A majority of Italians now support marriage equality. The Huffington Post reports (original is in Italian):
54% of Italians favor marriage between people of the same sex: the poll was conducted by the research institution Datamonitor. The poll also showed that a large majority are also against gay adoption. The percent in favor of marriage equality has grown since the last survey, in May of 2012, that showed that 53.4% approved. 43.2% of Italians are against marriage equality, vs. 44.2% in May of last year.
Regarding the possibility of gay adoption, 77.1% think it should not be a possibility (vs. 77.5% in 2012), and only 20.5% are in favor – an improvement over last year’s 19.8%. The survey was taken nationally on December 10th, 2012, via telephone, with a sample of 4,561 individuals.
Sadly, the new Prime Minister just put the kibosh on a modest civil unions proposal.
Thanks to Linda Giovanna Zambanini for bringing this to our attention!
5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF CALIFORNIA MARRIAGE DECISION
Yes, five years ago today, the California Supreme Court opened a brief windo for marriage equality in the Golden State. Shumway reports:
As the L.A. Times noted, the ruling was the most historic and sweeping decision of its kind to date: The court was poised 4 to 3 not only to legalize same-sex marriage but also to extend to sexual orientation the same broad protections against bias previously saved for race, gender and religion. The decision went further than any other state high court’s and would stun legal scholars, who have long characterized George and his court as cautious and middle of the road.
EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON PROP 8
Equality on Trial recaps some of the latest analysis on the Prop 8 case at the US Supreme Court:
Greg Stohr, writing in Bloomberg News, takes a look at the looming decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Prop 8 case. The Justices are widely expected to issue the decision in late June, possibly in the last days of the Term. The piece examines the issue of the Prop 8 proponents’ legal standing to appeal the case, an issue that was briefed and argued in the case and is a threshold issue the Justices will need to decide before reaching the merits. The issue of Article III standing is important in the case because none of the government defendants appealed the district court’s decision striking down the initiative, and that left only the ballot initiative proponents to appeal.
DOES ROE V. WADE MEAN A CAUTIOUS RESPONSE ON PROP 8, DOMA?
Over at Slate, they’re looking at Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s statements about Roe v. Wade:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg doubled down over the weekend on her ongoing criticism of Roe v. Wade. Ginsburg’s concern is about backlash: She says that by issuing the ruling that legalized abortion across the country in 1973, a group of “unelected old men” stopped the momentum that was building among the states. “That was my concern, that the court had given opponents of access to abortion a target to aim at relentlessly,” she said at the University of Chicago Law School. “My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change.”
OLDER AMERICANS PUSHING UP SUPPORT OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN USA
Think Progress has another take on that Gallup poll yesterday showing 53% support for marriage equality:
For example, that 41 percent for 65 and over sounds, and is, low compared to the 70 percent figure for the 18-29 demographic. But that 41 percent is also 27 points higher than the figure for 65 and over in 1996 (a mere 14 percent supported legal same-sex marriage then). Essentially none of this change is accounted for by the entrance of younger cohorts into the 65 and over group because 50-64 year olds in 1996 were just as conservative (15 percent support) as those 65 and over.
ONLY 18% OF REPUBLICANS THINK AMERICANS SUPPORT MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Another interesting number from the poll – just a small percentage of republicans think Americans support marriage equality. On Top Magazine reports.
Less than half of Democrats (43%) and independents (30%) believe the public supports marriage equality. And 18 percent of Republicans say the public supports gay nuptials, while 77 percent say the public is opposed. For roughly two years, polls have found that a majority of Americans support marriage equality. Gallup’s poll found 53 percent of respondents support its legalization, while 45 percent remain opposed.
