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Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 27th

Friday, March 27th, 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!

Pop Culture: The TV show “Scandal” is featuring a same sex marriage. full story

Pop Culture: Zack Ford at Think Progress looks at where LGBT representation in TV is going. full story

Cameroon: Cameroonian lawyer Alice Nkom says her country will never get on top of its HIV epidemic if it continues to prevent gay citizens from accessing healthcare through repressive laws. full story

Ireland: The government has indicated that there will be no religious opt-out clause for businesses that do not want to provide goods and services for same-sex weddings, reports the Independent. full story

Italy: By a vote of 14-8 Italy’s Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced a civil unions bill that would also allow gay couples to adopt each others’ children and visit each other in the hospital. full story

Slovenia: The Slovene National Assembly today approved a bill that bans the proposed referendum on repealing same-sex marriage. full story

UK: Ed Miliband has said among the two things he most admires about David Cameron is his commitment to same-sex marriage. full story

UK: Microsoft’s UK Chief Marketing Officer, Philippa Snare, has questioned the ice-cream company, Ben & Jerry’s, for marketing itself as a supporter of gay marriage – despite the fact that Microsoft has itself featured a same-sex wedding in one of its marketing campaigns. full story

USA: Televangelist Pat Robertson told a father that his gay son’s plan to adopt a child with his husband was “wrong.” full story

USA: Anti-gay campaigner Peter LaBarbera has compared the work of LGBT activists to recruiting children like Hitler. full story

USA: Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly said that state governors should “refuse to enforce” a Supreme Court decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage, reports Right Wing Watch. full story

USA, Alabama: Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen called the fight against marriage equality a “spiritual battle”. full story

USA, Arkansas: An effort to prevent Arkansas government from infringing on someone’s religious beliefs was revived on March 24, with a state Senate panel advancing a bill that critics have called a thinly veiled endorsement of discrimination against gays and lesbians. full story

USA, Arkansas: Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he would sign into law a right to discriminate measure that opponents have said would open the door to state-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians. full story

USA, Arkansas: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President and Arkansas native Chad Griffin announced that the organization will run a full-page ad in the San Jose Mercury News spotlighting pending legislation in Arkansas targeting LGBT people and religious minorities. The ad will also run in the Wall Street Journal. full story

USA, Arkansas: Dr. Julian Bond, a major leader in the American civil rights movement, expressed outrage at discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation in Arkansas full story

USA, California: Christian activist Matt McLaughlin, author of the Sodomite Suppression Act, graduated from law school at Virginia’s George Mason University, which just said it will not condemn the odious initiative. full story

USA, Colorado: A bill to allow transgender people to change the gender listings on their birth certificates without undergoing sex reassignment surgery has passed its first test in the Colorado Legislature. full story

USA, Florida: Discrimination against LGBT workers in Florida costs employers more than $362-million a year, according to a report released today by Equality Means Business, a coalition of major employers in the state. full story

USA, Florida: There was a brief meeting at the Metro Wellness Center in St. Petersburg on March 24 in support of opposing the Transgender Discrimination Bill full story

USA, Florida: A new poll says that 67% of Floridians agree that marriage equality had absolutely no effect on their lives. full story

USA, Georgia: Members of a Georgia House panel made some changes to a divisive “religious freedom” bill, but left opponents who say it could provide legal cover for discrimination against gays and transgender people dissatisfied. full story

USA, Georgia: A divisive religious freedom bill stalled Thursday in a Georgia House committee after a Republican member of the panel successfully added anti-discrimination language to the proposal. full story

USA, Indiana: The Human Rights Campaign has condemned Indiana Governor Mike Pence for signing the state’s right to discriminate law. full story

USA, Indiana: Lambda Legal also slammed Pence for signing the bill. full story

USA, Indiana: The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana says a religious objections bill that Gov. Mike Pence signed is a backlash to same-sex marriage in the state. full story

USA, Indiana:’s Marc Benioff: “We are forced to dramatically reduce our investment in Indiana based on our employee’s & customer’s outrage over the Religious Freedom Bill.” full story

USA, Indiana: George Takei, who earlier this week threatened to boycott Indiana if the state’s anti-gay “religious freedom” bill became law, tore into Gov. Mike Pence on Facebook today after Pence added his signature to the bill. full story

