Marriage Equality Round-Up 9/26/14

Written by scott on September 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!

Internet: A question posed on Reddit, which asked same-sex couples “What is the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?”, has generated hundreds of replies from gay and transgender parents. full story

Worldwide: The U.N. Human Rights Council is expected to vote today on a proposed resolution that expresses “grave concern” over anti-LGBT violence and discrimination. full story

Australia: Several gay asylum seekers in Australia who fled persecution in their home countries could be resettled in Papua New Guinea, where homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. full story

Azerbaijan: After local news outlets reported that a gay couple in Azerbaijan was engaged, the couple was forced to go into hiding because of the threat of homophobia. full story

Burundi: A man who was arrested for having sex with a Vietnamese man in hiding after he escaped police who wanted to arrest him on gay sex charges. full story

Cameroon: The old website of the Camaroonian National Assembly was hacked in protest of the country’s persecution of gay people. full story

Egypt: LGBT activists are planning demonstrations at Egyptian embassies around the world on October 18th.
full story

Kazakhstan_Poster_0Kazakhstan: A Kazakh ad agency has been fined for creating a poster for a gay club that showed Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. full story

Taiwan: None of the three candidates for mayor in Taipei have LGBT policies in place. full story

Philippines: The province of Agusan del Norte has become one of the few areas in the country to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance protecting people irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. full story

Trinidad & Tobago: The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago says the country is nowhere near ready to decriminalize homosexuality – “it is not legally possible.” full story

Uganda: An MP who visited LGBT rights activists in San Francisco and then wrote that she supports all her constituents has been subjected to nasty online attacks. full story

USA: Rep. Mike Honda sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the commission to ensure that federally-mandated online filtering software used by public schools and libraries do not block resources for the LGBT community. full story

USA: Freedom to Marry is launching a new ad hilighting anti marriage equality discrimination. full story

USA: Three prominent antii-gay groups are targeting the campaigns of three Republican congressional hopefuls over their support for such unions. full story

USA: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed two federal lawsuits alleging that employers in Florida and Michigan broke the law when each fired a transgender woman. full story

USA: After ten years pursuing priesthood in the Jesuit order, Benjamin Brenkert left the Catholic Church because of recent firings of lesbian and gay people from Catholic institutions, sending a letter to Pope Francis explaining his decision. full story

USA: 250,000 gay and lesbian couples have married in the first ten years of marriage equality in the US. full story

USA: The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking to file a brief in support of a woman who wants the state of Mississippi to recognize her same-sex marriage in order to grant a divorce. full story

USA: HRC head Chad Griffin says President Obama should consider appointing an openly gay AG. full story

USA, Arkansas: The leader of Arkansas’ Roman Catholic diocese wants to file a brief with the state Supreme Court supporting the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban. full story

USA, California: The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has kicked out a pro-LGBT California church. full story

USA, California: Sister Roma offered some insight from behind the scenes of her recent meeting with Facebook brass over the “real name” requirements. full story

USA, Louisiana: A federal challenge to Louisiana’s marriage equality ban is on the fast track for review at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a move that could help push the case before the U.S. Supreme Court. full story

USA, Louisiana/Texas: Challenges to marriage equality bans from both states will be heard by the same three judge panel at fifth circuit. full story

USA, Massachusetts: Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has filed a charge of discrimination on behalf of a lesbian Walmart employee in Swansea, Massachusetts who was denied spousal health insurance for her wife. full story

USA, Michigan: New legislation which would outlaw anti-LGBT discrimination has been proposed this week by Republican Brandon Dillon of D-Grand Rapids, Michigan. full story

USA, Missouri: The judge who heard the marriage equality case yesterday promised to rule quickly on the issue. full story

USA, New York: The owners of a wedding venue that was fined for turning away a same sex couple says they don’t hate gays, just gay weddings. full story

USA, North Carolina: Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) is claiming that he did not make comments supporting anti-LGBT employment discrimination, although the exchange is on tape. full story

USA, Pennsylvania: More than 300 people attended a Philadelphia rally urging the passage of the proposed hate crimes bill. full story


Will the US Supreme Court Pick a Marriage Equality Case Monday?

Written by scott on September 25th, 2014

US Supreme Court ColorWill the US Supreme Court take up one (or more) of the marriage equality cases that have been appealed to it? They may decide Monday.

