Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
New York Times: “Yet one prize has remained elusive: a reversal by voters in one of the 29 states, mostly in the South and Midwest, with constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Activists in Ohio want to see those dominoes start to fall here, and they say they have gathered the signatures for a ballot measure to repeal an amendment adopted by 62 percent of voters in 2004.”
AP: “Two federal lawsuits challenging the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage are moving forward, and a hearing on one of the cases is scheduled for Jan. 30.”
Richard Socarides at The New Yorker: When do you think the Supreme Court might rule that there is a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage? Nobody can answer that precisely. There are now some forty-four cases in nineteen or twenty states moving forward. And one of them may be the case, or it may be some other case down the road. We can encourage the Court to take the right case at the right time and do the right thing—within a matter of years, not decades.
Columbus Dispatch: But there is a schism in the gay and transgender community about when the Ohio campaign should begin: next year, 2016 or beyond?
Columbus Dispatch: The push to overturn Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban picked up speed today with a three-city announcement of the Why Marriage Matters Ohio education campaign. But a difference of opinion remains about when the election campaign aimed at overturning Ohio’s marriage ban should begin: next year, 2016 or beyond?
Reid Wilson at Washington Post: After years of legislative and political victories, supporters of same-sex marriage are running out of states where friendly politicians can deliver on legislation legalizing unions between gay and lesbian couples.
Sarah Prager at the Huffington Post: I hope I have at least raised the idea that the place of terms “traditional marriage” and “redefinition of marriage” in the same-sex marriage debate should be reconsidered. It personally offends me to hear others talk about “traditional marriage” when they mean to say “monogamous opposite-sex marriage.” The kind of marriage that NOM is fighting to protect would be considered a radical redefinition of marriage to anyone from 1920s America.
Washington Post: Now that the gay marriage fight is intensifying on the state level, how much will both sides spend on it over the next three years? Tens of millions of dollars. An array of groups has already mapped out plans to raise and spend millions between now and the end of 2016. Here is a look at some — but not all — of the key players . . .
NBC: “The answer is to win more states, win a critical mass of states, and a critical mass of public support, which creates a climate that encourages the court to do its job,” said Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry, a pro-gay-marriage group.
“Pleased by court rulings, backers of gay marriage now gird for fight to extend it nationwide” | Star Tribune (AP)
David Crary at Star Tribune (AP): Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, suggested that efforts to end that division would not be easy, given that many states have electorates that seem solidly opposed to gay marriage. “The fight is far from over,” Rauch wrote in a commentary. “By refusing to override those majorities, the court green-lighted the continuation, probably for a decade or more, of state-by-state battles over marriage.” . . . “The debate over marriage has only just begun,” said Austin Nimocks, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group.
“Should the Supreme Court impose a nationwide mandate on same-sex marriage?” | Face the Nation (includes video)
FACE the NATION (includes video): Austin Nimocks, part of the legal team defending California’s Proposition 8, said during a gay marriage panel earlier in the program that the debate is “too young” to be stifled by a nationwide decision. “That’s exactly what we don’t need when we see Americans of all walks of life, all different faiths and backgrounds, and creeds, engaging in the marriage debate,” Nimocks said. “President Obama said there are people of good will on both sides of the debate, and the last thing we need is to shut down the debate, have the Supreme Court redefine marriage for everybody, instead of letting us work through this question through our democratic institutions. That’s why we have them. “The Supreme Court is not a legislature,” Nimocks continued. “We have ballot boxes for a reason and we’re asking the Supreme Court not to interject itself in this question.”
“Ahead of Supreme Court Arguments, Sunday News Shows Favor Gay Marriage Supporters” | Christian Post
Christian Post: CBS’ “Face the Nation” came the closest to providing a balanced view. The discussion had three people in favor of same-sex marriage, NFL football player Brendon Ayanbadejo, Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson and conservative columnist David Frum, and two people opposed to same-sex marriage, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and Alliance Defending Freedom’s Austin Nimocks. Host Bob Schieffer, though, did a better job than his colleagues at providing both sides about equal time. Also unlike the hosts on the other networks, Schieffer provided Nimocks and Perkins adequate time to present their arguments without interruption.
WFAA.com: CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.; Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry; Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council; Austin Nimocks, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo, an advocate of same-sex marriage.
