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Marriage News Watch

Clooney takes a stand for gay marriage; study says marriage equality makes you 13% healthier

Monday, December 19, 2011

George Clooney takes a stand for marriage equality with his latest role. A new study connects anti-gay marriage laws to cardiovascular disease. Republican voters increasingly favor marriage equality, but this week several presidential frontrunners had some particularly unpleasant things to say about LGBTs.

And after a year of monetary and staffing battles, there’s fresh conflict in Maryland.

This week’s Marriage News Watch is here:

Following is the text of Matt Baume’s video report:

How’d you like to be 13% healthier? A new study this week indicates that states with marriage equality see 13% fewer health care visits and 14% lower health care costs. There’s a marked decrease in ailments related to blood pressure and depression, likely the result of reduced stress.

The link between marriage equality and public health is well-known. The American Medical Association says “exclusion from civil marriage contributes to health care disparities,” the American Psychoanalytic Association says that “anti-homosexual bias negatively affects mental health,” and the American Academy of Pediatrics says that many of the health risks borne by non-heterosexual youth are primarily due to societal stigma.

One source of that exclusion, bias, and stigma: political leaders who refuse to stand up for equality. This week Mitt Romney proposed a bizarre three-tiered marriage system to withhold marriage from LGBT families. He’s joined by Rick Santorum, who claimed that the country’s declining marriage rate is somehow the gays’ fault; and serial husband Newt Gingrich, who this week suggested that being gay is a choice.

But these Republican frontrunners are increasingly out-of-step with their constituents and growing factions within their own party. A New York Times survey of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa shows 58% favor legal recognition for LGBT couples. And in Colorado, a group of conservative Republicans lawmakers plans to launch a campaign for marriage equality called Coloradans for Freedom. A civil unions bill is expected in the state in 2012, with support for civil unions polling at around 72%.

Polling’s somewhat more mixed in Montanawhere 62% support legal recognition, but still just 37% support marriage.

There was a flurry of activity at state equality organizations this week. Marriage Equality USA merged with Marriage Equality New York; and Equality California is bouncing back from widespread staff departures with new team members announced to lead public education and legislative work.

There’s trouble brewing in Maryland, where the national organization Freedom to Marry has sounded serious alarm bells about an upcoming marriage equality campaign. Legislators will attempt to pass a marriage bill in 2012, but Freedom to Marry has concerns that equality organizers are unprepared to defend the law if anti-gay groups launch a referendum.

Polling in Maryland has fluctuated over the last year. In January of 2011, a marriage bill was favored 51 to 44 percent. But this past October, those numbers had flipped, with 49 percent opposed to 48 in favor.

As we’ve seen before, voters can be misled by anti-gay groups, which is why we continue to suffer losses when fundamental rights are put up to a popular vote. But equality advocates are finding increasing success by pursuing protections in court.

On Friday of last week one of the country’s leading lawsuits against DOMA had a hearing in a San Francisco District Court.The case is Golinski versus the Office of Personnel Management, and it’s still many months — or possibly years — away from a conclusion. But Friday’s proceedings were encouraging, with the judge asking tough questions of the anti-gay lawyers hired by House Speaker John Boehner.

And finally this week, George Clooney signed on to the LA premier of “8,” Dustin Lance Black’s play about the Prop 8 trial. The curtain goes up on March 3rd at the Wilshire Ebell Theater.

Those are the headlines — join us over at for more on all these stories and more. And head on over to to sign up for breaking news alerts right on your wall. We’ll see you next week.

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Filed under: Around the USA

11 more reader comments:

  1. i don’t need George Clooney’s approval to marry whom I choose!

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 8:05am
  2. how is it that the gop demands smaller government then has to regulate what goes on in someone’s bedroom?

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 8:16am
  3. What does George Clooney have to do with who marries who? He isn’t even married!

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 8:19am
  4. Ok, Stress is the killer not marriage equality. Do I believe that homosexual couples should have legal marriages, absolutely. Do I think using manipulated statistics in order to achieve that goal, no. It just makes the entire movement sound flippant and self concerned. That has been the problem right along with the WASP nation, why would the LGBT nation want to follow in their footsteps. Come on people, you can get a statistical average on just about anything.

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 8:33am
  5. It’s not like marriage equality can afford to kick friends & supporters in the face. It’s not a fait accompli yet, & it’s certainly far from being protected on the federal level.So, NO, one DOESN’T need Mr. Clooney’s permission to marry whom one chooses; but, YES, it’s a good idea NOT to alienate people who carry clout & are willing to use it in support of the cause.

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 9:02am
  6. If anyone thinks anti-gays are lost on the idea that they are killing us in every way they can, think again. Yes, they are fully aware that stress kills. This is why the bully program starts in childhood and doesn’t end until the last breath expelled in a nursing home or on the street. Their effort is to keep our lives as as short as possible.

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 10:53am
  7. It’s always nice to have another supporter, though.

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 2:36pm
  8. They aren’t manipulated statistics. It’s been known for decades that people with lower stresses have healthier lives. That’s why people who are sick but have pets do better then those who are sick and don’t. What they are trying to say is having the stresses included with not having full rights in the country lowers the health of LGBT people, and having those stresses taken away effects us positivly.

    Its part of the reason why some sciantests think Black people have higher miscarage rates and heart disease. It all comes back to how the stresses of your life effect the body’s chemistry.

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 2:44pm
  9. I agree with Jokie …. The ole saying what may break us just makes us stronger ….

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 3:53pm
  10. Politics is about power & money. If gay marriage campains get involed in politics, here is one question “is this campaign genuine or desperate?”

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 7:28pm
  11. Equality

    Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 8:22pm