By the numbers: Same-sex marriage

(CNN) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave proponents of same-sex marriage two major victories — striking down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied the same benefits provided to heterosexual spouses to legally married same-sex couples, and allowing same-sex marriages to resume in California.
Same-sex marriage rulings hailed as historic victory
DOMA ruling has financial impact
Poll: Majority backs same-sex marriage
Here’s a look at same-sex marriage in the United States, by the numbers:

Written by Caitlin Stark and Amy Roberts. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

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

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

Blogging lawyers–with an agenda–as journalists

Blogging lawyers, even with their own agenda, are part of today’s journalism.

America news media, including legal media, with eroding business models are cutting back on coverage. Papers are shrinking or going away. National TV coverage of breaking events is becoming more limited – as evidenced by CNN and Fox running tapped shows last night when news of 19 firefighters dying is breaking on Twitter. Sports teams and leagues are hiring their own bloggers, having found that papers no longer employed reporters to travel with their teams. And ALM, the leading legal periodical publisher, has a fraction of the publications it once had.

Who’s to fill the gap? In the case of the law, it’s lawyers who blog.

I am not talking of lawyers with blogs, some with ghost writers, looking to garner search rankings and shameless attention. I am talking of real lawyers offering first hand insight, news, and commentary in a genuine and authentic fashion. I am talking of lawyers who are uniquely qualified to report and offer commentary on areas in which they have deep expertise.

We ought not be alarmed by getting news and commentary from folks with an agenda, as many lawyers will have. The agenda could be advancing a cause or to enhance their own reputation and build relationships in an effort to drive business their way. Who cares? Lawyers didn’t hire PR professionals to get their names and quotes in the paper and on TV absent an ulterior motive.

Written by Kevin O’Keefe. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Denied divorce, some same-sex couples ‘wed-locked’

(CNN) — On her wedding day, Jessica Port wore a tan and black dress to match the tan button-down shirt and patterned necktie of her spouse-to-be, Virginia Anne Cowan.
They had taken a vacation from their home in Washington D.C. to a San Francisco courthouse in 2008 to get married, since California had recently begun to allow same-sex marriages.
“We were just like every other couple, we really thought that this was it,” said Port, 30, who works as a counselor at a special education school. “We had nothing to worry about. We were just focused on marriage and future.”
They had no idea that one day their marriage would fall apart, and that their divorce would lead to a radical change in the legal status of same-sex marriages in Maryland.
Same-sex couples can currently marry in six states and the District of Columbia, and there’s no residency requirement to marry. That means that couples who live outside of those states can just pop in for a day to get married and then go home. There are also five states that allow civil unions.

Written by Elizabeth Landau. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website