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Jul 31, 2012: Chick-fil-A Protests Increase
The Chick-Fil-A saga continues, with a day of protest coming this Wednesday. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos gives two point five million dollars for a marriage equality vote in Washington state. The Democratic National Committee takes a big step towards endorsing the freedom to marry. Pressure builds on the Supreme Court, and there's international progress from Scotland to Vietnam.
Protests continue over Chick-fil-A, with politicians from San Francisco to Chicago to Boston speaking out against the company. While cities can't outright ban companies for being anti-gay, several communities have organized protests.
This weekend Laguna Hills residents picketed a new CFA location, and the Human Rights Campaign organized a picket line in DC. College students are petitioning to remove the chain from campuses in Illinois, Kansas, and Minnesota, among others.
This week Jeremiah Cillpam, owner of a CFA franchise in Hollywood, issued a statement distancing himself from the company's anti-gay history. But reports indicate that Cillpam is a leader at a Christian Ministry called Young Life, which says that gay and lesbian couples are guilty of "sexual misconduct," and prohibits LGBTs from serving as staff or volunteers.
This Wednesday, organizers are planning a "Chick-fil-a Depreciation Day." On August First, supporters are encouraged to buy a chicken sandwich at McDonald's and post a photo of them eating it on the Facebook wall of their closest Chick-fil-A.
That's the latest news in sandwiches. Turning now to the November election, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has donated two point five million dollars to support a marriage equality referendum in Washington. Voters will decide whether to approve or reject marriage equality in less than 100 days. Polling on Ref 74 is currently too close to call, with 50% supporting the measure and 43% rejecting it. And there's confusion over the meaning of a vote, with many not understanding that an "approve" vote means upholding the marriage equality law.
In Maine, fundraisers have brought in one point two million dollars for their marriage equality measure. The opposition, on the other hand, has raised less than fifty thousand dollars. Polling shows residents support the freedom to marry by a margin of 57 to 35 percent.
The Democratic National Committee is moving towards approving marriage equality in the official party platform. The plank was unanimously approved by a 15-member panel this weekend. Now it'll undergo discussion at an August 10 meeting in Detroit. Then it'll be finalized at the Charlotte, North Carolina convention in early September.
The pressure is on for a marriage ruling by the US Supreme Court. An appellate court hearing in the Golinski case was scheduled for September, but that's been put on hold pending a decision on whether the Supreme Court will take the case instead.
Meanwhile, both New York City and Massachusetts asked the Supreme Court last week to rule on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. This comes on the heels of a report from New York that their first year of marriage equality brought two hundred and fifty nine million dollars to the state.
And there's been plenty of international progress lately. Scotland has announced new marriage equality legislation that carries majority support in Parliament. If approved, that law could go into effect in 2013.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, pledged this week to legalize the freedom to marry by 2015. And John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, pledged his support for a marriage equality bill that's been selected for a vote by the end of the year.
And despite a spotty record on human rights, officials in Vietnam are now studying options for recognizing LGBT relationships. But there's bad news in Poland this week, where Parliament blocked a debate on establishing civil unions. Under some interpretations, Poland's constitution may prohibit any relationship recognition, but the ruling Civic Platform party will continue its work on a partnership law.
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