All posts by Stuart Gaffney

All Eyes Turn to the U.S. Supreme Court

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court was scheduled to discuss seven petitions from five different states urging the Court to decide the constitutionality of state laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage on a nationwide basis. The Supreme Court has complete discretion over whether or not to take a case. And no one knows if the Court will decide whether to take any of the cases at this time or defer its decision until a future conference this fall. Indeed, the Court will have a lot to cover at its first conference with 53 petitions in other cases on its schedule as well. However, we could learn next week – possibly as early as Tuesday — whether the Court will take up the issue of the freedom to marry nationwide this term, with a substantive, definitive decision likely in June 2015.

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Heading Toward the Supremes

All eyes will be on Washington later this month, as the United States Supreme Court has announced that on September 29, they will consider whether to hear one or more of the federal marriage equality cases in their current term. If they take one of the cases, we could have a nationwide marriage ruling as soon as June 2015.

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Stunning Day in Court for Marriage Equality

Never before has the legal case for nationwide marriage equality seemed stronger than at the recent Federal Court of Appeal’s argument in the Indiana and Wisconsin marriage cases. For nearly two hours, the Seventh Circuit panel of three judges, appointed by Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and Obama, tore gaping holes in every argument the states’ attorneys defending Indiana and Wisconsin’s marriage bans offered. Continue reading

The Relevance of the Winter of Love to the Entire LGBTIQ Community Today

This week marks the ten-year anniversary of the beginning of San Francisco’s “Winter of Love,” in which 4,037 same-sex couples married at San Francisco City Hall from February 12 to March 11, 2004.  Those extraordinary days took the movement for marriage equality in California to a whole new level and inspired thousands of people to get involved.  We now have the freedom to marry in our state.  What the “Winter of Love” sparked remains highly significant as we continue the struggle for full LGBTIQ equality.

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Engagement Rings: National Publication Seeking Stories

A national publication is “looking for gay and lesbian couples from across the country who have had experience shopping for engagement rings, with stories that illustrate what the process of buying an engagement ring is like for gay couples right now. Looking for a mix of couples from many different states. Also interested in stories about locating jewelers who are supportive and those who are not.” If you are interested, please write to media@marriageequality.org with a few sentences about your story and a phone number for the reporter to reach you. Thank you!

Marvin Burrows: Love Warrior

Last weekend, our community lost one of our most powerful advocates and a truly wonderful person: Marvin Burrows.

Marvin came out 62 years ago – in 1951 – at age 15. A couple years later he met Bill, whom he would marry at San Francisco City Hall on February 13, 2004, 51 years later. In his own words from testimony to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee: “I met the love of my life, William Duane Swenor, in 1953. He was 15 and I was 17. My father found out and told me to leave home if I continued to see Bill. After my dad kicked me out I had no place to go, and I was still in high school. I stayed with my grandmother until Bill could ask his mother if I could move in with them. She gave her permission, I moved in, and from that time on we lived as a committed couple.” After 51 years together, Marvin described his wedding to Bill as “the best time in our lives…”

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Planning a wedding? You could be on TV!

Dear Couples,
Are you currently planning a beautiful wedding, including your family and friends? If so, we want to hear from you!

A Major Cable Network is now casting same-sex couples planning their dream wedding! If this is you or someone you know, please contact us ASAP for a fun, new Reality TV Series! To be considered, please send us your –

Name, Age & Location
Brief paragraph about you and your relationship
Recent photo(s) of yourselves
Best number to reach you!

to media@marriageequality.org

MEUSA

Coming Out for Marriage Equality in Japan

As we commemorate the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk, our recent trip to Japan to speak about marriage equality made clear how Harvey’s call to come out is just as important as ever.

Significantly fewer LGBT Japanese have come out than their American counterparts, and LGBT Japanese are a much less visible part of society and the media than in the U.S. The Japanese people we met gave us insight into how coming out in Japan is similar to, and different from, America.

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More Love and More Marriage

552753_10202081407336132_1246239323_nThe latest California public opinion poll shows record support for marriage equality — 64% of likely voters and 61% percent of all adults. This news made us realize how wonderful it is when dreams really do come true, and when political goals that once seemed impossible are actually achieved. When the U.S. Supreme Court rulings ended Prop 8 and Section 3 of DOMA this summer, we wrote a press release for Marriage Equality USA saying that there would now be “more love and more marriage” than ever before. Yet we didn’t anticipate fully just how it would feel, landing somewhere over the rainbow — where instead of rallying for marriage equality in front of City Hall, we were getting invited to weddings inside City Hall. And for the first time we started having a whole new relationship to these weddings – in addition to getting wedding invitations, we started being invited to officiate. There truly is no better reward for a marriage equality activist!

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