I’ve spent enough time making fun of reality TV celebs on my blog that I figured I’d better go ahead and “out” myself to all of you before you find out from somebody I’ve snarked about in the past! Check out my blog today in the Huffington Post to hear all the inside skinny on the making of “Wedding Island,” TLC’s new wedding reality show featuring Sandy Malone and the whole crew at Weddings in Vieques a they plan and execute weddings AND COMMITMENT CEREMONIES on national television! No room for error there!
Check out the blog at “Your New Favorite Reality Show Has Arrived” on HuffPost Weddings today!!! And mark your calendars for the premiere of “Wedding Island” on Wednesday, July 17th at 10 pm eastern.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!
Sandy Malone, a guest blogger with Purple Unions, is the owner of Weddings in Vieques, a full-service destination wedding planning company based on Vieques Island, seven miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. She and her team (including her husband Bill, a retired SWAT team commander) have planned and executed almost 400 weddings and commitment ceremonies in the Spanish Virgin Islands. Sandy is a veteran event planner from Washington, DC, with years of experience planning large and small weddings, press conference, and corporate and political events. She has planned countless events on Vieques Island, beginning with her own wedding back in 2004. Since that time, her professional staff has executed large and small weddings of all styles, including elopements, vow renewals and fabulously posh events at multi-million dollar waterfront villas. She has also planned family reunions, destination baby showers, corporate retreats and a variety of other events for clients from all over the United States and Canada. Sandy is also the owner of Weddings in Culebra (wedding planning on Vieques’ little sister island) , Boutique in Vieques and Flowers in Vieques (a full service floral and décor firm). Visit her at www.weddingsinvieques.com.
Marriage Equality USA has put together a great set of events in 24 states so far. Here’s our list of events – you can also see the current list at the United for Marriage: Decision Day site.
Note: All day of Decision events here are dated Thursday, 6/20 unless they have a set date; tomorrow is the next possible day for the release of the DOMA and Prop 8 Decisions. If they are not released tomorrow, we will forward the dates to Monday, 6/24.
- USA, AK, Anchorage: Jun 27, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Federal Courthouse, 7th & C Sts, 5 PM. Details
- USA, AR, Fayetteville: Jun 27, “8″ The Play Reading, Northwest Arkansas Equality Pride. Details
- USA, AZ, Phoenix: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, TBD. Details
- USA, CA, Bakersfield: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, 5-8 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Contra Costa: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Rainbow Comm Ctr, 6:30 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Eureka: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Arcata Plaza & Eureka Courthouse, 6 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Fairfield: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Solano County Government Center, 6:30 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Fresno: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall, 6-8 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Guerneville: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Flag pole in downtown, 6 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Hanford: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Civic Park, 5:30 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Long Beach: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, The Grand, Long Beach Event Center, 7 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Los Angeles: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, West Hollywood Park, 5:30 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Merced: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Bob Hart Square, 7 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Mountain View: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Mountain View CalTrain station, 6 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Oakland: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Uptown Art Park, 5:30 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Palm Springs: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Tahquitz and Palm Canyon , 6 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Porterville: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall, TBD. Details
- USA, CA, Rancho Cucamonga: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Foothill And Day Creek, 8:30 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Redwood City: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, San Mateo County Clerk’s Office, 5 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Riverside: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 7th (Mission Inn Avenue) and Lemon, TBD. Details
- USA, CA, Sacramento: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, West Steps of the Capitol, 6 PM. Details
- USA, CA, San Diego: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Hillcrest Pride Flagpole, 5-7:30 PM. Details
