Marriage Equality

Since 2000, 16 countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, Uruguay) have legalized same-sex marriage, as have parts of Mexico. In the United Kingdom, the law legalizing same-sex marriage in England and Wales takes effect March 29, 2014.

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 17 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois*, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington), and in the District of Columbia. (*Illinois same-sex marriage law takes effect on June 1, 2014. Same-sex marriage was legal in Utah for 17 days following federal court ruling striking down that state’s gay marriage ban. Marriage equality in Utah is on hold pending appeal.)

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Donors supporting marriage equality in 2012 dwarfed those who opposed It

Thursday, December 13, 2012
The number of contributors who gave in support of marriage for gay and lesbian couples was thirteen times greater – about 133,000 compared to an estimated 10,500 - than those giving financial resources to oppose marriage equality, according to an analysis by the Human Rights Campaign of donors to the four states with marriage equality on the ballot this year. [ Read more → ]
Thea Spyer (left) and Edith Windsor

Joy trumps jurisprudence in gay marriage case

Thursday, December 13, 2012
One of two cases that the Supreme Court has decided to hear in the coming year will challenge the Defense of Marriage Act. Although this is ostensibly a legal case, it is really about competing narratives – and there is nothing same-sex marriage opponents offer that comes close to the touching tale of Edie Windsor and her deceased wife Thea Spyer. Their struggle not only tugs at the heartstrings, it transforms the heart into a marionette, dancing merrily to sappy love songs. This case screams out for fair resolution, and the court runs the risk of delegitimizing itself as draconian and doctrinaire if it denies this couple justice. [ Read more → ]

Uruguay poised to legalize same-sex marriage; lower house approves law by wide margin

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Uruguay moved a step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage on Tuesday after lawmakers in its lower house of Congress approved a single law governing marriage for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. [ Read more → ]

Five questions as U.S. Supreme Court considers marriage cases

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
In the wake of last week’s announcement that the Supreme Court will hear lawsuits challenging California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, observers over the next several months will wait on pins and needles for what may be the most significant ruling on LGBT rights in history. [ Read more → ]
Vicki C. Jackson

U.S. Supreme Court asks Harvard law professor to argue DOMA question

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
The Supreme Court on Tuesday chose a Harvard professor of constitutional law, Vicki C. Jackson, to argue that the Court does not have the authority to rule on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. [ Read more → ]
File photo by Michael Key, Washington Blade

54 groups call on Obama to take action for bi-national couples

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
A total of 54 LGBT and immigration advocacy groups are teaming up to make a renewed call on the Obama administration to take action on behalf of bi-national same-sex couples in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to take up litigation challenging DOMA. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.)

Illinois governor hopes marriage equality bill goes forward next month

Monday, December 10, 2012
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn told reporters Monday he hopes Illinois lawmakers will send a marriage equality bill to his desk during the early January lame duck session. [ Read more → ]
Ted OlsonFile photo by Michael Key, Washington Blade

Prop 8 attorneys confident court will strike down marriage ban

Monday, December 10, 2012
The organizers behind the lawsuit challenging California’s Proposition 8 are excited and optimistic about the prospects for a Supreme Court ruling against the anti-gay measure as one attorney on the team said he hopes the Obama administration will assist in the effort. [ Read more → ]

‘A great, joyous day:’ Marriage equality comes to Washington state

Sunday, December 9, 2012
Washington state's historic marriage equality law took effect Sunday, and beginning just one minute past the stroke of midnight, the first same-sex couple took their vows. [ Read more → ]
Larry Duncan and Randell Shepherd.Photo © Meryl Schenker, ZUMA Press

‘Bearded Love’ — Everyday couples is what marriage equality looks like

Friday, December 7, 2012
When the first same-sex weddings in Washington state commence on Sunday, among them will be Seattle-area residents Larry Duncan and Randell Shepherd. [ Read more → ]

