Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 22nd

Written by scott on February 22nd, 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!

Canada, Alberta: The government is making it easier for transgender people in the province to make changes to their personal documents without undergoing sex reassignment surgery. full story

Ireland: The prime minister, Enda Kenny, has called on the country to vote yes in the forthcoming gay marriage equality referendum. full story

Ireland: Shocking filers in Dublin urge people to vote against gay marriage because gays are more likely to get cancer, be promiscuous and abuse children. full story

New Zealand: An LGBT group hgas claimed credit for defacing a “GAYTM”, to protest the company’s “pinkwashing”, “commercialization” of the Auckland Pride Festival and treatment of their workers. full story

Thailand: The country’s parliament has passed legislation banning foreigners and same-sex couples from seeking surrogacy services. full story

USA: Two same sex couples tied the knot on Friday’s episode of Glee in a beautiful double wedding. full story

Glee Wedding

USA: Fake Tea Party reporter Susie Sampson took to the streets to poll passersby on same-sex marriage. full story

USA, Alabama: The Human Rights Campaign Alabama hosted a marriage equality rally at Birmingham AIDS Outreach in Birmingham. full story

USA, Georgia: The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit against the state Department of Corrections on behalf of a transgender inmate who attorneys say has been denied medical treatment and has been sexually assaulted by other inmates at her men’s prison. full story

USA, Missouri: The state’s GOP Senate leader wants the ability to intervene in lawsuits regarding the constitutionality of state laws, if the attorney general declines to appeal or ask for a stay of a court ruling. full story

USA, Navajo Nation: The Navajo people are considering repealing a 2005 act that banned marriage equality. full story


Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Copperfield Inn, North Creek, New York

Written by scott on February 22nd, 2015

Copperfield Inn, Adirondacks

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 Friendly Wedding/Reception Venue in North Creek, New York – The Copperfield Inn is a gay-friendly resort, and we offer the perfect venue for your gay and lesbian wedding celebration in New York’s Adirondacks.

See the Copperfield Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Eastern New York


USA, South Carolina: Poll Shows 60% Say Marriage Equality Had No Negative Impact

Written by scott on February 21st, 2015

titleA new poll shows that South Carolinians have gone on with their lives after marriage equality came to the state.

HRC reports:

South Carolina has had marriage equality on the books since November, and voters are doing just fine, according to a recent Public Policy Polling report. In fact, 60 percent of South Carolina voters reported that the legalization of marriage equality in the state has not negatively impacted on their lives.

Time after time, the far right tries to convince everyone the sky will fall if marriage equality is granted. And time after time, it stubbornly refuses to do so.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in South Carolina.


Plano LGBT Ordinance Recall Effort Thrown Out – All Signatures Invalid

Written by scott on February 21st, 2015

Plano, Texas

Big news – the effort to repeal Plano’s new LGBT rights ordinance has failed in a spectacular fashion.

The Dallas Voice reports:

The team that screwed up the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance recall has proven to be equally incompetent in Plano. The “county of residence” requirement was omitted from the Plano petitions, which invalidated all of the signatures on it. In Houston, fewer than 4,000 signatures on petitions to overturn that city’s newly-enacted equal rights ordinance were valid out of more than 50,000 turned in. In Plano, none of the signatures were valid because that requirement was omitted. Plano spokesman Steve Stoler wrote in a press release this morning (Friday, Feb. 20), that the city of Plano has determined that the recently circulated petition is invalid and will not move forward. Plano’s city secretary was unable to certify the petition because it failed to meet state and local requirements for validation.

It’s great news for the ordinance and LGB rights, but it just hi-lights the fact that leaving out a transgender portion of the bill to protect bathroom access was a glaring mistake. It didn’t mute criticism of the bill, and divided supporters. Let’s hope this is a lesson going forward.

No word yet on whether the anti-gay forces plan to try again.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.


Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 21st

Written by scott on February 21st, 2015

Gay WeddingHere’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!