VIRGINIA SENATOR LAUNCHES PETITION TO REPEAL DOMA
Virginia’s Senator Mark Warner is launching a petition to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. Joe.My.God reports:
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) has launched a petition to the Supreme Court demanding the overturn of DOMA. Via email from Warner’s office: “Even though many states now recognize the rights of committed same-sex couples to marry, the federal government continues to discriminate. Same-sex couples are denied all sorts of legal rights – like access to their spouse’s insurance benefits and Social Security survivor benefits – because of an outdated law called DOMA. That’s just wrong.”
WHAT DO AMERICANS ON THE STREET THINK ABOUT MARRIAGE EQUALITY?
Next up from Towleroad.com, a fun video where Susie Sampson asks Americans on the street what they think about marriage equality (spoof).
SOME SPECULATE NORTH DAKOTA COULD BE NEXT
OK, it’s a long shot, but it’s amazing progress that we’re even talking about marriage equality and North Dakota in the same sentence. Watermark reports:
Voters would have to approve same-sex marriage in North Dakota because marriage is defined in the state’s constitution as being between a man and a woman. Tom Freier, executive director of the North Dakota Family Alliance, which favors that view of marriage, said he doesn’t think much has changed in voters’ minds in the past nine years. He said he doesn’t think the state’s political views align with Minnesota or the other states that recently legalized same-sex marriage. UND law professor Steven Morrison said North Dakotans’ views on marriage laws won’t change overnight, but he believes “the tide is shifting” nationally and change eventually will come to North Dakota. “You’re going to see a lot of North Dakotans who know people (in Minnesota) who are gay or lesbian and who are married,” he said.
MARRIAGE EQUALITY TESTIMONY FRON THREE YOUNG PEOPLE IN NEVADA
The Advocate flags videos of three young people in Nevada who gave testimony last week in favor of marriage equality:
The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada has released a handful of videos from last week’s testimony regarding a resolution that would remove language from Nevada’s constitution that limits marriage to opposite-sex couples and replaces it with language recognizing all marriages.
ANG LADLAD FAILS TO WIN SEAT IN THE PHILIPPINES
The world’s first LGBT party, Ang Ladlad, failed to get enough votes to win a seat in the House. Gay Star News reports:
The early results for the Philippines’ midterm elections suggest that Ang Ladlad, the world’s only LGBT political party, has failed to win a seat in congress. Official election results report that the party got 75,913 votes, only 0.37% of the vote. A party needs at least 2% (570,112 votes at this election) of the vote to get a seat under the Philippines’ partylist system.
CHINESE LGBT ACTIVISTS PUSH FOR RIGHTS
Over at SDGLN, they’re reporting on a push for LGBT rights in China:
Xiao Tie works at Beijing’s LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender] center, working to end discrimination against homosexuals in China. Last February the battle became personal, when Xiao tried to marry her partner, Elsie Liao. She went to the local Civil Affairs Bureau to apply for a marriage certificate. “When we went to register, the local officer was a man, he was very impolite and very bad to us. He kept saying ‘it’s not possible, the marriage law says no’ and told us to go elsewhere. But when we decided to do that we knew it would never happen, our main aim was to express our need,” she said.
GLOBAL KISS-IN PLANNED FOR MAY 17TH
Gay Star News reports on a gloabl kiss-in planed for IDAHO day, May 17th:
It does not matter whether you are gay, bisexual or straight, there is a worldwide call to combat homophobia with a kiss this week. Across the globe, there will be several ‘kiss-ins’ promoting the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. In the UK, Manchester’s Lesbian & Gay Foundation will ‘Kiss Hate Goodbye’ with a flash mob on 18 May.
Finally, three transgender-related stories for you:
NEVADA ASSEMBLY PASSES HATE CRIME BILL
Edge Boston reports on a bill to protect transgender citizens:
The Assembly passed SB139 by a 30-11 margin Tuesday. The bill already cleared the Senate and now heads to Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. The bill adds “gender identity or expression” to the list of motivations deemed to be hate crimes already in statute. Violators would be subject to the penalties for the actual crime committed and additional penalties because of the motivation.
