The times….they are a changing….

NOTE from our friends at FRC:

This past week, three leading politicians took that stand, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

First, Senator Rubio made it clear that he is proud of where he stands: “Just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in the traditional way does not make me a bigot,”

This was followed by Representative Gohmert articulating why those of us who stand for marriage do: “(W)hen you look historically, you see the nuclear family home… you see society break down, and you see a society, a civilization in decline, all under the name of advancement — but it’s normally on the road to the dust bin of history.” It’s hard, he explained, “to argue biologically that is what nature intended or we would not have had a second generation on this earth.”

And then, this past weekend Speaker Boehner made it clear when he said on a Sunday morning news show that he will not waver: “”I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. … It’s what I grew up with. It’s what I believe. It’s what my church teaches me.”

GOP’s Rob Portman now supports gay marriage, has homosexual son

Sen. Rob Portman, a longtime opponent of gay marriage, has changed his views on the issue after his son came out to him and his wife two years ago.

“My son came to Jane, my wife, and I, told us he was gay, and that it was not a choice, and that’s just part of who he is, and he’d been that way ever since he could remember,” Mr. Portman, whose focus in Congress has mainly been economic issues, told CNN. “And that launched an interesting process for me, which was rethinking my position, talking to my pastor and religious leaders and going through a process of, at the end, changing my position on the issue. I now believe that people ought to have the right to get married.”

“It hasn’t, of course, changed our view at all of him,” Mr. Portman said, adding that his reaction was “love, support — 110 percent.”

The Ohio Republican, who was on the short list to be 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate, said he did tell Mr. Romney during the vetting process that his son Will, 21, was gay. As a candidate, Mr. Romney supported a federal amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, but Mr. Portman said he was told it was not a factor in Mr. Romney’s decision on his running mate, which was ultimately Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican.

Read more here.

Hillary Clinton Endorses Gay Marriage

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
has formally announced her support of same-sex marriage in a video released by the Human Rights Campaign on Monday. In the six minute address, a well-rested Mrs. Clinton speaks directly to the camera, outlining the case for the legalization of gay marriage.

“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones,” said Clinton. “They are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage.”

The announcement from Clinton comes just after a high profile Republican, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, announced his experience with his gay son had led him to support same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court is set to hear challenges to California’s Prop. 8., which banned same-sex marriage in that state, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton and denies to same-sex couples survivor benefits and other federal preferences for married heterosexual couples.

Former President Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and their daughter Chelsea had endorsed gay marriage in recent years, but Hillary Clinton, who was serving as the nation’s top diplomat, had not. As a presidential candidate in 2008 Clinton opposed same-sex marriage but endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples.

Read more here.

**Poll Tracks Dramatic Rise In Support for Gay Marriage**

Support for gay marriage reached a new high in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, marking a dramatic change in public attitudes on the subject across the past decade. Fifty-eight percent of Americans now say it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to wed.

That number has grown sharply in ABC News/Washington Post polls, from a low of 32 percent in a 2004 survey of registered voters, advancing to a narrow majority for the first time only two years ago, and now up again to a significant majority for the first time.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

Most Americans, moreover, say the U.S. Constitution should trump state laws on gay marriage, a question now before the U.S. Supreme Court. And – in another fundamental shift – just 24 percent now see homosexuality as a choice, down from 40 percent nearly 20 years ago. It’s a view that closely relates to opinions on the legality of same-sex marriage.

Intensity of sentiment about gay marriage also shows considerable change in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. In 2004, strong opponents outnumbered strong supporters by a broad 34 percentage points. Today strong supporters are ascendant, outnumbering strong opponents by 11 points.

CHANGE – Results of this survey extend evidence of a remarkable transformation in public attitudes. Views on basic social issues often move slowly, if at all. Support for gay marriage, though, has gone from 47 percent to today’s 58 percent in just the last three years – culminating a period of change first endorsed by some state courts, then by some political figures, notably with Hillary Clinton expressing support for same-sex marriage today, and Barack Obama doing the same last May, a position he went on to underscore in his second inaugural address in January.

Gay marriage today is legal in nine states and the District of Columbia, and civil unions are legal in eight more states (and were approved last week by the state Legislature in a ninth, Colorado). Thirty-one states ban gay marriage by constitutional amendment.

Sharp differences across groups remain, but there have been large advances across the board. In one striking gap, gay marriage is supported by a vast 81 percent of adults younger than 30, compared with just 44 percent of seniors. But that’s up by more than 10 points in both groups just since March 2011, and by more than 20 points in both groups since 2004, the low point for gay marriage support in ABC/Post polls.

On the political front, 72 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents favor legalizing gay marriage, vs. far fewer Republicans, 34 percent. Still that’s up by 18 points among Republicans since 2004, as well as by 24 and 29 points among independents and Democrats, respectively.

