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The US Supreme Court is set to issue two rulings by the end of June that could reshape the definition of marriage in the United States as it rules on the constitutionality of a ban on gay marriage in California and a federal law that keeps same-sex couples from receiving benefits.
The issue is one of complex legal issues involving state’s rights and freedom from discrimination that could defy the usual balance of liberals and conservatives on the court’s roster. It will have a profound effect on the country’s millions of same-sex couples and their families who hope to gain the legal, financial and social advantages of being legally wedded.
The court is considering two laws, the federal Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by Congress in 1996, and California’s Proposition 8, passed by voters in 2008, both of which specify that the institution of marriage be reserved for a man and a woman.
DOMA also denies federal benefits, such as social security and tax advantages, to same sex couple who are legally married in the states where they reside.
The top US court will no doubt rely heavily on legal theory to arrive at its decision, but it must decide amid the backdrop of fast changing public attitudes that have transformed the consensus over gay marriage even since California passed its ban on same sex unions four and a half years ago.
Back then the issue was controversial even in liberal california, and the ban passed only with the massive injection of funds by outside conservative groups, which used scare tactics about gay culture to win a narrow majority.
Now it’s clear that California has a strong majority in favour of gay marriage, with 58 per cent of voters believing it should be legal, compared with 36 per cent opposed, according to a Los Angeles Times poll published this month. Other states are moving in the same direction.
A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center indicated growing acceptance of gay lifestyles. For the first time in Pew polling, just over half of Americans favoured allowing gay men and lesbians to marry legally, while 60 per cent said that homosexuality should be accepted by society rather than discouraged.
The poll indicates how significantly public opinion has changed on the issue in recent years. In 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a 57 per cent to 35 per cent margin. Now the figures are 51 per cent in favour and 42 per cent opposed.
Politicians are moving along with the tide. While US President Barack Obama’s views on the issue during his first term might have been oblique, he is now clearly in favour of gay marriage. In the US Senate, 54 out of 100 members, including two Republicans have said they favour gay marriage.
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By Edith Honan NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nearly three-quarters of Americans, including a majority of those who personally object to extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, say legal recognition of gay marriage is “inevitable,” according to a survey by the Pew Research Center released on Thursday. The survey found that just over half of Americans favor giving gays and lesbians the right to …
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Gay Marriage Support Hits All-Time High!
Gay marriage support is at an all time high among young adults! A new Pew Research poll finds that 70% of millenials support same-sex marriage. That's more t…
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WASHINGTON (AP) The nation’s views on gay marriage are more favorable in large part because of a shift in attitudes among those who know someone who is gay or became more accepting as they got older of gays and lesbians, according to a national survey.
The Pew Research Center poll also finds that a large group of younger adults who tend to be more open to gay rights is driving the numbers upward. The issue has grabbed the national spotlight recently with the public embrace of same-sex marriage by Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.
“We’ve certainly seen the trend over the last ten years,” Michael Dimock, director of the center, said Wednesday. “But we’re now really in a position to talk about the combination of generational change and personal change that have sort of brought the country to where it is today.”
Overall, the poll finds 49 percent of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, and 44 percent opposed to the idea. That’s more people now favoring gay marriage than opposing it. A decade ago 58 percent opposed it and a third supported it.
The 49 percent who now support same-sex marriage includes 14 percent who said they have changed their minds.
When asked why, almost one-third say it’s because they know someone who is gay a family member, friend or acquaintance. A quarter said their personal views have changed as they thought more about the issue or just because they’ve grown older and more accepting.
One of those polled said: “My best friend from high school is a gay man, and he deserves the same rights,” adding that his friend and a partner “are in a committed relationship.”
Another person attributed the shift in attitude to “old fashioned ignorance,” and said “I grew up a little bit.”
Just 2 percent overall said their views have shifted against gay marriage.
Another major factor in the long-term shift in the public’s view: the so-called millennial generation of young adults born since 1980_today’s 18- to 32-year-olds who entered adulthood in the new millennium. The survey finds 70 percent of millennials favor same-sex marriage.
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Movie icon Clint Eastwood who famously mocked Barack Obama at the Republican convention last summer has joined the President in supporting same-sex marriage.
