Marriage Equality is on a Roll: Feb 14, 2011 This Week in Prop 8

February 15, 2011 at 7:00 am 60 comments

Updated with links -Adam

The big news about Prop 8 this week … is that there isn’t any news about Prop 8 this week. Nothing happened!

At least, nothing happened in California. There was a ton of activity in other states, from New Hampshire to New York to Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, and Rhode Island.

Now, when I started Stop Eight, two and a half years ago, it was all about Proposition Eight. But now, there’s so much happening around the country that the name doesn’t really seem inclusive enough. So, that’s the comment bait for this week: should I change the name of this thing? What would you call a project that’s all about telling the story of Americans fighting — and winning — the right to marry the one we love?

Leave us your suggestions in the comments.

And now let’s look at what’s going on in the states.

In New Hampshire, gay couples can currently get married, and a new survey shows that sixty two percent of residents want to keep it that way. Only five percent said that marriage equality makes them, quote, very upset.

This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for a vote on a marriage equality bill sometime before June.

And in Hawaii, a civil unions bill moved closer to passage with an 11-2 vote by the House Judiciary Committee.

This week Maryland heard testimony from over hundred people on a marriage equality bill.

That testimony proved unexpectedly persuasive, with one Senator changing his mind to support the bill after hearing anti-gay testimony that he called “appalling.” Senator James Brochin had previously opposed the measure, but he said, quote, The demonization of gay families really bothered me.

Bothers us too.

And then there’s Rhode Island. Commenters on Joe. My. God. pointed out that we overlooked Rhode Island in our last two episodes, which is why we’re debuting our brand new feature: Rhode Island, You’ve Got Style.

Rhode Island lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday regarding a bill that would finally allow gay couples to marry.

Just as in Maryland, hundreds turned out to rally and speak to lawmakers. The Rhode Island bill is currently working its way through committee but has a good chance of passing.

It prospects were bolstered by a new study showing that Rhode Island stands to gain a million dollars over the next three years if it legalizes marriage equality. The money would come from a variety of sources, including fairer income taxes and sales taxes from weddings.

And finally, Illinois made headlines two weeks ago when Governor Pat Quinn signed a civil unions bill into law. Now that was a long-fought struggle that took years of work. And to find out more about it, I spoke with Illinois activist Phil Reese, who writes for Bilerico and produces the Same Sex Sunday podcast.

Phil gave me a behind-the-scenes look at exactly how they got civil unions passed, and also how they plan to defend the new law from attack as they continue to move towards marriage.

We spoke for about twenty minutes, and I pulled out some of the highlights to feature here on the show. Or, if you want, you can click over here to watch the full uncut interview.

But for now, here’s the best excerpts from our conversation.

Entry filed under: Marriage equality.

Happy Valentine’s Day, P8TT A Valentine’s Day present for Washington State

60 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peterplumber  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:11 am


    • 2. Ronnie  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:39 am


      • 3. JonT  |  February 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm

        Stop Eight -> Stop H8?


  • 4. Peterplumber  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Fight H8 Tracker??

    • 5. AnonyGrl  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:22 am

      He’s not renaming P8TT… this is a cross post from Stop 8. :) But Fight H8 or Stop H8 could work!

      • 6. AnonyGrl  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:23 am

        Or, perhaps she. I am not sure.

        • 7. AnonyGrl  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:24 am

          On the other hand, I could be reading it wrong entirely, and we might be talking about P8TT.

          I need coffe.

          • 8. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:30 am


      • 9. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:34 am

        I like Stop H8 – not much changes with the name – but the message works. Because not all the the equality issues are just about marriage.

        • 10. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  February 17, 2011 at 1:51 am

          Oh, absolutely brilliant, LLB!
 is the perfect name for the project!
          And this domain name is still not taken!

          This new name shows that the website is essentially about fighting homophobia — hatred of gay people. “H8” already became a well-recognizable symbol for the anti-homophobia fight, and, on the other hand, Matt will be able to retain the old name almost entirely, especially the number 8, which is how the website started — doing everything possible to stop Proposition 8 in California.

          I realize my message is too late (catching up with all the new posts of this week), but I really think this is the best option there is!

          Kevyn the Rooskie

  • 11. NetAmigo  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Call it Prop 8 Trial Tracker and Now So Much More. Prop 8 fixated the nation on the petty intolerance of the religious right because California is a heavy weight state. California was not the first state but it provided the momentum for so much more.

