3rd Annual Jackie Stevenson Dinner set for July 12

DNC Vice Chairman R.T. Rybak is keynote speaker

Our keynote speaker will be former Minneapolis Mayor and current Executive Director of Generation Next, R.T. Rybak.
Our keynote speaker will be former Minneapolis Mayor and current Executive Director of Generation Next, R.T. Rybak.

Congressional District 3 DFL will hold the 3rd Annual Jackie Stevenson Dinner Sunday, July 12 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Bloomington. The event begins with a social hour and silent auction at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m.

Stevenson, who passed away in 2012, was a DFL party leader. She mentored candidates and was a trusted advisor to many. Stevenson attended state conventions for more than 50 years and was a former president of the DFL Feminist Caucus.

This year’s keynote speaker is Democratic National Committee (DNC) Vice Chairman R.T. Rybak. Rybak served three terms as the mayor of Minneapolis and currently is head of Generation Next, a partnership of education, community, government and business leaders aimed at closing the achievement gap between white and minority students.

The following awards will be presented that evening:  (more…)

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2015 Jackie Stevenson Dinner Announced

  • Announcing the 3rd Annual Jackie Stevenson Dinner Brought to you by the 3rd Congressional District DFL (Click on image for more info.)

CD3’s Third Annual Jackie Stevenson Dinner has been announced.

Here’s the basic details. We’ll be getting more information to you as soon as we can.

But, please mark you calendars now and plan to attend:

What:  Third Annual Jackie Stevenson Dinner

When:  Sunday, July 12, 2015

Where:  Crowne Plaza Hotel, 5401 Green Valley Dr, Bloomington, MN 55347

Tickets and Sponsorship:  Visit our Jackie Stevenson Dinner event site for information on tickets and sponsorships, and to make your purchases.

You can find information on the Jackie Awards here.

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Welcome to CD3 DFL

cd3_smallWe’re the volunteer organization of the DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) covering Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District. The map of the area is to the left. Our district covers:

Brooklyn Park
Bloomington
Champlin
Chanhassan
Chaska
Coon Rapids
Corcoran
Dahlgren
Dayton
Deephaven
Eden Prairie
Edina
Excelsior
Greenfield
Greenwood
Independence
Laketown
Long Lake
Loretto
Maple Plain
Maple Grove
Medicine Lake
Medina
Minnetonka
Minnetonka Beach
Minnetrista
Mound
Orono
Osseo
Plymouth
Plymouth
Rogers
Shorewood
Spring Park
St. Bonifacius
Tonka Bay
Victoria, and
Wayzata.

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In the Know: July 1, 2015

Events today

  • Gov. Dayton will announce raises for his commissioners. Agency head compensation rates have not been updated in 12 years. The new salary levels were based on the recommendations of the bipartisan Compensation Council. The council was comprised of both public and private sector individuals as well as current and former legislators.
  • President Obama will travel to Nashville for a speech on health care.
  • Sen. Franken will visit a Youth Farm site in North Minneapolis, where kids learn valuable skills by growing food and distributing it through local, youth run markets.
  • Sen. Franken, Congressman Ellison and Secretary of State Steve Simon will visit the Minneapolis Urban League to discuss efforts to protect the voting rights of all Americans.
  • What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham and Bobby Jindal will attend events in Iowa. Chris Christie will hold town hall meetings in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders will hold a rally in Madison, Wis.
  • Lt. Gov. Smith will provide remarks at the Canadian Consulate’s Canada Day celebration.

Events Thursday

  • President Obama will visit the La Crosse area “for an event on the economy.”
  • Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will visit Rochester for a fundraiser brunch and town meeting at 9 a.m. in the Rochester International Event Center.

Save the date

July 8 – Senate District 42 DFL will host a prevailing wage/right to work forum from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Roseville Library, 2180 N Hamline Ave., Roseville.  (more…)

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Doug Loon Nonpartisan? Not So Much

The spouse of HD48B representative, Jenifer Loon, has a new position per Adam Belz in the June 30, 2015, StarTribune. Please take the time to read the full article.  See if your head spins, too.

