Thursday, June 30, 2011

News on Same-Sex Marriage Continues, Focus of National Media Agenda

Three interesting stories on same-sex marriage appeared in the NYT today, signaling that the debate is indeed a large focus of the national media agenda.

** In Rhode Island, legislators approved a civil unions bill with strong religious protections for those opposed to extending the benefit. Apparently, the goal was to pass a same-sex marriage bill but there simply wasn't enough support in the state for such a policy and Governor Lincoln Chafee lacked the political muscle of Cuomo to push a same-sex marriage bill through the Providence state capitol. So is this incremental progress or a victory for the opposition?

** President Obama's position on same-sex marriage apparently continues to "evolve" according to this story by Sheryl Gay Stolberg in today's NYT. During a press conference yesterday, Obama came a bit closer to endorsing gay marriage, but yet again stopped short. 

According to the NYT:

"Mr. Obama later held a Gay Pride reception at the White House on Wednesday evening, where he did not address the issue directly. Dan Savage, a columnist who arrived with his husband, wore a button that said 'evolve already.' "

I have to say, Charles Darwin aside, how long does evolution really need to take? I suspect Obama's evolution will wait until after the 2012 election for strategic reasons. 

** Finally, in the great state of New Jersey, US immigration officials cancelled the deportation hearings for a Venezuelan man married to an American citizen. The decision is in part a reaction to the Obama administration's refusal to enforce DOMA and is seen as an important step forward for married gay and lesbian immigrants.

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