The immigration reform bill introduced by the Senate “Gang of 8″ was lacking a provision to allow US citizens to sponsor their same sex partners. Now one Senator is trying to amend the bill to rectify the issue. The Washington Blade reports:
The lead sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act in the Senate has announced that he’ll introduce the legislation as a committee amendment to comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a statement on Tuesday that he filed the measure — which would enable gay Americans to sponsor their foreign partners for residency in the United States — along with several other amendments before the committee for the immigration bill.
What happens next?
All committee amendments to comprehensive immigration reform are due at 5 p.m. The committee is scheduled to vote Friday on the first round of amendments. Subsequent votes are slated for May 14, May 16, May 20 and every day that follows until there’s a final vote on the bill. Chances are the amendments for gay inclusion will come up on one of these later days.
It’s time we took action to keep binational gay and lesbian couples from being forced apart by the INS.
Out of the population of the 50,000 Faroese citizens, 68% said they favoured civil marriage for same-sex couples, meaning in town or city halls, but not in churches or religious organisations, with 27% against and 5% undecided. The survey, conducted by Gallup, on behalf of LGBT Faroe Islands, found that 72% of women, and 65% of men said they supported equal marriage… A proposal to update the current Marriage Act, is to be submitted to the Faroese Parliament after 29 July, at the opening parliamentary session.
As Delaware put marriage equality into law, a bill in Minnesota also advanced. Think Progress reports:
Following in the footsteps of the House Ways & Means Committee Monday night, the Minnesota Senate Finance Committee voted today to advance the marriage equality legislation by a voice vote. Both chambers are now prepared for floor votes on the bills, and there is reason to be optimistic.
So where are we with the vote?
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL) said last week that he thinks the Senate has the necessary votes to pass it. House Speaker Paul Thissen (DFL) suggested he wouldn’t schedule a House vote unless it was sure to pass, and just this morning, the House Democratic Caucus announced it was scheduling a floor vote for Thursday. According to House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, “We are confident that we have the votes to pass it.” Depending on how soon the Senate schedules its vote, Minnesota could pass marriage equality before the end of the week.
The Minnesota bill includes strong religious protections, as TwinCities.com reports:
Minnesota’s proposed law goes to great lengths to protect religious freedoms, said Richard Carlbom, executive director of Minnesotans United for All Families. He said the examples cited by Minnesota for Marriage, a group opposed to same-sex marriage, would already be illegal under the state’s human rights laws. “One of the things that is most notable is that if passed, Minnesota’s marriage law would provide the most expansive religious protections in the nation,” Carlbom said. And he said religious freedom cuts both ways. Many Episcopal churches want to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples, Carlbom said, but can’t under current law.
Even if the House votes on the bill Thursday, “The Senate bill passed the Finance Committee on a voice vote Tuesday morning. It’s not expected to reach the floor before Saturday,” according to TwinCities.com.
Governor Dayton has been pushing the bill, and has promised to sign it. Will Minnesota be number 12?
Delaware became the 11th state to pass marriage equality, after two undecided senators, one democrat and one republican, decided to vote for the bill. Equality on Trial reports:
Delaware today became the 11th state to offer marriage equality to its same-sex couples, after the state Senate voted 12-9 to pass an equal marriage bill. HB75 was approved exactly two weeks ago by the Delaware House in a 23-18 vote after a successful committee vote less than a week earlier, and the Senate Executive Committee advanced the legislation on a party line 4-2 vote last Wednesday.
Governor Markell wasted no time signing the bill into law, as LGBTQ Nation reports:
Delaware became the 11th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage when Democratic Gov. Jack Markell signed a gay marriage bill into law just minutes after its passage by the state Senate on Tuesday. “I do not intend to make any of you wait one moment longer,” a smiling Markell told about 200 jubilant supporters who erupted in cheers and applause following the 12-9 Senate vote barely half an hour earlier. “Delaware should be, is and will be a welcoming place to live and love and to raise a family for all who call our great state home,” Markell said.
One of the Senators came out during testimony on the bill. The Washington Blade reports:
“It is about treating couples the same under the law as all other couples,” Equality Delaware President Lisa Goodman said. “It is about similarly situated people the same.” Peterson came out as a lesbian while she spoke in support of House Bill 75. “We are not seeking to redefine marriage,” she said, noting she and her partner of more than 20 years entered into civil union once the state’s civil unions law took effect in Jan. 2012.. “We are seeking to expand the definition of marriage just as the Supreme Court did in the Loving v. Virginia case.”
Marriage equality opponents were out in force at the hearing, as Think Progress reports:
The rhetoric today was heated, as religious leaders invited to speak by the bill’s opponents condemned homosexuality for multiple hours. Conservative witnesses and senators alike repeatedly sought explanations for why people should not be free to discriminate against same-sex couples, even though such discrimination is already illegal under Delaware law. Many argued that marriage is primarily about raising children, ignoring that many same-sex families are already raising children in Delaware. Unsurprisingly, one witness cited the debunked Regnerus study, while an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney claimed that the Ocean Grove pavilion in New Jersey was an example of “religious freedom” being violated, even though it wasn’t. A motion by opponents to table the bill failed 9-12.
