Topic: Equal Marriage

The new items published under this topic are as follows.
Apr 01, 2008# News: European Court of Justice Rules in Favour of Gay Pensioneers
Equal Marriage (EU) - European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg delivered its judgement in a landmark case on pension rights for registered same-sex partners (case of Tadao Maruko v. Versorgungswerk der deutschen Bhnen). The facts of the case are as follows: Mr. Maruko lived with his partner in a registered partnership. After his partner died the VddB, the pension scheme for German theatres, refused to pay him a survivor’s pension as such pensions were provided only for married partners. Mr. Maruko sued the VddB, and the Bavarian Administrative CourtMunich referred the case to the ECJ for interpretation of the 2000/78/EC Directive which established a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.
# Read more...

Mar 31, 2008# Quickie Link: Media Frenzy at Warsaw Airport for Arrival of Gay American Couple
Equal Marriage (Poland) - Gay Americans Brendan Fay and Tom Moulton found a media frenzy when they arrived at Warsaw airport yesterday for a three-day visit. The couple, who were married in Canada, hit the international headlines when their wedding image was used in Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s televised prime-time address to scare the Polish people against supporting the Lisbon Treaty, arrived to Warsaw for a three-day visit. The trip is sponsored by TVN Television. Their first day in Poland was an opportunity to meet with Polish Gay rights leaders Tomasz Szypula and Greg Czarnecki from the Campaign Against Homophobia (Kampania Przeciw Homofobii – KPH) as well as other members of the LGBT community.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Mar 06, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Marriage Discussed at Council of Europe
Equal Marriage (Europe) - A Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) hearing on the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships will take place in Paris tomorrow. The 47-member Council of Europe predates the European Union. It promotes and protects democracy, educational and sporting co-operation and created the European Court of Human Rights. The hearing will involve representatives of the International Lesbian and Gay Association ILGA Europe as well as parliamentarians and academics. It will also focus on freedom of assembly and expression for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people in the Council member states.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Mar 05, 2008# Quickie Link: Iowa GOP Fails In Bid To Advance Anti-Gay Amendment
Equal Marriage (USA) - Iowa Republicans frustrated with the majority Democrats refusal to hold a vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban Gay marriage have failed in their last ditch effort to advance the measure. House Minority Leader Christopher Rants attempted on Tuesday to use a procedural motion to move the amendment out of committee where it has been stonewalled and onto the floor of the House for a full vote. On a 50-to-46 vote along party lines Democrats rejected the motion. That means the issue remains in committee where it will likely die by the end of the week. Republicans have been pushing the proposed amendment since last year when Polk County Judge Robert Hanson struck down a state law limiting marriage to straight couples. To amend the Iowa Constitution simple majorities are needed in both the House and Senate in two consecutive general assemblies and then it must be approved by a simple majority of voters in the following general election.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Mar 03, 2008# Quickie Link: Poll: Iowa Supports Civil Unions But No Gay Marriage
Equal Marriage (USA) - The majority of Iowa voters support restricting marriage to heterosexual couples but at the same time are divided on a constitutional amendment to put that in place, and most believe Gay couples should have the right to have civil unions a new poll shows. The survey, by the Des Moines Register, found that 62 percent of prospective voters believe marriage should be available only to heterosexual pairs. But when asked if the state constitution should be amended to block Gay marriage 48 percent said yes while 47 percent said no. Five percent had no opinion. Last year Polk County Judge Robert Hanson struck down a state law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. Hanson ruled that a state law allowing marriage only between a man and woman violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Mar 02, 2008# Quickie Link: Civil Unions Mulled In Illinois
Equal Marriage (USA) - Legislation that would create civil unions in Illinois has been introduced in the state Senate. The bill, filed by Sen. David Koehler (D) would include both same and opposite-sex couples. It is similar to legislation filed last year in the House by Rep. Greg Harris (D). That version has been approved by committee but has not been scheduled for a vote by the full House. Koehler acknowledges that the legislation is bound to encounter opposition from 'social conservative' groups and Republicans. The legislation would also recognize same sex marriages and civil unions from other states as civil unions in Illinois. Civil unions currently are legal in New Jersey, Vermont and Connecticut. Same-sex marriage is available only in Massachusetts, although legislation has been filed in Maryland and next week the California Supreme Court will consider Gay marriages.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Feb 13, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Couples to Stage St Valentine's Day Protest
Equal Marriage (USA) - Getting married has been a goal for long-time partners Robin Tyler and Diane Olson for each of the past six Valentine's Days, and this year will be no different. They'll be turned away, of course, since their home state of California doesn't allow same-sex marriages, but Tyler hardly seems heartbroken by that inevitability. "It's all about raising awareness," says the Los Angeles-based activist, comedienne and producer. Similar demonstrations will be happening all over California tomorrow, from Alameda County to Yolo County, according to Marriage Equality USA, all in the hopes of raising awareness about the six cases challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Feb 12, 2008# Quickie Link: Arizona Mulls Gay Marriage Ban - Again
Equal Marriage (USA) - Republican lawmakers on Monday proposed asking voters in November to amend the Arizona Constitution to ban same-sex marriage in the state, which was the first to turn down such a measure. The proposal was backed by 16 of 30 state senators, and an identical proposal was introduced in the House. Both chambers would have to approve the measure in a vote for it to be included on the ballot. Under the amendment, "only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." The proposal comes after Arizona voters narrowly rejected a similar measure in November 2006. The previous measure included the same definition but also contained wording that was interpreted as prohibiting government recognition of civil unions or domestic partnerships. Seven other states approved amendments that day.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Feb 08, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Marriage Foes Attempt To Force Amendment Vote
Equal Marriage (USA) - Opponents of three measures that would give varying rights to same-sex couples in Maryland say they will attempt to force a proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions directly onto the floor of the House and bypass committees. Longtime Gay foe in the legislature, Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr. (R) is circulating a petition that would all a full House vote on the amendment. Dwyer, who attempted to pass measures in the past limiting LGBT civil rights, needs the endorsement of 47 members of the House of Delegates to bypass the committee process and move the issue to a full vote. So far he has 34.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Feb 07, 2008# Quickie Link: Cuban Cabinet Minister Calls For Gay Marriage
Equal Marriage (Cuba) - Taking up Raul Castro's invitation to speak their minds without fear of reprisal, more Cubans have begun publicly complaining and challenging government policies on everything from Gay rights to limits on Internet access and travel restrictions. This week some leading figures called for change: Culture Minister Abel Prieto said that he supports Gay marriage, and famed folk singer Silvio Rodriguez said he believes all Cubans should be free to travel abroad and stay in the hotels reserved for foreign tourists. "I think that marriage between Lesbians, between Homosexuals can be perfectly approved and that in Cuba that wouldn't cause an earthquake or anything like that," Prieto, a member of the party's powerful Politburo, told reporters following a screening of a documentary on Rodriguez's career. Cuban lawmakers are considering a proposal to allow Gay marriages, though its progress in the legislature's closed-door sessions remains unclear.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Feb 06, 2008# Quickie Link: Romanian Family Code Excludes Gay Marriages
Equal Marriage (Romania) - Romanian Senators amended on Tuesday the Family Code applied at national level to specify that "the family" means "the heterosexual family" i.e. is based entirely upon the marriage of a man and a woman and not upon the reunion of the partners, as stipulated before. The initiative pertains to a senator from the far-right Greater Romania Party (PRM) and was accepted by all members of the Judicial Commission in the Senate. The amendment referred to the first article of the Family Code and leaves no room for interpretation. The text added refers that "the union between a man and a woman respects the Biblical requirements."
# Note: Read more on Hot News

