October 18th, 2012
02:33 PM ET

Timeline: Same-sex marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear two challenges to state and federal laws dealing with the recognition of gay and lesbian couples to legally wed.

Oral arguments will likely be held in March, with a ruling expected by late June.

One appeal to be heard involves the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples legally married in their own state. The second is a challenge to California's Proposition 8, a voter-approved referendum that took away the right of same-sex marriage that previously had been approved by state courts.

Currently, Maryland, Washington, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Minnesota voters also rejected an effort to ban such unions through a constitutional amendment.

Five states - Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island - currently allow civil unions that provide rights similar to marriage.

Here is a timeline showing the progression of same-sex marriage across the country.

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When football, same-sex marriage and politics collide
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is becoming well-known off the field for his support of same-sex marriage.
September 8th, 2012
02:48 PM ET

When football, same-sex marriage and politics collide

In his 10th NFL season, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is catching more attention for his political views than his special teams talents. And after a Maryland politician slammed his views on same-sex marriage, other NFL players are stepping up to defend Ayanbadejo's freedom of speech.

Ayanbadejo is a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage. He filmed video shorts for Equality Maryland and even wrote about same-sex marriage for the Huffington Post in 2009.

State lawmaker and minister Emmett C. Burns Jr. is a self-described Ravens fan, but in a letter sent to team owner Steve Bisciotti, Burns said it was "inconceivable" that Ayanbadejo was publicly endorsing same-sex marriage.

In the letter, written on August 29 and obtained by Yahoo! Sports, Burns wrote, "Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other. Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement.

"I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football Franchise Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing."

In March, Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland, but the law doesn't take effect until 2013.

Amid the political convention-themed tweets filling his profile, Ayanbadejo responded on his Twitter page with this: "Football is just my job it's not who I am. I am an American before anything. And just like every American I have the right to speak!"

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Filed under: Football • Politics • Pro football • Same-sex marriage • Sports
August 2nd, 2012
10:40 AM ET

'Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day' sets record, restaurant chain says

Chick-fil-A says it set a sales record on Wednesday, the day that supporters rallied around the fast-food chain amid a debate over its president's opposition to same-sex marriage.

The chain won't release sales numbers, but "we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day," said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A's executive vice president of marketing.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had called on people to buy food at the chain on Wednesday, which he dubbed "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," after a backlash against the company and their president.

The controversy started after an interview with the fast-food restaurant chain's president and COO, Dan Cathy, appeared in The Baptist Press on July 16. He weighed in with his views on family.

"We are very much supportive of the family - the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy said. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

On a Facebook page Huckabee created announcing the event, more than 620,000 people said they would participate.

He called for a response to a backlash against the restaurants and its president. Customers flocked to the restaurants on Wednesday, many showing their support for the chain and Cathy's opposition to same-sex marriage.

Gay rights activists are planning to hold a "national same-sex kiss day at Chick-fil-A" on Friday.

FULL STORY
July 27th, 2012
06:14 PM ET

How the Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy has evolved

A growing chorus of politicians has joined a nearly two-week uproar and counter-uproar over the marriage views of Chick-fil-A’s president.

At least four Democratic officials in three major northern U.S. cities spoke against the views of Dan Cathy, who recently said his company backs traditional marriage, as opposed to same-sex marriage. Some of those politicos essentially told the Atlanta-based restaurant chain not to try to expand in their cities.

Two former GOP presidential candidates, meanwhile, have encouraged people to show their support for Chick-fil-A by buying food there this coming Wednesday, which one of them has dubbed “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

The controversy took flight in mid-July after Cathy gave an interview to the Biblical Recorder, on online journal for Baptists in North Carolina. In the July 2 story - picked up by the Baptist Press on July 16 - Cathy affirmed that his company backs the traditional family unit.

“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy said. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

“We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,” he added.

The fast-food chicken restaurant chain has long been known to espouse Christian values, and does not operate on Sundays so that employees can be free to attend church if they choose.

Proponents of same-sex marriage spread Cathy’s comments, eventually creating a firestorm of criticism on social media, including assertions that his comments and position were bigoted and hateful.

