When the rights of a few citizens are denied or taken,
the rights of
all are in jeopardy.- Lowell Greenberg
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Same Sex Marriage/Domestic Partnership
"Wear a white ribbon in support of marriage equality for
couples. The ribbon is like the red one for AIDS awareness.
We are hoping this will put the words “marriage equality” on everyone’s lips,
bringing us all closer to FULL equality."- Glenn Amoroso & Keith Charbonneau
"Because marriage is a basic human right & an individual
RESOLVED, the State should not interfere with same-gender couples who
choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities,
& commitment of civil marriage." -
Sign the Marriage
"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge
or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state
deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of
law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws,"- U.S.
Constitution 14th amendment: the true marriage amendment
“Today, Spanish society is responding to a group of people who
for years have been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, their dignity
offended, their identity denied and their freedom restricted. Today, Spanish
society grants them the respect they deserve, recognizes their rights, restores
their dignity, affirms their identity, and restores their liberty... We are not
the first [country to legalize same-sex marriage] and I am sure we will not be
the last.” - Spanish Prime
Minister José Luis Zapatero addressing the Congress of Deputies which voted to
legalize full same-sex marriage and adoption, June 30, 2005.
"Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his Letter From Birmingham
Jail in 1963
that “I had…hoped the white moderate would reject the myth concerning
time in relation to the struggle for freedom…. [Some were arguing that
civil rights needed to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’] Such an attitude
stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely rational notion
that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all
ills.…Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through
the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God, and without
this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.
We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always
ripe to do right.” -
Jacques, former head of the Human Rights
Campaign, The Advocate, 1/7/2005. Also:
"Separate is not equal. That was the fundamental message Chief
Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court delivered in the historic 1954
decision in Brown v. Board of Education..."
"Long discredited, "separate but equal" is rearing its head in the
same-sex-marriage debate, in the form of a proposal to restrict gays and
lesbians to civil unions..."
"Yet, at bottom, the flaw in the "separate but equal" marriage proposal is the
same as that identified by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Brown case. Denying
gays and lesbians the right to marry (while permitting them to enter into
relationships that bear all the legal attributes of marriage) can only be based
on the discriminatory assumption that gays and lesbians are unworthy to
participate in the legal and social institution of marriage."-
Civil union is not real
marriage: Patrick Monahan, dean of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University,
Update: US Senate Approves DADT Repeal! 12/18/2010
In a historic vote Saturday morning that seemed highly improbable
just weeks earlier, the U.S. Senate approved a stand-alone bill
63-33 to repeal the military’s 17-year-old ban on lesbians and gays
serving openly in the military. The U.S. House of Representatives
passed the same piece of legislation earlier this week, and the bill
is now headed to President Barack Obama’s desk for signature.
Comment: This repeal is a a significant
advancement of LGBT rights in the United States- yet there is still
much more to be done. Stiffer laws against hate crimes, much better
protections for transgender citizens, LGBT marriage- with all of the
benefits and rights conferred on opposite sex married couples,
protection against bullying and harassment in schools and the work
place, access to spouse health care plans and retirement benefits-
in other words: full legitimacy in the eyes of the law and society.
Same Sex Marriage/Domestic
Partnership in Oregon
Oregonians approved Measure 36, a Constitutional Amendment that
defined marriage as “between one man and one woman.”
With marriage constitutionally precluded for families headed by
same-sex couples, Oregonians sought to identify a different way to
offer those families some measure of security. A panel of business,
faith and community leaders was appointed by Governor Kulongoski to
explore the issue. Based on their recommendations, the Oregon Family
Fairness Act (HB 2007) and Oregon Equality Act (SB 2) were introduced
in Salem in early 2007.
The Oregon Family Fairness Act created
for same-sex couples and their families, while the Oregon Equality Act
remedied the discrimination that gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender Oregonians experienced at work, in housing and public
accommodation (such as hotels and restaurants) and in other important
Both bills passed the Legislature with bipartisan support. In May
2007, Governor Kulongoski signed them into law into a law. Both laws
are supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2008."-
Basic Rights Oregon
Court Rules, and Now It is Time to Take Action: Words from
Evan Wolfson at Freedom
"Today the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that the courageous local
officials who moved last year to end discrimination in marriage
regrettably lacked the authority to take action as they did. The
Court turned on deficiencies not in the couples, nor in the impulse of
many non-gay and gay Oregonians to fight for equality, but, rather, in
the current discriminatory law.
