Assorted status updates on various same-sex-marriage-related issues from various parts of the US:
As you know, Bob, back in May, the Maine legislature and governor passed a law recognizing same-sex marriage in Maine.
That law would have gone into effect this month, but opponents (unsurprisingly) managed to collect enough signatures to put a "people's veto" on this coming November's ballot.
So the law won't go into effect until and unless the veto is voted down.
If you want to help prevent the veto, stop by Maine Freedom to Marry. You don't need to live in Maine to donate (but I think you do need to be a US citizen or a permanent resident alien).
In my opinion, this is the most important and urgent of the current same-sex-marriage-related issues. If you can provide money and/or time to only one such struggle, make it this one.
Added later: Tacit Hydra has an excellent writeup about the situation in Maine, giving more details and a couple of no-on-1 videos, and (at the end of her entry) more suggestions on things you can do to help.
Another milestone from this past May was the state of Washington creating in-all-but-name domestic partnerships. (They've had somewhat weaker domestic partnerships for a couple years now.)
Unfortunately, this too has been put on hold pending confirmation from voters. The opposition gathered just barely enough signatures to put Referendum 71 on the ballot this November. (There's been debate and legal wrangling over whether there really were enough signatures, but at this point it looks pretty likely that R-71 will be on the ballot.)
Unlike the situation in Maine, in Washington the ballot measure is phrased in such a way that voting yes supports strong domestic partnerships, while voting no opposes them. In other words, R-71 has to pass to confirm strong domestic partnerships.
There's strong support for DPs in Washington. Wikipedia sez: "A 2007 University of Washington poll found 73 percent of Washington Voters support legal recognition of same-sex relationships." (But "legal recognition" can mean a lot of different things to different people.)
Still, I'm disappointed that this hurdle has been put in place, and I'm worried that there'll be confusion among voters over what a Yes vote and a No vote mean.
But I'm hoping this'll pass in November.
Seems likely that Washington, D.C.'s city government will soon recognize same-sex marriages. There's still a long road ahead, though; among other things, the US Congress can still prevent such a decision from being implemented. And although there's strong support in the District for same-sex marriage, there's also religious opposition.
(I've seen conflicting reports on whether there are strong divisions in the Dictrict on this topic along racial lines. My understanding is that the divisions are not nearly as strong as some articles have suggested—in particular, my impression is that there's pretty strong support for same-sex marriage among DC's black population.)
Iowa began recognizing same-sex marriage this past April.
Now NOM is working to shut down same-sex marriage in Iowa, both by supporting local candidates and by working toward a ballot measure. But (according to Wikipedia and various news sources) it looks like there's unlikely to be a ballot measure until at least 2011. So let's hope that Iowa will have enough time for people to get used to it.
The big question in California lately has been whether to put a repeal-Prop-8 measure on the ballot in 2010 or 2012. After much waffling and hearing many arguments on both sides, I favor 2012. But that's another whole long entry in itself; been meaning to post about this for weeks. Will try to do so soon.
After the remarkable shenanigans in the state Senate over the past few months, the question of same-sex marriage got put on hold.
But Gov. Paterson is calling a special session of the Senate this month (not just for this issue), and state Senator Tom Duane says it's possible that they'll vote before the end of September.
There's still disagreement over whether it would pass in the Senate if put to a vote. But if it does, the Assembly has already passed it, so it would go to Gov. Paterson, who has promised to sign it. So keep your fingers crossed. I suspect this is fairly unlikely to happen; but it's possible that within the next three weeks, New York could recognize same-sex marriage. If you live in New York, especially if you live in a state Senate district where your Senator hasn't expressed public support, you might drop your Senator a note or give them a call and urge them to support marriage equality in the event of a vote.
I'll close with some good news, even though I already posted about this: a week and a half ago, same-sex couples started marrying in Vermont. Yay!
Bonus non-US item: the Irish pro-same-sex-marriage ad that's been making the rounds, "Sinead's Hand." (Ireland may soon have civil unions.) While I'm here, I may as well link to Wikipedia's map showing European same-sex-partners laws.