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So Which State Gets Marriage Equality Next?

California getting Prop 8 finally tossed out for good?

Rhode Island finally joining the rest of New England in the 21st century?

New Jersey, because Chris Christie wants to be President and saw what happened last week?

Oregon joining its neighbor?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 46102/09/2015

California will be the next if the Supreme Court declines to to take up the Prop 8 case and I still think there is a decent chance of that happening.

The next state that will actually begin the legislative process of giving gay people the right to marry probably will be Illinois.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 211/12/2012

Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi...

by The Voice of the Nightreply 311/12/2012

Gay marriage may not have been on the ballot directly last week, but the results of the election have left little doubt that Colorado lawmakers will address the issue once the new session begins in January.

Democrats will hold control of both houses of the legislature as well as the governors office. Governor John Hickenlooper also called for a special session back in May specifically to give the civil unions bill another chance at passing after it was blocked in committee in the house at the close of the 2012 session.

Another indications that the party sees the issue as unfinished business is the selection of openly gay representative Mark Ferrandino as Speaker of the House.

"This election was huge on so many levels," said Daneya Esgar, vice president of the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance.

Her group that successfully lobbied the Pueblo City Council for benefits for same sex partners last month. She says our state has had a cultural shift since the days of Amendment 2 which passed 20 years ago.

"Times are changing, people minds and hearts are shifting and acceptance of equality and love are becoming more and more promising."

But not everyone believes the democrats have a clear mandate on this issue.

"We think that by and large the country has already concluded by a huge majority that marriage is between a man and a woman," said Tom Minnery, the Senior Vice President of Government and Public Policy for Focus on the Family.

He thinks lawmakers will be governing against the will of the people on this issue.

"As recently as 2006 the people of Colorado voted overwhelmingly again on the definition of marriage and that same year they defeated Referendum I, so the people in Colorado have been consistent on this issue."

The 2013 Colorado General Assembly begins on January 9.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 411/15/2012

The NJ legislature cannot override Christie's veto.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 511/17/2012

Thirty-one U.S. state constitutional amendments banning legal recognition of same-sex unions have been adopted. Of these, ten make only same-sex marriage unconstitutional, seventeen make both same-sex marriage and civil unions unconstitutional, two make same-sex marriage, civil unions, and other contracts unconstitutional, and one is unique. Hawaii's amendment is unique in that it does not make same-sex marriage unconstitutional; rather, it allows the state to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. Virginia's amendment prevents the state from recognizing private contracts that "approximate" marriage. Observers have pointed out that such language encompasses private contracts and medical directives.[2][3] Furthermore, the Michigan Supreme Court has held that the state's amendment bans not only same-sex marriage and civil unions, but also domestic partnership benefits such as health insurance.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 612/10/2012

why is RHode Island still dragging its feet? Are the gay rights groups sluggish there?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 712/11/2012

More like the Catholic Church put the squeeze on the legislature. Lincoln Chafee would sign any marriage-equality bill that landed on his desk before the ink was dry.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 812/11/2012

As I mentioned in my previous article on gay marriage, states are moving toward legalizing gay marriage one step at a time. Maine recently reversed its previous ballot measure to legalize gay marriage in 2012, and several other states are moving in this direction. In fact, the pace of acceptance and legalization seems to be accelerating.

The LA Times has a very useful graphic with a slider, which shows how the country has evolved in its support for gay marriage. However, in 2013 there are seven states queued up to fully recognize gay marriage through legislation, ballot proposals, or court actions, including Illinois, Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and Minnesota.

Currently, in Illinois there is legislation pending to legalize gay marriage. Support of this legislation has been mixed, and some support has come from very surprising sources such as Pat Brady, the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party who recently endorsed gay marriage. On the other side of the argument, some important African American churches have threatened a political backlash, since they believe their opposition to the legislation has been overlooked. Regardless of the public controversies, gay marriage legislation will be re-introduced into the new legislative session this week, and supporters are optimistic that it will pass within the new session of the Illinois state legislature.

Rhode Island is considered to be one of the states where gay marriage legislation has the greatest chance of success. Democrats have controlling majorities in the Rhode Island state legislature and the speaker of the house has promised a floor vote early in the 2013 session.

Delaware already has laws on the books recognizing civil unions, granting most of the rights and privileges of marriage. However, like many states with civil unions, without the full force of marriage some aspects of civil unions such as property rights are ambiguous. The governor of Delaware has made public declarations in support of gay marriage, and he believes that full marriage equality will become law in 2013. The 2013 session of the Delaware legislature opened with new pressure to legalize gay marriage after gay marriage became legal in neighboring Maryland on New Year’s Day.

New Jersey has struggled with gay marriage because of Governor Chris Christie, who has said he would veto any legislation changing the legal definition of marriage in New Jersey, which he did in 2012. Christie has said he would support a ballot measure on gay marriage, but LGBT rights advocates in New Jersey are uncomfortable moving forward with a ballot proposal. The legislation to put gay marriage to the voters is moving forward in spite of the lukewarm reception by LGBT advocates because of resistance by Governor Christie and the inability of supporters to garner the votes necessary to override his veto.

California passed Proposition 8 in 2008 with a simple majority. In a state with one of the largest gay communities in the U.S., San Francisco, this was viewed as a major setback for marriage equality. However, in just four years, polling in California and across the country has flipped, with the majority of people now supporting gay marriage. Proposition 8 is now before the Supreme Court along with DOMA. Oral arguments are scheduled to begin on March 27, 2013, with a full ruling in June of 2013. The ruling on Proposition 8 will decide the fate of marriage equality in 2013 for California and the ruling could pave the way for legalization across the nation. If gay marriage loses in the courts, it is likely this will be put before the voters again in California.

Hawaii has been a gay friendly state for many years. In 1998, it passed a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage, but the amendment also allows the legislature to define marriage. Consequently, it is likely that legislation will be introduced in the second half of January to begin the process of legalizing gay marriage in Hawaii. This state already has a number of laws preventing discrimination against LGBT individuals and couples. Fully recognizing marriage is the last barrier to equal protection under the law for Hawaiians.

Minnesota experienced a bitter public fight over gay marriage in 2012, defeating a ballot proposal to ban gay marriage in the November election. Democrats and supporters of marriage equality now hold the majority in the Minnesota legislature. Much to the dismay of Tea Party advocates and social conservatives such as Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.), it is expected that Minnesota will move forward with legislation legalizing same sex marriage. It is unlikely this will move forward quickly, but supporters are hoping this becomes law in 2013.

Supporters are hopeful that by June of 2013, the pathway for legalization of same sex marriage across the country will be clear. If the Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8 from California and DOMA, the likely precedent will mean any law that specifically bans same sex marriage is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. If the court upholds Proposition 8 and DOMA, then advocates will have to continue the fight state by state.

With seven states moving toward marriage equality in 2013, it is likely that marriage equality will be law in the majority of U.S. states by 2015.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 901/10/2013

What the fuck does "racist against 'mos" mean?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 1101/10/2013

r10,you are ignorant

by The Voice of the Nightreply 1201/12/2013

Christie really road Sandy- has enabled him to obfuscate the utter failure of his recession austerity mess in NJ.

I cannot stand him- he reminds me of Foggorn Leghorn the rooster- a very obese version. He's huge you know- HUGE, not just fat.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 1301/12/2013

Yes, we know charlie. Being fat makes Christie extra evil, because fat is so bad.

*rolls eyes*

Enough with your fat bashing. Christie's politics are what make him a bad governor, not his weight.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 1401/12/2013

All of them will, once I twist some nuts on the Supreme Court.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 1501/12/2013

Gay marriage opponents push ahead with ban Back to Front Page

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A proposal to write Indiana’s gay marriage ban into the state constitution may be on hold as Republican leaders ponder its fate this year, but the House and Senate sponsors are charging ahead anyway.

Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, said he plans to introduce the measure in the House this year. And Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, has already filed the proposal in the Senate.

The General Assembly already overwhelmingly approved the constitutional amendment once in 2011. It would have to sign off on it again, this year or in 2014, and then send the proposal to voters for final approval.

“We do have some flexibility between this year and next. We recognize that,” Turner said. “But frankly, some of us would like to put it behind us and let the public weigh in.”

The Supreme Court’s decision to take up a pair of cases dealing with gay marriage and employee benefits for same-sex couples has led Republican leaders in both chambers to hold back on making any plans this year.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long, a Fort Wayne Republican, said he is waiting for his staff to review any impact from the Supreme Court before deciding whether to move on the issue this year. “There’s no definitive decision on that as of yet,” he said Tuesday.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma, an Indianapolis Republican, pointed out Monday he did not include the ban in a legislative agenda released by House Republicans, but he has also refused to slam the door shut on the issue.

“Why is everybody focusing on this issue?” Bosma asked Monday, the opening day of the 2013 session. “We’re here to talk about jobs, the budget, and workforce development and education. I’m sure some of these issues will be discussed, but it certainly wasn’t part of our agenda and it wasn’t part of the discussion on our part today either.”

Turner, a top-ranking Republican in the House, said he understands Long and Bosma will have to work out a timetable, but said he is confident in the support for the ban in the Assembly.

Democrats opened the 2013 session with an effort to place gay marriage and other social issues on hold. House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, a Michigan City Democrat, asked Republicans, who outnumber Democrats 69-31 in the House, to place a two-year moratorium on social issues. But Bosma rejected that request Monday.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 1601/12/2013

Looks like Rhode Island will be next:

by The Voice of the Nightreply 1701/13/2013

Illinois is not 50-50. The only "religious leaders" who are violently antigay are Senator Meeks and Cardinal George, both of whom are currying favor with out of state money. And Cardinal George, let's be frank, is dying.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 1801/13/2013

Oregon would require a vote to rescind their constitutional amendment.

Rhode Island was stalled by their slavishly-Catholic senate leader, who has said she won't block a vote this coming session.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 1901/13/2013

Eyes on the prize: Rhode Island, Illinois, Colorado. That will be a very good year, with wide geographic diversity. Delaware will be a stretch, I'm afraid, but not utterly impossible.

If Prop 8 is upheld, how long will it take to get a ballot proposal in California?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 2001/13/2013

R10 is ineloquent, but not altogether incorrect. The city of Chicago has a powerful black church powerbase, especially in the South Side. And those politicians and community leaders are indeed roughly 50/50 in terms of supporting marriage equality.

Many who do support it do so reluctantly and/or while holding their noses, to serve other community alliances.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 2101/13/2013

[quote] And Cardinal George, let's be frank, is dying.

That bitter old CUNT.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 2201/13/2013

In Illinois, gay marriage would probably be legislated, subject to reversal by referendum. At least, that's the way I'd play it if I were in the Democratic majority legislature. A referendum would lead to the same result as in Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 2301/13/2013

Doesn't CO also have an anti-gay marriage amendment that would have to be done away with first?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 2501/13/2013

yes, r25. Colorado Voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage at the same time they voted down civil unions. However, the amendment does not ban civil unions, only same-sex marriage.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 2601/13/2013

[quote]Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi...

Can you imagine the fantastacky gay weddings those southern queens would put on. Elvis themed gay weddings. Gone with the Wind themed gay weddings. I can't wait.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 2701/13/2013

Oh christ. Now "charlie" has to pipe in with his antiquated eldergay perspective.

There are fat liberals, asshole, and skinny right-wingers. You are a complete moron.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 2801/13/2013

As R6 points out, a lot of states won't be getting marriage equality for a very long time. Relax people, this is the long haul.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 2901/13/2013

The black ministers on the west and south sides are not, in general, against gay marriage. Rev. Sen. Meeks wasn't either, until some right-wingers in California gave him $50 million for his church. They won't campaign against gay marriage unless someone pays them.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 3001/13/2013

R6 and R29, those state laws will not be in effect if the SCOTUS makes the right rulings. Many states still have Jim Crowe on the books, but they can not be enforced.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 3101/13/2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The fate of gay marriage legislation in Rhode Island could hinge on the exemptions it affords religious groups that oppose it, the state Senate president said Friday, a day after the House overwhelmingly passed the bill.

Teresa Paiva Weed said she remains opposed to the bill and has heard that the sticking point for many senators is on how broad of a religious exemption is included in the only New England state that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage.

The Newport Democrat said she doesn’t want to fast-track the legislation and promised a “full and fair debate” on what she said is a personal and emotional issue for many lawmakers. She made the comments during a taping of WJAR-TV’s “10 News Conference.”

She said she doesn’t know whether there’s enough support in the Senate to pass the legislation, which would make Rhode Island the 10th state to allow gay marriage.

“The debate and the discussion in the Senate will be very real, and neither I nor anybody else ... really knows what the final outcome of that will be,” she said.

Paiva Weed said several senators have told her they want a more expansive religious exemption to protect religious leaders, churches, religious charities and organizations that do not support same-sex marriage.

In legislative testimony, a lobbyist for the Roman Catholic Church raised concerns that Catholic schools and charitable organizations could be forced to change employee benefit policies if compelled to recognize the same-sex spouses of employees.

The bill passed by the House states that religious institutions may set their own rules for who is eligible to marry within their faith and specifies that no religious leader can be forced to officiate at any marriage ceremony.

Paiva Weed said she has instructed her legal advisers to compare Rhode Island legislation’s religious exemption to those written into gay marriage laws in Maine, Washington state, New York and Maryland.

It’s likely to be weeks or even months before the Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings and a vote on the legislation. That’s in stark contrast to the House, where House Speaker Gordon Fox followed through on his promise to hold a vote on gay marriage before the end of January.

Fox, a Providence Democrat, is gay. He dropped gay marriage legislation two years ago when he concluded it would not pass the Senate. Following Thursday night’s 51-19 vote in favor of the legislation, Fox said he trusts the Senate to weigh the merits of the bill and dismissed concerns from some gay marriage supporters that Paiva Weed would use the issue in political horse-trading that often occurs at the end of the legislative session.

“I’m used to that kind of stuff,” he said.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who supports gay marriage, urged the Senate to act on the legislation. The governor, an independent, argues that gay marriage is an issue of civil rights and the state’s quality of life, and that Rhode Island is at a competitive disadvantage to other New England states that allow it.

“Now that the House has swiftly acted, I urge Senate leadership to ‘call the roll’ — for our economy, for our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors, and for history,” he said in a statement.

Some opponents have suggested placing gay marriage on the ballot as a referendum, but the idea is a nonstarter with Fox and Chafee.

___

Smith reported from Cranston, R.I.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 3201/25/2013

What is going on in Rhode Island?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 3302/08/2013

Indiana has shelved their anti-gay constitutional amendment.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 3402/08/2013

R31...comparing this to Jim Crowe shows that you have no clue.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 3502/08/2013

Puerto Rico, cuz all them bois want to move here.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 3602/10/2013

I don't know why people were assuming multiple states would pass marriage equality this year. Hawaii has a very vocal and organized opposition. I know it was a while back, but the state's voters strongly voted against gay marriage at the ballot box when they had the chance to vote on it. Hawaii has a large anti-gay movement that is pushing back on this issue. Delaware just got a basic anti-discrimination law a few years ago after years of stalling. Many Democratic legislators in DE are not pro-gay. New Jersey simply doesnt have the votes to override Christie's certain veto. Rhode Island's antigay movement has flexed their muscles again and frozen movement on its proposal. Wyoming was never gonna happen. Minnesota Democrats are split and afraid of sticking their necks out on an issue the voters are mixed on. Illinois is the only real hope right now.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 3702/14/2013

Illinois looks like a certainty.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 3802/14/2013

I think it's funny how the DL's on here from California like to make fun of us "flyovers", yet Iowa and any day now Illinois will have gay marriage before them.

So much for California being as hip and liberal as they like to think, huh? 5 years later and that Prop 8 mess is STILL going nowhere.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 3902/14/2013

So, what organization(s) is leading the charge in Rhode Island? It seems like the movement in Rhode Island has been particularly quiet and negligent in shepherding this bill through the legislature.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 4002/15/2013

The Senate seems to be the problem in Rhode Island. And Senate leadership does not seem to be particularly invested in moving the bill through the process.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 4102/15/2013

[quote]Puerto Rico, cuz all them bois want to move here

What does that even mean?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 4202/15/2013

Rhode Island is such an odd case since half the gay men in the state are already married to women. It's that quirky Catholic thing.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 4302/15/2013

[quote]Hawaii has a large anti-gay movement that is pushing back on this issue

aka the Mormons. It seems to me we can defeat those bastards in Hawaii. Hell they had a Republican Lesbian governor.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 4402/15/2013

N.M. House committee defeats gay marriage proposal Alamogordo Daily News By Milan Simonich, Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Posted: 02/21/2013 05:18:13 PM MST

SANTA FE -- Two Democrats and five Republicans united Thursday to block a bill that would have allowed a public vote on gay marriage in New Mexico.

The proposal failed 7-4 in the House Voters and Elections Committee. Democratic Reps. Mary Helen Garcia, of Las Cruces, and Debbie Rodella, of Española, joined with the committee's five Republicans to stop the initiative.

Sponsored by Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, the proposed constitutional amendment said marriage licenses could not be denied on the basis that both applicants were of the same gender. His measure also provided that no church or religious institution would have to perform a marriage ceremony that conflicted with its beliefs.

Three military veterans testified for the bill, saying they fought for their country only to be denied the right to marry the person they loved.

A woman told the committee that, the year she graduated from high school, she could not have married a white man because she is black. The prejudice against interracial marriage was ended by the U.S. Supreme Court, but the one barring same-sex marriage continues, she said.

Glen Strock, pastor of Pecos Valley Cowboy Church, was among several people who argued against the amendment based on biblical teachings.

"The same God we ask to bless America said, 'You shall not lay with a man as with a woman. That is an abomination,'" Strock said.

Former state representative Andy Nunez, an independent from Hatch, also opposed the bill.

"We're against this gay marriage. It's not right in my estimation," Nunez said. "They can go to Canada and get married, or somewhere else."

House Speaker Ken Martinez, D-Grants, made an impassioned speech for the amendment. He wept at one point as he recounted the struggles of a young gay man who had cut his wrists because of unhappiness.

Martinez argued that gay people are born with that orientation, and said everyone by now should understand that.

"Why would you choose a life where you're going to be discriminated against?" he asked.

Martinez's oratory was strong enough to move several people in the audience to tears.

Egolf, his own voice breaking with emotion, said his amendment was one of simple fairness. People should be able to marry the partner they want, and the state should recognize those unions he said.

Rep. Nate Cote, D-Organ, said he supported the bill as a vehicle of democracy. Approving it would let voters decide the question, Cote said.

No committee member argued against the amendment.

Rep. Jim Smith, R-Sandia Park, moved to table the proposal, though he said he took no joy in doing so. Democrats control the committee 6-5, but Rodella and Garcia tipped the balance this time by voting with the Republicans.

Milan Simonich, Santa Fe bureau chief of Texas-New Mexico Newspapers, can be reached at msimonich@tnmnp.com or (505) 820-6898. His blog is at nmcapitolreport.com.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 4502/21/2013

what next in IL?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 4602/23/2013

Any effort to rescue Rhode Island from disaster?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 4703/01/2013

[quote]what next in IL?

A full House vote is the next (and final) vote and should be happening sometime this month. If it passes, which it's expected to, the governor said he will sign it immediately.

So most likely Illinois will have gay marriage next.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 4803/01/2013

It will be close in Illinois. The House Committee vote did not have a vote to spare, and one of the Dems who voted for it in committee says he will vote against it on the floor. Dems are still divided on the issue.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 4903/01/2013

Doesn't RI already recognized same-sex marriages performed in other states where it's already legalized? If that's the case, then I really don't understand what they think they're accomplishing by not passing it.

All the surrounding states (which are like 20 minutes away) already do it, so it's not like they're stopping anybody.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 5003/01/2013

R49 It will be close, but I think it will pass (barely).

by The Voice of the Nightreply 5103/01/2013

A majority of Minnesotans oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, the Star Tribune Minnesota Poll has found.

Fifty-three percent of Minnesotans say the state statute banning same-sex unions should stand. Only 38 percent say legislators should overturn the law this year, while 9 percent are undecided.

The new poll offers a fresh snapshot of an issue that has deeply divided the state. It was just five months ago that Minnesotans rejected a proposal to put the ban into the state’s Constitution. Legislators now are considering bills that would make gay marriage legal.

House Speaker Paul Thissen said he found the poll results surprising, with stronger opposition than has been seen in other samplings.

“There have been a number of polls on the issue. The trend in general is moving toward acceptance of marriage equality,” said Thissen, a Minneapolis DFLer. “There will certainly be more conversation on this. Our members are talking to their constituents, which is more important than any poll.”

The poll of 800 Minnesotans, taken Feb. 25-27, shows that resistance is strongest in outstate Minnesota. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Outstate, 73 percent respondents oppose allowing gay couples to legally wed in Minnesota, with only 27 percent favoring such unions or undecided.

“Gay marriage is not right, and that’s just all there is to it,” said Ed Carlson, 66, a retiree from the Potlatch paper company who lives in Brainerd. “I feel very strongly about it.”

The Twin Cities area remains the core of support for those who want to legalize same-sex marriage, with metro area suburban residents narrowly siding with those who want to change the law.

In Hennepin and Ramsey counties, 57 percent want the Legislature to allow same-sex marriage, with 35 percent saying the law should be left as is. Metro suburbs are more closely divided, with 46 percent favoring legalization and 44 percent who want the ban to stay.

Jackie Colwell, 46, an Edina homemaker, said she wants same-sex marriage legalized but does not want the issue to consume the Legislature and prevent progress on crucial issues like education and the budget.

“If it can be done quickly without a lot of bells and whistles, then they should absolutely do it,” Colwell said. “It’s time for same-sex marriage to be legalized. Minnesota is ready for it. I just don’t want it to become this circus atmosphere at the Capitol, though.”

The poll found that a clear majority of men — 64 percent — oppose changing the law, with 24 percent in support. Another 12 percent are undecided.

Dan Frump, of Buffalo, said gay and lesbian couples deserve some legal protections and possibly recognition, but not a union called marriage.

“For me, it’s a religious thing,” said Frump, 72, who is retired from Toro Co. “In France, there’s a legal marriage and a church marriage. That’s what we should have here. I totally think there should be some legal contract of some sort.”

Women are also divided, with 51 percent favoring a change in the law, compared with 43 percent who do not.

Younger Minnesotans are more likely to support legalizing gay marriage. Among those ages 18 to 34, more than half say the law should change, with 35 percent saying it should not.

Opposition to same-sex marriage grows as age increases, the poll found.

Among those 65 and older, 72 percent say the law should remain as it is, with only 20 percent supporting legalization.

Party divide

Party affiliation opens up another fault line.

About 76 percent of Republicans do not want the existing marriage law changed, while 17 percent do. Among independents, 62 percent want marriage to remain the union only of a man and woman.

DFLers form the bulk of the support for legalization, with 66 percent favoring a change in the law. Only 27 percent prefer the current law to remain.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said he does not put much stock in polls. “It’s no secret that Minnesotans are pretty divided on the subject,” he said. “Members are going to do what they think personally, based on wha

by The Voice of the Nightreply 5203/06/2013

My nephew, who works in the Oregon state legislature and is working on a bill to be voted on in November, 2014, says that it will likely pass.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 5303/06/2013

Oregon already rejected gay marriage last year. They hate the gays!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 5403/06/2013

Do be so certain about Oregon. It is more conservative state than Washington.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 5503/07/2013

The progressive, urban population in Oregon has surpassed the conservative rural population in elections. Democrats hold majorities in both the state senate and assembly, with a huge majority in the later.

While the Beaver State might not (yet) be as liberal as its neighbor to the north, public attitudes in both states tend to be more like "mind your own business" New England.

I have lots of relatives in the Portland area as well as in rural areas, all of whom feel that gay marriage will happen in 2014 -- as long as there is adequate voter turn out in a non-presidential election year.

Of course, whatever happens with Prop. 8 in the Supreme Court could be a game changer!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 5603/07/2013

Fake poll in Minnesota.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 5703/07/2013

Equality Illinois says there are 43 definite yes votes in the Illinois house and 20 "toss up" votes. They need 60 to pass it. The Senate has passed it and the House and passed it from Committee. The Governor will sign it if passed. Now would be the perfect time while Cardinal George is in Rome.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 5903/09/2013

I want to know why two dems joined the republicans against voting in New Mexico. Did they release statements?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 6003/09/2013

r60, well I assume they are against gay marriage because they think their constituents are against it, and/or because they themselves are against it.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 6103/09/2013

R59, what can ordinary people do to help swing those 20 toss-ups into the 'yes' column?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 6203/09/2013

Donate money to Equality Illinois -- here's a link. Even small amounts are helpful.

Other than that, if you live in one of the districts with a 'toss-up' representative, a personally written letter is very effective.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 6303/09/2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Maria Valente and Andrea Bond were married in Massachusetts four years ago by a justice of the peace. The East Providence women insist they're just like any other couple raising three children. But a few years ago, when Bond had surgery in Rhode Island, they found out not everyone agrees.

"I was told I couldn't be in the room with her," Valente said. "It was discouraging and hurtful. The children were upset. Why drive a wedge into a family like that?"

Valente and Bond hope Rhode Island joins the rest of New England this year in allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. But they're concerned that the kind of treatment they received may still be allowed if lawmakers insert a broad religious exemption allowing religious organizations like churches, hospitals and schools — or private businesses — to ignore the law and decide for themselves whether they want to extend benefits and rights to married gay couples.

Supporters and opponents alike predict the debate could turn on the religious exemption. The bill passed the House in January but has yet to receive a vote in the Senate. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, who has opposed gay marriage in the past, has said the sticking point in the debate for many senators is how broad the exemption is. Several senators, she said, wanted a more expansive exemption to protect religious organizations and private individuals who do not want to recognize gay marriage.