Here's what today's narrow, technical Supreme Court ruling did not
The love we saw in those 3000 couples who came forward to marry,
surrounded in joy and celebration by their children, parents,
relatives, friends, and neighbors. These committed same-sex couples,
gay and lesbian Oregonians, are not going to vanish.
The personal commitment each one of those couples has made in their
lives. These Oregonians are doing the hard work of marriage in their
lives -- caring for one another, dreaming dreams, pooling resources,
building lives together, raising children, worrying about aging
parents, fighting over who takes out the garbage, juggling who's going
to drop the kids off at soccer.
The moral obligation of government not to put obstacles in the path
of people seeking to care for one another, but, rather, to treat all
people equally, protect all families, and support our common human
aspirations for liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness with
our loved ones. Current law falls short of the fairness and duty of
care that mark a free and good society.
No, neither the court ruling nor the recent discriminatory
constitutional amendment could take away the love, commitment, and
values at stake in this long-haul civil-rights battle to end exclusion
from marriage and equal protections for families.
What the court ruling did take away for today, though, was the legal
commitment the couples sought to undertake through marriage, just like
other Americans, to match the personal commitment in their lives. The
court said that the county lacked the authority to issue marriage
licenses to these committed couples and -- until the new
discriminatory constitutional amendment restricting marriage to
different-sex couples is removed – same-sex couples may not exercise
the freedom to marry that is a birthright of all Americans.
Couples willing to make a commitment in life deserve a commitment in
law as well. The Supreme Court's ruling further underscores that
Oregon must move now to provide these families with the protections
and security we all deserve -- and if for now it is not going to be
marriage, then it must be the next best thing, a parallel legal
structure of responsibilities, rules, and respect . Governor Ted
Kulongoski was right yesterday to call on the legislature to act
immediately to meet this "great moral challenge" by enacting the civil
union law (SB 1000) proposed by a bipartisan group of senators and
supported by a coalition led by Basic Rights Oregon. Surely Oregonians
do not want to continue to subject their gay neighbors to a cruel
catch-22, saying that family protections can only be obtained through
marriage, and you may not marry.
The couples who married last year remain married in their hearts. They
didn't use up the marriage licenses available in Oregon last year, and
no one is any better off today because their legal marriages were
taken away. Oregon's legislators must begin to cure the injustice and
injury by making available to these couples the tangible legal and
economic duties and obligations families need to get through crises as
well as the ordinary ups and downs of life.
If not marriage now, then, for now, civil union. There is no other
moral way to move forward. The couples have shown their commitment in
love and caring. Are Oregon's representatives equally committed to all
families and fairness?"
Update March 25, 2005
On March 3,2005, one year after Multnomah county's
historic decision to allow same-sex marriage, nearly 1,000 Oregonians went
to the State Capitol to lobby for fairness and equality for all Oregonians.
In the words of Roey Thorpe, the Director of Basic Rights Oregon:
"One year ago today, we stood in the rain and we believed.
We believed in each other. We believed in our state and our country. We had
hope and we were fueled by the promise of our dreams.
Here we are one year later. We have been up. We have been down. We have won
and we’ve lost. People might think that we are defeated, but we are not! We
have never given up! We will never give up! We are not going away!
We’re here. We deserve to be here. We’re here today to say this is our
Oregon too. We are here for ourselves, for our children and our
grandchildren because we dare to dream of a state where love trumps fear,
where honesty never bows under the weight of secrets, where silence borne of
shame has no place.
We dream of an Oregon—OUR Oregon—where people do not leave the places they
grew up and the families they love because they are unable to live a lie.
Our Oregon is an Oregon where young people never question whether life is
worth living, where faith comforts but does not condemn, where the gifts
that each of us has to offer can be used and appreciated, where difference
is honored instead of reviled.
