October 23, 2012
By Matt Baume
Another ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act marks the anti-gay law’s eighth consecutive loss in court. Also this week, a former Prop 8 supporter releases a new video explaining his change of heart. And polling on marriage in key states remains very close just days out from the election.
The federal Defense of Marriage Act has struck out — again. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in the case Windsor v. United States that DOMA violates the US Constitution.
The court also affirmed the use of heightened scrutiny in examining laws that target gays and lesbians. This is a huge victory, because it means additional protection against discriminatory laws.
The ruling cites AFER’s case against Prop 8, pointing out that “the argument that withdrawing the designation of ‘marriage’ from same-sex couples could on its own promote the strength or stability of opposite-sex marital relationships lacks any such footing in reality.”
This marks the third court of appeals to strike down laws that prevent the government from recognizing gay and lesbian relationships. It’s DOMA’s eighth overall loss in court. And it brings the total number of federal judges who have ruled against marriage bans to 34.
Also this week, new polling data out from Gallup shows that 3.4 percent of Americans identify as LGBT. Among the groups more likely to identify as LGBT are non-white Americans, young people, and among those with low income and education.
Turning to states, Minnesota is still locked in a dead heat over a proposed marriage ban. The measure has 47 percent support, up one point from a survey last week.
But we’ve picked up a powerful new ally: David Blankenhorn, who just three years ago testified against the freedom to marry in the Prop 8 case. Here’s the former Prop 8 supporter talking to the campaign in Minnesota.
“There are powerful reasons to believe that we will be a better society if we include gay and lesbian people and their relationships as full and equal parts of society.”
Polling looks better in Maryland, where a Washington Post survey this week shows support for marriage equality at 52% to 43% opposed.
And in Washington, polling has us ahead among registered voters, 56 to 36 percent.
Time is running out to push for marriage in the leadup to the election. Visit afer.org/election2012 to learn more and get involved in a state near you. Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington will all vote on marriage in just two weeks.