We’ve included some numbers to link you to those “what the what” statements that jumped out at us.

  1. The Chamber cites the issues of importance that are strong Democratic issues:  transportation and immigration
  2. Loon gives no credit to what the DFL legislature and Gov. Dayton have done to strengthen the economy, gives lip service to “improvement” with no details (improvement like in Wisconsin?)
  3. The Chamber and Loon worked to move the House to GOP controlled and he says the next step is changing the Minnesota Senate to GOP control
  4. Before working for the U.S. Chamber, he was a GOP Congressional staffer
  5. He calls the Chamber non-partisan.

“The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that its new president will be Douglas Loon, a longtime Midwest regional executive for the U.S. Chamber.

He will fill the vacancy left by the death last July of David Olson, who led the state’s largest business lobby for nearly a quarter century.

“A perfect choice. He’s smart. He has a good reputation with both sides of the aisle. He knows Minnesota well,” said Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership. “He’ll be well received at the Capitol.”

Loon, 50, grew up in South Dakota, worked in Washington for a Pennsylvania senator and has been based in Minnesota since 1998. His wife, Jenifer Loon, is a Republican state representative from Eden Prairie.

Douglas Loon will take the post in September and spend the fall months touring the state and preparing for next year’s legislative session.

The Chamber and its mostly Republican allies are coming off a strong year in which the GOP took the Minnesota House and logged a solid performance in the 2015 legislative session.

(1) Taxes and transportation were left unresolved and will be a battleground in 2016. The chamber also lists immigration reform and education as key issues, as the state struggles to deal with an aging workforce and the shifting demographics of its younger population.

Chamber members and leaders seethed over a 2013 tax hike on the wealthiest Minnesotans and a rise in the minimum wage. But the state’s economy has remained among the nation’s healthiest and unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since 2006.

“We know that Minnesota is a great place to start, build and grow a business,” Loon said. “It is not strictly the government that has built that. That is built by the private marketplace and their resiliency and ability to compete.”

Last week, the annual ranking by CNBC of the business environment in states — which named Minnesota the best state for business — provided a new moment for Democrats and Republicans to square off over what they believe is driving the state’s success.

(2) In an interview, Loon said CNBC’s accolade doesn’t mean the state can’t improve and pointed to the TV network’s finding of high taxes as a disadvantage for Minnesota businesses.

(3) The Minnesota Chamber, which represents more than 2,300 companies across the state, helped Republicans take control of the Minnesota House in 2014, and Loon said the next step is to win the Senate.

‘If you look at just the political landscape, that’s going to be a place where everybody’s going to put focus,’ he said. ‘I would describe it as protect and advance, protect the working pro-business majority that they enjoy and continue to expand it. We’re going to be looking for friends where we can find them, and on each issue you build coalitions of the willing.’

(5) But he also called the chamber a “nonpartisan organization” and said “pro-business” is not code for Republican. He rejected the notion that his appointment gives fuel to critics who say the chamber is just a fundraising and lobbying arm of the state GOP.

‘They may try to paint me with that broad brush, but the reality is I work for a nonpartisan organization now, and I expect to operate in a nonpartisan way at the chamber,” Loon said.

(4) After serving as legislative director for Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, early in his career, Loon has been at the U.S. Chamber since 1995 and based in – Minnesota since 1998.

He manages the national chamber’s seven regional offices that handle political and grass roots outreach. He also manages the U.S. Chamber’s Midwest region, which includes Minnesota.

One of Loon’s strengths is his experience working with local chambers and trade groups and the businesses that make up their backbone.

“I think he can relate well to small businesses that are the chamber’s bread-and-butter,” Weaver said.

Bill Blazar, who served as interim president and did not apply for the chamber’s president position, will guide Loon through the transition while returning to his previous role as senior vice president of public affairs and business development.”

