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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Same-Sex Marriage In California

via Richard Wolf and Brad Heath, USA Today WASHINGTON — A fractured Supreme Court effectively opened the door for same-sex marriages to resume throughout California on Wednesday, saying it did not have the authority to hear a case challenging that state’s ban on gay and lesbian weddings. The court’s 5-4 decision, written by Chief Justice … Continue reading

President Obama: Legal Recreational Marijuana Should Not Be Top Federal Priority

via Susan Heavey, Reuters President Barack Obama says federal authorities should not target recreational marijuana use in two Western states where it has been made legal given limited government resources and growing public acceptance of the controlled substance. His first comments on the issue come weeks after Washington state and Colorado voters supported legalizing pot, … Continue reading

Illinois Legislature May Vote On Marriage Equality As Early As January

via Greg Hinz, Crain’s Chicago Business Legal gay marriage may be coming to Illinois as soon as next month. After counting heads and consulting with legislative leaders, the chief sponsors of a bill to permit same-sex couples to get married in the state this morning disclosed they intend to push for a vote in the … Continue reading

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments For Marriage Equality

via Mark Sherman, Associated Press The Supreme Court plunged into the contentious issue of gay marriage Friday when it agreed to take up California’s ban on same-sex unions and a separate dispute about federal benefits for legally married gay couples. The court’s action gives the justices the chance to say by late June whether gay … Continue reading

Marriage Equality Passed By Voters In Washington

via Robert Hulshof-Schmidt, The Examiner Three days after the 2012 general election Washington became the ninth state to achieve marriage equality for same sex couples. Referendum 74, a measure allowing voters to approve or reject legislatively-approved equality, is headed to passage with over 52% of the vote. With the matter decided, same sex couples in … Continue reading

Obama Victory, Passage Of Progressive Ballot Measures All Thanks To Young Voters

via Tyler Kingkade, The Huffington Post Mitt Romney lost the youth vote by a huge margin, and with it, he lost the presidency. Sixty percent of young voters who cast ballots chose to reelect President Barack Obama, against the 36 percent who voted for Mitt Romney. That’s a six point slide in youth support for … Continue reading

Recreational Marijuana Legalization Passes In Colorado, Washington, Fails In Oregon

via CNN Three states voted on referendums Tuesday on legalizing marijuana for recreational use: Colorado passes marijuana legalization, but there’s a catch Colorado voters have approved a referendum that supports the legalization of marijuana on a recreational basis. Amendment 64 in Colorado will amend the state constitution to legalize and regulate the production, possession, and … Continue reading

Marriage Equality Passes In Maryland, Maine, Leads In Washington, Not Banned In Minnesota

via Joel Connelly, San Francisco Chronicle Statewide ballot measures to legalize same-sex marriage took the lead in Washington and passed in Maryland and Maine on Tuesday, as proponents of marriage equality broke a string of 32 consecutive losses in statewide votes on the contentious social issue. Referendum 74 in this state was leading 51.8 percent … Continue reading

Mitt Romney’s Son Invested In Electronic Voting Machines In Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington, and Colorado

via Gerry Bello, Bob Fitrakis, and Harvey Wasserman, Truth Out Will you cast your vote this fall on a faulty electronic machine that’s partly owned by the Romney Family? Will that machine decide whether Romney will then inherit the White House Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son … Continue reading

Human Rights Campaign Report: Catholic Church Gives More Than $1 Million To Fight Marriage Equality

via Lila Shapiro, The Huffington Post Continuing its efforts to fight same-sex marriage in four ballot measures around the United States, the Catholic Church is now the top donor to the cause among religious institutions, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign. This fall in Washington, Maryland and Maine, voters will decide … Continue reading

New York Federal Appeals Court: Defense Of Marriage Act Is Unconstitutional

via David Ariosio, CNN A federal appeals court in New York on Thursday became the nation’s second to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, finding that the Clinton-era law’s denial of federal benefits to married same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The divisive act, which was passed in 1996, bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and … Continue reading

U.S. Postal Service Hopes Junk Mail Will Boost Revenue

via Ron Nixon, The New York Times Customers might complain about the flood of unsolicited credit card applications, supermarket fliers and shopping catalogs in their mail, but the Postal Service is hoping to deliver even more. Faced with multibillion-dollar losses and significant declines in first-class mail, the post office is cutting deals with businesses and … Continue reading

