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Analysis of the Virginia Ruling (With Some Great Quotes)

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Matt BaumeFriend of the blog and Marriage News Watch vlogger Matt Baum does his own analysis of the Virginia ruling:

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has handed a tremendous victory to gay and lesbian couples today, with a strongly-worded ruling that Virginia’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

The court cited numerous previous cases that establish the freedom to marry as a fundamental right, including Loving v. Virginia, which ended a ban on interracial marriage; Zablocki v. Redhail, which overturned a Wisconsin law prohibiting deadbeat parents from marrying; and Turner v. Safley, which ended a ban on convicts marrying.

The court wrote,

These cases do not define the rights in question as “the right to interracial marriage,” “the right of people owing child support to marry,” and “the right of prison inmates to marry.” Instead, they speak of a broad right to marry that is not circumscribed based on the characteristics of the individuals seeking to exercise that right. The Supreme Court’s unwillingness to constrain the right to marry to certain subspecies of marriage meshes with its conclusion that the right to marry is a matter of “freedom of choice,” Zablocki, 434 U.S. at 387, that “resides with the individual,” Loving, 388 U.S. at
12.

In addition, the court wrote that:

the choices that individuals make in the context of same-sex relationships enjoy the same constitutional protection as the choices accompanying opposite-sex relationships.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at About.com

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Virginia.

Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Thursday, July 31st, 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.

Gays Want to Force Christians to Have Sex With Angels
Uncle Pat is on another anti-gay bender. “What the gays are saying is, ‘we’re going to drive you out of town, either you conform to us or you must leave.’ That’s the message that’s being put out, it’s the same message that there was in Sodom and Gomorrah: You’re either going to have sex with angels or have open sex with anybody or else you leave, or you go out of business. That’s America, you don’t want that, do you?” Seriously? Sex with angels? Whatever Uncle Par is smoking, I want a hit.
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We’re Praying Against Your Sexual Bondage
Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values plans a four day prayer rally to get God to intervene at the Sixth Circuit: “…pray for clarity of thought and persuasive speech for the attorneys defending marriage in order that the arguments against marriage will be refuted, confused thinking will be exposed, and that all the judges’ doubts regarding marriage will be removed. Pray for those engaged in all manner of sexual sin that God will deliver them from their sexual bondage and restore purity.” Hey, since logic hasn’t worked, they gotta try something. Can’t remember the last time, though, that I had a good “sexual bondage” session. Sigh. I’m getting old.
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I Stand By My Statement That Gays Are Possessed by Putrid Demons
Pastor Bert Farias won’t back down on his stinky gays theory: “I understand that the greatest point of offense from my article happened when I exposed homosexuality as a putrid-smelling demon that many have embraced. Apparently that was the arrow that afflicted the comfort of the hornet’s nest, creating cyberspace madness.” Madness? More like cyberspace laughing our asses off.
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I Want to Be the Biggest Homophobe!
Dot429 Magazine has a profile of Fox News’ Todd Starnes, who seems to be auditioning for the role. Starnes has said, among other things: “As I wrote in my new book, God Less America, this administration believes gay rights trump everyone else’s rights—including religious rights… And woe be to any Christian American who refuses to comply.” Yes, because we might, what, ignore them? Laugh at them for their ignorance?
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You Can’t Teach Kids About Homophones at This School!
An outraged boss at a US language school fired an employee for writing about “homophones”, afraid it would lead to homosexuality at the school: “I’m letting you go because I can’t trust you. This blog about homophones was the last straw. Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality.” As the fired teacher posted: “In English a homophone is a word that has several different meanings and spellings, but always sounds the same.” But hey, itdoes have the word “homo” in it, right? So it must be gay. ::: faceplants :::
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Kentucky Marriage Equality Poll Shows Opposition Dropped 22% in 10 Years

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

titleWhile we’ve still got a ways to go in the state, according to a new Kentucky marriage equality poll, the numbers are encouraging.

USA Today reports:

Results from the latest Bluegrass Poll, released Tuesday, show 50 percent of registered voters in Kentucky oppose same-sex marriage, while 37 percent favor it and 12 percent remain unsure. That’s a drop from the 55 percent who said they opposed gay marriage in February and a sharp decline from the 72 percent that voted in favor of a ban in 2004 — when the state constitution was amended to define marriage as between a man and a woman. “We’ve hit a bit of a threshold, and I think the tipping point is soon to follow,” said Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign. “The opposition has been teetering on the edge of having a majority for a long time, and that ground is rapidly slipping out from under them.”

Wow – opposition is down 22 points since 2004, and 5 points just since February! Amazing.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Kentucky.

