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In a newspaper interview Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s longstanding opposition to gay and lesbian marriage, but said that the church could evolve on supporting some form of civil union, according to CNN. “…Marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said, “[Bu] we have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety.” The Pope said that civil unions provided benefits: “as for instance in medical care.” This is the first time that the Catholic Church has ever indicated any kind of acceptance of civil unions.
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More than half of all Americans believe that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, according to a new poll from ABC News and Washington Post. The poll also indicates that Americans feel strongly that business should not discriminate against gays and lesbians based on their religious beliefs. According to WaPo: “Fifty percent say the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection gives gays the right to marry, while 41 percent say it does not…Beyond the constitutional questions, a record-high 59 percent say they support same-sex marriage, while 34 percent are opposed, the widest margin tracked in Post-ABC polling.”
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Following a Kentucky court’s decision that the state will recognize gay marriages from other states and countries, the state’s government has been fraught with disagreement. While Governor Steve Beshear plans to appeal the decision, State Attorney General Jack Conway sees this issue differently.
Conway is refusing to appeal the decision, saying if he did, “[he] would be defending discrimination, and that [he] will not do.”
As a result, Governor Beshear has not dropped his charge, and he will hire extra-governmental legal assistance—outside council from independent lawyers—in lieu of Attorney General Conway.
It’s a major blow to the fight against gay marriage in Kentucky, but the effect of Governor Beshear new strategy remains to be seen.
Categories: Gay Marriage, kentucky appeal, Attorney General, court, decision, discrimination, gay marriage, gay rights, governor, jack conway, Kentucky, outside council, steve beshear
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A federal judge in the state of Kentucky ruled that officials must recognize gay and lesbian marriages that have been performed out of state. US District Court Judge John Heyburn said that Kentucky’s Constitution and laws banning recognition of such marriages “violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and they are void and unenforceable.” This decision solidifies his original ruling on February 12.
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Judge Orlando Garcia ruled today that a state constitutional amendment that bans gays and lesbians from marriage is unconstitutional after two gay couples sued the state. The judge, though, said he will give the state time to appeal his decision. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution,” Garcia wrote. “These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex.”
This is the first time that a court in the conservative 5th Circuit has reached this decision, and Texas’s Attorney General Greg Abbott is expected to appeal. [AP]
Equality Texas reacted to the news:
Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas, called the decision “a huge victory that moves Texas one step closer to the freedom to marry.” “The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Windsor made it clear that animus or moral disapproval is not an acceptable justification for denying any American their constitutional right to equal protection of the law,” Smith said. “We are gratified to see Judge Garcia uphold the Constitution of the United States and declare that Texas’ restrictions on the freedom to marry are unconstitutional and unenforceable. We anxiously await the day when the United States Supreme Court will reach the same conclusion.”
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The Indiana Senate approved a proposed Constitutional amendment that would ban gay and lesbian marriage, but a change in wording prevents in the proposed amendment from being voted on until 2016. The amendment, which passed with a vote of 32-17, can only be ratified after the House and the Senate vote upon the bill again in the next legislative session (2015 or 2016) and then finally the proposed amendment must be put to a popular vote—preventing Hoosiers from voting until 2016. According to Reuters: ”A version of the amendment had passed the Republican-dominated Indiana legislature in 2011, but the Indiana House in January softened it by removing language that would have banned gay civil unions. The Senate upheld the change made by the House on Thursday. The change in the language sets back the clock on the legislation, which supporters had hoped to get before voters this year.”
This, though, has gay-rights activists cheering, as it gives them more time to ensure that when it does go up for a vote, it will be swiftly rejected by the Indiana people.
You can help the fight by visting FreedomIndiana.
Categories: Gay Marriage, indiana constitutional amendment, gay, gay marriage, gay midwest, gay unions, hoosiers, Indiana, Indianapolis, lesbian, same-sex unions
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“For years, many states had a tradition of segregation and even articulated reasons why it created a better, more stable society,” a federal judge wrote in a statement. “In time, even the most strident supporters of these views understood that they could not enforce their particular moral views to the detriment of another’s constitutional rights. Here as well, sometime in the not too distant future, the same understanding will come to pass,” he added after he struck down a portion of Kentucky’s constitutional ban on gay and lesbian marriage. The decision requires that the state of Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed out of state. Judge John G. Heyburn II decision came after a lawsuit from four gay and lesbian couples that challenged that portion of the 2004 same-sex marriage ban. [NYT]
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Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has announced that Nevada will drop its defense in court of the state’s constitutional ban on gay and lesbian marriage as a recent ruling has made their argument indefensible. According to the AP: “…Nevada’s legal arguments supporting the voter-approved prohibition aren’t viable in light of the court’s recent ruling that said potential jurors cannot be removed from a trial during jury selection solely because of sexual orientation.”
“After thoughtful review and analysis, the state has determined that its arguments grounded upon equal protection and due process are no longer sustainable,” Masto said in a statement. The decision to drop the case was echoed by Republican Governor Brian Sandoval. “Based upon the advice of the attorney general’s office and their interpretation of relevant case law, it has become clear that this case is no longer defensible in court,” Sandoval wrote in an e-mail.
Check out our March Swimwear Issue to explore some super-sexy hotspots in Las Vegas, that may be center stage for your Nevada wedding.
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Broadway singer and 30 Rock actor Cheyenne Jackson is set to marry his boyfriend just six months after divorcing his husband Monte Lapka, hopefully this time there will be blue skies ahead for Jackson. The 38-year-old announced, according to Us Weekly, announced his engagement to actor Jason Landau and are already planning their wedding, according to insiders. The couple went public in October of last year and then made their first appearance at the amfAR Inspiration Gala dinner in December. This will be Jackson’s second marriage after he and Lapka officially separated in August.
Categories: celebrity, Cheyenne Jackson, Gay Marriage 30 Rock, cheyenne jackson, engaged, Gay Actor, gay marriage, gay singer, jason landau, monte lapka, singer
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MSPs in the Scottish Parliament have passed a marriage equality bill in a 105-18 vote. The piece of legislation, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, will allow gays and lesbians marry as soon as early as the fall, despite the two main churches’ opposition to the law. The law, though, allows religious and “belief bodies” to “opt-in” to perform same-sex marriages and no religious communities would be forced into the law. Currently England and Wales are expected to allow gay marriages at the end of March, leaving just Northern Ireland without marriage equality.