Prejudice has no place in this Oregon—in OUR Oregon. Bigotry and judgment
are no where to be found. Families are not torn apart, employees feel fully
confident in their value, people live in their neighborhoods and communities
and are never afraid to leave their homes or be seen with the person they
In OUR Oregon, civil rights are for all of us and don’t depend on your zip
code. In our Oregon, fairness and equality shine even when the sun does not.
We are here today. We are parents, neighbors, teachers, grandparents,
clergy, students and taxpayers and we are voters. We are here to say that
this is our Oregon too!
You know, the modern gift for a first anniversary is a clock and that is
especially appropriate today because our time has come.
This is our moment in time and we are not going away. We have waited long
enough for the simple equality and fairness that our state should offer
every Oregonian and we ask every person in our state who shares our vision
of fairness, of equality, of unity and above all our vision of love, to
stand with us, demand that the
Oregon Basic Fairness Act be passed and that civil unions become
the law—demand justice and equality for all!"
1/31/05: Basic Rights Oregon Attorneys File Lawsuit Challenging
Constitutionality of Measure 36 Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
"Basic Rights Oregon attorneys filed a lawsuit today on behalf of Oregon
voters challenging the constitutionality of Measure 36, a constitutional ban
on same-sex marriage approved by Oregon voters on November 2, 2004."
Commentary: Given the aftermath of the Amendment 36 vote in
Oregon (see below), I praise Basic Rights Oregon for issuing a state
constitutional challenge that I believe is sound and will prevail in the
courts- Lowell Greenberg
On November 2, 2004, the state of Oregon officially made LGBT people
second class citizens by passing Amendment 36 to the Oregon Constitution,
banning same sex marriage. The sense of loss in our community is
deep. As a community we feel disenfranchised and used.
Mississippi and Montana just banned same-sex marriage as
well. Michigan joined Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, N. Dakota, Oklahoma and
Utah in also banning civil unions and domestic partnerships. Ohio,
the schizophrenic swing state, went even further. Buckeye voters, by a 3-2
margin, prevents granting any benefits to same-sex partners-that means even
if a company wanted to provide domestic partner benefits, it probably can’t.
Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) waged a
Campaign to defeat Amendment 36 that had over 9,000 volunteers; reached a quarter of a million voters and raised over 2.8 MILLION dollars from
nearly 10,000 individual contributors.
I am proud of the money, blood, sweat and tears contribution
made by the BRO staff and national groups such as the
Human Rights Commission and the
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.
I am proud of the many supportive LGBT and straight citizens
in Oregon & throughout the country who openly opposed the Amendment and
supported our community.
I am proud of the contributions and sacrifices I and my many
wonderful gay and straight friends made to the Campaign. Over the course of
the Campaign, I lost my job, had signs vandalized and had the air taken out
of my car tires. During the Campaign I spoke and raised money at house
parties, individually contributed, canvassed, volunteered at fund raisers,
manned the phone bank, wrote on the subject and stood for what I believed.
I am proud of the courageous stand taken
by Multnomah County Oregon Commissioners Diane Linn, Maria Rojo de Steffey,
Serena Cru & Lisa Naito that allowed 3,022 couples to be married in
Multnomah County (Portland, Oregon) last Spring.
I am proud of Benton County Oregon
Commissioners Linda Modrell, Jay Dixon and Annabelle Jaramillo for the
courageous stand they took in banning all marriage in Benton until Oregon
courts ruled on the legality of same-sex marriage.
The fight has just begun and the struggle may be long
and arduous. Below is a statement from Roey Thorpe, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon.
WE WILL NOT
GIVE UP: WORDS FROM ROEY THORPE
I know this is a hard time for all of us.
This has been an amazing year of highs and lows, victories and defeats. Many
of us felt the joy of marrying our long-time partners this year. And now we
know the pain of having the right to that marriage put to a public vote.
But let me tell you, this is not the way to decide social policy - the
Constitution was designed exactly for the purpose of preventing the rights
of a minority from being determined by the whims of a majority.
The very notion that our Constitution can be changed to deny rights to a
minority with a vote of a simple majority of those who turn out is
ludicrous. We have higher standards for passing a school bond levy.
No matter what our opponents say, this is not a mandate on the rights of gay
and lesbian people.
Polls show that 80% of Oregonians support protecting gays and lesbians. But
in this short campaign cycle, Oregonians didn't have time to fully digest
the true consequences of this amendment and how it will hurt gays and
lesbians and our families. We will not give up.
