- Gender Equity
- -01 Supreme Court Allows Same-Sex Marriage Laws to Stand (CBS News)
"The Supreme Court on Monday turned away seven same-sex marriage cases in five states, refusing for now to take up the basic question of whether same-sex couples have a right to marriage."
"While the decision is a setback for the gay rights movement's goal of achieving marriage equality nationwide, it does allow the lower court rulings in those five states to stand -- all in favor of marriage equality." 10-14
- -11-01-05 Cultural War Enters Kindergarten (ABC News)
" 'My wife and I have religious beliefs that say to us it's a sin,' David Parker said. He's referring to four pages in a book his 5-year-old son was given by his Massachusetts kindergarten teachers."
"The book 'Who's In a Family' — included in a 'diversity book bag' for students at Estabrook Elementary School — is about all kinds of families, including multi-racial, single parent and, to Parker's chagrin, same-sex parents." 6-05
- -Iowa Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional (Christian Science Monitor)
"Iowa's top court legalized same-sex marriage Friday, giving advocates a victory beyond the liberal coastal states into the more conservative American interior."
"The supreme court justices drew explicit parallels to civil rights struggles by blacks and women, holding that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was a violation of the equality promised in the Iowa constitution."
"This past week, legislators in both Vermont and New Hampshire have passed bills legalizing gay marriage, as did Sweden's parliament, making it the fifth European country to allow it." 04-09
- -Maine Legalizes Same-Sex Marriages (MSNBC News)
"In a banner day in New England for advocates of gay marriage, Maine legalized the practice Wednesday, and the New Hampshire Legislature voted to do the same." 05-09
- -New Hampshire Legalizes Same-Sex Marriages (CBS News)
"New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed into law a bill making the state the sixth in the nation to allow gay marriage." 06-09
- -Obama Orders Visitation Rights for Gays and Lesbians (CNN News)
"President Obama has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges to gay and lesbian partners."
"The president's Thursday memo said, 'There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. ... Yet every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides.' "
" 'Gay and lesbian Americans are 'uniquely affected' by relatives-only policies at hospitals, Obama said, adding that they 'are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives -- unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated.' " 04-10
- -Poll: Obama's Persuasive Powers on Gay Marriage in Maryland (Time.com)
"The poll, conducted after Obama came out, found a 12-point swing toward support for gay marriage in the state. That’s not insignificant on its own, but the demographics of the shift are more telling:"
"The movement over the last two months can be explained almost entirely by a major shift in opinion about same-sex marriage among black voters. Previously 56% said they would vote against the new law with only 39% planning to uphold it. Those numbers have now almost completely flipped, with 55% of African Americans planning to vote for the law and only 36% now opposed." 05-12
- -Supreme Court Clears Alabama for Same-Sex Marriage (MSNBC News)
"Gay and lesbian couples began receiving marriage licenses in Alabama Monday, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to deny the state’s request for a stay of a federal ruling that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex nuptials. The action cleared the final hurdle for Alabama to become the 37th state – and second in the Deep South after South Carolina – where gay and lesbian couples can legally wed." 02-15
- -Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Is a Constitutional Right (SupremeCourt.gov)
Provides the text of the Supreme Court rulling that same-sex marriage is a right protected under the U.S. Constitution and must be honored by states:
"The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. Same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. Baker v. Nelson is overruled. The State laws challenged by the petitioners in these cases are held invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples" 07-15
- -Supreme Court Rules for Same-Sex Marriage (ABC News)
"In a historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that gay and lesbian couples across the country have a constitutional right to marry." 06-15
- -The Supreme Court to Take Up Same-Sex Marriage Laws (CBS News)
"The Supreme Court announced today that it will consider the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's ban on marriage, two cases that could have a significant impact on marriage laws across the country." 12-12
- -Vermont Legalizes Same-Sex Marriages (Time.com)
"Vermont on Tuesday became the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature's vote." 04-09
- Behind New York's Same-Sex Marriage Law (New York Times)
"Mr. Cuomo’s hands-on management was a turning point not just for the marriage movement, but also for his long and fraught relationship with the gay community." 06-11
- California AG: Majority Cannot Strip Minority of Constitutional Rights (ABC News)
"ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: California Attorney General Jerry Brown called on the state's Supreme Court on Friday to strike down a recently approved ballot measue [sic] which eliminated the state's court recognized right to same-sex marriage."
Brown "now believes that all the residents of California enjoy an inalienable right to liberty and privacy that includes a right to marry that cannot be stripped away by majority vote." 12-08
- California Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Struck Down (CNN News)
"A federal judge who ruled against a ban on same-sex marriage in California and later revealed that he is gay showed no evidence he was prejudiced in the case, according to a ruling Tuesday."