Feb 02, 2008# Quickie Link: Civil Unions Get the Nod in Oregon
Equal Marriage (USA) - After years of emotion on the streets and in the Capitol, the fight for Gay rights boiled down to a quiet ruling in a federal courtroom on Friday. U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman's decision means that starting Monday, same-sex couples can start signing up for domestic partnerships, entitling them to most of the duties and benefits that married residents receive. Friday afternoon, Mosman rejected a lawsuit that sought to block the domestic partnership law passed by the Legislature and force a public vote. Mosman's decision was a major victory for Gay-rights advocates, who have fought for years to gain the rights and protections that married couples enjoy.
# Note: Read more on Oregon Live

Feb 02, 2008# Quickie Link: New York Appeals Court Rules State Should Recognize Gay Marriages from Canada
Equal Marriage (USA) - An appeals court has ruled that a Gay couple's marriage in Canada should be recognized in New York. The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court on Friday reversed a judge's ruling in 2006 that Monroe Community College did not have to extend health benefits to an employee's Lesbian partner. The couple formalized their relationship in a civil union ceemony in Vermont in 2001 and were married in Canada in 2004. The college refused to add Golden to the health care benefits because its contract with the Civil Service Employees Association did not address benefits for same-sex partners.
# Note: Read more on Winnipeg Free Press

Jan 29, 2008# Quickie Link: Almost 500 Czech Gay Couples Married
Equal Marriage (Czech Republic) - The number of registered partnerships between Czech same sex couples reached 487 by the end of last year with homosexual male couples prevailing considerably, according to a poll the results of which were given to CTK by the Sidovsky Management agency today. The law on registered partnership that allows marriages between gay and lesbian couples has been valid in the Czech Republic since July 2006. Since then, legal registered partnerships were concluded by 353 homosexual male and 134 female couples. In 43 cases, one of the partners was a foreigner, especially from Slovakia, but also Azerbaijan, Taiwan, Israel, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Armenia, the Netherlands, the USA and Canada.
# Note: Read more on Ceske Noviny

Jan 25, 2008# Quickie Link: Petition to Impeach Judge Who Overturned Gay Marriage Ban
Equal Marriage (USA) - Petitions calling for the impeachment of a judge who overturned Iowa's ban on Gay marriages have been delivered to Legislature. The petitions, with over 6,000 signatures, were handed over today by a homophobe called Bill Salier. He says the goal is to "stop a runaway judiciary." Salier says Polk County Judge Robert Hanson overstepped his authority by legalizing Gay marriage last summer. Hanson stayed his ruling while it's under appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court. Impeaching a judge takes an act of the Legislature.
# Note: Read more on Washington Blade

Jan 22, 2008# Quickie Link: Argentine Gay Couple Defies Country's Civil Union Ban
Equal Marriage (Argentine) - Denied the chance to marry in Argentina, two Gay activists traveled to Spain to tie the knot on Monday. Once home from their honeymoon, they plan to campaign for legal recognition for their marriage in Argentina. “It's not going to be easy. ... But we're already married, Spain recognizes us,” Cesar Cigliutti, president of the Argentine Homosexual Community, told The Associated Press from Madrid. “We want Argentina to recognize us as well.” Cigliutti and Marcelo Suntheim were able to wed because Suntheim has dual citizenship in Argentina and Germany – allowing him to marry within the European Union. Spain began allowing same-sex marriages in 2005, granting Gay couples the same rights as heterosexual ones to marry, adopt children and inherit each other's property.
# Note: Read more on Sign On San Diego

Jan 21, 2008# Quickie Link: Swedes Support Gay Marriage
Equal Marriage (Sweden) - A large majority of Swedes are in favour of allowing Gays to marry, a new poll has shown. Seven out of ten respondents told pollster Sifo they would back moves to change the current legislation. Christian Democrat voters however deviated from the majority. "The proposal enjoys overwhelming support but it runs up against equally strong opposition in the Christian Democrats," Sifo's Toivo Sjrn told Svenska Dagbladet.
# Note: Read more on The Lokal

Jan 15, 2008# Quickie Link: Sweden Might Get Its Gay Marriage Bill
Equal Marriage (Sweden) - Sweden's opposition says it plans to force a bill legalizing Gay marriage through parliament, in a move that would seize the initiative from the government and threaten to drive a wedge between the four governing parties. A government inquiry last year proposed that the country allow same-sex couples to get married, instead of offering civil partnerships as at present. Of the seven parties in the current Swedish parliament, all but one are in favour of Gay marriage, but the continued opposition of the Christian Democrats, one of the three smaller governing parties, makes acting on the issue difficult for the goverment.
# Note: Read more on The Lokal

Jan 07, 2008# Quickie Link: Homophobic Registrar Sues City Council over Gay Weddings
Equal Marriage (UK) - A marriage registrar has sparked a major legal challenge to the acceptance of Gay weddings by refusing to carry out the ceremonies. The woman, a Christian fanatic, is taking action against Islington Council, saying the civil partnership ceremonies she has been asked to perform are against her religious beliefs. More than 300 Gay couples a year have been tying the knot in the North London borough since the ceremony became legal in 2005 – but the unnamed registrar has refused to take any part in them. Her stance has escalated into a full-scale dispute with her employers, who she is now taking to an employment tribunal, in the first case of its kind.
# Note: Read more on Mail on Sunday

Jan 05, 2008# Quickie Link: Irish Gay Partnership Law May Recognise Foreign Unions
Equal Marriage (Ireland) - The Government's planned civil partnership scheme for Gay and Lesbian couples is likely to provide for the automatic legal recognition of civil unions or weddings in certain other countries, it has emerged. Already, dozens of Gay and Lesbian couples are travelling to countries such as Canada and the UK to wed or obtain civil partnerships, in the hope their unions will be recognised in Irish law shortly. Senior sources say that civil unions or weddings will have the same legal recognition as new civil partnerships in Ireland, as long as they meet a number of conditions. Such a provision is contained in civil partnership legislation in the UK, which recognises unions in almost 20 countries, including the US, Canada and France.
# Note: Read more on Ireland.com

