Marriage Equality in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s first openly gay Assemblyman Reed Gusciora may have introduced legislation this week that would put same-sex marriage on the ballot as early as next year, but leaders in the Garden State seem to be at odds over whether voters should decide the fate of what many are calling a civil rights issue.

That’s not stopping LGBT groups and other marriage equality supporters from using some of the momentum of last month’s successes in states like Maryland and Maine to help move the issue forward, even if some legislators seem to be dragging their heels.

And while Gov. Chris Christie says he would veto the legislation, a majority of Jersey voters say they support gay marriage rights. A recent poll has support at over half (53 percent) with as many as 72 percent of voters saying they would like to go to the polls to decide the issue.

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What We Love: Prop Love

Put a ring on it (courtesy of Prop Love)

Harvey Milk once said that “hope will never be silent.” That’s likely what they had in mind when they created Proposition Love, an LGBT jewelry company that has partnered with several celebs to create some unique wedding bands.

“On June 24, 2011, same-sex marriage became legal in New York,” explains the company. “This historic moment inspired us to develop a fine jewelry collection including wedding bands called ‘Proposition Love.’ We have incorporated a triangle into all our designs as a symbol of the ongoing gay rights movement.”

And if you’re thinking about tying the knot anytime soon – and you’re a fan of, say, Kathy Griffin – you’re in luck. The funny girl designed a 14K gold and silver ring with an XOXO design and K/Triangle motif.

Other celebs on board to support marriage equality with their own rings include Melissa Rivers (we bet Joan’s proud), Tori Spelling and Perez Hilton, among others.

Click here to find out how you can bid on these star-studded rings.

This is What Marriage Equality Looks Like

The Seattle Times compiled clips from some of the first same-sex marriages taking place in Washington State this month ever since voters legalized marriage equality at the polls. Whether it’s two guys with ZZ Top beards, young women wearing their white wedding dresses or senior citizens who have waited a lifetime to say “I do,” this is what marriage equality looks like in America.

Check it out:

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Court to Hear Two Marriage Cases

Photo by Think Stock

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court made two important announcements that could impact the fuiture of marriage equality in this country. The first was an order granting review in the Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Brown) in California that challenges Proposition 8 which prevents same-sex couples from marrying. The court is tasked with deciding whether Prop 8 violates the 14th Amendment to the Constitution concerned with depriving people life and liberty.

It all started three years ago when two California couples, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, argued that the Prop 8 ruling interfered with their freedom to marry. And by February of this year, the Court of Appeals issued a landmark ruling calling Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The argument isn’t an easy one, though the American Foundation of Equal Rights (AFER) is the sole sponsor of the case.

“Proposition 8 has already been declared unconstitutional in Federal District Court and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Now the Supreme Court has an opportunity to do the same and send a resounding message of hope to LGBT young people from coast to coast that they have the same dignity and same opportunities for the future as everyone else,” said AFER co-founder Chad Griffin. “I believe our cherished constitutional principles will win the day and that the Court will uphold the fundamental right that all Americans can marry the one they love.”

What Do People Really Think of Marriage Equality?

For months now, Julie Winokur, producer and co-founder of Talking Eyes Media, has been traveling the country to talk to real Americans about what they think about everything from gay marriage to taxes and abortion in a special web series Bring it to the Table. In case you’re wondering where the title comes from, Winokur literally brings a table with her to get a sense of what people really think about some of the most hot-button issues of our time.

Here’s an example:

Can you be religious and support gay marriage? from Talking Eyes Media on Vimeo.

J Crew Profiles First Gay Wedding

Benjamin and Ray have become the first gay couple that J Crew has profiled in its online “Wedding Album.” The two men tied the knot recently in an 11th-century chateau in the south of France – both donning their signature J Crew Ludlow tuxes. In the interview, the two say they first met in Hudson River Park on a sunny day in New York City – a meeting “that changed our lives forever.”

The happy couple (courtesy of J Crew)

Click here for more about their wedding.


Gay Men – They’re Coming for Your Girlfriends!

Stereotypes aside (because there are plenty here), the guys at College Humor are taking a novel approach to the gay marriage debate in a funny new video supporting marriage equality. In it, several good-looking gay guys make the case as to why they’ll be able to steal your girlfriend, straight guys who are against same-sex marriage. They have a laundry list of reasons, like:

They’re better looking than you.

They’ll go to the theatre, gallery or other cultural event at the drop of a hat.

And they’re down for that manly threesome you’ve been cringing about for years.

Heck, even the in-laws love them.

Even if we know that it couldn’t possibly be true (um, right?), it’s downright hilarious.

Check it out:

Starbucks in the Hot Seat?

Anti-gay groups attack Starbucks over same-sex marriage support

We don’t usually see anti-gay groups like National Organization for Marriage (NOM) siding with religious zealots in the Middle East. But in a first, NOM says it will attack Starbucks overseas for supporting marriage equality in the U.S.

During the most recent election season, the Seattle-based coffee giant publicly supported the gay marriage law up for vote in its home state – subsequently donating big bucks to help it pass in Washington (which it did). And this has enraged groups like NOM that have admittedly been on the LGBT attack way before gay marriage ended up on the ballot.

It seems as though marriage equality success has really fueled NOM’s fire as its head honcho Brian Brown (he first created the “Dump Starbucks” campaign) promised to use Middle Eastern extremism to boycott the brand in countries that are, well, less optimistic about LGBT rights.

“In Qatar in the Middle East, we’ve begun working to make sure that there’s some price to be paid for this,” he said. “These are not countries that look kindly on same-sex marriage. And this is where Starbucks wants to expand, as well as India.”

And while Brown and his misinformed cronies at NOM seem to think that most Starbucks patrons believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, the fact is marriage equality passed at the polls for the first time, suggesting that American voters are a lot more enlightened – and perhaps quite thirsty for another venti latte.

1 in 5 Gay Couples Live Where They Can Marry

Photo by Think Stock

When Maryland, Maine and Washington voted this week to recognize marriage for same-sex couples – and Minnesota voted to reject an amendment outlawing it – the lives of more than 35,000 couples changed. Using data from the 2010 Census, the Williams Institute estimates that one in five same-sex couples now live in states where they can legally marry. And considering that many LGBT people didn’t reveal their status on the census, this number may actually underestimate the impact the new laws have on the LGBT community as a whole.

But after Tuesday’s vote, the group says same-sex couples can now marry in nine states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia. And as a result, 20 percent of same-sex couples now live in states where they can marry. Overall, 16 percent of the U.S. population also lives in states where same-sex couples can marry – which is expected to have a positive impact on the way people perceive marriage equality.

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