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November 20, 2009

Good Gay News!

So the Senate vote on same-sex marriage never happened on November 10th's "special session" like we hoped. But there is some good news for New York State...

Back in May 2008, the office of New York governor David Paterson issued an order stating that same-sex marriages performed in places where gay marriage is legal (like Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Canada, etc.) must be recognized by state agencies. (Or, as Lil' Lilith once put it: "Even though you can't get married in New York... when you got back to New York, they would have to be okay with it and they would have to believe that you were married.")

Some of you might have known that this order had been challenged by opponents of same-sex marriage. Well, they're shit out of luck for now, because New York State's highest court unanimously rejected their challenge.

Of course, this victory is minor... seeing as it only applies to a small group of people and does not address the greater issue, but a victory is still a victory. Governor Paterson has cited allowing gay couples in New York to be married as one of his top priorities, but so far we still have no idea how (or when!?) that will play out in the State Senate. But hopefully we can consider this one more small step closer to legal same-sex marriage in New York.

Other good gay news: For the first time in our nation's history, same-sex marriage will be debated by the federal courts. High profile lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies are representing two same-sex couples who were denied the right to marry as they challenge Proposition 8's federal constitutionality.

Their suit states:
“This unequal treatment of gays and lesbians denies them the basic liberties and equal protection under the law that are guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution...”
Of course, not everyone on the pro-gay marriage side is happy about this. Some believe it is too soon and that the federal issue should be entered more slowly, but at this point it's moot. The case is set to begin trial January 11, 2010 and therefore it needs our support.

Get involved! There is a Facebook event going around that is full of information, as well as a petition to President Obama, asking him to join the federal court challenge by filing a brief in support of the case. For more: UniteTheFight.org

And on a lighter note... another celebrity has come out in support of gay marriage, despite having a relatively large "conservative" fan base. Dolly Parton has joined other country stars Reba McEntire and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, and Miley Cyrus (not that she's a country star, but Parton plays her Aunt Dolly on Hannah Montana so I felt it was appropriate to include her here) in publicly supporting gay marriage. Parton joked that gays and lesbians should be able to get married because they "should suffer like the rest of us do".

Related: The Fight For Same-Sex Marriage

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