TEXAS PROPOSES BILL TO BLOCK TRANSGENDER CITIZENS FROM MARRYING
Texas is going in the opposite direction with a late-session bill that would require ID for getting married. The Dallas Voice reports:
The Texas Senate on Tuesday passed SB 1218, which would prohibit anyone from obtaining a marriage license with a document that lacks a photo, including an affidavit of sex change. Daniel Williams, field organizer with Equality Texas, said the bill’s author, state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, stated that her intent with the bill was to require a photo be shown to get a marriage license. However, removing an affidavit of sex change from the list of documents that can be used to obtain marriage licenses could bar transgender people from marrying people of the opposite sex.
NEW REPORT TO DETAIL SUFFERING OF EUROPE’S TRANSGENDER CITIZENS
And finally, a new report is due to be released on IDAHO day, as Gay Star News reports:
Trans people are still suffering from discrimination, prejudice and persecution in Europe, a new report has found. Published on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (17 May), it will expose the ‘bleak’ legal challenges trans people face across 49 countries in Europe. Transgender Europe (TGEU) will show which of the countries require sterilization in legal gender recognition and which do not provide for any procedures.
Whew – what a day!
First, out of Michigan, Dave Agema, a former state representative who achieved infamy for saying that gays were promiscuous, spread AIDS, and were pedophiles on his Facebook page, is back at it again. On Top Magazine reports:
“If [gay marriage] were to pass nationwide, I fear what kids would be taught in school,” Agema told the Detroit News. “If it’s a government-sanctioned lifestyle, hate crimes would begin for those speaking out against it, and we would lose our freedom of speech. Then they would come to churches and take tax-exempt status away from churches that didn’t support the lifestyle. That’s what happened in other countries.”
Just like you lost your freedom of speech to call African Americans the “N” word?
Newcomer to this feature, Minnesota evangelist John Piper, has a lovely quote about gays living together, as Joe.My.God reports:
“Living in a sexual relationship with a person of the same sex is forbidden in Scripture with terrifying clarity. ‘Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). This means putting a child in the personal care of a same-sex couple would put the child’s soul at jeopardy along with the couple’s souls. The couple would be endorsed by the adoption, and thus their hell-bound pattern of life would be endorsed, implying that we don’t care if they go to hell, which would be unloving. And the child would be taught that a damning behavior is normal and acceptable.”
In Illinois, a group of religious leaders also played the religious freedom (ie: the freedom to continue to discriminate against the gays) card. CBS reports:
“We believe we are standing up for the best interests of families in this state. Once gay marriage goes forward…all religious freedoms shall then be assaulted and attacked and begin to be shut down,” said Pastor Richard Giovannetti, of Morris.
And finally, sometime’s its as much about what they don’t say as what they do. As Media Matters reports:
Fox News spent one minute covering the historic legalization of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota over the past several weeks. According to an Equality Matters analysis, the network completely ignored the passage of marriage equality legislation in Delaware and made only passing mentions of Rhode Island and Minnesota’s new marriage laws.
If I don’t talk about it, maybe it doesn’t exist?
Marriage equality bills have made it through three states in quick order these last three weeks – Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota. Now Illinois is the last remaining state with pending legislation (not counting Nevada, which if passed will still need two more years to come to fruition).
Although the state Senate has already passed the marriage-equality bill and Gov. Pat Quinn is urging passage, the bill is stalled in the state House due to uncertainty of the vote. Some of the swing votes are in the largely African-American districts in the Chicago area… The dawdling by the Illinois House allowed Minnesota the honor of becoming the first Midwestern legislature to approve same-sex marriage. Iowa was the first to grant marriage equality, but that was permitted by a state Supreme Court ruling. If passed, Illinois would become the 13th U.S. state to legalize gay marriage.
Towleroad.com hilights a new video that shows the head of the Illinois Family Institute claiming that there is no momentum for the bill, along with a “gay rights leader” who is unnamed in the video talking about the House vote.
