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Same Sex Marriage

July 13, 2010
What is the rational basis for laws that deprive gay and lesbian couples of the right to wed? The arguments that have emerged so far — that same-sex marriage is bad for child-rearing and that it damages heterosexual unions — fall apart under the slightest scrutiny. A judge in Massachusetts recognized this in a case involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act; now the judge in the lawsuit against California's Proposition 8 should do the same. In declaring the federal marriage act unconstitutional last week, U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro noted that when Congress passed the law in 1996, supporters said it would "encourage responsible procreation and child-rearing" and protect traditional heterosexual marriage.
April 15, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
A federal judge in Cincinnati could decide as soon as Tuesday whether to grant a stay on his ruling in a same-sex marriage case involving Ohio recognition of such unions performed in other states. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black on Monday ruled that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states but indicated in his decision that he is inclined to issue a stay of that decision while the case is appealed. He gave the parties until Tuesday afternoon to file their motions for a stay and said he would act on the issue quickly.
December 22, 2009 | By Tracy Wilkinson
In a move that may put Mexico City at odds with the rest of the country, the local legislature approved a far-reaching gay rights bill Monday, voting to allow people of the same sex to marry and to adopt children. The leftist-dominated legislature of this massive city of about 20 million people turned aside opposition from the influential Roman Catholic Church and ended lively debate to approve the measure by a 39-20 vote. Mayor Marcelo Ebrard is expected to sign the bill into law. "Mexico City has put itself in the vanguard," said legislator Victor Hugo Romo.
April 6, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
In the early 2000s, the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' stance on same-sex marriage aligned with the opinions of most Americans: Gays and lesbians shouldn't be allowed to marry. Since then, popular opposition to same-sex marriage has collapsed across much of the country, with 17 states and the District of Columbia allowing the practice. Shifting public opinion may explain the message that Neil L. Andersen, an elder in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles - the second-highest governing body in the Mormon Church - had for listeners at the semiannual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday.
December 27, 2009 | By Jonathan Rauch
For the gay marriage debate, 2009 was transitional instead of transformative, but the year was historic nonetheless. To mangle Churchill, it was not the end, nor even the beginning of the end, but it was at least the beginning of the middle. This is an issue on which the fundamentals of public opinion change glacially. Support for same-sex marriage is rising, but only by about a percentage point or so a year. Essentially, a third of the public supports gay marriage, another third or so supports civil unions instead, and the remaining third opposes any kind of legal status for same-sex couples.
June 21, 2010 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker was supposed to be a bit player in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, a federal constitutional challenge of the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. Lawyers on both sides of the case viewed his federal courtroom in San Francisco as little more than a launching pad where they would argue fine points of constitutional law before the case moved to the appeals bench and eventually to the Supreme Court. But the iconoclastic U.S. District Court judge had something else in mind: a full-blown nonjury trial to test assumptions about whether gays were inferior parents, whether same-sex marriage hurt straight marriage and whether sexual orientation was changeable.
November 8, 2009 | Cathleen Decker
A small majority of California voters supports the right of same-sex couples to marry, but by a much larger margin, voters oppose efforts to place the issue back on the ballot next year, a new Los Angeles Times/USC poll has found. Views on same-sex marriage were sharply polarized, with 66% of Democrats backing it, and 71% of Republicans in opposition. Nonpartisan voters were less enthusiastic than Democrats but still backed it, 59% to 34%. Overall, 51% of California voters favored marriage rights for gay couples, and 43% were opposed.
November 4, 2009 | Bob Drogin
Maine's voters flocked to the polls on a warm and sunny election day to decide whether to repeal a state law permitting same-sex marriage. With polls showing a closely divided electorate, advocates on both sides of the issue predicted it would be a long night before results were known in the latest battle over whether to let couples marry regardless of gender. But gay-rights supporters were hopeful when state officials reported this afternoon that voter turnout appeared unusually heavy for an off-year election, with no statewide or national candidates on the ballot.
