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Could Tiny Norfolk Island Be Next for Marriage Equality?

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Norfolk Island

The self-governing Australian territory us considering a bill to legalize gay marriage.

Gay Star News reports:

At 10.30 today, Sydney time, a bill to create legal same-sex marriages was tabled in the parliamentary Assembly of the autonomous Australian territory of Norfolk Island – putting it on a course to become the first part of Australia where same-sex couples will be able to legally marry. The bill was put forward by Norfolk Island Assembly member Hayden Evans and aims to allow Australian same-sex couples to marry on their home soil rather than having to travel overseas.

‘Over the years, gay and lesbian Norfolk Islanders have made a really important contribution to our community and I want to recognize this by giving them equality and dignity in return,’ Evans said. ‘That’s why I am tabling a draft Bill to allow same-sex couples to commit to each other through marriage and have the same rights and recognition heterosexual couples have. If the bill becomes law it will showcase to the world that Norfolk Island is an accepting and supportive community where everyone is valued.’

Norfolk Island would be the third South Pacific same sex wedding destination, by my calculations, after Hawaii and New Zealand.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources on Norfolk Island.

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Kenya Considers “Stone the Gays” Bill

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Kenya - Google Maps

From Google Maps

More bad news out of Africa as yet another country considers a draconian anti-gay bill.

Pink News reports:

A new Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been submitted by the Republican Liberty Party in the National Assembly. It would introduce harsh punishments for homosexuality, with life imprisonment or the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’.

The bill’s author, Edward Onwong’a Nyakeriga, said: “The petition aims at providing a comprehensive and enhanced legislation to protect the cherished culture of the people of Kenya, legal, religious and traditional family values against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Kenya.

It’s a scary thing to see people animated by such unjustified hatred toward gay people. Any US Pastors made the trip to Kenya recently? Interestingly, the article also notes that Polygamy is now legal in Kenya – for straights.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

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Croatia Civil Partnerships Bill Passed 89-16

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

CroatiaParliament passed the new Croatia civil partnerships bill by a lopsided majority Tuesday.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The Eastern European country of Croatia on Tuesday approved a law granting civil partnerships for same-sex couples. Croatia-flagThe Life Partnership Act, approved in the Croatian parliament by a vote of 89-16, grants same-sex couples many of the same rights as marriage, with the exception of adoption. Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic proposed the legislation, saying he was determined to establish legal rights for same-sex couples.

It’s a great step forward for the country’s LGBT community, but it’s not marriage, and once again adoption proves to be a sticking point…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

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US Virgin Islands Marriage Equality Bill Introduced

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

USVI Senator Judi BuckleyThere’s some surprising movement on US Virgin Islands marriage equality this week. reports:

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

The Virgin Islands Daily News reports Senator Judi Buckley of the U.S. Virgin Islands has proposed a new bill that would allow people in the islands’ jurisdiction to marry. Until now there has been now proposal of such kind, but Buckley says this felt like the “right time” to introduce the bill, given the ongoing action on gay marriage in the U.S. The senator states that while she may not be still be in office by the time a decision is made on the bill (her term ends in 2015), she is happy to have started a conversation.

One step forward for equality in the Caribbean.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the US Virgin Islands.

Australia Marriage Equality Bill to Be Introduced by New Senator

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Australia MapSenator David Leyonhjelm plans to introduce a bill to recognize marriage equality.

Gay Star News reports:

Liberal Democratic Party David Leyonhjelm plans to move quickly to fulfill an election promise to push for same-sex marriage, with reports saying he will move forward with his own bill on the issue. Leyonhjelm is one of 8 senators from new parties that did not hold seats in the Australian Senate before July this year of who the Australian Government needs 7 to pass legislation if it is opposed by the opposition Labor and Greens parties. Leyonhjelm, a libertarian, had announced he planned to work closely in the Senate with Family First Senator Bob Day, a Christian conservative opponent of same-sex marriage.

