Federal Court Strikes Down California Same-Sex Marriage Ban
A federal district court judge struck down California’s ban on gay marriage, ruling that the prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision, which is expected to be appealed, represents the first time a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Rights of Conscience vs. Civil Rights
New “conscience protection” cases have emerged in the health care area expanding the debate beyond abortion and birth control to discrimination protection for certain groups, notably gays and lesbians.
Gay Rights: An Audience Online
While gay marriage accounted for less than 0.1% of the newshole in the mainstream press, it was the No.1 story in the blogosphere.
Most Still Oppose Gay Marriage, but Support for Civil Unions Continues to Rise
A 57% majority of Americans support civil unions, continuing a long-term trend of increasing support, but a majority still opposes same-sex marriage. The issue continues to sharply divide religious and political groups.
A Clash of Rights? Gay Marriage and the Free Exercise of Religion
Although churches and other religious organizations, including charities and schools, have typically been exempt from state and local laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, it remains unclear how these institutions might be affected by new laws that require equal treatment for same-sex marriages.
Americans Favor Carbon Cap, Gays in the Military and Renewing U.S.-Cuba Ties
New polling finds public favors setting limits on carbon emissions, allowing gays to serve openly in the military and re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Most Mainline Protestants Say Society Should Accept Homosexuality
Most members of mainline denominations say society should accept homosexuality.
Gay Marriage at the Ballot Box
Prior to Massachusetts becoming the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003, only three states had passed constitutional amendments prohibiting the practice. With amendments in California, Arizona and Florida passing this November, the number of states now stands at 29. A graphic charts the recent history of voter-approved state bans on gay marriage.
A Roundup of State Ballot Measures
Gay marriage bans were among the most closely watched of the 153 measures on 36 states’ ballots this year, a list that included scores of politically explosive social and fiscal issues including abortion, doctor-assisted suicide and various efforts to roll back state taxes.
Social Issues Crowd State Ballots
In a special to the Pew Research Center, a Stateline.org report finds more proposals that would appeal to conservative voters than to liberals are showing up in 2008, but no consensus on whether ballot measures tend to drive enough voters to the polls to give an advantage to a presidential candidate.