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Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 26th

Tuesday, January 27th, 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!

Online: Photographer Michael Stokes was banned from Facebook for 30 days for posting a photo of two male cops kissing, fully clothed. full story

Gay Police

Online: Google has issued an apology – after a translation tool suggested a number of offensive translations for the word “gay”, including poof, queen, faggot and fag. full story

Google Translate

Greece: Could the radical left-wing Syriza party bring marriage equality to Greece? full story

Egypt: A court dismissed the case against men arrested in a gay bathhouse in December. full story

India: LGBT activists are calling for US President Barack Obama to help end India’s anti-gay law during his visit to the country. full story

Ireland: Ireland’s Equality Minister Aodhan O. Riordain said that religious-run schools and hospitals will by Easter be prevented from firing staff for being gay, divorced or an unmarried parent. full story

Philippines: Historic Vigan has become the lastest city in the Philippines to ban anti-gay hate. full story

Puerto Rico: Lambda Legal on Monday formally asked a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling that upheld the territory’s marriage equality ban. full story

UK: The Financial Ombudsman Service has ordered a bank to pay compensation, after a trans woman was blocked from her account because of her deep voice. full story

USA: John Gallagher at Queerty recaps the homophobic overtones of the GOP presidential candidates so far. full story

USA, Alabama: Bill Armistead, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, has blamed President Barack Obama for a federal judge’s ruling striking down the state’s ban on gay marriage, even though the judge was appointed by President George W. Bush. full story

USA, Alabama: The Editorial Board of the Birmingham Times just stood up for marriage equality. full story

USA, Alabama: State officials have just filed their notice of appeal in Searcy v. Strange to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. full story

USA, Alabama: The state’s only openly gay legislator is putting her anti-gay colleagues on notice: If they keep espousing family values rhetoric as a reason to oppose marriage equality, she’ll start making their affairs public. full story

USA, Arkansas: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to hold new oral arguments in the lawsuit challenging the state’s gay marriage ban. full story

USA, Arkansas: The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday warned the state that its appeal in a ruling that struck down the state’s ban on marriage equality is at risk of being dismissed over an overdue fee. full story

USA, Arizona: A trans woman who became a cause célèbre after being convicted in Phoenix Municipal Court for “walking while trans” has won the appeal of her case. full story

USA, California: Leadership Long Beach and The Long Beach LGBTQ Center are planning a free public forum on transgender awareness and issues on Feb. 3rd, from 7-10 pm at the Aquarium of the Pacific. full story

USA, Idaho Legislators heard from both sides in a debate about adding LGBT prople to the state’s non-discrimination laws. full story

USA, Maryland: After a flap over the delaying of non-discrimination provisions in Medicaid, Governor Hogan re-issued his Executive Order to reflect current state law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. full story

USA, New York: Saks Fifth Avenue has withdrawn a court filing in which the department store chain alleged it has a right to discriminate against transgender workers. full story

USA, Oklahoma: LGBT Weekly recaps the 8 anti gay bills working their way through the state legislature. full story

USA, Texas: The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance went on trial on Monday, as opponents tried to repeal it. full story

USA, Virginia: Richmond Judge Designate T.J. Markow ordered the Office of Vital Records in the Virginia Department of Health to amend the birth certificates to show a lesbian couple as the “only parents of the children.” full story

USA, Virginia: The state Senate General Laws and Technology Committee on Monday approved a measure that would ban anti-LGBT discrimination against state and local government employees. full story

USA, Wisconsin: The state Department of Justice says it doesn’t have any records of how many hours it spent defending the state’s gay marriage ban, making the full cost of fighting the case impossible to determine. full story

A Best-Case, Worst-Case Look at the Supreme Court’s Options

Monday, January 26th, 2015

US Supreme Court Color

In just a few months, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in four marriage equality cases, and while it’s impossible to accurately predict how the nine justices may rule, it’s also impossible to avoid speculating. This much is certain: Whatever the court decides will be the most important turning point ever seen in the marriage equality battle — and will radically alter the lives of millions of people.

