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Alabama Ruling Stayed – No Weddings For Two Weeks

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Alabama mapIn an overabundance of caution, an Alabama Judge stayed her own marriage equality ruling, giving the state two weeks to present its case to the Eleventh Circuit.

The Washington Blade reports:

In a six-page order, U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade, an appointee of George W. Bush, says she agrees for the time being to a request from Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to stay her decision, which was issued on Friday. Granade writes Luther is unlikely to succeed on appeal and same-sex couples in the state would be harmed by a stay, but nonetheless puts a hold on the ruling to give the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Alabama, a chance to weigh in.

“[T]he court recognizes the value of allowing the Eleventh Circuit an opportunity to determine whether a stay is appropriate,” Granade writes. “Accordingly, although no indefinite stay issues today, the court will allow the Attorney General time to present his arguments to the Eleventh Circuit so that the appeals court can decide whether to dissolve or continue the stay pending appeal (assuming there will be an appeal.) The preliminary injunction will be stayed for 14 days.”

This is the same Eleventh Circuit that declined to place a stay on a Florida decision last month. And shortly after that, the Supremes voted 7-2 to allow weddings proceed in that state.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

Matt Baume’s Marriage News Watch – January 26th

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Matt BaumeThere’s a big fight underway right now in Alabama, with a Judge overturning a marriage ban and state officials refusing to obey the order to issue licenses.

Anti-gay politicians are threatening to ban all marriage licenses if the Supreme Court rules in favor of equality.

And one lawmaker even wants to send clerks to jail if they issue licenses to anyone — gay or straight.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 25th

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Gay Wedding - HandsHere’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Gambia: LGBT advocacy groups on Friday called upon the Obama administration ban Gambian officials responsible for human rights abuses from entering the U.S. full story

Ireland: Health minister Leo Varadkar, who came out as gay last week, is likely to relax the country’s blood donation ban on gay men within the year. full story

Italy: A man who lost his driver’s license after coming out 15 years ago finally won it back in court. full story

Russia: Lena Klimova, the founder of LGBTI kids’ support group Children-404 in Russia, has been fined close to $800 for supposedly violating the controversial “anti-gay propaganda law”. full story

UK: A senior general in the British Army who is married to a woman and has kids has revealed to a newspaper that he is gay, and is deciding whether to publicly out himself. full story

UK: Actors and activists are calling on the government to pardon the tens of thousands of British citizens who were persecuted under draconian anti-gay laws of the past. full story

USA, Alabama: The Alabama Probate Judges Association is trying to limit Friday’s marriage equality decision to just the plaintiffs. full story

USA, Alabama: Sharon Steinmann at looks at Friday’s marriage equality ruling. full story

USA, Iowa: Saturday’s Iowa Freedom Summit was missing a key ingredient – any discussion of same sex marriage. full story

USA, Louisiana: Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, mendorsed a federal constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. full story

USA, Michigan: GOP Senator Mike Shirkey has reintroduced a “right to discriminate” bill, which would allow individuals or businesses to seek exemptions to government regulations they feel may substantially burden their sincerely held religious beliefs. full story

USA, New Jersey: Same-sex couples who want to end their civil unions have the same right to no-fault divorce as married couples, a New Jersey trial judge has ruled. full story

USA, Oklahoma: Monica Hesse at The Washington Post looks at how the state is dealing with the sudden arrival of marriage equality. full story

USA, Tennessee: A private, non-denominational Christian-based school in Nashville has turned away prospective students because their parents, one of whom is a local pastor, are gay. full story

USA, Virginia: State senator Janet Howell’s bill that would have allowed unmarried gay couples to adopt children has been shot down by Republicans. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 24th

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

USA: 73% of Americans say they would support a professional sports team signing a gay or lesbian athlete. full story

USA: Now that Alabama has marriage equality, we have a new Wikipedia map. full story

Wikipedia Marriage Equality Map

USA: Some states that have marriage equality still forbid teaching about gay sex. full story

USA: Human Rights Campaign has published its annual State Equality Index and warns that despite marriage equality in most states, other inequalities still exist. full story

USA: Will Chief Justice Roberts side with marriage equality – so he can limit the scope of the decision? full story

USA: George Takei has put out a hilarious new video “My Husband’s Not Straight”, lampooning TLC’s show about (not) gay Mormons. full story

