In case you haven’t been paying attention to the news, in the weeks since the Supreme Court heard arguments in the cases for California Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, there have been quite a few changes in the US and abroad leading toward greater recognition of marriage equality.
Exactly two weeks ago today, lawmakers in Uruguay voted to legalize gay marriage. With the vote, Uruguay became the second nation in Latin America to approve of marriage equality and only the third in the Western Hemisphere. Uruguay joins Argentina and Canada.
Lawmakers in New Zealand also voted in favor of marriage equality one week ago, making New Zealand the 13th country in the world to recognize same sex marriages. New Zealand is the only country in the Asian-Pacific region to recognize same sex marriages.
And just yesterday, the French National Assembly voted in favor of marriage equality in a 331 to 225 vote. The vote in France was not without contention, as Paris has seen a series of protests against the measure. President Francois Hollande is expected to sign the bill into law.
In the US:
Closer to home, several states are currently considering marriage equality bills.
Delaware: A marriage equality bill passed through the Delaware House 5 days ago and heads to the Senate. Governor Jack Markell has expressed support for the bill. Delaware currently recognizes civil unions.
Nevada: Monday night, the Nevada Senate voted to repeal the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and replace it with a law legalizing same sex marriage. The measure now heads to the Nevada House.
Illinois: Marriage equality in Illinois has remained slightly in limbo since it’s defeat earlier in the year and subsequent passage by the state’s General Assembly. The bill is awaiting a vote in the Illinois House, and it’s prospects remain uncertain. Just today, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan posted this opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune.
Rhode Island: Lastly, the Rhode Island Senate is expected to vote on the state’s marriage equality bill today. The bill was previously passed by the Rhode Island House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support earlier this year. The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday voted to put the bill to a full floor vote in the Senate. Rhode Island is the only state in New England that currently does not endorse same sex marriage.