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Gay Marriage News: A Week Of Change

Gay Marriage News: A Week Of Change

New York saw disappointment last week when LGBT groups had their hopes of a 2009 same-sex marriage bill dashed as a leading voice in the fight for gay marriage, Senator Malcolm A. Smith who, while attending a Human Rights Campaign event on Saturday, told a crowd of gay marriage supporters: “Hold up … although we do not have the number of votes at this time needed to pass the marriage equality gender bill this legislative session, we are committed to pursuing its passage.”

Mr. Smith then went on to clarify to reporters that, “The fact of the matter is we don’t have the votes right now. So I’m working hard to get the votes.”

Senator Smith’s constant support for the gay marriage bill, as seen throughout his ascending career, has won him both praise and considerable opposition, and this statement further emphasizes that whilst the Democratic party is one that is liberal at heart, not all Democratic Senators embrace changes to the social construct of marriage.

In fact, a prominent three of the 32 New York Democrat leaders threatened to resign over Malcolm A. Smith’s becoming head of the chamber, as they opposed his “agenda” on gay marriage rights. Senator Pedro Espada Jr., Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. of the Bronx, and Senator Carl Krugen of Brooklyn, all threatened to leave, but Smith proved victorious, although with many LGBT campaign groups worrying that Malcolm A. Smith’s effectiveness on the gay rights and gay marriage issue may have been compromised.

Senator Smith’s own admission of the likelihood of a gay marriage bill passing in 2009 seem to confirm this, however, at the same fund-raising event, the New York Times reports that Senator Thomas K. Dune (D) was more up-beat, saying “We’re still counting votes …  I’d say the situation is very fluid.”

However, elsewhere in the U.S.A., the gay marriage fight looked more positive when, on Friday of last week, Wyoming nailed the coffin lid tightly closed on a bill designed to ban gay marriage, after votes of 35-25 in opposition of the “Defense of Marriage” resolution were counted.

The bill, which sought to define marriage purely in heterocentric terms and therefore amend the Wyoming Constitution to exclude the possibility of gay marriage, was supported by Republican Owen Peterson, and follows 30 other states who have similarly amended their constitutions in that way.

A group called the WyWatch Family Institute, who are closely linked with Focus on the Family, an organization that is extremely vocal in their opposition of gay marriage, backed the bill, citing that, in trying to push for the bill they were “… trying to protect the children, because when you have a same-sex marriage, you’re denying that child either a mother or a father.”

They later called the failure of the bill a “grave injustice.” The defeat has been hailed by gay groups across the United States, who are hoping for similar opposition to an Indiana bill that would likewise amend the constitution against gay marriage.

Last week in Vermont, a sound step toward gay marriage was taken when a gay marriage bill was introduced by two Burlington lawmakers, Representative Mark Larson and  David Zuckerman, with fifty nine co-sponsors, and whilst none are Republican, early indications are that they will likely support the bill, with Republican House Leader Patti Komline giving assurances that, as far as she was concerned, this move was in accordance with Vermont’s track record of progressive legislature, and was “a civil rights issue” that she was behind.

This track record includes Vermont being the first state to offer gay and lesbian partners the right of civil unions following a Supreme Court decision in favor of the move. Similarly, the Senate will have a bill introduced also pushing for gay marriage, with many gay rights groups in Vermont being “hopeful” of a positive outcome, and the groups are now extending their focus to the rest of the region, two states of which, Massachusetts and Connecticut, already offer gay marriage.

And finally, in other gay marriage news, the Californian Supreme Court has announced that it will hear testimony on Proposition 8 and the legitimacy of its passing on March 5. Proposition 8 was passed last year after 54 percent of Nov. 4 voters brought the bill into force, and is a legal measure that denies same sex marriage in California by amending the constitution as the Wyoming bill would have done, in spite of the fact that the Supreme Court had previously decided to recognize gay marriage as lawful earlier that year.

Proposition 8 has proven to be a hot topic throughout America and has drawn widespread debate from those both pro and against gay marriage. President Obama recently said that although he does not support gay marriage, as he believes marriage is between a man and a woman only, he fully endorses the repeal of Proposition 8, as it facilitated the repealing of the Californian gay community’s rights, something which he classified as “un-American.”

