In Thursday’s opinion, a three-judge panel in the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law couldn’t stand. Writing for the court, Judge Michael Boudin, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, observed that Supreme Court precedents limit government’s power to take action against “historically disadvantaged or unpopular” groups, including gays and lesbians. The 1996 law imposes “serious adverse consequences” on them, he wrote.
Justifications offered for the law—”defending and nurturing the institution of traditional, heterosexual marriage” and “traditional notions of morality,” among others—were insufficient to justify such discriminatory treatment, Judge Boudin said.
Six states plus the District of Columbia currently authorize same-sex marriages, and more than 100,000 same-sex couples have been married. Thirty-nine states have passed laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman.
Governor Gregoire of Washington state signed the marriage equality bill into law tonight. That’s seven down, 43 to go.
Happy Valentine’s Day, queerios! What a lovely, romantic day to make it legal.
Washington state’s Senate just passed a bill to make same sex marriage legal. It’s expected to pass all the way through to the Governor’s office, who is expected to sign it.
Washington will mean that seven states and D.C. have made it legal, folks. (Only 16 states had full suffrage for women before the Federal Government gave women the right to vote, and I don’t think there will be even that many before same sex marriage becomes legalized on the national level.)
How do you not love artists? A sculptor has created a sculpture of her and her wife, in bed naked and embracing, as their headstone in Woodlawn cemetary. She said:
“Since all we were legally afforded was death, I was going to make the most elegant statement on our government not allowing us to marry as I could muster.”
What an amazing statement and an amazing response to discrimination.
One of my favorite bloggers, Joe.My.God, is doing only NY marriage coverage today. Great stories, videos, and photos.
It’s the first day of marriage equality in NY. These first weddings are going to be so full of joy:
I”m sure plenty have already seen Mark Oppenheimer’s NYT column about infidelity; in it, he talks a lot about Dan Savage, who I love (and whose show I was on back in January). Despite how angry people are about the transphobic way he talked about the dilemma’s of a trans person’s relationship with her wife & son, I can’t really disagree with it, either. (Although I’d add, too, that sometimes children and wives are transphobic; still, giving loved ones a little while to get used to the idea would be great, and may preserve some familiar relationships that will not sustain a very speedy transition.)
Still, that’s hardly what’s interesting to me about this column. First off, he said it a few years ago, & Savage has been sucking a little less on trans issues. He is, in my opinion, someone who could have been an amazing ally if he weren’t shouted at every second he said something stupid (but not necessarily hateful). He is, in my opinion, one of the people we lost with the overuse of the word transphobic, a la Christine Burns.
But what’s more interesting to me is the way this article paints him as something like a conservative. Really… Dan Savage? But yes: he’s always been pro nuclear family, that’s for sure. He’s opinionated in ways only ex-Catholics can be (she says, securely seated in her glass house). But that idea that someone could be considered conservative even as they suggest that perhaps nonmonogamy should be on the table for heterosexual marriage kind of blows my mind. I don’t disagree. I think in plenty of cases, nonmonogamy makes perfect sense. I’ve been learning a lot more about it – not just from friends who practice it, but from Tristan Taormino’s Opening Up as well, and I was in a relationship during my 20s that wasn’t monogamous. But still: I sorta kinda love the idea of Savage being seen as conservative because he is advocating nonmonogamy in order to preserve marriages, because being married/partnered for life is a conservative value whether you’re gay or kinky or not.
And that’s the kind of thing that makes my feminist hackles rise.
Because Coontz – who Oppenheimer mentions and quotes – has said elsewhere that in happy marriages, both people benefit. But in unhappy marriages, men continue to benefit, but women do much, much worse in terms of their health. Even a miserable wife feeds her husband vegetables, she once cleverly concluded in her Marriage, A History. (It’s a great book, absolutely 100% worth reading.)
So the idea of preserving a marriage simply because preserving marriage is what you’re supposed to do strikes me as kind of wrong-headed and — well, sexist. It’s not like Savage will have been the first gay man to give out sexist advice unthinkingly, but it’s still a surprise.
