This Week on the Gay Marriage Beat: Whoppers and Lies, Fence-sitting and Delays


A gay couple can have a whopper of a hard time just trying to order a sandwich at Burger King, let alone trying to obtain a license to get hitched.

Here are six more things you should know to keep it all straight.

1. House Speaker John Boehner has announced that a House-appointed attorney will defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) now that the Obama Administration is declining to do so. Representative Steve King of Iowa is proposing that the Department of Justice’s budget should be slashed by as much as it would have spent defending DOMA.

2. Considering recent attempts in Iowa to roll back marriage equality, questions about gay marriage to Republican presidential candidates are about as expected as those about corn subsidies and ethanol. Donald Trump has indicated that he doesn’t support same-sex couples to wed once, let alone three times like he has. Newt Gingrich (also thrice married and recently suspended from Fox News over his own Caucus dreams) thinks Obama could be impeached over his refusal to defend DOMA.

3. In Wyoming, a bill that would prevent the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions is stalled in the state Senate. Last week, a more extreme constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage died in Wyoming’s House.

4. Gay marriage equality once looked like a shoo-in in Maryland, after that state’s Senate passed a bill that was expected to also pass in the overwhelmingly democratic House of Delegates and be signed by Governor Martin O’Malley. But the past seven days have been a rollercoaster, with one-time supporters waffling and pivotal votes deciding they’d be more comfortable with civil unions than marriage. At one point, it looked as if the bill might not even get out of the Judiciary Committee. But today, that body voted it out 12-10, and it goes to the full House for a vote next week. With the support of delegates once on the fence, its odds of passage are looking strong again. Joe My God notes that “among the failed GOP ploys were amendments allowing polygamous and incestuous marriages.”

5. In California, the Prop 8 case Perry v. Schwarzenegger has taken more twists and turns than an explanation from anti-gay Reverend Grant Storms about why he was urinating (or was it masturbating?) into a bottle near a playground. Following the Obama administration’s announcement that it won’t defend DOMA, the plaintiffs in Perry asked the California Supreme Court to speed things up on the appeal of Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. (Oral arguments won’t be heard until September.) Further complicating things, Walker 8
has retired, and he’s been replaced by Judge James Ware.

6. In New York, a blind man, three drag queens, and four activists shut down the intersection of Sixth Avenue at 42nd Street protesting in favor of gay marriage. Their action drew some fifty cops and a news chopper.

Note: Federalism is messy and hard to keep track of, so if we missed anything from the patchwork of decisions this week in various states and cities, please let us know.