Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
A recent poll by The Boston Globe indicated opposition to marriage for same-sex couples has jumped 10 percentage points since the Supreme Judicial Court’s Nov. 18 ruling legalizing gay marriages. In this poll, 35 percent supported gay marriage and 53 percent opposed it; in the earlier poll, 48 percent supported gay marriages, while 43 percent were opposed. The survey of 400 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Anti-gay House Speaker Thomas Finneran has changed his position on civil unions saying he’d be okay with them as long as the Legislature had a say in the matter. Finneran is seeking to amend the state’s constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. That measure was defeated earlier this month 100-to-98 but the constitutional convention is set to reconvene March 11 with the compromise amendment still on the table.
Gay marriage opponents as well as gay rights groups have said they won’t support the compromise amendment.
Dozens of same-sex couples tied the knot Feb. 20 at the Sandoval County clerk’s office before New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid ordered County Clerk Victoria Dunlap to stop. Dunlap, who is described by many as a conservative Republican, said the law was vague and feared being sued if she didn’t issue licenses to same-sex couples. Gov. Bill Richardson said he opposes marriages for same-sex couples and expects the state Supreme Court ultimately will have to resolve the question of whether state law allows for marriage licenses to be issued to gay or lesbian couples. The attorney general will issue an opinion about the legality of the licenses issued early next week.
Two men are suing the state of Florida after being denied a marriage license. The lawsuit challenges the legality of Florida’s Defense of Marriage Act which outlaws both same-sex marriage and civil unions.
A bill that would allow same-sex civil unions died in a state House committee Feb. 20. However, a companion bill that would ban housing discrimination based on sexual orientation survived. A vote on the bill by a March 5 deadline is possible. Opponents of the civil unions bill see it as a substitute or precursor to gay marriage. Hawaii voters in 1998 approved a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman.
Legislation that would have voided same-sex marriages granted in other states died in a Senate committee this week.
A proposed addition to Arkansas’ constitution would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The proposal is based on the wording of the Federal Marriage Amendment. The ballot initiative is awaiting approval by the attorney general’s office. Backers must then gather signatures to put the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment on this year’s general election ballot.
Arkansas already has a so-called Defense of Marriage act, enacted in 1997.
Mayor Richard Daley said he would have “no problem” with Cook County issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in Chicago, the nation’s third largest city. Daley said only the county clerk’s office can issue marriage licenses, and he stopped short of saying he would follow San Francisco’s mayor by approving marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
County Clerk David Orr said he was “game to looking at options,” but only if a consensus could be built between Daley, city and county government and advocacy groups.
A legislative committee voted Feb. 19 to urge Congress to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages even though Arizona law already outlaws same-sex marriages. The state House’s Judiciary Committee voted 8-4 to advance the proposal in the Legislature and defeated attempts to alter it.
Openly gay Democratic Rep. Wally Straughn proposed changes to the proposal that would have required couples to present evidence that they are able to have children before they can get married, and would have required couples who are married for five years and haven’t yet had children to adopt them.
House Republican leaders might force a vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage using a “blast” motion. This would allow Republicans to bypass the committee process by calling up legislation stuck in a committee before the full House for consideration if a majority of the representatives agree to do so. Democrats who control the House say that using a blast motion would hurt the committee process “that both parties, when they’re in the majority, fully support.”
Indiana already has one of the toughest laws defining marriage as between a man and woman only. The Indiana Court of Appeals, however, has heard arguments challenging that law and could overturn it.
Mayor Daniel Stewart of Plattsburgh said he supports same-sex marriage. The republican acknowledged he was on the opposite side of the issue as most members of his party, but stated that he had to fight for equality as an openly gay man.
Stewart, 41, said he long preferred civil unions for gay couples over gay marriages. But since he has been mayor, he has performed more than 50 marriages of straight couples and has come to the realization that denying marriage to same-sex couples was wrong.
The Utah House voted 62-12 Feb. 18 for the Marriage Recognition Policy, which outlaws same-sex marriages despite the pleas of Democratic Rep. Jackie Biskupski, the only known openly gay member of the Utah legislature.
House approval followed Senate passage on Jan. 30. It now goes to Gov. Olene Walker, who has not taken a position on the bill.
A House committee Feb. 18 approved a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman and outlaw same-sex marriages.
The bill passed the House Constitution and Elections Committee without dissent, but committee members broke into a partisan fight over whether to hold the referendum on the amendment during the Nov. 2 presidential election. The committee voted 7-6, along party lines, to hold the referendum in 2006 instead.
The committee passed the amendment on a 12-0 vote, with two abstentions. The state already has a law defining marriage. The amendment now goes to the full House.