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American Bar Association Takes Stand for LGBT Rights

Friday, August 15th, 2014

ABAThe 400K member American Bar Association took a stand this week on LGBT rights.

Gay Star News reports:

At its annual meeting in Boston this week, the American Bar Association officially adopted a policy recognizing the rights of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender as basic human rights. A four paragraph resolution passed by the association’s 560-member House of Delegates condemns laws, regulations, rules and practices that discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of their status and encourages the US government to work to end this discrimination.

The ABA is a powerful ally, especially since most of the battles for LGBT rights in the US are now being fought in the courts.

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USA, West Virginia: City Passes Marriage Equality Resolution

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

West VirginiaThe city of Morgantown has unanimously passed a resolution favoring marriage equality.

The DA Online reports:

The Morgantown City Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of the Employment and Housing Non-Discrimination Act in the West Virginia Legislature and a resolution in support of marriage equality in the West Virginia Legislature. The two resolutions were of large public interest; dozens of people unable to go inside the chamber due to seat limitations. More than 20 people, including West Virginia University students and faculty and representatives from various organizations, took a stand and expressed their support for the resolutions without opposition.

Unanimous, and without opposition – in West Virginia!!!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in West Virginia.

USA, Indiana: Evansville Joins Bloomington in Opposition to Marriage Equality Ban

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

IndianaThe Evansville, Indiana City Council voted to oppose a proposed gay marriage ban last night.

14 News reports:

The Evansville City Council took a stand Monday night against a proposed state constitutional amendment that would permanently define marriage as being between a man and a woman. It’s already against the law in Indiana for marriage to be anything other than a union between one man and one woman, but there’s a push in the state to get that law written into the constitution. It’s known as HJR 6, and the council passed a resolution voicing its opposition to that measure.

Evansville and Bloomington are the third and sixth largest cities in the state. Both the mayor and Chamber of Commerce in Indianapolis, the state’s largest city, have come out in opposition to the ban. Anyone know if there’s a movement afoot for the Indianapolis city Council to vote against it?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Indiana.

Japan: First District Supports LGBT Rights

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Yodogawa Ward, Japan - Google Maps

From Google Maps

A government board in Japan has become the first of its kind to support LGBT rights.

Dot429 reports:

A Japanese district has come out in support of LGBT rights. With over 170,000 residents, the government ward Yodogawa in Osaka has become the first Japanese district to pass a resolution on LGBT issues. “In order to make this city a livable place for a diversity of people, Yodogawa Ward respects the human rights of LGBT people,” reads the resolution. “Therefore, we will carry out staff human rights training in regards to the LGBT community; disperse accurate information about the LGBT community; support the activities of the LGBT community and listen to the voices of the LGBT community”

Even a year ago, there were very few LGBT rights stories coming out of Asia. What a difference twelve months can make.

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USA, Texas: LGBT Equality Resolution May Be Back

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Dallas City Hall

Dallas City Hall – Apple Maps

After dying a quiet death several months ago, a resolution in support of job nondiscrimination and marriage equality may be getting a new life.

The Dallas Voice reports:

Councilman Scott Griggs, the resolution’s author, said this week he plans to bring it before a committee in coming months. Committee meetings begin next week. It’s been nearly three months since a showdown at City Hall between LGBT advocates and council members who opposed the resolution after it failed to make it onto the June 12 agenda. This was after former Councilwoman Delia Jasso pulled her support from a memo, which meant the council was no longer required to consider the item… Griggs has rewritten the resolution to include the landmark rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court in two marriage equality cases in late June. He said he’s sent the draft to Councilman Adam Medrano, who chairs the LGBT Task Force, to get the group’s input on the language.

It shouldn’t be so difficult to get a non-binding resolution passed. But this is Texas, after all.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Texas, USA: Dallas City Council Fights Over Marriage Equality Resolution

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Texas mapThere’s been quite a lot going on in Dallas over a proposed marriage equality resolution, including Mayor Mike Rawlings claiming not to be absent while on a trip to South America to block any action during his absence. Wednesday morning, gay rights activists showed up at a city council meeting to push for a vote. The Dallas Voice reports:

Tensions ran high after speakers addressed the council, resulting in several audience members walking out, turning their backs on Councilman Dwaine Caraway and even shouting at council members during the meeting. Lesbian activist Cd Kirven said she expected more from council members and that they should support civil rights. “You, as a municipal representative, should always represent those ideals and are a critical part of freedom’s foundation,” Kirven told council members. “Again the LGBT community is disappointed by officials who claim to be allies.” She then asked the few dozen audience members wearing red in support of marriage equality to stand to show the strong presence of the LGBT community.

