Judy and Dennis Shepard on Marriage Equality in Wyoming

Written by scott on October 24th, 2014

Matthew Shepard

WE NEVER thought we’d see marriage equality come to Wyoming in our lifetime. But in a wave of judicial rulings allowing same-sex couples to marry across the country, this week a federal court ruling granted our neighbors the opportunity to make history at the altar. The lives and rights of LGBT people in the “Equality State” are rarely thought about without reflection on the 1998 hate-crime murder of our 21-year-old son Matthew. His abduction, beating, and death changed the way this country and the world responded to anti-gay hate, eventually leading to a federal hate-crime law that bears his name.

In Wyoming, there is much still to do. The state continues to allow employers to fire these newlyweds for their sexual orientation and gender identity, and the reality is that they — and their children — may face social rejection simply for being who they are. We are keenly aware of the progress left to be made, but today, we celebrate this incredible step forward.

Authored By Judy and Dennis Shepard – See the Full Story at the Boston Globe

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Wyoming.


Utah Supremes Lift Hold on Same Sex Adoptions

Written by scott on October 24th, 2014

Same sex couples can now adopt in the state of Utah.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The Utah Supreme Court is lifting its hold on adoptions by same-sex couples. The high court halted all such adoptions in May as the state appealed a federal ruling striking down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. But earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed that decision to stand, effectively legalizing same-sex unions in Utah and 10 other states. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Thursday’s decision to lift the hold comes in the cases of four adoptions sought by wedded same-sex couples, and will presumably allow those adoptions and others to proceed.

I wasn’t sure I would live long enough to see marriage equality come to Utah, and now this!

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Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying – October 24th

Written by scott on October 24th, 2014

Seriously?Here’s the the latest in our ongoing series of some of the crazy things the anti-gay marriage equality opponents are saying and doing around the world.

I’m Totally Gonna Take Out Cory Brooker [sic] With This Flier

Cory Brooker flier

Eugene Delguadio’s group, Public Advocate of the United States, sent out an unintentionally sexy mailer to try to defeat Cory Booker in new jersey – and couldn’t even get his name right. Bloomberg explains:

If you know that the name of New Jersey’s junior senator is “Cory Booker,” condolences: You cannot be a fact-checker for Public Advocate of the United States. That’s the group responsible for this mailer, which ostensibly supporters Booker’s underfunded challenger Jeff Bell, and reminds voters that Booker supports “homosexual ‘marriage'” (scare quotes in the original) and “the Gay Bill of Special Rights.” Like many fringe groups, it can be obscure one day and infamous the next — founder Eugene Delgaudio has been censured by the Loudoun County board of supervisors in Virginia (on which he serves), and Public Advocate earned “hate group” designation from the Southern Poverty Law Center after it started labeling anti-gay organizations as such.

Delguadio, you’re a washed-up joke. But thanks for the great gay kiss!

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There Are No Gays in Heaven

Conservative Congressman Steve King, who just about single-handedly guarantees that Republicans will have to run the ultra-conservative gauntlet in Iowa every four years, thinks gays don’t go to heaven:

“I’ll just say that what was a sin 2,000 years ago is a sin today, and people that were condemned to hell 2,000 years ago, I don’t expect to meet them should I make it to heaven. So let’s stick with that principle.”

But fair is fair. I don’t expect to see him there, either.

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Gays Want Everyone to Go to Hell with Them

Continuing the theme, Colorado statehouse candidate and wingnut Gordon Klingenschmitt has us marriage equality activists all figured out:

“They want your soul. They won’t be satisfied with your money. They don’t really want the t-shirts. They want your soul. They want you to disobey God so that you go to Hell with them. It’s not enough that they go to Hell for disobeying God, they want you to disobey God so that we all go to Hell. That’s the Devil’s goal in the end.”

You see, it has nothing to do with wanting equal rights, or a stable relationship to raise our kids, or the same tax treatment as straight couples. We are going to hell, and we want to take everyone else down with us. On the plus side, I suspect we’ll see Mr. Klingenschmitt there as well.

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Gays Are Making Marriage Meaningless

A new video tries to make the argument that marriage should be for gays only because gays can’t have kids with the same DNA:

“The two become one, and their union as one is s real and complete that it can literally bring a third person into their relationship. This new person has the man and woman’s marital union permanently stamped into their own body, which consists of half the man’s DNAn and half of the woman’s DNA… new life requires intense nurturing and support which marriage solves by ensuring that both the man and woman will always be there as a father and a mother for any union that a marriage creates. Marriage then calls for a total commitment that’s then permanent and monogamous, meaning it’s solely between these two people forever.”

