France’s Constitutional Council has approved the marriage equality bill, denying a challenge from opposition groups, and the measure is now set to become law, The Local reports: France made history on April 23 when it became the 14th country to vote gay marriage into law but opposition UMP deputies referred the bill to the Council, which has the right to throw it out if it is against the country’s constitution. However “les sages” as the council members are known has suggested they would not intervene with the wishes of parliament and on Friday they stuck to their word.
We’re over the moon for our gay and lesbian friends in France. UK, are you next?
OK, it is nature or nurture? That’s a lot of the controversy about being gay… were you born gay or did you become gay? Was it an inherent and inevitable conclusion of your developing sexuality or was it a choice?
Well, what are people? Are they born that way or do they become who they are as a result of a complex and inexplicable life process? Were you born unable to do algebra? Why do you write well? Why do like ice cream? What was it made you overweight? Why do you consider yourself ugly or beautiful? Were you born that way or did you choose to be that way?
Some of these questions have short answers that are always wrong. We’re what you call complex. We don’t give ourselves to easy, simple uncomplicated solutions.
In a lot of ways human sexuality is a special case. It is not a special case though because there is anything really special about it. In our culture and historical period, it is special largely because it was made special by the Roman Catholic Church, and many other churches who jumped on the bandwagon. Those priests have had a thing about sex for about as long as they have been theoretically celibate.Some people say the the Catholic Church hierarchy’s unnatural preoccupation with things sexual is a result of the alleged celibacy.
On the one hand, it is a central doctrine of the church that sex is bad. It is “original sin.” On the other hand, It is something that is also central to the survival of the species. Things that we consider bad, but know to be necessary usually get enshrined in a whole bushel basket of bullshit. Human sexuality is very much that way, and it is largely sixteen centuries of Christian theology that made it that way.
Sexual desire isn’t very different from a lot of other desires: food for example. We eat, we must eat, we survive, and we survive with consequences from our eating habits. We have sex, we really must have sex to reproduce, and we have consequences from our sexual habits.
Nobody ever made me like chocolate. Nobody ever made me straight/lesbian/bi. Do I have to eat chocolate? No, but it sure makes long days nicer, but not to excess. Two questions:
* If I am gay, must I have gay sex only or can I subsist on masturbation or straight sex?
* If I am straight am I totally incapable of experience any pleasure from gay sex?
The answer to both these questions is: Yeah, it won’t kill me, but it won’t maximize my happiness and it probably won’t result in lasting mutually beneficial relationships.
It is the way I am, today, this week, this month, this year. It’ll probably be the way I am in 25 years, but that’s not a certain bet – it’s a safe bet though. But what does it matter? Who gives a damn but me?
Well, that’s another thing that these religious bigots did for us all: they told us that sex was a sin, and then they told us that it is only permissible for procreation under very limited circumstances. They also told us that any other kind of sex was really, really bad. In the olden days, they said that gay sex was about as bad as adultery. Over the centuries they modified their opinions to say that adultery is usually understandable and forgiveable, but gay sex is always awful. They told us that people who do awful things are awful people and awful people deserved to be punished.
Why was it awful? Well, because it was. It wasn’t a rational argument. It was the same kind of sin, in the 16th century, as owning a Bible in English. It would get you killed, because it was, (reality off) well, wrong. Because the Church, er… the Bible, er… God says so. (reality on) Because I say so.
As with most everything else, if it’s not like me, it is bad and people who are bad deserve to have bad things happen to them, unless they change or pretend to change to be like me.
A little ignorance is a dangerous thing. A ton of ignorance is toxic. It used to be that being left handed was awful, too, and people were “broken” of being left handed by years of torture. It used to be that people were “cured” of being gay, too, also by death or long years of torture. In the same way that most people who were cured of being left handed didn’t ever do anything intricate or difficult with their hands, people who were cured of being gay were mostly cured of being able to have or enjoy sex, or by becoming priests.
We are who and what we are because of biology, genetics, history, culture, relationships, random chance, who our parents were, luck, deliberate decision, where we went to school, fear, hope, envy, laughter, and love — to name some of the factors that result in a human individual.
