Ireland: First Same Sex Weddings Before Christmas!

Written by scott on May 23rd, 2015

Irish Times

Although the public just overwhelmingly approved a referendum on marriage equality, it’s gonna be a few more months before same sex couples can marry in the country.

The International Business Times reports:

Arrangements will start within the next few days to pass a law to give create the Constitutional amendment that will allow Ireland’s first same-sex marriage to take place before Christmas. The expected Yes vote will result in a new sentence being added to Article 41 of Ireland’s Constitution. It will read: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”…

To give effect to the amendment, the Oireachtas (Ireland’s parliament) will enact the Marriage Bill 2015, which will state in law that being of the same sex is no longer an impediment to marriage. Officials in the Department of Justice are due to start the drafting the legalisation next week. A spokesman said the Bill would be ranked with a view to it being passed by the Oireachtas before the summer recess. The law will set out the practical changes to come. When it comes into place, two people getting married will declare that they accept each other as “husband and wife” or as “spouses of each other”. It will also state that a change of gender will have no effect on marriage…

When the Marriage Bill has been drafted, it will go to Cabinet for a formal sign-off. It will then be enacted by the Oireachtas – probably in July – before practical work is done on changing marriage forms and procedures. Lastly, the Minister for Justice will sign a commencement order.


Marriage Equality Round-Up – May 23rd

Written by scott on May 23rd, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

INTERNET: Google search results for Ashers Bakery, the Irish bakery that came under fire for refusing to bake a gay wedding cake, now return a riff on the Keep Calm meme that reads “Keep Calm And Kill Faggots.” full story

POP CULTURE: The CFL’s Montreal Alouettes have signed former NFL defensive end Michael Sam to a two-year contract. full story

WORLDWIDE: I just edited Freedom to Marry’s map from yesterday to add Ireland. Look at all that pink!!! full story

world map

IRELAND: There’s a rainbow in Dublin as the country celebrates marriage equality. full story

Rainbow in Dublin

RUSSIA: Moscow Pride will be banned again this year for the tenth time in a row, Moscow town hall announced on Thursday. full story

SWITZERLAND: A Catholic bishop in Switzerland has walked back statements he made about “praying the gay away.” full story

UK: Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said same-sex marriage contributes to the “greatest evil” in the country. full story

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: It’s your turn. full story

USA: The Family Research Council is being very quiet about Josh Duggar’s resignation after allegations of molestation. full story

USA: A group of more than two dozen Senate Democrats led by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have become the latest to speak out against widely discredited conversion therapy for LGBT people. full story

USA: Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrapped up his group’s annual “Watchmen on the Wall” pastors’ conference by warning the conservative pastors in the audience that although they “may have five years” before they are dragged “kicking and screaming” out of their churches . full story

USA: The New Yorker takes an in-depth look at how a discredited marriage equality study went wrong. full story

USA, GUAM: Kathleen Aguero and Loretta Pangelinan, the lesbian couple challenging Guam’s same-sex marriage ban are not giving up on their fight to bring equality to U.S. territory. full story

USA, ILLINOIS: Anti-gay activist Pete LaBarbera announced a “press conference” to be held today outside the Leather Archives during IML, but no press showed up, and there were only four protesters. full story

USA, TEXAS: Fearing backlash, a Texas church will now let gay couple dedicate their child in main sanctuary. full story

USA, WASHINGTON DC: Anti marriage equality protesters are still hanging out in front of the Supreme Court. full story


Ireland Votes “Yes” on Marriage Equality

Written by scott on May 23rd, 2015

irelandThe voters in Ireland have embraced marriage equality, the first time this has happened on a national level.

From The Washington Blade:

Local media reports indicate a referendum to allow same-sex marriage in Ireland appears to have passed by a wide margin. “It is about removing discrimination,” Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny told NBC News during an interview after voting in support of marriage rights for same-sex couples on Friday. “It is about removing inequality. It’s historic, and that’s why I’ll be voting yes.” Ireland is the first country in the world to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples through a popular vote.

According to Pink News, the “no” side has conceded defeat:

Anti-same sex marriage campaigners in Ireland have conceded defeat in the referendum. David Quinn of the anti-same sex marriage Iona Institute tweeted, just an hour after the count began, to congratulate the Yes campaign.

It looks like the measure passed with a wide margin:

The Republic of Ireland looked set to pass same-sex marriage this morning, with early counts indicated a margin of up to 2:1 for the measure. According to early tallies, a yes vote was likely in most of the 43 constituencies in Ireland, with some reports suggesting up to a 2:1 split in favour of same-sex marriage. Even in more conservative areas, early reports suggested only a 50/50 split, and an exceptionally high turnout in urban areas offered reassurance to those supporting the ‘yes’ campaign.