You can read the full post here.

 

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In the Know: June 30, 2015

Events today

  • The PCR expires today. If you haven’t made your refundable donation to the Minnesota DFL, please click here.
  • Today is the final day of the second fundraising quarter. Presidential candidates, at least the serious and credible ones, spend the majority of their time raising money. The last-minute scrambles on the final day of March, June, September and December are always fun to watch. Chris Hughes, the owner of The New Republic, and his husband are hosting a Hillary Clinton finance event in Manhattan today. Marco Rubio is raising money this evening in Orange County; Ted Cruz, in Houston; Rand Paul, in Denver.
  • 10 a.m. – Gov. Chris Christie announces he is running for president in New Jersey and then goes straight to New Hampshire for a town hall meeting.
  • 10:30 a.m. – Senate Republican leader David Hann will hold a news conference to call on Gov. Dayton to limit pay raises. 

Events Thursday

  • President Obama will visit the La Crosse area “for an event on the economy.”
  • Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will visit Rochester for a fundraiser brunch and town meeting at 9 a.m. in the Rochester International Event Center.

2016 election

Presidential hopefuls on last-minute money drive ahead of Tuesday fundraising deadline, Star Tribune

Agriculture

Corn syrup’s DC attack on sugar could hit Minnesota beet industry, Star Tribune

Education (K-12)

MN student testing faces big cuts after lawmakers slash budget, MPR

Minnesota licensing hurdles frustrate out-of-state teachers, Pioneer Press

Labor

Obama proposes extending overtime to 5 million, says too many workers getting short-changed, Star Tribune

President Obama overtime rule could raise wages for 5 million Politico 

Obama proposed news rules to make 5 million more people eligible for overtime pay. “Employers can now often get around the rules: Any salaried employee who’s paid more than $455 a week — or $23,660 a year — can be called a ‘manager,’ given limited supervisory duties and made ineligible for overtime,” the AP reports. “Obama says that the level is too low and undercuts the intent of the overtime law. The threshold was last updated in 2004 and has been eroded by inflation … The long-awaited overtime rule (more…)

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New Data Illustrate the Failure of the Trickle-Down Experiment

On June 29, 2015, Brendan Duke with the Center for American Progress wrote the following:

Duke-Inequality-colfigNew statistics confirm what middle-class Americans have known for years: The economic recovery barely applies to them. University of California, Berkeley, economist Emmanuel Saez has updated his frequently cited income data and the picture they paint of the recovery is as predictable as it is discouraging. As of 2014, the top 1 percent of Americans have seen 58 percent of the gains in the economic recovery, while the average real income of the bottom 90 percent has grown just 1.6 percent since the recovery began in 2009.

It has not always been this way. These developments have been a natural experiment in trickle-down economics—the theory that tax cuts, deregulation, and the destruction of basic labor protections would unleash a wave of economic growth. The experiment has failed.

See data on the impact of the trickle-down experiment on income growth.

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The Relationship Between Student Debt and College Completion

On June 29, 2015, Ben Miller with the Center for American Progress wrote the following:

DebtWhile it is easy to bemoan high levels of student debt and big numbers—such as the more than $1 trillion that Americans currently owe—debt itself is not inherently bad if it allows students to earn high-quality degrees and credentials that they could not otherwise afford. The major issue is whether students who borrowed completed their education. In other words, it is far better to be a bachelor’s degree graduate with $28,400 in loans—the national average in 2013—than a dropout who owes $10,000.

To measure the relationship between debt and college completion, the Center for American Progress conducted an analysis that compared the total amount of student loan debt owed in each state with the number of adults ages 18 or older who earned at least an associate’s degree. The analysis indicates that the average debt of student borrowers can often be misleading. In some states, small debt burdens for borrowers look much worse given low levels of postsecondary attainment. In other states, a high average debt for borrowers may not be as concerning because so many residents are earning postsecondary degrees.

See data on student loan debt per borrower and per graduate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

You can read the original post here.