Sexuality is in there somewhere and it is as much an emblem of individuality as speech or talent or accomplishment. We owe it to ourselves to find out who we are today and to be that and accept other people being who they are. We are all made different and we can either choose to enjoy and celebrate those differences or we can choose to fear and loathe people different from ourselves. Our choices make the world we live in.
What kind of a world do you want?
The advance of gay rights across the United States is spreading into Puerto Rico, making the island a relatively gay-friendly outpost in a
Caribbean region where sodomy laws and harassment
of gays are still common.
SB 238 is on its way to the House of Representatives. The bill would end employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in the U.S. territory. Another bill would extend a domestic violence law to gay couples.
Soon after taking office in January, Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an order extending health insurance coverage to the live-in partners of workers in his executive branch of government, regardless of gender. Former conservative governor, Pedro Rossello, surprised supporters and foes when he stated
in February that he unequivocally supports gay marriage. “This is extraordinary,” said Pedro Julio Serrano, a Puerto Rican gay activist. “We’ve reached a point of no return in Puerto Rico … Equality is inevitable. Will we see an advancement on the horizon? And will the movement be fueled by the current trends of acceptance?
As the movement is beginning to spread across the country, one state reaches an empass. New Jersey polled over 800 people of which 62% were in favor of marriage equality. However Gov Christie vows to veto any legislation that is pass on to his desk. Does he believe he will have a better chance to run for president if he stands on the wrong side of the tracks? More than likely so. There seems to be small pockets of states that feel they can hold their ground. Texas and Arizona hold steadfast while Nevada is beginning to look hopeful. If only the supreme court would deliver a favorable opinion to eliminate both DOMA as well as prop 8. Then make all states that amended their constitutions to bar gay marriage to vacate that amendment, perhaps 2013 could be the year of change the Mayan’s meant. With Minnesota now legalizing same sex marriage and Illinois just waiting to get the subject on the voting block, perhaps the midwest could follow the way of the New England states. What this country needs are a few influential people to back marriage equality and get this movement into full throttle. Is it a question of fear of exposure or just plain apathy? There are those who still remember ” Stonewall” of 69 and the impact it had on the lgbt movement. We need that same momentum to make the movement build and move in a more positive direction. The question is when will that happen?
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In what may be the last rallies for and against marriage equality before the legislative session closes on May 31st, pro and anti-gay groups will gather near a state representative’s office. GoPride reports:
As Illinois’s legislative session comes to an end May 31 and passage of Illinois’s equal marriage rights bill goes down to the wire, pro-gay groups are responding to the targeting by anti-gay groups of a legislator in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.
The Illinois Family Institute, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, distributed a flyer a few weeks ago saying that it would demonstrate at the district office of Rep. Silvana Tavares, 2458 S. Millard Avenue, at 11 AM, Saturday, May 18. But on May 16 it distributed a flyer saying that their demonstration would be at nearby Shedd Park, 2221 S. Lawndale (between Lawndale and Millard on 23rd).
Pro-gay groups, led by the Association of Latino Men for Action (ALMA), La Voz de los de Abajo, the Gay Liberation Network, and The Civil Rights Agenda, will hold a counter-protest beginning at 10:30 AM in front of Tavares’s office, 2458 S. Millard, and then march to Shedd Park at about 11 AM.
So most of the states around New Jersey (with the exception of Pennsylvania) now have full marriage equality. What’s holding it up in the Garden State? Several things, as NJ.com reports:
Sixty-two percent of the 800 poll respondents are in favor of same-sex marriage approvals, the poll indicated… If the same-sex marriage question were put to voters, Weingart said New Jersey would say “yes.” Political complications, though, are holding it back. “The other possibility is the Democrats say, ‘forget you, governor. We’re going to put it on the ballot,’” Weingart added. Christie has already said he would put marriage equality to the voters. State House Democrats fought the referendum arguing civil rights should not be put to voters.
Part of this is a very understandable reluctance to put our civil rights up for a public vote. The alternative?
Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Tuesday it’s “shameful” for New Jersey to fall behind other states on the issue of marriage equality. Before this legislative term is over, Sweeney plans to put marriage equality back on the Senate agenda for a vote to override the governor’s veto. Weingart expects Republicans to hold the line with the governor and defeat the override attempt. “An override vote will certainly fail,” he said. “If Christie vetoes, (Republicans) hold the line with the veto.”
So what do you think? Should NJ send marriage equality to a public vote, or should they wait for either a larger Democratic majority or the next governor? Democrats really blew it when they failed to pass the bill during the lame-duck session in late 2009, before Christie became governor.
In what may have been the first gay wedding ever performed in the US, a Minnesota Pastor made history in 1971. Now he talks about it in the wake of the passage of marriage equality in the state. KSTP reports:
On a September day in 1971, Pastor Roger Lynn was quite aware that what he was about to do was big. “I knew it was and they were very clear about that. It was the first gay marriage in modern history,” Lynn said. Jack Baker and Michael McConnell wanted to get married in Minneapolis. Their original pastor had dropped out, so Pastor Roger Lynn stepped in. “They loved each other, they had every reason to be married, to live together in a committed relationship, and I was excited and honored to be a part of that,” Lynn said.
“When I pronounced them husband and husband, and they kissed, I just had this tremendous sense of, wow, this is really different. Kind of, it was shocking to me, because it was different. And really challenged me to come to terms with my own innate homophobia, which I did,” Lynn said. Jack Baker and Michael McConnell are still together in what Lynn calls one of his more successful marriages.
I wonder if the couple plans to marry again, this time with the full blessing of the state?
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Towleroad.com reports on a new study just released for today in Europe:
According to the data collected, LGBT people start facing difficulties early at school, where they regularly experience bullying and harassment. For this reason, anti-bullying policies should be developed and implemented and teachers should be trained about how to better tackle bullying against LGBT students. FRA research also shows that LGBT people face discrimination in many other walks of life, including work, housing, social services, and in access to goods and services. About half of all respondents had personally felt discriminated against or harassed in the year before the survey because they were LGBT.
These experiences of hate and discrimination result in LGBT people living in fear: two thirds of the respondents across all EU Member States were scared of holding hands in public with their same-sex partner. For gay and bisexual men this rose to about 75%.
Then again, Mark and I live in a conservative suburb of Sacramento, and we wouldn’t hold hands here, either.
Remember the florist who turned away her long-term gay clients because they wanted flowers for their wedding day? Now she’s suing the state. LGBTQ Nation reports:
Attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal ministry, filed suit on behalf of Stutzman Thursday in Benton County Superior Court, the Tri-City Herald reported. “Everyone knows that plenty of florists are willing to assist in same-sex ceremonies, so the state has no reason to force Barronelle to violate her deeply held beliefs,” Senior Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt said in a statement.
Whenever there’s a lawsuit like this, scratch the surface and you’ll find the odious Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) behind it. One more thing to thank Arizona for.
WATCH: FRENCH WAITRESS CELEBRATES PASSAGE OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY LAW
In France, a lesbian waitress’s excitement over passage of the marriage equality bill is captured on video. She Wired explains:
It was a glorious day on April 23, when French lawmakers voted marriage equality into law. And for one French diner waitress, that day became revelatory as she hopped on to a banquette and proclaimed her lesbianism before hungry customers. When I was a child I had a dream. Now I am an adult and I realize I am a lesbian,” the waitress shouted. “I can be MARRIED!”
THE SEVEN CRAZIEST THINGS ANTI-GAY FOLKS ARE SAYING
Queerty has collected some of the wackiest (and sadest) things our opponents are saying about us:
Titled “How They See Us,” it’s climbed its way to the top of the Scribd’s political category over the last few months. Here are a few of our favorite excerpts, emphasis ours throughout.
Homosexuality is “…one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love’” – Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel
See the rest at the link above.