The Washington Blade reports:

For the first conference of its upcoming term on Monday, the court has docketed five cases seeking marriage equality for which petitions for certiorari have been filed: Kitchen v. Herbert, the Utah case; Bishop v. Smith, the Oklahoma case; Bostic v. Schaefer, the Virginia case; Wolf v. Walker, the Wisconsin case; and Baskin v. Bogan, the Indiana case. It takes a vote of four justices out of the nine to grant certiorari (or decide to take up a case) for any particular case. Most observers expect the Supreme Court to take up one or more of the cases to decide an issue with such nationwide importance as marriage equality, but justices are under no obligation to take up a case and may well hold off on a decision until a later conference.

Do you think the Court will take a case now, or wait?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.


Marriage Equality Round-Up 9/25/14

Written by scott on September 25th, 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!

Worldwide: After taking heat for going ahead with the Winter games in Sochi, Russia, despite the country’s abysmal record on LGBT rights, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that it would add a new anti-discrimination clause to its host city contract. full story

Australia: A proposed bill to recognize marriages of same sex couples performed overseas faces opposition. full story

Canada: A teacher in Langley has been suspended after putting an “I’m Gay” sticker on a student’s back as a prank. full story

UK, Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland’s new Health Minister, Jim Wells, has blocked critics on Twitter, including LGBT news sites. full story

Russia: Although the Constitutional Court upheld the country’s “gay propaganda” ban, it also said that it cannot be used to “ban homosexuality as is, and cannot be viewed as allowing to curb the rights of citizens based on their sexual orientation.” full story

USA: Lena Dunham is producing a transgender documentary. full story

USA: The rights of same sex spouses of service members vary widely by state. full story

USA: The ENDA discharge petition appears to have stalled at about 190 signatures, 28 short of the necessary total. full story

USA: Former San Francisco City Councilor and current Assembly member Tom Ammiano just married his partner in San Francisco. full story

USA: RuPaul is throwing her support behind a campaign against Facebook’s “Real Names” policy. full story

USA, Missouri: Opening arguments will be heard this morning in a Jackson County Court in the state’s marriage equality case. A rally is planned on the courthouse steps.
full story

USA, Montana: Bishop Michael Warfel met with parishioners of a church where a new priest told a married gay couple they must divorce and live apart to receive communion – half of the parishioners were angry at the decision. full story

USA, Montana: The gay couple involved in the fight over communion doesn’t believe their union should be called a marriage. full story

USA, Ohio: A new marriage equality billboard has gone up in Columbus. full story

USA, Rhode Island: A judge ruled that two firefighters did not have their rights violated 13 years ago when they were told to drive a firetruck in a gay pride parade. full story

USA, South Dakota: A gay teeneager has filed a complaint against his former employer for calling him “gaytard” and forcing hi to wear a name tag with the slur. full story

USA, Washington DC: Brightly colored posters showing gay and straight couples will appear throughout the Metro transit system in October as part of a new campaign to educate the public about the people protected under the city’s non-discrimination law. full story

USA, Wisconsin: The Northwestern Law School chapter of the Federalist Society on Monday sent out an invite to a marriage equality debate feating food from notoriously anti-gay Chick-fil-a. full story


About That New Marriage Equality Poll…

Written by scott on September 24th, 2014

titleA new poll from the Pew Research Center shows public support for gay marriage, on a sharp upswing over the past decade, may be leveling off.

Conducted earlier this month, the representative survey shows that support for gay nuptials dropped from 54 percent to 49 percent since February. The opposition, which jumped 2 points to 41 percent, is also getting stronger, as are the number of Americans who say they are undecided, which climbed from 7 to 10 percent. The poll’s margin of error is 2.5 percentage points.

The meteoric rise in support for marriage equality has been one of the largest turnabouts in the history of American public opinion. While there’s plenty of speculation about the reasons for it — increases in LGBT media representation, the legalization of gay marriage in New England, which didn’t set off a plague of locusts — there’s no consensus about what caused the change of heart. But from the mid-1990s to today, support for gay unions has risen from under 30 percent to over 50. Support for same-sex marriage made a particularly big jump between 2009 and 2011, when it shot up from 40 to 53 percent, according to Gallup.