USA, Indiana: A gay top official with the Democratic National Committee in New Hampshire on Thursday slammed the recently signed religious discrimination law in Indiana as “outrageous,” warning 2016 presidential candidates that supporting such measures won’t fare well in New Hampshire’s early primary. full story

USA, Indiana: The NCAA is expressing concern about the new law ahead of next week’s men’s basketball Final Four in Indianapolis. full story

USA, Indiana: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has decided to sever ties with Indiana, issuing a public statement forbidding city employees from using public funds to travel to the state of Indiana. full story

USA, Indiana: Broadway star Audra McDonald sent a series of messages through Twitter to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, chastising him for signing the right to discriminate bill. full story

USA, Indiana: Likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton denounced the new right to discriminate law as an attempt to enable discrimination against LGBT people. full story

USA, Indiana: In reaction to the new law, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman says the company will not expand in states that pass right to discriminate laws. full story

USA, Indiana: The Advocate rounds up some of the other reactions to the new law. full story

USA, Maryland: State lawmakers on Wednesday approved two separate bills — Senate Bill 743 and House Bill 862 — that would remove the expensive roadblocks facing trans individuals born in Maryland in an effort to update their birth certificates. full story

USA, Montana: A Republican lawmaker proposed Wednesday that the Legislature ask voters if they want additional religious protections in Montana’s constitution. full story

USA, Ohio: At their March 16 meeting, the Yellow Springs Village Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting marriage equality, making the Village the third municipality in Ohio to endorse same-sex marriage. full story

USA, Puerto Rico: The Liberty Counsel filed a motion seeking permission to file a brief at the First Circuit Court of Appeals in defense of Puerto Rico’s ban on marriage equality. full story

USA, Texas: A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Obama administration from implementing a new rule to ensure married same-sex couples have access to the Family & Medical Leave Act even if they live in non-marriage equality states. full story

USA, Texas: A bill seeking to continue Texas’ ban on gay marriage, no matter how the courts rule, received strong opposition during a late Wednesday public hearing — much of it from religious leaders and believers who said conservative Christians do not have the sole perspective on marriage. full story

USA, Washington DC: The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington signed on to a letter to members of the U.S. Senate on March 20 calling for Congress to block a D.C. bill that would protect LGBT students from discrimination at religious schools operating in the city. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 26th

Thursday, March 26th, 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: A much anticipated debate on gay marriage in Australia’s Senate was postponed indefinitely because the majority Liberal Party refused to allow a conscience vote. full story

UK: The British Social Attitudes report shows 48% of conservative UKIP supporters back same-sex marriage. full story

UK, Northern Ireland: A legal case involving a Christian baker who refused to make a cake bearing a pro-marriage equality slogan goes to court this week. full story

USA: Defense Secretary Ash Carter has gotten pushback from senior military leaders on whether the Pentagon should lift its ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces. full story

USA: Pat Robertson appears to be giving up the fight against marriage equality: “You better get on your knees and pray and let the Lord take care of it because there isn’t a whole lot else you can do.” full story

USA: Metro Weekly has gathered 10 of Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz’s anti gay statements. full story

USA, Alabama: Several marriage equality and adoption cases may soon be dismissed because the couples are now married. The Federal case continues. full story

USA, Arkansas: A Senate panel advanced a right to discriminate bill that would ban state and local government from taking action that would burden someone’s religious beliefs unless a “compelling governmental interest” is proven. full story

USA, California: California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Wednesday moved to block a proposed ballot initiative that calls for gays to be executed. full story

USA, Colorado: After the pent-up demand was released with the passage of marriage equality in the state, the pace of same sex weddings has slowed. full story

USA, Connecticut: Connecticut’s Legislative Regulation Review Committee approved a regulation that repeals the ban on coverage for the treatment of gender dysphoria, the diagnostic term used to refer to discomfort or distress caused by a difference between a person’s gender identity and their sex assigned at birth. full story

USA, Florida: Watermark takes a look at the anti-gay bills making their way through the Florida legislature even as an LGBT rights bill languishes in committee. full story

USA, Idaho: An Idaho Republican lawmaker’s political website domanin, which had expired, has been snapped up by a group claiming to be gay rights activists, decorated with rainbows and replaced with text requesting that the legislature meet with same-sex marriage supporters. full story

Idaho Lawmaker's new Rainbow Website

USA, Indiana: Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is slamming the right to discriminate legislation passed by the state House and Senate that Governor Mike Pence has said he is “looking forward” to signing into law. full story

