Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

21 Feb 2012 21:40


Politics: Chris Christie’s gay friends are cool with him opposing their right to marry

  • My friends, whether they be homosexual or not, know me, and they know that I’m not bigoted.
  • Chris Christie • Regarding his recent veto of a bill that would have legalized gay marriage in New Jersey. Politicians who oppose marriage equality use this defense a lot, because hey, it’s easy to speak on behalf of your unnamed gay friends and say that they’re cool with your anti-gay marriage views. Any of Christie’s gay friends care to come forward and confirm this? source

18 Feb 2012 17:23


Politics: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoes same-sex marriage bill

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

  • Less than 24 hours after the state assembly sent a same-sex marriage bill to his desk New Jersey Governor Chris Christie followed through on his promise to veto the measure, and continued his call for a ballot question. In his veto, the governor cited a continued belief that citizens should decide whether or not to redefine the state’s legal definition of marriage, and included a proposal for the creation of an ombudsman to oversee compliance with the state’s existing civil union laws. Many say the existing laws are both flawed and discriminatory. State Senate President Steve Sweeney(D) condemned the move, saying that Governor Christie, “had a chance to do the right thing, and failed miserably.” (image courtesy of flickr user bobjagendorf) source

16 Feb 2012 13:48


Politics: Two state legislatures working on same-sex marriage today

  • New JerseyA bill legalizing same-sex marriage has already passed the state Senate, and is widely expected to pass the House as well. Republican Governor Chris Christie, however, has promised to veto – taking the political risk of being the lone man who thwarted tens of thousands of people’s personal happiness.
  • Maryland A less certain, but potentially rosier picture for marriage equality in Maryland; should a same-sex marriage bill pass the House, it will go to a Senate that passed such a bill last year, and is supported by Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley. Such a bill failed last year due to Democratic defections. source

13 Feb 2012 15:39


Politics: Washington legalizes same-sex marriage…but there’s an asterisk

  • I’m proud that the children in our schools and neighborhoods will no longer have to wonder why their loving parents are considered somewhat different than other loving parents.
  • Washington Governor Chris Gregoire • Upon signing legislation today that legalized same-sex marriage in her state. The law is set to take place in June, but there’s a catch: If opponents of marriage equality succeed in putting a ballot initiative on the November ballot, the law won’t take effect until after the election returns in December. source

08 Feb 2012 20:23


Politics: Big successive days for marriage equality movement

  • yesterday A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California’s Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban which voters approved in 2008. As we noted, the ruling didn’t endorse same-sex marriage as a right, but said voters had no rational reason to prohibit it; a step forward regardless.
  • today Washington’s state legislature passed, by a vote of 55-43, a bill that legalizes same-sex marriage. The bill will almost assuredly face a legal challenge by opposing advocacy groups, but Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire will likely sign it into law at some point during the next week. source

08 Feb 2012 02:00


Politics: “Judge Reinhardt wrote his opinion for an audience of one: Justice Kennedy”

  • Judge Reinhardt does not hold there is a right to same sex marriage, only that CA had no rational reason to take away the label of marriage for use by gay and lesbian couples after the state had had already given it. By crafting the argument in this way, and making the case that the only reason for passing Prop. 8 was anti-gay animus, Judge Reinhardt has given Justice Kennedy a way to decide the case without embracing a major holding recognizing a right to same sex marriage generally.
  • Rick Hansen • Regarding the nature of the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling on Proposition 8 earlier today. Hansen is suggesting that Judge Reinhardt cast the ruling in an intentionally narrow sense so as to make it easier for Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court’s most notorious swing voter, to uphold it on appeal. The distinction we made earlier could thus affect the future of gay marriage in California. In short, court rulings often possess a strategic, as well as a legal, foundation. source

07 Feb 2012 18:30


Politics: Some important nuance regarding Proposition 8

  • A quick note about today’s prop 8 ruling: While the court did rule in favor of gay marriage, the court did not assert that gay marriage is a fundamental or constitutional right. That’s not the angle the court was coming from, and in fact, it intentionally deferred answering that question. Rather, the ruling rested on two assertions. One, the notion that US Constitution requires a “legitimate reason” for states to pass laws that treat “different classes of people differently.” Two, the fact that “under California statutory law, same-sex couples had all the rights of opposite-sex couples, regardless of their marital status.” Because of this fact, Proposition 8 serves only and exclusively to “lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.” The court ruled that this isn’t “legitimate reason,” and therefore, is unconstitutional. As we’ll explain later, this nuance has significant implications for future court rulings. source

07 Feb 2012 14:05


Politics: California’s gay marriage ban, Prop. 8, struck down by court panel

  • Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.
  • The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals • On today’s 2-1 panel ruling, which overturned California’s gay marriage ban on constitutional grounds. This is a validation of a previous ruling against Proposition 8 back in August 2010, made by now retired Judge Vaughn Walker. ProtectMarriage, the group that backed Proposition 8, still has legal recourse, however; they can seek the ruling of a larger 9th Circuit panel, or try to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The likely “swing vote” in that case is thought to be Justice Kennedy, who could therefore occupy the unusual position of holding millions of people’s future marriages and families in his hands. source

24 Jan 2012 10:17


Politics, U.S.: Gay marriage bill gets closer to passing in Washington state

  • pastWashington state has had a same-sex domestic partnership law since 2007, and an “everything but marriage” law since 2009. This week, opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage crowded a state Senate committee hearing to see if the state might go a step further.
  • futureState Senator Mary Margaret Haugen became the 25th vote of support of the bill on Monday. “This is the right vote and it is the vote I will cast when this measure comes to the floor,” she said. Washington would become the seventh state to do so. source

05 Jan 2012 10:13


U.S.: Iowa judge favors married same-sex couple in birth certificate case

  • cause The Iowa Department of Public Health told a married same-sex couple they couldn’t put both their names on their child’s birth certificate.
  • reaction The couple sued, saying it went against a 2009 decision by the Iowa Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriages.
  • result A district court judge ruled in favor of the couple, scolding officials for not interpreting older laws in light of the 2009 decision. source