October 15, 2009 | Maura Dolan
A federal judge refused Wednesday to dismiss a constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, ruling that a trial was required to resolve legal and factual disputes over the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, ruling after nearly two hours of argument in San Francisco, rejected arguments by Proposition 8 proponents that precedent and tradition clearly showed last November's ballot measure was permissible under the U.S. Constitution. Walker's decision means the case will proceed to trial as scheduled in January, unless appeals delay it. The California Supreme Court ruled in May that Proposition 8, passed by 52.3% of voters, did not violate the state Constitution.
March 28, 2014 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- Marriage-minded gays and lesbians can begin tying the knot in Britain on Saturday, becoming the latest same-sex couples in Europe and beyond to have the right to do so and fulfilling a dream made possible by a Conservative-led government. A handful of town halls across the country prepared to open at the stroke of midnight to allow nuptials that jubilant supporters called long overdue and opponents deplored as an attack on traditional values. “It's a landmark,” said Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who arranged for rainbow flags to fly over two government offices in London on Friday in celebration.
March 25, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage will remain in place while the state fights a federal judge's ruling that declared the ban unconstitutional, an appeals court decided Tuesday.  A three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman's ruling on a vote of 2 to 1. DOCUMENT: Read the appeals court's order The plaintiffs in the case, a lesbian couple, had asked the appeals court to...
March 5, 2014 | By Jenny Deam
DENVER - Citing individual freedom, an evolving definition of family and fairness, and a “big tent” vision for their party, about 20 prominent Western Republicans have thrown their support behind same-sex marriage. The move comes as the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver prepares to decide the constitutionality of gay marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah. Arguments are expected in those cases next month. In a legal brief filed Tuesday, the 20 Republicans urged the court to reject gay-marriage bans as discriminatory.
March 2, 2014 | Maria L. La Ganga
When Jackie Yerby and a small band of devout Catholics go to the cathedral for Mass this Ash Wednesday, they will be sending an unmistakable message. Pinned to their lapels will be big white buttons that proclaim, "Catholic Oregonians for Marriage Equality. " The newly formed group wants to show that "just because we're Catholic doesn't mean we don't support same-sex marriage," said Yerby, who served on the board of Catholic Charities of Portland for six years. "We support same-sex marriage because we are Catholic.
February 26, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- A federal judge in San Antonio overturned the Texas ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that the prohibition is unconstitutional and stigmatizes the relationship of gay couples in the conservative state. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia does not allow same-sex couples to immediately marry because he stayed the injunction pending any appeal. Garcia ruled that the state's ban deprives same-sex couples of due process and equal protection, stigmatizing their relationships and treating them differently from opposite-sex couples.
February 26, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
As officials in Arizona and the rest of the nation continue to wrestle with the legal and legislative issues connected to same-sex marriage, a new poll shows that support for allowing gays to marry has rapidly increased since such unions first became legal more than a decade ago, with inroads made even among the religious, once a bastion of opposition. About 53% of the random sample of 4,509 Americans surveyed by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute said they supported same sex marriage, up from 32% in 2003, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize it. The poll, released on Wednesday, was carried out between Nov. 12 and Dec. 18, 2013, by telephone and has a margin of error of 1.7 percentage points, the group said.
February 25, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage treats gays as second-class citizens and should be overturned, an attorney representing a lesbian couple argued Tuesday at the start of the latest legal challenge to such laws. The case is being closely watched for more than its central argument that a state can ban same-sex marriage if its voters chose to pass such a constitutional amendment. The case also will focus on some claims that having parents of the same sex is bad for the children. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.
February 16, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The legal campaign for marriage equality is picking up speed, moving at a pace that has surprised even longtime advocates and increasing the likelihood of a definitive Supreme Court test as early as next year. Efforts by some lawyers to plan a careful strategy for which cases to push forward to the high court have largely been put aside amid a rush of lower-court rulings striking down bans on same-sex marriage. The most recent came Thursday in Virginia, the first such ruling in the South.
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