Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 25th

Written by scott on November 25th, 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!

Cameroon: Although the main accuser has backed out, police are continuing to investigate a man accused of being gay. full story

Nepal: A new poll shows that 60% of the country’s LGBT citizens have experienced discrimination or abuse. full story

UK: The soccer association in the UK has announced new guidelines for transgender players. full story

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

Dallas Voice Marriage Equality Map

USA: Out actor Dan Bucatinsky has joined the Human Rights Campaign’s Americans for Marriage Equality campaign. full story

USA: Michael Sam said he regrets the public way he came out, although he is happy to be out. full story

USA: The New York Times points out that bans on interracial marriage were in place in 16 states when they were struck down by the US Supreme Court, and sodomy bans were in 13 states. We’re now at just 15 states with marriage equality bans. full story

USA: Matt Baume has more details on the sorry state of NOM’s finances. full story

USA: The Washington Blade looks at Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s LGBT legacy at the Pentagon. full story

USA: 2014 election polls show a lowering of marriage equality support, but the electorate who showed up skewed more conservative and republican. full story

USA, Florida: West Palm Beach city commissioners voted to support lawsuits for marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Kansas: Equality Kansas updates us on the marriage equality situation there – 25 counties have issued marriage licenses to same sex couples, but state agencies are not yet recognizing the marriages. full story

USA, Maryland: The state’s Medicaid Coverage Policy Advisory Committee recommended that Medicaid coverage be updated to provide transgender-inclusive health coverage for all participants in the program. full story

USA, Mississippi: HRC has just released another marriage equality ad in Mississippi. full story

USA, Michigan: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he backs Supreme Court review of the state’s ban on marriage equality. full story

USA, Nevada: Assembly Speaker-elect Ira Hansen (R) gave up the post after past statements calling gays child molesters and saying blacks should be grateful to whites for ending slavery came to light. full story

USA, Oregon: NOM has been turned away once again in their quest to bring down marriage equality in the state – the Ninth Circuit has denied the group’s request for an en-banc hearing. full story

USA, Texas: Lawyers for two Texas gay couples who are challenging the state’s ban on marriage equality asked a federal judge in San Antonio to lift his stay and allow weddings to begin immediately. full story


Trans group “Military Freedom Coalition”: Statement on resignation of Chuck Hagel

Written by Sean Sala on November 24th, 2014

Chuck Hagel resigns (Photo credit NBC News)

Originally seen

The following is a statement from Staff at the Military Freedom Coalition – a leading organization lobbying for the removal of the Transgender Military ban. Advocating both nationwide and in Washington D.C. – represented by Transgender Navy SEAL (Retired) Kristin Beck:

“In May of this year Secretary Hagel said the ban on transgender service people would be reviewed. On August 5th of this year a new DOD Regulation was passed that removed the medical regulation that prohibited transgender service. In the following month I sat down with DOD officials and further reviewed the regulations and procedures to include open transgender service in the US military – the same open and equal service by transgender people seen in eighteen other nations including the UK, Canada, Australia and Norway.

Secretary Hagel has moved the rudder of the ship, but nothing has really changed for the individual transgender person. Over 15,500 Americans still serve in fear for their livelihood and sometimes their lives. We just want to serve our country with honor and integrity – “OPEN” and honest.

The services need to comply with the new regulation (DODI 1332.18) and update the policy. Or the new SECDEF needs to delineate and write very plainly what needs to happen to bring equality of service into the military. Steps have been taken and reviews are underway.
SECDEF Hagel, thank you for this and your service to our country. I look forward to my next meeting in the Pentagon with new staff to continue on this journey to freedom.” - National Transgender Military Liaison, Navy SEAL (Retired) Kristin Beck 

In a second statement:

During today’s press conference Hagel committed to remain in his position as Secretary of Defense until a successor has been named. During his remaining time, it is our hope that Hagel will keep his word about reviewing the ban on Transgender Servicemembers (11 May 2014).

“I do think it continually should be reviewed,” he told ABC’s Martha Raddatz. “I’m open to those assessments, because, again, I go back to the bottom line, every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it.”

As the White House struggles with it’s own foreign policy, the battle for transgender rights in the military wages on. There can be no mistaking the controversy that surrounds this day. The war in Afghanistan, ISIS (ISIL) and Transgender Servicemembers… all issues that Hagel has left open ended. While we cannot expect anyone to be selected during the current Lame Duck Session (between now and end of the year) – it is our sincere hope that the Senate Republicans will work with Democrats and name the successor in a timely and equitable manner.” – National Transgender Coalition Liaison, Ashleigh Barraza

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Featured Gay Wedding Vendor: Derek Chad Photography, Phoenix, Arizona

Written by scott on November 24th, 2014

Derek Chad Photography - Phoenix, Arizona

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 Phoenix, AZ, USA. I take a modern, casual approach to wedding photography. I like to capture all the special moments and emotions on your wedding day in a relaxed and artistic way. It can be challenging for couples to find a gay wedding photographer who they feel comfortable with who is also talented. I hope to be that talent and comfort for you on their wedding day.

