November 10, 2012: On Monday, Nov. 20, the Supreme Court has scheduled a conference at which the federal marriage cases currently in appeal will be discussed.
That includes Edie Windsor's case, which she won on appeal, as well as the Prop 8 case from the 9th Circuit and 2 other cases attacking the federal DOMA.
We'll hear back about which of these cases will be left with the appeal standing (that would be good, because we've won some or all of what we've asked for on the appeals) and which if any will be heard again at the US Supreme Court.
November 9, 2010: Two new federal cases against DOMA were filed today!
One is the first case of its kind: The ACLU has asked the federal court in New York to address the problem DOMA caused for Edie Windsor, a widow who is now 81 years old. Please read about her life with her spouse here--be prepared to sniffle. Their story is touching. Edie and Thea were the topic of a documentary made a couple of years ago.
The other case is another challenge of DOMA in the same federal court circuit. GLAD was successful at the district level in July, on behalf of 5 Massachusetts couples whose marriages are ignored by the federal government. Their new suit is similar, with plaintiff couples from Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut. A short movie about this case, featuring the plaintiffs and their adorable kids, can be seen here.
August 4, 2010: Today's ruling in the case against Prop 8 is widely expected to overturn California's law excluding gay couples from marriage.
Chris Geidner has coverage here. If you want to receive a notice about the decision by text, you can get it directly from the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
July 8, 2010: Marriage equality suit WIN in Massachusetts: A federal court in Boston says that the 1996 federal DOMA is unconstitutional!
The eight married couples who joined this suit have helped to bring us a strongly worded decision that says what we all knew: Our country doesn't tolerate second-class marriages.
Over the coming days, we'll learn more about what this means for us in New Mexico. Meanwhile, Bay Windows has coverage here.
May 11, 2010: Marriage equality suit filed in Minnesota: Three couples have challenged the state's DOMA statute and 1971 precedent barring same-sex couples from marriage. Learn more about the organization, Marry Me Minnesota, here.
New Mexico Legislative Action Report
Feb. 15, 2010: Senate Rules Committee tabled SJR 1, Senator Bill Sharer's resolution for a constitutional amendment vote on the definition of marriage. We're delighted that this committee tabled the bill, of course. The debate can be read at the NM Independent's live blog. The DOMA started at 10:10am, and there was certainly some interesting material introduced.
Feb. 5, 2010: HJR 8, a resolution to put a constitutional DOMA on the November ballot, was tabled on a 5-2 vote in House Consumer and Public Affairs.
Happily, these resolutions were the only anti-marriage items on this short session's calendar. If a special session is required, it will be focused on the budget--but anytime the Legislature is in session, amendments can be filed.
For a proposed amendment to become the law, it would have to pass through committee and floor votes in both sides of the Roundhouse. If that happened, it would go onto the next ballot for a vote. We will email an alert whenever this kind of amendment is going to be heard in a committee.
Feb 12, 2010: Freedom to Marry Day direct action leads to 4 arrests at clerk's office in NYC.
Jan. 26, 2010: The Prop 8 trial has recessed (taken a break, as the judge wants to read all the written materials) Closing arguments will be scheduled in early March. If you'd like to catch up on what's happened so far, The Prop 8 Trial Tracker, operated by the Courage Campaign has it all. They're live blogging from the courtroom to cover this important story.
Jan. 17, 2010: Here in New Mexico, the Legislature is in session--which means anythings can happen! State Senator Bill Sharer (R-Farmington) has once again filed a constitutional amendment that would re-define marriage to exclude same-sex couples. The Sunday, Jan. 17 Albuquerque Journal has a feature on the front page in which the Senator and his wife do their best to explain why this is urgent and important state business.
Dec. 15, 2009: DC City Council passes an equal marriage bill, making the District of Columbia the sixth place in the US that same-sex couples can legally marry!
Unless Congress interferes, DC will begin issuing marriage licenses in March.
According to the US Census, DC has a higher rate of same-sex couples than any state. Adding DC to the list of equality states affects a large number of couples (3600) as well. That's roughly the same number as Iowa, more than Vermont and New Hampshire put together--but fewer than New Mexico (4486).
Dec. 2, 2009: New York State Assembly passes equal marriage bill for the third time, 1:30am. Senate debates and votes on bill Dec. 3rd. The bill loses 32-24, as senators who had committed their yes votes to Empire State Pride saw that it would not pass. One of those Senators, Hiram Monserrate, has drawn a challenger for June's Democratic primary as a result of his vote.
November 14, 2009: If you're wondering what happened in Maine and Washington, listen to this 30 minute podcast featuring organizers from the ballot battles around the country.
Sept. 1, 2009: Congratulations to the Vermont couples who have married today--and all those who will marry in the future. Thanks to the persistent work of VT Freedom to Marry, today is the first day of married life for hundreds of couples.
Enjoy cute pictures here, at the Burlington Free Press.
August 19, 2009: The federal judge overseeing Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which would reverse California's Prop 8 and re-open marriage to all couples in that state, has ruled that Lambda, NCLR and the ACLU will not be permitted to intervene in the case.
This is the suit that David Boies and Ted Olson (check this article in the NY Times for some background on him) are arguing on behalf of AFER and two same-sex couples.
Once again Chris Geidner at Lawdork.net explains why this matters.
July 8, 2009: The state of Massachusetts has filed suit against the federal government and its agencies, claiming that section 3 of the Federal DOMA is injuring the commonwealth.
In the suit, the Attorney General of MA asks for an injunction stopping the imposition of the Defense of Marriage Act on the state and its residents.