LGBT RIGHTS ADVANCE IN PUERTO RICO
Two stories out of Puerto Rico – first, the Mayor of San Juan signed two executive orders. The Washington Blade reports:
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz ordered her city’s police department to apply the island’s current domestic violence laws with what the Primera Hora newspaper described as “the highest degree of respect” regardless of the reported victim’s sexual orientation. She also banned discrimination against San Juan municipal employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
And the Puerto Rico Senate passed some LGBT legislation as well. The Blade reports:
The Puerto Rican Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in the U.S. territory. The 15-11 vote took place after lawmakers for several hours debated Senate Bill 238 that Sen. Ramon Nieves Perez introduced in January
MSNBC SPENT FAR MORE TIME ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY FIGHTS THAN FOX OR CNN
Following on the heels of the revelation that Fox News devoted about a minute, total, to the three recent US state fights on marriage equality, Equality on Trial looks at how long all three 24 hour news networks spent on the issue:
Of the three legislative victories, MSNBC mentioned marriage equality stories 35 times, CNN mentioned them 13 times and Fox made just three mentions. The duration of each network’s coverage differed dramatically, with MSNBC devoting substantially more time to the issue than the other two networks. For example, MSNBC devoted more than 10 minutes of time to Rhode Island’s marriage equality law, while CNN spent a little over a minute and Fox News only 16 seconds.
I gotta say, we watched our favorite shows on MSNBC for weeks to see something on the amazing progress being made. Rachel Maddow finally did a segment on Minnesota, but was absent on Rhode Island and Delaware. For three such epic victories back to back, MSNBC’s 37 minutes looks pretty dismal, and they were by far the best on the issue.
TEXAS CHRISTIAN GROUPS TRY TO INTIMIDATE SAN ANTONIO OVER DOMESTIC PARTNER BENEFITS
It’s just shocking and offensive to me to see so-called Christian groups fighting tooth and nail to remove health benefits form gay and lesbian couples. Joe.My.God reports:
Two San Antonio-based Christian groups are threatening to sue the city in order to overturn insurance benefits granted to the partners of LGBT city employees. Pastor Gerald Ripley [left] of Voices for Marriage and Philip Sevilla of Texas Leadership Coalition made the request Wednesday with backing from a few sign-carrying supporters at City Hall. Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion April 29 stating cities that offer marriage benefits to employees’ same-sex partners are violating the Texas Constitution.
First of, how petty can you get? It’s not marriage, and it has absolutely nothing to do with you. And second… Christian? Seriously? I think they may have a surprise coming at the Pearly Gates.
GAY FORMER GOP CONGRESSMAN TO MARRY PARTNER
Arizona’s Jim Kolbe, out former republican congressman from Arizona, will marry his partner in Washington, DC. The Washington Blade reports:
Jim Kolbe, who represented Arizona in the U.S. House from 1985 to 2003, is set to marry Hector Alfonso, a Panamanian native who came to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship to pursue studies in special education and has been a teacher for two decades. The couple will marry at a private event at the Cosmos Club on Massachusetts Ave. in D.C. “Two decades ago, I could not have imagined such an event as this would be possible,” Kolbe told the Blade. “A decade ago I could not imagine that I would find someone I could be so compatible with that I would want to spend the rest of my life with that person. So, this is a very joyous day for both of us.”
Congratulations to the happy couple!
NEW COUNTRY SONG SUPPORTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY
The Huffington Post has the story of a new country song and video with a marriage equality theme:
Need a good country tune to hold you over until Dolly’s next album (or at least until the next episode of “Nashville”)? Then look no further than the new gay ditty “Two Men Who Do Si Do.” Written by Robert Gould and composed by Rob Arbelo, the song is accompanied by a cute animated video, courtesy of Alex Salsberg, and tells the story of two country boys who happen to like to dance together at the rodeo and hope to walk down the aisle together.
A group of lawyers is pushing the Chinese government to allow marriage between gay and lesbian couples. Gay Star News reports:
Ten lawyers in China petitioned the communist government’s National People’s Congress (NPC) yesterday to legalize same-sex marriage. ‘The most effective way to eliminate discrimination against homosexuality is to acknowledge same-sex couples’ rights to marriage,’ said Huang Yizhi, one of the lawyers behind the campaign, South China Morning Post reports. The lawyers from Beijing, Shenzhen and other cities across the country signed a joint letter advising the government to legalize same-sex marriage to give equal rights to LGBT people.
