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Jun 11, 2012: We're on a Winning Streak Against DOMA
We're entering the final phase of the case to overturn Prop 8. A judge finds DOMA to be unconstitutional for the third time in as many weeks. Good polling from battleground states, and Denmark goes from voting on marriage equality to enacting marriage equality in the span of about a week.
At the American Foundation for Equal Rights, I'm Matt Baume, and welcome to Marriage News Watch for June 11, 2012.
A ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week means that the case against Proposition 8 is about to enter its final phase. The case will not be re-heard at the appellate court level, which means that the Proponents will likely petition to the United States Supreme Court. That's the last stop on the road to overturning Prop 8, which has twice been ruled unconstitutional.
From this point, there are only two ways the case can go: either the Supreme Court will let the previous rulings stand, which means California will finally be rid of Prop 8. Or they'll take the case, and examine the overwhelming evidence that Prop 8 violates the Constitution. If that happens, AFER is confident that the justices will reach the same conclusion as the last two courts.
Meanwhile, progress continues on over a dozen cases involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act. For the third week in a row, a court has ruled against DOMA. In the most recent case, a District Court judge in New York ruled that DOMA does not fulfill a legitimate government interest. This follows a ruling last week in Boston and one the week before in California, both of which found DOMA to violate the United States Constitution.
DOMA's still not gone yet. Its defenders are fewer in number than ever before, but they still haven't exhausted their opportunities for appeal. So for the time being, DOMA remains in effect.
But public opinion on marriage equality is rapidly shifting. A new CNN survey is now the thirteenth national poll to show a majority of Americans favor marriage equality, by a margin of 54 to 42%
Turning to the states, anti-gay activists in Washington state have submitted signatures to force that state's new marriage equality law to a popular vote. Marriages would have started this summer in Washington, but now gay and lesbian couples will have to wait until November to find out whether they'll be allowed to marry. The most recent poll in Washington shows that 54% of voters would keep marriage equality, with just 33% voting to overturn it.
And a series of polls across the country this week show encouraging progress. In Colorado, new numbers show that 73% of voters favor relationship recognition. That's 42% who support marriage, 31% who support civil unions, and only 22% who oppose recognition of any kind.
In Minnesota, where voters will face a marriage referendum in November, 43% say they would amend the state constitution to ban marriage equality, but they're now outnumbered by the 49% who oppose. That's a big improvement from February, when a survey showed that 47% wanted to amend the constitution and 39% opposed the amendment.
And in Missouri, 64% of voters support relationship recognition, with 33% favoring marriage and 31% for civil unions. Opposition to marriage equality has dropped seven points since September.
Finally this week, marriage is coming to Denmark, and coming very fast. The Danish Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality last week. And they're moving quickly to implement the new law: marriages will start on Friday of this week.
You can visit AFER.org for more on the fight to overturn Prop 8 and win full federal marriage equality here in the US. At the American Foundation for Equal Rights, I'm Matt Baume. We'll see you next week.
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