It’s the same sex marriage vote:
(Madison, Wisconsin, Monday, June 20, 2011) – Today, the Circuit Court, Branch 11 in Dane County Wisconsin upheld as constitutional the state’s Domestic Partner Registry.
Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Daniel R. Moeser wrote, “Ultimately, it is clear that Chapter 770 does not violate the Marriage Amendment because it does not create a legal status for domestic partners that is identical or substantially similar to that of marriage. The state does not recognize domestic partnership in a way that even remotely resembles how the state recognizes marriage. Moreover, domestic partners’ have far fewer legal rights, duties, and liabilities in comparison to the legal rights, duties, and liabilities of spouses.”
“The law is clear—the domestic partnership law does not violate the Wisconsin constitution,” said Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Midwest Regional Office based in Chicago. “The research the court provided in its ruling today is a showcase of material proving that the proponents of the antigay marriage amendment repeatedly told voters in 2006 that the Marriage Amendment would not ban domestic partnership benefits.”
In June 2009, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed domestic partnerships into law, granting limited but important legal protections to same-sex couples, including hospital visitation and the ability to take a family medical leave to care for a sick or injured partner. Wisconsin Family Action, an antigay group, brought a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court arguing that the domestic partnership law is a violation of Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. Shortly thereafter, Lambda Legal successfully moved to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of Fair Wisconsin and five same-sex couples.
“We are pleased that the Court upheld the limited protections provided by domestic partnerships because they are essential in allowing committed same-sex couples to care for each other in times of need,” said Katie Belanger, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin. This is an exciting day for Wisconsin. Domestic partnerships marked our state’s first step toward full equality in nearly 30 years. Judge Moeser’s decision will ensure that we can continue advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Wisconsinites in the years ahead.”
Woohoo! Good news for Wisconsin!
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo today unveiled his marriage equality bill, with a possible 31 of 32 votes needed for passage. We already know the NOM, the National Organization for Marriage promised to spend $1.5 million to defeat the bill, and another $1 million to defeat any GOP Senator who votes for it. Your Senators need to hear from you?—?and you’ve got about 12 hours, because they are reportedly meeting Wednesday morning to discuss the bill. A vote could come any day, starting Wednesday, though we’ve heard reports of Friday.
Don’t let what happened in 2009 happen again. Not when we’re this close. It won’t happen again until 2013 if this fails?—?if then.
If you live in New York, we need you to make what could be the most important call of your life to these Senators, and tell them you want them to vote for the marriage equality bill.
It’s that simple.
Stephen Saland (845) 463?0840
Roy McDonald (518) 274?4616
Andrew Lanza (718) 984?4073
Greg Ball (845) 279?3773
Kemp Hannon (516) 739?1700
Charles Fuschillo (516) 882?0630
Betty Little (518) 743?0968
Also, please call Senator Dean Skelos to make clear that the people of New York?—?58% at last count?—?want marriage equality in our state. As Senate Majority Leader he should make sure that equality for all New Yorkers is our motto.
Dean Skelos (518) 455?3171
You can also go online and contact your Senators:
This could be the most-?important call of your life.
Chris Abele, Milwaukee’s County exec, announced his intention today to provide domestic partner health care coverage to Milwaukee county employees.
From Fair Wisconsin:
“County Executive Chris Abele’s announcement is a signal that Milwaukee County is once again moving forward under his bold and visionary leadership,” stated Katie Belanger, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin. “Providing domestic partner health care coverage to county employees is an important step toward building a fair and inclusive work environment and a strong county government. We look forward to working closely with the County Executive and the Milwaukee County Board to make this proposal a reality.”
Should Milwaukee County begin providing domestic partner health care coverage, they will join a growing number of employers who already grant their employees these critical protections, including the State of Wisconsin, the City of Milwaukee and Marquette University, and top private sector employers like MillerCoors.
At least someone’s got cool leadership in the state of Wisconsin!
I can’t say it’s precedent, as it’s happened before in Texas, but it is sad and frustrating and entirely wrong-headed.
