Thanksgiving Hiatus

Written by scott on November 26th, 2014

Turkey for ThanksgivingHey all,

It’s been a crazy year for marriage equality – especially the last few months since the US Supreme Court issued their non-decision decision. Since then, 16 states have come on board, with more to follow soon.

We’re thrilled with all this, but we’re a bit worn out. So we’re taking a short hiatus for the Thanksgiving holiday (barring any huge developments).

We’ll be back on Sunday with a recap of anything we missed during the break.

Happy Turkey Day!

:)

–Scott & Mark
Marriage Equality Watch

 

Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 26th #2

Written by scott on November 26th, 2014

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

Gambia: Gays in Gambia are on the run, with no one to help them. Melanie Nathan reports. full story

Mexico: The first LGBT center in Tijuana will open next month. full story

UK:The Coalition for Marriage is still calling for all same-sex marriages to be voided in England and Wales. full story

USA: Three generals are calling on the armed services to “comply with DOD regulations by removing transgender identity as a defect warranting administrative separation.” full story

USA: The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has released a 44-page tome that attempts to convince churches that laws preventing businesses from discriminating against gay customers are actually part of a wider aim to “compel Christians to accept, endorse, and even promote an ideology and behavior that violates their faith.” full story

USA, Arkansas: Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane says he’s ready to start issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples again when he gets the go-ahead. full story

USA, Florida: Representative Holly Raschein (R- Key Largo) and Democratic Whip Senator Joseph Abruzzo (D- Boynton Beach) introduced a bill to protect LGBT citizens in employment, housing and public accommodations. full story

MovementMap

USA, Florida: A married same sex couple who was threatened with the loss of their drivers licenses for changing their names has filed a lawsuit. full story

USA, Mississippi: The state has indicated it will appeal yesterday’s marriage equality ruling. full story

USA, Utah: The state will pay the plaintiffs in the marriage equality case $95k to cover legal costs. full story

 

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Tropicana Las Vegas

Written by scott on November 26th, 2014

Tropicana Las Vegas

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay Wedding Event Location in Las Vegas, NV, USA. The Tropicana Las Vegas is a unique world-class wedding destination, with a South Beach-inspired ambiance and decor. Weddings by Tropicana understands that your wedding day should not only be luxurious and memorable for you and your guests, but it should also reflect your personality as a couple.

See the Tropicana Las Vegas Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Nevada

 

Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 26th

Written by scott on November 26th, 2014

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

Australia: Now that Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm has filed his long-awaited marriage equality bill in the Senate, the Liberal party must decide if it will allow a conscience vote on the issue. full story

Brazil: 160 same-sex couples married in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday in what’s believed to be the largest mass gay wedding. full story

China: The courts appear to be slow-walking a decision in a landmark case against conversion therapy. full story

Finland: Parliament is planning to vote on Friday on a marriage equality bill soon. full story

Gambia: The United States State Department is condemning the president of Gambia for signing a draconian anti-gay law. full story

Ireland: Thousands have been registered to vote in Ireland, ahead of the country’s planned initiative on marriage equality. full story

Korea: Singer Jason Mraz spoke up for LGBT rights during an interview in the country. full story

Lithuania: The Union of Lithuanian Psychologists says the so-called “gay propaganda” ban, purportedly meant to protect children, actually hurts them. full story

Syria: ISIS says it has executed two gay men by stoning them to death. full story

UK: Charles Moore, former editor of The Daily Telegraph, claims the rise of the UKIP, an ultraconservative party, is due in part to the passage of the marriage equality bill. full story

UK: The anti-gay group Coalition for Marriage fighting for a “conscience clause”, to allow Christian owned businesses to refuse service to LGBT people. full story

USA: Wikipedia has their almost-daily new marriage equality map out. Note: Arkansas is goldenrod because it’s day is indefinite, while Mississippi is cerulean because its stay ends in two weeks. full story

Wikipedia Marriage Equality Map

USA, Arizona: Two of the plaintiffs in the state’s marriage equality case, a lesbian couple together for 56 years, just got married. full story

USA, California: A Hollywood Chick-fil-A on Nov. 22 hosted a fundraiser for an LGBT advocacy group. full story

USA, Michigan: The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is calling on the legislature to pass a bill prohibiting discrimination against the LGBT community. full story

USA, Missouri: The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the Ozark fire district for denying spousal benefits to same-sex couples. full story

