Post(s) tagged with "gay marriage"

Marriage Equality Talking Points

I have added a new Talking Points page to Civilly Unioned with answers to statements said against marriage equality.

My wife and I wrote this material a little over a year ago when we where working the website for Marriage Equality Rhode Island.  These are general talking points that any supporter of marriage equality should be familiar with and can use to help articulate their support when countered with opposition.  We have heard all these questions against marriage equality at some point along the way and have tried to answer them carefully and clearly.  Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

Check it out: Civilly Unioned’s Marriage Equality Talking Points

MN Gubernatorial candidates support gay marriage — with one exception ⇢

Pro-equality candidates are the a vital step towards getting marriage equality in every state.  Go Minnesota!

Same-sex marriage advocates think 2010 is their best chance yet to realize equality for gay and lesbian people. But a key factor will be who ends up occupying the governor’s mansion after Tim Pawlenty moves out — and whether he or she supports Minnesota joining the five other states and Washington, DC., that allow same-sex couples to wed. With the exception of Republican candidate Tom Emmer, all major candidates for governor are strongly in favor of same-sex marriage.

“For people who believe that we need to make Minnesota a place where people are not discriminated against because of who they are or who they love, this election is critical,” said Monica Meyer, public policy director of OutFront Minnesota. “We are on the verge of being able to right some wrongs in state laws. In this election, voters have an opportunity to vote for candidates who champion justice and equality for all Minnesotans.”

Of the candidates for governor, all but the Republican seem enthusiastic about making LGBT equality a reality.

Read The Rest of the Story (via the Minnesota Independent)


Gay couples find legal marriage still has its costs ⇢

yes yes and yes.  don’t even get me started on the tax complications of being married but not having it recognized in all states or federally…  what a pain in the ass!

(via The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram)


I love The Golden Girls!  LOVE IT!  The show was so progressive on issues of sexism, racism, homophobia and a host of other issues in a way that is not seen on TV today… which is more amazing since it aired from 1985 to 1992.   I vaguely remember watching this episode as a jr. high student (totally showing my age there) but not realizing how ground-breaking this little scene was.  I caught it again as adult and remain amazed at how succinctly and completely Sophia captures the heart of why everyone should be able to marry the one they love.

YAY Golden Girls!!!

The real emergency.

Groundbreaking Study Released on Polling Regarding Marriage Equality and Same-Sex Relationships

this a a long, but incredibly valuable read for those working in the area of marriage equality.  i have long felt that the real work for marriage equality needed to happen outside of the typical election and voter referendum cycle.  money gets them out the door on election day, but conversations and education before equality comes to a vote means they make the right decision on election day.

Shows that Voters Don’t Move During Campaigns; Debunks Theories Explaining Persistent Discrepancies between Polls and Actual Results

A groundbreaking report released today analyzing a decade’s worth of polling on ballot measures regarding marriage for same-sex couples found that forces supporting and opposing marriage equality had little success at changing voter sentiment during these campaigns. Moreover, pre-election polls were consistently unreliable because they under-estimated voter support for bans on the legal recognition of same-sex relationships. But the report found no evidence supporting the theories that voters misrepresented their support for bans to pollsters, or that they were confused about the meaning of a “yes” or “no” vote.

The report, Findings from a Decade of Polling on Ballot Measures Regarding the Legal Status of Same-Sex Couples, was prepared by public opinion expert Patrick J. Egan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Politics & Public Policy at New York University. The report was based on the most comprehensive compilation to date of pre-election polls available in the states holding votes on marriage equality and domestic partnership since 1988—a total of 167 surveys on 32 different ballot measures. The report was commissioned by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, a long-time supporter of extending the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples.

Both Sides Spent Millions, but Voters Didn’t Move

One of the most startling findings in the report is that those favoring and opposing the ballot measures have largely fought to a draw, meaning that the share of the public saying they intended to vote for or against these measures typically changed very little over the course of the campaigns.

“Most political scientists think that election campaigns do little, in the end, to move many voters one way or another,” said report author, Dr. Patrick Egan. “This report indicates that ballot measures on same-sex marriage are no exception: neither advocates nor opponents tended to gain support in any consistent fashion in these campaigns, despite the millions of dollars spent by both sides over the past decade.”

Advocates said the results corresponded with their own experiences regarding timing of moving people on marriage equality “This underscores the simple reality that in the heat of a ballot campaign it’s very difficult to move someone on marriage equality – voters are being hit with messages from both sides,” said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBT political advocacy organization. “As a result, it is essential that we have majority support for marriage equality before the final months of a campaign.”