    • 12. adambink  |  February 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm


  • 13. mackenzie  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Does anyone have any info on the bill introduced in Washington state?

    • 14. Peterplumber  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:42 am

      Here is an excerpt,
      Washington’s discriminatory exclusion of same gender couples from marriage further harms same gender couples and their families by denying them the unique public recognition and affirmation that civil marriage confers on other couples, and the opportunity to express their mutual dedication through the uniquely recognized rituals of marriage.

      Or you can read the entire bill here:

    • 15. Mark M - Seattle  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:00 am

      I am still waiting to hear back from Ed Murray and or Bob Hasegawa.
      I will post any news as soon as I get any :-)

  • 17. Ann S.  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Thank you, Matt!

    • 18. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 15, 2011 at 8:09 am

      Agree with Ann S. Thank you Matt! I particularly appreciated interview with Phil Reese as it illustrates a model to maintain optimism in this fight for equality.

      • 19. Bob  |  February 15, 2011 at 11:49 am

        Agree with Gregory,, that interview with Phil Reese, was very educational,,,,, about the work they have been doing , 2005 change the human rights act to include sexual orientation,,, that’s a hudge first step,,, they worked in coalition with other non LGBT groups to accomplish that,,, he talked about a long range goal of American Equality Bill within next ten yrs… in menatime they were able to lobby legislators to pass civil unions during lame duck,,,,,,

        I especially like their approach re Civil Rights,, and the work they did to include sexual orientation in human rights act,,,,

        Woot woot to the idea of an American Equality Bill which every american could participte in working towards….

        this posting is very encouraging to see all the positive strides being made in various states,, and a look at the larger picture,,,, America is changing,,,,

        can’t wait for the day we have one headline call it Human Rights or AMERICAN EQUALITY BILL,, and all energy across America, including a vast array of coalintions work together for the final goal……

        as for us P8TTers,, I say keep our title and keep on the job, the video from Ann S. was so encouraging,,, an action taken , to expose discrimination in California,,, lets keep the pressure up,,,, maybe an update from California, similar to the inteview from Phil in Illinois would help us refocus on where things are at in California,,,

        I love the positive news from other states, woot woot,,, and expecially happy for the news for Mark in Washington………..

        • 20. Mark M - Seattle  |  February 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm

          Thank you Bob :-)
          I am thrilled that I an other LGBT couples in Washington have such wonderful champions working for us in Olympia.
          Ed Murray and Bob Hasegawa are two of the best we could hope for….there are several others but those two rise above the others in my mind.

  • 21. Ann S.  |  February 15, 2011 at 8:24 am

    A Valentine to you all:

    • 22. Ronnie  |  February 15, 2011 at 8:37 am

      lol…Ann S….I just posted this on the Valentine’s Day thread…awesome video…. ; ) …Ronnie

      • 23. Ann S.  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:09 am

        That is my brother and BIL that we see before clicking “Play”.

        • 24. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

          And they are such a handsome couple! And their love for each other doesn’t just shine, it GLOWS!

          • 25. Ann S.  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:52 am

            Thank you, Richard!

        • 26. Ronnie  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:59 am

          Hi Ann’s brother & brother in-law….<3…Ronnie

    • 27. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 15, 2011 at 8:40 am

      sobs / tears….

      • 28. Ray in MA  |  February 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

        me 2

        • 29. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm

          :::sigh::: cleansing meditation breaths ..focus on good people in video to cope with all the nom-sense.

  • 30. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 15, 2011 at 8:35 am

    How about just changing it from Stop 8 to Stop H8! That way, while you would still have a title that would be relevant to Prop 8, it would also cover the other items on the hatred agenda, and the fight for equal rights.

  • 31. Ed  |  February 15, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Seems that NOM’s blog is becoming unfocused, unhinged….with almost NO comments. They seem to be posting almost *anything* just to fill up their page. NO mention of Illinois or Hawaii. There is little mention of Indiana and Wyoming, but very limited. And of course, no mention of Washington state. Does Maggie finally see the writing on the wall? But, even though they are being mostly quiet, this is definitely the time to watch them even more closely…..

    • 32. Peterplumber  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:07 am

      We can only hope that with Marriage Equality spreading like it seems to be doing, NOM will not have the resources to cover everything and will ultimately fail.