West Virginia refuses drivers license to legally married same-sex spouse

Friday, December 7, 2012
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- It's been a year since Cynthia Landis married her partner, Melissa Landis, in the District of Columbia, and since that time Cynthia's legal last name has been Landis -- in fact, it now says so on her Social Security card, her District of Columbia marriage certificate and her Virginia driver's license. [ Read more → ]

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Proposition 8, DOMA cases

Friday, December 7, 2012
In a surprise development, the U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that it will review both the Proposition 8 case concerning a statewide ban on same-sex marriage and a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case concerning a ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriages. [ Read more → ]
Michael Peroutka

HRC: Top anti-gay marriage donor in Maryland is ‘active white supremacist’

Friday, December 7, 2012
The Human Rights Campaign on Thursday called on the Maryland Marriage Alliance to return a $10,000 donation by Michael Peroutka, an alleged active white supremacist and secessionist sympathizer who was one of the three largest individual donors to the campaign against marriage equality in Maryland. [ Read more → ]

By stroke of Governor’s pen, Maryland begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Thursday, December 6, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Thursday morning signed a proclamation affirming that voters had approved a marriage equality ballot question last month, and with the stroke of his pen, gave the green light to marriage officials to begin issuing marriage applications to same-sex couples. [ Read more → ]

Washington state begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Thursday, December 6, 2012
At just one minute after midnight Thursday, Washington state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple, becoming the first of three states to do so in the coming weeks after voters approved marriage equality measures on Nov. 6. [ Read more → ]

Mexico Supreme Court strikes down ban on same-sex marriage

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The Supreme Court of Mexico on Wednesday issued a unanimous ruling in favor of three same-sex couples seeking to marry in the southern state of Oaxaca, paving the way for universal marriage rights throughout Mexico. [ Read more → ]

Election results certified; gay marriage in Washington state legal at midnight

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday certified the state's election result, and in doing so signed into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state. [ Read more → ]

Atlanta city council passes resolution supporting same-sex marriage

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
The Atlanta city council on Monday approved a resolution supporting marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, despite Mayor Kasim Reed's previously stated opposition to same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Linda Harvey

Linda Harvey: Gay marriage will teach kids to enter into gay relationships

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
On her daily radio commentary on Monday, Linda Harvey of "Mission America" sought to understand and explain why marriage equality won at the polls for the first time in last month's election, and the best she could come up with was that gay rights activists are skilled at misleading people while anti-gay activists just haven't been blunt enough about the threat that homosexuality poses to our society through encouraging kids to become gay ... or something: [ Read more → ]

Maine could begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Dec. 29

Monday, December 3, 2012
AUGUSTA, Maine -- Maine's same-sex marriage law is expected to take effect on December 29, and it's likely that that some marriage licenses will be issued on that date, even though it falls on a Saturday. [ Read more → ]

U.S. Supreme Court: No action Monday on Proposition 8, DOMA cases

Monday, December 3, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday released added orders from its Friday Conference, but the list did not include any on the ten cases dealing with the same-sex marriage issue. [ Read more → ]
Douglas Gansler

Maryland AG: Same-sex marriage licenses can be processed now for New Year’s Day weddings

Sunday, December 2, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, MD -- Marriage officials in Maryland can begin processing marriage applications for same-sex couples, allowing them to wed on New Year's Day, according to an opinion by the state's Attorney General. [ Read more → ]

Court denies anti-gay groups’ efforts to intervene in Ill. marriage equality lawsuit

Friday, November 30, 2012
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall rejected motions to intervene in the trial challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage Friday by two anti-gay churches and the Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay hate group. [ Read more → ]
US Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court takes no action on same-sex marriage cases

Friday, November 30, 2012
The Supreme Court, after taking most of the day to prepare new orders, took no action Friday on the ten same-sex marriage cases now on the docket. It did agree to rule on whether taking a human gene out of the body is a process that can be patented. It also agreed to rule on legal protection for makers of generic drugs. [ Read more → ]
Judge Robert C. Jones

Federal judge in Nevada denies challenge to state’s ban on same-sex marriage

Thursday, November 29, 2012
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- A federal judge in Nevada has rejected a lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of eight gay couples challenging the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
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