"In New York, meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo submitted a bill that would allow same-sex couples from all states to marry there." 06-11
- Clerk Jailed for Failing to Issue Wedding License (New York Times)
"A federal judge here on Thursday ordered a defiant county clerk jailed for contempt because of her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her religious beliefs, despite a Supreme Court ruling against her." 09-15
- Court Supports Same-Sex Marriage in Canada (MSNBC News)
"The Supreme Court of Canada gave the federal government the go-ahead Thursday to legalize gay marriage, but stopped short of saying that this was required by the Constitution." 2-04
- Dismay over Obama's Position on Gays in the Military (Time.com)
"When Barack Obama sought the presidency, he pledged to reverse the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy preventing gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military. Yet on Monday, the Supreme Court rejected a gay Ohio soldier's challenge to the law — with the legal backing of none other than the Obama Administration." 06-09
- Editorial: What the California Court Did Not Do (Time.com)
"Gay couples in California will now be able to wed under state law, as those in Massachusetts can, but their marriages will still be something less than what straight Californians enjoy." 05-08
- End Government Role in Marriage? (Time.com)
"In a paper published March 2 in the San Francisco Chronicle, two law professors from Pepperdine University issued a call to re-examine the role the government plays in marriage. The authors — one of whom voted for and one against Proposition 8, which ended gay marriage in California — say the best way out of the intractable legal wars over gay marriage is to take marriage out of the hands of the government altogether." 03-09
- Epigenetic Roots of Lesbian or Gay Individuals (Time.com)
"The new theory is important because it synthesizes well-tested and well-developed evolutionary principles with cutting-edge research in molecular biology and biological computation. Epigenetics is not a new concept exactly, but the field has exploded within the past decade. Where once it seemed that genes and environment were distinct, or that nature and nurture were distinct, now it seems clear that environment itself may change the ways in which our genes function – even though the genes themselves are essentially fixed over time, barring occasional mutations, and conserved across generations."
"To be specific, the new theory suggests that homosexuality is caused by epigenetic marks, or 'epi-marks,' related to sensitivity to hormones in the womb." 12-12
- Gay Marriage Debate Could Be Driving Young Christians From Church (U.S. News)
"A 2011 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute shows the generation gap between young Christians and their elders is large, with 44 percent of white evangelicals aged 18-29 in support of marriage equality compared to only 12 percent of those 65 and older." 07-12
- Hawaii Governor Vetoes Civil-Unions Bill (Time.com)
"After weeks of lobbying and political maneuvering, the governor of the Aloha State vetoed a controversial measure Tuesday that would allow same-sex and unwed heterosexual couples the same protections under the law that married couples have." 07-10
- J.C. Penney Backs DeGeneres as National Spokeswoman (MSNBC News)
"J.C. Penney is turning its back on One Million Moms, a group which called for the retailer to dump talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as its national spokeswoman because she is gay." 02-12
- Judge to Allow Same-Sex Marriage in California (New York Times)
"Just a week after ruling that Proposition 8 – a 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage – was unconstitutional, a federal judge lifted his stay of his decision on Thursday, opening the door for untold numbers of gay couples to marry in the nation’s most populous state. But he delayed implementation of the order to lift the stay until Aug. 18." 08-10
- NAACP Board: Marriage Equality Is a Civil Right (ABC News)
"NAACP President Benjamin Jealous says he hopes the group's support of same-sex marriage will urge blacks to support marriage equality as a civil right if the question is put to voters on the ballot in Maryland or other states."
"The NAACP's board voted on Saturday for a resolution in support of marriage equality." 05-12
- New York Passes Same-Sex Marriage Law (New York Times)
"Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born." 06-11
- Obama Administration Drops Legal Defense of "Marriage Act" (ABC News)
"President Obama has instructed the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which has since 1996 banned federal recognition of same-sex unions." 02-11
- Obama Signs Gay Benefits for Federal Employees (MSNBC News)
"President Barack Obama signaled to gay rights activists Wednesday that he's listening to their priorities by extending some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. But he didn't give them even close to everything they want, bringing growing anger against the president to the surface."
"The president signed a memo giving the same-sex partners some benefits, but not not health care." 06-09
- Obama's Administration to Ask Judge to Keep "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy (CBS News)
"The Justice Department has asked a U.S. judge to allow the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on gays to continue during an appeal."
"In court papers, the Obama administration says the case raises serious legal questions and that the government will be irreparably harmed unless the current policy is allowed to remain in place temporarily."