The same objection has been raised by the Roman Catholic Church and several religious leaders who say the issue comes down to religious liberty. They argue that religious schools and charitable organizations like the Knights of Columbus shouldn't be forced to change employee benefit policies, or rent an event hall to a same-sex couple looking to hold a wedding reception.

"The establishment of same-sex marriage would pose yet another threat to religious freedom," wrote Bishop Thomas Tobin, the leader of the Providence Diocese, in a column in the state's Catholic newspaper. "... Religious bodies will be obliged to extend their resources, facilities and benefits to individuals who are living in immoral relationships — contrary to sincerely held religious beliefs."

Sen. Harold Metts opposes the legislation and said the effect on religious organization is a "big consideration." The Providence Democrat said it would be contrary to the nation's traditions of religious freedom to force anyone to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples.

"A lot of people forget the religious liberties we have in this country," he said. "We certainly want to make sure that it's protected."

The bill passed by the House states that religious institutions may set their own rules for who is eligible to marry within their faith and specifies that no religious leader can be forced to officiate at any marriage ceremony. While ministers already cannot be forced to marry anyone, the exemption helped smooth the bill's passage in the House.

Supporters of gay marriage say that while they can support the current exemption, they don't want it broadened. Two years ago, when it became apparent that gay marriage legislation would fail in the General Assembly, lawmakers passed a civil union law that contained a broad exemption allowing religious organizations to ignore the relationships. Under the law, religious cemeteries could deny adjoining burial plots to a couple in a civil union, and religious hospitals could refuse to let one partner make a medical decision for another. Fewer than 100 couples have sought a civil union.

Any effort to craft a similar exemption for gay marriage in Rhode Island would in effect be a "poison pill" that causes the legislation to fail with supporters, said Rev. Gene Dyszlewski, chairman of the Rhode Island Religious Coalition for Marriage Equality.

"It's very clear to me that religious groups are free to practice their religion without any restraint," he said. "Making the marriage law more complicated doesn't solve the marriage problem. I find it hurtful that there are religious groups who are asking

by The Voice of the Nightreply 6403/10/2013

Seriously, fuck religion. Fuck it right in the ass.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 6503/11/2013

R66, the Supreme Court will likely take care of that within the next couple of years, if not this coming summer. Those state marriage bans are not long for this world. Other protections will follow quickly, especially if the Democrats ever regain control of the US House.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 6703/11/2013

I eat shit.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 6803/11/2013

The point is that Rhode Island and other states that have not legalized same-sex marriage will not legalize it without broad religious liberty protections. Likewise, the 29 states without gay rights laws are unlikely to pass them without similar religious liberty exemptions. IF we want same-sex marriage and gay rights to be in the majority of states we need to be realistic and agree to broad religious exemptions.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 7003/11/2013

Nevada. Where all dreams really do come true.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 7103/11/2013

R69, this time last year, few people thought Obamacare would be upheld and the court did just that. A broad ruling in favor of marriage equality across the land is just as likely as a narrower one that opens the door for other state bans to be litigated in a year or two. I honestly do not think Roberts wants to hear the same case again when the same decision will need to be applied again. The four liberals only need one more vote to accomplish this and there is little doubt these bans are discriminatory and unconstitutional. They will be overturned sooner rather than later.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 7203/11/2013

Current prediction (or informed guess) on the Supreme Court: defining marriage will be held to be a state prerogative, hence the Prop. 8 case will be overturned (leading to a new voter initiative on the issue in CA; this time we will win). But following the same logic, the Supremes will also undo Section 3 of DOMA (as overreach by the federal government), leading to a flotilla of lawsuits requiring states to give "full faith and credit" to same-sex marriages in other states that permit them. This will be the beginning of the end for state bans on same-sex marriage.

We'll know much more, of course, after the oral argument.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 7303/11/2013

I agree, r73. I think the Court wants to avoid deciding same sex marriage for the states, especially since most same-sex marriage bans are the product of actual voters, not just legislators. The Court is very careful about undoing voter initiatives, especially when voters in most states have voted in this way.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 7403/11/2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Committees in the Minnesota House and Senate are poised to vote on - and likely pass - bills to legalize same-sex marriage Tuesday.

The House Civil Law Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee are set to take up the bills, which were the subject of state Capitol rallies on both sides of the issue in recent weeks. The Associated Press reported last week that Democrats likely had the votes in both committees to pass the bill.

The House committee is set to start its hearing early Tuesday morning, and resume at 6 p.m. The Senate committee begins at noon.

If the bills pass, they'll slip below the radar for weeks as budget negotiations consume legislators' attention. A full vote in both chambers isn't expected until after budget bills have been passed.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 7503/12/2013

There is virtually no way the US Supreme Court says there is a national right to same-sex marriage. If there is a broad ruling, it will be against marriage equality. They are not gonna take such a huge leap to make a federal right that is so far ahead of the vast majority of states. This is still a very conservative court.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 7603/12/2013

I don't think the decisions are going to be quite so doom and gloom, R76. Prop 8 in California and DOMA will be struck down. The decision, for now, about Marriage will remain on the State level. This is an interim step until further legal challenges are brought before the Supreme Court from States that do not permit it. I'd say about 3 - 5 years out.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 7703/12/2013

R78 Unfortunately I live in shithole Illinois and even in Chicago it's very conservative. I have a feeling marriage equality won't pass here.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 7903/14/2013

Describe why Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Delaware are lost, R78. Minnesota almost seems like a sure deal at this point.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 8003/14/2013

Chicago is not conservative. Quinn is not conservative.

Emmanuel is conservative but not on this issue. Madigan is conservative.

Get rid of Madigan and a few other lackeys of Cardinal George and or Reverend Senator Meeks and there's no question it passes.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 8103/14/2013

R.I. Senate committee to consider gay marriage, referendum bills next Thursday Posted by John Riley | March 15, 2013 5:04 PM | Permalink

The Rhode Island State Senate's Judiciary Committee announced yesterday that it will hear two bills March 21: one that would grant marriage equality in the Ocean State, and another calling for a statewide referendum on the issue.

At the beginning of the 2013 session, legislators in both the state House of Representatives and state Senate introduced measures to allow gay and lesbian couples access to Rhode Island marriage licenses. Both bills, H5015 and S38, also provide protections for religious officiants and institutions by asserting that no local governmental or quasi-governmental body will be allowed to prevent them from determining who is eligible to marry in their faith, and that officiants who refuse to solemnize a marriage based on their religious views may not be penalized in any way.

The House of Representatives voted 51-19 Jan. 24 to approve H5015, its version of the marriage-equality bill. That version was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee but has not received a hearing. Instead, the committee will hear testimony and vote on S38, the Senate version, which contains all the same major elements as H5015 but differ in technical language and the legal recognition of out-of-state civil unions. The senate vesion was introduced by out lesbian Sen. Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket), who also sits on the Judiciary Committee.

The committee will also consider a so-called "compromise" measure by Sen. Frank Ciccone (D-Providence), S708, which proposes a 2014 ballot measure to amend the constitution to define marriage as "a legally recognized union of two people," albeit with extensive exceptions.

To begin, Ciccone's legislation goes further than H5015 and S38 by allowing associations, societies or fraternal orders operated by a religious organization, or affiliated entities, to discriminate against gay couples in providing services, accommodations, facilities or privileges. This would apply to organizations such as Catholic Charities.

Ciccone's proposed amendment also includes safeguards for "fraternal benefit societies" – such as the Knights of Columbus, which are not directly operated by a religious organization, though they may be closely aligned with a religious mission – allowing them to discriminate in membership or in providing services or facilities related to the solemnization of a marriage that violate the members' religious beliefs.

Lastly, Ciccone's bill extends those religious exemptions to small businesses, allowing them to refuse to provide services, accommodations, facilities or goods related to same-sex couples based solely on a business’s owner disposition, such as a baker declining to fill an order for a same-sex wedding reception.

That third section would effectively gut a 1995 state law that prohibits discrimination in employment, credit, housing and public accommodations against people based on sexual orientation.

Ciccone's bill has 11 cosponsors, several of whom partnered with Ciccone in sponsoring a referendum bill in January aimed at banning same-sex marriages outright by altering the state constitution to define marriage as the "lawful union between one man and one woman." That bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee but never received a hearing after the House passed its version of the marriage equality bill, effectively creating a standstill between the House, where supporters dominate the ranks of legislators, and the senate, which is more closely divided but where opponents are part of senate leadership, allowing them to set the chamber's agenda. Ciccone proposed his current bill as a way to break the gridlock between the two chambers.

Political observers expect tight Judiciary Committee votes on both bills March 21. Of the committee's 10 members, four support marriage equality, four oppose, and two are considered swing votes.

"Fundamental human rights, including the freedom to marry the person we love, don't belong on the ballot and shoul

by The Voice of the Nightreply 8203/16/2013

Rhode Island's Senate is led by a Democrat who is against gay marriage. Another Senate Democrat has sponsored a bill that would put this matter up for a public vote with a broad religious exemption that would allow businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples. The Senate Judiciary COmmittee that will vote on this issue is divided, four for, four against, and two undecided. The vote will be razor thin.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 8303/16/2013

Black are NOT "racist against 'mos," r10, you idiot. In fact there've been plenty of news articles lately about how those blacks who were not already behind gay marriage are following Obama's lead and supporting it. Stop spreading racist lies. The gay white male community is far more racist against blacks than black are homophobic against gay marriage.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 8403/16/2013

Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee hearing is occurring now.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 8503/21/2013

The Delaware chapter of the NAACP has added its endorsement to an effort to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, in line with similar support for the issue expressed by the civil rights group’s national leadership.

In an online video posted by Equality Delaware, the grass-roots group leading the same-sex marriage effort, Delaware NAACP President Richard Smith said “Our gay brothers and sisters should have the freedom to marry the person they love.”

Last summer, the NAACP national board declared its support for gay marriage initiatives across the country.

Though some black ministerial groups vocally opposed that stance, Smith said the organization wants to separate religious definitions of marriage from civil rights.

“Civil marriage equality is a clear cut issue for the NAACP – it’s simply about equal protection under the law,” Smith said via email Wednesday. “People may have their own personal or religious views on this issue, but that’s not what is at issue here. This is a matter of civil marriage not religious marriage.”

Pastor Donald Morton of the Black Clergy Consortium, an alliance of church leaders in Wilmington, noted that no single group speaks for the black community as a whole.

“I think the NAACP speaks for its general body, those that are members, and that’s all we can really expect,” he said. “It would be disingenuous and naive to think that any one particular organization can speak for an overall community, whether it be black, white, Hispanic or otherwise.”

Morton said the consortium, which was an active organizing base for Mayor Dennis P. Williams and other Democratic candidates during last year’s campaigns, has not taken a position on same-sex marriage.

“We are in discussion as to that issue and we haven’t arrived at any public or private conclusion as of yet,” he said.

Equality Delaware’s campaign for gay marriage in Delaware has revolved around endorsements from individuals and groups across the state.

Lisa Goodman, the group’s president, said the NAACP endorsement is evidence of an inaccurate portrayal of the black community’s stance on gay rights.

“I think there has been a misconception in certain areas relating to African-American support for marriage equality, which has been created in part or perpetuated in part by those who are against equality,” she said. “What we’ve seen nationally is that the politics of division are not long effective on this issue.”

by The Voice of the Nightreply 8603/22/2013

Has anyone done a head count of RI Senate votes?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 8703/23/2013

" I have listened live to practically every state legislature and committee debate publicly broadcast online or on TV since 2009. The hundreds of religious, radical, bigoted, hate-filled, lying, out-of-control Rhode Islanders endlessly cherry-picking from the Bible — and one ludicrously even quoting from the movie, “The Poseidon Adventure” – was one of the most-ugly and most-vicious attacks against LGBTQ people I have ever heard.

Comments claiming same-sex marriage would “skyrocket” health care costs, bring the end of civilization and an influx of anal cancer and HIV, indoctrinate children, were only some of the disgusting lies spewed from these self-righteous hate-mongers. Most of the others included quotes from the Bible, and at least one was testimony read from a script clearly not written by the speaker, who barely could read and pronounce all the words — how is that legal? Of course, the fraudulent Regnerus anti-gay parenting “study” came up several times, because, well…

The Rhode Island branch of NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, brought people in from Massachusetts and elsewhere. Local haters, like Kara Young — a potential Lt. Governor candidate — were especially hateful, spreading lies and hate:

And those religious haters had company on the dais, including state senator Harold Metts, a Democrat, who made a point of telling some of the especially eloquent supporters of marriage equality that he disagreed with them, without offering any other conversation — or opportunity for them to counter his attacks. Senator Metts even managed a religious diatribe that included his claim of a “cosmic battle between God and Satan.”

The irony of newly-married Kara Young and her groom, Chris Young, shoving their marriage in the face of those who want equality was stunning, but that she compared same-sex marriage to pedophilia and polygamy was anything but funny. But the Young’s testimony was far from the worst.

One woman, whose name we have yet to uncover, promised lawmakers that if they passed the marriage equality bill out of committee, the next step would be (of course) polygamy, and (wait for it) NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association, apparently coming to town. One lawmaker, Senator Stephen Archambault, had the good sense and courage to chastise this unnamed woman, whose NAMBLA threats were wholly refuted. She refused to back down from her ugly, self-righteous attacks, sticking to her guns. And to her commentary abut how homosexuality is “unnatural,” with magnets and microphone plugs as ‘evidence.”

Senator Archambault is to be commended, especially as his position on the bill is as yet unclear.

There were of course a great many more testifiers, and while most of them were — or certainly seemed to be — against the bill for equality, there were of course a great, great many who spoke in support, many eloquently, many, were LGBT themselves, and several spoke alongside their same-sex partner.

But the haters dominated the evening. Even professional haters, like Brian Camenker, head of Mass Resistance, a Massachusetts anti-gay hate group, who traveled to Rhode Island for the event."

by The Voice of the Nightreply 8803/23/2013

Chicago

Like many gay couples in the United States, Theresa Volpe and Mercedes Santos of Chicago will be keeping a close eye on the U.S. Supreme Court this week as it hears arguments on two same-sex marriage cases.The high court review coincides with a crucial moment at home in the couple's fight to make Illinois the tenth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Volpe and Santos, who have personally lobbied Illinois lawmakers on this issue, worry about delays in drumming up enough votes for passage of a bill in their state and a growing campaign from opponents.

Supporters had hoped the bill would sail through the Democratic-majority legislature in President Barack Obama's home state in January. But it took until Valentine's Day to go through the Senate and was still several votes short in the House by late March.

RECOMMENDED: How much do you know about gay rights in America? Take the quiz!t

"What's going on in Illinois is a little disturbing — we're worried and anxious, but I know they're working hard to make things happen," said Santos, who is bringing up two children with Volpe.

The delay underscores the difficulty of securing approval for gay marriage, even in a state with strong Democratic majorities in the legislature and a Democratic governor who supports it.

During a two-week legislative spring break that began on Monday, both sides were intensifying their efforts.

Opponents of the bill are focusing mainly on the more conservative and rural areas of the state south of Chicago, and some African-American districts in Chicago.

More than 425,000 robo-calls have been placed to constituents in more than 20 districts, according to Paul Caprio, director of Family-Pac, an Illinois-based family values political action group opposed to gay marriage.

Calls to six African-American districts have featured the voice of former state Senator James Meeks, a prominent Chicago black minister opposed to same-sex nuptials.

"We've had tremendous response from the minority community on this issue," Caprio said.

In one call to people in southwestern Illinois, Caprio's voice asks voters whether their state lawmaker stands for "the Chicago homosexuals, or your family?" 'LIKE ANY OTHER FAMILY'

Bernard Cherkasov, executive director of Equality Illinois, a Chicago-based gay rights organization, said proponents were focusing more on personal appeals to legislators from constituents, including ministers and rabbis and gay couples themselves.

"I do feel really optimistic. We're really close, we're in striking distance to passing the bill," he said.

Volpe, 42, and Santos, 47, are among the gay couples who taken their appeal to lawmakers in the Illinois state capital of Springfield.

They have been together for 21 years and have two children, Ava, 8, and Jaidon, 4, conceived through an anonymous donor. The couple became outspoken advocates for gay marriage after Jaidon suffered kidney failure two years ago and was in danger of dying.

While Theresa filled out the paperwork at the hospital, Mercedes sat with him in his room. But then Theresa was told she could not see Jaidon, as there was no hospital policy for two mothers.

They believe marriage will be easier to explain to people at hospitals and other facilities than the civil union they formed after Illinois approved that option in 2011. And they want the federal rights heterosexual couples have, including Social Security benefits and tax exemptions for a surviving spouse's inheritance.

"We want people to realize that we're just like any other family — we love our kids — we don't do anything special but be parents," Santos said.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a challenge against California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage known as Proposition 8. On Wednesday, the justices will hear arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act, which excludes gay couples from federal benefits.

It is difficult to predict how the court might rule on Proposition 8, and how that would affect other states. One option could affect Illinois and other states that are like California in allowing civil unions but forbidding actual marriage. The Obama administration wants the Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8 because it relegates such same-sex civil unions to a lower legal status.

Public opinion nationally has been turning in favor of gay marriage and civil unions. A Reuters/Ipsos poll in mid-March found 63 percent of Americans in favour of gay marriage or civil unions.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 8903/26/2013

I think what Kennedy and others may be uncomfortable with is that usually when the Supreme Court finds there is a federal constitutional right, it has the laws of at least the majority of states already in support of that proposition, such as when it said interracial marriage cannot be banned or when it outlawed juvenile execution or when it outlawed sodomy laws. Usually, they can say, "see, most states agree with us already." But, the Court is very hesitant to say something is a constitutional right when only nine states allow that practice. It does not want to overreach and make the overwhelming majority (41) of states do something against their will. Kennedy is winking to gay rights advocates and saying, "go get same-sex marriage passed in the majority of states" and then you can come back to us and reasonably declare it is a national constitutional right.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 9003/26/2013

Kennedy likes the Federal government infringing on state issues even less than that.

I predicted this elsewhere, but I'll say it again: Kennedy writes the majority opinion, overturning DOMA on a states' rights basis, joined by the liberals and possibly Roberts. Ginsberg or Sotomayor write a concurrence based on equal protection, joined by the other liberals. Scalia writes the dissent, citing his frothing hatred of gay people, joined by Alito and Thomas.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 9103/27/2013

Why is it so difficult to pass this in RI, IL, and DE? They are really having a tough times getting the votes in Democratic legislatures.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 9204/03/2013

By Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune reporter April 4, 2013

The Rev. James Meeks took to the pulpit of the enormous House of Hope at Salem Baptist Church of Chicago and exhorted his congregation to make its voice heard by lawmakers who will vote on whether to allow gay marriage in Illinois.

"We're living in a time where, here in our own state … they are about to make the law of the land that a man can marry a man and a woman can marry a woman. I think it's time for the church to wake up," Meeks, a former state senator, said on a recent Sunday.

During Illinois' lengthy and divisive debate on same-sex marriage, perhaps no group of lawmakers has been singled out for more intensive lobbying than African-American state representatives.

With the measure a dozen votes or less shy of the 60 required for final approval, advocates on either side of the issue consider the 20 black House members key swing votes in the spring session.

The traditionally liberal black caucus, however, has not uniformly lined up in favor of gay marriage, even as home-state President Barack Obama switched course and backed it. Only one of the 14 House co-sponsors is black.

Some African-American lawmakers are uncomfortable with characterizations of gay rights as the latest front in the civil rights movement.

Others fear political repercussions, saying ministers opposed to same-sex marriage have warned legislators who vote for it to never come back to their churches, where politicians traditionally campaign on the final Sundays before an election.

"To be honest with you, it's a little disheartening," said Democratic Rep. Will Davis of Homewood, a black caucus member who has not made up his mind as he works out whether gay marriage is a moral or public policy issue.

"There are so many large-scale issues important to the black community, but you've never heard from them," Davis said of the churches opposed to gay marriage. "This doesn't create jobs. It doesn't create opportunities and, for the most part, they are silent on helping African-Americans getting job opportunities in this state. They are silent on the increasing prison population."

The bill contains a provision stating that religious institutions that oppose same-sex marriage could not be forced to perform ceremonies for same-sex couples, but religious leaders opposed to the measure argue that allowing such unions is against Bible-based morals.

Meeks, a once-considerable political presence whose religious role still carries significant influence, was tapped as the voice for thousands of automated calls into African-American homes warning that "our family structure as we know it is in serious jeopardy" if same-sex marriage is legalized.

In mid-March, the African-American Clergy Coalition formed an independent-expenditure political action committee with $3,000 from supportive ministers.

"When I saw that the lawmakers were excited about passing legislation about same-sex marriage, it's a slap in the face of the Bible," said the PAC's chairman, Lance Davis, bishop of New Zion Christian Fellowship Covenant Church in Dolton. "I didn't see that kind of enthusiasm about stopping children from killing children in the streets."

Rev. Davis said the same-sex marriage issue "has really galvanized us" and wants the PAC to address other issues of concern to the black community, rather than support or oppose political candidates.

But advocates for same-sex marriage also have sought help from the pulpit. They've sent lawmakers letters of support from more than 300 faith leaders across the state that, in the words of one clergyman, seek to differentiate a religious rite from a civil right.

The letters and other more direct lobbying are "done to give a comfort level to legislators that they'll be doing the right thing and to give them some protection and some language to understand the issue and to use with their constituents and own faith leaders," said one same-sex marriage supporter who was not authorized to discuss lobbying tactics.

On Thursday, a group of black clergy will hold a Loop news conference to urge passage of the gay marriage bill in the House, the last hurdle given that Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will sign the measure into law.

The Rev. L. Bernard Jakes of West Point Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago contended that same-sex couples, many of them active in the African-American church, are being denied a basic right.

"Many of the same-gendered loving couples love Jesus as much as I, and they believe in Scripture with the same fervor by which I believe," Jakes noted in a statement to lawmakers.

"Their only legal lot in life is they are prevented from sharing in a life-long legal commitment with their partner — many of double-digit years. This is what makes it a matter of civil rights," he wrote.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 9304/03/2013

The pro-equality side seems to be sort of sluggish about pressing for equality in DE, MN, RI, and IL. The entire movement should be galvanized, staging rallies, sending money, but it seems like people are so lazy and unengaged in these states' battles.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 9404/04/2013

Unitarians to rally for gay marriage in RI Posted: Apr 06, 2013 9:42 AM EDT Updated: Apr 06, 2013 9:42 AM EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Leaders of the Unitarian Universalist Association and United Church of Christ are rallying for gay marriage in Rhode Island.

The Rev. Peter Morales and the Rev. Geoffrey Black plan to speak Sunday afternoon at Providence's First Unitarian Church. Morales is president of the Unitarian Universalist Association and Black is general minister and president of the United Church of Christ. Both denominations have long supported calls to allow same-sex marriage.

The event is designed to support legislation that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. The bill has passed the Rhode Island House and is pending in the Senate.

Nine states and the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage. Rhode Island is the only New England state that does not.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 9504/06/2013

The anti-gay French forces are resilient. They continue nonstop protests in France.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 9604/06/2013

Why are the French gays so lazy? Why aren't they fighting these assholes?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 9704/06/2013

It'd be nice if the entirety of New England legalized marriage equality.

Illinois should be soon, of course.

California will return (once Prop 8 is struck down finally and forever), and it's sad that Oregon isn't in line to join the rest of the West Coast after that.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 9804/06/2013

Saying that he was influenced by his gay mother-in-law, a second GOP member of the Illinois House has announced his support for same-sex marriage.

State Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr., who is chairman of the House Republican campaign organization, said his decision to back same-sex marriage represented a personal and family evolution on the issue. Previously an opponent of civil unions, Sullivan told the Tribune that his mother-in-law, who lives in the southwest suburbs, has been in a same-sex relationship. "The first reaction from people might be, 'Well he might be voting for that just because of his mother-in-law,'" Sullivan said. "The reality is, because my mother-in-law is gay, I have more of an understanding and familiarity with same-sex couples."

Supporters of the bill believe they are still about 12 votes shy of passage in the state House. But Sullivan is optimistic.

Sullivan said he believes more Republicans among the 47 in the House will sign on. "There is tremendous momentum leading up to this vote. I think we're very close," he said. "There's many of my colleagues that have talked about this, that have said it's the right thing to do."

Last week GOP Sen. Mark Kirk announced his support for marriage, a move that may encourage local Republicans to follow suit. The Illinois House reconvenes today after a two week break.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 9904/08/2013

Why should anyone fight those assholes, r97? They've lost, there's nothing to fight them for. France effectively has gay marriage, the legislation just needs to pass through the Senate - which it will - and then it will be law.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 10004/08/2013

Actually the French Senate vote will be frightenly close, as revealed by the vote in antigay amendments this weekend. Moreover, this will return to The House for yet another vote in May. The antigay side is feeling cocky about killing this. The Progay side has been inept and lazy about challenging them with matching rallies and protests. The media have given the anti side huge coverage. Even in the US, you would not see progay people sitting around while antigay forces stage multiple mass rallies. We would be staging huge rallies of our own. Lazy people don't win.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 10104/08/2013

Which "vote in antigay amendments", r101? Were any anti-gay amendments voted in? I know it's a big thing for Americans to rally in that kind of way but it's not necessarily the way we do things in Europe. The anti-gay mob are "protesting" because they're a mob and want to influence the vote with the threat of their physical mob presence. But, they're not going to get their way. However hard if might be for you to accept, France is getting full gay marriage before the US does. Even then, you will probably deny that France has gay marriage.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 10204/08/2013

On Friday, the French Senate narrowly rejected an antigay amendment that would have put gay marriage up to a national referendum. The vote was 164 votes 'for' and 176 votes 'against'." Similar weekend maneuvers have been just as close.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 10304/08/2013

A Paris gay man was brutally beaten this weekend. French gay rights groups say the recent protests against same-sex marriage have led to a rise in anti-gay physical attacks. Via The Local:

According to [Wilfred] de Bruijn, he was attacked with his boyfriend in the 19th arrondissement of Paris on Saturday night simply because they were gay. France’s gay rights groups say the savage beating comes as homophobic incidents are on the rise. They blame the increasingly radical and stubborn anti-gay marriage movement. Hours after being subjected to the beating, De Bruijn put the photo on his Facebook page. It has since been shared thousands of times across social media. “Sorry to show you this,” the victim wrote. “It’s the face of homophobia. Last night 19th arrondissement, Paris, Olivier and I were badly beaten just for walking arm in arm. “I woke up in an ambulance covered in blood, missing tooth and broken bones around the eye.“I’m home now. Very sad.”