Speaking of the IFI, Think Progress looks at some of the tactics and positions of the anti-gay group:
Today, IFI posted numerous photos from its rally this weekend, including a sign that reads, “The crime against nature will never be equal.”
Speakers at the rally included ex-gay advocate Linda Jernigan and another hate group leader, Peter LaBarbera, who told the crowd that homosexuality is “unnatural and wrong,” citing HIV rates among men who have sex with men as evidence of “the dangers of homosexuality.”
IFI has claimed gays and lesbians already have equality because they can marry the opposite sex like everyone else; same-sex marriage is thus a demand “to be treated specially.”
IFI recommends language that demonizes the gay community, encouraging opponents of equality to frame their resistance as compassion.
On Top Magazine reports that the coalition pushing for marriage equality is calling for a House vote:
On Tuesday, Illinois Unites for Marriage, the coalition of groups lobbying for passage of the marriage bill, called on lawmakers to act. “I am thrilled that another state has chosen to recognize that marriage is about a commitment two people share, no matter who they are,” said Bernard Cherkosov, CEO of Equality Illinois, a coalition member. “Illinois looks forward to soon join the Midwest consensus for equal marriage.”
Finally, Edge Boston looks at the role of Black Churches in the debate:
Black churches – where the pulpit has always been political – are deeply divided over their support for same-sex marriage and are central to the Illinois measure’s passage, which awaits a House vote as early as this week. On either side of the issue, pastors and politically active congregations have waged intense campaigns with robocalls, columns and sermons. “The soup always boils just before it’s done and the soup is boiling now,” said the Rev. Phyllis Pennese, an openly gay pastor who runs a tiny congregation for black gay, lesbian and transgendered people in the Chicago suburb of Summit. “That’s why there’s all this fury around this issue because it’s almost about to be done.”
So when will the House step up to the plate? It’s time for marriage equality in Illinois – 16 days and counting until the end of the legislative session.
A second Oregon baker refuses to work with a same sex couple on their wedding cake. Think Progress reports:
Another bakery in Oregon has refused to sell a cake to a same-sex couple for their commitment ceremony. Erin Hanson and Katie Pugh reached out to Fleur Cakes for a wedding cake for their celebration near Mt. Hood, but owner Pam Regentin made it quite clear she would not serve them because they are a same-sex couple. KATU News reporter Dan Cassuto reached Regentin by phone to confirm she understood she was clearly violating Oregon’s nondiscrimination law:
CASSUTO: Pam, are you aware that it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation if you have a business that serves the public.
REGENTIN: I believe that I have the liberty to live by my principles.
See the news report at the link above.
Virginia’s yet another state to show a big jump in marriage equality support – at 56$, it’s up 10% from a year ago. Think Progress reports:
Virginia has also experienced significant progress. A new Washington Post poll shows that 56 percent support marriage equality — up 10 points from two years ago — while 43 percent remain opposed. A series of recent posts have shown mixed results in Virginia, such as two polls last month that only found 45 percent for the freedom to marry, while an October poll found 49 percent support. Many of these polls found higher support for civil unions or other forms of relationship recognition for same-sex couples.
The pace of the change this last year has been breathtaking, and we are literally struggling to keep up with all the news that’s pouring in. It’s a good problem to have.
Just nine years ago, only 24% of Michiganders supported marriage equality. Now that number has jumped to 54%. The Detroit News reports:
Support for same-sex marriage has increased to 56.8 percent, up 12.5 percentage points from last year — movement fueled largely by shifting opinions from Republicans and independents, the poll of 600 registered voters by the Glengariff Group Inc. showed. The support is in contrast to 2004, when Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
What’s more surprising to me is the fact that the shift mostly came from “Republicans and independents” – usually the movement in the past has been fueld by independents and democrats. Don’t suppose the GOP legislature and Governor Rock Snyder wanna pass a marriage equality bill?
