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Aug 27, 2012: Republican Party Won't Budge on Marriage Equality
Major news in the Prop 8 case, with new briefs filed with the US Supreme Court. Another survey shows a majority of Americans support the freedom to marry, so why is the Republican party turning its back on relationship recognition? And challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act were already on the fast track, but now that track could get even faster.
At the American Foundation for Equal Rights, I'm Matt Baume, and welcome to Marriage News Watch for August 27, 2012.
Late last week, AFER filed a brief with the US Supreme Court, asking the court to deny the Prop 8 proponents' latest attempt to stop couples from marrying. Two courts have now found Prop 8 to be unconstitutional, and the Proponents making a last-ditch effort to have those victories overturned by the Supreme Court.
AFER's position is that the previous decisions are correct, and don't require any further review.
The next step is up to the Supreme Court. They could decide as soon as late September whether to rehear our case. If they chose not to take it, our Ninth Circuit victory will go into effect and Prop 8 will be gone for good. And if they do decide to take it, AFER's attorneys are ready to defend our previous wins before the Supreme Court.
In other news, yet another national poll has shown that a majority of Americans support the freedom to marry. This time it was a Washington Post/Kaiser survey showing support at 53 percent to 42 percent opposed. This makes the fourteenth national poll to show our support at over 50 percent.
Despite the undeniable trend in public opinion, the Republican Party is headed towards a platform that doesn't even recognize civil unions. The party's platform committee last week voted down a plank that would have included limited relationship recognition. In response, the group Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry has denounced the move as disappointing. They've vowed to continue working towards building Republican support for marriage equality.
And finally this week, the Department of Justice has filed an appeal in one of the numerous DOMA cases currently in progress. The case in question is Pederson versus Office of Personnel Management, in which one federal court has already found DOMA to be unconstitutional. Typically, the case would now be reheard by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. But the plaintiffs, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, want to skip the Second Circuit and go directly to the Supreme Court to settle the matter once and for all.
As with the Prop 8 case, the Supreme Court will begin deciding which cases to take in late September. So you can expect major news about the freedom to marry then -- just a few weeks before the election.
Visit AFER.org to learn more about the case to overturn Prop 8 and win full federal marriage equality. At the American Foundation for Equal Rights, I'm Matt Baume. We'll see you next week.
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