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Chile’s Congress has finally approved gay and lesbian civil unions today, according to the AFP. The law has been hotly debated for nearly four years, and was approved in a vote 78-9. The law, when signed by President Michelle Bacheletsigned, will grant same-sex couples the right to receive pensions, enroll in health plans, and inherit property from one another. “We are happy that the state recognizes, for the first time, that a same-sex couple also is a family and deserves protection,” said Luis Larrain, head of the Fundacion Iguales, a gay rights group. President Bachelet is expected to sign the legislation, but it will also have to be accepted by Chile’s Constitutional Court.
Once signed into law by President Michelle Bachelet, the measure must past muster with Chile’s Constitutional Court before going into effect.
Categories: Chile, Gay Marriage, Gay Travel, South America Catholic, chile, civil unions, gay marriage, gay rights, gay travel, gay travel expert, latin america, same-sex marriage, south american
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Rome’s city council approved the creation of a civil union register, a big move for the capital city of a country that has remained steps behind on marriage equality compared to the majority of Europe. Additionally, any same-sex marriages that occurred abroad will automatically be placed in the register.
Italy still has a long way to go on marriage equality, but at long last things are moving forward.
More info at Ansa.
Categories: Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Italy gay Italy, gay marriage, gay rights, gay rome, gay travel, gay travel expert, italy, lgbt rights, rome, same-sex marriage
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In a letter dated January 27th and obtained by AL.com, Roy S. Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court wrote to Governor Robert Bentley to express his outrage over recent rulings striking down the state’s ban on marriage equality. Moore, who famously ignored a federal judicial order to remove a large sculpture of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building, continues to see the wisdom of ignoring binding orders from higher judicial authorities. “I ask you to continue to uphold and support the Alabama Constitution with respect to marriage,” Moore urged Governor Bentley, “both for the welfare of this state and for our posterity. Be advised that I stand with you to stop judicial tyranny and any unlawful opinions issued without constitutional authority.”
Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade struck down Alabama’s marriage ban in the case Searcy v. Strange, ruling that the marriage of plaintiffs Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand should be recognized under the federal constitution’s equality principle. The judge issued a second ruling striking down the marriage ban today, in response to a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs James Strawser and John Humphrey. The rulings are stayed until February 9th, and the matter is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Categories: alabama, Gay Marriage alabama, Chief Justice, equality, federal court, Gay Alabama, gay marriage, gay travel, gay travel expert, hrc, laws, strike down
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US District Judge Callie V.S. Granade ruled in favor of equality, striking down Alabama’s discriminatory constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying. Granade, appointed by President George W. Bush, stated in her ruling:
There is no law prohibiting infertile couples, elderly couples, or couples who do not wish to procreate from marrying. Nor does the state prohibit recognition of marriages between such couples from other states. The Attorney General fails to demonstrate any rational, much less compelling, link…the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama. [HRC]
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Leo Varadkar, the Irish minister for health, has come out as gay this weekend ahead of a nationwide vote deciding on same-sex marriage. He cites the nationwide vote in May as his primary motivation to reveal his sexuality. “It’s not a secret—but not something that everyone would necessarily know, but it isn’t something I’ve spoken publicly about before,” he said. He spoke in more detail in an interview with RTÉ radio saying: “I won’t be allowing my own background or my own sexual orientation to dictate the decisions that I make…I just kind of want to be honest with people. I don’t want anyone to think that I have a hidden agenda.” [BBC]
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Following its decision last fall to effectively green light same-sex marriage in 11 states, the US Supreme Court today agreed to hear six consolidated marriage cases out of Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky this term, with a ruling potentially by June. The Court’s review will take place in a transformed legal landscape, with gay couples being able to marry in 36 states, covering two-thirds of the American people, and with nearly 60 federal and state courts having struck down discriminatory marriage bans in the past two years. [Freedom2Marry]
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Despite almost all cases trying to prevent same-sex couples from marrying have been dismissed or have been lost, states without gay and lesbian marriage insist on wasting tax payers’ money trying to defend bigoted laws. Defending gay marriage bans in federal courts will cost states nearly $800,000 in legal fees and requests for more money are pending. According to the National Law Journal: “Besides the more than $800,000 in fee awards and agreements on record so far, more than $2.6 million in attorney fee requests are pending, according to a National Law Journal review of federal trial and appellate court dockets. (Several fee awards are on hold pending appeals.)”
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Today US District Judge Karen E. Schreier ruled that denying marriage for same-sex couples in South Dakota is unconstitutional. The ruling is stayed, meaning same-sex couples cannot yet receive marriage licenses in South Dakota. “Today’s ruling out of South Dakota affirms what nearly every court in the past year has held: loving and committed same-sex couples are guaranteed the freedom to marry by the US Constitution,” Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement. “Every day of denial is a day of tangible hardships for same-sex couples and their families. The Supreme Court should take up a case as soon as possible and end marriage discrimination once and for all.”
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Congrats are in order for the first openly gay NFL player Michael Sam who reportedly got engaged to his boyfriend Vito Cammisano. The couple, according to Page Six, got engaged in Rome. The two met at the University of Missouri and have been on a whirlwind European trip together, traveling from Spain to Italy, and celebrating Sam’s 25th birthday in Vatican City.
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Celebrations across Florida—from Key West to Tallahassee—have taken place since gay and lesbian marriages became law this week. In LGBT hotspot Miami-Dade, hundreds of gay and lesbian couples tied the knot in Miami Beach to celebrate the occassion on Monday. More than 500 attended the event including Mayor Phillip Levine.
Watch the special video after the jump…