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Houston Voice, No. 1000, December 24, 1999
File 012
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Houston Voice, No. 1000, December 24, 1999 - File 012. 1999-12-24. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 14, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6369/show/6351.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1999-12-24). Houston Voice, No. 1000, December 24, 1999 - File 012. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6369/show/6351

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1000, December 24, 1999 - File 012, 1999-12-24, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 14, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6369/show/6351.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1000, December 24, 1999
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date December 24, 1999
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 012
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE • DECEMBER 24, 1999 NEWS 11 Vermont lawmakers unlikely to approve gay marriages > Continued from Page 1 "This is a legal and cultural milestone," said Mary Bonauto, co-counsel for the three couples who brought the case. "The court recognized that same-sex couples need and deserve the same legal rights and protections other people take for granted. The court's decision paves the way for more secure families and stronger communities," said Bonauto, director of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, "Certainly we would have liked to see an immediate order to end discrimination in marriage laws themselves and allow same- sex marriages, but if we have to get to full equality in two steps rather than one, we will continue to march forward," said Evan Wolfson, marriage project director for the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund. Because the Vermont Court based its decision on the Common Benefits Clause of the state constitution, the case cannot be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Other states do not have to abide by the ruling, but the court's decision can still have a broad impact in the fight for equal rights for gay couples nationwide, Wolfson said. The ruling also "lays the legal foundation for Vermont to be the first state to accord full equality to same sex couples," Wolfson said. "Once they do, fair-minded individuals will have a chance to see the sky doesn't fall, and we can continue asking for sup port and building on this." Vermont unlikely to approve marriage The Vermont Supreme Court's ruling allowed the state legislature a "reasonable period of time" to determine how to implement the decision, although it also expressly gave the same-sex couples the right to bring the case back to court if the legislature did not act. Vermont lawmakers predicted this week that the state legislature would pass some form of domestic partnership, with hearings on the matter beginning as early as when the legislature reconvenes in January. Gay marriage "makes me uncomfortable, the same as anybody else," Gov. Howard Dean told the Associated Press. The governor, a Democrat, said he agreed with the court's ruling and supports domestic partnerships, but not gay marriage. "I trunk it's a step forward," he said. "It guarantees civil rights, but doesn't go into uncharted territory where I think the majority of Vermonters, who 1 think are fair-minded, would have been very uncomfortable." Michael Obuchowski, Democratic speaker of the Vermont House, has been a supporter of gay marriage, but said Tuesday he agrees that domestic partnership would be the easiest solution. Groups opposing gay marriage vowed to fight either approach to fulfilling the court's ruling. "The options are going to be getting to the legislature at least at a minimum and convinc ing them that number one, it should not be through a marriage license. [But] we don't think domestic partnership is right either," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice, which filed bnefs with the Vermont Supreme Court arguing against the gay couples, and has filed lawsuits challenging gay rights measures around the country. Gore praises ruling, growing DP support Vermont has one of the country's most progressive records on gay rights issues in the nation, the state Supreme Court noted in its ruling this week. In 1991, the state became one of the first in the country to pass a statewide law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing and other public services. Vermont's hate crimes law includes sexual orientation, and in 1996, the state's General Assembly voted to remove barriers to adoptions by gay couples. The state legislature also took the further step of protecting gay families through court-ordered child support and parent-child contact in cases where same-sex couples broke up. Vermont became the best hope for advancing the fight for gay marriage earlier this month, after the Hawaii Supreme Court issued a ruling against three gay couples who had sued for marriage licenses in that state. The Hawaii court found in favor of the couples in 1993, calling the marriage ban gender discrimination and ordering the state to show a compelling reason for denying same-sex marriage. The Hawaii state legislature responded by passing a law against same-sex marriage in 1994, and Hawaii voters in 1998 approved an amendment to the state constitution authorizing the law. The constitutional amendment made the gay couples' lawsuit moot, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled Dec. 9. But the Hawaii Supreme Court, like the Vermont Supreme Court, has held that whether or not the state issues marriage licenses to them, gay couples are entitled to the same rights and benefits as heterosexual couples—benefits that advocates say number more than 1,000 at the federal level alone. Domestic partnerships have also received high profile support in the Democratic presidential primary, with both Vice President Al Gore and former Sen. Bill Bradley stating in public debates and interviews that they support full rights for gay couples, but not gay "marriage." The developments show a growing trend in acceptance for gay couples, even without providing the label of "gay marriage," Lambda's Wolfson said. The next battleground for gay marriage will be California, Wolfson said, where voters must consider a March 2000 ballot measure, known as "the Knight initiative" after its lead sponsor, that would limit marriage to "one man and one woman." 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