- USA, CA, San Francisco: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Casto & Market, 6:30 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Santa Ana: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd, 6:30 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Santa Cruz: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Santa Cruz County Courthouse Steps, 5:30 PM. Details
- USA, CA, Vallejo: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, TBD. Details
- USA, CA, Vallejo: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, TBD. Details
- USA, CO, Denver: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, State Capitol, 8 AM-9 PM. Details
- USA, FL, Ft. Lauderdale: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 2040 N. Dixie Highway, 5:30 PM. Details
- USA, FL, Jacksonville: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Hemming Plaza, 7-9:30 PM. Details
- USA, FL, Tallahassee: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Old State Capitol Building, 4:30-6:30 PM. Details
- USA, FL, Tampa: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, 7-9:30 PM. Details
- USA, GA, Atlanta: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Corner 10th/Piedmont, 5 PM. Details
- USA, GA, Savannah: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Wright Square, 5 PM. Details
- USA, HI, Honolulu: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, TBD. Details
- USA, IL, Chicago: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 3403 N. Halstead St., 7 PM. Details
- USA, IL, Urbana: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Corner Green St/Wright St, 7-8 PM. Details
- USA, IN, Bloomington: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Monroe County Courthouse, 5:30 PM. Details
- USA, KS, Hutchinson: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Avenue A Park, 5:30-9 PM. Details
- USA, KY, Frankfort: Jun 26, United for Marriage Rally, State Capitol Building, 11 AM. create-a-local-action.html”>Details
- USA, MA, Boston: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Lir, 903 Boylston St., 6-8:30 PM. Details
- USA, MI, Ann Arbor: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Jim Toy Comm Ctr, 4 PM. Details
- USA, MI, Detroit: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Geary Park, 6-9 PM. Details
- USA, MI, Ferndale: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Forum, LGBTQ Comm Ctr, 3 PM. Details
- USA, NC, Wilson: Jun 27, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Video Presentation, Golden Corral, 6-9 PM. Details
- USA, NC, Winston-Salem: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Winston Square Park Amphitheater, 6:30 PM. Details
- USA, NV, Las Vegas: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Gay & Lesbian Comm Ctr, 5 PM. Details
- USA, NY, Albany: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, State Capitol, TBD. Details
- USA, NY, New York: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Stonewall Inn, 5:30 PM. Details
- USA, NY, Rochester: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Washington Square Park, 5-7 PM. Details
- USA, OH, Akron: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Akron at Square, 7-10 PM. Details
- USA, OH, Athens: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Casa Nueva Restaurant, 5 PM. Details
- USA, OH, Cincinnati: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Below Zero Lounge, 5-7 PM. Details
- USA, OH, Cleveland: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Twist, 5-7 PM. Details
- USA, OH, Cleveland: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall, TBD. Details
- USA, OH, Columbus: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Level Dining Lounge, 5-7 PM. Details
- USA, OH, Dayton: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, MJ’s Cafe, 5-7 PM. Details
- USA, OH, Toledo: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Tony Packos, 5-7 PM. Details
- USA, OH, Youngstown: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Lemon Grove, 7-10 PM. Details
- USA, OR, Eugene: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, 5-7 PM. Details
- USA, OR, Portland: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Waterfront Park or Terry Schrunk Plaza, 5-7 PM. Details
- USA, PA, Harrisburg: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Federal Courthouse, 2-4 PM. Details
- USA, PA, Harrisburg: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, State Capitol Bldg, 10 AM. Details
- USA, PA, Philadelphia: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Independence Hall, 6-9 PM. Details
- USA, PA, Pittsburgh: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Sixth Presbyterian Church, 7 PM. Details
- USA, SC, Columbia: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, SC Equality offices, 9 AM-12 PM. Details
- USA, TX, Austin: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall, 6:30 PM. Details
- USA, UT, Salt Lake City: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Club Sound, 4 PM. Details
- USA, VA, Norfolk/Hampton Roads: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Federal Courthouse, 6:30 PM. Details
- USA, VA, Richmond: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Jhn Marshall Courthouse, 10 AM-12 PM. Details
- USA, WI, Madison: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Shamrock Bar, 5-9 PM. Details
- USA, WV, Charleston: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Lee Street Lounge, TBD. Details
- USA, WV, Morgantown: Jun 20, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Morgantown Brewing Co, 5 PM. Details
If you can make it to one of the rallies, please go – if it’s good news, we’ll celebrate together. if it’s not, we’ll push on ahead without the Supremes.
