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Published: 03/18/11

Poll: Slim Majority Supports Gay Marriage

By  Politics Daily Staff - Politics Daily
Poll: Slim Majority Supports Gay Marriage

For the first time, more Americans support legalization of same-sex marriage than oppose it, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. The survey, showing 53 percent backing for gay marriage, comes amid signs of increased acceptance of homosexuals in the U.S. Just five years go in polling by the same news group, only 36 percent favored gay marriage, the Post said. Taken last weekend, the new survey asked a random sample of 1,005 adults, "Do you think it should be legal or illegal for gay and lesbian couples to get married?" Support for that proposition grew among college-educated whites,...

Published: 02/25/11

Gay Marriage Decision May Not Hurt Obama or Help the Religious Right

By  David Gibson - Politics Daily
Gay Marriage Decision May Not Hurt Obama or Help the Religious Right

When the Obama administration announced that it would adopt a matador defense on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the reaction from conservative Christian activists alternated between rage and celebration that the president had basically allowed the political right a slam dunk for the 2012 campaign. The Justice Department declared that it would no longer argue in court on behalf of a key restriction against gay marriage contained in the law, which effectively gives gay marriage a pass from the executive branch -- and gives the religious right a debating point. Related...

Published: 02/24/11

Opinion Roundup: 4 Questions About Obama's Gay Marriage Decision

By  not in system - AOL News
Opinion Roundup: 4 Questions About Obama's Gay Marriage Decision

The Obama administration is calculating that it will receive little political backlash for its decision to tell the Justice Department to stop prosecuting cases related to the Defense of Marriage Act. Originally, the largely symbolic act was intended to head off the legalization of gay marriage by stating that the definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. From the Atlantic Wire Here's an overview of political implications of the decision (for legal implications of the DOMA reversal visit opinions by Slate's Dahlia Lithwick and The Atlantic's Andrew Cohen): Why...

Published: 02/23/11

Obama Won't Defend DOMA: Instant Reactions

By  Mary Phillips-Sandy - AOL News
Obama Won't Defend DOMA: Instant Reactions

President Barack Obama has decided that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and has ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to stop defending it in federal court. Until now, the Department of Justice has defended Section 3 of DOMA in court challenges. This section states that "the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife." Two DOMA challenges are currently pending in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a letter to Congress...

Published: 02/23/11

Obama Ends Court Defense of Anti-Gay Marriage Law

By  Andrew Cohen - Politics Daily
Obama Ends Court Defense of Anti-Gay Marriage Law

A key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutionally biased and will no longer be defended in court by Justice Department attorneys, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Wednesday. But he assured members of Congress that the Clinton-era federal statute, which defines marriage as between only a "man and a woman" as "husband and wife," will continue to be enforced by the executive branch until it is either repealed by legislators or definitely voided by the courts. Section 3 of the statute, which limits the definition of marriage to opposite-sex partners, precludes...

Published: 02/23/11

Obama Drops Support for Law That Bans Gay Marriage

By  not in system - AOL News
Obama Drops Support for Law That Bans Gay Marriage

WASHINGTON - In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday that it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage. Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. He noted that the congressional debate during passage of the Defense of Marriage Act "contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships - precisely the...

Published: 08/5/10

Prop. 8 Ruling Puts Obama, Kagan in Spotlight

By  Andrea Stone - AOL News
Prop. 8 Ruling Puts Obama, Kagan in Spotlight

WASHINGTON (Aug. 5) -- A federal judge's decision overturning California's voter-approved ban on gay marriage may take years to get to the U.S. Supreme Court. But the political fallout has already begun. Judge Vaughn Walker's 136-page ruling eviscerating Proposition 8 as unconstitutional brought roaring back to life a divisive social issue that a few years ago dominated political discourse but had recently taken a back to seat to economic anxiety. And its timing, on the eve of Elena Kagan's Senate confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, is a reminder that the issue won't be settled until nine...

Published: 08/4/10

The Prop 8 Ruling: Same-Sex Marriage Wins a Sweeping Legal Victory

By  Andrew Cohen - Politics Daily
The Prop 8 Ruling: Same-Sex Marriage Wins a Sweeping Legal Victory

The legal team that fought to save California's Proposition 8 from history's scrap heap practically dared U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to rule against the 2008 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in the Golden State. Led by attorney Charles Cooper, who stumbled and bumbled his way through closing arguments, these defenders of "traditional" marriage presented virtually no evidence to support their case during the months-long trial in San Francisco. Instead, they kept telling the veteran judge that legal standards and precedents were so clear and unambiguously in their favor...

Published: 07/9/10

Opinion Roundup: Liberals Worry About Gay Rights Ruling

By  John Merline - AOL News
Opinion Roundup: Liberals Worry About Gay Rights Ruling

(July 9) -- The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro that the federal Defense of Marriage Act -- signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 -- is unconstitutional sparked a debate on the Web not so much about gay rights but about the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. That's the one that reads: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Tauro based his decision in one of the two cases on which he ruled on that amendment, arguing that the federal...

Published: 07/8/10

DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional: Key Quotes From Judge Joseph Tauro

By  David Knowles - AOL News
DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional: Key Quotes From Judge Joseph Tauro

(July 8) -- On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples, is unconstitutional. Passed by Congress, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, DOMA, as it is known, limited the terms "marriage" and "spouse" to consisting of a union between a man and a woman. The exclusion of homosexuals from the federal definition of marriage, however, was further spelled out in Section 3 of the law. That portion explicitly forbade the extension of federal benefits to same-sex partners, whether...

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