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Marriage Equality Round-Up 4/19/14

Sunday, April 20th, 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!

Ghana: This African nation has won a dubious prize – the least gay friendly country in the world. full story

Malta: The first civil unions under the country’s new law are expected to be performed in June. full story

USA: Rachel Maddow took a look at the weird week in marriage equality on Friday. full story

USA, Arkansas: A plaintiff in the marriage equality lawsuit that was heard on Thursday said ““I’ve been waiting 44 years to get over this damn rainbow. So, a couple more weeks isn’t going to matter to me.” full story

USA, Colorado: A gay man who married his partner in the US in 1975 is asking that his marriage be recognized. full story

USA, Illinois: Six state GOP officials who pushed for the ouster of a pro-gay party head were replaced this week. full story

USA, South Carolina: After state lawmakers approved a proposed cut in University funds over the listing of a lesbian-themed book in the school’s reading program, tickets were selling out quickly for performances of a play based on the book. full story

USA, Washington DC: Gay activists demonstrated outside the Ugandan embassy in DC. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up 4/19/14

Saturday, April 19th, 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!

USA, Colorado: A group of 215 faith leaders have stepped up to support marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Florida: A judge has just overturned an earlier ruling that would have forced the University of Central Florida to turn over records related to the widely discredited Regnerus study. full story

USA, Florida: The lesbian plaintiffs in a marriage equality case in Florida have been invited to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll. full story

USA, Illinois: The thousandth same sex couple just received a marriage license in Cook County. full story

USA, North Carolina: WRAL profiles two military families who are plaintiffs for marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Ohio: 91.3 WYSO looks at the status of the marriage equality fight in Ohio. full story

USA, South Carolina: An anti-gay Mayor has fired the city’s openly lesbian Police Chief. full story

USA, Virginia: Three constitutional scholars, including the main architect of Virginia’s current constitution, filed court papers supporting Attorney General Mark Herring’s decision not to defend the state’s marriage equality ban. full story

USA, Virginia: Equality North Carolina and the South Carolina Equality Coalition have filed a joint brief in the state’s marriage equality lawsuit. full story

USA, Utah: Anti Gay Senator Orrin Hatch: Gay Marriage Will Win

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Utah Senator Orrin HatchUS Senator Orrin Hatch, a Mormon and opponent of marriage equality, thinks the Supreme Court will ultimately support it.

On Top Magazine reports:

On Thursday, Hatch told Salt Lake City CBS affiliate KUTV that “many feel that once it gets to the Supreme Court, they’ll find an equal protection or due process situation that would allow gay marriage in every state.” “Well, I’m hoping that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide that the states have a right to decide their version of marriage,” he added, a reference to a Utah appeal to uphold the state’s ban.

Even some of our fiercest critics are now saying they think that marriage eqwuality will win – how far we have come.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.

Italy: Central Italian Town Votes for Marriage Equality

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento

A small town just south of Rome has voted to support recognition of a same sex couple’s wedding. reports:

Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento [pictured] were the first Italian gay couple to be married more than 10 years ago in Holland. In 2004 they asked the Ufficio dello Stato Civile of the Comune of Latina to register their marriage but their application was turned down. So the couple sued theComune of Latina, but in 2005 the Tribunale of latina rejected their complaint. Then they appealed the Court decision to the Court of Appeal of Rome where they found a second denial. Eventually the couple appealed the second negative decision to the Supreme Court of Cassation. In 2012 this court rejected their appeal but delivered a landmark opinion for LGBT rights. That Court said that the Italian laws should treat gay and straight couple equally. Antonio and Mario asked the Comune of Latina to record their marriage on April 15 and this afternoon the Council of the Latina approved in a 14-2 vote (1 absentee) a motion in support of the record of their marriage.

It’s now up to the Italian Government to decide whether to approve Latina’s request.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Italy.

USA, Utah: Could Marriage Equality Case Be Dismissed Over Standing Issues?

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Tenth Circuit, Denver

Apple Maps

After worries surfaced that the Oklahoma marriage equality lawsuit at the Tenth Circuit could be dismissed, similar worries have come up over the Utah lawsuit, also at the Tenth Circuit. reports:

Questions have being raised about standing in the 10th Circuit appeal of Kitchen v. Herbert, the ruling striking down Utah’s ban on gay marriage, and some believe the court could dismiss the case because the proper defendants were not named in the suit… During Utah’s arguments last week, Judge Jerome A. Holmes — widely considered to be the “vote to get” in the case — asked Tomsic to explain why the defendants her plaintiffs had singled out were appropriate. Further, he asked whether the state continued to have the right to appeal the case, given that Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen declined to appeal Judge Shelby’s Dec. 20 decision to overturn Utah’s same-sex marriage ban. “You sued the clerk of court,” Holmes said, referring to Swensen. “But the clerk of court is not on the appeal, and, it would seem to me that creates a fundamental basis for concern about where jurisdiction lies in this case.”