First off, some rights have been granted to same sex couples in Italy, but only if they are politicians. Gay Star News reports:
The Italian Camera dei Deputati (the lower chamber of the Parliament) has approved a new rule which extends its politician’s health benefits to their gay partners. Now LGBT ‘deputati’, or members of the parliament (MPs), who pay for their insurance, can have their rights extended to the men or the women they live with. The move was pushed for by gay deputati Ivan Scalfarotto who wanted his own partner protected.
It’s a good start; now how about applying it to everyone else?
In Rome, Dot429 reports that a new campaign has been launched to push for LGBT equality there:
Activists in Rome have launched a campaign to improve LGBT equality in the city, ahead of local elections later this month. The five-point platform asks for commitments from politicians on homophobia and transphobia, equality in service provision, improved LGBT health services, promotion of LGBT culture and events, and also support for tourism and businesses in the community. “The four main candidates running for Mayor subscribed to our platform, plus a number of candidates for the City Council. Overall, the response to our initiative was surprisingly enthusiastic,” Activist Carlo Chiattelli told 429Magazine.
Finally, up in Milan, a court recognized a UK civil partnership for a gay Italian couple. Gay Star News reports:
A local court in Milan has recognized a British civil partnership – the first time Italy has legally recognized a gay union from abroad. Now the civil union between Cristian, a biologist, and Federico, an IT specialist, will be added to the Milan’s Registro delle Unioni Civili, a list of same-sex couples put in place by left-wing mayor Giuliano Pisapia. The decision of the tribunal does not mean that Cristian and Federico’s civil partnership is now recognized by Italy. But, thanks to the Registro, they can now apply for local welfare, local benefits and have their relationship recognized if their partner goes into hospital.
Small steps, all of them. But taken together, they may represent the beginning of a wave of change in Italy. Let’s hope.
First off, Conservative MP David Burrowes has admitted that he’s only pushing for a public vote on marriage equality to derail the bill in Parliament. Pink News reports:
Later in the interview, Mr Parris said to Mr Burrowes: “You don’t want a debate you just want to defeat the measure don’t you?” Mr Burrowes replied: “Well I want both.” Presenter Jo Coburn then said to Mr Burrowes: “Right so it is a vehicle you want to use [in order to] defeat a measure you don’t like?” The MP replied: “Well it would be… it would affect the commencement of this bill, but I am concerned about that as well as trying to ensure we have freedom of speech, properly protected in the bill, surely the government will be able to accept that when it comes to those amendments on Monday.”
Another MP, Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather complained that she didn’t go onto politics for this. Pink News reports:
Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather says voting against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in February was “an extremely difficult choice”. In an interview with the Catholic Herald, the north London Brent MP and former children’s minister said: “In many ways I’d rather not resurrect the whole argument again. It wasn’t one of those issues that I went into politics to tackle, but once a vote became inevitable I spent ten or 11 months weighing up the issues – of equality on the one hand and family life and what it meant for the definition of marriage on the other.” She added: “I did a lot of reading and eventually I came to my conclusion, based not on any effect it would have in the short-term, but on the change it would mean for marriage over a longer period of time.”
Maria Miller, the Minister for Equalities, is also in the news today. First off, Pink News reports that she’s denying claims that the marriage equality bill has been fast tracked:
“One factual error in what you said is that there was a very clear statement by the Conservative Party around looking at same-sex marriage in our Contract for Equalities that was issued at the general election. It was in a very extensive manifesto commitment document around equalities and it highlighted commitment to equality in this area.” She added: “Any claims that this has been fast-tracked is not accurate. The amount of consultation, the largest consultation that Government has ever seen, really took place over a year. Since the consultation, extensive analysis of that, then discussion around the bill.”