A bill that takes the first step toward repeal of Nevada’s ban on gay marriage took another step today. RGJ.com reports:
SRJ13 was approved Thursday by the Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. Next up is a full vote by the lower house, where passage is expected. It was previously approved by the Senate. The measure repeals language in the Nevada Constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Protection of Marriage Act was ratified by voters in 2002.
If all goes well, Nevada could recognize marriage equality by 2015.
NEW MEXICO CATHOLIC SCHOOL TELLS TRANSGENDER TEEN HE MUST DRESS LIKE A GIRL FOR GRADUATION
A transgender teen in Albuquerque has run afoul of the Catholic Church’s lack of understanding of trans issues. LGBTQ Naton reports:
A transgender student at a Catholic high school in Albuquerque, N.M., says he is has been told he must wear female student gown at his graduation procession, or not walk at all. Damian Garcia is a senior at St. Pius X High School, where at the graduation ceremony, the girls wear white gowns and the boys wear black. Damian, who identifies as male and had a legal name change last year, said he’s been told by the school that he must wear the white gown reserved for females, or not participate in the ceremony.
It’s sad that the school can’t bend this rule – after all, once Damien graduates they’ll never have to see him again. Our hearts are with you, Damien!
TRANSGENDER SOLDIER ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE PENTAGON
For the first time, the US Military has changed the records of a former solder to reflect her gender accurately. Buzzfeed reports:
In a short letter dated May 2, a Navy official told Autumn Sandeen, a veteran and transgender activist: “Per your request the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) has been updated to show your gender as female effective April 12, 2013.” Sandeen’s military identification card now reflects the change, a move called “quite significant” by the head of OutServe-SLDN, a national organization for LGBT service members and veterans and their families.
Well, that’s a relief – Minnesota republicans said they have no plans to try to repeal the new marriage equality law. The Advocate reports:
The two Republican candidates for governor in Minnesota say they won’t try to overturn the state’s new marriage equality law, according to Minnesota Public Radio… So far, he faces Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson and Orono businessman Scott Honour. Both told MPR there are more important issues, though neither supports marriage equality. “I think Minnesotans are ready to talk about something other than gay marriage for a change,” Johnson told MPR. The state has been actively debating the issue for a long while, having turned back a ballot measure in 2012 that would have banned same-sex marriages in the state constitution… A spokesman for Honour dismissed the notion that a repeal of the bill is possible because the current makeup of the Senate ensures it is solidly in favor for the foreseeable future. The spokesman said, “Political symbolism will not be a prominent feature of Scott’s time as governor.”
Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D) is thrilled at the bill’s passage. On Top Magazine reports:
“I’ve been married to Franni for 37 years and it’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” Franken said in a statement. “As a long-time supporter of marriage equality, I believe that every loving couple – in Minnesota and across the country – should have the same opportunity. And now, thanks to courageous – and not to mention, bipartisan – votes by the Minnesota State Legislature and support from Minnesotans statewide, we are the latest state to legalize same-sex marriage. Today I’m proud that Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation bringing marriage equality to Minnesota. Our country is beginning to understand that it’s not about what a family looks like: It’s about their love and commitment to one another.”
Two and a half months until gay and lesbian couples can marry in Minnesota.
MATTHEW MORRISON SHOOTS PSA FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
Let’s start with Glee’s Matthew Morrison – he’s doing a video for HRC, releasing a new album, and donating part of the proceeds to fight for marriage equality. Gay Star News reports:
Earlier today, he released new video for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in which he speaks out for gay marriage… ‘I’m thrilled to join HRC in their vital work to bring full equality to all Americans,’ Morrison said in a statement. ‘At this decisive moment, when there is so much work still ahead, I’m standing with HRC and LGBT people across the country until this fight is won.’
EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROES SUPPORTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY
The folksy rock group Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes also came out for marriage equality today. Dot429 reports:
The band isn’t only influential on a musical note but in the political sphere as well. Drummer, Orpheo McCord, and accordion player and keyboardist, Nora Kirkpatrick, revealed their opinions on same-sex marriage in an interview with 429Magazine. “I think anyone should do what they want” Nora said. Orpheo continued, “I think it’s awesome.” Although the two band members couldn’t act as the spokes-people for the whole band, Nora took 429Magazine aside to say that if she had to guess, “everyone is for it.”
