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As the year ends, help us keep EqualityOnTrial going strong

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What a year it has been for equality.

On January 1, 2013, Proposition 8 still banned marriage equality in California, the Defense of Marriage Act prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages and deprived Americans across the country of more than 1,000 federal rights, and just 10 states allowed individuals of the same gender to wed.

Now, as 2013 comes to a close, four new states—Delaware, Minnesota, Hawaii and Illinois—have extended the freedom to marry to same-sex couples through legislation, and three—New Jersey, New Mexico and California—have done so through judicial decisions. As if that weren’t enough, the Colorado legislature also approved a civil unions law and a federal judge in Utah struck down that state’s marriage equality ban, a remarkable decision that has been appealed  but represents a significant step forward.

And, of course, there were the two landmark legal decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in June which invalidated Section 3 of DOMA—the law’s most odious provision—and brought marriage equality back to California, the country’s largest state. Without a doubt, 2013 was one of the most significant years ever for LGBT rights in America, and one of the most dramatic in terms of legal decisions.  Thanks to your support, EqualityOnTrial was able to be at the front lines of these historic developments. We’ll be there in 2014 too, but only if you have our back.

Please chip in whatever you can to ensure that we will be able to cover the many victories — both expected and unexpected — that are sure to come in 2014. 

I will forever consider myself incredibly blessed to have attended oral arguments for the DOMA and Prop 8 cases at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., and to be among the first few individuals to report on the proceedings. EqualityOnTrial was there on June 26 when the Court issued its decisions in the two cases, and we were there a few days later when the Ninth Circuit unexpectedly lifted its stay on Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision striking down Prop 8 and paved the way for marriages to resume in the Golden State.

But it goes without saying that there is still so much work to do. Same-sex couples can only wed in 16 states and the District of Columbia; even as Illinois is added to that number next June, a full 33 states will restrict their LGBT citizens from this fundamental right. In almost every state with a marriage equality ban on the books, state and federal constitutional challenges have been filed by same-sex couples and legal organizations seeking rights that are sometimes available only a few miles away over a state border. There can be no doubt: the future of marriage equality in the United States is one that will predominantly take place in the courts and not in the legislatures.

All of us at EqualityOnTrial and the Courage Campaign are so proud of what this site—and this community—have accomplished. What began as an impromptu liveblog in a California courtroom almost five years ago has developed into one of the leading sites on marriage equality challenges taking place around the country, and we’ve been on the ground for some of the movement’s most important victories.

We are committed to maintaining that position and to bringing you the best coverage possible of LGBT court cases in the U.S.—coverage that is in-depth and detailed but also easily understandable and accessible.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to EqualityOnTrial before the year ends to help us continue this mission. Any amount helps, and you can make a contribution either on your own behalf or to honor of a friend or loved one as a holiday gift.

As has always been the case, this site is what it is because of you, our readers, our supporters and our allies. We are thrilled to have been a part of this story in 2013, and cannot wait to see what 2014 will bring.

Yours in the campaign for equality,



  • 1. Wynngard  |  December 23, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Federal judge Timothy Black rules that Ohio's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional in a narrow decision that only applies to death certificates. Black's sweeping comments about Ohio's marriage ban, which include "once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot summarily take your marriage away," are expected to incite further litigation.

  • 2. Valquiria  |  December 23, 2013 at 10:17 am

    How quickly could this lead to marriage equality for the living? If some clerk in Cleveland began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on his own initiative, could he use Black's ruling as justification?

  • 3. davep  |  December 23, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I'm wondering the same thing – the only reason it was limited to the Death Certificate question in this trial is simply because of the specific circumstances of the plaintiffs. But I don't see how it could be argued that there is some legally valid reason for not applying this same ruling to living couples seeking access to civil marriage.

  • 4. Wynngard  |  December 23, 2013 at 9:41 am

    The Indiana Court of Appeals rules that the state cannot void a marriage between a man and a recently transitioned transgender man.

  • 5. davep  |  December 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I just donated $100. Not saying this to brag, but to encourage others to please do what they can as well. Step up, you guys. And a big year end THANK YOU to P8TT / EoT for everything you guys do for all of us. This is far more than a web site. You guys have made a big difference and I'm happy to do what I can to help you keep doing it.

  • 6. Jacob Combs  |  December 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Thanks, Dave! We really appreciate your support 🙂

  • 7. Scottie Thomaston  |  December 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you! It is really appreciated.

  • 8. Stefan  |  December 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    You forgot to include Rhode Island on the list. It's getting hard to keep track I understand!

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