SOTU Guests Obergefell, Davis Highlight Gay Rights Divide

Activists celebrate the Supreme Court decision recognizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If there are two people who represent opposite poles in the gay marriage debate, it's Supreme Court plaintiff Jim Obergefell and Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. And they'll both be in the House chamber for the State of the Union on Tuesday night.  

Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case that declared same-sex marriages be recognized in all 50 states, will be seated in a place of prominence as a guest of first lady Michelle Obama. Davis, who made headlines last year for refusing to recognize a gay marriage license after the court's decision, will also be in the gallery.  

Former Divinity Student Coons: Faith Informs Politics

Coons, once a divinity student, says he's reconciled faith and politics. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pope Francis’ focus on issues such as climate change, immigration and economic inequality is being credited with making religion more attractive for progressives around the world.  

But there's always been room enough in Christianity, Sen. Chris Coons would argue, to balance a life of faith with concerns about the environment and social justice.  

Gay Marriage Tussle Not David Bunning's First Brush With Infamy

Bunning, and his wife Kay, talk to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, before his nomination hearing for the federal bench. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning’s decision Thursday to punish Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses she maintains conflict with her religious beliefs isn’t the only time the legal professional has been cast in an unflattering light.  

Per media reports, protestors were stunned by Bunning’s brushing aside — “One minister called the ruling unjust, saying religious freedom had been trampled on,” according to Gannett scribes — of Davis’ opposition to same-sex coupling.  

Free Your Mind at Comic-Con

Lewis is heading to Comic-Con to discuss "March Book Two." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attending Comic-Con International can certainly be about granting the imagination carte blanche to explore every fevered dream and act out the most outlandish childhood fantasies.  

But there also exist opportunities — albeit typically overshadowed by the elaborate cosplaying and relentless corporate focus-testing — to think big thoughts and ruminate about where we’re all headed as a society.  

Senate Minority Blocks Same-Sex Marriage Veterans Benefits (Updated)

Shaheen proposed ending discrimination against same-sex marriage in the military. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:49 p.m. | A Senate minority successfully blocked an amendment aimed at ending discrimination against same-sex marriage benefits for veterans Thursday.  

With the Supreme Court set to rule on gay marriage, 53 senators voted for the amendment sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., seven shy of the 60 needed under the rules. Her amendment would have deferred the definition of marriage for qualifying for veterans benefits to the state where the marriage was issued.  

Suzan DelBene Helps Aide Get Hitched

DelBene, center, does the honors as Zielke, left, and Schmidt, right, take the plunge. (Courtesy Meredith Hanafi)

Rep. Suzan DelBene’s professional family expanded by one this past weekend, after her chief of staff, Aaron Schmidt, went ahead and tied the knot with Justin Zielke.  

The longstanding couple did the legal thing on their own, but on May 16 they invited friends and loved ones — including the Washington Democrat, who was asked to say a few words — to celebrate the joyous occasion of their union out on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  

Team DelBene Taking Wedding Season By Storm

A trio of aides in the employ of Rep. Suzan DelBene are well on their way to walking down the aisle — including one whom the Washington Democrat is expected to marry off this Saturday.  

Aaron Schmidt, DelBene’s chief of staff, plans to take the plunge this weekend with his beau, Justin Zielke, during a ceremony at the Gibson Island Club in neighboring Maryland. The duo carved out a starring role for DelBene, who will preside over the public declaration of commitment (Schmidt and Zielke plan to knock out the legal portion of the proceedings ahead of time) in front of family and friends.  

#HashtagWars Gets All Political

A social media challenge to come clean about well-known fibs wound up fragging political types across the ideological spectrum.  

As he does most nights, talk show host Chris Hardwick put "@Midnight " fans to the test Thursday by proposing everyone own up to the mundane falsehoods that have become part of the fabric of modern life.

Cyrus Clan Cusses Out Mike Pence