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French Mayor Who Opposes Same Sex Marriage Officiates at Gay Son’s Wedding

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

France - Google MapsA French mayor who still thinks gay marriage “is not what nature intended” nevertheless officiated at his gay son’s wedding.

Pink News reports:

Despite being a long-standing critic of same-sex marriage, Raymond Bardet, mayor of Ville-la-Grand in south-eastern France, officiated the ceremony last Saturday. He told the Dauphine Libere:

“My son was getting married, there was no question of letting anyone else do it. If I had asked a deputy to celebrate the marriage, people could have thought that I was criticising my son or that we had fallen out. Only two and a half months ago I discovered that my son was gay. I am his father and I would be the one to celebrate his union, as I would have done for his sister. I didn’t know his partner, but he’s a good person and they make a beautiful couple together. I saw two smart men, very content together. We always think that it doesn’t affect us, that was my way of seeing things, I never questioned it.”

But despite all that, he still opposes marriage equality. It’s beautiful that he did this for his gay son, but it’s sad that he is still trapped in his own prejudices.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in France.

Image via Google Maps

St. Louis Marriage Equality – Four Marriage Licenses Issued to Same Sex Couples

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

St. Louis Weddings!

St. Louis marriage equality is breaking out… the city issued marriage licenses to four same sex couples yesterday!

LGBTQ Nation reports:

St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay announced Thursday that marriage licenses were issued to four same-sex couples by St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter on Wednesday evening, coinciding with the one year anniversary of the Defense of Marriage Act being struck down. The four couples were then married at City Hall as St. Louis mounts a direct challenge to the state’s same-sex marriage ban. “St. Louis is a city that doesn’t tolerate discrimination,” said Slay, standing beside the couples. “We are sending a message on what’s right, and I can’t think of anything more right than this.”

We’re seeing more and more clerks and mayors taking marriage equality into their own hands – that’s what set off the fight in New Mexico that ultimately brought marriage equality to the state. I don’t see how the Supreme Court holds off deciding this thing nationwide much longer…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Missouri.

Italy: Rome Civil Unions Registry Planned, Mayor Says

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Tpme Mayor Ignazio MarinoFollowing in the footsteps of a similar plan in Naples, the mayor of Rome announced that the city will created a Rome civil unions registry.

On Top Magazine reports:

Ignazio Marino, the mayor of Rome, on Saturday announced he would back plans for a civil union registry and the registration of gay couples’ foreign marriages. According to the blog Agere per Formulas, Marino made his announcement moments before the start of Rome’s Gay Pride Parade, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The news comes after Fano late last month became the first Italian town to register the marriage of a gay couple without a court order and Luigi De Magistris, the mayor of Naples, signaled his willingness to register the foreign marriages of gay couples.

Italy’s big cities are starting to come around to LGBT rights – will the federal government come around too?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Italy.

Attorney in South Dakota Marriage Equality Lawsuit May Also Challenge North Dakota’s Ban

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

North DakotaThe attorney who is representing a South Dakota marriage equality lawsuit may also sue North Dakota, which would mean every single US state would have marriage equality or a lawsuit pushing for it.

Towleroad.com reports:

Joshua Newville, the Minneapolis lawyer who currently represents three South Dakota gay couples in a federal class action lawsuit against the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is reportedly considering a challenge to North Dakota’s ban as well. The AP reports: Joshua Newville says he’s been contacted by interested couples in North Dakota who want to challenge the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. North Dakotans overwhelmingly supported the constitutional amendment in 2004, passing a ballot measure with 73 percent approval.

In related news, Thompson Mayor Karyn Hippen became the first North Dakota mayor to join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Thompson Mayor Karyn Hippen, who heads a town of less than 1,000 residents south of Grand Forks, said she’s proud to be the 400th member to join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, organized by the national advocacy group Freedom to Marry. The issue hits close to home for Hippen, she said, because her oldest son is gay. When he came out to her, she said “it broke my heart to think that society’s rules might stand in his way when it comes to marriage equality.”

Anyone surprised that North Dakota would be the last state to get a lawsuit?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in North Dakota.

UK, Northern Ireland: Marriage Equality Lawsuit Threatened

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Northern Ireland - google maps

from Google Maps

All of a sudden, Northern Ireland stands alone in banning marriage for same sex couples.

