same-sex couples

Ruling Sparks Debate on Retroactive Gay Rights

A new Connecticut Supreme Court ruling is adding to the debate on whether gay marriage rights should be applied retroactively and qualify same-sex couples for rights and benefits for which they weren't entitled before state laws allowed them to marry.

Although no states that allow gay marriage have made their laws retroactive, many same-sex partners believe they should have received Social Security survivor payments, tax breaks, inheritances and other benefits that were afforded only to heterosexual married couples before gay marriage laws were passed. Read more »

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California Just Got Rid Of Its Last Barrier To Same-Sex Marriage

California Just Got Rid Of Its Last Barrier To Same-Sex Marriage

California’s same-sex couples may now be pronounced spouse and spouse after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill Monday eliminating outdated “husband and wife” references from state laws.

Senate Bill 1306 was introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) to eliminate confusion and correct discriminatory phrasing in the California Constitution that contradicts state law. While the adjustment has no effect on the legality of same-sex marriage in California, it’s an important capstone for couples who’ve watched their state rise, fall and rise again as a champion of marriage equality before ultimately declaring Prop 8’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional in 2013. Read more »

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Children raised by same-sex couples have better health and well-being in comparison to their peers, according to a groundbreaking new study which isbeing billed as the largest of its kind.

Conducted by Australia's University of Melbourne, the new research aimed to "describe the physical, mental and social well-being" of children with gay and lesbian parents, and "the impact that stigma has on them." On average, children raised by same-sex couples scored six percent higher than the general population when it came to general health and family cohesion.

Meanwhile, in other categories -- such as behavior, mental health and self-esteem -- those children reportedly scored the same as those raised by heterosexual parents. Read more »

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Legalizing same-sex marriage could pump $62M into Arizona economy via wedding rush

Legalizing same-sex marriage could pump $62M into Arizona economy via wedding rush

Legalizing same-sex marriages would immediately pump nearly $40 million into Arizona’s economy, according to a UCLA research group friendly toward LGBT rights.

A study by the University of California at Los Angeles’ Williams Institute estimates more than 7,900 same-sex couples would wed in the first three years if they were allowed to in Arizona. That would translate into as much as $61.9 million in total same-sex wedding spending over three years.

The first year alone could see $39.6 million worth of LGBT spending on weddings. Read more »

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Colorado Civil Rights Panel: Baker Must Make Cakes For Gay Weddings

Colorado Civil Rights Panel: Baker Must Make Cakes For Gay Weddings

 Colorado's Civil Rights Commission on Friday ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections to the practice did not trump the state's anti-discrimination statutes.

The unanimous ruling from the seven-member commission upheld an administrative law judge's finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012. The couple sued.

"I can believe anything I want, but if I'm going to do business here, I'd ought to not discriminate against people," Commissioner Raju Jaram said. Read more »

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Yay for same-sex marriage, but ...

Yay for same-sex marriage, but ...

There's plenty of gay-rights news to celebrate this week:

-- On Monday, a federal judge threw out Oregon's ban on same-sex marriages, writing that his decision was one in support of "families committed to the common purpose of love, devotion and service to the greater community."

-- On Tuesday, the same thing, more or less, happened in Pennsylvania, with a judge in that case writing that "we are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history." (I mean, wow, right?) Read more »

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Federal Judge Strikes Down Oregon's Gay Marriage Ban

Federal Judge Strikes Down Oregon's Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge on Monday struck down Oregon's voter-approved ban on gay marriage, saying it is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said the ban unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples and ordered the state not to enforce it. State officials earlier refused to defend the constitutional ban in court.

McShane joined judges in seven other states who have struck down gay marriage bans, though appeals are underway.

Oregon state officials have said they'd be prepared to carry out same-sex marriages almost immediately, and couples lined up outside the county clerk's office in Portland in anticipation of the McShane's decision. Read more »

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Arkansas Gay Marriages On Hold For Now

Arkansas Gay Marriages On Hold For Now

The Arkansas Supreme Court refused Wednesday to put on hold a ruling that overturned the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage, but the short-lived ability for same-sex couples to wed in the state still came to a halt amid confusion about what comes next.

The justices in their decision offered no direction on that point to the state's county clerks, some of whom had pointed to another ban against gay marriage that is written into an aspect of state law and questioned if it remained in effect. Read more »

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Senators move to extend same-sex couples full Social Security benefits

Senators move to extend same-sex couples full Social Security benefits

Since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a sweeping ruling last June striking down the federal government’s definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, the Obama administration has moved with haste to implement the decision. The Pentagon has extended benefits to same-sex military families and the Treasury Department has granted married same-sex couples equal federal tax recognition. Read more »

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