Marriage Act

Gay-Rights Movement Tackles Cultural Battle In The Deep South

Gay-Rights Movement Tackles Cultural Battle In The Deep South

Mercedes Ricks may be the perfect candidate to help launch a new cultural push in Magnolia, Miss. The 50-year-old native of Colombia ended up in this tiny south Mississippi town by way of New Orleans nine years ago.

"I met these ladies from here," Ricks says after greeting guests in the barroom next to her Mariposa restaurant. "They invited me to come spend a weekend in Magnolia. We were going to go to the river and drink beer, and Katrina happened that weekend."

Ricks says the hurricane left her with nothing but a swimsuit and river shoes. It was the people in Magnolia who helped her start over. With a wide, mischievous grin, she explains how last year she ran for at-large city alderman and won. Read more »

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Big businesses still fighting for same-sex marriage

Big businesses still fighting for same-sex marriage

For many of the nation's largest businesses, the fight for same-sex marriage didn't end when the Supreme Court decided to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act last year.

While the federal government now recognizes same-sex marriage, individual states still get to make their own rules. And since many states continue to prohibit it, navigating through this patchwork of laws can be extremely complicated for national companies. Read more »

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BP's Former CEO Explains Why LGBT Equality Makes Good Business Sense

BP's Former CEO Explains Why LGBT Equality Makes Good Business Sense

On 2 June 2013, I wrote an editorial in the Financial Times arguing the case for gay marriage. The House of Lords would vote on a measure legalising same-sex marriage the following day. I supported the bill as a pragmatic legislator, as a gay man and as a human being. But I also supported it because I am a businessman.

Business does not usually take a position on the institution of marriage. But, in my time as chief executive, I learned that any policy that fosters an inclusive environment makes good business sense. Paul Reed, my former colleague at BP and now a senior executive there, puts it best: "I don’t want people saving a quarter of their brain to hide who they are. I want them to apply their whole brain to their job." Read more »

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Judge throws out Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage

Judge throws out Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage

A federal judge declared Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Tuesday.

The ruling by Judge John E. Jones III ruling would make Pennsylvania the last Northeast state to allow same-sex marriages, although the state could challenge the decision before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Several couples sued the state in July for the right to marry in Pennsylvania or to have their out-of-state same-sex marriages recognized. A 1996 state law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Read more »

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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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Utah Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down As Unconstitutional

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal judge struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that brings a nationwide shift toward allowing gay marriage to a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it.

The Salt Lake County clerk's office started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Deputy Clerk Dahnelle Burton-Lee said the district attorney authorized her office to begin issuing the licenses but she couldn't immediately say how many have been issued so far.

Just hours earlier, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling saying Utah's law passed by voters in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples' rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment. Read more »

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Gay Marriage Battle Nears End in Hawaii, the First Front Line

Gay Marriage Battle Nears End in Hawaii, the First Front Line

HONOLULU — When, as most everyone expects, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs into law same-sex marriage here in the coming days, it may almost seem like a routine event. Hawaii is poised to be among 16 states to approve gay marriage, along with Illinois and shortly after Minnesota, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Opponents of a measure to legalize gay marriage gathered Thursday at the Capitol in Honolulu. Read more »

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Financial Considerations for Gay Families in Light of DOMA Demise

Financial Considerations for Gay Families in Light of DOMA Demise

On June 26, the Supreme Court repealed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA essentially said that even gay couples who were legally married at the state level, weren’t recognized as such at the federal level (and weren’t entitled to its marriage benefits). With DOMA since being repealed, gay couples now have additional financial rights.

Which issues does this ruling affect in particular?

The ruling affects a multitude of issues. Read more »

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Finishing the Job: DOMA Repeal Bill Reintroduced

Finishing the Job: DOMA Repeal Bill Reintroduced

Now that the U.S Supreme Court has struck down one part of the Defense of Marriage Act, members of Congress have reintroduced legislation to finish the job.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York introduced the Respect for Marriage Act in the House today, and Dianne Feinstein of California introduced it in the Senate. Both are Democrats, but the measure does have some Republican support. The 160 House cosponsors include Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York. The 41 Senate cosponsors are all Democrats or independents. Read more »

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DOMA’s Demise Celebrated by Apple, Other Top Tech Firms

DOMA’s Demise Celebrated by Apple, Other Top Tech Firms

In a pair of 5-4 decisions, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of same-sex couples in two major cases, effectively allowing federal benefits for gay couples and clearing the way for same-sex marriages in the state of California.

One ruling overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the bill passed in 1996 that ruled same-sex marriages unconstitutional. The other decision left intact a lower-court ruling that invalidated California’s Prop. 8 ban on same-sex marriage.

Among progressive Silicon Valley tech companies, the reaction was incredibly positive. Read more »

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