Gay Marriage

Wisconsin Attorney General Threatens Clerks Who Approve Gay Marriage

Photo: No attribution

Liberaland

Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen is warning clerks that they can be prosecuted for issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, even though a federal judge has declared the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

Van Hollen, a Republican, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper that gay couples who have married since U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb issued her ruling last week aren’t legally married and district attorneys could opt to charge county clerks who issued them licenses with a crime.

“That’s going to be up to district attorneys, not me,” Van Hollen said. “There are penalties within our marriage code, within our statues, and hopefully they’re acting with full awareness of what’s contained therein. … You do have many people in Wisconsin basically taking the law into their own hands, and there can be legal repercussions for that.”

Clerks began issuing licenses June 6, hours after Crabb’s ruling came out. As of Thursday, 60 of the state’s 72 counties were issuing licenses.

But confusion has swirled about what clerks can legally do. Crabb declared the ban unconstitutional but did not issue any orders telling clerks to issue licenses. Van Hollen maintains that without such an order the ban remains in place.

 

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Texas ban on marriage equality ruled unconstitutional, Rick Perry upset

Texas ban on marriage equality ruled unconstitutional, Rick Perry upset

Texas Governor Rick Perry | (Credit: Alice Keeney/AP)

Salon

A federal judge on Wednesday declared Texas’ ban on equal marriage unconstitutional; the judge also ruled that the state’s refusal to recognize the unions of gay couples married in other states to be unconstitutional.

As the San Antonio Express News notes, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia stayed the decision pending the state’s appeal, meaning that the state ban on marriage equality remains in effect for now.

“Regulation of marriage has traditionally been the province of the states and remains so today,” Garcia wrote in the ruling. “However, any state law involving marriage or any other protected interest must comply with the United States Constitution.”

Gov. Rick Perry, if you can believe it, is upset by the decision and has vowed to appeal it:



Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens. The 10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions, and this is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn’t be achieved at the ballot box. We will continue to fight for the rights of Texans to self-determine the laws of our state.

One of the couples behind the suit, Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon celebrated the decision as “a great step towards justice for our family.”

“Ultimately, the repeal of Texas’ ban will mean that our son will never know how this denial of equal protections demeaned our family and belittled his parents’ relationship,” they said in a statement. “We look forward to the day when, surrounded by friends and family, we can renew our vows in our home state of Texas.”

Supreme Court has declared the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional

Great news!

NBC News

In a landmark ruling for gay rights, the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

The decision was 5-4, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,” the ruling said. “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”

Cheers went up outside the Supreme Court, where supporters of gay marriage waved signs, rainbow banners and flags with equality symbols.

The law helps determine who is covered by more than 1,100 federal laws, programs and benefits, including Social Security survivor benefits, immigration rights and family leave.

The ruling comes as states are authorizing gay marriage with increasing speed — 12 plus the District of Columbia now allow it — and with public opinion having turned narrowly in favor of gay marriage.

Under the law, gay couples who are legally married in their states were not considered married in the eyes of the federal government, and were ineligible for the federal benefits that come with marriage.

The case before the Supreme Court, U.S. v. Windsor, concerned Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer, a lesbian couple who lived together in New York for 44 years and married in Canada in 2007.

When Spyer died in 2009, Windsor was hit with $363,000 in federal estate taxes. Had the couple been considered by the federal government to be married, Windsor would not have incurred those taxes.

BREAKING: NAACP Endorses Marriage Equality

“The times, they are a changing…” Bob Dylan – 1964

Think Progress

The board of the NAACP, the “nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization,” endorsed marriage equality at a meeting this afternoon. The move comes 10 days after President Obamaannounced his support of same-sex marriage.

The NAACP’s move comes as attitudes about gays and lesbians in the African American community are changing rapidly. A recent poll found that 54% of African Americans supported President Obama’s recent decision.

Maxim Thorne, formerly of the NAACP, broke the news over Twitter:

The NAACP Board of Directors has just endorsed marriage equality unequivocally. Only two opposed! An historic moment.

Since Obama’s announcement, numerous influential political figures — including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn — have joined him in supporting marriage equality.

UPDATE:

The NAACP confirms their decision with the New York Times: “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”

Jay-Z’s gay marriage endorsement: More influential than Obama’s?

Discriminating against gays is "no different than discriminating against blacks," Jay-Z said this week. "It's discrimination, plain and simple."

