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Finding aid of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Collection of Media Reports on Same-sex Marriage, 2004 General Election

Finding aid prepared by Lilly Insalata, © 2008

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (U.S.).
Title
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force collection of Media Reports on Same-sex Marriage, 2004 General Election
Collection no.
Coll2008.055
Date
September-November 2004
Extent
2.0 linear feet.
Language
English
Abstract
Newspaper clippings and printouts of articles on posted to newspaper and other media websites ("WebClips") documenting the political battle over constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage put before voters in 11 states (Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah) in the general election of November 2, 2004.

Preferred Citation

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force collection of Media Reports on Same-sex Marriage, 2004 General Election, Coll2008-055, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

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History

The GLBT community has challenged the legal restriction of marriage to opposite-sex partners since at least 1970, when the Reverend Troy Perry, founder of the predominantly GLBT Metropolitan Community Church, presided over a ceremony between two women, issuing a church marriage certificate that would have exempted the couple from obtaining a marriage license had they been a man and a woman. Other efforts to circumvent the legal restriction were subsequently undertaken in Minnesota (1971), Kentucky (1973), Boulder, Colorado (1975), Washington, DC (1990), and Ithaca, New York (1995).

GLBT efforts to obtain legal recognition of same-sex marriage increased in the decade between 1995 and 2004. In 1996, the Supreme Court of Hawaii's consideration of a measure that would have legalized same-sex marriage in that state created considerable controversy. In response, anti-gay sentiment in the US Congress led to the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages enacted in other states and denies federal benefits to same-sex marital partners. The measure passed even though same-sex marriage had not yet been made legal anywhere in the US, and despite the fact that it appeared to pose a conflict with the Constitution's provision for full faith and credit.

Despite the passage of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the GLBT community's efforts continued, meeting with increasing success:

  • In 2000, following a class-action suit begun in 1997, the state of Vermont instituted a form of "civil union", whereby same-sex couples registered as domestic partners gain access to some 300 state benefits and privileges in the areas of inheritance, property transfers, medical decisions, workers' compensation, insurance, and state taxes previously available only to heterosexual married couples.
  • On June 26, 2003, the US Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas struck down consensual sodomy laws across the nation. Legal scholars interpreted this decision as providing a foundation for the legalization of same-sex marriage, since without sodomy laws a primary justification for the denial of other civil entitlements (including marriage) could no longer be invoked.
  • On September 19, 2003, governor Gray Davis signed into law the California Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003 (effective January 1, 2005), extending to domestic partnerships virtually all the legal rights and responsibilities of marriage in California.
  • On November 13, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional; town clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on May 17, 2004.
  • Between February 14 and March 11, 2004 (when forced to cease by court order), the County of San Francisco issued marriage licenses to over 4,000 same-sex couples.
  • Between March 3 and April 20, 2004 (when forced to cease by court order), Multnomah County, Oregon, issued marriage licenses to 3,022 same-sex couples.

Religious and social conservatives were alarmed by these developments, which they saw as a "capitulation" to the "homosexual agenda" and a threat to "order and morality". In response, they succeeded in having constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage placed on ballots in 13 states-Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah-in the general election year of 2004 (Louisiana and Missouri voted on the amendments in the spring; the remaining states voted on them on November 2). Despite the efforts of the GLBT community against the amendments, in particular in Oregon (where the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force contributed more than $900,000 in cash and kind, and the Human Rights Campaign spent another $514,000), the amendments passed easily in all 13 states. The issue of "family values" energized evangelical Christians and the political right, and many political analysts believe that these voters tilted the vote in hotly contested Ohio to George W. Bush, ensuring him a second term.

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Scope and Content of Collection

This collection consists of newspaper clippings and printouts of articles posted to newspaper and other media websites ("WebClips") documenting GLBT-related issues in the last quarter of 2004, in particular the political battle over constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage put before voters in 11 states (Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah) in the general election of November 2 (Louisiana and Missouri voted on, and passed, similar amendments earlier in the year). The newspaper clippings relate almost exclusively to the issue of same-sex marriage and the role the NGLTF played in the political battle. The webclips, taken from a wide variety of websites (including newspapers, television and radio stations, and organizations), cover a broader range of other GLBT issues, many of them local, in which the also NGLTF played a role.

