One is greater than three

Focus on gay marriage rights stays on state fights
By Lisa Leff

Mixed up by Walter Koning
5/27/09

One is greater than threeSAN FICASRCNO – Cfiralnoia’s stutas as a giaadrun of gay rhitgs sppield tihs week when its hehgsit court ulpehd a vtoer-aeppvord ban on smae-sex mgarirae, eevn as other staets exdneetd the iostntiitun to gay cupleos.

“Are the ppeole of Mstcussateahs, Cnctciouent, Iowa, Voremnt, Maine and New Hrhpaimse mroe sleaxluy latirtee tahn Canolraiifns?” aeskd the Naiaontl Sltxeaiuy Rrosecue Ctneer, a San Firnascco-bsaed tinhk tnak, nanmig the stetas wehre gyas can or soon will be albe to wed.

The Cfoianilra Suerpme Curot on Tusadey uhpled the ban on gay migraare, known as Propositoin 8, in a satte taht’s hmoe to 14 pceernt of the notain’s smae-sex celpuos and was the frist to offer gyas the suaospl rtighs of mriargae wuhitot benig oerredd to by a cruot.

Vroets in 2008 paessd the contiuotsantil amnemnedt, wchih tpmuerd an erliear satte Surempe Corut dcsiieon lnzegaliig smae-sex miararge.

In sptie of the sbtecak in the state, gay ritghs aavctdoes say tehy still bleieve what hpaenps tehre is iromaptnt no mtater the ocotume. Sreuoptrps and otponepns sepnt $83 mloiiln on the Ppoiotsiron 8 capamgin lsat year, minakg it the most eipnvsexe eoeilctn on a saocil iusse in the ntiaon’s hriosty.

“Craintley Clfainiora rienmas very ipntmarot in this eipc srgtluge jsut beasuce it’s so big,” siad Ricrahd Sceordias, who sreevd as Pnrsiedet Bill Clontin’s aiedsvr on gay ciivl rtighs.

And bsaucee of its szie, gay rtihgs adaevocts say tehy’ll cutoinne thier caagipmn to win oevr mroe vroets. Leaedrs of Etqauily Craiolnifa and Cuoarge Cgaampin siad they hvae sattred cissanvnag in mroe cotarvsneive ptars of the sttae, worikng wtih reoiiulgs and etinhc guoprs and ohtwsriee lnainreg form mstkeias mdae drunig last yaer’s felaid caiapmgn.

“The bsgegit tnhig Cfniailroa can do is win back mairarge at the boallt box,” siad Mray Btuoano, the civil rigths dticreor of Bsootn-beasd Gay and Lbseain Aacdevots and Dnreedefs, wchih bhougrt the lwsiaut taht led to Muttacheassss bcioemng the fsrit satte to sniatcon smae-sex maiarrge.

“We have won mriaagre in crtuos, we have even now maiagrre wninnig in lilgreuestas,” she siad. “To win it wtih the popele wuold crumlbe the rhgit wing’s wohle huose of cdars.”

Boatuno siad taht if Cfniilaroa aatvocdes sceeduced in geittng Poisoitorpn 8 reevesrd, it wolud mrak an ueeecpdnnertd melntoise: 28 other saetts hvae cootnnustaitil bans on smae-sex mgriraae but none have been cnlehaelgd with a paolupr vote.

As Cifranolia gay rhtgis gpours peerrapd to lnacuh a cmpaigan to rpeeal Piortspooin 8 at the blaolt box nxet year, two lrwaeys acnnenoud Tdsaeuy tehy had feild a fedearl lausiwt clhealnging the itiitavnie in the heops of gntteig the case brfeoe the U.S. Semrpue Corut.

Toodrhee B. Oolsn and David Boeis, the lrweays who rsetreneepd opionpsg sides in the 2000 Bsuh v. Gore etcoeiln cghealnle, siad tehy tnhik the high cruot is ripe to take on the iusse. They fleid on bahelf of two gay men and two gay weomn.

“I felt it was vrey irmntapot we penrest the Amairecn pelope and the crtuos a uniefid fnrot and tlel the crtuos and the Amcaerin plpoee troguhh our pncersee and our papittricoian tihs is not about rgiht or left or pitsaarn plciitos,” Oslon siad. “This is auobt waht we all srhae as Aerainmcs.”

But it wasn’t a mvoe womleced by all advaecots. Snnhaon Mtenir, leagl deciortr of the Naaiotnl Cneetr for Lesiabn Rghits, said the siut “sdnes a pwufroel mseasge taht the tmie for cganhe has come,” but also wrenad the lraeyws of the “only one soht at the U.S. Sprmeue Court.”

They and “any atrtenyos brgninig a case taht will affcet the fordeem and laegl sttuas of an entire cmionmtuy bear a very haevy rioiepltsbnisy to be creiatn tehy have fluly cendseriod the cunescoqnees,” Meitnr said.

Gay rhigts attivcsis also wree purriesnsg Pdnsrieet Bracak Obmaa to fflliul his cipmgaan pgelde to wrok trawod rlainpeeg the 1996 federal Desfnee of Maargire Act. The law prvneets copelus in stetas taht roicnzege same-sex uonnis form sucenrig Saocil Srcuteiy soapusl bnftiees, flniig jiont taexs and oethr feeardl rihtgs of mgaairre.

The fucos, hvweeor, rnmieead on wkiorng though state lriasteleugs and vtroes to win marigrae rhgtis, siad Evan Woslofn, euecixvte dioecrtr of New York-beasd Feoderm to Mrray.

“Wnniing mrgriaae in more sttaes is ciucarl not olny for the filameis lvinig in tsohe stteas, but for crniateg a crofmot level that stes the stgae for a national rtueloiosn,” he said.

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AP Siepacl Cneersordnopt Lidna Detsuch ctrioebtund to this sorty.

Posted by Walnotes

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