In other words, you can’t have kids together with the same DNA, and you will never be monogamous. I had to laugh when they said that marriage ensured straight couples would be monogamous… how’s that working out for them? It’s an ugly argument wrapped in a pretty package.

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Gays Have Silenced The Church

Rick Santorum is upset that the gays have silenced the church on homosexuality:

“I really believe in this subject matter at hand with the gay community that a Judeo-Christian worldview cannot survive with a worldview that is as rabidly secular as this movement is. One is going to battle the other and I can tell you that the statists, these secular statists, do not want the competition that comes from the church and so they are going to do everything they can to marginalize them, to force them out of the public square to be quiet… We’re losing in this particular area among young people. … it’s because they have effectively silenced the church on a lot of these issues and young people don’t even know what the opposing view is on these issues.”

So when’s that going to start? The Catholic Church wasn’t so silent on homosexuality this last week when a bunch of anti-gay bishops forced the removal of language welcoming gays to the church from a church document. Evangelical churches don’t seem to be particularly silent on the matter. And of course, when Santorum talks about “the church”, he means conservative Christian churches. There are whole lot of other churches out there that are not only not silent but are actively supportive of the LGBT community.

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Our Straight Marriage is Property, and the Gays Are Stealing It Pt II

Sunnivie Brydum at the Advocate takes down that insane brief filed by a straight Kansas couple:

“Clearly the Plaintiffs seek to redefine the marriage word the Unruhs and thousands like them in Kansas use to describe their relationship in order to extend marriage to them. If Plaintiffs are successful marriage will no longer be as it has been defined. In fact the court decision upon which Plaintiffs rely Kitchen v. Herbert [citation removed], leaves the word marriage undefined. Can a word exist without a definition? What is marriage after the Kitchen Courts fundamental restructuring of the concept? Can the rule of law survive the dismantling of key words like marriage? Should the proper application of principals of equality have such a result?”

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? These are all, I’m sure, important questions. So no marriage for you.

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Marriage Equality Round-Up – October 24th

Written by scott on October 24th, 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: LGBT activists plan to crash an anti-gay conference being held in Canberra tonight. full story

Italy: Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is pushing for the legalization of civil unions for gays and lesbians in the country. full story

Italy: The city of Perugia is prosecuting a group of gays who kiss in public, saying they disturbed the peace. full story

Liberia: After a number of churches linked the ebola outbreak in the country to God’s punishment for homosexuality, gays are being attacked in the streets. full story

Malaysia: Human Rights Watch Is calling for an end to the country’s anti-gay law. full story

Russia: Russian LGBT activists have filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights over a rally that was shut down by Russian officials. full story

Sri Lanka: Officials revealed that the country has laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but claimed that a colonial era sodomy law is not in violation of those protections. full story

USA: The Dallas Voice has a new marriage equality map for the US. full story

Dallas Voice marriage equality map

USA: The National Center for Lesbian Rights has a campaign called #BornPerfect to fight so-called “conversion therapy” across the country. full story

USA, Arkansas: The state Supreme Court will hear a marriage equality case on the same day that a federal appeals court will hear a different one, on November 20th. full story

USA, Florida: Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi is intervening in a case of two women who are seeking a divorce after being joined in a civil union in Vermont in 2002. full story

USA, Georgia: A marriage equality rally in Atlanta is targeting the state’s Atty. Gen., asking him to ignore the ban on marriage equality. full story

USA, Indiana:Judge Richard Young, the man who struck down Indiana’s marriage equality ban, is profiled. full story

USA, Kansas: A marriage equality hearing scheduled for today has been canceled, and it’s unclear whether the judge will reschedule or go ahead and decide the case based on written arguments. full story

USA, Nevada: Dolly Deleon, owner of the Vegas Wed Chapel, says she won’t marry same-sex couples. full story

USA, Philadelphia: The city of Philadelphia is advancing a hate crimes bill even as a statewide bill has stalled. full story

USA, South Carolina: Plaintiffs in one of the marriage equality cases in the state are asking a judge for an injunction against the state’s marriage equality ban. full story

USA, Texas: Anti-gay groups are planning a rally against Houston Mayor Annise Parker on Sunday, November 2nd. full story

USA, Utah: Although he thinks the fight over marriage equality has ended in the state, Gov. Herbert is open to some kind of “right to discriminate” law. full story

USA, Wyoming: After victory on the marriage equality front, LGBT activists in the state are turning their attention to the passage of LGBT protections in the state’s anti-discrimination laws. full story


Navy Veteran Finally Gets OK to Be Buried Next to Her Wife

Written by scott on October 23rd, 2014

We reported on the story some time ago, but it now has a happy ending.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

A U.S. Navy veteran can be buried with the ashes of her late spouse in a southwest Idaho military cemetery after the state legalized gay marriage. “It’s done,” 74-year-old Madelynn Lee Taylor said Wednesday after successfully completing paperwork to be buried at Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise. Taylor was previously denied permission to have her ashes interred with Jean Mixner because of Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage. The cemetery is owned and operated by the state. Same-sex marriage became legal in the state on Oct. 15 when the ban was lifted by courts that determined it was unconstitutional. Taylor had filed a lawsuit in federal court in July seeking to be buried with Mixner, who died in 2012. The case is now expected to be dismissed.

