Weekly Political Roundup

FlagsThis week’s headliner was the unfortunate Washington marriage ruling, about which I wrote earlier. It’s on to the legislature for our friends in the West.

In other news:

  • In politically relevant religious news, the Episcopalian Bishop of Arkansas has endorsed “blessing ceremonies” for same-sex couples. He notes that no formal rites exist for such ceremonies, so they will be local observances in each church. They will also have no legal standing in Arkansas, which has banned same-sex marriages. Still, this is a nice show of support for our relationships.
  • Maryland’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging the state’s definition of marriage as one man-one woman. The Court will hear arguments in the case in late November or early December.
  • The Massachusetts legislature overrode a veto by Governor Mitt Romney and created a new commission on gay and lesbian youth. The new group will operate away from the control of the governor’s office. Romney then abolished the state’s 14-year-old governor’s commission on gay and lesbian youth, saying two such groups were unnecessary. LGBT activists had moved to create a separate commission after they disagreed with Romney about the goals and activities of the organization.
  • Oklahoma gained its first out legislator when Al McAffrey won the democratic primary. Like Arkansas’ first out legislator, Patricia Todd, who won her primary last week, he faces no Republican challenger in November, and so is the presumed winner of the seat.

And two international notes:

  • Britain’s Law Lords will hand down a decision next week in a pivotal case involving a British lesbian couple. The pair were legally married in Canada, and wish to have that marriage recognized in the U. K. The U. K.’s Civil Partnership Act says that same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions will be treated as civil partnerships, not as marriages. Supporters say this is a landmark case, not only for same-sex marriage rights in the U. K., but also as part of the movement to secure global recognition of Canadian same-sex marriages.
  • The Law Lords earlier this week, however, handed down a judgement that shows little understanding of same-sex families. In a custody case involving a separated lesbian couple, they overturned an earlier ruling that had awarded custody to the non-biological partner. This week, they concluded that “A child should not be removed from the primary care of his or her biological parents without compelling reason.”