, Salem, MA


June 29, 2013

In states, a mix on gay marriage


Democratic Delegate Stephen Skinner, West Virginia’s first openly gay lawmaker, disagreed. “There’s really not much reason for a constitutional amendment, except to promote discrimination and promote homophobia,” he said.

National gay-rights leaders expect that lawsuits seeking to expand gay marriage rights will eventually bring the issue back to the Supreme Court in a quest for a ruling that would establish a 50-state policy.

Lawsuits already are pending in a number of states. Some of those involved were heartened by the past week’s rulings.

“What this does is establish very, very powerful precedents that we will be able to use in our case,” said Mark Lawrence of Restore Our Humanity, which is backing a legal challenge by three same-sex couples to a ban approved by Utah voters in 2004.

Michigan’s constitutional ban, also approved in 2004, is the target of a pending lawsuit by Detroit-area nurses April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse seeking a right to jointly adopt each other’s children. The federal judge hearing the case had been waiting for the Supreme Court before issuing a judgment.

In New Mexico, two gay men from Santa Fe asked the state Supreme Court on Thursday to decide whether same-sex marriage is legal. The lawsuit contends that denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates the state constitution, including provisions prohibiting gender-based discrimination and guaranteeing equal protection under the law.

New Mexico is one of only five states — along with West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Indiana — that has neither extended legal recognition to gay couples nor enacted a ban-gay-marriage constitutional amendment. There also is litigation in three states offering civil unions to gay couples, providing the rights and responsibilities of marriage but not extending that title.

In New Jersey, one lawsuit contends that civil unions do not fulfill a state Supreme Court mandate from 2006 that gay couples receive equal treatment to married heterosexual couples. The plaintiffs say they will soon file a motion arguing that, in light of the Supreme Court ruling, the only thing that is keeping the couples from equal treatment is the state law.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Local News
  • Ipswich selectmen act to stop clam raiders IPSWICH -- The Southwest is not the only border under siege. Ipswich is taking emergency action to deal with clammers coming across the Essex and Gloucester border on Sundays to harvest on the richest clamming beach in Ipswich. It's not as serious, o

    July 22, 2014

  • fessendens Volunteers planning playroom makeover for Beverly's Riley Fessenden

    For Riley Fessenden, a fun day at home might include playing games, building with Legos and watching a movie with her family. This week, a whole lot of people are going make sure she has a great place to do all of those things. About 70 volunteers ar

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos 4 Stories

  • New Brimbal Avenue design to be presented Thursday

    BEVERLY -- Residents will get their first chance to weigh in on the new design proposal for the Brimbal Avenue/Route 128 interchange on Thursday. City and state officials, along with designer Jacobs Engineering, will host a community meeting Thursday

    July 22, 2014 6 Stories

  • Gettysburg Ipswich students honor Gettysburg Address's 150th anniversary

    IPSWICH -- A group of 30 kids gathered at the Ipswich Public Library Tuesday evening to recite the Gettysburg Address to their friends and family from the balcony. The students, who are in grades 3 through 8, have been studying the document as part

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marblehead diver rescue 2 Body of diver recovered off Marblehead

    State Police divers found the body of a 59-year-old man in the waters off Marblehead at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story