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Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: I Do Hawaiian Weddings, Honolulu, Hawaii

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

I Do Hawaiian Weddings - Honolulu, Hawaii

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 Wedding Officiants in Honolulu, Oahu, HI, USA. I Do Hawaiian Weddings perpetuates the magic that you have created together, evoking bliss in the culminating moment of “I Do”. Sharing the same commitment you feel for each other, we passionately create your dream wedding with you. Declare your vows of love on a warm sandy beach or at a private historic estate. Choose to have your ceremony performed in the Hawaiian style, traditional or contemporary format. We are here for you with Aloha!

See the I Do Hawaiian Weddings Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Hawaii

Italian Gay Couple Weds in Hawaii, Prepares to Return to Italy

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Italian Gay Couple Marries

We thought we’d share a little more happy, personal news. Two friends of ours, Fabrizio and Marco, just married on a beach in Hawaii at sunset. Their wedding took place on Kauai at Tunnels beach on September 24th, and they are now fully legally married in the US.

The wedding was a beautiful ceremony, attended by Mark and I and the wonderful officiant, Kate Sample. Marco and Fabrizio wrote their own vows, which brought the rest of us to tears. They’ve been waiting a long time to do this – together almost 13 years, they are unable to marry back home in Italy, and the last time they were here, marriage equality was illegal in California.

We had planned a trip at that time to Washington state, where it was legal, but the anti gay forces snatched that possibility away when they put the ultimately futile measure on the ballot to try to block marriage equality.

Now, as our dear friends prepare to return home to Italy, they have to face the news that the Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano, is pandering to right-wing voters by stating that the country will not recognize any same sex weddings from other countries. In one small ray of good news, the mayor of Bologna, the region where Fabrizio and Marco live, is standing up for the rights of same sex couples and refusing to annul their marriages.

Still, they face a long uphill battle against the country and the Catholic Church for recognition at home.

Here are some more photos of the happy couple – enjoy!

Italian Gay Couple Marries

Italian Gay Couple Marries

Italian Gay Couple Marries

Italian Gay Couple Marries

Italian Gay Couple Marries

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Featured Lesbian Wedding Officiant: Kate Sample, Kauai, Hawaii

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Kate Sample - Kauai, HawaiiPeriodically 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 Officiants in Kilauea, Kauai, HI, USA. I love performing weddings and to finally be able to do legal weddings here on Kauai for our GLBTQ family is pure joy! I do ceremonies that are of a spiritual nature and are personalized to reflect your choices and values. I am also ordained as an interfaith minister and am delighted to integrate Christian, Jewish, Wiccan, Native American or any religious, ethnic or cultural traditions you like. Let’s be creative and celebrate in paradise!

See Kate’s Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Kauai

Analysis of the Ninth Circuit Hearing for Idaho, Nevada and Hawaii

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Ninth Circuit, San Francisco - Apple MaosA soft-spoken attorney representing Idaho started his state’s anti-marriage equality argument by suggesting that allowing gays to marry violates the “bonding right” of children that they will be raised by their biological mothers and fathers. It took Judge Marsha Berzon just 15 seconds to ask her first question: “What is that word you’re using before ‘right'”? Judge Berzon can hear just fine; it’s just that she had never heard anyone make such a ridiculous claim before today. The rest of the hearing followed similarly.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a Carter-appointee and liberal leader of the appellate courts, was joined by Judge Berzon, a sharp-minded progressive appointed by President Clinton, and Judge Robert Gould, another Clinton appointee, in a nearly two-hour long interrogation of attorneys from Idaho and Nevada that may not have been as bombastic as Judge Posner’s treatment of attorneys from Wisconsin and Indiana in the Seventh Circuit, a hearing which resulted in a marvelous unanimous victory (“Go figure!”), but was every bit as damaging to the forces opposed to marriage equality.

It also brought marriage equality full circle. Judge Reinhardt was the judge that wrote the first decision from a federal appellate court on marriage equality, affirming District Judge Vaughn Walker’s pioneering rejection of California’s Prop 8. We all know how that case turned out.

