JUNE 24 2011 VOLUME 42 ISSUE 25 •
OUR COMMUNITY, OUR STORIES SINCE 1969
1996 statement favoring nuptialscontinues to dog president
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
Pressure intensiﬁed on President Obama to endorsemarriage equality this week as he prepared to travel to
New York for an LGBT campaign fundraiser just as the
state legislature was debating a bill to legalize same-
sex marriage.[Visit washingtonblade.com for updated news fromthe New York event.]
Since October, Obama has said he could “evolve”on the issue of same-sex marriage and noted that hehas many friends in committed, monogamous same-
sex relationships. But he has yet to endorse the rightof gay couples to marry. During his 2008 presidential
campaign, Obama said he believes marriage isbetween one man and one woman, but backed the
idea of civil unions for same-sex couples.Although Obama’s LGBT supporters overlooked hisopposition to same-sex marriage in 2008, the situation in
2012 has changed to the point that merely “wrestling”
with the issue will no longer sufﬁce for many.
Over the course of this year, at least six national polls
have found majority support for same-sex marriage.For example, a Gallup poll published on May 20found that 53 percent of Americans support marriageequality. The poll found an increase of 9 percentage
points in support of same-sex marriage since last year,which was the largest year-to-year shift measured since
2004 when Gallup started polling on the issue.When Obama ﬁrst started running for president,gay couples could only marry in Massachusetts. Nowfour additional states and D.C. have legalized same-sex marriage. A Republican-controlled State Senate in
New York could legalize same-sex marriage — or atleast come close to legalizing it — by the end of theweek, which would make same-sex marriage legal in
the nation’s third most populous state.
Down to the wire in N.Y.
Tense negotiations overmarriage bill in Albany
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO firstname.lastname@example.org
New York’s same-sex marriage bill was in limbo as of Blade press time Thursday morning, as the legislative
session was extended and lengthy negotiations tookplace over which religious exemptions would be
included in the ﬁnal language. Visit washingtonblade.com for updated news.The state’s top political leaders said they supported
several religious exceptions that had been added on
Wednesday. The Democratic-led Assembly has already
approved the bill but will need to approve any revised
version that may come out of the Senate.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said late Wednesdaythat negotiations over the exemptions were going well.“We are going back and forth on language,” theAP quoted Cuomo as saying. “But we have not hit anyobstacles.” Negotiations were expected to continueThursday, many New York-based media outlets said.
Negotiators are trying to include enough protections
in the bill so that religious groups don’t get sued fordiscrimination if the bill passes.Though the New York Assembly, the statelegislature’s lower house, is controlled by Democrats,Republicans have a slight majority (32-30) in the Senate.The measure needs only one more vote to pass theSenate after being approved by the Assembly lastweek. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said thisweek that Senate Republicans had not discussed the
marriage proposal because they were sidetracked byother issues like rent control laws and caps on property
tax increases. Cuomo said this week he was “cautiouslyoptimistic” the marriage bill will pass.The religious protections weren’t available by Blade
deadline but were expected to include protection
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was scheduled to attend a campaign
fundraiser with the LGBT community in New York on Thursday. Visit washingtonblade.com for updated news from the event.
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY
Media watchdog groupembroiled in controversy;board member once worked
for anti-gay group.
Cookie Buffet joins
other drag performersfor live performance to
beneﬁt Alston House.
Pressure mounts onObama to back marriage