Monday, October 5, 2009

Marriage updates around the nation

Washington DC
After months of buildup, D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At large) announced Wednesday evening he would introduce his proposal to legalize same-sex marriage in the District at Tuesday's council meeting.
The race to marriage equality for the fifth largest state in the Union was kicked off this morning when State Senator Heather Steans became the first Illinois Senator to introduce a marriage equality bill - SB2468 the Equal Marriage Act - in that chamber.
In a first for Texas, a judge ruled Thursday that two men married in another state can divorce here and that the state's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

And progress on the legal front. On the Boies and Olson case Perry, which challenges Prop8 in Federal court, the judge ruled that materials from the Prop8 campaign cannot be kept secret.
The judge agreed with lawyers for two unmarried same-sex couples who have sued to strike down the ban, known as Proposition 8, that confidential communications between the campaign's leaders and professional consultants could reveal a rationale for denying gays the right to wed that is relevant to the case.

The lawsuit argues that the measure was motivated by hostility toward gays and as such must be struck down as inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equality.
So I think this means that if there is evidence of hostility to GLBT people in the correspondence, that suggests that animus drove the campaign, not the coverup of "children" or "religion". The SF Chron agrees:
If the courts find that the ballot measure was motivated by discrimination, they could strike it down without having to decide whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

"The intent or purpose of Prop. 8 is central to this litigation," Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker declared Thursday in requiring backers of the November 2008 measure to give the opposing side their internal campaign communications.

In Maine, anti-marriage group NOM is getting into further trouble, and the commission on ethics voted to investigate further.
Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate filed a complaint with the commission saying the group should be required to disclose the names of donors. In response, Brian Brown, executive director of NOM, said they have not raised money specifically for Maine and therefore are not required to report individual donors.
If NOM is specifically raising money to fight marriage equality in Maine without disclosing donors, that would be illegal. An interview with Fred Karger, who brought the charges, here.

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