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The debate over same-sex marriage was a black-or-white proposition two years ago when voters in 11 states barred gay couples from marrying. But this year shades of gray are everywhere, as eight more states consider similar ballot measures. Some of the proposed bans are struggling in the polls, and the issue of same-sex marriage itself has largely failed to rouse conservative voters. The New York Times
The California Court of Appeals ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians. A three-judge panel of the court heard arguments in six cases involving gay marriage in July. The next step for same-sex couples wishing to marry is the Supreme Court of California.
Same-sex couples who live in Rhode Island can marry in Massachusetts. A Superior Court judge ruled that because Rhode Island did not prohibit same-sex marriage by statute or in its Constitution, same-sex couples were allowed to marry in Massachusetts under state law. The New York Times
Promoters of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that will appear on Tennessee's November 7 ballot are trying to scare voters into giving them money, an opponent of the measure said. Republican state senator David Fowler wrote a fund-raising letter for, a campaign initiative of Family Action of Tennessee. The letter seeks donations "to battle homosexual activist groups from Hollywood, New York, and Washington, D.C., who have chosen Tennessee as their Southern battleground." The Advocate
Nigeria’s anti-gay marriage bill currently under debate in the National Assembly has brought concern to international rights activists, saying it is against modern trends. African News Dimension
Attorneys who lost an appeal of Nebraska's broad ban on any recognition of same-sex relationships say they are still considering whether to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Nebraska amendment bans any and all forms of legal recognition for same-sex relationships, including domestic partnerships and other basic protections. While it is more sweeping than amendments to constitutions in most other states that ban same-sex marriage, taking the case to the Supreme Court now could potentially harm the outcomes of cases in other states.
Gay and lesbian couples asked the state Supreme Court to reconsider its decision upholding Washington’s gay marriage ban, saying the court’s flawed reasoning ignored legal protections against sex discrimination. Associated Press
Pope Benedict sparked a debate about the place of religious beliefs in Canadian politics today, telling Ontario bishops Canada has excluded "God from the public sphere" with laws supporting same-sex marriage and abortion. The pontiff told a group of seven visiting bishops in Vatican City that Canadian Catholic politicians are ignoring the values of their religion, yielding to "ephemeral social trends and the spurious demands of opinion polls." Toronto Star
Brad Pitt says he won't be marrying Angelina Jolie until the restrictions on who can marry whom are dropped. "Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," the 42-year-old actor said. MSNBC
South Africa's cabinet has given the green light for a bill allowing gay marriage, which would make it the first country in Africa to accord gay couples the same rights as their straight counterparts. The cabinet approved the bill—which must still be adopted by parliament—after the country's highest court ruled it was unconstitutional to deny gay people the right to marry. Reuters
Christina Aguilera has attacked the U.S. laws that ban her pal Lance Bass from marrying his gay partner. Irish Examiner
The mayors of Tucson and Phoenix have come out against a proposed statewide gay marriage ban up for consideration this November. Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon both announced their opposition to Proposition 107, which would prohibit gay marriages and bar governments from offering benefits and marriage-like legal status to unmarried couples. The Business Journal of Phoenix
A domestic partnership amendment to the state constitution aimed at providing benefits for same-sex couples has been pulled from the November ballot because backers say it overlaps with another proposed initiative. The measure, Amendment 45, was backed by Coloradans for Fairness, a group that supports domestic partnerships. A spokeswoman for the group said that while more than 141,000 signatures had been gathered for the amendment, it was taken off the ballot because another measure, Referendum I, would grant domestic-partnership benefits under state law if it is passed.
A new poll shows that 48 percent of likely New York State Democratic primary voters support same-sex marriage while 32 percent are opposed. The poll was conducted of 602 registered Democrats by Pace University. Poll director Jonathan Trichter said that while more people supported gay marriage than opposed it, it was less significant than the fact support was less than 50 percent.
Five unmarried couples of the one-man, one-woman persuasion have filed briefs with the Arizona Supreme Court against Proposition 107, an upcoming ballot initiative that seeks to alter Arizona's Constitution by banning gay marriage. The problem, the couples argue, is that the measure also would throw out rights to domestic-partner insurance and therefore infringes on their rights. Many companies and government entities provide for domestic-partner benefits for unmarried couples, either gay or straight. Tucson Citizen
A recent statewide poll conducted in Wisconsin reveals that nearly half of the state's likely voters support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. According to the poll, 48 percent of likely voters are in favor of a gay marriage ban while 40 percent oppose it. The remaining 12 percent, categorized as "undecided," could sway the vote either way.
Republicans will play defense in this fall's state legislative races to avoid a "tsunami" that could alter the political landscape in statehouses around the country, the head of the GOP's legislative campaign committee said. Democrats, who currently hold a 21-seat advantage among the country's 7,382 state legislative seats, are hoping the national mood and historical trends contribute to legislative gains. Associated Press
The "equal protection of the laws" provided by the Constitution applies to people, not actions. Laws exist precisely in order to discriminate among different kinds of actions. (by Thomas Sowell) Baltimore Sun
The chair of the parliamentary committee preparing a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage has rejected a call from the opposition African Christian Democratic Party to ban gay marriage in the constitution. The ACDP wants what is generally regarded as the world's most forward constitution to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.
Just a day after Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez announced his running mate would be Mesa County commissioner Janet Rowland the ticket is in "deep damage control" after Democrats released a transcript of a March TV interview in which Rowland compared same-sex marriage to bestiality. Appearing March 17 on the PBS program ''Colorado State of Mind,'' Rowland said homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle. ''For some people, the alternative lifestyle is bestiality," she went on to say. "Do we allow a man to marry a sheep?'' She claimed in the interview not to be homophobic.

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other sites

The Boston Globe Special Section on Same-Sex Marriage

The Washington Post Gay Marriage Special Report

Lambda Legal
Important advocacy group for gay civil rights

HRC Marriage Center
Human Rights Campaign’s resource for gay marriage information

Freedom To Marry
Advocacy organization for marriage equality

The New Republic
Weekly politics and opinion journal

The Advocate
National gay & lesbian newsmagazine
Andrew Sullivan’s sharp political analysis
Web journal of news, politics, and opinion

The Nation
Progressive journal of politics

The American Prospect
Journal of liberal philosophy, politics, and public life