Says ACLU's openly gay head: "Clearly, the momentum is on our side . . . It's just a matter of time." As for President Obama's endorsement: "We will push him."
-- From "ACLU chief: Same-sex marriage 'a sure thing'" by Gail Shister, Inquirer reporter 5/11/09
Just last week, Maine's legislature voted to legalize gay marriage, New Hampshire passed a law that awaits the governor's signature, and the District of Columbia voted to recognize out-of-state unions.
Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, and Connecticut allow gays to marry. In California, the state Supreme Court will rule on the repeal of Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage.
In New Jersey, Gov. Corzine says he will sign a same-sex marriage bill if one reaches his desk.
Same-sex marriage is nothing new to the 550,000-member ACLU. Its first challenge to a state law restricting matrimony to opposite-sex couples was filed in 1970 on behalf of a male duo in Minnesota. They lost.
Gay marriage remains a top priority for the ACLU, behind only national-security issues, says [ACLU head, Anthony] Romero, who began his tenure four days before 9/11.
Marriage is the key word in the debate, advocates say, because it confers consistent - and transferable - federal rights. Civil-union benefits vary by state and apply only to their state of origin.
G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College, predicts gay marriage will be legal nationally within a decade.
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