USA, Arkansas: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked the state Supreme Court to hold new oral arguments in the lawsuit over the state’s marriage equality ban because two new justices weren’t at a hearing on the case last year. full story

USA, California: State judges will no longer be allowed to participate in nonprofit youth groups, such as the Boy Scouts of America, that discriminate against LGBT people. full story

USA, Florida: A Duval County lawyer will file a lawsuit to reverse Duval Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell’s decision to close the county’s wedding chapel. full story

USA, Florida: Marriage equality in the state should make adoption easier for same sex couples. full story

USA, Texas: HRC won’t defend Plano ordinance, calling it transphobic. full story

Federal Judge Strikes Down Alabama Marriage Equality Ban With No Stay

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Alabama mapThe number of states with marriage equality just jumped to 37.

The Washington Blade reports:

A federal judge in Alabama has become the latest to strike down a state ban on same-sex marriage, ruling against the Yellowhammer State’s prohibition on gay nuptials on the basis that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment. In a 10-page decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade, an appointee of George W. Bush, issued summary judgement in favor of a plaintiff same-sex couple, finding Alabama marriage laws violate the couple’s right to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.

“There has been no evidence presented that these marriage laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether they are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples,” Granade writes. “In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama.”

We’re guessing that, absent a stay, couples will start Monday morning, unless a county clerk decides to open on the weekend. AG Luther Strange has asked the judge for a stay.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 23rd

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

International: LA Galaxy player Robbie Rogers doubled down on his criticism of FIFA and its decision to hold the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar respectively. full story

International: Actor Patrick Stewart says “Supporting gay rights is natural.” full story

Ireland: Top Irish LGBT equality and civil rights groups from Dublin have been holding meetings with influential and supportive community leaders in New York and Washington seeking their support. full story

Portugal: Parliament rejected draft laws that would have allowed gay couples to adopt children for the third time, although the vote margin was smaller than ever. full story

Singapore: Singaporean LGBT rights activist and blogger Alex Au has been found guilty of contempt for a post critical of the city’s anti-gay law. full story

Spain: Spain’s King Felipe VI, 46, has posed for the cover of a local gay magazine as a show of support for the LGBT community. full story

King Felipe V! of Spain

Uganda: The Ugandan Refugee Law Project, accused of promoting homosexuality, has now re-opened. full story

UK, England: A transgender woman has alleged that insurance company Aviva fired her because she refused to stop using the women’s restrooms. full story

USA: David Taffet at The Dallas Voice lays out the Supreme Court schedule so far – plaintiff briefs due 2/27, state responses 3/27, reply briefs 4/17, and speculates on a 6/29 ruling. full story

USA: Amazon Prime is making all episodes of its hit series ‘Transparent’ free for Saturday only. full story


USA: The “satisfaction with the acceptance of gays and lesbians” is the same this year as last year – 53%. Whatever that means. full story

USA: US Catholic and Evangelical leaders are to publish a statement about the “threat” of same-sex marriage called “The Two Shall Become One Flesh”, the culmination of three years work. full story

USA: Only 13 states give transgender students the right to use the correct bathroom. full story

USA: Rpbert Barnes at the Washington Post looks back at the last year in marriage equality, and what has changed between Supreme Court rulings. full story

USA: David J. Herzig at Slate argues the Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality because not doing so would have a host of practical negative implications in 16 states. full story

USA: Danielle Paquette at The Washington Post says we need more data on transgender lives. full story

USA: Ted Cruz is still pushing a federal anti-marriage equality amendment. full story

USA: US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is paling around with NOM co-founder Robert George ahead of the marriage equality hearing. full story

USA: The game show Jeopardy poked fun at marriage equality opponents with this clue: “Some opponents of same-sex marriage say, hey gay folks, how about these? Wouldn’t these be good enough?” The question: “What are civil unions?” full story

USA: Dave Yoshida at LGBT Weekly looks at the tax implications for the many newly married same sex couples this year. full story

USA: A new poll shows that almost 35 percent said they would be somewhat or much less likely to vote for a candidate who opposed marriage equality, while on;ly 31% were more likely to support them. full story

USA, Illinois: Chicago’s city council has banned the profiling of people who are transgender. full story

USA, Kentucky: The Advocate checks in on the marriage equality situation in Kentucky. full story