Jan 05, 2008# Quickie Link: California Gay Partners Win Tax Break
Equal Marriage (USA) - Domestic partners in California won the right to the same property tax breaks as husbands and wives under state law Thursday when the state Supreme Court turned down an appeal by county assessors. The justices left intact an October ruling by an appeals court in Sacramento that allowed registered domestic partners - same-sex couples, or unmarried heterosexual couples in which one partner is at least 62 - to accept or inherit real estate from one another without new tax assessments. That's a significant advantage under Proposition 13, the 1978 initiative that rolled back property taxes to 1 percent of value and limited increases to 2 percent a year. Prop. 13 allowed counties to reassess property to full market value when it was sold or changed ownership, often leading to a substantial tax increase.
# Note: SF Gates

Jan 03, 2008# Quickie Link: No Civil Unions, Only Civil Protests
Equal Marriage (USA) - Hundreds crammed into a Portland community center and spilled onto the rainy street Wednesday evening for a candlelight vigil to lament a court ruling that blocks Oregon's civil unions law. Among them were Bev Balliett and Ruth Szilagyi, both 58 and of Portland, who have been in a committed relationship for more than 30 years. They had hoped to make their relationship official Wednesday through the law, which gives same-sex couples most of the state benefits of marriage. "After 30 years, it just seems so ludicrous that we can't be acknowledged," Balliett said during the vigil at the Q Center, a Gay community center in Southeast Portland.
# Note: Read more on Oregon Live

Jan 01, 2008# Quickie Link: New Hampshire Civil Unions Could Be Boon
Equal Marriage (USA) - If the rainbow-painted deck chairs, fluttering rainbow flag and purple shutters don't make it clear, the Highlands Inn's toll-free number, 877-LES-B-INN, leaves no doubt as to whom this White Mountains resort in Bethlehem, N.H. caters to. Innkeeper Grace Newman began hosting commitment ceremonies at this self-proclaimed "lesbian paradise" -- in the 1980s. Newman says she has lost track of the number of commitment ceremonies that have happened there; she estimates about 300 couples have honeymooned at the inn after getting civil unions in Vermont or marriages in Quebec, Canada, both short drives away.
# Note: Read more on Boston.com

Dec 29, 2007# Quickie Link: New Bolivia Constitution Would Ban Gay Marriage
Equal Marriage (Bolivia) - A new constitution for Bolivia approved by the national assembly this month includes a ban on Gay marriage that went virtually undiscussed during the legislative process, La Prensa reports. The document, proposed by President Evo Morales, also includes a provision banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Gay groups welcomed the latter provision, calling it a step forward, but they complained that the constitution offers no legal recognition for Gay couples. Opposition groups have promised a massive effort to defeat the proposed constitution, which still must be approved by referendum some time next fall, because it grants Morales indefinite right to re-election and cedes land rights to the country's indigenous majority.
# Note: Read more on Gay News Watch

Dec 29, 2007# Quickie Link: Judge Blocks Law Allowing Civil Unions in Oregon
Equal Marriage (USA) - A federal judge Friday blocked Oregon's new domestic partnership law for Gays and Lesbians from taking effect next week, allowing opponents to continue their efforts to try to get voters to overturn the law. The surprise ruling comes four days before the law would allow Gay couples to gain most of the same legal benefits of marriage. Couples across Oregon were planning to show up at county offices Wednesday to register as partners. But U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman ruled that they will have to wait. He set a Feb. 1 hearing to decide a lawsuit challenging the state's methods for verifying signatures on a November 2008 referendum.
# Note: Read more on Oregon Live

Dec 19, 2007# Quickie Link: Rome Rejects Civil Register Under Vatican Pressure
Equal Marriage (Italy) - The city council in Rome has blocked plans for a domestic partners register for same-sex and heterosexual couples. The Vatican had vehemently opposed the measure. Rightwing groups on the council rejected the modest proposal, whereby couples could have signed a register at the city clerk's office. They would then have been entitled to rights to visit their partner in hospital, family rates at city-run leisure centres and other benefits in the control of the council. Earlier this month Massimo D'Alema, a former Prime Minister who currently holds the highest post at the Italian Foreign office, said that he was against marriage between Gay people, because "only a marriage between a man and a woman represents the basis of the family according to the Italian Constitution, and is also a sacrament according to the Church." He added that Gay marriage would offend the religious feelings of 'many people'.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Dec 18, 2007# Quickie Link: Uruguay Recognizes Gay Unions After 5 Years of Cohabitation
Equal Marriage (Uruguay) - Uruguay's Congress legalized civil unions for Gay couples on Tuesday in the first nationwide law of its kind in Latin America. Under the new law, Gay and straight couples will be eligible to form civil unions after living together for five years. They will have rights similar to those granted to married couples on such matters as inheritance, pensions and child custody. Uruguay's Senate passed the bill unanimously after the lower house approved it last month, a congressional spokesman said. The country's center-left president is expected to sign it into law.
# Note: Read more on Reuters

Dec 18, 2007# Quickie Link: Hungary Legalizes 'Civil Partnerships'
Equal Marriage (Hungary) - Hungary's parliament passed a law late on Monday that allows same-sex couples to register a civil partnership with many of the rights and obligations of marriage. Registered couples will have the same rights as married heterosexual couples in inheritance, taxation and other financial matters. But they will not be allowed to adopt children, unlike married couples. After decades under communist rule when homosexuality was banned or simply out of sight, it is far less widely accepted in Eastern Europe than in most of Western Europe. The law passed with 185 votes in favor, 154 against and 9 abstentions. It will take effect as of January 2009.
# Note: Read mopre on Reuters

Dec 16, 2007# Quickie Link: Labor's 'Secret Plan' to Recognize Gay Unions
Equal Marriage (Australia) - After being elected into power less than a month ago, The Sunday Telegraph has reported that senior ministers of the Labor party are considering plans to legalize same-sex civil unions after an election promise of state based relationship registers is successfully implemented. Speaking to the Telegraph, Professor Kerryn Phelps said that she had received confirmation from several ministers in the Rudd government, and that civil unions will be introduced “slowly and gradually”. “Their reaction to it was they were committed to eliminating discrimination and ensuring real equality and not a watered-down version. Not proceeding with Gay marriages or civil unions would be a watered-down version of equality.
# Note: Read more on GenerationQ

