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UK: Britain to Recognize Overseas Weddings; Queen Signs Scotland Marriage Equality Bill

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

LondonA couple marriage equality stories out of Britain today.

First off, as of this morning, same sex couples legally married in other countries are now recognized as married in the UK.

On Top Magazine reports:

The British government will begin recognizing the marriages of gay couples who married overseas as of Thursday… “It’s like being turned into a pumpkin on the stroke of midnight,” Celia Kitzinger, who married her wife Sue Wilkinson in Canada in 2003, told BuzzFeed. “We’ll be sitting there in bed with a bottle of champagne and at the stroke of midnight we’ll turn into a married couple. We’re going away to a hotel, having a nice meal and then at midnight we’ll be wife and wife again!”

In related news, the Scotland law took a step closer to becoming reality.

Gay Star News reports:

Queen Elizabeth II has signed same-sex marriage into law in Scotland today (13 March). By the end of the year, Scottish gay couples will be able to unite in matrimony. It is the last step in the long battle to get the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill through parliament, making it an Act.

Northern Ireland, we’re waiting for you to get your act together.

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

USA, California: Effort to Repeal Transgender Kids Law Survives First Count

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Transgender FlagAlthough an initial count of signatures revealed the effort to repeal California’s new law that protects transgender kids in schools didn’t have enough signatures to qualify, it did eke out enough for full recount.

The Advocate reports:

Since the deadline for turning in signatures this past November, the office of California’s secretary of state has been performing a spot-check to determine the validity rate. With the number turned in, the average validity rate needed to qualify for the ballot stands at 81.5%. Were the spot-check to yield a rate higher than that figure, the law would be suspended until after the ballot initiative this coming November. Los Angeles County, the final county being put through the spot-check process, came in with a validity rate of 77.8%, bringing the overall state rate to 77.93%. While this wasn’t a high enough rate to suspend the law and put the measure on the ballot, this did meet the threshold needed to launch a new verification process, this time checking each of the 619,241 signatures received. In the meantime, the law will remain in effect.

Let’s hope that the recount confirms the low validity rate of the initial count – we need to protect transgender students, some of the most vulnerable students in the school population. If it does get to the ballot, we need to fight it tooth and nail.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.

USA, Hawaii: Governor Signs Marriage Equality Bill, Lawsuit Looms

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Hawaii Governor Neil AbercrombieHawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed the marriage equality bill into law yesterday.

On Top Magazine reports:

The Democratic governor signed the legislation during a signing ceremony held at the Hawaii Convention Center. Among those in attendance was Evan Wolfson, president and founder of Freedom to Marry, the nation’s largest group devoted to expanding marriage rights for gay couples. Speakers at the event included Senator Clayton Hee and Rep. Chris Lee, who championed the bill in their respective chambers, and Attorney General David M. Louie.
“In the end, we are one ohana,” Lee said. “We are one family.” In his remarks, Abercrombie described the marriage law as “the epitome of the First Amendment in action.”

The law is scheduled to take effect on December 2nd, but there’s already a lawsuit pending.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Over the last few weeks as the Legislature debated SB1 — which passed through the Senate 19 to 4 on Tuesday afternoon — the Honolulu Capitol rotunda was crowded not only with cheering supporters of gay marriage, but opponents who chanted “Let the People Vote” and “Let the People Decide.” Among them was Hawaii Rep. Bob McDermott. The congressman has filed a lawsuit against Abercrombie claiming that same-sex marriage cannot be legalized until a court rules on the meaning of a constitutional amendment passed in 1998 about gay marriage. The online court docket shows a motion dated for Thursday asking for a temporary restraining order to be put in place on SB1.

The lawsuit was filed before the bill is passed, but the judge told the opponents to wait and come back afterwards. Will the judge issue a stay? A year ago, I would’ve said it’s very likely. But in this post DOMA world, it’s quite possible that the court will let the weddings continue while the lawsuit proceeds, just like the State Supreme Court did in New Jersey. We’ll see what happens this morning.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, Hawaii: Marriage Equality Bill Likely to Be Finalized by Senate Today

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

HawaiiThe Senate is likely to make it official in Hawaii today.

Towleroad reports:

Hawaii’s Senate addresses the marriage equality bill today and its House amendments. The bill is expected to easily pass and could be signed by Wednesday, Hawaii News Now reports: The jubilation is expected to continue for same sex marriage supporters. The Senate already voted 20 to 4 backing the bill and the amendments aren’t expected to change any minds in Tuesday’s final vote. Then it goes to the Governor for final approval. “We’re on the cusp of becoming one of the states that is going to be recognizing marriage equity,” said Blake Oshiro, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Hawaii is set to become the 16th state to allow marriage equality. Same-sex couples will begin marrying as of December 2. Who wants to go to Hawaii to get married?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, New Jersey: Gov. Christie Signs Bill to Ban Ex-Gay Therapy for Minors

Monday, August 19th, 2013

New Jersey Governor Cris ChristieIn a surprise move, New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie is expected to sign a bill that would ban so-called ex-gay therapy for minors. Think Progress reports:

CHRISTIE: The American Psychological Association has found that efforts to change sexual orientations can pose critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.

