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UK: Couple Sues Government for Delay Converting Civil Partnership to Marriage

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Big BenA UK couple is not happy that they may have to wait an extra year before their civil partnership can become a marriage.

Gay Star News reports:

A British couple is to take legal action over the delay in being able to turn their civil partnership into a marriage. While the first gay couples will be able to marry on 29 March, those already in civil partnerships will have to wait until the end of the year. Paul and Michael Atwal-Brice have said they have waited long enough, giving formal notification to the government they will be taking legal action. They hope a judge will rule the government has failed to implement section nine of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) act, which allows conversions to take place.

Seriously, it does seem to be taking the UK government long enough to implement the new gay marriage law, let alone the extra time it is taking for converting existing civil partnerships. Does the UK just have an exceptionally hidebound bureaucracy? Or…?

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

USA, Utah: Gays Can File Taxes Jointly; ACLU Files Suit to Protect Marriages

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Utah MapWe have a couple new stories out of Utah this morning. First off, in a surprise move, the state Tax Commission said they will allow married gay and lesbian couples to file their taxes jointly this year.

Joe.My.God reports:

Utah same-sex couples legally married in the Beehive State or any other state may file joint state income tax returns, the Utah State Tax Commission announced Thursday. It is the latest — and apparently final — tax guideline on the issue, at least for 2013 returns. Previously, the Utah Tax Commission had issued a policy statement saying it would not allow joint filing of state returns by gay or lesbian couples married legally in any other state. That was before a federal judge struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage but after the Internal Revenue Service had announced it would allow joint filing by same-sex couples married legally anywhere, regardless of their state of residence. The Utah tax agency did not immediately explain its reversal Thursday.

Next up, the ACLU is filing a class-action lawsuit to protect the legality of all the same-sex weddings performed this last month.

Equality on Trial reports:

The ACLU of Utah itself had solicited emails from same-sex couples whose marriages became legally in doubt after the stay. Now, there’s official confirmation that a new lawsuit will be filed, likely in “less than a week”: “When we announced Jan. 9 that we were seeking plaintiffs, that really was the beginning stages of planning and thinking of a lawsuit and after January 9th we did hear from hundreds of people,” said John Mejia, the legal director of the ACLU of Utah. Mejia said it’s not a matter of if, but when they file a suit. There’s also a question of what the plaintiffs should get.

In other Utah news, the Star Tribune reports that of the approximately 2,700 calls, emails, and letters sent to the Governor’s office as same-sex couples were marrying, two thirds supported marriage equality:

More than 2,700 calls, emails and letters flooded the Utah governor’s office in the days and weeks after a surprise ruling legalized gay marriage in the state… From the day the marriage ban was struck down through Jan. 15, Herbert received about 1,800 phone calls, letters and emails from those generally supporting of same-sex marriage, according to the governor’s office. Some of the messages did not necessarily endorse same-sex marriage but implored the governor to drop the legal fight. Another 900 messages were from opponents of gay marriage. Many said they felt their votes had been invalidated and their religious views ignored. A review of roughly 100 of the letters and phone call transcripts Thursday by The Associated Press showed several people contacted Herbert’s office more than once. Other messages came from advocacy groups or apparent social media campaigns to contact the governor en masse.

Seth & MichaelOver the Advocate, they’re profiling the first a couple to marry in the state.

Meet Seth Anderson, a social historian, and Michael Ferguson, a Ph.D. candidate in bioengineering. You know them as the first gay couple to get married in Utah. Anderson leads us through the couple’s journey from their first date to their wedding day to the aftermath of having their marriage invalidated and their hope that the 1,300 same-sex marriages in Utah will be recognized not only by the federal government but also by their home state.

And finally, LGBTQ Nation reports that Utah is paying outside attorneys $300,000 to help defend the ban:

Utah will spend $300,000 to bring in a team of three outside attorneys to help defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban before a federal appeals court. The Utah Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday it has chosen Gene Schaerr of a Washington, D.C., law firm to lead the legal team. Schaerr has handled dozens of cases before federal appeals court, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a news release.

Looking back over the last year, it’s an amazing change. Here we are, now fighting for marriage equality rights in Oklahoma and Utah, with a number of other cases in conservative states ready to come to a head. Stunning.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.

TV Producer Looking for Gay Married Couples

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Gay WeddngJust got this from producer Jonathan Tanzman:

Are you a gay couple thrilled to be already officially married?? Did you have an amazing wedding and want to share your story? If so, we want to hear from you!

A Major Cable Network and a Major Television Studio are now casting gay couples that are already legally married willing to share their fabulous wedding story with a gay couple about to be legally married. You and your partner will star in your own television segment all about your amazing wedding experience. If you would like to be a part of this extraordinary television experience, please contact Jonathan Tanzman ASAP at

Be sure to include: 2 photos of you and your husband; location, contact number, and a little bit about your wedding.

Please get back to him if you know anyone who qualifies – they need folks by Friday.


–Scott & Mark, GMW

USA, Oregon: Adorable Gay Couple of 60 Years Crosses River to Marry

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Gay Couple 60 Years

photo by OPB

60 years! Mark and I’ve been together for 21 – these guys been together three times as long. Amazing.

OPB reports:

Eric Marcoux and Eugene Woodworth have been together since they the day they met in Chicago in 1953. “I am here today to be legally married to Eugene Woodworth, with whom I have had an intimate deeply committed relationship for a little over sixty years,” Marcoux says. Marcoux is 83 years old and Woodworth is 85.

They can’t marry in Oregon, where a constitutional amendment outlaws same-sex marriage. Still, when same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington last year, they didn’t rush across the state line to get married. “We wanted to have it in Oregon,” Woodworth explains.