It’s an amazing day for Ireland, and for the world.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.


Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: King River Ranch, Johnson City, Texas

Written by scott on May 22nd, 2015

King River Ranch

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Nestled on the Pedernales River between Austin and Fredericksburg, King River Ranch offers a true Hill Country experience featuring riverside ceremony platform, pond-side Great Western reception barn, luxurious wedding party quarters, on-site floral/decor by Willem-Aidan, plentiful and excellent nearby lodging. Open late-May 2015.

See the King River Ranch Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Texas


New Gallup Poll Finds Majority in US Think Gays Are Born That Way

Written by scott on May 22nd, 2015

titleA new Gallup poll shows that 51% of Americans now think gays are born gay.

The Advocate reports:

Affirming what most LGBT people already believe, the results of a new Gallup poll, published yesterday, indicate that a majority of Americans now believe that gay and lesbian people are “born, not made.” In the poll, over 51 percent of those surveyed said they think same-sex orientation is a matter of birth versus “something that is determined by their upbringing or environment,” writes Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones in an article on the results. As he points out, this is the first time that a majority of Americans have expressed this belief.

The same poll also showed that Americans continue to overestimate the size of the LGBT community.

Joe.My.God reports:

The American public estimates on average that 23% of Americans are gay or lesbian, little changed from Americans’ 25% estimate in 2011, and only slightly higher than separate 2002 estimates of the gay and lesbian population. These estimates are many times higher than the 3.8% of the adult population who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in Gallup Daily tracking in the first four months of this year.

So… progress?


Marriage Equality Round-Up – May 22nd

Written by scott on May 22nd, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

POP CULTURE: Sabra Hummus has launched a new 60-second spot featuring three couples, one of which happens to be real-life married couple Larry Sullivan and Dave Monahan. full story

POP CULTURE: The Lithuanian performance at the Eurovision semi-finals featured dancers swapping around and kissing their same-sex partners. full story

POP CULTURE: The Pride flags were out in force on Tuesday night during Russia’s performance at the Eurovision semi-final. full story

Pride Flags at Eurovision

AUSTRALIA: Former rugby pro turned independent senator Glenn Lazarus, AKA ‘The Brick With Eyes,’ has threatened to don the swimwear made famous by Borat if a popular vote on gay marriage were to fail in Australia. full story

IRELAND: Polls are open across the country for the marriage equality referendum. full story

IRELAND: Writer Colm Toibin has weighed in one day ahead of Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum to say the Catholic Church “has no moral authority to speak on civil matters”.
full story

IRELAND: Despite opinion polls largely showing strong support for the Yes vote, there are fears the ‘silent opposition’ will overpower the outcome. full story

IRELAND: A moratorium preventing the discussion of same-sex marriage by broadcasters in Ireland has come into force, ahead of the country’s referendum tomorrow. full story

IRELAND: Channel Four looks at today’s referendum full story

IRELAND: Uber is joing its competitor Hailo to offer free rides to and from the polls as Irish voters decide whether or not the country will become the first on the planet to enact the right to marry for same-sex couples by popular vote. full story

IRELAND: With only a few hours until the first-ever national referendum for marriage equality, now is the time to stand with Ireland, writes Hayley Miller on the HRC Blog. full story

IRELAND: Towleroad once again rounds up a bunch of news on the referendum. full story

IRELAND: ABC News looks at what happens if the vote is “no”. full story

ITALY: Rome’s brand-new civil unions registry kicked off Thursday as 20 couples – 14 of them gay and six straight – sealed their commitment to one another at City Hall. full story

NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand’s opposition leader has apologizeed for a ‘flippant’ anti-trans joke he made during Thursday’s budget debate. full story

SWITZERLAND: The highest court in Switzerland has declined to recognise a gay couple as the fathers of their children. full story

UGANDA: Barack Obama’s recently-appointed special envoy for LGBT rights is heading to Uganda – where homosexuality is illegal. full story

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: Host Janet Street-Porter said that she had sided with Christian bakers who had refused to bake a cake with a message in support of same-sex marriage because she did not consider them to be bigots. full story

USA: The Central Conference of American Rabbis just condemned conversion therapy. full story

USA: BSA national president and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called on the organization to move swiftly to change its “unsustainable” national member prohibition on LGBT adults and vowed to ensure that local Scout councils that defy the current ban will not lose their charters. full story

USA: A group of nearly two dozen senators — led by lesbian Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) — are calling on the Pentagon to implement explicit non-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and bisexual service members in the U.S. military. full story

