Yesterday morning, the Supreme Court dealt a major blow to opponents of marriage equality. It refused to hear every one of the appeals filed by five states whose same-sex marriage bans have been struck down in lower courts; that means the bans remain off the books, and marriage equality is in effect in these states.
The Supreme Court begins its 2014-15 term today. The 2013-14 session was a disaster for separation of church and state, and there’s a general sense among defenders of that principle that it would be best if the high court simply avoided such cases.
Last weekend, I joined my colleagues at the Values Voters Summit. It’s possible to predict much of what we’ll hear at this event. The Religious Right, populated with biblical literalists, doesn’t often update its script. Religious liberty (theirs, not ours) is under attack. Children are being corrupted by the world. And the engine for that corruption is often identified as the so-called “gay agenda.”
The Values Voters Summit is upon us again, which means we’re in for another round of lectures on the superiority of “traditional” marriage. Given the successes enjoyed by marriage equality advocates this year, you could be forgiven for thinking that Religious Right leaders would at least acknowledge that the tide is against them.
Anti-gay discrimination masquerading as “religious freedom” is back in the news after the owners of a Bloomsburg, Pa., bridal shop turned a lesbian couple away. Think Progress reports that the owners cited their Christian beliefs as the motivation for the decision.
“We feel we have to answer to God for what we do, and providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God’s law,” said Victoria Miller, who co-owns W.W. Bridal.
Public support for same-sex marriage continues to climb, and bills that would grant business owners the right to discriminate against LGBT clients are very unpopular, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.
A federal judge struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban last night, calling it an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. US District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen began her decision with a lengthy quote from Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, which struck down the state’s Jim Crow-era anti-miscegenation laws.
Whoever named Illinois’ new same-sex marriage law may have tried to remind the Religious Right and Catholic hierarchy that performing any marriage ceremony is optional.
The measure, signed Wednesday by Gov. Pat Quinn, is called the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” and it specifies that no house of worship can be forced to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony if it doesn’t want to do so.
One of the primary purposes of democratic assemblies is to allow a variety of voices to be heard, but that civics lesson seems to have escaped a Pennsylvania lawmaker who prevented one of his colleagues from speaking last week because allowing him to do so would have been “open rebellion against God’s law.”
The Supreme Court heard arguments today about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that bars the federal government from recognizing the civil marriages of same-sex couples.
From all reports, things are looking pretty good. At least five justices seemed skeptical of DOMA’s constitutionality, including frequent swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy.