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Stick A Fork In It?: Polls Demonstrate Growing Support For Marriage Equality And Against Discrimination

Public support for same-sex marriage continues to climb, and bills that would grant business owners the right to discriminate against LGBT clients are very unpopular,  according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.
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Equality On The March: Same-Sex Marriage Moves Forward But Still Faces Legal Challenges

A federal judge struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban last night, calling it an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. US District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen began her decision with a lengthy quote from Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, which struck down the state’s Jim Crow-era anti-miscegenation laws.  
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Justice For All: New Illinois Marriage Law Reminds Everyone That Houses Of Worship Can’t Be Forced To Marry Same-Sex Couples

Whoever named Illinois’ new same-sex marriage law may have tried to remind the Religious Right and Catholic hierarchy that performing any marriage ceremony is optional.

The measure, signed Wednesday by Gov. Pat Quinn, is called the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” and it specifies that no house of worship can be forced to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony if it doesn’t want to do so. Read more

‘God’s Law’ In Pennsylvania?: Keystone State Legislator Justifies Shouting Down Gay Colleague On Religious Grounds

One of the primary purposes of democratic assemblies is to allow a variety of voices to be heard, but that civics lesson seems to have escaped a Pennsylvania lawmaker who prevented one of his colleagues from speaking last week because allowing him to do so would have been “open rebellion against God’s law.Read more

Strike Down DOMA!: Federal Marriage Law Violates Church-State Separation

The Supreme Court heard arguments today about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that bars the federal government from recognizing the civil marriages of same-sex couples.

From all reports, things are looking pretty good. At least five justices seemed skeptical of DOMA’s constitutionality, including frequent swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy. Read more

Marriage Equality Is A Matter Of Simple Justice, Says Americans United

U.S. Is Not A Theocracy Where Sectarian Groups Dominate The Law, AU’s Lynn Tells Rally At Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court today is hearing oral arguments in a case about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law that bars federal government recognition of the marriages of same-sex couples. Yesterday, the justices heard arguments in a case dealing with Proposition 8, a California constitutional amendment that removed the right of same-sex couples to marry.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, gave the following address today at the “United for Marriage” rally in front of the Supreme Court building. Read more

Deal With The Devil: GOP Marriage To Religious Right Is Hard To Get Out Of

GOP Chairman Reince Priebus unveiled a new report yesterday outlining the things the Republican Party must do to improve its performance at the polls.

Priebus said Republicans have to reach out to women, Hispanics and other minorities and change their “narrow-minded” and “out of touch” image. One of the to-do items was to alter the GOP approach to social issues such as equality for gay people. Read more

Berry Good: Kentucky Poet Tackles Church, State And Marriage Equality

Wendell Berry is a Kentucky farmer, poet and essayist best known for his advocacy of responsible stewardship of the environment. He has offered compelling critiques of strip mining and other excesses of our over-industrialized, war-mad planet.

Some folks consider Berry a modern-day Henry David Thoreau, but last week he sounded more like an Old Testament prophet railing against injustice. Addressing a Baptist pastors’ conference at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., he took on the issue of marriage equality for gay couples. Read more

Among The ‘Teavangelicals’: Do Conservative Christians Dominate The Tea Party?

David Brody has christened them “Teavangelicals.”

There’s so much overlap between the Tea Party and conservative evangelicals that Brody, chief political correspondent for TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, came up with his own term for this particular political animal. Read more

Polling Place Piety: Does Casting Your Ballot In Church ‘Altar’ How You Vote?

Should churches serve as polling places? I don’t think so, and I’m not alone. 

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center has asked the North Carolina State Board of Elections to discontinue the use of houses of worship as voting sites. Read more