“The Office” star Ed Helms joined in, saying he was no longer a fan of the fast-food giant.

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t like gay people? So lame," he tweeted July 18. "Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan."

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Filed under: Billy Graham • Christian • Fast Food • Food • Religion • Same-sex marriage
Overheard on CNN.com: Readers defend Chick-fil-A's stance on marriage
How do you feel about Chick-fil-A and its president's views on same-sex marriage? Share your comments below.
July 19th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers defend Chick-fil-A's stance on marriage

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"Guilty as charged" was the response from Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage. There was a social-media uproar about Cathy's statements, but many of CNN.com's readers expressed support for his right to say and believe what he wants.

Chick-fil-A's stance on same-sex marriage causing a social storm

Omekongo Dibinga, an iReporter from Washington, was one of those voices. He says the Chick-fil-A exec "did nothing wrong."

"We shouldn't be surprised that an organization that sticks to its Christian principles would have issues with gay marriage," Dibinga says, adding, "We can't get into this mentality of thinking that everybody who is against gay marriage is homophobic in some way, shape or form."

A lot of our readers had similar things to say.

Dan: "I'm gay. I don't care. If I ceased buying products from companies that did things I didn't like, then I'd be Amish. I don't make political choices when I eat out (though, for the record, I actually don't like CFA's food or any fast food for that matter). I go out to eat to fill my belly."

But a few readers were not happy with Chick-fil-A. FULL POST

June 5th, 2012
01:04 PM ET

Federal appeals court won't hear same-sex marriage case

A federal appeals court refused Tuesday to revisit the divisive issue of same-sex marriage in California, months after judges gave gay and lesbian couples constitutional blessing to wed.

In February, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, unconstitutional. In a split decision, the panel found that Proposition 8 "works a meaningful harm to gays and lesbians" by denying their right to civil marriage in violation of the 14th Amendment.

But backers of the proposition asked for a larger panel of judges to rehear the case.

With the full appeals court declining to rehear the panel's decision, supporters of the ban could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court - something they have previously said they are willing to do.

The February three-judge appeals court panel ruling upheld a 2010 decision by a U.S. district judge in San Francisco. However, in the appeals court decision, Circuit Judges Stephen Reinhardt and Michael Daly Hawkins said that they were speaking only to Proposition 8, and that states would have to decide the marriage issue themselves.

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Filed under: Courts • Justice • Same-sex marriage
May 14th, 2012
12:49 PM ET

Colorado legislature meets on civil unions

The Colorado legislature met Monday in extraordinary session to consider a number of bills that were not brought to the floor last week, chief among them a civil-unions bill that has strong bipartisan support.

House Speaker Frank McNulty, who opposes civil unions, made no secret that he also opposed the special session, which was called by Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

"Planting corn today," the Republican speaker tweeted on Sunday. "What I should be doing tomorrow insread (sic) of a special session for the legislature."

He expressed similar sentiments on Monday, when he tweeted, "Special legislative session on same sex marriage brought to you by Colorado Gov @hickforco and cost picked up by Colorado families."

But the bill is not about same-sex marriage, which is banned under Colorado's constitution. Instead, it is about civil unions. And that was not the only bill that Hickenlooper said he wished would have passed during the regular session.

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Filed under: Colorado • Politics • Same-sex marriage
Open thread: Same-sex marriage and your life
May 12th, 2012
01:26 AM ET

Open thread: Same-sex marriage and your life

This week, President Obama announced his personal support for same-sex marriage. The endorsement came a day after North Carolina voters passed a constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage in their state.

So, we want to know - what does Obama's announcement mean to you? Will it make any difference in your life?

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Same-sex marriage • U.S.
Overheard on CNN.com: Where do state and local laws end, federal authority begin?
A tour group meets at sunset in downtown Tombstone. The "town too tough to die" worries it's going to run dry.
May 11th, 2012
07:28 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Where do state and local laws end, federal authority begin?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Tombstone, Arizona, which has a population of 1,400 people, is suing the federal government about a water line that was damaged in last year's massive Monument fire. The city says the federal government is blocking emergency repairs that are critical to its survival. Lawyers for the federal government say there's no emergency and that Tombstone is using the fire's aftermath as an excuse to "upgrade and improve" its water system. This story, and a few others that are being talked about, raise questions about the authority of the federal government over local and state governments.