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Photo used under the creative commons attribution license with thanks to rauchdickson.

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1:10PM PDT on Apr 4, 2010

"Being gay is "not pro survival"? Then how do you explain that gays and lesbians have been around all this time? They have managed to exist throughout the ages without the ability to procreate amongst themselves, how much more pro survival can you get?"

Right Gary being Gay ir really being Sad. The word gay was hijacked by the homosexual people. The words homosexual, queers or deviate would be more accurate. They live a very sad lifestyle while making a pretense to be happy and trying to convince the world they are normal and happy. Sorry but the homosexual lifestyle is wrong not only against the bible but medically it is a dangerous lifestyle.

8:20AM PST on Nov 13, 2009

it is not only civil but human as will, does anyone believe in the freedom of choice.?

11:15AM PST on Feb 23, 2009

Whew, I am here in NL, Canada,,reading all comments. At some/a lot of these comments, it makes me swallow hard, and just sit, shake my head, and wonder how such some heterosexual people can long as 'they' do their thing and keep away from me, well I guess it's ok by me. 'they' meaning 'us', the lesbian woman of our Universal Creation too, do you think we are Not capable of Love for All people, all human kindness, all little animal soul mate companions, our planet, our trees, our forests, all Universal Creation. do you who call us 'they', think we were born without a Heart and a Soul. 'We' did not 'choose' our path in this Life..we were Born into this Life with our path chosen for us, just as you, did not 'choose' to call yourselves Heterosexual, or did you? Do you hear 'they' = 'us' saying we do not Accept you or do we Judge you, do we call you 'they', do we say as long as the Heterosexuals and their Children and their loving animal friends 'stay away from us'?? What do really think LOVE means to You? Do you really believe that when Jesus walked His walk here on this earth, He would, think, say and Be as you are and call all His chosen people, or just some, 'they'?? Do you think if I was living in the Time of Jesus, and I went up to Him to speak with Him, being myself and feeling All the Love I do for all Life, do you really think Jesus would have turned me away, ahh, it's ok, I really have no problem with her, as long as she stays away from me and mine..and 'they'B1

5:26AM PST on Feb 12, 2009

I don't have any problem with gays or lesbians and I DON'T CARE IF IT IS FLAUNTED IN MY FACE.
In Brazil (and all South America) Civil Rights (for women, gays and lesbians,negros and other minorities as jews)are barely known words.

5:18PM PST on Feb 11, 2009

I have no problem with gays or lesbians. I just don't want it flaunted in my face, the same as I do not flaunt that I am heterosexual. Have any of the gay and lesbian heard of a "prenuptual agreement"? That would solve any problems they may have as far as receiving benefits, etc in the event of death of one of the partners.

Quite frankly, I am tired of hearing about all of this nonsense.

10:32PM PST on Feb 10, 2009

Being gay is "not pro survival"? Then how do you explain that gays and lesbians have been around all this time? They have managed to exist throughout the ages without the ability to procreate amongst themselves, how much more pro survival can you get?

8:52PM PST on Feb 10, 2009

If we were all Gay, that would be the end of civilization!!
You have to be bent to be Gay!

3:39PM PST on Feb 10, 2009

Pornographic??? How about artistic? Do you realize there is more than 80 percent sexual displays between heterosexuals on tv and movies than you would ever find in a gay parade! How about those commercials for viagra Do you find that pornographic????

3:39PM PST on Feb 10, 2009

Pornographic??? How about artistic? Do you realize there is more than 80 percent sexual displays between heterosexuals on tv and movies than you would ever find in a gay parade! How about those commercials for viagra Do you find that pornographic????

11:57AM PST on Feb 10, 2009

No one's joy can in any way diminish my joy; on the contrary - the universe is enriched by all joy! If you are into Jesus, his message was Love, Acceptance, Peace, and EVEN Tolerance. There is no hate or judgementalism in Jesus.
If you're against Gay Marriage, don't have one. Just leave others to their own right to happiness. It cannot possibly hurt the rest of us.

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