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New York, USA: Photos From West Point’s First Same Sex Wedding

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

New York, USA: Photos From West Point's First Same Sex WeddingAbove you see one of the shots from Brenda Sue Fulton and Penelope Dara Gnesin’s wedding today at West Point’s chapel, the first same-sex nuptials at the military academy’s primary church space.

Fulton, a veteran, and Gnesin have been together for 17 years.

Authored By Andrew Belonsky – See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

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Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies Released

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

"Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies" ReleasedRainbow Law is pleased to announce that their new book – the Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies – is now available on Amazon.com and bookstores everywhere — just in time for the holidays!

The Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies is the first Dummies reference guide to comprehensively address the legal issues facing the LGBT Community, including estate planning, marriage equality, adoption, surrogacy, artificial insemination, immigration, housing, taxes and more.

The book was co-authored by Carrie Stone, JD, of Rainbow Law and John Culhane, JD, a law professor at Widener University School of Law.

The comprehensive and easy-to-use legal kit includes sample documents to help gay men and lesbians create the legal protections they need – especially in light of the ever-changing LGBT legal rights landscape.

“This book was intended to be user-friendly,” said Elisia Ross of Rainbow Law. “We hope that members of the LGBT community, our supporters and allies will use the Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies as they plan a family, navigate the dissolution of a relationship, or simply seek to protect their rights and those of their partners and children.”

The chapters address a broad range of topics, including:

o Living in a Same-Sex Marriage and Other Relationships
o Challenges Facing Same-Sex Couples and Their Children
o Facing Discrimination and Seeking Additional Help
o Home Sweet Home: Moving in Together
o Creating a Legal Family: Yours, Mine, and Ours
o Wading through Tax Issues for Unmarried Partners
o LGBT Estate Planning
o Wills
o Avoiding Probate
o Living Trusts
o Funding Your Trust
o Passing Along Your Employment Benefits to Your Partner
o Dealing With Personal Injury and Death of Your Partner
o Wading through Immigration Issues

Learn more about the Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies, see author bios, and learn how you can create the vital legal protections you and your loved ones need at www.rainbowlaw.com/same-sex-legal-kit-for-dummies.

Rainbow Law is the first and only online legal resource offering free and affordable legal documents specifically designed for the LGBT community.

Washington, USA: Boeing Won’t Give Survivor Benefits to Married Same Sex Couples

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Washington’s same-sex marriage victory is less than a month old, yet one disturbing report claims that one of the state’s most high-profile corporations plans to deny pension survivor benefits to same-sex married couples despite the legislation.

The Stranger cites Ray Goforth, the executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, who alleged that officials for the Boeing Company have “no intention of granting pension survivor benefits to legally married same-sex couples because they didn’t have to.”

Goforth, who reportedly heard the information during a retirement benefits talk, said representatives of the aerospace giant told him that as pensions are governed by federal law (which doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage), state law should have no impact on such benefits. “We were profoundly disappointed to see that they would use a loophole to engage in institutionalized discrimination,” he says.

See the Full Story at The Huffington Post

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USA: Target Releases Same Sex Wedding Registry Advertisement

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Target AdTarget recently unveiled a new ad for their wedding registry service featuring a gay male couple holding hands and dressed to the nines.

The ad proclaims “Be Yourself, Together.” Though the company came under fire for campaign donations to anti-gay marriage political groups and campaigns, Target has been a major sponsor for the Pride festivities in its hometown of Minneapolis, sold pride T-shirts benefiting the Family Equality Council, and ranks high on the Human Rights Campaign’s corporate equality index ranking businesses on LGBT-friendly workplace policies.

See the Full Story at Think Progress

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Nebraska, USA: Omaha Catholic Diocese Blocks Same Sex Wedding Announcement

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The Omaha Archdiocese caught wind of a same-sex wedding announcement that was going to be published in the newsletter of Marian High School, a Catholic school, and nipped it in the bud.

Authored By Andy Towle – See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

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USA: Esurance to Extend Discounts to Married, Partnered Same Sex Couples

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

EsuranceIn news that somehow slipped under the national radar, last week Esurance.com, the online affiliate of Allstate Insurance, announced it would be giving committed same-sex partners in civil unions or domestic partnerships in 21 states the same auto insurance discount that’s extended to legally married couples.

Why is this important, other than for being yet another step toward social and political acceptance for the LGBT community? It’s more cash in the bank: Married policyholders receive an average 10 percent discount off their auto insurance premiums compared with single policyholders.