“Clearly, the time to changes hearts, minds and votes to support equality is before a campaign starts,” said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who brought the lawsuit which led the California Supreme Court to strike down the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples in 2008. That decision was subsequently overturned by Proposition 8, a ballot measure which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.

“The need for education and organizing before marriage gets on the ballot is particularly important in people of color communities,” said Luis Lopez, President of HONOR PAC, an organization working to politically empower Latina/o LGBT communities. “Here in California, our opponents tried to use marriage to drive a wedge between people of color and the LGBT community – we have to get out in front of them before the attacks start.”

“This research underscores what many of us have learned through personal experience,” noted Thalia Zepatos, Director of Public Engagement for Freedom to Marry. “There is no 30-second political ad that can replace thoughtful conversations that committed gay and lesbian people have about marriage with their neighbors at a barbecue, with family members over holiday dinner, and with colleagues at work and at school. Smart public education- outside of intense political battles – that tells the stories of how millions of Americans are harmed by being denied the freedom to marry have resulted in 17% increase in Gallup Poll support for the freedom to marry between1996 and 2010.”

Polls Consistently Underestimated Support for Measures to Ban Same-Sex Marriage; Theories for this Phenomenon Debunked

The report also found that in state after state, polls have consistently underestimated the share of “yes” votes—that is, voter support for bans on legal recognition of same-sex couples. By contrast, survey estimates of those intending to vote against same-sex marriage bans tended to be relatively accurate predictors of the ultimate proportion of “no” votes. The result is that the share of voters projected to support a ban on same-sex marriage is typically about three percentage points less than the actual level of support on election day. “The analysis supports what many advocates for marriage equality for same-sex marriage have long believed: that they need to be ahead by a healthy margin in the polls in order to have a chance for victory in any traditional campaign,” said Egan.

The study debunks two theories put forward to explain this gap – one, that voters are reluctant to express anti-gay sentiment to pollsters, and another that voters are confused about what a “no” and “yes” position really means. The study found that the gap was no larger in contexts where voters might be expected to feel more pressure to supply a pro-gay answer, including states with larger LGBT populations or in surveys conducted by live interviews as opposed to an automated system. In addition, the study found that the gap between polling and the ultimate election result became no smaller over the course of the typical campaign—indicating that it is unlikely that voter confusion (which would be expected to be higher at the beginning of a campaign than at the end) is to blame for the polling-results gap.

"Civil rights are not won by people saying, ‘Wait until the right time.’ " - Theodore B. Olson

- Olson surprises many conservatives by seeking to overturn gay-marriage ban

Two Weddings, a Divorce and ‘Glee’ - ⇢

Great op-ed read from Frank Rich on why marriage laws need to catch-up to the culture.

"But there is a shadow over marriage in America just the same. The Gores and Limbaughs are free to marry, for better or for worse, and free to enjoy all the rights (and make all the mistakes) that marriage entails. Gay and lesbian couples are still fighting for those rights. That’s why the most significant marital event of June 2010 is the one taking place in San Francisco this Wednesday, when a Federal District Court judge is scheduled to hear the closing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the landmark case challenging Proposition 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban. A verdict will soon follow, setting off an appeals process that is likely to land in the Supreme Court, possibly by the 2011-12 term.”


The New York Times

A Basic Civil Right

After a nearly three-week trial in January, and a lengthy hiatus while lawyers fought over documents, closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

No one expects the ruling from Judge Vaughn Walker in Federal District Court to be the last word. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, will have its say, and so, eventually, may the Supreme Court.

The testimony made abundantly clear that excluding same-sex couples from marriage exacts a grievous toll on gay people and their families. Domestic partnerships are a woefully inadequate substitute.

On the witness stand, the plaintiffs described the pain and stigma of having their relationships relegated by the state to a lesser category that fails to convey the love and commitment inherent in marriage. “My state is supposed to protect me. It’s not supposed to discriminate against me,” said Paul Katami, one of the plaintiffs.

Defenders of Proposition 8 produced no evidence to back up their claim that marriage between same-sex couples would hurt heterosexual marriage. “I don’t know. I don’t know,” the defense attorney, Charles Cooper, said when asked for an explanation by the judge at a pretrial hearing.

