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Italy’s High Court Rejects Marriage Equality

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Italy - Google MapsIn a disappointing move, the highest court in Italy found no right to marriage equality in the country’s constitution.

Gay Star News reports:

The Cassation Court has said there is nothing in the Constitution that requires the government to extend marriage rights to LGBTI people. However, it did say same-sex couples should have the same rights as unmarried Italian opposite-sex couples. The Constitution states: ‘All citizens have equal social dignity and are equal before the law, without distinction of sex, race, language, religion, political opinion, personal and social conditions.’

So, civil unions, maybe?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Italy.

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Singapore High Court Upholds Sodomy Law

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Singapore - google mapsSingapore’s High Court upheld the country’s sodomy law yesterday.

Towleroad.com reports:

The law, known as Section 377a, has been in place since Singapore was a British colony. It carries up to a two-year jail term for men who commit acts of “gross indecency” with other men, whether in public or in private. Yesterday’s ruling came in response to lawsuits by couple of 16 years Gary Lim [above right] and Kenneth Chee [above left], and by Tan Eng Hong, who was charged under the anti-sodomy law after being arrested while having sex in a public restroom in 2010. Both lawsuits argued that Section 377a infringes their constitutional right to equal protection under Article 12 of the Constitution, and violates their right to life and liberty, as guaranteed by Article 9.

It’s a huge blow to LGBT rights in the country, especially since the government has refused to repeal the law.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

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Australia: High Court Strikes Down ACT Marriage Equality Law

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Australia MapIt’s very disappointing week for LGBT rights around the world. First the decision reinstating India’s sodomy law, and now this.

The Washington Blade reports:

Australia’s highest court on Thursday struck down the Australian Capital Territory’s same-sex marriage law. The Australia High Court unanimously ruled the statute that ACT lawmakers narrowly approved nearly two months ago cannot remain in effect alongside a federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. “Only a marriage conforming to that definition may be formed or recognized in Australia,” the decision reads. “The provisions of the ACT Act which deal with the rights of parties to marriages formed under that Act and with the dissolution of such marriages can have no valid operation.”

The Australian Capital Territory legislature will now likely reintroduce a civil unions bill.

The Canberra Times reports:

When the Assembly approved the marriage equality scheme in November, it also repealed laws that enabled same-sex couples to enter into legally-recognised civil unions. Existing civil unions are still legally valid. ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the government would consider the High Court’s ruling before considering the reintroduction of civil unions.

How long will Australia’s LGBT community have to live with the legacy of Julia Gillard’s opposition to marriage equality? With conservatives in power once again, it could be years and years.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia, ACT: First Same-Sex Couples to Legally Marry Tomorrow

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Sydney Opera HouseThe Australian Capital Territory’s marriage equality law goes into effect tomorrow, and couples have five days to marry before the country’s High Court hands down its ruling on the issue.

ABC news reports:

A state lawmaker and his partner plan to fly 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) across Australia to become one of the nation’s first same-sex couples to legally marry at an after-midnight ceremony in the Australian capital. Stephen Dawson, a 38-year-old member of the opposition Labor Party in the Western Australian Parliament, and partner Dennis Liddelow, 39, are among at least two gay couples planning ceremonies in Canberra at 12:01 a.m. Saturday — the earliest opportunity under the provincial government’s landmark gay marriage laws. But Australia’s first gay marriages could be short lived, with the High Court to rule Thursday on a federal government challenge to the validity of the Australian Capital Territory law.

On the other hand (glass half-full), a ruling in favor of the law could open the door to marriage equality in other states, especially New South Wales and Tasmania.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

USA, Connecticut: Lesbian Asks for Retroactive Marriage Rights

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Connecticut MapA woman in Connecticut whose partner died because of medical malpractice is asking the state’s high court for retroactive marriage rights.

The Courant reports:

A woman, whose same sex, domestic partner died as a result of medical malpractice, told the state Supreme Court Tuesday that she is entitled for constitutional reasons to damages for loss of consortium – even though she and her partner were not married. Charlotte Stacey is asking the state’s highest court to depart from established Connecticut law holding that consortium can exist only between legally married individuals. Stacy wants the court to grant her what amounts to a retroactive, individual exception to that rule because she and her partner wanted to be married at the time the malpractice is alleged to have occurred, but were prevented by the state’s “unconstitutional” prohibition against same sex marriage, which was then in effect.

