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washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 25 - june 24, 2011

washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 25 - june 24, 2011

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Jun 23, 2011
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JUNE 24 2011 VOLUME 42 ISSUE 25
OUR COMMUNITY, OUR STORIES SINCE 1969
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM
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 joeyd@washblade.com
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
CONTINUES ON PAGE 20 CONTINUES ON PAGE 18
PRESIDENT OBAMA
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
Not SoGLAAD
Media watchdog groupembroiled in controversy;board member once worked
for anti-gay group.
PAGE 16
WiggingOut
Cookie Buffet joins
other drag performersfor live performance to
benefit Alston House.
PAGE 27
Pressure mounts onObama to back marriage
 
02 • JUNE 24, 2011WASHINGTONBLADE.COM
| 0..000 |
www.whitman-walker.org  
Need a Reason to Get Tested?
Celebrate National HIV Testing Day June 27
Friday, June 24
Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, 9 am – 5 pm
 Stay Safe for Summer Event
 
in collaboration with AmeriCorps
 HIV mobile testing, 10 am – 4 pmMLK Memorial Library (901 G Street, NW)Petworth Library (4200 Kansas Ave, NW)Benning Library (3935 Benning Road, NE) Anacostia Library (1800 Good Hope Road, SE)
Saturday, June 25
Stay Safe for Summer Event
in collaboration with AmeriCorps
 MLK Memorial Library (901 G Street, NW), 10 am – 4 pm
Monday, June 27
Max Robinson Center, 9 am – 4 pmElizabeth Taylor Medical Center, 9 am – 7 pm
For more information, visit www.whitman-walker.org/hivtesting.Get tested here:
 
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM
JUNE 24, 2011 • 03

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