Dec 13, 2007# Quickie Link: Spain Recognises UK Civil Partnerships
Equal Marriage (Spain) - A Gay couple who took on the British and Spanish governments over the recognition of their civil partnership have won a major victory. Paul and Martin Ward signed the civil partnership register in Devon on Valentine's Day this year, having been advised that it would be recognised in Spain, where Paul lives. However, when the couple returned to Spain to live, they found out from the British Consul in Malaga that their civil partnership was not recognised in Spain. "We both decided to fight for our partnership to be recognised here in Spain, in the same way that Spain recognises a UK heterosexual marriage and the UK recognises a Spanish Gay marriage," the couple said today.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Dec 10, 2007# Quickie Link: Israel Must Recognize Gay Parents' Overseas Adoptions
Equal Marriage (Israel) - The Interior Ministry must recognize the overseas adoptions of same-sex couples, the state said yesterday. The state prosecution told the High Court of Justice that it would tell the ministry's Population Registry to recognize such adoptions as long as the couple presents a valid adoption certificate from a foreign country. "This is another step toward equality and the abolition of discrimination toward same-sex couples," said MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz-Yahad). "The time has come for the state to recognize these couples, just as it recognizes the adoptions of heterosexual couples."
# Note: Read more on Haaretz

Dec 08, 2007# Quickie Link: Lesbian Couple Can Not Divorce in Home State
Equal Marriage (USA) - A Lesbian couple who married in Massachusetts are unable to get divorced in their home state of Rhode Island, the state's Supreme Court ruled yesterday. The three-to-two decision ruled that the state's family court does not have the ability to grant a divorce to Gay couples as the state defines marriage as between a man and a woman. "The role of the judicial branch is not to make policy, but simply to determine the legislative intent," the court said in a written judgement.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Dec 07, 2007# Quickie Link: ACT to Hold off on Gay Unions Bill
Equal Marriage (Australia) - The decision follows talks today between ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell and federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland, who voiced concerns about the Territory's proposal. The ACT Government had planned to introduce the legislation in February. Mr Corbell described the meeting as very constructive but said the two parties had agreed to further talks at a departmental level about the issue. "This means the ACT won't be able to present its legislation in February,'' he said. "The Commonwealth minister indicated he does have concerns with the proposed arrangements.'' The meeting came after former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock used his power to block ACT laws, saying they contradicted the federal Marriage Act.
# Note: Read more on The Australian

Dec 05, 2007# Quickie Link: Ex-Ambassador Criticizes Rice on Treatment of Gays
Equal Marriage (USA) - Michael E. Guest, a tall, soft-spoken man with salt-and-pepper hair, looks every bit the diplomat. At the young age of 43, at the start of the Bush administration, he was named ambassador to Romania, and since he returned in 2004 he has trained new ambassadors before they ship out overseas. But last month, after 26 years in the Foreign Service, he did something uncharacteristically undiplomatic. Guest resigned from the State Department, giving up a career he loved, in order to protest rules and regulations that he believes are unfair to the same-sex partners of Foreign Service officers, giving them fewer benefits than family pets.
# Note: Read more on Washington Post

Dec 03, 2007# News: Relationships Register for Gays in Victoria
Equal Marriage (Australia) - Victorian human rights group, Civil Union Action (CUA), has welcomed the Victorian Government's announcement today to introduce new legislation in Parliament this week for a relationships register, but said the register should include equal substantive rights and the option for official ceremonies. MLA for Prahran, Tony Lupton, made the announcement via press release today. Mr Lupton chaired the working group that recently reported to the State Government on relationship recognition.
# Read more...

Dec 03, 2007# Quickie Link: Get Documents Ahead of Time to Avoid Trouble
Equal Marriage Joyce and I can recite Gay-couple horror stories about dying or becoming incapacitated without giving one's partner undeniable decision-making authority. But what really hit home was seeing firsthand the power of having the proper document --and, more important, the powerlessness of not having it. We quit stalling and turned our attention to the half-finished set of legal protections gathering dust on our stairs: for each of us, a will, a durable power of attorney, a health care power of attorney and authorization for the release medical information.
# Note: Read more on The Detroit News

Dec 02, 2007# Quickie Link: New Australian Liberal Leader Ambiguous on Gay Rights
Equal Marriage (Australia) - While Dr Nelson says his stand on Gay rights is a personal view and he'll be consulting his colleagues on any formal policy shift, he told the Sunday Mail in a wide-ranging interview yesterday he thinks it's a change in the law that's overdue. "I don't support Gay marriage, adoption or IVF," Dr Nelson said. "But I believe in addressing the social and economic injustices affecting homosexuals the length and breadth of this country." Dr Nelson is understood to have unsuccessfully argued inside the former Howard Cabinet along with his now shadow treasurer, Malcolm Turnbull, for the legal rights of Gay couples to be recognised.
# Note: Read more on news.com

Nov 30, 2007# Quickie Link: Uruguay set to legalize gay civil unions
Equal Marriage Uruguay will legalize civil unions for homosexuals and heterosexuals next month, making it the first Latin American nation to treat gay and straight couples alike, a lawmaker said Thursday.

Deputies in the early hours of Thursday passed legislation allowing gay and straight couples to form civil unions after living together for at least five years.

The Senate has already approved the measure.
# Note: Read more at Sign On San Diego

Nov 30, 2007# Quickie Link: Law will recognise gay unions
Equal Marriage THE incoming attorney-general, Robert McClelland, says Labor is unlikely to block a proposal by the ACT to legally recognise same-sex couples - a plan that was repeatedly stymied by the Howard Government.

The ACT Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, is planning to reintroduce a civil partnerships bill, which will give legal recognition to unions between same-sex couples. The plan was blocked by the Howard Government last year and the outgoing Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, threatened to do so again in February.

Mr McClelland told the Herald yesterday that Labor opposes gay marriages but would support moves to give same-sex couples the same legal rights as de facto heterosexual couples.
# Note: Read more at Sydney Morning Herald

Nov 27, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay Man Jailed in Morocco For Wedding
Equal Marriage (Morocco) - A wedding for a well-known gay man in Morocco ended with the colorful 'bride' behind bars, along with five other wedding guests, and sparked riots and calls for authorities to clamp down on gays in Moroccan society. The wedding, attended by scores of Gays and Lesbians, lasted two days and had many elements of a traditional Moroccan wedding. More than 600 heterosexuals took to the streets, chanting slogans condemning the city's leniency towards Gays and criticizing the couple's audacity to hold a Gay wedding in the open. According to article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code, homosexuality is illegal and is punishable by six months to three years in jail and a fine of 120 to 1,200 dirhams (15 to 155 dollars).
# Note: Read more on Al Arabia

