The Florida Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 today to uphold a lower court decision striking down the country’s first state-wide voucher program. The Court affirmed the lower court ruling that the Florida voucher law violated the “no aid” clause of the state constitution providing that public funds cannot be used to aid sectarian institutions.
The California Supreme Court today invalidated the marriages of more than 4,000 same-sex couples, ruling that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom lacked the authority under state law to allow such marriages. The Court did not rule on whether the state’s prohibition on marriage for gay and lesbian couples violates the state constitution, the position taken by Mayor Newsom and the city. That issue is being litigated in other cases still working their way through the courts.
One Step Forward; One Step Back
In the same week, a Washington state court ruled in favor of marriage rights for same-sex couples in accordance with the state constitution, while Missouri voters approved an amendment to their constitution to ban recognition of such marriages. The mixed results reflect the give and take that can be expected in the short run as the nation moves toward full equality for gay and lesbian Americans.
The U.S. House of Representatives today vote 233-194 to pass the so-called “Marriage Protection Act,” legislation that would effectively bar an entire class of citizens from asking the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights.
Contact your representative and tell him or her that challenges to federal laws should be heard in federal courts. Remind your representative that the federal courts exist to protect a person’s rights from government abuse, and that any attempts to restrict those rights are unwise and likely unconstitutional. Urge your representative to oppose court-stripping and the so-called “Marriage Protection Act.” Sign up for our newsletters and action alerts and we’ll keep you updated on new developments concerning this issue.
The “Marriage Protection Act” scheduled for a vote on Thursday in the House of Representatives would effectively bar an entire class of citizens from asking the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights. People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas strongly urged members of the House of Representatives to reject the bill.
Right Wing Intensifies Anti-Gay Election Year Strategy
Having fallen prey to intra-party GOP squabbling, the anti-gay marriage amendment could not even get enough support in the Senate to shut off debate and be voted upon. While the victory for those who would keep discrimination from being enshrined in our Constitution should be celebrated, the Right's anti-gay election-year strategy continues, unabated.
See how the senators voted