Oodles of gay marriage news

The gay. Make it stop.

I can’t even keep up with the number of gay news stories coming into my inbox.  So, I’m summarizing a gazillion of them in one post.  Skim through, pick what you want to read.

As you may know, the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments today and tomorrow about gay marriage (specifically DOMA and Prop 8).  I will be heading shortly to the Supreme Court to get some photos and video of the protests, etc. going on outside.  Then I’ll head back and wait for the transcripts of the hearings, which should be out shortly after they’re done (which is noon eastern time).

The court is expected to issue its decision by the end of June.

I know the blog has been a bit “gayer” than usual recently – the gay news has simply exploded.  Especially in the past few days, with the Supreme Court cases coming up.  So rather than cherry pick, I decided to list all the interesting stories that will give you more background on what’s going on at the Supreme Court today, and more.

Now for the crazy-ass list of gay news stories.

NYT: Background on same-sex marriage case at Supreme Court

What to look for in the Supreme Court arguments, via ScotusBlog and Bloomberg:

READ THIS: Three excellent charts from  Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post, showing why the political battle over gay marriage in the US is over, we won.  Here’s one particularly interesting finding:

While young people are the most supportive of gay marriage — eight in ten in the most recent Post-ABC survey — every generation is growing more accepting of the idea as they age. That’s a critically important finding since it suggests that as young people age — and as middle age people grow older — they don’t reverse course and become less supportive of the idea of gay people being married.

Olson and Boies in WSJ: Gays deserve equal rights

Because of their sexual orientation—a characteristic with which they were born and which they cannot change—our clients and hundreds of thousands of gay men and lesbians in California and across the country are being excluded from one of life’s most precious relationships.

Opening to them participation in the unique and immensely valuable institution of marriage will not diminish the value or status of marriage for heterosexuals, but withholding marriage causes infinite and permanent stigma, pain and isolation. It denies gay men and lesbians their identity and their dignity; it labels their families as second-rate.

That outcome cannot be squared with the principle of equality and the unalienable right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness that is the bedrock promise of America from the Declaration of Independence to the 14th Amendment, and the dream of all Americans. This badge of inequality must be extinguished.

Buzzfeed: Alaska Sen. Mark Begich says “same sex couples should be able to marry”

After remaining mum on the subject when asked about it last week, Sen. Mark Begich’s office issued a statement Monday night from the senator supporting marriage equality.

“I believe that same sex couples should be able to marry and should have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any other married couple,” the Alaskan senator said in what appears to be his first direct statement on the subject.

“Government should keep out of individuals’ personal lives—if someone wants to marry someone they love, they should be able to. Alaskans are fed up with government intrusion into our private lives, our daily business, and in the way we manage our resources and economy,” he continued.

CBS: Dem. Sen. Claire McCaskill now backs same-sex marriage

McCaskill, who was embroiled last year in a controversial, high-profile re-election campaign against Republican challenger Todd Akin, made the announcement on he rTumblr last night. She argued that while “the question of marriage equality is a great American debate,” the government shouldn’t dictate who can and cannot get married.

“I have come to the conclusion that our government should not limit the right to marry based on who you love,” she wrote. “While churches should never be required to conduct marriages outside of their religious beliefs, neither should the government tell people who they have a right to marry.”

Buzzfeed: Sen. Mark Warner Reverses Course, Supports Marriage Equality

On the eve of the Supreme Court’s argument’s on same-sex couples’ marriage rights, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner reversed his longstanding position and announced his support for marriage equality,
On Facebook, he wrote Monday afternoon, “I support marriage equality because it is the fair and right thing to do. Like many Virginians and Americans, my views on gay marriage have evolved, and this is the inevitable extension of my efforts to promote equality and opportunity for everyone.”

NYT: Scalia’s gay marriage problem

… Can Justice Scalia hold his ego and intemperance in check for the two hour and 50 minute duration of the two marriage arguments? Will he even try? … His increasingly cranky and intolerant pronouncements have become an embarrassment even to people who tend to agree with him. …

LAT: The conservative legal star who is fighting for gay marriage.

Mike Signorile: How we got to the Supreme Court.

NBC summarizes the two cases being heard today.

NYT: The players in the same-sex marriage hearings.

NYT: A sea change in less than 50 years as gay rights gained momentum.

CNBC: Corporate America has already voted for gay marriage.

GOP youth evolve on gay marriage.

Dr. Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told POLITICO that young members of his community are no longer interested in vocalizing opposition to same-sex marriage.