Miller also expressed surprise that it’s taken the UK so long to get around to marriage equality:
The minister then told the Joint Committee on Human Rights: “It is surprising that other countries have done this [introduced same-sex marriage] as far back as 2001. Given our extremely strong record on equality and human rights, it is surprising that is for so many years that this hasn’t been considered.” She added: “Civil partnerships was of course a first step but I think that this step is more valuable.”
Gay activist Peter Tatchell criticized Miller for ruling out the possibility that straight couples could enter into civil partnerships once gays and lesbians can marry. Pink News reports:
Yesterday, Mrs Miller told the parliamentary joint committee on human rights: “We don’t feel there is either a necessity or a requirement to open up civil partnerships to heterosexual couples because there is no deficit there – there is no lack of an ability to be able to formalise a relationship in a legal way. “It is already there for heterosexual couples. It’s called marriage.” … Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who has repeatedly called for the coalition’s equal marriage plans to include civil partnerships for heterosexuals told PinkNews.co.uk: “This is a hugely disappointing decision by the government. But I am hopeful that the amendment to open up civil partnerships to heterosexual couples will be carried by MPs next week. While legalising marriage equality is welcome and commendable, the government’s refusal to end discrimination against straight couples in civil partnership law is flawed and wrong.
Gay Star News reports that upstart right-wing party UKIP, which has conservatives worried about challenges in the next election, has made a startling admission:
Despite a quadruple legal lock protecting religious groups from being told to conduct marriages for gay couples, the right-wing political party led by Nigel Farage has said the safeguards are not strong enough. But if Britain was to exist as an independent state and outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, then no gay couple would be able to challenge the marriage bill’s legal locks. Speaking to Gay Star News, a senior UKIP spokesman said: ‘If we find ourselves outside of the legislation of the European Court of Human Rights, we may have a different opinion [on same-sex marriage].
So basically the UKIP would back off their opposition to marriage equality, maybe, if the UK left the European Union.
Finally, in a somewhat amusing development, shopkeepers near Prime Minister David Cameron’s office are complaining that anti-gay marriage protests are driving away customers. Pink News reports:
Retailers close to David Cameron’s constituency office have claimed that their takings are down due to anti-gay marriage protestors. The Coalition for Marriage, a group that opposes equal rights for same-sex couples has regularly staged protests and leaflet distribution drives outside the Witney Office of the Prime Minister in Oxfordshire. Earlier this month, the same-sex marriage opponents have delivered a postcard petition signed by 288 people to David Cameron’s Witney constituency office in Oxfordshire.
We assume the protests would end once the marriage equality bill is passed, and shopping will return to normal in the neighborhood. So see, marriage equality really is good for the economy!
It’s official – at 5 PM last night, Minnesota’s Governor Dayton signed the state’s new marriage equality bill into law. LGBTQ Nation reports:
What a day for Minnesota!” Dayton, a Democrat, declared moments before putting his signature on a bill. “And what a difference a year and an election can make in our state.” An estimated 6,000 cheering spectators filled the south lawn of the state Capitol for the outdoor ceremony, with rainbow and American flags fluttering in a sweltering breeze, while Dayton thanked legislators for their political courage before signing the bill.
Meanwhile, a bridge in Minneapolis was lit up in beautiful rainbow colors. Jalopnik reports:
…the City of Minneapolis celebrated last night by lighting up the I-35W bridge like this. It looks like the final stage from Mario Kart.
Dot429 reports that Minnesota Senator Michelle Bachmann is NOT HAPPY:
Rumors that Bachmann wanted to move out of the state of Minnesota if marriage equality was passed may have been false, but that doesn’t mean she supports marriage equality. While talking to Minnesota’s KSTP-TV Monday morning, Bachmann said, “Homosexuality is a sin, and God will punish communities that support it.”
More on Bachmann from Queerty:
Weeks before her home state Minnesota legalized marriage equality, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) warned against the dangers of same-sex marriage unless all the good Christians embark on a “spiritual warfare” to fight this rampant evil. While speaking at the Liberty Council’s Awakening 2013 in April (video courtesy of Right Wing Watch), Bachmann hit all of her usual talking points.