What Exactly Will the Court Decide?

The court is going to focus on two questions, asking attorneys on both sides to address the inquiries with the merits of their individual cases. Those questions are:

Does the Constitution require states to issue licenses to same-sex couples?

Does the Constitution require states to recognize out-of-state marriage licenses from jurisdictions with marriage equality?

These questions may seem straightforward, but the court’s answer could be (and probably will be) more than just a yes or no. When the justices rule, a complex decision could settle those questions while also providing detailed guidance for future litigation. That’s one reason why it’s so hard to predict: there are an infinite number of ways the justices can answer even the simplest of questions.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 26th

Monday, January 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!

China: A photo of a man proposing to his boyfriend on the streets of Shanghai has gone viral on Chinese social media. full story

China: A gay man has filed what’s believed to be the country’s first-ever sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit. full story

USA: Another day, another color for Alabama on the Wikipedia marriage equality map. full story

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 6.46.43 AM

USA, Alabama: The couple whose lawsuit toppled Alabama’s gay marriage ban plans to refile their adoption paperwork that was denied before the lawsuit. full story

USA, Alabama: The plaintiffs have also asked the Judge in the marriage equality case to clarify if her ruling affects only them or all LGBT Alabamans. full story

USA, Idaho: The state House is about to hold its forst-ever conference on adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s Human Rights Act. full story

USA, Iowa: Speaking to reporters at Rep. Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit yesterday, former neurosurgeon and potential 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson said some bakers may put poison in wedding cakes for same sex couples. full story

USA, Iowa: Chris Christie’s antigay track record was a selling point at the Iowa Freedom Summit, where he was praised for vetoing a marriage equality bill. full story

USA, Maryland: In his first day in office, Republican Governor Larry Hogan Hogan held up regulation that would have banned Medicaid providers in the state from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity full story

USA, Tennessee: There are two lawsuits in Tennessee: one in state court and the other in federal court. The Advocate recaps the marriage equality situation in the state. full story

Vatican: A transgender man from Spain, who a local priest had called “the devil’s daughter”, had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday. full story

Alabama Ruling Stayed – No Weddings For Two Weeks

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Alabama mapIn an overabundance of caution, an Alabama Judge stayed her own marriage equality ruling, giving the state two weeks to present its case to the Eleventh Circuit.

The Washington Blade reports:

In a six-page order, U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade, an appointee of George W. Bush, says she agrees for the time being to a request from Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to stay her decision, which was issued on Friday. Granade writes Luther is unlikely to succeed on appeal and same-sex couples in the state would be harmed by a stay, but nonetheless puts a hold on the ruling to give the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Alabama, a chance to weigh in.

“[T]he court recognizes the value of allowing the Eleventh Circuit an opportunity to determine whether a stay is appropriate,” Granade writes. “Accordingly, although no indefinite stay issues today, the court will allow the Attorney General time to present his arguments to the Eleventh Circuit so that the appeals court can decide whether to dissolve or continue the stay pending appeal (assuming there will be an appeal.) The preliminary injunction will be stayed for 14 days.”

This is the same Eleventh Circuit that declined to place a stay on a Florida decision last month. And shortly after that, the Supremes voted 7-2 to allow weddings proceed in that state.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

Matt Baume’s Marriage News Watch – January 26th

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Matt BaumeThere’s a big fight underway right now in Alabama, with a Judge overturning a marriage ban and state officials refusing to obey the order to issue licenses.

Anti-gay politicians are threatening to ban all marriage licenses if the Supreme Court rules in favor of equality.

And one lawmaker even wants to send clerks to jail if they issue licenses to anyone — gay or straight.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 25th

Sunday, January 25th, 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!