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Republican presidential candidates out of step

Last week was an amazing week for Americans all across the nation. The Supreme Court made two historic decisions – the Affordable Care Act is here to stay and love is love for all Americans. Real progress has been made and Democrats will continue to fight for commonsense policies that benefit Americans from all backgrounds.

But Republicans aren’t agreeing and want to continue the fight. Take a look at some of the things they’ve had to say since the Court’s decisions:

On marriage equality:

Bush: “I believe in traditional marriage.”

Walker: “The only alternative left is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.”

Rubio: “I believe that marriage…should be between one man and one woman.”

Perry: “I’m a firm believer in traditional marriage… I fundamentally disagree with the court rewriting the law and assaulting the 10th Amendment.”

Jindal: “Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.”

Fiorina: “I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage.”

Huckabee: “The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress…to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny.”

On the Affordable Care Act:

Bush: “I will work with Congress to repeal…”

Paul: “As President, I will fight for full-fledged, 100 percent REPEAL.”

Rubio: “I remain committed to repealing this bad law…

Walker: “Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the administration’s implementation of ObamaCare means Republicans in the House and Senate must redouble their efforts to repeal…”

Perry: “It’s time we repealed Obamacare…”

Cruz: “Every GOP candidate for the Republican nomination should know that this decision makes the 2016 election a referendum on the full repeal of Obamacare.”

Graham: “Today’s decision only reinforces why we need a president who will bring about real reform that repeals Obamacare…”

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In the Know: June 29, 2015

Events today

  • 9 a.m. – Gov. Dayton will provide remarks at the National Congress of American Indians Mid-Year Conference. St. Paul River Centre, Grand Ballroom ABEF.
  • 9 a.m. – The Supreme Court will hand down its final three decisions for the term.
    • Lethal injection: “Death-row inmates in Oklahoma are objecting to the use of the sedative midazolam in lethal-injection executions after the drug was implicated in several botched executions. Their argument is that the drug does not reliably induce a coma-like sleep that would prevent them from experiencing the searing pain of the paralytic and heart-stopping drugs that follow sedation.”
    • Independent redistricting commissions: “Roughly a dozen states have adopted independent commissions to reduce partisan politics in drawing congressional districts. The case from Arizona involves a challenge from Republican state lawmakers who complain that they can’t be completely cut out of the process without violating the Constitution.”
    • Mercury emissions: “Industry groups and Republican-led states assert that environmental regulators overstepped their bounds by coming up with expensive limits on the emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants without taking account of the cost of regulation at the start of the process. The first-ever limits on mercury emissions, more than a decade in the making, began to take effect in April.”
  • 1 p.m. – DFL Chairman Ken Martin meets with MinnPost staff to review the 2015 session.
  • 2 p.m. – Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association will release data from recent statewide poll regarding the public perception of police officers in Minnesota.  The poll was conducted June 15-16, 2015 and covers the topics including: police job approval rating, public’s perception of safety in their localities, personal interactions with police, and police judgement in using deadly force. 
  • Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon will travel to southwest Minnesota to meet with county officials and discuss several election reform issues, including upcoming initiatives such as ensuring Minnesota is prepared in the event a large scale incident affects an election….Secretary Simon will meet with county election officials in Cottonwood, Murray, Pipestone, Rock, and Jackson counties. 

Event Thursday

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will visit Rochester for a fundraiser brunch and town meeting at 9 a.m. in the Rochester International Event Center.