It’s an interesting case, and highlights the problems with these bans – sometimes relief comes too late. So who, if anyone, should be held responsible?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Connecticut.

Russia: High Court Finds Ban on “Gay Propaganda” Constitutional

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

RussiaRussia’s high court just ruled on the anti-gay propaganda law, and found it constitutional.

Towleroad reports

The Constitutional Court dismissed a complaint from Nikolai Alexeyev, a leading gay rights campaigner, that St. Petersburg city council had acted unconstitutionally by passing legislation to ban the promotion of homosexuality among minors… The ruling regarded a May 2012 case in which Alexeyev had been fined for holding up a poster featuring a quote: “Homosexuality is not a perversion, unlike grass hockey or ice ballet.” The quote was made by Soviet-era actress Faina Ranevskaya. Alexeyev had asked the court to rule that the law was based on prejudice and permitted discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. But the judges concluded that the Constitution obliged the State to protect motherhood, childhood and family.

Straight family good. Gays bad. Oh yes, the folks at the National Organization for Marriage would be in heaven in Russia. We suggest that they move there.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Australia: Five Days of Weddings in the ACT

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Australia MapGay and lesbian couples have five days to marry before the country’s High Court issues its ruling on the district’s marriage equality law.

Joe.My.God reports:

The court’s six judges heard the case today and announced that they would deliver their ruling on December 12. The first weddings are scheduled to take place in Canberra on Saturday, the first opportunity under the legal conditions. The federal government’s lawyer, Justin Gleeson, told the court that having differing marriage laws in various Australian states and territories would create confusion. The ACT government argues that its same-sex marriage laws should stand because they govern couples outside the federal definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. Ivan Hinton and Chris Teoh, who attended the court hearing, plan to marry on Saturday. Mr Hinton said he knew of at least 12 other same-sex couples who planned to do the same.

How many couples will be married during the brief window? How will the Court rule? And will the weddings be overturned? Stay tuned.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia: High Court Will Hear Challenge to ACT’s Marriage Equality Law Tomorrow

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Sydney, AustraliaAustralia’s first marriage equality law is about to be challenged in court by the federal government.

Gay Star News reports:

The High Court of Australia is due to hear the Australian Government’s case against the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) Marriage Equality Act on Tuesday and Wednesday, with same-sex marriages due to commence in the territory Saturday. The Australian Government claims the law is unconstitutional and is seeking to have it repealed but the Australian Capital Territory believes it is on solid legal ground having drafted its bill on the advice of several prominent constitutional experts with a view to survive any legal challenge.

If the law survives the challenge, it could pave the way for Australia’s states to pass similar legislation. You have to wonder if the previous government would have let the law be.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia: Some Couples to Marry Before High Court Challenge To ACT Marriage Equality Law

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Australia MapIt looks like there will be a brief window for same-sex couples to marry before the High Court hears the federal government’s challenge to the Australian Capital Territory’s new marriage equality law.

Gay Star News reports:

Same-sex couples will have a brief window of opportunity to begin marrying in Australia despite the Australian Government’s challenge in the High Court. The Australian Government had sought to expedite its challenge to the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) law allowing same-sex couples to marry under territory law and the court held a directions hearing today at 2.15pm. However the case will not get a full hearing until mid-December and the ACT law comes into effect in early December – leaving a window in which same-sex couples will be able to marry before the court decides their constitutionality.

As we’ve noted before, it’s always a lot harder to tell couples who are already married that there marriages are invalid than to tell them that they can’t marry in the first place.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

France: High Court Says Mayors Cannot Refuse to Perform Same-Sex Weddings

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Paris, FranceFrench mayors must perform weddings for all couples who have the legal right to marry, including same-sex couples, the High Court there has ruled.

Pink News reports:

A law recognising equal marriage took effect in May, but several mayors rejected it as a matter of “conscience”. Earlier this summer Jean-Michel Colo, the mayor of Arcangues, in south-west France, refused to marry a gay couple and said “I will go to the gallows” in order to defy the law. However, the Constitutional Council ruled on Friday that the law does not provide a “conscience clause” for its opponents. “The council judged that, in view of the functions of a state official in the officiating of a marriage, the legislation does not violate their freedom of conscience,” it said in a statement.

If they don’t like the law, they can either try to change it, or not be Mayor anymore.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in France.