Sept. 18, 2012 – November 6th is not just the day of the presidential election. That same day Marylanders can make history by becoming the first state in the nation to affirm Marriage Equality on the ballot. As part of the effort to get out the vote FOR Question 6 – the referendum on Maryland’s Civil Marriage Protection Act– the 9:30 Club is hosting a fundraiser concert to benefit Marylanders for Marriage Equality, featuring a headline performance by Adam Lambert on Tues., Sept. 25. Tickets go on sale 10am Fri., Sept. 21 through Ticketfly.com.
Adam Lambert burst onto the national scene on American Idol with his glam-rock flair and jaw-dropping, powerhouse voice. Earlier this year, the Grammy-nominated singer became the first openly gay mainstream pop artist to debut at #1 on the Billboard album chart with “Trespassing.” Lambert said, “Marriage equality is about treating everyone as equals, regardless of who they fall in love with. I’m honored to appear at this event to help do whatever I can to bring notice to a cause that is close to my heart.”
“As the campaign enters the final weeks, we’re thrilled to have Adam Lambert’s support of Question 6 in Maryland,“ said Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has been a leading proponent of marriage equality, and, with Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner, made a special request for the Marylanders for Marriage Equality fundraiser to be held at the 9:30 Club.
"Knowing that I am a Maryland resident, both Governor O’Malley and Council President Berliner called to see if we could help raise funds for this landmark cause,” said lifelong Marylander Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P., co-owner of the 9:30 Club. “Although the 9:30 Club is in D.C., it’s the natural and best place to achieve what we wanted to with the least expense. All of the profits will be going to the campaign. Although we historically don’t get involved in political causes, on this issue I cannot stand by. People’s personal opinions should not affect fairness and equality for all.”
"I want to thank the 9:30 Club for hosting this event in support of marriage equality in Maryland,” said Governor Martin O'Malley. "Question 6 is about treating every individual equally under the law, while protecting religious freedom at the same time, and we’re proud to have the 9:30 Club join a growing list of businesses and coalition partners supporting Question 6.“
Council President Berliner added "We are so grateful to Seth Hurwitz for bringing his unique abilities to bear on behalf of a more just Maryland.”
General admission tickets to the benefit show are $125, VIP Tickets, which include early admission, a commemorative poster signed by Adam Lambert and a special VIP viewing area, are $175, and Premium tickets, which include a pre-show Adam Lambert meet & greet VIP reception with food and drinks and Premium viewing area, are $250. Doors are at 7pm, the show begins at 8pm, Premium Meet and Greet is at 6:30pm. Tickets are available starting Fri., Sept. 21 through Ticketfly.com or at the 9:30 Club and Merriweather Post Pavilion box offices.
About Marylanders for Marriage Equality
Marylanders for Marriage Equality is the campaign working to defend marriage equality at the ballot box this November. We work closely with a diverse, broad-based coalition of faith leaders, community partners, local businesses, labor, elected officials and tens of thousands of grassroots supporters all fighting for fairness. Gay and lesbian couples share the same values of love, commitment and strong families–they should have the same opportunity to get a marriage license. We pledge to run a civil and respectful campaign – one that elevates the basic values of equality, fairness, love, and strong families. We also expect our supporters to treat everyone as they would want to be treated. Our coalition partners include NAACP Baltimore, 1199 SEIU, ACLU Of Maryland, Equality Maryland and the Human Rights Campaign. Learn more on http://marylandersformarriageequality.org/
This is the chance to have your name associated with making a difference. We want you to showcase your artistic and creative skills to promote a night for Marriage Equality in Maryland.
Adam Lambert will be performing a special concert Tuesday, September 25 at 9:30 Club to benefit Marylanders for Marriage Equality. That voice! The drama! We adore it all and we want to see how you would illustrate it all.
More information on Marylanders for Marriage Equality can be found here. Below is a list of all the elements needed to be included in the design –
A Benefit for Marriage Equality featuring Adam Lambert
Question 6 Logo
September 25, 2012
If using Adam Lambert’s image, must be approved image only
Fine print: By Authority: Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Sophia Silbergeld, Treasurer.
Fine print: By Authority: Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Sophia Silbergeld, Treasurer.
We want YOUR poster design to serve as the symbol for this event! Not only will you get a pair of tickets to the show, but also we will print a run of your posters to sell at the show and have Adam sign yours personally!
Not to mention you’ll have bragging rights for years and years.
RULES & REQUIREMENTS:
Entries should be submitted to email@example.com by 12PM on Friday, September 21st.
Design specifications: 11x17 and 300dpi – any other sizes and resolutions will not be considered for entry.
Winner will be picked at 5PM and winning entry will be posted to our Facebook page.
Winner will be contacted immediately via email with information regarding prize redemption.
