Tag Archives: same-sex marriage

Freedom on the march

30 Jun

It's funny 'cause it's true:

Spain just legalized gay marriage, as well as the right for gay couples to adopt and share inheritance rights.

God, the dominoes are just flopping one-by-one, aren't they. It's like the rise of Communism, only instead of millions of people dying, a bunch of right-wing Americans just whine a lot.

Link: Freedom on the march

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22 Jul

I was watching C-SPAN during the vote on HR 3313, which amends the Defense of Marriage Act thusly:

No court created by Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, section 1738C or this section.

Does it strike anyone as desperation that the Republicans are trying to remove the courts' jurisdiction over DOMA?

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Comment on the defeat of FMA

15 Jul

I've been rather silent on the issue of same-sex marriages since its domination of the media a few months back. My silence has to do with the simple fact that after getting very worked up on the matter, I have realized that it doesn't get me too worked up when the appoinents of same-sex marriage do something new. It isn't to say that I don't think it is important, just that I know my view point will eventually win so I just don't need to worry about it.

Take yesterday's "temporary defeat" of the Federal Marriage Amendment in the Senate. It is as close to a total victory for pro-gay marriage forces as they are likely to see in Congress. The issue is not dead because conservative forces in Congress will keep pushing for it, but like the amendment to ban the burning the flag, it simply will never have sufficient support to pass. A slim (and shrinking) majority of the public support it anyway. Some polls even show that only a plurality of the public supports the FMA, while still not backing full marriage rights. In short, the issue will remain a state issue for the conceivable future. The resolution of the issue will take time and I don't see a reason to waste my typing on the issue. Conservatives won't let themselves suffer a similar defeat in the near future and advocates aren't likley to see any major victories either. So, perhaps as surprised as some of you, gay-marriage isn't an issue that really is all that terrifying either way.

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America can be decent

16 May

It's been a while since I posted anything on the growing movement towards the legalization of same-sex marriage in the US. On Monday, Massachusetts will become the first state to recognize same-sex marriages. One would think that this would have energized the Christian right, but the New York Times reports that backers of a gay marriage ban are struggling to get a response from the public:

Just four months after an alliance of conservative Christians was threatening a churchgoer revolt unless President Bush championed an amendment banning same-sex marriage, members say they have been surprised and disappointed by what they call a tepid response from the pews.

Most of the groups supporting the proposed federal constitutional amendment concede that it appears all but dead in Congress for this election year.

Perhaps there is greater decency in the public then I thought (or if you swing the other way, greater moral depravity). Either way, I'm glad that same-sex marriage has shown to be a much less important issue then it first appeared to be. We might just be able to handle it as a political hot potato in a democratic way. And congratulations to all the future happy couples in Massachusetts.

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Oh Danny Boy

5 Mar

Crooked Timber: The Gay Divorcee

Divorce was declared illegal in Ireland by the Constitution of 1937. A referendum to repeal the ban was proposed in 1986 and soundly defeated. Almost two-thirds of the electorate voted against it. In November 1995 a second divorce referendum was put to the country. That one passed, by a margin of just over nine thousand votes in a total valid poll of 1.62 million. I had just started graduate school at Princeton that Autumn and remember the slightly frozen expressions of fellow grad students when I told them about the constitutional debate raging at home. Most of them were under the impression that Ireland was an advanced capitalist democracy located in Europe, fabled continent of liberal attitudes toward sex and generous social provisions for all. I decided not to upset them further with stories of my college years, which coincided with the time of the Great Condom Wars in Ireland.1

The rhetoric of the Irish divorce debate is strikingly similar to what we’re hearing today about gay marriage in the United States.

Legalizing divorce is far more "treating" to society then same-sex marriage and the fact that Ireland survived suggests the fear that we are at the cusp of the collapse of Western Civilization is unfounded.

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Oregon joins the club

4 Mar

Gay Marriage Licenses Coming to Oregon

I was wondering when this was going to happen. This could be the most significant challenge to the ill/legality of same-sex marriages so far outside Massachusetts because Oregon does not have a mini-DoMA like California, Oregon's domestic relations law is almost genderless (although not totally), and state law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation. If Oregon had California's courts this would be a done deal, but I suspect without legislative action same-sex marriages will be upheld.

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New Mexico: The next battleground state?

20 Feb

Buried at the bottom of an AP story about San Francisco's law suit against the state of California over same-sex marriage is this tidbit about New Mexico:

Meanwhile, New Mexico's Sandoval County said it will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it had no legal grounds to refuse them.

New Mexico law defines marriage as a civil contract between contracting parties and does not mention gender.

"This office won't say no until shown it's not permissible," said Victoria Dunlap, county clerk of Sandoval County, which is home to 90,000 people just north of Albuquerque.

This is a case where the courts would pretty much have to say that any action by the state, aside from changing the law itself, that prevented same-sex couples from getting married was a violation of the 14th amendment since it would be discrimination in application of an existing law. A good example would be giving everyone a tax credit to anyone having dependent children and then having the state only give it to families with two parents. Why hasn't anyone thought of exploiting a loophole like this one before and are there any other states that define marriage as a civil contract that do not mention gender?

UPDATE: Here's a link to the law in question.

UPDATE II: Looks like they have to also recognize same-sex unions from other countries, like Canada:

All marriages celebrated beyond the limits of this state, which are valid according to the laws of the country wherein they were celebrated or contracted, shall be likewise valid in this state, and shall have the same force as if they had been celebrated in accordance with the laws in force in this state.

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