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UK, Northern Ireland: Marriage Equality Rejected by Assembly 51-43

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Northern Ireland - google maps

from Google Maps

The Catholic Church got its way again in Northern Ireland, where the Assembly, led by the DUP, once again rejected a marriage equality bill.

Pink News reports:

It is the third time the assembly has voted down a same-sex marriage motion in 18 months, with stiff opposition from DUP and some UUP members. The motion had been tabled by six MLAs, from the Alliance, Sinn Fein and Green parties, but its passage was deemed unlikely after DUP tabled a petition of concern, hindering cross-party efforts to pass it. MLAs from the Social Democratic, NI21 and Labour parties also backed the motion, while the sole UKIP and Traditional Unionist Voice MLAs voted against. Two Alliance MLAs, Judith Cochrane and Trevor Lunn,voted against the motion despite their party supporting it.

This despite a poll last year showing 57% support marriage equality in the country.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Northern Ireland, UK.

UK, Northern Ireland: Assembly Will Debate Marriage Equality

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Northern Ireland - google maps

from Google Maps

Northern Ireland is getting ready to at least discuss marriage equality.

Pink News reports:

The Northern Ireland Assembly will debate equal marriage on 29 April in a motion filed by several MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly)…. The motion states: “That this Assembly notes that other jurisdictions on these islands have moved forward with equal marriage rights for same-sex couples; believes that all couples, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should have the same legal entitlement to marry”.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that has not yet approved marriage equality, and even Ireland to the south has planned a referendum for next year. But the DUP has steadfastly blocked every attempt – will this time be any different?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Northern Ireland.

USA, Virginia: Two LGBT Bills Killed in Assembly

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

VirginiaTwo Virginia Assembly committees killed two Pro LGBT bills, including a marriage equality proposal.

Metro Weekly reports:

In the Senate, the Committee on General Laws and Technology took up SB248, introduced by Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-City of Richmond, Henrico, Hanover, Charles City counties), to prohibit discrimination in state employment. The bill was nearly identical to a similar measure that passed both the committee and the full Senate by a bipartisan 24-16 vote last year, and would essentially have made permanent an executive order prohibiting such discrimination that Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) issued just hours after being sworn in on Jan. 11. But a contingent of seven right-wing Republicans on the committee took advantage of the Senate’s temporary makeup to defeat the bill. Normally, the Committee on General Laws, at full strength, has 15 members. But a vacancy on the committee due to the election of former Sen. Mark Herring as Attorney General left the committee with only 14 members, eight of them Republicans.

The House measure, HB939, introduced by Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax Co.), would have repealed a Virginia state statute banning same-sex marriage. Notably, it would not have repealed the Marshall-Newman Amendment to the Virginia Constitution that voters approved in 2006, but only the underlying law prohibiting marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships and other instruments that recognize same-sex relationships. HB939 was assigned to the House Committee on Courts of Justice, from which Chairman David Albo (R-Fairfax Co.) assigned it to the 10-member subcommittee on civil law. The measure failed on a 5-4 vote, despite support from Del. Greg Habeeb (R-Salem, Roanoke, Montgomery, Craig counties) and Del. Manoli Loupassi (R-City of Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield counties), who voted in favor of continuing the discussion by allowing the full committee to consider the bill.

And so, marriage equality in Virginia may come down to the court decision, just as it has in Utah and Oklahoma.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Virginia.

USA, New Jersey: Third GOP Assembly Member Joins Marriage Equality Side

Friday, October 4th, 2013

New Jersy GOP Assemblyman Chrs A. BrownMarriage equality proponents in New Jersey picked up a third Republican vote in the assembly, as Assemblyman Chris A. Brown changed sides.

Edge Boston reports:

During a legislative debate on Wednesday, Assemblyman Chris A. Brown said he would vote to override Christie’s veto on marriage equality. Polticiker writes this “the first time during the lead up to an override vote that a lawmaker who voted against the same-sex marriage bill last year publically announced they would change their vote. “This is a decision I came to on my own,” Brown said. “I just believe when it comes to civil rights, I don’t believe it’s appropriate for the public to vote on it.”

Pressure is building in New Jersey for marriage equality – which will get there first, the courts or the legislature?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Jersey.

Nevada, USA: Teen Testifies for Marriage Equality for His Two Moms

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Riley RobertsIn a moving speech before the Nevada Assembly yesterday, a teenager spoke out for marriage equality. Towleroad.com reports:

18-year-old Riley Roberts delivered an emotional, compelling speech before the Nevada Assembly yesterday before it voted 27-14 to pass a resolution advancing efforts toward marriage equality in the state. With, anger, love, and some tears, Roberts moved the room, and he will move you.

You can hear the raw emotion, love and anger in his voice – it’s very moving as he defends his lesbian parents.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Nevada.

Nevada, USA: Assembly Passes Repeal of Marriage Equality Ban

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Nevada mapThe legislature just completed the first part of a three part, multi-year process to repeal its constitutional ban on marriage equality. Think Progress reports:

Today the Nevada Assembly voted 27-14 to approve a constitutional amendment that would repeal the 2002 amendment banning same-sex marriage. Combined with the Senate approval from April, this completes the amendment’s first phase of approval. Both chambers must approve the measure a second time during 2015 legislative session, following which it will be advanced to the ballot in November, 2016.

Only one republican voted for the measure. LGBTQ Nation reports:

The final vote ran along party lines with Republicans opposing. Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, voted with the Democrats for her mother, whom she recently revealed is gay. For many Republicans who voted against the measure in both the Senate and Assembly, personal beliefs and faith were at the center of their opposition. “I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God – that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children,” Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, R-Mesquite, said. “My respect for others and their beliefs do not cause me to abandon my commitment to the truth which I understand.”