Showdown at the H2O corral

A lot of readers said the federal government should not interfere.

TRussert: "This is totally and completely absurd. Let the town fix/improve their water needs and this will all be over. No species is going to suffer from this and the land will not be disturbed. In the meantime, all this bickering and letter of the law nonsense is just costing taxpayers unjustifiably. It's not like they want to drill for oil, which apparently has more success in being done on federal lands now, what idiocy. Doesn't anyone know that Federal Lands belong to the people? Someone with common sense step up and end this BS. We have real problems to deal with here. We don't need made-up ones on top of them."

Amegioa71: "This is the kind of thing that drives us crazy in the southwest ... the government won't lift a finger to control the border, but they'll prevent a town from using a wheelbarrow to repair its water line ... the government treats its people and their needs like they are the enemy."

Some wondered if there was something more going on here.

ryuujin: "Based upon the soap opera story presented here, there has got to a lot more than what has been explained. Therefore, don't blame the federal government until the WHOLE story is known. Start with following the money and why was the mayor who seemed to be getting the pipe fixed recalled?"

These readers think there might be a balance. FULL POST

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Filed under: Arizona • Joe Arpaio • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics • Same-sex marriage • U.S.
Overheard on CNN.com: Will Obama's same-sex marriage support help or hurt him?
The historic Greenwich Village gay bar, Stonewall Inn, invites customers to celebrate Obama's support of gay marriage.
May 9th, 2012
08:31 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Will Obama's same-sex marriage support help or hurt him?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

President Barack Obama had said he was "evolving" in terms of his position on same-sex marriage, but then he said Wednesday that he in fact supports it. There was plenty of discussion on Tuesday as North Carolina headed to the polls, and the issue continued to gain steam. There are different views on the consequences of such a move. If you have an opinion, share your views via CNN iReport.

Writer Charles Kaiser asserts that Obama has made an important statement.

Gay marriage support: Obama's most courageous move

We've received a number of iReport video responses to this development.

These readers said there could be political consequences, but applauded Obama nonetheless.

dinydave: "Courageous move, definitely. I hope like crazy it doesn't come back to bite him, though. Nothing loses votes like riling up your reactionary opponents, and nothing riles up reactionary 'phobes like the opportunity to deny someone else equality. Witness North Carolina. Courageous move, and Obama is showing just how much more of a LEADER he is than any of the pandering, pansy-arsed regressive Republican field of this year could dream of being. All this, while there's another article fawning over the slowly growing number of Republicans who are finally getting it and going on record as in favor of marriage equality."

Duke Smith: "Courageous, but stupid. Can you envision the TV ads now?"

Some said calling the move "courageous" is a bit much.

sirm777: "How is this courageous? I support gay marriage. There, I must be courageous. No, in Afghanistan facing gunfire is courageous. This here at home is just politics, get real Kaiser."

And this reader said Obama will not be getting her vote. FULL POST

Overheard on CNN.com: How does same-sex marriage factor into voters' decisions?
President Obama, shown at a February event, hasn't backed Vice President Joseph Biden's support of same-sex marriage.
May 8th, 2012
06:17 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: How does same-sex marriage factor into voters' decisions?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

President Barack Obama has expressed views on same-sex marriage that CNN opinion columnist LZ Granderson has called an "awkward dance," whereas Vice President Joe Biden has expressed support. Granderson, who is gay, asserts that Obama is keeping his conscience in the proverbial closet. The issue is in the spotlight because North Carolina's primary, among three happening Tuesday, includes a referendum that would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. The state currently does not permit such unions. What's your take? Share your view on video via CNN iReport.

Obama keeps his conscience in the closet

Two iReporters weighed in on the issue with video commentary. Mark Ivy of Farmersburg, Indiana, says he is gay and in a long-term committed relationship. He also expresses his independent political views frequently on CNN iReport, and said he believes the issue should be decided by the states rather than federal government.

