USA, Oklahoma: Tenth Circuit Hearing on State’s Marriage Equality Ban

Written by scott on April 17th, 2014

Tenth Circuit, Denver

Apple Maps

Another state, another hearing today on a marriage equality ban.

Edge Boston reports:

Lawyers for a couple challenging Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage and the clerk who refused to grant them a license head to a federal appeals court Thursday with the rare opportunity to build on arguments the judges heard in a similar case just a week earlier… U.S. District Judge Terence Kern of Tulsa ruled in January that Oklahoma’s ban violated the equal protection clause in the U.S. Constitution. He immediately stayed his ruling, preventing any same-sex marriages from taking place while the ruling was appealed. In contrast, more than 1,000 gay couples in Utah married before the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in to issue a stay.

These cases are moving quickly – is it possible they will reach the US Supreme Court in time for 2015?

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USA, Arkansas: Marriage Equality Hearing Today

Written by scott on April 17th, 2014

ArkansasToday marriage equality gets a day on court in Arkansas.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Advocates of ending Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage are to make their case Thursday before a circuit judge in Pulaski County. More than three dozen people are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging Arkansas’ voter-approved ban on gay marriage. Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is to preside over the hearing at 1 p.m. in Little Rock. Late last year, Piazza refused to grant a motion by the state that sought to dismiss the lawsuit, but he also refused to grant a motion by the couples suing, who asked him to block enforcement of the ban.

It’s another blockbuster week on the ongoing US marriage equality saga.

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USA, Arizona: Judge Won’t Combine Marriage Equality Lawsuits

Written by scott on April 17th, 2014

Arizona mapA Federal Judge has denied a request to combine two marriage equality lawsuits into one.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

A federal judge is refusing to combine two separately filed lawsuits challenging Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage. However, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick ordered that both cases be assigned to him. One already was assigned to Sedwick but a second was randomly assigned to a different judge.

Lawyers who filed the second lawsuit had requested consolidation, arguing that both cases involve the same issues. Lawyers who filed the first lawsuit responded by saying their case is further along and they also cited differences in the cases, including that they share only one common defendant.

Interesting that he had both cases assigned to himself but is trying them separately. Any hidden meaning here, legal tea readers?

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UK, Northern Ireland: Assembly Will Debate Marriage Equality

Written by scott on April 17th, 2014

Northern Ireland - google maps

from Google Maps

Northern Ireland is getting ready to at least discuss marriage equality.

Pink News reports:

The Northern Ireland Assembly will debate equal marriage on 29 April in a motion filed by several MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly)…. The motion states: “That this Assembly notes that other jurisdictions on these islands have moved forward with equal marriage rights for same-sex couples; believes that all couples, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should have the same legal entitlement to marry”.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that has not yet approved marriage equality, and even Ireland to the south has planned a referendum for next year. But the DUP has steadfastly blocked every attempt – will this time be any different?

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Ethiopia: Anti Gay Rally and Bill Dropped

Written by scott on April 17th, 2014

Ethiopia via Apple Maps

Apple Maps

Ethiopia will not get more gay-hatey. At least not right now.

O-blog-dee-o-blog-da reports:

The AP is reporting plans to hold a mass anti-gay rally in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have been cancelled. The two religious groups planning the rally announced last week it would be held on April 26th… Today, Negash said the cancellation is the result of people inside the church asking the government to prevent the rally. Currently, same-sex acts are punishable by up to 15 years in prison or 25 years if convicted of infecting another person with HIV during same-sex acts in the country.

It’s nice to see at least one African country pausing before taking an anti-gay step.

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USA, Wisconsin: Lesbian Couple Takes Marriage Equality Lawsuit to State Supreme Court

Written by scott on April 17th, 2014

Wisconsin MapA lesbian couple in Wisconsin is asking the court to overturn the state’s marriage equality ban.

Edge Boston reports:

Katherine Halopka-Ivery and Linda Halopka-Ivery filed a lawsuit directly with the high court Wednesday, bypassing the trial and appellate courts. The lawsuit says the couple lives in Milwaukee County and married in San Diego. They allege Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban denies them federal rights afforded to opposite-sex married couples, violating their rights to equal protection and due process. They also argue the state is improperly restricting gay marriage based on religious opposition to same-sex marriages. An American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging the ban is already pending in federal court in Madison.

Does the court ever actually take this kind of direct challenge? What’s the make=up of the WI Supreme Court? Insight, anyone? :)

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USA, Ohio: Judge Stays Most of Marriage Equality Ruling

Written by scott on April 17th, 2014

OhioA federal judge stayed most of his monday ruling that had told the state to recognize out of state same sex weddings.

Edge Boston reports:

Ohio officials must immediately recognize the same-sex marriages of four couples who sued over the state’s gay marriage ban, a federal judge said Wednesday, while staying the broader effects of his ruling to avoid “premature celebration and confusion” in case it’s overturned on appeal. Judge Timothy Black stayed his ruling ordering Ohio to recognize the marriages of gay couples who wed in other states pending appeal in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The appeals process likely will take months. Had Black not issued the stay, all married gay couples living in Ohio would have been able to immediately begin obtaining the same benefits as any other married couple in the state, including property rights and the right to make some medical decisions for each other.

Wouldn’t it have been easier for the state to recognize everyone at the same time instead, rather than only recognizing four couples now, and everyone else later?

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Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Magical Harps by Amy Lynn Kanner, San Diego, California

Written by scott on April 16th, 2014

Magical Harps by Amy Lynn Kanner - San DiegoPeriodically 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 Entertainment in San Diego, CA, USA. You will be delighted with the gorgeous sound of my harp! With 20 years of professional experience, performing music from Classical (Pachelbel “Canon”) to Popular (“A Thousand Years”, “All I Ask of You”, even the Beatles!), I will assist you in creating a beautiful music program designed especially for you!

See the Magical Harps by Amy Lynn Kanner Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

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From Daughter to Son: A Transgender Teen’s Story

Written by scott on April 16th, 2014

Transgender TeenJadee Dennis was born a girl, but has decided to become a boy, and he’s sharing his story to encourage acceptance. Born a girl, the last of 6 children, the 17-year-old left a letter for his mom that put into words what he felt for so long, but never quite knew how to say it.

“It took a long time,” he said. “Just to write the letter itself, it took weeks.”

Jadee always felt more like a boy. Several years ago, the Grass Valley teen discovered the term transgender. It was the answer to everything. “After more, more research, I was like, this is who I am,” he said.

Authored By Nick Janes – See the Video at CBS sacramento

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USA, Minnesota: 47% Support Marriage Equality, Poll Says

Written by scott on April 16th, 2014

titleA new KSTP/SurveyUSA shows marriage equality support in Minnesota at 47%.

On Top Magazine reports:

A KSTP/SurveyUSA poll published last April showed majority (51%) support for allowing gay couples to marry, with 47 percent opposed. According to the latest poll, support has dropped 4 points to 47 percent. Opposition fell from 47 to 45 percent. “This issue has not gone away,” Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute told KSTP. “Voters may have a verdict to make come November.” Pollsters recorded slight decreases in support among Democrats (down 1% from 66%), Republicans (down 2% from 27%) and independents (down 6% from 53%).

But take that “drop” with a grain of salt. The last three polls we have record of show 38% support (3/13); 51% (4/13), and 46% (6/13) – average those out, and you have 45% support, which would make the new poll show an actual increase in support of 2%.

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