USA, Missouri: State officials have filed a motion to put the marriage case on hold in the Eighth Circuit until the Supreme Court rules. full story

USA, Missouri: The Eighth Circuit denied the state’s request, saying the litigation will proceed despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s agreement to take up the issue. full story

USA, Nebraska: State officials want their marriage case put on hold too until the Supreme Court issues its decision. full story

USA, Nebraska: A large crowd gathered at the state capitol to show their support for LGBT protections. full story

USA, Oklahoma: Republican Oklahoma lawmaker Todd Russ, R-Cordell, has introduced a bill that would do away with all marriage licenses in the state. full story

USA, Oklahoma: Anti-gay legislator Sally Kern (R) introduced three new bills – one to cut off pay from clerks who issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, one to confirm the legality of “conversion therapy” for youth, and a “right to discriminate” bill for state businesses. full story

USA, Virginia: A Virginia Senate committee on Thursday struck down a bill that would have banned “conversion therapy” for minors in the state. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 22nd

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Gay Wedding - HandsHere’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Egypt: The country’s government is telling the media to boost its anti-gay coverage, an editor has claimed. full story

France: Three Parisians were fined this week for inciting violence against LGBTI people on Twitter by using a “burn the gays” hashtag, the first time a French court has convicted for anti-gay abuse on the social network. full story

Ireland: The wording of the marriage equality referendum in Ireland is now agreed upon: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” full story

Ireland: “Mrs Brown’s Boys” star Eilish O’Carroll has urged people to back marriage equality in the country’s upcoming referendum. full story

USA: Japan’s best-known living author Haruki Murakami has said he supports marriage equality. full story

Mexico: Five same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in Tijuana and were denied. full story

Ukraine: A look at the LGBT community’s fight for rights and acceptance in the country. full story

UK: A McDonald’s branch in Leicester has suspended a security guard after he demanded that two men stop kissing, and has apologized to the couple. full story

UK, England: Irish politician Dominic Hannigan has become the first member of the Irish parliament to enter into a same-sex marriage, marrying his partner in London. full story

USA: Philadelphia’s William Way LGBT Center has created a 50-year timeline of important moments in LGBT rights activism. full story

USA: When President Obama celebrated the rapid advances of marriage equality across the country during his State of the Union address, House majority leader John Boehner remained seated, unamused. full story

USA: Mike Huckabee is thumbing his nose at the US Supreme Court, saying states can ignore a possible pro marriage equality decision. full story

USA: NOM has been busted once again for photoshopping a rally crowd to make it appear bigger. full story

NOM Fake Photo

USA: Likely Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson spoke with Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace last night and suggested that Congress should oust judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage. full story

USA, Colorado: Senate Republicans killed a Democrat-sponsored bill aimed at fixing a consequence of the state’s overlapping recognition of both civil unions and gay marriage, which currently requires same-sex couples who have entered into both to get divorced twice. full story

USA, Colorado: The identity of the man who asked a bakery to make an anti-gay cake and has now filed a complaint against it has been revealed. full story

USA, Connecticut: A transgender police officer fired last June has filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation and wrongful termination. full story

USA, Florida: A Jacksonville wedding planner told a lesbian couple she could not plan their wedding because of her Christian beliefs. full story

USA, Florida: HRC Orlando/Central Florida is hosting a discussion panel tonight about the impact of Florida’s marriage equality ruling. full story

USA, Georgia: The state has asked a federal judge to halt a marriage equality case until the Supreme Court rules. full story

USA, Idaho: The state’s House of Representatives will review an amendment to the state’s non-discrimination bill that would add explicit protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. full story

USA. Michigan: Governor Rick Snyder is urging the GOP-led Legislature to keep alive a bill that would amend Michigan’s civil rights law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. full story

USA, Mississippi: The Starkville board voted 5-2 to override Mayor Parker Wiseman’s veto of its previous vote to repeal the pro-LGBT resolution, and voted to override Wiseman’s veto of its vote to repeal domestic partner benefits for city employees, which passed in September. full story

USA, Mississippi: Joe.My.God has the video of a state Supreme Court hearing on a same sex divorce case. full story

USA, Nebraska: Nebraska Democratic lawmakers introduced three bills Wednesday that would ban discrimination against LGBT residents. full story

USA, New York: Leythe Jamal, the transgender woman suing Saks Fifth Avenue for discrimination, got help from the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Lesbian Rights in the form of an amicus brief. full story