I’ve liked them since I heard “Home” in a local coffee shop a few years back. Now I have a another reason.
NFL ALLY CHRIS KLUWE LANDS NEW TEAM, WILL STILL PUSH FOR EQUALITY
Gay ally and NFL player Chris Kluwe just got picked up by the Raiders, and is still speaking out for marriage equality. TwinCities.com reports:
“I’m excited to be an Oakland Raider and be playing in California,” Kluwe told Brendon Ayanbadejo, the former Baltimore Ravens linebacker who now writes for FoxSports.com. The former UCLA punter added that “Now, my family can actually come to games.” … “I’m still going to be myself socially and continue to tweet and interact with my fans,” Kluwe said.
Maybe he’ll bring us luck on Prop 8 here in California.
ZACHARY QUINTO SAYS MARRIAGE EQUALITY IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME
Star Trek star and openly gay actor Zachary Quinto put in his own two cents o marriage equality – SDGLN reports:
“Being the first sitting president in the history of the United States to acknowledge his support for marriage equality is a huge step and is not to be underestimated,” Quinto said. “I think we have a lot more work to do, but I think everybody’s unified behind the cause. You can see now we have 13 states in the union that have adopted marriage equality, and that’s an unstoppable wave as far as I’m concerned,” he added. “Whether it comes from the federal government or all 50 states just find their way to it, I feel like it’s only a matter of time at this point.”
ALL LIVING DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES NOW BACK MARRIAGE EQUALITY
With the addition of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis, every living democrat who has run for President of the USA now supports marriage equality. Think Progress reports:
Former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis told ThinkProgress this week that they support marriage equality. With their endorsements, every living former Democratic presidential nominee is now on record in support of same-sex marriage. Every other living Democratic nominee had previously made their support explicit.
BOY GEORGE WISHES MARRIAGE EQUALITY HAD BEEN MENTIONED IN QUEEN’S SPEECH
And finally, Boy George wishes Prime Minister David Cameron had mentioned marriage equality in the Queen’s Speech. Pink News reports:
In an interview with the London Evening Standard, the Culture Club star said: “I am shocked we are still having debates like gay marriage. On one hand, I think it’s very conservative to want to get married, that it’s a case of ‘if we’re more like them, they’ll like us more’. But on the other hand, who cares? The idea that it is somehow going to destroy civilisation is so retarded. Nigel Farage said Cameron was ‘wasting his time’ on gay marriage. Is he stupid? Why should we feel privileged to have equality? I would never vote Tory but I wish Cameron had put it in the Queen’s Speech.”
If you’re interested in blogging, we have a great opportunity for you. We’re looking for marriage equality activists who would like to write articles for the blog, especially marriage equality news and articles about getting married for gay and lesbian couples. Our bloggers are all volunteers, but you can link back from your posts to your own website or blog if you have one.
If you’re interested, we can add you as an author on the blog, and guide you through the process – post an article every couple days, once a week, once a month – whatever makes sense to you.
Some ideas for blog posts:
–The amazing wave of marriage equality laws passing in the US and around the country
–Who will be next?
–If you are in a state that recognizes marriage equality, how have things changed? What are the weddings like? What still needs to change?
–If not, what are the prospects for equality in your state?
–Your thoughts on the lawsuits over Prop 8 and DOMA and the Supreme Court
–Your own local marriage equality/gay rights news
–Personal, local stories of gay and lesbian couples getting married or seeking to marry
You can view the blog here: http://purpleunions.com/blog/
If you’re interested in either option, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to have you!
From France, we get word that President Hollande is ready to sign the marriage equality bill into law almost at a minute’s notice. And that notice might come tomorrow. Joe.My.God reports:
Translation by JMG reader David in Paris: “As soon as the Constitutional Council has made its decision known, I will sign the #MariagePourTous [mariage equality] law.” The decision on the constitutionality of the marriage equality law is supposed to come by May 23rd, but some believe it may come tomorrow. Most expect a positive ruling.
France may have full marriage equality this week or the next!