USA: Anti-gay author and former Bush administration official Robert R. Reilly compared the fight for same-sex marriage to laws revoking citizenship of Jews in Nazi Germany. full story

USA: A donor who identified himself as gay asked Florida senator Marco Rubio to state his position on same-sex marriage during a closed-door question-and-answer session. full story

USA: The Girl Scouts of America announced a change to one of their policies that now allows transgender kids to become members. full story

USA: Asexual Outreach is planning the North American Asexuality Conference and working to provide asexuality resource kits in high schools, create an event finder, and fund their formal activist network, which is staffed entirely by volunteers. full story

USA: Will the Alabama ruling be the last change to the marriage equality map before the US Supreme Court issues its ruling? full story

Wikipedia Map

USA, ALABAMA: The federal judge in the marriage equality case finally issued another ruling, granting class action status, but then stayed it pending the US Supreme Court Decision. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: SF Pride has declined to ban Facebook from its parade, despite being asked to do so by a group upset about the social media giant’s “real name” policy. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: A federal appeals court has placed a hold on gender reassignment surgery for Michelle Norsworthy over the course of her incarceration. full story

USA, LOUISIANA: Queerty rounds up some of the best responses to Governor Bobby Jindal’s right to discriminate order. full story

USA, LOUISIANA: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is hoping to counter the growing anti-LGBT narrative in his state with an executive order of his own. full story

USA, NEW YORK: Hotelier Ian Reisner, who took heat for hosting a meeting with anti-gay Ted Cruz, continued his apology tour, and donated $20K to the Fire Island Pines PAC. full story

USA, TEXAS: GOP Rep. Sarah Davis is the first Republican Texas lawmaker in history to come out in support of same-sex marriage. full story

USA, TEXAS: Michelangelo Signorile interviewed notorious Texas state Rep. Cecil Bell this week, grilling him about his quixotic pursuit of legislation that Bell believes would allow his state to defy the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage. full story

USA, TEXAS: A bill reaffirming the rights of clergy to refuse to perform marriages — including same-sex marriages — that violate their religious beliefs has passed in the House on a bipartisan vote, after its sponsor reassured legislators clergy may only refuse to perform those marriages in their official capacity, not when they serve as county clerks, justices of the peace or in other government capacities. full story

USA, TEXAS: Despite rumors that Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia, intended to try and attach his anti-marriage equality bill to the pastor protection bill as an amendment, the amendment never came. full story


Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Oldest Home and Garden, Key West, Florida

Written by scott on May 21st, 2015

Oldest Home and Garden

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Key West’s Oldest House Museum and Garden, is ran by one of the oldest non-profit organizations Old Island Restoration Foundation. OIRF, for short, is dedicated to preserving the architectural and cultural heritage of Key West and offers the ideal venue for your wedding and reception, whether it is a grand, lavish affair or a perfect private ceremony. This secluded paradise provides a romantic natural setting for weddings. We are located at 322 Duval Street in the heart of the excitement of historic Old Town Key West.

See the Oldest Home and Garden Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Key West


Marriage Equality Round-Up – May 21st

Written by scott on May 21st, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

POP CULTURE: HRC released a new trailer for the ABC Family documentary series Becoming Us. full story

CUBA: Leodan Suarez Quiñones, a transgender rights advocate, criticized government authorities for failing to respond to what she described as a hate crime. full story

BRAZIL: Late last week, the Brazilian National Council of Justice passed a resolution that requires all notaries, who perform marriages and civil unions in the country, to allow same-sex couples to marry. full story

IRELAND: Pink News takes apart the “reasons” for a “no” vote on marriage equality. full story

IRELAND: Same-sex marriage in Ireland has had a number of big-name celebrity endorsements – and now it’s been backed by Benjy the gay bull. full story

IRELAND: Ireland’s prime minister, Enda Kenny, has made a final plea for a yes vote in the referendum to legalise gay marriage. full story

IRELAND: The AP takes a detailed look at the fight over the marriage equality referendum full story

IRELAND: Time Magazine also has a great Q&A about the vote. full story

IRELAND: once again rounds up the latest news. full story

KYRGYZSTAN: Members of a Kyrgyzstan LGBT group were attacked, threatened and insulted by anti-gay activists and abused by police on May 17th during commemorations for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia full story

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: Supermarket giant Tesco has said it is “reviewing” its stocking of Ashers Bakery products, after the company was yesterday found guilty of discriminating against a man by refusing to make a “support gay marriage” cake. full story

USA: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came to the nation’s capital Tuesday and met privately with top leaders in the social conservative movement to reassure them about his stances against abortion and gay marriage. full story

