Next Steps for Prop. 8/DOMA Cases: Dec 11 Marriage News Watch


Uploaded by AmericanEqualRights on 11.12.2012

Transcript:
It's official: The Supreme Court will hear the Prop 8 case. Meanwhile, support's growing
in Congress for a repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. And progress in state legislatures
could mean even big advances for marriage in 2013.
At the American Foundation for Equal Rights, I'm Matt Baume, and welcome to Marriage News
Watch for December 11, 2012.
Well the big news this week is the Supreme Court. After weeks of suspense, they finally
announced that they'll take two marriage cases this term: AFER's case to overturn Prop 8,
and one of the lawsuits challenging DOMA.
Now we can look forward to briefings and oral arguments in the spring, with a ruling probably
by the end of June. These are going to be a very busy couple of months for marriage
equality.
It's a big deal that the court took both the Prop 8 case and a DOMA case, because the cases
take two different approaches to marriage equality.
Prop 8 is a state law, which means that it forces California to deny the right to marry
to gay and lesbian couples. DOMA, on the other hand, isn't about the right to marry. The
couples in those cases are already married. Instead, DOMA prevents the federal government
from recognizing those marriages. If the court invalidates both Prop 8 and DOMA, it sets
the stage for marriage equality at the state level and at the federal level.
Of course, there are a lot of different ways that the court could rule. And there's sure
to be lots of activity in those cases between now and June. We'll have instant updates whenever
there's news in case. Subscribe here on YouTube and at AFER.org to stay up to date.
While those cases work their way through the court, Congressional support for DOMA repeal
is at an all time high. Last year, 109 Representatives supported the Respect for Marriage Act, which
would overturn DOMA. This year, that's up to 159. Passage in the House requires 218.
And national polling on marriage continues its trend in our favor. New data from Quinnipiac
and Gallup show support climbing over last year.
Turning to states, marriage began this weekend in Washington, with nearly 300 licenses issued
in just the first few hours after midnight. Across the country, Maine marriages begin
on December 29. Several towns there will hold special Saturday hours to issues licenses.
And marriage in Maryland begins on January 1.
One of the next states to watch for progress on the freedom to marry is Minnesota. Governor
Mark Dayton this week expressed his eagerness to sign a marriage bill if it can pass the
legislature, which is now controlled by Democrats.
Organizers in Illinois are also pushing a bill in the legislature. It may come to a
vote as early as January. A new survey from Public Policy Polling shows the bill would
be supported by 47% of Illinois voters, with 42% opposed.
Support is even stronger in New Jersey, at 53% to 36% opposed. Lawmakers there need 27
Senate votes and 54 Assembly votes to override Governor Chris Christie's veto of a marriage
bill. Organizers say they're close to reaching those numbers, but not quite there yet.
It's been a huge year for marriage. But 2013 is already shaping up to be even busier yet.
We have at least two major cases before the Supreme Court, some very close votes in state
legislatures, and a handful of states that could be close to putting marriage on the
ballot.
Subscribe here on YouTube and at AFER.org to stay up to date on all this work, and to
find out where you can get involved. At the American Foundation for Equal Rights, I'm
Matt Baume. See you next week.