|Videos||News Feed||Syndicate the Show||About|
Sep 10, 2012: Marriage Cases Reach Supreme Court
The freedom to marry is a hit at Democratic National Convention. Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, a primary this Tuesday pits a pro-equality Democrat against an anti-equality incumbent. Conservatives unveil their version of a civil unions bill, and Scotland is on track to debate marriage equality in the coming months. All that, plus we could be just two weeks away from a major Supreme Court decision in the Prop 8 case.
It's another sign of America's amazing progress on the freedom to marry: this week, the Democratic Party affirmed marriage as an official plank in the party platform. The platform says, "We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law." It goes on, "We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act."
Meanwhile, a new survey out this week shows that seven in ten constitutional law professors believe that DOMA is unconstitutional. DOMA will likely be taken up soon by the US Supreme Court. The court's term starts in October, and the justices have already been asked to weigh in on multiple DOMA cases. They'll also have an opportunity to hear AFER's case to overturn Prop 8. We could know as early as September 25th whether or not they'll take our case.
Turning to states, Rhode Island faces an important primary on Tuesday, September 11. That race pits Laura Pisaturo, an out lesbian, against anti-equality incumbent Michael McCaffrey. McCaffrey is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would vote on any future marriage equality legislation. If Pisaturo wins the primary, it would clear a major obstacle to marriage equality in Rhode Island. A 2009 survey showed that 60 percent of residents support the freedom to marry, to just 31 percent opposed.
A bill in California that would clarify religious exemptions to marriage equality has passed the Assembly by a wide margin. The bill, sponsored by Senator Mark Leno, is intended to neutralize our opponents' claim that marriage equality would force clergy to perform marriages against their wishes.
In international news, Poland's largest conservative party has announced civil union legislation. The move comes just a month after Parliament rejected a civil union bill without debate.
Also this week, the Scottish National Party unveiled its marriage bill. It now faces debate and a vote at some point in the next year, and then a referendum in 2014. The soonest couples would be allowed to marry is the beginning of 2015.
And following a survey that shows widespread support in Chile, LGBT advocates there have presented a marriage lawsuit to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. Among the attorneys representing gay couples is Hunter T. Carter, a former advisor to Hillary Clinton on Latin America.
Finally, we're just a few weeks away from some major Supreme Court news on the fight to overturn Prop 8. Visit AFER.org to sign up for breaking news alerts.
Keep in Touch