Since then, however, Woodworth has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and has been given only weeks to live. They’re getting married today with the hope that Marcoux might be eligible to receive social security benefits as the surviving spouse.

In a nutshell, this is why the piecemeal approach to marriage equality is so painful for so many couples. We’ve see the same thing New Mexico, where a judge allowed a couple with a terminally ill partner to marry, and in Illinois, where a judge just opened up marriage equality to any couple where one partner is terminally ill. Some day, we won’t have to jump through all these hoops anymore.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

Ecuador: Gay Couple Fights Back After Being Denied a Marriage License

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Gay couple in Ecuador

photo via Twitter

A gay couple who was refused a marriage license in Ecuador is refusing to give in.

Gay Star News reports:

A rejection from the government will not stop this gay Ecuadorian couple from obtaining a marriage certificate. Santiago Vinces, 23, and Fernando Saltos, 27, submitted their marriage application on 26 November anticipating the government would reject them. The couple said last week they would file a counter-suit and take their case to the Inter-American Court for Human Rights should the government not move their marriage application forward.

Marriage equality marches on in South America, thanks to brave souls like these two.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA, Kentucky: Gay Couple Goes to Trial Over Marriage Equality Trespassing Case

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Kentucky - Google Maps

from Google Maps

A gay couple in Louisville, Kentucky who refused to leave the county clerk’s office when they were denied a marriage license has been charged with trespassing.

The Courier–Journal reports:

In a trial that may turn into a political spectacle, lawyers selected seven jurors Monday to hear the case of the gay couple charged with trespassing last January, when they refused to leave the Jefferson County Clerk’s office after they were denied a marriage license… After they were cited Jan. 22, James and Blanchard, who was ordained as a minister last year at Highland Baptist Church, claimed they had a spiritual obligation to oppose Kentucky’s constitutional amendment banning performing or recognizing gay marriage. They were jailed briefly when they refused to accept a citation.

Kentucky’s anti-marriage equality law is currently being challenged in court. Has anyone seen any polling out of Kentucky?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Kentucky.

USA, West Virginia: Meet One of the Couples Fighting the State’s Ban on Marriage Equality

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

West Virginia gay coupleFairness West Virginia has just released a new video profiling one of the same-sex couples in the marriage equality lawsuit in the state.

Towleroad reports:

One of those couples, Justin Murdock and his partner William Glavaris, are profiled in a beautiful new video from Fairness West Virginia. Justin and Will are based in Huntington and Justin is a board member of the organization.

Fairness West Virginia writes: Faces of Fairness is a groundbreaking project is the first of its kind in West Virginia and is comprised of a touring photography exhibit, a documentary film, and a web-based archive. The participants articulate the many issues that face LGBT West Virginians including second-parent adoption rights, medical benefits, hospital visitation rights, employment and housing discrimination, advocacy and political representation, transgender rights and protections, marriage equality, and bullying.

What an amazing young couple – a great inspiration for marriage equality in the state. Once again, I’m amazed to see this kind of action taking place in such a red state. How long until the last US state recognizes marriage equality? Calling Nate Silver…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in West Virginia.

USA, Oregon: Couple of 42 Years – A Little Happy for Your Sunday

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Gay Couple 42 YearsCheck out this video from a gay couple in Oregon – together for 42 years.

The Advocate reports:

Oregon United for Marriage, the coalition of individuals and organizations working to win the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Oregon, debuted a heartwarming video at the Basic Rights Oregon’s annual gala celebration, IGNITE!, earlier this month. The short film features Ed and Warren, a gay couple who have been together for more than 42 years and are fighting for the right to be legally married in their home state.

Sweet and a great argument for marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

WATCH: Bridegroom on OWN Tomorrow Night

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

Shane Bitney CroneAn amazing film is airing on Oprah Winfrey’s network tomorrow night. The documentary “Bridegroom” tells the story of a gay couple separated by a tragic death, and what happened afterward.

The Huffington Post reports:

Shane Bitney Crone, the subject and producer of the documentary “Bridegroom” premiering Sunday night on OWN, became an accidental activist for LGBT when the unthinkable happened: He lost the love of his life, Tom Bridegroom, in a tragic accident. The couple had been together for 6 years and shared a mortgage, a business and a pet — but without the legal protection of marriage, Crone could not stop what happened next. “I received a phone call from one of Tom’s relatives and she wanted to let me know that I was not welcome to attend his funeral — because if I do show up, his uncle and his father had planned an attack,” Crone says in the film.

We had the good fortune to meet Shane at the Portland Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, where Bridegroom was screened as the opening night film. He’s an amazing guy, and this is an amazing movie – encourage your friends and relatives to see it. It will change people’s minds about how they view same-sex relationships.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA, Oregon: Lesbian, Gay Couples File Marriage Equality Lawsuit

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Lesbian Couple - Oregon LawsuitAs gay activists in Oregon collect signatures to put marriage equality on the ballot next year, a lawsuit is also being filed for the cause.

KATU reports:

A lawsuit filed in Eugene on Tuesday says the 2004 ban is unconstitutional. The lawsuit names Gov. John Kitzhaber and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. The lawyers who filed the lawsuit told Willamette Week it would be faster and cheaper than trying to get the issue on the ballot. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two gay couples. Deanna Geiger and Janine Nelson have been together for more than 30 years and want to get legally married. The second couple is Robert Deuhmig and William Griesar. They were already married in Vancouver, B.C. but want it recognized here in Oregon.

With the signature gathering process already well underway, do you think a lawsuit is a good idea?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.