marriage

Anti-Gay Stance Still Enshrined In Majority Of State GOP Platforms

 As support for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals grows in the GOP, the official stance of the Republican Party remains rooted in opposition to those rights. The party's national platform, written in 2012, comes out strongly against LGBT equality and even calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

For the most part, the same remains true at the state level. According to a count by The Huffington Post, only seven states plus the District of Columbia have no mention of opposition to same-sex marriage or other rights for LGBT individuals in their party platforms. Fourteen states appear to go by the national platform, leaving 29 other states with their own platforms that oppose gay rights. Read more »

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Illinois House clears way for gay marriage bill

Illinois House clears way for gay marriage bill

The House today narrowly approved a gay marriage bill, clearing the way for Illinois to become the 15th state to legalize same-sex unions.

The bill got 61 votes, one more than the bare minimum needed to send the measure back to the Senate for final approval that’s expected later today. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would sign the bill into law should it reach his desk.

The House vote followed more than two-and-a-half hours of debate in which supporters said it’s time for Illinois to make marriage equal for all and opponents raised concerns about protecting the institution of marriage and the religious beliefs of those who say marriage should be between a man and woman. Read more »

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3 churches in Tempe pledge their support for same-sex unions

3 churches in Tempe pledge their support for same-sex unions

Rachel Knowles is getting married next month.

It’s the final stretch before the Phoenix resident’s big day. Knowles and her fiancee, Rebecca Reeder, met with the photographer on Friday. The flowers will be peach and cream roses to match their wedding colors. The music will be a mix of ’80s hits.

The casual ceremony will be in a friend’s backyard. But Knowles is a woman of faith, so she wants her pastor by her side to bless their vows.

“For us it’s a covenant we’re making with God and for God, so it’s important our pastor be there,” she said.

The wedding will be a first for the Rev. Doug Bland of Community Christian Church in Tempe. He has never officiated a ceremony for a same-sex couple. Read more »

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Marriage advocates work toward nationwide ruling

Marriage advocates work  toward nationwide ruling

Marriage equality advocates can see an end goal – having a nationwide ruling upholding the right of same-sex couples to wed – on the horizon. But it will take several years, and more victories at the state level, to arrive at that point.

So was the message during a plenary session last week at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association's annual convention, held this year in Boston. The panel focused on the aftermaths of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June overturning Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which had prevented the federal government from recognizing state sanctioned same-sex marriages. Read more »

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Federal Judge Orders Ohio Officials to Recognize Same-Sex Couple’s Marriage

Federal Judge Orders Ohio Officials to Recognize Same-Sex Couple’s Marriage

A federal judge Monday ordered Ohio officials to recognize the marriage of a same-sex couple wed in Maryland on the death certificate of one of the two men currently in hospice care.

Timothy Black.jpgU.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black wrote in Monday’s order that despite Ohio’s 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, "Ohio law has historically and unambiguously provided that the validity of a marriage is determined by whether it complies with the law of the jurisdiction where it was celebrated." Read more »

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Ohio Officials Ordered To Recognize Gay Couple’s Marriage

Ohio Officials Ordered To Recognize Gay Couple’s Marriage

A federal judge in Ohio ordered state officials Monday to recognize the marriage of two men that was performed in Maryland on the death certificate of an Ohio resident in hospice care who the judge says “is certain to die soon.”

“The end result here and now is that the local Ohio Registrar of death certificates is hereby ORDERED not to accept for recording a death certificate for John Arthur that does not record Mr. Arthur’s status at death as ‘married’ and James Obergefell as his ‘surviving spouse,’” Judge Timothy Black wrote in granting the couple a temporary restraining order Monday. The order is in effect until 5 p.m. Aug. 5, unless the court extends the order at a later date. Read more »

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With gay marriage decision settled, couples try to sort out finances

With gay marriage decision settled, couples try to sort out finances

WASHINGTON -- Same-sex couples who celebrated last month when the Supreme Courtstruck down the Defense of Marriage Act are waking up to a disorienting legal hangover as they try to assess the ruling’s effect on their personal finances.

Almost a month after the court’s June 26 decision, financial advisers and lawyers say it remains unclear how more than 1,100 federal laws tied to marital status – including about 200 separate tax code provisions – will apply to same-sex married couples who live in certain kinds of legal limbo. Some, for example, were wed in a state that recognizes their union but live in another state that does not. Others live in a state that allows only civil unions or domestic partnerships. Read more »

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Gay, lesbian feds cheer extension of spouse benefits

Gay, lesbian feds cheer extension of spouse benefits

Ever since their 2004 marriage, Ed Horvath had been battling to get federal health insurance for his spouse, Richard Neidich. Following last month’s Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, it took Horvath a mere two days to sign Neidich up.

“It’s something that we’ve been waiting for and anticipating for a long time,” Horvath, a senior human resources specialist at the Government Accountability Office, said in an interview last week. “It’s something that we really think will benefit us in the long run.” Read more »

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Goldman Sachs to Microsoft's Support for Gays Pressures States

Goldman Sachs to Microsoft's Support for Gays Pressures States

Support for gay marriage by companies as varied as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Starbucks Corp. is gathering steam to change policies in states that bar same-sex couples from tying the knot.

Two U.S. Supreme Court decisions on June 26 heartened supporters of the cause while showing an increased willingness of business to back the effort. In one case, more than 200 companies signed a brief against a federal law that denied benefits to same-sex couples. Five years ago, only a handful had lobbied against California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages, the target of the high court’s other decision. Read more »

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For gay couples, divorce equality is also a trial

For gay couples, divorce equality is also a trial

(REUTERS) - Gay couples rejoiced last week when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and cleared the way for federal recognition of same sex-marriages.

They should push for divorce equality, too.

That's something Jason Dottley, a Los Angeles pop singer and actor, would like to see. He filed for divorce in April 2012 from his husband, Del Shores, a film director and playwright. Dottley and Shores married in 2008, a brief time of marriage equality in California.

"People at the courthouse didn't know how to handle the divorce," says Dottley, noting that extra paperwork aimed at same-sex couples dragged the process out for a full year. Read more »

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