Gay marriage advocates eye Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, New Jersey

A box of cupcakes are seen topped with icons of same-sex couples at City Hall in San Francisco, June 29, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A box of cupcakes are seen topped with icons of same-sex couples at City Hall in San Francisco, June 29, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Activists will focus efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in four U.S. states this year and next, hoping to capitalize on political momentum following Supreme Court victories for gay rights, the Freedom to Marry advocacy group said on Tuesday.

The group is targeting Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey, where legislative measures to legalize same-sex marriage have failed, and Oregon, where there is a drive to put a gay marriage initiative on the ballot in November.

While the Supreme Court justices stopped short of declaring a nationwide right to same-sex marriage, it ruled that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages in states where it is legal.

“It’s obviously a very exciting time in our movement and in our campaign,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and head of Freedom to Marry. “We have tremendous momentum from the wins that we secured at the ballot last year, the three states that we’ve already won this year and of course the Supreme Court rulings.”

Thirteen U.S. states and the District of Columbia recognize gay marriage. Among them, Delaware, Minnesota and Rhode Island legalized gay marriage this year.

Opponents of same-sex marriage called the Freedom to Marry’s four-state strategy overly optimistic.

“They’re hugely overplaying their hand,” said Thomas Peters, a spokesman for the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes gay marriage.

“These are states where gay marriage advocates have been saying for months, if not years, that gay marriage is inevitable and they’ve made no progress.”

In Illinois, a bill to recognize same-sex marriage stalled in the state legislature this year but could be revived when lawmakers return in the fall.

New Jersey is shaping up as a battleground as Democrat lawmakers seek enough votes to overturn Republican Governor Chris Christie’s veto of same-sex marriage legislation last year.

Freedom to Marry also said it is targeting at least six more states to pass same-sex marriage in 2015 and 2016 that may include Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…