USA, Indiana: Leaders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) wrote Wednesday to Gov. Mike Pence urging him to veto the right to discriminate bill. So proud – my Grandpa was a DoC minister. full story

USA, Indiana: A broad and growing chorus of voices including human rights groups, over 30 law scholars, NBA star Jason Collins, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, SalesForce, and Gen Con – Indianapolis’s largest attended conference, is urging Indiana Governor Mike Pence to veto the anti-lgbt religious exemption bill, SB 101. full story

USA, Indiana: Governor Mike Pence is ignoring them all, and will sign the bill today at a private ceremony. full story

USA, Kentucky: A bill proposing to offer cash rewards to people who reported trans students using the “wrong” bathroom has failed to pass. full story

USA, Missouri: At least four southeast Missouri Presbyterian churches have received letters threatening to burn their buildings to the ground following the Presbyterian Church USA’s decision last week to amend its constitution to perform same-sex marriages. full story

USA, North Dakota: LGBT rights supporters will once again try to pass a bill banning discrimination. full story

USA, Ohio: On Wednesday, the Cincinnati City Council passed a resolution supporting marriage equality and appreciation for the work of Why Marriage Matters Ohio, a grassroots public education campaign to build support for marriage equality in Ohio. full story

USA, Puerto Rico: Today, several senators and representatives in Puerto Rico filed a request to allow them to file an out-of-time friend-of-the-court brief defending the marriage ban. full story

USA, Texas: Late last night a committee of the Texas House took public comments about Rep Cecil Bell’s bill that would forbid county clerks from issuing any marriage licenses full story

USA, Texas: The Texas Legislative Board released one fiscal impact analysis that indicates a bill to strip county clerks from issuing marriage licenses and cede control to the Texas Secretary of State office would cost $2.4 million in the first two years. full story

USA, Virginia: Parental complaints have prompted a Virginia school board to reverse a decision that respected a fourth grader’s gender identity, forcing her either back into the boys’ bathroom, or into single-stall or staff restrooms. full story

USA, Washington DC: At an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation, John G West (right) from creationist organization the Discovery Institute spoke out in favor of “ex-gay” therapy, saying the bans harm young people. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 25th

Wednesday, March 25th, 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: The United Nation will now give benefits to all spouses of gay U.N. staffers who are legally married after Russia and other opponents of same-sex marriage failed Tuesday in an attempt to scuttle the plan by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. full story

Pop Culture: Gay Country Star Steve Grand is speaking up for transgender rights as his new album releases. full story

Australia: The federal Coalition party room did not discuss a free vote on marriage equality in a Tuesday morning meeting, despite a concerted email campaign from both sides of the debate. full story

Australia: A pro-marriage equality Senator received a nasty bit of unsigned hate mail, which he then posted on his Facebook page. full story

Hate Mail

Sweden: The official dictionary of the Swedish language will introduce a gender-neutral pronoun in April, editors at the Swedish Academy have announced. “Hen” will be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she) as one of 13,000 new words in the latest edition of the Swedish Academy’s SAOL. full story

UK, Northern Ireland: The Christian owner of a bakery due to go to court over the refusal to bake a pro-same-sex marriage cake has said he will not back down. full story

USA, Northern Ireland: Hundreds of people including three senior DUP politicians had to be refused entry to a full-to-capacity Waterfront Hall in Belfast last night as thousands of Christians turned up for a rally in support of the Newtownabbey bakery firm which is going to court to defend their refusal to bake a cake for a gay activist. full story

USA: The American Family Association today published a full-page message to the Supreme Court in the Washington Post. full story

AFA Letter to Supremes

USA: Truth Wins Out announced the release today of the second video in its “Flipping the Script on Religious Freedom” campaign, to highlight the real-world consequences of laws that purport to protect religious liberty, – See more at: full story

USA: Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson has some advice for gays – find you a woman and marry her. full story

USA: Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) introduced a bill that would endorse the idea that businesses and organizations should be allowed to use taxpayer funds to discriminate against married same-sex couples. full story

USA, Alabama: A new hearing in Federal Court on the marriage equality case is scheduled for 3/26. full story

USA, Alabama: Republican Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa introduced the bill last week specifying groups that could refuse to participate in adoptions and foster care placements that violate their religious beliefs. full story

