American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

More Republicans for Marriage

Bipartisan support for marriage equality continues to grow, with a high-profile Republican coming out for marriage this week. President Obama comments the marriage cases before the Supreme Court, while new legislation advances in Colorado, Minnesota, and Rhode Island.

At the American Foundation for Equal Rights, I’m Matt Baume, and welcome to Marriage News Watch for March 18, 2013.

There’s stronger bipartisan support for marriage equality than ever before, starting this week with President Obama. In an interview with Nightline, the President said that nondiscrimination is a core value of the Constitution, specifically citing the Equal Protection Clause.

He added that he couldn’t think of a situation in which a state ban on marriage equality could be constitutional.

This closely matches the arguments made by AFER’s team on behalf of its plaintiffs, Kris and Sandy and Paul and Jeff.

Paul and Jeff were both prominently featured in a Washington Post profile this week. Calling them “the ideal plaintiffs,” the paper observed that, like tens of thousands of other couples, they’re just regular folks who fell in love and want to get married.

And that same desire for equality is what prompted Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman to come out for marriage this week. Citing his support for his gay son, Portman’s stance is a complete turnaround. In the past, he’s voted to oppose marriage equality and adoption. He’s now the first sitting Republican senator in Congress to support the freedom to marry.

There’s also big news from the states this week. The Colorado House voed 29 to 26 in favor of civil unions. The bill now goes to Governor John Hickenlooper to sign. Once enacted, the new law will go into effect on May first.

A marriage bill passed House and Senate committees in Minnesota this week. It’s now headed for a full vote in both chambers.

Rhode Island’s Senate Judicary Committee is scheduled to hear a marriage bill on Thursday, the 21st.

And a new survey in Pennsylvania from Public Policy Polling shows 45 percent support marriage equality with 47 percent opposed. That continues a gradual trend in the state of growing support over the last decade.

Those are the headlines. We’re just one week away from argument before the Supreme Court. AFER will be your best source for breaking news around argument and the eventual decision. Follow us here on YouTube and at to get all the info you need from news alerts to legal documents.

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