Postedon Aug 19, 2009 at 02:00 pm
August 18, 2009
The Nevada secretary of state's office will take applications starting next week from couples who wish to register as domestic partners. October 1st is the day a new state law goes into effect extending some partnership rights to cohabitating couples, whether gay or straight. [Link]
Postedon Aug 19, 2009 at 09:19 am
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.(Link)
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.
Postedon Aug 18, 2009 at 02:15 pm
August 18, 2009
The City Council of Durham, North Carolina got a standing ovation Monday night when it unanimously passed, without discussion, a resolution supporting marriage for same-sex couples. The resolution has no effect on the law, but clearly states the city's stance on the issue. [Link]
Postedon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:55 pm
August 3, 2009
Protections put in place for gay couples through legislation contained in the Wisconsin state budget, signed by Democratic Governor Jim Doyle on June 29, took effect Monday. Provisions in the spending plan grant same-sex couples some of the same legal protections as spouses, including hospital visitation, inheritance, and medical leave rights. [Link]
Postedon Jul 31, 2009 at 01:23 pm
July 31, 2009
Stand For Marriage Maine, the group leading the effort to overturn a state law which honors the marriages of same-sex couples, said it plans to turn in its people's veto petitions Friday. The Secretary of State must then verify those signatures, gathered by drawing heavily on out-of-state contributions and professional signature gatherers. [Link]
Maryland Delegate Saqib Ali: Marriage Equality has gone from being a niche issue to the most pressin
Postedon Jul 31, 2009 at 08:43 am
July 31, 2009
I am the first Muslim in the Maryland legislature, but I recognize that if I tried to enforce religion by law — as in a theocracy — I would be doing a disservice to both my constituents and to my religion. [Link]
Postedon Jul 31, 2009 at 07:56 am
July 30, 2009
Maine Freedom to Marry formally changed its name on Thursday to "No on 1/Protect Maine Equality." A spokesman for the group said that the name change was necessary so that they could clearly tell supporters that a "no" vote on the November ballot is actually a vote in support of the freedom to marry. [Link]
Postedon Jul 29, 2009 at 08:10 pm
July 29, 2009
Want to predict which state might be next to embrace marriage equality? The higher the percentage of Catholics in a state's population, the more likely the state is to... support gay rights. [Link]
Postedon Jul 22, 2009 at 11:17 am
July 21, 2009
As a follow-up to a recent Tell Me More conversation focused on ways parents can plan ahead for their children in the event of a tragedy, the program explores the unique sensitivities faced by same-sex couples. [Link]
Postedon Jul 21, 2009 at 11:49 am
July 20, 2009
Sponsors of a campaign to overturn Washington's recent "everything but marriage" domestic partnership law have set an appointment to turn in their petition signatures this weekend. The newly expanded domestic partnership law is scheduled to take effect Sunday, but will be delayed if the referendum seekers turn in their petitions Saturday afternoon. [Link]