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President Obama Says Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legal

President Barack Obama, in an ABC News interview:

I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.

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Local News Politics

Kentucky Won’t Recognize New York Same-Sex Marriages

Same-sex marriage is now legal in New York, and couples from across the country have made plans to travel to the state for what are commonly called “destination weddings.”

But those weddings will not be recognized by many other states, including Kentucky, which has a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage. But Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman says that won’t stop local LGBT couples from going anyway.

“Legally…no benefit. But emotionally, from a commitment perspective I think that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender couples are simply looking for that same type of legal validation, even if it’s not legal within this state,” he says. “Even before many of the states here in the U.S. were offering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender marriages, couples were heading to Canada or perhaps getting married in some European countries where they could have some sort of symbolic recognition of their union from a legal entity.”

Six states currently allow same-sex marriage. For more information, use this interactive map.

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Local News Politics

CEO Says Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Indiana Would Be “Detrimental” to Business

The CEO of Eli Lilly says Indiana’s proposed amendment banning gay marriage could hurt business.

Citing concerns that it would hurt employee recruitment, the company appealed to state lawmakers not to pass the constitutional amendment during this year’s legislative session. CEO John Lechleiter says he can’t say whether the state’s current same-sex marriage ban has deterred anyone from applying to work at the Indianapolis-based company, but he thinks the amendment definitely would.

“I think this legislation elevates this matter to a different level and I think [it] will be detrimental,” he says.

The amendment is not yet part of the state Constitution. It must pass the legislature again in two years, then be put to a public vote.

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Local News Politics

Fairness Campaign Director Says Advocacy Should Continue in Cities and States, Despite Federal Advances

Louisville Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman says it’s important for organizations like his to work on multiple levels against legislation restricting same-sex marriage and civil unions.

A proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions has cleared a major hurdle in the Indiana General Assembly. The measure must be passed again by the legislature in two years and then by the public before it becomes official. Hartman says such legislation goes against shifts in public opinion, and it may go against trends in federal government.

“I think that as the United States Constitution gets looked at, as the Defense of Marriage Act gets challenged, that it may well come to pass that all bans on gay marriage become unconstitutional and are stripped away,” he says.

Despite any progress on the federal level, Hartman says advocates should continue to support fairness laws on the city and state levels. The Fairness Campaign supports a repeal of Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign is also working with city lawmakers in Berea and Richmond to pass fairness ordinances akin to Louisville’s.

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Local News Politics

Indiana Equality Considering Options to Fight Same-Sex Marriage Ban

An Indiana advocacy group is planning its next step in the fight against a ban on same-sex marriage.

The Indiana General Assembly this week approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions. It must pass the legislature again in two years and then be approved in a public vote before becoming official.

Indiana Equality President Rick Sutton says his organization is considering various strategies to stop the amendment. He says several people have called for a campaign against lawmakers who supported the measure so they won’t be in office when it comes up again in the 2013 session.

“I don’t know that that’s the wise thing to do or not,” he says. “We have to survey our members and see what they want to do and plot our strategy politically. But it could include individual action against individual members and it must include a public education campaign. We have to do that.”

The amendment passed the Indiana Senate with a 40-10 vote and the House with a 70-26 vote.

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Local News Politics

Hundreds Rally in Indiana Against Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Indianapolis Monday in opposition to a proposed state constitution amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions.

A Senate committee will take up the issue later this week. The House has already approved the proposal, and the Senate is expected to pass it as well.

The protesters say the amendment would write discrimination into the state constitution.

If approved, the amendment would have to pass again in 2013 or 2014 to be on the state ballot in 2014.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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Blog Archive

Prop 8 Interactivity

Wondering how the California Supreme Court’s decision today to uphold a ban on gay marriage will play out in Louisville?  Here are a few links to follow:

When Proposition 8 passed in California, a rally was held in Louisville to protest the measure. You can see pictures of that event here.

If you don’t mind harsh language, you can see local tweets about Tuesday’s Prop 8 decision here.

And if you want to check the legality of same-sex marriage in other states, try NPR’s interactive map.

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Local News

Protest Tuesday Against Prop 8 Decision

The Fairness Campaign will hold a rally Tuesday night to protest the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the controversial Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban.

The Fairness Campaign was planning to host a gathering downtown no matter what. If Prop 8 had been overturned, they would have celebrated.

But same-sex marriages are still illegal in California. They’re also banned in Kentucky. Campaign Director Chris Hartman says the protest is aimed at both states.

“The Kentucky State Legislature should hear that their constituents here demand marriage equality as well,” he says. “Civil rights should not be decided by the majority.”

A local rally protesting the passage of Proposition 8 was held last year. Several hundred protestors showed up to carry signs outside of City Hall.