California was the first state to pass such a ban, although it is under litigation in the courts currently. Is Christie trying to establish some cred with the LGBT Community after vetoing the marriage equality bill?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Jersey.

USA, Florida: Formerly Anti-Gay NBA Player Joins Push for Marriage Equality

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

FloridaA formerly anti-gay Miami Heat player has signed the petition to overturn Florida’s gay marriage ban. USA Today reports:

A group called Equal Marriage Florida is launching a petition to get same-sex marriage constitutionally recognized by the state of Florida in 2014. The petition needs at least 680,000 signatures for the measure to make the ballot. And the group has already lined up a high-profile first signer: former Miami Heat star Tim Hardaway. This is a big deal for one reason: Hardaway used to be one of the most vocally homophobic professional athletes in the country. “I hate gay people, so let it be known,” Hardaway said in a radio interview in 2007. “I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. It should not be in the world or in the United States.”

Kudos to Hardaway for executing a 180 on the issue.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Florida.

Delaware, USA: Transgender Rights Bill Signed by Governor

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

DelawareDelaware just passed and signed into law new protections for its transgender citizens. Joe.My.God reports:

This afternoon Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed a transgender rights bill into law hours after it was approved by the state Senate. The Washington Blade reports: Delaware Gov. Jack Markell on Wednesday signed a bill that will add gender identity and expression to his state’s anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws. “Discrimination on basis of gender identity is inherently wrong,” he said. “Legislation to prohibit it is inherently right.” The state Senate by an 11-9 vote margin earlier in the day approved an amended version of Senate Bill 97 that passed in the Delaware House of Representatives on Tuesday.

It’s a good reminder, as we wait in the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decisions, that there’s still a lot of work to do on other issues of importance to the LGBT community. And they don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Delaware.

France: President Hollande Signs Marriage Equality Law; First Weddings in Ten Days

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

ParisJust a day after the French Constitutional Court gave its stamp of approval to the new gay marriage law, the President signed it into law. reports:

As expected, French President Francois Hollande signed a bill into law today making France the 14th country with marriage equality. It was only yesterday that France’s Constitutional Council approved the bill. The very first same-sex marriages in that country could come as soon as the last week of May. Just before he signed the bill, Hollande expressed his support for marriage equality in France saying: “I will ensure that the law applies across the whole territory, in full, and I will not accept any disruption of these marriages.”

Buzzfeed notes:

The bill also legalized adoption for same-sex couples, although the Constitutional Council noted Friday that, as the BBC reported, “the interest of the child would be paramount in adoption cases, cautioning that legalising same-sex adoption would not automatically mean the ‘right to a child’.”

The first marriage may be in Montpellier, as LGBQ Nation reports:

The mayor of Montpellier, France announced that her city will celebrate the first gay marriage on 29 May. The celebration will take place as soon as the French marriage equality law is officially promulgated, ten days after signed by president Francois Hollande and published in the Official Journal, explained today (18 May) the city’s mayor Helene Mandroux. Mandroux is expected to marry 40 year-old Vincent Autin, chair of Inter-LGBT Languedoc-Roussillon region and 30 year-old Bruno, who have been together since last September.

Amazing – France is now the 14th country to approve marriage equality nationwide.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in France.

Colorado, USA: Governor Hickenlooper Signs Civil Unions Bill

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Colorado Governor John HickenlooperAfter months of waiting, Colorado’s new civil unions bill finally reached Governor Hickenlooper’s desk, where he signed it today, surrounded by supporters. LGBTQ Nation reports:

The signing ceremony marked the end of a three-year journey that began Valentine’s Day 2011 on the north steps of the state’s Capitol when the bill’s sponsors, flanked by supporters, introduced the legislation for the first time. The Democrat’s signature makes Colorado the 18th state to offer comprehensive relationship recognition to same-sex couples and, according to gay activists, finally admonished Colorado’s “hate state” reputation. “This is a moment the whole community has been waiting for,” Hickenlooper said. “But it’s just the beginning. A change has gotten here.”

The law takes effect on May 1st.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Colorado.

Maryland, USA: It’s Official – Governor O’Malley Signs Marriage Equality Law

Friday, December 7th, 2012

It's Official - Maryland Governor O'Malley Signs Marriage Equality LawMaryland Governor Martin O’Malley wanted to share the moment on Thursday (6 December) when he signed a proclamation that certifies voter approval of same-sex marriage in his state.

So, he took to Twitter and tweeted out a photo of himself, pen in hand, making the law official.

Along with the photo he wrote: ‘Court houses can now issue licenses to same-sex couples for January weddings. #Dignity.’

Authored By Geeg Hernandez – See the Full Story at Gay Star News

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Maryland.

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