‘New Approach Washington’ Campaigns For Marijuana Legalization In Evergreen State

via Nick Wing, The Huffington Post A Washington group supporting a state ballot effort to legalize and regulate marijuana rolled out an ambitious new ad campaign this week, seeking to put a spotlight on the initiative ahead of the November election. New Approach Washington unveiled the $1 million buy on Monday, and the 30-second spot … Continue reading

Appeals Court Finds DOMA Unconstitutional

via MSNBC A federal appeals court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that denies a host of federal benefits to same-sex married couples, is unconstitutional. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled Thursday that the act known as DoMA, which defines marriage as a union between a man … Continue reading

Illinois: Lawsuits Filed By ACLU, Lambda Legal Aim For Marriage Equality

via Sophia Tareen, The Huffington Post More than two dozen gay and lesbian couples filed lawsuits Wednesday arguing that it’s unconstitutional for Illinois to deny them the right to marry, a move advocates hope will lead to legalized same-sex marriage in the state. The two lawsuits – backed by the American Civil Liberties Union of … Continue reading

Naturalization Push Ahead Of November Election

via The Huffington Post A coalition of groups supporting immigrants has recruited teams of volunteers to help push programs they hope will add thousands of new U.S. citizens to the voter rolls in several states in time for the November presidential election. The national push comes after Democratic President Barack Obama has failed to deliver … Continue reading

Illinois Not Ready To Say ‘I do’ To Same-Sex Marriage

via Andrew Maloney, Chicago Sun-Times Despite a push by gay lawmakers, the effort to legalize gay marriage in Illinois is unlikely to get off the ground this year, the chief sponsor of a marriage proposal said. State Rep. Greg Harris (D–Chicago) told the Chicago Sun-Times that reeling in Medicaid and pensions programs as well as … Continue reading

Smokeless In Seattle?

via Dominic Holden, The New York Times It was January of 1998 when a friend and I drove to a basement in South Seattle to set up a pot garden. We were terrified. If a police officer pulled us over, how would we explain these bags of rapid-bloom fertilizer — in winter? Still, we had … Continue reading

New Hampshire House Rejects Gay Marriage Repeal Bill

via Norma Love, The Huffington Post New Hampshire lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have made their state legislature the first one to repeal a gay marriage law, handing gay-rights supporters a key victory in the Northeast, where same-sex marriage is prevalent. The state House voted 211-116 to kill the measure, ending a … Continue reading

Will The Marijuana Movement Get Its First U.S. Senator?

via Michael McAuliff and Ryan Grim, The Huffington Post Marijuana activists may gain an unexpectedly high-profile champion for their cause next year, thanks to Bob Kerrey’s sudden decision to jump into the Nebraska contest for retiring Sen. Ben Nelson’s seat. Pot reformers have their fingers crossed. Kerrey, a Democratic senator for Nebraska in the 1990s, … Continue reading

Lure Of Lobbying Still Strong For House Staffers

via Corbin Hiar, iWatch News A new study finds that nearly 400  House staffers have moved from Capitol Hill to K Street in recent years, suggesting that recent efforts to curb the revolving door between lawmaking and lobbying are having limited effect. At least 378 of the 5,710 staffers working on the House side of … Continue reading

New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill Passes State Assembly Vote, Now Heads To Chris Christie

via Angela Delli Santi, The Huffington Post The New Jersey Assembly on Thursday passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriages, setting the stage for an expected veto by Gov. Chris Christie. The 41-33 vote sends the bill to Christie’s desk. The Republican governor who opposes gay marriage had promised “very swift action” if the bill passed … Continue reading

MEUSA Releases New Marriage Equality Map

via Gay Marriage Watch 42% of Americans live in 21 states with various forms of IA, MA, NH, NY, VT, WA); civil union (DE, HI, IL, NJ, RI); or domestic partnership (CA, CT, DC, CO, MD, ME, NV, NM, OR, WI). Since 1993, all American states have taken positions on marriage equality. Each state allows … Continue reading

New Jersey: State Senate Passes Bill Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

via Geoff Mulvihill, The Huffington Post New Jersey lawmakers gave their blessing to legalizing gay marriage for the first time Monday as the state Senate passed a bill that would allow nuptials for same-sex couples, despite Gov. Chris Christie’s insistence that he will veto such legislation. The Senate’s 24-16 vote sends the bill to the … Continue reading

Washington State Legislature Votes To Approve Same-Sex Marriage

via Tom Watkins, CNN A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington State voted Wednesday in favor of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, putting Washington on the path toward becoming the seventh state in the nation to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples. “With today’s vote, we tell the nation that Washington state … Continue reading

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