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HATE CRIMES AGAINST GAYS UP IN FRANCE
As the opposition ramped up against marriage equality in France, hate crimes agisnt the LGBT community also increased. Gay Star News reports:
The number of calls to SOS Homophobie’s helpline were up by 27% on the previous year. Homophobic hate crime spiked last year in the run-up to the French parliament’s approval of a Bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. Incidents doubled in October and November when compared with the previous year, and tripled in December.
ANTI-GAY DISCRIMINATION A BIG PROBLEM IN FIJI
In Fiji, gay rights activists say discrimination is still an issue. Pink News reports:
Drodrolagi Movement spokesman Kris Prasad, said in an interview with Radio Australia that, despite Fiji having decriminalised gay sex in 2010, there is still bullying and discrimination in the country. “In Fiji, we removed the sodomy laws in 2010 and…we have some policies in place in terms of workplace and other human rights protection,” he said. “A lot of people are facing discrimination in their families, workplaces and [there are] also cases of bullying,” he said. He continued: “There is a lot of discrimination from the state as well, especially when it comes to access to security services, as in getting access to police, and getting access to health services.”
GAY SOUTH KOREAN DIRECTOR TO MARRY BOYFRIEND IN SEPTEMBER
A gay South Korean film director plans to marry his boyfriend, although the wedding will not be legally binding. Gay Star News reports:
‘We wanted to convey the message that all sexual minorities should be given rights equally in a beautiful way,’ Kim Jho said at a press conference, where he and his boyfriend were dressed in tuxedos and kissed for the cameras, Reuters reports. Kim Jho said he will apply to get his marriage legally registered after the ceremony on 7 September. ‘It will most definitely be denied,’ he said. ‘But then I will file a constitutional appeal… and I will fight to legalize gay marriage.’
There are a few new stories out of the US, too:
DC CONSIDERING TRANSGENDER BIRTH CERTIFICATE BILL
A bill is pending in committee in Washington DC that would allow transgender citizens to receive a new birth certificate showing their actual sex, not their birth sex. The Washington Blade reports:
The bill calls for amending the city’s Vital Records Act of 1981 “to require the Registrar to issue a new certificate of birth designating a new gender for any individual who provides a written request and signed affidavit from a licensed health-care provider that the individual has undergone a gender transition, to require that an original an original certificate be sealed when a new certificate is issued.”
NEVADA PASSES HATE CRIME BILL INCLUDING TRANSGENDER CITIZENS
Nevada has passed legislation to protect its transgender citizens, and it’s headed to the Governor’s desk. The Advocate reports:
A bill is headed to desk of Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s desk that would add crimes based on a person’s gender identity and expression to the state’s hate crimes laws after the state assembly passed the legislation 30-11 on Tuesday. “This does not afford victims special rights,” openly gay Assemblyman Andrew Martin said Tuesday according to the Associated Press. “This is a statement of what our society is, and that we will not tolerate the systematic targeting of individuals who are historically disadvantaged groups.”
ACTOR DEAN CAIN ENDORSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY
The Lois and Clark alum who played gay in the Lonely hearts Club has come out in support of marriage equality. The Huffington Post reports:
Actor Dean Cain, who is best known for playing the “Man of Steel” on “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” spoke out in defense of marriage equality during a HuffPost Live appearance. “If anybody wants to get married, go ahead,” the 46-year-old actor, who will next be seen in the VH1 series “Hit The Floor,” said. On a more serious note, he added, “I have a lot of gay friends … I can’t understand why it’s an issue. For me, it’s a non-issue.”
ACLU PUSHES FOR “MODERN FAMILY” GAY WEDDING
The ACLU wants to se Cam and Mitchell get married on the popular sitcom “Modern Family”. LGBTQ Nation reports:
The campaign aimed at ABC’s “Modern Family” comes as momentum for gay marriage builds in parts of the country. ACLU Action started a campaign to urge the show’s producers to write a wedding episode for Mitchell and Cameron, fathers of an adopted child and one of three couples at the heart of the show. The ACLU says it is appealing to the fictional family to draw more attention to the real issue as the Supreme Court deliberates on two important marriage equality cases.
The stories keep pouring in!