Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom, Fundamentally at Odds

In recent essays at Public Discourse, Mark Regnerus argued that same-sex marriage would harm marriage for everyone, and John Smoot argued that it would be bad for children in particular. Today I want to show the damage that redefining marriage does to religious freedom. At bottom, even the defense of religious liberty is a struggle over what is true and false about the meaning of marriage.

Should the truth about marriage—that it unites men and women so that children will have fathers and mothers—be defied by the laws of the land, we cannot expect the religious freedom of those who believe in that ancient truth to be respected under the new dominion of falsehood.

Written by Matthew Franck. 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

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

Both Sides on Same-Sex Marriage Issue Focus on the Next State Battlegrounds

With the expected addition of Californians after Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling, some 30 percent of Americans will live in states offering same-sex marriage.

Now the two sides of the marriage wars are gearing up to resume the costly state-by-state battles that could, in the hopes of each, spread marriage equality to several more states in the next few years, or reveal a brick wall of values that cannot be breached. There is wide agreement from both sides on where the next battlefields will be.

Proponents of same-sex marriage were already energized by victories in six states over the last year, bringing the total number authorizing such unions to 12 states, before California, and the District of Columbia. They are hoping for legislative victories this fall or next spring in Illinois and possibly New Jersey and Hawaii.

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

Same-Sex Marriage Doesn’t Affect Opposite-Sex Marriage Rates, Study Finds

The data sets are in, and marriage equality isn’t the harbinger of death for “traditional” marriage between men and women, according to a study from the School of Community Health at Portland State University published this week in PLOS ONE.
The study took the number of opposite-sex marriages from all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 1989 to 2009, as a percentage of the adult population in each state (somewhat poetically referred to as “those ‘at risk’ of marriage”), and compared it to opposite-sex marriage rates from the 13 states (and D.C.) where either same-sex marriage or same-sex unions became legal before 2009.
The researchers found that indeed, same-sex unions aren’t bringing down the venerated institution of marriage. The rates of opposite-sex marriage did not differ in states where same-sex marriage or civil union were legalized in the time period analyzed.

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

Justices appear hesitant as they hear arguments over same-sex marriage

Washington (CNN) — As partisans argued pointedly over same-sex marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court, justices inside hinted at their disparate views on the hot-button issue — though it’s far from clear how they will rule.
The stakes, though, are decidedly clearer. In the case argued Tuesday and another to be heard on Wednesday, the nine justices could fundamentally alter how American law treats marriage.
On one extreme, the court could extend a constitutional right for gays and lesbians to wed in all 50 states. On the other, it could deal a major setback to the gay rights movement. And then there are options in between.
“This was a deeply divided Supreme Court, and a court that seemed almost to be groping for an answer here,” said CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

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

Same Sex Marriage: 7 States Most Likely to Legalize Gay Marriage in 2013

As I mentioned in my previous article on gay marriage, states are moving toward legalizing gay marriage one step at a time. Maine recently reversed its previous ballot measure to legalize gay marriage in 2012, and several other states are moving in this direction. In fact, the pace of acceptance and legalization seems to be accelerating.

The LA Times has a very useful graphic with a slider, which shows how the country has evolved in its support for gay marriage. However, in 2013 there are seven states queued up to fully recognize gay marriage through legislation, ballot proposals, or court actions, including Illinois, Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and Minnesota.

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