Compiled by Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
Maryland GOP tries again for marriage ban
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Republicans in the state legislature have introduced a new anti-marriage proposal despite the defeat of an earlier draft.
The second-ranking Republican in the House, drew up a new amendment that defines marriage as between men and women only but does not forbid civil unions.
The earlier amendment failed to reach the full House, and a mirror amendment in the Senate has been withdrawn by its Republican sponsor.
Massachusetts investigating forgery allegations
BOSTON – Prosecutors from Attorney General Tom Reilly’s office have launched a criminal investigation to determine whether workers gathering support for an anti-equal marriage amendment forged the signatures of some voters last year.
The investigation stems from allegations by voters that their names were on signature lists despite the fact that they said they never signed the petition. It would not affect the outcome, since supporters had more than twice as many certified signatures as they needed to send the question for legislative approval for the 2008 ballot.
The question would amend the state constitution to ban equal marriage, overturning the state’s historic court ruling.
Vest Virginia House blocks marriage by transgender individuals
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Fears that West Virginians who undergo gender-changing surgery might test the state’s ban on equal marriage rights prompted changes to the state’s vital records system that the House of Delegates unanimously passed Feb. 28.
House Bill 4565 had originally allowed a court order to change a birth certificate following such surgery. But the House Government Organization Committee amended it to block such a change, even if approved by a judge.
Since birth certificates are used to obtain marriage licenses from county clerks, some committee members cited the 2000 state law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Only three states – Tennessee, Idaho, and Ohio – refuse to provide residents with a new or amended birth certificate after sex change surgery. Another 13 states issue an amended certificate in which the prior sex is still visible.
Anti-gay marriage and civil union proposal to go before voters
MADISON – Wisconsin voters will decide in November whether to amend the state constitution to ban equal marriage rights and civil unions after the proposal cleared its final hurdle with state lawmakers Feb. 28.