The Dallas Morning News also reports from the meeting, where one council member questioned the strategies being used to block the resolution:

Outgoing council member Angela Hunt, who signed Griggs’ memo to get the resolution on the agenda, isn’t buying it. “Pauline, thank you for having the courage to step forward,” said Hunt. “I have been amazed by the legalistic gymnastics that have been created to avoid putting this on the agenda. … I think it is absolutely wrong that the word ‘absence’ no longer means ‘absence.’ The mayor will be marked in the minutes as absent on city business. The charter does not say absent and incapable of serving his duties. The charter says absent orincapable of assuming his duties.”

KERA News thinks the incoming city council might have better luck:

Councilwoman Delia Jasso scuttled the resolution last month when she removed her support, leaving it without the necessary five signatures to call a vote. Mayor Mike Rawlings declined to move it forward, saying marriage equality is not a city issue. But, council members generally agreed they would take it up in committee and likely send a marriage and workplace equality resolution to the next council, which will be sworn in June 24. Council member Jerry Allen said he would be pleased to introduce it in the budget, finance and audit committee, which he chairs.

It’s amazing how hard they are fighting against what’s purely a symbolic resolution. But it would be a big blow to opponents to have one of Texas’s biggest cities on the record for marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Northern Ireland, UK: Local District Council Supports Marriage Equality

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Northern Ireland - google maps

from Google Maps

A local district council in Northern Ireland has just passed a resolution endorsing marriage equality. Pink News reports:

The District Council in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, has passed a Sinn Fein motion in favour of “supporting the same rights and entitlements to civil marriages for all citizens of Fermanagh regardless of race, religion or sexuality.” The motion passed, despite strong DUP opposition, with one councillor stating his religious objections to allowing all citizens to marry.

This is the second time the council tried to pass the bill – it failed the first time, in September.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

Texas, USA: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings Calls Marriage Equality Resolution a “Misuse” of Time

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Dallas Mayor Mike RawlingsAs the Dallas city council prepares to vote on a marriage equality endorsement, the city’s mayor thinks it’s all a waste of time. The Dallas Voice reports:

Rawlings’ chief of staff told the Morning News that the mayor hadn’t read the resolution, even though he received a copy of it three weeks ago. Then, on Wednesday, Rawlings told The DMN’s Rudy Bush that while he personally supports marriage equality, he doesn’t think the council should debate political issues over which it has no power: “I don’t want to be talking about late-term abortions, or gun control, or GITMO,” he said. To do so is “a misuse of City Council time.”

Rawlings has also refused to join the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry… but great, he “personally” supports marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Texas, USA: Dallas Set to Pass Marriage Equality Endorsement; Bills Pending in Legislature

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Dallas Councilman Scott GriggsDallas City Councilman Scott Groggs says he has the votes to pass a marriage equality resolution. The Dallas Voice reports:

Griggs has said he didn’t want to place the item on the agenda until he was sure it had the eight votes needed to pass. He told me Friday that in addition to the seven council members who’ve previously indicated support for the resolution, Sandy Greyson is now a yes. Greyson couldn’t immediately be reached to confirm her position. The other seven supporters are Griggs and co-author Delia Jasso, along with Angela Hunt, Pauline Medrano, Monica Alonzo, Jerry Allen and Dwaine Caraway.

The New York Times reports on a pair of marriage equality bills before the Texas legislature:

LIFE has been quiet in Paris — Paris, Texas, that is. Earlier this year, two bills for the legalization of gay marriage were submitted in the Texas legislature. While the odds for their passage are long, the passions they have aroused are slight. No boisterous anti-gay marriage demonstrations have wound past the local (65-foot-tall) Eiffel Tower, and the only red meat tossed around has been on backyard grills. In fact, all that our gun-toting governor, Rick Perry, could muster on the subject was a tepid: “In Texas, it is fairly clear about where this state stands on that issue.” Where Texans stand is not just further to the left than Perry believes — polls reveal that a majority of young Republicans support gay marriage — but also to the left of residents of the other Paris — the one in France.

As the article says, the odds of passage in Texas for a marriage equality bill are about zero with the GOP controlled legislature. But the fact that it’s even being debated in such a red state is nothing short of miraculous. The battle is now being fought in red-state territory in a positive way, as opposed to ten years ago when anti marriage equality bills were common in blue states.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Oklahoma, USA: Senate Approves Anti Marriage Equality Resolution

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Defense of Marriage ActA few days ago, we reported on the Oklahoma house passage of a bill to support the Defense of Marriage Act. Now the Senate has passed it too. Oklahoma’s Own reports:

A nonbinding resolution to reaffirm marriage as a union between a man and a woman and support the federal Defense of Marriage Act has been approved in the Oklahoma Senate. The resolution sponsored by Norman Republican Sen. Rob Standridge was quickly adopted Tuesday on a voice vote. The House passed the resolution unanimously last week, but more than a dozen representatives walked out of the chamber instead of voting.

Nothing else pressing that needed doing in Oklahoma? Jobs? The economy?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oklahoma.