While it doesn’t bring back her wife, we hope this decision does bring some peace to Madelynn Taylor.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Idaho.


Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying – October 23rd

Written by scott on October 23rd, 2014

Seriously?Here’s the the latest in our ongoing series of some of the crazy things the anti-gay marriage equality opponents are saying and doing around the world.

Judges Are the Only Ones Who Overwhelmingly Support Gay Marriage

That’s Tony Perkins’ Contention in response to Pres. Obama’s statement that the Constitution says that gays and lesbians deserve marriage equality in all 50 states:

“The only place where there seems to be an overwhelming consensus on redefining marriage is in the chambers of 25 unelected judges, who have been arrogant enough to substitute their agendas for the will of 13 states. For now, the states are continuing to put up a fight, right down to the local officials forced to carry out the courts’ bidding. In Idaho, site of the first ministers ordered to perform gay ‘weddings’ or be imprisoned, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is giving the state a brief reprieve by putting a hold on the ceremonies for now. While the two sides appeal the Ninth Circuit ruling that struck down Idaho’s law, the Knapps — and other ordained ministers — will hold their breaths, hoping the same country that gave them conscience rights won’t jail the couple for exercising them.”

As we reported yesterday, the whole Idaho story is based on a stack of lies. And Perkins is also conveniently ignoring a new poll that shows public support for marriage equality is as strong as ever. So much for the supposed will of the people.

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Men Skipping Hand in Hand To Adoption Centers To Pick Out a Little Boy

Okay this is saying something, but this statement by anti-gay wingnut Eugene Delguadio has got to be one of the most offensive things I’ve ever read:

“Radical homosexuals will terrorize daycare centers, hospitals, churches and private schools. Traditional moral values will be shattered by federal law. Same-sex marriages and adoptions. Wedding gown-clad men smooching before some left-wing clergyman or state official is just the beginning. You’ll see men hand-in-hand skipping down to adoption centers to “pick out” a little boy for themselves.”

Is it just me, or does this whole thing sound like it’s something straight out of the closeted, anti-gay fifties? This man has a horribly twisted view of what being gay really is, and he wants to force that view on the rest of us.

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Gay Marriage Is like Having Two Bulls Together – You Get Bullshazzle

US Representative Don Young (R) visited a high school and made horribly insensitive remarks about suicide in the wake of a student who had taken his own life. He then went on to say this about gay marriage:

“”You can’t have marriage with two men,” Young said. “What do you get with two bulls?” The congressman said the relationship would result in “bullshazzle” or, as the newspaper described it, another “word resembling the more familiar obscenity.”

Class act, Congressman. Real class act.

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Gays Are Terrorists, Radicals, and Extremists

that Robertson is back in our pages, calling gays all these things, and monstrous too:

“These people are terrorists, they’re radicals and they’re extremists. No Christian in his right mind would ever try to enforce somebody against their belief or else suffer jail. They did that during the Inquisition, it was horrible, it was a black mark on our history, but it isn’t being done now. There’s no Christian group I know of anywhere in the world that would force somebody to do something contrary to their deep-held religious beliefs or else face criminal penalties, but that’s what the homosexuals are trying to do here in America and I think it’s time pastors stand up and fight this monstrous thing. If the gays want to go out and do their gay sex, that’s one thing, but if they want you to force you to accept it and solemnify it by marriage then that’s a different matter and it’s an infringement on people’s religious belief.”

It’s amazing to watch the rhetoric go from “love the sinner hate the sin” to “these people are terrorists.” It’s clear what’s happening here. The anti-gay forces have realized that they’ve lost, and their voices are becoming more and more shrill in defeat. In the end, it won’t really matter. But in the meantime we all just have to suffer through the death throes of their movement.