Gambia: LGBT advocacy groups on Friday called upon the Obama administration ban Gambian officials responsible for human rights abuses from entering the U.S. full story

Ireland: Health minister Leo Varadkar, who came out as gay last week, is likely to relax the country’s blood donation ban on gay men within the year. full story

Italy: A man who lost his driver’s license after coming out 15 years ago finally won it back in court. full story

Russia: Lena Klimova, the founder of LGBTI kids’ support group Children-404 in Russia, has been fined close to $800 for supposedly violating the controversial “anti-gay propaganda law”. full story

UK: A senior general in the British Army who is married to a woman and has kids has revealed to a newspaper that he is gay, and is deciding whether to publicly out himself. full story

UK: Actors and activists are calling on the government to pardon the tens of thousands of British citizens who were persecuted under draconian anti-gay laws of the past. full story

USA, Alabama: The Alabama Probate Judges Association is trying to limit Friday’s marriage equality decision to just the plaintiffs. full story

USA, Alabama: Sharon Steinmann at AL.com looks at Friday’s marriage equality ruling. full story

USA, Iowa: Saturday’s Iowa Freedom Summit was missing a key ingredient – any discussion of same sex marriage. full story

USA, Louisiana: Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, mendorsed a federal constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. full story

USA, Michigan: GOP Senator Mike Shirkey has reintroduced a “right to discriminate” bill, which would allow individuals or businesses to seek exemptions to government regulations they feel may substantially burden their sincerely held religious beliefs. full story

USA, New Jersey: Same-sex couples who want to end their civil unions have the same right to no-fault divorce as married couples, a New Jersey trial judge has ruled. full story

USA, Oklahoma: Monica Hesse at The Washington Post looks at how the state is dealing with the sudden arrival of marriage equality. full story

USA, Tennessee: A private, non-denominational Christian-based school in Nashville has turned away prospective students because their parents, one of whom is a local pastor, are gay. full story

USA, Virginia: State senator Janet Howell’s bill that would have allowed unmarried gay couples to adopt children has been shot down by Republicans. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 24th

Saturday, January 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!

USA: 73% of Americans say they would support a professional sports team signing a gay or lesbian athlete. full story

USA: Now that Alabama has marriage equality, we have a new Wikipedia map. full story

Wikipedia Marriage Equality Map

USA: Some states that have marriage equality still forbid teaching about gay sex. full story

USA: Human Rights Campaign has published its annual State Equality Index and warns that despite marriage equality in most states, other inequalities still exist. full story

USA: Will Chief Justice Roberts side with marriage equality – so he can limit the scope of the decision? full story

USA: George Takei has put out a hilarious new video “My Husband’s Not Straight”, lampooning TLC’s show about (not) gay Mormons. full story

USA, Arkansas: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked the state Supreme Court to hold new oral arguments in the lawsuit over the state’s marriage equality ban because two new justices weren’t at a hearing on the case last year. full story

USA, California: State judges will no longer be allowed to participate in nonprofit youth groups, such as the Boy Scouts of America, that discriminate against LGBT people. full story

USA, Florida: A Duval County lawyer will file a lawsuit to reverse Duval Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell’s decision to close the county’s wedding chapel. full story

USA, Florida: Marriage equality in the state should make adoption easier for same sex couples. full story

USA, Texas: HRC won’t defend Plano ordinance, calling it transphobic. full story

Federal Judge Strikes Down Alabama Marriage Equality Ban With No Stay

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Alabama mapThe number of states with marriage equality just jumped to 37.

The Washington Blade reports:

A federal judge in Alabama has become the latest to strike down a state ban on same-sex marriage, ruling against the Yellowhammer State’s prohibition on gay nuptials on the basis that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment. In a 10-page decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade, an appointee of George W. Bush, issued summary judgement in favor of a plaintiff same-sex couple, finding Alabama marriage laws violate the couple’s right to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.

“There has been no evidence presented that these marriage laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether they are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples,” Granade writes. “In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama.”