2015 session

Craig Clark: Session didn’t deliver on high hopes, Austin Daily Herald

2016 election

Hillary Clinton in Minnesota: Quiet, but coordinating, Star Tribune

NBC distances itself from Donald Trump: ‘We do not agree with his positions’, Star Tribune

As left wins culture battles, G.O.P. gains opportunity to pivot for 2016, New York Times

‘Abide by the law': Campaign trail responds to same-sex marriage ruling, MPR

Christie to announce Tuesday that he’s running for president, MPR

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to visit Rochester, Rochester Post Bulletin

Bernie Sanders to make second visit to Minnesota, MPR

Cruz: Opposition to gay marriage to be front and center in 2016 campaign, MPR

Nearly a month into his run, O’Malley hires a campaign manager, The Washington Post

Chris Christie will use his Tuesday announcement, at the high school where he graduated, to present himself as the candidate in the 2016 field with the biggest and boldest ideas. The New Jersey governor plans to continue unveiling a steady stream of provocative policy plans in the coming months aimed at (more…)

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In the Know: June 26, 2015

Weekend Events

Saturday June 27th

  • 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Stonewall DFL will at Twin Cities Pride on the festival grounds in Loring Park. For additional information, contact Gerald Strauss at gerald.strauss@gmail.
  • “Awake the Lakes Area DFL” hosted by the Douglas County DFL. 118 City Park Road, Alexandria. 1-3 p.m. music, 3-5 p.m. speakers including House DFL Assistant Leader Erin Murphy, a representative from Congressman Collin Peterson’s office and Mike Simpkins.

Sunday June 28th

  • 11 a.m. 2015 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade @ 3rd Street and Hennepin Avenue
  • 12 p.m. – 3 p.m., Seventh Annual Family Picnic of the DFL Senior Caucus, Brookview Park, Golden Valley.

Save the date!

  • July 12 – Tickets are now on sale for the 3rd Annual Jackie Stevenson Dinner in Bloomington. Get more information here
  • July 14 – Senate District 53 and Senate District 39 Summer Picnic, 5:30 p.m., Tartan Park, Lake Elmo.

2016 election

Christie to announce Tuesday that he’s running for president, MPR

Affordable Care Act

Supreme Court rules Obamacare subsidies are legal, MPR

Saving Obamacare, Supreme Court upholds a key part of the landmark health care overhaul, Star Tribune

Minnesota politicians react to Obamacare ruling, MPR

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Dinkytown

 Council ponders historic status for part of Dinkytown, MPR

Marriage Equality

Supreme Court ruling legalizes same-sex marriage, The Hill 

Supreme Court, in landmark ruling, says same-sex couples have right to marry in all 50 states, Star Tribune

Obama, in tweet, calls high court decision on gay marriage ‘big step in March toward equality, Star Tribune

Minnesota Officials React To SCOTUS Marriage Equality Ruling, WCCO

dayton-at-pride

Science Museum

The Daily Digest: $26M in Science Museum repairs, MPR

Somalia Caucus

Emmer and Ellison team up to form House Somalia Caucus, MinnPost

Emmer, Ellison join to create Somalia Caucus, Star Tribune 

Trade

MN Dems pivot, support worker trade assistance, MPR

                    #LETLOVE WIN

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Obamacare Subsidies Upheld By Supreme Court Ruling

A white button with words Affordable Care Act isolated on white, Affordable Care Act Button

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld one of the crucial components of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) by ruling the subsidies Americans receive for insurance on the federal exchange are legal.  Here’s a post by Sam Reisman with the National Memo published June 25, 2015:

The highest court handed down a 6-3 ruling upholding one of the crucial components of the Affordable Care Act, preserving the subsidies for Americans receiving insurance on the federal exchange, and dealing a decisive blow to Republican opponents of the law, for whom the case, King v. Burwell, was a last-ditch effort to kill the legislation.

The majority opinion, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, said, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.”

This latest — and presumably final significant — challenge to the ACA was a nakedly political case that hinged on four words of the law that were widely acknowledged to be a careless, sloppy mistake.

The plaintiffs in King v. Burwell alleged that subsidies offered to low- and middle-income Americans buying insurance on federal exchanges were not permitted under the legislation as it was passed. The exact wording of the statute says subsidies are only available to those who purchase insurance on exchanges “established by the State.”

The words make little sense in context with the rest of the legislation — since the federal exchanges only exist for people who live in states that did not set up their own exchanges.

