same-sex marriage

Boston St. Patrick's Parade To Include Gay Groups For First Time

Boston St. Patrick's Parade To Include Gay Groups For First Time

Two homosexual rights groups will march in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday after organizers lifted a longtime ban on lesbian, gay and transgender (LGBT) organizations joining the annual Irish-American march.

Boston Pride, an LGBT rights group, said this week organizers had accepted its application to participate in this year's march through the Irish bastion of South Boston.

The rights group will join OutVets, representing gay veterans, in bringing an end to two decades of debate over the issue. Organizers had insisted that homosexuality conflicted with Catholic doctrine, but the ban ran counter to the liberal mores that prevail in Massachusetts, the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Read more »

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A Record Number Of Voters Support Gay Marriage, New Poll Finds

A Record Number Of Voters Support Gay Marriage, New Poll Finds

A record number of voters now support gay marriage, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday found.

The poll shows that an all-time high 59 percent of American voters support same-sex marriage -- nearly double the amount of voters who supported it in 2004. Support has also increased among conservative voters, with 35 percent now saying they back same-sex marriage, an increase of 9 percentage points from April 2013.

Fred Yang, a Democratic pollster who conducted the survey with Republican Bill McInturff, told the Wall Street Journal that support for gay marriage was increasing among voters faster than attitudes towards interracial marriage, now supported by 87 percent of Americans. Read more »

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‘Relationship with Jesus’ doesn’t justify florist’s refusal to serve gay couple, judge rules

A Washington state florist who refused to provide flower arrangements for a gay wedding “because of [her] relationship with Jesus” violated the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws, a judgeruled Wednesday.

“Religious motivation does not excuse compliance with the law,” Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander C. Ekstrom said in his 60-page opinion. “In trade and commerce, and more particularly when seeking to prevent discrimination in public accommodations, the courts have confirmed the power of the legislative branch to prohibit conduct it deems discriminatory, even where the motivation for that conduct is grounded in religious belief.” Read more »

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Texas Judge Rules State Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Unconstitutional

Texas Judge Rules State Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Unconstitutional

A Texas probate judge ruled Tuesday that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

The ruling, by Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman, was part of an estate battle, according to the Austin-American Statesman. An Austin woman sought to have her eight-year relationship with a woman who died of cancer in June recognized as a common-law marriage.

“Oh, we had a marriage. It was definitely a marriage,” Sonemaly Phrasavath, the woman challenging the state's ban, told KXAN late last year. “We carried ourselves as such. She was in every sense my wife and vice versa.” Read more »

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Conservatives Seize On Hugely Flawed Study About Same-Sex Parents

Conservatives Seize On Hugely Flawed Study About Same-Sex Parents

Conservatives are excitedly promoting a new study that supposedly reveals negative outcomes for the children of same-sex parents. Like the infamously flawed Mark Regnerus study rushed out two years ago, the new study seems timed to impact the Supreme Court’s upcoming consideration of marriage equality for same-sex couples. It suffers, however, from some of the same flaws and biases as Regnerus’ study, and doesn’t actually support the argument against marriage equality that it tries to make. Read more »

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The Mormon Church Comes Out In Favor Of LGBT Rights -- Kind Of

The Mormon Church Comes Out In Favor Of LGBT Rights -- Kind Of

The Mormon church announced a campaign Tuesday for new laws that protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination while somehow also protecting people who assert their religious beliefs.

"We must find ways to show respect for others whose beliefs, values and behaviors differ from ours while never being forced to deny or abandon our own beliefs, values and behaviors in the process," a church elder, Jeffrey R. Holland, said in announcing the church's position. Read more »

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Taking Up Gay Marriage, but on Its Own Terms

Taking Up Gay Marriage, but on Its Own Terms

The first page of a petition seeking Supreme Court review is the most important. It sets out the “question presented,” the one the court will answer if it takes the case.

The justices do not ordinarily tinker with the wording of those questions. But on Friday something unusual happened: In agreeing to hear four same-sex marriage cases, the court framed for itself the issues it would address.

Lawyers and scholars scrutinized the court’s order with the anxious intensity of hypochondriacs attending their symptoms. Some saw an attempt by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to elicit a ruling that would stop short of establishing a nationwide constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Read more »

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Pope Calls Same-Sex Marriage a 'Threat' to the Family

Pope Calls Same-Sex Marriage a 'Threat' to the Family

Pope Francis, much lauded for shifting the Catholic church’s tone on LGBT issues, struck a less conciliatory note in a speech he made today in Manila, the Philippines, where he said that the “family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life.” These forces, he said, are attempting the “ideological colonization of the family.”

According to Crux, a Boston Globe blog covering Catholic issues, the Vatican confirmed that the pontiff was alluding to same-sex marriage. Read more »

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Supreme Court to Decide Whether Gays Nationwide Can Marry

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Gays Nationwide Can Marry

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether all 50 states must allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. The court’s announcement made it likely that it would resolve one of the great civil rights questions of the age before its current term ends in June.

The justices ducked the issue in October, refusing to hear appeals from rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states. That surprise action delivered a tacit victory for gay rights, immediately expanding the number of states with same-sex marriage to 24 from 19, along with the District of Columbia. Read more »

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Mormon Church Threatens Critic With Excommunication

Mormon Church Threatens Critic With Excommunication

Mormon leaders have moved to excommunicate the prominent founder of an online forum for questioning Mormons, charging him with apostasy for publicly supporting same-sex marriage and the ordination of women, and for challenging church teaching.

John P. Dehlin, 45, host of the “Mormon Stories” website and podcast — a hub of discussion for thousands of skeptical Mormons — said that his regional church leader confirmed on Wednesday that a disciplinary hearing had been scheduled for Jan. 25. Mr. Dehlin said he was told he would be disciplined and probably excommunicated if he refused to remove podcasts that are critical of the church and to disavow his support for women’s ordination andsame-sex marriage. Read more »

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