News of the Day

How the President Got to 'I Do' on Same-Sex Marriage


New York Times, by Jo Becker - April 16, 2014

By presidential fund-raising standards, the dinner at the St. Regis hotel in Washington in April 2011 was an intimate one. President Obama made the rounds, moving among the dozens of people in attendance, including Chad Griffin, a 37-year-old political operative known for his ability to raise money in Hollywood and for his work on trying to legalize same-sex marriage. It was Griffin who persuaded the conservative lawyer Theodore B. Olson and the liberal attorney David Boies, adversaries in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case, to bring a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, the amendment banning same-sex marriage that voters approved in 2008.

Griffin and a team of veteran political operatives were using the litigation to mount a campaign intended to frame same-sex marriage as a civil right. They were working to create a political climate that would make the Supreme Court, which was disinclined to get too far out in front of public opinion, comfortable enough to rule in their favor. But the president was standing in their way. His opposition to same-sex marriage had been cited repeatedly by Proposition 8's defenders as evidence that people who wanted to retain the traditional definition of marriage were not motivated by prejudice. Though Obama had recently taken to saying that his views on the matter were "evolving," Griffin worried that they were moving too slowly to help with his cause.

Click here to read the complete article.


Legalizing Gay Marriage In Oregon Would Generate $47 Million Over 3 Years

ontopmag.com, April 16, 2014

Allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in Oregon would generate $47.3 million over 3 years and generate 468 new jobs in the state, a study released Tuesday concludes.

According to the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA Law, extending marriage to gay couples would boost Oregon's economy.


Click here to read the complete article.


Slight Decline In Support For Marriage Equality In Minnesota

ontopmag.com, April 16, 2014

A new poll released Tuesday found a slight decline in support for gay marriage among Minnesotans.

Lawmakers approved and Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill legalizing such unions nearly a year ago and the first gay couples tied the knot on August 1.

Click here to read the complete article.


Judge Considers Staying Ohio Gay Marriage Ruling

New York Times, vis AP, April 15, 2014

CINCINNATI - A federal judge who ordered Ohio to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states says he's inclined to issue a stay of his decision pending appeal, meaning most gay couples living in the state would see no immediate tangible expansion of their rights.

Cincinnati-based Judge Timothy Black ordered attorneys on both sides of the case to file their arguments over whether he should issue a stay no later than Tuesday afternoon. He indicated he would rule expeditiously.

Black said in his Monday ruling that he is inclined to stay his ruling pending appeal except in the case of the four gay couples who filed the February lawsuit that led to the court case.

Click here to read the complete article.


Federal judge rules that Ohio must respect gay couples' marriages from other states

FreedomToMarry.org - By Adam Polaski - April 14, 2014

Today, U.S. District Court judge Timothy Black officially issued his ruling in Henry v. Wymyslo, declaring that the state of Ohio must respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states. 

Last week, during closing arguments in the case, Judge Black announced from the bench that he anticipated striking down the part of Ohio's marriage law that denies respect to legally married couples. 

Earlier this year, Judge Black ruled that the state of Ohio must respect the legal marriages of same-sex couples for the purpose of listing a spouse on a death certificate. That ruling, in Oberguefell v. Wymyslo, is currently being appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Click here to read the complete article.


Opposition To Gay Marriage Drops In North Carolina

April 11, 2014 - Public Policy Research

While a majority of North Carolinians continue to oppose gay marriage, opposition is on the decline.

Less than two years after voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union by a 22 point margin, opposition to marriage equality has dropped 9 percentage points.


Click here to read the complete article.


65 Cases Challenging State Gay Marriage Bans Filed; Only 5 Remain Unchallenged

ontopmag.com, April 11, 2014

Sixty-five cases challenging state bans on gay marriage have been filed, leaving only five state bans unchallenged.

The count was published Thursday by Lambda Legal, the Boston-based legal group which specializes in LGBT rights.

Click here to read the complete article.


Judge: Ind. must recognize gay couple's marriage

April 10, 2014 - Quincy Herald-Whig

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that the state must recognize the marriage of a gay couple before one of the women, who has cancer, dies.