We’re guessing that, absent a stay, couples will start Monday morning, unless a county clerk decides to open on the weekend. AG Luther Strange has asked the judge for a stay.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 23rd

Friday, January 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!

International: LA Galaxy player Robbie Rogers doubled down on his criticism of FIFA and its decision to hold the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar respectively. full story

International: Actor Patrick Stewart says “Supporting gay rights is natural.” full story

Ireland: Top Irish LGBT equality and civil rights groups from Dublin have been holding meetings with influential and supportive community leaders in New York and Washington seeking their support. full story

Portugal: Parliament rejected draft laws that would have allowed gay couples to adopt children for the third time, although the vote margin was smaller than ever. full story

Singapore: Singaporean LGBT rights activist and blogger Alex Au has been found guilty of contempt for a post critical of the city’s anti-gay law. full story

Spain: Spain’s King Felipe VI, 46, has posed for the cover of a local gay magazine as a show of support for the LGBT community. full story

King Felipe V! of Spain

Uganda: The Ugandan Refugee Law Project, accused of promoting homosexuality, has now re-opened. full story

UK, England: A transgender woman has alleged that insurance company Aviva fired her because she refused to stop using the women’s restrooms. full story

USA: David Taffet at The Dallas Voice lays out the Supreme Court schedule so far – plaintiff briefs due 2/27, state responses 3/27, reply briefs 4/17, and speculates on a 6/29 ruling. full story

USA: Amazon Prime is making all episodes of its hit series ‘Transparent’ free for Saturday only. full story

Transparent

USA: The “satisfaction with the acceptance of gays and lesbians” is the same this year as last year – 53%. Whatever that means. full story

USA: US Catholic and Evangelical leaders are to publish a statement about the “threat” of same-sex marriage called “The Two Shall Become One Flesh”, the culmination of three years work. full story

USA: Only 13 states give transgender students the right to use the correct bathroom. full story

USA: Rpbert Barnes at the Washington Post looks back at the last year in marriage equality, and what has changed between Supreme Court rulings. full story

USA: David J. Herzig at Slate argues the Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality because not doing so would have a host of practical negative implications in 16 states. full story

USA: Danielle Paquette at The Washington Post says we need more data on transgender lives. full story

USA: Ted Cruz is still pushing a federal anti-marriage equality amendment. full story

USA: US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is paling around with NOM co-founder Robert George ahead of the marriage equality hearing. full story

USA: The game show Jeopardy poked fun at marriage equality opponents with this clue: “Some opponents of same-sex marriage say, hey gay folks, how about these? Wouldn’t these be good enough?” The question: “What are civil unions?” full story

USA: Dave Yoshida at LGBT Weekly looks at the tax implications for the many newly married same sex couples this year. full story

USA: A new poll shows that almost 35 percent said they would be somewhat or much less likely to vote for a candidate who opposed marriage equality, while on;ly 31% were more likely to support them. full story

USA, Illinois: Chicago’s city council has banned the profiling of people who are transgender. full story

USA, Kentucky: The Advocate checks in on the marriage equality situation in Kentucky. full story

USA, Missouri: State officials have filed a motion to put the marriage case on hold in the Eighth Circuit until the Supreme Court rules. full story

USA, Missouri: The Eighth Circuit denied the state’s request, saying the litigation will proceed despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s agreement to take up the issue. full story

USA, Nebraska: State officials want their marriage case put on hold too until the Supreme Court issues its decision. full story

USA, Nebraska: A large crowd gathered at the state capitol to show their support for LGBT protections. full story

USA, Oklahoma: Republican Oklahoma lawmaker Todd Russ, R-Cordell, has introduced a bill that would do away with all marriage licenses in the state. full story

USA, Oklahoma: Anti-gay legislator Sally Kern (R) introduced three new bills – one to cut off pay from clerks who issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, one to confirm the legality of “conversion therapy” for youth, and a “right to discriminate” bill for state businesses. full story

USA, Virginia: A Virginia Senate committee on Thursday struck down a bill that would have banned “conversion therapy” for minors in the state. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 22nd

Thursday, January 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!