“Basically, they just don’t think it’s something we want to talk about,” said Land, who strongly opposes same-sex marriage. “[They say,] ‘It feels intolerant. We believe what we believe, they have a right to what they want to believe. Marriage should be a church thing, not a legal thing.’”

Ohioans now in favor of repealing state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

The Christian Science Monitor says it matters that Chief Justice Roberts’ lesbian cousin is coming to hear the arguments.

NPR has a big story on Prop 8.

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post: Will SCOTUS transform the national landscape on gay rights?

There are two ways SCOTUS could reach broad rulings with far reaching implications for gay rights. The first would be if the Court found a fundamental Constitutional right to marry, as it did in Loving v. Virginia, which struck down a state law forbidding interracial marriage, and other rulings. (This is what Ted Olson and David Boise, the lead lawyers for the plaintiffs, have argued.) The second would be if the Court found that laws that discriminate must pass a “heightened scrutiny” test — i.e. their rationale must be subjected to an extremely high standard — and that this scrutiny reveals that Prop 8 violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause. (This is what Obama’s solicitor general has argued.)

Either of these rulings would be historic, and could be used as a weapon to topple other state laws banning gay marriage as unconstitutional. So watch the discussions about the implications of such a ruling. If Kennedy asks whether ruling that way would be dictating on an issue that’s very sensitive to the states and short circuiting the political process, that could signal discomfort with going the broad route. On the other hand, Kennedy might also want to give Prop 8 opponents a chance to explain why such a ruling is legally defensible. Look for them to argue that this would not be an imposition of anything on the states, but rather that the states don’t have the authority to impose on gays who want to get marriedby depriving them of their constitutional rights.

CNN poll: “Rob Portman effect’ fuels support for same-sex marriage

“The number of Americans who support same-sex marriage has risen by almost the same amount in that time – from 40% in 2007 to 53% today – strongly suggesting that the rise in support for gay marriage is due in part to the rising number of Americans who have become aware that someone close to them is gay,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

“Some people have recently taken to calling it the ‘Rob Portman effect,’ after the Republican senator from Ohio who learned that his son is gay and changed his position on gay marriage as a result,” adds Holland.

Yale Daily News: GOP Sen. Portman’s son Rob writes about coming out:

In February of freshman year, I decided to write a letter to my parents. I’d tried to come out to them in person over winter break but hadn’t been able to. So I found a cubicle in Bass Library one day and went to work. Once I had something I was satisfied with, I overnighted it to my parents and awaited a response.

They called as soon as they got the letter. They were surprised to learn I was gay, and full of questions, but absolutely rock-solid supportive. That was the beginning of the end of feeling ashamed about who I was.

PEW: Supreme Court’s favorable ratings still at historic low.

Buzzfeed: In Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision, public opinion is no guarantee

Buzzfeed: The Senators who flipped on DOMA.

Buzzfeed on Evan Wolfson and Andrew Sullivan, two early fighters in the gay marriage debate.

Politico: Republicans see cash opportunity in gay marriage shift.

Republican fundraisers say the changing views of gay marriage in their party could unlock big money from GOP donors in places like New York, California and Florida — where some Republicans have kept their checkbooks closed over what they saw as misplaced priorities, at best, or intolerance, at worst, at the highest ranks of the party.

Daily Mail (not the crappy one): Senator Rockefeller wants Defense of Marriage Act repealed.

Starbucks’ CEO loves us.

Wash Post: How the immigrant movement learned from gay activists:

We learned something else from the LGBT community. Early in Obama’s first term, when most progressives were swooning about the new president and the new era his election had ushered in, LGBT activists had a different take. Dismissing the Washington-insider notion that access means influence, they made it clear that they were not going to go along to get along. Led by bloggers such as John Aravosis, Joe Sudbay and Pam Spaulding, the LGBT community developed an outside strategy that openly challenged the White House.

Their first battle was over the president’s defense of DOMA. They were confrontational and fearless. LGBT advocates then upped the pressure on the White House and Congress to move on the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Unwilling to accept the line that “we’d like to help you, but those Republicans just won’t let us,” gay activists mobilized donors, got arrested at the White House, demanded action and ultimately succeeded in repealing the military policy.

The Advocate on NOM’s money.

CNN: The county where no one is gay.

Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post: “Political debate on same-sex marriage is arguably over.”

Andy Borowitz (humor): Scalia says marriage views not affected by lifelong fear of gays.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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