BREAKING: Here’s The Map Of What Marriage Equality Looks Like In The US Today (UPDATED 10/21/14)
Same-sex couples can marry in a majority of states in the country — something that was not true until October 2014. Since the Supreme Court decided not to hear appeals of challenges to five states’ marriage bans on Oct. 6, the ground has been shifting quickly.
As the process continues to play out, BuzzFeed News will be updating this map and the descriptions below to keep tabs on what’s happening at any given moment in the many challenges to bans playing out across the country.
States With Full Marriage Equality:
In the less than 10-and-a-half years since same-sex couples began marrying in Massachusetts, 24 other states and Washington, D.C., have joined the ranks of states where same-sex couples can marry.
In 13 jurisdictions, lawmakers voted for marriage equality — although voters initially reversed that action in Maine and the legislation was vetoed in California. The other 11 jurisdictions: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C.
Voters in three states approved marriage equality at the polls: Maine in an initiative the reversed voters’ earlier decision, as well as Maryland and Washington, where efforts to reverse marriage equality through a referendum were rebuffed.
State courts, considering state law, found a right to marriage equality in Hawaii, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, and New Mexico — although constitutional amendments later reversed those decisions in Hawaii and California.
Finally, beginning with Utah, the final frontier of marriage equality — federal courts considering federal rights — led to marriage equality after courts found bans on same-sex couples’ marriages to be unconstitutional in 10 states: Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
States With Marriage Equality, But With Related Appeal Still Pending:
In this quickly changing environment, there are a growing number of states where same-sex couples are able to marry — but a related appeal, from some person or organization, is ongoing.
In Oregon, the National Organization for Marriage attempted to intervene in the case and was denied. They appealed that denial, were rejected, and have asked the full appeals court to rehear their appeal. In light of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision that outside groups have no standing to appeal a marriage decision when state or local officials no longer are appealing the issue, NOM is unlikely to succeed in this appeal.
In Nevada, the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage has asked the full appeals court to rehear last week’s decision striking down Nevada’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages. For the same reason as with the Prop 8 case, the coalition here is unlikely to succeed in this appeal request.
In North Carolina, state lawmakers have attempted to intervene in marriage litigation and could attempt to appeal decisions ending the state’s marriage ban.
In Alaska and Idaho, officials have said they will be appealing the district court and appeals court decisions, respectively, further.
States With A Marriage Decision On Hold Pending Appeal:
Several decisions in favor of marriage equality or requiring recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages granted elsewhere are on hold, or stayed, while appeals are ongoing.
These include federal appeals in the 5th Circuit, 6th Circuit, and 11th Circuit courts of appeals, as well as some state courts.
In the 5th Circuit, appeals are pending from Texas, where the state’s ban was ruled to be unconstitutional, and Louisiana, where it was upheld.
In the 6th Circuit, arguments were held in early August regarding all four states’ bans. A decision is eagerly awaited, and it will address the marriage ban in Kentucky and Michigan and marriage recognition in Ohio and Tennessee. In all four states, the state lost at the trial court.
In the 11th Circuit, an appeal is pending from Florida, where the state’s ban was struck down in the trial court.
State court appeals are pending in three states, where trial courts struck down the bans in Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana.
States With Marriage Recognition, But Not Full Marriage Equality:
After a Missouri state court ordered that out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples must be recognized in the state, Missouri’s attorney general announced the state would not be appealing the decision.
States Where Marriage Equality Is Expected To Follow In Short Order:
Because four federal appeals courts have decided that state bans on same-sex couples’ marriages are unconstitutional, that is the precedent in — or law of — those circuits. It is expected, therefore, that other states in those circuits with marriage bans will have those bans struck down in short order.
In the 4th Circuit, South Carolina officials continue to defend the ban and a federal case challenging the ban is pending.
In the 9th Circuit, Montana still bans same-sex couples from marrying and a federal case is pending.
In the 10th Circuit, Kansas officials continue to defend the ban. State court proceedings challenging the ban are pending the state, as is a federal challenge.
States Still Awaiting Action On Marriage Equality:
There are only six states without marriage equality or marriage recognition where marriage equality is not anticipated in short order due to circuit precedent and where no marriage decisions are on hold pending appeal.
They are Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
There are pending marriage, marriage recognition, or divorce cases pending in some of these states, but there have been no decisions in favor of same-sex couples there thus far.
Chances are that, whether you live in the US or abroad, you’re seeing something congratulating a bunch of states on suddenly having gay marriage coming across your dash or facebook feed and might be wondering, “Wait – how did that happen?”
So first, a quick background on the US Judicial System in case you forgot what your eighth grade teacher told you would need to know one day (or for the billions of people who never needed to learn it in the first place): In the States, there are two main sets of courts that hear different types of cases: state courts hear questions of state law while federal courts hear issues that relate to federal law. However, where a state law involves a federal issue – like a constitutional right – then the case might move into federal court.