The defense called only two witnesses. The first, Kenneth Miller, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, argued that gay people are a powerful political force, which was meant to support the claim that there is no need for enhanced judicial protection. He ended up admitting that gay men and lesbians suffer discrimination.

The other witness, David Blankenhorn, the president of the Institute for American Values, argued that marriage is being weakened by rising divorce rates and more unmarried people having children, but he could not convincingly explain what the genders of married couples had to do with that.

Upon questioning, he acknowledged that marriage is a “public good” that would benefit same-sex couples and their children, and that to allow same-sex marriage “would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion.” The net result was to reinforce the sense that Proposition 8 was driven by animus rather than any evidence of concrete harm to heterosexual marriages or society at large.

It’s not possible to know whether the final ruling in this case will broadly confront the overarching denial of equal protection and due process created by prohibiting one segment of society from entering into marriage. The Supreme Court has, in different cases, called marriage “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men” and a “basic civil right.”

The result, even if a win for gay couples, could be a limited ruling confined to the situation in California, where the state’s highest court granted the freedom to marry and voters later repealed it following an ugly campaign spearheaded by antigay religious interests.

But there are actions that can be taken now. States like New York should not put off acting on legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Last week, President Obama extended a modest package of benefits — including day care and relocation allowances — to all partners of federal employees. Congress has a duty to extend to same-sex partners the rest of the benefits that are enjoyed by federal workers whose spouses are of a different sex. It also needs to repeal the 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Editorial in NY Times June 10, 2010

I love that the supporters of prop 8 can’t even explain their arguments of alleged negative impacts of marriage equality.  Its time for bad law to be struck down as bad law.  A positive decision form Judge Walker will not be the end, but hopefully it will be a strong foundation upon which to continue forward.  

The New York Times

MA Constitutional Convention - June 14, 2007 
This picture is from among the mass of protesters (pro and anti equality) that gathered outside the statehouse in Boston during the last Massachusetts Constitutional Convention in 2007.  Thankfully, the MA Legislature voted positively to uphold marriage in the state.  This photo was taken about 20 minutes before the crowd was notified of the positive outcome.

MA Constitutional Convention - June 14, 2007 

This picture is from among the mass of protesters (pro and anti equality) that gathered outside the statehouse in Boston during the last Massachusetts Constitutional Convention in 2007.  Thankfully, the MA Legislature voted positively to uphold marriage in the state.  This photo was taken about 20 minutes before the crowd was notified of the positive outcome.

Source: Flickr / rauchdickson

Iceland passes gay marriage law in unanimous vote | Reuters ⇢

thank you Iceland for showing the rest of the world how its done!


Providence Pride 2007

Providence Pride 2007

Source: Flickr / rauchdickson

Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry
Excellent and highly recommended book for anyone wanting to further understand the right to marry movement and how the best talking points are structured.

Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry

Excellent and highly recommended book for anyone wanting to further understand the right to marry movement and how the best talking points are structured.


Judge Walker's Full List of Questions (PDF) ⇢

A very, very interesting read of all the questions issued.  Bilerico Project has an interesting analysis.

What empirical data, if any, supports a finding that legal recognition of same-sex marriage reduces discrimination against gays and lesbians?

What are the consequences of a permanent injunction against enforcement of Proposition 8? What remedies do plaintiffs propose?

If the evidence of the involvement of the LDS and Roman Catholic churches and evangelical ministers supports a finding that Proposition 8 was an attempt to enforce private morality, what is the import of that finding?

The court has reserved ruling on plaintiffs’ motion to exclude Mr Blankenhorn’s testimony. If the motion is granted, is there any other evidence to support a finding that Proposition 8 advances a legitimate governmental interest?

Why is legislating based on moral disapproval of homosexuality not tantamount to discrimination? See Doc #605 at 11 (“But sincerely held moral or religious views that require acceptance and love of gay people, while disapproving certain aspects of their conduct, are not tantamount to discrimination.”). What evidence in the record shows that a belief based in morality cannot also be discriminatory? If that moral point of view is not held and is disputed by a small but significant minority of the community, should not an effort to enact that moral point of view into a state constitution be deemed a violation of equal protection?

What does it mean to have a “choice” in one’s sexual orientation? See e g Tr 2032:17-22; PX 928 at 37


Equality on Trial: Judge Walker’s Amazing Questions for Closing Argument

fascinating that these are the questions… i can’t wait to hear the closing arguments on the 16th

Source: The Huffington Post


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