The president of SOS Homophobie spoke to The Local: "This was a shocking and incredibly violent incident. We have seen a thirty percent rise in the number of homophobic incidents since October. This is a result of the opposition towards the gay marriage bill."

A protest against this latest assault is scheduled for Wednesday. Manif Por Tous, the organizers of the recent massive anti-gay rallies, has denounced the crime and asked if they may attend the protest.

Labels: France, gay bashing, marriage equality, Paris

by The Voice of the Nightreply 10404/08/2013

Rumors are also appearing in some of the French gay and anti-gay sites that "according to sources near l'Elysee, Hollande is considering suspending the bill after it passes the senate." That may just be Barjot's people trying to spread lies and discouragement. But this is not a done deal. Hollande's government is in a very weak and vulnerable position and he is not a politician of great conviction. All of the "zoom, zoom" rhetoric needs to be put on hold until this actually makes it through review by the constitutional council.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 10504/08/2013

FRANCE: Rumors are also appearing in some of the French gay and anti-gay sites that "according to sources near l'Elysee, Hollande is considering suspending the bill after it passes the senate." That may just be Barjot's people trying to spread lies and discouragement. But this is not a done deal. Hollande's government is in a very weak and vulnerable position and he is not a politician of great conviction. All of the "zoom, zoom" rhetoric needs to be put on hold until this actually makes it through review by the constitutional council.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 10604/08/2013

R103, etc. has been all over the board trying to convince that gay marriage isn't going to happen in France. It is, so get used to it.

The crap he posts at r105 and r106 simply demonstrates that all his so-called "information" is bullshit. It's in the fucking Senate, it can't be abandoned by the president even if he wanted to, which he doesn't. So get your head out of your fucking anti-French ass. Oh, and link for these "rumors".

by The Voice of the Nightreply 10704/08/2013

R107 are u from France? What makes u so sure it will pass? I hope it does, but I'm not so sure.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 10804/08/2013

WTF is going on in Illinois?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 10904/08/2013

r108, a lot of French gays on Twitter are feeling that the anti-gay massive marches have eroded not just public support but the resolve of Hollande and his government to push this through. Twitter is abuzz with speculation the government will drop this. The antigay side is already starting to brag about they derailed marriage equality. Shame.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 11004/08/2013

Gov. Jack Markell urged students to “write history” by supporting a Delaware bill that would make it the tenth state to legalize gay marriage.

“This is not about watching history happen,” Markell said. “It’s about making it.” Markell spoke to a full audience in the Trabant Theater on Monday night for the Equality Delaware rally. Held by the organization Equality Delaware, the rally aimed to encourage students and community members to make 2013 the year gay marriage is legalized in Delaware.

The event was sponsored by student organizations UD Democrats, Haven, Amnesty International, Active Minds, RSA, Mannrs, SAGE, VOX, V-Day, Uganda Untold and Deltronica.

Deltronica president Charlie Field spoke on behalf of his organization in full support of marriage equality. His support is derived from personal experience he said, since his older brother came out last year.

“It pains me to see my brother unable to experience the beautiful thing that is marriage,” Field said.

BY CADY ZUVICH Student Affairs Desk Editor

Gov. Jack Markell urged students to “write history” by supporting a Delaware bill that would make it the tenth state to legalize gay marriage.

“This is not about watching history happen,” Markell said. “It’s about making it.” Markell spoke to a full audience in the Trabant Theater on Monday night for the Equality Delaware rally. Held by the organization Equality Delaware, the rally aimed to encourage students and community members to make 2013 the year gay marriage is legalized in Delaware.

The event was sponsored by student organizations UD Democrats, Haven, Amnesty International, Active Minds, RSA, Mannrs, SAGE, VOX, V-Day, Uganda Untold and Deltronica.

Deltronica president Charlie Field spoke on behalf of his organization in full support of marriage equality. His support is derived from personal experience he said, since his older brother came out last year.

“It pains me to see my brother unable to experience the beautiful thing that is marriage,” Field said.

In addition to Field, several student representatives of supporting organizations stood on the theater’s stage, urging students to stand for marriage equality. Additionally, State Represenative Paul Baumbach and Lietenant Gov. Matt Denn spoke, with Attorney General Beau Biden and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) appearing on-screen in prerecorded videos, speaking of their unwavering support for equal protection of rights.

Alumnus Joe Daigle, former president of UD Democrats is recently engaged to alumnus Dan Cole, who he met while a student at the university. Daigle said he is directly affected by the gay marriage bill, as it is the only way the couple will be married.

“With all of the work, the sooner Dan and I will be married,” Daigle said.

Diagle said legislation allowing gay marriage is not only about him and his fiancee, but about everyone in the state of Delaware. The more work supporters put into the effort, the sooner marriage equality in the state will be a reality, Diagle said.

During his speech, Markell garnered applause and cheers, though he told students the rally was not a celebration yet. Markell said he would sign a bill allowing gay marriage, and would like to see it on his desk by June 30.

“We have an unbelievable opportunity to write the next chapter in history,” Markell said.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 11104/08/2013

If France doesn't get gay marriage, then I won't ever visit there again. I'll take my tourist dollars elsewhere. Plus, France seems to be turning into a backwards shithole.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 11204/08/2013

Hurry up IL and RI!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 11304/12/2013

Well, asshole at r112, France is getting gay marriage and you sound like an idiot. But, PLEASE, never visit France again anyway, and don't come anywhere near Europe.

R107 (same idiot as at r112), no, I'm not from France but I'm sure it will pass because the French government, president and national assembly are all in favour of same-sex marriage and it has already gone through almost all the stages of the legislative process but you are still shitting this shit about how it won't pass. When it's eventually signed into law and even you cannot deny it, will you please put your head in a toilet bowl and pull the flush!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 11404/12/2013

Delaware seems to be springing into action.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 11504/15/2013

when is the vote scheduled in Illinois?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 11604/17/2013

r116,

There is no vote scheduled in Illinois yet because they don't have all the votes in the House yet.

The bill is stuck behind a lot of other issues like pensions, gambling and the budget. If the bill doesn't pass by May it may wind up getting held over another year and a half until the post-2014 election veto session.

On a side note, the Illinois GOP just this weekend went through its second coup attempt and second failure by right-wingers to try to to oust the state GOP chairman for personally supporting the gay marriage bill.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 11704/17/2013

The Delaware House Administration Committee has voted 4-1 to advance HB75, a marriage equality bill to the House floor.

Delaware residents can contact lawmakers through Equality Delaware.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 11804/17/2013

A republican Delegate has announced support for same-sex marriage.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 11904/19/2013

Just now, the Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance marriage equality with a vote of 7-4. The bill is identical to one that already passed the House. A second bill under consideration that would have allowed a referendum to decide whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry failed 5-6. It now advances to the full Senate for consideration.

In March, the committee heard about 12 hours of testimony on these two bills. Originally, the referendum bill also included extreme “protections” for religious liberty that anybody in the state could discriminate against same-sex couples. (Numerous senators that originally came out in support of it had already backed away from it.) During the March hearing, there was fierce testimony on both sides of the issue, included repeated lessons on the Bible from Sen. Harold Metts (D), who believes Satan is behind same-sex marriage.

This was the first time that marriage equality has had a vote in the Rhode Island Senate. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed (D) has not allowed it to advance before, but promised she’d allow a Senate vote this year if the House approved it, which it did. Earlier today, the entire Republican caucus in the Senate — all five members — endorsed marriage equality. Despite the opposition by Senate Democratic leadership, 60 percent of Rhode Island voters support full marriage equality.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 12004/23/2013

Delaware's House has approved marriage equality in a 23-18 vote.

Read more:

by The Voice of the Nightreply 12104/23/2013

Rhode Island and Delaware: the two smallest states packing a big punch for marriage equality.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 12204/23/2013

Marriage equality passed RI State Senate 26-12. Now goes back to House for vote next week.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 12304/24/2013

Amazing that the RI House is going to already vote on it next week, yet it has been sitting in the House for seemingly years now here in my homestate of Illinois.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 12404/24/2013

Rhode Island just needs to join the rest of New England. Really seems foolish at this point being land-locked in gay marriage. If the rest of New England were going to be dragged down to the bowels of hell, they were going to be coming with us.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 12504/24/2013

Rhode Island for the win!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 12604/24/2013

FROM 2009 From 2009:By ABBY GOODNOUGH Published: April 4, 2009By ABBY GOODNOUGH Published: April 4, 2009 BOSTON — The Iowa Supreme Court’s approval of same-sex marriage on Friday gave advocates an important first victory in the nation’s heartland, thwarting the notion that only the Northeast will accept it.

But for now, New England remains the nucleus of the same-sex marriage movement, with a campaign under way to extend marriage rights to gay men and lesbians in all six of the region’s states by 2012.

Massachusetts has allowed same-sex marriage since 2004, and Connecticut began allowing it last fall. The Vermont Legislature just voted to let same-sex couples marry, and supporters hope to gather enough votes to override a veto promised by Gov. Jim Douglas, a Republican.

New Hampshire is not far behind; its House of Representatives approved a same-sex marriage bill last month. The legislatures in Maine and Rhode Island are considering their own versions, though they are not as far along in the process.

Across New England, advocacy groups have been raising money, training volunteers and lobbying voters and lawmakers as part of a campaign they call “Six by Twelve,” led by the legal advocacy group that persuaded the Supreme Courts in Massachusetts and Connecticut to allow same-sex marriage in 2003 and 2008.

Equal rights advocates said Friday that while the Midwest in general was culturally and politically different from the Northeast, Iowa shared New England’s independent streak and so was a logical place to file another court challenge.

“We picked Iowa because many of us who don’t live in the Midwest might think of it as being a conservative monolith,” said Jennifer C. Pizer, marriage project director for Lambda Legal, which argued the Iowa case. “But people who know Iowa have been saying for some time that it is different from its neighbors. There’s a tradition of independence and willingness to stand up on issues of fairness.”

As in most New England states, voters in Iowa cannot initiate constitutional amendments, a common strategy for blocking same-sex marriage elsewhere. In California, voters last fall amended the State Constitution to ban such marriages after a court decision made it legal. The California Supreme Court is considering a petition to overturn the ban, but many legal scholars have predicted that it will be upheld.

Proponents of same-sex marriage in California are building support among voters in hopes of making it legal there, probably through another ballot measure in the next few years. And at least six states outside New England (Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Washington) have same-sex marriage bills before their legislatures this year, but none are expected to pass.

Critics say the success of the movement in New England is largely because courts and legislatures, not voters, are making the decisions. Voters have approved constitutional bans on same-sex marriage in 26 states since the Massachusetts law, a landmark, took effect; the constitutions of four other states also limit marriage to heterosexuals.

“Activists have targeted these states because they think it’s going to be easier to convince legislators than the populace,” said Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, a group established to fight same-sex marriage. “They’re doing everything they can to keep the public from having a part in this process.”

But Prof. David H. Watters, director of the Center for New England Culture at the University of New Hampshire, said there were also deep-rooted cultural reasons for the momentum here.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 12704/30/2013

DOVER, Del. - A state Senate committee is taking up a bill authorizing same-sex marriage in Delaware.

The measure narrowly won passage in the House last week. Supporters and opponents expect another close vote if the Senate Executive Committee votes Wednesday to send it to the full Senate for consideration.

Gov. Jack Markell supports the measure, which was introduced barely a year after the state began recognizing same-sex civil unions. It would make Delaware the 10th state to authorize same-sex marriage.

Under the proposal, no new civil unions would be performed after July 1, and existing civil unions would be converted to marriages.

Supporters say couples in same-sex relationships deserve the same dignity and respect afforded to married couples.

Opponents argue that same-sex marriage redefines and destroys that institution.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

by The Voice of the Nightreply 12805/01/2013

Delaware Senate Executive Committee PASSES marriage equality by 4-2 vote!! Onward to the full Senate! #DE4M

by The Voice of the Nightreply 12905/01/2013

The Delaware Senate count is still one or two away from passage. Everyone should be calling Delaware Senators to gently coax them to vote yes.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 13005/05/2013

David Cameron has been told by his own MPs to junk the gay marriage Bill and cut overseas aid in an effort to halt the UKIP bandwagon. Tory MPs warned the Prime Minister that he must attend to the party’s “home base” swiftly to prevent more core Conservatives deserting to Nigel Farage.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 13105/06/2013

The UK is a disgrace and behind the times. And the gays there are lazy for not fighting harder.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 13205/06/2013

Didn't Cameron's deputy speaker (who came out in 2010 and pushed more MPs to come out) just get arrested on allegations of rape/sexual assault? That can't be good for the cause.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 13305/06/2013

So who guessed Rhode Island first? I wanna know who "won"!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 13405/06/2013

The Delaware Senate votes tomorrow. Gonna be razor thin close.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 13505/06/2013

Why aren't UK gays making arguments in favor of same-sex marriage en masse? All I hear is antigay arguments in the media and politics. Why aren't British using the mantra of "gay rights are human rights" or "marriage equality for all" that other countries are using? Wake up, Britain!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 13605/06/2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers prepared Monday for what could be a pivotal week at the Capitol for the bid to legalize gay marriage in the state.

Dozens of opponents of the measure demonstrated at the Capitol, hoping to slow the bill's progress. At the same time, another House Democrat whose vote was seen as important to its success or failure said he would vote for it, and the bill was scheduled for a last-minute hearing in a powerful House committee.

Rep. Tim Faust, DFL-Hinckley, joined a growing list of Democrats from mostly rural districts committed to vote for the bill. But House Democratic leaders and gay marriage lobbyists wouldn't publicly reveal how close they are to the 68 votes needed to pass the bill.

There are 73 House Democrats, but some hail from socially conservative districts that supported last fall's gay marriage ban on the ballot, and so far not a single House Republican has publicly supported the bill. House Majority Leader Erin Murphy wouldn't reveal the result of any head counts of her caucus members but said it was too soon to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote.

"We are talking with members and when we feel confident and ready to go, we will proceed," Murphy said.

The last day of the legislative session is May 20.

It's also possible the state Senate, where passage appears more certain, could take up the bill first to boost its prospects in the House. At least one Republican senator intends to vote for the bill, and a handful of others are publicly undecided.

The House and Senate committees that approve all state spending were scheduled for last-minute hearings to review the bill, after state fiscal analysts said it would mean a small increase in state employee health insurance costs and a bit of revenue from an expected spike in marriage licenses. The bill was scheduled for hearings late Monday in the House Ways and Means Committee and Tuesday morning in the Senate Finance Committee.

With the issue edging into the spotlight at the Capitol, gay marriage opponents gathered for a news conference and to demonstrate outside the House chamber.

Several small children held bright pink signs that read, "Don't erase moms and dads from public policy." Opponents argued that legal gay marriage could force business owners and government officials to go against their own religious beliefs in interactions with legally wed or engaged gay couples.

Jason Adkins, director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, predicted it would fall short in the House.

"Right now we believe the votes are not there to pass a redefinition of marriage," Adkins said.

But gay marriage supporters picked up their latest commitment to vote yes from Faust, a Lutheran pastor. Faust said he respected the religious concerns raised by opponents but that the argument cuts both ways.

"We have churches that want to bless legal gay marriages. The only way to give them that option is to pass this bill," Faust said. His east-central Minnesota district backed last fall's gay marriage ban with a vote of nearly 60 percent, but Faust said he hoped constituents would respect that it was a difficult decision.

In all, 17 House Democrats hail from districts that supported the gay marriage ban. If Democrats were to pass the bill without Republican support, at least 12 of those members would have to vote for it. So far, seven of those members are either definitely voting yes or say they're leaning toward it.

Only one House Democrat, Rep. Mary Sawatzky of Willmar, is a definite "no" vote.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 13705/06/2013

I hope you people in Illinois and Minnesota are working hard to ensure the vote is favorable.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 13805/06/2013

Minnesota House committee passes gay marriage bill By Megan Boldt mboldt@pioneerpress.com Posted: 05/06/2013 12:01:00 AM CDT Updated: 05/06/2013 07:51:27 PM CDT

A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage passed its last committee stop Monday, May 6, in the Minnesota House.

The House Ways & Means Committee passed it on a voice vote after a short meeting.

New estimates show it would cost the state about $688,000 annually to provide health insurance benefits to same-sex spouses of state employees but would be partially offset by about $10,000 collected from marriage license fees in 2015, according to a Minnesota Management & Budget analysis.

House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, has said he wouldn't schedule a floor vote on the gay marriage bill until he knows it would pass.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, has said he thinks the Senate has the votes to pass it. And DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has said he would sign a gay- marriage bill if it reaches his desk.

A study released in April by the UCLA law school said legalizing gay marriage would add $42 million to the state's economy, and $3 million in tax revenue in the first three years.

The study by the Williams Institute at UCLA estimated about 5,000 gay couples would get married in the first three years after legalization in Minnesota. About $28 million would be spend on the weddings and $14 million on tourism-related spending by out-of-town guests.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 13905/06/2013

The simmering fight over same-sex marriage spilled into the open Monday, as both sides erupted in a final, frantic push on an issue that has divided the State Capitol for months.

Several Republican legislators who have spent years trying to defend marriage as a union between one man and one woman said they are coming to believe that gay marriage could soon be legal under DFL legislative control.

“Is it inevitable? I’d say probably,” said Rep. Michael Beard, R-Shakopee. “I mean, marriage is what it is, but they are redefining words and redefining meanings that have been in use for centuries because it is the cause of the week, the flavor of the month.”

Legislators are possibly days away from voting on a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage — a vote expected to be one of the closest of the year. With two weeks left in the legislative session, the shrinking number of undecided legislators is rapidly running out of time to take a stand on an issue that could have grave re-election consequences.

Legislators are getting pounded with e-mails, calls and visits from constituents on every side of the issue. Daily visits from the swarms of lobbyists on both sides are now the norm.

Rep. Jerry Newton, DFL-Coon Rapids, on Monday got an e-mail with the subject line: “Don’t mess with marriage in Minnesota!” The message pleaded with Newton to refrain from putting “the desires of a small group ahead of the fundamental human rights of all children.”

Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, is among a rare breed at the Capitol these days, a lawmaker undecided on the issue.

“It’s just a very, very personal issue for people,” he said. “It’s really unlike any other issue at the Capitol these days.”

Freshman Rep. Jay McNamar, DFL-Elbow Lake, also continues to wrestle with the issue. The retired schoolteacher said that a neighbor on one side supports same-sex marriage and his other neighbor strongly opposes it. Both are former students.

McNamar said he will likely make up his mind on the issue the moment of the final vote.

Others are already under fire at home. Doug Kern, deputy chair of the Crow Wing County Republican Party, said Monday he is starting a recall petition against Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby. Radinovich announced his support for same-sex marriage, though opposition in his area remains strong.

In a final show of force, the group trying to defeat the measure marched in dozens of advocates — children, ministers, business people and New York City officials — for a cramped Capitol news conference where they spent nearly an hour trying to cast doubt on protections for religious objectors to gay marriage.

Minnesota for Marriage on Monday afternoon brought a couple of town officials from New York state, where same-sex marriage is legal, to talk about how they had to resign before they would have been forced to process marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples even though doing so went against their religious beliefs.

“In New York, we were promised that the religious freedom amendment to our same-sex marriage legislation would do the job,” said the Rev. Jason McGuire, president of New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation. “Our legislators bought the lie and today every New Yorker is living the lie.”

Hours later, a House committee nevertheless nudged the proposal closer to final passage.

“We are confident that votes on the freedom to marry will happen in the Minnesota Legislature,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United, which is leading the effort to legalize same-sex marriage.

Debate might be ending

One by one, some legislators are making rare public displays in the Capitol.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 14005/06/2013

The simmering fight over same-sex marriage spilled into the open Monday, as both sides erupted in a final, frantic push on an issue that has divided the State Capitol for months.

Several Republican legislators who have spent years trying to defend marriage as a union between one man and one woman said they are coming to believe that gay marriage could soon be legal under DFL legislative control.

“Is it inevitable? I’d say probably,” said Rep. Michael Beard, R-Shakopee. “I mean, marriage is what it is, but they are redefining words and redefining meanings that have been in use for centuries because it is the cause of the week, the flavor of the month.”

Legislators are possibly days away from voting on a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage — a vote expected to be one of the closest of the year. With two weeks left in the legislative session, the shrinking number of undecided legislators is rapidly running out of time to take a stand on an issue that could have grave re-election consequences.

Legislators are getting pounded with e-mails, calls and visits from constituents on every side of the issue. Daily visits from the swarms of lobbyists on both sides are now the norm.

Rep. Jerry Newton, DFL-Coon Rapids, on Monday got an e-mail with the subject line: “Don’t mess with marriage in Minnesota!” The message pleaded with Newton to refrain from putting “the desires of a small group ahead of the fundamental human rights of all children.”

Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, is among a rare breed at the Capitol these days, a lawmaker undecided on the issue.

“It’s just a very, very personal issue for people,” he said. “It’s really unlike any other issue at the Capitol these days.”

Freshman Rep. Jay McNamar, DFL-Elbow Lake, also continues to wrestle with the issue. The retired schoolteacher said that a neighbor on one side supports same-sex marriage and his other neighbor strongly opposes it. Both are former students.

McNamar said he will likely make up his mind on the issue the moment of the final vote.

Others are already under fire at home. Doug Kern, deputy chair of the Crow Wing County Republican Party, said Monday he is starting a recall petition against Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby. Radinovich announced his support for same-sex marriage, though opposition in his area remains strong.

In a final show of force, the group trying to defeat the measure marched in dozens of advocates — children, ministers, business people and New York City officials — for a cramped Capitol news conference where they spent nearly an hour trying to cast doubt on protections for religious objectors to gay marriage.

Minnesota for Marriage on Monday afternoon brought a couple of town officials from New York state, where same-sex marriage is legal, to talk about how they had to resign before they would have been forced to process marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples even though doing so went against their religious beliefs.

“In New York, we were promised that the religious freedom amendment to our same-sex marriage legislation would do the job,” said the Rev. Jason McGuire, president of New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation. “Our legislators bought the lie and today every New Yorker is living the lie.”

Hours later, a House committee nevertheless nudged the proposal closer to final passage.

“We are confident that votes on the freedom to marry will happen in the Minnesota Legislature,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United, which is leading the effort to legalize same-sex marriage.

Debate might be ending

One by one, some legislators are making rare public displays in the Capitol.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 14105/06/2013

Minnesota House Schedules Marriage Equality Vote for Thursday |

by The Voice of the Nightreply 14205/07/2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — The Minnesota House has scheduled a Thursday debate and floor vote on the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

House Speaker Paul Thissen has said that the bill would not be brought to a vote unless they had secured the 68 votes that would be needed to pass the legislation.

A number of DFL lawmakers representing districts that supported last fall’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage have voiced their support of the marriage equality bill in recent weeks.

Also on Tuesday, a Minnesota Senate committee is giving a last look at the bill to legalize gay marriage before full House and Senate votes. The Senate Finance Committee is planning to review the gay marriage bill’s fiscal impact. A fiscal analysis finds it would add small costs to state employee health insurance costs but also generate revenue from an expected spike in marriage licenses.

If the House passes the bill, the next vote would be in the state Senate, where its passage has been seen as more secure than in the House.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has promised to sign the bill, which would allow gay couples to start getting married in Minnesota on Aug. 1.

Minnesotans United, a lobbying group that fought last year’s unsuccessful bid to add an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage, said they will be holding an interfaith vigil on Wednesday night in the lead-up to Thursday’s vote.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 14305/07/2013

Minnesota House leadership just announced a vote on the marriage equality bill for Thursday, signaling a huge coming victory soon in the state. With just two weeks left before the end of session this move signals significant momentum moving into the final days.

It’s been widely known that the House would be the tougher chamber as the Senate has said they have had the votes for some time. House leadership has said they would not take up the bill unless the votes were there, meaning we are extremely confident of the outcome on Thursday. Victory in the House all but assures marriage equality will be coming to Minnesota soon.

Stay tuned for more updates as history continues to happen here on the ground in Minnesota!

Regional Field Organizer Trevor Chandler has been in Minnesota for the past year working with the Minnesotans United campaign. He serves as Political Director of the campaign.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 14405/07/2013

The Delaware Senate will today hold a final vote on HB75, a proposed marriage equality bill that would then go to Gov. Jack Markell, an equal marriage supporter, for his signature.

HB75 was approved exactly two weeks ago by the Delaware House in a 23-18 vote after a successful committee vote less than a week earlier.

The Senate Executive Committee advanced the legislation on a party line 4-2 vote last Wednesday, setting up today’s consideration in the 21-member Senate. Nine Democratic Senators have either co-sponsored or publicly stated they will support the legislation, while seven Senators (all but one of them Republicans) have announced they will oppose it.

