Americans for Marriage Equality

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Welcome to A.M. Equality - July 24, 2014


MILE-HIGH JOY & MARRIAGE EQUALITY’S 18-IN-A-ROW WINNING STREAK: Yesterday, Judge Raymond P. Moore ruled Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional, violating both the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment. He also issued a temporary stay which will be lifted on August 25, at which point, gay couples are expected to be able to marry in the state. Judge Moore notably refused to issue a longer stay that could’ve been in effect until the Supreme Court takes up marriage equality once again. The case, Burns v. Hickenlooper, was brought by six gay and lesbian couples represented by the Denver law firm of Killmer, Lane and Newman. Yesterday’s decision marks the 18th consecutive ruling by a federal judge affirming that gay couples have the right to marry.

RUBIO CALLS FOR TOLERANCE… OF THOSE INTOLERANT OF GAYS:  Yesterday, in a Catholic University speech designed to affirm his credentials as a religious conservative, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio claimed that critics of marriage equality are victims of “intolerance.” In an explanation that was nothing short of bizarre, Rubio acknowledged America’s history of intolerance toward gays and lesbians, and said it was therefore hypocritical for supporters of LGBT rights to be so intolerant of his intolerance. Rubio said: “Even before this speech is over, I will be attacked as someone who is a hater or a bigot.” That much is definitely true.

SUSAN SARANDON FILMS VIDEO ON HER SUPPORT: Susan Sarandon has joined Americans for Marriage Equality, releasing this video about why she supports marriage equality. You can also see Demi Lovato's support video for the campaign here.

“LOVE AND THE LAW”: The Alliance for Justice released a report yesterday on the state of marriage equality in the United States, a year after the landmark Windsor and Perry rulings at the Supreme Court. The comprehensive new report includes case details, judge profiles and a handy chart. AFJ Director of Justice Programs Michelle Schwartz said, “State by state, case by case, federal courts hearing marriage equality cases are bending the arc of history toward justice. These decisions are encouraging not only for LGBT Americans, but also for all who cherish the fundamental principle of equal justice for all.” Read the news release here.

NO ‘MODERN FAMILY’ PIC FOR RICK: “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet (who plays Cameron, one-half of the show’s popular married, gay couple) joined Huffington Post Live yesterday, and spoke about how humbling it is to meet fans who connect to his character’s story on the popular sitcom. But sometimes, Stonestreet says, the love “isn’t mutual,” as he describes meeting Rick Santorum at the White House Correspondents Dinner:  “Rick Santorum wanted a picture with me. It was at a time when he was publicly saying, ‘Gay marriage, gay marriage [is wrong],’ and I'm like, ‘You know, I can't do it,’” he said. “It was with him and his kids or something like that, and I said, ‘I'd be happy to take a picture with the kids, but I can't just be in a picture with [Santorum.]’”

THE SHIFTING EVANGELICAL LANDSCAPE: In a Huffington Post editorial, Rod Snyder, the president emeritus of Young Democrats of America who identifies as a gay evangelical Christian, explores the tension between evangelicals and the LGBT community and predicts that the religious right will become more accepting of same-sex marriage. Evangelicals will split into two camps, he suggests, with half welcoming the LGBT community and the other half maintaining more conservative values. However, the two sides of the debate will learn to agree to disagree with one another, and same-sex marriage will become a less pervasive issue. “Here's the most refreshing development on the horizon,” Snyder writes. “Evangelicals will stop behaving as if all of Christendom hinges on the outcome of the debate over LGBT rights. A person's views on homosexuality will no longer be the litmus test for the soundness of their faith.” Read more here:

“GIANT” HIRING MISTAKE: Yesterday at a press conference, New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese defended the organization’s new Director of Player Development, David Tyree, even after it was discovered that he had repeatedly promoted the dangerous and debunked idea that a person can or should try to change their sexual orientation. Tyree was also featured in a video for NOM in 2011 where he asserted that marriage equality would “be the beginning of our country sliding toward… anarchy.” Despite Tyree’s fears, America is still relatively functional today, even as 19 states and D.C. allow gay people to take vows of love and lifetime commitment to one another. Elsewhere in the NFL, Michael Sam, the league’s first openly gay player, will start his first season with the St. Louis Rams this fall.

PART 3, “EDIE WINDSOR: IN HER OWN WORDS”: In the final part of Marriage Equality USA’s (MEUSA) three-part video series with the iconic Edie Windsor, Edie describes how the gay community changed her life for the better. She says, “When Stonewall happened, I was really this ignorant middle class lady who said ‘I don't see why I have to be identified with those queens.’ -- I mean those queens changed my life. And I saw them and I loved what I saw.” Watch the video here:

“IT’S NOT JUST CAKE, IT’S DESSERT!”: One of the first bakeries to publicly refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple’s wedding has an interesting client: an ex-gay “reparative” ministry. The bakery ‘Sweet Cakes by Melissa’ posted this photo on Facebook, saying of one of the most hostile ex-gay organizations, Restored Hope Network: “What a wonderful ministry!” Jeremy Hooper of notes that, “these wedding cake refusals are most always acts of anti-gay aggression that extend well beyond the one request itself.” That much is clear, though it’s apparent from the bakery’s website, which has had to remove its vendor recommendations, that perhaps discriminating against her customers hasn’t been good for business. In any case, if you’re planning to get hitched, you can find a gay- and lesbian-friendly baker for your wedding here:


-FLORIDA ATTORNEYS ASK JUDGE TO LIFT STAY: Attorneys from Restivio, Reilly & Vigil-Farinas representing a Florida Keys gay couple in Huntsman v. Heavilin asked a state appeals court on Wednesday to lift a judge’s stay preventing them from marrying in the state. Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled Florida’s ban unconstitutional last week in a decision that applies to Monroe County, but immediately put his decision on hold as Attorney General Pam Bondi appeals the case.

-AGs AGAINST MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Ten state AGs have filed an amicus brief supporting Indiana’s appeal of U.S. District Judge Richard Young’s ruling last month in Baskin v. Bogan, in which he declared Indiana’s marriage ban unconstitutional. The case was brought by ACLU Indiana, Lambda Legal, and a private law firm on behalf of several Indiana gay couples -- including one couple seeking immediate recognition of their marriage as they face the terminal illness of one spouse. Yet, the AGs’ brief was surprisingly harsh and demeaning toward the plaintiffs: “The only question before the court is whether a rational person can believe that redefining marriage, so as to belittle it to no more than a status symbol or a congratulatory certificate, could damage the institution's longstanding and undisputed role in helping to encourage opposite-sex couples to stay together and raise the children they create.” No hearing date has been set at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

-JUNEAU YOU WANT MARRIAGE EQUALITY! Arguments have been scheduled for October 10 in Alaska’s Hamby v. Parnell, a challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. This case will be heard by District Court Judge Timothy Burgess. So far, the winning streak for marriage equality has continued: since the Supreme Court rulings in Windsor and Perry last June, no federal judge has ruled against marriage equality in the United States.

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