While the bill includes religious protections for churches, businesses must follow the law. Edge Boston reports:
The new law does not force clerics to perform same-sex marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs. But under an existing Delaware law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, business owners who refuse to provide marriage-related services to same-sex couples for reasons of conscience could be subject to discrimination claims.
What happened next? Pam’s House Blend reports:
The new law repeals the 1996 ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples may begin marrying in Delaware on July 1, 2013. Delaware will no longer offer civil unions, but will recognize as marriages same-sex legal unions established in other jurisdictions. Delaware-issued civil unions will automatically be converted to marriages on July 1, 2014.
Onward to Minnesota and Illinois!
Delaware just became the 11th US state to legalize marriage equality. The Huffington Post [reports](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/05/07/delaware-senate-gay-marriage_n_3231374.html?utm_hp_ref=politics):
A divided state Senate gave final legislative approval Tuesday to a bill authorizing same-sex marriage after hearing about three hours of debate. The vote sends the bill to Democratic Gov. Jack Markell, who has promised to sign it.
The bill doesn’t give same-sex couples any more rights or benefits under Delaware law than they currently have with civil unions. But supporters say same-sex couples deserve the dignity and respect of married couples. They also hope the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a federal law barring married gay couples from receiving federal benefits.
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This one will take place on May 26th. Don’t these people have jobs? Oops, maybe they don’t. From Joe.My.God:
From France’s Manif Pour Tous: “More than 120 000 protesters in 15 French cities against Taubira’s law: Building up to the Mega-Demonstration on May 26 in Paris. Demonstrations for alterity in marriage all over France, demonstration against austerity at the place de la Bastille, it seems that it’s high time for the President to listen to the French people! It is high time that this law, a law that wounds democracy and weakens families and children, be abandonned. The executive branch’s strategy is clear and politically manipulative: mollify the people by delaying debate on assisted reproduction to start again when the political climate is sunnier.”
When will these folks get tired of constant protests?
This movement was born of opposition to this law. It will not stop until the law has been withdrawn. We will relentlessly continue to warn the French people of the dangers of this law. And we will defend the right of conscience for mayors opposed to this law. We will express this resolve massively, determinedly, peacefully during the May 26 MEGA-DEMONSTRATION in Paris and during other actions, diverse, peaceful, and continuous, until we are heard by the government.
Well, there’s your answer. Gotta admire their commitment, anyhow.
Joe also reports on the controversy over a tweeted image in France:
The above image went viral on French Twitter accounts yesterday, angering gay activists and embarrassing Manif Pour Tous. The poster, designed by an anti-same sex marriage activist, depicts France’s Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira, who is black, as a raging gorilla/King Kong, overwhelmed by a flow of demonstrators from the “Manif Pour Tous,” the main anti-same sex organization. The slogan is a play on words: “manif monstre” can mean ‘giant demo.’ The picture, posted on Monday night, was retweeted and commented massively by anti-gay rights activists and by both outraged anti- and pro-same sex marriage activists. French Guiana-born Christiane Taubira is, as Francois Hollande’s Minister of Justice, the main proponent of the bill legalising same-sex marriage. She has been the target of a large majority of the slogans and banners from anti-same sex marriage demonstrators.
The next in an ongoing series – what anti-gay forces are saying.
We’ll start with Pat Robertson, who made a lovely comparison while reinforcing one of the main misconceptions about gays – that they can change their sexual orientation. Towleroad.com reports:
Commenting on a case in Ecuador in which a lawmaker was found guilty of discrimination over his anti-gay remarks, Pat Robertson expressed anger that speaking out against gays can be considered a hate crime. Said Robertson: “It is a hate crime to say somebody can change their sexual preference? … Anybody who has ministered to thousands of people…know very well that the power of God can change people’s orientation. A murderer can change. A rapist can change. A thief can change. That’s what the Gospel is about. It’s not a hate crime.”
Y’all can change. Just like murderers and rapists!
Perry described opposing allowing gays in scouting as the same ‘type of principled leadership … the type of courage’ that one his long-ago predecessors, Governor Sam Houston, displayed when he opposed slavery and opposed leaving the union in the pre-Civil War era. ‘The fact is, this is a private organization,’ Perry said. ‘Their values and principles have worked for a century now. And for pop culture to come in and try to tear that up, which happens to be the flavor of the month so to speak, and to tear apart one of the great organizations that has served millions of young men, helped them become men and great fathers, that is just not appropriate and I hope the American people will stand up and say, “Not on my watch.”‘
Yes, Mister Perry, fighting to continue discrimination is just like fighting to end it.
Finally, a Facebook “Heterosexual Awareness Month” page features both comparing gays to Nazis and suggesting the gays in the concentration camps got what they deserved. Gay Star News reports:
The Heterosexual Awareness Month (HAM) group was ‘established in June 2012 by heteros, for heteros’ and aims to hold a month-long ‘observance of straight people and our growing struggle’ each July. One post by the group shows an LGBT rainbow flag with a swastika on it. But one user, GoozMashang Qolampasand, said the swastika should be changed for a Jewish Star of David, claiming Jews financially back the gay rights struggle. He adds: ‘The Nazis put the homos in their place: concentration camps.’ While another supporter, John Williams, comments: ‘The rainbow will never be the same after the homosexuals sullied it, it now represents buggery.’
Lovely, lovely people.