USA, California: A California activist says she is “fighting fire with fire” by proposing an “intolerant jackass” ballot initiative, which would require anyone proposing a ballot measure involving killing gay people to be punished with a year of sensitivity training and a significant donation to an LGBT rights group. full story

USA, California: In response to the proposed Sodomite Suppression Act, California state Assemblyman Richard Bloom (photo) and Assemblyman Evan Low, both Democrats, have introduced a bill that would raise to fee to file for a ballot measure from $200 to $8000. full story

USA, Indiana: The Gen Con gaming convention has sent a letter to Indiana governor Mike Pence threatening to pull its $50M convention, with a weekend turnstile attendance of 184,699 and unique attendance of 56,614, out of Indianapolis should Pence sign a bill headed to his desk that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people based on religious beliefs. full story

USA, Indiana: Openly gay Star Trek actor George Takei promises to boycott Indiana if Governor Mike Pence signs the pending right to discriminate bill. full story

USA, Kansas: Equality House, located across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, home to anti-gay extremists famous for their “Gods Hate Fags” protests, celebrated its second anniversary over the weekend with one big smooch. full story

USA, Maryland: Female same-sex couples in Maryland would have the same health care benefits for artificial insemination as heterosexual couples, under a bill passed by the state Senate. full story

USA, Michigan: A woman who was kicked out of her gym for complaining about a trans woman using the locker room is now suing the gym. full story

USA, Michigan: The state’s civil rights law doesn’t include protections for gay and transgender people, but the Michigan Civil Rights Commission has endorsed a model non-discrimination ordinance that does cover sexual orientation. full story

USA, Michigan: There are 37 states with marriage equality and the fact that Michigan isn’t one of them hurts the tourism industry’s bottom line, said a market researcher at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism this week. full story

USA, Texas: A contentious debate is expected as a Texas House committee hears a bill barring state and local employees from licensing or recognizing same-sex marriages – even if the U.S. Supreme Court authorizes them. full story

USA, Washington: August Easton-Calabriaand has launched a petition asking the BSA to end its policy, which does not allow someone who is openly gay to participate in the organization once they turn 18, so his gay twin brother can stay in scouting. full story

USA, Washington DC: The second annual Ignatian LGBTQ and Ally Conference is scheduled to be held March 27-29 on the campus of Georgetown University, according to an announcement on the website of the New York-based group GLAAD. full story

USA, Washington DC: NOM has revealed the details of its third planned hate march in the US capital on 4/25. full story

USA, Wyoming: Plaintiffs who were successful in legalizing same-sex marriage in Wyoming are now seeking to recover nearly $95,000 in attorney’s fees and costs. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 24th

Tuesday, March 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!

Pop Culture: The conservative group “One Million Moms” is ever so pissed about Ellen’s new gay sitcom “One Big Happy”. full story

Ireland: David Quinn of the Iona Institute, anti-gay Catholic lobbying group has admitted that same-sex marriage is likely to pass an upcoming referendum in Ireland. full story

Jamaica: Maurice Tomlinson, an LGBT rights advocate suing Belize and Trinidad and Tobago for banning gays entering the countries, will not be deterred by death threats. full story

Uganda: Some lawmakers in parliament are balking at a request to pay a U.S. public relations firm to clean up Uganda’s anti-gay image with members of Congress. full story

UK: A report has been submitted by international law firm Clifford Chance to the HM Passport Office, which favors introducing gender ‘X’ passports in the UK. full story

USA: Evan Wolfson, head of Freedom to Marry, says the group will shut down if the US Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality in June. full story

USA: Republican Ted Cruz has confirmed his plans to run for President in 2016, and promised to uphold the ‘sacrament of marriage’. full story

USA: HRC is highlighting Ted Cruz’s history of rhetoric against LGBT community. full story

USA: HRC took presumed Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush to task for supporting right to discriminate bills. full story

USA: The former president of Bob Jones University has apologized for saying in 1980 that homosexuals should be stoned, calling his comments at the White House reckless and inflammatory. full story

USA, Alabama: Equality on Trial has a few updates from the state in the marriage equality fight there. full story

USA, Alabama: Alabama’s dispute over same-sex marriage surfaced Monday during a forum over a hotly contested property tax referendum for the Baldwin County School System. John Howard, a private school teacher and tax opponent, linked “gay marriage” to the tax issue as an example of unknown influences the federal government might pass along to public schools. full story

