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Nicaragua Outlaws Marriage Equality, Same Sex Adoption

Friday, April 10th, 2015

NicaraguaNicaragua has rejected same-sex marriage and adoption by gay single people or couples. The Family Code establishes that marriage is defined as ‘between a man and a woman’. It also ensures only opposite-sex couples, foreign or Nicaraguan, can adopt.

Gay couples will also be banned from using fertility treatments to get pregnant and will not be entitled to social security protection or inheritance in the case of loss of a spouse.

This is one of the biggest step backs for a Central American country in recent years, taking effect yesterday (8 April).

Authored By Joe Morgan – See the Full Story at Gay Star News

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Image via Google Maps

Utah Supremes Lift Hold on Same Sex Adoptions

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Same sex couples can now adopt in the state of Utah.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The Utah Supreme Court is lifting its hold on adoptions by same-sex couples. The high court halted all such adoptions in May as the state appealed a federal ruling striking down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. But earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed that decision to stand, effectively legalizing same-sex unions in Utah and 10 other states. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Thursday’s decision to lift the hold comes in the cases of four adoptions sought by wedded same-sex couples, and will presumably allow those adoptions and others to proceed.

I wasn’t sure I would live long enough to see marriage equality come to Utah, and now this!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.

Father’s Day Concert for LGBT Adoption

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Just got this from one of our wonderful vendors, Beth at La Sirena:

My band is going to be playing for this incredibly wonderful and worthwhile event for the city of West Hollywood next Sunday on Fathers Day. The event we’re playing for next Sunday, on Fathers Day, is all about uniting children who are languishing in our Foster Care System, and placing them, hopefully for adoption, with loving LBGTQ homes.

Fathers Day 2014

If you’re in LA or WeHo, check it out on Sunday!

USA, Michigan: Day Seven of the Marriage Equality Trial

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

MichiganLike Marg Regnerus before him, Loren Marks, an associate professor at Louisiana State University, acknowledged that more research would be needed to validate his anti-gay views.

Freep.com reports:

[Attorney Carol] Stanyar was questioning Loren Marks, an associate professor at Louisiana State University, who wrote an article criticizing a statement from the American Psychological Association about the children of gay parents. Marks, in his article, was challenging the statement that “not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.” Marks, who testified for most of the day, said he was struck by the absolutist tone of that statement and set out to test it, finding that research was inadequate to make such a claim. Stanyar noted that there was a time when scientists believed the world was flat and that in the 1600s, during the Salem witch trials, some scientists would have believed in witches. Marks replied that opinion is sometimes expressed as empirical evidence. Marks said his article was not really about gay and lesbian parents so much as seeking truth and that more research is needed before anyone can make sweeping statements.

Two more days until the trial ends. How quickly can we expect a ruling?

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USA, Michigan: Day 3 of the Marriage Equality Trial

Friday, February 28th, 2014

MichiganYesterday was day three of the trial for marriage equality in Michigan.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Gary Gates of the Williams Institute at UCLA law school co-authored a book on demographics of the gay and lesbian population. He’s used census data to study the characteristics of same-sex couples. Gates is expected to testify Thursday in Detroit federal court. Detroit-area nurses Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer are asking a judge to overturn a 2004 constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage. They say it violates their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

A group of religious leaders plans to rally for marriage equality in Kalamazoo tonight.

WWMT reports:

Friday night Kalamazoo area religious leaders will rally together in support of marriage equality in Michigan… Friday night’s rally will take place at Bronson Park at 6:00.

If anyone has been at the trial and wants to share their impressions, we’d love to hear from you.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Michigan.

USA, Michigan: Marriage Equality Trial, Day One

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

MichiganThe marriage equality lawsuit trial started in Michigan yesterday.

MLive has a recap:

The points for both sides of the debate are fairly simple. The state argues that voters made a rational decision in banning gay marriage “to encourage the raising of children by a man and a woman.” Attorneys for DeBoer and Rowse argue that numerous studies indicate same-sex parents are just as successful in raising healthy children as heterosexual parents.