USA, New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his state of the state speech Wednesday that the Legislature should pass a bill to add “gender identity or expression” as a protected class. full story

USA: A candidate to lead the North Carolina Democratic Party has apologised for calling her transgender opponent a “man”. full story

USA, Ohio: The Athens City Council became the second city government in the state to unanimously approve a resolution supporting marriage equality during council’s meeting on Tuesday. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 21st

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Ireland: The country’s public television network yesterday interviewed British hate group leader Sharon James during a forum on the coming marriage equality referendum. full story

Ireland: The Government has promised to enact legislation to allow for same-sex adoption before the referendum on same-sex marriage. full story

Macedonia: Parliament just passed a constitutional ban on marriage equality. full story

UK, Northern ireland: The new Health Minister, Jim Wells, said he supports the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood. full story

Vietnam: The ministry of public security by the Social, Economic and Environmental Institute is considering separate prisons for its LGBTI inmate population. full story

USA: President Obama used the words “lesbian”, “bisexual” and “transgender” for the first time in a State of the Union speech. full story

USA: President Obama also re-iterated support for marriage equality during the speech. full story

USA: Brad Friedman at Brad Blog speculates that Chief Justice Roberts may be aiming for a middle ground on marriage equality that would still let some states deny marriage equality. full story

USA: Some companies will now require marriage licenses for gay and lesbian workers who want spousal benefits. full story

USA: Mike Huckabee, Austin Ruse, and the former CEO of medical equipment supplier Baxter International have stepped in to speak at the anti gay Legatus conference after others bowed out. full story

USA: Speaking of the Legatus Conference, FOX News’ Bret Baier said he pulled out because it doesn’t “line iup with the loving Church I know.” full story

USA: A new marriage equality cartoon from The Washington Blade. full story

marriage equality cartoon

USA: E! will televise a wedding special behind the scenes of Former NSync member and Mississippi native Lance Bass and his husband, Michael Turchin’s wedding. full story

USA, Colorado: Sen. Pat Steadman’s bill would answer nuts-and-bolts questions for people in civil unions, such as whether their union counts toward the length of a marriage if they choose to marry. full story

USA, Illinois: State Rep. Kelly Cassidy introduced the bill to ban conversion therapy for youth. A Senate version will be introduced soon. full story

USA, Mississippi: LGBT activists launched a Twitter hashtag, #WeAreStarkville, and staged a rally Saturday outside the county courthouse in favor of an embattled protections ordinance. full story

USA, New Jersey: Jersey Shore “star” Snooki says that she’s ordained to perform weddings and looks forward to officiating for her hairdressers. full story

USA, New York: Transgender woman Leyth O. Jamal is firing back at Saks Fifth Avenue after the store claimed it has the right to discriminate against transgender employees. full story

USA, North Dakota: A federal judge has halted lawsuits seeking marriage equality in the state until the high court rules. full story

USA, Ohio: Out Magazine profiles one of the plaintiff couples in a case before the Supreme Court. full story

USA, Texas: Opponents of LGBT protections in Plano say they’ve gathered enough signatures to place a repeal of the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance on the ballot in May. full story

USA, Virginia: A fair housing bill was derailed over “religious freedom” fears, while a bill to protect LGBT workers in public employment was delayed. full story

USA, Virginia: Delegate Patrick Hope and Senator Louise Lucas introduced a bill to ban conversion therapy for youth. full story =

USA, Washington DC: The second same sex couple to marry in Florida attended the State of the Union speech. full story

USA, West Virginia: West Virginia democratic lawmakers are again promoting a bill to prohibit employers and landlords from discriminating against people based on sexual orientation. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 20th

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Gay Wedding - RingsHere’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Australia, ACT: The Australian Capital Territory will appoint Yvette Berry as government Minister for Equality, the second state to do so. full story

India: An Indian film that humiliates a transgender character has sparked a weekend of protests in Chennai. full story

Ireland: The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) will launch its campaign for the marriage equality referendum on Tuesday at the Dublin City Council Offices in Wood Quay. full story

Ireland: Actor Colin Farrell said he supported the legalization of marriage equality ‘with every fiber of my being’. full story

Israel: The country will re-draft its recognition laws so transgender people will no longer be forced to undergo surgery to legally change their gender. full story

