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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Illinois state capitol building in Springfield.

Sponsors say vote on Illinois marriage equality bill coming in January

Sunday, December 16, 2012
The legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois could be just around the corner. The chief sponsors of a bill in the state’s General Assembly that would legalize same-sex marriage said Thursday they’d bring the legislation up for vote during the lame duck session beginning Jan. 2, or early next month. [ Read more → ]
Pope Benedict XVI

Pope condemns same-sex marriage in ‘World Day of Peace’ message

Sunday, December 16, 2012
In his global message for World Day of Peace, which takes place on Jan. 1, Pope Benedict XVI will use the opportunity to condemn same-sex marriage, which he calls a "serious harm to justice and peace." [ Read more → ]

Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed announces support for marriage equality

Sunday, December 16, 2012
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has announced his support for marriage equality by signing a resolution sponsored by councilman Alex Wan and passed by the City Council on Dec. 3. [ Read more → ]

U.S. Supreme Court sets briefing schedule for DOMA lawsuit

Sunday, December 16, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court has announced the schedule for submitting legal briefs in pending DOMA litigation, making the deadline for the first round of such documents Jan. 22. [ Read more → ]

Poll: Support for marriage equality sees 21-point jump in last eight years

Friday, December 14, 2012
Support for marriage equality has increased by 21 points over the last eight years, according to a new Hart/McInturff poll for NBC News/Wall Street Journal. [ Read more → ]
Daryl Metcalfe

Pennsylvania lawmaker to reintroduce anti-gay marriage amendment

Friday, December 14, 2012
A Pennsylvania state lawmaker said he plans to reintroduce legislation aimed at a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman, as well as outlaw same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. [ Read more → ]
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio)File photo by Michael Key, Washington Blade

House GOP agrees to $500K hike in cost cap to defend DOMA

Friday, December 14, 2012
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has pledged to continue defending of the Defense of Marriage Act at the Supreme Court as a newly public contract reveals House Republicans secretly agreed to raise the cost cap for doing so to $2 million. [ Read more → ]

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 → ]
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