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Strikeout #8 for DOMA


By Matt Baume

Another ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act marks the anti-gay law’s eighth consecutive loss in court. Also this week, a former Prop 8 supporter releases a new video explaining his change of heart. And polling on marriage in key states remains very close just days out from the election.

The federal Defense of Marriage Act has struck out — again. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in the case Windsor v. United States that DOMA violates the US Constitution.

The court also affirmed the use of heightened scrutiny in examining laws that target gays and lesbians. This is a huge victory, because it means additional protection against discriminatory laws.

The ruling cites AFER’s case against Prop 8, pointing out that “the argument that withdrawing the designation of ‘marriage’ from same-sex couples could on its own promote the strength or stability of opposite-sex marital relationships lacks any such footing in reality.”

This marks the third court of appeals to strike down laws that prevent the government from recognizing gay and lesbian relationships. It’s DOMA’s eighth overall loss in court. And it brings the total number of federal judges who have ruled against marriage bans to 34.

Also this week, new polling data out from Gallup shows that 3.4 percent of Americans identify as LGBT. Among the groups more likely to identify as LGBT are non-white Americans, young people, and among those with low income and education.

Turning to states, Minnesota is still locked in a dead heat over a proposed marriage ban. The measure has 47 percent support, up one point from a survey last week.

But we’ve picked up a powerful new ally: David Blankenhorn, who just three years ago testified against the freedom to marry in the Prop 8 case. Here’s the former Prop 8 supporter talking to the campaign in Minnesota.

“There are powerful reasons to believe that we will be a better society if we include gay and lesbian people and their relationships as full and equal parts of society.”

Polling looks better in Maryland, where a Washington Post survey this week shows support for marriage equality at 52% to 43% opposed.

And in Washington, polling has us ahead among registered voters, 56 to 36 percent.

Time is running out to push for marriage in the leadup to the election. Visit to learn more and get involved in a state near you. Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington will all vote on marriage in just two weeks.


  • 1. Seth From Maryland  |  October 23, 2012 at 10:47 am

    BIll and Melinda Gates contribute $500,000 to support marriage equality in Washington:

    Bill and Melinda Gates donated $500,000 to Washington United for Marriage, the group working to legalize gay marriage in the state, according to an announcement Tuesday.

    “They support marriage equality and believe the law is good for Washington state," a family spokesperson said in a statement.

    Gates, the billionaire Microsoft founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had previously donated $100,000 to the effort this summer.

  • 2. Seth From Maryland  |  October 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    New Washington Poll :The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted by consulting firm Strategies 360. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

    Respondents indicated they were supporting the state's leading ballot measures, with 55 percent in favor and 38 saying they would reject it.

    43 percent

    However, only 43 percent of respondents said they “strongly” approved of legalizing gay marriage.

    Kevin Ingham, vice president of polling and research at Strategies 360, said ballot measures typically lose some of their “yes” votes as Election Day approaches, and he suspects that people who say they are undecided on the gay marriage issue are likely to oppose it

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