Now, with courts striking down gay-marriage bans on a weekly basis, is a backlash shaping up?

By Gabriel Arana – Full Story at Salon


Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Written by scott on September 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.

ISIS is Promoting Homosexuality By Raping Men

When there’s a new evil in the world, you can bet anti-gay pundits won’t take long before connecting it to homosexuality. Pundit Walid Shoebat takes a whack at it, as reports:

Referring to a documentary broadcast on August 27th on the Kurdish station STERK TV in which ISIS members claim that the group has been raping and gang raping men in a ceremony it describes as “marriage” and using the footage to force them to join the terrorist group, Shoebat inexplicably states that the terrorist group’s use of rape as a weapon “is truly the manifestation of the purest form of the homosexual agenda.” Oddly referring to “human rights” to show that rapes and gang rapes are used “to assassinate [victims] while they are still alive”, Shoebat of course makes no coherent argument – in fact no argument at all – to back up his ridiculous, inflammatory and vile opinions connecting homosexuality with rape.

Seriously? A terrorist group purportedly raping men to force them to join via blackmail is the “homosexual agenda”? What a scary, small, sad little world this man must live in.

full story

The Penis is Made for the Vagina

An unknown group is distributing anti-gay leaflets in Lincoln in the UK:

“The practice of homosexuality is both blasphemy against God and rebellion against nature. It [is] abundantly evident that a penis is made for a vagina, and not for an anus. An anus is in fact designed solely for defecation. Homosexuality, as well as being a sin and a vice, is essentially a neurosis, a pathological condition, the result of several factors including childhood experiences. Homosexualism has become a cult, and by the indoctrination of school children and regular propaganda through the media, it seeks converts. If the practice of homosexuality is acceptable, then in time any form of sexual deviation, perversion and experimentation will be acceptable, including the progressive lowering of the age of consent, taking it below the age of puberty, and thus legalizing paedophilia.”


Slippery slope, blah blah blah. “An anus is in fact designed solely for defecation” – kinda conveniently ignores the fact that both the vagina and the penis were designed for urination, doesn’t it?

full story

Bader and Kagan Must Recuse Themselves Because They Married Gays

Kayla Moore, President of the Montgomery-based Foundation for Moral Law, is calling on two US Supreme Court Justices to recuse themselves from any upcoming marriage equality cases because they performed same sex weddings:

“Justice Kagan’s actions are especially improper, because she performed this same-sex marriage while a case concerning same-sex marriage is pending before the Supreme Court. The State of Utah has filed a petition for writ of certiorari asking the Court to consider an appeal from a 10th Circuit decision invalidating Utah’s prohibition against same-sex marriage. The Foundation for Moral Law has filed an amicus brief supporting Utah’s petition. By performing same-sex marriages, Justices Kagan and Ginsburg have clearly indicated how they will vote in Utah’s case.”

OK, first off, the four conservative justices have also “clearly indicated how they will vote in Utah’s case”, so I don’t think that really flies as a disqualifier here. And second, have any of the justices performed straight weddings in the past? Because it seems like if performing a gay wedding indicates a bias in one direction, performing a straight one would indicate a bias in the other one, no?

full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up 9/24/14

Written by scott on September 24th, 2014

Gay RightsHere’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!

France: France’s high court has ruled that married lesbians can adopt their partner’s child born through in vitro fertilization or other medically assisted reproduction. full story

Taiwan: Six same-sex couples in Taiwan had their request rejected Saturday after attempting to register at the same time. full story

USA: Chelsea Manning is suing US Army and Department of Defense officials over their refusal to assist her in transitioning from male to female. full story

USA: LGBT rights groups are pushing the GOP to denounce the homophobic Family Research Council Values Voter Summit. full story

USA: Media Matters just released a video debunking five myths about non-discrimination laws. full story

USA: Anti-gay pundits are recycling some of the same claims used against gay and lesbian soldiers to try to block changes allowing transgender solders to serve openly. full story

USA: The 500th mayor just joined the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry coalition. full story

USA, California: A gay couple marrying in Coronado had to deal with a man yelling homophobic slurs during the entire ceremony. full story

USA, Louisiana: The state Attorney General is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a Lafayette Parish judge’s marriage equality ruling full story

