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The Oklahoma House of Representatives voted 87-8 and Senate 38-5 to approve a bill that would prevent clergy from marrying gay and lesbian couples. According to the AP: “The bills protect clergy members and others authorized to perform weddings from being required to perform them if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. They also shield churches from being required to participate in the ceremonies.”
“E. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, no person who is authorized by law to perform or solemnize a marriage shall be required to perform or solemnize any marriage in violation of his or her right to the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. No church or qualified church-controlled organization, as defined pursuant to 26 USC 3121, shall be required to participate in a ceremony performing or solemnizing a marriage in violation of the religious beliefs of such church or qualified church-controlled organization.”
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Gay-right’s organizations are continuing to put pressure on Alabama’s legislature to halt the progress of Indiana-style “religious freedom” bills (H.B. 56)(H.B. 296/S.B. 261) that would allow discrimination in the arenas of marriage recognition and adoption.
With H.B. 56 set receiving its first hearing in a Senate committee yesterday (Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, State House Room 304), fair-minded Alabamians are calling on their elected officials to refuse to send the state down the wrong-headed path that cost Indiana tens of millions of dollars in economic activity and put hundreds of millions more at risk. Condemned by more than 100 major corporations and job-creators—as well as a broad majority of the American people—legislation like H.B. 56 has nothing to do with personal religious practice and everything to do with discrimination.
Find out what kind of damage these three bills could potentially do to the people of Alabama after the jump…
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It wasn’t a quick decision for Ireland’s legislatures, but after eight hours of debates, the Irish Seanad approved adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples—as the country prepares to vote in May on gay marriage. Late on Monday, in a vote of 20-2, the senate approved the Children and Family Relationships Bill.
According to GSN: “Following lengthy discussions in the days leading to the debate, and 122 amendments, the 100-page bill includes 170 sections, dealing with topics around guardianship, donor-assisted reproduction, and child custody.”
The bill will allow couples who have been living together for more than three years, which will apply to both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples who want to adopt. The bill now awaits a signature from Irish President Michael D Higgins, who is expected to sign it into law.
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A legal brief filed to the US Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage in Ohio shows that the state’s attorney general believes that gays are already too powerful therefore they shouldn’t have the right to marry. The conservative logic comes from Attorney General Mike DeWine who says that the 14th Amendment in his brief.
Heightened scrutiny does not apply because there is no fundamental right to the recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages. Such a right would conflict with our Nation’s traditions in two ways,” the brief states. “All States denied the asserted right to same-sex marriage until recently. And a right to ‘protection and recognition’ falls outside the general right to privacy within which the specific marriage right sits. Nor has a new consensus emerged for a new right. Even today, a majority of States would adhere to marriage‟s traditional definition absent federal judicial mandates. And an international perspective does not change the analysis.
The real gem comes when DeWine says that governmental support for gay marriage is evidence that the gay and lesbian community, have not been “relegated to such a position of political powerlessness.” Therefore discrediting the Supreme Court’s previous rulings.
Find out more about his brief over at Raw Story.
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Here’s a Monday-morning pick me up. Ricky Martin’s recently released video for his single “Disparo al Corazòn” (“Shot to the Heart”) from his first single off his latest album A Quien Quiera Escuchar, celebrates same-sex marriage. In the video, Martin is looking in a mirror that projects a love story between a gay military couple.
Watch after the jump…
Categories: Gay Marriage, Music, Ricky Martin Entertainment, gay celebrities, gay marriage, gay singers, latin music, Music, New Music, new song, ricky martin, spanish music, video
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It has been an ongoing debate for over three decades, but members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) have voted for marriage equality. The change in the definition of marriage came after all 171 regional bodies voted to change the constitution to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. It will no longer read as a union between “a man and a woman” but to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
The Presbyterian Church in the USA has 1.8 million members, though it has lost more conservative members because of a 2011 vote that allowed openly gay men and women to be ordained. [NYT]
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A new poll has found that nearly six in ten Americans now support gay and lesbian marriage. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey shows that 59% of Americans support while only about 33% oppose same-sex marriage, with the others undecided. To put these numbers into perspective, in 2004 a mere 30% supported same-sex marriage (with as much as half strongly disagreeing with gay marriage). “It took about 25 years for interracial marriage to get from 30% support to 60%..It took same-sex marriage 10 years,” said Democratic pollster Fred Yang.
More details about the study over at MSNBC.
Categories: Gay Marriage, poll gay expert, gay marriage, gay marriage support, gay travel, gay travel expert, gay unions, poll, same-sex marriage, support, Survey
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Citing the Northern Ireland’s civil rights movement in the 60s, this lovely couple who has been married for over 50 years, is urging Irish people to vote “Yes” on the country’s upcoming marriage referendum video. As part of the #VoteWithUs campaign, Brighid and Paddy from Dundalk tells the Irish population that they hope that their grandchildren, from the playground to the law, are “protected and treated as equals.” The two also say that voting yes is the Christian thing to do. “Twenty years ago I probably would have voted no. But now that I know gay people and see the love and joy they can bring to life, I will be voting yes,” Paddy says. “We worked hard for civil rights in Northern Ireland in the Sixties. Now it is time to support civil rights in the South,” he adds.
Check it out after the jump…
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In an historic move, more than 300 Republican lawmakers, operatives, and consultants have filed a friend of the court brief in support of marriage equality, according to TIME. The brief was signed by the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Sens. Susan Collins and Mark Kirk, and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and will be delivered to the Court. The unlikely support comes from former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman.
The Supreme Court will decide the fate of gay marriage on April 28th.
Categories: Gay Marriage, GOP, supreme court amicus brief, gay, Gay Republican, gay rights, gop, lgbt rights, republicans, SCOTUS, Supreme Court of the United States
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This week a US District Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled that denying marriage for same-sex couples in Nebraska is unconstitutional. The ruling is set to go in effect on March 9th at 8:00 a.m., unless a stay is granted by the 8th Circuit. Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:
Every day that loving and committed couples are denied the freedom to marry in the decreasing number of states that still discriminate against same-sex couples and their families is a day of tangible hardships and indignity. Fortunately, Nebraska may soon no longer be one of those discriminating states, thanks to today’s strong ruling from yet another court — the 65th in the past two years — affirming the freedom to marry. It is time for the U.S. Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution and end marriage discrimination for all Americans.”
Same-sex couples can now marry in nearly three-fourths of the country. When couples are free to marry in Nebraska, there will still be 12 states that discriminate.