Colorado Marriage Equality Stalled as Court Halts Boulder Weddings

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Boulder County Clerk Hillary HallThe push for Colorado marriage equality stalled for the moment, as the state Supreme Court finally forced Boulder County clerk Hillary Hall to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The court ruling was in response to an appeal from Republican Attorney General John Suthers, who has been trying for several weeks to get Boulder’s clerk to stop giving marriage licenses to gay couples until there’s a definitive ruling on same-sex unions from the U.S. Supreme Court. The same court previously ruled in Suthers’ favor in ordering Denver to stop issuing licenses, but that ruling didn’t apply to Boulder. Boulder was the first Colorado county to begin giving licenses to gay couples in June after the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Utah’s same-sex marriage ban. That ruling was stayed pending appeal.

We also have a date for the state Supreme Court hearing in the case – October 20th.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Colorado.

New Ohio Marriage Equality Ad to Air

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

OhioFor the first time in a decade, a new Ohio marriage equality ad will air in the state.

ABC6 reports:

Starting Wednesday an ad supporting gay marriage will begin running statewide. The TV spot tells the story of George and Henry – they’re two Ohioans who have been together fifty years. Although their marriage license says New York, here’s how the commercial ends: “Hopefully, Ohio will be next.” Next week, a huge rally will be held in Cincinnati. Mike Premo, of Why Marriage Matters Ohio told ABC 6, “We’re expecting a really big turnout. It’s going to be a historic day.” The rally will be held the night before a federal court hears gay marriage cases from four states.

It won’t be long now, Ohio.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Ohio.

Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Wednesday, July 30th, 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.

Let’s Curse the Gays (Literally)
Showing another fine example of Christian love, a pastor in Houston, Texas wants his followers to use prayer as a weapon against LGBT rights supporters. “PRAY – imprecatory prayers for the Lord to oversee every detail and every person involved, to expose any impropriety, to bind spiritual forces of darkness in the city and to send confusion into the enemy camp.” As Texas Freedom Network explains: “Imprecatory prayers are those that ask God to burden, curse or even destroy wicked individuals and institutions.” To us, they are opponents. To them, we are “the enemy”, a clear, if disturbing, difference.
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Let’s Curse the Gays With Cancer, Syphilis, Strokes, Madness and itching
Not to be outdone, that hateful little church in Harlem has a new message up: “All churches & members that support homos cursed be thou with cancer HIV syphilis stroke madness itch then hell 1 Cor 6:9.” Is this what they have come to? They know they are powerless to stop the advance of marriage equality, so they resort to petty curses? It would be funny if it weren’t so deeply sad.
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Atlah Church Sign

When Did the Arguments Against Gay Marriage Become So Silly?
Mark Joseph Stern over at Slate has a great piece on the silliness of the arguments against marriage equality, like “every child deserves a mom and a dad; that gay people simply make inferior parents; that marriage isn’t marriage without penile-vaginal penetration; that legalizing gay marriage would lower birth rates; and, best of all, that somehow, allowing gay people to get married would cause more straight people to have children out of wedlock.” It’s a great round-up of the reasons we’re winning in the courts. Enjoy!
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Marriage Equality Round-Up 7/30/14

Wednesday, July 30th, 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!

Singapore: An X-Men comic featuring a same sex wedding will be allowed into the country because some of the other characters disapprove. full story

Sweden: The country has decided that helping Uganda with its growth is more important than punishing it for its homophobia, and will resume foreign aid pauments. full story

Legalize GayUSA: Straight UFC Fighter Kyle Kingsbuty stripped at his weigh-in this week to reveal a pair of “legalize gay” shorts. full story

Uganda: The country’s anti-gay law is being challenged in court. full story

Zambia: Dr Guy Scott, Vice President of Zambia, said education is more important than dealing with LGBT rights. full story

USA: Andrew Sullivan has a great new chart that shows the progress on LGBT rights and marriage equality from 1960, when homosexuality was illegal in every state to today. full story

Marriage Equality LGBT Rights Chart USA 1960-Present

USA, Florida: The Orlando City Council unanimously gender identity and expression additions to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance in a first reading this week. full story

USA, Florida: Cape Coral and Boynton Beach are considering extending benefits to same sex couples. full story

USA, Florida: Charlie Crist says he will ban LGBT discrimination in the state if elected Governor. full story

USA, Illinois / Kentucky: A group of Kentucky faith leaders is making a “Journey of Faith for Marriage Equality” from the state to Illinois. full story

USA, Michigan: Equality Michigan has started a petition to ask the Womyn’s Music Festival to end their “womyn born womyn” policy that excludes transgender women. full story

USA, Mississippi: The Human Rights Campaign jys announced that Rob Hill will be the state director for HRC. full story

USA, Mississippi: Waveland Mayor David Garcia, the first mayor in the state to support marriage equality, will soon retire. full story

