Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
2013-FEB: Accelerating steps toward same-sex
marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
We use the acronym "SSM" throughout this section to represent "same-sex marriage"
We use the acronym "LGBT" to refer to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. The acronym "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
See also the previous essay describing events during 2012-JAN
The Obama administration announced on 2011-FEB-23 that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. Some commentators predicted that this decision would generate a tipping point that will lead to a more rapid decline in discrimination against sexual minorities in the U.S.
One remarkable confirmation of this prediction occurred almost two years later on the evening of election day, 2012-NOV-06, when the results from four state referendums on same-sex marriage (SSM) became clear:
All four referendums resulted in SSM-positive decisions with a margin of about 5 to 6 percentage points. This compares to referendums which terminated SSM in California during 2008 and Maine during 2009 by about the same margin.
The momentum towards marriage equality continues, and has become a groundswell.
Developments during the month toward marital equality and a lessening of discrimination against sexual minorities:
- 2013-FEB-05: UK: SSM bill receives second reading in Parliament: For the entire day, the Marriage (Same-sex couples) Bill was debated in Parliament. The final vote at the second reading was 400 Members of Parliament to 175 -- overwhelmingly (70%) in favor. It now proceeds to a more detailed analysis by Parliament. More details.
- 2013-FEB-12: France: By a vote of 329 to 229 votes, the lower house of the French Legislature passed their same-sex marriage bill. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. 1
- 2013-FEB-14: IL: Senate passed their same-sex marriage bill, Voting followed along party lines with the exception of one Republican who voted with all of the Democrats. More details.
- 2013-FEB-16: CT: Scholarship awarded: Qesar Veliu, a law student at Quinnipiac University, at Hamden CT
is the recipient of the first GayDatingSites.net "Speak Out Against Prejudice" Scholarship Program. Mr. Veliu has received $5,000 contributed towards his rent, textbooks, and school supplies for the 2012–2013 academic school year.
- 2013-FEB-21: USA: $10 million study to "figure out homosexuality:" Neil Clark Warren, 78, a Christian and CEO of the Internet dating service eHarmony, said that being gay or lesbian:
... "has been a painful way for a lot of people to have to live."
He is asking:
"... other companies to put up money and do a really first-class job of figuring out homosexuality."
Candace Chellew-Hodge of Religion Dispatches suggests that the study would be a waste of resources. She concluded:
"No, the only cure for 'figuring out' this homosexuality thing is this: curing the bigotry against gays and lesbians fueled by religion. Slavery only ended when biblical arguments in favor of it were finally defeated. Jim Crow laws were finally repealed when federal law made bigoted state laws based on the biblical notion of 'separation of the races' null and void, no matter how many charges of 'attacks on religious freedom' were made. Women claimed autonomy and ownership of their own lives only when biblical arguments that women were property and subordinate to men were reduced to antiquated beliefs held by a sad minority of misogynistic men. Of course, there are still racists, misogynists, and other bigots who cling to outmoded interpretations of the Bible, but they are a decided minority.
It will be the same for homosexuality. The pseudo-science that Warren wants to spend his money on will prove nothing, and only serve to increase the pain felt by gay and lesbian people, because if our community feels any pain at all it is only because it is inflicted by people like Warren who believe gay and lesbian people are sinful aberrations in need 'figuring out' at worst, and turned into heterosexuals at best." 3
We have a suggestion for Warren: Give $2 million to NARTH to perform a study, give another $2 million to a joint committee of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association to perform a second study, and reserve $2 million to fund a dialogue between NARTH and the joint committee with the goal of trying to harmonize the results of the two studies. Then spend $4 million to conduct research to resolve which original study was correct on each of the points over which the dialogue was unable to resolve differences.
- 2013-FEB-23: USA: Obama Administration files brief before U.S. Supreme Court opposing Defense of Marriage Act: The administration filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court saying that Section 3 of the federal DOMA law:
"violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. ... The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples." 4
Section 3 of the DOMA law prohibits the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages solemnized in the District of Columbia or in one of the 9 states that have made marriage available to same-sex couples. It has been ruled unconstitutional by numerous federal District Courts and Courts of Appeal.
- 2013-FEB-25: USA: At least 75 prominent Republicans sign legal brief in support of SSM! Page A1, the front page, of the New York Times reported that many senior Republicans, including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors, and two members of Congress have signed a legal brief supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry. The brief was written by Seth P. Waxman, a former solicitor general under President Clinton, and by Reginald Brown, who was in the White House Counsel’s Office under George W. Bush. 5 Most of the signatories are now retired, because if a Republican currently holding office were to support SSM they would be committimg political suicide. The current Republican national platform calls for an amendment of the U.S. Constitution to ban SSM.
The brief will be submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in connection with California's Proposition 8 lawsuit. Prop. 8 terminated same-sex marriage in the state starting on 2008-NOV. The Court is reviewing a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. The brief argues in favor of SSM because it is pro-family. It allows children of same-sex couples to have two married parents with the protections and status that marriage brings to the family. It also advances the fundamental Republican policy of limiting government intrusions in people's lives, and maximizing individual freedom. Among the signatories are:
- Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership from Ohio, who said:
"Like a lot of the country, my views have evolved on this from the first day I set foot in Congress. I think it’s just the right thing, and I think it’s on solid legal footing, too."
- Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the former governor of Utah who opposed SSM during his 2012 presidential campaign.
- Ken Mehlman, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, who is now openly gay. He said:
"We are trying to say to the court that we are judicial and political conservatives, and it is consistent with our values and philosophy for you to overturn Proposition 8."
Tom Goldstein, publisher of Scotusblog, a web site that analyzes Supreme Court cases, said the brief:
"... has the potential to break through and make a real difference. ... The person who is going to decide this case, if it’s going to be close, is going to be a conservative justice who respects traditional marriage but nonetheless is sympathetic to the claims that ... [opposition to SSM] is just another form of hatred. If you’re trying to persuade someone like that, you can’t persuade them from the perspective of gay rights advocacy." 5
(This note is a duplicate of a description of an amicus curia brief concerning SSM sent to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013-FEB)
- 2013-FEB-25: USA: The New York Times sponsored a national survey on SSM It shows that:
- About 33% of Republicans now favor letting same-sex couples marry.
- About 70% of voters under the age of 30 agree.
- Both values are rapidly increasing. 5
- 2013-FEB-27: Hundreds of companies sign amicus curiae brief in support of SSM: A total of 278 companies and organizations including Citigroup, Apple, Mars, Alcoa, law groups, city governments, etc. signed a legal brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) being declared unconstitutional. More details.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "French MPs approve gay marriage bill," The Guardian, 2013-FEB-12, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
- "Education Aid, Inc announces first receipient of the $5,000 Gay Dating Sites,net 'Speak out agininst prejudice' scholarship," undated, at: http://www.gaydatingsites.net
- Candace Chellew-Hodge, "Christian Founder of Online Dating Site Wants to Ease Gay Pain," Religion Dispatches, 2013-FEB-21, at: http://www.religiondispatches.org/
- Bernie Becker, "Obama administration brief: Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, The Hill, 2013-FEB-23, at: http://thehill.com/
- Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage," New York Times, 2013-FEB-26, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
How you got here:
Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2013-FEB-05
Latest update: 2013-FEB-26
Author: B.A. Robinson