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Netherlands: Government Bans Forced Sterilization For Transgender Citizens

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Transgender FlagThe Senate in the Netherlands today voted to end a barbaric practice against its own transgender citizens.

Gay Star News reports:

The new law lowers the age of consent to transition to 16, and simplifies the procedure to be register their gender in official documents. Currently, a person’s legal gender can only be changed after forced sterilization and gender modification operations, followed by judicial permission. Several thousand people are believed to be living with official documents that identify them as the gender they were assigned at birth. This means they face problems on a daily basis while applying for a new job, showing identification and using health care.

The move is long overdue, and is great news for transgender people in the Netherlands.

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Croatia: In Wake of Gay Marriage Ban, Government to Pursue Civil Unions Bill

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013


from Google Maps

After a Catholic-backed referendum blocked marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, the government has decided to move ahead with a civil unions bill.

The New York Times reports:

The outcome was a major victory for the Roman Catholic Church, and a blow to gay rights advocates. “This referendum was a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of introducing gay marriage in Croatia,” said Franko Dota, a political analyst and gay rights activist. “This was a referendum to humiliate the gay population, and to strike against the progress of the past decades.” Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic’s center-left government said on Monday that it would move ahead with a proposed bill to afford same-sex couples many of the legal rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples, including hospital visitation and inheritance rights, though the bill does not include the right to adopt children. Mr. Milanovic said he regretted that the referendum had even been held. “I think it did not make us any better, smarter or prettier,” he said.

It really shows the mean spirited side of the Catholic Church. They pushed the Croatian Government to allow the referendum because they can, and in the process badly damaged the LGBT community in the country.

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The Lay of the Land Post-Windsor and –Perry

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

With marriage equality now coming to Illinois and Hawaii, nearly 40% of the country lives in a marriage equality state. But just how federal and state governments will navigate the still-unsettled reality (and consequences) of marriage equality remains an open question.

Although Windsor invalidated Section 3 of DOMA, it left Section 2 in place, which allows states to refuse to recognize same gender marriages performed in other states. Marriages are not judgments or orders, and are therefore not entitled to equality under constitutional principles of full faith and credit among the states. This has the potential to impact benefits, parental rights, divorce, and other issues for same-sex couples depending on where they marry and where they live.

Read the full story on the MEUSA news blog…

Vanuatu: Government Threatens Big Fines for Same Sex Weddings

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Vanuatu - Google Maps

from Google Maps

A government official in the island nation of Vanuatu is threatening churches and resorts with heavy fines if they marry gay and lesbian couples.

Gay Star News reports:

Vanuatu’s Minister for Internal Affairs Patrick Crowby has issued a warning to all Christian pastors throughout the Pacific island nation that they are not allowed to preside over same-sex marriages. Crowby says such acts are in breach of the constitution of Vanuatu because it is a Christian country. Crowby also warned resorts that they would face stiff penalties if they allowed same-sex marriages to occur on their grounds, while any priest or church that was involved in marrying same-sex couples would be stripped of their licenses.

Yes, because it’s not enough to just ban same sex couples from marrying – they must be punished, too. Cross that country off my vacation list.

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Vietnam: Country to Debate Marriage Equality This Year

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Vietnam - google maps

from Google Maps

Of all the places that I thought would get marriage equality this year, Vietnam was pretty low on the list. Their only discussing it, but still… The Advocate reports:

While there has been some cynicism about the Communist Party-led government’s support for gay rights, as it is a cause that doesn’t threaten to undermine the regime’s authority, some activists see progress for LGBTs as a first step toward greater freedom for all in the nation. “I’ve seen there’s change,” Le Quang Binh, founder of the social justice group ISEE, told USA Today. “They understand that human rights is human rights. It’s the right thing to do.” He continued, “We always push for more freedom, more justice, more equality. We test the waters.”

If Vietnam does take this step, it would be the first nation in Asia to have marriage equality. Fingers crossed.

Ireland: Government Commits to 2014 Marriage Equality Vote

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

irelandSome big news out of Ireland this Saturday morning – the country will vote on a marriage equality bill next year. Joe.My.God reports:

Speaking yesterday at an LGBT event held at Google’s Dublin headquarters, Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore committed to a 2014 national referendum on same-sex marriage. The Government’s own constitutional think-thank voted overwhelmingly in favour of gay marriage earlier this year, pushing it up the political agenda. The Constitutional Convention is due to send its report on gay marriage to the Government soon, and ministers have four months to decide their response to it. The Coalition is likely to agree to a referendum on gay marriage, and Mr Gilmore now says it will happen next year.

