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Gay Rights

The Takeaway

After Prop 8: The Future of Gay Marriage in California

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Advocates for gay marriage in California hoped the State Supreme Court would overturn last November’s ballot initiative that took away the right to same-sex marriage, but their hopes were dashed yesterday when the court upheld Proposition 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Takeaway is joined by John Schwartz, the legal correspondent for The New York Times to discuss the repercussions of this ruling.
"People have a deep emotional tie over generations to the word 'marriage.' People who want to protect marriage feel intensely strongly about it. People who want to get married want to get married."
—New York Times writer John Schwartz on Proposition 8 in California

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The Takeaway

The Complicated Case of Same Sex Divorce

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A ruling is expected today from the California Supreme Court that will either uphold Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban, or overturn it as unconstitutional. Whatever the California court decides, gay marriage is now legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa, and it will be legal in Vermont and Maine in September. And, inevitably, with marriage comes divorce. As couples and attorneys are learning, same sex divorce is at least as complex and controversial as same sex marriage. Frederick Hertz, an attorney in Oakland California and author of Making it Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnership & Civil Unions joins Farai and John with a look at the issue.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda With Todd Zwillich

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Monday, which means it is time to pull out our road map for the week. Our guide this week is our own Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich. On the agenda? A California court is expected to rule on the controversial ballot initiative Proposition 8 that barred gay marriage. The court will decide whether the initiative is legal and the fate of those couples already married in California. And President Obama is expected to announce his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court this week. Also this week Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbass and the U.K.'s Prince Harry will be in the U.S. Abbass will talk about Mideast peace, while Harry is likely to play polo.

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The Takeaway

Dancing Queen: Eurovision and the Gay-Rights Debate

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Europe-wide song contest Eurovision isn't just about music anymore. The event is turning out to be one of the biggest landmarks in Russia's gay-rights movement. Joining us from Moscow with a report is the BBC's Paul Henley.

For more of The Takeaway's coverage of Eurovision, click here.

Here's a recap of the Eurovision Grand Final:

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The Takeaway

State-by-State Trends in Gay Marriage

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gay marriage has been a longtime wedge issue in the United States, but the pace of change has quickened in the last few months. Last month, Iowa and Vermont legalized same-sex marriage and last week, Maine became the fifth state to allow gay couples to wed; similar legislation is advancing in New Hampshire. Washington D.C. also got into the mix, voting last week to recognize same-sex marriages that have been performed in other parts of the United States. Joining us to talk about this latest round of legislation and to look ahead at whether this momentum could carry across the country is Suzanne Goldberg. She is a professor at Columbia Law School and the director of the Gender and Sexuality Law Program.
"Portability is already an issue and will continue to be an issue for as long as we have this patchwork of states that recognize marriage of same sex couples and some that don't. And it's a very, very serious problem."
—Columbia Law School professor Suzanne Goldberg on states legalizing same sex marriage

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The Takeaway

The Maine Event: Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

Monday, May 11, 2009

Last week Maine became the fifth state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage. Maine's Democratic-controlled Senate voted 21-13 in support of the bill, which redefines marriage as the legal union of two people rather than between a man and a woman. Maine's Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted 89-57. The House spent nearly three hours in what has been described as an emotionally-charged debate. One of the seven Republicans Representatives to vote in favor of the bill is Representative Pat Flood. He talk sabout how he wrestled with the issue and reached his decision.

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The Takeaway

Amazon gets hit over gay-themed books

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A strange thing happened yesterday on web megastore Amazon.com: all the gay-themed literature was suddenly recategorized as "adults only" and was removed from the all-important Amazon rankings. When the blogosphere and the twitterers noticed, the debated over Amazon's actions erupted online. Twitter went crazy. The hashtag #amazonfail quickly rose through the Twitter ranks as a top topic.

The company claims it was only trying to limit access to adult material, and that gay literature was inadvertently swept up in the category changes. So is Amazon anti-gay? Or just clumsy? It's not completely clear what happened, rumors of hacks and customer hate-based tagging abound, but the company is not helping clear the air over exactly what happened although they did apologize for being "ham-fisted".

Baratunde Thurston, better known by some as @baratunde, joins The Takeaway with his thoughts on what happened on Amazon.com.

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The Takeaway

Same-sex marriage: For some a beginning, for others an end

Thursday, April 09, 2009

With both Iowa and Vermont legalizing same sex marriage within the last week, we wanted to take a step back and talk about the future of gay marriage in the United States. What is the next step for the gay rights movement, and which state will be the next one to let same sex couples marry? Or are these court decisions the spark that will mobilize those opposed This morning will be present both sides of the argument. We'll begin first with Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project and representing the other side of the conversation is Maggie Gallagher. She is the President of the National Organization for Marriage.

Here are two of the PSAs released by the campaigns:



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The Takeaway

This one's for you, California: Iowa rules same-sex marriage is legal

Monday, April 06, 2009

Iowans spent the weekend reacting to the Varnum v. Brien court decision that made same-sex marriage legal in their state. On Friday, Iowa's Supreme Court unanimously ruled in a case brought by gay rights group Lambda Legal and threw out a law that said marriage could only be between a man and a woman. The Hawkeye State now joins Massachusetts and Connecticut as the only places in the nation where same-sex marriages are legal. While some Iowans plan their weddings, others plan to launch a campaign to amend the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Reporter Joyce Russell joins us with the details.

Read the full opinion of the Iowa Supreme Court.
Read a summary of the decision here.

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The Takeaway

Vermont house votes on same sex marriage bill

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Today, Vermont’s House of Representatives votes on a controversial bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state. The bill has come under fire from Vermont Governor Jim Douglas who has vowed to veto the legislation if it passes. Douglas's statements have drawn both praise and condemnation. The Takeaway talks to Ross Sneyd, news editor with Vermont Public Radio.

Portia de Rossi did a public service announcement on the gay marriage issue on Jimmy Kimmel Live!:

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