Alabama’s Dangerous Defiance
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/6/15
On Tuesday the Supreme Court of Alabama prohibited the state’s probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This decision effectively throws down the gauntlet, challenging the federal courts to make earlier federal rulings stick — including last month’s refusal by the United States Supreme Court to stay a federal judge’s decision requiring the state to recognize same-sex marriages. It draws on a disturbing line of thinking in the history of American federalism, one that, we

Bruce Jenner’s Courage
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/5/15
When I was a growing up, yearning with my pals to be a track star, one of our heroes was Bruce Jenner. He won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in the decathlon, and he adorned our Wheaties boxes. We all wanted to be Bruce Jenner.

I haven’t thought much about him in years. But Jenner is in the news again, widely reported to be preparing to come out as a transgender woman.

At first, there were snickers, but, lately, the tone has been respectful. And news reports say Jenner is planning to ch

Support for Gay Marriage: What Our History Shows
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/3/15
America’s history tells us there will always be pockets of resistance to any civil rights advance. That is why your article about a few state officials proposing license-to-discriminate measures to limit existing civil rights laws they never liked anyway was not surprising.

But despite a handful of apocalyptic pronouncements that marriage will be destroyed, as will America, all is pretty quiet amid much joy. No widespread resistance. No riots in the streets. The reality is that opposition to

The Supreme Court and Gay Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/16/15
For the second time in three terms, the Supreme Court has agreed to consider the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. The last time around, the justices declined to take up the broad question. This time, there is every reason for them to follow the logic of their own rulings over the past 12 years and end the debate once and for all.

On Friday, the court accepted four cases from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Michigan, where same-sex marriage bans were upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of A

God, Gays and the Atlanta Fire Department
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/13/15
Until last week, Kelvin Cochran was the chief of the Atlanta fire department, where he oversaw a work force of more than 1,000 firefighters and staff.

Mr. Cochran, a veteran firefighter, is also a deeply religious man, and he was eager to bring his Christian faith into the daily functioning of his department — or, as he put it in a book he authored in 2013, to “cultivate its culture to the glory of God.”

But, as the book revealed, his religious beliefs also include virulent anti-gay views.

Florida Joins the Wave on Same-Sex Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/6/15
Now that Florida has become the 36th state to allow same-sex couples to marry, more than 70 percent of Americans live in jurisdictions that permit such unions. What’s made this possible is a string of supportive federal court rulings following the Supreme Court’s pivotal 2013 decision striking down provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act — the 1996 federal law that denied federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples.

Judge Robert Hinkle of Federal District Court in Tallahassee clea

Don’t Forget About AIDS
source: The New York Times
posted: 10/27/14
Last week Jennifer Mumaugh and A. J. McDaniel became the first same-sex couple to marry in Wyoming. They celebrated their union in Cheyenne, just miles away from where Matthew Shepard was left to die only 16 years ago. Wyoming thus became the 32nd state to allow gay marriage — explicitly or, by refusing to appeal court decisions, implicitly. Alaska. Arizona. Idaho. All have fallen this month.

These are great advances, and there is no question that those who believe in marriage equality must b

President Obama Evolves on Gay Marriage, Again
source: The New York Times
posted: 10/20/14
When President Obama finished “evolving” and announced, in May 2012, that he thought “same-sex couples should be able to get married,” he went farther than any previous president though not quite so far as many activists would have liked. In his interview with Robin Roberts, he said he thought the issue would, and should be, “worked out at the local level,” thus implicitly denying that marriage was a constitutionally protected right.

It would appear he has evolved again. In the Oct. 27 issue

Pope Francis Walks the Talk
source: The New York Times
posted: 10/17/14
A half-century after the historic changes of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Francis is showing his intent to drive a comparably ambitious agenda for the Roman Catholic Church in the 21st century.

The current synod of bishops in Rome, called by Francis to encourage reform and modernization, set a ringing tone of compassion this week with an opening call for a more welcoming attitude toward gay people, unmarried couples, divorced Catholics who remarry, and children in these unions.

The bis

In North Carolina, Thom Tillis is the Last Holdout Against Gay Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 10/16/14
Thanks to three court rulings over the last week, North Carolina has become the most southern state where same-sex marriage is clearly legal, and dozens of gay couples have wasted no time getting married. But conservatives are still waging a desperate rear-guard action to prevent it — at considerable cost to the taxpayers — and one of them happens to be the Republican candidate for senator.

That candidate, Thom Tillis, the speaker of the state House, has yet to take a lead in the polls agains