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Democracy Now! stories, posts and pages that relate to Gay Rights

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  • Thumbncgayvote
    North Carolina voters have turned out in large numbers to pass a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman. While North Carolina law already bans same-sex marriage, the amendment means civil unions and potentially other types of domestic partnerships will no longer be recognized legally by the state. Some lawyers say the measure is vaguely worded and could impact the state’s 150,000 straight couples...
    May 09, 2012 | Story
  • Button-kushner
    In an historic announcement, President Obama has become the first U.S. president to support same-sex marriage. We get reaction from acclaimed playwright and activist Tony Kushner. In 2003, he and his partner became the first same-sex couple to appear in the Vows section of the New York Times. "I felt the earth move," Kushner says. "It’s one of those moments where you feel a corner being rounded and the actual change, or the...
    May 10, 2012 | Story
  • Vawadixon_keisling2
    President Obama has signed into law historic new protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with the expanded reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Initially passed in 1994, the bill lapsed in 2011 after Republicans blocked it over the new protections. The measure was approved after House Republicans finally allowed a vote last week. It includes a landmark addition that empower Native American tribal authorities...
    Mar 08, 2013 | Story
  • Supreme_court-1
    For the second day in a row, the U.S. Supreme Court is confronting the issue of same-sex marriage, hearing arguments today on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. On Tuesday, the justices considered the legality of California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. Representing two couples challenging the ban, attorney Ted Olson condemned Proposition...
    Mar 27, 2013 | Story
  • Gaffney-lewis-protest-dc
    Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis have been deeply involved in the struggle to legalize same-sex marriage. They were two of the plaintiffs in the historic 2008 lawsuit that held California’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the state constitution. They have been together for 26 years and married in 2008 before Prop 8 passed. Both work at Marriage Equality USA: Gaffney is the media director, and Lewis is the legal director. In addition, Gaffney...
    Mar 27, 2013 | Story
  • Dean_hara
    The U.S. Supreme Court continues its session on the issue of same-sex marriage, hearing arguments today on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. We are joined by Dean Hara, a plaintiff in another lawsuit against DOMA. He is the widower of U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress. Hara...
    Mar 27, 2013 | Story
  • Edie_thea_marriage
    The lead plaintiff in the Defense of Marriage Act case before the U.S. Supreme Court is an 83-year-old lesbian named Edith Windsor. She sued the federal government after she was forced to pay additional estate taxes because it did not recognize her marriage to a woman, Thea Spyer. Windsor and Spyer met in 1962, got engaged soon after, but did not marry until 2007, near the end of Spyer’s life. Their life story was captured in the award-winning...
    Mar 28, 2013 | Story
  • Seg_4
    As the U.S. Supreme Court heard two major cases this week on marriage equality, we look at how the issue has divided some in the LGBT movement. Longtime activist and blogger Scot Nakagawa wrote a popular essay this week called "Why I Support Same Sex Marriage as a Civil Right, But Not as a Strategy to Achieve Structural Change." The article drew so much traffic that it crashed his server, twice. We speak to Nakagawa and Marc Solomon,...
    Mar 28, 2013 | Story
  • Stuart_gaffney-john_lewis
    In a historic victory for marriage equality, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and paved the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California. In a 5-to-4 decision, the court ruled the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act — or DOMA — signed by President Clinton into law is unconstitutional. This means that legally married same-sex couples are entitled to claim the same 1,100 federal benefits as heterosexual...
    Jun 27, 2013 | Story