USA, California: April 10th will be the 12th annual Transgender Day of Empowerment in San Diego. full story

USA, California: The San Francisco Museum of Transgender History’s latest groundbreaking collection, created in collaboration with Los Angeles’s ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archive is Transgender Hirstory in 99 Objects: Legends & Mythologies. full story

USA, Colorado: A Denver Home Depot employee, with the backing of his pastor, has written a blistering open letter blasting the company for supporting an LGBT History Month initiative, saying “LGBT people are morally evil and self destructive.” full story

USA: full story

USA: full story

USA, Michigan: Michigan state Rep. Gary Glenn (R), a first-term Republican lawmaker from Larkin Township, is warning his constituents about a gay reporter’s “agenda”. full story

USA, Michigan: Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Stephen Henderson spoke out on WDET radio for marriage equality and the 322 same sex couples married in the state a year ago. full story

USA, Oklahoma: The Oklahoma Tax commission has denied an application for a personalized license plate supporting the LGBT community because it carries “a sexual connotation.” full story

Oklahoma LGBTALY plate

USA, Puerto Rico: Anti-Gay Politicians plan to sue to try to force the Governor to continue to defend the territory’s ban on marriage equality. full story

USA, Texas: Groups for and against LGBT rights staged dueling rallies at the Texas state capitol. full story

USA, Texas: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, at an anti-gay rally in Austin, says if he didn’t speak out against same-sex marriage, he’d be guilty of treason. full story

USA, Texas: With the future of Texas’ constitutional ban on same-sex marriage uncertain, Republican leaders on Monday pledged to continue the state’s fight against allowing gay couples to wed. full story

USA, Texas: At the same time, Bridegroom filmmaker Shane Bitney-Crone spoke with University of Texas at Tyler students about his fight for equality. full story

USA, Texas: An Austin lesbian couple who are plaintiffs in a Texas same-sex marriage case are celebrating the birth of their second child. full story

USA, Wisconsin: Seventy-four percent of Republicans said that marriage equality has either had no impact (70%) or a positive impact (4%) on their lives. full story

Marriage News Watch: Texas AG Wants to Stop Gays from Caring for Families

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Matt BaumeHow’s this for villainy: Texas AG Ken Paxton has sued the Obama administration to prevent gays and lesbians from taking time off to care for their spouses.

A new rule taking effect this week would require Texas to permit family and medical leave for LGBTs.

But Paxton is determined to fight those couples in court rather than let them take care of each other. Nice.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 23rd

Monday, March 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!

Pop Culture: Scandal star Kerry Washington took home the Vanguard Award at last night’s GLAAD Media Awards and gave a fiery speech in support of LGBT equality and visibility that would have had Olivia Pope herself raising a glass of red wine in support. full story

Pop Culture: Ricky Martin is out with a new Spanish language album A Quien Quiera Escuchar (To Those Who Want to Listen), and the video celebrates marriage equality. full story

USA: Actress Zoe Saldana won’t boycot Dolce and Gabbana, saying that changing her fashion choices because of the fashion duo’s unpopular opinions would be the “stupidest thing.” full story

Australia: A major shift towards same-sex marriage is under way within the Liberal Party, with marriage equality advocates saying 11 Liberal MPs have privately switched to supporting a change since January. full story

Australia: MPs in Australia have received a deluge of more than a million emails, calling for a free vote to be held on same-sex marriage. full story

Australia: Rugby Union player Jacques Potgieter was fined today for using a homophobic slur during a match on Sunday. full story

China: Although the Chinese government hasn’t been making much progress on its intolerance toward gay rights in China, brands are increasingly upping their efforts to show strong support to the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as its spending power provides a significant source of growth. full story


Ireland: Amnesty International has launched its campaign for a yes vote in the upcoming referendum on civil marriage equality. full story

Ireland: The Catholic Church is trying to sow confusion ahead of the marriage equality vote with an editorial in the Catholic World Report claiming marriage equality support is soft. full story

Ireland: A 60-year-old gay man has written a powerful letter about his dreams for a better Ireland. full story

Italy: Pope Francis met with ten gay and transgender prisoners on Saturday during his trip to the Italian city of Naples. full story

Mexico: Renowned photographer Kike Arnal’s photo book Bordered Lives shows us the everyday lives of seven trans people in and around Mexico City. full story

