Same-sex marriage victories go beyond Maine and Maryland

WaPo, By Rachel Weiner, November 7

Supporters of gay marriage succeeded Tuesday night not just on ballot referenda but in state legislatures. Maine and Maryland voted to legalize same-sex marriage, Washington state gay marriage advocates are confident their referendum will pass, and voters in Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment banning the practice (though it is still illegal in the state). But on top of those victories come some other significant gains that could lead to new legislation in 2013.

An Iowa judge running for reelection was targeted over his ruling in favor of gay marriage, but he kept his seat. Democrats held onto the Iowa Senate, blocking Republicans who hoped to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Democrats also regained control of the state legislature in Minnesota. With both chambers and the governorship, they will likely repeal the state’s gay marriage ban — exactly what conservatives hoped to prevent with the failed constitutional amendment.


And, of course, Wisconsin elected the country’s first openly gay U.S. senator, Tammy Baldwin.

Also, NYT: Same-Sex Marriage Gains Cheer Gay Rights Advocates

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  • French government backs gay marriage despite Catholic, right-wing opposition

    RFI, November 7

    France’s Socialist government has approved a bill to legalise gay marriage, despite opposition from the Catholic Church and much of the political right. Ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP has called for a “national debate” on the issue while dozens of mayors are threatening to refuse to celebrate same-sex unions.

    The measure would mean progress “not just for some people but for all society”, President François Hollande told the cabinet as it decided to start enacting one of his most publicised election campaign promises.

    But he went on to declare debate on the matter “legitimate” and hoped that it would be “respectful of both religious beliefs and opinions”.

    Also noted in the article: Spain’s constitutional court on Tuesday ruled that the country’s gay marriage law is consititutional.

    • Topless feminism from Ukraine takes to French streets

      RFI, By Mike Woods, November 22

      France’s debate over the legalisation of same-sex marriage took a violent turn on Sunday, as conservative Catholics physically attacked activists from radical feminist group Femen. It was the latest in a series of combative protests the Ukraine-born movement has staged around the country since setting up a training centre in Paris in September. RFI recently visited a training session.

      A dozen recruits line up on the upper floor of the Lavoir Moderne, a politically-engaged cultural centre in a former warehouse on a side street of northern Paris’s Chateau Rouge neighbourhood. Despite a few sculptures and bookshelves stuffed with old films, Femen’s presence dominates the space. Strewn around the floor are posters with various slogans, including Let’s Get Naked, No Sharia and Kill Kirill, in reference to the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Hanging over the heads of the trainees is a large banner reading “Femen is a new feminism.”

      “Everything we do is to get reaction back,” Ukrainian native and core member Inna Shevchenko explains to the recruits, who hail from France, Germany and the United Kingdom. “Our faces are always angry, aggressive, not smiling. Don’t show that you are scared, even if you see snipers around you.”


      “We believe we need to destroy three manifestations of patriarchy, which are the sex industry, dictatorship and religion,” Shevchenko says. “They are three things that always deny women and are always the illustration of men’s domination in the world.”

  • Malawi suspends anti-gay laws

    Malawi’s moratorium has attracted a lot of attention in Africa, where two-thirds of countries criminalize homosexuality.

    CSM, By Aislin Laing

    Moving against the tide of anti-gay legislation in the region, Malawi announced this week that the suspension of its laws criminalizing homosexuality, promising public and parliamentary debates on the issue that could potentially repeal the laws altogether.

    Ralph Kasambara, Malawi’s justice minister, said the moratorium meant police would no longer be able to arrest or prosecute gays or lesbians.

    “It is now up to all stakeholders including civil society to encourage a robust debate,” Mr. Kasambara said. “We agree as a nation that we have to be bold on the issue.”

    More at the link

  • Family Research Council calls for ‘civil disobedience’ to block same sex marriages

    Raw Story, By David Edwards, November 8

    The senior vice president of the Family Research Council(FRC) said on Wednesday that the civil disobedience may be necessary to prevent same sex marraiges after voters in several states approved marriage equality.

    In an special broadcast titled “Election 2012: Aftermath & Aftershocks,” FRC president Tony Perkins told Senior Vice President Tom McClusky that LGBT marriage rights were still “morally wrong” even though pro marriage eqaulity measures passed in Maine, Maryland and Washington. Voters in Minnesota also defeated a proposed amendment to codify marriage discrimination in the state’s constitution.

    “The people can vote on it — it’s the first time we’ve seen that [pass] — courts can rule on it, but I don’t think you can violate natural law and force Americans to recognize it as morally right,” Perkins explained.

    More at the link

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