Many states lost tonight far worse than we did. To come as close as we did
is certainly a moral victory. But this loss is harder on us in Oregon. In
part, it's harder because after defeating three statewide ballot measures,
we know what it feels like to win.
But it's also harder for us because we know more than any other state that
faced this amendment this year WHAT WE ARE BEING DENIED.
So many of us have made huge sacrifices for the right to be equal and the
right to have our relationships recognized, or to help others take their
rightful place in our state.
And we aren't going to let tonight's defeat stop us.
Here's what I know: you don't get civil rights by sitting around waiting for
them to fall in your lap. You don't get them without sacrifice and risk and
pain. We are paying that price now. This is a painful setback. But on the
road to equality and freedom, there are always setbacks. There are always
sacrifices. There are always moments that seem like they are too much to
bear, and times when we give so much of ourselves that it seems too
unbelievably cruel when we don't prevail.
This is one of those times. But I want you to look around you, at the good
people who are in this room, and I want us to think about all the people of
this state who have stood with us. And I want you to think of the many, many
people who have changed their minds because of our work on this campaign.
All of those who were able to question their assumptions, to open their
hearts, to walk in someone else's shoes.
If we say now that it's just too hard to keep fighting, then we are turning
our backs on all of those victories. We can't do that.
This campaign has been a learning experience for all of us, and for all
Oregonians as well. We may not have gotten a majority tonight, but all the
momentum on this issue is going our way.
Because of our work, social attitudes on same-sex marriage are shifting
daily. I have no doubt that if this election were held a week from now that
we would have won.
Look how far we've come. A year ago, how many of us would have dreamed that
same sex couples would marry in our lifetimes? How many of us would have
thought that Oregon would be ground zero for this issue? Have no fear our
children will find the idea of banning same-sex marriage as inconceivable as
the idea of banning inter-racial or inter-faith marriage.
We will remember this moment, because it will be impossible to forget the
pain of this loss.
But we have to dust ourselves off and get back on our path. There will be
future victories and there will be future defeats. But our victories will
always outnumber the defeats, because we are on the side of true love. The
true love we feel for our same sex partners, the true love we feel for our
family and friends who deserve the right to marry, the true love we feel for
this state and this country, both of which have always stood for freedom and
equality. True love cannot be defeated, and although we may not have won at
the polls tonight, we know that the love that we have shown throughout our
entire campaign has changed this state.
Tonight, let's celebrate what we've accomplished, and let's support each
other in this painful moment. And tomorrow, we'll get back out there and
continue this fight, in the courts, in the legislature, and everywhere we
need to be. Let's stick together and see this through until we win, for all
of us, and because we believe in Oregon. --Roey Thorpe
Andrew Sullivan- The Divider Bush's Domestic Legacy
"...If gay couples get married, then somehow straights will not. But why
not both? Why cannot marriage be defined by the virtues it includes
rather than by the people it excludes? Why cannot marriage bring us
together rather than tear us apart?
The answer alas, is that this president has decided it will help him
politically to tear us apart. His base is restless over spending and
Iraq, and this is a means to placate and energize them. If that means
turning a tiny minority into a lethal threat to civilization, so be it.
If that minority's sole crime is to seek to live up to the same
responsibilities as everyone else, to uphold the family, to support
responsibility, then that also is beside the point. In this battle, the
president has shown his true colors. He is a divider, not a uniter." -
Andrew Sullivan, 7/20/04
Senate Scuttles Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage
"The Senate voted today to block a White House-backed constitutional
amendment to bar same-sex marriages, dooming its prospects for approval
by Congress this year but ensuring it an emotionally-charged role during
campaigns this fall.
"...Republicans had hoped to win at least a simple majority in favor of
proceeding with the amendment but were thwarted when six of their own
colleagues joined all but three Democrats in voting to scuttle the
measure without a vote on its substance. Several senators had said there
would have been even more "no" votes if the showdown had occurred on
substance rather than procedure. -
Helen Dewar and Alan Cooperman, Washington Post, 7/14/04
Massachusetts begins gay
BOSTON - City clerks began handing out marriage-license applications to
gay couples just after midnight Sunday, making Massachusetts the
first state in the nation to legalize same-sex unions and the United
States just one of four countries in the world where homosexuals can
Associated Press, 5/17/04
contemporary conditions reflect something that didn't exist a generation
ago: gay and lesbian Americans asserting their dignity and demanding
equality. The opponents of gay marriage have only the frozen hand of
tradition or sectarian claims without legal standing in a secular state
with which to refuse full equality. No wonder they are so desperate." -
David Moats, editorial page editor of the Rutland Herald and author of
"Civil Wars: A Battle for Gay Marriage," from the
Washington Post opinion column, Adapting Liberty To the Times,
[of Massachusetts] "has failed to identify any constitutionally adequate
reason for denying civil marriage to same-sex couples," the
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court wrote. "Barred access to the
protections, benefits and obligations of civil marriage, a person who
enters into an intimate, exclusive union with another of the same sex is
arbitrarily deprived of membership in one of our community's most
rewarding and cherished institutions." -
"Mass. High Court Rules to Mandate Same-Sex Marriage - Decision Says
Civil Unions Are Not Constitutional," Washington Post, 2/4/2004.
Conservatives fail to stop same-sex weddings in San Francisco, 2/24/04.
County accepts gay marriages: Multnomah County becomes the first in
Oregon to license same-sex unions, joining an intense national debate,
ACLU Calls Bush Support for Marriage Amendment Un-American; Proposal
Would Write Discrimination Into the Constitution, 2/24/04
Responding to President Bush’s official endorsement of
a constitutional amendment to deny marriage rights to same-sex and
unmarried couples, the American Civil Liberties Union said that the
amendment supported by the White House is much broader than advertised
and would not only ban civil unions but could completely deny a broad
range of government benefits to unmarried couples, be they gay or
"President Bush's endorsement of this mean-spirited amendment shows that
he is neither compassionate nor concerned with the rights of all
Americans," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU.
"Gays and lesbians are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends. They
serve as firefighters, police, doctors and professional athletes. They
laugh at the same jokes and worry about car payments and credit card
debt. Amending the constitution to deny them the same rights we all take
for granted just isn’t very American." See Also: Bush endorses
constitutional ban on gay marriage, 2/24/04
"I’m not interested as a mayor in moving forward with a separate but
unequal process for people to engage in marriages,” Newsom [ of San
Francisco] said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “The people of this
city and certainly around the state are feeling that separate but
unequal doesn’t make sense.”- 2/13/2004; See also:
"Battle joined over
same-sex marriage: Regional cases foreshadow fight over U.S.
Constitution," Kari Huus, MSNBC
I am a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage. This is true not only because I am gay
and have pride in myself and other LGBT individuals. Most LGBT people are
normal, healthy individuals who deeply love and care for their significant
others. While the weakening of the institution of marriage may be reflected
in high divorce rates- the sanctity and beauty of marriage is
strengthened when extended to LGBT couples who seek a life time of love,
commitment and sharing. - Lowell Greenberg
Below are quotes
from November 2003 Massachusetts
Supreme Judicial Court decision that same-sex couples have the legal right
"We declare that barring an individual
from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely
because that person would marry a person of the same-sex violates the
"Marriage is a vital social institution.
The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and
mutual support. It brings stability to our society. For
those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an
abundance of legal, financial and social benefits. In return, it imposes
weighty legal, financial, and social obligations."
"The Massachusetts Constitution affirms
the dignity and equality of all individuals." It forbids
the creation of second-class citizens."
"Same-sex couples are our neighbors, our coworkers, our friends who volunteer
in schools and worship beside us in our religious houses."
"We share a common humanity and participate together in the social contract
that is the foundation of our Commonwealth." Simple
principles of decency dictate that we extend to the plaintiffs, and to their
new status, full acceptance, tolerance, and respect. We should do so because
it is the right thing to do."
Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage, 5/15/2008
"Chief Justice George conceded that "as an historical
matter in this state marriage has always been restricted to a union between
a man and a woman." But "tradition alone," the chief justice continued, does
not justify the denial of a fundamental constitutional right. Bans on
interracial marriage were, he wrote, sanctioned by the state for many
Gay Men and Women Ought to Have Marriage Rights, 1/24/2008
"...I think it’s wrong for the government to discriminate
against people because of that person’s sexual orientation. I think that gay
men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women --
to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights, to join together in
marriage, and I don’t understand why it is considered by some people to be a
threat to heterosexual marriage to allow it by gays and lesbians. Shouldn’t
we be promoting the kind of faithfulness and loyalty to one’s partner
regardless of sexual orientation? Because if you don’t do that, then to that
extent you’re promoting promiscuity -- you’re promoting all the problems
that can result from promiscuity. And the loyalty and love that two people
feel for one another when they fall in love ought to be celebrated and
encouraged and shouldn’t be prevented by any form of discrimination in the
Jersey Court Stops Short of Marriage Equality
"Thursday, 10-26-06 -- Yesterday, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously
ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to the same state
benefits, protections, and obligations as different-sex couples. The court
split, however, on how to remedy current state law.
The majority ruled that the New Jersey State Legislature must comply with
the constitution by amending state laws to allow equal marriage rights or
create a legal status like civil unions. Three dissenting judges argued that
the only correct solution, however, is to grant gay and lesbian couples the
fundamental right to marry."
York's highest court rejects marriage equality, 7/7/2006
"...Susan Sommer, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, highlighted a line in the
dissenting opinion written by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, who asserted that
she is "confident that future generations will look back on today's decision
as an unfortunate misstep." "Well, our next step is clear," Sommer said,
"and that is to go to the New York state legislature and ask the elected
officials who are here to represent all New Yorkers to do what's right—to do
what's good for these families and the whole state of New York.""
Approves Gay Marriage Ban, Maine Staves Off Anti-Gay Threat, 11/9/2005
Schwarzenegger 'Sold Us Out' Gay Group Says As Gov. Announces Gay Marriage
Bill Veto, 9/7/2005
Canadian Parliament stands by the Charter: Same Sex Marriage is Legal in
Canada: Reflections on people, brave and determined, 6/28/2005
Spain makes gay marriages legal, 6/30/2005
"We were not the first, but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will
come many other countries, driven, ladies and gentlemen, by two unstoppable
forces: freedom and equality."- Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
Judge strikes down
California gay marriage ban
Ruling says there is ‘no rational purpose’ for limiting unions, 3/14/2005
SAN FRANCISCO - A judge ruled Monday that California's ban
on gay marriage is unconstitutional — a legal milestone that, if upheld on
appeal, would open the way for the most populous state to follow
Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed. Judge Richard Kramer of
San Francisco County's trial-level Superior Court likened the ban to laws
requiring racial segregation in schools, and said there appears to be "no
rational purpose" for denying marriage to gay couples.
Court Rules Gays Must Be Allowed To Marry, 2/4/2005
"The court recognized that unless gay people can
marry, they are not being treated equally under the law. Same-sex couples
need the protections and security marriage provides, and this ruling says
they're entitled to get them the same way straight couples do." See
Gay Marriage Speech, 7/1/2005, Doug Direland.
Marriage To Be Legal In Canada by Summer Gov't Says: by Jim Brown, Canadian
Canada's High Court OK's Gay Marriage,
Ashcroft Intervenes In Gay Marriage Suit, 10/28/2004
Amendment Banning La. Gay Marriage Tossed, 10/05/2004
leaders decry 3 Republican convention speakers
God invalidates the California supreme court
"PORTLAND, OR - The American Civil Liberties
Union appeared before the Oregon Supreme Court today to ask the court to
rule that the Oregon Constitution requires that same-sex couples receive the
same legal protections as couples that get married." -
ACLU, Gay and Lesbian Rights, 12/15/2004
"The decision stripping away rights from more than 4,000 gay & lesbian
couples duly married in San Francisco is a legal blow, but it can’t
invalidate commitments made before God and community. The strength of our
love will continue to propel our struggle for equality."
House passes ban on gay marriage rulings:
Would bar decisions by federal judges on states' recognition, Jessica E.
Vascellaro, Globe Correspondent, July 23, 2004
"The Republican-controlled House of Representatives
yesterday approved a bill banning federal courts and the US Supreme Court
from deciding whether a state must recognize same-sex unions legalized
elsewhere. While Democrats opposed the bill as an unconstitutional
subversion of minority rights, Republicans celebrated the passage of the
Marriage Protection Act as a necessary check against federal judges who may
decide that a same-sex marriage that took place in Massachusetts, the only
state where it is legal, must be recognized by another state."
