“I think it will be one more statement that people who love each other and want to live together should be able to enjoy the blessings and the strife in the marriage relationship,” Ginsburg said.
She added: “It won’t be long before there will be another” performed by a justice. Indeed, she has another planned for September.
Like and share this graphic showing how we’ll win the freedom to marry nationwide. By winning a critical mass of states and public support, we can create the best climate for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage nationwide. Find out more at http://www.freedomtomarry.org/roadmap
Colombia will see its first same-sex marriage this month, thanks to a lower court ruling from a judge in Bogotá recognizing the validity of same-sex unions for the first time ever. The couple, identified as Diego and Juan, will marry on July 24.
Same-sex couples made a new push for marriage rights after June 20, 2013. That was the deadline set by a 2011 ruling from the Constitutional Court for the country’s congress to pass legislation granting same-sex couples equal rights.
Proposed marriage legislation died this spring in the Senate, which meant that notaries and judges were empowered by the court’s 2011 order to start solemnizing same-sex unions after the deadline passed. But ambiguity in the ruling sparked a new fight over whether these couples were entitled to “matrimony” or an entirely new kind of relationship reserved only for same-sex couples.
Advocates expect the country’s Constitutional Court will take up the issue of marriage equality again soon. Here’s hoping for a victory, and congrats to the happy couple!
Queer African American Women and the History of Marriage
This photo and headline accompanied an article from the October 15, 1970 issue of Jet magazine. They reveal that long before the recent struggle for marriage equality began, African American women who love women have engaged with the institution of marriage and have fought to make it their own.
Edna Knowles, on the left, and Peaches Stevens were wed in Liz’s Mark III Lounge, a gay bar on the South Side of Chicago, “before a host of friends and well wishers.” The article ended by noting, “although the duo has a type of ‘marriage license’ in their possession, the state’s official marriage license bureau reported it had no record of their license.” This ending serves to remind Jet readers that Knowles and Stevens’ union was not legitimate in the eyes of the state, as does the use of quotes around the word “married” in the headline.
However, decades prior to this bold public display of queer affection, African American female couples in New York strategized alternative ways to obtain marriage licenses in the 1920s and 30s:
“Marriage ceremonies were held with large wedding parties which included several bridesmaids, attendants, and other wedding party members. Actual marriage licenses were obtained by either masculinizing the first name, or having a gay male surrogate obtain the license for the marrying couple. These marriage licenses were placed on file with the New York City Marriage Bureau.” - Luvenia Pinson, “The Black Lesbian: Times Past-Time Present,” Womanews, May 1980 p. 8.
Also during the 1930s, popular performer Gladys Bentley was making a living singing bawdy tunes and playing piano late into the night at various clubs all over New York, including one named after her.
Bentley married her white girlfriend in Atlantic City in a ceremony to which she invited friends in the entertainment industry:
“Columnist Louis Sobol remembered Bentley coming over to his table one night and whispering, ‘I’m getting married tomorrow and you’re invited.’ When Sobol asked who the lucky man was to be, she giggled and replied, ‘Man? Why boy you’re crazy. I’m marryin’ ——’ and she named another woman singer.” - Eric Garber, “Gladys Bentley: The Bulldagger Who Sang the Blues,” Out/Look, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1988, pp. 52-61.These examples show some of the various ways queer African American women have created public rituals to express their relationships and have therefore insisted on their rights to full citizenship, many decades prior to the current struggle for marriage equality.- Cookie
Rep. Jerrold Nadler introduced a bill to the House that would allow Americans to sponsor their same-sex partners for legal residency in the United States.
Since the United States doesn’t recognize same-sex unions thanks to DOMA, the Uniting American Families Act would essentially give gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples in terms of immigration. Different versions of the bill have been introduced since 2000.
The UAFA would add the term “permanent partner” to the Immigration and Naturalization Act, which currently only applies to married heterosexual couples. A “permanent partner” is described as an adult who is in a committed, intimate relationship with another adult in “which both parties intend a lifelong commitment.”
Right now, at least 31 other countries, including Brazil, Denmark, Hungary, and the United Kingdom, allow residents to sponsor partners for legal immigration.
“Today, thousands of committed same-sex couples are needlessly suffering because of unequal treatment under our immigration laws, and this is an outrage,” Nadler said in a statement Tuesday. “Our Constitution guarantees that no class of people will be singled out for differential treatment — and LGBT Americans must not be excluded from that guarantee. Moreover, any serious legislative proposal for comprehensive immigration reform absolutely must include gay and lesbian couples and their families.”
This is such a huge, necessary step. I truly hope it passes; this will change thousands, if not millions of lives.
The Senate in Illinois will take up its session this afternoon, meaning the bill for marriage equality in the state could come as early as today or tomorrow. According to the Windy City Times, Sen. Heather Steans says the vote will be close, but she’s hoping it will pass the Senate soon so it can be sent to the House early next week.
Steans said the bill should be in committee tomorrow evening by 5:30 p.m. She intends to call the bill to a vote on Thursday, she said.
But anything is possible, she added. Several lawmakers have been on vacation for the holidays, and absences may delay a vote.
Both the House and Senate have until Jan. 9, when new legislators are sworn in, to pass a bill. Failing that deadline, LGBT supporters would have to begin lobbying efforts with a fresh set of lawmakers next session. Still, they would be doing so with a Democratic supermajority.
Hey, Illinoisans: contact lawmakers and ask them to support this bill! Marriage equality is within reach — let’s do it!