Nov 23, 2007# Quickie Link: Thai Gays Demand Equal Marriage Rights
Equal Marriage (Thailand) - Gay rights activist Natee Teerarojanapong called on Thursday for the next government to push for the legal sanction of Gay marriage as an urgent agenda following the December 23 election. "The demand of the third sex is meant for sexual equality without any discrimination," Natee said. He said Gay marriage should not be construed as a priviledge but a way of life in a nondiscriminatory manner. He said the next government should also amend the military regulations that label Gay conscripted soldiers as suffering from the psychological disorder before wavering constription duty. The label has no medical justification and stigmatised Gays for the rest of their life, he said.
# Note: Read more on The Nation

Nov 20, 2007# Quickie Link: UK Peers Attack 'Fatherless' IVF Bid
Equal Marriage (UK) - Proposals to make it easier for Lesbian and Gay couples to have IVF babies have been heavily criticised in the Lords. A number of peers opposed moves to remove a requirement for IVF clinics to consider "the need of that child for a father" before offering treatment. They said it would be a "huge error" and the Lords should reaffirm the importance of both parents. The Lords debate followed criticism of the proposals by the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, who said they would undermine "the place of the father in a child's life".
# Note: Read more on BBC

Nov 18, 2007# Quickie Link: Expert Sees Hope for Legalizing Gay Marriage in China
Equal Marriage (China) - "About 90 percent of Chinese people believe that homosexuality will exercise no influence on job selections, which exceeds the number of 86 percent in America. This is a noticeable progress and it may mean more tolerance towards homosexuality in China,"said Professor Li Yinhe, a sociologist focusing on sexology with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. As a researcher on homosexuality, Li Yinhe is leading the call for legalizing Gay marriage with many proposals and she is the interest representative for the minority of homosexuals in China. "There are no extreme moral opponents against homosexuality in China, so it is easier for the same sex lovers in China to claim their rights than in the Western countries, and China is always making progress,”"said professor Li.
# Note: Read more on China.org.cn

Nov 17, 2007# Quickie Link: Civil Union Licenses Soon to Be Available in New Hampshire
Equal Marriage (USA) - The state office that oversees marriage licenses and other vital records says civil union licenses will be available at city and town clerk offices throughout New Hampshire by the first week of December. With civil unions becoming legal Jan. 1, many Gay and Lesbian couples have been eager to start planning their ceremonies but have been worried about whether the licenses would be available in time for New Year's Day. Mo Baxley, director for the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, said people have been calling her office daily with questions about getting a license.
# Note: Read more on Citizen.com

Nov 14, 2007# Quickie Link: Local Gay Rights Advance In 3 US States
Equal Marriage (USA) - LGBT civil rights have taken a step forward in communities in three states: Ohio, Maryland and Iowa. Toledo, Ohio has become the first major city in that state to create a domestic partner registry. It will be available to same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples who cannot or chose not to marry. Couples would have to prove they cohabitate, are financial interdependent and are over the age of 18 to register at city hall. The registry would offer the same municipal benefits as married couples have. Registering would also serve as proof of a relationship for people whose employers offer domestic partner health and insurance plans.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Nov 13, 2007# Quickie Link: Arkanzas Prepares For Gay Adoption Ban
Equal Marriage (USA) - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on Wednesday approved a conservative Christian group’s second proposed ballot initiative to ban unmarried couples from adopting or becoming foster parents in Arkansas. The proposal, aimed at banning Gays and Lesbians from adopting or fostering children, is nearly identical to the other but includes the sentence: “The people of Arkansas find and declare that it is in the best interest of children in need of adoption or foster care to be reared in homes in which adoptive or foster parents are not co-habiting outside of marriage.”
# Note: Read more on SW Times

Nov 13, 2007# Quickie Link: Hungarian Government to Decide on Gay Partnerships
Equal Marriage (Hungary) - Governing parties agree on tackling the issue of same-sex relationships, probably by introducing some form of legal partnership, in order to solve a long neglected human rights issue. Theoretically, both governing parties are willing to provide equal rights for same-sex couples, though only two MSZP MPs supported the liberal party's suggestion at a human rights commission meeting. In Hungary, same-sex couples have absolutely no legal background for their relationships.
# Note: Read more on Caboodle.hu

Nov 04, 2007# Quickie Link: Groups Battle Over Gay Marriage Ban
Equal Marriage (USA) - A constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages in Florida is closing in on a spot on the 2008 election ballot, triggering a political battle that could sway voters in a key presidential year. Florida4Marriage, the group pushing the amendment, has garnered 597,000 signatures and needs only 13,000 more to put it before voters. Proponents of the ban are heartened by polls showing that the amendment has a good chance of getting the 60 percent of votes necessary for passage. “It’s a little sad,” said Bryan Worthington of Venice, president of the local Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered caucus. “If there were no way to link the effects of this amendment to straight people, then it would pass in a heartbeat. But we have to do what it takes and it will end up effecting the rights of all people, Gay or straight.”
# Note: Read more on Herald Tribune

Nov 04, 2007# Quickie Link: Family Status Row Looms in Same-Sex Unions Issue
Equal Marriage (Ireland) - A Labour Party private members bill, the Civil Unions Bill, was defeated in the Dail last week. The government announced its own plans to give legal protection and recognition to same-sex couples and the ‘‘myriad’’ life relationships with no legal status. Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan and Green Party leader John Gormley pledged to have the legislation drawn up by March, although no timeframe has yet been advanced for its implementation. ‘‘The problem is we’re not sure how much of the equality agenda is going to be implemented in the government’s legislation,” said Ritchie Keane, chairman of Labour’s equality group. ‘‘If they were serious about equality, they should have let the Labour Party bill go to committee stage and it could have been worked on there. We believe our bill was robust enough for any challenges.”
# Note: Read more on Irish Business News

Nov 02, 2007# Quickie Link: New Jersey Civil Unions Fall Short of Marriage
Equal Marriage (USA) - New Jersey's 8-month-old civil union law has failed to live up to its promise of giving same-sex couples all the protections of marriage by another name, the state's top official for enforcing civil rights said yesterday. Civil Rights Director Frank Vespa-Papaleo, who chairs a commission that recently concluded three hearings on how the new law is working, said, "To me as a commissioner, the testimony revealed overwhelmingly that the civil union law has been a failure." "It is not working as effectively as if the word 'marriage' were used," Vespa-Papaleo said. "That could be controversial. I could lose my job for saying that."
# Note: Read more on nj.com

Nov 01, 2007# Quickie Link: Ireland's Gay Couples to Get Legal Recognition Next Year
Equal Marriage (Ireland) - The Government has announced plans to give legal recognition to same-sex couples but the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Brian Lenihan, has ruled out Gay marriage as "being in conflict with the Constitution." The Minister said last night that the heads of a Bill to legislate for civil partnerships would be ready by next March and the Government would then proceed as quickly as possible with detailed legislation. Mr Lenihan said the Government opposed a Labour Party Bill on civil unions, originally tabled last March, as the "clear advice of the Attorney General was that it was contrary to the explicit recognition given to the family based on marriage in the Constitution."
# Note: Read more on The Irish Times

