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Marriage equality beams up to Michigan, New Jersey

Gavin Stern
George Takei says, “these are not two cities” in a speech about LGBT equality at the National Press Club in Washington. Takei played Commander Sulu on Star Trek.

WASHINGTON – It was a consequential week for gay rights, with Michigan and New Jersey moving toward allowing gay marriage through the judicial system. Victory in those states would increase the number of states allowing gay marriage to 16, along with the District of Colombia.
“Nationally, there’s this idea that we’re moving forward, like what happened in Michigan and New Jersey. But I don’t want to say it’s inevitable,” said Brant Miller, 27, a program associate for The DC Center for the LGBT Community.
George Takei, an openly gay actor best known for his role as Commander Sulu (later Captain) in Star Trek, spoke at the National Press Club Oct. 18 to advocate for marriage equality.
“I grew up as a child imprisoned in barbed wire,” Takei said, referring not to his sexual orientation but to his internment as a Japanese-American during World War II. He called the laws that prevent gay people from marrying “legalistic barbed wires with hard, sharp barbs of prejudice and ignorance.”
In Michigan, U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman decided this week to allow a challenge to the Michigan Marriage Amendment, a voter referendum that passed in 2004. The Feb. 25 trial will determine if outlawing gay marriage serves a legitimate state interest.
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the state Supreme Court voted Oct. 18 to allow gay marriages to proceed while Gov. Chris Christie appeals a lower court decision. The Garden State previously permitted civil unions, which the Republican governor supported. The New Jersey court also cited a lack of state interest in preventing the marriages from going forward.
Miller warned, though, that while marriage equality is a major issue in the LGBT community today, it’s far from the only one.
“While marriage equality is something that many LGBT people want, there are other issues that LGBT people face and address, like homelessness, transgendered people and the complex issues that LGBT people of color face. All of those things are important,” Miller said.
Takei, for his part, said he is hopeful for the future of gay rights because of young people.
“Especially young, straight couples, because they’re going to be making the gay babies of tomorrow,” Takei said, to laughter from the lunch audience.
“And it is for them that we have to be change agents today.”
Gavin Stern is the multimedia fellow at the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire. He may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Aaron Montes
Aaron Montes, Staff Photographer
Aaron Montes is a junior multimedia journalism student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He graduated from Burges High School in 2010, where he was the head photographer for three years with his yearbook organization, Hoofbeats, the newspaper, Stampede and a literary magazine, Pegasus. With The Prospector, Aaron has been a photographer, the photo editor and multimedia editor. His major contributions to the publication have come through coverage of the ASARCO and City Hall demolitions and with the bomb threat on campus March 28th. He plans on doing investigative reporting in political and economical issues in El Paso and nationally. He strives to become part of the Associated Press.
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    Full PostJan 27, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    I don’t leeave many responses, but i did a few searching and wound up hwre The Prospector :
    Marriage equality beams up to Michigan, New Jersey. And
    I do have 2 questions foor you if it’s allright.
    Is it just me or does it appear like a few of the responses look as if they are written by braiin
    dead people? 😛 And, if you are posting at other sites, I
    would like to follow anything new yyou have to post.
    Could you list of everfy one of your community sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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Marriage equality beams up to Michigan, New Jersey