Mexico City Transgender Photos

UK: A Catholic priest who entered into a sham civil partnership with another man has been allowed to return to work. full story

USA: Bob Jones III, the former president of the evangelical Bob Jones University, has finally apologised for calling for homosexuals to be stoned to death. full story

USA: Sandy Rios, the director of governmental affairs for the American Family Association and the host of a daily radio show, said that any Supreme Court that paves the way for gay marriage is going to crush this country. full story

USA, Alabama: The Bloom Wagon – a van on a nationwide mission to spread happiness – organized a public art project to support marriage equality. full story

USA, Alabama: Marriage equality supporters and opponents held dueling rallies yesterday. full story

USA, Ohio: Chris Geidner has written a wonderful profile of the late John Arthur and his husband Jim Obergefell, whose marriage will take center stage at the Supreme Court next month. full story

USA, Puerto Rico: Pastor Wanda Rolon, a self-appointed apostle and influential social conservative in Puerto Rico, has criticized the government’s decision to no longer defend its gay marriage ban in court.
full story

USA, Texas: Texas’ attorney general and lieutenant governor will join Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for an anti-gay rally at the Capitol on Monday afternoon. full story

How I Changed My Mind About Marriage Equality

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

J. Nathaniel McWilliamsI am a 33-year-old Christian man who happens to be gay. My orientation is not what I ever asked for, but is merely my reality. Although I have opposed same-sex marriage in the past, I have recently realized that it is good for Alabama and the nation as a whole. I wish to address a few issues that, I hope, can help my more conservative neighbors better understand homosexuality and the issue of same-sex marriage.

Before I can speak to my own sexuality, I must first define what “sex” in “sexuality” actually is. People often perceive the word to be a reference to the sex act. For anyone to even begin to understand LGBT issues, one must first understand that “sex” in “sexuality” refers to gender identity, and not about one’s sexual acts.

The ambiguity of this word has led to an unnecessary confusion when it comes to matters involving gay people. With this being realized, a person can avert from an unnecessary distraction and, hopefully, understand my story. I was born and raised in Alabama to a conservative Christian family. I witnessed two different approaches when it came to matters of faith and both condemned homosexuality. My mother saw faith by the “the jot and tittle” while my father sought Scripture’s broader meaning.

Authored By J. Nathaniel McWilliams – See the Full Story at

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Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 22nd

Sunday, March 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!

Pop Culture: The Christian website Lifesite News has launched a pro Dolce & Gabbana petition. full story

USA: LGBT Weekly asked for tax guidance from officials in ten states that don’t recognize marriage equality or where the status is unclear. full story

USA, Delaware: Less than a week after the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved allowing same-sex marriages in its constitution, a Delaware congregation with ordain as ministers a married, same-sex couple. full story

USA, Illinois: LGBT rights advocates said they emerged from a meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner with a pledge the Republican will strictly enforce anti-discrimination laws and hope that he’ll also support their top legislative priority: a ban on gay conversion therapy for minors. full story

USA, Iowa: Democrat Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland and possible Presidential candidate, talked about how his support for marriage equality balances with his Catholic faith with the Des Moines Register. full story

USA, Minnesota: A federal judge has ruled that a transgender man has a “plausible” case that he was discriminated against and mistreated during a visit at a Minneapolis-area hospital. full story

USA, Missouri: A Republican legislator in the state of Missouri is attempting to put an outright ban on toilets that aren’t male or female. full story

USA, Puerto Rico: Out singer Ricky Martin has cheered Puerto Rico’s decision to no longer defend its gay marriage ban in court. full story

USA, Texas: Republican, Rep. Byron Cook unexpectedly spoke out against an anti-gay witness over a bill that would let same sex parents have both their names listed on an adopted child’s birth certificate. full story

USA, Utah: Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill allowing government officials to refuse to marry couples, including same-sex couples, for religious reasons. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 21st

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Gay WeddingHere’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!

