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How To Talk To Your Evangelical Uncle About Marriage Equality

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time when millions of Americans come together to celebrate cherished, time-honored traditions: gathering with those we hold most dear, scarfing down unhealthily large meals, and of course, arguing with loved ones. For instance, let’s say you are sitting at the dinner table, eating delicious stuffing and having a pleasant conversation about The Hunger Games, when suddenly your conservative Christian uncle launches into the following rant:

I’m telling you, the “homosexual agenda” is coming after religious freedom in this country. Did you hear about that Christian florist who is being sued for not selling flowers to a gay couple? Next thing you know, they’ll be forcing pastors to perform gay weddings. I mean, anyone who reads the Bible knows that you can’t be a Christian and support homosexuality.

Okay, that’s a lot. But don’t panic — we’ve got you covered. Here are a few bits of info (including some biblical arguments) you can use to respond to your evangelical uncle’s diatribe:

Claims that “religious liberty” is under attack in America are overblown, although the refrain is likely to be repeated ad nauseam by many religious conservatives over the next few years. Many “religious liberty” advocates cheered the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, for instance, where judges ruled that the craft store giant could be granted religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. But despite assertions that the ruling protected all religious groups, a substantial majority of almost every major U.S. Christian group actually disagreed with Hobby Lobby’s position. What’s more, the decision arguably hurt people of faith overall, because it only privileged the religious views of people who own and operate corporations — and not the faiths of their employees.

Authored By Jack Jenkins- See the Full Story at Think Progress

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53% Support Marriage Equality in Wyoming

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

titleWyoming has now joined the ranks of states that approve of marriage equality.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The new poll by the University of Wyoming found 53 percent of respondents supported marriage for same-sex couples, compared to 39 percent opposed. The poll results represent a significant increase over the last 10 years in support for marriage equality. In 2004, only 24 percent of Wyoming residents supported legalizing same-sex marriage. “This represents a notable shift in public opinion,” said Jim King, a University of Wyoming professor of political science and a co-director of the survey. “Two years ago, 55 percent of Wyomingites disapproved of same-sex marriage and 40 percent approved. We’ve seen a reversal in those numbers.”

Folks, that’s a 29% increase in just 10 years, with almost half of that coming since 2012. Amazing!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Wyoming.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 25th

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Here’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!

Cameroon: Although the main accuser has backed out, police are continuing to investigate a man accused of being gay. full story

Nepal: A new poll shows that 60% of the country’s LGBT citizens have experienced discrimination or abuse. full story

UK: The soccer association in the UK has announced new guidelines for transgender players. full story

USA: The Dallas Voice has a new marriage equality map. full story

Dallas Voice Marriage Equality Map

USA: Out actor Dan Bucatinsky has joined the Human Rights Campaign’s Americans for Marriage Equality campaign. full story

USA: Michael Sam said he regrets the public way he came out, although he is happy to be out. full story

USA: The New York Times points out that bans on interracial marriage were in place in 16 states when they were struck down by the US Supreme Court, and sodomy bans were in 13 states. We’re now at just 15 states with marriage equality bans. full story

USA: Matt Baume has more details on the sorry state of NOM’s finances. full story

USA: The Washington Blade looks at Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s LGBT legacy at the Pentagon. full story

USA: 2014 election polls show a lowering of marriage equality support, but the electorate who showed up skewed more conservative and republican. full story

USA, Florida: West Palm Beach city commissioners voted to support lawsuits for marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Kansas: Equality Kansas updates us on the marriage equality situation there – 25 counties have issued marriage licenses to same sex couples, but state agencies are not yet recognizing the marriages. full story

USA, Maryland: The state’s Medicaid Coverage Policy Advisory Committee recommended that Medicaid coverage be updated to provide transgender-inclusive health coverage for all participants in the program. full story

USA, Mississippi: HRC has just released another marriage equality ad in Mississippi. full story

USA, Michigan: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he backs Supreme Court review of the state’s ban on marriage equality. full story

USA, Nevada: Assembly Speaker-elect Ira Hansen (R) gave up the post after past statements calling gays child molesters and saying blacks should be grateful to whites for ending slavery came to light. full story

USA, Oregon: NOM has been turned away once again in their quest to bring down marriage equality in the state – the Ninth Circuit has denied the group’s request for an en-banc hearing. full story

USA, Texas: Lawyers for two Texas gay couples who are challenging the state’s ban on marriage equality asked a federal judge in San Antonio to lift his stay and allow weddings to begin immediately. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 24th

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Here’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!

