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Archives – August, 2012

Survey: how are we doing?

By Adam Bink

The staff here just wants to check in again and see how everyone’s doing, but without a long survey — just a check-in over in the comments. Tell us how we’re doing… what do you like about the content (the blog posts) and what could use improvement? The technical aspects of the site? The writers? Features you’d like to see? Please be as candid as possible and leave a comment. As always, you’re welcome to e-mail a comment in private to prop8trial at couragecampaign dot org as well.

Let us know in the comments, and thanks for reading Prop8TrialTracker.com. This will be the last survey thread this week.

22 Comments August 31, 2012

Equality news round-up: DOMA’s effects on taxes, and more

By Scottie Thomaston

- A federal judge appointed by George W. Bush is encouraging a lesbian couple in Michigan who is currently challenging the state’s same-sex adoption ban to amend their lawsuit to challenge the states anti-gay marriage amendment. We will be watching this case closely to see if the plaintiffs go forward with the challenge.

- David Koch has endorsed marriage equality.

- In Washington, the anti-gay campaign was told churches can’t collect funds for their campaign:

Lori Anderson, a spokeswoman for the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC), said Thursday that she wasn’t aware of Preserve Marriage Washington’s notice on its website but would look into it.

She noted that no organization, like a church, can be an intermediary for a contribution. While the church can make a call for a special collection and hand out envelopes to parishioners, either a member of Preserve Marriage has to be on hand to collect them, or parishioners must send them in individually, she said.

- California passed its ban on gay “conversion therapy.” Now it goes to the Governor.

- CNBC takes on the complicated tax situation caused by DOMA.

- In his speech last night accepting the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney said vaguely that he will “honor the institution of marriage.”

7 Comments August 31, 2012

The Prop 8 case: analyzing San Francisco’s Supreme Court brief

By Jacob Combs

As the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case did early last week, the City and County of San Francisco has filed its own brief in opposition to the Prop 8 proponents’ request that the Supreme Court take up the 9th Circuit appellate decision striking down the law.  Like the plaintiffs, San Francisco’s central argument is that the Supreme Court should simply decline to hear the case, allowing the 9th Circuit’s ruling to stand without making any wider precendential argument.  (For those who have been following the case from the early days, it is now technically known as Hollingsworth v. Perry.)

Taking a leaf out of the 9th Circuit’s ruling, San Francisco’s brief delineates the constitutional question at the heart of the appeal in its most narrow form: did California violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution when it acted to withdraw only the title of ‘marriage’ from its gay and lesbian citizens without rescinding any of the rights and privileges that marriage entails?

Whereas the district court struck down Prop 8 in a broad ruling affirming that gay and lesbian individuals have a fundamental right to marry under the federal constitution, the 9th Circuit declined to take on that issue, instead arguing that the Constitution prohibits a State from taking away a previously enjoyed benefit from a group without a rational basis through the operation of an initiative campaign based on negative stereotypes.

San Francisco argues that the 9th Circuit was correct in basing this decision primarily on the Supreme Court case of Romer v. Evans, a 2003 ruling in which the Court struck down a Colorado law that rolled back legal protections for gays and lesbians and prohibited them from seeking those protections in the future through any means.  Follow the link for a step-by-step analysis of San Francisco’s opposition brief. (more…)

13 Comments August 31, 2012

Marriage Anniversary for Vermont: Three Years of Equality

By Matt Baume

Three years ago today, Vermont became the fourth state in the country where gay and lesbian couples had freedom to marry. On this third anniversary, let’s take a moment look back at how that happened — and what’s happened since.

The journey to marriage saw its first major leap in the year 2000, when the state became the first to recognize civil unions. The Vermont Supreme Court had ruled that gay and lesbian couples are entitled to the same benefits and protections as opposite-couples. In response, then-Governor Howard Dean signed a civil unions bill into law.

That went a long way towards protecting families in Vermont, but it still wasn’t equality. It wasn’t until 2009 that a Senate committee unanimously recommended legalizing marriage. The House and Senate quickly passed a marriage bill that Governor Jim Douglas then vetoed. We were just five votes shy of overriding his veto, and sure enough, five legislators stepped up and voted to override. The bill passed by one single vote, and marriages commenced.

The Williams Institute estimated that in the first three years, marriage will mean an extra 30 point 6 million dollars for Vermont’s economy, and 700 new jobs.

And public support has remained strong. A survey last year showed that 58 percent of residents are glad marriage is legal. That’s up from 53 percent in 2009, and 40 percent in 2004.

Of course, work still isn’t over. The federal government doesn’t recognize the marriages of the thousands of gay and lesbian couples who have married in Vermont.

That’s why AFER remains committed to bringing about full federal marriage equality for all Americans. Visit us over at AFER.org for more on our case, and to help us expand the freedom to marry from coast to coast.

2 Comments August 30, 2012

Equality news round-up: gay voters and the economy, and more

By Scottie Thomaston

- Here’s a story on LGBT diversity on TV.

- The Center for American Progress has a report on discrimination against LGBT people.

- NPR has a story on the Republican Party’s anti-gay platform.

- Unsurprisingly, most gay voters consider the economy and jobs high priority issues.

- Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) says he no longer supports a constitutional amendment to ban gay and lesbian couples from getting married. (He still opposes marriage equality, however.)

8 Comments August 30, 2012

Survey: how are we doing?

By Adam Bink

The staff here just wants to check in again and see how everyone’s doing, but without a long survey — just a check-in over in the comments. Tell us how we’re doing… what do you like about the content (the blog posts) and what could use improvement? The technical aspects of the site? The writers? Features you’d like to see? Please be as candid as possible and leave a comment. As always, you’re welcome to e-mail a comment in private to prop8trial at couragecampaign dot org as well.

Let us know in the comments, and thanks for reading Prop8TrialTracker.com.

11 Comments August 30, 2012

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