Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
2013-APR-01 to 05: Accelerating steps towards
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 late 2013-MAR
The Obama administration announced on 2011-FEB-23 that it would no longer ethically 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 2013-APR:
- 2013-APR-04: Senator Tom Carper(D-DE) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) become the latest in a mini-flood of Democratic senators who now support same-sex marriage.
Tom Carper (D-DE) wrote on his Facebook page:
"As our society has changed and evolved, so too has the public's opinion on gay marriage – and so has mine. I pray every day for God to grant me the wisdom to do what is right. Through my prayers and conversations with my family and countless friends and Delawareans, I've been reminded of the power of one of my core values: the Golden Rule. It calls on us to treat others as we want to be treated. That means, to me, that all Americans ultimately should be free to marry the people they love and intend to share their lives with, regardless of their sexual orientation, and that's why today, after a great deal of soul searching, I'm endorsing marriage equality." 3
Bill Nelson (D-FL) said that he had decided that his previous opposition to SSM was inconsistent with the beliefs embedded in the Declaration of Independence and in his religious faith. He said in a statement:
"If we are endowed by our creator with rights, then why shouldn't those be attainable by gays and lesbians? Simply put, if the Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn't, and I won't."
Other Democratic senators have endorsed SSM in the previous two weeks: Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO). 4 This leaves only six Democrats in the Senate have not yet endorsed SSM. With Nelson's decision, the number of senators in favor of SSM has reached 50. This includes 48 Democrats and 2 Republicans. 3
Steve Benen, reporter for MSNBC, said:
"Just a few years ago, the notion that a bipartisan majority of the Senate would be on record supporting marriage equality would have been very hard to predict. And yet, as of now, it's a reality."
This leaves only six of the 55 Democrats in the Senate who have not yet endorsed marriage equality. They are: Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. 5 They are all from "red" (conservative) states where to come out in favor of equality would be likely to make their current term their last term. So, even if they favored marriage equality, they might only feel free to endorse it if there was no possibility of running for re-election.
- 2013-APR-05: Two more Democrat Senators now support SSM: During the previous 24 hours, Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have announced their support for SSM:
Both Heitkamp and Donnely represent states that the Democrats lost in the fall of 2012.
- Heitkamp said that the government:
"... should no longer discriminate against people who want to make lifelong, loving commitments to each other or interfere in personal, private and intimate relationships. ... The ability of anyone to marry as a logical extension of this belief."
- Donnelly said:
"... I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all. We are a stronger country when we draw on the strengths of all Americans."
More news for the rest of 2013-APR is in the next essay
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- "Uruguayan senators approve bill to legalize gay marriage." WireUpdate, 2013-APR-04, at: http://wireupdate.com/
- "Republican Senator Mark Kirk backs gay marriage," BBC News, 2013-APR-02, at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/
- Senator Tom Carper, no title, Facebook, 2013-APR-02, at: https://www.facebook.com/tomcarper
- "Gay Marriage Rights: The 10 Democratic Senators Who Still Say No," Huffington Post, 2013-MAR-26, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- Steve Benen, "Florida's Nelson creates marriage-equality majority in Senate," MSNBC, 2013-APR-05, at: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/
How you got here:
Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2013-APR-03
Latest update: 2013-MAY-01
Author: B.A. Robinson