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Come On, Supreme Court, OK Marriage Equality

Monday, September 15th, 2014

US Supreme Court ColorMarriage equality can sound like a political cause. It’s been the subject of intense courtroom drama. But to Beverly Sevcik and Mary Baranovich, it’s personal. It’s about whether the Constitution protects their individual rights. That’s why it is welcome news that the U.S. Supreme Court may be preparing to bring down the gavel on discriminatory laws.

The court will look at same-sex marriage cases from five states later this month at the first conference of its 2014 term. The court could agree to hear one or more cases, deny them all or delay a decision.

The need for the court to provide guidance is paramount. Three appeals courts have thrown out same-sex bans, and other appeals courts face challenges. Sevcik and Baranovich are the lead couple in a Nevada case that was argued before the Ninth Circuit Court this week. That court is expected to strike down laws against same-sex marriage in Nevada and Idaho.

See the Full Story at Arizona Central

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Marriage Equality Round-Up 9/15/14

Monday, September 15th, 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!

Serbia: Three suspects have been arrested in Serbia after a German gay-rights activists was attacked earlier this week. full story

UK, Scotland: Just over half of Scotland’s LGBT population says it will vote for independence, according to a Pink News poll. full story

USA, Arizona: A federal judge has indicated that he is likely to strike down the state’s ban on marriage equality. full story

USA, Idaho: So far, the state has spent more than $70,000 defending its ban on marriage equality. full story

USA, New Jersey: A gay police officer from the city of West New York has filed a lawsuit claiming he was harassed and discriminated against because of his orientation. full story

USA, Pennsylvania: Under the state’s blasphemy law, a teenager could go to jail for up to two years for simulating gay sex with a statue of Jesus. full story

Jesus Statue and Teen

Matt Baume’s Marriage News Watch 9/15/14

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Matt BaumeThe number of marriage cases before the Supreme Court keeps climbing, with the Court scheduled to decide which ones to take in just a few weeks.

Plus, couples file new briefs in Texas, and appeal last week’s anti-gay ruling from a federal judge in Louisiana.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

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Seriously? Test Youths in Coloured Trousers for Gay Degeneratism

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Seriously?This is one of the more outrageous claims referred about homosexuality in a long time. A Kazakhstani politician claims there’s a blood test for gayness.

Pink News reports:

“I think it is very easy to identify a gay person by his or her DNA. A blood test can show the presence of degeneratism in a person. One can see a lot of people in the city’s malls and other public places — these are young people in coloured pants. Unfortunately, suppressing activities of the LGBT community in Kazakhstan is extremely difficult, because there is no law in our country prohibiting this type of activity, that is, the promotion of homosexuality.”

So first off, if it so easy to identify someone who is gay by their DNA, doesn’t this mean they are born this way? And second, what the heck is this “coloured pants” thing? I guess if you want to fly under the radar in Kazakhstan, you’re supposed to wear black pants? Someone opened a big can of crazy and drank the whole thing.

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Marriage Equality Round–Up 9/14/14

Sunday, September 14th, 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!

China: Li Yinhe, a Chinese sociologist, discusses how attitudes there about homosexuality are different than those in the West. full story

Straight Men "Marry"New Zealand: Two straight men went ahead with their “marriage” to win tickets to the Rugby World Cup in 2015 full story

Serbia: A German LGBT rights activist is fighting for his life after brutal attack in Serbia. full story

USA: NFL star Adrian Peterson, the man is just indicted for child abuse for beating his son with a stick, was held last year as a hero by the National Organization for Marriage for opposing marriage equality. full story

Cheyenne Jackson marriesUSA, California: Cheyenne Jackson married Jason Landau in a ceremony in Encino, California Saturday. full story

USA, Colorado: A transgender student has been chosen as her high school’s homecoming queen. full story

USA, Washington DC: The Smithsonian is considering including materials from anti-gay groups, as well as from LGBT rights groups. full story

The Vatican: The pope celebrated forgiveness by performing 20 marriages for couples who live outside the Catholic doctrine. Unsurprisingly, none of these couples were gay. full story

Wisconsin Lesbian Couple Granted Adoption Rights, Marriage Recognition

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Wisconsin MapIn yet another ruling, a lesbian couple in Madison, Wisconsin has been granted the right to adopt each other’s biological children and have their marriage recognized by the state.

The Advocate reports:

The Madison-based couple, Teresa and Kat Riley, who were registered as domestic partners in Wisconsin, then traveled to Iowa last year, where they were legally married. Together, they have two young children, one of whom was birthed by Teresa and the other by Kat. Though legal guardians of each other’s biological child, both mothers wanted full parental rights, which could only be optioned through legal adoption. But because Wisconsin does not recognize same-sex marriage, the couple had to petition the court for this nearly unprecedented right.

It really does feel like it’s only a matter of time now, doesn’t it? And a very short amount of time, at that.

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Indiana Agrees to Recognize Marriage Of Lesbian Couple

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

IndianaThe state of Indiana has agreed to recognize the marriage of Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera, lesbian couple. Rivera has advanced ovarian cancer.

Gay Star News reports:

US District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen approved an agreement this week (11 September) as the state appeals a ruling that struck down its marriage ban. Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera, a couple for more than 27 years with two children, were legally married in Illinois earlier this year. They filed a suit in federal court this week seeking to have the union recognized in the state in which they live. There is urgency in the case because Rivera has advanced ovarian cancer and entered hospice care in late July. Indiana has not only agreed to recognize the marriage but to also issue a death certificate listing Rivera as married with Romero as the surviving spouse.

This is another case where simple human decency has prevailed.

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Federal Judge Requires Arizona to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage On Death Certificate

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Fred McQuire and George MartinezA man who lost his partner recently has just won the right to have himself listed as spouse on the death certificate.

AZCentral reports:

A federal judge has issued an emergency order requiring Arizona to recognize the California marriage of Green Valley couple Fred McQuire and George Martinez. Fred McQuire has found a little peace, maybe the first he’s had since his partner of 45 years died late last month of pancreatic cancer.

This case gets to the heart of what marriage equality really is – the recognition of two people who love one another.

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Marriage Equality Round-Up 9/13/14

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Mark Scott gay wedding hands

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!

Russia: At the World Congress of Families event in Moscow this week, organizers called for more anti-gay laws around the world. full story

UK:A Church of England bishop is not optimistic that the church will be able to resolve a divide over marriage equality. full story

USA: PepsiCo is launching a new campaign against bullying, called “Purple On!” full story

USA: Ben & Jerry’s was one of 30 companies that submitted an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in support of marriage equality. full story

USA, Arkansas: State Sen. Jason Rapert is going after the judge who overturned the state’s ban on marriage equality. full story

USA, Arkansas: Supreme Court Justice Cliff Hoofman just recused himself from the state’s marriage equality case. full story

USA, California: A high school principal in Ventura, California has banned Chick-fil-A from campus because of the company’s anti-marriage equality stance. full story

USA, Florida: Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi just filed appeals on several marriage quality rulings in the state. full story

USA, New Jersey: The state’s ban on conversion therapy for minors has been struck down by several courts, and the latest decision will be appealed to the US Supreme Court. full story

USA, Nevada: Las Vegas wedding chapels are preparing for an influx of same-sex couples if and when the state’s ban is struck down. full story

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

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