In the News

Wave of Appeals Expected to Turn the Tide on Same-Sex Marriage Bans
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/22/14
With a slew of cases barreling toward federal appeals courts, almost certainly including the decision Friday that overturned Michigan’s restrictive marriage amendment, the legal battle over same-sex marriage is entering a new and climactic phase. Decisions in the coming months will resonate beyond individual states across entire regions and may impel the Supreme Court to revisit the issue sooner than it wished.

Legal experts say the country is entering what one called a “marriage spring” and


For Gay Couples in Michigan, a Day of Joy Ends in Legal Uncertainty
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/22/14
A day after a federal judge struck down Michigan’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages, hundreds of gay couples raced to clerks’ offices across the state on Saturday morning to exchange wedding vows before an appeals court challenge that could reinstate the ban.

But the euphoria of the day for the couples quickly turned to disappointment by late afternoon when the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, suspended the judge’s ruling until at least Wednesday, w


A Same-Sex Couple Together for 58 Years, but Husband Is Still Fighting for Benefits
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/21/14
On Dec. 13, 1953, Lawrence Schacht walked into the Cork Club on West 72nd Street in Manhattan and spotted Russell Frink Jr. at the bar. From that moment forward, the two were inseparable.

In 2004, they registered as domestic partners. In 2011, they married, less than a month after it first became possible for two people of the same sex to do so in New York State. Five months later, Mr. Frink died of emphysema at the age of 92.

Mr. Schacht mourned, but he also wrote to President Obama to th


Pro-Clinton Group Plans Event Focused on Gay and Lesbian Donors
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/20/14
A “super PAC” supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton’s possible presidential campaign is reaching out to some of New York’s most powerful and wealthy gay and lesbian donors.

The group, Ready for Hillary, has built a name for itself with small-dollar grass-roots outreach and the selling of clever items like an iPhone case with the well-recognized image of Mrs. Clinton texting in dark sunglasses. But on April 7 the group will hold a higher-dollar event hosted by Jon Stryker, a billionaire philanthro


Tennessee: Ruling Favors 3 Gay Couples Seeking Recognition of Marriages
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/14/14
In the latest challenge to same-sex marriage restrictions, a federal judge in Nashville said Friday that Tennessee must recognize the status of three couples who were married in other states. The ruling is preliminary and applies only to these couples, said Judge Aleta A. Trauger of Federal District Court, pending a broader decision on whether Tennessee must recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. But “all signs indicate,” the judge wrote, that same-sex marriage bans “will soon become

Methodist Bishop to End Trials for Ministers Who Perform Gay Weddings
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/10/14
The head bishop of the United Methodist Church in New York on Monday committed to ending church trials in his region for ministers who perform same sex-marriages, essentially freeing them to conduct a ceremony still prohibited under his denomination’s laws.

As the first sitting United Methodist bishop to publicly make such a pledge, Bishop Martin D. McLee instantly became a leading figure in a decades-old movement within the United Methodist Church, the country’s second-largest Protestant den


Gay group invited to march in St. Patrick’s Day parade with a caveat
source: Boston.com/The Boston Globe
posted: 2/28/14
Organizers of South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade are inviting a statewide gay advocacy group to march, a significant first that could silence a controversy that has festered for two decades and cast a cloud over one of the city’s signature events.

But the invitation, brokered by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, includes an important caveat: The group, MassEquality, could not wear T-shirts or hold signs that include the word “gay” or refer to sexual orientation.

“They can march under the Mas


Arizona Governor Praised for Veto of Antigay Bill
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/27/14
After her veto on Wednesday of a controversial bill that would have let business owners use religion as a pretext to refuse service to gay men, lesbians and other people, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, a Republican, earned praise from national political figures on both sides of the aisle, including the unlikely combination of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic former secretary of state, and John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona.

“Inclusive leadership is really what the 21st centur


U.S. Judge Strikes Down Texas Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/26/14
A federal judge in Texas struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, ruling that the laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman violated the United States Constitution, handing gay-rights advocates a major legal victory in one of the nation’s biggest and most conservative states.

The judge wrote that the amendment to the state Constitution that Texas voters approved in 2005 defining marriage as between a man and a woman — and two similar laws passed in 1997 and 2003 — d


Holder Sees Way to Curb Bans on Gay Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/24/14
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Monday injected the Obama administration into the emotional and politicized debate over the future of state same-sex marriage bans, declaring in an interview that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws that they believe are discriminatory.

Mr. Holder was careful not to encourage his state counterparts to disavow their own laws, but said that officials who have carefully studied bans on gay marriage could refuse to defend them.

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