Oct 31, 2007# Quickie Link: Irish Group Urges Politicians to Support Civil Partnership Bill
Equal Marriage (Ireland) - The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) have called on all parties to support Labour’s Civil Union Bill, which will be re-introduced to the Dil tonight. If passed, the Civil Union Bill will extend the same benefits and legal obligations of marriage to same-sex couples. The Bill was postponed for six months by the last Government and was supported by all other parties including the Greens, who are now in government. The new Government has committed to enacting civil partnership legislation at the earliest opportunity.
# Note: Read more on GCN

Oct 29, 2007# Quickie Link: Justice Minister Urged to Act on Same-Sex Unions
Equal Marriage (Ireland) - Justice Minister Brian Lenihan was under pressure from the Greens last night to act on civil partnerships for same-sex couples, as Labour moved to expose government tensions on the issue. Senior Green Party figures have been lobbying Mr Lenihan for a number of weeks to prioritise the reform agreed in the programme for Government. They are believed to want a firm commitment announced before Labour brings its Civil Unions Bill back to the Dil later in the week. The Labour bill, to be debated on Wednesday and Thursday, provides that in most respects the rules of law applying to marriage will also apply to same sex civil unions.
# Note: Read more on Examiner

Oct 29, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay-Marriage Coalition Debates Its Next Mission
Equal Marriage (USA) - MassEquality, the Gay-marriage advocacy coalition, created one of the most effective political campaigns Massachusetts has ever seen, leading a battle that attracted US-wide attention and culminated in a historic victory last June, when the Legislature defeated an amendment to ban same-sex marriage. But four months later, the group is agonizing over a question born of its own success: What, if anything, should it do now? Some involved with the group are raising concerns that the organization has been spending more than $100,000 a month since June without a clear mission.
# Note: Read more on Boston.com

Oct 29, 2007# Quickie Link: Australian Politicians Shy on Gay Marriage Push
Equal Marriage (Australia) - The independent candidate for Fisher, Caroline Hutchison, was the lone voice in support of Gay marriage when the Sunshine Coast’s sitting MPs and high-profile challengers were asked for their thoughts on the subject. Issues surrounding same-sex couples made a brief appearance on the election campaign agenda when Labor leader Kevin Rudd was quizzed about whether he believed they should be able to marry and adopt children.
# Note: Read more on The Daily

Oct 27, 2007# Quickie Link: Moderates Back Equal Marriage Rights
Equal Marriage (Sweden) - Sweden's Moderate Party on Saturday gave its backing to gender-neutral marriages. A large majority of the conference delegates were in favour of a change to the law. The party agreed that the decision of whether to conduct same-sex marriages should be up to the local parishes. The party conference also agreed that lesbian couples should be entitled to artificial insemination treatment at state hospitals and that Gays can adopt children. Six of parliament's seven parties have now given their backing to Gay marriage. Only the Christian Democrats are opposed and they have vowed to continue arguing against it.
# Note: Read more on The Lokal

Oct 27, 2007# Quickie Link: Marylanders Lean Left on Gay Marriage
Equal Marriage (USA) - Some 57 percent of the population of Maryland support allowing Gay couples to form civil unions, according to a new Washington Post poll. Meanwhile, 51 percent continue to oppose granting full marriage rights to same-sex couples. The findings place Maryland somewhat to the left of the USA as a whole on social issues likely to be heavily debated when the General Assembly reconvenes in January for its annual 90-day session.
# Note: Read more on Washington Post

Oct 24, 2007# Quickie Link: Outrage at Rudd's Same-Sex Marriage Stance
Equal Marriage (Australia) - Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has angered members of the Gay community by saying he is opposed to homosexual marriage and refusing to be drawn on the question of Gay couples adopting children. "When it comes to the Marriage Act, that is the responsibility of the Federal Parliament," Mr Rudd said. "And the Marriage Act relates to a union between a man and a woman, and that remains Labor policy as it has been into the past and as it will remain into the future. Australian Coalition for Equality spokesman Rodney Croome said the community was disappointed by Mr Rudd's comments. Mr Croome said that partners in same-sex relationships would continue to be second-class citizens while they were denied the right to marry.
# Note: Read more on The Age

Oct 13, 2007# Quickie Link: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Recognition of Gay Marriages
Equal Marriage (USA) - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed another Gay marriage bill Friday, saying voters and the state Supreme Court, not lawmakers, should decide the issue. The Republican governor turned down a measure by Assemblyman Mark Leno that would have defined marriage as a union between two people, not just a man and a woman. Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill from Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, in 2005 and has said he would veto all such bills. The California Supreme Court is likely to rule next year on whether the state's voter-approved ban on Gay marriage violates the constitution.
# Note: Read more on AP

Oct 12, 2007# Quickie Link: No Marriage Equality in Australia in the Next Future
Equal Marriage (Australia) - Prime Minister John Howard could announce within days a new policy to eliminate discrimination against same-sex couples in legislation. Speculation is mounting that Mr Howard is set to announce changes to give same-sex couples the same rights of access to a partner's superannuation as are enjoyed by married and de facto couples. A broader policy would also include equal rights to pensions, tax and other benefits such as Medicare safety net thresholds. But it is believed Mr Howard has no plans to overturn his legislation, introduced before the 2004 election and supported by Labor, to ban gay marriage.
# Note: Read more on The Age

Oct 09, 2007# Quickie Link: Opponents of Domestic Partnerships in Oregon Fall Short
Equal Marriage (USA) - Opponents of a new domestic partnership law for Gay couples failed to gather enough signatures to put a referendum on the November 2008 ballot. The secretary of state's office said Monday that volunteers who spent the summer collecting signatures to allow voters to weigh in on domestic partnerships fell 116 signatures short of the 55,179 needed to qualify for the ballot. That means that on Jan. 1 Gay couples in Oregon will be able to enter into domestic partnerships allowing them most of the state benefits of marriage, such as inheritance rights. It does not affect federal benefits, such as Social Security.
# Note: Read more on Oregon Live

Oct 08, 2007# Quickie Link: Scholars Struggle to Put Gay Marriage in Spotlight
Equal Marriage (China) - While their old school friends are walking up the aisle, China's Gays have been left on the shelf. Despite the nation's rapid development, society remains deeply conservative, and Gay weddings are unimaginable for the majority of citizens. But a new generation of scholars is challenging the idea that marriage can only ever be between a man and a woman. Professor Li Yinhe, a sociologist and Gay rights campaigner, is leading the call for marriage and other rights for the nation's 40 million homosexuals.
# Note: Read more on China Daily

