Same-sex marriage

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Developments in March 2004

In March 2004, the Associated Press provided the following information regarding developments on Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, in the United States: [1]

  • Dozens of same-sex couples sought marriage licenses from the New York City clerk's office but were turned away with a letter explaining that gay marriages are illegal in the state.
  • At least 100 gay couples lined up in Portland, Ore., as Multnomah County handed out licenses for a second day. Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski has warned the marriages may not be legal and requested a legal opinion from Oregon's attorney general.
  • New Paltz, N.Y., Mayor Jason West, says he will continue conducting same-sex weddings even though he has been criminally charged, and the mayor of Nyack, John Shields, led a group of same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses. They were denied.
  • A religious rights law firm went to court to bar gay marriages in New York and said it will try to remove West from office. Meanwhile, a gay rights group plans to file a lawsuit in Manhattan seeking full marriage for same-sex couples.
  • The Kansas House gave tentative approval to a proposed amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. The Michigan House will vote next week on a similar measure.
  • On Wednesday, the Utah Legislature voted to put a proposed amendment banning gay marriage on the November ballot, despite a protest outside the Capitol by hundreds of gay-marriage supporters.

In his March 2, 2004, article for Reuters, Greg Frost wrote that the "Gay Marriage Wildfire Was Years in the Making." [link no longer active]

Mary Bonauto is the "director of the Civil Rights Project at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders [and] a lawyer representing seven lesbian and gay couples who successfully sued the state of Massachusetts seeking the right to wed legally." Bonauto told Reuters that "she is not surprised at the sudden spate of officials conducting gay marriages."
"A popular uprising for gay marriage erupting in different parts of the United States was triggered by a Massachusetts court ruling in November but the fight for equal rights for gay couples has been years in the making," according to Bonauto.

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