There are also a number of other events going on this month around marriage equality and LGBT rights:
- USA, CA, Canoga Park: Jun 20-Jun 22, “8″ The Play Reading, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church. Details
- USA, CA, San Francisco: Jun 29-Jun 30, Lambda Legal at San Francisco Pride.Details
- USA, FL, Lake Eola: Jun 27, Paint Orlando Red Fundraiser, Bandshell, 7-10 PM. Details
- USA, IN, Terre Haute: Jun 29-Jun 30, “8″ The Play Reading, Community Theatre of Terre Haute. Details
- USA, NY, New York: Jun 20, Equality at Work Awards 2012, The McGraw-Hill Companies, 12:30 PM. Details
- USA, NY, New York: Jun 28, The iHeart OUTMusic Awards “Love Equality Benefit Concert” NYC, Stage 72. Details
- USA, OH, Cleveland: Jun 30-Jun 30, “8″ The Play Reading, Cleveland Playhouse. Details
- USA, OR, Statewide: Jun 20, Bites for Rites 2013. Details
- USA, PA, Harrisburg: Jun 22, Rally for Marriage Equality, Capitol Bldg, 3rd & North St, 10 AM. Details
- USA, VA, Statewide: Jun 22-Jun 23, Cookout for Marriage Equality 2013. Details
- USA, WA, Olympia: Jun 23, Equal Rights Washington at Olympia Pride. Details
- USA, WA, Seattle: Jun 30, Equal Rights Washington at Seattle Pride. Details
Thousands of binational gay and lesbian couples are either living apart or in danger of being separated because of Defense of Marriage Act. Towleroad.com has the heartbreaking story of one such couple:
Meet Tim and Jamie. They’ve been together since August 2006. They got married in June 2012. But in June 2009 they had their first inkling that their international love would be tested: Jamie, a native of Scotland, was detained at SeaTac Airport due to visa problems and was denied the right to call Tim. Now, Jamie and Tim’s marriage in Canada cannot be recognized legally in the United States because of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.
It’s time for DOMA to go. Let’s hope the Supreme Court sees things the same way.
Australian Marriage Equality turned in 14,000 signatures encouraging an effort to pass a bill that would recognize marriages performed in other countries for gay and lesbian couples. Gay Star News reports:
A petition of 14,000 signatures of people who support the legal recognition of same-sex marriages performed abroad in Australia was delivered to Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young today. Hanson-Young will present the petition at a Senate debate tomorrow about her bill proposing to remove the ban on recognizing overseas same-sex marriages that was inserted in the Marriage Act in 2004. ‘The fact our law disregards the solemn vows of lifelong commitment made by those Australian couples who are forced overseas to marry is disrespectful to these couples and to the countries that allow them to marry,’ said Ivan Hinton, deputy national director of Australian Marriage Equality, who delivered the petition to Hanson-Young.
Anyone in Australia have a sense of this bill’s chances for passage?
Senator John McCain’s wife Cindy, who has long declared her support for gay marriage, thinks the GOP will follow suit within 3 years. Joe.My.God reports:
“You’re going to see a major turn,” McCain said. “By the next presidential election I think this will be an issue that will be very much agreed on by both parties.” McCain said she was convinced that her husband will eventually endorse gay marriage. “He hears from his own daughters and his own children and from me a little bit about this,” she said. “But it’s also okay to disagree, but do it in a manner that’s respectful.” “We have different views,” She added. “We have raucous dinner table conversations and we encourage that. In fact you have to be tough to survive at our table.”
