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Federal Judge Strikes Down Marriage Equality Ban

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

KansasLost amidst all the election news – a Federal Judge in Kansas struck down the marriage equality ban there, with weddings to commence on November 11th.

The Washington Blade reports:

In a 38-page decision, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree, an Obama appointee, issued a preliminary injunction against the enforcement on Kansas law prohibiting of marriage rights for same-sex couples. The injunction is warranted, Crabtree writes, because of legal precedent and because state officials defending the law haven’t made a sufficient case they would prevail in court. “Because Kansas’ constitution and statutes indeed do what Kitchen forbids, the Court concludes that Kansas’ same-sex marriage ban violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution,” Crabtree writes. “Accordingly, the Court grants plaintiffs’ request for preliminary relief and enters the injunction described at the end of this Order.”

Of course, there’s that state Supreme Court hearing today, so we’ll see how that plays into things.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Kansas.

Federal Judge in Puerto Rico Upholds Marriage Equality Ban

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Puerto RicoA second Federal Judge has upheld a marriage equality ban (the first was in Louisiana).

LGBTQ Nation reports:

U.S. District Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez, cited Baker v. Nelson, a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld Minnesota’s ban on same-sex marriage, and said that allowing same-sex marriage raises the question of a constitutional right to polygamous and incestuous marriages. The case, Conde-Vidal v. Garcia-Padilla, was filed in March by Lambda Legal on behalf of five gay and lesbian couples and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, an organization that represents LGBT Puerto Ricans and their families.

Think Progress points out that the decision reads like a National Organization for Marriage press release:

Recent affirmances of same-gender marriage seem to suffer from a peculiar inability to recall the principles embodied in existing marriage law. Traditional marriage is “exclusively [an] opposite-sex institution . . . inextricably linked to procreation and biological kinship,” Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2718 (Alito, J., dissenting). Traditional marriage is the fundamental unit of the political order. And ultimately the very survival of the political order depends upon the procreative potential embodied in traditional marriage. Those are the well-tested, well-proven principles on which we have relied for centuries.

Lambda Legal plans to appeal:

“The court’s ruling directly conflicts with the wave of recent decisions finding these marriage bans unconstitutional and perpetuates the discrimination and harm done to same-sex Puerto Rican couples and their families,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. “It defies the unmistakable import of the Windsor decision and flies in the face of the blizzard of rulings of the last year, the reasoned rulings of the Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits, and the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand the rulings striking down five bans similar to Puerto Rico’s. One struggles to understand how this judge came to a different conclusion. We will, of course, appeal this ruling to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals,” Gonzalez-Pagan said. “All families in Puerto Rico need the protections of marriage.”

The Judge was apparently a democratic appointee.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Lambda Legal Files for Quick Overturn of Puerto Rico Marriage Equality Ban

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Puerto RicoLambda Legal is asking a District Court to overturn the territory’s ban on same sex marriage.

Joe.My.God reports:

Today in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, Lambda Legal filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to end the discriminatory ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Lambda Legal joined the lawsuit, Conde v. Garcia Padilla, in June on behalf of five gay and lesbian couples and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, an organization that represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families. Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, said: “All families deserve to have their love and commitment recognized in Puerto Rico; they need the protections only marriage can provide as soon as possible, without discrimination. Every day that passes, our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender family members are told they are inferior to our other family members. They are living, working and caring for each other now and need the dignity and respect of marriage.”

Now it’s spreading out to the territories…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico: Lawsuit Filed Against Marriage Equality Ban

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Puerto RicoThe US marriage equality movement is moving past the US red states and into the US territories.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

A Puerto Rico attorney who married her longtime partner on the U.S. mainland has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to have their marriage recognized in her home territory. The lawsuit comes as the debate on gay rights intensifies in Puerto Rico, where legislators and religious groups have recently clashed on several issues. The suit filed Tuesday by attorney Ada Conde challenges the constitutionality of Puerto Rican laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman, as well as those that prohibit same-sex marriage and the recognition of such marriages. Conde said she has been in a relationship for nearly 14 years with Ivonne Alvarez, an accountant and financial adviser whom she married in Massachusetts in August 2004.

Would a US Supreme Court decision cover Puerto Rico too? Would the case itself be appealed within the US court system?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico: Christians Protest Proposed LGBT Rights Bills, Push for Marriage Equality Ban

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Puerto RicoA Christian group in Puerto Rico is going for the jugular on gay rights. On Top Magazine reports:

In response to 2 proposed gay rights bills, one of Puerto Rico’s largest Christian organizations says it will push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Puerto Rico Pro Family on Wednesday protested two bills that would allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt children and would promote gender equality in the public school’s curriculum. The group said that it would seek constitutional amendments that define marriage as solely between a man and a woman and prohibit schools from educating their children on gender matters.

