American Foundation for Equal Rights

Bill Clinton for Marriage Equality

We’ve got lots of good news this week, from an op-ed by President Clinton to progress on Colorado’s civil unions. Plus a slew of favorable polls shows momentum building in key states, and opposition shrinking into just a few tightly-knit pockets. All that plus we’re counting down to oral argument in AFER’s Prop 8 case.

At the American Foundation for Equal Rights, I’m Matt Baume, and welcome to Marriage News Watch for March 11, 2013.

It’s been a great week for marriage equality, starting with an op-ed by President Clinton about the Defense of Marriage Act. The President signed DOMA during his first term but now, he says, “I have come to believe the DOMA is … incompatible with our Constitution.” He goes on, “it should be overturned.”

The US Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case challenging DOMA on March 27, one day after it hears argument in AFER’s case to overturn Prop 8.

The next good news is a new study showing that in almost all cases, legislators who support marriage equality go on to win re-election. The research by Third Way shows that 97% of equality supporters retain their seats, with a success rate of 85% for Republicans.

And there’s lots of positive polling data this week: respected bipartisan pollsters Joel Benenson and Jan van Lohuizen found that opposition to marriage equality is shrinking into small-tightly concentrated demographic groups. Those groups include the very elderly, white evangelical Christians, and non-college-educated whites. These pockets of resistance were once much broader, but are quickly dwindling into small, very specific groups.

And a Quinnipiac survey shows growing support for marriage among Catholics. Fifty-four percent support the freedom to marry, with just 38 percent opposed. That’s down from 56% in a 2011 PRRI survey.

We also have encouraging new polls in several states, including some you might not expect. A survey in Texas continues a trend in favor of marriage, with 47.9 support. That’s a jump from 42.7 percent just three years ago.

Voters in Delaware overwhelmingly support the freedom to marry, 54 to 37 percent. Delaware legislators will likely introduce a marriage bill this year, which Governor Jack Markell has pledged to sign.

And the last bit of good news this week comes from Colorado, where a civil unions bill has passed the House Judiciary Committee, 8 to 3, and the House Finance Committee, 7 to 6. Now it’s on to the House Appropriations Committee, and from there finally to a full House vote.

We’ll be tracking all of these stories closely over the coming weeks, but of course the big news is oral argument before the Supreme Court on March 26. Subscribe here on YouTube, and head over to to support the case to overturn Prop 8. And remember to hit Share and Like so we can keep getting the word out about all this important work.

At the American Foundation for Equal Rights, I’m Matt Baume. See you next week.