Gay Star News reports:

Northern Ireland gay rights groups are threatening to sue the government after they have become the only country in the UK not to have equal marriage. John O’Doherty, director of The Rainbow Project in Belfast and chair of Equal Marriage NI, told Gay Star News he applauded Scotland’s politicians for voting in favor of equality. ‘But it’s very frustrating when you consider Northern Ireland had the first ever civil partnership,’ he said.

South of the border, the independent Republic of Ireland is likely to get gay marriage in the next three years. O’Doherty said: ‘We will be the only country of these islands to still ban equal marriage.’

The Democratic Unionist Party has consistently blocked any progress towards marriage equality. So the courts may be the only option.

In related news, the Mayor of North Down says marriage equality in Northern Ireland is now inevitable.

The News Letter reports:

Speaking in the wake of the vote, councillor Muir said he was “not surprised” by the result; and when asked if it is a sure thing for the Province too, he was emphatic. “Yes,” he said. “Northern Ireland will have it within 10 years. Whether it’s through legislation or through the courts. It’s an inevitability. “I’m confident because I’m hopeful for Northern Ireland. I like Northern Ireland, and I know the people of Northern Ireland are very much progressive and aspirational for a new and inclusive future.” He added: “This could be done within the next year if the Assembly stood up to the mark and said: ‘We value all people within our society equally’.”

I agree – it’s only a matter of time now.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Northern Ireland.

France: Another Mayor Refuses to Officiate At A Same-Sex Wedding

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Boliene, France - Apple Maps

From Apple maps

Mayor Marie-Claude Bompard of Boliene, France has refused to marry a lesbian couple, citing her religious beliefs.

Pink News reports:

Amandine Gilles, 33, and Angelique Leroux, 27, hoped to be married in their hometown in south-eastern France on 10 September. But on Friday Bollene mayor Marie-Claude Bompard met them and told them that she would not carry out the ceremony because it was against her religious beliefs. She said she would also refuse to lawfully delegate another councillor to carry out the ceremony. Ms Bompard is a member of far-right split from Marine Le Pen’s Front National, the Ligue du Sud (Southern League), led by her husband, Jacques.

Aren’t French mayors legally obligated to perform wedding ceremonies, or at least to delegate someone to do so? If her religious beliefs so motivated her, would she also decline to perform a wedding for a Muslim couple?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in France.

USA, Pennsylvania: Same Sex Wedding Performed in Western Pennsylvania

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Braddock, Pennsylvania - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

It’s like a wildfire that keeps popping up in new and unexpected places. Yesterday, a mayor in Braddock married a same sex couple using a license from Montgomery County. Edge Boston reports:

A Pittsburgh-area mayor has married two men who obtained a license from an eastern Pennsylvania county official who has issued more than 60 licenses to same-sex couples despite a state law that defines marriage as a contract between one man and one woman. Braddock Mayor John Fetterman tells KDKA-TV he performed the ceremony Monday night because he believes Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act is “a fundamentally unjust piece of legislation.”

It really does kinda rekindle your faith in humanity, doesn’t it?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Pennsylvania.

Italy: Naples Marches for Marriage Equality

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Italy - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Some great reporting from our friend Linda Giovanna Zambanini on a big gay rights and pride march in Naples, Italy:

“Campania Pride, 1000s in the streets of downtown. DeMagistris : happy to be there.

“Young people, families with children, Transgenders and Lesbians ask with one big voice for equality in civil rights”

NAPOLI – Thousands of people are parading throug the historic centre of Naples in the Campania Pride 2013: youth, families with children, Lesbian and Transgender clamoring for equality in civil rights. At the head of the procession is the Mayor of the city, Luigi de Magistris. The colorful and festive marchers traversing the city, are coming from all over Italy but also from other regions of Italy.

THE DEPARTURE – At the head of the parade that started from piazza Cavour and will finish on the promenade along the sea, a group of families belonging to the Association “Rainbow” Families, Association of homosexual parents.