Heads Toward Defeat on Gay Marriage Measure
"WASHINGTON - President Bush's election-year bid to amend
the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage headed toward a lopsided defeat on
Capitol Hill on Tuesday." - Thomas Ferraro, Reuters, 7/13/04
Virginia anti-gay law among the nation's most restrictive
"RICHMOND, Va. — Gay activists in Virginia are toying with
a new motto for the state: "Virginia is for lovers. Some restrictions
Gays and lesbians are angry and even threatening to leave the state over a
new law that will prohibit civil unions and could interfere with contracts
between same-sex couples.
Some legal experts call it the most restrictive anti-gay law in the nation.
"I won't buy a home in Virginia. I'm done," said Bo Shuff, a 30-year-old
gay-rights activist who has rented in the Washington suburb of Arlington the
past two years.
Edna Johnston, a lesbian who has scuttled plans to move her
historic-preservation consulting business from Washington to northern
Virginia, said, "It's not a signal, it's a message: 'You're not welcome."'
"...For the Virginia Legislature to go as far as they did,
knowing that this is probably unconstitutional, to me it is a political
statement," said Henry Fradella, a law professor at the College of New
Jersey who specializes in gay-rights law. "I have not seen anything quite so
Justin Bergman, Associated Press, The Seattle Times, 6/26/04.
Judge denies 11th hour bid to stop gay marriages
BOSTON (AP) A federal judge Thursday rejected a
last-minute bid by conservative groups to block the nation's first
state-sanctioned gay marriages from taking place in Massachusetts next
Ken Maguire, Associated Press, 5/13/2004
Massachusetts begins gay marriages
BOSTON - City clerks began handing out marriage-license applications to gay
couples just after midnight Sunday, making Massachusetts the first
state in the nation to legalize same-sex unions and the United States just
one of four countries in the world where homosexuals can legally wed.-
Associated Press, 5/17/04
: Lesbian & Gay Rights |
Get Busy, Get Equal
Basic Rights Oregon
Ending discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity in Oregon.
Freedom To Marry
Gay & non-gay partnership working to win
marriage equality nationwide.
Equal Marriage for
Web site of Kevin Bourassa & Joe Varnell one of
Canada's most celebrated gay couples.
Supporting legal and social sanction of Lesbian
& Gay relationships and families.
Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning
the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony
"For those actually planning their nuptials, there’s
Gay and Lesbian Weddings, which answers questions
such as, “When two men have a wedding, is there a
father-son dance?” In this smart, concise guide to
gay unions, David Toussaint answers questions
of taste, style, and etiquette that will spare you
hours of prenuptial bickering." from
Advocate article, "I Do by the Book," by Regina Miller,
HRC Marriage Center
Lambda Legal-Marriage Project
Lambda Legal’s Marriage Project is committed to winning the right to
marry for LGBT people. Denying equal access to marriage deprives LGBT
people of critical rights, protections and responsibilities and violates
our nation's fundamental guarantee of equality for everyone.
Equality | Marriage
Marriage Equality began as an idea in 1996 with a handful of activists
believing that same-sex couples should have the freedom and the right to
civil marriage, and angry that the federal government wanted to pass a
law barring gay people from this right. The organization was officially
founded and formed February 12, 1998, on National Freedom To Marry Day.
The New York chapter became so successful that activists in California,
responding to that state’s 2000 anti-marriage referendum, began Marriage
The federal government affords married couples more than 1049 rights and
privileges that are not available to non-married couples (not to mention
the hundreds of rights provided by state and local government).
MarriageFairness.org is about putting a human face on same sex marriage.
This has become a very divisive issue in the US, and much of the
population has very strongly held beliefs on both sides of the issue.
The American public can be open minded, when they hear both sides of an
issue. To help people understand why this is such an important issue to
the gay community we are asking you to Tell Your Story.