Voters enacted the ban in 2002. Now they will likely have a chance to undo it, 14 years later.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Nevada.

Nevada, USA: Marriage Equality Ban Repeal Passes Assembly Committee

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Nevada mapA bill that takes the first step toward repeal of Nevada’s ban on gay marriage took another step today. RGJ.com reports:

SRJ13 was approved Thursday by the Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. Next up is a full vote by the lower house, where passage is expected. It was previously approved by the Senate. The measure repeals language in the Nevada Constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Protection of Marriage Act was ratified by voters in 2002.

If all goes well, Nevada could recognize marriage equality by 2015.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Nevada.

Nevada, USA: Assembly Takes Up Marriage Equality Bill

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Nevada mapLast month the Nevada State Senate passed a bill that would start the process to repeal the state’s ban on gay marriage. This week, the Assembly took up the bill. Equality on Trial reports:

In the midst of all these exciting developments, while the state of Nevada may not currently be making national news on the marriage equality front, lawmakers and LGBT advocates there are busy setting the groundwork for a campaign to win marriage rights in the state for same-sex couples. Last night, the Nevada Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections took up Senate Joint Resolution 13, a proposed bill that would repeal Nevada’s constitutional ban on marriage equality and replace it with language supporting equal marriage rights.

During yesterday’s committee meeting, according to the Las Vegas Sun, Committee chairman James Ohrenschall imposed a strict two-minute time limit on all testimony. Opponents of marriage equality–who had said they were given insufficient time to express their views when the Senate took up the bill–were allowed to testify before supporters. One man said that marriage equality would lead to an increase in the rate of diseases; another said than it would indicate the state was “devolving.”

The legislature only has three more weeks left in its bi-annual schedule. If the bill passes this year, it must be passed again in 2015, and then go before Nevada voters in 2016.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Nevada.

Northern Ireland: Assembly Defeats Marriage Equality Bill, As Expected

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Northern Ireland - google maps

from Google Maps

After the country’s largest party basically issued a veto, the marriage equality bill was expected to fail. But still, it’s sad to actually see it happen. LGBTQ Nation reports:

A bid to legalize same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland was defeated in the Assembly on Monday by a vote of 53 to 42. A motion by the Sinn Fein party called for marriage equality “for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation,” and would have provided religious exemptions allowing the freedom of churches to practice and define marriage as they choose.

Pink News explains the “veto”:

The legislation was destined to fail, as late last week, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) once again blocked progress on same-sex marriage legislation in the country, having effectively vetoed a motion to legalise it through a ‘petition of concern’. A petition of concern requires a motion to have a majority of support from unionist and nationalist Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in order to progress. As the DUP has the most MLAs of any party their petition is effectively a veto against same-sex marriage.

Maybe Northern Ireland will do the right thing once all the other governments around it have gotten there first.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

France: Assembly Passes Marriage Equality Bill 331-225

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Update: guess those protests weren’t so peaceful after all. Pink News reports:

Anti-equal marriage protesters faced up to riot police in the centre of paris on Tuesday evening, sparking fierce protest, as France’s Parliament voted to legalise equal marriage. Protests turned violent, as stones, bottles, and iron bars were used as weapons against riot police deployed to protect parliament. The police eventually used teargas against the violent protesters.

Paris, FranceIt’s official – the Assembly just passed the marriage equality bill with the Senate’s amendments – the bill now goes to President Hollande for his signature. Gay Star News reports:

The ‘Marriage for All’ bill will now be sent to President Francois Hollande, who has 15 days to sign it into law. Anti-gay marriage opponents, who have criticized the French government for pushing the issue too firmly and too quickly, have one last way to stop it. The center-right opposition party UMP has vowed to appeal to the Constitutional Council (CC). If the UMP can gather 60 senators or deputies, the CC can annul or veto the bill if it rules it unconstitutional. It will likely only delay Hollande signing marriage equality into law by a month at most.

Joe.My.God reports that the head of the Assembly ordered rowdy protesters out just before the vote. The video:

Apparently today’s protest was more peaceful than other recent rallies against the bill. Yahoo news reports:

As night fell in Paris demonstrations by opponents of the law remained peaceful. Outside the parliament building on Paris’ Left Bank there appeared to be more police than protestors. Claire Baron, 41, a mother of two, said that she “will oppose the bill until the end. “I’ll keep going to the protests, I don’t give in. The bill is not effective yet, the president of the Republic must listen to our voices. We are here to defend family values. Children need a mom and a dad,” Baron said.

The leader of the anti-marriage equality movement, meanwhile, tried to blame the violence on the pro marriage equality side. Joe.My.God has a translation of her tweet:

Google Translate: “Is not it a problem that the passage of a law arouses much hatred and violence among its supporters?”

In other twitter news, the hashtag “Il Faut Tuer Les Homosexuels” was trending today. Gay Star News reports:

A Twitter hashtag loosely translated as ‘Homosexuals must be killed’ is going viral before France’s National Assembly votes on gay marriage today (23 April). It is unknown where ‘Il Faut Tuer Les Homosexuels’ started from, but thousands of social networking users are tweeting about the trending topic. As Yagg.com points out, many are pointing to a user called Mamadou Neutron for the original tweet.

And the Advocate reports that the protests aren’t over:

Still, several antigay groups, some affiliated with the Catholic Church and other religious or conservative organizations, have declared that they will continue a legal battle by filing a legal challenge with the Constitutional Council, CNN reports. Tensions remain high as continued protests are also planned throughout the country as a reaction to the vote.

Same sex weddings in France may begin as soon as June.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in France.