LGBTQ Corner

Denny Patterson, Senior Editor

Illinois same-sex marriage rally a success
An estimate of five thousand marriage equality activists, political and religious leaders and LGBT supporters gathered at the Illinois state capitol in Springfield last Tuesday. The rally was to call on legislators to pass the same-sex marriage bill which is currently ending in the House of Representatives.

According to the “Windy City Times,” Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called the marriage equality bill the most important civil right measure of our time.

“The time for marriage equality has come,” he said. “This is our hour. This is our moment. Marriage equality has already passed in the Illinois Senate. I am prepared to sign it as soon as the House of Representatives pass this bill.” The House may vote on it in the so-called veto session. It would make Illinois, which currently offers civil unions to same-sex couples, the fifteenth state with marriage equality.

New Jersey becomes the fourteenth state to allow gay marriage
After a long, drawn out battle, Gov. Chris Christie announced that he would drop his efforts to prohibit same-sex marriage.

Marriage equality legislature was first passed in February 2012, but Christie vetoed it immediately. He argued that the issue should be put up to a popular vote. When a judge ruled last month that the state constitution doesn’t allow the barring of same-sex couple from marrying, Christie appealed the decision. If Christie had gone forward with the appeal, the issue would have been heard in January.

According to “The Star-Ledger,” a spokesman for the governor said, “Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law.”

New Mexico Supreme Court considers marriage equality
Five justices of the New Mexico Supreme Court began to hear open arguments in regards to the status of marriage equality within the state. The Court is set to determine whether New Mexico’s constitution allows or prohibits same-sex marriage.

Eight of the state’s 33 counties have been issuing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples since mid-August, many of the county clerks believing that denying marriage equality is unconstitutional. A district judge in Santa Fe also ruled in August that the state constitution did not preclude same-sex couples from marrying. According to the “Advocate,” the case was filed on behalf of six same-sex couples represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. A ruling will be decided at a later date.