Discriminating against gays is “no different than discriminating against blacks,” Jay-Z said this week. “It’s discrimination, plain and simple.” Photo: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

It’s no secret that the male-dominated Hip Hop community is notoriously homophobic.  I’m curious to see and hear the comments that will emerge  following Jay-Z’s endorsement of gay marriage…

The Week

The rap mogul with a history of anti-gay lyrics does a 180 — a turnaround that may prove more meaningful to black voters than the president’s years-long evolution

The president isn’t the only world-famous person whose stance on gay marriage has evolved. Hip-hop king Jay-Z also just publicly announced his support of same-sex marriage: “I’ve always thought [of] it as something that’s still holding the country back,” the rapper told CNN. “It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination, plain and simple.” The remarks come as pundits weigh whether President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality will hurt him with black voters. Obama won 95 percent of the black vote in 2008, but only 39 percent of black voters support gay marriage,according to an April poll. Could a supremely influential rapper whose past lyrics have been tinged with homophobia have more of an impact on black voters than Obama?

Yes. This is a huge deal: Jay-Z’s endorsement is “as big a cultural step forward as the leader of the free world making the same claim,” says Clinton Yates at The Washington Post. Jay-Z isn’t a politician, and he’s not supporting gay-marriage to get re-elected — it’s because he feels it’s right. Jay-Z is a leader in the massively influential hip-hop community, and this could “lead generations of music fans out of the fog,” changing their attitudes toward homosexuals and same-sex marriage.

“Jay-Z supports President Obama on gay marriage”

And it’s much more drastic than Obama’s evolution: Jay-Z’s remarks represent a 180-turn from the homophobic and even gay-hating lyrics of his past songs, says Marc Hogan at Spin. On 2001′s “Takeover,” for example, he called rival rapper Nas a “fag model” after Nas insinuated that Jay was homosexual. If the president’s gradual evolution failed to change minds in the African-American community, then perhaps Jay’s dramatic turnaround (the rapper is called “the hood’s Barack”) will lead to some true soul-searching.

“Jay-Z backs Barack Obama’s gay marriage endorsement”

But Obama’s stance isn’t hurting him with black voters:The conventional wisdom was that “black voters will freak” when Obama backed same-sex marriage, says John Aravosis at The Daily Beast. But that’s simply not the case. Instead, they “gave a collective shrug.” A new Pew Research Poll reveals that 68 percent of African-Americans say Obama’s embrace of gay marriage didn’t change their opinion of him, even if they disagreed with the stance, while 16 percent said it actually made them view Obamamore favorably. And for other voters disillusioned with Obama, the move showed courage that will bring the president “closer to winning in November.”

“Why gays did President Obama a favor by pushing him on gay marriage”

Fox News’ Shep Smith: Obama now in the 21st century

Shepard Smith via screenshot

I agree with a Fox News commentator, OMG!

The Raw Story

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith reacted to the news that President Barack Obama had endorsed same sex marriage by coolly remarking that the President is “now in the 21st century.”

Smith later said Republicans who opposed same sex marriage were “on the wrong side of history” and compared same sex marriage to the civil rights movement.

“Of course, in reality, what really matters is what governors are saying,” he said.

“This makes no legal changes of any kind. This is a states issue, at least for now, which may sound familiar to a couple of generations ago, but that’s where we are.”

Southern segregationists had invoked “states rights” to defend discriminatory laws against federal intervention.

Watch video, courtesy of Politico, here…

Minnesota Protesters Drop Glitter On Anti-Marriage Equality Fair Booth

Think Progress

For unclear reasons, the Minnesota State Fair found last-minute space for a booth for the coalition supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage (Minnesota For Marriage), but not for the pro-equality coalition opposing the amendment, Minnesotans United for All Families.

To protest the seemingly unfair treatment, members of the “barbarian” group dumped glitter on the anti-gay booth from the skilift above, shouting “where’s our booth?” and “equality for all.”

Watch it:

 

Thrice Married Newt Gingrich Says Gays ‘Muddle’ Marriage

Apparently Newt Gingrich thinks its ok to muddle his previous marriages, but disagrees with same-sex marriages. 

In my opinion states opposing same-sex marriages are no different from the states who opposed inter-racial marriage in the past by imposing miscegenation laws.  Those states who enacted miscegenation laws were just plain wrong  as demonstrated in the civil rights case of Loving v. Virginia, which The Supreme Court settled in 1967.

I’m sure the southern born Newt Gingrich would have opposed inter-racial marriages as well had he been a legislator back then.

TPMMuckraker

Newt Gingrich, who’s  married to his third wife, said this weekend that the U.S. was “drifting towards a terrible muddle” by not limiting marriage to members of the opposite sex, Reuters reported.

But he drew a distinction between Iowa, where the Supreme Court essentially legalized gay marriage, and New York, where elected representatives did.

“Iowa was a very different case from New York,” Gingrich said, according to reporter O. Kay Henderson.

“I mean, Iowa was seven judges deciding that they would arbitrarily overturn the laws and the culture of the state of Iowa which is fundamentally different,” Gingrich said. “I mean New York at least, whether you agree or disagree with the outcome, it is in the elected process and it is in the legislature and it is with the governor and that’s the right venue.”

“I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I think that’s what marriage ought to be and I would like to find ways to defend that view as legitimately and effectively as possible,” Gingrich said.