November 21, 2011
By Matt Baume
Get ready for a busy holiday season with a slew of activity in the Prop 8 case. Washington and New Jersey ramp up their marriage campaigns, with good news possibly coming before the end of the year. And homosexuals account for half of all murders, according to guy who makes things up.
Well the big news last week was the renewed momentum in the Prop 8 case. It’s been over a year since the Court declared Prop 8 unconstitutional, and we’ve had to endure a lot of delays before marriages can start back up again. But now we’re facing a flurry of docket activity, hearings, and decisions. It’s a really exciting time, since the case is finally moving forward on the merits.
The ruling last week means that the Proponents have standing to go back to court. But court hasn’t worked out so well for them in the past — they could not have lost the first round of the Prop 8 case more resoundingly. If they want to go again, fine: we’ll be seeing at the 9th Circuit in less than 3 weeks, on December 8 at 2:30pm.
They’ve spent the last year throwing out every distraction they can think of, from gay judges to videotapes to standing, but now they’re finally running out of excuses. On December 8th they may have to talk about the merits of their case — and that’s the last thing they want, because they know their case doesn’t have any merits.
While the anticipation builds in California, a campaign to pass a marriage bill in the legislature is ramping up in Washington state. Visit WashingtonUnitedForMarriage.org to learn more about the coalition pushing the bill. In the last week, they’ve hosted a series of community meetings in Puyallup, Lakewood, Vancouver, Gig Harbor, and Seattle; and this week they’ll be meeting in Bellevue, Richland, Spokane, and Bellingham. It’s all part of a buildup to an intense lobbying effort that’ll target state lawmakers during the 2012 legislative session.
The momentum continues in New Jersey, where Deputy Assembly Majority Leader Reed Gusciora voiced his support for introducing a marriage equality bill before the end of the year. Despite a veto threat from governor Chris Christie, Gusciora claims to have bipartisan support for the measure in the lame duck session.
It’s a bit of a flashback to 2009, when outgoing legislators — including Governor Jon Corzine — were rumored to be working on a lame-duck marriage bill. That effort never materialized, leaving voters feeling disenchanted and betrayed. We’ll find out in the next month if we’ll see a repeat of that failure. It was five years ago that the state Supreme Court ruled that LGBT couples deserve equal treatment under the law, and we’re still waiting.
And finally this week, Oklahoma City has added sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy, but not before this guy testified to the city council about why they shouldn’t:
“Judge John Martaugh, Chief Judge Magistrate of the New York City criminal courts, stated, ‘homosexuals account for half the murders in large cities.’”
Oh, neat. Half? That’s a lot. Good thing that statistic is made up. As is “Judge John Martaugh,” who doesn’t exist. If you mean Judge John Murtagh, yes, that’s a real person and he might have said that … sixty years ago, when he was alive and an “anti-pervert” crusader. Judge Murtagh’s son, by the way, also named John, is active in politics to this day. He’s a Councilman in Yonkers, a Republican who supports the freedom to marry.
Those are the headlines, visit us over at MarriageNewsWatch.com for more on all these stories and more. And visit AFER.org to follow the federal case to overturn Prop 8. I’m Matt Baume, see you next week.