Further, they argue, despite the 2004 vote, the law violates the couple’s civil rights. “It’s always mind boggling to me how people don’t look back in history at so many examples at other human rights battles and see a connection,” said Krista Contreras, 30 of Royal Oak, a gay marriage supporter who attended with her Vermont-married wife, Jami Contreras, 29. “At what point are people going to make that connection and understand that these are people and these are human rights.”

Protesters for both sides were outside the court house:

The day began with dozens of gay marriage opponents picketing the entrance to the federal courthouse in Detroit. Among them walked a smaller number of same-sex marriage supporters. “I peacefully protest in favor of Biblical marriage,” and “We support traditional marriage, one man-one woman,” were among the signs carried. The two groups protested peacefully without any clashes.

Many of the protesters came from Free Will Baptist Church in Ypsilanti. Gay marriage opponent Christine Weick, who drove to Detroit from Hopkins in southwest Michigan, became frustrated when she attended a hearing in October and was the lone dissenter. She said the wife of the pastor at Free Will Baptist Church saw a “frustrated” message she posted on Facebook and mobilized the congregation. “If it takes two weeks, I’ll be here every day,” Weick said Tuesday. “The Lord needs a voice.”

It’s a little sad that these folks have so much time to protest to try to block the rights of others.

The now-infamous Mark Regnerus is one of the state’s witnesses.

Time Magazine reports:

Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas, is among the state’s witnesses. In 2012, he published a study in an academic journal, saying young adults with a parent who had a same-sex relationship were more likely to experience unemployment and other social woes. He later acknowledged that his study didn’t look at children raised by stable same-sex couples.

And yet, even though his study has been widely discredited, it’s used again and again by marriage equity foes – because that’s all they have.

They also cited the oft-used “will of the majority”.

USA Today reports:

But during their opening statement, attorneys for the state argued that Michigan voters addressed this issue already — they banned gay marriage in 2004 — and their decision should stand. “This case is about one thing: the will of the people. … And the people of Michigan have already decided that marriage is one man and one woman,” said state attorney Kristin Heyse. “Plaintiffs may claim that voters were irrational or ignorant. That’s simply not the case … This was not the whim of a few, but the vote of a majority.”

And if the “majority” wanted to re-instate slavery? Or put the Japanese in internment camps? Or…?

Testimony will resume today. CBS Detroit reports:

A Stanford University professor is returning to the witness stand in a trial testing Michigan’s ban on gay marriage. Michael Rosenfeld will be cross-examined Wednesday in Detroit federal court. He says he’s looked at national census data of children living with same-sex parents and finds their progress through school is the same as kids with heterosexual parents. Two weeks have been set aside for testimony in a landmark trial that could overturn Michigan’s ban on gay marriage, the latest in a series of marriage-equality challenges across the country.

We have the facts and love on our side. They have nothing but half-baked studies, “tradition”, and a strong feeling of “eeeew” about LGBT Americans on theirs.

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Iowa, USA: State Supreme Court Rules in Landmark Gay Adoption Case

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

IowaThe Iowa state Supreme Court ruled that the state must issue birth certificates to same-sex couples showing both spouses as parents. Lambda Legal reports:

In the decision, Justice Wiggins wrote, “By naming the nonbirthing spouse on the birth certificate of a married lesbian couple’s child, the child is ensured support from that parent and the parent establishes fundamental legal rights at the moment of birth. Therefore, the only explanation for not listing the nonbirthing lesbian spouse on the birth certificate is stereotype or prejudice.”

“The Court meant what it said in the Varnum decision: same-sex couples and their families must be treated equally under the law,” said Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director in Lambda Legal’s Midwest Regional Office based in Chicago. “Same-sex couples and their children do not get marriage-lite. Marriage is marriage and equal is equal. We take for granted that a husband is the father of a child born to his wife through reproductive technology – regardless of whether he is his child’s genetic parent. The same marital protection for both parents’ relationships to their child holds true for same-sex couples and their children.”

Ironic that the GOP did everything they could to remove the justices who unanimously supported marriage equality. They were successful in a number of cases, and yet, once again, the Iowa Supreme Court has unanimously supported LGBT rights.

Find more articles and gay wedding resourcea in Iowa.