No, Mr. Eastwood he of that empty chair used as a prop in Tampa, Fla. has not shucked his generally conservative ways. But he has joined with more than 100 other conservatives and Republicans who recently came out for gay marriage, among them former governors, GOP administration senior officials, and prominent right-leaning pundits.
In fact, as Mike Flynn at Breitbart.com pointed out in first reporting Eastwoods move, the actor and Oscar-winning director is as much a political libertarian as anything else.
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But the news does indicate an important shift among conservatives on this hot-button social issue, particularly among younger voters for whom same-sex marriage is no big deal a political demographic the GOP badly needs to woo. Or as the Pew Research Center puts it, Millennials are almost twice as likely as the Silent Generation to support same-sex marriage.
And if nothing else, it may signal a tipping point in public attitudes just as the US Supreme Court is about to decide two critical cases: the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Californias Prop. 8 banning gay marriage.
Polls indicate that the country is evolving on the issue at least as rapidly as Obama last year said he was. In California, a new Field Poll has California voters approving of same-sex marriage by a margin of nearly two-to-one (61-32 percent).
This represents a complete reversal in views about the issue from 1977, when The Field Poll conducted its first survey on this topic, and is the highest level of support ever measured by the poll, the organization reported this week. Approval of allowing marriage between two people of the same gender includes majorities of men and women, voters in all racial and ethnic groups, and Californians living in each of the major regions of the state. The only subgroups where majorities remain opposed are registered Republicans and voters who classify themselves as conservative in politics.
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The Republicans who filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the DOMA case before the Supreme Court examined their deeply-held convictions about the basis for marriage. In the end, they concluded, There is no legitimate, fact-based reason for denying same-sex couples the same recognition in law that is available to opposite-sex couples, and they found that marriage is strengthened, not undermined, and its benefits and importance to society as well as the support and stability it gives to children and families promoted, not undercut, by providing access to civil marriage for same-sex couples.
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Extreme Option Is Openly Floated in Ruling Party Ranks
Extreme No More: Jewish settlers march in the West Bank city of Hebron. Once an extremist option, annexation of the occupied territory is now gaining support on Israels right wing.
Israels prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been conspicuously silent during the election campaign regarding his plans for the Israeli-occupied West Bank. But some of his close associates have been very open about theirs.
Despite their reputation as two of Netanyahus favorites in the Likud party, Yuli Edelstein, a Cabinet minister, and Zeev Elkin, chairman of the Likuds Knesset coalition, have called for gradually annexing the West Bank. And while they have left the details vague, they apparently foresee some Palestinians who live there becoming Israeli citizens.
Though Netanyahu has supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2009, the ideas of his two close associates have significant, if still minority, support within the Likuds Knesset ranks. The annexation move also has the full and vigorous support of the Jewish Home party, the Orthodox Zionist party that is expected to emerge from the January 22 elections as the second-largest party on the right and at least the third largest in the Knesset.
When the right-wing activist group Women in Green organized a special pre-election sovereignty conference, Edelstein, who is minister of Information and Diaspora, and Elkin addressed the 800-strong audience from the podium. The Jerusalem event was Women in Greens third sovereignty conference but the first that has attracted ruling Likud party members of this stature.
Polling commissioned by the group and conducted ahead of the conference by The New Wave Research, one of Israels largest polling companies, concluded that 73% of Israelis who consider themselves right-wing support annexation. Only 9% opposed the idea.
Elkin declared that he considers the interest in annexation a revolutionary trend. Stating that Israeli policy toward the West Bank softened in the early 1990s, he commented, I think the public in the State of Israel today is mature enough to see that conducting ourselves in such a way has brought nothing positive and has brought many problems.
Edelstein suggested that Israel would assert Jewish claims over the West Bank if it annexed, sending out an important message to the international community. It would put an end to that discussion, he said, referring to any contestation that Jews have a connection to the territory.
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Nearly two-thirds of British people support plans to introduce gay marriage, according to a poll published on Thursday which showed growing backing for the reform.
Some 62 percent of those questioned for the poll in the Guardian newspaper said same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, against 31 percent who oppose the change and seven percent who were undecided.
The poll also showed that a majority of supporters of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party back the change.
