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Another Win – Missouri Judge Orders Recognition of Same Sex Marriages

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

St. Louis Arch - MissouriA state judge in Missouri just ordered the state to recognize the weddings of 10 same sex couples.

The Washington Blade reports:

In a 20-page decision, Judge J. Dale Youngs of the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County declares Missouri’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriage violates plaintiff same-sex couples’ constitutional right to equal protection. “Under the Constitutions of the United States and State of Missouri, must defendants recognize out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples that are legal in the jurisdiction in which they were contracted — just as it recognizes all other similarly valid out-of-state marriages?” Youngs writes. “The answer is yes.” Although plaintiffs assert Missouri’s ban on marriage recognition violates their right to due process, in addition to their right to equal protection, Youngs writes he need only find the law violates equal protection rights to rule against the law.

The decision will likely be appealed. There is currently no stay in the order.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Missouri.

Indiana Agrees to Recognize Marriage Of Lesbian Couple

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

IndianaThe state of Indiana has agreed to recognize the marriage of Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera, lesbian couple. Rivera has advanced ovarian cancer.

Gay Star News reports:

US District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen approved an agreement this week (11 September) as the state appeals a ruling that struck down its marriage ban. Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera, a couple for more than 27 years with two children, were legally married in Illinois earlier this year. They filed a suit in federal court this week seeking to have the union recognized in the state in which they live. There is urgency in the case because Rivera has advanced ovarian cancer and entered hospice care in late July. Indiana has not only agreed to recognize the marriage but to also issue a death certificate listing Rivera as married with Romero as the surviving spouse.

This is another case where simple human decency has prevailed.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Indiana.

US Supreme Court Stays Utah Recognition of Same Sex Marriages

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Utah MapThe US Supreme Court has sided with Utah, allowing the state to put off recognition of about 1,300 same sex marriages pending appeal.

The Washington Blade reports:

State recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Utah when the state briefly had marriage equality will continue to be on hold for time being, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Friday. The court issued an order without explanation granting the request from Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to place on hold a preliminary injunction from a district court requiring the state to recognize the marriages. After the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the injunction, Reyes took up the matter with the Supreme Court… The stay request was made to U.S. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who’s responsible for stay requests in the Tenth Circuit. She referred the matter to the entire court.

Now couples will have to wait, again, before the state will provide them with the same benefits and responsibilities that married male-female couples enjoy.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.

Utah Marriage Equality Advanced By 10th Circuit Ruling

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Utah MapThe Tenth Circuit just ruled in favor of granting benefits to same sex couples married after the state’s ban was struck down.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples who married in Utah after the state same-sex marriage ban was overturned could get benefits in 10 days after a favorable ruling from a federal appeals court. Five months after the ban was struck down, a different federal judge in May ruled the state must lift its ban on benefits – such as child custody – for same-sex couples. The state asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to delay the benefits while the larger issue of the marriage ban makes its way through the courts. On Friday, the 10th Circuit denied Utah’s request for an indefinite delay. Instead, justices gave them until July 21 to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.

So if the Supremes don’t step in, same sex couples married in Utah will be entitled to full benefits from the state on July 21st.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.

Wisconsin Marriage Equality Updates: ACLU Edition

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Wisconsin MapAlthough Wisconsin marriage equality is on hold, the ACLU is taking several actions in the state.

First, it plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of the 500 same sex couples who married before the stay was enacted.

Pink News reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the US state of Wisconsin is preparing to file a lawsuit which will aim to protect, and have recognised, the more than 500 marriages of same-sex couples. US District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban on Friday 6 June, leading to some counties issuing marriage licences immediately, and allowing more than 500 gay and lesbian couples to wed.

The state is also asking the judge who ruled in the case to lift her stay.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Crabb put her ruling on hold a week later, granting Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s request to stay the order pending appeal. The ACLU filed a motion Thursday to lift the stay, arguing Van Hollen has had weeks to file notice of an appeal but has done nothing in hopes of delaying a ruling as long as possible. The motion was referred to U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker. Van Hollen has until July 21 to file under court rules. His spokeswoman says the ACLU’s impatience won’t affect his timing.

Based on recent history, I’d say recognition of the existing marriages has a better shot than the stay being lifted before appeal.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Wisconsin.

Utah Appealing Marriage Recognition Decision

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Utah MapNever one to give up without a fight, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes appealed the decision saying the government had to recognize the weddings of same sex couples married in the brief window of legality.