Pop Culture: A new video makes the case for transgender pronouns. full story

Ireland: The Archbishop of Dublin has slammed some opponents of same-sex marriage, calling them “obnoxious, insulting and, unchristian” for permitting anti-gay rhetoric. full story

Italy: The Pope will visit a local prison in Naples, planning to break bread with 90 inmates, including a contingent reserved for LGBTIs and those living with HIV and AIDS. full story

Peru: U.S. Ambassador to Peru Brian Nichols, third from left, on March 11, 2015, met with gay Peruvian Congressman Carlos Bruce, fourth from left, and other LGBT rights advocates from the South American country in Lima full story

Russia: Russia has called for a vote on Tuesday on its proposal to stop the UN from extending benefits to staff members who are in same-sex marriages. full story

Russia: Authorities are trying to shut down Russia’s only support group for LGBTI youths because of ‘gay propaganda’. full story

Uganda: In an attempt to clear the country’s image after legalizing the Anti-Homosexuality Act, they spent 614 million Ugandan shillings ($208,000). full story

UK: At the PinkNews debate, Baroness Stowell apologized for the notorious Section 28 law. full story

UK: A poll of 1,300 Christians has found 37% are too scared to tell people they support gay relationships. full story

UK: The Church of England’s first female Bishop, Libby Lane, has refused to say whether she would be willing to marry same-sex couples. full story

UK, Scotland: Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who groped male priests while comparing gay marriage to child abuse, has resigned. full story

USA: Presbyterian theologian Robert Gagnon claims “heterosexual guilt” is in part responsible for increasing support for marriage equality. full story

USA: Although the Presbyterian Church just approved support of marriage equality, some ministers say they still will not perform marriage ceremonies for same sex couples. full story

USA: Sandy Rios of the American Family Association said Christians “must prepare for martyrdom. I don’t know what it’s gonna look like but it’s coming” in the wake of the pending US Supreme Court marriage equality decision. full story

USA: Mat Staver has called for “many thousands” of Christians to disobey the upcoming SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality. full story

USA: For the third time in four months, Christian leader Matt Barber has published a guest column from Walid Shoebat, an advocate of the death penalty for homosexuality. full story

USA: Sarah Kaplan at The Washington Post documents a lesbian wedding that took place in Vermont – 200 years ago. full story

USA, Alabama: The state’s probate judges are stuck in the middle between the state Supreme Court and the Federal Courts in the marriage equality battle. full story

USA, Alabama: The U.S.-based team for German television’s morning news program, “MorgenMagazin,” visited Alabama this week, March 17 through 19, 2015, for a story on the status of marriage rights in the state. full story

USA, Arkansas / South Dakota: The plaintiffs’ (same-sex couples) briefs have been filed in two cases in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging two states’ marriage bans. full story

USA, California: Rick Wiles of Trunews blames homosexuality and abortion rights for causing California’s record drought. full story

USA, California: Legislation that would offer special protection to gay and transgender seniors in assisted living facilities is headed for the San Francicso Board of Supervisors. full story

USA: A Southern California attorney’s proposal to put a “shoot the gays” initiative on the ballot is unlikely to ever become law — for one thing, it’s unconstitutional — but Attorney General Kamala Harris may have no choice but clear it for circulation. full story

USA, Florida: A House panel on Thursday approved a right to discriminate bill that would allow private child placing agencies to refuse to perform adoptions without risking their state contracts if the placement violates their religious or moral convictions. full story

USA, Indiana: House Republicans on Thursday deflected Democrats’ attempts to shield local civil rights ordinances and church and home day care regulations from a proposal that supporters say could allow people to cite strong religious beliefs to deny services for activities such as same-sex weddings. full story

USA, Indiana: With Indiana on the verge of enacting a “license to discriminate” law, major employers and others in the state are speaking out against it. full story

USA, Kansas: A tight to discriminate bill for religious groups on public college campuses that want to restrict memberships to like-minded believers passed the state Senate on a 30-8 vote. full story

USA, Massachusetts: One of the organizers of the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade says two LGBT rights groups were included this year by accident. full story

USA, Michigan: This weekend marks the one-year anniversary for Michigan’s gay and lesbian married couples. full story

USA, Michigan: Former Solicitor General John Bursch will handle oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court next month that the states should not be required to license same-sex marriages under constitutional guarantees. full story

USA, Missouri: The GOP has introduced eight bills targeting the LGBT community thus far this legislative session, including right to discriminate bills, a bill to block clerks from issuing licenses to gays, and several bills going after transgender bathroom access. full story

USA, New Jersey: West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi has signed a brief urging U.S. Supreme Court to support marriage equality. full story

USA, Puerto Rico: The Puerto Rican government on Friday announced it will no longer defend the U.S. commonwealth’s same-sex marriage ban. full story

USA, Texas: Attorney General Ken Paxton will speak at an anti-gay rally on 3/23 in Austin. full story

USA, Washington DC: The Organization of American States’ human rights commission this week held several hearings in D.C. that focused on LGBT rights in the Americas.
full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 20th

Friday, March 20th, 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!