USA, Missouri: A federal court has denied a request to lift the stay early on the marriage equality decision. The state expires on December 9th. full story

USA, Missouri: As same-sex couples marry in some parts of the state, Atty. Gen. Chris Koster has yet to appeal the ruling. He has until December 10th to do so. full story

USA, South Dakota: Attorneys for both sides of the marriage equality case have asked the federal judge to skip the trial and rule directly on the case. full story

USA, Texas: Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott is opposing a request by marriage equality plaintiffs to lift the stay while the state appeals. full story

 

Federal Judge Overturns Mississippi Marriage Equality Ban

Written by scott on November 26th, 2014

Mississippi MapJust hours after the Arkansas decision, a federal judge also overturned the marriage equality ban in Mississippi.

The Washington Blade reports:

U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves issued his 72-page ruling less than two weeks after he heard oral arguments in the case the Campaign for Southern Equality last month filed on behalf of two lesbian couples seeking marriage rights in the Magnolia State. “The court concludes that Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban deprives same-sex couples and their children of equal dignity under the law,” writes Reeves. “Gay and lesbian citizens cannot be subjected to such second-class citizenship.” Reeves, an African American who President Obama appointed to the federal bench in 2010, referenced the civil rights movement throughout his decision.

The judge also noted that discrimination against gays is not over in the state:

Reeves in his decision also noted Mississippi lawmakers earlier this year approved a measure – Senate Bill 2681 – that opponents contend allows business owners to deny services to LGBT people based on their religious beliefs. SB 2681 took effect on July 1. “Discrimination against gay and lesbian Mississippians is not ancient history,” writes Reeves.

The ruling has been stayed for two weeks, pending appeal.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Mississippi.

 

Federal Judge Overturns Arkansas Marriage Equality Ban

Written by scott on November 26th, 2014

ArkansasA federal judge just struck down the state’s ban on marriage equality.

The Washington Blade reports:

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker, an Obama appointee, wrote in a 45-page decision that Arkansas’ prohibition on gay nuptials, known as Amendment 83, violates the fundamental right to marriage protected by Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “As demonstrated, a most searching examination of Separate Defendants’ proposed reasons for Arkansas’s marriage laws reveals that these laws are not narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling state interest,” Baker writes. “The bases Separate Defendants suggest for upholding Amendment 83 and the challenged statutes, primarily encouraging procreation and ensuring the best interests of children, in addition to the laws’ mismatched means, do not withstand strict scrutiny.”

Queerty flags some of the best quotes from the decision, including:

These cases underscore that the drafters of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments “knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.”

The judge stayed her own decision, so there will be no same-sex weddings immediately.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Arkansas.

 

A #Texas Family Defies the Haters and Loves their Gay Son – A #Holiday Message:

Written by Sean Sala on November 25th, 2014
Nymont Final

Nancy K. (Middle)

We loved our Gay son – period | Originally seen on SeanSala.com

“Celebrate Me Home,” for the Holidays. – By Nancy K. 

This weekend I’ve been busy taking down my Thanksgiving decorations in order to fill the house with my wonderful obsession; the Christmas Holidays!

While doing so, of course I had to play my Christmas music to begin my joyful tradition!

My first choice of the season…”Celebrate Me Home” by Kenny Loggins.

As I was singing along at the top of my voice, “Home for the Holidays, I believe I’ve missed each and every face – let’s turn on every love light in the place”   I just stopped after carefully setting out my childhood Santa’s  that spelled out “J O Y”, I stared at those words and just listened to the entire song.

All my heart could think about was everyone, absolutely everyone being home for the Holidays and turning on every love light.   For me, the term “Love Light” means being open to pure truth and acceptance – love with no conditions.    You see, I am the proud mom of a Gay son. When he comes to visit he will be home for the Holidays surrounded with love.   The Love Light in our family has always been turned on. As the song says, “he will find himself totally surrounded in our circles.”

As I stood there staring at that simple 3 letter word “JOY” and listening to the words “Celebrate Me Home” I thought of the many kids that were facing hatred, unacceptance and very conditional type love, because they are gay.  They do not have this Joy in their soul. Joy doesn’t just happen, it is acquired from acceptance for the beautiful spirit that they are.   Are they being celebrated home this holiday season?  It is time for this acceptance, surround them in your circle with Pride.