India: Transgender students in New Delhi are now considered “disadvantaged”, and are eligible for free tuition in public schools. full story

Ireland: A member of the ruling party plans to introduce a “discriminate against gays” bill. full story

USA / Canada: A new hotline, Trans Lifeline, is being launched for transgender people, staffed by transgender people. full story

USA: Google play has just pulled a homophobic game called Ass Hunter, where the goal was to shoot naked gays as they ran at you from the bushes. full story

Ass Hunter

USA: Queerty has an update on the dad who discovered his son was gay from his search history and asked the internet for help. full story

USA:The Dish profiles evangelical Matthew Vines, a Christian who changed his mind on marriage equality. full story

USA: Gay Star News looks at the difficulty same-sex couples face when they want to divorce in non-marriage equality states. full story

USA: USA Today looks at HRC’s latest report, and points out the worst cities in the US for LGBT rights. full story

Matt Baume’s Marriage News Watch – November 24th

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Matt BaumeWe picked up three states with marriage this week — well, two, and then a third that’s still trying to make up its mind. Kansas clerks have been pretty inconsistent about granting or refusing to grant marriage licenses, and there’s no sign of when it’ll be resolved.

And there’s also some fun news this week: NOM’s finances are looking even worse than we thought. Oh well!

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 23rd

Sunday, November 23rd, 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!

USA: Ten businesses to avoid if you support LGBT rights. full story

USA, Montana: Two straight college students tried to get married before the state’s ban on marriage equality was knocked down, to experience for themselves the discrimination gay couples face. full story

USA, Montana: The Ninth Circuit has set a date for Attorney General Tim Fox’s appeal of the ruling against the state’s marriage equality ban. full story

USA, Texas: Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson says the city should not have received a zero score from HRC on LGBT rights, because the city is safe for gays, has an annual drag show, and because the LGBT community is already protected by state and federal laws in Texas (they’re not). full story

Baja California Official Stops Same Sex Wedding

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Baja California - Apple MapsLast week, the Mexican Supreme Court cleared the way for a same-sex couple in Baja California to get married. But yesterday, a local official did everything she could to block the wedding.

SDGLN reports:

Outside the Mexicali City Hall, anti-gay protesters prayed and shouted slurs… A judge stood by to marry the couple, and a local television station began a livestream broadcast of the historical moment. The small room at City Hall was crowded with the media along with family and friends of the couple. The mood was upbeat.

But then Rosa Maria Real, who is charged with officiating marriages with the Mexicali government, showed up to stop everything in its tracks. She told everyone: “I know nothing” about a marriage today, according to a tweet by Sandra Dibble @sandradibble, who covers Baja California news for U-T San Diego. Nevermind that their names were listed in the Civil Registry, El Mexicano reported. Her remarks sparked screams of protest.

The couple’s attorney, Jose Luis Marques Saavedra, objected and eventually got on a phone with federal officials seeking to hold the government of Mexicali in contempt of the Supreme Court. Then there was a bomb threat. The bridegrooms, family and friends refused to evacuate the room, considering it a hoax. Eventually, everyone was cleared out of the room and the wedding ceremony was not conducted. Local media reported that the wedding party planned to return at 2 pm today to see if the legal mess could be resolved by that time.

But even after all this, she still wasn’t done. She then claimed that the signature of a witness did not match one another documents. Then she said she found inconsistencies on the birth certificates of both men, and other things that concerned her. It’s a transparent attempt to block this legal wedding, and it’s disgusting.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Mexico.

Image via Apple Maps

Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 22nd

Saturday, November 22nd, 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!

China: The landmark gay conversion case in China appears to have stalled, as the court hearing the case has missed a deadline. full story

Ireland: Singer Danny O’Donoghue, of the band The Script, has come out in support of the marriage quality referendum in Ireland. full story

Russia: The parents of Matthew Shepard are going to Russia to try to change hearts and minds, as they share their story and talk with parents of LGBT youth. full story

USA: The Human Rights Campaign has a list of 10 things you should know about the Concerned Women for America. full story

USA: More than 100,000 people have signed a petition asking TLC to dump the show “19 Kids and Counting” after recent anti-gay statements made by members of the family. full story

USA: Transgender actor Kingston Farady, star of the new short film Black is Blue, talks about his powerful journey of love and hate. full story

USA: The National Organization for Marriage has vowed to stop marriage equality, even if it takes 100 years. full story

USA: Gays and lesbians who live in non-marriage equality states are receiving letters from the Social Security Administration denying and death benefits for their spouses. full story

USA, Arkansas: No immediate decisions were made in marriage equality cases before a federal court and the state Supreme Court. full story

USA, Arkansas: Michelle Dugger has in making Robo calls against the proposed ordinance that would allow transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender. full story

USA, Florida: Two Florida counties voted to support marriage equality this last week – Alachua County and Palm Beach County. full story

USA, Florida: the anti-gay Liberty Counsel has filed an amicus brief against marriage equality at the 11th circuit. full story

USA, Idaho: At her father’s direction, a transgender woman was presented as a man at her funeral. full story

USA, Maryland:A member of GOP governor elect Larry Hogan’s transition team once compared gays to pedophiles and serial killers. full story

USA, Michigan: Archbishop Allen Vigneron banned a Catholic LGBT rights group from using a Detroit parish for a meeting with a pro-gay-rights speaker. full story

USA, Mississippi: The state Supreme Court will hear a same-sex divorce case on January 21st. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 21st

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Here’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!