Given the GOP’s stubborn refusal to back off, at all, on their social issues campaign this year after a stinging loss last November, I’m not convinced. But a boy can dream…
Today, we start in the UK with Labour MSP Elaine Smith, who doesn’t want to be called a homophobe just because she won’t let gays and lesbians marry Pink News reports:
Speaking at a Scotland for Marriage event – the Scottish anti-gay campaign group against equal marriage – she said: “As a legislator, I intend to vote against this bill and I believe that I am in tune with the wishes of the majority of my constituents. “I certainly don’t believe that I’m homophobic. However, I have no doubt that I will be made to suffer for my views on this issue and by voting against I will undoubtedly be labelled homophobic.”
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s probably a homophone.
Next, we’ll travel down under, where Australian senator Cory Bernardi is alarmed about marriage equality. Dot429 reports:
Australian senator Cory Bernardi reaffirmed his belief that marriage equality will lead to legalizing polygamy and bestiality, particularly in light of the Polyaction Armory Lobby’s petition, which has received 25 signatures. “If we go back to what I suggested in the Parliament when the same-sex marriage debate came up, there is actually now a petition being put together for the Parliament by green activists to recognize multi-member unions,” Bernardi said in an interview with the Australian publication The Age. “Now I said that would happen. It’s happening. We haven’t even taken the first step. I think there should be alarm. If you’re going to redefine a word to satisfy demands of a minority then you are going to face continuing demands in that space.”
Run! The polygamists are coming! The polygamists are coming!
And nearby, in the Philippines, Archbishop Oscar Cruz had an interesting offer for gays and lesbians who want to marry. Gay Star News reports:
‘May a lesbian marry a gay man? My answer is “yes” because in that instance the capacity to consummate the union is there. The anatomy is there. The possibility of conception is there,’ Archbishop Oscar Cruz said at a church forum yesterday, Philippine Daily Inquirer reports. Filipina LGBT rights activist Angie Umbac told Gay Star News she is ‘speechless’ at the comments of the Archbishop, who is a member of the powerful Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
I guess the idea is that the holy sacredness of marriage will overcome the evil gayness of the pasrtners, and they will magically become a heterosexual couple?
Almost 150 groups have joined together across the United States to push for a single, omnibus bill for LGBT rights. Edge Boston reports:
Over 145 LGBT and LGBT-supportive organizations from 36 states have joined the Pledge for Full LGBT Equality campaign. The groups are calling upon the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus to file a national bill for full equality – something that would encompass, marriage, workplace protections, education, everything. “To change course, it’s important that our existing strategy of filing multiple single-issue bills not be treated as a sacrosanct pragmatic legislative strategy, because it has not worked,” gay rights activist Todd Fernandez, who is working to advance the cause, wrote in a piece for The Huffington Post. Some of the groups that have joined the effort include nationwide PFLAG groups, Equality Pennsylvania, Equality Nevada, Equality Nebraska, Equality Hawaii, Equality Illinois, and Equality Maryland. LGBT Pride committees supporting the cause include one from Jacksonville, Florida.
Chance of passage through the house: Zero. But as the right has shown us, changing toe conversation (and moving it in your direction) is half the battle.
Progress on LGBT rights has slowed to a crawl, as PM Donald Tusk admits that opposition to the effort is just too strong to proceed at this time. Pink News reports:
This week Mr Tusk said civil unions legislation could not be rushed, and expressed concern that the legislation would have to be properly worded, in order to fit with Poland’s constitution. The Polish constitution protects opposite-sex marriage, and some have interpreted this as meaning that same-sex unions could not be legalised. “The worst thing that could happen would be a bill that the Constitutional Tribunal found unconstitutional,” he said. “Today I don’t see any chances for a majority to be found in the Sejm over the next 10-15 years that would want radical solutions.”
Sad, but not surprising, in a country that had just 16% support for marriage equality as of January.
Grand Forks, North Dakota, just became the first city in this conservative state to protect its LGBT employees. LGBTQ Nation reports:
Grand Forks has become the first city in North Dakota to protect city employees and city job applicants from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The City Council voted Monday night to add the protection to local law. The measure shares the intent of an anti-discrimination bill that failed in the state Legislature earlier this year. “This is simply a matter of assuring liberty and justice for all,” Councilman Bret Weber said.
