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Florida Marriage Equality on 1/6 After Supreme Court Declines to Extend Stay

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Rainbow FloridaMarriage equality will come to Florida next month after the US Supreme Court declined to extend the stay on a pro same sex marriage ruling.

Watermark reports:

Same-sex weddings may soon begin in Florida after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block them. The court said Friday it wouldn’t block the marriages. A federal judge previously declared Florida’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and said same-sex marriage licenses could start being issued in the state after Jan. 5 unless the Supreme Court intervened. Most federal judges and appeals courts have ruled against state bans and gay marriages are occurring in about three dozen states. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has upheld the right of four states to decide whether to allow gay marriage.

Florida becomes the 36th state with marriage equality, and the biggest in awhile, with large LGBT populations in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Key West.

Full Story at Watermark Online | Florida Wedding Vendors

Marriage Equality Round-Up – 12/19/14

Friday, December 19th, 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!

Chile: An anti-gay evangelical pastor began attacking lawmakers in the House of Deputies for approving an LGBT-inclusive initiative that would give legal protections to unmarried couples. full story

China: A court in China has ruled that a psychological clinic must re-pay costs to a gay man for trying to “cure” him. full story

Ireland: The government has finally published a long-awaited bill which will recognise the gender of trans people. full story

Poland: A bill that would have legalized civil unions failed for a third time, 235 to 185 votes. full story

Russia: A special education teacher who lost her job for being a lesbian plans to fight. full story

Turkey: Charles F. Hunter, U.S. Consul General in Istanbul, is to marry his partner, Turkish pop star Ramadan Caysever. full story

UK, England: One of the first same sex couples to convert their civil partnership to marriage has been together 49 years. full story

UK, Scotland: A new guide to same-sex marriage and civil partnership has been published to mark the start of Scotland’s equal marriage law. full story

USA: AG Eric Holder has announced that sex discrimination provisions in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include protections against discrimination based on gender identity. full story

USA: Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson won’t say whether he believes being gay is a choice. full story

USA: The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are about 5.6 million Americans who identify as LGBT. full story

USA: Apple CEO Tim Cook made a substantial donation to HRC to help fund a gay rights initiative in his native Alabama and two other Southern states. full story

USA, AR: A spokesperson for the Arkansas Supreme Court says a marriage equality decision could be handed down at any time. full story

USA, Florida: The Liberty Counsel says they will defend any state clerks who refuse to grant marriage licenses to same sex couples once the stay ends. full story

USA, Florida: The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a response to the state’s appeal of a federal court ruling that strikes down Florida’s marriage equality ban. full story

USA, Florida: The Osceola County Courthouse will open at midnight when the stay on marriage equality expires, in order to wed same sex couples. full story

USA, Florida: Orange County’s new Clerk of Courts hinted that she supports marriage equality, but says she will not issue licenses to same sex couples when the stay expires. full story

USA: News Channel 7 reports that Washington County residents are split on the issue. full story

USA, Florida: Morgan Welch at Dot429 has a great recap o the current situation in Florida. full story

USA, Hawaii: The state Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in a state Republican lawmaker’s lawsuit challenging the marriage equality law. full story

USA, Indiana: An Indiana court allowed a transgender man to change his birth certificate. full story

USA, Kansas: Westboro Baptist Church has again ben barred from intervening in a marriage equality case. full story

USA, Utah: The state legislature will likely consider both an LGBT rights law and a “right to discriminate” law in the next session. full story

USA, Virginia: Richmond has a new billboard, this one with a more positive and LGBT-affirming message than another billboard that has gained national attention recently. full story

USA, Wisconsin: The ACLU has dropped its lawsuit to force recognition of marriages performed in June after the state said the marriages would be recognized. full story

South Korea: Marriage Equality Support Reaches 35%

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

titleA new poll shows that marriage equality support is on the rise in South Korea.

Gay Star News reports:

The majority of South Korea still opposes gay marriage although there has been a significant changes in attitude over the past decade, according to a new survey. A Gallup poll released last week (12 December) found that 35% of respondents were in favor of legalizing gay marriage, more than double the proportion 13 years ago. In the same period, opposition to gay marriage fell from 67% from to 56%.

We’re still a long way from majority support, but the change is encouraging, and 85% now support equal opportunities for gays and lesbians in the workplace.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA, Louisiana: US Supreme Court to Look at State’s Marriage Equality Case

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Louisiana mapThe US Supreme Court has decided to at least consider taking another marriage equality case.

Equality on Trial reports:

The Supreme Court, in a brief update to the docket page for the Louisiana marriage case Robicheaux v. George, has noted that the case will be taken up in its next conference, on January 9. The case is the only one involving marriage equality that is currently listed for that conference, but the Court has a few more opportunities to add the rest of the cases.

