Recent Developments in Marriage Equality for Gay & Lesbian Couples

–The American Bar Association’s policy-making House of Delegates declared on Tuesday that gays and lesbians should have the right to marry in civil ceremonies. ABA’s Resolution 111 states:

“RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex who are otherwise eligible to marry.”

–On August 5, 2010, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in an 8-2 vote that Mexico City’s law legalizing same-sex marriage is constitutional. The law went into effect in March.

Argentina legalized gay marriage on July 15th, becoming the first Latin American country to do so. According to the Huffington Post:

“The approval came despite a concerted campaign by the Roman Catholic Church and evangelical groups, which drew 60,000 people to march on Congress and urged parents in churches and schools to work against passage. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio led the campaign, saying “children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother.””

–Jeff Amestoy, a former chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court and a fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School, writes about the Proposition 8 decision:

“Judge Walker’s statement is absolutely correct in the constitutional context in which it was used. Neither California voters nor the voters of any state can amend their respective constitutions to deny rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. If Walker’s decision is ultimately affirmed by the US Supreme Court, state constitutional provisions in some 30 states restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples would be null and void.

There is, however, a constitutional context in which the views of California citizens (and citizens of every state) may be very relevant to the right to marry. It is a circumstance in which a right declared fundamental by the United States Supreme Court may be submitted to a vote. Although most observers (myself included) believe it unlikely that the Supreme Court as currently comprised would embrace Walker’s legal analysis, it is a virtual certainty that if the Court did so, there would be an attempt to “overturn” its decision by constitutional amendment.”

Amestoy was the author of Baker v. State, the 1999 decision of the Vermont Supreme Court that led to the nation’s first civil-union statute.

Read his entire post:
Ultimate battle for gay marriage supporters: their fellow Americans



Disclaimer:  The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice.   I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2010 Irene C. Olszewski


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