Archive for the ‘Other States’ Category

Iowa Marriage Fight Continues

January 4, 2011

Bob Vander Plaats, governor of Iowa, is “obsessed” with taking away marriage equality, according to one observer. Voters in the state already voted three of the state’s Supreme Court justices out of office. Are the remaining four equality supporters threatened? Maybe.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Speaks Out

December 6, 2010

Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke to a crowd gathered outside a San Francisco courthouse today while a hearing took place in an appeal that will help decide the fate of same-sex marriage in California. The speech marked Jackson’s strongest ever statement of support on the issue. In his remarks, he made a clear connection between the Civil Rights movement and the struggle for LGBT equality.

To those that believe in and fought for civil rights, that marched to end discrimination and win equality, you must not become that which you hated. It’s past time to exist in hypocrisy and ignorance, and time to come out of the shadows and darkness to support unequivocally, equality for all people. Those that support civil and human rights cannot, must not, become perpetrators of discrimination against others based upon race, religion, culture, sexual orientation.

You can read his entire remarks at this link.

Elsewhere in the World

December 4, 2010

While this blog has focused lately on the passage of the civil unions bill in Illinois, it has actually been a huge week in for LGBT news elsewhere. A brief week-in-review roundup:

A Larger View of What Just Happened

December 4, 2010

Passing a civil unions law this week hardly makes Illinois a trailblazer, considering that Vermont began offering civil unions for same-sex couples back in 2000. At the same time, Illinois is now entering a (sadly) short list of states recognizing same-sex couples.

A few points about the significance of this law’s passage:

  • Illinois will be one of only three states in the Midwest to offer any form of recognition of same-sex relationships (along with Iowa and Wisconsin).
  • Illinois will be one of only 12 jurisdictions nationwide offering a legal relationship recognition status for same-sex couples including all of the state-level rights of marriage.
  • Unlike the same-sex recognition laws in many states, the Illinois General Assembly was not ordered by a court ruling to pass this law.
  • With about 12.9 million people, Illinois will be among the highest population states recognizing same-sex couples. Illinois is the nation’s fifth most populous state. Two larger population states – Texas and Florda – offer no recognition for same-sex couples. California, the nation’s most populous state, which allowed same-sex marriage for only a few months in 2008, continues to offers a domestic partnership status with the full rights of marriage. New York does not offer domestic partnerships, civil unions, or marriage to same-sex couples, but does honor same-sex marriages performed in other states.
  • When this law goes into effect, more than a quarter of the U.S. population (28%) will live in a jurisdiction recognizing same-sex marriage or its equivalent. Read more.

Here is the nationwide recap (and check out a handy map here):

Full Marriage Equality

  • Massachusetts (2003)
  • Connecticut (2008)
  • Iowa (2009)
  • Vermont (2009)
  • New Hampshire (2010)
  • District of Columbia (2010)

Civil Unions/Domestic Parnterships Offering All the Rights of Marriage (the category that Illinois will be in next year):

  • California (2005 – domestic partnerships)
  • New Jersey (2007 – civil unions)
  • Oregon (2008 – domestic partnerships)
  • Washington (2008 – domestic partnerships)
  • Nevada (2009 – domestic partnerships)

Partnership Laws Offering Some of the Rights of Marraige:

  • Hawaii (1997 – reciprocal beneficiaries)
  • Maine (2004 – domestic partnerships)
  • Maryland (2008 – domestic partnerships)
  • Colorado (2009 – designated beneficiaries)
  • Wisconsin (2009 – domestic partnerships)

Marriages Recognized But Not Performed:

  • Rhode Island (2004 – opinion by Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch)
  • New York (2009 – ordered by Gov. David Patterson)
  • Maryland (2010 – opinion from Attorney General Doug Gansler)

It Gets Better!

October 7, 2010

Dan Savage

In response to the recent spate of suicides of gay youth across the country, columnist Dan Savage has launched a YouTube channel called “It Gets Better” with messages to offer hope to LGBT youth. You can even add your own.

One pastor last week delivered a sermon of hope, also in response to our recent losses. Rev. Nicolette Siragusa, the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Grand Lege, Michigan, is a graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary. She is also a friend of this writer.

California Legal Challenge Seeks Signers

October 3, 2010

Activists defending marriage equality are seeking clergy, congregations, and other religious organizations from across the nation to sign on to an amicus brief to express their support. For more information, click here.

Blogger Forecasts Illinois Equality in 2016

September 15, 2010

One blogger forecasts the year that the freedom to marry will arrive to each state in the United States, based on public opinion data. According to Hank Pellissier’s forecast, marriage equality will arrive to the Land of Lincoln in 2016 – before our neighboring states of Indiana and Missouri, but after Wisconsin and Michigan.

I disagree with Pellissier’s oversimplified statement that seems to equate religion with opposition to equality. As readers of this blog know, religious folks have a wide variety of views on this issue and many regular churchgoers are ardent supporters.

Public Opinion Could Influence Judges

August 16, 2010

Over the weekend, I posted links to the news about encouraging trends in both local and national polls in regards to recognition of same-sex couples.

A Harvard law professor wrote in the Los Angeles Times that Supreme Court justices could be swayed by these trends, especially if they want to be looked back on well by future generations. The opinions of the sitting justices on this issue is a matter of great intrigue, given that most observers expect that the issue is likely to head to the Supreme Court.

Marriage Equality Week in Review

August 13, 2010

Celebrations of marriage equality in Mexico City

There were several newsworthy items regarding the freedom to marry this week:

Proposition 8 Overturned!

August 4, 2010

All eyes are on California today in the wake of a federal judge’s ruling against the state constitutional amendment approved by California voters two year ago that took away the right to marry the state’s same-sex couples. The forcefully worded ruling is a great cause for victory, but couples in the state can’t get married yet. The issue is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the ruling is uncertain.

What this will mean for Californians, much less those of us in other states, is far from clear. But it is clear that now is not the time to wait for the Supreme Court to take care of things. We must continue our struggle both for the passage of a civil unions bill in Illinois and the ongoing work of changing hearts and minds.