The Indiana attorney general's office says U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young granted the couple's request for a temporary restraining order Thursday to keep the state from enforcing its ban on gay marriages against the couple.

Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler wanted Indiana to recognize their 2013 marriage in Massachusetts, one of 17 states where gay marriage is legal.

Click here to read the complete article.


Italian court recognizes gay marriage for first time

April 10, 2014

Rome (AFP) - An Italian court on Wednesday recognized a gay couple as married for the first time in Italy, which does not have any form of official acknowledgement of same-sex unions.

The court in Grosseto in Tuscany ordered the city council to list the couple, who had their wedding in New York in 2012, as married in a ruling that was immediately hailed by gay rights campaigners as historic.

"This is an unprecedented case in our country," Sergio Lo Giudice, a senator for the Democratic Party and a former head of the watchdog Arcigay, told reporters.

Aurelio Mancuso, head of Equality Italia, said: "They have managed to achieve what has always been denied by city authorities and courts -- having their status as a couple married in a foreign country recognized".


Click here to read the complete article.


Utah Makes Last-Ditch Effort To Drop Criticized Scholar Before Marriage Arguments

BuzzFeed.com, April 10, 2014 by Chris Geidner

DENVER - On the eve of arguments at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals over Utah's ban on same-sex couples' marriages, the state filed a last-minute notice with the court distancing the state from a professor whose work was recently lambasted by another federal judge.

In a letter marked on the docket as having been filed at 6:22 p.m. Wednesday, Gene Schaerr - the lawyer defending Utah's ban for Utah Gov. Gary Herbert - told the court that he was sending the unusual document "in response to recent press reports and analysis of the study by Professor Mark Regnerus," who the state relied on in its briefing at the appeals court for information about "the debate over whether same-sex parenting produces child outcomes that are comparable to man- woman parenting."

After claiming that the Regnerus study - mentioned in two footnotes in the state's brief - had "very limited relevance" to the state's argument, Schaerr writes, "[T]he Regnerus study cannot be viewed as conclusively establishing that raising a child in a same-sex household produces outcomes that are inferior to those produced by man-woman parenting arrangements."

Click here to read the complete article.


This Week Marriage Equality Litigation Amps Up to Full Throttle

by Arthur Leonard, Gay City News, April 9, 2014

As anticipation builds for the first federal appellate arguments on marriage equality since last June's Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act's ban on federal recognition of legal same-sex marriages, new developments in litigation efforts across the nation continue to pile up.

On April 10, a panel of three judges of the Denver-based US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the State of Utah's appeal of last December's district court order requiring the state to allow same-sex couples to marry and to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state. That order was stayed by the Supreme Court on January 6 after a 10th Circuit panel refused to issue a stay - and after more than a thousand same-sex couples had married.

Click here to read the complete article.


LBJ's Daughters Endorse Marriage Equality

ontopmag.com, April 8, 2014

Luci Baines Johnson and Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, daughters of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, have endorsed gay marriage.

Speaking with Katie Couric at their father's presidential library in Austin, Texas, Johnson called denying loving gay couples the right to marry a "tragedy."

Click here to read the complete article.


Mormon Leader Reiterates Church's Opposition To Marriage Equality

ontopmag.com, April 6, 2014

A top leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reiterated the church's opposition to gay marriage.

During his Saturday address at the church's biannual general conference, Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve told more than 100,000 Mormons who had gathered in Salt Lake City that "the Lord has not redefined marriage."

Click here to read the complete article.


Judge To Hear Gay Couple's Request To Force Indiana To Recognize Their Marriage

ontopmag.com - April 6, 2014 - An Indiana lesbian suffering from ovarian cancer has asked a federal judge to force the state to recognize her out-of-state marriage. U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young will hold a hearing Thursday in his Evansville chambers to consider the couple's request, The Evansville Courier & Press reported.Click here to read the complete article.


Federal Judge Says He'll Order Ohio To Recognize Gay Marriages


ontopmag.com - April 4, 2014

A federal judge said Friday that he'll order Ohio officials to recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black heard arguments Friday in a lawsuit brought by four gay couples, three of which are lesbian, asking him to force Ohio to recognize their marriages on birth certificates.


