Compiled by Dawn Wolfe
Alabama: A proposed constitutional amendment to ban equal marriage rights was approved by a House committee Feb. 2.
Idaho A proposal to write a ban on equal marriage rights into the Idaho Constitution was defeated Feb. 2 for the second consecutive year.
Kansas: The state House on Feb. 2 approved an amendment to the state constitution banning equal marriage rights and civil unions, placing the measure on the April 5 ballot. The proposed amendment declares that only couples in a marriage of one man and one woman are entitled to the benefits associated with marriage. The Senate approved the measure last month.
New York: A judge in New York City ruled Feb. 4 that gays and lesbians must be able to marry. See story p. 8.
Oregon: A gay rights group is challenging an amendment to Oregon’s Constitution banning equal marriage rights, arguing it revises rather than amends the document. The group filed a lawsuit Jan. 31 that also argues the ban makes more than one change to the constitution in violation of state law barring multiple changes under a single ballot measure.
South Dakota: A measure to let voters decide if the constitution should forbid equal marriage rights was passed by the state House Feb. 3. “Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in South Dakota,” is the first sentence of the measure. The second sentence: “The uniting of two or more persons in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other quasi-marital relationship shall not be valid or recognized.”
Utah: The state senate voted overwhelmingly Feb. 1 to kill a bill that would have eased restrictions imposed by the equal marriage ban. The measure would have created a state domestic-partner registry that would allow unmarried couples to have reciprocal property and health care rights and to bury one another at death.
Virginia: Legislation that would write into the state constitution a ban on equal marriage rights was endorsed 14-4 by a state house committee.
Washington, D.C.: Nine city council members have signed onto a bill that would give domestic partners legal rights including alimony, child support and rules for dividing property after a partnership is dissolved. The D.C. legislation would first have to go through Congress.