Oct 06, 2007# Quickie Link: Colombia Court OKs Health Benefits for Fay Couples
Equal Marriage (Colombia) - Gay couples in Colombia won the same social security rights as their straight counterparts in a court ruling called a major advance for homosexuals in this conservative Roman Catholic country. In a decision embraced by rights groups but opposed by the church, the Constitutional Court said on Friday it extended health benefits long enjoyed by heterosexuals in common law marriages to same-sex couples. The first nationwide law of its kind in Latin America, the measure allows Gay people to include their partners in their health insurance plans.
# Note: Read more on Reuters

Oct 06, 2007# Quickie Link: Opposition in Sweden Demands Equal Marriage Legislation
Equal Marriage (Sweden) - The three opposition parties are piling pressure on the government to table a bill establishing gender-neutral marriage. The leaders of the Social Democrat, Left and Green parties submitted a motion to parliament on Friday demanding that gay marriage legislation is passed by 18th March. A clear majority in parliament is in favour of gender-neutral marriage, with only one party - the Christian Democrats, one of the four governing parties - against. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is a strong proponent of gay marriage, but the government cannot put forward a bill as long as the Christian Democrats block the idea. "It is absurd for the Christian Democrats to get a veto," said Mona Sahlin on Friday.
# Note: Read more on The Local

Sep 27, 2007# Quickie Link: NJ Civil Unions Fall Short, Panel Told
Equal Marriage (USA) - New Jersey's civil unions law has failed to provide all the benefits of marriage to at least one in five same-sex couples, a gay rights group told a panel Wednesday that will report its findings to the governor and state Legislature. More than 300 of the 1,514 same-sex couples who have joined in civil unions have complained to Garden State Equality, the state's leading gay rights group, about employers denying them benefits under the law, said David M. Smith, the group's deputy director. ``Calling our relationship and our legal status a civil union, I believe, gives my company an easy out,'' said one of the affected men. ``Calling it what it is - a marriage - makes denial of those benefits obvious for what it is: discrimination.''
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Sep 25, 2007# Quickie Link: Lesbian Couple Arrested After Marriage Attempt
Equal Marriage (USA) - An Englewood couple was arrested Monday when they challenged the state ban on same-sex marriage in Denver. Sheila Schroeder, 43, and Kate Burns, 44, were led away in handcuffs by police when they refused to leave the Denver clerk and recorder's office after being refused a marriage certificate. "We're sorry for the disturbance, but we won't leave until we're provided with the same rights as everyone else," Burns told clerk and recorder Stephanie O'Malley. Denver Police Lt. James Henning said Burns and Schroeder would be issued a summons for trespassing and released. Voters in 2006 amended the Colorado Constitution to permit marriage only between heterosexual. A proposal to recognize "domestic partnerships" between same sex couples was rejected in the same election.
# Note: Read more on Rocky Mountains

Sep 22, 2007# News: 15,000 Marriage Petitions Delivered to California Governor
Equal Marriage (USA) - Equality California submitted some 15,000 petitions to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, urging him to sign the law that would recognize marriages of Gay couples. Exactly 14,766 Californians have signed EQCA's online petition supporting AB 43, the recently-passed marriage legislation that is on its way to the Schwarzenegger’s office. Gov. Schwarzenegger has vowed to veto the bill.
# Read more...

Sep 19, 2007# Quickie Link: San Diego City Council and Mayor Split Over Equal Marriage
Equal Marriage (USA) - San Diego's City Council agreed Tuesday to signal its support for recognition of marriages of Gay people, only to have Mayor Jerry Sanders pledge to veto the action. Sanders' spokesman, Fred Sainz, said the mayor prefers civil unions, which offer some, but not all of the legal protections found in marriages. Sainz also noted that 62 percent of city voters backed Proposition 22, the statewide measure that bars California from acknowledging same-sex marriages performed in other states.
# Note: Read more on Sign On San Diego

Sep 18, 2007# News: No Marriage Equality For Gay Couples In Maryland
Equal Marriage (USA) - The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, ruled that Gay couples do not have a constitutional right to marriage equality. The decision reversed a lower-court ruling that Maryland's ban on marriage for Gay couples violated the states Equal Rights Amendment. "This is a setback in the fight for equality, but we remain confident that, ultimately, same-sex couples in Maryland who form committed relationships and build loving families will receive the same protections that the state provides to married opposite-sex couples," said Joe Solmonese of Human Rights Campaign.
# Read more...

Sep 18, 2007# News: Californian Gays Will Rally For Equal Marriage
Equal Marriage (USA) - Equality California (EQCA), Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) and other allied organizations are staging rallies in over a dozen cities throughout California to show the Governor Schwarzenegger that the will of the people supports equality. The groups also urge him ‘to be a hero’, not do a veto sequel but rather sign the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act recently passed by Californian lawmakers. The rallies are sheduled for Tuesday, 18 September.
# Read more...

Sep 17, 2007# Quickie Link: California Governor Says He Will Veto Equal Marriage Bill
Equal Marriage (USA) - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday that he won't reconsider his decision to veto a bill legalizing Gay marriage and will keep vetoing the measure as long as lawmakers send it to him. The Republican governor said he won't change his position unless voters overturn an anti-Gay marriage initiative that Californians adopted in 2000. Geoff Kors, executive director of the gay rights organization Equality California, said Proposition 22 only bars California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed outside California. The equal marriage bill, by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would amend a different section of law that covers marriages performed in California.
# Note: Read more on Mercury News

Sep 13, 2007# Quickie Link: Nepal Lesbians Gear For First Public Wedding
Equal Marriage (Nepal) - Two Nepalese Gay women, Kalpana Pariyar, a fresh-faced 21-year-old from Karabari village, and Sabi Bishwokorma, 32, from the same region, have married despite the prejudice of the society. Disowned by their families, the defiant women came to Kathmandu this week looking for support from Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal's only gay rights organisation that last year organised the kingdom's first public Gay marriage. On Wednesday, hundreds of Gays, Lesbians and Transgenders marched through the capital, chanting slogans. The rally was the culmination of a two-day seminar on creating a more inclusive and tolerant society that ended with a Kathmandu Declaration.
# Note: Read more on New Post India

Sep 13, 2007# Quickie Link: Same-Sex Partners Get Rights on Pensions in New York
Equal Marriage (USA) - Married Gay partners of state and local government workers across New York now will be eligible for benefits from the state and local government pension system. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Wednesday that a state court judge’s ruling this week tossing out a lawsuit by a conservative group clears the way for him to expand the pension benefits to same-sex marriages performed in any jurisdiction that has legalized the unions. “This is a great day for New Yorkers who believe in fairness and equality,” DiNapoli said.
# Note: Read more on Buffalo News

Sep 11, 2007# News: California Governor Urged to Sign the Equal Marriage Bill
Equal Marriage (USA) - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger must sign the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act to ensure basic human rights to all citizens of California, Human Rights Watch urged in a letter to the governor. The legislation grants full marriage equality for same-sex couples, within the limitations of the restrictive federal legislation. Schwarzenegger had vetoed a similar bill when passed by California's legislature 2005.
# Read more...

