Thursday, January 27, 2011

News sweep: marriage update

The fight for marriage equality is heating up across the country! New key players are taking a stand, and things look promising for supporters in a number of states.

Iowa Democrats may have lost the House, but they’ve maintained a firm hold on the Senate. Chairman Mike Gronstal previously pledged never to allow any proposals to repeal marriage equality to even make it to a vote, and today Senate Democrats defeated a Republican attempt to suspend the Senate rule that prevents such a vote on marriage from taking place without the approval of Majority Leader Gronstal.

The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act was introduced in the Maryland State Senate last week; a corresponding bill is expected to be taken up in the House. With the recently enlarged Democratic majority in both state houses, the chances of achieving marriage for same-sex couples in Maryland look very good.

Though New Hampshire Republicans might have the voting power to repeal the 2009 marriage equality law, House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt has asked that the repeal bill be held until 2012. Bettencourt wishes for the state to focus on budget issues this year.

Rhode Island Democrats have introduced marriage equality bills in both chambers, in hopes that their maintained majorities along with the support of the newly elected Governer Lincoln Chafee will finally allow the bill to come to a vote. Unfortunately, Republican Senate President Teresa Pavia Weed remains opposed to marriage equality.

A Quinnipiac University poll released today has shown that 57 percent of New Yorkers support allowing same-sex couples to marry.

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