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The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases that will determine the fate of same-sex marriage in America earlier this week. Their decision won’t come for months, but TIME magazine has declared victory in the eyes of the American public. Naturally, the publication featured two covers putting gay marriage front and center.

Photographer Peter Hapak
snapped real life couples for the cover and inside editorial. The one above featuring two men kissing are film and television set designer Eric LaBonté & his domestic partner Russell Hart, a hair salon owner. The two live in Los Angeles and have been together for seven years and engaged since 2010.

“My parents have been married for 45 years and I always knew that was something that I wanted. I want our children to say, ‘My daddies are married.’ We wanted to feel like a complete package.” – Eric LaBonté (right)

The images on the cover and in the issue are beautiful and make a bold statement. According to magazine chief Rick Stengel, there was much internal debate on to publish the covers or not. Here’s what he revealed via an editor’s note published in Politico’s Playbook:

“We had a long debate in our offices about this week’s cover images of two same-sex couples,” Stengel wrote. “Some thought they were sensationalist and too in-your-face. Others felt the images were beautiful and symbolized the love that is at the heart of the idea of marriage. I agree with the latter, and I hope you do too.”

check out the other cover after the jump

US Supreme Court Hears Challenge to DOMA

In: Politics & Issues, Reader Submissions

In the second day of back-to-back marriage hearings at the US Supreme Court, the justices heard arguments yesterday in United States v Windsor. Edie Windsor married her long-time partner in Ontario, after which the two of them moved to New York. At the time, New York did not permit same-sex marriages, but they did give full recognition to same-sex marriages lawfully performed elsewhere. When Windsor’s wife died, the federal government sent her a tax bill for over $360,000 because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Had Ms. Windsor’s marriage been recognized, her tax bill would have been zero.

Yesterday’s hearing was divided into two parts. The first, much like the Prop 8 hearing, was devoted to a somewhat dull but important procedural question: the issue of standing. Because the Obama Administration was supporting Ms. Windsor’s case, there was a question of whether there was anybody who was actually able to bring the case to the Supreme Court. In simple terms, courts resolve legal disputes. If both sides agree on the law, then there’s no dispute. No dispute, nothing for the courts to do. Republicans from the US House of Representatives have also tried to step in to defend DOMA, but there were also some tough questions about whether or not they had a right to be in court. With that said, a majority of the justices seemed willing (or at least more willing than they did with the Prop 8 case), to rule that the case was properly before them.

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I have to admit that I spent a lot of time staring at a blank screen trying to figure out how to write this piece. I do my best, in writing about legal matters, to find a way to cut through the jargon and make convoluted proceedings a little easier to understand. In listening to the approximately one hour of oral arguments released by the Supreme Court today it became quite clear that this wasn’t going to be a particularly easy task, but here goes.

Just over a year ago, the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that California’s Proposition 8, passed in November of 2008, was unconstitutional. Proposition 8 took away the right of same-sex couples to marry that had previously been granted by the California Supreme Court.

Unlike most cases, which tend to be straightforward, the Prop 8 case isn’t as simple as your usual win/loss situation. That’s what makes it so complicated. The Supreme Court has a number of options before it, and for any one of those options to be successful, at least five of the nine justices will have to support it. On the side of those who support Prop 8, there is one option for them to win, and that is for the Supreme Court to uphold Proposition 8 as a valid and constitutional enactment.

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The Golden Girls Talk Gay Marriage

In: Donovan, TV Shows

You most likely know that the Supreme Court of the United States is hearing arguments regarding gay marriage today and Wednesday, March 27. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to read a article submission written by one of our readers. It’s an great read.

Seeing how The Golden Girls are somewhat gay icons and beloved by our community, I thought it was only fitting to revisit this clip. Over 20 years ago, the sitcom tackled the subject of gay marriage in the episode titled “Sister of the Bride.” Definitely way ahead of its time.

