Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 14th

Written by scott on April 14th, 2015

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

International: President Obama was among those who raised LGBT rights during the 2015 Summit of the Americas that took place in Panama this past weekend.
full story

Chile: Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on April 13, 2015, signed her country’s civil unions bill into law. full story

Ireland: The former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage. full story

Jamaica: Jamaican Activist Jason Latty asked President Obama to keep Visa Ban of gay hate Reggae Artists full story

Malta: Pro-gay marriage priest Father Mark Montebello has gone against Church teachings to bless rings at a gay engagement ceremony. full story

Malta: Since the passing of the civil union bill in parliament a year ago, 47 civil unions were registered across Malta and Gozo. full story

Romania: TV star Mihaela Rădulescu’s blog post compares homosexuality to terrorism, and asks for LGBTI events to be shut down. full story

Russia: The video announcement of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign launch has been issued with an ’18+’ age rating in Russia for gay content. full story

Russia: Apple’s virtual assistant Siri refuses to discuss homosexuality in Russia. full story

UK: The Conservative Party has pledged to extend pardons to gay men convicted of historic sex offenses. full story

UK: A ‘gay cure’ convention scheduled to take place in London later this month is now cancelled. full story

USA: Anti-gay Senator Marco Rubio jumped into the Presidential race Monday. full story

USA: Anti-gay activist Dr. Ben Carson is expected to officially declare his decision on whether to run for president May 4 in his hometown of Detroit. full story

USA: A group of four House Democrats have introduced a resolution “expressing the sense of Congress that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people should be protected from discrimination under the law.” full story

USA: A group who call themselves “same-sex attracted men and their wives” filed a brief saying that the Supreme Court must not protect gay couples’ marriages, because doing so would demean marriages between gay men and their wives. full story

USA: A children’s book that tells the story of two male penguins raising a child together is still the third-most banned book in the US.
full story

USA: MSNBC Interviewed the gay couple featured in Hillary Clinton’s announcement video. full story

USA, Alabama: HRC Alabama confirmed that no probate office in the state is distributing certificates of marriage to same-sex couples. full story

USA, Arkansas: A group representing downtown Little Rock’s businesses is calling on Arkansas’ governor to issue an order extending workplace anti-discrimination protections to gay and lesbian state employees. full story

USA, California: A gay San Franciscan has launched an “I’d Bottom for Hillary” campaign and is selling t-shirts and tank tops that promote one’s willingness to receive anal penetration (metaphorically, of course) from the former Secretary of State who is now the top (ahem) Democratic candidate. full story

Bottom for Hillary

USA, Florida: Lakeland Eye Clinic settled a suit by a transgender employee, admitting no wrongdoing but agreeing to pay her $150,000 in backpay and damages and agreeing to implement gender identity nondiscrimination protections and trainings for employees. full story

USA, Indiana: HRC’s new poll, conducted by Greenberg, Quinlan Rosner Research, finds Governor Pence tied 47-47 in a potential matchup with Democrat John Gregg, after fallout from the state’s RFRA law. full story

USA, Indiana: Democratic lawmaker said Monday he wanted to force an Indiana House debate over whether to extend protections for LGBT individuals under the state’s nondiscrimination laws less than two weeks after the backlash over the religious objections law. full story

USA: full story

USA, Louisiana: A national Mississippi-based finance company fired a transgender man in Louisiana after he refused to agree to dress and be treated as female, according to a federal employment discrimination lawsuit filed today by civil rights advocates. full story

USA, Louisiana: Despite controversy in Indiana and Arkansas over attempts to enact religious freedom legislation seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination, Gov. Bobby Jindal made passage of such legislation in Louisiana on Monday a legislative priority in his “State of the State” address. full story

USA, New York: A cab driver from New York City has been fined $10,000 for telling a lesbian couple to stop kissing, and for threatening to kick them out of the car. full story

USA, Ohio: Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown was joined last Wednesday at the Statehouse in Columbus by other city leaders who invited businesses to cross the border and invest in Ohio.” full story

USA, Ohio: U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is joining a Cincinnati resident fighting for marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court. full story

USA, Texas: A judge in Texas has refused to allow two gay fathers to be listed on their sons’ birth certificates – despite being their biological fathers. full story

Texas gay parents

USA, Texas: Testifying before a Texas House Committee over a bill that prohibits state or local funds from being used to issue a same-sex marriage licenses, an anti-gay activist compared gays to murderers and rapists who also, in his words, commit “immoral acts.” full story

USA, Utah: A married lesbian couple is suing to be recognised as legal parents. full story

USA, Washington DC: NOM is turning to crowdfunding to help fund its “March for Marriage” on 4/25. full story

March for Marriage crowdfund


Featured Gay Wedding Vendor: Surfside Hotel, Provincetown, Massachusetts

Written by scott on April 13th, 2015

Surfside Hotel and SuitesPeriodically 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.