Previously, Esurance extended discounts to same-sex couples living in California, Washington, Oregon, and Illinois. The program is now expanding to include motorists in any of the states in which it does business, regardless of whether or not the laws within those states actually acknowledge the partnerships or allow gay marriage.

Full Story from Forbes

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New York, USA: One of First Same Sex Divorces in State

Monday, June 25th, 2012

It was inevitable. The legalization of gay marriage in New York is yielding the first wave of gay divorces. Two lesbians who got hitched six days after the Marriage Equality Act took effect last summer have gone public with their breakup — which could result in one of the first gay divorces finalized in the state.

“I do very much feel like the president of the loneliest club in the world,” photographer Dese’Rae Stage, 29, wrote on her blog about her split with masseuse Katie Marks, also 29.

“How many gay divorcees do you know? It’s a horrible feeling to go through this huge life upheaval without the support of others who know exactly what you’re feeling.”

Full Story from the NY Daily News

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Conservative Jewish Movement Approves Same Sex Ceremonies

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

Conservative Jewish Movement Approves Same Sex CeremoniesThe Conservative branch of American Judaism has formally approved same-sex marriage ceremonies, nearly six years after lifting a ban on ordaining gays and lesbians.

The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards issued the ruling Thursday on a 13-0 vote with one abstention, said Rabbi Elliot Dorff, the committee chairman. The panel of scholars approved two model wedding ceremonies and guidelines for a same-sex divorce. Rabbis can adapt the marriage ceremonies for the couples.

“We acknowledge that these partnerships are distinct from those discussed in the Talmud as ‘according to the law of Moses and Israel,’ but we celebrate them with the same sense of holiness and joy as that expressed in heterosexual marriages,” the legal opinion states.

Full Story from The Washington Post

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Colorado State House Committee Approves Civil Unions Bill

Friday, May 4th, 2012

A Republican controlled House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill to establish civil unions in Colorado. The bill, sponsored by gay Denver Democrats Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Mark Ferrandino, passed 6-5 with support from Republican Rep. B.J. Nikkel of Loveland.

Nikkel, the House Whip, voted against the bill last year. “It was simply the right thing to do,” Nikkel said after the vote.

The bill is expected to clear all other committees, and become law if it reaches the full House floor by time the Colorado General Assembly is set to adjourn May 9. Scheduling the bill for a vote is up to House Leadership, Republicans who have voiced opposition to the bill.

At least three additional House Republicans have gone on record saying they’ll vote for the bill if it reaches the full floor: Reps. Kevin Priola, Robert Ramirez, and Laura Bradford.

Ferrandino said there is plenty of time to get the bill to Gov. John Hickenlooper who has vowed to sign the bill.

READ MORE at LGBTQ Nation

Amendment One is bad for North Carolina

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

‘Amendment One’ is a proposed change to Article 14 of the North Carolina State Constitution that will appear before the voters on the May 8, 2012 primary ballot across North Carolina.

Recently, President Barack Obama made his voice heard and came out against Amendment One, the proposed constitutional change placed on the May 8th primary ballot the GOP-led General Assembly.

While intended to hurt same-sex couples and families, Amendment One in North Carolina goes far beyond; it would ban relationship recognitions and threaten protections for all the state’s unmarried couples.

Amendment One is a poorly written law that will have serious negative, unintended and harmful consequences on North Carolina’s children and families.

Like the President, the Governor and all the 2012 Democratic Gubernatorial and Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidates, the North Carolina Democratic Party has asserted on its website that it is firmly committed to fighting against any piece of legislation that would hurt North Carolina citizens.

That is why they are encouraging all Democrats in that state to vote against Amendment One on May 8th to “keep North Carolina on the right side of history.”

Additionally, the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party unanimously passed a resolution to oppose Amendment One.

To view the NCDP resolution, please click HERE.

Other Democratic Party leaders from all across the North Carolina have also come out against Amendment One because it is a bad idea for North Carolina.

From the Democratic party website –

There are many reasons to vote against Amendment One.

Supporters of the amendment will try to define it as only a choice on gay marriage while ignoring the harm it could cause to children, to our seniors and to victims of domestic violence.

Amendment One is a poorly written law that will have serious negative, unintended and harmful consequences on North Carolina’s children and families. The truth is that Amendment One is bad for North Carolina for the following reasons.

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