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USA: Nine Former Ex-Gay Leaders Join Campaign to Ban Conversion Therapy

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Gay RightsA group of former ex-gay leaders is joining NCLR to fight to ban the practice in the US.

Pink News reports:

Nine former leaders of the ‘ex-gay’ movement have published an open letter in support of the #BornPerfect campaign of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), which aims to ban ‘conversation therapy’ across the US within five years. The letter was signed by: Brad Allen, Michael Bussee and Yvette Cantu Schneider, formerly of Exodus International; Jeremy Marks, founder of Exodus Europe and Courage UK; Bill Prickett, founder of Coming Back; Tim Rymel and John J. Smid, formerly of Love in Action; Catherine Chapman, formerly of the Portland Fellowship; and Darlene Bogie, founder of Paraklete Ministries. “Together we represent more than half a century of experience, so few people are more knowledgeable about the ineffectiveness and harm of conversion therapy,” the letter reads in part.

Wow – the whole ex-gay thing is just falling to pieces.

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Slovakia Anti Gay Activists Push to Ban Marriage Equality

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Slovakia - Google MapsThere’s a movement afoot in Slovakia to ban gay marriage via a referendum.

Joe.My.God reports:

The constitutional definition of marriage, which some gay-right-advocates openly called a ban on same-sex marriages, does not go far enough, some conservative activists say, as they gather signatures to force a referendum that would make the laws even stronger. Behind the referendum initiative is the Alliance for Family (AZR), which declares itself a non-partisan and non-religious organisation and which emerged during the preparations for the September 2013 March for Life as an alliance of dozens of pro-family organisations. It has collected over 300,000 signatures under its petition, which needs to be signed by 350,000 citizens in order to be binding for the president to hold a referendum. The AZR hopes to achieve this aim by the end of this summer, the Sme daily reported. The referendum could possibly be held together with the November 15 municipal elections.

Does it surprise you to know that a group of Catholic Bishops are backing the petition?

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Tenth Circuit Rules Oklahoma Marriage Equality Ban Unconstitutional

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Oklahoma Marriage Equality Case in Legal LimboThe same panel that found Utah’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional just struck down the Oklahoma marriage equality ban.

The Advocate reports:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled Friday that Oklahoma’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional, and that couples should be able to wed. This is the second time a three-judge panel from the Denver-based court has found that a state’s ban is unconstitutional. In June, the same panel came to the same conclusion around Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. According to the Associated Press, Friday’s ruling is the first time a federal appellate court ruled that the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling striking down a section of the Defense of Marriage Act also meant that states could not deny same-sex couples the right to marry. As of now, marriages for same-sex couples both in Oklahoma and Utah will remain on hold. This is the 26th consecutive federal or state court ruling to come down on the side of marriage equality since the Windsor ruling in June 2013.

Woohoo! Closer and closer to the US Supreme Court…

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Macedonia Marriage Equality Ban Advanced By Conservative Majority

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Macedonia – Google mapsA Macedonia marriage equality ban was advanced by the Assembly, now with a two-thirds conservative majority.

Pink News reports:

The Macedonian Assembly has approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The governing conservatives began the process to amend the constitution today, following their April election victory, which netted enough seats to secure a two-thirds majority vote. The amendment would define marriage as exclusively a heterosexual union, between one man and one woman.

Another country marches backwards on LGBT rights.

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Jackson County Won’t Defend Missouri Marriage Equality Ban

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Missouri mapJackson County officials have indicated they won’t defend the state’s ban on marriage equality in a new lawsuit.

On Top Magazine reports:

Officials in Jackson County, Missouri said Monday they would not defend the state’s ban on gay marriage in a lawsuit filed by the Missouri chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) last week… According to Kansas City Public Media, Jackson County has decided against fighting the lawsuit. “The arc of history is to allow more marriages, not fewer, and I think ultimately that’s where we’re going as a nation,” said Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders. “I think courts may get there, though, before public opinion.” The lawsuit’s only named defendant is Robert Kelly, director of the Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds.

So I’m assuming the state will step in and defend it?

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California Conversion Therapy Ban Survives Challenge

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

California MapThe California conversion therapy ban survived a legal challenge as the US Supreme Court refused to take on the case.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for enforcement of a first-of-its-kind California law that bars psychological counseling aimed at turning gay minors straight. The justices turned aside a legal challenge brought by supporters of so-called conversion or reparative therapy. Without comment, they let stand an August 2013 appeals court ruling that said the ban covered professional activities that are within the state’s authority to regulate and doesn’t violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that California lawmakers properly showed that therapies designed to change sexual orientation for those under the age of 18 were outside the scientific mainstream and have been disavowed by most major medical groups as unproven and potentially dangerous.