Not sure if this will go anywhere with conservatives controlling the government, but it’s great to see some movement on the issue at the national level.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

It’s Baaaack… the Kansas Right to Discriminate Bill Returns

Monday, July 7th, 2014

KansasThe zombie armies of the religious right are mounting another attack, planning to revive the failed Right to Discriminate bill in the state in January.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Same-sex marriage opponents argue that Kansas should shield their religious liberties before the state’s ban falls. The prospect is possible after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which also has jurisdiction over Kansas, struck down Utah’s ban last month. The Rev. Terry Fox, a prominent Southern Baptist minister in Wichita and a leader in getting voters to approve Kansas’ gay marriage ban in 2005, said he and other pastors are determined to get legislators to take up the issue after reconvening in January. The Kansas Catholic Conference also views additional legal protections as vital. “We are not going to let it die. We are very committed,” Fox said. “The Body of Christ is a powerful movement when it comes together.”

Will it fare any better this time around? Expect to hear the phrase “Hobby Lobby” used incessantly during the debate.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Kansas.

Finland Marriage Equality Bill Rejected – Again

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Finland – Google MapsA Finland marriage equality bill was once again rejected in parliament.

Gay Star News reports:

Finland once again has proven to be the hold out among the Nordic countries, voting against same-sex marriage for the second time. The parliament’s legal affairs committee has rejected a bid to legislate for equal marriage. The vote was 10 against and six in support. This means the bill will now go to be discussed by the whole legislature… A full sitting parliament will now consider the bill at some point after September. After the previous attempt to introduce same-sex marriage in Finland, a petition gathered more than 166,000 signatures to force parliament to discuss the motion.

It’s amazing to me that countries with huge majorities in favor of marriage equality – Finland, Ireland, Australia – so far seem unable to bring themselves to pass it. What are they afraid of?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

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Croatia Civil Partnerships Bill to Get Vote in July

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014


from Google Maps

The long-awaited Croatia civil partnerships bill will finally get a vote next month.

Pink News reports:

Yesterday the government finally greenlit the final draft of the Life Partnership Act, which was first announced by Prime Minister Zoran Milanovi\0x0107 over two years ago. The bill will grant more legal rights to same-sex couples than they currently have, recognising their unions, but not granting adoption rights, or marriage status. According to Balkan Insight, Milanovi\0x0107 said legislation “is not offensive to anyone”, adding: “It’s a humane law, an inclusive and not an exclusive law.” It is reportedly set to go before Parliament in July, before the summer break.

It’s a big step in the right direction. But marriage equality would be better.

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Italy’s Government Will Debate Italian Civil Unions in September

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Italy - Google Maps

from Google Maps

The Parliament will begin debate on a proposed Italian civil unions law in September.

The Local reports:

Italy’s government will begin debating a law on civil unions in September, a move that could give gay couples the same rights as heterosexual married ones, Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has announced. Renzi was quoted in La Repubblica on Tuesday saying “gay rights will be the same as those for married heterosexual couples.” In a move the newspaper described as the “rainbow revolution”, gay couples could be entitled to benefits including inheritance guarantees, welfare assistance and be able to claim a deceased partner’s pension.

Will the Pope and the Vatican stand in the way? Pope Francis has seemed to indicate on several occasions that the church could accept civil unions.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Italy.

Vietnam Gay Rights Bill Derailed

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Vietnam - google maps

from Google Maps

A Vietnam gay rights bill that would have given some rights to same sex couples has been dropped.

Gay Star News reports:

Vietnamese LGBTI activists are disappointed that the government has backed down on plans to legally recognize the property rights of same-sex couples with a bill to rewrite the country’s marriage laws amended at the last moment to exclude them. During a 27 May session of Vietnam’s National Assembly the Committee for Social Affairs revised the Draft Law on Marriage and Family to remove its Article 16 which would have provided some legal recognition of same-sex relationships for the first time. It also placed language in the draft law that would not ban same-sex marriages but simply ignore them legally. ‘The State does not recognize marriage between same-sex people,’ the draft bill now states.

It’s sad – Vietnam was showing promising signs of maybe being the first country in Asia to recognize same sex marriage.

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