Freedom to Marry Voice of Equality Alice Huffman honored in CA

The Bay Area Reporter
February 28, 2008
At age 71, Alice Huffman has seen her fair share of bruising battles for equal rights in her lifetime. A longtime leader in the civil rights movement, Huffman has certainly paid her dues and earned the right to a peaceful retirement. Yet Huffman isn't sitting back on her laurels. She has become a key player in the LGBT community's fight for marriage equality. [Link]

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Toasting an Oscar Win, Hoping for Greater Rights

New York Times
February 25, 2008
It was part Oscar party and part civil rights rally. More than 300 people filled a theater here to standing-room-only capacity on Sunday evening to watch “Freeheld,” which won the Academy Award for best documentary short subject…According to Steven Goldstein, president of Garden State Equality, more than 2,400 couples in New Jersey have entered into same-sex unions, and about one-fourth of them have filed complaints with Garden State Equality over benefits. The group is an advocacy organization for gay, lesbian and transgender people in New Jersey. “I wish this film had a happy ending,” Mr. Goldstein shouted to the crowd after the credits rolled. “It does not. Our civil union law is failing; it is not respected like marriage.” [link]

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3 Gay Couples Settle in as Parents

The Journal News
February 24, 2008
Outside the three households, an American culture war rages over the rights of gay men and women to raise children. Inside, these three have been raising theirs for as long as a decade…Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, said the ruling [in NY to recognize out of state marriages by same-sex couples] will mean more to the children of gay couples than how the bills get paid. "Beyond the tangible legal consequences, there's the intangible security that matters a lot to kids," Wolfson said. "Children whose parents are married have a legal relationship to both parents and are given a strong, clear confirmation from society that they and their parents form a family and that family is worthy of respect." [Link]

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OPINION: Elusive Equality

New York Times
February 23, 2008
The Times editorial staff says N.J. civil unions provide inadequate protection for gay couples and that it will take "political courage," not "more dawdling," to end the exclusion of same-sex couples and their families from marriage. [link]

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Friends of the Court: Asian Groups Back Marriage Equality in CA

Bay Area Reporter
February 21, 2008

Amicus co-author and nationally recognized appellate lawyer, Kevin Fong, hopes that by reading the Asian Pacific American's amicus brief in support of the freedom to marry, the Court will "have a greater appreciation for what is at issue, by looking at the State's prior exclusionary marriage laws from the vantage point of a longer historical lens. Constitutional issues are much easier to see with 20/20 historical hindsight and perhaps the reaction we have today in examining how Asian Pacific Americans were previously restricted from the right to marry will allow the court to consider its role in protecting the fundamental Constitutional principles at stake as we again consider exclusionary marriage laws aimed at gays and lesbians today." [Link]

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Oregon’s Domestic Partnership Law Runs into Murky Waters

Portland Mercury
February 21, 2008
When Sally Sparks and her partner, Heather Dugas, registered as domestic partners at the Multnomah County Building the day the new state law took effect on February 4, Sparks was overdue with their second child...The law took effect in time for their son's birth, but the women still ran into red tape. Instead of noting Dugas' name on the birth certificate forms—which had not changed to reflect the new law, and only had spaces for a mother and father—a clerk at Providence St. Vincent Family Maternity Center handed her a separate form. Marked "For informational purposes only. This is not a legal document," the form has spaces for info on the child, mother, and partner. [link]

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‘Decline to sign’ campaign launched

Bay Area Reporter
February 21, 2008
A coalition of groups supporting marriage equality is asking for volunteers to help defeat an effort write marriage discrimination into the California constitution. Equality for All, a coalition of LGBT and allied civil rights groups, is launching a "Decline to Sign" campaign to discourage people from signing petitions that support putting an anti-marriage initiative on the November ballot. [Link]

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Gay-friendliness is not only about values

Haaretz.com
February 20, 2008
Israeli psychology professor Carlo Strenger writes that gay equality is more than an issue of morality and advocates for the economic importance of tolerance; cites research-specific examples. [Link]

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Staying on message brought AZ together

Equality NY
February 19, 2007
While nearly 90 percent of voters made their decisions a full two months before Election Day, the poll provided solid evidence that Arizona Together effectively targeted the remaining 10 percent of the electorate. It proved to be the critical difference. Seventy-nine percent of voters knew the amendment dealt with marriage, but 59 percent also knew it would "take away" domestic partnership benefits provided by local governments. The latter had the highest correlation with the vote. [Link]

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Marriage vs. civil union: What’s in a name matters

NJVoices.com
February 18, 2008
For too many families across New Jersey, the warning of former New Jersey Chief Justice Deborah Poritz has proven prophetic. "What we name things matters, language matters," she wrote in her dissent in the 2006 Supreme Court decision that led to civil unions rather than marriage for same-sex couples. "By excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage, the state declares that it is legitimate to differentiate between their commitments and the commitments of heterosexual couples."[link]

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