One bit of good news on an otherwise dismal Supreme Court rulings day.

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Oklahoma Marriage Equality Still Faces Strong Opposition, Poll Says

Monday, June 30th, 2014

titleA new poll shows widespread opposition to Oklahoma marriage equality.

Tulsa World reports:

Two in three Oklahomans oppose gay marriage with areas of greater support for the issue found among Democrats, younger voters and urban area dwellers, according to an Oklahoma Poll. The poll, among 393 likely voters statewide, found that 66 percent answered that they either strongly oppose or somewhat oppose allowing same-sex couples to marry. The poll found that 58.1 percent of those asked said they strongly opposed gay marriage, while 8.1 percent were somewhat opposed to the issue.

Poll participant Susan Harrison of Sallisaw said she was strongly opposed to allowing same-sex couples to marry. “I’m a Christian and I believe what the Bible says, and it says it’s an abomination,” she said.

The marriage equality ban in the state was passed in 2004 with 76% support, so that’s still a 10 point drop over a decade.

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Indiana Marriage Equality Ban Struck Down By Federal Judge

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

IndianaThe Indiana marriage equality ban was just struck down by a federal judge. reports:

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young ruled that Indiana’s discriminatory ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Lambda Legal challenged the law on behalf of five couples seeking the freedom to marry in Indiana or recognition of a marriage from another state.

Judge Young writes: “The court has never witnessed a phenomenon throughout the federal court system as is presented with this issue. In less than a year, every federal district court to consider the issue has reached the same conclusion in thoughtful and thorough opinions – laws prohibiting the celebration and recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. It is clear that the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals based solely on the person they choose to love. In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as a marriage – not a same-sex marriage. These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such.”

Another domino falls.

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Gambia Plans to Ban the Gays

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Gambia - Apple MapsThe poison seeds of Scott Lively and his ilk continue to find fertile ground in Africa, as Gambia plans to ban all gay people and groups.

Gay Star News reports:

The Gambia has revealed a new bill to ban all homosexuals and charities from the country. Secretary General and Minister for Presidential Affairs Momodou Sabally has said a bill has been submitted to parliament saying it will ‘strengthen’ Gambian culture…

If the bill passes in parliament, it is likely it will be supported by President Yahya Jammeh. He has proclaimed ‘war’ on gay rights and has branded homosexuals as vermin that should be squashed like mosquitos. Jammeh said his country would defend its sovereignty and Islamic beliefs, and has threatened to ‘behead’ LGBTI people.

I hope the American Pastors who went to these African Nations to preach hatred of gays and lesbians will be brought to account when heads start to roll in Gambia.

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Wisconsin Marriage Equality Updates: Pizzeria Covers Newlyweds’ Bill; ACLU Files for Injunction Against Ban

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Wisconsin MapA couple more updates out of Wisconsin this morning.

First off, a Pizzeria picked up the tab for a gay couple celebrating their wedding. reports:

A gay Wisconsin couple likely weren’t expecting to have the day they had last Friday. First, a judge ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Second, they were married hours later. Third, the pizzeria they went to for their wedding dinner covered their entire bill. Christopher Graham and Andrew Capelle posted a photo on Facebook of their receipt from the Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe with a message thanking the staff: Yesterday, my husband and I could legally get married in Wisconsin. After our ceremony (and staying to witness several others) we stopped in last night for dinner to celebrate. When the check came, our server, Melissa, told us that our bill had been taken care of by the staff.

How sweet is that?

In other news, the ACLU has filed a demand for a permanent injunction against the marriage equality ban.

Joe.My.God reports:

The ACLU yesterday filed the requested demand for a permanent injunction against the enforcement of Wisconsin’s marriage ban. Defendants Scott Walker and J.B. Van Hollen, in their official capacities,and their officers, agents, servants, employees and attorneys, and all those acting in concert with them, are permanently enjoined from enforcing art. XIII, S 13 of the Wisconsin Constitution and any Wisconsin statutory provisions limiting marriage to different-sex couples, including those in Wis. Stat. ch. 765, so as to deny same-sex couples the same rights to marry that are provided to different-sex couples or to deny same-sex couples lawfully married in Wisconsin or in other jurisdictions the same rights, protections, obligations and benefits of marriage under Wisconsin law that are provided to different-sex couples.

Could marriage equality be here to stay in Wisconsin?

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