Moved With Partner, Woman Denied Unemployment Compensation

The Philadelphia Inquirer
September 7, 2007
This case once again shows that same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships are not entitled to the benefits that non-gay married couples enjoy. The benefit in question is unemployment compensation, which a Pennsylvania woman was denied after she quit her job last year to follow her partner of eight years to Florida. The reason for the denial: She is not married. Her rebuttal: She didn't have that option. [Link]

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Here comes the judge

Pride Source
September 6, 2007
IA Judge Hanson spelled out clearly that there are not shades of equality under the constitution. Either you are equal, or you are not. The institution of marriage, Hanson wrote, is "so woven into the fabric of daily life and so determinative of legal rights and status" that denial of a marriage license "amounts to a badge of inferiority" imposed on gay couples and their children. [Link]

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PRESS RELEASE: CA legislature again passes bill giving same-sex couples choice to marry

Equality California
September 7, 2007
For the second time in two years, the California Legislature has passed legislation that would grant same-sex couples the ability to marry. With a 22-15 vote, the Senate on September 7 approved AB 43, authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and sponsored by Equality California. [link]

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BLOG: Levers and fulcrum points: The death penalty and marriage equality

Daily Kos
September 4, 2007
"Whatever our national candidates do or don't do, we progressives need to take an integrated approach to social justice. We need to be unafraid and unashamed of our political views (and hash them out and debate them here if we must.) If our politicians cannot see this, that should not prevent us from nurturing a new political movement and investing in fresh leaders who do." [Link]

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BLOG: Activist judge enforces Constitution

Subject to Complete Defeasance
September 3, 2007
In this case, the judge noted that U.S. Supreme Court and Iowa Supreme Court have deemed marriage a fundamental right. On that basis he applied strict scrutiny and shot down the law because the purported state interests — (1) promoting procreation, (2) promoting child-rearing in a mother-father setting, (3) promoting stability in opposite-sex relationships, (4) conserving public and private resources, and (5) "promoting the concept or integrity of traditional marriage" — are not compelling. In addition, the means of promoting those interest, namely a total ban on same-sex marriages, isn't narrowly tailored to produce those results. For instance, the defense never managed to articulate exactly how precluding gays from marrying promotes procreation. [Link]

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OPINION: When judges rule, politicians drool

Mason City Globe Gazette
September 2, 2007
Hanson ruled that a law designed to marginalize a certain group of citizens has no place on the books. The Iowa Supreme Court may overrule him, but that message isn't going away. Fairness still means something, even in a country painted in dark shades of red and blue. Like it or not, history is on a long and arduous but constant arc toward greater acceptance and tolerance. You can slow it down, but you can't stop it. [Link]

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OPINION: Believing in the importance and the sanctity of marriage

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
August 31, 2007
I believe in the sanctity of marriage; in fact, it's a tradition I aspire to emulate. For me, marriage is more than just a word; it's the embodiment of an idea to which I am deeply loyal. Marriage sanctifies the love and commitment that form the basis of a strong, morally upright family. "Civil union," by contrast, is a sterile and relatively meaningless term. Those who support civil unions and oppose gay marriage, including nearly all of the Democratic presidential candidates, fail to understand that nobody views marriage in terms of government benefits. [link]

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Marriage victory in IA district court

Gay City News
August 30, 2007
This article provides a good summary of the Iowa decision. From a legal perspective, the critical portion of the opinion is the judge's explanation of why the record compels the conclusion that the state's anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. He accepts the argument that the relevant issue under the state Constitution from a due process perspective is not whether 'gay marriage' is a fundamental right, but rather whether same-sex couples have the right to marry, since the right to marry is in itself a fundamental right. [Link]

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Iowa Court Issues Decision in Lambda Legal’s Historic Lawsuit: Same-Sex Couples Must Be Allowed to M

Lambda Legal
August 30, 2007

In a powerful, closely reasoned 63-pp. decision, an Iowa trial court struck down the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. The court found that the denial of marriage harms couples and their kids, while helping no one and serving no legitimate government interest. The ruling is a victory for families and fairness in America's heartland. [link] Read the decision here.

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OPINON: Reunite This Family

The Boston Globe
August 27, 2007

Because Congress passed — and former President Clinton signed — the mean-spirited Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, no federal rights extend to gay and lesbian couples. The ability of a US citizen to sponsor a husband or wife for immigration to the United States, called a form I-130, is just one of them. "Same-sex couples are utterly shut out of that process," says Mary Bonauto, the lawyer who argued the Goodridge case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that led to legalized gay marriages in the state. [Link]

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