Multnomah County (Portland, Oregon and surrounding communities) has,
under the leadership of county commissioner Diane Linn and others, been
a leader in allowing gays to marry in the United States. Quoting from a
4/20/04 statement from Ms. Linn, " Today the Circuit Court ruled very
clearly that denying marriages to same-sex couples violates the Oregon
Constitution. This ruling validates Multnomah County’s position of
defending equality under the Oregon Constitution. At the same
time, the judge ruled that the County must stop issuing licenses until
the issue is fully resolved. My oath to uphold the Constitution led me
to ensuring marriage equality 7 weeks ago. That same oath demands that I
respect and abide by today’s ruling. Therefore, effective immediately,
Multnomah County will temporarily suspend issuing marriage licenses to
same-sex couples. In compliance with the Judge’s order that the State
fully honor the more than 3,000 licenses already issued, we will forward
these licenses to the appropriate state agencies. Today is an
historic day for marriage equality in Oregon, but it is just one step in
a judicial process that will ultimately be decided by the Oregon Supreme
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Resource for activists, policymakers, opinion
leaders & Americans who are grappling with the
issue of marriage equality for same-sex couples.
Partners Task Force for Gay and
International resource for same-sex couples.
Contains essays, surveys, legal
resources on legal marriage, ceremonies,
domestic partner benefits, relationship tips,
parenting, & immigration.
Public Agenda: Gay Rights
Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry
Supports civil marriage rights for same gender
couples & seeks to promote dialogue within faith
communities about religious marriage for gay &
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund is a national
political organization that identifies, trains & supports
open lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender
candidates & officials. The Victory Fund is committed
to increasing the number of openly gay & lesbian public
officials at federal, state & local levels of government.
We Do: A Celebration of Gay and Lesbian Marriage
"Even if you loathe people who cry at weddings, we
defy you to read We Do, a slim book of photographs,
without tearing up. Edited by a San Francisco literary
agent who recently married her longtime partner—and
with a foreword by glam rebel mayor Gavin Newsom
this volume lets our pictures do the talking, to mighty
effect. We Do wins our early endorsement for best
pre–presidential election gift of 2004."- from
Advocate article, "I Do by the Book," by Regina Miller,
Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to
Marry, by Evan Wolfson, Simon & Schuster, 8/2004
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Why Marriage Matters offers a compelling and clear discussion of a
question at the forefront of our national consciousness. It is the work
of a brilliant civil rights litigator who has dedicated his life to the
protection of individuals' rights and our Constitution's commitment to
equal justice under the law. Above all, it is a thoughtful,
straightforward book that brings into sharp focus the human significance
of the right to marry in America -- not just for some couples, but for
all. Whatever your personal beliefs, we all can agree that marriage
equality provokes both passion and tension, and looms large in our
nation's politics. Marriage means many things to many people --
emotionally, spiritually, intellectually -- but in these pages, Evan
Wolfson demonstrates a truth that is undeniable: Marriage is the legal
gateway to a vast array of tangible and intangible protections,
responsibilities, and benefits, most of which cannot be replicated in
any other way.
Wolfson is a formidable legal thinker who has participated in landmark
cases to end race discrimination in jury trials, to secure the rights of
battered married women, and to challenge the abuse of power at the
highest level in government. Now, with extraordinary clarity,
fascinating stories, and legal and historical examples, he addresses the
questions we as Americans are asking ourselves as we consider how
marriage equality will affect our lives. Why is the word marriage so
important? What are the stakes for America in this civil rights
movement? How can people of different faiths reconcile their beliefs
with the idea of marriage for same-sex couples? How will allowing gay
couples to marry affect children? Here you will find thorough, honest
answers -- some that may surprise you, some that will persuade you, many
that will move you. Wolfson recalls the history of past battles over
marriage and movements for equality, and articulates the everyday acts
of discrimination that frame this current movement -- acts of
discrimination that, if faced by non-gay Americans, would provoke a
resounding cry of injustice. sMarriage matters because it is a
foundation upon which most Americans build dreams. It is the cornerstone
of commitment one individual makes to another -- a commitment we are
taught is the highest expression of love, dedication, and
responsibility. In this, the most powerful, authoritative, and fairly
articulated book on the subject, Wolfson demonstrates why the right to
marry is important -- indeed necessary -- for all couples and for
America's promise of equality.