Congratulations once again to Minnesota. On to Illinois!
In a state that’s been hijacked by conservatives over the last few years (I should know – I used to live there) – there’s a surprising new poll out on gay marriage. Pink News reports:
The poll found that 55% of Arizonans were in favour of equal marriage, with 35% opposed and 10% were unsure. Voters most in favour of such a measure were women, Latinos, liberals, moderates, Independents, Democrats, and voters under the age of 55. Republicans in the state were divided over the issue, with 36% in favour and 53% opposed. The poll found that out of those who identify as conservative, 41% supported and 51% opposed equal marriage.
With republicans firmly in control of the legislature and the governorship, marriage equality legislation has a snowball’s chance in hell of passing right now, but still, it’s nice to know. And legislatures change.
Brazil’s National Council of Justice on Tuesday said that notary publics throughout the country must register same-sex civil unions as marriages if the couple requests it. The council that oversees the country’s judiciary voted 14-1 to support a resolution stating that notary publics cannot refuse to marry gay couples or convert a same-sex civil union into a marriage. The council based its decision on a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that recognized same-sex civil unions.
But we’re not all the way there yet in Brazil:
Under Tuesday’s ruling, Brazil would become the 15th country in the world to allow same-sex marriage nationally, although the decision could still be appealed to the country’s Supreme Court.
Gay Wedding Officiants in Washington, DC, USA. Rev. Debby is a non-denominational wedding minister who serves all couples, believing that marriage is a sacred rite available to everyone. She works with each couple to create a heart-felt, personalized ceremony. The couple has final say on all aspects of the ceremony. Civil marriage certificate provided!
A binational gay couple who married in California in 2008 is fighting to stay together. Towleroad.com reports:
In his video Op-Ed “Eric and Juan,” Jens Erik Gould introduces us to a same-sex couple who got married in 2008, during the brief time when gay marriage was legal in California. Though Eric and Juan have built a life together here, DOMA prevents Juan from applying for a green card through marriage. It is among the many federal benefits the two are denied. “Juan has had so much adversity in his life,” Gould says. “Someone tried to kill him in Mexico because he was gay. Now, not only does he still experience discrimination for being gay in the U.S., he’s also living undocumented here. Many people in this situation hide in the shadows. But despite all the adversity and risk, he’s publicly fighting for what he believes in because he wants to be an example for his community.”
Too many gay and lesbian couples are in these straits… will the immigration bill and/or the Supreme Court bring them relief?
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s story that a candidate for mayor of Rome would allow civil unions in the city if elected, the country’s new Prime Minister has short-circuited an effort to allow civil unions nationwide. Gay Star News reports:
The new Italian government has stopped new Equality Minister Josefa Idem from pushing forward a new law on same-sex civil unions. The new Prime Minister Enrico Letta said: ‘This is not on the government’s agenda.’… A source from the government added: ‘Civil unions are not in our to-do list. The Italian president Giorgio Napolitano suggested [we should] avoid divisive issues.’
I guess it’s too much to ask for the Italian Government to go against the wishes of the Pope.
After the Minnesota senate passed the marriage equality bill yesterday, Governor Dayton said he would sign it today. ABC News reports:
With marriages to be available for Minnesota’s gay couples starting Aug. 1, Duluth residents Gary Anderson and Gary Boelhower are getting ready to do something that seemed impossible when they started dating three years ago: plan a wedding. “The plan is to do it in August, definitely,” Boelhower said Monday, shortly after Minnesota’s Legislature took its final vote in favor of legalizing gay marriage. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has pledged to sign the bill, and is scheduled to do so at 5 p.m. Tuesday on the front steps of the Capitol in St. Paul.
It wasn’t so long ago that these bills would linger for days or weeks on a Governor’s desk while we all wondered if he would say yes or no, weighing our fate in his hands. It’s a nice change.
