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    ‘unite4marriage’ Category



    #WeDid Unite for Marriage Equality

    Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

    Wow! What an amazing day in DC. We said we’d unite for marriage equality and we did! Rock the Vote interns were lucky enough to be outside the Supreme Court once the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings were announced. It was amazing to see so many young people uniting over a common cause and coming together towards real reform. Over the course of the morning, hundreds of supporters gathered in cheer and showed just how excited they were that the Court made this landmark decision.

    Here are some pictures that show the wave of emotion that overcame the city this morning.

    People rejoice following the Court decisions

     

    Woman cheers as DOMA is struck down

     

    People rejoice following Court decisions

     

    Crowd shows their support of marriage equality

     

    Crowd shows their support of marriage equality

     

    Crowd shows their support of marriage equality

     

    Crowd shows their support of marriage equality

     

    Crowd shows their support of marriage equality

     

    Crowd shows their support of marriage equality

     

    Crowd shows their support of marriage equality

     

    Crowd shows their support of marriage equality

     

    Crowd gathers outside the Supreme Court in anticipation of the SCOTUS and Prop 8 decisions

     

    Crowd shows their support of marriage equality

     

    Crowd shows their support of marriage equality

     

    Crowd gathers outside the Supreme Court for marriage equality decisions

     

     

     

    emma.l@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Emma Loewe and I'm an intern with the RTV digital team. I attend Duke University and am pursuing a major in environmental policy and minoring in English and visual media studies. Originally from Connecticut, I am passionate about all things involving art and the outdoors!

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Overview of Supreme Court’s Marriage Equality Cases

    Thursday, June 6th, 2013

    Feeling confused about the Supreme Court cases on same-sex marriage? We get it! These conversations can be tough to understand. That’s why our intern Tim wrote a brief overview of the two cases, their history, and what their outcomes from SCOTUS could mean for us in a few short weeks. It’s long, but worth the read! See below:

     

    Later this month, the Supreme Court will announce announce rulings on two cases concerning same-sex marriage. Although both cases deal with same-sex marriage, one case, Windsor v U.S., specifically concerns the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), while the other case, Hollingsworth v Perry, concerns California’s Proposition 8.  With two high profile cases being heard in the same cycle by the Supreme Court, there could very soon be a monumental ruling on the constitutionally of same-sex marriage.

    Many consider President Obama’s public support for same-sex marriage to be a monumental event because he became the first sitting President to support same-sex marriage. The President, however, also stated his belief same-sex marriage was something to be decided by each state. Currently, same-sex marriage is legally recognized in twelve states and the District of Columbia. Most other states have passed legislation restricting marriage to a union between one male and one female.

    The relationship between the states and federal government on marriage equality is complex. Prior to 1996, any marriage recognized at the state level was also recognized by the federal government. However, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law in 1996. The law defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman at the federal level and prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. The constitutionality of DOMA was immediately challenged in the federal court system, resulting in the Supreme Court hearing the case in March. The most notable ban on same-sex marriage was passed by California in 2008. Termed Proposition 8, or Prop 8, the law defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman. The constitutionality of the law was immediately questioned, culminating in the Supreme Court hearing the case.

    While it is impossible to predict with certainty how the Supreme Court will rule in these cases, legal scholars have offered opinions on the most likely outcomes for each case. The underlying theme experts predict will drive the court’s opinion is the majority sentiment that same-sex marriage should be decided by the states. The most likely outcome for the Windsor v United States case is that the Court rules DOMA unconstitutional, allowing each state to determine its own definition of marriage that would be recognized by the federal government.

    Legal experts are far more divided on the decision the Court will render in the Proposition 8 case. It is generally agreed that the four liberal members of the court will vote to overturn Proposition 8, while the four conservative members of the Court will vote to uphold it. Therefore, experts predict Justice Anthony M. Kennedy will provide the deciding vote. While legal scholars are unsure how Justice Kennedy will vote, the growing opinion is that Kennedy will vote to uphold Proposition 8 because he has a strong belief that it would be massive overreach for the court to overturn a law passed by a state on a subject he believes is up to each state’s discretion. Since Kennedy has been friendly towards LGBT rights issues in the past, it is possible that he will seek to have the case dismissed on legal grounds. Although the dismissal of such a high-profile case on such grounds would be unprecedented, scholars believe Justice Kennedy will push for this solution because of the conflict between his personal and legal views.

    Though legal experts have debated at length the potential rulings by the Supreme Court on the cases concerning same-sex marriage, it is very difficult to predict how the court will rule with so many complicated factors in play. Regardless of the eventual outcome, the rulings this June will mark a watershed moment in the passionate, nation-wide debate about same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

    tim.o@rockthevote.com
    Bio: Tim Odzer is currently studying History and English at Duke University, and interns in the Development Department at Rock the Vote. Originally from Minneapolis, MN Tim is a passionate baseball fan.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Why RTV Intern Chelsea Supports Marriage Equality

    Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

    Everyone deserves equality. It’s as simple as that statement. But that simple statement also carries the weight of thousands of real people who are affected by inequality everyday. Currently there are people across the country that are not given equal protection under the law simply because of their sexual orientation. The right to marry whomever, man or woman, is a major step in the right direction for those currently being discriminated against. But it is also important to know this is not the last step. We must keep fighting discrimination not only legally but personally as well.