See the Derek Chad Photography Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Arizona


Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 24th

Written by scott on November 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!

India: Transgender students in New Delhi are now considered “disadvantaged”, and are eligible for free tuition in public schools. full story

Ireland: A member of the ruling party plans to introduce a “discriminate against gays” bill. full story

USA / Canada: A new hotline, Trans Lifeline, is being launched for transgender people, staffed by transgender people. full story

USA: Google play has just pulled a homophobic game called Ass Hunter, where the goal was to shoot naked gays as they ran at you from the bushes. full story

Ass Hunter

USA: Queerty has an update on the dad who discovered his son was gay from his search history and asked the internet for help. full story

USA:The Dish profiles evangelical Matthew Vines, a Christian who changed his mind on marriage equality. full story

USA: Gay Star News looks at the difficulty same-sex couples face when they want to divorce in non-marriage equality states. full story

USA: USA Today looks at HRC’s latest report, and points out the worst cities in the US for LGBT rights. full story


Matt Baume’s Marriage News Watch – November 24th

Written by scott on November 24th, 2014

Matt BaumeWe picked up three states with marriage this week — well, two, and then a third that’s still trying to make up its mind. Kansas clerks have been pretty inconsistent about granting or refusing to grant marriage licenses, and there’s no sign of when it’ll be resolved.

And there’s also some fun news this week: NOM’s finances are looking even worse than we thought. Oh well!

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

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Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: The Golden Hotel, Golden, Colorado

Written by scott on November 23rd, 2014

The Golden Hotel

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 Event Location in Golden, CO, USA. The Golden Hotel would be a perfect venue for your wedding with our breathtaking views and our wealth of full-service amenities. We are located on beautiful Clear Creek nestled in the heart of Golden and only 12 miles from Downtown Denver. Our professional reception coordinator will ensure every detail for your reception is perfect, leaving memories that will last a lifetime. Our spacious guest rooms will be a home away from home.

See the Golden Hotel Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Colorado


Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 23rd

Written by scott on November 23rd, 2014

Gay Wedding - RingsHere’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!

USA: Ten businesses to avoid if you support LGBT rights. full story

USA, Montana: Two straight college students tried to get married before the state’s ban on marriage equality was knocked down, to experience for themselves the discrimination gay couples face. full story

USA, Montana: The Ninth Circuit has set a date for Attorney General Tim Fox’s appeal of the ruling against the state’s marriage equality ban. full story

USA, Texas: Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson says the city should not have received a zero score from HRC on LGBT rights, because the city is safe for gays, has an annual drag show, and because the LGBT community is already protected by state and federal laws in Texas (they’re not). full story


Featured Gay Wedding Vendor: LA Exposures, Los Angeles, California

Written by scott on November 22nd, 2014

LA Exposures - Los Angeles

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 Los Angeles, CA, USA. Here at LA Exposures we customize our wedding photography coverages to fit the needs/budget and tastes’ of each couple. Every wedding is different, and we treat it as such. We work hand in hand with each couple to ensure their wedding photos and big day come out exactly as they’ve always dreamed!

See the LA Exposures Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in California


LGBT Organizations Should Not Criticize President Obama’s Immigration Move

Written by scott on November 22nd, 2014

President Barack ObamaDear LGBTI Activists, Advocates and Organizations,

Now that the dust is settling I want to again applaud President Barack Obama for his push toward immigration reform with the Executive Order (EO) he spoke of last night.

The President could not feasibly do much more than he did – because of the current political climate, which necessitated the EO in the first place. Hence I do not believe LGBT organizations should criticize President Obama for not doing more at this time, and should instead support this move as a courageous and imperative tool toward full comprehensive immigration reform for all.

The speech and resulting EO is clearly orchestrated to provide as little ammunition to the Republican Party as possible. The President kept it to an enforcement order only, issuing a challenge for the Republicans to get to work on the immigration legislation they are pretending is not there. Remember Comprehensive Immigration reform already passed the Senate and has been at Speaker Boehner’s feet for how long?

President Obama cannot legislate in place of Congress; that is their job. This EO serves as a push-and-shove challenge to the Republicans to now get off their obstructive butts to finally govern on the issue of immigration.

