Of course the big news this week is that England is about to join the family of nations were marriage equality is legal. The size of the margin of the vote in the House of Commons was astounding. Also four states continue to make progress marching toward marriage equality and stand a good chance of having it by the end of the year.
The House of Commons on the second reading of the marriage equality legislation voted 400 to 175. The margin was much greater than expected. The legislation will need to come up for a third reading. The House of Lords is expected to pass it especially given the 225 vote margin in the House of Commons.
The lone Republican Senator in the Hawaii State Senate says he fully expects that Hawaii will pass marriage equality this year. While Hawaii has a constitutional amendment it gives the power to the state legislature to make changes. Legislation for marriage equality has been introduced in both houses of the legislature. United States Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) has endorsed the the passage.
On Monday there was a huge step in the Illinois State Senate when marriage equality was voted out of the Senate Executive Committee by a 9 to 5 vote. The chances are good in the next couple of months that Illinois will pass marriage equality. Senate President John Cullerton has promised the passage of marriage equality in the State Senate as a "Valentines Day gift"!
The process continues in Rhode Island. The legislation for marriage equality has to pass the State Senate. The key person is the President of the State Senate and how soon she moves the legislation and if she moves it. In a powerful statement the Rhode Island Council of Churches has announced their support for marriage equality. It represents over 300 churches in the state!
United States Senator Chris Coons has endorsed marriage equality and their is real movement in the state toward legislation.
The Washington Post reports that the military is expected to announce that benefits that don't fall under DOMA are expected to be offered to same sex couples in the military. This could include housing, use of recreational facilities and joint duty assignments for couples.