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Malta: Civil Union Bill Updates

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

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As the civil unions bill inches closer to passage in the island nation of Malta, a few updates.

First off, a Malta candidate for the European Parliament says he wishes the bill didn’t include a provision allowing gays to adopt.

The Malta Independent reports:

PN MEP candidate MEP hopeful thinks that the gay adoption issue has not been studied enough and as such feels that MPs should have more information in hand before approving this new concept. In an interview that will be published tomorrow in The Malta Independent, Mr Mallia says that Civil Unions and gay adoptions should not be in the same Bill of law and, as such, if he were an MP he would abstain from voting on the current version of the Bill.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church is distancing itself from evangelical pastor Gordon-John Manche, who collected 10K signatures to try to derail the bill.

Malta Today reports:

A Curia spokesperson insisted that the Church is not associated with the pastor or his fellowship. “Gordon-John Manche and the River of Love fellowship do not have any link with the Catholic Church or any of its members. Consequently, there is no need for the church to disassociate itself from recent comments because there is no association whatsoever,” a Curia spokesperson told Illum.

The bill is expected to pass soon, and the incoming President has indicated she will sign it.

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USA, Virginia: Democrats Elect Anti Marriage Equality Politician to Run State Party

Monday, March 17th, 2014

VirginiaLet’s see, the Governor runs on marriage equality. He wins, and then the state turns around and puts someone who doesn’t support marriage equality into the top position with the state party. Seriously?

The Washington Blade reports:

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones on Saturday was elected chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia in spite of his opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples. The majority of the 300 members of the DPVA’s State Central Committee backed Jones in a voice vote during their meeting at a suburban Richmond hotel. Jason Graham, chair of the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee, is among those who opposed the Richmond mayor’s nomination.

The LGBT Democrats of Virginia initially opposed Jones’ nomination after Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier this month announced he had tapped the Baptist minister who served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1994-2008 to chair the state party. Joel McDonald, a member of the Virginia Beach School Board who is the vice chair of technology and communication for the LGBT Democrats of Virginia, told the Washington Blade on Monday his group dropped its opposition after Jones said during a March 10 meeting he is “not out there railing against” same-sex marriage.

Well, good to know he’s not going to actively rail against us, I guess.

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USA, Indiana: 300 Clergy Members Call on State Not to Ban Marriage Equality

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The Interfaith Coalition on NondiscriminationA group of Indiana clergy members is urging the state not to move ahead with the proposed ban on gay marriage.

Gay Star News reports:

The clergy, from Indiana’s Interfaith Coalition on Non-Discrimination, say the clergy oppose formally banning same-sex marriage for a range of reasons but are united in their opposition. ‘We are Indiana clergy, leaders of faith communities, and other religious professionals,’ their open letter reads. ‘Our backgrounds and those of the people we serve vary widely. Our views on marriage differ. But we speak with one voice to oppose amending the Indiana Constitution to define marriage. Each of us who signs this letter respects the right of religious groups to decide whether or not to sanction marriage or other unions of same-gender couples.’

It’s becoming more and more commonplace for clergy members to stand up for the rights of LGBT citizens. It’s such a refreshing change.

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Malta: New Poll Shows Plurality Support Civil Unions

Monday, November 18th, 2013

titleA new poll out of Malta shows that 45% now support civil unions for same-sex couples, while only 26% disapprove.

Malta Today reports:

Only 26% of respondents to a MaltaToday survey are opposed to a new law that grants same-sex couples who form a civil union the same rights and obligations enjoyed by married couples. But 45% of respondents agree with full equality between the two statuses… except in granting adoption rights.

Currently single people, including gays, are allowed to adopt children as long as they are deemed to be good parents by professional social workers. The new civil unions law will now enable same-sex couples in formal unions to adopt as a couple. But the survey shows that only 25% agree with granting same-sex couples adoption rights – even though single gay parents already adopt children. This still represents a remarkable increase from 2007, when a Eurobarometer survey showed that only 7% agreed with adoptions by same sex couples.

In related news, a gay lawmaker is not happy that the PN Party plans to push amendments to the civil unions bill, but won’t disclose what those will be.

Malta Today reports:

Busuttil met Malta Gay Rights Movement coordinator Gabi Calleja and human rights lawyer Neil Falzon, of Aditus Foundation, who authored the civil unions’ bill; together with PN equality spokesperson Claudette Buttigieg and MEP candidate Therese Commodini Cachia. A PN source described the outcome of the meeting as “nothing short of disastrous”. “The party wants to amend the law but didn’t want to explain exactly what these changes will be. They had to fend off accusations that they are going to dilute the bill, and the meeting ended on a sour note. There was a good deal of shouting,” the party source said.

Looks like we found our Malta Republicans.

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USA, Indiana: Two More Colleges Oppose Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

IndianaTwo private Indiana colleges issued a press release together opposing the proposed constitutional ban on marriage equality.