USA, Michigan: A coalition of black pastors and supporters said it will file legal briefs in more than 80 court cases opposing lawsuits to legalize gay marriage. full story

USA, Minnesota: A Catholic Archbishop under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with other priests is forcing another man to resign from the church, saying his same-sex marriage does not “uphold church teaching”.
full story

USA, New Hampshire: The Republican Party in the state updated its platform, calling for an end to marriage equality. full story

USA, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Senator Jim Ferlo just came out while speaking at a rally in support of updating the state’s hate crime law. full story

USA, Pnnsylvania: Although he condemned an anti gay hate crime, Governor Tom Corbett has refused to say if he will sign the hate crimes bill. full story

USA, Virginia: Gov. McAuliffe said he is optimistic same-sex couples will soon be able to marry in the commonwealth. full story

USA, Wyoming: The Casper Star-Tribune’s editorial board just endorsed a nationwide movement for marriage equality. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up 9/23/14

Written by scott on September 23rd, 2014

Gay Wedding - HandsHere’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!

Burundi: A Vietnamese man was arrested last week in Burundi for having sex with another man, a crime punishable with 3 to 24 months in jail and a small monetary fine. full story

Egypt: a group of men who are arrested for attending a same-sex wedding are facing trial today. full story

France: The rabidly gay Manif Pour Tous is planning another massive march for October 5th. full story

Ireland: A group in Ireland is offering the country’s first seminar on transgender equality and diversity to local companies. full story

Russia: An anti-gay lawmaker showed up at a gayrights event and apparently gassed a group of gays in a room. full story

USA: LGBT activists are worried that South Africa is becoming less gay friendly. full story

USA: The National Law Journal profiles the handful of attorneys fighting against marriage equality. full story

USA: Reality star Honey Boo-Boo’s gay uncle is engaged to marry his partner. full story

Alicia Keyes for Gay RughtsUSA: Singer Alicia Keys has stripped for LGBT rights. full story

USA: A new marriage equality poll shows an unexpected sudden drop in support in the US, and may be an outlier. full story

USA, Florida:The New Times profiles the lesbian couple challenging the state’s marriage equality ban in Broward County. full story

USA, Iowa: A Des Moines Democratic politician has warned that marriage quality could be in danger if the GOP takes over the state. full story

USA, Maryland: Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan just became the second sitting US Supreme Court Justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding. full story

USA, North Carolina: An anti-gay group wants to stop the city of Winston-Salem from recognizing same-sex marriages. full story

USA, Pennsylvania: A hate crimes bill could be close to passage, Representative Brendan Boyle says. full story


State Judge Strikes Down Louisiana Marriage Equality Ban

Written by scott on September 23rd, 2014

Louisiana mapJust a few weeks after a federal judge upheld the marriage equality ban in Louisiana, a state judge has struck it down.

The Washington Blade reports:

Judge Edward Rubin of the 15th Judicial District Court made the decision on Monday in the courtroom in Lafayette, La., according to KATC. According to reports, the decision itself won’t be made public until Tuesday morning because it concerns the adoption of a child. It wasn’t clear at the time of this posting whether the ruling would take effect immediately, not whether the decision would affect the entire state, or the just the Lafayette region. Multiple media outlets reported the office of Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell confirmed the ruling and has already issued an appeal. The office of the state attorney general didn’t immediately respond to the Washington Blade’s request to comment.

So even in the one state where they had eked out a victory, marriage equality opponents can’t sustain a streak anymore.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Louisiana.


Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Written by scott on September 22nd, 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.

Gay Marriage Vote Would Make Us Bigots Look Bad

Here’s a novel reason not to vote for marriage equality in Australia – it would make the bigots in the country look bad when they voted against it. Seriously, that is MP David Leyonhjelm’s argument against having a free vote on the issue:

“[The issue] is so emotive and so important to particular people that if we were to go down that path [of a free vote], we are the ones that become vilified. That’s not what our forefathers had in mind when they came up with a conscience vote.”