Compared to other things, the marriage issue is a "blip on the radar," Ivy said. He indicated that he doesn't want politicians "pandering" in order to capture "our vote."

"Our time will come, but during this presidential election, the LGBT should keep its eyes on the more needy issues of the economy, jobs and the national debt."

Another iReporter, Egberto Willies of Kingwood, Texas, said he supports Barack Obama and believes the issue is important, but that will come in time.

"His position on same-sex marriage does not weaken my support," Willies said. "It means we must use several avenues to exert pressure to ensure he comes to the right conclusion eventually." FULL POST

Overheard on CNN.com: What is a 'marriage' anyway? Prop 8 commenters debate
In light of a federal appeals court's ruling against Proposition 8, readers are talking about the meaning of marriage.
February 7th, 2012
04:43 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: What is a 'marriage' anyway? Prop 8 commenters debate

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

A federal appeals court ruled against Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage. It argued that the ban unconstitutionally singles out gays and lesbians for discrimination. People hashed out the finer points, but there are plenty of thorny questions involved. What is the definition of "marriage"? Who has a say in what parts of people's lives? What will the impacts of this decision be?

Appeals court rejects California's Proposition 8

This reader said they don't understand the controversy.

1doctor: "Kim Kardashian's 90-day marriage (for publicity) and Britney Spears' one-week marriage consummated during a drunken state in Las Vegas is legal, recognized and upheld as a foundation of society this is worthy of protecting. But, my 30+ year monogamous committed relationship with my same-sex 'partner' (hate that word) is illegal; a threat to marriage and the family. Maybe ... just maybe one day, our U.S. Supreme Court will settle this once and for all, making marriage equality real for all of us across this great nation."

But this person said they stand by their beliefs. Some agreed, and some did not.

M1sf1ts: "I will not condone, accept, or recognize a gay partnership as a marriage, nevermind the law."

worktolive: "Neither I nor my children nor my grandchildren nor any generation thereafter. They will be taught it is a sinful lifestyle and against God's will. And if our schools try to make our kids accept this against parents' wishes - homeschool or send them to a Christian school."

This was the most-liked comment:

yooobetcha: "This is a very bad day for religious fanatics who want to legislate their hate."

One interesting discussion started about the motivations behind the ban and possible impacts of the decision against it. FULL POST

D.C. moves to adjust divorce law for same-sex marriages
Same-sex marriages are recognized in only a handful of jurisdictions nationwide.
January 11th, 2012
12:31 PM ET

D.C. moves to adjust divorce law for same-sex marriages

The Washington City Council is on track to make it easier for same-sex couples who got married in the District of Columbia to get divorced.

D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson proposed the legislation after hearing reports that same-sex couples who wed in the District were being denied divorces after moving to jurisdictions that don't recognize same-sex marriages. The District of Columbia began allowing same-sex marriages in 2010. But those marriages are recognized in only a handful of places, meaning divorce proceedings can't be started in many places that haven't recognized the marriages in the first place.

"I received a number of reports from couples or attorneys about this impossible situation," Mendelson told the Washington Examiner.

Mendelson's bill removes a six-month waiting period during which someone seeking a divorce must reside in the District, provided the marriage occurred in the District in the first place.

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington has applauded Mendelson's bill.

"This bill fills a gap in the law created by our being ahead of the historical curve. None of us celebrates the dissolution of a marriage, but equality under the law must extend to every contingency. The lack of a clear legal mechanism for divorce can make an unhappy situation much worse for all involved," Rick Rosendall, the alliance's vice president for political affairs, said in a statement.

The bill was co-sponsored by seven other members of the 13-member council, meaning final passage is likely.

Approval by the mayor or an override of a veto is required, as is a 30-day congressional review period, before the measure can become law.

Gotta Watch: Kids 1, Politicians 0
December 1st, 2011
04:40 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Kids 1, Politicians 0

Politicians need to be prepared for pretty much anything. Between the tabloids and reporters – every bit of what they say is scrutinized.   There are always going to be moments when politicians get caught off guard by the people they expect the least. You've gotta watch what happens when kids stump politicians on the tough questions starting with an incident between Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and a teenager.