A lawyer who summarizes this kind of thing explains it all here.
June 17, 2009: The federal suit filed by GLAD in March 2009 wins the first victory against DOMA!
Couples with marriage certificates who have changed their names on their state-issued ID cards can now get passports in their legal names.
The letter from the US State Dept. has the details, and GLAD's attorneys explain them here. If you have been waiting to apply for a passport, or have had your application rejected, you are now free to travel!
June 3, 2009: New Hampshire's Legislature passes a marriage equality bill for the third time, making NH the sixth state to offer marriage to same-sex couples--and the third to achieve it through their legislature!
This bill adds a sentence that permits all religious organizations (charitable or educational purposes included) to exclude same-sex spouses of employees from any benefits they offer. This responds to Gov. Lynch's veto, last month, of a similar bill. This compromise has been agreed to by a bipartisan committee of legislators and the governor.
May 31, 2009: Nevada's legislature overcomes Gov. Jim Gibbons' veto to pass a domestic partner bill with a two-thirds, bipartisan majority. The law offers partners many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage. Full story on the law is here.
May 30, 2009: Maryland's Attorney General will soon issue an opinion on whether gay couples married elsewhere are married in MD. Full story here.
The backstory in MD: The ACLU helped couples file suit against the state's definition of marriage, making a constitutional claim to marriage equality, back in June 2004.
Their arguments were very similar to the ones that have succeeded in CA (May 2008) and CT (October 2008). However, Maryland's highest court followed the courts of Washington (July 2006) and New York (June 2005) in rejecting them, in Sept. 2007.
Since then, three attempts to legislate marriage equality have been brought to the floor, and lost in close votes.
May 27, 2009: A federal suit that would reverse California's Proposition 8, allowing all CA couples to marry again, was filed last week in California's Northern District.
The attorneys for two same-sex couples who can no longer marry in CA, Ted Olson and David Boies (yes, you read that right) are requesting an injunction to stop implementation of Prop 8, which will be heard before July 3rd, 2009.
The filing is here. The objections to this suit's timing, made by roughly every group that has been active in this area to date, are summarized here.
May 26, 2009 Today, California's Supreme Court released its 136-page decision on�the legality of Prop 8.
Unfortunately, the 6-1 majority found that the California constitution�permits this kind of amendment. So California will not go back to�offering marriage to same-sex couples unless Prop 8 is reversed by a�majority of voters.
The efforts to achieve that, and bring CA back to marriage equality,�have begun. We're delighted that the Courage Campaign has already�responded with new ads to support a campaign as soon as 2010.
There is a silver lining to today's ruling: The Court confirmed that�the 18,000 same-sex couples who married in CA before Prop 8 passed are�still married.
Just New Mexico stands in solidarity with those couples, and all other Californians who continue to advocate equality for all.
May 20, 2009: The CA Supreme Court will announce its decision in the Prop 8 case soon. If you want advance notice, text "DECISION" to 27336 for mobile alerts.
May 19, 2009: Reports this morning suggest that a marriage equality bill in Maryland will have a chance to win in 2010.
May 17, 2009: MA celebrates 5 years of marriage equality. Congratulations to the thousands of happy couples who have tied the knot in Massachusetts since 2004!
May 14, 2009: New Hampshire Governor John Lynch sends the marriage equality bill back to the NH Legislature for a makeover. He says he will sign the bill, making New Hampshire the sixth equal-marriage state, if lawmakers add more detailed protections for churches that want to continue discriminating against same-sex couples' weddings. All the interpretation by New Hampshire lawyers is at BlueHampshire.com.
May 6, 2009: Maine Governor John Baldacci signs the marriage equality bill into law, making Maine the 5th state to offer marriage to same-sex couples.
April 30, 2009: An ABC poll shows that 49% of voters are somewhat or strongly in favor of marriage equality. This is record-setting support, with all the movement from the previous poll toward equality. Since 2006 the 'shouldn't be legal' number has dropped to 46%. For the first time, the poll asked voters how they think same-sex marriages from other states should be treated--and 53% agreed that those marriages should be legal in their state as well. All the details, including some fancy charts, are here.
April 30, 2009: Maine's Senate voted to pass a marriage equality bill to the House, where it is expected to pass by mid-May. They're Tweeting at #MarryME (awww!) and you can get the details including some powerful editorials and speeches from Maine's Senators, at Equality Maine.
April 28, 2009: Wow! After a 3-2 vote to let the marriage equality bill expire in the NH Senate's Judiciary Committee, involved citizens in NH managed to convince wavering Senators to vote yes. The bill passed and goes back to the NH House as amended, where it should pass early in May.
New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition can keep you up on the details, but they probably won't brag about the solution that the Senate Democrats came up with. They negotiated to add a section to the bill stating that churches won't have to marry any couple they don't wish to marry--which they never would have to anyway. Somehow writing that into the bill moved two votes. Now that's the kind of pragmatic compromise we'd like to see more of!
New Hampshire and Maine are currently in a race to determine which will be the second state to bring marriage equality to its citizens through its legislature.
April 6, 2009: Just New Mexico congratulates the Green Mountain State's happy couples who are setting the date for Sept. 1, 2009. Big thanks go to Vermont Freedom to Marry for this historic victory. Vermont is the first state to bring marriage equality to its citizens through its legislature.
April 6, 2009: Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal axes amendment to end marriage equality: "I see a bunch of people that merely want to profess their love for each other, and want state law to recognize that. Is that so wrong? I don't think that's so wrong."