Politics

outfront Minnesota, gay marriage legalized
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
A couple hold hands as they look for a quiet spot to hold their wedding at City Hall in San
Francisco.

Push for Gay Marriage Anticipated in 2009

December 24, 2008 07:27 AM
by Rachel Balik
Despite the setbacks of 2008, state activists in Minnesota, California and Arizona are rededicating themselves to legalizing gay marriage as legal battles begin.

Minnesota Makes Gay Marriage Priority for 2009 and Beyond

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Months after three states voted to ban same-sex marriage, other states are beginning to weigh in on the issue. Minnesota State Senator John Marty will introduce a bill to legalize gay marriage.

Meanwhile, OutFront, Minnesota’s largest activist group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights, is developing a more long-term approach. Believing that a gay marriage law will take a few years to pass successfully, they plan to launch a multiyear education initiative in 2009 to gain gradual grassroots support for the issue.

Related Topic: The Fight Against Other States’ Gay Marriage Bans

Opponents of Proposition 8, California’s new ban on same-sex marriage, are also gearing up for an intensive battle to regain the right to marry that the Supreme Court granted gays in June 2008.

California State Attorney General Jerry Brown recently reversed his position on the issue; on Friday he filed documents with the state Supreme Court requesting that the gay marriage ban be overturned. However, those seeking to get rid of Prop 8 have a long road ahead of them.

Those who are pessimistic about reversing the proposition say that overturning the ban will require going against 150 years of precedent. Reversing a law that has been passed is considerably more difficult than preventing it from passing in the first place. Rob Epstein for the Huffington Post criticized the approach that the opposition took during the election, citing the lack of grassroots community outreach as the main reason why Proposition 8 ended up passing.

A similar story is playing out in Arizona, where Election Day voters passed Proposition 102, a ban on gay marriage. Some gay rights activists are already setting goals for 2010. A gay rights’ expert has come from England to help start an initiative in Arizona that will get civil unions on the ballot. The new Arizona chapter of Marriage Equality USA is planning to fight for same-sex marriage. However, other Arizona activists remain cautious, believing that the current political and economic climate will not support a reversal of the gay marriage ban.
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