If you and your partner are looking for the perfect honeymoon getaway after your wedding, come stay with us at Surfside Hotel & Suites in Provincetown, Massachusetts – we welcome couples for a romantic stay with our recently redecorated guest rooms, renowned hospitality, and a fine selection of amenities. Our Provincetown Hotel is completely non-smoking, gay-friendly, and has a great location that’s close to many great shopping and dining options on Commercial Street, as well as many other Cape Cod attractions. We’re also pet friendly!

See the Surfside Hotel Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Massachusetts


Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 13th

Written by scott on April 13th, 2015

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

Pop Culture: Discovery Life Channel premiered its newest reality series – New Girls on the Block – which follows the lives of five transgender friends living in Kansas City. full story

Pop Culture: UK singer Lucy Spraggan, a former X Facto contestant, has announced her engagement to her girlfriend Georgina Gordon. full story

Asia: Forbes looks at why marriage equality has yet to catch on in Eastern Asia. full story

China: Winnie Liu, a national model citizen who took care of her sick mother for 15 years has made headlines again in China after undergoing gender reassignment surgery. full story

France: The French Minister of Health has announced changes to the rules for blood donors in a bid to allow homosexual people to donate blood. full story

Guam: A lesbian couple on Guam has filed a legal challenge to the territory’s marriage laws after they were barred from submitting a license to wed. Loretta Pangelinan and Kathleen Aguero filed their lawsuit on Monday in US district court. full story

Ireland: Polls put the yes campaign for marriage equality ahead, but proponents fear the public may spring yet another shock defeat on the Dublin elite. full story

Kyrgyzstan: An LGBTI organization was targeted in an attempted arson attack earlier this month in Kyrgyzstan. full story

Norway: Health and human rights groups in Norway this week urged the country to drop ‘appalling’ surgery and sterilization requirements for gender recognition. full story

UK: The Labour Party has released its manifesto ahead of next month’s election, and included within were several pledges related to LGBT issues. full story

UK: The UK Independence Party has defended a candidate who is set to speak at an event for people trying to cure “unwanted same-sex attraction”.
full story

USA: Hillary Clinton’s announcement video stars several same sex couples. full story

USA: The gay couple in Hillary Clinton’s announcement video is profiled. full story

Nathan Johnson and Jared Milrad

USA: The couple, who split their votes between Clinton and Barack Obama back in 2008, are now hoping the former First Lady can take part in their wedding July 19. full story

USA: Hillary Clinton has selected Robby Mook, a relatively unknown and openly gay man who ran the 2013 campaign of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, to be her campaign manager. full story

USA: Melanie Nathan rounds up the top ten reasons Hillary Clinton would be good for the LGBT community. full story

USA: Queerty lists six things that Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should to do to prove that she is serious about wanting our vote. full story

USA: Presidential Candidate Rand Paul isn’t endorsing same-sex marriage, but said Sunday that “people ought to be treated fairly under the law” – while calling for the decision on whether to allow same-sex marriage to be left to the states, full story

USA, Georgia: A Georgia prison has reinstated hormone therapy for transgender inmate Ashley Diamond, but Diamond’s lawyers say the dosage appears to be too low to be therapeutic. full story

USA, Indiana: Frederick Clarkson looks at the aftermath of the fight over the state’s right to discriminate law. full story

USA, North Dakota: A worker-owner of a Fargo coffee shop who instituted a tongue-in-cheek ban on North Dakota lawmakers for opposing an anti-discrimination bill says the response has been “99.9 percent positive” and that he made his point, even if a few people didn’t like it. full story

USA, Texas: Nearly a year after the Houston City Council approved an Equal Rights Ordinance, a judge is expected to rule this week on whether anti-LGBT groups gathered enough valid signatures to place a repeal of the measure on the ballot. full story

USA, Texas: Supporters of the LGBT community came together in Corpus Christi on Saturday to hold a march and rally for Marriage Equality. full story

USA, Texas: An anti-LGBT Texas lawmaker’s staff refused to meet with a gay constituent last month, saying it would be “a waste of time.” full story


Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Pelham Split Rock Golf Course, New York, New York

Written by scott on April 12th, 2015

Pelham Split Rock Golf Course

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.

