Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry, following the New Jersey Senate’s failure to provide equal protection to same-sex couples in accordance with the unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court ruling of 2006:
Today the New Jersey Senate failed to do right by the New Jersey families harmed by exclusion from marriage, and the majority of the New Jersey public who support ending the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Legislators themselves, even opponents, have confirmed that the civil union law does not work to protect and support those families, and is no substitute for the freedom to marry. Freedom to Marry applauds Garden State Equality’s and Lambda Legal’s announcement that they are going back to court to fulfill the constitutional command of equality and secure the freedom to marry for committed couples in New Jersey. [Link]

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Judge: Marriage Equality Trial Can Be Shown on YouTube

The Associated Press
January 6, 2010
The federal Proposition 8 trial, which begins next week, will be shown as a delayed broadcast on YouTube, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Wednesday. Walker also said he would consider requests from witnesses who object to being recorded. [Link]

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Marriage Equality Foes Slam Plans to Televise Prop 8 Trial

The Washington Times (DC)
January 6, 2010
Attorneys for the anti-gay backers of Calif. Proposition 8 are arguing that televising the upcoming federal trial on the measure's constitutionality would "expose their witnesses to further harassment and intimidation." Judge Alex Kozinskin of the 9th Circuit says "We hope that being able to see and hear what transpires in the courtroom will lead to a better public understanding of our judicial processes and enhanced confidence in the rule of law." [Link]

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Malawi Denies Bail to Men Arrested for Marriage

January 4, 2010

A court in Malawi on Monday denied bail to two men arrested last week on charges of public indecency after becoming the first gay couple to marry in a country were homosexuality is illegal. Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza were married in a traditional but symbolic ceremony in southern Malawi last month, attracting hundreds of curious onlookers. [Link]

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Marriage Equality Lawsuit in California Slated to Begin on January 11
January 5, 2010

A federal court case arguing that Calif. Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution is slated to begin January 11. Some LGBT lawyers and legal scholars have concerns that even if the case is successful, it "could set the issue on a collision course with a less-than-sympathetic U.S. Supreme Court." [Link]

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O.J. treatment for landmark California court case?

New York Post
December 31, 2009

TV is fighting for their right to air California's legal battle over the freedom to marry. Networks are teaming up to try to obtain permission to broadcast federal court proceedings challenging Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned marriage equality in California. Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Council decided to take a step forward in allowing the broadcasting of federal trials without a jury. [Link]

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DC asks judge to dismiss marriage equality lawsuit

The Associated Press
December 22, 2009
The District of Columbia is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit by opponents of the freedom to marry. The plaintiffs, led by local pastor Bishop Harry Jackson, are seeking to get their proposed ban on marriage equality on the ballot after the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics turned them down. City lawyers filed a response Friday saying the ballot initiative would violate the city's Human Rights Act because it seeks to deny benefits on the basis of sexual orientation. [Link]

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Policy Shift Could Put Prop. 8 Suit on TV

San Francisco Chronicle
December 18, 2009
Television cameras will be allowed for the first time in federal trials under an experimental program approved by the San Francisco-based federal appeals court Thursday. This could lead to TV coverage of a lawsuit challenging California's Proposition 8 that is scheduled to begin on January 11, 2010. [Link]

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Judge expects Prop. 8 federal trial to stay on schedule

San Francisco Examiner
December 16, 2009
A federal judge in San Francisco said Wednesday he expects to keep a trial on California's marriage equality ban on track for Jan. 11, despite an evidence dispute being heard by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. [Link]

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Foes of California’s Prop 8 Lose Federal Appeal

Los Angeles Times
December 12, 2009
Three 9th Circuit federal judges on Friday reversed the decision by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker that Prop. 8 supporters must make internal campaign communications available to Ted Olson and David Boies, the lawyers for two gay couples challenging the anti-gay Calif. measure. [Link]

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