Teen vs. presidential candidate – Bachmann is questioned by a high school student about her stance on same-sex marriage at a town hall meeting in Iowa. Watch the testy exchange as she just won't let up. See the full video from iReporter Anelia Dimitrova here.

FULL POST

Court: Proponents of California gay-marraige ban can defend it
Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage rally in San Fransisco, California, in August 2010.
November 17th, 2011
01:33 PM ET

Court: Proponents of California gay-marraige ban can defend it

The California Supreme Court ruled that "official proponents" of California's Proposition 8 - which defines marriage as being only between one man and one woman - can defend the ballot initiative in court when public officials refuse to do so.

This means a federal court fight over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage can continue.

Proposition 8 was approved in a California 2008 ballot, setting up a federal lawsuit by various gay couples seeking to wed. State leaders including current Gov. Jerry Brown have refused to defend the law in court, setting up the debate over who could defend Proposition 8.

Charles Cooper, attorney for Proposition 8's ballot sponsors, had said the official sponsors should be allowed to step in when the state refuses to defend such measures. The conservative group ProtectMarriage.com has been leading the legal fight to defend the initiative.

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Filed under: California • Courts • Proposition 8 • Same-sex marriage
New Yorkers celebrate same-sex marriage in pop-up wedding chapels
Pastor Mark Cutolo officiates over the marriage of Scott Baumann and Tom Corujo.
July 30th, 2011
10:41 PM ET

New Yorkers celebrate same-sex marriage in pop-up wedding chapels

Twenty-four gay and lesbian couples were wed Saturday under two “pop-up” chapels designed to celebrate the first full weekend of same-sex marriage in New York.

With every “I do,” jubilant whoops and cheers burst from the crowd, a mix of friends, family and passers-by.

The weddings, although held adjacent to the commotion of New York City’s Columbus Circle, felt comfortably ensconced in Central Park. The event’s organizers reported no protests or disturbances throughout the day.

The two chapels, named KISS and ICRAVE, were chosen from more than 50 entries after a 10-day design competition. KISS, designed by architect Guy Zucker, consisted of two interlocking, helix-shaped wood frames.

Carley Roney, co-founder of the marriage service The Knot, which co-sponsored the event, said KISS was constructed this way because, as with a marriage, “the two pieces can’t stand on their own. They need each other to stand up.”

Meanwhile, ICRAVE, designed by architect Lionel Ohayon, covered the betrothed with an array of rainbow-colored ribbon bands dangling from a makeshift roof. The rainbow colors were chosen to reflect gay pride, Roney said.

While the pop-up chapels will be demolished after the event, the newlyweds said there was nothing ephemeral about the vows taken beneath them.

“I promise to always help you find your keys; I promise to give you all the credit when people compliment me in your clothes... I promise to always have your back,” Katrina Olson said to her new wife, Tiffany Hopkins. “The only thing I can’t promise you is my heart, ’cause you stole it so many years ago.”

Afterwards, a friend of the couple’s played The Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four,” inviting a sing-along from the street crowd and many of the event’s volunteers.

Like the ceremony for Hopkins and Olson, the services throughout the day focused far more on the relationships than the novelty, or historical significance, of a same-sex marriage.

Shari Berkowitz, one of the wedding’s officiants, said this marked a change from some of the same-sex commitment ceremonies she oversaw 15 years ago, which were often marked with tension. On Saturday, Berkowitz officiated the wedding of Gabrielle Harmon and Jacqueline Cabrera.

“Now, you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other,” she said at the ceremony.

The weather Saturday - sunny without a cloud in the sky - seemed to make this assurance unnecessary.

Additionally, the day’s attendees said their thoughts were not clouded by the lawsuit, filed this Monday by the conservative group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom, challenging the legality of the same-sex marriage law.

“I think it’s going to die,” Jen Frankel said of the lawsuit before she married Jessica Schoen.

Bex Schwartz, one of the event’s organizers, added, “I’m an eternal optimist; I hope the right way will win out... people realize that we can’t say some people are better than others.”