More cracks in the dam, as our friend Arturo says…
Civil unions for same sex couples will be introduced by the end of the year, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this afternoon after he was presented with the Soldier Award as an “agent of change”.The award was presented by the social group Gay Exiles, which represents Maltese who had to leave their families to live in foreign countries with their loved ones, who happened to be of the same sex.
A good first step to provide some legal protections to Malta’s gay and lesbian couples.
This just in from Philadelphia – a local Catholic Parish surveyed former Catolics to find out why they left. The results. From NBC10:
Of the 189 former Catholics who responded to the survey, the highest percentage — 17 percent — said they did so because of the priest abuse scandal. The director of the survey, Charles Zech of Villanova University’s Center for the Study of Church Management, said a secondary reason follows close behind. “People who are going to leave the church over the scandal and the church’s handling of it have already left. So people leaving the church today are leaving for other reasons,” said Zech. “A growing reason we found out was the church’s attitude toward homosexuals and gay marriage. A lot of younger people object to the church’s teaching on that.”
I wonder if this pattern is repeating in other countries as well? How long will the Catholic Church continue to demonize gays to its own detriment? Or do gains in places like Africa more than offset the losses here?
Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage is getting tested in an unusual way. Equality on Trial reports:
In Kentucky, spouses cannot be forced to testify against one another under a state law known as the ‘husband/wife privelege.’ But Geneva Case, whose spouse Bobbie Joe Clary is accused of murder, may not be protected by the provision for a familiar, disappointing reason: because the two spouses are women. Clary and Case obtained a civil union in Vermont in 2004-a union which is now recognized as a marriage by Vermont, which legalized marriage equality in 2009 and considers previous civil unions the legal equivalents of marriages. The Kentucky Constitution, however, contains a provision-added by voters in 2004-that reads, “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage.”
These bans affect so many areas of people’s lives beyond just being able to call each other husband and husband or wife and wife.
Some more good news out of Tucson, as the city council unanimously approves a civil unions ordinance. LGBTQ Nation reports:
The Tucson city council on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve an ordinance allowing civil unions between same-sex couples. The measure, approved by a vote of 6-0, is similar to an ordinance approved in Bisbee, Ariz., earlier this month. It allows couples to register a civil union with the city, expanding their rights related to inheritances, property ownership and guardianships.
Tucson’s my home town and where most of my family still lives – hooray for Tucson!!!!
A second US Senator has now come out in support of marriage equality. Senator Lisa Murkowski has finally finished “evolving” on the issue. Joe.My.God reports:
Via press release from the Human Rights Campaign: Today Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced that she supports marriage equality. Murkowski joins two of her Republican colleagues – Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois – in endorsing the right of committed and loving gay and lesbian couples to marry. Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin released the following statement in response to the news: Senator Murkowski’s courageous and principled announcement today sends a clear message that marriage equality must come to all 50 states in this country. As the Supreme Court prepares to rule in two landmark marriage cases this month, a growing bipartisan coalition is standing up for the right of all couples to marry–and there is no turning back that tide.
Murkowski joins Ohio Senator Rob Portman and most of the Democrats in the Senate in supporting full marriage equality.
To start, Lisa Keen at Queerty brings us her thoughts on two more Supreme Curt Justices. First, Clarence Thomas:
In his personal dissent to the Lawrence v. Texas decision striking down sodomy laws in 2003, Thomas wrote, “If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it. Punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult does not appear to be a worthy way to expend valuable law enforcement resources.” And yet he voted against striking the law. In fact, though it is a close call, his record is the worst among the conservatives on the bench.
She puts the offs of his voting for marriage equality in both cases at 1 in 6.
Next, she looks at Stephen Breyer:
It remains to be seen whether Breyer’s tough line of questioning persuaded the chief justice to consider the perils of the procreation argument. But it was a fair example of how Breyer works. He is the wonky justice comfortable sparring with his conservative colleagues. He’s done so frequently in public with the court’s most conservative member, Antonin Scalia. Born in San Francisco and raised in Massachusetts, Breyer’s liberal bent should surprise few. His voting record on LGBT-related cases tracks that of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ken puts his odds for supporting equality in both cases at 3 to 1.