Italy: Premier Matteo Renzi’s ruling Democratic Party on Friday vowed to set up a work group to frame a law governing civil unions in Italy, after a meeting with LGBT groups in Rome. full story

Japan: The Japanese special ward of Shibuya, in Tokyo, proposed issuing certificates to same-sex couples that recognize such relationships as “equivalent to marriage,” a huge step forward for legitimizing same-sex relationships in Japan. full story

USA: Pat Robertson was up to his old tricks again, saying that catering a same sex wedding is like if “somebody wanted to marry his dog”. full story

USA: Jeb Bush, presumed 2016 Republican presidential hopeful, is hiring an openly gay man as his top communications aide. full story

USA, Alabama: People Magazine looks at what life is like for the LGBT community in the state. full story

USA, Alabama: Gay rights advocates will host a rally at Lap’s Grocery and Grill in Mobile today to both celebrate the recent legalization of gay marriage and to show support for future objectives. full story

USA, Alabama: The federal judge overseeing two challenges to Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban denied a request by Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King to intervene in one of the cases. full story

USA, Alabama: Governor Robert Bentley said Friday that he would “never do anything to disobey a federal court ruling” when asked about the legal fight over same-sex marriage in the Deep South state. full story

USA, California: Fox News took the bait this week on another bogus anti-gay story involving high school students. full story

USA, California: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone wrote to lawmakers who asked him to reconsider his new “morality clause” for teachers, giving them the rhetorical middle finger. full story

USA, Florida: The state’s first married same sex couple is now expecting twins. full story

USA, Florida: Jim Brenner and Chuck Jones, the gay Tallahassee couple who successfully sued the state of Florida over denial of spousal benefits, were told they couldn’t change their pension plan. full story

USA, Florida: A proposed Gay-Straight Alliance at Carver Middle School in Ocala is headed back to court. full story

USA, Louisiana: Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana arrested two men last week under the state’s anti-sodomy statute that was invalidated by the US Supreme Court more then a decade ago but is still on the books. full story

USA, Louisiana: Lieutenant Johnny Dunnam of Baton Rogue police apologized for the arrest of two men under the state’s invalidated anti-sodomy law. full story

USA, Mississippi: The Human Rights Campaign Mississippi talked about marriage equality at the State Capitol Friday morning. full story

USA, Nebraska: The ACLU of Nebraska will have a presentation about marriage equality and other discrimination issues at the University of Nebraska at Kearney Tuesday. full story

USA, Oklahoma: A House committee approved a GOP bill to punish any local or state employee who issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples. full story

USA, Pennsylvania: Two transgender rights bills are working their way through the Pennsylvania legislature. full story

USA, Texas: A bill filed today by a freshman West Texas Republican legislator, Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, would reaffirm the state’s ban, and would only allow the Texas Secretary of State to issue marriage licenses to opposite sex couples. full story

USA, Texas: Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the Texas Supreme Court to confirm that the marriage license issued to an Austin same-sex couple a day earlier was void, arguing that the marriage license was never legally valid. full story

USA, Texas: Governor Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday reiterated his support for the state’s ban on gay marriage. full story

USA, Utah: A bill that claims to protect both LGBT and religious rights may be dead for the year year. full story

USA, Washington: A florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding has rejected an offer from the Washington state attorney general to settle a discrimination case by paying a $2,000 fine and agreeing to sell bouquets for same-sex ceremonies in the future. full story

USA, Wyoming: A House panel advanced a non-discrimination bill after ejecting an anti-gay lawmaker from the meeting full story


Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Cambiata Chamber Players, Kingston, New York

Written by scott on February 21st, 2015

Cambiata Chamber Players - Kingston, New York

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 Friendly Wedding Entertainer in Kingston, New York – Fine ensembles for your elegant event, creative, sophisticated, and charming! Concerts, parties, dinners, ceremonies, and Viennese balls in the Hudson Valley and beyond, since 1973.

See the Cambiata Chamber Players Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Eastern New York


Texas Marriage Equality Update – February 20th

Written by scott on February 20th, 2015

Texas mapSo much going on in Texas after a Travis County judge overturned the state’s ban on marriage equality the other day.

First off, there was a legal same sex wedding in Austin.

On Top Magazine reports:

A lesbian couple together more than 30 years married Thursday in Texas. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant exchanged vows outside the Travis County Clerk’s Office. The ceremony was presided over by Rabbi Kerry Baker. The women were denied a marriage license eight years ago.

The Dallas Voice has more on the couple:

Sarah Goodfriend is a unpaid policy advisor to Austin state Rep. Celia Israel. She advises primarily on environmental and energy issues. Suzanne Bryant is an attorney in private practice in Austin. The two have been a couple for 31 years, and they exchanged their wedding vows in front of the Travis County Clerk’s office this morning with Rabbi Kerry Baker officiating.

