Same-sex Marriage: The Political and Legal Landscape

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Hour 1

At a meeting of the U.S. Conference on Mayors on Friday, over 70 mayors from cities across the country announced their support for same sex marriage.  Proposed legislation and upcoming ballot initiatives in several states also signal interest nationwide for the rights of same sex couples to marry.  Last February, in a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and this past fall, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure repealing DOMA which will invariably face tough opposition from congressional Republicans. In two important cases, the federal courts will consider the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and  whether DOMA violates equal protection laws.  On the political front, the right of same sex couples to marry has become a campaign issue in the Republican race for the presidency and while President Obama said he does not support same-sex marriages, some political observers say the election of 2012 might be a good time for him to announce otherwise.  Is there major movement in the national battle to legalize same-sex marriage?  Could 2012 be the year?  We’ve invited JOHN CULHANE, Widener University professor of law and RICHARD SOCARIDES, former advisor to President Bill Clinton and founding President of Equality Matters to give us an update.

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[audio: 012312_100630.mp3]

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