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Marriage News from Around the Country

By |2002-04-12T09:00:00-04:00April 12th, 2002|Uncategorized|

Compiled by Dawn Wolfe

Kentucky: A court challenge seeks to nullify the approval of a constitutional ban on equal marriage rights and civil unions by state voters this month. The lawsuit, filed Nov. 16, claims the measure that passed by a 3-to-1 margin was flawed because it dealt with two separate issues – the first part pertained to marriage, the rest civil unions.

Maryland: Inspired by the recent success of ballot initiatives against equal marriage rights in 11 states, a group of pastors is pledging to renew their efforts to ensure that such marriages never become legal the state. Describing themselves as the largest interdenominational group of clergy assembled to fight equal marriage rights, about 70 pastors hope to assemble 100,000 protesters in a “Defend Maryland Marriage Rally” at the State House in Annapolis on Jan. 27. Their goal is to pressure legislators to stiffen laws against equal marriage rights, even though the General Assembly rejected two such bills by wide margins last session.

Massachusetts: The first anniversary of the court decision sanctioning equal marriage rights in the state was marked with little fanfare Nov. 18, but both sides in the controversy said it was simply the calm before a renewed political and legal storm. Lawyers at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, which represented the seven couples who filed the landmark lawsuit, are poised to appeal a second case to the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of out-of-state gay couples who are currently barred from marrying here. Conservative groups are retooling their local opposition to focus on the public schools, where they say teachers now feel free to promote gay issues. The real fireworks, however, will begin when lawmakers return in January to consider the constitutional amendment to revoke equal marriage rights.

Meanwhile, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear a case from right-wing antigay groups challenging a the Massachusetts state law that allows same-sex couples to marry.

Oregon: Proponents of equal marriage rights are claiming that the state’s new ban on equal marriage rights does not invalidate the marriages of the 2,961 gay and lesbian couples who tied the knot earlier this year, when Multnomah County briefly permitted marriages between same-gender couples, before a judge stopped the practice. Nor does it shut the door to civil unions, according to legal briefs filed with the Oregon Supreme Court by the American Civil Liberties Union.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.