Marriage equality advocates need at least two more votes for the bill to make its way to Gov. Markell’s desk. One Republican Senator, Catherine Cloutier, remains undecided, as do four Democrats. Two of the four Democrats, Sens. Robert Marshall and Bethany Hall-Long, voted in favor of Delaware’s civil unions law in 2011. The other two, Sens. Bruce Ennis and Robert Venables, voted no and are expected to oppose the marriage equality bill.

HB75 is currently the only item of business on the Senate’s agenda for today’s session, which should begin at 2:00 p.m. An audio feed will be available on the Delaware General Assembly’s website when the Senate convenes

by The Voice of the Nightreply 14505/07/2013

meganboldt House Speaker Thissen reiterates Dems have enough votes w/o Republicans to pass gay marriage bill. #mnleg

by The Voice of the Nightreply 14605/07/2013

Way to go, Delaware!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 14705/07/2013

And now, Minnesota...

by The Voice of the Nightreply 14805/07/2013

WOOT, Delaware!

WOOT, Minnesota!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 14905/07/2013

Good for Minnesota.

Wish my Illinois was the first in the Midwest to legislatively legalize marriage but Madigan is too busy trying to figure out ways to piss off state employee/teacher unions with his pension shit than to rally up the votes for gay marriage. Plus too many city ministers are trying to scare politicians into voting no. *sigh*

by The Voice of the Nightreply 15005/07/2013

Congrats Delaware!!!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 15105/07/2013

I personally guarantee you that OHIO will have marriage equality by 2015. Somebody, mark my words.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 15205/07/2013

Delaware beats RI, technically. Marraige equality starts 7/1 in DE, 8/1 in RI.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 15305/08/2013

What states don't need the legislature to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 15405/09/2013

true, r153, but most media counts the milestone based on when the governor signs the law, not when the law goes into effect.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 15505/09/2013

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, R154. Are you asking which states can put an amendment on the ballot without going through the state legislature?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 15605/09/2013

The only non-marriage equality states left that do not have anti-equality constitutional amendments are Wyoming, New Mexico, Minnesota (which might have marriage equality very soon), Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 15705/09/2013

Oh, and Hawaii.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 15805/09/2013

r156, I believe r154 is asking which states have ballot questions initiated by signed petitions rather than legislative action. I know Cali is one, but I don't think there are a lot of them. I'd be curious to know the answer, too.

It's wonderful to think that none of the amendments are unremovable. What was placed there by popular vote can be taken out by the same process: gay organizations in purple states like Ohio are already laying groundwork for removing anti-gay amendments. It will be a great day when the first state removes it's anti-gay amendment.

It's anyone's guess how this will all play out, but imho it seems pretty obvious: we won't get much help from the Supreme Court, ehich will lazily take a pass on applying the 14th Amendment. Marriage equality will come to more and more states until only the former slave-and-segregation states are holding out. Eventually there will be a Supreme Court case that will bring them in line. Why the Supreme Court would be willing to let so many people suffer inequality for so much longer for no reason--when it's obvious what's coming--is a mystery. Who knows. Maybe Kennedy will grow some nuts and do the right thing.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 15905/09/2013

Agreed. Marriage equality won't come to the Southern states without SCOTUS intervention, which won't happen for at least a couple of decades.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 16005/09/2013

I strongly doubt it will be A COUPLE of decades, R160. I'll go with 5 years for a definitive case for gay marriage going before the Supremes.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 16105/09/2013

If MN and IL both pass marriage equality, the pressure will only mount on the Supreme Court to toss out all of the state marriage bans when it rules this summer. Justice Kennedy is undoubtedly watching these developments as is Roberts. One or both of them knows what is coming given that almost 25% of all states have marriage equality. Even if they rule narrowly on Prop 8, DOMA is almost certainly going down which will open the floodgates for lawsuits by people who move from a marriage equality state to one of the bigot states. The Constitution is pretty clear what should happen once those cases are argued. I'd say the state bans have a shelf life of less than five years, maybe much less than that.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 16205/09/2013

You guys are ridiculous. The current Supreme Court is not going to find for marriage equality. You're deceiving yourselves.

A couple of decades, perhaps. Keeping in mind that the majority of states have banned marriage equality in the constitutions, and that the people in most red states will not vote for equality now.

DOMA is not 'certainly going down.' Honestly, I'm shocked at the political naivete here. This court will probably go the 'states rights' route. DOMA will not be overturned by the court.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 16305/09/2013

[quote] This court will probably go the 'states rights' route.

Um, dipshit: The 'state's rights' route would mean an end to DOMA since it's a federal law which overrides state laws. Would you please read up on the facts before you come on here and pretend to school other posters, r163? That's just obnoxious and stupid.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 16405/09/2013

Gay marriage supporters swarm Minnesota Capitol

Article by: Associated Press Updated: May 9, 2013 - 10:28 AM

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Gay marriage supporters are swarming the Capitol ahead of a Minnesota House vote on making same-sex marriages legal.

Among them was 27-year-old Grace McBride, a nurse from St. Paul. She says she and her partner felt compelled to be there to watch history unfold Thursday.

McBride says she's thought about her wedding since she was a little girl, and hopes to get married as soon as possible if the bill becomes law.

The legislation would allow it starting Aug. 1.

McBride says the movement has come a long way in two years since the Legislature sent a constitutional amendment to bar gay marriage to the ballot. The campaign to defeat it laid the groundwork for the legalization vote, which is expected later Thursday. The Senate is expected to vote Monday.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 16505/09/2013

[quote] Even if they rule narrowly on Prop 8, DOMA is almost certainly going down

I agree.

[quote]which will open the floodgates for lawsuits by people who move from a marriage equality state to one of the bigot states.

Would it though? That's what I'm wondering. It's obviously an unjust situation but I'm wondering on what legal constitutional grounds such couples would seek redress. (I'm genuinely asking, not trying to be argumentative btw). It seems like unchartered territory.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 16605/09/2013

Gay marriage is currently available to 16.7% of the population with MN adding another 1.7% and IL bringing an additional 4.7% which adds up to 21.5%. That is 1/5 of the population. As expected, gay marriage will resume in CA with 11.9% of the country. By the end of June, that COULD bring us to 34.4% of the population - better than 1/3 of the population. This WILL present HUGE problems for States without gay marriage.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 16705/09/2013

R163, there is not a single reputable legal analyst who believes the DOMA section argued before the court will be upheld. Even the states rights blowhards acknowledge DOMA infringes on their cherished states rights ideals by allowing the federal government to ignore state marriage laws - laws that were expressly granted to the states by the US Constitution. If Section 3 of DOMA is upheld, it will be a bigger shock than Roberts' vote last year to uphold the ACA.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 16805/09/2013

WTF is taking Illinois so long?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 16905/09/2013

We cannot forget our victories last November with THREE states voting FOR gay marriage by popular vote. And the same for MN voting DOWN a constitutional amendment - again by popular vote. I recognize these are NOT red states, but certainly represent the changing opinions about gay people.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 17005/09/2013

R166, the federal government cannot treat people differently based on what state they reside. I think the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment will come into play. The courts will declare that the federal law requiring equal treatment will overrule the state law (the marriage ban) thus rendering the ban null and void. This will be repeated in other states until the Supreme Court hears one of these cases in a few years and finally throws out all of the state bans. Of course, the Supreme Court could do that this summer and save everybody all of the time and trouble. If a non-expert like me can understand all of this, it surely must be apparent to Kennedy and Roberts.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 17105/09/2013

Kennedy and Roberts (and most judges) are very political. They (especially Kennedy) are gonna do whatever they have to do to avoid and delay a sweeping same-sex marriage decision that will find a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 17205/09/2013

That's why gay marriage should be brought on First Amendment grounds: Freedom of Religion.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 17305/09/2013

Things are going downhill fast in Illinois. The antigay forces are really doing a good job of threatening legislators and at least one legislator who previously supported marriage equality has changed to a no vote because of the pressure. The antigay side has been marching, yelling in the streets, calling legislators, and sponsoring antigay ads. We can't afford to lose any more votes in Chicagoland because yes votes will be sparse downstate. The progay side is surprisingly quiet and not very vocal. Where are the progay marches, rallies, and ads? Kudos to progay Minnesotans for having multiple progay events and marches that have garnered media and political attention. In Illinois, the antigay side is kicking the progay side's butt.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 17405/09/2013

DOMA is likely going down. Prop 8's fate is less certain, but it is likely that the Court will rule the supporters lack standing or on some other limited grounds that will not make gay marriage a federal right.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 17505/09/2013

If the bill passes in Minnesota today, is Mark Dayton going to follow precedent set by Lincoln Chafee and Jack Markell and sign it as soon as the ink is dry?

Well, I guess technically Andrew Cuomo started that, but still.

Savor the victories.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 17605/09/2013

The MN House has convened.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 17705/09/2013

Live coverage of the House debate here. Unfortunately, there's no support if you use a Mac.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 17805/09/2013

Or even here.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 17905/09/2013

[quote]Unfortunately, there's no support if you use a Mac.

But Macs are supposed to be the most wonderful thing!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 18005/09/2013

I blame Minnesota. They should stream in Flash or HTML5, but I've got it pulled up on my husband's PC.

I really like the lesbian State Rep who's speaking now. Alright DFL!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 18105/09/2013

[quote]This WILL present HUGE problems for States without gay marriage.

Possibly. My fear is that in actuality it will present huge problems only for gay couples.

[quote]The courts will declare that the federal law requiring equal treatment will overrule the state law

That is essentially what the Prop 8 case is asking the Supreme Court to do, but they appear unwilling.

[quote] save everybody all of the time and trouble.

From your lips to god's ears or whatever the saying is.

I suspect they'll go the long and troubled (long and troubled only for gay people that is) route to avoid as much as possible the appearance/accusation of an activist court. They'll want to punt as much as possible. Gay people have been treated like shit for so long that once the court determines gays are protected by the 14th amendment it opens a whole can of worms (jobs, housing, etc etc) and recognizes minority rights, a place where social conservatives just don't want to go.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 18205/09/2013

The debates are usually unwatchable and no one ever says anything you haven't heard. Occasionally there's someone to cheer, but you also have to listen to the same old tired anti-gay arguments and the "I am not a bigot" speeches. Best just to tune in and see what the vote is imho. (Mac or no)

by The Voice of the Nightreply 18305/09/2013

I'm watching the live stream in MN. So if this passes in the House, can someone tell me the chances of this going all the way and signed into law?

(Sorry, getting up-to-date on MN)

by The Voice of the Nightreply 18405/09/2013

r184... Not to count chickens, but if it passes in the House, it goes on to the Senate, where informed observers say passage is all but assured. The gov has already said he'll sign it into law if it passed the legislature. The house today is the big test, If it passes there, we're pretty much set.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 18505/09/2013

Thus far, Minnesota's debate has been more dignified than Rhode Island and Delaware's. Minnesota Nice?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 18605/09/2013

The DFL has majorities (and fairly substantial ones) in both houses of the state legislature and the sitting governor, Mark Dayton, who has advocated for marriage equality.

My husband, who's kind of a nerd for trivia about various and sundry political subjects told me as soon as the DFL took control of the legislature that they'd get gay marriage.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 18705/09/2013

"Minnesota Nice?"

Hardly.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 18805/09/2013

The "Civil Unions For All!" amendment got stopped on.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 18905/09/2013

Stomped, even.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 19005/09/2013

Many supporters speaking on MN House floor

by The Voice of the Nightreply 19105/09/2013

I like the revisionist history from the guy speaking now, who wants people to remember that "at least half" of Minnesota doesn't want marriage redefined. So, apparently the 47% of people who voted in favor of their marriage amendment last fall is at least half.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 19205/09/2013

I love this man who is speaking now

by The Voice of the Nightreply 19305/09/2013

The guy talking about justice coming knocking? Me too.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 19405/09/2013

"How often does justice come knocking? Until we open the door." —Rep Mariani, DFL

by The Voice of the Nightreply 19505/09/2013

Yes, that was wonderful, R195

by The Voice of the Nightreply 19605/09/2013

Even the lunatic guy is polite. No less crazy than Michele Bachmann, but much more polite.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 19705/09/2013

R194, R195, I would rather listen to this than the people in Washington. It really is very inspiring.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 19805/09/2013

Rena Moran speaking now

by The Voice of the Nightreply 19905/09/2013

Rep Rena Moran: "As a descendant of slavery...I cannot deny an individual the dignity of loving who they choose." #mnmarriage

by The Voice of the Nightreply 20005/09/2013

"I will be a voice for children...unless they are the children of gay parents."

by The Voice of the Nightreply 20105/09/2013

Here's a link that works on Macs (via Silverlight).

by The Voice of the Nightreply 20205/09/2013

Rep Andrew Falk is a farmer.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 20305/09/2013

[quote]Rep Andrew Falk is a farmer.

A nice, strapping Minnesota farmboy. Keeping the "F" in DFL. Good for him.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 20405/09/2013

Joe Radinovich is about to give a blazin speech.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 20505/09/2013

Oh, Papa Tooney, we've got a Looney!

Albeit a polite one.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 20605/09/2013

RepSteveSimon:"the moment when night turns into day is when you look into the eyes of a stranger, and see the face of your brother."#mnleg

by The Voice of the Nightreply 20705/09/2013

The Minnesota House really held a dignified, respectful debate. Minnesota Nice. #mnleg #mnmarriage

by The Voice of the Nightreply 20805/09/2013

Hail Minnesota!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 20905/09/2013

Minnesota House passes marriage equality, 75-59.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 21005/09/2013

SoSo when will it be official? I mean, does the Senate take it up right now? or do we have to wait until tomorrow morning??

by The Voice of the Nightreply 21105/09/2013

And it ended up bipartisan. There were 75 Ayes, and there are only 73 DFL members.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 21205/09/2013

The Senate vote will be Monday.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 21305/09/2013

My understanding is there are enough votes in the Senate. Is that true?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 21405/09/2013

Yes, the House passage was the one that it was uncertain on.

But it turned out not to be close.

I noticed that one of the Republican women who spoke, Jenifer Loon, the one who went on and on about how she preferred the "civil unions for all" bill ended up voting for the final passage. I assume the other guy (Tim King? Is that his name?) was the second one.

Carlos Mariani deserves some kind of award for that speech.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 21505/09/2013

and so the governor has said he will sign it immediately, SO, Monday night it should be OFFICIAL

by The Voice of the Nightreply 21605/09/2013

Also, they ever legalize group marriage in MN, I have dibs on Representative Falk.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 21705/09/2013

[quote]and so the governor has said he will sign it immediately, SO, Monday night it should be OFFICIAL

It is utterly mindblowing to me that after so many years of fighting about this, we have (potentially) three states legalizing it in the span of two weeks.

Also, twelve states plus DC is nearly a quarter of the country. Perhaps this might spur the SCOTUS to act a little more broadly than they might have been so-inclined even when the oral arguments were heard.

Especially since so many of this states are so heavily-populated. Especially if California gets it back.

I know we have a long way to go yet, but when I was a babygay college freshman in 1996 watching DOMA happen, I would never have dreamed we'd get even this far in 17 years.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 21805/09/2013

So who's next after Minnesota? Illinois doesn't look all that certain...

by The Voice of the Nightreply 21905/09/2013

According to article yesterday regarding llinois "The bill to allow same-sex couples to marry needs 60 votes to the pass the Illinois House. Its sponsor says his roll call of supporters has reached the high 50s.

"We're now very close and when it comes on the board it will pass," said Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago)."

But in that same article: "But after many African-American churches and Chicago's Catholic Archdiocese led by Cardinal Francis George stepped up their anti-gay marriage campaigns, house members representing predominantly black districts have publicly denounced the bill.

"My constituents have let me know in no uncertain terms that they object to that legislation," said Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago).

Representative Bob Rita (D-Blue Island) said he leaned toward voting for the bill last winter.

"But seeing as the Cardinal and different reverends coming out in opposition, I'm looking closer at it and taking a more neutral stance," said Rita.

There also is opposition among more conservative downstate democrats and Mundelein's Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) is one of only two house republicans supporting the bill:

"It's about allowing people of same sex relationships the same rights that I have with my wife," said Sullivan.

Harris remained confident he'll have at least 60 votes by the end of session on May 31.

"This is the land of Abraham Lincoln. We have always supported equality, we've always supported fairness. Now is the time to be on the right side of history," said Harris.

So nearing mid-May, the Marriage Equality bill is still unfinished business. And with only about three weeks left in session, the legislative clock"

by The Voice of the Nightreply 22005/09/2013

[quote]"But seeing as the Cardinal and different reverends coming out in opposition, I'm looking closer at it and taking a more neutral stance," said Rita.

Who gives a fuck what some religious nutcase thinks? Ever hear of the separation of church and state? I don't give a flying fuck if some 'reverend' is opposed to giving out equal rights to everyone in his state... FUCK HIM. His opinion shouldn't count for shit.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 22105/09/2013

I feel the same way, R218. I was a babygay in the early 80's, if you can imagine. It really is wonderful and from your lips to the ears of the Supreme Court.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 22205/09/2013

Amen, R221. The minute these assholes put their two cents in, I say revoke their fucking tax-exempt status. That'll keep the shit-stains quiet.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 22305/09/2013

Any time some religious moron pipes up in these debates, someone needs to just stop them and ask them why their opinion matters. Why should their OPINION be legislated for everyone, even those that don't share it. Why is it their religious dogma should become law, but, say, a Muslim's religious dogma shouldn't. Or why an atheist or a Christian whose church is fine with same-sex marriage should be forced to observe and conform to HIS particular religious opinion, under the threat of law. Why should fellow American tax-paying citizens be stripped of equal civil rights and equal treatment under the law just to satisfy his ignorant, religious-based bigotry.

WHY the fuck won't someone ask these people these questions? Publicly?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 22405/09/2013

Where are the proequality marches in Illinois?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 22505/09/2013

R164...bite me, cunt. By 'states rights' I meant that they will allow California to marry people, but they will not broaden their ruling and overturn DOMA. Anyone who thinks that this Supreme Court will overturn DOMA is a complete moron. It's wishful thinking that borders on the kind of magical thinking that children engage in.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 22605/09/2013

DOMA will fall............

by The Voice of the Nightreply 22705/09/2013

Prop 8 and DOMA are two separate cases, dumbass R226.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 22805/09/2013

R228=MORON. Where did I say it was one case, cunt? I said they would decide to let California marry people but they will not overturn DOMA. I never said it was the same case. You're an idiot. DOMA is NOT going to fall under this court. Period.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 22905/09/2013

R229 is a dirty mouth soothsayer. Her opinion is law, even if there is no reasoning behind it.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 23005/09/2013

R229 = Antonin Scalia

by The Voice of the Nightreply 23105/09/2013

I think politics on other issues is holding up the gay marriage bill in Illinois.

There's a power struggle between the Speaker of the House and the Senate president (both Democrats with Democratic supermajorities) over pension reform, among other issues, with each chamber kind of doing their own thing.

My theory is that same-sex marriage bill has the votes but won't get called in the House until the Senate passes the pension reform bill that the House Speaker wants passed.

There are A LOT of stupid white Catholics and black Protestant Democrats scared to go against their religion on this vote though, which is especially weird because these same Democrats are never afraid to go against their churches on abortion.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 23205/09/2013

Supporters have said they are closing in on the 60 House votes required to send the bill to Quinn. But backers also are not expected to call the bill until they’re sure they have enough votes lined up to pass it. The thinking is that gay marriage supporters don’t want to ask allies to take what for some is a tough vote politically if the measure is going to fail because that would make it more difficult to muster support a second time.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 23305/09/2013

Hahahahaha. Not Illinois.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 23405/09/2013

Quinn prods House to vote on same-sex marriage, says votes are there By Zach Buchheit on May 9, 2013 5:50 PM | No Comments | No TrackBacks t t t t t 0 t t t t 1 t t t t Share t t 10 t t t t t t t

SPRINGFIELD-Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday called on Illinois House members to take action on a same-sex marriage bill that's been dormant there for more than 80 days, adding that he thinks the votes are there to send the measure to his desk.

"Illinois passing marriage equality into law, I think, sends a great signal to the people of our state and the people of America," Quinn told reporters after appearing at a ceremony in Springfield honoring firefighters. "So, it's important that Illinois and the House of Representatives get moving.

"I believe a majority exists to get this bill passed through the House onto my desk so I can sign it into law."

Since the state Senate sent the bill to the House on a passionate Valentine's Day vote, the House has taken votes on key issues such as pension reform, concealed carry and medical marijuana. But the full House floor has yet to debate legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois, an objective at the top of Quinn's list.

"I think, you know, it's time to vote," Quinn said. "We've waited now three months, and it's, I think, plenty of time for people to reflect on it. And now it's time to pass it."

by The Voice of the Nightreply 23505/09/2013

They better hurry up in Illinois.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 23605/09/2013

r226/r229. You really have no idea what you're talking about. Sometimes you just have to let the grown-ups talk, dear.

[quoteAnyone who thinks that this Supreme Court will overturn DOMA is a complete moron

Dipshit, no one knows what the Supreme Court will do, but most informed observers agree that the overturning of DOMA is FAR. FAR from unlikely. In fact, most agree that the court gave strong, if not absolutely certain, indications that the law is history.

But I guess all these legal scholars, professors and pundits are morons, and you're what--Madame Cleo or something? It's fascinating that you KNOW what will happen while the rest of the world is speculating.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 23705/09/2013

R235 Then what the fuck are they waiting for???

by The Voice of the Nightreply 23805/10/2013

We need to work Illinois more than ever. The antigay side has gotten one yes vote to flip to no. We better wake up and fight in Illinois.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 23905/10/2013

What is the major gay rights org in IL?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 24005/10/2013

R240 -- Equality Illinois

by The Voice of the Nightreply 24105/12/2013

The MN Senate takes up debate at noon central.

Live stream here.

Since Mark Dayton is going to sign it as soon as it passes, I hope they stream that too.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 24205/13/2013

Continuing Minnesota Nice, the chaplain gave a very polite opening prayer respecting both opinions of sides of the argument.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 24305/13/2013

Senator Dibble, who is speaking now, is openly gay.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 24405/13/2013

[quote]no one knows what the Supreme Court will do, but most informed observers agree that the overturning of DOMA is FAR. FAR from unlikely. In fact, most agree that the court gave strong, if not absolutely certain, indications that the law is history.

They may well overturn the portion that is presently under review in the case, but it's not likely that the Court will make the leap to declaring that same-sex couples have the Constitutional right to marry. One doesn't automatically follow the other. More likely that they'll issue a ruling that will stop short of that, but will leave the door open for a future SC panel to do it.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 24505/13/2013

And here's the Bigot Protection Amendment.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 24605/13/2013

No Bigot Left Behind went down with bipartisan support. Again, two Republican crossovers.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 24705/13/2013

One of the Senators is using the exact same talking point as one of the House members.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 24805/13/2013

Which one, the blond lady with the "public policy" approach?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 24905/13/2013

The one who was saying how the people who were told to vote against the amendment were told nothing would change and they were then lied to. That was word for word from something said on Thursday.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 25005/13/2013

The doofus who's focused on the mother/father terminology looks like a Hanna Barbera cartoon.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 25105/13/2013

It's like Maggie Gallagher briefed them of what they're supposed to say.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 25205/13/2013

Give Senator Patricia Torres Ray a medal as well.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 25305/13/2013

"Ladies and Gentlemen, God made gays. And He made them capable of loving other people" - Senator Ron Latz (DFL-46)

by The Voice of the Nightreply 25405/13/2013

Please, won't someone think of the homophobes?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 25505/13/2013

THEY DID IT!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 25605/13/2013

Good job, Minnesota.

Hope this lays to rest the B.S. about how true blue liberal Illinois supposedly is when we don't have gay marriage and don't have medical marijuana in 2013. Hopefully that will change in the next couple of weeks if the House Speaker and Senate President can end their power struggle already.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 25705/14/2013

Okay, so who's next?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 25805/14/2013

Hawaii and Illinois, probably.

Nevada and Oregon are working on repealing their constitutional amendments which would go on the ballot next year.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 25905/14/2013

Actually, the nearest the repeal could come up in Nevada is 2016.

We've got to get a case to SCOTUS that will force them to acknowledge this is a 14th amendment question.

With Prop. 8, they are going to say the proponents don't have standing, so CA will become a marriage equality state once again. I'm still not sure how the DOMA overturn will help The Cause.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 26005/14/2013

DOMA overturn will force the Federal Government to recognize the marital status of all those same sex couples already married, so they'll finally get full federal benefits (taxes, social security, inheritance, other protections). That will be HUGE.

And given that, it'll be hard to justify one state not recognizing the legitimate, valid marriage performed in another state. Even states with their own anti-gay-marriage laws on the books may be forced to deal with married couples (i.e. the state won't perform the marriages, but may be forced to recognize them). This will be interesting.

Best case: All state-level DOMA-like laws are invalidated as Un-Constitutional. This is, of course, the correct outcome, but it'll be interesting to see how long it takes for the courts to recognize, admit, and enforce that.

At that point, all same-sex marriages will be recognized as long as they're performed in states where they are legal. Those states that still refuse to perform such marriages will eventually fill up with married same-sex couples that they have to deal with anyway, will see that the sky doesn't fall, and will eventually just give up and start performing the marriages along with the rest. Some states will move faster than others.

I imagine the states already cited (Illinois, Hawaii, Nevada) will be among the next crop, but there are still others that might go... if Wisconsin can get out from under its oppressive GOP regime, if Chris Christi wakes up or gives up on the Presidency or just gets replaced by a Dem then NJ will join easily (it already passed there; Christi vetoed). Oregon should find repealing its DOMA law pretty easy if anyone over there got on the ball.