Star Tribune: Freedom to Marry plans to spend cash in Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island as well as Minnesota.
BuzzFeed: Originally formed to repeal DOMA in Congress, LGBT rights organizations are building a coalition to fight for “securing the freedom to marry nationwide.”
Evan Wolfson at the NY Times: Now here we are, with the Supreme Court heading toward decisions on both the state and federal marriage discrimination that same-sex couples endure. And if we do our part over the next months, building on the irrefutable momentum of 2011 and 2012, we can give the justices confidence that when they stand on the right side of history, their rulings will not only stand the test of time, but be true to where the American people already are.
Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe: Supporters of same-sex marriage have reason to cheer after last week’s election. Supporters of democratic self-government, even those of us who oppose gay marriage, do too.
Salon: “Rights should not be put to a vote,” Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry, told the Wall Street Journal. “While we have now shown we can do it, it doesn’t mean that we should have to do it, and it doesn’t mean that it is easy to do.” He added that “very few” states will be appealing as fronts to pursue more ballot measures, because of costs and the scale of organization needed.
Nathaniel Frank at the Daily Herald (AP): After the losses in Maine in 2009 and California a year earlier, LGBT advocates knew they needed to craft an effective response to Schubert’s false message that gay equality harms kids. Enter Freedom To Marry. The umbrella group was founded in 2003 by the civil rights lawyer Evan Wolfson, who has consistently preached about winning hearts and minds in between elections rather than in the frenzied lead-up to them. While gay groups had spent millions of dollars on public opinion research before and after the Prop 8 loss in California, no one had ever stopped to pull it all together . . . Frank, author of “Unfriendly Fire” and a visiting scholar at Columbia’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, is writing a book called “The Anti-Gay Mind.”
Minn. Public Radio: Groups on both sides of the marriage amendment debate are getting a last minute infusion of cash from groups outside of Minnesota.
Pioneer Press (AP): The Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced the drive Thursday. They are looking for volunteers willing to spend a full week in one of the four states, or just a weekend.
LifeSiteNews: Twenty-three organizations supporting gay rights have condemned a shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters Wednesday morning, saying that although the motive of the attack hasn’t been clearly established, the leaders “utterly reject and condemn” such violence.
Christian Post: Conservative groups including the National Organization for Marriage, Focus on the Family, and the Family Research Council have all come out against Freedom to Marry’s new campaign, insisting that while Freedom to Marry might talk of supporting conservative principals, in practice they fall woefully short.
Business Week: “They don’t want to be the first ones in the pool. Well, guess what? I jumped in the pool first. The water’s just fine,” Taft said in an interview at his downtown Minneapolis office. “My goal is to have several hundred high-profile business executives declare themselves in opposition to the marriage amendment sometime between now and the election,” Taft added. “And I am very confident we are going to be able to do that.”
DOMA Unconstitutional Ruling: Liberal Religious Groups Hail Move, Conservatives Condemn | Huffington Post
Huffington Post (RNS): Still, social conservatives saw the decision as an ominous sign. “Under this rationale, if just one state decided to accept polygamy, the federal government and perhaps other states would be forced to accept it, too,” said Dale Schowengerdt, legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. “The federal government had the authority to step in against polygamy at one time in our nation’s history, and it has the authority to step in against this attempt at marriage redefinition as well.”
Boston.com (AP): The executive director of the driving force behind New Hampshire’s gay marriage law announced Wednesday she is resigning due to insufficient funding drawn partly through the group’s national organization.
Geoffrey A. Fowler and Carol E. Lee at WSJ.com: Opponents point to a May Alliance Defense Fund poll which claimed a 2.53% margin of error found that 62% of Americans think marriage should be defined “only as a union between one man and one woman.”
USATODAY.com (6/24): “The opposition has created an illusion of momentum but not a real base of support or track record of victory in the courts,” said Brian Raum, senior counsel with the conservative Alliance Defense Fund.
Burlington Free Press: “They’re advocating for a lot of changes in the name of tolerance,” said Jim Campbell, an attorney with the conservative Alliance Defense Fund. “Yet ironically the tolerance is not returned, for people of faith who don’t agree with their agenda.” . . . [Evan Wolfson] added: “There’s been a shift in the moral understanding of people — that exclusion from marriage and anti-gay prejudice is wrong. Positions that wouldn’t have been questioned in the past are now being held up to the light.”