Cameron has been a strong supporter of the legislation despite opposition from Conservative backbench lawmakers.
Some 52 percent of those who voted Conservative in 2010 backed gay marriage, against 42 percent who opposed it.
The poll showed stronger support for gay marriage than previous surveys, including a poll in March which found 45 percent in favour and 36 percent opposed.
The coalition government is committed to legislating on gay marriage by the 2015 general election, and a bill is expected to be submitted next month.
It says it will not force religious bodies to carry out services and the new law will make it illegal for the Church of England and its counterpart in Wales to offer ceremonies.
The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, used his Christmas Day message to denounce the plans as “shambolic”.
The ICM Research poll interviewed 1,002 adults on December 19-23.
Will The US Supreme Court Legalize Gay Marriage?
Should the US Supreme Court rule on an issue which has traditionally been left to the states? Does the federal gov't have the right to deny benefits to same sex couples who are legally married in the eyes of the state? Like us on FaceBook: www.facebook.com Add us on Google +: plus.google.com Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com The Road to Marriage Equality 1964 — Interracial Marriage ruled on by SCOTUS (Loving v Virginia), rejecting state bans on it as unconstitutional 1967 — SCOTUS ruled that homosexuals were “persons afflicted with psychopathic personality” 1996 — DOMA passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton 2003 — Massachusetts legalized same sex marriage 2011 — Obama Administration announces it will stop defending DOMA 2012 — Both President Obama and Vice President Biden publicly supported same sex marriage 2012 — Washington, Maine, and Maryland joined Massachusetts, California (briefly) and New York in legalizing same sex marriage 2012 — From a poll taken by the Pew Research Center, 48% of Americans support same sex marriageFrom:sexualfuturistViews:0 2ratingsTime:23:40More inPeople Blogs
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York University Tamil Students' Association for Jaffna Students
On December 4th 2012 York University Tamil Student's Association conducted a massive awareness campaign called Circle of Solidarity in Vari Hall at 2pm. Tamil Student's association jointly did it with Students against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), United South Asians at York (USAY), Indian Cultural Association (ICA) and York University Malayalees' Students Association (YUMSA) . Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) and the Middle Eastern Students' Association showed a solid presence. All Organizations along with the Tamils students association had the following demands: 1) The release of the four Student Political Prisoners: Paralingam Tharshananth (Secretary of the Jaffna Students Union) Ganesamurthy Sudarsan (Medical Faculty Student) Kangasundaraswamy Janamejeyanth (Arts Union President) Sanmugam Solomon (Final year Science Faculty Student) 2) Cease all forms of intimidation and violence against Tamil students, and end the occupation of Jaffna University. 3) Immediately cease all form of oppressive and genocidal government/military operations in the Tamil Homeland. The moment of silence was performed before the circle started in Vari Hall. The students conducted the campaign in front of Vari Hall until a confrontation with the security took place and the event moved to the front of Vari Hall. Later it moved to the student center where students chanted “Free Jaffna Students”, “What do we want justice when do we want it now”, “attack on one student is attack on all …From:YorkUniversityTSAViews:0 0ratingsTime:04:46More inNonprofits Activism
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Poll suggests most voters don’t share support of gay marriage Research also suggests PM’s support is cynical attempt to look ‘trendy’
By Tim Shipman
PUBLISHED: 19:38 EST, 20 November 2012 | UPDATED: 19:40 EST, 20 November 2012
Voters are turning away from the Tories because of David Camerons support for gay marriage, according to a poll.
The finding casts doubt on the Prime Minister and George Osbornes claims that backing same-sex weddings will boost Conservative chances of securing a majority at the next election.
A ComRes survey published today found that 62 per cent of voters and 68 per cent of Tories believe marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman.
PM David Cameron (left, pictured yesterday) and George Osbourne both support gay marriage, but a poll suggests voters do not agree
In a further blow for the PM, 65 per cent agree that his plans to legalise gay marriage are more to do with trying to make the Conservative Party look trendy and modern than a matter of conviction.
One in four voters says gay marriage could sway their vote at the next election. But while 7 per cent say they are more likely to vote Tory, 18 per cent more than twice as many say they are less likely.
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