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Feb 14, 2011: Marriage Equality is on a Roll: Feb 14, 2011 This Week in Prop 8
The big news about Prop 8 this week ... is that there isn't any news about Prop 8 this week. Nothing happened!
At least, nothing happened in California. There was a ton of activity in other states, from New Hampshire to New York to Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, and Rhode Island.
Now, when I started Stop Eight, two and a half years ago, it was all about Proposition Eight. But now, there's so much happening around the country that the name doesn't really seem inclusive enough. So, that's the comment bait for this week: should I change the name of this thing? What would you call a project that's all about telling the story of Americans fighting -- and winning -- the right to marry the one we love?
Leave us your suggestions in the comments.
And now let's look at what's going on in the states.
In New Hampshire, gay couples can currently get married, and a new survey shows that sixty two percent of residents want to keep it that way. Only five percent said that marriage equality makes them, quote, very upset.
This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for a vote on a marriage equality bill sometime before June.
And in Hawaii, a civil unions bill moved closer to passage with an 11-2 vote by the House Judiciary Committee.
This week Maryland heard testimony from over hundred people on a marriage equality bill.
That testimony proved unexpectedly persuasive, with one Senator changing his mind to support the bill after hearing anti-gay testimony that he called "appalling." Senator James Brochin had previously opposed the measure, but he said, quote, The demonization of gay families really bothered me.
Bothers us too.
And then there's Rhode Island. Commenters on Joe My God pointed out that we overlooked Rhode Island in our last two episodes, which is why we're debuting our brand new feature: Rhode Island, You've Got Style.
Rhode Island lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday regarding a bill that would finally allow gay couples to marry.
Just as in Maryland, hundreds turned out to rally and speak to lawmakers. The Rhode Island bill's currently working its way through committee but has a good chance of passing.
It prospects were bolstered by a new study showing that Rhode Island stands to gain a million dollars over the next three years if it legalizes marriage equality. The money would come from a variety of sources, including fairer income taxes and sales taxes from weddings.
And finally, Illinois made headlines two weeks ago when Governor Pat Quinn signed a civil unions bill into law. Now that was a long-fought struggle that took years of work. And to find out more about it, I spoke with Illinois activist Phil Reese, who writes for Bilerico and produces the Same Sex Sunday podcast.
Phil gave me a behind-the-scenes look at exactly how they got civil unions passed, and also how they plan to defend the new law from attack as they continue to move towards marriage.
We spoke for about twenty minutes, and I pulled out some of the highlights to feature here on the show. Or, if you want, you can click over here to watch the full uncut interview.
But for now, here's the best excerpts from our conversation.
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