Cases involving the rights of same-gender couples to marry have been working their way through both sets of courts for the past two decades, and for equally as long there have been a series of state and federal laws passed to block these marriages. (Really there have been cases for a lot longer than that – since the mid-70s! - but like Charlies Angels they went by the wayside until the mid-to-late 90s.) States decided that it wasn’t enough that the federal Defense of Marriage Act defined marriage as one man and one woman and ensured that no state would have to recognize any other marriage, and they instead passed their own “mini-DOMAs” to define marriage in state law. Then in the early 2000s, in an attempt to buoy conservative voter turnout, Republicans pushed for a series of anti-gay amendments to state constitutions, and so on, until some states literally had four state laws plus a federal one banning two men or two women from getting hitched. (I’m looking at you, Ohio.)
You might remember that the marriage cases back in June of 2013 involved one federal law challenge (the federal definition of marriage under DOMA, the case from New England) and one state law challenge (the Prop 8 case out of California). Both went to the US Supreme Court because they involved questions about how the federal constitution should be interpreted: does everyone have an equal right to marry a person of the opposite sex, or does everyone have an equal right to marry the person they love? In the end, the ruling ended up being much narrower, and the Supreme Court decided Prop 8 on procedural grounds (it turns out random citizen groups can’t step in when the state decides a law is too stupid to defend) and said the federal definition of marriage had to go. Because marriage has traditionally been an area for states to decide and define, it said, it was not up to the federal government to pick and choose which marriages should be valid.
So as of June 2013, the states that did allow and recognize gay marriage (about 12 at the time I believe) remained as things were, but its married citizens were considered married by the federal government. The states that didn’t recognize gay marriage remained as things were. Unless one member of the couple was a federal employee or a foreign national, virtually nothing (except tax returns) changed.
But after those decisions came down, cases began moving quickly through the lower federal courts. Several courts had been holding off to see what the Supreme Court said so they could rule accordingly (because no one wants to go to the trouble of ruling only to have a higher court essentially overrule your decision because of another case), and in the wake of the Prop 8 and DOMA cases, numerous circuit courts found that the state’s ban on marriage violated the constitution:
Of course, when each state lost their case, they appealed to the circuit court. Circuit courts or Courts of Appeals are courts covering several states that serve as an intermediate appeal between district courts (1-3 per state depending on size) and the Supreme Court (1 for the entire country). There are 11 Circuit Courts, and whatever the circuit decides in one state’s case applies to the other states in that circuit, so that a ban on marriage equality in Virginia being struck down wouldn’t just impact Virginia, but also Maryland (which already has marriage equality), South Carolina, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Each of the circuit courts upheld the district courts’ decision (for marriage equality). The states, no less unhappy at this development, then appealed to the Supreme Court.
Not all cases appealed to the Supreme Court are ever heard by the Court. Of the more than 8,500 requests the Supreme Court receives, they hear on average 80-150 (that’s 1-2%). A state or other party asks the Supreme Court to get involved by filing what’s called a writ of certiorari, or a request that the Court review the case. The justices (read: their clerks) review the writs and vote on whether or not to hear the case – at least 4 justices must vote yes. If fewer than 4 vote to hear the case, then it goes back to the Circuit Court and that ruling will stand.
Today, the Supreme Court denied certiorari on the five marriage cases, which means that the lower court rulings will be followed. This means that, in the five original states as well as all the other states in the same circuits that do not already have marriage equality, the states can no longer prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. So as of this afternoon, gay marriage is now legal in:
AND ALSO IN
which brings the total number of states in the US where same-sex marriages are recognized from 19 + DC this morning to 30 + DC this afternoon.
There are 5 more circuits remaining where gay marriage is not legal in all states, and they’re pretty much where you would expect – the middle of the country (minus the areas near Chicago) and the South…plus the 9th Circuit, which is pretty deeply divided between the places with marriage equality (California, Oregon, Washington) and the places that would sooner give up all their farming stock and live on granola (Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, etc.). But still, which map looks better?
So what happens next?
Well, nothing really. Either one of the other circuits can come up with a marriage case and let it wind through the appeals process before filing a writ of certiorari and hoping the Court steps in then (most likely after a justice or two has been replaced), or everything can kind of stay as it is for awhile. A few more states may pass their own pro-equality laws, like a number of states have done in the past couple years, but at this point I think we’re unlikely to see a lot of movement for awhile. The only remotely liberal states (ones that more often than not either vote for Democrats in national elections or are “swing” votes) without marriage equality are Ohio and Michigan, and at least Ohio is quite a bit more socially conservative than is voting record would suggest. But most likely, we’re starting to hit another slow-down where we just kind of have to wait for cases to catch up in the process before we can see another wave of change.