The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

LGBTQ Corner: Prop 8 and DOMA, support for same-sex marriage rising, CO approves civil unions, NM may officially approve civil union

Supreme Court tackles Proposition 8 and DOMA
Last week, Supreme Court justices began hearing arguments dealing with two historic cases about whether or not same-sex couples have the right to marry.

The court considered challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage, and Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that bans same-sex marriage within the state.

This is the first time the Supreme Court has heard a case dealing with same-sex marriage. More details will be revealed within the upcoming weeks.

Support for same-sex marriage on the rise
A new national poll has recently been released indicating that Americans are becoming more open minded when it comes to LGBT equality.

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According to a CNN/ORC International survey, 57 percent of Americans say they have a family member or close friend who identifies themselves as gay or lesbian. This is up 12 points from 2007. When it comes to same-sex marriage, only 40 percent of Americans supported it in 2007. Today, 53 percent are in favor.

“These numbers strongly suggest that the rise in support of gay marriage is due in part to the rising number of Americans who have become aware that someone close to them is gay,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

Some have even called this move the “Rob Portman effect.” Portman, the Republican senator from Ohio who opposed same-sex marriage, learned recently that his son is gay. Portman has now changed his views as a result.

Colorado approves civil unions

LGBT Coloradans had a reason to celebrate on March 21 due to Gov. John Hickenlooper signing a bill approving civil unions. Although voters banned same-sex marriage via state constitution, activists did not give up.

Colorado is home to the last LGBT equality landmark case to come out of the Supreme Court. Justices ruled 6-3 in a case called Romer v. Evans in 1996. Voters were trying to pass a law that intended to forbid treating LGBT individuals as a protected class. The proposal was shot down.

This is the third time the issue of civil unions has come to the spotlight. The most recent failure was in 2011 that ended in a procedural move by Republicans. The legislature was shut down at the last day of the session. However, the latest election sent Democrats into power. Gay Democrat Pat Steadman introduced the civil unions legislation and it passed 21-14 on Feb. 12. The House passed the bill 39-26 on March 12. Now that Hickenlooper has signed, the law will go into effect on May 1.

Could New Mexico be next?
New Mexico is said to be a land of equality for same-sex couples in the opinions of several Santa Fe city officials. According to The Santa Fe New Mexican, the city’s mayor and other leaders announced that they believe nothing in state law prevents the issuance of marriage licenses to gay couples. They are urging county clerks to begin granting the licenses immediately.

New Mexico is the only state that does not either explicitly recognize same-sex marriage relationships through marriage or civil unions or ban recognition of same-sex relationships by statue or constitutional amendment.

“It’s time to push this issue,” Mayor David Coss said. “New Mexico’s statutory definition of marriage is gender-neutral. Since New Mexico does not define marriage as between a man and a woman, and since New Mexico does not prohibit same-sex marriage, same-sex marriage is permitted in New Mexico.”

Unfortunately, country clerks have expressed reluctance to issuing such licenses. In 2004, the state attorney general stopped one clerk from doing so. Due to the reluctance, two couples have decided to sue the state seeking equal rights.

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    This Dad LifeMar 21, 2023 at 2:46 am

    Such a great and informative post, keep sharing in further to gain useful information. Thank you