March 2013 Archives

It's easy to forget that it wasn't even 11 months ago President Barack Obama remained opposed to same-sex marriage. "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix," then-Sen. Obama ... [Read]

Elena Kagan's Supreme Court zinger

Posted by Justin Snow
March 27, 2013 8:37 PM |
In one of the most memorable moments during today's Supreme Court arguments on DOMA, Justice Elena Kagan shut down one of the key arguments being made by the lawyer for House Republicans. During questioning of Paul Clement, the lead attorney defending DOMA for the Republican-controlled House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), Kagan took issue with the argument that Congress approved ... [Read]

Is DOMA dead? That was the question many were asking after the Supreme Court concluded two hours of oral arguments Wednesday in the case challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. The apparent skepticism of a majority of the justices regarding the 1996 ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriage indicates its days may be numbered. During ... [Read]

The Supreme Court heard arguments today in the case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Read Metro Weekly's report from inside the courtroom here. Listen to and read the arguments here: Supreme Court DOMA Oral Arguments ... [Read]

It's been a long time coming, but on Tuesday morning opponents of California's ban on same-sex marriage finally got their day in the nation's highest court. During 90 minutes of oral arguments in the Proposition 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, both sides fielded a number of pointed questions from the nine Supreme Court justices that ranged from the societal ... [Read]

The Supreme Court justices approached the Proposition 8 case with caution Tuesday morning, indicating apparent trepidation to a sweeping ruling that would bring marriage equality to all 50 states. During 90 minutes of oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the justices, including the liberal wing of the court, appeared reluctant to embrace a ruling granting all same-sex couples the ... [Read]

The Supreme Court heard arguments today in the case challenging California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage. For more details, read Metro Weekly's report from inside the courtroom here. Listen to and read the arguments here: Supreme Court transcript, Proposition 8 ... [Read]

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D) announced Monday afternoon on his Facebook page that he is now a supporter of marriage equality, joining several other senators who are expressing a change in attitude toward the recognition of same-sex nuptials. "I support marriage equality because it is the fair and right thing to do," Warner wrote on his Facebook page. "Like many ... [Read]

After years of litigation that began in 2009, supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage will have what could be their conclusive day in court. The nine Supreme Court justices will hear arguments in two landmark cases, considering the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 on Tuesday, March 26, and Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday, ... [Read]

The son of Republican Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) spoke out publicly for the first time since his father endorsed marriage equality earlier this month in a column published by his college newspaper. Writing in the Yale Daily News, Will Portman says he came out to his parents in a letter that he overnighted to them in February of his ... [Read]

Sen. Claire McCaskill quietly announced her support for same-sex marriage in a post published on her Tumblr page Sunday evening. Invoking the Bible, the Missouri Democrat announced she believes the government should not limit the right to marry in a post titled after a passage from Corinthians 13: "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of ... [Read]

Equality Virginia, the commonwealth’s primary LGBT-rights group, is asking Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to veto a bill passed overwhelmingly by the Virginia Assembly in February that allows student groups to discriminate against potential members based on their religious, philosophical or political views and prohibits universities and educational institutions from denying such groups funding or other resources based on the content ... [Read]

Marriage-equality supporters gained another important ally yesterday when the 83-year-old American Academy of Pediatrics declared its support for same-sex marriage. In a policy statement titled "Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents Are Gay or Lesbian," the nonpartisan organization of pediatricians states that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry in order to guarantee them all state and federal ... [Read]

The saga surrounding New Mexico's ambiguous marriage laws continued today as two same-sex couples filed a lawsuit after they were denied marriage licenses by the Bernalillo County clerk. Because neither the New Mexico Constitution nor state marriage laws explicitly ban same-sex marriage, the lawsuit argues it is unlawful for county clerks to deny civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  The ... [Read]

Advocates of marriage equality in Rhode Island see their cause as gaining steam, while an alleged "compromise" bill calling for a statewide referendum is losing backers. This comes ahead of a Thursday hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will consider both bills. The shift in momentum could lead to tight votes, both the committee and, if voted forward, on ... [Read]

Calls for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from LGBT discrimination continued today. In a letter sent to Obama today, 110 Democratic members of the House of Representatives urged the president to sign the executive order long called for by advocates, which would ban federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or ... [Read]

With one week to go before scheduled Supreme Court arguments in two landmark marriage-equality cases, the next generation of conservatives are letting it be known that they are not members of their grandfathers' Republican Party. "Being a Republican who supports gay marriage is a bitch," said Meghan McCain, the outspoken daughter of Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, at a ... [Read]

