On Thursday I reported that a group of same-sex couples were going to protest Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban by strolling into City Hall to request a marriage license. The whole thing happened this morning, and this is what NBC 10 reports happened to one of those couples, Bob and Bill Sullivan of South Philadelphia:
UPDATE [2/15/2014, 2:05 p.m.): Just got this email update from Bill Sullivan: "We rescheduled the event for Tue., Feb. 18, at 10 a.m. We're going to room 413 for the license at 11 a.m."
UPDATE [2/13/2014, 9:02 p.m.): This event has been cancelled due to weather. Stay tuned to G Philly for updates on when it will be rescheduled.
Tomorrow — on Valentine’s Day, if you’re not keeping track — a group of same-sex couples will convene at City Hall to request marriage licenses.
One of those couples, Bill Sullivan, and his partner of 20 years, Bob, made history when they became the very first same-sex couple to marry in Vermont in 2009. They lived there for a few years as husband and husband before returning to Philadelphia, where they both grew up. “We were never political people,” he says. “But when we moved back to Pennsylvania our marriage became nullified. That’s when we decided to get active.”
The Equality Forum is taking advantage of Valentine’s Day this year to raise awareness and funds around an issue that’s particularly paramount to Executive Director Malcolm Lazin: marriage recognition.
The local LGBT civil rights organization is throwing a Valentine’s Day Ball in support of Palladino v. Corbett, a federal lawsuit initiated by the Equality Forum that asks the state of Pennsylvania to recognize same-sex marriages that were performed in marriage equality states.
A lot’s been happening on the national gay-marriage front this year, and on first appearance it may not all seem completely rosy. First, the Supreme Court granted Utah’s request to temporarily block same-sex marriages after they were legalized there at the end of 2013. Then we got our hopes up about Oklahoma when a judge ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. But she said gay couples there couldn’t marry until a decision was heard in Utah. Not all great news for the least patient among us, but, as SCOTUSblog points out, ”The ruling [in Utah] can be interpreted as an indication that the court wants to have further exploration in lower courts of the basic constitutional question of state power to limit marriage to a man and a woman.”
The Week identifies four of the most pivotal cases in those lower courts that we should all keep on our radar, and one of them is Pennsylvania. Here’s what’s said about us:
Will Virginia be the first Southern state to legalize same-sex marriage? Big news coming out of Old Dominion suggests it just may be. The Week reports:
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office said Thursday he would stop defending the state’s ban on gay marriage against challenges in federal court because he had concluded that it was unconstitutional. Herring spokesman Michael Kelly said the state — a battleground in the fight over same-sex marriage — would instead side with plaintiffs trying to get the ban struck down. Herring’s decision came a string of victories for gay marriage supporters, including the rejection by federal judges of bans in Utah and Oklahoma.
Starting at 7 p.m. tonight, State Reps. Mike Schlossberg and Brian Sims will host a “Twitter Town Hall” on LGBT equality in Pennsylvania. You can tweet your questions to them with the hashtag #PaEquality. The reps. say they’re ready to discuss everything — from PA marriage equality news to the status of HB 300, the bill that would make it illegal for a PA business to fire someone because of their sexual identity or orientation. So let the questions fly.
Bad news. Several media outlets are reporting that the Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage must stop in Utah “while the state’s appeal works its way through courts.”
But don’t get too down in the dumps about it. Queerty reminds us that this is similar to what happened with California’s Prop 8, which, as we all know eventually had a positive outcome:
On Deadspin today, Chris Kluwe, the NFL punter who was fired from the Minnesota Vikings last year, shares a fascinating story in which he finally admits that he was probably let go for his outspoken support of marriage equality.
The story begins, he writes, when Minnesotans for Marriage Equality approached him about joining their campaign to defeat a proposed amendment that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman in Minnesota. After clearing it with his team, he agreed to get on board as a spokesman. He made several radio appearances, attended a few dinners and penned a letter blasting Maryland delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. for stifling the free speech of marriage-equality advocate Brendon Ayanbadejo. That’s when things started to get juicy:
Over the weekend a troupe of Boy Scouts in Utah delivered pizza to hundreds of gay couples who were waiting in a long line to get their marriage licenses at a county clerk’s office in Salt Lake City. The boys (some clad in rainbow scaves!) also handed out slices to couples waiting in the hallways and county workers who had skipped lunch to stay around to process the licenses.
Photos of the act of goodwill were posted on Twitter and have since made their way around the web. Let’s hope they caught the eye of some of the BSA leadership (and Phil Robertson!), because this is what being a good scout is all about. Someone get these boys an “I’m Awesome” badge pronto!