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Anti-Gay States Should Form Their Own Country and Call it Reagan

Douglas McKinnon, author of “The Secessionist States of America: The Blueprint for Creating a Traditional Values Country… Now” wants the anti gay states to get together and form their own new nation:

The leaders that we’re picking are deciding not to stand firmly for traditional values, not to stand for our rights, not to articulate the vision our Founding Fathers created over 24o years ago… the interim name for the country, by the way, is Reagan… the group decided that would be the best interim name until the voters eventually decided to pick the full-time name for the new republic based on traditional values.”

Seriously> I mean, seriously? And of course, it has to be named after their God, Ronald Reagan, a washed up actor with Alzheimers who has been whitewashed into the Saint of the Republican Party. Yeah, good luck with that.

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Our Straight Marriage is Property, and the Gays Are Stealing It

That’s the unusual tact being taken by a straight couple who wants to intervene in the Kansas marriage equality case. Joe.My.God reports:

Phillip W. Unruh and Sandra L. Unruh today filed a motion to intervene in the ACLU’s marriage equality case in Kansas. As laid out in multiple points in their brief, the Unruhs declare that legalization of same-sex marriage would constitute the literal theft of their straight Christian marriage, a property which is guaranteed to belong only to them per the Fifth Amendment.

Joe takes down the whole argument better than I ever could: “Apparently, once them gays steal a chunk of their marriage, well – it’s all downhill for the Uhruhs from there. Next thing you know they’ll be cooking meth with hobos under a Kansas overpass. The rest of their brief is similarly cracktastic, complete with quotes from Genesis and the usual “they can’t even make a baby” crapola. Hit the link courtesy of Equality Case Files and dig out your favorite bits.”

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Gay Massages Will Make the US Military Vulnerable to Terrorists

Rep. Louis Gohmert’s latest anti-gay rant:

“I’ve had people say, ‘Hey, you know, there’s nothing wrong with gays in the military. Look at the Greeks.’ Well, you know, they did have people come along who they loved that was the same sex and would give them massages before they went into battle. But you know what, it’s a different kind of fighting, it’s a different kind of war and if you’re sitting around getting massages all day ready to go into a big, planned battle, then you’re not going to last very long. It’s guerrilla fighting. You are going to be ultimately vulnerable to terrorism and if that’s what you start doing in the military like the Greeks did. As people have said, ‘Louie, you have got to understand, you don’t even know your history.’ Oh yes I do. I know exactly. It’s not a good idea.”

Of course, the central idea here is that gays are weak, and are going to infect the military with their weak ways, which is going to make the military week, which is going to make us vulnerable to terrorism. Sorry, represented Gohmert, but that’s a pile of homophobic crap.

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Marriage Equality Round-Up – October 23rd

Written by scott on October 23rd, 2014

Gay WeddingHere’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!

China: Hong Kong lawmakers have voted down a proposed transgender marriage law by a vote of 40-11. full story

Italy: Ignacio Marino, the mayor of Rome who just recognized the marriages of 16 same-sex couples, is considering taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights. full story

Italy: The Advocate has some great pictures from Rome of the mayor recognizing the marriages of 16 same-sex couples. full story

Italy: The country has its first openly gay ambassador, who is now working as the Ambassador to New Zealand, living there with his partner. full story

Nigeria: The High Court struck down a case against Nigeria’s anti-gay law on a standing technicality. full story

Uganda: Two people charged under the country’s draconian anti-gay law have had all charges against him dismissed by a court. full story

UK: LGBT activist Peter catchall says the ban on gays donating blood is medically unjustified discrimination. full story

UK: A proposed Recall Bill could threaten members of Parliament who voted for marriage equality law, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said full story

USA: The conservative Jewish Masorti movement has joined other groups in allowing its rabbis to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. full story

USA: Many right-wing activists are telling the GOP that opposition to marriage equality is a non-negotiable issue. full story

USA: Marriage equality could become the most important issue in the GOP race for the presidency in 2016. full story

USA: Efforts to have a naval vessel named after Harvey Milk may have stalled. full story

USA: Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi has joined human rights campaigns Americans for Marriage Equality. full story

USA: Singer Ariana Grande says she left Catholicism for her gay brother Frankie. full story

USA: Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade looks at the impact of marriage equality on the U.S. Senate races. full story

USA: More than half of LGBT students feel unsafe at school, a new report from GLSEN shows. full story

USA: The Human Rights Campaign has released a list of 10 fax that everyone should know about the National Organization for Marriage. full story

USA, Alaska: Atty. Gen. Michael Geraghty is requesting en banc hearing in the states marriage equality case that the Ninth Circuit. full story

USA, Arizona: GOP lawmakers are once again considering a “right to discriminate” bill in the wake of the arrival of marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Arkansas: Atty. Gen. Dustin McDaniel says he has no objections to expediting the marriage equality case in the state. full story