Similarly, while just 33 percent of conservatives support gay marriage, that’s up by 23 points from nine years ago. Support encompasses more than seven in 10 liberals and moderates alike, with the greatest growth among moderates, 31 points higher now than in 2004.

Sentiment among religious groups shows the same kinds of trends. Among non-evangelical white Protestants, 70 percent in this poll support gay marriage, compared with fewer than half as many of those who describe themselves as evangelicals, 31 percent. But that’s up by a nearly identical 25 and 24 points among these groups, respectively, since 2004. Support for gay marriage also is up, by 19 points, among Catholics, to 59 percent.

CHOICE? – As noted, just 24 percent of Americans now see homosexuality as “something people choose to be,” down from 40 percent in an ABC/Post poll in 1994 and 33 percent (among likely voters) in 2004; the rest, 62 percent, instead say it’s “just the way they are,” up from just fewer than half in 1994.

It matters quite a lot: Among the declining number of people who see homosexuality as a choice, just 29 percent support gay marriage, with nearly seven in 10 opposed. Among those who reject this view, support for same-sex marriage soars to 73 percent.

There’s one especially dramatic difference in seeing homosexuality as a choice: Forty-five percent of evangelical white Protestants hold this view, among the most to say so in any group tested; among non-evangelical white Protestants, 13 percent agree, among the fewest. Those are down from 1994 by similar margins – 15 and 18 points, respectively.

Read more here.

In DOMA Supreme Court Case, 15 States Say Not Recognizing Gay Marriage Is Unconstitutional

FLASHBACK From 28 February 2013:

WASHINGTON — Fifteen states will urge the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, arguing that the law preventing the federal government from recognizing gay marriage is unconstitutional.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley plan to file a friend-of-the-court brief on Friday, their offices said. Officials in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, will join the amicus brief.

Separately, 13 states will file a brief on Thursday arguing that Proposition 8, the California gay marriage ban that is currently before the Supreme Court, is unconstitutional. That brief will be filed by Massachusetts and joined by 12 other states and the District of Columbia.

“Our experience in Massachusetts has unequivocally shown that ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has only strengthened the institution,” Coakley said in a statement about her amicus brief in the Prop. 8 case. “We urge the Court to strike Proposition 8 down because it discriminates against gay and lesbian individuals and their families.”

The amicus brief in the case challenging DOMA, United States v. Windsor, argues that DOMA violates same-sex couples’ right to equal protection under the law. It states that DOMA represents an unprecedented intrusion on the authority of the states.

“There is no federal interest adequate to justify DOMA’s categorical disregard of the choice of some States to recognize or authorize same-sex marriage,” the brief states, adding that DOMA’s “sweeping refusal to recognize for federal purposes a class of marriages valid under state law violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment.”

Read more here.

212 members of Congress urge Supreme Court to rule against DOMA

More than 200 members of Congress filed a brief today urging the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

For the first time, 40 Democratic members of the Senate joined 172 Democratic members of the House of Representatives in calling for the high court to declare Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, unconstitutional.

“Having repeatedly urged Congress (including the Speaker of the House) to revisit DOMA legislatively, we believe it important to dispel the notion that BLAG speaks for the entire Congress on the merits. It does not,” the brief reads. “In fact, many Members believe that Section 3 of DOMA is a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s equal-protection guarantee and should be struck down.”

While House Democrats have been vocal in their criticism of DOMA as well as the actions of House Republicans to defend the 1996 law in court after the Obama administration stopped doing so in February 2011, today’s filing marked the first time Senate Democrats have filed a brief in any of the DOMA challenges that have moved through the lower courts.

The brief was signed by Democratic leadership in both chambers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Every LGB member of Congress, including Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) signed the brief.

Read more here.

In case you are interested….

About the Marriage March

Why the March for Marriage?

On March 26th the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Perry case, which will determine if Proposition 8 – the citizens initiative approved by the people of California in 2008 to protect marriage – is constitutional or not. More importantly, the question of same-sex “marriage” and the right of Americans to protect marriage will be decided. We believe it is imperative that political leaders, the media, and the culture see that we care about protecting marriage enough to stand up and march for it.

Who is the March for Marriage?

The March is being organized by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) alongside a broad coalition of pro-family organizations, state partners, African-American, Latino, Catholic and Protestant leaders. Please check the Sponsors page for an up-to-date list of co-sponsoring organizations and the Speakers page for a list of confirmed speakers.

Schedule of Events for March 26, 2013

  • 08:30 AM: Gather at National Mall location between 10th Street and 12th Street NW and between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive SW [BOX]
  • 09:30 AM: March to the Supreme Court [ARROWS] and then return to the National Mall location [BOX]
  • 11:00 AM: Rally begins at National Mall location (live music, speakers and more)
  • 01:00 PM: March for Marriage concludes

Please note that this schedule is subject to change.  More information HERE

Click here to download the map & schedule in PDF format.

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