Authored By Ari Ezra Waldman – See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

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Ninth Circuit Panel Hears Marriage Equality Cases from Idaho, Hawaii, and Nevada

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Ninth Circuit, San Francisco - Apple MaosYesterday, a three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit heard marriage equality cases from Idaho, Hawaii, Nevada.

Equality on Trial reports:

Much discussion was made of the proper level of constitutional scrutiny which should be applied to the laws. Judge Berzon suggested that marriage equality proponents would be in trouble if the court resorted to traditional rational basis scrutiny, but all three judges entertained arguments that the Ninth Circuit’s earlier decision in SmithKline—which ruled that sexual orientation discrimination merits heightened scrutiny—requires a similar holding in these cases. Judge Berzon also expressed an interest in a possible ruling on sex discrimination grounds, which most other courts have been hesitant to do.

In short, it seems quite likely that the judges were unimpressed by [Attorney Monte] Stewart’s arguments and will invalidate the state marriage bans on heightened scrutiny. The real question at this point is whether the case will hinge only on sexual orientation discrimination claims or will instead include sex discrimination claims. Another question is whether the judges’ opinion will invalidate the laws as impermissible restrictions on same-sex couples’ fundamental right to marry, or if they will simply rely on equal protection to make their decision.

The Washington Blade points out that this case is unique, in that the Ninth Circuit has already held that laws dealing with gays and lesbians should be subject to heightened scrutiny in an earlier case:

The Ninth Circuit is uniques among other circuit that have heard marriage cases following the DOMA decision because the jurisdiction — along with the First Circuit — has precedent for subjecting laws related to sexual orientation to heightened scrutiny, or a greater assumption they’re unconstitutional. The precedent came about in June as a result of the decision in SmithKline v. Abbott, a case involving a gay juror who was excluded from deciding a case because of his sexual orientation. [Judge] Reinhardt — who also wrote the Ninth Circuit decision against California’s Proposition 8 — wrote the SmithKline decisio and was joined by Berzon. Meanwhile, Gould delivered a favorable ruling for gay people in the Ninth Circuit decision of Witt v. Air Force, which challenged “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

SDGLN says the defense used the same tired old arguments:

It was clear that Stewart had no real evidence to show the harm that is caused by gay marriage. All he could do is predict horrible things will happen if Idaho has gay marriage, such as the state will see a rise in “dad-less” or “mom-less” families. When Judge Berzon challenged him to cite evidence, Stewart fumbled through that question, citing numbers that showed that only about 58% of the state’s children came from a mom-dad family unit. Judge Gould grew weary of the “child’s bonding right” argument, and asked Stewart where that “bonding right” came from since it was not in the Bill of Rights. Stewart then admitted that he made up the phrase to collectively describe his argument that a child does best when it has a mother and a father who are married. Judge Reinholdt said if the state was so worried about marriage, shouldn’t it ban divorce? Stewart then launched into a diatribe against no-fault divorce, again veering far off the issue at hand. Judge Berzon summed it up best when she told Stewart that the “train has already left the station” on marriage being redefined, using historical milestones to rebut his argument.

If you want to watch for yourself, here’s the video stream from the court:

It’s about 2 hours and 33 minutes long.

These decisions seem to becoming faster and faster these days – hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the results of this one.

Authored By – See the Full Story at

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Ninth Circuit to Hear Marriage Equality Cases from Hawaii, Idaho, and Nevada Today

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Ninth Circuit, San Francisco - Apple MaosToday is the day for the next big marriage equality hearing at Circuit Court level – cases from Hawaii, Idaho, and Nevada.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

A federal appeals court on Monday is set to consider same-sex marriage bans in Idaho, Nevada and Hawaii. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled two hours of arguments Monday on whether such bans should be struck down in Idaho and Nevada. Hawaii legalized same-sex marriage in December so that appeal may be dismissed. The appeals court has previously ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in the California challenge to Proposition 8, a 2008 voter approved same-sex marriage ban.