After those states, though, it gets a lot more questionable. Ohio? Maybe (still under way too much GOP influence for now). Pennsylvania? If it weren't for the huge stretch of "Pennsyltuckey" between Pittsburg and Philadelphia, it'd be happening pretty soon. Virginia? That's tougher. The south? Forgetaboutit.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 26105/14/2013

New Mexico is actually an interesting state with no specific prohibition or recognition of same-sex marriages. In fact, their marriage laws are gender neutral. Even better, it rests on Texas!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 26205/14/2013

Illinois progressives and gays need to get off their butts and march, organize, call, raise money, and strategize because the anti-gay side is kicking your butt. The antigay side has legislators running scared to the point of recanting previous support for marriage equality. We have been outnumbered by three to one at marches and protests. It is time the gays and allies of that state get off their computers and get to Springfield and march, protest, rally, and talk directly to legislators. This is do or die.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 26305/14/2013

Illinois House black caucus chair: Call gay marriage bill now if you want it to pass

By Natasha Korecki on May 14, 2013 3:56 PM |

In the waning days of the legislative session, at least one Illinois House member is getting antsy over the lack of movement on gay marriage.

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) said he's been urging the bill's sponsor to call it for a vote.

"He needs to do something. The longer he waits, I believe, the less likely he'll be to get a simple majority in our chamber. I also think he will pick up a few votes once people listen to the debate ... This bill will be passed. There's only 20 of us out of 118. It's not a Black Caucus issue. The Black Caucus is not responsible for the bill not getting passed. This is Downstater's issue, this is a rural area issue, a suburban issue."

Dunkin said he's felt the pressure from those who oppose gay marriage including from robocalls and Sunday church speeches.

"I've been taking it across the chin the last three weeks. Robocalls, pastors at church (saying): 'The head of the Black Caucus, what the heavens are you doing, in Jesus' name!'"

"I think Jesus likes all of us," Dunkin continues. "Jesus hung out with the pros and the 'hos and the gays and the hypocrites."

by The Voice of the Nightreply 26405/15/2013

May 15th, 2013, 7:09 AM

Michigan voters have done a decisive turnaround on gay marriage, according to a new opinuion survey reported by The Detroit News.

Joel Kurth has details of the statewide survey by a Chicago firm:May 15th, 2013, 7:09 AM

Michigan voters have done a decisive turnaround on gay marriage, according to a new opinuion survey reported by The Detroit News.

A majority of Michiganians supports gay marriage and broadening rights for homosexuals, a dramatic reversal from just a few years ago. . . .

Support for same-sex marriage has increased to 56.8 percent, up 12.5 percentage points from last year — movement fueled largely by shifting opinions from Republicans and independents, the poll of 600 registered voters by the Glengariff Group Inc. showed.

The support is in contrast to 2004, when Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

That year, Glengariff found 24 percent of state voters supported gay and lesbian marriages. Now, 54 percent would repeal the ban and replace it with an amendment to allow same-sex marriages, the poll found. . . .

Ninety percent of Michigan voters favor some legal protections for homosexuals.

Kurth quotes the polling group's president as linking the change to the fact that more people know gays and lesbians now.

"I don't think I've ever seen a policy question move as quickly as this one," said Richard Czuba.

Voters were surveyed May 8-10 to Friday. The poll has a error margin of 4 percentage points.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 26505/15/2013

57 or 58 percent is about where you want support in polls to be before you put the issue on a ballot.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 26605/15/2013

The Reich Wing politicians in charge of states like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin are not going to put marriage equality legislation up for a vote any time soon, regardless of how many people support it. If people want change, they will need to vote Democrats into office.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 26705/15/2013

Well, all three states have gubernatorial elections in 2014. I can't imagine that at least Rick Snyder of Michigan won't be handed his ass.

If anything, we should work on building coalitions in Pennsylvania. They don't have a marriage amendment, and if they can reach out to Blue Dog Catholic Democrats and field a good candidate against Tom Corbett, we might have a shot there.

That, or lean on the same Republican donors who backed marriage equality in New York to encourage Chris Christie to actually sign a law the legislature passed.

We should probably also start exploring repealing Colorado's marriage amendment, since they already have civil unions.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 26805/15/2013

There are only 8 states left that do not have gay marriage and do not have a constitutional amendment banning it. In all but one of these states (NM), there are statutes that define marriage as only between a man and a woman. Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Wyoming are controlled by Republicans who will not ever vote for marriage equality. WV is controlled by rural, socially conservative Democrats who likewise will never vote for marriage equality. New Mexico Democrats are pretty socially conservative and are afraid of voting for marriage equality in a largely rural, traditional state. The anti-gay side in Hawaii is tenacious, organized, aggressive, and zealous, and Hawaiian Democrats tend to be surprisingly conservative on gay rights, perhaps largely because of a large Mormon and traditionalist population. Illinois is split between Chicagoland and Down State. Moreover, the antigay side has done a great job of organizing, marching, rallying, and threatening legislators, to the point that some Chicagoland legislators have recanted their marriage equality support because of fear of losing their jobs. New Jersey Democrats can't override Christie's veto of marriage equality. Realistically, marriage equality will not happen while Christie is governor, and governor will be governor until early 2018 unless he resigns or becomes President/Vice President. So, we are stuck at 12 unless the US Supreme Court says California's Prop 8 is invalid.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 26905/15/2013

r268, but governors are just part of the problem. Midwest states with Republican legislatures are the problem. Likewise, for Pennsylvania. NM's Republican governor is a major impediment there.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 27005/15/2013

Undoing state constitutional amendments is such a mammoth job, and the opposition knew this when they put these in place last decade. North Carolina only did it last year, the last state to do so. One of the biggest impediments is that constitutional amendments usually have to go through state legislatures in order to go to the voters. Most states have Republican legislatures now, especially the states that currently do not have marriage equality. It will take a wave Democratic election in most of the country to undo these antigay amendments.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 27105/15/2013

The defeat of Republican Senators and the Illinois GOP Chairman who supported marriage equality is a bad sign for those hoping for bipartisan support for marriage equality. Those high profile takedowns show that supporting marriage equality will kill your political career as a Republican, no matter how much progressives and Democrats applaud you.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 27205/15/2013

States where voters were least anti-gay when voting yes on amendments:

Colorado t2006 t56% to 44% Arizona t2008 t56% to 44% California t2008 t52% to 48% South Dakota t2006 t52% to 48% Virginia t2006 t57% to 43% Michigan t2004 t59% to 41% California t2008 t52% to 48% Wisconsin t2006 t59% to 41% North Carolina t2012 t61% to 39% Florida t2008 t62% to 38%

by The Voice of the Nightreply 27305/15/2013

Madigan Calls for Gay Marriage Vote Illinois could become the fourth state this month to legalize same-sex marriage. The Minnesota legislature approved it Tuesday, and the governor there is expected to sign it today.

SB10, or the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, has already passed the Senate, but hasn't been called for a vote in the House.

The bill's chief sponsor in the House, Rep. Greg Harris, said he will call the bill when he has the 60 votes needed for passage. He promised that when it is called, it will pass.

When asked if that meant this week, he answered that it will be very soon, and that the number of supporters is climbing.

"We're very close," Harris said. "And I think people need to look at what our sister state Minnesota did yesterday, what Rhode Island and Delaware have done. In the last week, they've extended equal marriage rights to all citizens, and protected religious freedoms. It's time for Illinois to step up."

Many opponents have said their constituents have made it clear that they need to vote no.

"I've gotten like 70 phone calls, e-mails, letters, in support of, and over 3,000 against," Rep. Wayne Rosenthal (D - Litchfield) said. "I'm in a pretty, really, conservative district, and I share those values."

We also talked to House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesperson, Steve Brown. He told us Madigan supports the bill, and will call it when Harris has the votes.

As for Gov. Pat Quinn, he has publicly stated he thinks it's time the bill passes.

Many opponents of the gay marriage bill have stated it infringes their religious freedoms, but Harris says the bill has protections that guarantee no church would be force to sanctify same-sex marriages or be required to make their building available for same-sex ceremonies.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 27405/15/2013

Illinois House black caucus chair: Call gay marriage bill now if you want it to pass By Natasha Korecki on May 14, 2013 3:56 PM | No Comments | No TrackBacks t t t t t 0 t t t t 1 t t t t Share t t 52 t t t t t t t

In the waning days of the legislative session, at least one Illinois House member is getting antsy over the lack of movement on gay marriage.

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) said he's been urging the bill's sponsor to call it for a vote.

"He needs to do something. The longer he waits, I believe, the less likely he'll be to get a simple majority in our chamber. I also think he will pick up a few votes once people listen to the debate ... This bill will be passed. There's only 20 of us out of 118. It's not a Black Caucus issue. The Black Caucus is not responsible for the bill not getting passed. This is Downstater's issue, this is a rural area issue, a suburban issue."

Dunkin said he's felt the pressure from those who oppose gay marriage including from robocalls and Sunday church speeches.

"I've been taking it across the chin the last three weeks. Robocalls, pastors at church (saying): 'The head of the Black Caucus, what the heavens are you doing, in Jesus' name!'"

"I think Jesus likes all of us," Dunkin continues. "Jesus hung out with the pros and the 'hos and the gays and the hypocrites."

by The Voice of the Nightreply 27505/15/2013

"Realistically, marriage equality will not happen while Christie is governor, and governor will be governor until early 2018 unless he resigns or becomes President/Vice President."

Not exactly ... the issue may well appear on the ballot, where marriage would pass easily; moreover, if the U S Supremes don't require all states to recognize marriages in their upcoming ruling, the matter may well be ruled on by the NJ courts as well. So, "not until 2018" is far fetched.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 27605/15/2013

2018 is very realistic for New Jersey. First of all, gay rights organizations and the Democratic leadership do not support placing same-sex marriage on the ballot in NJ. They are actually vehemently against it and have vowed to block any efforts to place it on the ballot. The proposal to put it on the ballot will go nowhere without Democratic leadership and gay rights organizations supporting it. As for the New Jersey courts, they have already declined to find a right to same-sex marriage. Unless you know of some reason to think the current court has changed its mind, I would not rely on the Court.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 27705/15/2013

Controversy surronds GOP chairman candidate who supports marriage equality

Republican politician Representative Ron Sandack has removed himself from the race to be the next GOP chairman in Illinois due to his controversial stance supporting same-sex marriage.

After hearing that many prominent Republicans disagreed with his opinion, he claims he did not step down because of peer pressure. He also added that no one from the party encouraged him to drop out.

“The issue is controversial,” Sandack told WBEZ9.15. “And I don’t wanna be a fight, and that issue to be a fight, when we really oughta be talking about who’s best suited to be the next party chairman.”

Former GOP Chairman Pat Brady resigned after 6 years in office. Many of his peers demanded his resignation over his support for marriage equality.

"Under Pat Brady's leadership, the Republican Party has stayed focused on its core value: that government should respect people's private lives,” said Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov in a press release. “And I am proud of his support of the freedom to marry. I hope that even after his departure, the party leaders continue that support for the freedom to marry - or else the party is going to be irrelevant for the future generation of voters.”

With Sandack’s departure, there remain 8 candidates running for GOP chairman to choose from.

The 8 candidates include Cook County Commissioner Timothy Schneider, former Tea Party Congressman Joe Walsh, Republican State Central Committee member Angel Garcia, former congressional candidate Jim Nalepa, Republican State Central Committee member Mark Shaw, former Illinois lieutenant governor candidate Don Tracy, former Cook County State's Attorney candidate Lori Yokoyama and Republican State Central Committee member Jack Dorgan.

“I am in the state House and I gotta vote my district and my conscience and try and do, you know, both,” said Sandack. “Sometimes that doesn’t comport with the black-letter law of the party platform.”

by The Voice of the Nightreply 27805/15/2013

Hawai'i is a very unusual case. The Constitutional Amendment says the Legislature can define marriage.

"Suspected" Lesbian Governor Linda Lingle vetoed civil unions. Her sucessor, Neil Abercrombie ran on a platform of Equal Marriage and trounced his Republican opponent.

The first bill passed when Abercrombie became Governor was Civil Unions, which he signed.

Marriage was not considered this year because they are hoping the Supreme Court will make any action unnecessary

As in New Jersey, with its Civil Unions, Hawaii has a court case saying Civil Unions are not equal to marriage even though the law says they must be. I imagine judges in both states are waiting for the Supreme Court.

Hawai'i is very liberal, although a number of religious crazies did turn out to oppose Civil Unions. The Mormons have cooled it after they were "outed" as the main monetary backers of Prop. 8.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 27905/15/2013

Unless the media are doing a bad job of covering, the gay rights community in Illinois seems to be rather inept. They should be sounding the alarm, staging massive rallies, flooding the media with activity. Instead, you have to search with a fine tooth comb to find out what they are doing at this critical time. In contrast, the antigay side is robocalling, flooding media with press conferences and press releases, runnings advertisements, and staging massive marches and protests. They are even directly threatening legislators who might even consider voting for marriage equality. Illinois gay groups should have marshaled its troops to fight for passage months ago, and sought national help and fundraising. Imagine if Bloomberg or other wealthy benefactors had dropped some money into Illinois to run ads on tv and radio. Wake up, Illinois!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 28005/16/2013

I guess Illinois gays just don't care.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 28105/16/2013

The problem, R280, is that the capitol and all the Illinois politicians are in downstate Illinois, which might as well be Kentucky or Arkansas.

Unlike Minnesota, which was easily able to mobilize the gays to St. Paul (which is pretty gay friendly in itself and is just miles from Minneapolis), Springfield is 200 miles away from where most of the gays are living, Chicago.

Sure, that doesn't excuse the gays, but I'm just pointing out that it's much easier for the bigots to mobilize in that part of the state where there isn't much excitement for marriage equality.

Springfield is Aaron Schock country. He got 75% of the vote in his district.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 28205/16/2013

[quote]Unlike Minnesota, which was easily able to mobilize the gays to St. Paul (which is pretty gay friendly in itself and is just miles from Minneapolis), Springfield is 200 miles away from where most of the gays are living, Chicago.

Somehow, New York managed to get 150 miles from the city to Albany. Washington gays got 60 miles from Seattle to Olympia.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 28305/16/2013

Illinois gays seemed to have foolishly thought they had it in the bag without doing the ongoing legwork. The antigay side has definitely cared enough to show up, rally, and threaten tangible repercussions.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 28405/16/2013

Both Olympia and Albany are both much more liberal cities than Springfield and likely had more gays on hand than what downstate Illinois has. Plus, both went to Obama by 20-30 points during the 2012 election. Springfield went to Romney by almost double digits, and that's not counting the overwhelmingly rural counties that it's surrounded by.

It may be a moot point but it should be pointed out since many have insisted in this thread that the gays in Illinois are somehow lazy and don't want to pass equality as much as their counterparts in Minnesota did.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 28505/16/2013

It's not like Dover is a cosmopolitan metropolis or anything. The other side buses people in from 100 miles away if they have to.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 28605/16/2013

Madison - Wisconsin's neighbor Minnesota may have become the 12th state in the country to legalize same-sex unions on Tuesday.

But gay marriage is not on the legislative agenda in Wisconsin, and that's not expected to change in the near future.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse political scientist Joe Heim tells Post-Crescent Media national public opinion seems to lean toward gay marriage but he doesn't see Wisconsin joining that group soon.

Wisconsin's constitution, unlike Minnesota's, bans same-sex marriage.

In November 2006, nearly 60 percent of Wisconsin voters supported an amendment banning gay marriage.

Before Wisconsin lawmakers could consider a bill to allow gay marriage, voters would have to pass an amendment undoing the 2006 amendment language. But before that the Legislature would have to pass the amendment in two consecutive sessions.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 28705/18/2013

Things are looking bleak in Illinois. Wake up, people! Conservative religious leaders in the City of Chicago are doing whatever they can to stop the bill from coming up for a vote. And it is working. The groups which they influence are part of the Democratic coalition of ethnic and minority votes, and are exerting power on their local representatives to vote against the bill. The Cardinal of Chicago, Franics George, who has a huge amount of influence here, is opposing the bill as are fundamentalist ministers on Chicago's South Side and in the very conservative southern part of the state. An assemblyman might find himself out of office (they are being threatened with this) if they vote for marriage equality. You can read more about this here- a robocalling campaign is now occurring to stop the vote from happening - and is being countered by human rights activists.

The only positive thing is this -- if there is a vote, it will happen almost by stealth sometimes right before the end of May. There will be little advance knowledge since that will trigger demonstrations and pressure that is not wanted. Also, wavering supporters will not announce how they stand on the issue until the very last minute -- the last thing you want is for some powerful religious person to call you and threaten you unless you "come around".

But as things stand today, passage is not certain. And this will be the first large defeat for marriage equality in in a year of very good news if it happens.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 28805/18/2013

I think Illinois will pass it, but it will be just barely.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 28905/18/2013

Did a journalist really write R287? You think? Not only does Wisconsin have a Republican majority House and Senate equivalents, but it has that thug Scott Walker in the Governor mansion. Not gonna happen anytime soon.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 29005/18/2013

Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan will not have marriage equality anytime soon because they have Republican legislatures and governors. Even Democratic Illinois can't get it passed. We need to focus on the next elections and put in progressives.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 29105/18/2013

NEAT - Volunteer Sign Up Form (Page 1 of 2)

Thank you for signing up as part of the National Equality Action Team - a project of Marriage Equality USA and our partners. We are signing up a powerful surge of volunteers to ensure that the last of four states we've been working for this spring -- Illinois -- wins marriage equality before the Supreme Court decision in June! Nothing is guaranteed; calls from voters make this happen. The deadline for the Illinois House to vote is May 24th, so sign up now, especially for the shifts on May 16, 20 and 23rd -- the earlier the better! Illinois' House is stalling, and we urgently need you to ask constituent voters to call key target reps.

Note: If these dates don't work but you want to help another state in the future, please sign up here as well. Thanks!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 29205/19/2013

It's funny how the posters on this thread just cannot understand that this is going to take time, and is a long range goal. MOST states have BANNED gay marriage equality in their constitutions. Ginsberg is signaling that she's going to take a very cautious approach in gay rights cases (which I disagree with). we're in this for the long haul. in the meantime, glbt rights groups need to start refocusing on issues of basic discrimination or this is all going to unravel at some point.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 29305/19/2013

CHICAGO -- Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois has a chance to make history before the end of the legislative session this month on the issues of pension reform and same-sex marriage.

The Chicago Democrat said Monday that he wants lawmakers to approve an overhaul of the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis by the end of the month and send it to his desk.

Lawmakers are considering two proposals from House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

They also have a proposal on the table that would make Illinois the 13th state to legalize gay marriage.

The plan has cleared the Senate and awaits a House vote, which is expected to be close. Quinn says he believes the votes are there.

Lawmakers' scheduled adjournment is May 31.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 29405/20/2013

I totally agree, R293. Frankly, we are down to only a precious few States where marriage equality is possible as a stand-alone issue. The remaining States have constitutional ammendments in place that would have to be addressed first - and just LOOK at some of these States! The victories here on out will be few and far between and our next best movement may rest with another round of cases being brought before the Supreme Court a few years out. After Illinois reaches a decision a few weeks out - we probably need to focus our energy on the nonsense the Republicans are pulling against Obama and the Administration and calling all that out. We really do need at least another 4 years of Democratic control of the Presidency beyond Obama's term if we ever want to get control of the Supreme Court back. We need it more than ever.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 29505/20/2013

Federal MPs are shifting towards support for gay marriage, Foreign Minister Bob Carr says.

Federal cabinet minister Bob Carr says the parliamentary numbers may be shifting in support of legalising same-sex marriage.

Senator Carr's comments come after former prime minister Kevin Rudd said on Monday he had changed his mind on gay marriage and now believed parliament should make it legal.

"I think any observer would say there's an underlying trend as members of parliament give it more consideration and listen to the arguments to legalising same-sex marriage," Senator Carr told ABC radio on Tuesday.

He also acknowledged there was "considerable support" for legalising same-sex marriage among coalition MPs.

Mr Rudd said any legal recognition for gay marriage should make religious institutions exempt from having to change their own practices.

Last September Mr Rudd was one of 98 MPs who voted against a marriage equality bill.

But on Monday he recounted a recent conversation with a gay, "God-botherer" former political staffer who told him he hoped to get married to another man one day.

The encounter led Mr Rudd to rethink his position.

Senior Liberal George Brandis said Mr Rudd's comments were more about personal ambitions than about the issue of same-sex marriage.

"It's not about same-sex marriage," he told Sky News.

"What it tells you is that Kevin Rudd has not given up, Kevin Rudd is at it again."

Senator Brandis said the former prime minister was continuing to "dance this dance" in front of the media for as long as he possibly could because his caucus supporters had not given up hope of him returning as Labor leader.

"Every time they see a depressing opinion poll result, they're at it again," he said.

The Australian Christian Lobby says Mr Rudd's announcement was a huge disappointment for Christians.

This left their hopes for the "preservation of marriage" with the coalition and Christian-based minor parties, managing director Lyle Shelton said.

"If this is an attempt to wedge Julia Gillard, it will cost Mr Rudd the last of his following in the Christian constituency," he said in a statement.

Mr Shelton said Mr Rudd's position on legalising same-sex marriage would mean parents would have their children "taught the mechanics of homosexual sex" in school sex education classes.

Labor backbencher Stephen Jones said Mr Rudd had followed a path taken by many MPs who had begun instinctively with scepticism or opposition.

"They (who) sat down and thought about it, or who have been confronted with personal stories, they realised it is time to change the law," Mr Jones told ABC radio.

Mr Jones said sentiment on the issue was changing and legalising gay marriage was "inevitable".

"At some stage over the next five years, we will have a change of law in our country," he said.

Mr Jones introduced the same-sex marriage bill that was defeated in parliament last year.

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan said he respected Mr Rudd's decision and urged Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to allow coalition MPs a conscience vote on the issue.

"This is an issue where views are deeply held and that's why it's appropriate that we have a conscience vote in the parliament," Swan told reporters in Adelaide.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 29605/20/2013

Federal MPs are shifting towards support for gay marriage, Foreign Minister Bob Carr says. RELATED

No gay marriage poll at election: Abbott Call for conscience vote on gay marriage Rudd comes out in support of gay marriage

Federal cabinet minister Bob Carr says the parliamentary numbers may be shifting in support of legalising same-sex marriage.

Senator Carr's comments come after former prime minister Kevin Rudd said on Monday he had changed his mind on gay marriage and now believed parliament should make it legal.

"I think any observer would say there's an underlying trend as members of parliament give it more consideration and listen to the arguments to legalising same-sex marriage," Senator Carr told ABC radio on Tuesday.

He also acknowledged there was "considerable support" for legalising same-sex marriage among coalition MPs.

Mr Rudd said any legal recognition for gay marriage should make religious institutions exempt from having to change their own practices.

Last September Mr Rudd was one of 98 MPs who voted against a marriage equality bill.

But on Monday he recounted a recent conversation with a gay, "God-botherer" former political staffer who told him he hoped to get married to another man one day.

The encounter led Mr Rudd to rethink his position.

Senior Liberal George Brandis said Mr Rudd's comments were more about personal ambitions than about the issue of same-sex marriage.

"It's not about same-sex marriage," he told Sky News.

"What it tells you is that Kevin Rudd has not given up, Kevin Rudd is at it again."

Senator Brandis said the former prime minister was continuing to "dance this dance" in front of the media for as long as he possibly could because his caucus supporters had not given up hope of him returning as Labor leader.

"Every time they see a depressing opinion poll result, they're at it again," he said.

The Australian Christian Lobby says Mr Rudd's announcement was a huge disappointment for Christians.

This left their hopes for the "preservation of marriage" with the coalition and Christian-based minor parties, managing director Lyle Shelton said.

"If this is an attempt to wedge Julia Gillard, it will cost Mr Rudd the last of his following in the Christian constituency," he said in a statement.

Mr Shelton said Mr Rudd's position on legalising same-sex marriage would mean parents would have their children "taught the mechanics of homosexual sex" in school sex education classes.

Labor backbencher Stephen Jones said Mr Rudd had followed a path taken by many MPs who had begun instinctively with scepticism or opposition.

"They (who) sat down and thought about it, or who have been confronted with personal stories, they realised it is time to change the law," Mr Jones told ABC radio.

Mr Jones said sentiment on the issue was changing and legalising gay marriage was "inevitable".

"At some stage over the next five years, we will have a change of law in our country," he said.

Mr Jones introduced the same-sex marriage bill that was defeated in parliament last year.

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan said he respected Mr Rudd's decision and urged Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to allow coalition MPs a conscience vote on the issue.

"This is an issue where views are deeply held and that's why it's appropriate that we have a conscience vote in the parliament," Swan told reporters in Adelaide.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 29705/20/2013

R295...BINGO. And beyond President Obama too, you're right, because we NEED another Democrat in the White House after his term is completed. We really need to get focused.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 29805/20/2013

Why does someone keep posting full essays about the go-nowhere situation in the UK? Just post a link or post a summary.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 29905/20/2013

And the 2014 elections are critical. Progressives need to learn how to go into perpetual campaign mode like conservatives.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 30005/20/2013

R300...SUPER Bingo!

I think we've come to rely too much on optimistic expectations. But in the real world, equality is a wave that can be turned back, and it often has been. People of color have "rights", yet they still face discrimination and violence, because enforcement is slack. We have a lot of fighting still to do.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 30105/20/2013

Legal same-sex marriage could soon be a reality in Illinois.

With only 11 days remaining before the Illinois House adjourns for summer, advocates pushing for marriage equality legislation say they have finally secured enough votes to pass the measure, as members of the LGBT community continue to grow uneasy with the prospect of defeat.

Advocates within the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition say they have finally found enough support for the bill, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, and action on the measure could occur any day now.