    I grew up in an area where “that’s so gay” was one of the most commonly used phrases. If someone couldn’t go to the movies with you, or your parents said you weren’t allowed to do something, one’s immediate response would be: “That’s so gay.” I myself was a person who commonly used the phrase. That was, until Jason pulled me aside one day. My friend Jason is compassionate, intelligent, hard working,, and as I soon found out, gay. I was one of the first people Jason decided to come out to. He was also the first gay person I was close to. After he came out, I became hyper aware of the off-handed comments that are derogatory to homosexuals. and all of the off-handed comments I made.

    From that moment on I became determined to never let someone make a comment like that in my presence without asking them what they really meant. We are all human beings and we all deserve to feel like equal citizens. Comments like “that’s so gay” put a negative stereotype on the gay community. We should not be promoting negative stereotypes that make people feel like outsiders, and Prop 8 and DOMA are laws that make people in the gay community feel like outsiders.

    I went to the marriage equality rally at the Supreme Court today to support striking down Prop 8 and DOMA because I believe that no law should be passed that makes an entire group of people feel like there is something wrong with them. I support marriage equality because a marriage between two men or two women is no different than a marriage between a man and a woman. It is a bond formed out of love. It should not be marked as “other” and contribute to the frequent stereotyping of the gay community. Marriage equality would be a major win in the battle for gay rights. But we also need to remember that discrimination is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed.

    – Chelsea Matzen

    Rock the Vote
    Bio: Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 to organize artists and fight against censorship of musicians. Since then we've evolved to focus on empowering young people to get involved in the political process. We use pop culture, peer-to-peer organizing, and the latest technology to raise visibility of politics and demystify the process of registering to vote.
    @rockthevote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Why RTV Intern Angela Supports Marriage Equality

    Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

    70%: that’s how many millennials support gay marriage. Almost three quarters of young people, and more than half of all Americans, have said that all Americans should be treated equally under the law, no matter who they love. The support for marriage equality has been growing stronger and stronger in recent years, and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on Prop. 8 and DOMA, the public has come out and asked them to strike down these measures and stand on the side of love.

    Politicians have changed their views and have publicly supported gay marriage. Senators Rob Portman and Claire MacCaskill, Hilary Clinton, Joe Biden, Barack Obama and many more have announced their support. Even conservatives have been changing their views. At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC earlier this month GOProud spoke to a standing-room only audience of young Republican supporters; the same day only a few dozen people listened to the National Organization for Marriage attack gay marriage.

    This is an issue that is very personal for most of us, which explains the shift in opinion. We all know someone like Ryan: Ryan is a great person, he is in a committed relationship with a wonderful guy, and it seems perfectly reasonable that they want to get married. But they can’t. I want to go to my friend’s wedding, and it should not be a problem that there will be two grooms.  Marriage is a celebration of love that cannot be limited to only some couples.

    Right now there are people lined up and camping outside the Supreme Court in the snow and slush in anticipation of the arguments tomorrow. They are making a statement that loving someone can never be wrong. Visit our website to learn more about the issue and take action http://www.rockthevote.com/wewill/issues/marriage-equality/. Share your support on facebook and twitter, and join us tomorrow and Wednesday in front of the Supreme Court as we unite for marriage equality.

    – Angela Smith

    Rock the Vote
    Bio: Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 to organize artists and fight against censorship of musicians. Since then we've evolved to focus on empowering young people to get involved in the political process. We use pop culture, peer-to-peer organizing, and the latest technology to raise visibility of politics and demystify the process of registering to vote.
    @rockthevote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Why Kimmy from Rock the Vote Supports Marriage Equality

    Monday, March 25th, 2013

    This Wednesday, in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 — which the Supreme Court will be hearing in an historic case — thousands of citizens of all ages and demographics will rally for same-sex marriage. Many others will undoubtedly protest it. The issue of same-sex marriage has sparked heated debates amongst members of Congress and was a major issue during the 2012 elections.

    Personally, I’m from a small town in upstate New York where people land on both sides of the issue and are very passionate about it. In my hometown, it’s even common for people to vote solely based on a candidate’s views on same-sex marriage. When I was first introduced to the issue and the controversies surrounding it, I was actually confused by how polarizing it was.

    My first question was: why are we so nosy? I didn’t – and still don’t — understand what someone’s sexual orientation has to do with me. What someone does behind closed doors doesn’t bother me. Does my music taste bother you? Does my shaving cream brand bother you? Hell, does the type of underwear I decide to put on today discourage your ability to live happily in our society? What one does in private does not concern me. As long as there are no violent implications in one’s choices, then I don’t think anyone’s personal decisions should be restricted.

    The fact that there is legislation that decides whether same-sex couples can marry or not makes me feel as though we live in a draconian society, where it is frowned upon to show one’s socks and rock music is the siren song of the devil. For a country that prides itself on being a progressive, open society, where any view can be expressed, we should do a better job to live up to the freedoms we boast. There shouldn’t have to be legislation that restricts what a certain demographic of American citizens is able to do, and that’s something we should remember when the Supreme Court hears the historic case on DOMA and Proposition 8 this week.

    – Kimberly Yam

    Rock the Vote
    Bio: Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 to organize artists and fight against censorship of musicians. Since then we've evolved to focus on empowering young people to get involved in the political process. We use pop culture, peer-to-peer organizing, and the latest technology to raise visibility of politics and demystify the process of registering to vote.
    @rockthevote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com