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Gay Speed Skater Blake Skjellerup Marries in Gorgeous Hawaiian Ceremony

July 29th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Blake Skjellerup.

Image via Blake Skjellerup.

Olympic athlete Blake Skjellerup tied the knot with his boyfriend Saul Carrasco. The gorgeous couple shared the exciting news on social media yesterday, showing off pictures from their Hawaiian wedding.

Thirty-year-old Blake Skjellerup represented New Zealand in the 2010 Olympics, but didn’t qualify for last year’s Sochi games, although he was active in raising awareness against Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.

His advocacy for LGBT people in sports continued at the Gay Games in Cleveland where he served an official ambassador, inspiring people of all genders and sexual orientations to compete in sport.

#BlakeandSaul #wedding #love #Hawaii

A photo posted by Johnny Nguyen (@go_johnny_g0) on

 

Watch: Julianne Moore and Ellen Page Warm Hearts as Gay Couple in New Trailer for ‘Freeheld’

July 27th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Freeheld.

Image via Freeheld.

The highly anticipated lesbian drama Freeheld received its first poster and trailer over the weekend, and in the short trailer, the film’s stars Julianne Moore and Ellen Page perfectly capture the struggle for equality in the US. The film is based on a true love story that follows a New Jersey police detective, Moore, and her partner, Page, who learn just how unjust anti-gay marriage laws are after Moore’s character is diagnosed with terminal cancer and is unable to leave her pension with Page.

 

Check out the first trailer after the jump…

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It’s Time for Full Federal Equality for Gay Americans

July 24th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

The Equality Act, a landmark federal non-discrimination bill that would ensure all LGBT Americans have the protections from discrimination in federal law they deserve, is receiving some major endorsements from a civil rights icon, major leaders in Corporate America, prominent Republican and Democratic members of the legal community, as well as new polling demonstrating overwhelming bipartisan support among the American public.

Introduced one month after the historic Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that ushered in nationwide marriage equality, the Equality Act would guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBT people in many of the most important aspects of their lives.  HRC President Chad Griffin joined individuals who have been victims of discrimination and several prominent members of Congress at a press conference today on Capitol Hill to introduce the legislation.

The Equality Act, which was introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin, Cory Booker, and Representative David Cicilline, has more than 140 cosponsors in the House, including Representative John Lewis, and at least 39 in the Senate. The legislation establishes explicit, permanent protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service. In addition, it would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in federal funding and access to public places.

All in the Family, Negotiating in a New LGBT Legal Landscape

July 23rd, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Between marriage, the less celebratory divorces that sometimes follow, and the evolution of rights and laws as far as having children—biologically, adopted, via surrogate, or otherwise—these are also times when LGBT individuals considering families need to look into and brush up on legal responsibilities they may have never considered before. This includes securing counsel educated and experienced in legislation, precedents, and loopholes specific to their situations and specific state of residence. The price of equality may also include some steep legal fees.

North Carolina’s Cheri C. Patrick and Manhattan’s Peggy Brady are two openly gay attorneys who possess not only impressive, extensive pedigrees in LGBT family law, but relatable personal situations that require specialized legal services themselves.

Patrick and her wife Phyllis Sewell are parents of a 24-year-old son, Cash Nelson, while Brady, separated from her longtime partner, shares custody of a 12-year-old boy. Both attorneys intimately understand how what may entail a black-and-white situation for heterosexuals can mutate into something that is precarious and vague for families involving same-sex partners.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

European Court of Human Rights Rules All European Countries Should Recognize Same-Sex Partnerships

July 21st, 2015 Comments off

Image via Passport Magazine

Image via Passport Magazine

This just in from HRC:

The European Court on Human Rights has ruled that all signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights, including countries like Turkey and Russia, where discrimination and violence against LGBT people has recently made headlines, should recognize same-sex partnerships. This ruling, which could impact 47 countries, and 800 million people, is a major step in granting greater rights and equality to LGBT people across Europe, and around the world.

The case, Oliary and Others v. Italy, was brought by plaintiffs urging Italy to recognize their legal partnerships that had been granted outside of Italy. While arguing that same-sex partnership recognition is a right, this ruling allows signatory countries to chose which form of recognition they wish confer. HRC calls on all country signatories to embrace full marriage equality.

Find out more after the jump…
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Freedom To Marry’s New Video Follows the Journey to Marriage Equality

July 15th, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Passport Magazine

Photo via Passport Magazine

A new video released today by Freedom to Marry, the civil rights advocacy organization responsible for campaigning for the right of same-sex couples to marry in the United States, follows the jarring road that culminated in last month’s landmark Supreme Court decision.

The short premiered at Freedom to Marry’s Victory Celebration on Thursday, July 9, where Vice President Joe Biden was in attendance to congratulate Freedom to Marry for a successful campaign on behalf of love.

Watch the touching video below:

Read more…

Couples Sign Up for Civil Unions in Chile

July 13th, 2015 Comments off

Gay and lesbian couples flocked to registries to apply for civil union licenses in Chile on Thursday. Civil unions, which were signed into law by President Michelle Bachelet in April, will not go into full effect until Oct. 22, but couples eagerly signed up on this historic day. “We were the FIRST couple that signed up for the AUC (Civil Union Agreement) in (the central city of) Vina del Mar,” wrote Felipe Egido on Twitter.

While the law falls short of marriage by name, same-sex couples will now have all the same rights as opposite-sex married couples.

Polls in Northern Ireland Show Overwhelming Support for Gay and Lesbian Marriage

July 10th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Belfast Pride

Image via Belfast Pride

Now that its southern neighbor Ireland overwhelmingly passed marriage equality, the people of Northern Ireland are ready for gay and lesbian marriage, according to a new poll. Northern Ireland is also the only member of the UK to not grant its citizens marriage equality, but a new Ipsos MORI poll shows that things may change quickly. Roughly 68% of adults believe that same-sex couples deserve the right to marry. And, like in other countries, the percentage is much higher for Millennials—82%.

 

Gay Marriage Victory in Puerto Rico as Judges Strike Down Island’s Ban

July 9th, 2015 Comments off
Ada Conde Vidal and Ivonne Alvarez Velez. Image via Lambda Legal.

Ada Conde Vidal and Ivonne Alvarez Velez. Image via Lambda Legal.

Judges from the federal First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Puerto Rico’s ban on gay and lesbian marriage is unconstitutional. The three-judge ruling comes just two weeks after the US Supreme Court extended marriage equality to all 50 states. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Ada Conde Vidal and Ivonne Álvarez who asked the court to recognize their marriage that was performed in Massachusetts. Despite initial roadblocks from a district judge who dismissed the case, the couple appealed to the First Circuit. Same-sex marriages are expected to begin on July 15.

 

Confirmed! Married Gay Couples Will Receive Full Federal Benefits

July 9th, 2015 Comments off
Gay Marriage

Image via Passport

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed that married same-sex couples will finally have access to full federal benefits thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision affirming a Constitutional right to nationwide marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges. Now that marriage equality is the law of the land in every state, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration – which before the decision had continued to deny full benefits due to statutory language forcing them to look to the state of residence for the purpose of some benefits – will finally extend full benefits to married same-sex couples. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization praised the long awaited announcement. [HRC]