USA, North Carolina: Marriage equality advocates are pushing for a quick ruling in the wake of the Fourth Circuit’s overturning of neighboring Virginia’s ban. full story

USA, Texas: LGBT activists have leaked the signatures of 50K people who signed an anti-gay petition to overturn the city’s new LGBT rights ordinance. full story

USA, Texas: Gubernatorial candidate and current Attorney General Greg Abbott argues in a court briefing that the ban on marriage equality is constitutionalbecause children. full story

USA, Virginia: Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, the author of the state’s marriage equality ban, called the judges who struck it down “arrogant.” How about the arrogance of taking away rights from your own citizens, imposing your religious views on an entire state? full story

USA, Wyoming: A district court judge has denied the state’s request to dismiss a marriage equality lawsuit, saying he will rule on it in November. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up 7/28/14

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Wikipedia Marriage Equality MapHere’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!

Denmark: Copenhagen celebrates 25 years of legal recognition for same sex couples. full story

Jamaica: A new documentary highlights the lives of homeless gay, bisexual and transgender (GBT) youth in Jamaica. full story

Mexico: A lesbian couple has won the legal right to have children in the state of Michoacan full story

Sweden: Sweden’s largest LGBT rights group has ranked the Green Party as the country’s most gay-friendly parliamentary party. full story

Turkey: A new documentary looks at Istanbul’s transgender sex workers. full story

UK, Scotland: The Government is launching a new “Scotland believes in equality” campaign. full story

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

USA, Alabama / Arkansas / Mississippi: HRC has hired Kendra Johnson to direct its efforts for LGBT equality in the three southern states. full story

USA, Alaska: The state Supreme Court is ruling on marriage equality around the edges. full story

USA, Arkansas: HRC releases a new study on the state’s LGBT community. full story

USA, Colorado: Attorney General John Suthers on Monday filed a motion with the Colorado Supreme Court to try to force Boulder County clerk Hillary Hill to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. full story

USA, Texas: Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office tried to refuse delivery of marriage equality petitions this week. full story

Florida Marriage Equality Plaintiffs Ask for State Supreme Court Hearing

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Florida Marriage Equality plaintiffsThe plaintiffs in the Florida marriage equality case in Key West are seeking to bypass the appeals court and go directly top the state Supreme Court.

Joe.My.God reports:

The two Key West bartenders who two weeks ago won their marriage lawsuit in a Monroe County court are petitioning to have their case heard by the Florida Supreme Court. Via the Miami Herald: On July 17, Monroe Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia declared Florida’s 2008 gay-marriage ban unconstitutional, ruling against Bondi, whose office defended the ban. Huntsman and Jones have not been allowed to marry: Florida law mandates that an automatic stay pending appeal is triggered when a public official loses a court case. “We’re filing in the court of appeal, a motion, in layman’s terms, to pass through the jurisdiction of the third District Court of Appeal and to send the case directly to the Florida Supreme Court,” Restivo told the Miami Herald. “It’s going to certainly bring this case quicker to finality. It’s going to apply this case, one way or another, to the entire state of Florida, once the Supreme Court rules on it.”

Will the Supreme Court take the case, or send it back to wind its way through the appeals process?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Florida.

Virginia Marriage Equality Ruling Updates

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

VirginiaYesterday, the Fourth Circuit struck down the Virginia marriage equality ban.

But we’re not there yet, as Lambda Legal’s Jon Davidson cautions.

Joe.My.God reports:

Today’s 4th Circuit decision is not yet final. It won’t be final until at least August 18th (it could be longer if a petition for rehearing is sought) and, of course, a stay of today’s decision by the 4th Circuit or the Supreme Court might be sought by the clerks who defended the Virginia marriage ban. In addition, while nothing in the decision is unique to Virginia law and, once it becomes final, it will be binding precedent on the district courts in North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia, the decision itself does not order the clerks in North Carolina, South Carolina or West Virginia to do anything. Nonetheless, just as the Boulder County clerk decided to allow same-sex couples to marry once the 10th Circuit issued its decision invalidating Utah’s marriage ban, clerks in North Carolina, South Carolina or West Virginia might conclude that their obligation to follow the mandates of the U.S. Constitution (as now explicated by the 4th Circuit) overrides their duty to follow state law.

So we could see same sex weddings as soon as 8/18 in the three states, although it is unclear if they will ultimately be declared valid.

Queerty flags five great quotes from the ruling, including:

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 them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.

In neighboring West Virginia, the AG is taking a wait-and-see approach, as Dave Boucher tweets:

“Office of @WestVirginiaAG (arguing in support of same-sex marriage ban in WV case) is “withholding comment on Va. case until decision final… West Virginia’s case remains pending so… marriage laws are still in effect as enacted by the legislature.”

Now we wait to see if a stay is enacted in the Virginia case.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Virginia.