In the last week, we have seen monumental progress for marriage equality in our country. We have celebrated (and backtracked) in Idaho; we have cheered wholeheartedly for Oregon. And, just today, we welcomed Pennsylvania to the list of states that will officially recognize the marriages of same-sex couples. Congrats to all!
Since the United States Supreme Court struck down a critical section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June of last year, Pennsylvania’s Judge Jones makes the eleventh federal judge to nullify a state statute restricting gay marriage as unconstitutional. In eighteen states, same-sex couples now have the freedom to marry.
(except imagine Pennsylvania is a beautiful dark green)
If we keep going at this rate, the other half of the country will be on board by the end of the summer! Only four states have bans that are not currently being challenged in court.
Tonight, we received amazing news: an Idaho judge has struck down the 2006 amendment to the state’s constitution banning same-sex marriage. This means that, as early as Friday, clerks will begin issuing marriage licenses to every.damn.couple that walks in the door.
Read all about it here or here.
Send Judge Candy Dale a “thank you” card here.
I’m so overwhelmed right now, I can barely form a coherent thought about this. I just want to hug everyone I see and hope balloons will start falling from the sky!!
Idaho, we did it!!!
On Friday, an Arkansas judge struck down the state’s 2004 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage stating “This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality. The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent.” This makes Arkansas the 18th state in the Union to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay people. Judge Piazza of Pulaski County in Arkansas cited the 1967 decision to repeal laws which up until that point prohibited interracial marriage in his decision.
Arkansas has become the first state in the Bible Belt to legalize marriage equality, which is huge.
As many of you already know, we are awaiting news on oral arguments heard on May 5th by the Federal Court in Idaho to decide the constitutionality of our own state’s 2006 amendment.
Learn more about marriage equality battles by state here.
Come on, Idaho!!
The Respect for Marriage Coalition is a collaborative effort by over 100 special interest groups (the primary focus of which may or may not be LGBT issues) to end the Defense Against Marriage Act (DOMA). PFLAG National is one of them.
The Respect for Marriage Coalition is a partnership of more than 100 civil rights, faith, health, labor, business, legal, LGBT, student, and women’s organizations working together to end the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and grow support for the freedom to marry.
This organization is responsible, in part, for introducing the Respect for Marriage Act to the United States Congress in June of last year (apparently just hours after Section 3 of DOMA was overturned by the Supreme Court). The bill would effectively nullify the discriminatory language of the 16-year-old statute and recognize the rights of all married couples (same-sex or otherwise) on a federal level regardless of where that marriage was officiated.
The Respect for Marriage Coalition is gaining steam since last June and just release an ad which features the opinions of three prominent Republican figures, former First Lady, Laura Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney (who has a gay daughter, in case you didn’t know) and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
To see what you can do for the Respect for Marriage Coalition, go here.