The Dallas Voice also points out that probate court rulings in the state only apply to a single county:

According to the Dallas County Clerk’s office, probate rulings do not carry from one county to another, so a ruling in Travis County earlier this week does not apply in Dallas… Dallas County Clerk John Warren has said he hoped to be the first county clerk to issue marriage licenses in the state. His office has advised that nothing would prevent a Dallas County couple from following the same path as Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant in Travis County and filing suit in probate court here. In this case, they’d have two Travis County opinions to cite in their petition to the court.

Meanwhile, Attorney general Ken Paxton blasted the judge’s ruling and asked the state Supreme Court to issue a stay. reports:

“Texas law is clear on the definition of marriage, and I will fight to protect this sacred institution and uphold the will of Texans, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment defining the union as between one man and one woman. The probate judge’s misguided ruling does not change Texas law or allow the issuance of a marriage license to anyone other than one man and one woman.”

The Supreme Court wasted no time in shutting things down, but avoided voiding the first wedding that took place.

The Dallas Voice reports:

The Texas Supreme Court has issued a stay in the marriage between a Travis County couple following Attorney General Ken Paxton’s appeal. The order can be found here. However, this order apparently does not void Sarah Goodfriend’s and Suzanne Bryant’s marriage. Barbara Rosenberg, an attorney who works in the Dallas City Attorney’s Office, said her understanding is that the ruling can only stop future licenses from being issued.

The AG is arguing that the wedding should be voided.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Within hours, the Texas Supreme Court had blocked other gay couples from getting married under similar special exceptions – but didn’t address the women’s marriage, which Paxton said he considered void. But that remains in dispute, and Paxton’s spokeswoman, Cynthia Meyer, said their office will file additional paperwork with the state Supreme Court on Friday to argue their case. “Activist judges don’t change Texas law and we will continue to aggressively defend the laws of our state,” Paxton said in a statement.

In other state marriage equality news, the plaintiffs in a federal case are asking the court to lift a stay.

Equality on Trial reports:

In the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals case DeLeon v. Perry, which has been submitted for decision since arguments have been heard, the plaintiffs are asking the appeals court to lift the stay, or at least to do so for the plaintiffs who have children. The state has filed its opposition, and they claim in part that even if the stay is lifted, the preliminary injunction wouldn’t affect the couple who wants their names listed on their child’s birth certificate.

And in Eastern Texas, other same sex couples celebrated the ruling, but were left waiting yet again.

KYTX reports:

It’s been back and forth all day between a Travis County clerk and the Texas Attorney General after the clerk issued the state’s first same sex marriage license. However, that one license doesn’t change the situation for many other same sex couples in Texas. Karen Wilkerson and her partner have been ready to get married for a year now in Tyler. “I can’t plan a wedding, I can’t send out invitations, I cant book a place for our reception, I can’t start talking to a travel agent to plan a honeymoon because I don’t know when the decision will come down to make it legal for me to marry,” Wilkerson said. She’s happy for Austin couple Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, but says unfortunately that won’t help her case.

The state Supreme Court has only issued a stay, and hasn’t ruled on the merits of the case. We’re also waiting to see what the Fifth Circuit does in regards to its stay.

Nevertheless, it’s a crack in the dam in texas.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.


Why Bakeries Must Sell Wedding Cakes to Same Sex Couples

Written by scott on February 20th, 2015

Matt BaumeMatt Baume, who you know from AFER’s weekly marriage equality news round-up (and from schooling Mary Cheney on the differences between drag and blackface), has a new video diving fork first into why bakeries in certain states have to sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples.

Baume also gets to the bottom of why bakeries aren’t forced to bake cakes with slurs or hate messages and what’s ultimately at stake in these various “cake wars” currently playing out across the country.

Authored By Kyler Geoffrey – See the Full Story at

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.


US Marriage Equality Support Jumps to 63%

Written by scott on February 20th, 2015

titleAccording to a new poll, marriage equality support continues to increase as more and more states get it.

On Top Magazine reports:

A CNN/ORC poll released Thursday showed 63 percent of Americans support gay couples’ constitutional right to marry. According to the poll of 1,027 adults conducted February 12-15, 63 percent of Americans believe that gay couples have “a constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law as valid,” while 36 percent remain opposed. Seventy-two percent of adults under age 34 favor marriage equality. A large majority (75%) of Democrats see marriage for gays as a constitutional right, while 42 percent of Republicans agree.

Only 36% are now opposed – remarkable progress in just a few years.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.


Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 20th

Written by scott on February 20th, 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: The Human Rights Campaign on Thursday announced it has joined a U.S. initiative that seeks to promote LGBT rights around the world. full story

Online: A transgender model has recreated a famous naked photo of Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. full story

Trans Model Recreates Adam Levine Photo

Finland: The President of Finland has signed a law legalising gender-neutral marriage, but it doesn’t take effect until March of 2017. full story

Ireland: Denis Nulty, a senior Catholic bishop, has warned against the “danger of groupthink” on the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum. full story

Ireland: C4 Newsreader Jon Snow spoke out about the upcoming marriage equality referendum, saying that love between two human beings should be respected “whatever their sex”. full story

Ireland: We finally have the actual date for the marriage equality referendum in the country – May 22nd. full story

Spain: Authorities have opened an investigation to discover the author of an internal memo circulated to Madrid’s metro staff identifying gay people as a “problem group in need of extra vigilance”. full story

UK: As many as one in 100 people could in some way could be described as intersex, scientists say. full story

UK: Same-sex marriage is seen as the third most laudable achievement of the Coalition Government, according to a survey of MPs. full story

USA: The Conservative Political Action Conference is banning the Log Cabin Republicans from attending this year. full story

USA: Civil rights lawyer Roberta Kaplan and Edie Windsor have released a new video that urges every marriage equality supporter to read and sign “The People’s Brief” in support of marriage equality at the US Supreme Court. full story

USA: Frontiers Magazine looks at the tsunami of anti gay bills that threaten to undo much of the progress made on marriage equality and LGBT rights. full story

USA: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a memo this month directing field offices to take a special interest in LGBT discrimination claims under the Civil Rights Act. full story

USA: Alan Cumming mocked US Food and Drug Administration’s blood donor deferral policy for gay and bisexual men. full story

USA: The GOP just introduced a resolution in the House to amend the Constitution so that only marriages between men and women are legal. full story

USA, Alabama: HRC called a lawsuit to halt same sex weddings in the state a deliverate tactic to cause chaos. full story

USA, Alabama: Elmore County probate judge John Enslen says Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley needs to get off the “fence” and issue an order to state probate judges halting the issuance of gay marriage licenses. full story

USA, Alabama: HRC Alabama filed an Alabama Open Records request for the government email and phone records of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. full story

USA, Arizona: LGBT adolescents who come out at school have higher self-esteem and lower levels of depression as young adults, compared to LGBT youth who don’t disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity at school, according to a new study led by University of Arizona researcher Stephen Russell. full story

USA, California: Marriage Equality USA plans to hold a Garden party and Awards Ceremony for marriage equality in Los Angeles on March 1st. full story

USA, California: Alibaba, one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies, is flying 10 same sex couples from its native China to be wed in West Hollywood this summer. full story

USA, California: Does the new all gender restroom sign perpetuate negative transgender stereotypes? full story

Transgender Bathroom Sign

USA: full story

USA: full story

USA, Hawaii: A state legislative panel is considering a bill to ease gender switches on birth certificates. full story

USA, Illinois: The Cook County clerk’s office says that more than 6,500 same-sex couples married in the state’s most populous county in the first years. full story

USA, Kentucky: A bill that would have banned transgender students from choosing which restroom to use at public schools has failed to pass a Kentucky state Senate committee. full story

USA, Massachusetts: Attorney General Maura Healey is collecting testimonials from residents across the state to demonstrate to the U.S. Supreme Court the support for marriage equality in the commonwealth. full story

USA, Massachusetts: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says Walmart discriminated against a lesbian employee who sought health coverage for her ailing wife and has ordered “a just resolution” for violating her civil rights. full story

USA, Michigan: The Network, in collaboration with Michigan For Marriage, hosted a West Michigan community conversation on marriage equality yesterday. full story

USA, Nebraska: U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon didn’t rule immediately on marriage equality yesterday, instead asking for both sides to submit additional information Monday. He will rule sometime after that. full story

USA, New Mexico: A transgender woman married in what is believed to be the first wedding of its kind in Las Cruces. full story

USA, Texas: GALA North Texas is organizing a wear red to City Hall on Monday night to support the Plano Equal Rights Ordinance. full story

USA, Texas: Log Cabin Republicans in Texas are using their minimal clout to support open carry measures in the state legislature. full story

USA, Texas: The Dallas City Council amended the definition of “spouse” on Wednesday for the purpose of bringing the Employee Retirement Fund into compliance with IRS regulations that went into effect on Jan. 1. full story

Vatican: Pope Francis compared trans people to nuclear weapons, saying that those who transition are opposing “God’s order of creation”. full story