It really is a political tool to challenge the Republicans to do something or choose death in 2016. That is clearly why the President could ONLY give ‘so little,’ as some may see it, at this time – and yet to so many parents and children he has given so much! Almost 5 million will be impacted in a life changing way.

As LGBT activists we should applaud helping the millions consisting of families with children, including many in our community too. Some LGBTI people may be left out – as are many heterosexual people and others in our LGBT community may be excluded simply because our families do not have equal rights – to that I say – where is our Full Equality Bill? Therein lies the real fight for us as a LGBT community. And of course we all support Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) for all; and we all ought to support the President in urging the newly elected majority Republican Congress to legislate appropriately on this issue of a broken immigration system. The EO goes mere inches in this direction as it only is enforcement related and does not provide a path to citizenship.

As LGBTI activists our job is not to criticize the President for his immigration EO when he is so clearly faced with the limitations he has – he can only issue an enforcement related EO – as the safest way to tackle these Republicans and do the much needed push.

This has still taken courageous leadership and for that we should be grateful. As an LGBT community with a very supportive President, why would we want to participate in setting him up for EO’s that could be challenged successfully by his enemies? It is bad enough as it is – they will challenge him on this EO and do anything than can to find a way to impeach. They were talking impeachment in their speculative rhetoric before they even knew what he was going to propose. Instead they got an in the face challenge; a call to do their job. Now let us see if they are able to govern or not or will this be yet another excuse to continue to obstruct? However this time the ball lands squarely in their court and they can chose to hit it back or let it drop to the ground and trail off into a distant corner of the court.

We cannot forget that the President has all the guns of the Republicans pointed at him, fingers on the triggers, ready to shoot him down. And so he cleverly crafted this move in a way that points a canon right back at them. He could not do much more.

He said: We will refrain from deporting families and we will deport felons!” He said: “Stronger borders!” He basically said – ‘Now you, Mr. Speaker, its time to legislate on immigration and you Republican Party it is in your hand to fix this broken immigration system.’ All he could offer is something concrete and meaningful to spark this critical challenge.

We must now align with the President and so as a unified community we should focus on the Republicans and demand that they introduce the comprehensive immigration reform that will include all, as well as LGBTI people, as soon as possible.

The President gave us this EO as a tool, a mere tool, for just that – and any LGBTI activist or organization who cries foul, saying the EO is not enough is shooting this process in the foot, derogating from the Congress’s responsibility, and turning their back on the President in his hour of need.

If the Republicans were smart and wanted to save their 2016 chances of anything, they would have a CIR bill on the President’s desk in the first week they govern with their majority in both houses. Alas I think their anti-immigrant stance will prevail and will deliver something unacceptable or not at all. With that said we have to see this as a strategy so we can use the immigration issue toward taking over the Congress and Presidency in 2016. I am on board – how about you?



This post originally appeared on O Blog Dee O Blog Da


Baja California Official Stops Same Sex Wedding

Written by scott on November 22nd, 2014

Baja California - Apple MapsLast week, the Mexican Supreme Court cleared the way for a same-sex couple in Baja California to get married. But yesterday, a local official did everything she could to block the wedding.

SDGLN reports:

Outside the Mexicali City Hall, anti-gay protesters prayed and shouted slurs… A judge stood by to marry the couple, and a local television station began a livestream broadcast of the historical moment. The small room at City Hall was crowded with the media along with family and friends of the couple. The mood was upbeat.

But then Rosa Maria Real, who is charged with officiating marriages with the Mexicali government, showed up to stop everything in its tracks. She told everyone: “I know nothing” about a marriage today, according to a tweet by Sandra Dibble @sandradibble, who covers Baja California news for U-T San Diego. Nevermind that their names were listed in the Civil Registry, El Mexicano reported. Her remarks sparked screams of protest.

The couple’s attorney, Jose Luis Marques Saavedra, objected and eventually got on a phone with federal officials seeking to hold the government of Mexicali in contempt of the Supreme Court. Then there was a bomb threat. The bridegrooms, family and friends refused to evacuate the room, considering it a hoax. Eventually, everyone was cleared out of the room and the wedding ceremony was not conducted. Local media reported that the wedding party planned to return at 2 pm today to see if the legal mess could be resolved by that time.

But even after all this, she still wasn’t done. She then claimed that the signature of a witness did not match one another documents. Then she said she found inconsistencies on the birth certificates of both men, and other things that concerned her. It’s a transparent attempt to block this legal wedding, and it’s disgusting.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Mexico.

Image via Apple Maps