Over at the Huffington Post, they are reporting on one of the attorneys in the prop eight case speculating on the possible Supreme Court decision:
Boies conceded that proponents of Proposition 8, the California law banning same-sex marriage, could end up losing because the court will rule that they were ineligible to appeal a lower court ruling that the law was unconstitutional. A victory on those grounds would be a victory for Boies and his fellow lawyer Ted Olson, but not the one they wanted. “The question is, do those people have a standing to come before the court and defend it? Under Supreme Court precedent, they probably do not have standing,” Boies said. “The court is very restrictive in terms of to whom they grant standing, and they never granted standing to private citizens who do not have a fiduciary relationship to the state. And one way that the court could solve this particular case is to hold that these people do not have standing.” Under this scenario, same-sex marriage would be made legal in California, but the issue of it is a constitutional right would be left unaddressed. Other states, in short, would be unaffected.
Over at the Washington Post,Chris Cillizza makes some interesting points about the new Pew study on media bias over the marriage equality issue. Among them:
There is a bit of chicken and egg going on here. Lots and lots of polling done over the last few months suggests that public opinion is in fact moving – across virtually every demographic measure — in favor of legalization of same sex marriage. So, while the Pew study does show real and significant opposition to allowing gay people to marry, the coverage focuses on what’s new(s), which is the movement toward legalization.
And another study, researchers at the University of California Riverside found that there will likely be little public backlash if the Supreme Court issues a positive ruling on marriage equality. UCR Today reports:
The researchers conducted online experiments in which people were asked to react to a state supreme court ruling allowing gay marriage and assigned the participants to read articles about the legalization of gay rights in Oregon, a gay pride parade and gun-control policy. A second experiment compared subjects’ reactions before and after U.S. Supreme Court hearings on California’s Proposition 8 and on restrictions on marriage recognition and benefits contained in the federal Defense of Marriage Act. There was no evidence of opinion backlash on the issue of gay marriage in either experiment. In fact, contrary to theories of backlash, experiment participants viewed gays and lesbians more warmly after the Supreme Court hearings than participants did before, the researchers found.
So we hold our collective breath again tomorrow morning at 10 AM Eastern and hope for a good set of rulings…
Check Out Gay-Friendly Wedding Planner and Purple Unions Blogger Sandy Malone “On Call with Dr. Jane Greer” at 2:30 pm Eastern Today!!!
Listen to experienced Caribbean destination wedding planner Sandy Malone LIVE at 2:30 pm eastern TODAY “On Call with Dr. Jane Greer” at www.HealthyLife.net. Sandy’s planned dozens of gay weddings on Vieques Island in the Caribbean, and she’ll be sharing her thoughts and advice today on all kinds of relationships, marriage and wedding planning!
Don’t miss it!
Happy Wedding Planning!
First off, Paul Gorrell at The Huffington Post thinks the decisions will likely mean an end to civil unions:
Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships were an attempt to provide some legal recognition to same-sex couples while not allowing the usage of the word “marriage” to describe the relationship. This created a “separate, but equal” status for same-sex couples. This model was endorsed by some conservatives, even fiercely anti-gay marriage proponent President George W. Bush, as a kind of compromise that often offered the same exact benefits that straight married couples receive at the state level. Since DOMA prevented every gay couples from the federal benefits of marriage, whether legally married or in a civil union, the argument was that civil unions were a balanced compromise.
Politicians who like the “separate, but equal” compromise will no longer have that option if DOMA is struck down. Why? Because, now they will be the ones who block their state’s residents from receiving federal benefits. They will be the ones who do harm to their constituents; they won’t be able to blame DOMA anymore.