USA Today reports:

In a joint release DePauw University and Wabash College said they have joined Freedom Indiana, a bipartisan grassroots coalition working to defeat the ban scheduled to be considered in the Indiana General Assembly early next year. “Our students come from around the country and around the world, and our fundamental goal is to educate them to think critically, exercise responsible leadership, communicate effectively and tackle complex problems,” the joint statement from DePauw President Brian W. Casey and Wabash President Gregory D. Hess said. “This depends on attracting talented faculty and staff, a task that is made more difficult by the passage of this amendment.”

The two schools join Indiana University in opposing the measure.

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USA, Illinois: A Day after the Marriage Equality Rally, a Smaller Crowd Gathers to Oppose Measure

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Illinois mapJust a day after of to 5000 marriage equality supporters gathered in Springfield to push for vote on the bill, about 2,500 Christians dissented on the Capital to push for its defeat.

Edge Boston reports:

Busloads of gay-marriage opponents held their own rally outside the Capitol Wednesday, pledging to reverse any headway in the push for state legislation that would allow same-sex weddings. Pastors, Christian activists and others addressed a crowd clustered on the first floor of the Capitol rotunda, some peering down from the second and third floor rails, a day after gay-marriage proponents held their own event to urge lawmakers to approve it. “Are we going to stay silent and let this happen?” Christian activist Jim Finnegan asked the crowd. “Defend Marriage Lobby Day” — sponsored by the Illinois Family Institute began Wednesday with a morning prayer service outside the state Capitol. The secretary of state’s police put number of attendees at 2,500 — slightly smaller than the estimate from Tuesday’s event.

It still uncertain whether the marriage equality bill will be brought up for a vote during the veto session.

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USA, Texas: Top GOP Candidates Unanimous in Opposition to Marriage Equality

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Texas Attorney General Greg AbbottIn a development that’s sure to shock no one, all of the top-tier GOP candidates in Texas are against marriage equality.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

An Associated Press survey shows that GOP candidates support the state’s gay marriage ban and most say local ordinances that prohibit gay discrimination violate other people’s freedom of religion. Some candidates also say gays, lesbians and the transgendered don’t face significant discrimination. “To my knowledge, employers generally do not ask about a person’s sexual orientation. The state of Texas certainly does not,” said Attorney General Greg Abbott, an early favorite to become Texas’ next governor. But he added that “both the U.S. and Texas Constitutions protect faith-based organizations from being coerced into employing persons in a way that would require them to violate their faith.”

Ah yes, Texas, just like Russia, does not discriminate against the gays.

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USA, Hawaii: Churches Prepare to Oppose Marriage Equality Bill

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Hawaiian ChurchAs Democratic lawmakers consider a special session to pass a marriage equality bill, churches are preparing to mobilize against it.

Hawaii News Now reports:

While Hawaii lawmakers work on a marriage equality bill today pastors from 100 churches signed a declaration to stand against same sex marriage and urge lawmakers not to go into a special session. “It’s a matter of colliding convictions it’s not so much discrimination as much as it is disagreement,” said Norman Nakanishi, Grace Bible Pearlside Senior Pastor. “It’s not personal, but it’s a belief based on the word of God.” “God’s way is the best way marriage between one man and one woman,” said Margaret Scow, Emmanuel Temple The House of Praise Leader.

It seems to me that the longer we delay the bill, the more time it gives the opposition to get fired up. What are we waiting for?

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USA, New Mexico: No Big Surprise – Catholic Bishops Oppose Marriage Equality

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Catholic ChurchIn a statement released yesterday, New Mexico’s Catholic Bishops continued to oppose marriage equality. KRWG reports:

We, the Catholic bishops of New Mexico, reiterate our previous statement on same-sex marriage: “[the] tradition of marriage between one man and one woman comes to us not only from the Judeo-Christian tradition, but it has been witnessed in cultures throughout the world for many millennia.” We believe this institution of marriage to be “unique and irreplaceable,” for “only does the sexual union of a man and woman bring forth children.”

::: snore ::: In other news, the sun continues to rise from the East.

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USA, Indiana: New Group Launched to Oppose Marriage Equality Ban

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

IndianaA new alliance is being launched to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban marriage equality in the state. Edge Boston reports:

An alliance of businesses and human rights groups is launching an effort to defeat passage of an amendment that would write Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution. A coalition that includes major corporations such as Eli Lilly and Co. and groups such as Indiana Equality Action was scheduled to announce the new organization Wednesday in downtown Indianapolis. The gay marriage ban is expected to be a top issue in Indiana in 2014 as Republicans controlling the Legislature face a deadline to pass the amendment in order to put it to voters.

I think it’s fantastic that corporations are getting behind the marriage equality effort in such a tangible way. Guess they realize how damaging they can be for their workforce…

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