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Apr 16, 2012: Obama Slams Anti-Gay Law in MN
The attack on DOMA just intensified with eight couples filing suit in Nevada. Meanwhile, President Obama weighs in on an anti-gay Constitutional amendment, and signature-gathering efforts are off to a very slow start.
It's getting harder by the day to keep track of all the lawsuits challenging state and federal marriage bans. Since AFER filed its case challenging Prop 8 in 2009, a slew of challenges have popped up all over the country. This week, it was Nevada, with Lambda Legal filing a lawsuit on behalf of eight couples. The basis for the lawsuit: that denying marriage to LGBT families violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. AFER made the same argument, first in federal district court and then again on appeal -- and both times, we won. We'll be keeping a close eye on this new Nevada case, and on the nearly two dozen cases involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Meanwhile, public opinion continues to move to our side. A new survey in Maine shows 58% support marriage equality, just two and a half years after voters narrowly approved a ban. Equality Maine will attempt to overturn that ban on the ballot this November, in what's likely to be a hotly contested campaign.
Across the country, anti-gay activists in Washington state have been slow to collect enough signatures to force that state's new marriage equality law to a referendum. They're shooting for 150,000 signatures by June 6, but so far they've got just slightly over 5,000 -- less than four percent of their goal. If they can't collect enough signatures, the law will go into effect and marriages can start.
Maryland is also likely to face a referendum on marriage this November. Governor Martin O'Malley signed the law into effect earlier this year, but anti-gay activists are collecting signatures for a referendum. This week the campaign to protect the marriage equality law hired an experienced campaign director: Josh Levin. Polling in Maryland is encouraging, with the latest poll showing voters favor marriage equality by 51 to 43 percent. But those numbers could change drastically as campaigns ramp up on both sides.
Maine, Washington, and Maryland aren't the only states heading towards a vote on marriage. Minnesota will have an anti-gay Constitutional amendment on the ballot this November. But this week, President Obama weighed in on the measure, calling it "divisive and discriminatory."
From legal challenges to ballot measures across the country, 2012's been the busiest year ever for marriage -- and it's only going to get busier. You can stay up-to-date on all of these stories by subscribing to this channel, and to AFER on Twitter and Facebook. And remember to do your part by giving Marriage News Watch a thumbs-up and sharing it every week.
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