same-sex marriage

Young Conservatives Group Pressures GOP on Gay Marriage

A new effort is being launched to try to persuade the Republican Party to drop its opposition to same-sex marriage from the party’s platform, a steep climb that would require overcoming social conservatives who have dominated the GOP’s position on the issue.

The effort, called Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, is a project ofFreedom to Marry, which is campaigning to win over Republicans to the issue in hopes of building a broader national consensus in favor of gay marriage rights.

Backers include GOP strategist Margaret Hoover as well as Abby Hunstman and Meghan McCain, both daughters of prominent Republicans. Read more »

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Fortune 500 Ahead of the Times on LGBTQ Rights

Fortune 500 Ahead of the Times on LGBTQ Rights

Are Fortune 500 companies more considerate of LGBTQ workers’ rights? According to the Human Rights Campaign, the answer is a resounding yes, with a survey showing in December that 91 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer nondiscrimination protection for sexual orientation and 61 percent for gender identity. Sixty-seven percent have same-sex partner benefits, and 28 percent offer the health care benefits needed for transgender employees. The group’s explanation for the record-breaking numbers lies in need for a skilled workforce. Read more »

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Gay community watches Mich. for legal landscape changes

Gay community watches Mich. for legal landscape changes

If you're overweight or old, pregnant or African American, your boss can't fire you for any of those reasons.

The law says so.

But if you're a gay man or lesbian, there's no such protection — one of several legal issues that weigh heavily on the gay community as it awaits a decision in Michigan's historic same-sex marriage trial. Read more »

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Oregon GOP vote backs gay marriage

Young Republican activists implored their party to support gay marriage Saturday, saying the GOP is destined to continue losing elections in Oregon if it doesn’t get behind an issue that’s gaining traction around the country.

Hoping to claw their way back to relevance, Republican activists and elected officials gathered at their annual three-day Dorchester Conference in Seaside to debate issues that divide the party. Gay marriage took center stage Saturday afternoon.

Two lawsuits have been filed seeking to invalidate Oregon’s decade-old ban on same-sex marriage. And gay rights activists say they have enough signatures to put a marriage question on the November ballot. Read more »

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Ky. to Use Outside Counsel in Gay-Marriage Case

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday that the state will hire outside attorneys to appeal a decision granting legal recognition to same-sex couples married in other states and countries after the attorney general announced that he would not pursue the case further.

The split legal decisions from two Democrats come four days after a federal judge in Louisville gave the state 21 days to implement a ruling overturning a voter-imposed ban on recognizing same-sex unions.

Conway said at a news conference that he decided he would not appeal the case because "I would be defending discrimination. That I will not do." Read more »

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Majority of Americans now support gay marriage, survey finds

Majority of Americans now support gay marriage, survey finds

Support for gay marriage has surged in the United States in the decade since it first became legal in Massachusetts, with just over half of Americans now supporting the idea, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The survey on attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people comes as U.S. lawmakers and courts are increasingly allowing same-sex couples to wed.

Some 53 percent of the 4,509 Americans surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute said they supported gay marriage, up from 32 percent in 2003, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize it.

PRRI Chief Executive Robert Jones said the poll joined a raft of other surveys showing that a majority of Americans back gay marriage. Read more »

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How business went 'DEFCON 1' in Arizona

How business went 'DEFCON 1' in Arizona

As Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer prepared to make a career-defining decision — whether to veto a bill that would free business owners to discriminate on the basis of their religious preferences — a letter arrived at her office early this week with a stern warning from some of the biggest names in the local business community.

Signed by the heads of four Arizona business consortiums, with board members including officers of Bank of America, Intel and the Arizona Cardinals football franchise, the letter urged Brewer to strike down the measure known as S.B. 1062. The letter raised the prospect that the legislation could stain Arizona’s national reputation and touch off a wave of unpredictable litigation thanks to the bill’s broad, vague wording. Read more »

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Georgia, Mississippi Backtrack On Bills Mirroring Arizona Anti-Gay Legislation

Georgia, Mississippi Backtrack On Bills Mirroring Arizona Anti-Gay Legislation

After a national uproar over controversial "religious freedom" legislation in Arizona, Georgia and Mississippi have now backtracked on similar bills, joining other states where such measures have failed due to concerns that they would be discriminatory toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

In Georgia, the "Preservation of Religious Freedom Act" has been tabled and doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Read more »

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Eric Holder To State AGs: You Don't Have To Defend Gay Marriage Bans

Eric Holder To State AGs: You Don't Have To Defend Gay Marriage Bans

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urged his state-level counterparts to recognize that they're not required to defend any state ban on same-sex marriage, speaking to The New York Times on Monday.

Holder argued that attorneys general should apply significant scrutiny to laws -- like gay marriage bans -- that raise constitutional issues before deciding to defend them.

“Engaging in that process and making that determination is something that’s appropriate for an attorney general to do,” he told the Times. Read more »

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Religious Right in Arizona Cheers Bill Allowing Businesses to Refuse to Serve Gays

Religious Right in Arizona Cheers Bill Allowing Businesses to Refuse to Serve Gays

In New Mexico, a photographer declined to take pictures of a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony. In Washington State, a florist would not provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. And in Colorado, a baker refused to make a cake for a party celebrating the wedding of two men.

The business owners cited religious beliefs in declining to provide services celebrating same-sex relationships. And in each case, they were sued. Read more »

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