Maryland Marriage Equality Foes Start Referendum Push
The bill hasn’t been signed yet, but opponents seeking to overturn Maryland’s recently-passed marriage equality bill are already organizing in preparation for an expected referendum.
According to the Maryland State Board of Elections, for a referendum on a statewide law, those wishing to place it on the ballot must collect a number of signatures equal to 3 percent of the votes cast for governor in the preceding gubernatorial election by July 1. For 2012, that number is 55,736 signatures. Not more than half of all signatures may be from any one county or Baltimore City. Proponents of a referendum must submit more than one-third of the total number of signatures, or 18,579, by June 1.
In a brief filing today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group has announced that it is appealing this week’s decision in Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management finding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
“I made my mind up two or three weeks ago. Santorum’s a conservative. He doesn’t flip-flop. And he has energy. … Also, I’ve been in a relationship with the same woman for 31 years. There are those of us who are gay who aren’t too bothered by Santorum on those issues. What else don’t I like about Romney? I shouldn’t say this, but he’s a Mormon. But I should say, that’s by far the least important reason that I’m not voting for him.”— Cathy Wharton, retired, in Slate
“In this matter, the Court finds that DOMA, as applied to Ms. Golinski, violates her right to equal protection of the law under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution by, without substantial justification or rational basis, refusing to recognize her lawful marriage to prevent provision of health insurance coverage to her spouse.”— U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White, a George W. Bush appointee, in deciding Karen Golinski’s case
Wash. State Poll Shows 50 Percent Support for Marriage Equality
From Public Policy Polling today:
"The vote on gay marriage in Washington looks like it should be pretty close. 50% of voters say they’ll vote to uphold the law legalizing gay marriage, while 46% say they would vote to repeal it. You see the standard huge generational gap on this issue. Young voters support gay marriage 63/32, while seniors oppose it 56/39. Even if voters do repeal the law this fall, it’s pretty clear the direction things are moving in.
"While Washington voters are closely divided on marriage itself, 78% support some form of legal recognition for gay couples in the form of marriage or civil unions while only 20% think they should have no rights at all. Even 59% of Republicans at least support civil unions. That may bode well if there’s a repeal vote this fall- almost all voters in the state are at least somewhat accepting of same sex relationships."
“Proposition 8 does not single out a ‘named class’ for disparate treatment. Rather, it simply preserves the definition of marriage that has prevailed throughout human history.”— Proponents of Proposition 8 in a filing on Feb. 21, 2012, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
“Today, the House of Delegates voted for human dignity. Love is an unalienable right. At its heart, their votes were votes for Maryland’s children. Now, as the Senate prepares to vote, all of us are needed & we’re prepared to redouble our efforts.”—Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), following House passage of the state’s marriage equality bill
“Since Stonewall, we have been on a 40-year journey toward our freedom. Today, the legislature has brought us to the edge of the promised land. We know the Governor won’t let us enter, but we finally behold the view of our dreams and we will never turn back.”— Garden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein, on the New Jersey legislature’s passage — and Gov. Chris Christie (R)’s expected veto — of a marriage equality bill
“I keep thinking that this is just the death rattle of this version of American racism. Not that we are on the precipice of a post-racial age, and any day now we’re going to sing ‘Kumbaya’ together in Benetton commercials. Not that. But that this particular version of assuming that a black body is inherently unequal and invaluable. It just seems so fringe to me as an idea right now. It seems to govern less and less of what human interactions are like.”— Melissa Harris-Perry, in Metro Weekly
"In a Feb. 2 hearing, [Sen. Chuck] Grassley [(R-Iowa)] said he backs [Violence Against Women Act] reauthorization, but he could not support the Leahy-Crapo version, in part because of the aforementioned provisions on LGBT individuals, immigration and tribal authority.
“‘The substitute creates so many new programs for underserved populations that it risks losing focus on helping victims, period,’ he said of the new LGBT protections, adding, ‘If every group is a priority, no group is a priority.’”