New Hampshire gives same-sex couples the green light while the matter goes on elsewhere
It could just be our imagination, but it seems like the gay marriage movement keeps pushing forward. With one more state allowing same-sex marriage, one former federal official supporting same-sex marriage and a plethora of other states also tackling the issue, news on the topic is not likely to taper off anytime soon. Maybe more officials will stop being Dick... Cheneys and actually follow the former veep's lead.
New Hamsphire legalizes same-sex marriage
The Granite State became the sixth state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage after a revised bill passed the legislature on Wednesday. Gov. John Lynch signed the legislation which will allow gay couples to wed beginning Jan. 1, 2010. Lynch had previous supported civil unions, but said he had heard convincing arguments on why separate is not equal.
The New Times Times quoted Lynch as saying, "Today, we are standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear that they will receive the same rights, responsibilities—and respect—under New Hampshire law."
Lawmakers adjusted the provision to protect religious groups that oppose gay marriage from lawsuits if they choose not to perform ceremonies. Such groups will also not be forced to provide for same-sex couples therapy, housing provision or other services relating to the "promotion of marriage."
New Hampshire follows the lead of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Iowa and Vermont to legalize same-sex marriage. California had legalized same-sex marriages until a voter referendum overturned a court ruling (a decision that was recently upheld in the state's Supreme Court).
Cheney supports same-sex marriage
We knew he couldn't be as frosty of he sometimes appears.
The former vice president recently made comments lending credence to gay marriage—as long as it's approved by states and not the federal government.
Cheney, who's youngest daughter is a lesbian, told the National Press Club, "People ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."
He said he felt it should be up to states to regulate the matter on a state-by-state basis, however. The stance is not new for Cheney, who has long distanced himself from the Republican support for a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Cheney often cites his own family's experience in gay marriage discussions. The former veep's daughter, Mary Cheney, has a son with longtime partner, Heather Poe.
Opponents tackle proposal in N.Y.
State Sen. Ruban Diaz Sr. (D-Bronx) said if his colleagues are supporting the legislation to allow same-sex marriage, they should not be ashamed to state publicly that they support it. This comes on the heels of an announcment by state Sen. Thomas Duane (D-Manhattan), who is pro-gay marriage, that there are enough favorable votes in the senate to pass. Duane would not provide a list of fellow supporters.
"Any senator who commits himself or herself to something, should be man or woman enough to take a stand," Diaz said in a statement. "If they give their word to support something that they are ashamed of, then that is a hypocrisy, and could be interpreted as not wanting to be associated with the matter."
Meanwhile, Roman Catholic bishops issued a statement calling on followers to contact their representatives to oppose the legislation. The religious leaders said the state has a compelling legal interest to create stable families for children through traditional marriage.
Celebrities rally for gay marriage
And while we may be a little late noting it, many celebrities rallied last week in support of same-sex marriage.
A West Hollywood rally turned into a star-studded event as the likes of Kathy Griffin, Drew Barrymore, Perez Hilton, Pete Wentz, Kelly Osbourne and more showed up to support the cause. Ashlee Simpson In Catfight Over Pete Wentz
"Please overturn this," Extra quoted Barrymore saying publicly. "You can not define love and you can not define a family."
Meanwhile, on the East Coast, well-knowns including Cynthia Nixon, Maya Angelou and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue have been working New York legislators from behind the scenes in an effort to boost the state's proposition.