Although the Rev. Jason McGuire, NYCEF’s executive director, has questioned the impact of same-sex marriage on religious institutions, the wedding ceremonies Saturday seemed to embrace the convergence of religious rites and homosexuality.

For instance, during the wedding of Tom Carujo and Scott Baumann, a gay couple of nearly 30 years, Pastor Mark Cutolo discussed the significance of the rainbow in the Bible.

After the flood, “the eternal God gave Noah the rainbow as a promise he would never destroy the earth again,” Cutolo said.

Now, rainbows also serve as a powerful symbol of gay rights and diversity, he said, and the two are complementary, not contradictory.

“So, the rainbow is a sign of hopefulness, of life,” Cutolo said, looking up at the effervescent ICRAVE. “A sign that we feel blessed by God.”

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Filed under: Gay and lesbian • New York • Same-sex marriage
July 2nd, 2011
12:23 PM ET

Rhode Island governor signs civil union bill into law

In a move largely seen as a compromise over the rights that can be afforded to gay and lesbian couples, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee on Saturday signed into law a bill that legalizes civil unions, making his state the fifth in the nation to allow them.

The bill - which was signed just over a week after New York legalized same-sex marriage - will take effect later Saturday, according to the governor's spokesman Christian Vareika.

The law will provide same-sex couples with a host of new state tax breaks, health-care benefits and greater ease of inheritance.

Such unions are currently permitted in New Jersey and Illinois, and will be allowed in Delaware and Hawaii beginning January 1, 2012. California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada also allow for "comprehensive domestic partnerships," largely considered an equivalent to their civil union counterparts.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Rhode Island • Same-sex marriage
June 26th, 2011
12:59 PM ET

Cheering new marriage law during New York pride parade

Forty-two years after a police raid sparked rioting and perhaps the birth of the American gay rights movement, New Yorkers geared up for the city's annual pride parade Sunday in what many expect to be a celebration of same-sex couples' newly-acquired right to wed.

The parade is expected to meander along Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and pass the famous Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village where the rioting took place in 1969. The parade was set to begin at noon ET.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Friday that made New York the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. The new law more than doubles the number of Americans living in states that permit such unions.

The measure will take effect 30 days after it was signed, providing same-sex couples with new rights that include employer health benefits, inheritance laws and a host of new tax benefits.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: New York • Same-sex marriage
New York Senate approves same-sex marriage
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo addresses the press and public after signing the state's same-sex marriage bill into law.
June 24th, 2011
10:22 PM ET

New York Senate approves same-sex marriage

[Update 4:52 a.m.] New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the state's marriage equality bill hours after it passed the Republican-controlled Senate on Friday night, making it the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Cuomo signed the bill into law after the legislature cleared the way to legalize same-sex marriage with a 33-29 vote, the first time a state Senate with a Republican majority has approved such a bill.

[Original post 11:21 p.m.] New York legislators cleared the last major hurdle to legalize same-sex marriage Friday when the state Senate followed the Assembly's lead in approving legislation to do so.

Earlier in the day, the Assembly passed a version of the bill that included an amendment about religious institutions. The Friday night vote in the Senate means the legislation's fate is now in the hands of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who proposed it.

The Senate vote came after lawmakers agreed on an amendment that would help protect religious institutions from potential lawsuits, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said. FULL POST

FULL STORY

Filed under: New York • Same-sex marriage
If N.Y. bill passes, over 11% of Americans would be eligible for same-sex marriage
Opponents of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York gathered in the state capitol building Monday.
June 20th, 2011
10:41 PM ET

If N.Y. bill passes, over 11% of Americans would be eligible for same-sex marriage

Should New York become the sixth state to grant same-sex marriage licenses, it would more than double the U.S. population eligible to enter such a union.

Five states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire - and the District of Columbia currently grant same-sex marriage licenses. The combined population of those states and D.C. is 15,712,015, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2010.

The New York state Senate passed the same-sex marriage bill on Friday. It will go to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.

With the official U.S. population at 308,745,538, that means 5.08% of the population of America is eligible - upon meeting a state's age and other legal requirements - to marry a person of the same sex.

FULL POST

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Filed under: New York • Same-sex marriage
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