“The votes are there,” said Rick Garcia, who has been advocating for LGBT rights in the state for decades and heads up the Equal Marriage Illinois Project at The Civil Rights Agenda.

“Everyone is saying that it’s going to happen and I have no reason to think that it isn’t,” Garcia said. “I am alway very cautious. I don’t like to call it before it’s done, but I think that everyone just wants to get this over with and get it done.”

The bill needs at least 60 votes in the House before Gov. Pat Quinn, a strong supporter of marriage equality, can sign it into law. Quinn continues to meet with lawmakers to grow support for the bill.

Rep. Greg Harris, its chief sponsor, has repeatedly abstained from publicly discussing support or when he plans to call the bill up for consideration in the chamber, but has previously said that when he “puts it up on the board, it will pass.”

Garcia declined to comment on the specific vote tally, but another source familiar with the matter puts the count at 62.

And with all matters of legislation, some lawmakers’ positions will change — or simply will not be known — until they are forced to cast their votes. Some advocates suggest undecided lawmakers may not make up their minds until the last few seconds.

A growing number of state legislatures have approved similar legislation in the last month, including Rhode Island, Delaware and, most recently, Minnesota. Illinois would become the 13th state to recognize gay and lesbian nuptials.

But so far, the Illinois marriage equality bill has languished in the House for over three months following a historic Valentine’s Day victory in the Senate. A House committee approved the measure Feb. 26, but proponents and other observers have seen little action since then, causing concern within the LGBT community.

Community members and LGBT rights activists recently have grown frustrated and fear time may run out before marriage equality is considered in the House. Some have blamed House Speaker Michael Madigan, who controls the chamber’s Democratic majority, for the delay.

“If this bill does not pass … we will put its failure right at the doorstep of Mike Madigan,” said Andy Thayer, co-founder of Gay Liberation Network, at a recent marriage equality demonstration. “… He’s got the power, he’s got the clout to do it.”

However, Madigan’s spokesman, Steve Brown, said when the bill is called in the House is solely up to Harris.

Madigan, too, is pushing for the bill and has assured advocates that it will pass before May 31, Garcia said.

In an effort to curb community unease, coalition groups will hold a town hall format event at the Chicago Urban League, 4510 S. Michigan Ave., from 5 p.m. t0 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Advocacy leaders will explain where the bill stands, answer community questions and rally supporters to maintain pressure on lawmakers.

That event will be canceled if the advocates learn a vote is imminent.

Meanwhile, marriage equality proponents throughout the state continue to work on behalf of the bill by organizing phone banks, contacting individual lawmakers and publicly demonstrating on weekends throughout the area. On Saturday, pro-LGBT demonstrators countered an anti-gay protest near the office of Rep. Silvana Tabares on the city’s Southwest Side.

In addition, current and former elected officials, too, are making calls to House lawmakers urging support for the legislation, including Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, according to Garcia.

In addition to same-sex marriage, House members face challenging votes on several issues such as solving the state’s multi-billion dollar pension crisis, ratifying an annual budget and establishing a conceal carry law consistent with federal gun regulation in the few remaining days.

The marriage bill could come up this week or as late as the last day.

“It’s time,” Garcia said. “It’s really time … But we’ll see.”

by The Voice of the Nightreply 30205/20/2013

That article sounds really optimistic, R302. I'm not going to be sure that it'll pass until all the votes are counted.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 30305/20/2013

Meanwhile, in Iowa, opponents of marriage equality have reiterated their vow to ban gay marriage there. We need to pour money and effort into that state to secure marriage equality there. It is the most conservative state with same sex marriage with a mixed state legislature that could go Republican after the next election. We need to fortify Iowa.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 30405/20/2013

Hurry up Illinois!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 30505/21/2013

SPRINGFIELD — Less than half of Illinois House Black Caucus members say they back the push to legalize same-sex marriage or are likely to support it, a Chicago Sun-Times survey of the pivotal voting bloc has found.

Four members of the 20-member caucus have told the Sun-Times they will vote for same-sex marriage while five others indicated they are leaning toward a ‘yes’ vote. Seven remain undecided, and four are opposed. The four legislators who said they are committed to voting for the issue are representatives Ken Dunkin, Camille Lilly, Christian Mitchell and Arthur Turner, all Democrats representing districts in Chicago.

Mitchell became a sponsor of the bill a week after it passed the Senate. Dunkin, joint chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, added his name to the sponsorship list last month and this week prodded Harris to call the measure for a vote or risk losing support he’s already lined up.

Both Dunkin and Mitchell previously identified themselves as supporters of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, but Lilly and Turner had not publicly endorsed Harris’ legislation until being contacted by the Sun-Times.

“I don’t feel like we should treat anyone different based on their sexual orientation or the color of their skin or any reason for that matter,” Turner said. “Some have equated it to a civil-rights issue. But for me it just boils down to simply an equality issue. I think this is an issue whose time has come.”

In 2010, the Black Caucus helped Harris pass legislation legalizing civil unions with only two of the then 19 members of the group not supporting the plan. But this time, Harris faces a much heavier lift as members have been targeted by black ministers and celebrities on both sides of the issue.

“I think after President Obama came out as a supporter of equal marriage there was a belief that it would be a no-brainer,” Mitchell said. “But I don’t think folks properly understood the influence and role of the church as it relates to African-American politics.”

That pressure from African-American ministers — many of whom have been known to use the pulpit as a public-policy platform — paired with traditional, socially conservative views on issues such as this one and abortion have propelled the House Black Caucus into the heart of the same-sex marriage discussion in Illinois.

“What I’ve said consistently is that we are talking about civil marriage in a civil society — not a religious right but a civil right,” Mitchell said. “I think people are realizing this is inevitable. It’s the right thing to do. They want to be on the right side of history.”

The delay in calling for a vote has coincided with black House members’ districts being blasted by hundreds of thousands of automated phone calls from church leaders such as former state Senator James Meeks (D-Chicago), pastor of the 20,000-member Salem Baptist Church on the South Side. Starting in March, Meeks’ multiple rounds of robocalls against same-sex marriage have argued the redefinition of marriage would put the family structure in jeopardy.

Twelve black House members have yet to stake out firm positions on the legislation. Of those, five told the Sun-Times they were leaning toward voting for the bill — representatives Marcus Evans (D-Chicago) La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago), Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan), Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields) and Chris Welch (D-Hillside).

When Mayfield asks people in her district why she shouldn’t vote for the bill, she said, “They can’t really give me valid reasons.”

“I’m still learning, too, from them — what are their concerns, their issues, how could you make it better,” she said. “Just having that information really is the key to changing peoples’ minds and having good information. Not the propaganda, just the truth.”

Asked if she thought the bill needed more time before a vote, Mayfield answered, “Definitely needs more time.”

Mayfield voted “present” on the civil unions legislation.

Others who are in the undecided column aren’t yet leaners one way or another — even despite having gay members in their families.

One of them is Rep. Thaddeus Jones (D-Calumet City), who had two openly gay nephews die from HIV-related complications and who would like to see the issue pushed to the fall legislative session.

“Just because it’s the appetite of the month and the year right now, do we actually want to pick up that menu and eat off it because it’s the right thing to do?” he asked.

Jones, who said it’s appropriate for churches to be involved in the debate, admitted religious involvement has made same-sex marriage a Black Caucus issue.

“You can’t deny it, and anybody that says it’s not is not telling the truth,” he said. “I mean, we all go to church. We all have pastors that have bent our ears about this issue.

“But I want to make this clear. This is not a civil-rights issue. This is about choice, and the civil rights movement was about people who didn’t have rights.”

Jones said his vote will come down to a mixture of personal choice and his district’s input “simply because I’m still weighing the options.”

“I’m still weighing it. This is a tough vote. This is tougher than pensions for me. It’s tougher than the budget.”

Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria), whose vote is also up for grabs, recognized religious influences but insisted the focus should not be on the Black Caucus.

“This is an individual vote,” she said. “For people to expect any one caucus to completely carry the water on this issue, I think that they’re not looking at the complexity and the importance of this issue.”

Gordon-Booth said the issue has “really taken a toll” on her and she will keep her religious background in mind when she takes a position.

“I’m a Christian before I’m a black woman before I’m a Democrat,” she said. “Before all of that, I’m a Christian.

“I have to live with what I do or don’t do. And so it’s a vote I have to take that I can be comfortable with the rest of my life. This is history.”

The four House Black Caucus members who have said they’ll be voting against Harris’ bill include representatives Monique Davis (D-Chicago), Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), Eddie Jackson (D-East St. Louis) and Charles Jefferson (D-Rockford).

Davis, a South Side Baptist who voted for civil unions in 2010, believes the definition of marriage simply cannot include people of the same sex.

“I want to be an engineer, and we can’t pass legislation for me to be an engineer because I just don’t have what it takes to be equipped to be an engineer,” she said. “And two people of the same sex are not equipped to be in what a marriage is.”

Asked if the same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue, Davis didn’t bat an eye.

“Have they ever hung from trees?” she asked. “Were they ever slaves for 500 years, then I don’t think so. I don’t think [the issues are] equal … Simple as that.”

Davis also denied same-sex marriage has become a Black Caucus issue.

“African-American people have the same right to be conservative on issues that everybody else has,” she said. “The Black Caucus has no major responsibility to vote for this bill, and I feel the pressure on them is so unfair and so unjustified.”

But Mitchell, who feels the generational divide as the youngest member of the General Assembly, thinks older members might not be as firm in their beliefs as they may think.

“We as African-Americans struggle to deal with emotional issues given how much economic pressure there is,” he said. “And I think in many cases we’re still dealing with what it means to be black and to be gay and how it affects the family unit.

“But we are legislators who make civil laws in a civil society, and anything that diminishes another human being diminishes me. I absolutely believe that, and anything that infringes upon the civil rights of someone else infringes upon my rights.”

by The Voice of the Nightreply 30605/21/2013

About half of Tennesseans support legal recognition of same-sex couples, an apparent shift in their views as states across the country have moved toward allowing gay marriage.

A poll conducted this month for Vanderbilt University found that 49 percent of Tennesseans support gay marriage or civil unions while 46 percent are opposed to both, suggesting the state is now evenly divided on whether to extend legal recognition to same-sex couples.

Meanwhile, 62 percent of Tennesseans say health insurance and other employee benefits should be extended to the domestic partners or spouses of gays and lesbians. Thirty-one percent oppose the idea.

The poll emerges after Minnesota, Rhode Island and Delaware this month became the latest states to adopt gay marriage, bringing the number nationwide to 12. The results also come as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs whether to strike down state bans on gay marriage.

“This is kind of consistent with the national trend,” said Josh Clinton, associate professor of political science at Vanderbilt.

The poll results suggest a marked shift in Tennesseans’ views since 2006, when 81 percent of voters approved an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage between one man and one woman as “the only legally recognized marital contract” in the state.

That amendment remains a substantial hurdle to proponents of same-sex marriage in Tennessee, casting doubt on any legislation that attempts to extend the benefits of marriage to gays and lesbians in the state.

Its repeal also appears unlikely in the near future. Doing so would require two-thirds majorities in the state Senate and House of Representatives, and a majority vote from Tennesseans.

But the results show Tennesseans may be open to taking steps short of gay marriage, said Chris Sanders, president of the Tennessee Equality Project, a gay-rights group.

“Tennesseans are traditional — they are standing by their religious view of marriage — but they are not cruel,” Sanders said. “Tennesseans are looking for a way to help people and protect their conservative view at the same time.” Haslam, Alexander popular

Vanderbilt also found that Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander remain popular 15 months before the Republican primary and 18 months before the 2014 general election, when both are up for re-election.

Haslam’s approval rating among registered voters stands at 63 percent, despite a run of coverage that has included resignations by two top administrators and a federal probe into his family’s chain of truck stops. The governor’s support is highest among members of his own party, but even 54 percent of Democrats say they support him.

The battle over release of Department of Children’s Services records on child fatalities did not appear to affect the governor. Those who had heard about the controversy and those who hadn’t liked him in equal measure.

Alexander, meanwhile, holds an approval rating of 53 percent among all registered voters. His rating is slightly higher among self-identified Republicans and tea party supporters.

Alexander’s popularity is comparable to fellow U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, who easily won reelection last year.

Alexander did appear to be out of step with Tennessee voters on one issue — whether to tax online sales. Alexander supports a federal bill that would clarify states’ authority to collect online sales taxes; only 38 percent of registered voters say charging Tennesseans the existing tax on online purchases would be good policy.

But John Geer, professor of political science at Vanderbilt, noted that respondents were evenly divided when asked whether charging online sales tax would be fair or unfair to local businesses in the state.

“He’s not taken an easy issue, but he’s got a really decent position on it,” Geer said of Alexander. “The instinct of most citizens — Tennesseans or others — is to be against taxes. But if you tell them the full context of this, I think there’s more support for it.”

by The Voice of the Nightreply 30705/21/2013

BRASILIA, Brazil — A conservative party is challenging a judicial ruling that requires all of Brazil's notary publics to register same-sex civil unions as marriages if couples request it.

Last week, the National Council of Justice that oversees the country's judiciary said notary publics cannot refuse to marry gay couples or convert a same-sex civil union into a marriage if that's what the pair wants.

The Social Christian Party filed its appeal Tuesday with the Supreme Court arguing that the council's ruling was unconstitutional because Congress has not approved it.

One of the party's leaders is Congressman Marco Feliciano, an evangelical pastor who is president of the Commission for Human Rights and Minorities. He has said on his Twitter page that AIDS is a "gay cancer."

by The Voice of the Nightreply 30805/21/2013

Monique Davis is really fucking awful.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 30905/21/2013

Well, Davis is hearing from the antigay side. They are rabid and dedicated. Is the progay side matching their commitment in Illinois?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 31005/22/2013

Jesus. If even backwards Tennessee is now in favor of marriage equality, doesn't that now mean that pretty much all states are in favor it? I'd guess the only ones opposed are in MS, OK, AL, AR, WV, SC, and the sparsely populated mountain states.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 31105/22/2013

Actually, only the Vanderbilt poll found that only 32 percent of Tennesseans supported gay marriage, 17 percent supported civil unions, and 46 percent legal recognition of any type.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 31205/22/2013

46% for NO recognition whatsoever is pretty damned backwards!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 31305/22/2013

Any update from Illinois? I have not seen any recent news updates.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 31405/23/2013

They've got eight days to gather the votes and vote on it, R314.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 31505/23/2013

I sense that we are not hearing much from Illinois for deliberate, strategic reasons.I think the equality side wants to stay low and take the vote at the last minute, so as to minimize the opportunity for the opposition to march, rally, congregate, and threaten legislators.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 31605/23/2013

I am getting anxious for IL to vote

by The Voice of the Nightreply 31705/24/2013

IL has until next Friday to get off their asses and make them vote.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 31805/24/2013

Rep. LaShawn Ford, who represents parts of Chicago as well as the western portions of suburban Cook County just came out in favor of voting "yes" on the Illinois bill. He is one of the six black members of the Ill. House who was "undecided" and could have voted either way.

In his pretty eloquently stated interview, he also linked equality for gays and lesbians to the Civil Rights movement. Pretty positive development, though he was really one of the undecided legislators who was the most likely to vote "yes" of the six, so take it as you will.

Many are expecting the vote to take place either Wednesday or Thursday this week. They have until the 31st to vote on it.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 31905/28/2013

Here's the link to the story

by The Voice of the Nightreply 32005/28/2013

Things sure are quiet in Illinois with only three days left to vote on this bill. Are progressives actively discouraging marches and rallies in Illinois? Nary a peep from the Land of Lincoln....

by The Voice of the Nightreply 32105/28/2013

R321 Supposedly they'll vote either tomorrow or Thursday.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 32205/28/2013

Wish it would be Virginia. I'd like to be less embarrassed to live here.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 32305/28/2013

[quote]Wish it would be Virginia. I'd like to be less embarrassed to live here.

If it makes you feel any better, the insane crew the VA GOP is putting up for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General makes it more likely the Democratic candidates will win.

I wish that the Democratic candidate wasn't Terry McAuliffe, but beggars and choosers. The primary is going to be the last election I vote in here.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 32405/28/2013

Hey, VoTN: You went to my high school. Always meant to tell you that!

Yeah, I can't abide Cooch as governor. Horrors, horrors.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 32505/28/2013

The interwebs make for a small universe.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 32605/28/2013

Yep. I've wondered who you are, but I graduated in '02--not sure our paths would have crossed.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 32705/28/2013

Yeah, I would have been long gone at that point.

You weren't by any chance half of a sophomore couple who took female upperclassmen to either homecoming or prom so you could really be there together were you?

I have a younger sister who's a touch older than you, and she mentioned something about that to me in passing once.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 32805/28/2013

Not me--but I believe those could have been two friends of mine, one of whom lives in Richmond now (where I am). This was around the same time we tried to start a GSA, but were told by the principal we had to call it "Diversity Club."

Sorry to derail the thread ... Just always wanted to say "hi."

by The Voice of the Nightreply 32905/28/2013

Cuchinelli is a better campaigner, has lots of money, and is running great campaign commercials that camouflage his extremist views. Democrats have to be smarter and more aggressive at exposing his extremism.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 33005/28/2013

Virginia voters still overwhelmingly approves of the job Bob McDonnell is doing as governor, so I'm not sure they exactly learned their lesson the first time. I wouldn't put it past them to elect his right-hand man.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 33105/28/2013

Approve*

by The Voice of the Nightreply 33205/28/2013

2.5 days left, Illinois!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 33305/29/2013

Yeah, all is quiet on the Illinois front.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 33405/29/2013

Fuck Illinois and their lazy asses. WTF are they waiting for? They aren't going to change anyone's mind in two days, so why not just vote now?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 33505/29/2013

Illinois is drawing this out to the very end. The gay rights groups there are so down low and quiet. Where are the marches and rallies?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 33605/29/2013

I've searched a few times over the past couple of days and nothing new to be found.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 33705/29/2013

Don't you think that they would have a vote if they had the votes? I'm sure they already do but are holding out a few more days until they are sure they will meet the 60-vote threshold.

I posted on the last page that a prominent black Democrat from the Chicago/west suburbs area came out in favor of the legislation this week, so that's a positive development in our favor. He was a swing vote that could help sway a few more politicians in our direction.

They are holding out to protect the politicians that may vote yes but will get backlash from their constituency. They don't want to vote and then have it fail and have to restart the process again which may scare off the politicians to vote a second time around.

They are saying they have the votes but it's better to hold it late than be sorry.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 33805/29/2013

Well, there are only two days left to pass it. They better not have messed it up and miscalculated.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 33905/29/2013

Illinois is the most lowkey state ever on the eve of making a decision on same sex marriage. It's like they are totally asleep are something. Are everyday gay people in IL even engaged in the fight for marriage equality? Delaware, Rhode Island, and Minnesota were ablaze with anticipation and activism on the eve of their marriage votes, yet Illinois seems strangely silent.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 34005/29/2013

"The eve of", R340. Who says they're putting it up for a vote tomorrow?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 34105/29/2013

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Minority Democrats in the Michigan Senate are attempting to repeal the state’s ban against gay marriage.

A measure introduced Wednesday would amend the Michigan Constitution to remove a 2004 prohibition on same-sex marriage. The measure needs two-thirds support in the Republican-led House and Senate to make the statewide ballot. bill would recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages in Michigan.

Democratic Sen. Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor says polling shows more Michiganians support gay marriage than just a year ago. She says married couples enjoy a host of legal protections, and removing Michigan’s ban would ensure gay couples can be legal parents to their adoptive children.

Senators sponsoring the legislation are Warren, Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing, Bert Johnson of Highland Park and Virgil Smith of Detroit.

A Michigan State University poll taken last year found an increase in support for gay marriage in the state, with 56 percent of adults questioned saying they support the same-sex unions. Thirty-nine percent said they were opposed. Three years ago, those numbers were much closer, with 48 percent saying they supported gay marriage and 51 percent opposed.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 34205/30/2013

As gay marriage vote nears, frustration mounts Updated: Thursday, 30 May 2013, 7:05 AM EDT Published : Thursday, 30 May 2013, 7:05 AM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Black lawmakers undecided on gay marriage are feeling increasing pressure as a vote nears, but are keeping mum on their plans.

Few members of the House Black Caucus have publicly backed the measure, which would make Illinois the 13th state to allow same-sex marriage.

Caucus members are being lobbied extensively by both sides. Their support is seen as key.

Rep. Will Davis of Chicago, who is undecided, urged advocates to "look to the Republican side."

Chicago Rep. Emanuel Welch said Wednesday he was "leaning yes," but would not commit to a vote until it is called.

The bill's sponsor, Chicago Rep. Greg Harris, says a vote is expected before Friday.

The Senate passed gay marriage in February. Gov. Pat Quinn supports the measure and describes it as a priority.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 34305/30/2013

President Barack Obama came home to Chicago on Wednesday to raise money for House Democrats — and he used the occasion to give a key boost to a state bill that would legalize gay marriage.

“Here in Illinois, we’ve got a vote on same-sex marriage that’s going to be coming up in the Legislature,” Obama told donors at his second fund-raiser of the night. “ I just want to say for the record it’s something that I deeply support.”

by The Voice of the Nightreply 34405/30/2013

It's already been reported the votes are not there, and it's in the 56-58 range. It's also being said that House reps. basically don't want to vote on it and take the risk of angering their districts and opening themselves up to primary challenges. So that's essentially where it is. At this point, what's likely happening is that legislators that are undecided are really no votes, but don't want to put that out there publicly. In Minnesota, when it was clear some of the undecideds were yes votes, the vote was brought up. That's not happening in Illinois. And with several other legislative issues on the docket in Illinois, chances of seeing marriage equality in the state grow dimmer every hour.

I was optimistic, but reading the recent news, I'm not optimistic anymore. I'm hopeful, nervous, but we'll see what happens.

Read more:

by The Voice of the Nightreply 34505/30/2013

The 60 votes are there, it's Madigan who doesn't want it, because he's doing a favor for Cardinal George.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 34605/30/2013

MT @AmandaVinicky: No intel on if same sex marriage (SB10) will get an #IL House vote. Rumors of all stripes abound.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 34705/30/2013

tMarriage vote anticipated within 24 hours by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times 2013-05-30

LGBT activists, advocates and community members have begun filtering into the capitol as a the deciding vote on Illinois marriage equality is expected as early as this afternoon.

Sponsors have until Friday to pass the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which would grant equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Chief sponsor Greg Harris has said he will "absolutely" call for a vote on the bill by session's end May 31. He has also stated that the bill will pass.

Multiple sources connected with organizing efforts around the bill have stated that a vote is expected this afternoon, evening or early in the day on Friday. That timeline will partially depend on other business in Springfield as spring session wraps up.

Advocates with Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, The Civil Rights Agenda, Human Rights Campaign, Gay Liberation Network and other groups are already in the capitol. Sources say that the families of some reps. are also headed for Springfield.

Anti-LGBT groups not appear to be present.

The bill has already passed the Senate and Gov. Pat Quinn has vowed to sign it.

The bill has the backing from major political players including President Obama, who expressed support for the measure in Chicago this week.

"Here in Illinois, we've got a vote on same-sex marriage that's going to be coming up in the Legislature," he said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "I just want to say for the record it's something that I deeply support."

Windy City Times will continue to update with details from Springfield.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 34805/30/2013

R346, Madigan is the rep. in my district and he has assured me that he supports the measure. His daughter, the attorney general of Ill. also recently came out and penned a statement on supporting marriage equality.

The only conflict of interest for Mike Madigan is that his daughter is considering primarying Quinn in the 2014 governor's race. If he doesn't want Quinn to get this "win", I could see him holding off, but not because he doesn't support the measure.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 34905/30/2013

The House members are back on the floor and are expected to decide if a vote will be called today.

Madigan's spokesman is claiming that the sponsor of the bill will tell him when to hold the vote, which many assume at this point to mean that they don't have all the votes needed yet.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 35005/30/2013

Many advocates are now blasting Greg Harris, the sponsor of the bill, for not calling it up for a vote despite his claim that he had the votes and that he would "absolutely" call for a vote by the end of the session.

Madigan is taking his lead basically.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 35105/30/2013

From NPR...bill may have stalled in House.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 35205/30/2013

Also, why didn't Illinois replicate what Maryland did? MD has a huge black population and targeted blacks like a laser in its successful campaign for marriage equality last year. Hence, they raised money and put on slick, powerful ads with black megachurch pastors endorsing gay marriage. They used black leaders as the forefront of the marriage equality drive, and used ads for rapid responses to antigay efforts. Likewise, in Delaware, RI, and MIN this year, progay minority religious leaders were put front and center in efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. Those states had relentless, tireless campaigns in the media, on the streets, and in state legislators to make marriage equality a reality. Whoever is running gay rights organizations in Illinois needs to resign.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 35305/30/2013

The clock is ticking for those who hope Illinois will become the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session Friday night, and the marriage equality bill still has not been called for a vote in the state House, where supporters are struggling to round up the 60 votes necessary to pass it.

Advocates of LGBT rights had hoped to make Illinois the first Midwestern state to legalize same-sex marriage legislatively (in Iowa, the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2009), but Minnesota beat the Land of Lincoln to that distinction earlier this month.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has vowed to sign a same-sex-marriage bill if it passes the Legislature. The Illinois Senate approved one on Valentine's Day by a wide margin, but the legislation has languished in the state House ever since.

The group Illinois Unites for Marriage — a coalition formed by the ACLU, Lambda Legal and the LGBT rights group Equality Illinois, among others — has used Twitter, Facebook and other social media, as well as old-fashioned phone banks every night this week, in a final push to get the gay-marriage bill passed.