Marriage equality cases seem to regularly involve standing issues – is it because there is something inherent in the fight for marriage equality. or is this just a standard tool of the opposition to try to derail them?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.


Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Seriously?Here’s the the latest in our ongoing series of some of the crazy things the anti-gay, anti-marriage equality folks are saying and doing around the world.

You Should Thank Jesus For Having Any Gay Rights
Any rights “gay radicals” have are from Jesus Christ, according to TruthRevolt writer Andrew Klavan: “You have the Bible and Jesus Christ to thank for the fact that you even conceive of yourself as creatures with rights… Your cause is in the ascendant, gay radicals who hate Christianity. And so you think you can safely abandon the Judaeo-Christian fundamentals that got you here: tolerance, freedom of conscience, forgiveness.” Because the countries with gay rights are predominantly Christian.
full story Joe.My.God puts it better than I could: “Klaven is apparently unaware that several of the largest Christian groups in the United States have repeatedly called for re-criminalizing homosexuality. Or that in several states God’s Own Party has refused to repeal unconstitutional laws against sodomy. Or that Uganda, which is 85% Christian, has among the most brutal anti-gay laws in the world and very nearly approved the death penalty for for homosexuality.”
full story

Adults Will Soon Start Marrying Children
Conservative commentator John Calvin “Cal” Thomas updates the old slippery slope argument: “You have the people who believe in adult-child marriage, they already do this in certain Muslim countries, these people want the rights as an adult to marry a child,” Thomas added. “So all I’m asking, and what I do in debates is say, if the line has shifted now and we accept same-sex marriage, where would you then draw the line and on what basis?” How about at two adults who are capable of informed consent?
full story

Homosexuality Will Destroy The World!
Patriarch Abune Mathias, head of Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church, apparently pissed that an anti gay rally and law were cancelled this week, said that the “sin that burnt Sodom and Gomorrah in Ethiopia not only erodes the holiness that God has bestowed upon Ethiopians, but it will bring destruction and damage, rather than development and growth… I would like to confirm to all Ethiopian that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church will fight this grand sin fiercely to the end. It is outside of God’s and Nature’s laws. Everyone should resist it. It is unnatural. It is condemned in the bible.” Let’s ask God, shall we? I’ll bet it’s actually hatred and bigotry that falls “outside of God’s and Nature’s laws.”
full story

You Can Keep Your Homosexual Nonsense
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe says his country will kick out any pro-gay diplomats: “Some years ago, l was warned that there was some secret organisation of that nature which was addressing young men…to join them as homosexuals. This nonsense from Europe, keep their homosexual nonsense there and not cross over with it… We did not fight for this Zimbabwe so it can be a homosexual territory. We will never have that here and if there are any diplomats who will talk of any homosexuality, just tell me. We will kick them out of the country without any excuse. We won’t even listen.” Seriously? He actually said he heard that “some secret organisation of that nature which was addressing young men…to join them as homosexuals”? Scott Lively and friends’ work in Africa continues to bear fruit.
full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up 4/17/14

Friday, April 18th, 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!

Canada: Pete LaBarbera relates his terrible time in prison on hate speech charges. They wouldn’t give him a bible! full story

India: For the first time, LGBT rights are figuring into a national election. full story

Malta: A new MaltaToday online poll says that a majority of respondents think that the Civil Unions’ Act should have been debated longer because it includes gay adoption. full story

Namibia: The Commissioner for Refugees Nkrumah Mushelenga says gays from Uganda will not be granted asylum there. full story

Uganda: A group is gathering funds to help get LGBT activists out of the country. full story

Uganda: The country is getting ready to try the first men charged under the new anti-gay law. full story

UK: A judge who called marriage equality a “shambles” is retiring. full story

USA: Andrew Sullivan takes on Jo Becker’s new book that says the fight for marriage equality began in 2008. full story

USA: A group of three transgender veterans have filed a request to have their gender changed on their discharge paperwork. full story

USA, California: A new state law says that insurance companies must provide fertility treatment coverage for LGBT couples. full story

USA, Colorado: The Tenth Circuit could bring marriage equality to the state by this summer. full story

USA, Michigan: Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who fought the DOMA case at the US Supreme Court, is seeking to intervene in the Michigan case. full story

USA, Ohio: Equality Ohio is seeking to intervene in the appeal of the marriage equality case. full story

USA, Oregon: An openly gay federal judge will hear a marriage equality case in the state next week. full story

USA, Oregon: The state is readying revised marriage licenses in case a Federal Judge strikes down the state’s ban on marriage equality after the hearing next week. full story

USA, Pennsylvania: Montgomery County officials stood with state lawmakers and marriage equality advocates at a rally in Pennsylvania outside of the courthouse Thursday afternoon. full story

USA, Washington DC: A group of American activists protested at the South African Embassy in DC against President Jacob Zuma’s recent comments that he supports the Ugandan Governments right to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Act. full story

USA, Arkansas: Judge Hears Marriage Equality Case, Will Rule in Two Weeks

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

ArkansasA Federal Jude heard the Arkansas marriage equality lawsuit today.