Welcome to the Pelham Split Rock Golf Course – perfectly manicured grounds for your wedding or reception in the Bronx, near Westchester. With our elegant interiors, our Bronx wedding venue is the ideal location for special events of every kind. This historic site was originally opened in 1901, and our recent $10 million renovation has restored the venue’s original character and charm. We offer one of the preeminent wedding venues in the Tri-State area.

See the Property Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors


Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 12th

Written by scott on April 12th, 2015

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

Cuba: A lawyer who works for an organization run by the daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro on Friday dismissed LGBT advocates on the island who continue to publicly criticize its government. full story

Guam: Guam’s Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson said that she is “deferring answering further questions on the issue of gay marriage until a later time.” full story

Ireland: An enormous four-story mural of two men embracing by Irish illustrator and street artist Joe Caslin went up overnight on South Great Georges Street in downtown Dublin, meant to be a “poignant representation of same-sex love in the city” ahead of the Irish marriage referendum on May 22. full story

Gay Mural Dublin

Ireland: Church of Ireland bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory Michael Burrows reiterated his support for a yes vote in the upcoming referendum on May 22. full story

UK: A new survey has revealed that 33% of self-identified Christians will not vote for David Cameron over marriage equality support. full story

UK: Liberal Democrat minister Stephen Williams has admitted he would find it “impossible” to vote for some of his colleagues who voted against same-sex marriage. Full Story

UK: Channel 4 has predicted that the UK will see a royal same-sex couple tie the knot before the year 2120. full story

UK: A church in London will host a number of ‘ex-gay’ activists who have attempted to ‘cure’ people of homosexuality. full story

USA: Can President Obama shoot rainbows from his hand? full story

President Obama Shoots Rainbows

USA: The stacks of Supreme Court briefs filed on both sides of the same-sex marriage cases to be heard this month are roughly the same height. But they are nonetheless lopsided: There are no major law firms urging the justices to rule against gay marriage. full story

USA: Tony Perkins, the president of the anti-gay Family Research Council (FRC) has said Christians who make biblical arguments in favor of homosexuality are committing heresy. full story

USA, Nevada: Refusing to let a federal appeals court ruling in favor of marriage equality be the final word in Nevada, an anti-gay group six months later after the decision has called on the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. full story

USA, New Jersey: The Catholic high school religion teacher who got caught unloading her antigay views on Facebook is returning to the classroom, reports Advance Media. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 11th

Written by scott on April 11th, 2015

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

Internet: Drag artist Sister Roma talks with Dot429 about her fight against Facebook’s “real names” policy. full story

Australia: Australian TV viewers have made official complaints that an advert for Maltesers in which two men kiss promotes homosexuality. full story

Ireland: A street artist is about to install a huge and beautiful image of a gay couple on a wall in Dublin, ahead of next month’s referendum on same-sex marriage. full story

Gay Couple mural

UK: The Bishop of Buckingham Dr Alan Wilson has said gay clergy live in “a culture of fear and intimidation” and that there is a “real injustice” about not allowing them to marry.
full story

USA: David Crary looks at the state-by-state battle being waged over ‘conversion therapy’ bans. full story

USA: The Onion jumped into the conversion therapy ban battle with this article: “Gay Conversion Therapists Claim Most Patients Fully Straight By The Time They Commit Suicide”. full story

USA: HRC spotlights some of the nation’s most notorious and outspoken opponents of equality for LGBT people full story

USA: Aetna, the nation’s third-largest health insurer, is urging gay customers to “be proud” by considering its products as part of a new, narrow focus to selling health insurance. full story

USA: The Advocate profiles Army Sgt. Shane Ortega, a transgender man currently serving in Oahu. full story

USA: Presidential candidate Ted Cruz said “Look at the jihad that is being waged right now in Indiana and Arkansas, going after people of faith who respect the Biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.” full story

USA: A coalition of religious denominations including the Mormon Church has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in which they argue that the legalization of same-sex marriage will, among other things, deprive them of “citizenship rights.” full story

USA, California: Attorney General Kamala Harris is seeking a stay on court-ordered gender reassignment surgery for a trans inmate. full story

USA, Florida: The Liberty Counsel is back in court in the state, claiming that the federal ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Florida only applies to the plaintiffs in that case. full story

USA, Illinois: Two gay men were in the back of a taxi they had ordered through the Uber app when the ride came to an abrupt halt when the two friends shared a quick peck on the lips. The driver, Mahdi Hared, kicked the pair out of his cab , resulting in one man suffering road burn on his lower back and scrapes and bruises on his torso and arms. full story