"We are calling lists of voters in targeted House districts," says Mitchell Locin, media liaison for Equality Illinois. "Those House districts have a representative who we think might be convinced to vote for the marriage bill, or who we think might already actually be a supporter but needs that support buoyed by hearing from constituents."

In other words, they are trying to get gay-marriage supporters who live in key districts to light up the phones in the offices of lawmakers who might still be sitting on the fence. Those legislators include some suburban moderate Republicans, a few white and Latino Democrats in heavy Catholic districts and many of the 20 African-American members of the Illinois House.

A Focus On Black Voters

Opponents of the gay-marriage bill are mounting a similar effort to defeat it, focusing heavily on the African-American community.

At a recent news conference with other African-American clergy, Pastor Byron Brazier of the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago denounced the measure.

"We're not standing against something; we're standing for something," Brazier said. "We're standing for the Scriptures as they are written."

"We understand the Scriptures to teach that marriage is between man and woman," added Bishop Larry Trotter, senior pastor at Sweet Holy Spirit Church in Chicago. "This law being passed would cause a great ripple amongst the faith community and it would reduce what we stand for."

Trotter and Brazier are among the most politically influential African-American ministers in Chicago, along with the Rev. James Meeks, a former state senator and pastor of Salem Baptist Church, one of the city's biggest megachurches.

Meeks and the others have not only preached against gay marriage from the pulpit but have aired ads against the bill on black radio stations and have lent their voices to robocalls to African-American voters, saying: "Your representative needs to hear from you."

"The church and politics is a very constant mix in Chicago and in Illinois," says Laura Washington, a political analyst and Chicago Sun-Times columnist. "These ministers have megachurches, large congregations. They have a lot of clout in their communities and their members listen to them and take advice from them."

"The ministers often use their pulpits to sway votes in one direction or another," Washington adds.

But Washington also points out that the religious community is not unanimous in its opposition — it is actually quite divided on gay marriage. She says more and more African-American ministers in Chicago and elsewhere are supporting it, framing same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue.

"I think there's some hypocrisy involved when you're talking about ministers and elected officials who both benefited from the civil rights movement then [turned] their backs on others who have been left out of the system because of being different," Washington says.

A Visit From Obama

Supporters of gay marriage are using that sentiment to blitz residents in key African-American legislative districts with robocalls of their own, voiced by religious and civil rights leaders, including former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond.

The bill legalizing same-sex marriage, Bond says in the call, "will ensure fairness and equality for all Illinois couples and families."

Citing his experience fighting for what's fair and just, Bond adds: "Gay and lesbian couples have the same values as everyone else: love, commitment and stable families. They should have the same right to marry as the rest of us."

President Obama echoed that message at a private fundraising dinner in Chicago on Wednesday night, telling donors his home state's same-sex-marriage bill is "something I deeply support."

In remarks that were not recorded for broadcast, Obama added, "I am absolutely convinced it is the right thing to do. And we have to make sure that wherever we go, we are reminding people that the essence of America is that everybody is treated equally under the law without exception."

But in earlier remarks at a larger, more public fundraiser, where cameras and microphones were recording, the president didn't mention the same-sex-marriage bill at all and made only a passing reference to gay rights, saying that it "doesn't matter where you come from, what you look like, what faith you practice, who you love — that here in America, you can make it if you try."

Calling For A Vote

Since the legislation to legalize gay marriage was first introduced in Illinois, lawmakers in Rhode Island, Delaware and Minnesota have passed Illinois by and approved their own gay-marriage bills.

The sponsor of Illinois' gay-marriage bill, Chicago Democrat Greg Harris, is coy about exactly how many votes he has lined up in support of the measure, saying only that "we're close." Although he acknowledges some division on the issue within his own party, he insists the bill will pass.

"They see which way history is moving," says Harris of both his Democratic and Republican colleagues. "They've seen now 12 states before us make this decision. We have years of experience where none of the supposed ills have happened in any of these states which our opponents have predicted."

"Folks know this will be a vote that history will remember," Harris adds. "And I think a lot of folks are deciding they're going to want to be remembered on the right side of history."

Harris says he is determined to call the marriage equality bill for a vote before the Legislature adjourns Friday night, but opponents of same-sex marriage say if he really did have enough votes, it would already have passed.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 35405/30/2013

Fuck Illinois. I live in this shithole state and there's nothing but retards for politicians here (Aaron Schock). If Illinois doesn't pass this bill, then it will confirm how backwards this shithole is.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 35505/30/2013

Now, now, R355. You could be living in Nigeria.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 35605/30/2013

IN 2011, Maryland's major gay rights organization failed to get gay marriage passed in that state. The leader of the organization was terminated. IN 2012, it passed the legislature and was ratified by voters.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 35705/30/2013

It's ridiculous how a "blue" state with the third biggest city in the country is taking so long to get this passed.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 35805/30/2013

On gay marriage: Despite lots of brave talk and another plug last night by President Barack Obama, the bill to allow same-sex marriage in Illinois reportedly is short two or three votes, with stiff opposition among many African-American lawmakers. This one has been a top priority for much of the state's Democratic leadership. If it doesn't pass, a lengthy and likely bitter post-mortem is coming as to who screwed up.

Read more: Stay on top of Chicago business with our free daily e-newsletters

by The Voice of the Nightreply 35905/30/2013

R359 Don't just blame the blacks. Blame Republican trash from Southern Illinois, and blame that asshole closet case Aaron Schock.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 36005/30/2013

With the murder rate out of control in Illinois, don't the lawmakers have more important things to do than block marriage equality?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 36105/30/2013

I hear a lot people make excuses for the Illinois Debacle by saying oh, Madigan controls the legislature and things are so difficult to influence here. Well, I guess the other side doesn't buy that excuse because they really have been rallying, marching, calling, and drawing media attention for months. They don't care who allegedly controls the IL legislature, they made it known there will be consequences if the legislators vote against their interests.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 36205/30/2013

Did Illinois pro-equality people learn anything from other states? I know Illinois has its own political rules and personalities, but what the heck were the pro-gay groups doing to make equality happen? I hear they are planning a Springfield rally tomorrow, the last day of the session. What took them so long? The antigay side has been rallying, marching, calling, staging media events since January, yet the gay community slept through the spring. Apologies to the few who have been actually engaging in activism in IL, but for the most part, it has been the antigay part that cared enough to show up and show out for their cause. The people who care to show up, engage, and draw media attention win.

Also, why didn't Illinois replicate what Maryland did? MD has a huge black population and targeted blacks like a laser in its successful campaign for marriage equality last year. Hence, they raised money and put on slick, powerful ads with black megachurch pastors endorsing gay marriage. They used black leaders as the forefront of the marriage equality drive, and used ads for rapid responses to antigay efforts. Likewise, in Delaware, RI, and MIN this year, progay minority religious leaders were put front and center in efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. Those states had relentless, tireless campaigns in the media, on the streets, and in state legislators to make marriage equality a reality. Whoever is running gay rights organizations in Illinois needs to resign.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 36305/30/2013

As much as I hate Schock, R360, he is part of the US House, not the Ill. House.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 36405/30/2013

Carol Marin ‏@CarolMarin 28m

The signs suggest same sex will pass. Speaker Madigan has invited same sex families to his private box.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 36505/31/2013

Carol Marin ‏@CarolMarin 40m

Up here in the Illinois House press gallery, there is a feeling--just a feeling--that same sex will be called soon.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 36605/31/2013

If they call the vote, there's live video here.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 36705/31/2013

I'm thinking they're going to call gay marriage after this concealed carry bill gets its vote.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 36805/31/2013

Strangely enough the next state will be Idaho.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 36905/31/2013

This is getting ridiculous.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 37005/31/2013

R367 The live video sucks - it keeps getting stuck.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 37105/31/2013

Why do you think Idaho will be next, R369?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 37205/31/2013

Yeah, I gave up on it and finally just started following Equality IL's twitter.

I assume their servers are overloaded from people wanting to see what happens when/if Madigan calls the vote. That, or Blago awarded the contract to install streaming video to one of his cronies before he was impeached.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 37305/31/2013

This live stream of the IL House has been working well for me.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 37405/31/2013

They all seems a little punchy.

Maybe we'll get a fistfight.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 37505/31/2013

It's not going to happen, is it?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 37605/31/2013

Not necessarily. Madigan invited gay rights groups into the speaker's gallery.

And I would imagine that Quinn could always order the legislature back into session. Lisa Madigan is going to destroy him in a primary anyway, so...

by The Voice of the Nightreply 37705/31/2013

Now this is getting crazy. It shouldn't take this fucking long.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 37805/31/2013

Hey R375, I just arrived home and hit the live feed link. No Marrigage Equality vote yet, I guess. Any idea how long will they go tonight?

Thanks

by The Voice of the Nightreply 37905/31/2013

Exactly, R377. Madigan's selfishness and conflict of interest may not be wanting Quinn to get a win and will wait for his daughter to get elected. She recently came out in equality a month or so ago.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 38005/31/2013

They apparently had 100 different bills to get through today. They can go until 11:59. This is kind of ridiculous.

Some people are saying it's DOA, some people are saying it isn't.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 38105/31/2013

Chicago Tribune says it's the black caucus that hate teh gays.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 38205/31/2013

Buzzfeed saying that Illinois marriage bill won't be called for a vote today.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 38305/31/2013

R383 This state is so fucked. I wish I had the money to move somewhere else. And not just because of this, but because this state sucks in general. This was just the icing on the cake.

And the politicians just lie, lie, lie. They kept promising they'd vote before the end of the session, and look what's happened. Fuck this shithole state.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 38405/31/2013

Annoying. So there isn't a published list of votes to be undertaken? Is it some kind of secret they're keeping from the public? I don't get this.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 38505/31/2013

There's obviously a democratic majority so they probably aren't going to take the vote so we can see who are the hold outs. Madigan was doing some arm twisting & bribery to try to get this done but he doesn't want to punish anyone by having them called out. He's going to protect them because they love having a majority too much.

It's probably a lot to do with the Democratic black caucus. It's not that they hate gays, it's that they've been under tremendous pressure from the religious black communities. The preachers have been preaching against this bill in the churches, and their constituents listen to these preachers.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 38605/31/2013

It's 6:54 in Chicago.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 38705/31/2013

Dead.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 38805/31/2013

I was crying during Representative Mell's speech about her wife. Greg Harris also cried mid speech when he announced that the bill wouldn't go forward until November. The gay rights groups that were on the balcony were egging him on to call for a vote but it never happened.

I can't say I'm surprised with my state being inept, but still thoroughly disgusted and annoyed.

Ugh.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 38905/31/2013

A vote should have been held if only to put those bastards on record for opposing marriage equality, be they hypocritical black legislators from Chicago or Republicans elected as Democrats from downstate Illinois. Minds cannot be changed if the people do not know whose minds need to be changed.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 39005/31/2013

I fucking hate this shithole Illinois and wish I didn't have to live here. It's a fucking disgrace. And don't hold out any hope for things being any different in November. They lied and lied to us saying that we had the votes and that the bill would definitely be voted on in this session, and look at what happened.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 39105/31/2013

So, the African American religious nuts basically blocked this vote because their preacher told them so? It seems like that is the case.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 39205/31/2013

The way rep. Harris made it sound these black members are going to go back to their district and talk to their constituents about this issue(let's be honest that won't happen)and come back in November and they'll vote for it. Im guessing they'll come back and make an excuse and not vote for it.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 39305/31/2013

R391 -- not so much Illinois as a whole so much as the the southern portion of the state, which really might as well be Alabama. The Democrats have a House majority, but many of them are "Blue Dog" Dems -- Dems that are fiscally liberal but socially conservative or moderate.

A member of the Black Caucus already came out after many were blaming them for holding up the vote and said that he was in favor of the bill.

The blame game is already alive and well.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 39405/31/2013

R393 Harris is full of shit. Just a few days ago he assured us he had the votes to pass it and that the bill would be brought up in this session, and of course, it turned out to be all lies.

Like I said, if it didn't happen today, it ain't gonna happen in November. They'll just delay it and delay it.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 39505/31/2013

[quote]not so much Illinois as a whole so much as the the southern portion of the state, which really might as well be Alabama.

Tell me about it - I live right in the middle of this shithole state.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 39605/31/2013

What part of IL do you live in, R391?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 39705/31/2013

For those that didn't see it earlier, here's the video of the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Harris, addressing the bill at the end of the session.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 39805/31/2013

R397 Central Illinois - in that asshole Aaron Schock's district (which tells you how bright the people are around here since they voted for him).

by The Voice of the Nightreply 39905/31/2013

LA times has a bleak prediction for equality for marriage...basically it's not going to happen anytime soon.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 40005/31/2013

Next up, the Supreme Court stepping on our throats. This should be a fun June.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 40106/01/2013

The blame should go to the gay community and orgs in IL that thought they could cram all their activism in on the final day of the session. The antigay side kicked our butts with constant organizing, rallying, lobbying, and threatening since December. We arrogantly thought their ways were too zealous and in your face, but they won. Nothing is inevitable. The people who work hardest longest win.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 40206/01/2013

As gay married man living in Connecticut, I am simply going to avoid overnight travel to states that do not have gay marriage. I am also going to recommend to all business associations that I am a part of to NOT schedule conferences in non-marriage equality states.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 40306/01/2013

Nothing is inevitable. Moreover, every gain can be rolled as. The victory goes to the group of people who work harder longer, and once the victory is attained, are eternally vigilant to keep the victory. I don't think anyone can honestly say that the pro-equality side in IL worked harder than the anti-gay side. THe anti-gay side studied their state legislators and worked hard to persuade/threaten them accordingly. They cared enough to march, rally, organize, advertise, and cajole for months and months. THey even showed up en masse at a rally to boo a republican legislator who supports marriage equality. It seems our side arrogantly thought our victory would be inevitable. Nothing is inevitable.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 40406/01/2013

Where were all the gays and allies who were in Springfield yesterday months ago, weeks ago? You can't show up in Springfield for the first time on the last day of the session and expect legislators to suddenly take you seriously. The anti-gay tide was there months ago and have made a huge racket marching, rallying, protesting, and promising retribution ever since this legislative calendar year begin. They were relentless, organized, and large in number. They made it clear early on that there would be retribution if legislators' voted against their interest.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 40506/01/2013

It's kind of surprising in a way that they didn't vote for this. When civil unions passed a couple of years ago there was very little protest except from the usual suspects. There was acceptance and people moved on or so it seemed. But then again, I do live in the Chicago area which is the most liberal parts of the state.

I don't think it's totally hopeless and maybe by November the votes will be there.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 40606/01/2013

Apparently, enough of them are terrified of primary challenges, so are holding out until the end of the year (after the filing deadline). What I don't get is why the bill made it through the Senate OK, but not the House in Illinois? I would think the proportion of fraidy cats would be roughly the same?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 40706/01/2013

Why is Illinois so different than other states? IN other states, there were pretty accurate vote tallies of which legislators were in favor, which were against, and which few were undecided. Why didn't pro-gay groups do their homework and count commitments like they did in other states? It seems gay orgs relied upon Madison and Rep Harris to do all the work. Now, egg is on their faces.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 40806/02/2013

The Supreme's decision comes out this month. And then what?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 40906/02/2013

They'll probably strike down DOMA and bring marriage equality to California, R409. Probably not a sweeping ruling, which I'm fine with frankly as I immensely enjoy the utter disbelief that the teabaggers give as each state continues to pass marriage.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 41006/02/2013

"But then again, I do live in the Chicago area which is the most liberal parts of the state."

You do realize that the Democratic bloch that screwed us was the black religious assholes from Chicago, right? I wouldn't be too proud of your liberal paradise right about now.

R410, if they strike down DOMA, the gay marriages in one state become valid in all the states. It would pretty much reinstate the full faith and credit clause as it concerns our marriages, just like it applies to straight marriages. The California case and the DOMA case are separate cases.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 41106/03/2013

Why was it acceptable to gay groups not to know how many legislators were gonna to vote for equality beforehand? In other states, gay rights groups had an accurate (within one or two vote) estimate of the voting tally based on their personal polling of the legislators. IN Illinois, gay rights groups were totally in the dark, unable to give any real specifics about the way the vote would go. Obviously, relying on Rep. Harris to get the votes was an awful strategy. And why weren't ordinary gays down in Springfield well before the last day of the session rallying and marching? They thought cramming activism in on the last day was a winning strategy?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 41206/03/2013

The part of DOMA presently under review is the one which bans Federal recognitiion of same-sex marriages. If that part is overturned, it does not automatically follow that it will be legal everywhere, and it's unlikely that this Court panel will issue that widely sweeping a ruling.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 41306/03/2013

Why didn't the Illinois and Chicago media also try to pin down votes? In other states, media did legwork and pinned down legislators to determine whether marriage equality would pass. They were very accurate. Is the media lazy i IL also?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 41406/03/2013

Marriage-equality advocates had been hoping for another big win, just weeks before the Supreme Court is scheduled to announce its decisions in the two gay-rights cases argued earlier this year. Instead, they were badly disappointed, if not stunned. It had looked since the beginning of the year as though Illinois would be the next big state—the thirteenth, and the second most populous after New York—to adopt same-sex marriage. It was anticipated as a final reminder that the country was headed inexorably toward marriage equality, right before the Supreme Court’s landmark rulings, expected on or before June 27th.

But last Friday, proving that it is still extremely difficult to get a gay civil-rights bill through a legislative body, the Illinois House, controlled seventy-one to forty-seven by Democrats, adjourned without taking the expected vote on the marriage bill. The bill had previously passed the Democratic controlled Senate and was ready for the signature of the Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, who had lobbied for it, although apparently not hard enough for it to succeed.

Representative Greg Harris, the bill’s main sponsor, who is gay, announced at the last minute that he would not bring the legislation up for a floor vote, saying that he’d been asked by a number of his Democratic colleagues to delay it until the next session in order to give the legislators more time to discuss the bill with their constituents. “I apologize to the families who were hoping to wake up tomorrow as full and equal citizens of this state,” Harris said, barely holding back tears. He said he’d been promised a positive vote in November, when the House next reconvenes—but the legislation would then have to be passed again in the State Senate. The bill had already been delayed several times during the last five months in an effort to line up votes. Governor Quinn had indicated earlier that he believed the votes for the bill were there, but that whip count seemed to collapse in the waning moments of the legislative session.

Proponents of the bill reacted with shock, quickly followed by anger and some finger-pointing. Marc Solomon, the campaign director of the national-rights group Freedom to Marry, called the situation a “disgrace.” Jim Bennett, of Lambda Legal, which is suing in Illinois over same-sex marriage, called it “a stunning failure.” There has been a standing debate among advocates about whether, in cases like this, it is best to go ahead with a vote even if it is likely that it will fail: doing so has the advantage of putting lawmakers on the record, but it may give opponents a symbolic victory. In the end, Harris decided that a loss would be worse.

What happened? The bill had the endorsement of Illinois State House alumnus Barack Obama, who, during a visit two days before the vote, said, “Here in Illinois, we’ve got a vote on same-sex marriage that’s going to be coming up in the state legislature. And I just want to say for the record it’s something that I deeply support.” Almost every high-ranking elected official in Illinois, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and Mark Kirk, who earlier this year became only the second sitting Republican Senator to support same-sex marriage. Even Bill Clinton talked up the Illinois legislation. It wasn’t enough.

The lack of a recorded vote makes it hard to say for sure who backed down. Comments from those involved varied widely as to who was to blame. Some advocates were quoted as saying that the bill failed because it lacked full support from the twenty-member Illinois House Legislative Black Caucus. While several of its members denied responsibility, public reports indicated that the bill had the support of just half of them at best. Others criticized Harris for not allowing a recorded vote. Harris blamed Governor Quinn, in part, for saying in advance that the bill had enough votes in favor for passage. Others complained that the effort lacked transparency and relied too much on private lobbyists retained by wealthy gay-rights donors. Still others blamed the House Democratic Speaker Mike Madigan for failing to deliver all of his members. He quietly moved on Friday night to extend the window for passage of the bill beyond the adjournment if a special legislative session is called, but it would still require a new concurrence in the Senate. Strangely, few of those speaking after the session blamed the bill’s main opponents in the Republican Party of Illinois and the Catholic Church, which had lobbied heavily and successfully in opposition to the bill.

All of this proves how difficult passing same-sex marriage legislation continues to be in many places, and how patience and determination have proven to be the only strategies to consistently deliver results for marriage advocates. Many states with same-sex marriage laws now in place, like New York, went through unsuccessful legislative efforts first. The situation in Illinois is the same one that New York faced: in 2009, the New York legislature rejected a bill; it finally passed in June of 2011. The failure in Illinois is a reminder of just how hard fought the New York moment was.

In Illinois, Representative Harris tried to be optimistic about the bill’s prospects when the legislature next convenes. “I have to keep my eye—as we all must—on the ultimate prize,” he said. “They have told me they will return in November and they have given me their word they will be prepared to support this legislation.”

But, by November, it will likely be a very different political landscape, one shaped by how the Justices decide the Supreme Court rulings due this month.

Richard Socarides is an attorney, political strategist, writer, and longtime gay-rights advocate. He served as White House Special Assistant and Senior Adviser during the Clinton Administration.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 41506/03/2013

New Jersey, by court decree.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 41608/15/2013

There is a major push in New Jersey to get enough votes to overturn the promised veto by the morbidly obese governor.

Watch for Hawaii to soon have marriage equality. Arizona won't be far behind.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 41708/15/2013

Not West Virginia. Only 23 percent of West Virginia’s voters support gay marriage, 70 percent said they are opposed to it. By a slim 49-48 margin, voters said they support civil unions for same sex couples while 68 percent said they think discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity should be illegal.

Public Policy Polling questioned 1,110 West Virginia voters between last Thursday and Sunday.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 41809/27/2013

It still looks like an uphill battle to get the Illinois legislature to pass marriage equality. Apparently, legislators are afraid that the anti-gay side will make good on its promise to run anti-gay candidates against Dems who vote for marriage equality.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 41910/19/2013

They will anyways, so what makes the difference?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 42010/19/2013

Illinois is such a backwards shithole. It may have the third largest city in the US, but it's still very conservative.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 42110/19/2013

The federal (Mormon) judge's anti-gay Nevada ruling was just appealed to the 9th Circuit yesterday, where I'm fairly sure he'll be overturned.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 42210/19/2013

Illinois mess

When Rep. Greg Harris rose on the Illinois House floor at the end of May to tearfully announce there weren't enough votes to pass a gay marriage bill, he said his colleagues needed the summer to mull the issue and that they told him they'd return in the fall ready to vote for it.

After months of intense efforts by advocates who led rallies, staffed phone banks and recruited clergy members and business leaders to help, there's little indication the House is prepared to vote on the measure when legislators return to Springfield this week for the start of the fall session. The proposal has passed the Senate, and Gov. Pat Quinn has vowed to sign it into law.

But opponents also spent the summer getting their message out, led by religious organizations who believe same-sex marriage is immoral and argue Illinois' proposed law would infringe on their rights.

The key hurdle is timing. Lawmakers will start filing re-election paperwork at the end of November, so casting a vote for gay marriage now would leave a month or so for challengers opposed to it to gather enough signatures to get on the March primary election ballot.

Supporters acknowledge the added difficulty, even as they pitch the issue as an opportunity for lawmakers to plant their feet on what they say is the right side of history. Advocates point to public opinion that has shifted dramatically in favor of same-sex marriage in recent years, and note the summer's landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down the definition of marriage as between a man and woman for the purpose of receiving federal benefits.

While the ruling was hailed as a major victory, gay rights advocates argue it's created a two-class system in which gay couples living in states that recognize same-sex marriage have more rights than their counterparts in states that haven't legalized gay marriage, including Illinois.

"People who want to delay can always come up with an excuse. If not today, tomorrow. If not tomorrow, the other tomorrow. But none of those excuses are valid. This is not about politics," said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois. "This is about what the majority of Illinois wants. This is about the families, about children, and all the protections they deserve."

Under the measure, the definition of marriage in Illinois would change from an act between a man and a woman to one between two people. Civil unions could be converted to marriages within a year of the law going on the books. The legislation would not require religious organizations to perform a marriage of gay couples, and church officials would not be forced to allow their facilities to be used by gay couples seeking to marry.

Religious leaders opposed say the bill doesn't go far enough to protect their rights. For example, they contend they might be forced to provide health insurance to an employee's same-sex spouse.

"I think the proponents characterize this issue as one that grants additional benefits to a select number of people: those wishing to be married," said Robert Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois. "They fail to recognize that laws affect everyone, and so the law being a blunt instrument cuts a wide swath across everybody's life, which particularly pertains to how religious organizations intersect with the public sphere."

Facing resistance from religious groups, advocates have lobbied clergy, particularly those in the African-American community where strong opposition to gay marriage remains. About a dozen clergy members gathered downtown Thursday to announce their support for the measure and "dispel the myth that African-Americans are fundamentally opposed to extending marriage freedoms to all."

"I cannot accept the notion that the guiding constellation of justice and inequality do not shine as brightly for gays and lesbians as they do for others," said the Rev. Jamie Frazier, pastor of the Lighthouse Church of Chicago.

Meanwhile, Harris, the bill's sponsor, declines to say how many lawmakers are prepared to vote for the bill. Though he and supporters insist they've been able to pick up "yes" votes, it's unclear if they have enough.

While Harris needed 60 votes in the spring, after May 31 that bar became 71. The threshold drops back to 60 after the new year or if the effective date is changed to next June. Activists are loath to wait any longer, even in the face of some political realities.

"It's the right time, and it's the right thing to do," said Harris, D-Chicago. "Momentum is in the direction of this vote."

by The Voice of the Nightreply 42310/20/2013

Fuck Illinois. I hate this state.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 42410/20/2013

People across Illinois are heading to Springfield to rally for same-sex marriage.