Reuters: “A handful of U.S. states are poised to take up the issue of gay marriage afresh, due largely to incoming lawmakers who may tip the balance in favor of the controversial measure. In Maryland, New York and Rhode Island in particular, the legalization of same-sex marriages is moving ahead, organizers and supporters say.”
Leah Libresco writes at Yale Daily News: “While checking Facebook during the Yale Political Union debate between Evan Wolfson, head of Freedom to Marry, and Maggie Gallagher, a leader from the National Organization for Marriage, I was pleased to see a steady stream of debate-related statuses. As the night went on, the tenor of the statuses from my mostly liberal friends began to shift. The people who referred to Ms. Gallagher as evil earlier in the night ended up with ‘I think I enjoyed talking to [Gallagher] … What’s wrong with us?’
Yahoo! News: “‘The case in Massachusetts is much more incremental and strategic,’ said [Jordan Lorence], a senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal firm helping to defend Prop. 8. ‘It’s like a rifle shot. The California case is much more massive in its magnitude. More than a rifle shot, it’s like a big bomb.’”
Washington Times: “‘Gay people serving in the military, defending our country, should have the same rules and same opportunities as any other Americans, no more and no less,’ Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, told The Washington Times . . . Austin R. Nimocks, a lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund, said he thinks DOMA prevents the military from giving benefits to gay spouses . . . ‘It’s most likely under the current scenario that the military would follow DOMA because the marriage license held by a same-sex couple is a state-conferred right and not a federal-conferred right.’”
LezGetReal: “Austin R. Nimocks, a lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund, told The Washington Times, ‘It’s most likely under the current scenario that the military would follow DOMA because the marriage license held by a same-sex couple is a state-conferred right and not a federal-conferred right. And so there is no requirement that the federal government acknowledge that state-conferred right in that regard. I think that federal DOMA would necessarily constrict the ability of the military to provide some sort of recognition to a marriage license held by a same-sex couple.’ . . . The top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee . . . asked Secretary Gates if he will recommend that Congress repeal DOMA . . . A spokesman for Gates declined to comment.”
Sacramento Bee: “Austin Nimocks, a Proposition 8 attorney from the Alliance Defense Fund, which specializes in defense of religious rights, said Blankenhorn made the case that same-sex marriage could cause ‘further debasement’ of marriage as an institution. Gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed, Nimocks said, because ‘it intentionally deprives children of a father and a mother.’”
“The same-sex marriage movement appears likely to end a banner year with a string of stinging defeats that opponents say have undermined a core proposition of the movement – that the acceptance of gay marriage is, sooner or later, inevitable.”
Warning: Language. Sean Kittridge writes at The Badger Herald: “But not everybody is laughing at what seems to be an innocuous day off, as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Madison’s grumpiest constitutional watchdog, is readying a lawsuit . . . Before we dive into how the FFRF isn’t really about ‘freedom,’ let’s lay out the facts of the matter. Kids at MATC got Friday off.”
The Globe Gazette (AP) reports: Rather than agreeing same-sex marriage is inevitable, opponents said the Iowa court decision would be a warning to other states that haven’t enacted constitutional amendments. “This (ruling) will catapult all of those states forward in the marriage amendment process,” said Douglas Napier, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
David Gram reports in the AP: “The Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group based in Scottsdale, Ariz., issued a news release this week in which it put quotation marks around the word marriage in the phrase “same-sex ‘marriage’.” It does the same with civil unions, questioning the legitimacy of the state’s existing system of legal recognition for same-sex couples.”
AP: “A judge is expected to rule Friday on whether a lesbian couple legally married in Canada can be divorced in New Jersey. The state attorney general’s office opposes the request, which is the first of its kind in the …
The ACLU has issued this press release: New Web Campaign, Tell-Three.org, Encourages People to Talk About What it Means to be LGBT Join the Impact has partnered with other national LGBT groups to develop a web based public education campaign, …
“Activists following the Obama proposal said it could become controversial within the gay community if Congress refuses to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, but moves ahead with legislation providing marriage-related rights only for civil unions and domestic partnerships . . .”