Slatest PM: Has the Gay-Marriage Push Reached Critical Mass?

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 25 2013 6:03 PM

Slatest PM: Has the Gay-Marriage Push Reached Critical Mass?

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Marriage equality supporters take part in a march and rally ahead of US Supreme Court arguments on legalizing same-sex marriage in New York on March 24, 2013

Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Add Another One to the List: Washington Post: "Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has announced his support for gay marriage, making him the second Democratic senator to announce his support [in the past 24 hours], a day before the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on the topic. Warner was one of 40 senators to sign on to an amicus brief to the Supreme Court asking it to overturn a federal ban on gay marriage. He previously had not been supportive of same-sex marriage."

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From His Facebook Post: "I support marriage equality because it is the fair and right thing to do. Like many Virginians and Americans, my views on gay marriage have evolved, and this is the inevitable extension of my efforts to promote equality and opportunity for everyone. I was proud to be the first Virginia governor to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT state workers. In 2010, I supported an end to the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, and earlier this month I signed an amicus brief urging the repeal of DOMA. I believe we should continue working to expand equal rights and opportunities for all Americans."

It's Getting to Be a Long List: CBS News: "Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., last night joined a growing chorus of politicians who say gay and lesbian couples should be legally entitled to get married. McCaskill, who was embroiled last year in a controversial, high-profile re-election campaign against Republican challenger Todd Akin, made the announcement on her Tumblr last night. She argued that while 'the question of marriage equality is a great American debate,' the government shouldn't dictate who can and cannot get married."

From Her Tumblr Page: "My views on this subject have changed over time, but as many of my gay and lesbian friends, colleagues and staff embrace long term committed relationships, I find myself unable to look them in the eye without honestly confronting this uncomfortable inequality. Supporting marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is simply the right thing to do for our country, a country founded on the principals of liberty and equality. Good people disagree with me. On the other hand, my children have a hard time understanding why this is even controversial. I think history will agree with my children."

A Sea Change: New York Times: "The modern fight for gay rights is ... less than a half-century old, dating from the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York. But this week, as the Supreme Court hears two landmark cases on same-sex marriage, the speed and scope of the movement are astonishing supporters. ... The changes have been so swift that it is sometimes surprising to remember how many gay men and lesbians were until recently in the closet and how many hurdles there have been along the way. ... In the past century in American politics, the sources of that reticence were no mystery. Judeo-Christian teachings, interpreted as condemning homosexuality, provided the backdrop for political debate in a nation more religious than others in the industrialized world. In the United States after World War II, the American Psychiatric Association lent medical and scientific credence to those views by labeling homosexuality a mental disorder. But cultural changes unleashed in the 1960s began to erode those barriers."

Putting a Price on History: Associated Press: "The most expensive ticket to The Book of Mormon on Broadway: $477. The face value of a great seat for this year's Super Bowl: $1,250. Guaranteed seats to watch the U.S. Supreme Court hear this week's gay marriage cases: about $6,000. Tickets to the two arguments that begin Tuesday are technically free. But getting them requires lining up days or hours ahead, or paying someone else to. The first people got in line Thursday, bringing the price of saving a seat to around $6,000."

Calling the Fight: Washington Post's Chris Cillizza (on Sunday): "But, no matter how the high court rules later this year on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, one thing is already clear: The political debate over gay marriage is over. ... Evidence of that reality is everywhere. Dozens of prominent Republicans ... have signed onto a brief to the court urging repeal of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in the Golden State. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a finalist to serve as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, announced last week that he was reversing course and would now support the right of gay men and lesbians to marry. ... Anecdotal evidence aside, national polling tells the story in stark terms."

Happy Monday and welcome back to the Slatest PM, where your regular afternoon host is back in action. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest.

Obama Wants an Assault-Weapons Vote: ABC News: "The Obama Administration says despite Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to exclude the assault weapons ban from comprehensive gun control for lack of votes, the President still supports it and urges the Senate to vote publicly on the proposal to eliminate 'military-style weapons' from American streets as an amendment. Speaking in today’s White House Briefing, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said 'it will be a question for all 100 members of the Senate to ask themselves about whether or not they think that voting for and supporting an assault weapons ban would actually do something to reduce gun violence in communities all across the country. So ... we’re going to have that debate.' Earnest also made clear that despite NRA fears, the President does not support a National Registry of legal gun owners."

RIP, Anthony Lewis: New York Times: "Anthony Lewis, a former New York Times reporter and columnist whose work won two Pulitzer Prizes and transformed American legal journalism, died on Monday at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85. ... Mr. Lewis brought passionate engagement to his two great themes: justice and the role of the press in a democracy. His column, called 'At Home Abroad' or 'Abroad at Home' depending on where he was writing from, appeared on the Op-Ed page of The Times from 1969 to 2001. His voice was liberal, learned, conversational and direct. As a reporter, Mr. Lewis brought an entirely new approach to coverage of the Supreme Court, for which he won his second Pulitzer, in 1963."

Cyprus Reaches Wall Street: Wall Street Journal: "Global financial markets were roiled Monday after conflicting comments from a senior European financial official sparked worry that the deal to rescue Cyprus could set a precedent for future bailouts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 64.28 points, or 0.4%, to close at 14447.75. The blue chips changed course after climbing as much as 52 points shortly after the opening bell, their biggest reversal in a month. The S&P 500, meanwhile, came within a point during intraday trade of its all-time closing high of 1565.15, hit in October 2007, before slipping into the red."

Bachmann's Latest Headache: Reuters: "Republican Representative Michele Bachmann is being probed by the Office of Congressional Ethics for allegedly misusing campaign funds, media reports said on Monday. Bachmann, a Tea Party-backed conservative congresswoman from Minnesota was among a large field of Republicans who ran unsuccessfully for their party's presidential nomination before last year's election. She is being investigated over alleged violations of campaign finance rules, according to the Daily Beast, which first reported the story, citing a former Bachmann campaign staffer."

Knox Faces Possible Retrial: ABC News: "Lawyers for Amanda Knox told Italy's Supreme Court that prosecutors who argued today that she should be retried for the murder of her roommate 'started with an error and ... continues to insist in the errors.' Knox's lawyer got the last word as a team of lawyers for the prosecution and the family of the slain roommate, Meredith Kercher, told the country's top court that an appeals ruling that freed Knox from prison in 2011 had made a mistake. They want her to face a new trial and be sent back to prison. ... The court could reject the prosecution's appeal and end her six year ordeal. But if the Supreme Court rules that Knox should not have been exonerated, a new trial would be ordered. Knox would not be required to return to Italy for the proceedings."

Not Everyone Loves Bar Refaeli: NBC News: "As the beautiful face of a nation, supermodel Bar Refaeli has few rivals. So Israel’s foreign ministry thought it was on to a winner this month when it picked the blond, blue-green-eyed, willowy, tall and curvy Refaeli to lead a public relations campaign highlighting Israel’s world-beating technologies. Instead, it sparked a bitter controversy about just who is a 'real' Israeli. The Israeli army attacked the proposal, saying that the 27-year-old Sports Illustrated cover girl was a draft dodger and a bad example to Israel’s youth."

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