Tag Archive | sf bay times

The State of the (Marital) Union

As of July 17, nearly 44 percent of the U.S. population lives in 19 states and the District of Columbia where same-sex couples legally may marry. One year ago—even after the 2012 election in which three states affirmed marriage equality at the ballot and after Minnesota’s legislature followed suit a few months later—just 18 percent, or less than one-fifth, of the U.S. population lived in marriage equality states. Even six months ago that number had risen to just 33 percent, or one-third of the population. We’ve made extremely rapid progress, and are within striking distance of a majority of the population having access to marriage equality where they live.

In a sense, we’ve already sped well past the halfway mark. Read more…

Color Our World with Rainbow Pride

We must create global collaboration and community to truly color the world with rainbow pride. Perhaps no country speaks better of the potential of such collaboration than South Africa. In 2006, South Africa became the fifth country in the world to gain marriage equality—before every other state in the United States except Massachusetts—thanks to specific sexual orientation protection in their constitution. Two years ago, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg praised the South African Constitution—a true product of international collaboration—as “a fundamental instrument of government that embrace(s) basic human rights,” and calling it “a great piece of work that was done.” This year’s Pride celebrations remind us that we have much more great work to do together. Read more…

Taking on Conversion Therapy in Texas

When Ryan Kendall, a young gay man living in Denver, heard the news back in 2008 that the Califor­nia Supreme Court had ruled in fa­vor of the freedom to marry, he was so excited that he had to participate personally in the movement. He reached out to us as leaders of Mar­riage Equality USA, and we soon learned that Ryan as a 14-year-old boy had survived brutal so-called “conversion” therapy to change his sexual orientation. When Ryan’s parents had learned he was gay by secretly reading his journal, they shipped him off to a conversion program in Southern California.

Right now Ryan lives in Texas, and last Saturday the Texas Republican Party enshrined a pro-conversion therapy plank in its party platform. After testifying at the Prop. 8 trial, Ryan has testified before legisla­tures across the country and has been instrumental to passing state laws protecting LGBT youth from conversion therapy. Ryan shared with us his reaction to Saturday’s news. Read more…

Getting to “I DO”: Sharing Stories to Change Hearts and Minds

Over the course of the marriage equality movement, one key thing we’ve learned in state after state is that sharing our stories with others is critical. The single most powerful way to bring people to support civil marriage equality is by making the issue personal.

Marriage Equality USA recently launched “Getting to ‘I DO’: Our Journeys to Marriage Equality,” a collaborative project aimed at col­lecting and sharing a wide range of multimedia-rich stories about relationships, family, marriage, ad­vocacy, and equality.

Read more…

Reunited

As we celebrated LGBT couples getting married in Arkansas last weekend, we were packing our bags to head to my 30th college class reunion—attending together as a legally married couple. Like birthdays and anniversaries, reunions are occasions that mark the passage of time, and this one also serves as an important milestone along the road to marriage equality. Read more…

Countdown to Equality

And then there were three.

Just a few weeks ago, there were five states either without marriage equality or without an active lawsuit for equal marriage rights. But the pace of change continues to accelerate with the filing of a new case for equality in Georgia, and the announcement that South Dakota will be next.

That will leave only three states—Alaska, Montana, and North Dakota—without either marriage equality or marriage lawsuits for the time being. Read more…

Utah Should Drop its Appeal and Let the Salt Lake City Weddings Begin Again

The State of Utah’s stunning admissions in last week’s oral argument before the Tenth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals and in briefs filed with the court make one thing abundantly clear: the state should drop its appeal of the federal district court’s ruling last December in favor of marriage equality. We’ll never forget the joy we felt seeing over a thousand LGBT couples dash to their local clerk’s offices in Salt Lake City and other Utah environs during the winter 2013 holiday season before the district court’s order was stayed. It’s time for those weddings to begin again. Read more…