"March on Springfield" organizers say they're expecting several thousand people to show up for the grassroots efforts to urge law makers to pass same sex marriage.

The Illinois Senate approved the measure last February but the measure stalled in the House. According to House Speaker Michael Madigan, the measure needs about a dozen votes to pass.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Democratic Gov.. Pat Quinn are participating in the event. Gov.. Quinn has said, if the legislation is passed he'll sign it.

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 42510/22/2013

NOT Florida, if I have anything to do with it.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 42610/22/2013

Hawaii voters are split over making same-sex marriage legal in the islands, with 44 percent in support and 44 percent opposed. But support is growing.

Only a handful of residents surveyed by Civil Beat earlier this month said they hadn't made up their mind on the controversial issue.

The trend in Hawaii is similar to national polls showing growing support for gay marriage, also known as marriage equality.

When Civil Beat asked voters where they stood on the same issue in April 2012, a majority (51 percent) said they did not believe same-sex couples should have the legal right to get married. Just 37 percent felt that they did and 12 percent were undecided.

"This is the trend of the country," said Matt Fitch, executive director of Merriman River Group, which conducted The Civil Beat Poll. "It is just something that people are moving on from. I think this is becoming less of a flashpoint. Not only that, those opposed to it are less fervent as well."

Civil Beat surveyed 819 registered Hawaii voters Oct. 9-10, including cell phones and landlines. (Most respondents said they had both.) The margin of error was 3.4 percent.

Our poll comes just as the Hawaii Legislature is set to hold a special session next week that will focus on same-sex marriage legislation. Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state House and Senate Democrats, which control both chambers, believe they have the votes to pass a bill.

It's not a done deal; some Democrats and many Republicans would rather the issue be taken up during the regular legislative session that begins in January. Others would prefer that voters decide the matter through a constitutional amendment question on the ballot. Some religious organizations, including the Roman Catholic diocese in Honolulu, are vocal in their opposition to gay marriage.

The Abercrombie administration and legislators are crafting a bill that exempts clergy opposed to gay marriage from performing gay marriage ceremonies. A trickier legal question is whether church facilities used for ceremonies can also be exempted, given that Hawaii's public accommodations law says facilities that are rented for commercial use can't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

But most Hawaii lawmakers believe that Hawaii can no longer prohibit gay marriage in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark rulings this summer that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and allowed gay marriage to resume in California. With New Jersey expected to become the 14th state (as well as the District of Columbia) to allow gay marriage, Hawaii appears poised to become the 15th. What The Poll Says

More than two-thirds of respondents said they planned to vote Democrat in the Aug. 9, 2014, primary. The same number (69 percent) said they were 50 years of age or older, raising the question of whether support for gay marriage would be higher had more people under 50 been surveyed — the pattern common in national polls.

Fitch said the poll reflects that more members of the Baby Boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) are becoming more accepting of same-sex marriage.

"It is generally the case for gay marriage that time is on its side," he said.

Politically, a third of those surveyed identified themselves as "liberal" or "progressive," while another third said they were "moderate" — groups usually in support of marriage equality. Most were also college graduates.

Half the people surveyed by Civil Beat said religious beliefs do not affect their views on same-sex marriage, but about one-fourth said it was a "major" factor. Brendan Hood, a Merriman analyst, said most in that group oppose same-sex marriage.

Ethnically, 34 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as Caucasian and 34 percent said they were Japanese. Only 5 percent identified themselves as Filipino, though Filipinos comprise more than one-fourth of Hawaii's population.

Many Filipinos are Catholic, and it's not clear whether a majority of them will adhere to the dictates of Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva, who warns of dire consequences should gay marriage be legalized, or Pope Francis, who believes his flock have spent too much time obsessing over gays, abortion and contraception.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 42810/22/2013

Opponents of Same Sex Marriage Overwhelm the Capitol, but Bill Easily Passes Senate Judiciary Committee As many as 12,000 people on three islands turned out Monday, October 28, at a 5-hour rally to protest Senate Bill 1, a bill that would legalize same sex marriage in Hawaii.

Coordinated by Christian churches and family advocacy groups, the rallies were timed with the opening day of the special legislative session called by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to pass a same sex marriage bill before the end of the year.

“We estimate that 10,000 people were at the capitol yesterday to oppose Senate action,” said Jim Hochberg, president of Hawaii Family Advocates, noting rallies were also held on Maui and the Big Island, in Hilo and Kona. “That means that potentially 10,000 to 12,000 residents of Hawaii took time out of their busy schedules to show the legislature that they understand that marriage should remain between one man and one woman.”

The massive crowd chanted and waved signs that said “Let the people decide,” demanding legislators allow a public vote on the issue, and a number of religious and political leaders spoke at the event held in the capitol rotunda.

Leading up to the opening of what could be a two week special session, opponents and proponents of the bill submitted thousands of pieces of testimony in – more than 3,459 in the last few days – shutting down the email and fax lines at the capitol.The early testimony count was running about 40 percent in support of legalization, and 60 percent in opposition, according to Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee Chair Clayton Hee.

Hee oversaw the only committee hearing in the state Senate on Monday, which lasted 12 hours, before his committee voted 5-2 to pass the bill out to the full Senate for a vote of the entire body on Thursday.

Gov. Abercrombie, Attorney General David Loui, and wife of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, Linda Schatz, testified in favor of SB 1, while more than 400 others testified on both sides of the issue.

Senators Brickwood Galuteria, Malama Solomon and Les Ihara joined Chair Hee and his co-chair Maile Shimabukuro, to support the same sex marriage, while Senators Mike Gabbard and Sam Slom voted in opposition.

The bill will go before the full Senate on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., where it is expected to pass with little opposition, and cross over to the House.

The House begins its first hearing on Senate Bill 1 at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 31, Halloween.In the 51-member House, the vote should be much closer. Abercrombie maintains he has 27 votes, or one more than he needs.

Should the bill pass the House Judiciary and Finance committees, and then pass the full House without any changes to the Senate version, the bill would go to the governor for his signature within a matter of days.

Hawaii already has a reciprocal beneficiaries law and a civil unions law.

Proponents, who have held rallies of their own, albeit considerably smaller ones, argue same sex marriage is a civil rights issue and benefits them financially.

Opponents argue against the bill on moral and legal grounds. They cite a public vote during the 1998 election on a constitutional amendment that showed residents were overwhelmingly opposed to same sex marriage and want to keep marriage between one man and one woman.

Proponents note, however, that the same amendment ultimately gave power to the legislature to define marriage.

Church leaders from more than 100 organizations have also expressed concerns about SB 1, saying it will impact their religious freedoms and give same sex marriage proponents a legal avenue to bring lawsuits against them.

Meanwhile, leaders of 50 other Hawaii religious organizations have supported the same sex marriage legislation.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 42910/31/2013

Over 5,000 people have signed up to testify before the Hawaii House on marriage equality. Thus far, about 2/3 of the testimony has been from anti-gay marriage folks, most of it virulently anti-gay.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 43011/01/2013

As Hawaii's special session to consider same-sex marriage enters its second week, the state's House Judiciary and Finance committees heard the public's final testimonies today.

More than 5,000 people signed up to testify regarding Senate Bill 1, which would legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii, and the opposition's strategy has been to delay the House vote for as long as possible.

This strategy led to some questionable practices, including people testifying on behalf of others and using fake names to take more than one turn. When state officials got wind of these reports, they required Monday's testifiers to check in with a photo ID.

That mini-scandal, however, wasn't the top headline of the day.

That honor went to Tenari Maafala, the President of Hawaii’s police union and an active police officer with the Honolulu Police Department, who testified that he would never enforce a law requiring same-sex marriage.

“You would have to kill me,” he told the lawmakers.

Maafala said that same-sex marriage is contrary to his religious views and, “I stand by my beliefs."

Maafala went on to say that the state should address homelessness and drugs rather than same-sex marriage and that denying gay couples the right to marry is not discrimination if it’s against one's beliefs.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 43111/05/2013

REPORT FROM THE HOUSE MINORITY - HONOLULU – As Senate Bill 1 moves to a second vote by the full House today, House Republicans released an internal count showing overwhelming public opposition to SB 1 and urged colleagues to listen to the voice of the people. Of the written testimony published by the joint House Committee, 80 percent of testifiers opposed the bill, as did 87 percent of oral testimony.

“Again and again in the public hearing, testifiers made a valid argument that public opinion should matter in a democracy,” Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson said. “We were elected to represent the people of Hawaii, and we can’t ignore them and their concerns.”

He continued, “Considering what we heard in the five days of testimony and what I’ve heard from my community, I urge my colleagues to be sensitive to the many objections expressed in the hearing and stop SB 1. It’s not too late to support the will of the people.”

“The Legislature has never seen this level of public concern for a bill,” said Rep. Beth Fukumoto. “The numbers underscore what was echoed hundreds of times in the hearing – that the majority of local residents is not comfortable with this bill or the process that it is going through. The public is right to distrust the hasty and confusing process through which this bill is moving.”

The unofficial count found that of 10,749 unique pieces of written testimony submitted to the House, 8,556 (80%) were in opposition and 2,193 (20%) were in support. Of 1,032 oral testifiers, 895 (87%) opposed the measure and 137 (13%) supported it.

Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson serves as the House Minority Leader and Vice Chair of the House Committee on Finance. He represents the 31st House District covering Moanalua, Foster Village and Aiea. Rep. Beth Fukumoto serves as the House Minority Floor Leader and represents the 36th House District covering Mililani and Mililani Mauk

by The Voice of the Nightreply 43211/06/2013

The numerical strength and fervency of the antigay sentiment in Hawaii is shocking, especially the number of anti-gay Democrats. I didn't not know the religious right was so strong there.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 43311/09/2013

We are running out of states without state constitutional amendments that don't have marriage equality. PA, WV, WY, and NM are the only ones left. WV is not gonna happen anytime soon because of strong antigay popular sentiment, although civil unions are a possibility within the next few years. Republicans control WY, so it ain't happening there soon either. PA has a Republican legislature and governor, so if it will happen, it will happen through the courts. NM is quite likely to have marriage equality this winter through a pending NM Supreme Court decision, but it is not guaranteed. Marriage equality would have a hard time passing in the NM legislature, and the NM governor is very antigay.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 43411/09/2013

Eager to avoid the loud and lengthy protests over same-sex marriage that disrupted the Hawaii House of Representatives this week, the state Senate may act swiftly on Senate Bill 1.

Senators are considering accepting the House's amended version of SB 1 that expands religious exemptions, removes language concerning parental rights and changes the effective date to Dec. 2.

The Senate could vote on the historic legislation as early as Tuesday. That would avoid conference committee deliberations between House and Senate members and immediately send the bill to the desk of Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has championed the legislation.

The governor's signature on SB 1 would make Hawaii the 16th state, along with the District of Columbia, to legally recognize gay marriage.

"I commend the House of Representatives for taking this historic vote to move justice and equality forward," Abercrombie said in a statement after the House voted 30-19 to pass the bill late Friday night. (Two House members, who were formally excused, were absent.)

"After more than 50 hours of public testimony from thousands of testifiers on both sides of the issue, evaluating dozens of amendments, and deliberating procedures through hours of floor debates, the House passed this significant bill, which directly creates a balance between marriage equity for same-sex couples and protects our First Amendment freedoms for religious organizations," he said.

The bill could encounter snags in the Senate, but nothing like what happened in the more evenly divided House this week. Republican Sam Slom or any of the three Democratic senators who also voted "no" on SB 1 last week could mimic the stalling tactics that House opponents employed, like proposing floor amendments that were destined to fail.

The Senate, the Abercrombie administration and marriage-equality advocates have been closely following SB 1's long journey through the House. Organized — and galvanized — opposition to the legislation in and around the capitol, especially from church groups, has only grown stronger, even as the bill inched toward passage.

The fervor over the bill was evident again Friday, when the House voted on a third and final reading to approve SB 1 after 12 hours of floor deliberation and two dozen recesses. It resembled Wednesday's 11-hour session, when representatives tried to stop SB 1 by introducing multiple floor amendments, each one summarily voted down by voice and roll-call votes.

Just as on Wednesday, hundreds of people on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate were on hand. But it was the opponents who were more numerous and vocal, shouting "Let the people vote!" for hours in the Capitol Rotunda. Rising tensions prompted House Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Kuroda to craft an arrangement Thursday whereby the rotunda, the House gallery and Beretania Street were divided into equal-sized sections so both groups could do their thing, but with less risk of physical confrontation Friday.

It worked. SB 1 opponents were just as vocal as before, but there were also more rainbow-lei-wearing supporters on hand, demonstrating that they would not be intimidated in their campaign for marriage equality.

What was different about Friday's House session, however, was that it was televised by Capitol TV. The increased coverage carried the same arguments representatives made Wednesday to a broader audience.

Lawmakers' actions included proposing amendments to further expand church exemptions from the public accommodations law, allow "conscientious objectors" to refuse service to same-sex couples, let teachers opt out of teaching the "homosexual lifestyle" and permit parents to remove their children from class when that happened, and establish a task force to study marriage equality.

One by one, Republicans Gene Ward, Bob McDermott and Richard Fale spoke in favor of the amendments, joined at times by Democrats like Sharon Har and Marcus Oshiro. McDermott once again worried about Dick and Jane books forced to show Dick and Dick or Jane and Jane; Fale once again argued that Abercrombie had divided the community by ordering the special session; and Ward once again expressed concern for "mama bears" threatened by a penis entering an anus.

And one by one, all of the amendments went down to defeat. Repeatedly throughout the day someone would call for a recess — more than 20 times by 6 p.m. — when representatives would huddle to talk on the chamber floor or disappear into the Democrats' caucus room. One very long recess came in the middle of the day; it coincided with lunch.

Democrats Rida Cabanilla and Isaac Choy, both "no" votes on SB 1, were absent from Friday's session. Oshiro himself showed up late, wearing a bright aloha shirt that stood in colorful contrast to his male colleagues' dark business suits.

By the time the floor session ended around 11 p.m., most representatives seemed to have taken to heart the words of Democrat Gregg Takayama, who opened Friday's session with advice from John F. Kennedy.

To find courage to do the right thing, Kennedy said, a person "must look into his own soul. ... A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality."

Or in the words of the "great philosopher" Macklemore, a rapper whose chart-topping "Same Love" song Rep. Kaniela Ing quoted on the floor, "a piece of paper won't solve it all, but it's a damn good place to start."

by The Voice of the Nightreply 43511/09/2013

New Mexico

by The Voice of the Nightreply 43611/09/2013

Oh, I forgot that Indiana does not currently have an anti-same sex marriage amendment. However, many are working to make sure it does have one soon. And with a Republican legislature, it s very possible. At any rate, Indiana is very likely to have same-sex marriage anytime soon.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 43711/10/2013

A wave of lawsuits have been filed in courts around the nation since the Supreme Court in June overturned much of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s ban on same-sex marriage. The rulings effectively opened the floodgates to what has been a gradual push for marriage equality.

“The more people are winning, the more people are stepping up and wanting to become involved and move forward after,” says Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. “The more we make it real — the more places gay people share in the freedom to marry — the more people see with their own eyes families helped and no one hurt.”

On Aug. 1, Minnesota and Rhode Island became the 12th and 13th states to allow gay marriage. New Jersey followed suit on Oct. 21, after a judge overturned the state’s ban and Governor Chris Christie dropped his appeal of the ruling. Illinois became the 15th state (plus Washington D.C.) to approve gay marriage when lawmakers passed a bill on Nov. 5. Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign it into law on Nov. 20.

(INTERACTIVE: A Timeline of the Gay Rights Movement)

So who’s next? Here’s TIME’s guide to the states most likely to legalize gay marriage in the months ahead.

Hawaii: Any Day Now Hawaii’s House of Representatives approved a bill to legalize gay marriage on Nov. 8, and the state senate will address it this week. Approval is a given — they already passed a similar bill and only need to vote again because of an amendment to the house version. Governor Neil Abercrombie is expected to quickly sign the measure into law — which could potentially leapfrog Hawaii ahead of Illinois in the history books. Whenever that happens, many Hawaiians will have reason to celebrate: 5.1% of the population identifies as LGBT, a higher proportion than any other state with same-sex marriage legislation pending, according to Gallup. (Washington D.C., where gay marriage is already legal, has the highest proportion of LGBT residents.)

This will bring Hawaii full circle in some ways. The state Supreme Court ruled 20 years ago that Hawaii’s statute limiting marriage to heterosexual couples was discriminatory and unconstitutional. But in 1998, voters in Hawaii voted for an amendment to limit marriage licenses to same-sex couples. “Hawaii legalizing same-sex marriage will bring an end to a 20-year ordeal,” Wolfson said.

New Mexico: Possibly in Time for a New Year’s Eve Kiss This southwest state is the only one in the nation without a law that explicitly allows or bans same-sex marriage. That may soon change. The New Mexico Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the topic Oct. 23 and is expected to issue a ruling soon, likely before the end of the year. Currently, eight New Mexico counties allow gay couples to marry. More than 900 people have filed for licenses since clerks in those counties started issuing them in the past few months. Two New Mexico judges have upheld same-sex marriage under provisions of the state constitution, giving supporters reason for optimism.

But if the state’s high court does rule in favor, the fight may not be over. Some state Republicans are creating a plan to strike back by pursing a statewide constitutional referendum to ban the unions. “I think the most important thing here is no matter what [the court's] decision is, the issue will not be settled until the people speak,” state Senator Bill Sharer, a Republican who opposes gay marriage, told the Albuquerque Journal.

Oregon: Wait Until Next Election The Beaver State has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, though it does recognize ones licensed by other states. The pro-gay marriage organization Oregon United for Marriage is currently collecting signatures to get a referendum overturning that ban on the 2014 ballot.

If that happens, a majority of Oregonians are likely to back it. A poll late last year from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found that 54% of Oregonians would vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, Utah: Targeting 2016 Activists are hoping to see measures passed or court cases end in their favor in this mix of states by the end of the next presidential election cycle. Though the swing states Ohio and Pennsylvania seem less likely to move than the more liberal coastal states, same-sex marriage is gaining traction in the Midwest. “They used to say you could only win in the coast, not in the heartland,” Wolfson said. “But we’ve won in Minnesota and Iowa. With Illinois, we have 37% of American people living in a freedom-to-marry state, including states in the heartland with more to come.”

Virginia: Tell It to the Judge Same-sex marriage has been banned in Virginia since 2006, and Old Dominion also doesn’t recognize licenses from other states. But the lawyers who helped to overturn California’s ban in the high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case — David Boies and Ted Olson — agreed to represent two gay men who were denied a marriage license in Norfolk Circuit Court. Having their heft behind the case has supporters optimistic that Virginia could become the first Southern state to legalize gay marriage.

Newly elected governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, supports same-sex marriage and a majority of Virginians support a repeal of the state’s ban, according to a Washington Post poll in May. In the poll, 56% of likely voters opposed the ban, while 33% were in favor.

North Carolina: Pressing the Issue The Tar Heel state voted last year for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, which passed with 61% of the vote. Lawsuits challenging the ban have been filed, but some government officials aren’t waiting on the courts. Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger accepted applications for marriage licenses from gay couples because he said he was moved by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on DOMA. He was eventually stopped by the state’s attorney general. But support for gay marriage in the state is on the rise: a poll released in September from North Carolina–based Elon University found that 43% of North Carolinians back it, a 5% increase in seven months.

Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee: Not Anytime Soon Many cases are pending in the deep south, but it will likely be a few more election cycles before any significant changes are made in these states. In Mississippi, lawyers for a woman who is suing the state in order to divorce her wife (whom she married legally in California) have tried to reassure citizens that they are merely trying to allow gay couples married elsewhere to split, rather than seeking a backdoor to gay marriage in the state.

Same-sex marriage advocates cite a Human Rights Campaign poll this year, which found that 58% of Mississippi residents under 30 favor gay marriage, as evidence that attitudes in the state are changing. Legislation, however, remains a long shot in the short term.

Read more: Where Gay Marriage Is and Is Not Legal in America | TIME.com

by The Voice of the Nightreply 43811/10/2013

Hurry up NM

by The Voice of the Nightreply 43911/11/2013

Illinois is official. NM, you're up next!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 44011/20/2013

After NM, it will be a while before the next one.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 44111/20/2013

Oregon will happen next year by ballot. I might have posted this before, but have a relative who works in government in the capital building who thinks there's already enough public support now, and that it continues to increase.

If I ever get married, will be going up to Oregon and my nephew will officiate. He will also draw up the most stringent pre-nup known to mankind.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 44211/20/2013

Group that led charge against gay marriage changes tack. Created on Thursday, 21 November 2013 18:02 | Written by Steve Law | Print 0 Comments

Oregon Family Council files measure to protect people who decline to serve to same-sex ceremonies for religious reasons.

Oregon Family Council, the conservative Christian group that helped lead the 2004 campaign to bar same-sex marriage in Oregon, is turning its attention in a new direction.

The East Portland group filed a state ballot initiative Thursday that would guarantee the right of people and businesses to refrain from participating in or supporting ceremonies for same-sex civil unions, domestic partnerships or marriages, if those violate their religious beliefs.

The group calls the measure the Protect Religious Freedom Initiative.

The measure is a response to public penalties and lawsuits brought against bakers, florists and photographers in Oregon, Washington, Colorado and New Mexico who refused to play roles in same-sex ceremonies for civil unions, domestic partnerships or marriages, says Teresa Harke communications director for Oregon Family Council.

People who are opposed to same-sex unions are afraid to speak their mind, even when it’s based on religious convictions, Harke says. “They’ve almost been beaten down to the point where they’re afraid to speak out,” she says.

The Oregon Family Council previously established a political committee called Protect Marriage Oregon. That’s designed to be a vehicle to oppose a likely November 2014 ballot measure that would enshrine the right to same-sex marriage in the Oregon Constitution. That campaign, if successful, would reverse the 2004 constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage that Oregon Family Council championed.

However, the Protect Marriage Oregon committee is still somewhat of a placeholder group, and it’s unclear what groups will support it, and to what extent, Harke says.

“As the Oregon Family Council, our focus is going to be the Protect Religious Freedom Initiative,” she says. “That’s kind of our primary concern now.”

Some might view the shift in Oregon Family Council as further evidence that the political pendulum on gay rights has swung in Oregon.

The most recent polls show 53 percent of Oregon voters now support same-sex marriage. And religious conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage note their side was vastly outspent in the 2012 campaign in Washington, when voters approved same-sex marriage.

“They know what they’re up against, and we know what we’re up against,” Harke says.

Recent judicial decisions, including the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, have “taken the wind out of the sails of those who believe marriage is between one man and one woman,” says Tim Nashif, who led the successful 2004 campaign against gay marriage as political director of Oregon Family Council.

Nashif, who is no longer on the group's staff but still serves on its board, says the political climate is different now.

If you poll religious conservatives now, gay marriage doesn’t appear on their top list of concerns, Nashif says.

“Whatever happens in 2014, our belief in traditional marriage was extended another decade,” he says. “The next big battle is going to be religious liberties in Oregon.”

by The Voice of the Nightreply 44311/21/2013

Based on the numbers in Washington state last year, a repeal of Oregon's mini-DOMA should pass fairly easily.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 44411/21/2013

A federal judge just struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 44512/20/2013

absent court action, Oregon is likely the next state, although voters could very well disagree

by The Voice of the Nightreply 44612/23/2013

How is the suit going in North Carolina?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 44702/14/2014

There are marriage equality cases working through courts in 24 states. Most will go all the way to the Supreme Court. At that point, the Supremes could make a decision that sends marriage equality into all those states.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 44802/16/2014

The 10th Circuit Appellate panel seems split on the Utah case. Gonna be interesting to see the outcome.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 44904/14/2014

a lull

by The Voice of the Nightreply 45005/07/2014

[all posts by childish idiot removed]

by The Voice of the Nightreply 45105/07/2014

Lull over

by The Voice of the Nightreply 45205/11/2014

Friggin' Arkansas gets it before Pennsylvania????? I am filled with chagrin.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 45305/11/2014

the Federal judge in Oregon, who happens to be gay, will be making his decision by May 23rd. The state's AG, a straight woman, refused to defend the anti gay state constitution amendment voted for by the right wing Christians about 10 years ago. By all predictions the anti-gay marriage state amendment will be struck down. Besides Washington and California, Oregon is the only state that does not currently have gay marriage on the left coast. I do not believe right wing Alaska counts for anything except being the home of right winger Sarah Palin.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 45405/11/2014

31 states to go

by The Voice of the Nightreply 45505/21/2014

Wisconsin...!

On Friday, for the fifth time since winter, a judge threw out a state's ban on gay marriage and let the ruling take immediate effect, prompting a wave of confusion and celebration in Wisconsin.

(And since the last posting, several state bans have been overturned, including Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and others I can't recall as I type this...)

by The Voice of the Nightreply 45606/07/2014

What would happen if SCOTUS ends up saying there is no federal constitutional right to same sex marriage? Would states that did not appeal equality decisions then be able to end recognition of same sex marriage, such as New Jersey and Oregon?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 45706/08/2014

so, what state after Alaska?

by The Voice of the Nightreply 45810/13/2014

Alabama's ruling is stayed

by The Voice of the Nightreply 45901/26/2015

Marriages are underway today in Alabama -- but not everywhere.

Alabama's bigoted Chief Justice convinced some counties to refrain from issuing licenses for same-sex marriage. That won't last very long as other states have discovered.

by The Voice of the Nightreply 46002/09/2015

Equal marriage in Alabama is all over radio and TV news tonight. Two lesbians were the first to marry there. They got on line outside the marriage license office at 2 a.m. Congrats!

by The Voice of the Nightreply 46102/09/2015
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