Lithuania: Algirdas Vaclovas Patackas, a politician, is using the Paris massacre to try to cow a gay rights group. full story

Russia: The country is set to introduce new rules for film screenings which could impact the showing of LGBT movies. full story

Turkey: The country’s first ever sheltered housing project for transgender women has opened in Istanbul. full story

UK: Newly appointed member of the House of Lords Michael Cashman says the Labor party will try to achieve decriminalization of homosexuality worldwide by 2020 if elected. full story

UK, England: A poster at the University of Bristol claims transgender women “rape women every nine minutes”. full story

UK, Northern Ireland: The government spent over £40,000 defending a decision to keep a permanent ban on gay men donating blood. full story

USA: A US Supreme Court ruling favoring marriage equality could create complications for the GOP presidential nominee. full story

USA: The American Family Association (AFA) is calling on two liberal Supreme Court justices to recuse themselves from the upcoming case challenging marriage equality bans. full story

USA: Jonathan Capehart looks at the Court’s questions in the marriage equality cases. full story

USA: Actor Billy Crystal says todays gay characters are sometimes “pushing it a little too far for my taste.” full story

USA: Fed Ex denies death benefits to spouse of employee who died 6 days before the Windsor decision. full story

USA, Florida: A group of Jacksonville attorneys wants to take over the job of performing courthouse weddings, now that the Duval County court clerk has stopped offering the ceremonies. full story

USA, Missouri: The Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau is “deeply concerned” about a decision from a Catholic-based hospital group to extend benefits to same-sex spouses of employees. full story

USA, New York: New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sent a letter to Saks informing the store he will investigate its treatment of transgender employees. full story

USA: full story

USA: Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf (D) has announced that Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, is his his choice for Physician General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. full story

USA, South Carolina: Five upstate lawmakers have introduced four new bills aimed at putting up roadblocks for same-sex couples to get their marriage licenses. full story

US, Wyoming: State Representative and pastor Nathan Winters is sponsoring the state’s proposed “right to discriminate” bill. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 19th

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Australia, Queensland: The Labor Party says it would re-instate civil unions if it is elected to power in the state. full story

Austria: Thousands showed up to protest a cafe in Vienna that kicked out a lesbian couple for kissing. full story

Cameroon: A priest was arrested in Cameroon for being gay on Friday. full story

Ireland: An exact date for the marriage equality referendum cannot be announced until the Amendment of the Constitution Bill is passed. full story

Italy: The Mayor of Milan says he is facing criminal charges, after he agreed to register a number of same-sex marriages carried out abroad. full story

Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan LGBT rights group Equal Ground hopes that the incoming government of President Maithripala Sirisena will be more open minded to the needs of sexual minorities and transgender people. full story

UK: Staff of the NHS in England have been instructed not to facilitate access to gay “cure” therapy any longer. full story

UK: An officer in the British Army has come out publicly as transgender. full story

USA: A same-sex couple have become the first in the UK to marry in a Pagan ceremony. full story

USA: AFER lawyer Ted Olson took on Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on FOX News Sunday this morning. full story

USA: Lee Daniels, the director of Oscar-winning film Precious has attacked homophobia running “rampant” in the black community. full story

USA: Jane Clementi, the mother of Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman who killed himself in 2010 after learning that his roommate had videorecorded him kissing another man, offered words of wisdom in the wake of the suicide of 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn. full story

USA: Bill Maher and his panel discussed whether we’ve reached the “final frontier” of LGBT rights. full story

USA: ABC News’ “20/20.” recently aired a special about Bianca and Nick Bowser, a transgender couple who are the parents of two boys. full story

USA:Rachel Maddow considers the possibility that the US Supreme Court decision may not be a slam dunk for marriage equality. full story

USA: Lisa Keen at Keen news Service looks at how the questions are being asked by the Supreme Court. full story

USA: Will the US Supreme Court decision give the GOP political cover on marriage equality? full story

USA: Androgynous model Dylan Stephens graces the cover of Love Inc in a caped Inbal Dror wedding gown, looking positively beautiful. full story

USA, California: Think Progress profiles transgender harassment in a San Diego State University locker room. full story

USA, Louisiana: looks at what may happen next in the state’s marriage equality case now that the Supreme Court has taken four other cases. full story

USA, Oklahoma: 3200 marriage licenses have been issued in the state since marriage equality became legal. full story