At Equality on Trial, Jacob Combs wonders if the laws will be struck down on sex discrimination grounds:
As [University of Georgia School of Law professor Sonja] West points out, a law isn’t necessarily constitutional just because is applies equally to men and women. That very argument was made in the landmark Loving v. Virginia case in favor of anti-miscegination laws, which supporters said did not constitute equal protection violations because they prohibited both white and black people from marrying partners of a different race. To put it simply, the Supreme Court disagreed. West is right in saying that Justice Kennedy might find it easier to strike down a law like Prop 8 on gender discrimination grounds, because it would save him the trouble of having to decide whether or not sexual identity should be added to the list of classifications which courts are especially careful to consider in equal protection cases.
We’re down to just three announced days for rulings (although more could be added). Thursday, Monday, and the following Thursday.
Illinois’ marriage equality bill recently went down in the House with a whimper, after lawmakers failed to call a much promised vote. What happened? Yasmin Nair at Dot429 reports:
In all this, a central issue gets ignored: there was no one really organizing on the ground. Here, we see another massive weakness at play: Chicago doesn’t have a strong gay activist base. There are no groups with both political clout and the ability to mobilize. The community is divided between well-off non-profits like Lambda Legal and others – let’s call them the rainbow group – mostly represented by white gays and lesbians making speeches for the cameras. At a recent meeting called by the rainbow group (already divided amongst itself, by some accounts) to decide upon an action on Madigan’s house, not one of the major organizations showed up.
Nair also argues that the LGBT community in Chicago has other needs:
The problem is that the average gay, lesbian and straight person gains little to nothing from marriage. The win will come, but its positive effects will be palpable only to those with enough resources to guard against the economic crises plaguing everyone else. The rest of us will be expected make due as we watch our crumbling infrastructure goes down even further; a dwindling of public resources, and the looming threat of joblessness. For the rest of us, marriage will be cold comfort.
Meanwhile, Equality Illinois is taking the next steps on the fight. LGBTQ Nation reports:
Equality Illinois, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, said Monday it plans to launch a $500,000 effort to promote same-sex marriage ahead of the 2014 election. The civil rights group says half the money will go toward voter education efforts, while the remainder will be used by the group’s political action committee to fight opponents. “We will not shy away or be outraised in fighting for our freedom,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.
Does this mean they’re giving up the fight in 2013?
Baltimore Gay Pride attendees were treated to something special this last weekend – a mass wedding of twenty gay and lesbian couples. LGBTQ Nation reports:
Twenty same-sex couples were married Sunday in a mass wedding ceremony at the annual Baltimore pride festival. The ceremony at Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park was officiated by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and was the first mass same-sex wedding ceremony in the city’s history. “I now pronounce you married,” Rawlings-Blake said as the couples kissed and embraced each other. “It was a very touching ceremony and it was truly my honor to officiate … to celebrate love and equality.”
Maryland has recognized full marriage equality since January 1st. Hooray for the happy couples!
A new Ipsos poll looked at support for gay marriage and recognition of gay/lesbian relationships in 16 countries. The Chicago Tribune reports:
With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to rule on gay marriage this month and France’s recent decision to legalize same-sex unions, an Ipsos poll for Reuters showed that 52 percent of people in 16 nations favor full marriage equality for gays and 21 percent support legal recognition but not marriage. Only 14 percent of the 12,484 adults questioned in the survey objected to same-sex marriage, or any type of legal recognition, and 13 percent were unsure how they felt.
In nine of the 16, there was outright support for full marriage equality:
In Sweden, Norway, Spain, Belgium, Canada and France, where gay marriage is legal, a majority of people supported full equality for same-sex couples, along with most Germans, Britons and Australians. In Argentina, which recognizes gay marriage, less than half of people (48 percent) favored marriage equality for gays.
Support in the US, though, was much lower than most recent polls:
The numbers were similar in the United States, where legal recognition of gay couples varies by state, with 42 percent supporting marriage for gays and 23 percent favoring legal recognition.
Last in line for marriage equality support? Poland. No surprise.