American Weddings: More States Join In

Mixed Race / Same Sex – Gino Ginelli

Some members of the church obviously never got the Popes informal encyclical Ecce Homo: Get Over It!

Ignoring the papal injunction to obsess less over gays, ex-Kattermite Bernard Gaynor lamented that it was impossible to talk to gay marriage supporters, while Canberra-Goulburn archdiocesan administrator Monsignor John Woods joined a multi-faith posse of frockstars in condemning the ACTs new Not Quite Marriage law.

They’ve been joined by Aussie PM Tony the Abbott, making a mad dash to the High Court to have that law annulled before he can can be trampled in the crush of Canberra wedding planners chasing the pink buck.

Meanwhile in the USA they’re powering ahead. Three states now tremble on the brink of legal nuptials for him & him and her & her.

Wednesday in New Mexico Supreme Court, the five judges heard two hours of oral argument over the ambiguous state marriage laws that neither authorize nor forbid same-sex marriages.

Last summer eight New Mexico’s county clerks issued more than 1,450 same-sex couples with marriage licenses. These decision have been upheld in several state courts, so the issue was appealed to the state Supreme Court.

The Supremes said they’d get back to us “in due time”, but they’re not expected to delay long.

Over in Hawaii you may be able to get married Nov. 18 if the bill passes during a special session that starts Monday morning next week.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie called the session after the House and Senate couldn’t quite get the two thirds majority to call the session themselves. It’s thought the bill may have just enough support to pass.

In Illinois gay marriage passed the state Senate in February, with the support of the Governor Pat Quinn. But Roman Catholic and African-American church groups kicked up such a ruckus that it was withdrawn from the House of Representatives a month later. It may come back this session.

Oregon bans same-sex marriage in its constitution, but there will be a referendum in November 2014 if they can raise the 116,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

Meanwhile the Department of Justice has ordered that state agencies must recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state. in respect of tax status and benefit entitlements.

More states are planning referenda to try to overturn same sex marriage bans in their constitutions over the next few years. There’s a good summary of the whole battleground available here.

At the same time, the US Supreme Court might make a ruling that make all this stuff unnecessary. While we in Australia languish, the States go marrying on!


About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)