Same-sex marriage news from all over

Some recent developments:

Two Republican state senators in New York have now said they will vote in favor of same-sex marriage!

All but one of the Democrats in the state Senate have apparently declared in favor of marriage equality as well, including three who voted against it in 2009. (The lone Democratic holdout is Rubén Diaz, who isn't likely to budge.) So at least 31 senators have now said they're voting for marriage equality, out of the needed 32. We need one more Republican.

The vote is apparently likely to happen on Friday. Any of y'all who live in New York state and have Republican state senators, please call them and ask them to vote in favor of marriage equality. The senators who've been swayed so far have mostly cited shifts of opinion among their constituents; your voices matter.

I'm really really hoping it works out this time.

The Prop 8 people recently argued that Judge Walker should have recused himself, on the grounds that he was in a same-sex relationship and thus could stand to benefit if CA achieved marriage equality.

A federal judge in San Francisco today, Judge Ware, quite rightly rejected this idea. I'm very pleased with Judge Ware's ruling. Excerpt from that SF Chronicle article:

He said disqualifying Walker because he is a member of a group potentially affected by his ruling would also require “recusal of minority judges in most, if not all, civil rights cases.”

Besides, Ware said, the Prop. 8 case did not affect only a minority group.

“We all have an equal stake in a case that challenges the constitutionality of a restriction on a fundamental right,” he said.

Well said.

Meanwhile, the Prop 8 case itself is still awaiting various court decisions that may not arrive until September or later.

(NPR News had a weird item about this tonight—they indicated that Judge Ware had taken over the Prop 8 case when Judge Walker retired, and that Ware had been ruling on the validity of Walker's decision. Sorta kinda true, but what Ware was more specifically ruling on was whether Walker should have recused himself.)

Meanwhile, twenty judges of a US Bankruptcy Court in California have ruled that DOMA violates equal protection and is therefore unconstitutional.

(I'm having a sudden Kids in the Hall flashback. Twenty judges agree!)

Presumably the US government will appeal the ruling. But I'm nonetheless pleased.

We've still got a ways to go, but I'm confident we'll get there eventually.

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