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Gay Marriage: News & Views from Around the World

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  • umcornet
    Holy Matrimony! by LISA DUGGAN The Nation [from the March 15, 2004 issue] http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040315&s=duggan The political storm over
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 29, 2004
      Holy Matrimony!
      by LISA DUGGAN
      The Nation
      [from the March 15, 2004 issue]
      http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040315&s=duggan

      The political storm over marriage is now intensifying as gay couples
      wed in San Francisco and President Bush vows to stop them with a
      constitutional amendment. Gay marriage threatens to wreak havoc as
      a "wedge issue" in the November elections, but it isn't entirely
      clear which party's prospects will be promoted, and which damaged,
      through marriage politics this year. Progressives certainly haven't
      figured out how best to enter the contentious and confusing public
      debate. Widespread anxiety over changing demographics and contested
      social norms is producing the background noise for a relatively
      volatile political calculus on all sides. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Sunday, February 29, 2004
      Just Married, After 51 Years Together: Activist Gay Couple Accepts
      Leading Role
      By Anne Hull
      Washington Post
      Page A01
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15518-2004Feb28.html

      SAN FRANCISCO -- The bride on the left wears a lavender pantsuit. The
      other bride carries a gold-chained purse. As the music starts, they
      begin making their way toward the stage. They walk slowly, not
      because they want to, but because this is how they walk at age 83 and
      79. The white-haired one in lavender is Del Martin. The one with
      coral lipstick is Phyllis Lyon. They are arm in arm.

      <SNIP> "There are lots of old ladies who are friends, but they don't
      have the right to turn marriage upside down," said Randy Thomasson,
      executive director of Campaign for California Families, one of two
      conservative groups suing San Francisco's mayor to stop the
      marriages. "This was all done to victimize marriage, voters and state
      law."

      Old ladies. Together for half a century, married for 12 days.
      Slightly stooped and hard of hearing. Statistically, they have
      survived what most heterosexual marriages have not, and with none of
      the same legal protections. <LOTS MORE>
      ----------------------

      Sunday, February 29, 2004
      OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
      Joining the Debate but Missing the Point
      By NATHANIEL FRANK
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/29/opinion/29FRAN.html

      <SNIP> After identifying the social function that marriage serves, it
      is easy to allay the fears of those worried about a slippery slope to
      an "anything goes" definition of marriage. Marriages between brother
      and sister? Incestuous marriages strike at the core of the bonds of
      trust and the functions of care that a family requires. Polygamy? One
      husband and numerous wives invites increased jealousy, deception and
      subjugation, and mocks the importance of "forsaking all others,"
      essential components of the stabilizing function of marriage.

      The traditionalists may well be right that a monogamous relationship
      between two unrelated, consenting adults makes a strong foundation
      for a stable family, and thus for a vigorous social order. They're
      just wrong that those two people have to be of different genders.


      Nathaniel Frank teaches history at New School University.
      ----------------------

      Sunday, February 29, 2004
      The Culture Wars, Part II
      By ROBIN TONER
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/29/weekinreview/29tone.html

      WASHINGTON — It became an emblematic moment: Patrick Buchanan,
      standing before the Republican National Convention in August 1992,
      bluntly declaring that there was a "religious war" and a "cultural
      war" under way for the soul of the country. And that "Clinton and
      Clinton are on the other side," with an agenda of "radical
      feminism," "abortion on demand" and "homosexual rights."

      The cultural gulf between left and right, liberal and social
      conservative, secularist and fundamentalist, had rarely yawned so
      wide, nor has it since, some analysts say. <SNIP>

      Dr. Land of the Southern Baptist Convention said he, too, takes the
      long view of the culture war, but to a different conclusion. "We're
      in this for the long haul, and the people on the other side had best
      understand, this is not for dilettantes, not for weekend warriors.
      We've been at it 30 years now on abortion, and we're winning, and the
      other side knows we're winning."

      ----------------------

      Sunday, February 29, 2004
      Newsom looks forward to arguing gay marriage before high court
      Marin Independent Journal
      http://www.marinij.com/Stories/0,1413,234~26642~1987547,00.html

      Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO - Mayor Gavin Newsom yesterday accused
      President Bush of political showmanship and discrimination after the
      Social Security Administration announced it wouldn't accept any
      marriage licenses from San Francisco - gay or straight - until the
      same-sex issue was resolved.

      "I think it was political and retaliatory," Newsom said in an
      interview after his first town hall meeting since taking office 52
      days ago. "The president is not only now discriminating against gay
      couples, he's discriminating against straight people." <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Sunday, February 29, 2004
      FRANK RICH
      The Joy of Gay Marriage
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/29/arts/29RICH.html?

      Here's the denouement of the epic drama over gay marriage. It's going
      to happen, it's going to happen within a generation, and it's going
      to happen even though George W. Bush teed off his re-election
      campaign this week by calling for a constitutional amendment to
      outlaw it. <SNIP>

      The AIDS epidemic, in retrospect, made same-sex marriage inevitable.
      Americans watched as gay men were turned away at their partners'
      hospital rooms and denied basic rights granted to heterosexual
      couples coping with a spouse's terminal illness and death.

      <SNIP> By the time the conventions roll around this summer, gay
      marriages are likely to be a civic fact in Boston, the site of the
      Democrats' gathering. Mr. Bush is coming into New York, not only a
      center of gay population and activism but the home of three gay-
      friendly Republican hosts, George Pataki, Michael Bloomberg and
      Rudolph Giuliani, who can only lose if there's any replay inside the
      hall of the gay-baiting Houston convention of '92. If a convention
      like that could damage the first President Bush's re-election chances
      back then, imagine what a hot culture war in the much-changed America
      of 2004 might mean for the second President Bush, in the midst of a
      real war. It sounds like Chicago '68 to me. Except, of course, that
      the current Mayor Daley has endorsed same-sex marriage.

      ----------------------

      Sunday, February 29, 2004
      Same-sex marriage thwarts Assembly
      POLITICS: Debate grinds work on other bills to a halt
      BY BRENDAN O'SHAUGHNESSY Times Statehouse Bureau Chief
      Northwest Indiana News
      http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2004/02/29/news/region_and_stat
      e/3c692497dad1297986256e490013a337.txt

      INDIANAPOLIS -- As much as many people would like to sweep it back
      into the closet, the gay marriage debate has swept the nation -- and
      the fallout didn't spare Northwest Indiana this week.

      Republicans said it's the most crucial issue the state faces. Many
      Democrats call the focus on gay marriage a diversion, fueled by court
      decisions and a conservative political agenda, that the national GOP
      has forced as a way to score political points in an election year.
      <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Saturday, February 28, 2004
      Gay marriage vote too close to call
      By ERNIE SUGGS
      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
      http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/election/0204georgia/29gaynews.ht
      ml

      Support for a proposed constitutional amendment against gay marriage
      shrank by several crucial votes Saturday, as African-American
      lawmakers around the state rallied their colleagues to oppose it.

      Two African-Americans who did not vote on the proposal in the House
      of Representatives last week said they would vote against it when it
      comes up for a second vote this week. The lone black representative
      who backed the legislation said he may switch his vote. And a white
      representative who did not vote last week said she would walk away
      again.

      "I live in the blackest county in Georgia, and, in the minds of black
      people, this has nothing to do with marriage," Rep. Sistie Hudson (D-
      Sparta) said. "They consider it discrimination." <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Saturday, February 28, 2004
      Pastor grapples with issue of gay marriage
      By DAVID GSCHWEND
      David Gschwend is executive pastor of Santa Cruz Bible Church.
      http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2004/February/28/edit/stories
      /03edit.htm
      http://www.santacruzbible.org/news/sentinel040229.html

      <SNIP> ... in a recent worship service we planned to give away a
      gift certificate to the most recently married couple. They turned out
      to be a lesbian couple visiting our church. The moderator of the
      certificate give-away quickly conferred with me and, not wanting to
      hurt them, I told him to give them the certificate. Unlike the report
      depicted in the Bay Area media, this exchange took less than 20
      seconds. After the awarding of the certificate, we went into a time
      of worship.

      It was then I was informed by other staff that many people were
      feeling confused about our position on marriage and wondered if we
      were now endorsing gay marriages. I knew then I needed to get up and
      clarify our position. After the time of worship, I got up and shared
      our view with the church family. I said that, 1) we believe that all
      people have dignity and worth in God's sight; 2) but we believed that
      marriage had been designed for a man and a woman; 3) we had some
      guests and visitors with us who held a different point of view and we
      welcome them as we have gay men and women who attend our church, and
      we are in dialogue with them and we welcome that dialogue; 4) I also
      shared that we did not condone the gay lifestyle as we believe God
      has even more for people. I tried to share in a loving and gentle
      way, what we believe to be true: that God intends marriage
      exclusively for a man and a woman. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Saturday, February 28, 2004
      Call to Ban Gay Marriage Is Dividing Republicans
      By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ
      New York Times
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/28/nyregion/28marriage.html

      WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 - The debate in Congress over President Bush's
      call for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is deeply
      dividing Republican lawmakers from New York, reflecting the quandary
      the party faces nationally on the issue.

      Even as one New York Democrat after another denounced the Bush
      proposal, many leading Republicans from the state say they are
      grappling with the issue and acknowledge that it is one of the most
      difficult matters that they have had to confront. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Saturday, February 28, 2004
      Gay Marriage Debate Shifts to Small New York Township
      By MARC SANTORA and THOMAS CRAMPTON
      New York Times
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/28/nyregion/28WED.html

      ALBANY, Feb. 27 - For the first time in the state's history, marriage
      ceremonies were performed for gay men and lesbians in New York on
      Friday, as a little-known mayor of a small upstate village thrust New
      York squarely into a dispute that has divided the country in recent
      weeks. <SNIP>

      In a paper on the subject, the New York City Bar Association said
      that New York's domestic-relations laws are so vague and gender-
      neutral that same-sex marriages can be allowed.

      The New York State Bar Association, however, has yet to issue an
      opinion on the matter. "We are at the infant stages of probing this
      issue of law," said Brian Barney, chair of the family law department
      of the association. <MORE>
      ----------------------


      Saturday, February 28, 2004
      Gay-Marriage Fight Finds Ambivalence From Evangelicals
      By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
      New York Times
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/28/politics/campaign/28GAYS.html

      GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 27 — Prominent evangelical Christians
      in Washington have been warning the Bush administration for months
      that conservative Christians may not have enough motivation to vote
      this November if the president failed to vigorously support their
      effort to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. <BIG SNIP>

      Many conservative churchgoers, including Mr. Smidt of Calvin College
      [Michigan], said they felt clear in their opposition to gay marriage
      but divided on the subject of a constitutional amendment. "I don't
      like to see it used as a political hammer," he said. "Pushing for an
      amendment doesn't really energize my support." He added, "It may be
      that when you add up the votes on this issue, it is not going to add
      as much as it takes away."
      ----------------------

      Saturday, February 28, 2004
      Social Security won't take S.F. licenses
      White House's first bureaucratic obstacle to same-sex marriages
      Bob Egelko, Staff Writer
      San Francisco Chronicle
      http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?
      file=/c/a/2004/02/28/MNG1Q5ALUN1.DTL

      The Bush administration has taken its first bureaucratic poke at same-
      sex marriages in San Francisco, ordering administrators nationwide to
      reject requests for name changes on Social Security accounts based on
      any marriage licenses -- same-sex or opposite-sex -- recently issued
      by the city.

      The order from the Social Security Administration, disclosed Friday,
      was mainly about record keeping and did not address larger questions
      of eligibility for a spouse's Social Security benefits or other
      federal marriage rights. But it was a message of presidential
      disapproval for the weddings that have vaulted San Francisco into the
      national spotlight. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Saturday, February 28, 2004
      Maine groups hold off on gay marriage
      By DAVID HENCH
      Portland Press Herald
      http://www.pressherald.com/news/state/040228marriage.shtml

      While same-sex couples in California and New York are marrying in
      defiance of state laws, Maine activists are discouraging gay and
      lesbian couples from pursuing a similar course here.

      Lobbyists and advocates say they expect couples will eventually
      seek to have same-sex marriages recognized in Maine, but forcing the
      issue now could distract attention from important legislation.
      <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Saturday, February 28, 2004
      Oakland mulls same-sex marriages
      http://www.smdailyjournal.org/article.cfm?issue=02-28-04&storyID=28538

      <SNIP> Unlike San Francisco, which is both a city and a county,
      Oakland and Berkeley can't issue marriage licenses or sanction
      weddings, authority the state invests in counties only. The two East
      Bay cities are located in Alameda County. <SNIP>

      Alameda County Board of Supervisors chairwoman Gail Steele said the
      Oakland council's action would likely get the board to discuss the
      issue, but she wants the California Supreme Court to rule on the
      legality of the licenses issued in San Francisco before supervisors
      take action. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Friday, February 27, 2004
      Pastor sees God in middle of gay marriage debate
      BY CATHLEEN FALSANI RELIGION WRITER
      Chicago Sun Times
      http://www.suntimes.com/output/falsani/cst-nws-fals27.html

      Five years ago, Bill Clinton was president, Rosie O'Donnell was still
      in the closet, and the Rev. Gregory Dell was preparing to defend
      himself at trial in a United Methodist court for violating church
      law by performing a same-sex "holy union" ceremony at his Chicago
      church.

      Sitting in his bright office at Broadway United Methodist Church in
      Lake View on Thursday morning, a couple of days after President Bush
      declared his support for a constitutional amendment that would
      effectively outlaw gay marriage nationwide, and a couple of hours
      before O'Donnell was set to marry her girlfriend on the steps of San
      Francisco's City Hall, Dell reflected on the current debate about gay
      marriage.

      So much has happened, Dell said. And so much has not. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Friday, February 27, 2004
      Gay group plans LI march seeking same-sex marriages
      BY ERIK HOLM and JENNIFER SMITH
      New York Newsday
      http://www.newsday.com/news/local/state/ny-
      stgays273687941feb27,0,4413967.story?coll=ny-statenews-headlines

      Hoping to force a court ruling opening the way for same-sex marriages
      in New York, gay and lesbian couples next week plan to march into the
      offices of every town clerk on Long Island and ask for marriage
      licenses, said the leader of the group organizing the effort. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Friday, February 27, 2004
      New Paltz mayor 'marries' gay couples
      WFSB, Channel 3
      http://www.WFSB.com/Global/story.asp?s=1674743

      NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) - Twenty-one gay couples exchanged wedding vows
      on the steps of village hall Friday in a spirited ceremony that
      opened another front on the growing national debate over gay
      marriage. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Friday, February 27, 2004
      Oakland Considers Allowing Gay Marriages
      City Council Considers Resolution
      http://www.nbc11.com/news/2881430/detail.html

      Oakland may follow San Francisco's lead in allowing the marriages of
      same-sex couples. <SNIP> The council is expected to approve the
      measure on March 16. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Friday, February 27, 2004
      Wedding shots deepen gay-marriage divide
      Amanda Paulson Staff writer
      The Christian Science Monitor
      http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0227/p03s01-ussc.html

      (CHICAGO)As images of gay couples exchanging heartfelt vows flicker
      across TV screens nationwide, the cultural debate on one of today's
      most divisive issues has grown as clangorous as wedding bells, as
      contentious as a nasty divorce. With coverage from Massachusetts to
      San Francisco, where thousands have lined up for marriage licenses,
      an abstract issue suddenly has a human face - thousands of them.
      <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Friday, February 27, 2004
      Op-Ed Columnist: Bliss and Bigotry
      By BOB HERBERT
      New York Times
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/27/opinion/27HERB.html

      <SNIP> The other day I saw a photo on my assistant's computer screen
      of two women in wedding dresses: Joanna Tessler, a Manhattan real
      estate agent, and Nicoletta Sellas, a psychology intern at the Bronx
      Psychiatric Center. Their arms are raised high in the air, and they
      are dancing joyfully in the aftermath of their marriage ceremony in
      Miami on Valentine's Day. It's an absolutely beautiful photo. The
      wedding guests are laughing and applauding.

      "Bliss" would have been an appropriate caption. Why anyone would want
      to turn the people in that picture into outlaws is beyond me. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Friday, February 27, 2004
      Gay conservatives plan to battle Bush
      The Advocate
      http://www.advocate.com/new_news.asp?id=11460&sd=02/27/04

      Gay conservatives are so angered by President George W. Bush's
      support of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex
      marriage that they are launching their own protest in swing states
      that are key to Bush's reelection bid, including Missouri, New
      Hampshire, New Mexico, and Ohio, the Los Angeles Times reports.

      The gay political group Log Cabin Republicans is considering a
      grassroots voter campaign to be broadcast on television and radio
      that would cater to conservatives, moderates, and independents.
      <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Thursday, February 26, 2004
      Gay marriages in the '70s escaped media attention
      By Marjie Lundstrom
      Sacramento Bee
      http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/columns/lundstrom/story/8338930p-
      9268897c.html

      To hear the uproar, to see the politicians maneuver, to absorb the
      constant press coverage - you'd almost think gay marriage is a hot
      new issue, a fresh controversy for the new millennium.

      But California's been there already - 30 years ago, in fact. And
      despite claims to the contrary, there apparently were marriage
      licenses issued to same-sex couples way back then.

      Their stories simply escaped media attention. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Thursday, February 26, 2004
      OP-ED COLUMNIST
      Stations of the Crass
      By MAUREEN DOWD
      New York Times
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/26/opinion/26DOWD.html

      Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

      Mel Gibson and George W. Bush are courting bigotry in the name of
      sanctity.

      The moviemaker wants to promote "The Passion of the Christ" and the
      president wants to prevent the passion of the gays. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Thursday, February 26, 2004
      Some in G.O.P. Cool to Gay Marriage Ban
      By CARL HULSE
      New York Times
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/26/politics/26AMEN.html

      While they say they want to protect traditional matrimony,
      many Congressional Republicans are not yet convinced that
      an amendment is necessary.

      ----------------------

      Wednesday, February 25, 2004
      Several religious leaders back gay marriage

      http://www.boston.com/dailynews/056/region/Several_religious_leaders_b
      ack:.shtml

      EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (AP) Religious leaders of several Rhode Island
      communities are speaking out in support of gay marriage, hopeful
      their voices will spur a larger movement backing the same-sex unions.
      <SNIP> The Rev. Dr. William Trench, of the United Methodist Church in
      East Greenwich, said his support for gay marriage is based on his
      religious beliefs.

      Marriage, he said, ''is a promise made before God and the community
      to love one another forever.'' <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Wednesday, February 25, 2004
      Locals react to issue of gay marriage
      By Ross Farrow
      Lodi News-Sentinel
      http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2004/02/25/news/06_gay_040225.txt

      <SNIP> Pastor Alan Kimber, of Lodi's First United Methodist Church,
      says he is torn by theology and civil rights.

      The Bible clearly states that marriage is limited to men and women.
      Marriage is to promote mutual care and fulfillment between a man and
      woman, and it is used for procreation, according to the Bible, Kimber
      said <SNIP>

      The Methodist church's youth group was exposed last weekend to the
      gay marriage controversy when they attended a worship service at San
      Francisco's Glide Memorial Church. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Wednesday, February 25, 2004
      AN INDECENT PROPOSAL
      James J. Kilpatrick
      http://www.uexpress.com/coveringthecourts/
      http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/8043079.htm

      Let me quote from the text of a wretched proposal. <SNIP> The last
      time I asked, 68 resolutions of constitutional amendment were pending
      in the House and Senate. <SNIP>

      The worst of the sorry lot is the Marriage Amendment. It tramples
      upon the sound theory that amendments should deal only with public
      affairs -- <SNIP>

      What should be done with the Marriage Amendment? Kill it. Kill it
      now. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Wednesday, February 25, 2004
      I'm not gay, says 81-year-old monarch with 14 children
      By Alex Spillius in Bangkok
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?
      xml=/news/2004/02/25/wcam25.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/02/25/ixworld.html

      King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, an 81-year-old father of 14,
      yesterday surprised his subjects by denying that he was homosexual.
      His comments came as he underlined his support for same-sex marriage,
      having seen television coverage of such weddings in California. <SNIP>
      He said the statement, posted yesterday, was made in response to
      an "insulting" email he received from someone called Tom Adams, which
      presumably accused the monarch of being homosexual after he announced
      his approval of same-sex unions.

      His statement continued: "Gays and lesbians would not exist if God
      did not create them. As a Buddhist I must have compassion for human
      beings who are not like me but who torture nobody, kill nobody."
      <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Mayor Daley supports same-sex marriage
      Laura Bush calls same-sex marriage 'shocking' Barney Frank,
      Schwarzenegger criticize San Francisco
      By Rex Wockner
      http://www.pridesource.com/article.shtml?article=6608

      CHICAGO - Mayor Richard Daley supports same-sex marriage, he said at
      a press conference Feb. 18.

      "[Cook County Clerk] David Orr can do it any way he wants. That would
      be up to him. I have no problems with that issue at all," Daley said
      when asked about the ongoing issuance of marriage licenses to same-
      sex couples in San Francisco.

      "A lot of people are opposed to it. So be it," Daley said. "But
      again, you have to point out the strength of this community - they're
      your doctors, your lawyers, your journalists, politicians. They're
      someone's son or daughter, they're someone's mother or father.
      They're parents. And I have been with them, they've adopted children,
      they have wonderful children. And to me, we have to understand this
      is part and parcel of our families and extended families. ... They
      love each other just as much as anyone else. They believe that the
      benefits that they don't have, they should have. And so I have a very
      open mind on it." <MORE>
      ----------------------


      Wednesday, February 25, 2004
      Constitution Not the Place to Fight Gay Marriage Battle
      Bush's support of amendment to ban same sex marriage usurps rights of
      states to regulate legal contracts
      The Detroit News
      http://www.detnews.com/2004/editorial/0402/25/a10-73554.htm

      President George W. Bush reached out to his conservative base Tuesday
      in endorsing a drive to adopt a constitutional amendment banning gay
      marriage. But it is conservatives who should be most opposed to
      reopening the Constitution to give the federal government authority
      over a matter that clearly should be left to the individual states.

      Setting aside the religious ceremony, marriage is a legal contract
      between two people. States have the responsibility to establish the
      parameters for such legal contracts, to enforce them and to dissolve
      them.

      The federal government has no business usurping that right,
      regardless of the cause. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Wednesday, February 25, 2004
      News Analysis: Bush Keeps Faith With His Base
      By ROBIN TONER
      New York Times
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/25/politics/25ASSE.html

      Trying to allay the concerns of his conservative base, President Bush
      declared his support of a constitutional amendment banning gay
      marriage.

      ----------------------

      Wednesday, February 25, 2004
      Analysis: Bush's gay marriage gamble
      By Kevin Anderson
      BBC News Online, Washington
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3519179.stm

      President George W Bush had been facing enormous pressure from
      religious conservatives to take a strong stand opposing same-sex
      marriage. His support for a constitutional amendment banning gay
      marriage is sure to keep this key Republican constituency in the
      fold, but it is a move not without political risk.

      The danger for President Bush is that while more than two-thirds of
      Americans oppose same-sex marriage, only the slimmest of majorities
      support a constitutional ban.

      And Mr Bush's desire to be seen as a compassionate conservative could
      be endangered if the debate turns poisonous, a throwback to the
      culture wars of the 1990s. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Wednesday, February 25, 2004
      Federal government already sets a standard; let the states define
      remaining marital rights: Bush stirs fight by backing plan against
      gay marriages
      By Bob Barr
      http://www.detnews.com/2004/editorial/0402/25/a11-73562.htm

      <SNIP> The White House is supporting a constitutional amendment,
      pending in the House of Representatives, to deny any and all "legal
      incidents" of marriage (in layman's terms, any of the hundreds of
      legal benefits and obligations of the legal institution of marriage)
      to all unmarried couples, be they homosexual or heterosexual. They
      should reject this approach out of hand.

      When I authored the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed
      overwhelmingly by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by
      President Bill Clinton in 1996, I was under intense pressure from
      many of my colleagues to have the act prohibit all same-sex marriage.
      Such an approach, the same one taken by the Federal Marriage
      Amendment, would have missed the point. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Wednesday, February 25, 2004
      Bush backs a marriage amendment
      Linda Feldmann Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
      http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0225/p01s01-uspo.html

      (WASHINGTON)President Bush has finally uttered the words: He
      supports a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

      For months, religious conservatives have been pressuring Mr. Bush to
      state unequivocally that he believes the US Constitution needs to be
      amended to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The issue
      has reached a crisis point for opponents of gay marriage, with
      Massachusetts due to start marrying same-sex couples in May and San
      Francisco already doing so. In a week in which Bush's reelection
      campaign had already shifted into a higher gear, the gay marriage
      announcement must be seen through a political lens, analysts say.
      <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Tuesday, February 24, 2004
      Strange Bedfellows
      http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/10017

      While social conservatives have long sought a constitutional
      amendment codifying marriage, political conservatives have long
      warned against modifying the country's founding document without
      historic cause.

      What follows is written testimony by Dale Carpenter, a conservative
      University of Minnesota professor of law, before the Senate Judiciary
      Committee on Sept. 4, 2003, on the topic, "What is Needed to Defend
      the Bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act of 1996?" Carpenter's detailed
      comments lay out why conservative constitutionalists should oppose
      the president's proposed constitutional amendment. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Friday, February 20, 2004
      Cambodian king supports gay weddings after viewing California
      ceremonies
      http://www.kfvs12.com/Global/story.asp?S=1655441
      (Phnom Penh, Cambodia-AP) -- It's not just the mayor of San Francisco.

      The king of Cambodia is announcing that he thinks gay couples should
      be allowed to be married. He says Cambodia became a "liberal
      democracy" in 1993 and it should allow a marriage between man and
      man, or between woman and woman. <MORE>
      ----------------------

      Friday, February 20, 2004
      Cambodian king backs gay marriage
      BBC News
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3505915.stm

      Cambodia's King Norodom Sihanouk has shown that advancing years are
      no barrier to an open mind and liberal attitude. After watching
      television images of gay marriages in San Francisco, the 81-year-old
      monarch has decided that single sex weddings should be allowed in
      Cambodia too. He expressed his views in a hand written message on his
      website which has proved extremely popular in Cambodia. <MORE>
    • umcornet
      Gay Marriage In-Depth Report The Oregonian http://www.oregonlive.com/special/gaymarriage/ Gay Marriage Photo Albums
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 5, 2004
        Gay Marriage In-Depth Report
        The Oregonian
        http://www.oregonlive.com/special/gaymarriage/

        Gay Marriage Photo Albums
        http://www.oregonlive.com/galleries/news/index.ssf?gaymarriage
        Thumbnails and slides shows

        ------------------------------------

        Life after gay marriage
        By Chad Graham
        Excerpted from The Advocate, March 16, 2004
        http://www.advocate.com/html/stories/910/910_marriage.asp

        It may be hard to imagine in the midst of the same-sex marriage
        firestorm that's engulfing the country, but if the people who predict
        public opinion are correct, in another two decades gay men and
        lesbians will likely live in a world that won't think twice about
        their weddings. By then, newspapers won't be interested in reporting
        on whether ceremonies feature cakes topped by two grooms, two brides,
        or a bride and a groom. Planners who cater to same-sex weddings will
        be a dime a dozen. <MORE>

        ------------------------------------

        Friday, March 5, 2004
        Brazilian go-ahead for gay unions
        BBC NEWS
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/3534959.stm

        A panel of judges in a Brazilian state has ruled in favour of
        authorising same-sex marriages. The southern state of Rio Grande do
        Sul is the first state to do so. The ruling gives same-sex couples
        broad rights in areas like inheritance, child custody, insurance
        benefits and pensions. <MORE>

        ------------------------------------

        Friday March 5, 2004
        Latest Developments on Gay-Marriage Issue
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-3826799,00.html
        http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-03-05-ny-mayor-gay-
        marriages_x.htm

        Developments on the issue of gay marriage Friday:

        - A New York state judge barred New Paltz's mayor from performing
        more same-sex marriages for a month, saying Jason West was ignoring
        his oath of office. West had already postponed a second round of same-
        sex weddings planned for Saturday, but only for a week, so he could
        meet with the state attorney general. <MORE>

        ------------------------------------

        Friday March 5, 2004
        Anti-gay marriage amendment clears Wisconsin Assembly
        JR Ross, Associated Press
        http://www.startribune.com/stories/484/4646733.html

        MADISON, Wis. -- The state Assembly approved a proposed amendment to
        the Wisconsin Constitution Friday that would prohibit same-sex
        marriages or civil unions, closing out an all-night session of debate
        on the issue. <MORE>

        ------------------------------------


        Friday, March 5, 2004
        Gay marriage ban faces House vote
        Statehouse amendment passes initial test
        By Scott Rothschild, Journal-World
        http://www.ljworld.com/section/stateregional/storypr/163271

        Topeka — A politically explosive constitutional amendment to ban
        same-sex marriages in Kansas faces an uncertain fate today. The
        proposed amendment cleared the Kansas House on an unrecorded voice
        vote Thursday, but with less support than some had expected in the
        Republican-dominated chamber. The amendment can't leave the House for
        Senate consideration unless it gains 84 votes in final action set for
        today. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Friday, March 5, 2004
        Battered by the church
        Why, like a battered wife, do gay parishioners make excuses and hide
        the bruises suffered all these years from the Catholic hierarchy?
        By JEN MABE
        Southern Journal
        http://www.sovo.com/2004/3-5/view/columns/battered.cfm

        AFTER MOVING AWAY from my home parish recently, I came to realize
        that I was fed up with the Catholic Church. The years of not being
        valued for my opinions and my talents by the church, simply because
        of my sexual orientation, had finally gotten to me.

        I asked myself why I should try so hard to defend, love, honor and be
        faithful to something that hasn't done the same for me. When I
        couldn't answer that question, I went searching. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Friday, March 5, 2004
        Gay issue creates rift in Princeton
        News Tribune, North Central Illinois
        http://www.newstrib.com/main.asp?
        SectionID=1&SubSectionID=207&ArticleID=12541

        An openly gay minister's planned participation in a choir festival
        led to the interfaith event being canceled.

        Her ministry is causing pastors and congregations to re-examine their
        thinking on how to relate to each other.

        The Rev. Curran Reichert began her ministry with the new Open Prairie
        United Church of Christ on Feb. 1. She enjoys singing in the choir
        and was looking forward to the Feb. 29 community Lenten choir
        festival that benefits the Faith in Action program at Gateway
        Services in Princeton. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Friday, March 5, 2004
        With Polite Refusal, Same-Sex Marriage Issue Reaches City Hall
        By ROBERT D. MCFADDEN
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/05/nyregion/05gay.html

        The growing fight over same-sex unions reached New York City
        yesterday as dozens of gay and lesbian couples seeking marriage
        licenses were turned away at the City Clerk's
        office in Manhattan and hundreds of protesters demanding same-sex
        marriage rights rallied outside City Hall. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Friday, March 5, 2004
        Same-sex marriage is a conservative idea
        By KEVIN WACK, Portland Press Herald Writer
        http://www.pressherald.com/news/state/040305sullivan.shtml

        LEWISTON -- Same-sex marriage has pierced the American public's
        consciousness with stunning speed over the last few months. No one
        is more surprised than Andrew Sullivan, who's spent the last decade
        as one of the cause's most visible and articulate advocates.
        "The difference in interest you get today and 10 years ago is pretty
        staggering," Sullivan said in an interview Thursday before a speech
        at Bates College. "Suddenly it's a revolution." <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Thursday, March 4, 2004
        Just Married? Not Yet for Dozens of Gay Couples in New York
        By CHRISTINE HAUSER and JANON FISHER
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/04/nyregion/04CND-WEDD.html

        Hundreds participated in a peaceful protest in support of the couples
        trying to marry, all of whom were turned down. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Thursday, March 4, 2004
        Protest planned in Detroit against same-sex marriage ban
        By Jan Stevenson
        http://www.pridesource.com/article.shtml?article=6714

        DETROIT - A coalition of LGBT groups in greater Detroit has called
        for a rally March 3 at noon at the City County Building in downtown
        Detroit to demonstrate against the existing ban against same-sex
        marriage. After the rally, same-sex couples plan to go to the Wayne
        County Clerk's office to request marriage licenses. Marriage licenses
        have been granted to same-sex couples in San Francisco and New Paltz,
        NY in recent weeks. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Thursday, March 4, 2004
        Marriage briefs from around the country
        Compiled by D'Anne Witkowski
        http://www.pridesource.com/article.shtml?article=6725

        Reports from several states <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Thursday, March 4, 2004
        Oregon County, With Portland, Offers Same-Sex Marriages
        By MATTHEW PREUSCH
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/04/national/04LICE.html

        PORTLAND, Ore., March 3 - The state's most populous county
        began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples here on
        Wednesday, becoming the latest flashpoint in the national
        debate over gay marriage. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Thursday, March 4, 2004
        Senate Hears Testimony on a Gay Marriage Amendment
        By CARL HULSE
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/04/politics/04AMEN.html

        Senate Republican leaders said that they would aggressively
        pursue a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages
        despite objections that the proposal is divisive. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Thursday, March 4, 2004
        Spitzer's Opinion Mixed on Status of Gay Marriage in New York
        By MARC SANTORA
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/04/nyregion/04GAY.html

        ALBANY, March 3 - New York State law requires same-sex marriages that
        are legally performed in other states to be recognized as lawful in
        New York, but does not now permit
        such marriages to be performed in the state, Attorney General Eliot
        Spitzer said on Wednesday in a legal opinion. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Thursday, March 4, 2004
        Despite Charges, Mayor Pledges to Keep Marrying Gay Couples
        By THOMAS CRAMPTON
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/04/nyregion/04paltz.html

        NEW PALTZ, N.Y., March 3 - Shortly after being arraigned on
        misdemeanor charges on Wednesday for the same-sex marriage ceremonies
        he performed in this village last week, Mayor Jason West defiantly
        said he would continue solemnizing such marriages. Standing before
        Village Hall in the same parking lot where he married 25 gay couples
        on Friday, Mr. West, 26, called gay marriage the greatest civil
        rights issue of his generation. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Wednesday, March 3, 2004
        Spitzer Advises Against Same-Sex Marriages in New York
        By CHRISTINE HAUSER
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/03/nyregion/03CND-GAY.html

        The Attorney General of New York saw constitutional questions that
        must be decided by the courts.

        Full Text of the New York State Attorney General's Opinion
        http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20040304_gay.pdf
        ------------------------------------

        Wednesday, March 3, 2004
        Local clergy divided on legal, religious aspects of gay marriage
        By Stephanie Chen
        Daily Northwestern
        http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/03/03/40458b
        213bcb1

        Although San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex
        couples in mid-February, Cook County Clerk David Orr announced
        Tuesday that his office would not follow suit -- a statement some
        religious leaders in Evanston find reassuring in the debate over gay
        marriage.

        <SNIP> Pastor Lisa Telomen of Hemenway United Methodist Church, 933
        Chicago Ave., said her church welcomes people of all sexual
        orientations and was happy to hear of the possibility of gay
        marriage. The Methodist Church restricts blessing same-sex marriages,
        but she hopes legal acceptance of gay marriages will eventually
        persuade the church to change. <SNIP>

        Shirley Weller, a member of Covenant United Methodist Church, 2123
        Harrison St., said she is not opposed to legalizing gay marriage, but
        added that the view of the church is more complicated than her own
        opinion. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Wednesday, March 3, 2004
        The future of gay couples married in the meantime
        Mary Wiltenburg Staff writer
        The Christian Science Monitor
        http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0303/p17s01-lire.html

        More than 3,500 gay couples have now been married in the United
        States, and numbers are rising fast - two dozen in New York last
        Friday, 26 in New Mexico Feb. 20, over 200 per day in San Francisco
        since Feb. 12, and more to come in Massachusetts after the state
        Supreme Judicial Court's May 17 deadline. <SNIP>

        Today they - along with lawmakers, legal and constitutional
        scholars, and citizens nationwide - are asking: What will happen to
        these marriages if gay unions are made unconstitutional at the state
        or federal level? <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Wednesday, March 3, 2004
        Op-Ed Columnist: Marriage: Mix and Match
        By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/03/opinion/03KRIS.html

        To preserve the sanctity of marriage, we should spend less time
        fretting about other people's marriages - and more time improving our
        own. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Wednesday, March 3, 2004
        Black Legislators Stall Marriage Amendment in Georgia
        By ANDREW JACOBS
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/03/national/03GEOR.html

        ATLANTA, March 2 - Georgia's headlong rush to block gay marriages
        through a constitutional amendment has been stalled, for the moment,
        by an unlikely group of legislators: black members of the House of
        Representatives, many of them church deacons and ministers who
        already support the state's laws banning same-sex marriage. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Wednesday, March 3, 2004
        Gay wedding foes rally at City Hall
        Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer
        San Francisco Chronicle
        http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?
        file=/c/a/2004/03/03/BAG3G5CL0924.DTL

        As dozens of gay and lesbian couples continued their wedding march
        inside San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday, opponents of same-sex
        marriage held a boisterous rally outside.

        <SNIP> The Rev. Cecil Williams of San Francisco's Glide Memorial
        Methodist Church walked past the demonstrators as he left City Hall,
        where he had just married a gay male couple. He shook his head at
        those rallying against same-sex marriage and said, "It's just one of
        those things. The momentum for same-sex marriage is swift, strong and
        righteous, and they can't stop it." <MORE>
        -----------------------------------

        Wednesday, March 3, 2004
        Despite rally, state senate drops gay marriage issue
        By PAUL CARRIER,
        Portland Press Herald
        http://www.pressherald.com/news/state/040303marriage.shtml

        AUGUSTA -- The Maine Senate refused by the narrowest of margins
        Tuesday to let lawmakers consider a constitutional amendment banning
        same-sex marriage. Lawmakers voted 17-16 to kill the proposal
        despite an emotional rally by supporters that drew hundreds of
        people to the State House. <SNIP>

        Supporters of the ban argued Tuesday that they were doing God's
        work. But the spokesman for Gov. John Baldacci, who opposes a ban,
        offended members of the Christian Civic League of Maine when he
        derided their support for the amendment. The league organized the
        rally, which featured speakers from several churches. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Tuesday, March 2, 2004
        KC couple enters fray over gay marriage
        By ERIC ADLER
        The Kansas City Star
        http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/8081502.htm

        They wanted the news to be a surprise. But by the time they entered
        church on Sunday, word had already spread among friends and fellow
        parishioners at Trinity United Methodist Church in Kansas City. Randy
        Clark, 50, and Tom Maddox, 46 — a gay couple in a committed
        relationship for 20 years — had just returned from San Francisco,
        where at 10 a.m. on Feb. 25, they were married in a civil ceremony at
        city hall. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Monday, March 1, 2004
        Saudis quiz 'gay wedding' guests
        BBC News
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3521479.stm

        Saudi investigators are grilling some 50 people for allegedly
        attending a gay wedding in the city of Medina, a newspaper reported
        on Monday. The suspects deny they were attending a gay marriage and
        say they took part in a ceremony to mark the wedding of a Chadian
        friend, Arab News said. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Monday, March 1, 2004
        Both Sides Court Black Churches in the Debate Over Gay Marriage
        By LYNETTE CLEMETSON
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/01/national/01CHUR.html

        WASHINGTON, Feb. 29 - Speaking recently to a group of black
        evangelical ministers and lay people here, Genevieve Wood of the
        conservative Family Research Council made an
        impassioned plea. Black Christians, she said, must speak out against
        advocates of gay marriage. <SNIP> As Ms. Wood has been brokering
        alliances to oppose gay marriage, Donna Payne, a board member with
        the National Black Justice Coalition, a black gay and lesbian
        organization formed to increase acceptance of gay rights among
        African-Americans, has been appealing to liberal black clergy
        members. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Monday, March 1, 2004
        Same-Sex Weddings Bring Division to an Upstate Village
        By THOMAS CRAMPTON
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/01/nyregion/01gay.html

        NEW PALTZ, N.Y., Feb. 29 - Until the past few days, this Hudson
        Valley hamlet was the kind of place where residents often waved to
        strangers across Main Street and where diverse views on social issues
        were tolerated, if not downright encouraged. But since last week,
        when the mayor, Jason West, thrust it into the national debate over
        same-sex marriage, New Paltz has become a village divided. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Monday, March 1, 2004
        White House Letter: On Gay Marriage, Bush May Have Said All He's
        Going To
        By ELISABETH BUMILLER
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/01/politics/01LETT.html

        Some advisers say the president would have been better off
        keeping his opinions about gay marriage to himself. <MORE>
        ------------------------------------

        Monday, March 1, 2004
        Op-Ed Columnist: Stolen Kisses
        By BOB HERBERT
        New York Times
        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/01/opinion/01HERB.html

        When things make us uncomfortable, things like gay marriage, we often
        leap to the conclusion that they are against the will of God. <MORE>
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