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Arrangement

The materials are arranged by format (newspaper clippings and webclips), then chronologically by the date of publication.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
© 2008
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Publication Rights

Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Sheri Lunn, former Communications Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, September 2008.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lilly Insalata, October 18, 2008.

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (U.S.).

Subject(s)

  • Homosexuality--Law and legislation--United States
  • Homosexuality--Political aspects--United States
  • Homosexuality--Social aspects--United States
  • Same-sex marriage--United States

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

 List of NGLTF staff June 2004 

1 1

 Newspaper Clippings September 28-December 2004   43.0 folders.

Box Folder

  September 28, 2004 

1 2

  October-December 2004 

1 3

  October 9, 2004 

1 4

  October 14, 2004 

1 5

  October 18, 2004 

1 6

  October 19, 2004 

1 7

  October 20, 2004 

1 8

  October 21, 2004 

1 9

  October 22, 2004 

1 10

  October 25, 2004 

1 11

  October 26, 2004 

1 12

  October 27, 2004 

1 13

  October 28, 2004 

1 14

  October 29, 2004 

1 15

  October 31, 2004   4.0 folders.

1 16-19

  November 2004 

1 20

  November 1, 2004 

1 21

  November 2, 2004 

1 22

  November 3, 2004 

1 23

  November 4, 2004   5.0 folders.

1 24-28

  November 5, 2004 

1 29

  November 7, 2004   3.0 folders.

1 30-32

  November 8, 2004 

1 33

  November 9, 2004 

1 34

  November 10, 2004 

1 35

  November 11, 2004 

1 36

  November 12, 2004 

1 37

  November 13, 2004 

1 38

  November 14, 2004 

1 39

  November 15, 2004 

1 40

  November 17, 2004 

1 41

  November 19, 2004 

1 43

  November 23, 2004 

1 44

  November 18, 2004 

1 42

  December 2004 

1 45

 WebClips September 13-November 30, 2004   70.0 folders.

Box Folder

  September 13, 2004 

2 1

  September 23, 2004 

2 2

  September 24, 2004 

2 3

  September 25, 2004 

2 4

  September 26, 2004 

2 5

  September 27, 2004 

2 6

  September 28, 2004 

2 7

  September 29, 2004 

2 8

  September 30, 2004 

2 9

  October 1, 2004 

2 10

  October 2, 2004 

2 11

  October 3, 2004   22.0 folders.

2 12-33

  October 4, 2004 

2 34

  October 5, 2004 

2 35

  October 6, 2004 

2 36

  October 7, 2004 

2 37

  October 8, 2004 

2 38

  October 9, 2004 

2 39

  October 10, 2004 

2 40

  October 11, 2004 

2 41

  October 12, 2004 

2 42

  October 13, 2004 

2 43

  October 15, 2004 

2 44

  October 17, 2004 

2 45

  October 18, 2004 

2 46

  October 19, 2004 

2 47

  October 20, 2004 

2 48

  October 21, 2004 

2 49

  October 22, 2004 

2 50

  October 23, 2004 

2 51

  October 24, 2004 

2 52

  October 25, 2004 

2 53

  October 26, 2004 

2 54

  November 1, 2004 

2 55

  November 6, 2004 

2 56

  November 8, 2004 

2 57

  November 10, 2004 

2 58

  November 14, 2004 

2 59

  November 20, 2004 

2 60

  November 21, 2004 

2 61

  November 22, 2004 

2 62

  November 23, 2004 

2 63

  November 24, 2004 

2 64

  November 25, 2004 

2 65

  November 26, 2004 

2 66

  November 27, 2004 

2 67

  November 28, 2004 

2 68

  November 29, 2004 

2 69

  November 30, 2004 

2 70

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