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Kentucky Assistant Attorney General Defends Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

Kentucky Attorney General Clay Barkley has come out in favor of the state's same-sex marriage ban.  Adopted in 2004, the ban contains language similar to other states' constitutional amendments: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky." The ban also denies recognition of legal unions performed in other countries and states. Now, though, a couple married nine years ago in Canada is challenging the ban.

Kentucky-Flag-US-State-Paper-XLMichael De Leon and Gregory Bourke sued the state in July. They are seeking an injunction in order to fight the lack of recognition granted to same-sex couples married outside the state or country. Barkley filed an 18-page report to the federal court's District Judge John G. Heybrun II claiming that the lawsuit lacks standing. De Leon and Brouke's challenge marks the state's first since the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions were handed down this summer.  

The Associated Press reports:

Much of the state’s filing is boilerplate legal language. But, Barkley said same-sex couples seeking to marry “are just as willing as opposite-sex couples to assume the obligations of marriage” and, if allowed to marry, would “benefit equally from the legal protections and social recognition afforded to married couples.”

While Kentucky judges have granted adoptions to same-sex couples, the state treats them differently than opposite-sex couples by not allowing both partners to be listed as parents, Barkley said. According to the 2010 Census, about 2,800 same-sex couples are raising children in Kentucky. De Leon is the father of an adopted 15-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl. Bourke has been designated a legal guardian for the children.

This challenge to state law follows similar ones in Arkansas, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. New Mexico has been handling things county by county and Arkansas has accepted language for a ballot measure in 2014. What will come of the Kentucky challenge? Do you think there will be a statewide rally behind De Leon and Bourke?

Posted Oct. 4,2013 at 8:20 PM EST by in Gay Adoption, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Kentucky, News | Permalink | Comments (13)

Ghanaian President Would Rather Not Discuss Gay Marriage

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama paid a visit to Kennesaw State University for the school's final portion of its year long study of the Republic of Ghana. The Year of Ghana marked the 29th annual country study for the University; next year, Japan.

MahamaghanaIn his discussion with University president Dan Papp, Mahama was cagey regarding his opinions on same-sex marriage, opting to discuss the Ghanaian public's feelings on the matter.  Earlier this year, however, Towleroad reported on his more staunchly anti-gay stance: "Homosexual conduct which is unnatural carnal knowledge of one person or another is criminal and punishable by the laws of Ghana."

The Marietta Daily Journal reports:

Mahama was asked on Monday whether he supported gay rights in Ghana, specifically gay marriage. 

“Well, like you’re saying, even here the question is not settled,” Mahama said, referring to how some states in the U.S. allow gay marriage and some do not. “It’s controversial. And it’s the same, it’s controversial everywhere else, especially in Africa. It’s a difficult situation, but I guess it’s something that –– it’s very difficult to comment on because often it creates more problems. People have a certain cultural hostility towards it, but I believe that laws must prevail. For instance, people must not be beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, but in my country there is a strong cultural hostility towards it.”

Mahama laughed when asked if he would support gay marriage in Ghana in the future. 

“It’s very difficult for me to ... I’d rather not comment on it,” he said. 

Mahama's visit to the University marks the first time the school has hosted a current head of state.

Posted Oct. 4,2013 at 7:20 PM EST by in Gay Quotes, Gay Rights, Georgia, Ghana, News | Permalink | Comments (9)

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1442

BOSTON UNIVERSITY: Now with gender neutral housing.

GAY CHICKEN: The longest game ever?

MASHED: Putin's Gay Adventures.

DEMI LOVATO: On playing Santana's love interest on Glee.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Posted Oct. 4,2013 at 6:20 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (4)

News: Lee Daniels, Montenegro, Bradley Cooper, Sinead O'Connor

RoadMAP: Where the GOP's 'suicide caucus' lives.

RoadNational Cathedral to host premiere of new Matthew Shepard documentary.

Bradley_cooperRoadBradley Cooper rocks some tight curls in American Hustle.

RoadBrent Hartinger, Amir Sade, Dennis Shinners, Edward J. Yeager, Jr, and Brandon Yarns have been announced as the finalists in Pride Films & Plays 'Greag Gay Screenplay Contest': "The finalists include a wide range of subject matter ranging from a love triangle set in France, a mystical teenage romance laced with racial tension, a set of non-actors facing possible Hollywood stardom, a sweet coming-of-age tale, and an older man's revelation of painful secrets."

RoadSinead O'Connor threatens to sue Miley Cyrus.

RoadColumbia, SC officials override decision by police chief ordering two officers to march in South Carolina Gay Pride Parade against their will.

RoadDavid Mixner: three compelling reasons for LGBT voters to flock to the polls in NJ and vote for Barbara Buono.

RoadGloria Steinem for transgender rights: "So now I want to be unequivocal in my words: I believe that transgender people, including those who have transitioned, are living out real, authentic lives. Those lives should be celebrated, not questioned. Their health care decisions should be theirs and theirs alone to make. And what I wrote decades ago does not reflect what we know today as we move away from only the binary boxes of 'masculine' or 'feminine' and begin to live along the full human continuum of identity and expression."

RoadAdam Lambert pays a visit to Barney's.

RoadBritney Spears is worried about being too sexy.

KaterinaRoadRussian lesbian couples in love.

