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Marriage Laws

March 7, 2013 | By David Lauter
With the rapid shift in public opinion toward same-sex marriage, opposition to changing marriage laws increasingly has become limited to a few slices of the electorate, according to an analysis of polling data by leading Republican and Democratic pollsters. The two major divides are a generational and cultural split, according to the analysis, which looked at data from the November exit polls. Among people who voted in the last election who are older than 65, opponents of legalizing same-sex marriage outnumber supporters 58% to 37%. But those older voters made up only about one-sixth of the electorate.
March 1, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Public opinion on marriage for gay and lesbian couples has shifted with almost unprecedented speed since California voters banned such unions in 2008. That shift could influence the Supreme Court, in particular Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and possibly Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., as it decides whether to uphold Proposition 8 in coming months. Throughout his long career, Kennedy has been willing to make major changes in the law on issues including the death penalty, gun rights and gay rights.
January 28, 2013 | By David Colker
One of the nation's leading gay-rights advocacy groups, the Human Rights Campaign, has formed a coalition of major companies calling for the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. It's no surprise, of course, that the HRC in Washington would use its considerable clout to organize big businesses to fight DOMA, the law that excludes recognition of same-sex marriages. What will be a surprise to many is that one of the first companies to join the effort was Marriott International Inc., which was founded by a devout Mormon, John Willard Marriott.
January 26, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can "produce unplanned and unintended offspring," opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court. By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, "substantial advance planning is required," said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans. This unusual defense of traditional marriage was set out last week in a pair of opening legal briefs in the two gay marriage cases to be decided by the Supreme Court this spring.
November 10, 2012 | By Mitchell Landsberg
As the head of Focus on the Family, Jim Daly might be considered one of the nation's leading culture warriors - a title that certainly applied to his predecessor, James Dobson, who founded the organization and built it into a powerhouse of the conservative evangelical movement. And, to be sure, Daly threw the considerable resources of his organization - which fiercely opposes abortion and same-sex marriage - behind the campaign to defeat President Obama, paying for millions of mailers that listed the presidential candidates' positions on issues that were important to “values voters.” In the aftermath of the election, however, Daly is willing to say things that few conservative evangelical leaders are likely to say. He believes, for instance, that the Christian right lost the fight against same-sex marriage in four states in part because it is on the losing side of a cultural paradigm.
May 31, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Advocates of same-sex marriage won a major legal victory - and greatly increased the odds of a U.S. Supreme Court showdown on the subject - as an appeals court ruled that the government could not deny tax, Social Security and other federal benefits to gay couples who were legally married in their home states. The ruling struck down a major part of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the law adopted in 1996 that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. The Obama administration had urged the court to overturn the law, saying it violated the constitutional rights of gay couples.
May 8, 2012 | By David Lauter
News about same-sex marriage has pointed in two opposite directions recently. Today, unless preelection polls prove drastically wrong, voters in North Carolina will approve a constitutional amendment to ban not only same-sex marriages, but also civil unions as well. On the other hand, for weeks, national Democratic politicians have been virtually tripping over themselves to declare their support for marriage equality, seeking to get ahead of what they see as a shift in public opinion.
May 8, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli and David Lauter, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - President Obama's carefully crafted position on the issue of gay marriage is leaving him trapped between liberal elements important to his party and the socially conservative swing voters who could well decide the November election. But other Democrats with future White House ambitions are in a much different place. With same-sex marriage rapidly gaining support among Democratic voters and donors, they risk damaging their presidential prospects by remaining behind the curve on the issue.
May 7, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli and Kathleen Hennessey
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday that he supports gay marriage rights, a declaration that came as President Obama's reelection campaign downplayed comments from Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday that some saw as an evolution in the administration's position. Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Duncan was asked, "Do you believe that same-sex men and women should be able to get legally married in the United States?" The answer was simple and direct. "Yes, I do. " Duncan's answer went further than Biden did Sunday, when he said he was "comfortable" with the idea of "men marrying men" and "women marrying women" having the same rights as heterosexual couples.
March 21, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
The New Hampshire House of Representatives has rejected a bill to repeal the state's 2-year-old law allowing same-sex marriage, dealing a blow to activists who had hoped to make the Legislature the first in the country to repeal a gay marriage law. Lawmakers in the House voted 211 to 116 against the bill, which would have repealed gay marriage and replaced it with a preexisting civil unions law, according to the Associated Press. It also would have made the issue a nonbinding question on the November ballot.
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