When our son was just a 3 years old, we knew.   His dad and I always embraced his differences.  At Christmas time, we honored all of his wishes.  After all, for children it is a time of magic, wonderment and they are watching to see if Santa “listened” to their hearts desire!

One Christmas our son’s heart desire was a very special order – a pink Convertible electric car!

This was a mission my son’s  dad was determined to accomplish.  It took a lot of work, but on Christmas morning, my son awoke to the magic of seeing his pink Convertible electric car sitting right under that tree! Naturally, we would  love and honor our son  for who he is.  Gender expression is something we should cherish, even if it’s against the status-quo.

There is one song that my son will always remember, “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper.  It was my lullaby to him, dancing on my toes as I sang to him this song! I wanted for him to know, before he knew, that his True Colors would always shine through.  When the day came that he wanted to share with us his True Colors, we were so happy for him!   We knew almost his whole life.  We made the condition that it would be on his terms. We loved him for who he was – period.

Parents – there is a line in this wonderful holiday song that stands out, “It is a very uneasy highway,” yes it is.   Our job as parents is to make sure that this uneasy highway leads them to a home that is celebrated with complete love.  This is the season, right now to turn your love light on. If your relationship is dark, do not allow your child to sit in this darkness one minute more.  They are only waiting for that phone call from you. Please, bring JOY into your child’s life.   This will be the greatest gift you could give at this beautiful season of love.

All your child wants, all any of us want is to be Celebrated Home!

It’s time

Celebrate them home

 

 

Featured Lesbian Wedding Vendor: Karen Pike Photography, Middlebury, Vermont

Written by scott on November 25th, 2014

Karen Pike Photography

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.

Gay Wedding Photography / Videography in Middlebury, VT, USA. Lesbian owned, 25 years of photographing weddings-gay and other. My style is an artistic blend of photojournalism and gorgeous portraiture. I’m very active in the Gay community, have served on boards for Vt Gay Tourism & Outright Vermont (Vt’s Queer Youth Advocacy org.) and the Freedom To Marry Task force. Call me and let’s talk about your vision for your wedding day!

See the Karen Pike Photography Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Vermont

 

How To Talk To Your Evangelical Uncle About Marriage Equality

Written by scott on November 25th, 2014

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time when millions of Americans come together to celebrate cherished, time-honored traditions: gathering with those we hold most dear, scarfing down unhealthily large meals, and of course, arguing with loved ones. For instance, let’s say you are sitting at the dinner table, eating delicious stuffing and having a pleasant conversation about The Hunger Games, when suddenly your conservative Christian uncle launches into the following rant:

I’m telling you, the “homosexual agenda” is coming after religious freedom in this country. Did you hear about that Christian florist who is being sued for not selling flowers to a gay couple? Next thing you know, they’ll be forcing pastors to perform gay weddings. I mean, anyone who reads the Bible knows that you can’t be a Christian and support homosexuality.

Okay, that’s a lot. But don’t panic — we’ve got you covered. Here are a few bits of info (including some biblical arguments) you can use to respond to your evangelical uncle’s diatribe:

Claims that “religious liberty” is under attack in America are overblown, although the refrain is likely to be repeated ad nauseam by many religious conservatives over the next few years. Many “religious liberty” advocates cheered the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, for instance, where judges ruled that the craft store giant could be granted religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. But despite assertions that the ruling protected all religious groups, a substantial majority of almost every major U.S. Christian group actually disagreed with Hobby Lobby’s position. What’s more, the decision arguably hurt people of faith overall, because it only privileged the religious views of people who own and operate corporations — and not the faiths of their employees.

Authored By Jack Jenkins- See the Full Story at Think Progress

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

 

53% Support Marriage Equality in Wyoming

Written by scott on November 25th, 2014

titleWyoming has now joined the ranks of states that approve of marriage equality.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The new poll by the University of Wyoming found 53 percent of respondents supported marriage for same-sex couples, compared to 39 percent opposed. The poll results represent a significant increase over the last 10 years in support for marriage equality. In 2004, only 24 percent of Wyoming residents supported legalizing same-sex marriage. “This represents a notable shift in public opinion,” said Jim King, a University of Wyoming professor of political science and a co-director of the survey. “Two years ago, 55 percent of Wyomingites disapproved of same-sex marriage and 40 percent approved. We’ve seen a reversal in those numbers.”

Folks, that’s a 29% increase in just 10 years, with almost half of that coming since 2012. Amazing!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Wyoming.