Someday, I’m certain, marriage will only be news for the “Life” section, with engagement and wedding announcements routinely including same-gender couples, and only a celebrity couple of whatever orientation getting broader attention. Someday. But for now, marriage equality remains the LGBT issue, or at least the one that shows up most consistently on the national level.

On Tuesday there are four states with marriage equality measures on the ballot. For more details, see my earlier post here. A current update, via Box Turtle Bulletin:

Polling shows that the four marriage ballot questions are tightening up in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington. Opponents have gone on the air in all four states with their long-anticipated school attack ads, contending that marriage equality will result in gay sex demonstrations. Or something. …

Maryland Question 6: If passed, Question 6 will provide marriage equality for Maryland same-sex couples. Marylanders for Marriage Equality is fighting a tight battle for Question 6′s passage. …

Maine Marriage Initiative: A “˜Yes’ vote on Question 1 will allow same-sex couples to marry in Maine. Mainers United for Marriage is the main campaign behind the initiative. …

Minnesota Marriage Amendment: Amendment 1 is the ballot proposal to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Minnesotans United for All Families is the main group fighting against the amendment’s passage. …

Washington Referendum 74: If Referendum 74 is approved, same-sex couples will be able to marry just like everyone else in Washington state. Washington United for Marriage is working for R74’s passage. …

Meanwhile, at the federal level, an update on the Supreme Court and marriage equality decision, via Metro Weekly:

The Supreme Court justices will meet on Nov. 20 to consider whether the high court will hear a number of marriage equality cases petitioned for review by the court.

According to an announcement made Monday, the justices will review several Defense of Marriage Act cases petitioned before the court as well as the Proposition 8 case, which was distributed to the justices last month. The court is expected to announce which cases it will take up on Nov. 26.

Many suspect the justices held over the Proposition 8 case in order to consider it along with the DOMA challenges. Although many suspect the high court will consider at least one of the DOMA cases, likely issuing a decision by June 2013, the most immediate consequences of their November announcement could come from what they decide to do with the Proposition 8 case.

And, among the signs of hope and change, both related to marriage equality, are these two news items.

First, at The Texas Tribune, from a recent University of Texas / Tribune poll, the “Same-sex partnerships” question results from solidly, but not universally, Red Texas:

Voters here remain open to some form of legal partnership for gay and lesbian couples, with 36 percent saying they would allow those couples to marry and another 33 percent saying they would allow civil unions but not marriage. Another 25 percent said those couples should have neither the right to marry nor form civil unions. Read one way, 69 percent would allow some form of legal partnership; read another, 58 percent are against same-sex marriage in Texas.

(Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll and a political science professor at UT-Austin) … said the polling reveals some nuances in the positions Texans take on various issues ““ and same-sex partnerships are an example of that.

“˜Collectively, they jump out in the sense that they continue to demonstrate the pragmatism of the Texas electorate,’ he said. “˜We get into this red-state, blue-state mindset, particularly as the election nears. But we continue to find in the polling in Texas that on issues like gay marriage, voter ID, that if you give people the opportunity to take, instead of a black-and-white option, more of a grey option, a good subset of Texans will take that.’

And secondly, via Buzzfeed:

Maryland Catholic Priest Breaks With Church To Urge Marriage Equality

At Baltimore’s St. Vincent de Paul Church, Rev. Richard T. Lawrence read the archbishop’s statement urging a vote against the marriage bill referendum. He then told his parishioners why the archbishop was wrong. …

Lawrence, after finishing the archbishop’s letter, then told the congregation of his views and asked them, “˜[C]ould not civil law be allowed to progress where church law cannot go, at least not yet? Personally, I believe that it can and that it should.’
He concluded: “˜So there you have it: the official teaching of the church and my personal reflections.’

According to the Catholic Reporter’s Arthur Jones, the parishioners gave Lawrence a standing ovation.

Even in Republican strong Texas, and even in “traditional marriage” strong Roman Catholicism, support for marriage equality is present.

(Rainbow Heart via Photobucket)