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Virginia Marriage Equality Advances: Fourth Circuit Says Ban Unconstitutional

Monday, July 28th, 2014

VirginiaThis just in – the Fourth Circuit just upheld a lower court ruling that the Virginia marriage equality ban is unconstitutional.

Equality on Trial reports:

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The ruling in Bostic v. Schaefer comes after the Tenth Circuit ruled similarly in cases from Utah and Oklahoma. The decision was 2-1 with Judge Niemeyer dissenting, a result that was anticipated. The court held that the ban violates the fundamental right to marry:

The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits themfromparticipating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.

Authored By – See the Full Story at

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Louisiana Marriage Equality Ruling Due Shortly

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Louisiana mapA federal judge says he is ready to rule in the Louisiana marriage equality case.

On Top Magazine reports:

A federal judge has signaled he’s ready to rule on a challenge to Louisiana’s gay marriage ban… U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, who was nominated to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan, heard arguments in the case last month in New Orleans. Feldman has already stated that he wants to broaden the case’s scope to include whether gay couples should be allowed to wed in the state, saying it would be unfair to rule “piecemeal.”

Waiting breathlessly on Arizona and Louisiana…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Louisiana.

Arizona Marriage Equality Ruling Could Come at Any Time

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Arizona mapThe ruling in an Arizona marriage equality case could come down at any time.

AZ Central reports:

The future of marriage for same-sex couples in Arizona rests in a judge’s hands, with a decision possible anytime… The pending ruling in Connolly vs. Roche, the first of two Arizona lawsuits challenging the state’s definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman, will become one of more than a dozen issued in federal District Courts over the past year. Judges have ruled in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry in all the other cases. The second Arizona case, Majors vs. Horne, is before the same judge, but the parties have until late October to file arguments.

As more and more of these rulings come down in our favor, you have to wonder if there will be any contrary rulings, and if not, will the US Supreme Court still feel compelled to take one (or more) of the cases?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Arizona.

Marriage Equality Round-Up 7/28/14

Monday, July 28th, 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!

Belarus: The government is considering a “homosexual propaganda” bill similar to Russia’s. full story

Commonwealth: So So Gay profiles 10 countries in the Commonwealth where you can be put in jail or killed for being gay. full story

Faroe Islands: 5,000 marched for LGBT rights this last weekend. full story

USA: The Advocate profiles Native American tribes who have embraced marriage equality. full story

USA: Matt Baume looks at four state AGs fighting marriage equality. full story

USA, Florida: The majority of Orange County’s GOP-led county commission now supports marriage equality. full story

USA, Rhode Island: The Providence Journal looks back at a year of marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Texas: It’s not clear yet whether opponents of a new anti-discrimination ordinance have gathered enough signatures to force a public vote to repeal it. full story

USA, Virginia: Target is selling Papyrus cards for same sex weddings. full story

Gays and the Political Psychology of Disgust

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

disgustWhen Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend on television to celebrate his successful draft into the NFL, some viewers were disgusted. The charged comments that followed demonstrated that when it comes to public displays of gay affection, some people have a gut reaction to recoil. But why? The answer to that question is not fully known, but scientists are beginning to establish an understanding of how biology and the environment may interact to form such reactions.

First, it’s important to understand that disgust in humans can be good. We should recoil from the truly gross things that can harm us–festering wounds, rancid meat, and feces, to name a few examples, are dangerous incubators of infection. “Disgust is apart of what is referred to as the behavioral immune system, which protects us from dealing with items and individuals that might make us sick, that might kill us,” says Patrick Stewart, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas (and not of X-Men, Star Trek fame).

But it’s not adaptive when healthy groups of people are reacted to in the exact same way as if they were pathogens. Here’s the state of the science of disgust right now.

Authored By Brian Resnick – See the Full Story at the National Journal

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Marriage Equality Round-Up 7/27/14

Sunday, July 27th, 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!

Australia, NSW: The NSW labor party has announced that it will allow members to vote for a marriage equality bill, but will not force them to do so. full story

USA: So far the official GOP response to President Obama’s executive order on LGBT employment is crickets. full story

USA: Ambassador John Berry, the U.S. ambassador to Australia, called for LGBT rights around the world. full story

USA, Colorado / Florida: NOM has so far been mysteriously silent on marriage equality wins in Colorado and Florida this week. full story

USA, New Mexico: The county clerk who kicked off the marriage equality revolution in his state says Dona Ana county issued almost 900 marriage licenses to same sex couples this last year. full story

USA, New York: Former NOM spokesman and new director of player development for the New York Giants David Tyree says he would support a gay player on the team. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up 7/26/14

Saturday, July 26th, 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!

Africa: President Obama is being urged to speak out for LGBT rights during an upcoming summit with African leaders. full story

Italy: Same-sex spouses of U.S. servicemembers and Defense Department civilians working in Italy will ow have access to the same benefits as straight spouses. full story

Italy: Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s second-largest bank, will offer marital leave to same sex couples who want to marry. full story

USA: Project Runway’s Tim Gunn says he feels conflicted about transgender models on the runway. full story

USA, Alaska: The state Supreme Court says surviving same sex spouses of someone killed on the job should have access to the state’s workers’ compensation law. full story

USA, Arizona: In a move that surprises no one, Scottsdale based “Alliance Defending Freedom, a group who exists solely to make life hell for same sex couples, is defending the state’s marriage equality ban. full story

USA, Florida: The Florida Family Policy Council slammed Rep. David Jolly for supporting marriage equality. full story

USA, Florida: Equality Florida is focused on more than just marriage rights for gays and lesbians. full story

USA, Indiana: The ACLU won’t sue the state to force recognition of marriages performed after the state’s ban was overturned. full story

USA, Indiana / Wisconsin: The Seventh Circuit has set a new date for arguments in the two marriage equality cases, August 26th – and has denied both states’ request for an en-banc hearing. full story

USA, Michigan: A bill to ban conversion therapy for minors has been introduced in the state House. full story” target=”_blank”>full story

Does Discussing the Economic Benefits Cheapen the Argument for Marriage Equality?