South Korea: A Seoul city meeting on a proposed LGBT rights ordinance was postponed after more than 200 Christian protesters stormed City Hall. full story

Taiwan: The country’s Ministry of Justice says it is not yet the right time to legalize marriage equality. full story

Uganda: A Ugandan lawmaker wants the new anti-gay law to be passed swiftly, as a “Christmas gift” to the nation. full story

USA: Think Progress has a new marriage equality map. full story

Think Progress Marriage Equality Map

USA: The Dallas Voice has a new marriage equality map. full story

Dallas Voice Marriage Equality Map

USA: Wikipedia has a new marriage equality map. full story

Wikipedia Marriage Equality Map

USA: Actor Sean Hayes has married his longtime partner, music producer Scott Icenogle. full story

USA, Alaska: The Ninth Circuit has declined to give the state an en banc review of the marriage equality case. full story

USA, Arkansas: The state Supreme Court held a hearing on marriage equality yesterday. full story

USA, Idaho: Like anti-gay politicians elsewhere, Gov. Butch Otter is latching onto the Sixth Circuit decision against marriage equality in an attempt to get his own states case reviewed once again. full story

USA, Kansas: Although marriage equality, some state agencies are not recognizing the new marriages of same-sex couples. full story

USA, Kansas: The ACLU plans to sue the state to force it to recognize the new marriages. full story

USA, Louisiana: LGBT rights advocates have appealed the Louisiana marriage equality decision directly to the US Supreme Court, bypassing a federal appeals court. full story

USA, Louisiana / Texas:The Fifth Circuit’s has finally scheduled arguments on marriage equality cases from Texas and Louisiana For January 9th. full story

USA, Montana: Yellowstone County is allowing some clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of the clerks’ religious beliefs. full story

USA, New York: Rikers Island prison is opening a special unit for transgender inmates. full story

USA, North Carolina: A total of 16 magistrates have now quit in the state over marriage equality. full story

USA, North Carolina: A lesbian couple in Canton discovered they were victims of homophobic slur on Google Maps. full story

USA, South Carolina: State agencies began recognizing same-sex marriages on Thursday. full story

USA, West Virginia: Students at Winfield High School in Putnam County when their fight to establish a Gay-Straight Alliance. full story

Vatican: The Vatican is strengthening ties with evangelicals and Mormons against marriage equality. full story

South Carolina Supreme Court Lifts Marriage Equality Stay Early

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

UPDATE 7:20 AM: The US Supreme Court just turned the state away.

The Washington Blade reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t stop same-sex marriages from taking place in South Carolina following a decision against the state’s ban on gay nuptials. A one-page order from the court on Thursday indicates the stay request from state officials to block same-sex marriages and presented to U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts was referred to the entire court and denied. However, the order notes U.S. Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would have granted the stay.


South Carolina MapThings are moving along on the marriage equality front in South Carolina too. The state Supreme Court lifted the stay on the recent ruling early.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The South Carolina Supreme Court has lifted an injunction that prohibited the state’s probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The order comes following a ruling on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs in Columbia in favor of Highway Patrol Trooper Katherine Bradacs and U.S. Air Force retiree Tracie Goodwin, who sued to have the state to recognize their marriage performed in Washington, D.C. Childs ruled the state’s failure to recognize their marriage was unconstitutional.

At least six couples in Charleston immediately received marriage licenses.

On Top Magazine reports:

At least six gay couples received marriage licenses Wednesday in South Carolina. According to multiple local sources, Probate Judge Irvin Condon in Charleston issued the licenses. Within hours, Kristin Anderson and Kayla Bennett exchanged vows, making them the first gay couple to legally marry in the state. The women, together 4 years, wed in front of the Charleston County Courthouse in a ceremony officiated by Tobin Williamson.

Atty. Gen. Alan Wilson is still pinning his hopes on the US Supreme Court.

Fits News reports:

South Carolina is the only state in the fourth circuit blocking gay marriages. Its lawyers argue that conflicting lower court rulings (the sixth circuit court of appeals has upheld the right of states to ban gay marriage) necessitate the intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court. For his part, Wilson has said he’s just doing his job as the state’s top lawyer – but in the process he’s become a hero of the religious right. “Alan Wilson isn’t simply going through the motions,” said Oran Smith of the Palmetto Family Council – a group which opposes gay marriage. “He and his lawyers are crafting new strategies.”

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in South Carolina.