We’ll start with the FRC, which is once again comparing gays to pedophiles. Pam’s House Blend reports:
The following video is yet another one pushed by the Family Research Council claiming that if gays are allowed in the Boy Scouts, there will be more boys at risk of being molested. This time, FRC allows Brian Rushfeldt, head of Canda Family Action do its dirty work.
Regular Linda Hervey thinks gay news sites are turning kids gay. LGBTQ Nation reports:
Linda Harvey of Mission America is worried that “homosexual news blogs” and other websites “that are sympathetic to the social and political goals of the homosexual movement” may actually trick young people, who could simply be visiting such sites in order to research the debate on same-sex marriage, into becoming gay by putting them in close reach of “homosexual-themed pornography. Schools, Hollywood and even the top leaders in our country are all busy selling homosexuality to kids,” Harvey warned, adding that pornography and other “deceptive influences” are also “convincing [kids] to believe they are gay.”
If only we had such power. It goes back to the whole nature v.s nurture thing, and we’re firmly on the side of nature.
And finally, here’s a fun spoof – Michelle Bachman threatening to leave Minnesota over the passage of the marriage equality bill. Jezebel reports:
“Sodom and Gomorrah thought they could defy the will of God – and we all know what happened to them. If the governor signs this legislation into law the Minneapolis-St. Paul region will be next. I have a friend from Eden Prairie who’s already packed everything she owns into her car and is driving out to Montana as we speak. These are very scary times. I don’t want my family to be the last ones out.”
OK, so technically, it’s not something she said, but you could almost believe it, right?
Anyone holding out hope that the Supreme Court is going to issue a sweeping decision to legalize gay marriage inroughout all 50 states has a new reason to temper their expectations. Not even the court’s most liberal member appears to be all that eager to thrust the institution into another cultural fight. It’s not so much because she does not believe in advancing rights, but rather because she appears to have concluded that judicial modesty is, in some circumstances, the best way to advance those rights.
The justice I am talking about is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In a talk at the University of Chicago on the 40th anniversary of the holding in Roe v. Wade, Justice Ginsberg reflected upon the scope of the Roe holding, and not in a way that suggests that she would do it the same way if she had it to do over again. “Roe became a symbol for the right to life movement. They have an annual parade now every year on the day in January when it was decided.”
As her statement this weekend suggests (and as Supreme Court watchers know, you can never read too much into what is said at oral argument or in public remarks), Justice Ginsburg appears to believe that Roe caused a cultural backlash against a woman’s right to choose that would never have occurred had the court not intervened so aggressively. Instead, Justice Ginsburg appears to have concluded, like many others of all sorts of ideological makeups who have studied the case, that had the court been more modest, a societal consensus would have emerged and the same rights would have come to be enshrined in the laws of each state through more democratic means.
As the expected U.S. Supreme Court decisions on laws affecting marriage equality draw closer, barriers for gay men and lesbians continue to drop around the country. Some of the obstacles have been overcome by individuals, others by legislators. Both avenues to equality are important.
In the April 29 edition of Sports Illustrated magazine, National Basketball Association center Jason Collins, who split his last season between the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards, revealed his homosexuality. “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” wrote Collins, who will become a free agent on July 1.
While other professional athletes have come out of the closet after retiring, Collins is the first openly gay athlete currently playing on a major American team. A little more than a week later, on May 7, our neighboring state of Delaware became the 11th state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage.
An openly gay soccer player just joined the NoH8 campaign. On Top Magazine reports:
Rogers is the former U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team member who last played for the UK’s Leeds United team. He came out gay and announced his retirement from professional soccer in an online post in February. “‘Don’t waste your life hating others for something you cannot change. Preach Love!’ – Out soccer player @RobbieRogers,” the NOH8 Campaign tweeted over the weekend.
Cute, gay, athletic and politically aware – what’s not to like?