“The Affordable Care Act contains more than a few examples of inartful drafting,” according to the majority opinion. “When read in context, the phrase ‘an Exchange established by the State […]’ is properly viewed as ambiguous.”

The majority opinion found that:

the Act’s context and structure compel the conclusion that … [the section in question] allows tax credits for insurance purchased on any Exchange created under the Act. Those credits are necessary for the Federal Exchanges to function like their State Exchange counterparts, and to avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.

In his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that to interpret the phrase “Exchange established by the State” to mean “Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government […] is of course quite absurd, and the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so.” Further, the majority opinion was a “defense of the indefensible.”

Scalia continued:

Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is “established by the State.”

[…] Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.
Scalia accused the six Justices in the majority of performing “somersaults of statutory interpretation” in defense of the law.

This is a characteristic backflip from Scalia, who in a 1989 concurrence in the case of Green v. Bock Laundry, had no trouble justifying a departure from the strict definition of a word, when interpreting the phrasing literally produced an undesirable and unintended result:

We are confronted here with a statute which, if interpreted literally, produces an absurd, and perhaps unconstitutional, result. […]

I think it entirely appropriate to consult all public materials, including the background of [the Rule at issue] and the legislative history of its adoption, to verify that what seems to us an unthinkable disposition […] was indeed unthought of, and thus to justify a departure from the ordinary meaning of the word “defendant” in the Rule.

You can read the original post here.

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Supreme Court rules gay couples nationwide have a right to marry

Rainbow FlagGreat news this morning on the Supreme Court ruling.  Here’s a verbatim post from Robert Barnes on the Washington Post site June 26, 2015:

The Supreme Court on Friday delivered an historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5-4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

The court’s action marks the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation’s jurisprudence. Advocates called it the most pressing civil rights issue of modern times, while critics said the courts had sent the country into uncharted territory by changing the traditional definition of marriage.

The country’s first legally recognized same-sex marriages took place just 11 years ago, the result of a Massachusetts state supreme court decision. Now, more than 70 percent of Americans live in states where same-sex couples are allowed to marry, according to estimates.

The Supreme Court used cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, where restrictions about same-sex marriage were upheld by an appeals court last year, to find that the Constitution does not allow such prohibitions.

The questions raised in the cases were left unanswered in 2013, when the justices last confronted the issue of same-sex marriage. A slim majority of the court said at the time that a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act — withholding the federal government’s recognition of same-sex marriages — was unconstitutional. In a separate case, the court said procedural issues kept it from answering the constitutional question in a case from California, but that move allowed same-sex marriages to resume in that state.

Since then, courts across the nation — with the notable exception of the Cincinnati-based federal appeals court that left intact the restrictions in the four states at issue — have struck down a string of state prohibitions on same-sex marriage, many of them passed by voters in referendums.

When the Supreme Court declined to review a clutch of those court decisions in October, same-sex marriage proliferated across the country.

Couples may now marry in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

Public attitudes toward such unions have undergone a remarkable change as well. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll showed a record 61 percent of Americans say they support same-sex marriage. The acceptance is driven by higher margins among the young.

When the justices declined in October to review the string of victories same-sex marriage proponents had won in other parts of the country, it meant the number of states required to allow gay marriages grew dramatically, offering the kind of cultural shift the court often likes to see before approving a fundamental change.

The Obama administration had urged the court to find that the Constitution requires such restrictions be struck down, and Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. made the case on behalf of the administration at the court’s oral arguments in April.

“In a world in which gay and lesbian couples live openly as our neighbors, they raise their children side by side with the rest of us, they contribute fully as members of the community . . . it is simply untenable — untenable — to suggest that they can be denied the right of equal participation in an institution of marriage, or that they can be required to wait until the majority decides that it is ready to treat gay and lesbian people as equals,” he said.

The combined cases now before the Supreme Court known as Obergefell v. Hodges.

You can read the original post here.

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