USA, Indiana: Memories Pizza, the pizzeria that said it would refuse to cater same-sex weddings, reopened Thursday. full story

USA, Ohio: A Warren County Republican lawmaker plans to introduce a right to discriminate bill that would allow “licensed individuals” to legally deny marrying same sex or other couples on religious grounds. full story

USA, Ohio: A group of ministers plans to speak out in favor of marriage equality in their churches ahead of the US Supreme Court hearing on the state’s case. full story

USA: Tim Bostic and Tony London of Norfolk, the lead plaintiffs in a 2013 lawsuit that challenged Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban, are planning their wedding. full story


Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: New Thought Institute inc., Gilbert, Arizona

Written by scott on April 10th, 2015

New Thought Institute inc.

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.

Award-winning author of over 15 books and products on achieving your life goals, Paula can provide you with Performance Coaching in all areas.

See the New Thought Institute’s Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Arizona


Springfield – How to Get By When Your Community Betrays You

Written by scott on April 10th, 2015

Chance HeltonOn Tuesday, Springfield, Mo., had a very important vote. Sadly, the residents of Missouri’s third-largest city decided that GLBTQ people no longer deserved the right to be protected by antidiscrimination laws.

I, however, had no idea that the vote was going to turn out that way. I was in shock; the news hit me like a brick right between the eyes. How was it possible for so many people to be so filled with hate and fear that they thought such a step backward would ever be a good thing?

Lots of information floating around made me angry, from blatant lies about restroom safety to local churches pressing their members to vote to rescind the recently enacted ordinance that protected LGBT people in matters of housing, employment, and public accomodations. There is a desolate feeling in my heart when my community turns its back on me, leaving me stranded and worried for my safety and livelihood, and it’s unbearable.

Authored By Chance Helton – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Missouri.


Nicaragua Outlaws Marriage Equality, Same Sex Adoption

Written by scott on April 10th, 2015

NicaraguaNicaragua has rejected same-sex marriage and adoption by gay single people or couples. The Family Code establishes that marriage is defined as ‘between a man and a woman’. It also ensures only opposite-sex couples, foreign or Nicaraguan, can adopt.

Gay couples will also be banned from using fertility treatments to get pregnant and will not be entitled to social security protection or inheritance in the case of loss of a spouse.

This is one of the biggest step backs for a Central American country in recent years, taking effect yesterday (8 April).

Authored By Joe Morgan – See the Full Story at Gay Star News

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Image via Google Maps


Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 10th

Written by scott on April 10th, 2015

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

USA: Actress Hilary Swank says It’s ‘astonishing’ how much bigotry remains since Boys Don’t Cry. full story

USA: A Congressman in Brazil has come under fire for suggesting that hospital patients should be allowed the choice to reject “gay” blood. full story

Cuba: The thaw in Cuban-American relations may hold promise for the island’s LGBT community. full story

USA, India: A gay man in a sham marriage has written about his situation in one of the country’s largest papers. full story

Iran: Queerty looks at the country’s policy of forcing gay men to undergo gender reassignment surgery. full story

Ireland: After last month’s #RingYourGranny clip went locally viral to the tune of 144K views, marriage equality activist James Mitchell called his grandmother back to tell her about it. The referendum is on May 22nd. full story

Jamaica: President Obama met with LGBT advocates in Jamaica, a country that still criminalizes same-sex relationships. Following the meeting, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice tweeted, “Anti-LGBT discrimination and violence is unacceptable everywhere. This is US policy globally, as we discussed here in Jamaica today.” full story

Syria: A man in Western Syria suspected of being a homosexual was blindfolded and made to run through a field by Islamic State fighters as they stoned him to death – See more at: full story

UK: The leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett, said she thinks England should boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, based on the country’s record on gay rights issues. full story

Vatican: Pope Francis has reportedly refused to accept the nomination of the new French ambassador because he is gay. full story

USA: Twenty years of LGBT rights fights in 4 minutes. full story

USA: Same-sex couples across the U.S. may soon have the legal right to marry. In 28 states, their employer will still have the legal right to fire them. full story

USA: A majority of Americans (54%) believe businesses should not be allowed to refuse services based on their religious beliefs in the wake of controversies in Indiana and Arkansas over gay rights and religious freedom, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found on Thursday. full story

USA: Buzzfeed reporter Chris Geidner has profiled Doug Hallward-Driemeier, who will argue the issue of marriage recognition before the Supreme Court. full story