France: Final Vote Today on Marriage Equality Bill As Opposition Marches AGAIN

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

France marriage equality march mapThe French assembly is getting ready for its final vote on the marriage equality and marriage adoption bill. Towleroad reports:

The bill, which would also give same-sex couples the right to adopt, was approved in the Senate earlier this month. Since no amendments have been made during debate in the lower house, it will be the final vote on the legislation. The measure is expected to pass. The left, which includes President Francois Hollande’s governing Socialist Party, dominates the National Assembly, where the bill was approved by a large majority in February on its first reading. Hollande will have to sign the bill before it becomes law.

Joe.My.God reports that the opposition, Manif Pour Tous, plans yet another march tonight at 7 PM – see the map above.

Paris police are prepared for violence, deploying water cannons and the city ahead of the vote in March. Pink News reports:

Security is being stepped up around France’s National Assembly building in Paris ahead of a landmark equal marriage vote… Even for a country used to prominent public demonstrations, recent events have taken many people by surprise. Violent attacks against French gay citizens – such as Raphael Leclerc and Wilfred de Bruijn – have surged with several politicians also receiving threats.

Will these protests fade away once the bill becomes law and gay couples start to marry? Or will the violence continued escalate?

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USA: Supreme Court Rulings on Marriage Equality Cases Could Also Affect Gay Adoption

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

US Supreme CourtIntertwined in the marriage equality issue thoroughly before the US Supreme Court is the adoption issue – many same-sex couples are also raising adopted children, and at the same time a number of states also ban or make it very difficult for same-sex couples to adopt. The Press Herald reports:

The White House told the Supreme Court it favored same-sex marriage. So did dozens of big corporations, a host of political and legal heavyweights — and 9-year-old Austin Covey. “My dads take the best care of me and my brother,” Austin said in one of the many legal briefs submitted to court. “My family is no different than any other family.” In fact, his California family is different from most. Austin’s fathers, Joseph and Kevin Covey, are legally married. Yet because it’s a same-sex union, the federal government doesn’t recognize it under provisions of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, now under review by the Supreme Court.

The article also looks at the discredited Regenerus study:

The study, funded by conservative groups opposed to gay marriage, was widely criticized as a misleading “apples to oranges” comparison which didn’t examine how children fared who had been raised by stable same-sex couples. Regnerus has acknowledged this shortcoming, saying his survey pool contained very few such couples. In an article for Slate magazine, Regnerus wrote that he has no expertise about children currently being raised by gay parents, but he stood by his contention that a household with a married mom and dad is “the safest place for a kid.”

It’s this “the facts don’t matter” attitude that drives me nuts – or more accurately, “we already know the answer, so let’s change the facts to fit”. It’s the antithesis of the scientific method, and yet still is presented as fact to the public.

Why Marriage Equality Polarized France

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Paris, FranceMany assumed that France, with its secular culture and its comfort level with most things sexual, would pass marriage equality easily with little rancor. Instead, the country is seen some of the largest demonstrations against gay marriage in the world. The Global Post examines why:

Smelling blood after a bruising first year for President Francois Hollande, right-wing leaders have mobilised a fierce campaign. But sociologists argue that France’s social fabric and identity crisis also helps explain the ferocity of the debate… The divisions over gay marriage in France follow political lines, and the opposition has united against the bill, seizing an opportunity to pile pressure on an already embattled administration. “It was the first chance for the right-wing electorate to express their opposition to Francois Hollande’s presidency and (Prime Minister) Jean-Marc Ayrault’s government,” political analyst Jean-Yves Camus said. After Nicolas Sarkozy’s failed reelection bid and subsequent political retirement left France’s mainstream right in tatters, the opportunity was threefold for his UMP party, Camus said.

The Post also points to adoption as an issue:

Opinion polls have routinely indicated that while a majority of French people support gay marriage, a slight majority opposes adoption rights for homosexual couples. “It was clumsy of the government to initially suggest that the bill would also legalise medically assisted procreation” for homosexual couples, said Michel Wievorka, one of France’s most renowned sociologists.

In many ways, it seems a replay of what happened in the United States, when the American right decided to use gay marriage as a wedge issue against the left. It’s not so much that the politicians on the right are against marriage equality, Instead, they see it as an issue that can drive their base to the polls. And here I thought this was a uniquely American quality, using a social issue in such a divisive manner!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in France.