If public opinion is that strongly against you on the issue, maybe you need to rethink your position? Or to put it another way, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

full story

Bigotry Won in Louisiana, So US Supreme Court Will Follow Suit

The National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown is totally sure his side will win at the US Supreme Court. Because they won one case at the state level:

“Oh, you didn’t hear much about the Louisiana decision? No surprise. Here’s what happened. U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman, following extensive briefing and argument, ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit the state of Louisiana from defining marriage solely as one man and one woman, nor refusing to recognize so-called same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. He found that the state had several valid reasons for having adopted this position, which was approved by 78 percent of its voters. One reason, Feldman wrote, was to encourage children to be raised by their mother and father in an intact family. Another was to ensure that any change in such a foundational issue as marriage should only be considered via the democratic process and not be judicially imposed. [snip] We’re probably 10 months away from the Supreme Court issuing a definitive ruling on whether defining marriage in state law solely as the union of one man and one woman violates the Constitution. When that ruling comes, many people will once again be shocked that the ‘inevitable’ didn’t happen because they hadn’t heard much about Feldman and his prescient ruling in Louisiana.”

So the group that’s been on the losing side of more than 30 cases in the last year says it’s inevitable that marriage quality will be overturned? We’ll see who surprised when the Court rules.

full story

Gay Marriage Humiliates Families, Unlike My Two Divorces

thrice married and twice divorced French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy detests marriage equality:

“[The government is] humiliating families and humiliating people who love the family.”

I can only speak for our own families, both of which were totally supportive and in no way humiliated when Mark and I married. In fact, our marriage has made our relationships with most of the members of our family stronger. I wonder if Sarkozy has any LGBT family members, and if so, how they feel about the fact that he’s humiliated by their very existence?

full story

Gays Will Cause the Collapse of Civilization

A Devon newspaper columnist in the UK says that the acceptance of homosexuality will cause the collapse of civilization:

“So there you have it. In this country, homosexuality has gone from persecution, to permission, and thence promotion. When parliament passed the law making homosexuality legal, a well known figure was heard to remark “Knowing that lot, it’s a wonder they didn’t make it compulsory! It was not homosexuality per se that caused the collapse of the great civilising empires of Greece, Rome, Britain, et al, but rather public acceptance of it was the exclamation mark that signalled the end of empire. With it came the weakening of the disciplined social structures that support law and order. Slowly, but surely, anarchy will take over.”

Nice of him to knowledge that gays didn’t cause the collapse of the Roman Empire – only the acceptance of them did. *snark*

full story

The Howling Gays Demonized Our Noncontroversial Family Event

Janet Crouse, a part of the Concerned Women of America, blames the gays for making a “family” conference in Russia controversial:

“Having swept all before them in the aimless societies of the west, the LGBTIQ crowd is in a howling fury with Russia’s pro-family movement for its refusal to capitulate to their gay marriage agenda. They are calling for federal investigations of Americans participating in what should have been a non-controversial international pro-family celebration, honoring an institution that has been the backbone of virtually all societies throughout thousands of years of history.”

We should note that this supposedly “non-controversial” meeting of people who only wanted to talk about how wonderful “the family” is also included a resolution to export Russia’s anti-gay laws to the rest of the world. You attack us, we stand up for ourselves.

full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up 9/22/14

Written by scott on September 22nd, 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!

Worldwide: Marta Mauras, the Chilean Ambassador to the United Nations, is tabling a resolution calling for human rights for everyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. full story

Australia: Ex Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who blocked marriage equality in the country for years, says she accepts that it will happen in Australia. full story

Australia: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has responded to a child’s letter about marriage equality. full story

Australia: A transgender teenager is filing a complaint after a supermarket cashier laughed in his face when looking at his ID. full story

India: Padmini Prakash Is the first transgender TV news anchor in India. full story

Mexico: The first gay couple has married in the state of Coahuila. full story

New Zealand: A new study has been launched to examine the prevalence of homophobia in New Zealand sports. full story

UK: Some UK gangs are reportedly selling sham same-sex marriages to help immigrants enter the country. full story

USA: The US Census Bureau says that more than 250,000 gay couples married in the first decade of marriage quality in the country. full story

USA, Arizona: A group called Why Marriage Matters Arizona is working to engage the Latino community for marriage equality. full story

USA, Missouri: A judge will hear a marriage equality case in Missouri on Thursday. full story

USA, Nevada: Ed Sheeran and Macklemore performed “Samelove” together at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas. full story

Virginia:The House of Delegates has approved a resolution that would allow them to bypass the state’s Attorney General to defend the marriage equality ban in court. full story