2013

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Ireland: 2600 Entered Into Civil Partnerships in 2013

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Ireland Civil PartnershipsThis just in from Ireland’s Gay + Lesbian Equality Network:

Civil Partnerships have proven to be a huge success in Ireland with figures up to the end of 2013 showing that over 2,600 people have entered into a civil partnership. The figures also show that civil partnerships have been truly national with couples in every single county entering into a civil partnership..

“Civil Partnerships are a resounding success. Lesbian and gay couples in every county in Ireland have celebrated their love and commitment to each other in front of family, friends and neighbours. In doing so, these couples have contributed enormously to the remarkable progress towards marriage and full constitutional equality for lesbian and gay couples and families” said Tiernan Brady, Policy director with GLEN

Many hundreds more lesbian and gay couples have celebrated their commitment by entering civil partnerships or getting married abroad. These couples’ foreign legal relationships are recognised in Ireland as civil partnerships.

The Civil Partnership Act passed through the Oireachtas in July 2010 and the first public civil partnership was celebrated in April 2011. Civil Partnership provides almost all the legal rights and obligations that apply to civil marriage.

So, where are there most lesbian and gay civil partners across the country?

Dublin 8 is the most popular metropolitan area, with 100 couples from there having civil partnerships followed by Dublin 7 with 70 couples. There were 728 civil partnerships in total for lesbian and gay couples living in Dublin city and county

Cork is the most popular area in Munster, with 106 couples celebrating civil partnerships: 41 from Cork city and 65 from the rest of the county

In Connaught, it’s Galway, with 44 couples, 23 from the city of Galway and 21 from across the county

After County Dublin, Co. Kildare is the most popular in Leinster, with 40 couples from there having civil partnerships, and

Ulsters’ Donegal is the most popular with 12 couples.

“The huge welcome for civil partnerships throughout the country shows that Ireland is ready to take the next step to provide for civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples” said Brady.

“We warmly welcome the government commitment to hold a referendum on equal access to civil marriage in early 2015. We firmly believe that the people of Ireland will continue their warm welcome of lesbian and gay couples and families and that a yes vote will be carried in a referendum that would provide access to civil marriage and full constitutional equality” concluded Brady.

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USA, Maine: More Than 1500 Same Sex Couples Married in First Year

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Maine MapMaine saw a bunch of gay and lesbian weddings in the first year of full marriage equality.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Steven Bridges and Michael Snell thought they knew what they were getting into a year ago when they went to City Hall to get married. But they didn’t realize that they were about to become instant celebrities.

Joining Snell’s daughters as witnesses were several dozen news reporters and photographers as they became the first same-sex couple to get married shortly after midnight on Dec. 29 at Portland City Hall. Photos of their wedding in the clerk’s office made their way from Maine to California. “We thought it was truly going to be a low-key night with Michael’s daughters,” Bridges said. “It didn’t turn out that way.”

More than 1,500 same-sex couples followed them in the year since it became legal for gay couples to wed in Maine, which along with Maryland and Washington states became the first to approve gay marriage by popular vote on Nov. 6, 2012.

It will be interesting to see in all these recent states how many couples marry each year once things settle down to normal.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Maine.

Ireland: Many Same Sex Marriages from Other Countries to Be Recognized

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Update: Just got this from Craig Dwyer at The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network:

Just to let you know that the statutory instrument enacted by the Government recently does not limit to those states and countries who passed civil marriage/ unions in 2013, but building on previous similar orders which now means that 57 forms of marriage and civil partnerships of gay and lesbian couples from 45 jurisdictions are now recognised in Ireland, and have the same rights and entitlements as Irish Civil Partnerships.

http://www.glen.ie/news-post.aspx?contentid=26903&name=marriages_from_four_countries_six_us_states__

Ireland - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Ireland’s Minister for Justice and Equality has just announced that the country will recognize marriages of same-sex couples in countries that legalized the practice this year.

Pink News reports:

The order means that couples married in the Australian Capital Territory, France, Brazil, New Zealand, Uruguay or the six US states that have legalised equal marriage in 2013, will have their marriages recognized. The order also means those with civil unions in Jersey or Colorado will also be recognized. Those with such marriages or civil partnerships will now be able to take advantage of rights and entitlements which apply to Irish Civil partnerships… Announcing the making of the order, Minister Shatter noted that “there will be further changes in 2014, not least the opening out of marriage to same-sex couples in England Wales. These will be recognised in future orders”.

It’s a great step forward for Ireland’s gay lesbian couples, but we wonder why it was limited to places that passed marriage equality or civil unions laws in 2013 only. So if you married in Chicago, your marriage will be recognized, but if you married in New York, it won’t? Strange.

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USA, Washington: 17% of Weddings Were Between Same Sex Couples

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

WashingtonAlmost a fifth of weddings in Washington State this last year were between same sex couples, and of those, 62% were lesbian couples.

The Huffington Post reports:

About 7,071 same-sex couples got married in Washington between December 6, 2012, and the most recent complete month of data, September 2013. There were 42,408 total marriages in the state during that time, according to the Washington State Department of Health. So far, most of Washington state’s same-sex marriages, 62 percent, were between two women. Washington is one of 15 states plus the District of Columbia where gay marriage is legal, but few have the kind of detailed data Washington released this week, in part because gay marriage is so new in most places.

