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Saturday, June 25, 2011

New York Becomes 6th State to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage; California Next?

Albany, New York.  Last night, in a 33-29 vote, the New York Senate passed a same sex marriage bill expected to be signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  When this bill is signed by the governor, who lobbied for its passage, New York becomes the sixth state to legalize gay marriage.

A similar bill was defeated in New York in 2009.  The governor's persistent lobbying; some key Republican donors; an essentially absent Catholic Church; and voting senators that had gay family members, all factored into passage of the bill late Friday night.

Meanwhile, on the left coast, the seminal case from California continues its epic journey to the SCOTUS.  Perry vs Brown (formerly known as Perry vs Schwarzenegger) involves California's passage of Proposition 8 which banned gay marriage after it previously passed muster with California voters.  A conservative group sued in federal court; the ban was struck down, and the federal trial court's decision is now on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.

Judge Vaughn Walker, the now-retired federal court judge that initially struck down Proposition 8, publicly came out as a gay man only after his recent retirement.  His ruling was immediately challenged based on grounds of bias, becoming the first judge in history to be challenged for recusal on the basis of sexual orientation.  The chief judge of the federal bench in San Francisco upheld Judge Walker's ruling.

Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and the District of Colombia are jurisdictions that all have previously legalized same sex marriage.

This has become the civil rights issue of our time.

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Anonymous Paul Vachon said...

This promises to be the number one civil rights issue of the 21st century. Personally, I think that one day we'll look back at this the way we see the "issue" of interracial marriage today.

Paul Vachon

July 3, 2011 at 11:04 PM 

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