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New Zealand Gay Rights Proponents Angered By Heterosexual Pair's 'Gay Wedding'

ZackTravisNZ

New Zealanders Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick are jumping the broom and getting hitched this week. The "aww"-inducing announcement has been tampered, however, by the two friends' status as heterosexual pals out to win a trip.

The Edge radio station in New Zealand recently hosted a contest to see which bromance could make the ultimate cut. The prize? An all-expenses paid excursion to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. The catch? Travis and Matt have to get married. Since same-sex marriage was legalized in New Zealand just last year, many gay rights groups see the heterosexual union as a mockery of what they spent so long trying to achieve.

News.com.au reports:

LegaliseLove Aotearoa Wellington co-chairman Joseph Habgood told the Otago Daily Times that the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.

“The point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at ...

“Maybe on the day that statistics around mental health for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people are better, when high schools are safe places for LGBTI youth, we can look back on all this and laugh.

“But competitions like this don’t bring that day any closer.”

Though Zack and Travis likely support same-sex marriages, and are apparently quite confident in their heterosexuality, their statements about the ceremony are admittedly lacking in sympathy or nuance.

“We are not here to insult anyone. We are here to do our own thing and travel our own path,” McCormick told the Otago Daily Times.

McIntosh said the wedding was not mocking the institution of marriage.

“It’s just seeing how far two good mates would go to win a trip to the Rugby World Cup."

As one gay rights group commentator noted, the language of "how far" the pair are willing to go seems to suggest that same-sex marriage on the whole is "something outrageous that you'd never consider." Of course Zack and Travis's ceremony can also be chalked up to a lark and an occasion to celebrate their friendship.

What do you think of the wedding? Sound off in the comments below.


Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka Married in Italy Over the Weekend

Harris

After more than a decade together, Neil Patrick Harris and his David Burtka happily tied the knot in Italy on Saturday.

Tweeted Harris earlier today:

The couple were joined by twins Harper and Gideon - with Sir Elton John performing at the reception. 

Congrats gentlemen!

[photo via Twitter]


UK Town Of Glastonbury Celebrates First Same-Sex Marriage


Couple

(photo via Facebook)

David and Colin Kreps are the first same-sex couple to be married in the town of Glastonbury since the Marriage Act was enacted in England this March. Engaged last April after several years of dating, the happy couple first met each other while singing in a gay men's chorus.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d06285f8970c-250wiPink News reports:

Colin said: “Everything went really well. At midday we had a pagan hand-fastening ceremony in the garden behind the Glastonbury Tribunal, before having the actual ceremony at 2:30.”

Talking about the progress that the LGBT community has made through the years David added “Back in the Eighties, I was one of the only openly gay men in Glastonbury.”

“With all of the unpleasant things that used to be said about gay people, I feel that the only place I could really be open was in Glastonbury, which has always been a welcoming place.”

Over 1,400 same-sex marriage ceremonies have occurred thus far in England and Wales. Congrats to Colin and David for adding to that number!


New York Venue Fined For Refusing Lesbian Wedding Shuts Down - VIDEO

Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy

A couple fined by the for refusing to host a lesbian wedding at their New York property has decided to close the venue to all weddings rather than violate their religious beliefs, reports Yahoo! News.

Last month, the New York State Division of Human Rights affirmed the state's Human Rights Law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the case of Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy after their 2012 request to have their wedding at the Albany area farm and wedding venue was turned down as soon as the owners found out they were a same-sex couple.  

According to anti-gay Christian litigation group Alliance Defending Freedom attorney James Trainor, Cynthia and Robert Gifford, the venue’s owners, have since decided not to host ceremonies anymore, other than those already scheduled, "in order to stay true to their religious convictions."

In a similar ongoing case, Denver baker Jack Phillips has appealed an order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission requiring him to prepare wedding cakes for same-sex couples after the CCRC rejected his appeal of a judge’s earlier ruling that he “unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake” in 2012.

Watch a press conference with the Giffords, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New York Venue Fined For Refusing Lesbian Wedding Shuts Down - VIDEO" »


Minnesota Hunting Club Agrees to Pay for Gay Couple's Wedding After Initial Refusal

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A Minnesota hunting club has agreed to pay for a gay couple's wedding after its initial refusal of the request was brought to the attention of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Star Tribune reports:

Leblanc'sThe owners of LeBlanc’s Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation Inc. agreed to pay about $8,500 to cover the upcoming wedding of Cole Frey and Adam Block, as well as apologize to the two men and comply with the state’s nondiscrimination law in the future.

Frey, 20, and Block, 18, said Friday that they met last October and became engaged in November. In February, Frey said, he contacted LeBlanc’s to inquire about having the wedding at its clubhouse after his stepmother suggested it. He said he didn’t immediately reveal that he was marrying a man, and was told their desired date was available.

A few weeks later, Frey said, he went to sign papers and leave a security deposit. “That’s when they found out it would be between two males,” Frey said. “They told us they don’t condone same-sex marriage, and they wouldn’t be marrying us on their property.”

Following settlement talks with the Department of Human Rights, the club's owners claimed it was a simple case of misunderstanding state law. 

“They made a mistake and we did everything in our power to correct it,” [LeBlanc's attorney Paul Rogosheske] said. “This couple is going to have a great wedding and I can assure you LeBlanc’s is going to be open to everybody.”

A Minnesota Department of Human Rights press release adds:

This is Minnesota Department of Human Rights’ first same-sex wedding case involving discrimination in public accommodation based on sexual orientation since same-sex marriage was legalized on Aug. 1, 2013. Sexual orientation was added to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights Act in 1993.

[top photo via Facebook]


Joan Rivers Officiates Her Second Same-Sex Marriage In New York

JoanRiversWedding

Joan Rivers, the self-proclaimed "Queen of the Gays" and all-around funny lady, was ordained by the Universal Life Church and may quickly become the go-to officiant for New York gay couples. After performing a ceremony atop the Empire State Building in 2013, Ms. Rivers was again asked to perform her duty last week.

HuffPost reports:

On Aug. 15, the 81-year-old comedian, author and icon married William "Jed" Ryan and Joseph Aiello at New York's Plaza Athenee, Out magazine is reporting.

As it turns out, it was the second time down the aisle for the couple. In June, Rivers agreed to marry Ryan and Aiello on the spot at a Barnes & Noble signing of her new book, Diary of a Mad Diva, in Manhattan. Although photos and footage of that ceremony were picked up by numerous media outlets, the couple didn't have a proper marriage license at the time, so Rivers vowed to arrange a second ceremony so the men could legally tie the knot.

Thanks for the love and support, Joan! Now, what celebrity officiant would you want presiding over your wedding? Sound off in the comments below.

Photo via Out Magazine.


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