Click here to read the complete article.


Lawmakers back gay marriage, union bills in Wyoming


By Kevin Huelsmann,
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
January 15, 2013

For the first time in his career, Jackson Republican Rep. Keith Gingery is backing a gay marriage bill.

After eight years in the Legislature, Gingery has signed on as a co-sponsor of two measures sanctioning same-sex unions.

Laramie Democratic Rep. Cathy Connolly filed legislation late Monday afternoon that would create a path for gay couples to form civil unions or get married.

The dual approach already has won the backing of Reps. Ruth Ann Petroff, R-Jackson, and Gingery. Both Teton County lawmakers said they would prefer to see gay marriage allowed in Wyoming but are willing to debate whether civil unions might be a better way to go.

"It's a basic human rights and fairness issue," Petroff said Monday. "It's a basic constitutional issue. There should just be no reason why same-sex couples shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else."

Click here to read the complete article.


Rhode Island House To Vote On Gay Marriage In January, Gordon Fox Says

By On Top Magazine Staff
Published: November 04, 2012

Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox said Saturday that the House would vote on a gay marriage bill in January.

Fox made the pledge to a group of supporters gathered at the restaurant Blaze in Providence. He said the legislation would come up for a vote "during the third or fourth week of January."

Fox, who is openly gay, first announced during the summer that he would call a vote next year if re-elected to his post.

Click here to read the complete article.


Nevada To Consider Repealing Gay Marriage Ban

By Carlos Santoscoy
Published: September 10, 2012

Nevada lawmakers are expected to consider a bill which would repeal a 2002 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the state.

Assemblyman Elliot Anderson, a Democrat from Las Vegas, announced that he will introduce a bill in February which would begin the process of repealing the ban.

Nevada is the only state which requires that a citizen-initiated amendment be voted on twice. An overwhelming 69.6 percent of voters first approved Question 2 in 2000. Support dropped slightly to 67 percent for the second and final vote in 2002.

Anderson told the Las Vegas Sunthat he believes attitudes on the issue have shifted since 2002.

Click here to read the complete article.



Faces of Family

The Faces of Family are everywhere. They are the common thread that runs through us all. Regardless of color, race, spiritual belief, love orientation or political persuasion, we all share a family heritage.

The Wedding Party is proud to announce The Faces of Family project! The Faces of Family project will continue The Wedding Party's promise to provide the media and the world with the honest and provocative truth about same-sex relationships and families.

How can you be a part? Send us your story! Tell us about your family and why it is important. Tell us what family means to you and how your understanding of marriage was affected by your experience of family. Send us your picture and we will tell your story.

The Faces of Family Project is raising funds to send the message to Albany to leave no family behind and that all families deserve protection through marriage. Click here to contribute to our Faces of Family Project.

Values Are For Everyone

Janice Langbehn - Finding Strength Through Tragedy

On February 18, 2007 my partner, Lisa Marie Pond, died from a brain aneurysm. On that day, our family was dreaming of white sandy beaches and blue waters as we were getting ready to set sail on the RFamily Vacation cruise out of Miami to the Bahamas. Instead, Lisa who was very healthy collapsed while watching our children play basketball on the top deck. The kids were brave souls and carried Lisa down to the stateroom where I took one look at her and knew it was very serious, she couldn't talk at all and had no ability to stand. I will always have to live with the memory of the trauma our children endured by watching as their "other" mom was dying before their eyes. Fortunately, Lisa and I knew sign language because we have had many foster children who had language delays. So I signed and asked her if she hit her head and she replied very sternly in sign language "NO". That is when I thought it was a stroke or some other serious brain event. Ship porter's helped me get her to the Ships' doctor who called for Miami Fire and Rescue.
Click here to read the complete article.


Elizabeth Grosse - Mother and Friend

My son Charlie was an ordinary man who lived an ordinary life. But to his family and friends, he was extraordinary. The fact that he was gay was only a part of who he was, what was really extraordinary about him was that he was funny, and had a big heart. He was a man that could make you laugh until tears rolled down your face, and when he befriended you, he loved you wholly and completely and his loyalty had no boundaries. Just when Charlie had found someone whom he really loved and wanted to spend his life with, he died rather tragically. Click here to read her complete story!