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed same-sex marriage today in a video released by the Human Rights Campaign. "LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship — that includes marriage," Clinton said. "That's why I support marriage for lesbian and ... [Read]

In an expansive "autopsy" of the GOP, the Republican National Committee released a report today providing a path forward for the party, one that includes gay inclusion, following a series of defeats last November. Titled the "Growth and Opportunity Project," the 97-page report specifically singles out the GOP's stance on gay-rights issues as being a key contributor to alienation ... [Read]

The conservative movement's attempt to grapple with gay rights was on full display during the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference as leaders from the old guard and the new pitted exclusion against inclusion.  "We have tolerated something in our movement for far too long – anti-gay bigotry," Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud, told a room ... [Read]

The Rhode Island State Senate's Judiciary Committee announced yesterday that it will hear two bills March 21: one that would grant marriage equality in the Ocean State, and another calling for a statewide referendum on the issue. At the beginning of the 2013 session, legislators in both the state House of Representatives and state Senate introduced measures to allow gay ... [Read]

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman announced his support for marriage equality shortly after midnight Friday, saying that his reversal on the issue came after his son came out to him as gay. "I'm announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples' opportunity to ... [Read]

President Barack Obama elaborated further on his administration's decision to file a brief in the Proposition 8 case, telling George Stephanopoulos of ABC News in an interview set to air tonight that he believes the Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry. "What I believe is that if the states don't have a good justification for it, then ... [Read]

The field has narrowed in Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial election after Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, announced Tuesday he would not pursue a third-party candidacy, setting up a showdown between gay-marriage supporter and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee Terry McAuliffe and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a fierce opponent of LGBT rights. Bolling, who in his capacity as lieutenant ... [Read]

The Colorado House of Representatives voted 39-26 today to approve legislation that would permit civil unions for same-sex couples, all but assuring gay couples in Colorado will be able to enjoy key benefits as early as this spring. Sponsored by out Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D) and Rep. Sue Schafer (D) in the House, the bill was approved by a ... [Read]

President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats met behind closed doors on Capitol Hill today to discuss a list of legislative priorities ranging from the budget to immigration reform and gun control. Missing from the discussion, however, was one of the last major pieces of federal LGBT-rights legislation. According to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), neither the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) nor ... [Read]

The leader of the nation's largest LGBT military organization set her sights on complacency Saturday night, telling an audience of nearly a thousand that the fight for equality in the American armed services is far from over. "We need to be stronger because at its heart, our movement isn't just a fight to pass laws or enact policies; it's ... [Read]

Former President Bill Clinton took his biggest step yet in distancing himself from the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that bears his signature, writing in today's Washington Post that the Supreme Court should strike down DOMA.  "On March 27, DOMA will come before the Supreme Court, and the justices must decide whether it is consistent with the principles of ... [Read]

While GOProud remains banned from the annual Conservative Political Action Conference organized by the American Conservative Union (ACU), that won't stop one sponsor of CPAC from holding a pro-gay-rights panel during the conference next week.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a free market and limited-government nonprofit focused on economic and environmental policy, will host a panel titled "A Rainbow on ... [Read]

President Barack Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act back into law Thursday, which for the first time includes explicit protections for LGBT victims of domestic violence. At a ceremony held at the Interior Department, Obama welcomed an overflowing room of supporters for the signing more than a year after Congress failed to reauthorize VAWA in October 2011 due ... [Read]

The U.S. Senate confirmed the nation's first out gay Asian-American federal judge Monday evening. Pamela Ki Mai Chen was swiftly confirmed with little opposition by the Senate Monday evening to the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, becoming the second Chinese-American woman and one of only a few out lesbians to hold ... [Read]

A handful of Republicans on Capitol Hill are again attempting to write discrimination into U.S. military code with a bill introduced in the House of Representatives last week. The "Military Religious Freedom Protection Act" introduced by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) would amend military code in order to protect the "rights of conscience of members of the Armed Forces and ... [Read]

The results of a poll of Rhode Islanders released Thursday shows that a strong majority of voters support extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. The survey, conducted by the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University, found that 60.4 percent of respondents favored allowing same-sex couples to legally wed, a number that is nearly identical to the findings of ... [Read]

President Barack Obama elaborated on the Supreme Court brief filed by his administration yesterday in the Proposition 8 case, telling reporters today that same-sex couples must be treated equally and that if he were a Supreme Court justice he would argue broadly that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. "What we've done is put forward a basic principle, ... [Read]

More than 200 members of Congress filed a brief today urging the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.  For the first time, 40 Democratic members of the Senate joined 172 Democratic members of the House of Representatives in calling for the high court to declare Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex ... [Read]