News (USA)

Conflict brewing over marriage equality in Democratic Party Platform

There’s disagreement over marriage equality in the Democratic Party platform, with some party members resisting the move. We have a date for arguments in a new federal case to overturn Nevada’s marriage ban. And an Iowa judge who upheld marriage equality has support from across the political spectrum, but is it enough to protect him from a new attack by anti-gay groups?

This week’s Marriage News Watch report is here:

Following is the transcript of this week’s report:

We’re one step closer to seeing the freedom to marry in the official Democratic Party platform. Last weekend the platform committee unanimously voted in favor of the plank. Committee Co-Chair and Newark Mayor Cory Booker told reporters, “the 14th Amendment is very clear — equal protection under the law.”

But some party members are resisting the move. Utah Gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke cited his Mormon faith as influencing his decision to oppose marriage equality.

A Reno judge has set a date for arguments in a case to overturn Nevada’s marriage ban. The lawsuit was filed in federal court by Lambda Legal, which will present oral arguments on November 26th. Lambda claims that Nevada’s ban creates an arbitrary “selective bar,” which violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

There’s a judicial showdown shaping up in Iowa, where anti-gay activists have launched a campaign to unseat a judge who overturned the state’s marriage equality ban in 2009. Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins joined his colleagues in unanimously upholding the freedom to marry. Now he faces a retention vote this November. But despite the anti-gay backlash, Wiggins is supported by a broad coalition of Democrats and Republicans.

That’s not the only big election battle on the horizon.

The organization Freedom to Marry has raised three million dollars for state ballot measures, two months ahead of a deadline that they established last March. At least a third of that money came from Republican donors. The funds will go toward races in Maine, Minnesota, and Washington state.

That’s in addition to a million dollars in contributions from the Human Rights Campaign.

LGBT activists: Proposed GOP platform ‘out-of-step’ with mainstream American values

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