If you recall, Blanche (Rue McClanahan) had a gay brother named Clayton (Monte Markham). In a previous episode, he came out to sister. This time around, he was back to tell Blanche about his commitment ceremony with his boyfriend. Sophia (Estelle Getty) in her usual fashion gets Blanche to come around to the idea. Check out the clip below. As a side note, this episode was co-written by Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives).

watch the clip after the jump

Today and tomorrow, the United States Supreme Court hears arguments in two cases about same-sex marriage. There’s going to be a lot of bluster, but in the end the whole thing boils down to a few key issues. Here are the issues as I see them, and the fundamental logical disconnect that anti-equality forces are hoping nobody notices.

First, they say “it’s intolerant for you not to tolerate my intolerance.” Sound ridiculous? That’s because it is. Using the argument of race, that line of reasoning suggests that the people who were against different water fountains and different seats on the bus were the ones who were really intolerant, because they refused to tolerate the views of those who would deny liberty to everyone. The argument is laughable on its face.

The next argument (that seems to be made in court) is that it’s fine to exclude same-sex couples from marriage because the government has an interest in promoting marriage. Well, that one sounds nice, until you examine it more closely. For a government policy to pass the “rational basis” test, the policy has to have a (you guessed it) rational connection to the purpose it seeks to advance. The problem here is that there’s nothing to indicate that allowing same-sex couples into the institution of marriage compromises or defeats the purpose of promoting marriage as an institution. In other words, the policy and the goal have nothing to do with each other. The people behind these bans know that, so they’ve thrown in arguments like “this is all very new, we don’t know what the impact will be, so we have the right to proceed slowly.” The problem with that argument is what happens when you decode it. What it means is basically that they don’t know whether or not straight people will think marriage is tainted solely because gay people have been allowed in too. That’s called animus, and the Supreme Court held in Romer v Evans that animus against a particular group of people doesn’t count as a rational basis for government policy.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has just released a video in conjunction with the Human Rights Campaign. She really explains her stance and support for gay marriage really well and you can really get how passionate she is about the issue.

In one part of her message she says, “I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law. Embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and all Americans.” She continues, “Like so many others, my personal views have been shaped over time by people I have known and loved. By my experience representing our nation on the world stage, my devotion to law and human rights, and the guiding principles of my faith.”

Watch her powerful and captivating message below.

Video after the jump…

The hilarious people at NonRandomNonSense have just uploaded a video titled “The Ultimate Anti-Gay Marriage Ad” and it’s so over-the-top yet bang on at the same time. The video pokes fun and the ridiculous and ignorant anti-gay marriage ads that have circulated over the past few years.

In the parody ad, a guy comes home from work and his wife greets him. He’s super bummed about something so his wife doesn’t hesitate to ask him what’s wrong. He drops the bomb that gays are trying to get married and she’s beyond shocked and terrified. Listening to the things they whine about is hilarious and things reach a whole new level when their little girl walks into the room.

As a side note, to give you an example of the humor of these guys, their YouTube account informs viewers, “New Video Every Time One Is Uploaded!” LOL. Enjoy the parody ad below.

Video after the jump…

Back in 2010 Laura Bush appeared on CNN talking about same-sex marriage with Larry King. During her chat with King, she revealed that she disagreed with George W. on the subject of gay marriage. A portion of her interview appeared in a new $1 million media campaign by the Respect for Marriage Coalition, co-chaired by the Human Rights Campaign.

Once Bush heard of her inclusion in the clip, she enlisted her spokesperson Anne MacDonald to release the following statement, “Mrs. Bush did not approve of her inclusion in this advertisement nor is she associated in any way with the group that made the ad.”

When the Respect for Marriage Coalition received Laura’s request, they stated they would release a new ad without the former First Lady. The ad will still feature clips from President Obama, former secretary of state Colin Powell, and Dick Cheney, former vice president to George W. Bush. Check out the ad with Laura below while it’s still online.

watch the video after the jump

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