USA: Likely 2016 GOP candidate Ben Carson suggested the LGBT community is the “flavor of the day” in today’s political discourse. full story

USA: Rick Santorum told Iowa legislators that he’ll be a great president because he fought so hard to keep homosexuality illegal. full story

USA: The Family Research Council says angels in Heaven are supporting their anti-marriage equality fast. full story

USA: Last November 29-year-old, openly bisexual Kenneth Lombardi quit his job as a video producer at CBS after, he says, he endured months of sexual harassment. Now he’s filing a suit against his former employer, claiming to have been “repeatedly drunkenly groped and kissed by powerful men at the network,” full story

USA: With the U.S. Supreme Court about to take up the momentous issue of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples in Obergefell v. Hodges, it’s noteworthy that on April 10, 48 years ago, the court heard oral argument in Loving v. Virginia, a case that produced the court’s most important ruling to date vindicating the fundamental right to marry. full story

USA: David Taffet at The Dallas Voice looks at what to expect when the Supreme Court hands down its rulings on marriage equality this summer. full story

USA, Alabama: According to the Alabama Department of Public Health Department, 545 gay couples married in Alabama while it was legal to do so from February 9 to March 3.

full story

USA, Arizona: Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has turned away a same-sex couple seeking help to arrange a stepparent adoption for one of the spouses. full story

USA, Arkansas: Two Arkansas Supreme Court justices on Wednesday recused themselves from a newly created case to determine how the court should proceed in a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. full story

USA, Arkansas: Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday he’ll quickly appoint three special justices to hear a case a majority of the state Supreme Court says must be addressed before they can rule on whether to legalize gay marriage. full story

USA, Arkansas: Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday he doesn’t see an urgent need to expand workplace anti-discrimination protections for gay and lesbian state employees after lawmakers reworked a religious objections measure to address concerns it was discriminatory. full story

USA, California: The hedge fund honcho who despises transgender kids and the gays has been fined $200k for violating California campaign laws. full story

USA, Florida: The anti-gay adoption bill will now makes it way to the state Senate after the Florida House passed the bill 75-38. full story

USA, Florida: In a stunning turnaround late this afternoon, the Florida Senate blocked efforts to allow Indiana-style discrimination in adoption. In doing so they derailed an effort that originated in the House of Representatives to reintroduce an anti-gay adoption law in Florida. full story

Florida Senate

USA, Indiana: Alexander C. Kaufman profiles Marc Benioff, the CEO who took on Indiana’s anti-LGBT law – and won. full story

USA, Iowa: A group of students walked out of a Catholic High School after the school fired a teacher for being gay. full story

USA, Louisiana: The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau has come out against a proposed right to discriminate law that would protect businesses that might discriminate against gay and lesbian couples. full story

USA, Maryland: Maryland lawmakers this week gave their final approval to a bill that would make it easier for transgender people to amend their birth certificates. full story

USA, Michigan: Supporters of two Hazel Park nurses fighting Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban in the U.S. Supreme Court are using the example of a crowdfunding campaign on behalf of a pizzeria in Indiana criticized as anti-gay to raise funds for the effort. full story

USA, Michigan: The lawyer arguing in favor of Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban before the Supreme Court later this month defended the state’s pursuit of the case, despite the fact that it runs contrary to a wide swing in public opinion since a 2004 voter-approved definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. full story

USA, Nebraska: Students, parents and staff at an Omaha Catholic high school are rallying behind a gay teacher who was told to call off his marriage engagement or be fired. full story

USA, Tennessee: A bill in the Tennessee legislature would allow graduate counseling students to reject unmarried clients who engage in sex, LGBT clients or others for religious reasons full story

USA, Texas: Anti-LGBT activist Dr. Steve Hotze testified at the state legislature, likening gays to murderers and marriage equality to the holocaust. full story

USA, Washington: Republican lawmakers in Washington state unsuccessfully tried to strip verbal counselling from a bill to ban attempts to change people’s sexuality on the grounds that it might harm free speech and patient-counselor confidentiality. full story

USA, Washington, DC: In a symbol of solidarity with the LGBT community, the Obama administration has unveiled a gender-neutral bathroom within the White House. full story

USA, Washington, DC: A gay man has filed a discrimination complaint with the D.C. Office of Human Rights charging the manager of the Starbucks at 1700 Connecticut Ave., N.W., in Dupont North with calling him and his boyfriend anti-gay names and assaulting him in an altercation outside the store. full story

USA, Washington DC: Issues facing transgender women of color were the focus of a first-of-its-kind White House briefing that took place last week on the National Transgender Day of Visibility. full story