Sep 08, 2007# News: California Legislature Passes Equal Marriage Bill
Equal Marriage (USA) - For the second time in two years, the California Legislature has passed legislation that would grant same-sex couples the ability to marry. With a 22-15 vote, the Senate on September 7 approved AB 43, authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and sponsored by Equality California. The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act is almost identical to the bill the Legislature passed in 2005. California claims the pioneerining status of the only state in the US that has approved marriage for same-sex couples through the legislative process, but has been actually never implemented.
# Read more...

Sep 07, 2007# News: EU Court Supportive on Survivor Pensions for Gay Couples
Equal Marriage (EU) - Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer Damaso, an Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg delivered today his opinion in a landmark case before the court which is favourable to same-sex partners (case of Tadao Maruko v. Versorgungswerk der deutschen Bhnen). The ECJ ruled that refusal to pay Mr Maruko survivor’s pension constituted indirect discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Mr. Maruko lived with his partner in a registered partnership. After his partner died the VddB, the pension scheme for German theatres, refused to pay him a survivor’s pension as such pensions were, they claimed, provided only for married partners.
# Read more...

Sep 04, 2007# Quickie Link: Senior UK Politician Attacks Civil partnerships
Equal Marriage (UK) - A leading Tory MP, Michael Ancram, has launched a withering attack on civil unions, saying treating them in the same way as marriage "insults the intelligence of the British people." In an open attack on Conservative leader David Cameron, the MP for Devizes unveiled an alternative manifesto today calling on the party to adopt more traditional Tory policies. "Giving them that equivalence does not enhance them; instead it diminishes the value of real marriage. In doing so it damages the concept of family and eventually of community." The enexpected attack against civil partnerships reveals deep anti-Gay bias among UK conservatives, however thinly veiled.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Sep 02, 2007# News: New Guidlines Put Shanghai's Gay Couples at Risc
Equal Marriage (China) - Gay couples living together in Shanghai are facing homelessness because of new rules introduced by Shanghai’s housing bureau. The authorities have ordered landlords to abstain from offering "group rents" to unmarried couples, insisting that rooms should be given only to singles and heterosexual families. In what appears a pooly realized attempt to reduce dwelling density, landlords are also encouraged to cease renting out individual beds and sub-dividing rooms, ordering that the total floor space should be not less than 5 m2 per person. Joint dwelling and the illegal partitioning of rooms are widespread in Shanghai, whith rents becoming increasingly unaffordable for many of the population.
# Read more...

Sep 01, 2007# News: Equal Marriage on Debate in Iowa
Equal Marriage (USA) - The joys of equal marriage didn’t last long in US state Iowa. The hopes of many Gay couples were bitterly disappointed when judge Robert Hanson ordered a halt to his own ruling which declared restrictions of marriage to heterosexuals only as unconstitutional. Just a day after issuing his ground-breaking decision, Hanson complied to the request of a county prosecutor that no more marriage licenses be given to gay couples until the Supreme Court has considered the appeal submitted by the prosecutor. Luckily, two Iowa State University students managed to get their marriage license and be married by a a Unitarian minister whom they were able to win for their case.
# Read more...

Aug 31, 2007# Quickie Link: Set Back on Gay Rights Feared in Israel
Equal Marriage (Israel) - Gay rights activists yesterday fiercely criticized Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann for bowing to pressure by religious parties in his decision to redraft inheritance laws. The revised bill would preclude homosexual couples from inheritance laws that apply to people in common-law marriages. The bill proposed by Friedmann contradicts the recommendations of a public commission (headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel) that was set up in 1999. The minister decided to limit the proposed inheritance law to "a man and a woman who lead a family life in a joint household." The original bill, which the committee approved, proposed to regard all "partners who live together in a common household" as each other's legal inheritors.
# Note: Read full article on Haaretz

Aug 27, 2007# Quickie Link: Reunite This Family
Equal Marriage (USA) - According to the 2000 US Census, some 35,000 same-sex couples who list themselves as "unmarried partners" similarly include one person who is a US citizen and one person who is not. Because Congress passed - and former President Clinton signed - the mean-spirited "Defense of Marriage Act" in 1996, no federal rights extend to the roughly 9,000 married same-sex couples in Massachusetts. There are more than 1,000 different benefits - from filing joint income taxes to receiving Social Security benefits - that are denied to same-sex couples everywhere in the country, whether they live in a state that recognizes their marriage or civil union status or not. The ability of a US citizen to sponsor a husband or wife for immigration to the United States, called a form I-130, is just one of them.
# Note: Read full article on Boston.com

Aug 21, 2007# Quickie Link: Court Panel Restores Rights of Adopted Kids
Equal Marriage (USA) - Should the legal ties between parents and their adopted child unravel if the family leaves the state where the adoption decree was handed down? Of course, not. The very idea is outrageous. But that's what Oklahoma lawmakers were striving for in 2004 with their chillingly titled "Adoption Invalidation Law," which targeted adopted children with Gay parents. That wrongheaded statute declared that Oklahoma would refuse to recognize "an adoption by more than one individual of the same sex from any other state or foreign jurisdiction." In other words, if a Gay couple and the child they adopted in, say, California or Maryland moved to Oklahoma or simply drove through Oklahoma on vacation, they would not be treated as a legally recognized family by any Oklahoma official - whether a police officer, public school teacher or judge.
# Note: Read full article on DetNews

Aug 21, 2007# Quickie Link: The Rock Of Prejudice -- By Peter Tatchell
Equal Marriage (Gibraltar) - A Lesbian couple who have been in love for 19 years are bringing a legal case against the government of Gibraltar over its decision to refuse them joint tenancy of their rented apartment. Nadine Rodriguez has applied to the Gibraltar high court for a judicial review of the non-inclusion of her partner in her tenancy agreement. This is a cruel, vindictive policy. Gibraltar is nick-named the Rock. In the Rodriguez case, it is proving to be a rock by name and a rock by nature. Chief minister Peter Caruana has failed to provide any significant progress for Gibraltar's Gay and Lesbian citizens. Same-sex relationships have no legal recognition or rights in Gibraltar. Civil partnerships do not exist, and there are no plans to introduce them.
# Note: Read full article on Guardian


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