Community Bulletin Board

Marriage Equality Event Schedule

Check here for Marriage Equality USA events!



Click here for event information!


 Photo Album

Alphonso David of Lambda Legal

Alphonso David of Lambda Legalthumbnail ofAlphonso David of Lambda Legal

Alicia and Leslie's Wedding

Alicia and Leslie's Weddingthumbnail ofAlicia and Leslie's Wedding

Straight Support - Holly and Kevin

Straight Support - Holly and Kevinthumbnail ofStraight Support - Holly and Kevin

Jo-Ann and Mary, NY Lambda plaintiff couple

Jo-Ann and Mary, NY Lambda plaintiff couplethumbnail ofJo-Ann and Mary, NY Lambda plaintiff couple

Carmen, Anisia and Family

Carmen, Anisia and Familythumbnail ofCarmen, Anisia and Family
Click to see the full picture.
  Send us your photos
 Call to Action
 Gay Marriage in the Year 100 AD

By Annalee Newitz - i09.com

Gay marriage sounds like an ultra-contemporary idea. But almost twenty years ago, a Catholic scholar at Yale shocked the world by publishing a book packed with evidence that same-sex marriages were sanctioned by the early Christian Church during an era commonly called the Dark Ages.

John Boswell was a historian and religious Catholic who dedicated much of his scholarly life to studying the late Roman Empire and early Christian Church. Poring over legal and church documents from this era, he discovered something incredible. There were dozens of records of church ceremonies where two men were joined in unions that used the same rituals as heterosexual marriages. (He found almost no records of lesbian unions, which is probably an artifact of a culture which kept more records about the lives of men generally.)


Click here to read the entire article.
 OMG

Mississippi governor signs religious freedom bill                   

UPI.com, by Frances Burns - April 4, 2014

JACKSON, Miss., April 4 (UPI) -- Gov. Phil Bryant said the Religious Freedom Restoration Act will protect "Mississippians of all faiths from government interference," as he signed the controversial bill.

Supporters say the measure is similar to a federal law passed in 1993 that requires proof of a "compelling interest" in any government measure that imposes a "substantial burden" on religious practices. Critics say its real aim is to allow discrimination against homosexuals.

The law, which Bryant signed Thursday, also adds "In God We Trust" to the Mississippi state seal. It takes effect in July.


   
Click here to read more.
 Box of Intolerance

Fred Phelps Sr., founder of Westboro Baptist Church, dead at 84

GayCityNews.com, March 20, 2014

BY PAUL SCHINDLER - Fred Phelps has died at age 84.   Many people first learned of the Reverend Fred Phelps in late 1998 in connection with the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student brutally slain in a Laramie, Wyoming hate crime - though Phelps had been up to no good long before that.

When Shepard's family announced plans for his October 16 funeral in Casper, Wyoming, his hometown, Phelps warned that he would be there, along with his congregation, the Westboro (Kansas) Baptist Church, to picket because Matthew was gay. The church's online home is at GodHateFags.com, a phrase its members routinely write on posters they carry while picketing, so Phelps' warning to the Shepard family suggested far worse than simple garden-variety ugliness.




Click here to read more.
 Human Rights Watch

India's Top Court Recognizes Transgender Rights

TalkingPointsMemo.com

NIRMALA GEORGE -

The Supreme Court directed the federal and state governments to include transgendered people in all welfare programs for the poor, including education, health care and jobs to help them overcome social and economic challenges. Previously, transgendered Indians could only identify themselves as male or female in all official documents.

The decision was praised as giving relief to the estimated 3 million Indians who are transgender.


Click here to read the entire article.
 Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act
APRIL 3, 2104 - JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Governor Phil Bryant signed the controversial Senate Bill 2681 into law Thursday as LGBT supporters gathered in Jackson to protest the bill. Mississippi lawmakers passed the final version of the bill Tuesday that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices. "I am proud to sign the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act today, which will protect the individual religious freedoms of Mississippians of all faiths from government interference," said Bryant. "Mississippi has now joined 18 other states to defend religious freedoms on a state level."
Click here to read the entire article