The last poll we have showed that two thirds of Irish citizens supported marriage equality late last year.

Belize: Government, Christian Groups Fight in Court to Keep Homosexuality Illegal

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Belize - google maps

from Google Maps

As the country’s Supreme Court gets ready t hear a challenge against the country’s sodomy law. the Government and Christian groups are fighting to keep it. O-blog-dee-o-blog-da reports

The nation of Belize, bordered by Mexico and Guatemala, is the last country in Central America where homosexual acts are still illegal and punishable by long prison terms. But that could change for Belize and set an important precedent for the rest of the Caribbean Commonwealth. Starting Tuesday, May 7th, Belize’s Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the country’s sodomy law which not only outlaws homosexuality but treats it as if it was the same thing as bestiality… The battle lines are drawn between Caleb Orosco, a human rights activist, the claimant in the case and various organizations against the government of Belize, along with a consortium of Christian Churches.

If the law is overturned, it will be legal to be gay in all of Central America.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Belize.

UK: Marriage Equality Battle Rages On Between Churches and State

Monday, January 28th, 2013

England ChurchLots of news on the ongoing battle over the proposed marriage equality vote in the UK, due for its first vote on February 5th. is reporting that a Catholic Archbishop has distributed a million anti marriage equality postcards there. From the text:

“The fundamental problem with the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is that it will radically alter the meaning of marriage for everyone and therefore undermine the common good. This is what is at stake. The Bill also raises very serious questions especially about religious freedom and freedom of expression, the effect on teaching in schools, and the work of chaplains and others with religious convictions involved in the delivery of public services.”

He also claims the government has no mandate to pass this bill. Echoing this complaint, Pink News News quotes the Church of England:

In a statement on behalf of the Church of England, the Right Reverend Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester, claimed the Coalition Government did not have a “mandate” for the bill and that “marriage is a union between one man and one woman.”

Think these guys might be working together behind the scenes? But as Pink News reports, there’s a little breath of fresh air from the Church of Wales:

On Friday a spokesperson for the Church in Wales said: “Since the statement to Parliament by the Minister for Women and Equalities (Maria Miller) on 11 December 2012, the government has worked to understand and accommodate the position of the Church in Wales in its equal marriage Bill. As a disestablished church with a legal duty to marry the Church in Wales is uniquely placed. The Bill provides protection for the Church whilst still enabling it to make its own decision on same-sex marriage.”

Finally, someone in the religious community with an open mind. 🙂

England, UK: Government to Release Marriage Equality Consultation Response Tomorrow

Monday, December 10th, 2012

UK Government to Release Marriage Equality Consultation Response TomorrowCulture Secretary Maria Miller says the government will outline its response to this year’s equal marriage consultation on Tuesday (11 December) after being summoned to the Commons to answer an urgent question.

The question was tabled by Conservative MP Edward Leigh, who is opposed to equal marriage rights for gay couples.

In a statement made on Monday afternoon, Mrs Miller told the Commons that the government plans will ensure faith organisations are not forced to conduct same-sex marriages in England and Wales. Mrs Miller said the chances of this being successfully challenged in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) were “negligible”.

Authored By Scott Roberts – See the Full Story at Pink News

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England, UK: Government Considers Consummation of Same-Sex Weddings

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

England, UK: Government Considers Consummation of Same-Sex WeddingsAccording to the Sunday Times, Britain’s legislative wonks are in a dither over how to define the “consummation” portion of their same-sex marriage bill. Gay Star News provides a recap of the subscription-only Times story:

Civil servants have reportedly been considering the intricacies of gay sex for months, and have taken evidence from sex experts and gay rights organizations in an attempt to what defines consummation between two women and two men. In a straight relationship, consummation is only defined as complete penetration of the vagina by the penis, although it does not matter if a condom or ejaculation is involved.

While some believe consummation could be left out of the draft law, ministers have decided to make same-sex marriage an exact replica of opposite-sex marriage except for the right to marry in a church. This means like with straights, gay couples will have to consummate their marriage for it to be valid. If they do not, it could lead to the union being annulled. Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, a marriage can be annulled if one of the couple has the incapacity to consummate it, or a man or woman has wilfully refused to do so.

See the Full Story at Joe.My.God

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