USA, California: 15 current and former LGBT inmates at the San Bernardino County jail are filing a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department, accusing it of discrimination. full story

USA, Idaho: The fight continues between the city of Couer d’Alene and the Alliance Defending Freedom in a bogus case about a wedding chapel the claims to be discriminated against. full story

USA, Idaho: Gov. Butch Otter is requesting en banc hearing in the states marriage equality case that the Ninth Circuit. full story

USA, Illinois: A hearing was held Tuesday at the Illinois Department of Human Rights, looking into Exxon Mobil’s refusal to add anti-discrimination language to its policies to protect its LGBT employees. full story

USA, Indiana: The University of Notre Dame is holding a conference to explore pastoral strategies for gay parishioners. full story

USA, Kansas: The candidates for governor discussed marriage equality during a debate Monday night. full story

USA, Michigan: The estatet of Dr. Henry Messer, one of the early founders of the Equality Michigan, has just donated $3 million to the group. full story

USA, Mississippi: The new marriage equality lawsuit in the state has been given a rapid schedule, with a hearing planned for November 12th. full story

USA, Nevada: The state issued 255 marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the first week of marriage equality. full story

USA, Nevada: Gov. Brian Sandoval has come out against efforts by opponents of same-sex marriage to request an en banc hearing at the Ninth Circuit. full story

USA, New Jersey: Nearly 4000 same-sex couples married during the first year of marriage equality in the state. full story

USA,m New York: New York Times columnist Ross Douthat apologized for inadvertently taking part in a fundraiser for the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-gay legal group. full story

USA, North Carolina: Anti-gay activists held a rally in support of the magistrate who quit his job rather than marry same-sex couples in Rockingham County. full story

USA, Pennsylvania: 21 anti-gay demonstrators protested marriage equality in Camp Hill on Wednesday. full story

USA, Texas: A lesbian widow who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Social Security Administration is profiled in the Dallas Voice. full story

USA, Utah: Is the Mormon church becoming more gay friendly since marriage equality has arrived in Utah? full story


Idaho Governor Continues to Fight Marriage Equality

Written by scott on October 22nd, 2014

Idaho Governor Butch OtterAfter having said he would not appeal the recent marriage equality decision, Idaho’s Governor Butch Otter has apparently had a change of heart.

SDGLN reports:

Idaho failed to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay that would have halted gay marriages in that state, so the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved its temporary stay and allowed gay weddings to resume a week ago. But instead of following the law, Gov. Otter is determined to try and try again. For a second time, he will file a petition with the Ninth Circuit seeking an en banc review of its ruling that went 3-0 in favor of marriage equality. En banc means that a larger panel of 11 judges would re-hear Idaho’s case. Legal observers said Idaho’s defense of the ban on gay marriage was lame at best. As of 4 pm PDT on Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit website makes no mention of Otter’s request.

Know the phrase “a snowball’s chance in hell”?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Idaho.


Almost Everything You’ve Been Told About The Idaho Wedding Chapel Story Is A Lie

Written by scott on October 22nd, 2014

IdahoTwo ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, own a for-profit wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, but say they cannot marry same-sex couples because of their faith. Now that same-sex couples can legally marry in Idaho, the Knapps face a possible issue.

Earlier this year, as you can see in this video, Donald Knapp (photo, above,) said he’d close the chapel rather than violate his faith. At the center of the controversy is their small town’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

Bottom line, depending on how they’ve licensed their business, they likely would be exempt from the ordinance, but that hasn’t stopped the maniacal anti-gay religious right who have hitched their wagons to the Hitching Post’s story and are profiting from it — because that’s just what they do.

Authored By David Badash – See the Full Story at The New Civil Rights Movement

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Analysis: Marriage Equality Has No Impact on Rate of Straight Marriages

Written by scott on October 22nd, 2014

titleA new survey done by the Reno Gazette-Journal found no impact on straight weddings after marriage equality was introduced in a given state or country.

The Advocate reports:

A recent analysis by Fact Checker at the Reno Gazette-Journal looked into the marriage rate of countries abroad that have legalized same-sex marriage and compared the marriage rate over time. The findings show that same-sex marriage has not had any impact on the rate of different-sex marriages. So Nevada need not be worried about marriage equality recently coming to the state. The ongoing decline in different-sex marriages is actually a trend started decades before same-sex marriage became an issue. Fact Checker looked at Eurostat data and compared marriage rates in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands over the decades. Although they have differing laws about marriage, all three countries had the same trend, according to Fact Checker, and showed declines in marriages since the 1970s.

Think it will make any difference?

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