A bunch of things to report tonight. We’ll start in Massachusetts.
MASSACHUSETTS CELEBRATES NINE YEARS OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Massachusetts has had marriage equality longer than any other US state – 9 years today. O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-Da reports:
We remember May 17, 2004 as a painful day for then Governor Mitt Romney (R) as he was forced to order town clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples as per the Supreme Court’s ruling. By mid-afternoon on the day before marriage became legal, couples formed a long line outside Cambridge City Hall, on lawn chairs, adorning rain jackets to combat that light drizzle, drinking plenty of coffee to stay warm, nothing could deter them. At one minute past midnight, the city of Cambridge began processing applications. The couples would emerge to cheers by the crowd of five thousand gathered outside City Hall.
And the sky didn’t fall.
RUSSIANS WISH GAYS WOULD JUST STAY IN THE CLOSET
More than 70% of Russians think that gays should not be seen or heard, and only 8% think they should be allowed to live an ordinary life. Pink News reports:
The poll, published by the Levada Center, was published to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), today. The results found that just 12% of respondents believe sex with someone of the same sex is normal sexual behaviour, and equal to heterosexual relations. 35% of respondents believed that same-sex relations were a disease or a result of psychological trauma, and 43% thought it was a bad habit.
PORTUGAL EXPANDS GAY ADOPTION
Portugal has voted to allow gays and lesbians to adopt their partners’ children, but it’s still illegal for same sex couples to adopt together. Edge Boston reports:
The 230-seat Parliament passed by five votes Friday the center-left Socialist Party’s proposal permitting a person in a same-sex marriage to adopt a partner’s biological or adopted child. However, another proposal by the Left Bloc and Green Party that would have let gay partners adopt children together as a married couple was defeated, with 104 votes against, 77 in favor and 21 abstentions.
SCOTTISH SHOPPING CENTER THREATENS TO BAN TRANSGENDER WOMAN
In a story that’s repeated over and over again in many parts of the world, a transgender woman has been threatened with a ban for simply using a restroom. Pink News reports:
A transgender woman has claimed she was threatened with being banned from a shopping centre, after someone complained about her using the ladies’ toilets. Hannah Leith said she was stopped by a security guard when she tried to go into the toilets at the Paisley Centre, Scotland. She said he called her “mate”, and told her a complaint had been made, and that she would be banned from the centre unless she used the male or disabled toilets in future, reports the Paisley Daily Express.
Something so simple that most of us just take for granted.
TEXAS JUDGE ORDERS LESBIAN COUPLE TO SPLIT
So they tell us we can’t marry, and then they tell us we can’t live together until we get married. Think Progress reports:
Carolyn Compton is in a three year-old relationship with a woman. Moreover, according to Compton’s partner Page Price, Compton’s ex-husband rarely sees their two children. That same ex-husband was also once charged with stalking Compton, a felony, although he eventually plead to a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing. And yet, thanks to a Texas judge, Compton could lose custody of her children because she has the audacity to live with the woman she loves. According to Price, Judge John Roach, a Republican who presides over a state trial court in McKinney, Texas, placed a so-called “morality clause” in Compton’s divorce papers. This clause forbids Compton having a person that she is not related to “by blood or marriage” at her home past 9pm when her children are present. Because Texas will not allow Compton to marry her partner, this means that she effectively cannot live with her partner so long as she retains custody over her children.
ITALIAN OFFICIAL STANDS UP FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY
The President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy gave a speech supporting marriage equality. Pink News reports:
In a speech on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy affirmed that promoting LGBT rights “does not mean stripping them from others”. ANSA reports that Laura Boldrini, the House Speaker and former spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, gave a speech today on the objectification of women and LGBT people. Boldrini said a rampant “macho and homophobic culture” reduced “women to objects and homosexuals to caricatures, making them isolated groups who are simply tolerated as long they do not claim their rights and their identity.”