The Commercial Appeal reports:

Arguing for the plaintiffs, attorney Jack Wagoner said the voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is itself unconstitutional. The state and federal constitutions guarantee “rights that can’t be taken away,” Wagoner argued. Wagoner said rights to due process and equal protection cannot be superseded even by a state constitutional amendment. “When the government is in the marriage business, same-sex couples have to be treated the same,” Wagoner said. “The fact that they’ve been historically discriminated against is less reason to have laws targeting them.”

The Judge says he will rule within two weeks.

The Advocate reports:

A ruling will come in about two weeks in a lawsuit challenging Arkansas’s ban on same-sex marriage, says the judge who heard arguments in the case today. Pulaski County Circuit Court judge Chris Piazza announced his anticipated time frame at the end of today’s proceedings, the Associated Press reports. He heard arguments from lawyers on both sides of the issue at the court in Little Rock.

Yay – one ruling we won’t have to wait months for!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Arkansas.

USA, Oklahoma: Tenth Circuit Hears Marriage Equality Case

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Tenth Circuit, Denver

Apple Maps

The 10th Circuit heard its second marriage equality case this month, after hearing Utah’s last week.

SDGLN reports:

In the second gay-marriage case to hit the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver in the past week, the three-judge panel heard oral arguments in the federal case that challenges Oklahoma’s ban on weddings for gay and lesbian couples. The Oklahoma case, Bishop v. Smith, is the oldest active gay-marriage case in the U.S., having been filed in 2004. Both the Oklahoma and Utah cases, which have been expedited because district court judges have declared the laws unconstitutional, are the first to be heard by a federal appellate court since last year’s historic Windsor decision that struck down a key portion of DOMA, the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.

The swing vote in the case seems to be leaning toward marriage equality.

The Sun Herald reports:

The two cases are the first to reach an appellate court since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Since then, gay rights lawyers have successfully convinced eight federal judges that the ruling means courts must strike down laws against gay marriage because they deprive same-sex couples of a fundamental right. During Thursday’s hearing before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel, Holmes suggested he interpreted the Supreme Court’s ruling the same way. “The state cannot define marriage in any way that would trample constitutional rights, right?” Holmes asked Jim Campbell, the attorney representing the defendant in the case, the Tulsa County clerk.

Queerty also zooms in on Holmes’ line of questioning.

What’s significant is that the judge widely viewed as the swing vote on the panel, Jerome Holmes, seemed to tip his hand in favor of upholding the rulings. “The state cannot define marriage in any way that would trample constitutional rights, right?,” Holmes asked the attorney representing Oklahoma, which wants the ban to remain. That’s a pretty pointed question that gets to the heart of the legal issue. The other two judges on the panel, Carlos Lucero and Paul Kelly Jr., have already signaled that their votes. (Lucero for marriage equality, and Kelly against.) The state’s predictably lame response is that the voters overwhelmingly supported the marriage ban, so it is okay to trample constitutional rights. Also, opposite sex couples have ”natural procreative potential,” as if the state demands a fertility test to get a marriage certificate.

The Denver Post wonders whether the case will be thrown out on a technicality.

Oral arguments before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday had less to do with weddings than whether the plaintiffs sued the wrong person — again. “We don’t believe the plaintiffs have standing,” said Jim Campbell, attorney for defendant Tulsa County Clerk Sally Smith… The argument looms large because if defendants are correct, then the plaintiffs’ 10-year court odyssey that began in 2004 will have been in vain. “If the court agrees on our issue, that will end the case,” Campbell said.

LGBTQ Nation has the audio of the hearing.

Now we wait for a couple months in a ritual that has become all too familiar in these legal cases.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oklahoma.

Prop 8 Defense Lawyer Evolving on Marriage Equality

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Prop 8 OverThe lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court in favor of upholding California’s ban on gay marriage learned while he was handling the case that one of his children is gay and now is helping her plan her wedding with another woman. Attorney Charles Cooper says his view of same-sex marriage is evolving after having argued in court that gay unions could undermine marriages between a man and a woman.

The revelation is an unexpected footnote in the years-long debate over Proposition 8, the California measure struck down by the Supreme Court last year. It is also offers a glimpse, through the eyes of one family, of the country’s rapidly shifting opinions of gay marriage, with most public polls now showing majorities in favor of allowing the unions.

Cooper learned that his stepdaughter Ashley was gay as the Proposition 8 case wound its way through appellate court, according to a forthcoming book about the lengthy legal battle. And with the Supreme Court ruling now behind him, Cooper cast his personal opinion on gay marriage as an evolving process.

Authored By Julie Pace – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.