Egypt: The country’s government is telling the media to boost its anti-gay coverage, an editor has claimed. full story

France: Three Parisians were fined this week for inciting violence against LGBTI people on Twitter by using a “burn the gays” hashtag, the first time a French court has convicted for anti-gay abuse on the social network. full story

Ireland: The wording of the marriage equality referendum in Ireland is now agreed upon: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” full story

Ireland: “Mrs Brown’s Boys” star Eilish O’Carroll has urged people to back marriage equality in the country’s upcoming referendum. full story

USA: Japan’s best-known living author Haruki Murakami has said he supports marriage equality. full story

Mexico: Five same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in Tijuana and were denied. full story

Ukraine: A look at the LGBT community’s fight for rights and acceptance in the country. full story

UK: A McDonald’s branch in Leicester has suspended a security guard after he demanded that two men stop kissing, and has apologized to the couple. full story

UK, England: Irish politician Dominic Hannigan has become the first member of the Irish parliament to enter into a same-sex marriage, marrying his partner in London. full story

USA: Philadelphia’s William Way LGBT Center has created a 50-year timeline of important moments in LGBT rights activism. full story

USA: When President Obama celebrated the rapid advances of marriage equality across the country during his State of the Union address, House majority leader John Boehner remained seated, unamused. full story

USA: Mike Huckabee is thumbing his nose at the US Supreme Court, saying states can ignore a possible pro marriage equality decision. full story

USA: NOM has been busted once again for photoshopping a rally crowd to make it appear bigger. full story

NOM Fake Photo

USA: Likely Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson spoke with Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace last night and suggested that Congress should oust judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage. full story

USA, Colorado: Senate Republicans killed a Democrat-sponsored bill aimed at fixing a consequence of the state’s overlapping recognition of both civil unions and gay marriage, which currently requires same-sex couples who have entered into both to get divorced twice. full story

USA, Colorado: The identity of the man who asked a bakery to make an anti-gay cake and has now filed a complaint against it has been revealed. full story

USA, Connecticut: A transgender police officer fired last June has filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation and wrongful termination. full story

USA, Florida: A Jacksonville wedding planner told a lesbian couple she could not plan their wedding because of her Christian beliefs. full story

USA, Florida: HRC Orlando/Central Florida is hosting a discussion panel tonight about the impact of Florida’s marriage equality ruling. full story

USA, Georgia: The state has asked a federal judge to halt a marriage equality case until the Supreme Court rules. full story

USA, Idaho: The state’s House of Representatives will review an amendment to the state’s non-discrimination bill that would add explicit protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. full story

USA. Michigan: Governor Rick Snyder is urging the GOP-led Legislature to keep alive a bill that would amend Michigan’s civil rights law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. full story

USA, Mississippi: The Starkville board voted 5-2 to override Mayor Parker Wiseman’s veto of its previous vote to repeal the pro-LGBT resolution, and voted to override Wiseman’s veto of its vote to repeal domestic partner benefits for city employees, which passed in September. full story

USA, Mississippi: Joe.My.God has the video of a state Supreme Court hearing on a same sex divorce case. full story

USA, Nebraska: Nebraska Democratic lawmakers introduced three bills Wednesday that would ban discrimination against LGBT residents. full story

USA, New York: Leythe Jamal, the transgender woman suing Saks Fifth Avenue for discrimination, got help from the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Lesbian Rights in the form of an amicus brief. full story

USA, New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his state of the state speech Wednesday that the Legislature should pass a bill to add “gender identity or expression” as a protected class. full story

USA: A candidate to lead the North Carolina Democratic Party has apologised for calling her transgender opponent a “man”. full story

USA, Ohio: The Athens City Council became the second city government in the state to unanimously approve a resolution supporting marriage equality during council’s meeting on Tuesday. full story