      • 33. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

        or maybe public will reach “the amount of stupidity (they) can take”

        • 34. Sheryl Carver  |  February 15, 2011 at 10:34 am

          Loved this, Gregory! Thanks for posting it.

          • 35. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 15, 2011 at 10:41 am

            Hi Sheryl : )

  • 36. Stephen  |  February 15, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I like keeping up with Prop 8 via RSS, please keep the Prop 8 thread, but let’s limit it to Prop 8 topics. If you’d like to report on every other state, then create a new thread with it’s own RSS feed for that, but I have plenty of those feeds already. When i see something come in on the Prop 8 feed I’d like it to resemble something about Prop 8.

    • 37. Mark M - Seattle  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:36 am

      Sorry Stephen but I doubt this site will ever be just about P8 ever again….there are to many ties to other states and other struggles.
      P8 is only a chapter in the story now

    • 38. adambink  |  February 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Stephen, Mark has it about right. We may rename things one day, but this will continue to be about more than just Prop 8.

    • 39. Rhie  |  February 16, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      Most RSS feed readers give you the title of the post. If it’s not Prop8 just skip it. I know I do that when I see titles or first paragraphs that don’t interest me on other feeds I read.

      This has also been brought up before, more than a few times. The general consensus is that this is a site about Prop 8 and related issues. Other states, other battles, the minds behind the mayhem, etc. I think that works best. Prop8 and similar are best understood in context.

  • 40. Juli  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I don’t live in California, as is true for many “trackers” here, but am following the Prop 8 case because of its potential impact on marriage equality throughout the country. I think posts on marriage equality cases in other states and NOM’s efforts to fight them are totally relevant to the overall marriage equality movement, and appreciate hearing about them.

    • 41. Rhie  |  February 16, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      Agreed. Same. Personally, I think the context is absolutely vital to understand why Prop 8 happened, and how we can avoid it. It can also help us understand the minds of those who are behind Prop 8 and similar, since they are all the same type of people. In many cases, they are the same EXACT people. If we understand them, then we can fight them.

      And yes, the potential ramifications are larger than just CA. Laws don’t happen in a vacuum. There are other cases, such as Christian Legal Society vs Martinez, that may impact on this case. It’s a reasonable assumption that this case will impact others.

  • 42. JPM  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:39 am

    We won!

    PPP will be polling Rhode Island this week, hopefully with a marriage equality question (background: see my comment postings in several previous threads).

    You can leave a comment on the above blog requesting that PPP be sure to poll the marriage equality question.

    • 43. JPM  |  February 15, 2011 at 9:39 am

      And thanks to everyone who voted!

    • 44. adambink  |  February 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Thanks for keeping an eye on this.

  • 45. Ronnie  |  February 15, 2011 at 10:02 am

    ALABAMA’S FIRST MAINSTREAM SAME-SEX WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENT?……including a photo of the happy couple…..

    Congratulations to Jeremy & Larry on your engagment….<3…Ronnie

    • 46. Ronnie  |  February 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

      (sighs) typos make me mad….. Congratulations to Jeremy & Larry on your engagement…… <3…Ronnie

      • 47. fiona64  |  February 15, 2011 at 10:56 am

        I don’t know, haven’t you met a few couples in your time for whom the term “engagment” would fit? ;->


        • 48. fiona64  |  February 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

          And, of course, congratulations to Jeremy and Larry.


        • 49. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

          Yes fiona @ engagment. lol

        • 50. Ronnie  |  February 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm


    • 51. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 15, 2011 at 10:42 am

      Wonderful news! Congrats to both! And, congrats the the newspaper for equality.

    • 52. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 15, 2011 at 11:46 am

      I’m somewhat skeptical and like to view the original source. Happy to agree this certainly looks legit and posted under the “normal” celebrations:

  • 53. Kathleen  |  February 15, 2011 at 11:39 am

  • 54. Rhie  |  February 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm


  • 55. Ray in MA  |  February 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Rename Stop Eight?

    Here’s a freebie for you Matt:

    “Follow M.E.” (as in “Follow Maririage Equality”)

    • 56. Ray in MA  |  February 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm

      and you can use “”

      not taken as of this moment!

      • 57. Ray in MA  |  February 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

        ..and it’s not taken with the typo corrected either!

  • 58. Sagesse  |  February 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Subbing to watch later.

  • 59. Rem Cabrera  |  February 15, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    New name? How about Love And Marriage?

  • 60. Rem Cabrera  |  February 15, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Or Justice For All?


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