Reuters/Ipsos poll: Views on gay marriage still divided after court ruling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the dust settled on two major Supreme Court rulings this week that advanced gay marriage, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed that while about a third of Americans oppose the decisions, a majority are either in favor or had no strong opinion.

Forty-three percent of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the court’s decision to strike down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal recognition of marriage to that between a man and a woman. The poll of 410 people who were asked separate questions about each ruling was conducted from Wednesday, the day of the rulings, and Friday.

Written by Lawrence Hurley. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

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How Gay Marriage Won

Eager to be eyewitnesses to history, people camped for days in the dismal cold, shivering in the slanting shadow of the Capitol dome, to claim tickets for the Supreme Court’s historic oral arguments on same-sex marriage. Some hoped that the Justices would extend marriage rights; others prayed that they would not. When at last the doors of the white marble temple swung open on March 26 for the first of two sessions devoted to the subject, the lucky ones found seats in time to hear Justice Anthony Kennedy — author of two important earlier decisions in favor of gay rights and likely a key vote this time as well — turn the tables on the attorney defending the traditionalist view. Charles Cooper was extolling heterosexual marriage as the best arrangement in which to raise children when Kennedy interjected: What about the roughly 40,000 children of gay and lesbian couples living in California? “They want their parents to have full recognition and full status,” Kennedy said. “The voice of those children is important in this case, don’t you think?” Nearly as ominous for the folks against change was the fact that Chief Justice John Roberts plunged into a discussion of simply dismissing the California case. That would let stand a lower-court ruling, and same-sex couples could add America’s most populous state to the growing list of jurisdictions where they can be lawfully hitched.

Written by David Von Drehle. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

From ‘‘I Do’’ to ‘‘I’m Done’’

It’s not a subject that marriage-equality groups tend to trumpet on their websites, but gay couples are at the start of a divorce boom. One reason is obvious: More couples are eligible. According to a report by UCLA’s Williams Institute, nearly 50,000 of the approximately 640,000 gay couples in the U.S. in 2011 were married. (Another 100,000 were in other kinds of legal relationships, such as domestic partnerships.) The marriage rate, in states that allowed it, was quickly rising toward that of heterosexual couples: In Massachusetts as of that year, 68 percent of gay couples were married, compared with 91 percent of heterosexual couples. Another reason for the coming boom is that while first-wave gay marriages have proved more durable than straight ones (according to the Williams Institute, about one percent of gay marriages were dissolving each year, compared with 2 percent for different-sex couples), that’s not expected to last. Most lawyers I spoke to assume that the gap will soon vanish, once the backlog of long-term and presumably more stable gay couples have married, leaving the field to the young and impulsive.

Written by NY Magazine. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

State Rep. Ford declares gay marriage support

It didn’t come quickly, the decision to support the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, but on Memorial Day when State Rep. LaShawn Ford said he would vote this week in favor of gay marriage in Illinois, the choice seemed clear to him.

“This is a well-thought-out decision,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Journal.

Ford, a one-time seminarian, said he had prayed over it. He said he has been swamped with strong opinions from constituents on both sides of the controversy. He acknowledged he has felt heavy lobbying from a politically active segment of the black clergy.

In the end, though, he said “it is like the time has come” for gay marriage to be legal.

“When you think about the moral issue, this is about advancing opportunity,” he said, “the opportunity for all people to pursue life, liberty and happiness. As Democrats we are about opportunity, about including people, not excluding.”

Written by Dan Haley. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Gay Divorce Is Still A Huge Problem In America

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act means the U.S. government will recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages, but it won’t necessarily make it easier for American gays to divorce.
The high court struck down one part of DOMA — section 3, which effectively deprived gay married couples of the federal benefits straight marrieds get.

Section 2 of DOMA — which says states don’t have to recognize other states’ gay marriages — is still technically alive, and that makes divorce harder to come by for some married gays.

Say a gay couple in Georgia goes to Massachusetts for the weekend to get married. That gay couple can’t go back to Massachusetts to end their marriage because the state has residency requirements for divorces. And Georgia might not let them get a divorce because the state doesn’t recognize their gay marriage in the first place.

Written by Erin Fuchs. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage hailed as historic victory

(CNN) — A deeply divided Supreme Court nudged the nation toward broad recognition of same-sex marriage on Wednesday in rulings that advocates hailed as a “joyous occasion” — but still left many questions unanswered.
Voting 5-4 in each of two decisions, justices threw out part of a law that denied hundreds of federal benefits to same-sex couples and cleared the way for gays and lesbians to once again marry in California.
At the same time, the high court declined to make a sweeping statement on the broader issue of same-sex marriage rights nationwide, rejecting California’s same-sex marriage ban but leaving intact laws banning such marriages in 35 other states. New Jersey has civil unions for same-sex couples, while New Mexico’s marriage law is gender neutral and recognizes valid marriages performed in other states.

Written by Michael Pearson. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Gay divorce, the next frontier

Margaret Klaw is a founding partner of Berner Klaw & Watson, a law firm in Philadelphia, and author of the forthcoming book “Keeping It Civil: The Case of the Pre-Nup and the Porsche & Other True Accounts from the Files of a Family Lawyer.”

When the Supreme Court ruled a key aspect of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional last month, it made a life-changing difference to many married same-sex couples, who will now be entitled to all the federal benefits they were previously denied. But those gay couples whose marriages aren’t working out remain in legal purgatory.

Divorce is solely the province of state law. If a couple who were wed in New York but live in Philadelphia want to be divorced, well, they can’t be. Not only is same-sex marriage prohibited in Pennsylvania — the court’s landmark ruling in United States v. Windsor does nothing to change that — but Pennsylvania’s “mini DOMA,” passed in 1996, provides that such a marriage entered into elsewhere is “void in this Commonwealth.” And if Pennsylvania doesn’t recognize you as being married, its courts have no authority to divorce you.

Written by Margaret Klaw. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com