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Taxes and LGBT CouplesJust about every time a state debates same-sex marriage, a report emerges giving a multimillion-dollar figure to how much the state’s economy would be boosted by all those weddings. Gay-marriage supporters then tout the studies as another good reason to support recognition of such unions.

Most recently, this happened in Texas. UCLA’s Williams Institute reports that gay marriage would bring close to $182 million in wedding business to the state over the first three years. And Equality Texas, one of the organizations fighting for marriage rights, took the bait. “Allowing gay couples to marry here would give an economic boost to caterers, florists, event venues, and others who make a living through wedding planning,” Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas, said according to the Dallas Observer.

But these kinds of figures are actually a very bad argument for same-sex marriage rights. Economic benefits and costs are not relevant to discussions of civil rights and cheapen the debate. Rights are rights.

Authored By Karin Klein – See the Full Story at the LA Times

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French Mayor Who Opposes Same Sex Marriage Officiates at Gay Son’s Wedding

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

France - Google MapsA French mayor who still thinks gay marriage “is not what nature intended” nevertheless officiated at his gay son’s wedding.

Pink News reports:

Despite being a long-standing critic of same-sex marriage, Raymond Bardet, mayor of Ville-la-Grand in south-eastern France, officiated the ceremony last Saturday. He told the Dauphine Libere:

“My son was getting married, there was no question of letting anyone else do it. If I had asked a deputy to celebrate the marriage, people could have thought that I was criticising my son or that we had fallen out. Only two and a half months ago I discovered that my son was gay. I am his father and I would be the one to celebrate his union, as I would have done for his sister. I didn’t know his partner, but he’s a good person and they make a beautiful couple together. I saw two smart men, very content together. We always think that it doesn’t affect us, that was my way of seeing things, I never questioned it.”

But despite all that, he still opposes marriage equality. It’s beautiful that he did this for his gay son, but it’s sad that he is still trapped in his own prejudices.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in France.

Image via Google Maps

Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Saturday, July 26th, 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.

Being Gay is Like Being a Methodist
Maggie Gallagher gives gays a backhanded defense, acknowledging they are real, but then insisting the choose to be that way.

“When Christians tell me that homosexuality is ‘socially constructed’ and therefore not a ‘real; permanent feature of human existence, I generally respond ‘I know gay people exist the same way that I know that Methodists exist. I’ve met them.’ In other words, not all categories that are real are founded on fixed unchangeable essences. Sexual orientation as a concept is a way of organizing ‘given reality’ (sexual attraction) into a communal identity, the strongest kind. It is therefore not at all like race, and but rather more akin to religion. I never ever think of myself as a heterosexual, nonetheless my own ideas about my experience of sexuality (‘we are born male and female and called to come together in love in this thing called marriage’) are core enough to my identity and my sense of what is required for communal good that I am willing to suffer rather than renounce them, if necessary. They are not positions I hold, they are part of who I am.”

It’s the closest I’ve seen her come to recognizing the humanity of the LGBT community. But we still have a bit of work t do on the whole “choice” part.
full story

Gays Want to Prey on Little Children Sexually
Michelle Bachmann is at it again, throwing some huge chunks of red meat th the homophobic base.

“I believe that we’re going to see coming an effort for multiples in marriage, not just two, but multiples in marriage. I think they wanna legalize that. I think also they want to abolish age of consent laws, which means children would… we would do away with statutory rape laws so that adults would be able to freely prey on little children sexually. That’s the deviance that we’re seeing embraced in our culture today.”

Seriously, where the hell does she get this stuff? Has anyone in the LGBT movement in this country advocated for even lowering the age of consent laws, let alone abolishing them? Have any of the major LGBT groups said a single thing about advocating for “multiples in marriage”? No – the only people who bring these things up are homophobes like Bachmann. Makes you wonder…
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All Transgender People Are Liars
Dr Gordon Klingenschmitt, a right-wing former US Navy Chaplain, just essentially called all transgender folks liars. Speaking about a transgender woman who is suing Hobby Lobby over bathroom access, he said:

“And that not only should ban him from access to the ladies bathroom — whether or not he has the surgery, he still has XY chromosomes, he’s still a man, he’s just lying about it on his birth certificate… No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.”

I think Rachel Maddow was right – “The biggest divide in this country is not between Democrats and Republicans, it’s between people who care and people who don’t care.” and these anti-gay folks not nly don’t care about their fellow men and women, they actively hate some of us.
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Sure, You Can Hold Your Parade – At the Dump
St. Petersburg officials are trying a new tact this year to deny the LGBT community the right to have a Pride rally. Pink News reports:

“When refusing requests, officials are obliged by law to suggest alternative venues, which was abused to suggest ludicrous locations, including the remote village of Novosyolki, and a landfill site on Vasilievsky Island.”

So the city is literally calling its LGBT citizens garbage. Nice.
full story