Setbacks For Gay Marriage Rights

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A California appeals court heard arguments yesterday to determine the constitutionality of a state law defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman (Los Angeles Times). The arguments presented were pretty much what we’re used to hearing by now: gay couples implored the court to uphold their right to happiness and equality (as promised to them by the constitution), while opponents offered their scroll of reasons why marriage plus gay equals certain decay.

California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer went as far as to say that the ban should remain intact since gays “already enjoy many of the rights of the married under the state’s domestic partner law,” but one member on the court’s three-judge panel took a different view–that separate domestic partner law is, well, inherently unequal. We’ll likely have to wait until October to see how this one pans out.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts’ top court approved a proposed amendment defining marriage as a strictly hetero institution, thus paving the way for the state’s legislature to get the amendment on the 2008 ballot.

Massachusetts is currently the only state that extends to same-sex couples the right to marry. All eyes will be on the constitutional convention this Wednesday where legislators will vote on the amendment (a quarter of the legislators will have to approve, and then do the same again next year, for the initiative to go on the ballot).

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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