“The society is ready and the people are also ready, just not policymakers – says Josephine Lodelfa -President of the Association – ours is a reality that has 300 families throughout Italy, fifteen only in Campania; we are homosexual parents and we want the same rights as heterosexual families. ”

THE SATISFACTION OF THE MAYOR: De Magistris has expressed deep satisfaction with the success of the event. “Naples-he said-is a very inclusive, we are at the forefront of civil rights and we today co-organized this event today. We are particularly in demand by Parliament to emerge from religious medievalism and bigotry to finally becoming a secular country that unites people with the only constraint that humanity must understand: love. We want a law against homophobia, for adoptions and gay marriages.*

HIS COMMENT ON FACEBOOK – “I am happy to be here, at Gay Pride in Naples”: he writes on his Facebook page, the Mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris, who is leading the parade procession that is going through the Centre of Naples.

“This Administration-added De Magistris- is united with those who carry out the battle for civil rights. The only Union which I recognize is that of love. The Italy is not yet a fully democratic and secular Country, as evidenced by the delay of the Parliament, which still fails to legislate with regard to de facto couples”.

*DeMagistris first called for Parliament to IMMEDIATLY pass the bills for anti-homophobia, Marriage Equality and adoptions a few days ago. The Senate Justice Commission took up Senator Sergio Lo Giudice’s (Pd) Marriage Equality bill this past week and will take it up again next week!! In a historic move, the head of the Senate Justice Commission ruled it was permissible to consider and take up debate on bills for full marriage equality – something that had NEVER happened before in Italy!)

Also there is a new Vice-minister of Equal Opportunity, Maria Cecilia Guerra, appointed just last week because, sadly the previous liberal Minister, Josefa Idem, was forced to step down due to a tax scandal. Guerra immediately demanded that Parliament pass bills to grant equal civil rights to LGBT people – including full Marriage Equality! (I’ve not had time to post about that yet because so much else happened last week!) Seriously…what’s happening in Italy right now, is the biggest, most important, unreported/underreported story in LGBT world news!

AVANTI, ITALIA!! FORZA!

Italy, USA: New Rome Mayor Promised Civil Unions for City

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Italy - Google Maps

from Google Maps

The Rome mayoral candidate, Ignazion Marino, who promised to bring civil unions for gays and lesbians to Rome, was just elected to the job. Linda Giovanna Zambanini reports:

Ignazio Marino (Pd – center-left party), the Gay-friendly Roman mayoral candidate who has promised to bring Civil Unions and LGBT civil rights to Rome, was elected yesterday in a landslide victory over Rome’s right wing neo-Fascist Mayor, Gianni Alemanno (Pdl – Berlusconi’s party).

“We freed Rome from the fascists,” chanted Mr Marino’s supporters at their victory rally, referring to Mr. Alemanno’s neo-fascist street thug origins. In 2008, Alemanno became Rome’s first right-wing mayor since WWII, bringing a homophobic chill to the air.

Mayor Marino, said that Rome, as the capital, would now guide Italy with its moral leadership toward a more progressive future. In a stunning victory, the Pd swept Italian mayoral elections, electing liberal Gay-friendly candidates in ALL 16 big towns and cities across Italy.

In interviews Marino has said: “I believe homosexuals must have recognition of the same rights as everyone else. Respect of rights is fundamental.” and ” It’s not possible that a city like Rome there continues to be crimes and offenses driven by homophobia. In my city I don’t want violence of this type and I will fight it.” And “Diversity is a resource.” He also said he and his administration would go further, to introduce school programs to educate children on gay rights.

Congratulations to Rome, for electing this breath of fresh air to replace the stench of Fascist homophobia! Avanti!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Italy.

France: Mayor Who Performed First Gay Wedding Gets Threats, Feces in Mail

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Montpellier, France Mayor Helene MandrouxThe Mayor of Montpellier, France, Helene Mandroux, who made news by marrying the first gay couple after France’s marriage equality law went into effect, has gotten some nasty mail. The Huffington Post reports:

The French mayor has received countless threats, including one with feces, over her part in the marriage. According to Montpellier daily newspaper Midi Libre, since performing the wedding, Mandroux has received many letters that contain insults and threats expressing opposition to gay marriage in France. One of the packages mailed to the French official also contained feces, municipal officers discovered.

The opponents of marriage equality have abandoned all sense of civility in the fight – even the former leader of the movement thinks so.

Find more articles and gay wedding resourcesin in France.