The Huffington Post has more details:

The 9th Circuit panel has allotted a combined two hours for three sets of arguments Monday. The court is expecting a big turnout and is limiting public seating in the courtroom through a lottery. The court will also stream the two hours of arguments live online. The case for gay marriage was bolstered when the court earlier this week unveiled the names of the three judges assigned to decide the issue in those three states. Judges Marsha Berzon and Ronald Gould were appointed by President Bill Clinton. And Judge Stephen Reinhardt, appointed by President Jimmy Carter, is considered one of the most politically liberal jurists on the 29-judge court. Reinhardt wrote the 2012 opinion striking down California’s gay marriage ban. He also wrote an opinion in January that declared gays and lesbians a “protected class” and extended to them the same civil right protections against discrimination that the U.S. Supreme Court has previously promised only women and racial minorities.

The live streaming link is here – the arguments start at 1 PM Pacific.

Every now and then you just have to stop for a minute, breathe, and realize what an amazing moment of time this is for LGBT rights.

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Marriage Equality USA will have a Community Call tonight after the hearing, at 6 PM Pacific – sign up here.

Image via Apple Maps

Another Marriage Equality Appeals Court Hearing Monday

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Ninth Circuit, San Francisco - Apple MaosWow, we’re really in the thick of it. There’s yet another circuit court hearing on marriage equality coming up on Monday.

HRC reports:

On Monday, September 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments in marriage equality court cases from Hawaii, Idaho and Nevada after federal district court rulings were appealed. Jackson v. Abercrombie of Hawaii, Latta v. Otter of Idaho, and Sevcik v. Sandoval of Nevada are slated to go before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit at 1:00pm PT. This will be the first time this federal appeals court will hear cases challenging state bans on marriage equality since it struck down California’s Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Schwarzenegger) – a case that ultimately reached the Supreme Court of the United States.

District court judges ruled in Jackson and Sevcik to uphold Hawaii and Nevada’s bans on same-sex marriage, but those decisions arrived before the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in United States v. Windsor striking down key sections of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). That decision that has been cited in virtually all of the 22 federal court rulings since that have ruled state bans on marriage equality unconstitutional, including Latta out of Idaho.

As we reported earlier, the three-judge panel that will hear the case is very liberal, even as compared to the Ninth Circuit as a whole.

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Image via Apple Maps

Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Purple Orchid Wedding, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Charla Photography

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 Wedding Planners in Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI, USA. Hawaiian wedding planners specializing in same sex marriages for all the Hawaiian islands. As the leading Hawaiian wedding agency, with over 20 years of experience, we have the Aloha spirit you are looking for. Check out our outstanding venues for your destination wedding on Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, and get in touch with us!

See the Purple Orchid Wedding Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Maui

Image by Charla Photography for Purple Orchid Weddings

Three Judge Panel Announced for Ninth Circuit Marriage Equality Hearing

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Three Judge Panel - Ninth Circuit

It looks like the three-judge panel that will hear marriage equality cases from Idaho, Hawaii, Nevada next week’s swings liberal.

Towleroad.com reports:

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has announced the 3 judge panel that will hear challenges to same-sex marriage bans in Idaho, Hawaii and Nevada: Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Ronald M. Gould and Marsha S. Berzon. All three were appointed by Democrats and, as Equality on Trial points out, are considered to be “some of the most liberal appeals court judges in the country”: Judge Stephen Reinhardt, nominated by President Carter, is a highly respected liberal judge, known for writing the opinion in the Prop 8 case when it came before the Ninth Circuit; Judge Reinhardt also wrote the opinion inSmithKline Beecham v. Abbott Labs, which held that a heightened level of judicial scrutiny is required for laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation, and that jurors can’t be discriminated against on that basis.

It seems to me that this is good news in the short run, but would it be better to have had a more mixed panel if and when the case hits the US Supreme Court?

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Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Purple Orchid Wedding, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Charla Photography

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 Wedding Planners in Honolulu, Oahu, HI, USA. Hawaiian wedding planners specializing in same sex marriages for all the Hawaiian islands. As the leading Hawaiian wedding agency, with over 20 years of experience, we have the Aloha spirit you are looking for. Check out our outstanding venues for your destination wedding on Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, and get in touch with us!

See the Purple Orchid Wedding Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors

Image via Charla Photography