"Editor's Note: President Obama claims that he is against the law and wants Congress to change it. Congress has no law it is considering for changing the policy. However, if his administration does not appeal the judge's decision, the judge's decision has the force of law now. 10-10
- Poll: Americans Divided on Gay Marriage (CBS News)
"Regionally, same-sex marriage is most popular in the Northeast (44 percent support) - where Massachusetts and Connecticut have already established same-sex marriage as legal – and it is popular in the West (38 percent support). Same-sex marriage is far less popular in the Midwest (30 percent) and the South (25 percent)." 04-09
- Pope Benedict XVI Condemns Same-Sex Unions (CBS News)
"Pope Benedict XVI condemned same-sex unions as anarchic 'pseudo-matrimony' Monday and reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to abortion." 6-05
- President Obama Supports Same-Sex Marriage (CNN News)
"President Barack Obama said Wednesday he supports same-sex marriage, raising the political stakes on an issue in which Americans are evenly split."
"The announcement, long sought by supporters of same-sex marriage, puts Obama squarely at odds with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney." 05-12
- Same-Sex Civil Union Law Passed in New Zealand (Wikipedia.org)
"On 9 December 2004 New Zealand Parliament passed the Civil Union Bill, establishing the new institution of civil union, available to same-sex and de facto couples." 12-04
- Same-Sex Marriage Ban Overturned (ABC News)
"A federal judge in California ruled today that the state's same-sex marriage ban amounts to unconstitutional discrimination and should be immediately struck down."
" 'Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples,' wrote Judge Walker. 08-10
- Same-Sex Marriage Ban Overturned (CBS News)
"A federal judge overturned California's same-sex marriage ban Wednesday in a landmark case that could eventually land before the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if gays have a constitutional right to marry in America." 08-10
- Same-Sex Marriages - Comparing Marriage and Civil Unions (CNN News)
"And while Vermont's civil union couples are eligible for state benefits, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) excludes them [same-sex marriages] from many federal benefits."
"That measure, signed into law by President Clinton, recognizes marriage only as the union of a man and a woman and defines a spouse as a husband or wife of the opposite sex."
"A General Accounting Office report in 1997 identified 1,049 laws where federal benefits, rights or privileges were contingent on marital status. They include tax breaks, pensions and Social Security benefits, inheritance rights and loans." 2-04
- Same-Sex Marriages - Global Views of Same-Sex Marriage (CBS News)
Three years after Amsterdam's mayor officiated at the Netherlands' first gay wedding, the gay marriage rate is falling, the first divorces are being registered and the issue has disappeared from the political agenda."
While the United States is engaged in debate on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Canadians are discussing a federal law to legalize it and many European countries are adopting civil unions for gay couples."
" 'It's an issue of separation of church and state. We don't have gay marriage here [Denmark]. We have civil marriage, and it's the same for everyone.' " 3-04
- Same-Sex Marriages - Positions on a Constitutional Ban (CNN News)
"Bush said such an amendment [to the U.S. Constitution] would 'prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever.' "
"The four-term senator [John Kerry] has said he supports civil unions and equal protection for gays and lesbians but that he opposes marriage for them. He also said he believes the matter should be decided on the state level."
"Civil unions grant couples most of the rights of state civil marriages, except the name, but provide none of the federal benefits of marriage, such as Social Security benefits."
"The Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in each house of Congress to pass an amendment. Then it must be ratified by three-fourths, or 38, of the 50 states." 2-04
- Top California Officials Urge Judge to Allow Same-Sex Marriage (CNN News)
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked a federal judge Friday to allow same-sex marriages while an appeal over the struck-down law that banned them makes its way through the courts."
"Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown filed briefs two days after Chief U.S District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, violated the constitutional rights of same-sex couples." 08-10
- Widow Fights for Estate-Tax Refund (ABC News)
"Edith "Edie" Windsor is the human face behind one of 12 pending lawsuits that challenge the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court. She's also the first target of the new high-powered private attorney hired by House Republicans to uphold the law."
"The New York woman, 81, sued the federal government last year, demanding recognition of her marriage to her late spouse, Thea Spyer, and the same rights and privileges afforded to heterosexual couples. The two exchanged vows in Toronto, Canada, in 2007 after spending 40 years together."
"The Obama administration said in February that it would no longer defend the 1996 act in the Windsor case and 11 others. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department concluded laws that treat gays and lesbians differently deserve a heightened form of legal scrutiny, which, in turn, would result in finding the law unconstitutional."
"DOMA, which was passed by a Republican House and Senate and signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1996, also denies same-sex couples certain Social Security benefits and other rights afforded to married straight couples." 04-11