Interestingly, the Court will consider taking the case on the same day that the Fifth Circuit hears it.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Louisiana.

USA, Florida: Broward County Judge Grants First Same Sex Divorce

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

FloridaIt’s official – a lesbian couple is now divorced in the state of Florida.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Circuit Judge Dale Cohen on Wednesday dissolved the marriage of Heather Brassner and Megan Lade in a brief hearing. They were united in a 2002 civil union in Vermont but Brassner was unable to obtain a divorce in Florida for five years since their relationship ended. “It’s like an emotional weight being lifted off,” said Brassner, who is from Lake Worth. “I just feel free and I couldn’t have gotten a better holiday gift.”

Cohen ruled in August that Florida’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional because it violates the Fourth Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Because the ruling came in a divorce case, it has the effect of also declaring that out-of-state gay marriages should be recognized in Florida. It does not mean same-sex marriage licenses can be issued in Broward County.

Judge Cohen’s action comes as a stay in another case is about to expire on 1/5, unless Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas grants an extension.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Florida.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – December 18th

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Gay Wedding - HandsHere’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!

Australia: Australian politicians, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s sister Christine Forster, have offered to have lunch with donors to a campaign to raise $50,000 for Australian Marriage Equality. full story

Egypt: Prosecutors referred 26 men to trial on charges connected to their suspected homosexuality after they were arrested in a publicized raid on a Cairo bathhouse. full story

Europe: Amnesty International has released a report on gender recognition laws across Europe. full story

Malta: Since the civil unions law came into effect, there have been 22 civil unions in Malta, 2 in Gozo, and 11 couples who entered into a civil union or got married outside Malta and have now registered their relationship in the country. full story

Russia: The Russian Ministry of Justice has classified the LGBTI group Rakurs, an Archangelsk-based organisation dedicated to LGBTI rights, as a “foreign agent”. full story

UK, Scotland: The Scottish Episcopal Church warned its clergy that legally marrying a same-sex partner will result in disciplinary action. full story

USA: Leaked document shows Salvation Army is still homophobic, despite campaign top win back LGBT donors. full story

USA: Michael Sam says he will keep fighting to make his dream of playing in the NFL come true. full story

USA: Jewish congregations are increasingly becoming accepting of gays and lesbians. full story

USA, Florida: The ACLU’s response on why marriage equality in Florida should not stay on hold will be filed today. full story

USA, Idaho: Governor Butch Otter has filed an amicus brief in all five cases that are currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. full story

USA, Indiana: A Methodist church that suffered a massive walk-out after forcing its gay choir director to resign will close at the end of 2014. full story

USA, New York: New York officials are proposing authorizing coverage for transgender treatment under the state’s Medicaid program for low-income New Yorkers. full story

USA, Texas: A proposed bill would allow adopted children in the state to have the names of both parents listed on their supplemental birth certificates, regardless of the parents’ gender. full story

Ireland to Vote on Marriage Equality Referendum in May

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Ireland - Google MapsIreland has picked a month for the vote on marriage equality.

Gay Star News reports:

Groups both for and against same-sex marriage will rally as they prepare for the public vote in early May 2015. No specific date has been announced as of yet. The issue was discussed today by Ministers at their final meeting before Christmas. It comes as Scottish gay couples are finally able to get married today, following England and Wales earlier this year. There are currently no plans for Northern Ireland to pass same-sex marriage.

We hope marriage equality will come to Ireland next year – but everyone needs to get out and vote.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Ireland.

Image via Google Maps

Marriage Equality Round-Up – December 17th

Wednesday, December 17th, 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!

Malaysia: The Malaysian government has pulled funding of a transgender group amid a national uproar after a court found a state cross-dressing ban unconstitutional. full story

Nepal: An investigation by a Nepalese govenment agency has refuted allegations of corruption at the Blue Diamond Society, the country’s largest LGBTI group. full story

Puerto Rico: The First Circuit has set the schedule to hear the territory’s marriage equality case, with initial briefs due 1/26. full story

UK, Wales: A new study by Stonewall Wales found that a third of teachers have heard colleagues using homophobic language. full story

USA: DC Comics blocks lesbian wedding for Batwoman character. full story


USA: Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel could still open the door for open transgender service. full story

USA: The Dallas Voice interviews actor Jeffrey Tambor about his transgender character in “Transparent”. full story

USA, Florida: The association representing Florida’s court clerks said Tuesday that a federal judge’s ruling on marriage equality only applies now to Washington County. full story

USA, Florida:Justice Clarence Thomas asked for a response from involved parties to Florida’s emergency petition to extend a stay on marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who want to marry. full story

USA, Massachusetts: A federal appeals court denied taxpayer-funded gender reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate. full story

USA, Idaho: Idaho Gov. Butch Otter believes the state’s arguments against marriage equality are so complete that the U.S. Supreme Court should wait until it gets the state’s case before deciding on the issue. full story

USA, Massachusetts: The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston will allow an LGBT veteran’s group to march in 2015. full story

USA, Montana: Yellowstone County is warning the County Clerk that she must exempt employees from giving marriage licenses to gays and lesbians if they have religious objections. full story

USA, Ohio: The Columbus City Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Wisconsin: The Baraboo School Board amended its athletic and co-curricular activities policies to prohibit discrimination against transgender students. full story

Marriage Equality Comes to Scotland

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

titleScotland joins England and Wales in welcoming marriage equality.