HOUSTON — A judge was expected to void the marriage between a transgender widow and her firefighter husband who died battling a blaze and will rule in favor of the man’s mother who argued that the marriage wasn’t valid, an attorney in the case said Tuesday based on a draft of the decision.
The suit was brought by the mother of firefighter Thomas Araguz III and argued that his widow, Nikki Araguz, should not receive any death benefits. The lawsuit claimed their marriage wasn’t legal because Nikki Araguz was born a man and Texas does not recognize same-sex marriage.
So frustrating. Our sympathies to Nikki Araguz.
Monica Roberts has been covering a proposed bill call SB 723; her most recent update is here. It’s in the Senate, & what it will do is make it illegal to use a court order about name/gender change to apply for a marriage license. The only reason it’s been proposed is to mess with the legal marriages of trans women to men, such as in the Nikki Araguz.
If you live in TX, call your senators now and tell them to kill this bill. List below the break.
NOM has lost a hater. A couple of weeks ago, Louis J. Marinelli jumped ship and now supports full marriage equality. He was turned off by the people who had gathered around the cause:
I soon realized that there I was surrounded by hateful people; propping up a cause I created five years ago, a cause which I had begun to question. This would be timeline point number three. I wanted to extend an olive branch in some way and started to reinstate those who had been banned by previous administrators of my page. I welcomed them to participate on the page and did what I could do erase the worst comments and even ban those who posted them.
He explains as well exactly how, as a conservative, Catholic, and Republican, he has come to see where he was wrong:
Once you understand the great difference between civil marriage and holy marriage, there is not one valid reason to forbid the former from same-sex couples, and all that is left to protect is the latter.
Indeed Christians and Catholics alike are well within their right to demand that holy matrimony, a sacrament and service performed by the Church and recognized by the Church, remains between a man and a woman as their faith would dictate. However, that has nothing to do with civil marriage, performed and recognized by the State in accordance with state law.
My name is Louis J. Marinelli, a conservative-Republican and I now support full civil marriage equality. The constitution calls for nothing less.
For those of us for whom this is obvious, it’s easy to scoff, but I got goosebumps reading his entire letter about this conversion, and interestingly, I would place it very much in a huge tradition of Christian “conversion” literature – it’s not Saul to Paul, but I’ll take it!
We are happy to announce that the city of New York has adopted a new policy designed to ensure that transgender people have equal access to marriage licenses. The policy was adopted as part of an agreement to resolve threatened legal action involving a transgender couple. The couple wishes to remain private and we refer to them as Jane and John.
Jane and John are both transgender. They are an opposite-sex couple who have been in a relationship for over a decade. In Dec. 2009, they attempted to marry in the Bronx. They fulfilled all of the requirements for receiving a marriage license in New York City and presented their government-issued photo identification – the only identification required by the City Clerk’s office. Rather than issuing the marriage license, the City Clerk refused and instead demanded that Jane and John produce their birth certificates before they could be married – something not required of other marriage license applicants.
Under the terms of the new policy, issued on Feb. 7, 2011, once a marriage license applicant produces the required photo ID, the City Clerk may not request additional proof of sex. Moreover, City Clerk employees are forbidden from considering the applicant’s appearance or preconceived notions related to gender expression when deciding whether to issue a marriage license.
“Transgender people are challenged all the time about their status as men and women,” said TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman. “Our clients are legally entitled to marry and were denied that right just because they are transgender. We applaud the City Clerk’s office for adopting this policy and for taking steps to ensure that this does not happen again.”
In addition to the adoption of the new policy, the agreement to resolve the couple’s claims calls for the City Clerk to apologize to Jane and John, to institute training for all City Clerk employees on issues relating to gender identity and gender expression, and to ensure that Jane and John are free to marry at a time and place of their choosing.
For more about this new policy, read up at TLDEF’s site.
Illinois is about to become the nation’s 11th state, plus the District of Columbia, to provide some kind of legal recognition to same-sex couples.
which is from a nice article from a Chicagoan at St. Louis Today.