Pop Culture: About a hundred London gay rights activists protested today (19 March) outside the flagship store on Old Bond Street, calling for a proper apology over the fashion duo’s offensive comments about children of gay parents. full story

Pop Culture: Bill Donohue came out in support of D&G. full story

Pop Culture: “The Bold And The Beautiful” introduced a groundbreaking transgender story line for one of its characters. full story

Pop Culture: A new video makes a potent point about bisexual invisibility and how we like to erase the term. full story

India: West Bengal state cabinet Wednesday (18 March) approved the formation of a Transgender Development Board, the first of its kind in India. full story

Ireland: A five year old Irish girl has shown her support for marriage equality in Ireland. full story

Lebanon: The LGBTI community of Lebanon is embracing gay refugees and determined to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transpobia (IDAHOT). full story

Macau: Gay Star News takes a look at the young LGBT rights movement in Macau. full story

Philippines: The Philippines Catholic Church has stated its support for an anti-gay discrimination bill, as long as it does not infringe on its ‘exclusive right’ to choose priests – ‘even on the basis of sexual orientation.’ full story

UK: Tory peer and leader of the House of Lords Baroness Stowell of Beeston is the first Minister in her party to express support for a campaign to pardon thousands of men convicted of gay sex offenses. full story

UK: Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has pledged to consider introducing ‘Gender X’ passports – for people who aren’t male or female. full story

UK, Scotland: An SNP member who subjected Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson to homophobic abuse on Twitter has been suspended from the party, Nicola Sturgeon has announced. full story

USA: According to World Net Daily, members of Congress are “lining up” to sign a document declaring their willingness to go to jail in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. full story

USA: A Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality will likely be the start, not the end, of a legal battle for marriage equality in US territories. full story

USA: Likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush threw his support on Thursday behind right to discrimination legislation, warning that an upcoming ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on marriage equality would make such measures necessary. full story

USA: looks at the rash of anti-gay bills around the country, with a map from HRC. full story

US Anti Gay Bills

USA: Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) argue that since Chipotle can choose to only buy humanely-raised pork, businesses can choose to only serve heterosexuals. full story

USA, Alabama: HRC Alabama strongly criticized the inaccurate, hurtful and harmful remarks of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, who called same-sex marriage a ‘social experiment’. full story

USA, California: The LGBT Caucus of the California Legislature has filed a formal complaint with the State Bar of California against the Orange County lawyer who has filed a ballot initiative to “kill the gays.” full story

USA, California: The state Assembly voted 63-2 on Thursday to approve a bill that would block discrimination against transgender jurors. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. full story

USA, California: The “The Respect After Death Act”, which clarifies legal procedure to ensure that identities of transgender individuals are properly reflected on death certificates, takes effect 6/1. full story

USA, California: LGBT Weekly profiles out veteran activist Steve Snyder-Hill, who will be in San Diego March 26-29 for the fourth annual OutServe-SLDN San Diego Leadership Conference where he is one of the keynote speakers. full story

USA, Indiana: As anti-gay legislation allowing businesses to discriminate edges closer to becoming law in the state, an Indianapolis man says he is ‘very surprised’ by an explosion of interest he has had in his ‘Open for Service’ sticker campaign. full story

USA, Indiana: The state’s right to discriminate bill looks likely to pass the House on Monday, and would then go to the Governor’s desk. full story

USA, Michigan: Marsha Caspar and Glenna DeJong, the first gay couple legally married in Michigan, will celebrate their one-year anniversary on Sunday. full story

USA, Michigan: Eight House and Senate Democrats said Thursday they’ll seek to overturn Michigan’s ban on gay marriage through legal changes and a ballot proposition they want to ask voters to approve. full story

USA, Mississippi: Some Mississippi pastors are refusing to accept the Presbyterian Church’s new stance supporting marriage equality. full story

USA, Nevada: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on Thursday sounded the alarm on pending anti-LGBT right to discriminate legislation. full story

USA, New York: Transgender New Yorkers covered by Medicaid can now access the medically necessary health care they have been denied for nearly two decades. full story