Think Progress reports:

It took ten additional months, but legal marriage equality has officially arrived in Scotland. The country’s parliament approved the law in February by a vote of 105-18, one of the strongest endorsements of marriage equality by any legislative body. Scotland joins its United Kingdom counterparts England and Wales, leaving Northern Ireland as the only part of the Kingdom that doesn’t recognize same-sex couples’ marriages.

These are civil partnership conversions – the first “new” weddings will take place starting on 12/31.

Interestingly, the first Scottish same sex marriage took place halfway around the world, in Australia.

Gay Star News reports:

Scottish citizen Douglas Pretsell has become the first of his countrymen to legally marry another man as Scotland’s marriage equality law comes into effect today. Pretsell married Australian man Peter Gloster at the British consulate in Melbourne at 11.01am today at the exact moment when Scotland’s equal marriage legislation came into effect.

And a new poll shows that marriage equality support has reached new highs:

A study by ScotCen Social Research released to mark the occasion shows that opposition to equality has dropped to a new all-time low ahead of the changes, with 68 percent in favour and just 17 percent opposed. The numbers are a marked change from 2010, when 61 percent were in favour and 19 percent against – and a seismic shift from 2002, when just 41 percent were in favour and 29 percent opposed.

Amazing – Northern Ireland, are you listening?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – December 16th

Tuesday, December 16th, 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!

Egypt: The Washington Post reports that the media told government officials about the bathhouse that was raided last week, and then came to film the story. full story

Ireland: The Irish government is discussing the country’s marriage equality referendum at a meeting of the cabinet. full story

France: The far-right National Front party said Friday that the cofounder of a prominent gay rights group was joining it and will be a future candidate, a surprise move for a group long linked to homophobic views. full story

New Zealand: The 5 year wait for gay and bisexual men to donate blood without having sex has dropped to 12 months today, after being approved by Medsafe. full story

Russia: Government authorities are turning a blind eye to anti gay attacks in the country. full story

Russia: A notoriously homophobic lawmaker raided a gay club in St Petersburg after complaints from parents that their underage children were “trapped” in the venue. full story

Taiwan: The Taiwanese queen of pop Jolin Tsai kissed actress Ruby Lin in the music video for her new song, We’re All Different, Yet The Same. full story


UK: The online electoral registration system is causing problems for the transgender community because it requires individuals to list their previous legal names with little information on how such personal data will be stored or who will see it. full story

USA: The creative team behind the Batgirl comic book series apologized for a transphobic storyline. full story

USA: The National Organization for Marriage is appealing a decision to deny it legal fees in the case dealing with leaked tax information from the IRS. full story

USA: Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin, along with 78 other congressional Democrats, urged the Obama Administration to lift the ban on gay men donating blood. full story

USA, Alabama: A group of Baptist ministers rallied on the steps of the Capitol in Montgomery against marriage equality. full story

USA, Florida: Equality Florida has launched TransAction Florida, a new statewide initiative to increase awareness and to educate and promote equality for the transgender community. full story

USA, Florida: Watermark profiles transgender activist Gina Duncan. full story

USA, Florida: AG Pam Bondi is asking the US Supreme Court to keep the stay on marriage equality in place past January 5th. full story

USA, New York: Tennis legend Martina Navratilova married Julia Lemigova yesterday in New York City. full story

USA, Ohio: Last night, the Columbus City Council was expected to approve a resolution supporting marriage equality in Ohio. full story

USA, Tennessee: The state is arguing against Supreme Court intervention in its marriage equality case. full story

USA, Texas: Mason Marriott-Voss, a 16-year-old from Austin with two moms, gave a rousing two-minute speech about the importance of bringing marriage equality to the state at an Austin town hall meeting. full story

USA, Virginia: Despite a backlash, Lamar Advertising, which owns and manages a billboard with an anti-gay ad, is keeping the ad in place. full story

USA, Virginia: Hundreds of people gathered in Richmond on Sunday to protest the anti-gay billboard along Interstates 64/95 that claims homosexuality is a choice. full story

Venezuela: Venezuelan LGBT rights advocates are mourning the death of Giniveth “Gini” Soto. a prominent marriage equality activist who was murdered over the weekend.
full story