Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Marriage Equality Case

What could arguably be the biggest history-making event of 2015 begins tomorrow, when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments over the issue of marriage equality in the United States. The American Foundation for Equal Rights’ Matt Baume put together this snappy video to let you know what to expect, which is basically not a whole lot just yet.

He explains that there will be arguments presented by both sides of the case: The states (Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee) who argue that they have the right to deny same-sex marriage, and several married couples from those states who say their right to marry is protected by the Constitution.” The two questions the Supreme Court will need to answer are (1) whether the Fourteenth Amendment gives states the right to ban gay people from marrying and (2) whether the fourteenth amendment grants states the right to refuse same-sex marriages performed in other states.

When the arguments are finished, the Supreme Court will post audio recordings on their website so we can all hear what was said; and the the Supreme Court will take some time to weigh the comments. It’s projected we’ll have a ruling sometime in late-June, which, coincidentally is Pride month. “It’s impossible to say exactly how the Court will rule, but you might want to prepare your wedding invitations now—just in case,” says Baume, with a twinkle in his eye.

Stay tuned to the Internet for any updates!

WATCH: Cory Booker Argue for Same-Sex Marriage on Senate Floor

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Shutterstock.com

Just two weeks from the day the Supreme Court will hear arguments about making marriage equality legal nationwide, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has taken to the floor of the U.S. Senate to argue the importance of same-sex marriage to his colleagues.

“We cannot fail now. Love is on the line. Citizenship is on the line,” Booker said on the Senate floor. “We cannot deny the worth of one American without denying the worth dignity and strength of our nation as a whole.”

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GAY NEWS FLASH: Presbyterian Church (USA) Changes Its Constitution to Embrace Same-Sex Marriage

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Shutterstock.com

The largest body of Presbyterians in the country, Presbyterian Church (USA), has voted to change the definition of marriage in its constitution to include same-sex couples. The Washington Post reports:

The 171 regional presbyteries (local leadership bodies within the PCUSA) have been voting on whether to change the wording to call marriage a contract “between a woman and a man” to being “between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.” On Tuesday, the denomination reached its needed majority of “yes” votes from at least 86 presbyteries to take effect. The change will be included in the church’s “Book of Order,” part of its constitution, taking effect on June 21.

The Presbyterian Church has a growing record of LGBT acceptance. Last June, as the Post points out, the Church voted to allow clergy to perform same-sex marriages. And right here in Philadelphia we have David Norse, who became the first openly gay man to be ordained Presbyterian minister in Philly. He continues to do a variety of outreach for the LGBT community through his work with Broad Street Ministry.

For more, check out the Post’s story here.

Gay Couple to Be Married On Mural Arts Love Train for the First Time

mural arts love train gay couple

Mural Arts‘ annual Love Train is gearing up to embark on its fifth and final journey on February 8th. The trek is a slow-speed, privately chartered tour of Steve Powers’ now-iconic Love Letter project on the Market-Frankford Line, and, as always, organizers are choosing one lucky local couple to be married on the tour. This year, however, there’s a little twist: To celebrate the first year of marriage equality in Pennsylvania, that lucky couple will be same-sex.

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IN THE WINGS: A Conversation with The Matter of Frank Schaefer Star Paul Kuhn

Paul headshotMy name is … Paul Kuhn. The “u” in Kuhn is supposed to have an umlaut over it, but I think that is way too pretentious. The only way I would do that is if i could utter more than one phrase in German, which I cannot. I do speak modern Greek, though.

I am … happiest when I am designing/building a set. I love acting but my greatest love is designing and building for Curio Theatre. I am a rabid recycler. Don’t leave a piece of wood or steel on the street because it will be on a set at Curio.

How would you describe The Matter of Frank Schaefer in one sentence? Raised with evangelical homophobic principals, a United Methodist minister transforms himself into an advocate for the LGBTQ community and challenges the bigotry of his own Church in an ecclesiastical court.

What’s your favorite thing about playing Frank Schaefer? My favorite part is that I got to hang around this man for over a year. I have never had this much insight into a character I am playing.

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GAY NEWS FLASH: Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Bans in Four States

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati voted to uphold Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee’s right to ban gay marriage. The New York Times has more:

By a two-to-one vote, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the right of states to ban same-sex marriage, overturning lower-court decisions in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that had found such restrictions to be unconstitutional.

The long-awaited decision, written by Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, an appointee of President George W. Bush, ​contradicted rulings by four other federal circuit courts and appeared almost certain to force the Supreme Court to decide the same-sex marriage issue for the nation.

The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that states have the right to set rules for marriage.

GOOD NEWS NUGGET: 60 Percent of Americans Will Soon Live in States With Marriage Equality

U.s. gay marriage map

Updated U.S. marriage equality map from Freedom to Marry.

Yesterday was a monumental day in the annals of LGBT history. The Supreme Court declined to hear cases from five states that had appealed marriage equality rulings in their state, which cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Utah, Indiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and our very first Southern state to allow gay marriage, Virginia.

Gay Star News reports that the ruling also clears the way for marriage in six other states, which would bring the total number of marriage equality states to—are you ready for this—30! That’s more than half!

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