That’s about the same number of couples who married in California during the brief window before Prop 8 in 2008. But now couples can take their time and plan their weddings the way they want them.

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How 2013 Became The Greatest Year In Gay Rights History

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Gay WeddingAny day now, the New Mexico Supreme Court may grant same-sex couples the right to get married.

At this point, such a ruling may not seem like such a big deal. Prior to last year’s elections, gays and lesbians had a civil right to marry in only six states. Now, they have it in 16.

“This year represented the true tipping point,” says Eric Marcus, author of Making Gay History. “We’ve reached a moment in history where it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to go back.”

This has been “the gayest year in gay history,” in the words of Fred Sainz, vice president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, and not only because individual states and the U.S. Supreme Court have extended greater protections to gay couples.

Authored By Alan Greenblatt – See the Full Story at WABE

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USA, Illinois: No House Vote on Marriage Equality This Year?

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Illinois Representative Greg HarrisRep. Greg Harris, the House sponsor of the marriage equality bill, is considering holding the bill until next year.

On Top Magazine reports:

But now Harris says he’s considering keeping the vote on hold until next January, though he has not ruled out a vote during the upcoming veto session, which runs October 22-24 and November 5-7, though the bill is more likely to come up near the session’s end. “I think we need to continue to work with folks in their districts and let them know how things have change,” Harris told Chicago gay weekly Windy City Times, a reference to the federal government’s recent decision to recognize for the purpose of benefits gay couples in a marriage but not those in a civil union. Illinois is one of four states where gay couples can enter a civil union but not a marriage.

Hopefully, there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes that were not seeing. Because without it, voting in 2013 or 2014 won’t make much of a difference.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Illinois.

Australia, ACT: District to Legalize Marriage Equality By End of 2013

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Australia MapAustralia’s Capital Territory plans to legalize gay marriage by the end of the year.

Joe.My.God reports:

The Labor administration of the territory will put forward a bill that will enable gay marriage, following a decade-long attempt to legislate in the area. Seven years ago, the John Howard-led government used its federal powers to overturn an ACT move to allow same-sex civil unions. The ACT has since reinstated civil unions. The legislation is set to be an early test for the prime minister elect, Tony Abbott, who has consistently opposed same-sex marriage but has held out the prospect of a vote on the issue at some time in the future. [Chief minister Kathy] Gallagher told Guardian Australia that she didn’t expect the Coalition to intervene to prevent gay marriage in the ACT. “We’ve been pretty clear on this issue for some time now and there’s overwhelming community support for this,” she said.

So it looks like we’re down to the same strategy in Australia as the United States – go state-by-state until we can make further progress federally.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Croatia: Government Plans to Recognize Same Sex Relationships This Year

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Croatia

from Google Maps

Gay and lesbian couples in Croatia should get legal recognition later this year.  The Anna Lindh Foundation reports:

Croatia is drawing up a law on same-sex civil unions to provide equal rights to them as to heterosexual married couples, possibly including adoption rights. The announcement was made on Friday by Public Administration Minister Arsen Bauk in an interview with the Zagreb newspaper Jutarnij List. Same-sex couples will enjoy all the rights and responsibilities of any other married couple, such as inheritance from a deceased partner, social security benefits and tax deductions, but their union will “not be called ‘marriage’, but ‘life partnership'”, said the minister. He went on to say that the ceremonies would be held in town councils, as is the case with marriages.

It’s a step in the right direction. In the meantime the Catholic Church is pushing for an explicit ban on marriage equality.

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USA: Cindy McCain Thinks GOP Will Back Marriage Equality By 2016

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Cindy McCain - NoH8Senator John McCain’s wife Cindy, who has long declared her support for gay marriage, thinks the GOP will follow suit within 3 years. Joe.My.God reports:

“You’re going to see a major turn,” McCain said. “By the next presidential election I think this will be an issue that will be very much agreed on by both parties.” McCain said she was convinced that her husband will eventually endorse gay marriage. “He hears from his own daughters and his own children and from me a little bit about this,” she said. “But it’s also okay to disagree, but do it in a manner that’s respectful.” “We have different views,” She added. “We have raucous dinner table conversations and we encourage that. In fact you have to be tough to survive at our table.”

Given the GOP’s stubborn refusal to back off, at all, on their social issues campaign this year after a stinging loss last November, I’m not convinced. But a boy can dream…

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New Jersey, USA: Garden State Equality Leader – Marriage Equality Will Be Legal Here Soon

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

New JerseyGarden State Equality chairman Troy Stevenson is confident Marriage Equality will become the law of the land soon in New Jersey, according to CBS:

“We’re going to be targeting specific legislators and getting them to see what their constituents believe,” Stevenson said. Stevenson said his organization is working with key lawmakers on the issue, and gay marriage could be legal in the Garden State by the end of 2013.

In fact, a December poll showed New Jersey supports marriage equality by a 17 point margin, 53% to 36%. Now if they can just get it past that pesky Chris Christie…

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