RoadGay Racine, Wisconsin couple targeted in hate crime: "A Racine couple reportedly were walking home from the store on Wednesday when they said a woman — who repeatedly has called them anti-gay slurs for the past week — threw something at their window, shattering it."

RoadDirector Lee Daniels to receive Hollywood Director Award at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards: "The Hollywood Film Awards are determined by founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu and an advisory committee."

RoadSharon Needles is the official 'Scream Queen of Salem'.

RoadGays to hold second Pride march in Montenegro despite threat of attacks: "'Preparations are underway' to hold the march on October 20 in Podgorica, organiser Danijel Kalezic told AFP. Kalezic said the parade in Podgorica would be a "test of the authorities' will" to guarantee the rights of homosexuals in the former Yugoslav republic, which split from a union with Serbia in 2006. 'Verbal promises are nice, but in reality, gay people do not feel many changes and they still live in discrimination and fear,' Kalezic said."

RoadEvery video from last night's Beatles Glee.

RoadRussia halts adoptions to Sweden over same-sex marriage.

BransonRoadMeet the anti-gay pastor fueling FOX News' persecution complex: "There is an atmosphere of intimidation at Lackland Air Force Base," said Steve Branson, the pastor of Village Parkway Baptist Church in San Antonio. "Gay commanders and officers are pushing their agenda on the airmen. There is a culture of fear in the military and it's gone to a new level with the issue of homosexuality."

RoadSet photos from Reed Morano, DP for HBO's upcoming gay series Looking.

RoadKQED: Wave of evictions in San Francisco displacing gay men living with AIDS.

RoadLimerick, London, and Paris begin final bidding for 2018 Gay Games: "Delegates from the three competing cities, including London, who plan to use many of the facilities built for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, including the main Stadium, will be on hand to respond to questions regarding their bids and make their final presentations to the Assembly before the announcement ceremony on Monday (October 7)."

Posted Oct. 4,2013 at 4:20 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (11)

NOM's Brian Brown Collaborated with Russian Legislators on Country's Gay Adoption Ban: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 1.57.12 PM

Yelena MizulinaIn a report released yesterday, Right Wing Watch revealed that National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown participated in a joint meeting with Russian legislators back in June to discuss changing the country's international adoption laws to exclude same-sex couples. Brown's trip to Russia, which was not publicly announced by NOM, culminated in a rousing speech given to the Duma's committee on foreign affairs and its committee on family, women and children - whose chair, Yelena Mizulina (right), authored the ban on gay "propaganda" and the anti-gay adoption bill that was signed into law in July. 

Said Brown:

"We are talking about violations of rights, we are talking about the rights and problems of children in their education. We should not shy away from this and should not forget about it and create an illusion for ourselves. A reconsideration of the definition and understanding of marriage is in fact a real threat to rights. Very soon after a law was passed that legalized same-sex marriage in the state of Massachusetts, we saw that religious organizations were closing down, religious organizations that dealt with adoptions and that did not support adoption by same-sex families. They were closing one after another.

We have actually seen that in some schools, they are talking to children about homosexuality, but in fact they don't have the right to learn about a lot of things until a certain age. [...]

I think that this visit, the invitation to visit Russia, will enable the development of this movement around the world. We will band together, we will defend our children and their normal civil rights. Every child should have the right to have normal parents: a father and a mother.

You can watch a Russian dubbed interview of Brown at the meeting, AFTER THE JUMP...

Meanwhile, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said the news of Brown's invovlement in Russia is proof of NOM's anti-gay animus knowing no boundaries.

"This goes well beyond marriage," said Griffin. "Apparently NOM is expanding its portfolio to include the international persecution of LGBT people. We knew that Brian Brown had it out for gay people in America, but it's now become clear that he's hell-bent on ruining the lives of gays and lesbians worldwide."


Posted Oct. 4,2013 at 3:50 PM EST by in Brian Brown, Chad Griffin, Gay Adoption, Gay Rights, Human Rights Campaign, News, NOM, Russia | Permalink | Comments (31)

Gay PA Rep. Brian Sims on Governor's Incest Remarks: 'Vote Him Out of Office'

In a Facebook post this afternoon, Pennsylvania's gay Rep. Brian Sims reacted to Governor Tom Corbett's remarks on a radio show this morning in which he compared gay marriage to incest.

SimsWrites Sims:

All day long I've been hearing about the Governor's comments earlier this morning comparing marriage equality to incest. In truth, I'm not giving him or his comments all that much thought and I encourage you to do the same.

No one, not even his own party, would argue that he’s an intellectual heavyweight or even a particularly thoughtful person. The larger issue is that despite the fact that the majority of Pennsylvanians disagree with him, he continues to be the heaviest hitter in Pennsylvania’s anti-equality crusade.

Our job isn’t just to be frustrated with the homophobia coming from the Governor’s Mansion, it’s to do everything we can to ensure that his chapter in Pennsylvania’s political history is as sad and short as his record on schools, economic development and civil rights.

Tom Corbett has been a disaster for Pennsylvania for so many reasons and I hope this fuels your resolve to vote him out of office.

Posted Oct. 4,2013 at 3:28 PM EST by in Brian Sims, Gay Marriage, News, Pennsylvania | Permalink | Comments (18)


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