Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
2013-OCT: Accelerating steps towards
marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
We use the acronym "SSM" throughout this section to represent "same-sex marriage"
We use the acronym "LGBT" to refer to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. The acronym "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
See also the previous essay describing events during 2013-SEP
2013-OCT-21: NJ: Same-sex couples start to marry in New Jersey. Late in September, Judge Mary C. Jacobson of the NJ Superior Court in Mercer County ruled that, in order to give same-sex couples equal rights and protections, New Jersey must allow same-sex couples to be able to marry. She set a date of 2013-OCT-21 for the first marriage licenses to be sold to same-sex couples. Initially, Governor Chris Christie (R) threw the full resources of his administration in a desperate effort to try to stay -- and also appeal -- Judge Jacobson's ruling, in the hopes of maintaining marriage inequality. But during the morning of OCT-21, after the state Supreme Court refused to issue a stay, and same-sex marriages had begun, Governor Christie threw in the towel. He ordered the administration's appeals withdrawn.
Marriage equality appears to have come to the state permanently. It is the 14th state to do so, along with the District of Columbia. A third of the population in the U.S. now has direct access to same-sex marriage. More details.
- 2013-OCT-23: NM: The New Mexico Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit launched by six same-sex couples who wish to marry. Meanwhile about 1,400 same-sex couples in the state have obtained marriage licenses and are believed to have married. The status of their marriages in law will not be determined until the Supreme Court issues its ruling. More details.
- 2013-OCT-30: HI: A special session of the Hawaiian Legislature underway. Legislators are meeting to consider a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, and a few other lower profile bills. Bill SB1 would repeat protections for clergy and faith groups to refuse to marry same-sex couples that are already established by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.. It would also give clergy and faith groups special immunization from the state's Human Rights laws so that they can discriminate against same-sex couples by refusing to rent marriage facilities to them. Bill SB1 was passed by the Senate Judicial Committee by a vote of 5 to 2. It was also passed in the full Senate by a vote of 20 to 4. Passage in the House is more problematic. There is speculation that amendments will be offered to make it easier for religious groups to discriminate against same-sex couples.
If the Legislature passes the bill, Governor Abercrombie (D) has promised to sign it into law. That would probably make Hawaii the 15th state to legalize SSM (the 16th jurisdiction if one includes the District of Columbia) -- unless Illinois beats them to the punch. More details.
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Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2013-OCT-28
Latest update: 2013-NOV-05
Author: B.A. Robinson