LGBTQ nation reports:

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and state Attorney General Sean Reyes, both Republicans, filed the appeal Wednesday, sending the case to the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. In May, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball said Utah’s decision to freeze benefits for gay couples put them in an unacceptable legal limbo regarding adoptions, child care and custody and medical decisions, among other issues. “These legal uncertainties and lost rights cause harm each day that the marriage is not recognized,” Kimball wrote. He delayed implementation of his ruling for 21 days to give Utah officials time to appeal.

So the couples will have to wait, again, until someone finally forces the state to grudgingly recognize their marriages.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.

USA, Utah: Judge Orders State to Recognize Existing Same Sex Marriages

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Utah MapA federal judge ordered the state to immediately recognize the 1,300 same sex couples who married in the brief window.

The Washington Blade reports:

The state of Utah must recognize the estimated 1,300 same-sex marriages performed within the state as legally valid, a federal judge ruled Monday. In the case of Evans v. Utah, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball issued a preliminary injunction requiring Utah to recognize the unions performed in state in the aftermath of another court decision in December striking down Amendment 3, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. “The State has placed Plaintiffs and their families in a state of legal limbo with respect to adoptions, child care and custody, medical decisions, employment and health benefits, future tax implications, inheritance, and many other property and fundamental rights associated with marriage,” Kimball writes. “These legal uncertainties and lost rights cause harm each day that the marriage is not recognized.”

Will the state comply? I smell an appeal.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.

Italy: Central Italian Town Votes for Marriage Equality

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento

A small town just south of Rome has voted to support recognition of a same sex couple’s wedding.

Towleroad.com reports:

Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento [pictured] were the first Italian gay couple to be married more than 10 years ago in Holland. In 2004 they asked the Ufficio dello Stato Civile of the Comune of Latina to register their marriage but their application was turned down. So the couple sued theComune of Latina, but in 2005 the Tribunale of latina rejected their complaint. Then they appealed the Court decision to the Court of Appeal of Rome where they found a second denial. Eventually the couple appealed the second negative decision to the Supreme Court of Cassation. In 2012 this court rejected their appeal but delivered a landmark opinion for LGBT rights. That Court said that the Italian laws should treat gay and straight couple equally. Antonio and Mario asked the Comune of Latina to record their marriage on April 15 and this afternoon the Council of the Latina approved in a 14-2 vote (1 absentee) a motion in support of the record of their marriage.

It’s now up to the Italian Government to decide whether to approve Latina’s request.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Italy.

Italy: Judge Orders City Council to Recognize Gay Couple’s New York Wedding

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Italy Gay CoupleSome big news out of Italy – for the first time, a gay couple’s wedding will be recognized by a local government in the country.

Towleroad.com reports:

An Italian court today recognized a gay couple as married for the first time in Italy, AFP reports: The court in Grosseto in Tuscany ordered the city council to list the couple, who had their wedding in New York in 2012, as married in a ruling that was immediately hailed by gay rights campaigners as historic. “This is an unprecedented case in our country,” Sergio Lo Giudice, a senator for the Democratic Party and a former head of the watchdog Arcigay, told reporters… Grosseto judge Claudio Boccini ruled that there was “no reference to gender” in the city council register of married couples and the couple in question should therefore be included.

It’s a long way from full marriage equality, but it is a crack in the wall in this very Catholic country.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Italy.

San Marino: Country Considers Recognizing Same Sex Marriages

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

San MarinoSan Marino, the beautiful city-state completely surrounded by Italy, is considering recognition of same sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Towleroad.com reports:

Federico Podeschi and Darren Williams, one of the first same-sex couples to marry in the UK last month, filed an instanza (Initiative of the Council) in San Marino’s official government office on Sunday to have their marriage recognized. Podeschi is originally from San Marino. The istanza is now before the two Reggenti (Governors) of San Marino who have a month to approve or reject the initiative. If approved the initiative would be introduced in the Consiglio Grande e Generale (San Marino legislature) and then the istanza will face a vote. The mandate of the Reggenti lasts only 6 months so in October San Marino will elect another two governors (and then in April 2015). If the two Reggenti reject the istanza the citizenry of San Marino could file the same initiative the first Sunday after the October elections.

San Marino is a beautiful little country that is effectively part of Italy, although it maintains its own government. We visited there a couple years ago – it has three fairy-tale castles perched on a tall hill, overlooking the Italian countryside below. Will this tiny nation effectively leapfrog Italy on LGBT rights?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.