I haven’t seen any polling out of Puerto Rico on marriage equality. Anyone down there have a sense of how folks feel about the issue?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico: Legislators Approve LGBT Protection Bill

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Puerto RicoSome movement on LGBT rights in Puerto Rico Friday as the House of Representatives approves two bills – LGBTQ Nation reports:

Legislators in Puerto Rico on Friday approved a heavily debated bill that outlaws employment discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation… The original version was broader and would have also banned such discrimination when it comes to commercial transactions, property rentals and public transportation, as well as in other circumstances. About half of U.S. states have approved similar bills.

Legislators on Friday also approved a separate bill th at extends a domestic violence law to gay couples. Both bills are to go back to the Senate, which is expected to approve them. The governor has said he would sign both measures.

Anyone see any polling from Puerto Rico on marriage equality?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico: Hundreds March Against Marriage Equality In San Juan

Monday, April 15th, 2013

 Puerto RicoHundreds of people participated in a march against gay marriage in San Juan Puerto Rico Saturday. Pink News reports:

Hundreds of people have marched through the capital of Puerto Rico to demand that the governor approve a constitutional amendment banning equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. The protesters walked from the US territory’s seaside capitol building to the governor’s mansion in historic Old San Juan on Saturday.

This rally was far smaller than the previous one in February, which drew an estimated 200,000 into the streets of San Juan.

Puerto Rico: Gay Rights Slowly Gaining Support

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Puerto RicoAlthough the territory of Puerto Rico recently saw a huge demonstration agains gay rights, and a court there upheld a ban on gay adoption, there’s reason to hope, as LGBTQ Nation reports:

The governing Popular Democratic Party is pushing a bill through the legislature that would outlaw discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, a step taken by about half of U.S. states. Another bill would extend a domestic violence law to gay couples. Soon after taking office in January, Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an order extending health insurance coverage to the live-in partners of workers in his executive branch of government, regardless of gender. And a popular former conservative governor, Pedro Rossello, surprised supporters and foes when he stated last month that he unequivocally supports gay marriage.

And even the Court ruling against gay adoption may end up being a positive thing:

The court ruling on gay marriage already has caused some backlash in favor of further gay rights. “What they did was barbaric,” said Eduardo Bhatia, president of the island’s Senate and member of the governor’s party, saying that children of gay couples should have equal rights.

Signs of hope.

Gay Adoption News From Germany, Puerto Rico and Austria

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

BabyLots happening on the gay adoption front around the world today. In Germany, the constitutional court expanded adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples, while the Chancellor does nothing to forward LGBT rights. Queerty reports:

On Tuesday, Germany’s constitutional court ruled that gay individuals in a civil partnership may adopt children already adopted by their partners. The court determined that the current ban on “successive adoptions” violated gays and lesbians’ right to equal treatment under the law. (Biological children can already be adopted by same-sex spouses.) Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union government has until July 2014 to revise current adoption laws.

In Puerto Rico, Joe.My.God is reporting that the Territorial Court will uphold a ban in gay adoptions there:

Andres Duque provides a translation at Blabbeando: Puerto Rico’s El Vocero is reporting that the island’s Supreme Tribunal will be backing an adoption ban for same-sex couples in a 5-4 decision to be announced later today. El Vocero says that the ruling comes after a Puerto Rican woman sought to adopt her lesbian partner’s daughter. A current law “bans the adoption of a minor if the biological mother doesn’t give up her rights unless the couple consists of a man and a woman”, according to the paper.

And in Austria, The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against a ban on second parent adoptions by same sex couples, The Washington Blade reports:

Two women who have been raising a son born to one of them in 1995 submitted an adoption application to a local court in early 2005. The couple also requested the Austria Constitutional Court, which is the country’s highest tribunal, declare the portion of the civil code that prevents the same-sex partner of a parent to adopt his or her child.

Classic case of two steps forward, one step back.

Puerto Rico: 200K Attend Anti Gay Christian Rally

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

In more depressing news, over 200,000 people attended a Christian “pro-family” (read: anti-gay) rally in the capital of San Juan yesterday. The rally was a thumb in the eye to marriage equality and gay rights. Queerty reports:

The protestors organized in front of the Capitol building, blocking traffic in and out of the area, while blasting gospel music and brandishing banners defending so-called traditional marriage. They were also denouncing proposed legislation seeking to grant rights to gay couples. Cesar Vazquez Muniz, spokesman of Puerto Rico for the Family — the organization behind the rally — explained that their purpose was to protect traditional marriage and family values for the sake of, of course, the children.

A counter-protest for gay rights was held nearby:

Nearby, a smaller counter protest was going on in favor of gay rights, held by religious leaders and followers who refuted Puerto Rico Stands Up’s faith-based bigotry. “One of the struggles I’ve had with the church is its sexist and homophobic message, and obviously when I see that they are using the resources they have to promote discrimination I cannot stay quiet because that is not the message of God,” Pastor Yenen Silen told Univision.

Am I the only one who is sickened by the fact that thousands and hundreds of thousands will rally against giving rights to same sex couples, but no one rallies to protest the Church’s well-documented history of protecting pedophile priests?