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A regional court in Costa Rica ruled that a same-sex couple can receive a state-given welfare credit, making the ruling the first in Central America to treat a same-sex couple as a formal union. The ruling will not be extended to other couples, whose cases will be decided on an individual basis. Despite this small victory, activists are hopeful that the court case will be brought to a higher court, and make gay and lesbian unions the law of the land. [TheGuardian]
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Late last week, the Brazilian National Council of Justice passed a resolution that requires all notaries, who perform marriages and civil unions in the country, to allow same-sex couples to marry. Already 12 states in Brazil recognizes gay marriage, with the remaining states expressing confusion over the lack of federal law concerning same-sex marriage. The president of the Council of Justice said that because of the resolution, notaries can no longer deny same-sex couples from marrying throughout all of Brazil.
This is turning out to be a big month for gay marriage. As the US waits for a Supreme Court decision, Ireland is set to vote this Friday on whether or not to bring marriage equality to the country. [CNN]
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Lawmakers today in Croatia have approved gay couples to register as life partners, which will grant same-sex couples the same rights as married heterosexual couples. The law is not without its faults, as it doesn’t use the word marriage and won’t allow same-sex couples to adopt children. Despite this, gay rights activists have praised the law, especially since it was passed in a conservative Roman Catholic nation. “Croatia made a historic step forward to stand along progressive countries which have already resolved the issue,” Iva Tomecic, editor-in-chief of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) news portal CroL, told AFP. “From now on same sex couples and families can finally legally regulate their unions… knowing that the country where they live, work and pay taxes is treating them as equal citizens,” she said.
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To demonstrate the widespread support of gay and lesbian marriage in the state of Colorado, Why Marriage Matters Colorado released an affective PSA showcasing veterans who support marriage equality. The 30-second spot began airing across the state and features local veterans, one gay the rest straight, discussing the importance of bringing equality to the state.
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“We don’t feel the need to take an extra step legally. But since we’re committed for life, we feel it’s really important to take that step, and take advantage of that amazing change in legislation. We all live by example,” David Furnish said of his upcoming nuptials to Elton John. Since gay and lesbian marriage in England and Wales is now legal, the two have set the date for May. But will it be a big star-filled celebration? “We do like big parties,” Furnish said. “Over eight years ago, we had 650 people on the 21st of December at our house in Windsor… But with the kids, everything is different. I think what we’ll do is go to a registry office in England in May, and take the boys with us, and a couple of witnesses.”
Categories: david furnish, elton john, Gay Marriage, UK civil union law, david furnish, Elton John, Gay Adoption, Gay britain, gay england, gay london, gay marriage, gay rights, gay UK, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, same-sex unions
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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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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.
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Lily Tomlin and her partner Jane Wagner finally walked down the aisle after 42 years together, confirmed Liz Smith from the New York Social Diary. “We’re thinking maybe we’ll get married,” Tomlin told E! Online after the Supreme Court struck down Prop. 8. “You didn’t think that would happen…You don’t really need to get married, but marriage is awfully nice. Everybody I know who got married, they say it really makes a difference. They feel very very happy about it.” While the couple initially joked that “Maybe we’ll be dressed like chickens,” there were no reports of a yellow-feathered bride.
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The Supreme Court has blocked any further gay and lesbian marriages in Utah after state officials appealed the decision to allow same-sex marriage. The full court ordered a stay “pending final disposition” of an appeal to the federal appeals court in Denver, Colorado, though, no reason was given. According to the New York Times
: “The Supreme Court acted more than two weeks after a federal judge in Salt Lake City on Dec. 20 struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying it violated principles of equal protection and due process. Judge Robert J. Shelby of Federal District Court refused to stay his decision while it was appealed, as did the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver.”
Concern is now mounting for the hundreds of same-sex couples that have already been married in Utah if the courts were to strike down Shelby’s ruling.
It’s been one hell of a year. We’ve seen it all—both good and bad. And for this week, we’re reminding you of some of the defining moments of 2013.
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A federal appeals court ruled today that the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) unconstitutionally discriminates against married same-sex couples. In striking down DOMA, the court held that government discrimination against lesbians and gay men now is assumed to be unconstitutional and that DOMA’s defenders could not offer any good reason for treating married same-sex couples differently from all other married couples. This is the first federal appeals court decision to decide that government discrimination against gay people gets a more exacting level of judicial review, known as “heightened scrutiny.”
Find out more and what this means after the jump…
Categories: Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Gay Travel, Marriage Equality doma, gay marriage, lesbian marriage, New York Civil Liberties Unions, same-sex marriage, same-sex unions, unconstitutional, US Supreme Court