USA: Jennifer Lukawski, lobbyist and co-host of an event to raise money for Marco Rubio, once worked for Gambian Dictator Yahya Jammeh, who recently said he would slit gays’ throats. full story

USA: In response, Pasamba Jow, spokesman for the Democratic Union of Gambian Activists, has called for Rubio to remove the lobbyist from the host committee for the event. full story

USA: Ted Cruz said the left should be talking about ISIS executing gays instead of marriage equality. full story

USA: Chris Cillizza analyzes the rapid rise in support for marriage equality in the USA. full story

Marriage Equality Poll

USA: A study that claimed that when voters were visited by canvassers promoting the legalization of same-sex marriage, they were profoundly more likely to change their minds if the canvassers were themselves gay-identified and shared their personal stories was apparently falsified. full story

USA: Bryan Fischer is calling on all Christians to disobey the US Supreme Court if it rules for marriage equality, saying “they can’t arrest us all.” full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: The Equal Protection for All Families Act, which updates California assisted reproduction laws to help ensure that all families are protected equally under state law, passed the Assembly May 18 with unanimous support. full story

USA, GEORGIA: The state GOP just elected its first openly gay state treasurer, while at the same time doubling down on aa planned ‘religious freedom’ bill. full story

USA, IOWA: Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum on Monday attended an event sponsored by The Family Leadership Summit, an Iowa group opposed to marriage equality. full story

USA, LOUISIANA: A New York state lawmaker has asked that state’s governor to enact a travel ban on Louisiana in response to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent executive order, which is modeled off religious freedom legislation critics say authorizes discrimination of LGBT people. full story

USA, Michigan: A mother came forward with new accusations against the local pastor who resigned after being outed as gay, saying that he told her son nearly drove him to suicide. full story

mother and gay son

USA, NEVADA: Flanked by 8th grade students who he challenged to ‘embrace your differences,’ Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed an anti-bullying bill into law on Wednesday. full story

USA, NEW YORK: The Harlem hate church has a new anti LGBT message. full story

Harlem hate church sign

USA, OREGON: When high school junior Makaila Ragan noticed two men waving anti-gay signs outside her mother’s Oregon workplace, she confronted them with a pro-gay sign of her own. full story

USA, TEXAS: Texas state Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia, intends to attach an amendment similar to his previous bill barring the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples to a bill protecting clergy from being forced to perform same-sex marriages during a House floor vote on Thursday, May 21. full story


Op-ed: I’m a Trans Man Who Doesn’t ‘Pass’ – And You Shouldn’t Either

Written by scott on May 20th, 2015

Aiden James Kosciesza

Out of all the words in the transgender lexicon, “passing” is the one I hate most. And that’s no small feat.

In our rapidly evolving digital world, language is changing faster than ever. Words that seemed to be standard terminology as little as four years ago are now out of fashion, or even taboo. When I began my gender transition in 2011, for example, I called myself a “transsexual,” a word I no longer use because of its implied connection between gender identity and sexuality. Yet as words like “tranny” slink out of circulation, “passing” remains frustratingly well-used, even among the trans* community.

The term “passing,” when applied to transgender people, means being perceived as cisgender while presenting as one’s authentic gender identity. There’s a lot of power in that. When people meet me and assume that I am a cisgender man, I am afforded the privilege of choosing whether I disclose my transgender identity, and when. Many trans* folks pursue this power through clothing choices, hormones, surgery, voice training, or even etiquette lessons, and I’m all for that.

Authored By Aiden James Kosciesza – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.


New Gallup Poll Shows Marriage Equality Support at 60%

Written by scott on May 20th, 2015

Gallup Poll

Last year, we reported that nationwide approval for same-sex marriage had reached an all-time high according to Gallup, which then found that 55% of Americans support same-sex marriage. Those numbers have soared even higher in the 12 months since, now reaching 60% approval on the eve of the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. As Gallup reports, support for same-sex marriage is also at an all-time high among both major political parties:

Though same-sex marriage continues to be politically divisive, support for its legal status has reached new highs among Americans of all political stripes — with Democrats at 76% support, independents at 64% and Republicans at 37%. […]

The party divide between Democrats and Republicans may hinge largely on the age groups that compose each party. Gallup has found that younger Americans are significantly more likely to lean Democratic, while older Americans skew Republican. And while majorities of each age group under 65 support marriage equality in 2015, those aged 65 and older are still more likely to oppose it. This is a new phenomenon for the 50- to 64-year-old group. Last year, just 48% of these middle-aged Americans supported legally recognizing gay marriage. But in 2015, this figure has climbed to a majority of 54%.

Authored By Sean Mandell – See the Full Story at

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.