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Census Bureau Has Begun Counting Married Same-Sex Couples as 'Families'

As we reported back in May, the Census Bureau has officially amended its definition of "families" to include married, same-sex couples.

FamilyThe Charlotte Observer reports:

In prior years, the U.S. Census Bureau counted such couples as “unmarried partners,” even if they were legally married. But now, starting with the new annual American Community Survey, they are in among the family totals. [...]

Same-sex couples who live together but are not married are still counted as “unmarried partners,” the same designation for unmarried opposite-sex couples. The Census Bureau has counted same-sex couples since 1990.

The Washington Post added back in May:

Because of the large disparity between the number of gay and straight married households, combining the two is not expected to have a significant effect on the statistics that scholars and planners use to analyze how families are changing. Its significance is largely symbolic of the growing acceptance of gays in American society.


Tenth Circuit Puts Colorado Marriage Equality Case On Hold Until SCOTUS Decision

ColoradoFlagThe Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals said yesterday that they would put the Colorado marriage equality case on hold until the Supreme Court decides on the issue. The seventh circuit did much the same with Wisconsin's case yesterday, placing a stay on their decision. SCOTUS will meet on September 29th to consider hearing various cases.

Joe My God reports on the language of the decision:

This appeal is abated pending further order of this court. The deadline for the appellant’s opening brief will be established when the abatement of this appeal is lifted. The parties shall notify this court within 10 days of a decision on the petitions for writ of certiorari pending before the Supreme Court of the United States in Kitchen v. Herbert, Supreme Court No. 14-124, and Bishop v. Smith, Supreme Court No. 14-136. It is further ordered that the parties shall file status reports 30 days from the date of this order if no decision on the pending writs has been issued by that time.

14-1283 #207452 - Order Holding Case via Equality Case Files


Seventh Circuit Puts Wisconsin Gay Marriages on Hold Until Supreme Court Action

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has put a stay on its ruling earlier this month overturning Wisconsin's gay marriage ban until the Supreme Court weighs in on the matter, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

WisconsinThe 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals blocked its own order in the Wisconsin case two days after it blocked its order in a similar case out of Indiana. Those moves by the 7th Circuit were widely expected because of an earlier ruling by the Supreme Court that showed a majority of justices want the marriage bans around the country to remain in place while they consider whether to hear one of the lawsuits against those bans.

Last week, state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked the U.S. Supreme Court to restore Wisconsin's gay marriage ban, arguing that the case that began in Madison offers the justices the best vehicle for resolving the historic question of whether bans on same-sex unions violate the U.S. Constitution.

The 7th Circuit said Wednesday that it would let that Supreme Court appeal play out.

"The stay will terminate automatically if the certiorari petition (to the Supreme Court) is denied or will terminate upon the judgment of the Supreme Court if the certiorari petition is granted," the 7th Circuit's one-page order reads.

Last week, plaintiffs in the Indiana and Wisconsin gay marriage cases urged the Supreme Court to review challenges to their states' gay marriage bans.

The court has announced it will consider those petitions in a private meeting September 29. 


Texas Law Enforcement Groups File Brief With Fifth Circuit In Support of Marriage Equality

A group of Texas county sheriffs and law enforcement officers have filed a brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this week in support of marriage equality, The Texas Tribune reports:

Texas“Gay and lesbian law enforcement officers and other first responders put on their uniforms, place themselves in harm’s way to protect and defend our communities, and swear to uphold our laws without prejudice or bias,” said the letter, filed by Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, more than 50 other Texans working in law enforcement and a coalition of city police departments from around the country.

The brief continues:

They serve our communities with equal distinction, skill, and bravery. But Texas denies these men and women the equal dignity and respect they deserve. Texas does not treat them equally in their day-to-day work, nor, tragically, even when they make the ultimate sacrifice.

Last week, lawyers representing same-sex couples int the case of De Leon v. Perry filed briefs asking the Fifth Circuit to uphold a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The court is expected to hear arguments in the case in the coming months.

Check out the law enforcement brief below:


Pope Francis To Exile Anti-Gay Conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke - VIDEO

Cardinal Raymond Burke

Pope Francis may be about to remove homophobe Cardinal Raymond Burke from his position as head of the Vatican’s “Supreme Court,” relegating him to a largely ceremonial role as head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, reports conservative news outlet Breitbart.

Burke has been very forthcoming on his feelings regarding the rights and wrongs of discrimination.  In 2010, he announced that while racism is unacceptable, discrimination against LGBT people is “perfectly just and good.”

Waxing lyrical on his pro-discrimination stance, Burke went on to explain to gay people what they have been doing wrong for all these years:

“Sexual acts between persons of the same sex are intrinsically evil, are against nature itself...its simply announcing the truth, helping people to discriminate right from wrong in terms of their own activities.”

In the past, Burke announced that former presidential candidate John Kerry would not be allowed to receive communion for his pro-abortion stance and excommunicated two women who claimed to have been ordained by a third woman claiming to be a Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church.

The new role would see Burke removed from the Roman Curia, the body of Vatican-based Cardinals who are close advisers to the Pope.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis suggested that the Catholic Church might consider supporting same-sex civil unions

Watch Burke explain why it's ok to discriminate against gay people, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Pope Francis To Exile Anti-Gay Conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke - VIDEO" »


Gay Anglican Rector Faces Parishioner Backlash Over 'Gay Wedding' Plan

A gay Anglican clergyman in England is facing opposition from his parishioners because he plans to hold a service in his local church to bless his civil partnership, reports The Telegraph.

Although Anglican clergy are banned from marrying same-sex partners, lesbian and gay Anglican priests are permitted to enter civil partnerships and can also become bishops if they claim to be celibate.

St. petersThe Reverend Dominic McClean, the Rector of 13 parishes in Leicestershire, invited parishioners to the service in St Peter’s Church in Market Bosworth this weekend to mark his civil union with his partner, Tony Hodges.  

The service was approved by the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Reverend Tim Stevens, who led the Church of England’s opposition in the House of Lords to the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

According to McClean, the service is designed to be neither a blessing nor a wedding but a service of thanksgiving and dedication:

“This sort of service has been taking place in the Church of England for some years now. We’ve had an awful lot of support about this from across the benefice.

I think there are one or two people who have not been comfortable with the fact of having a priest who is gay and there are some people that find it difficult and I can understand that.”

However, Aubrey Chalmers, a member of the Parochial Church Council in one of McClean’s parishes, has written in protest to Bishop Stevens and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, describing the service as “deeply divisive and repugnant to many people”:

“A person’s private life is entirely their own affair, provided it doesn’t cause any harm or injure other people nobody is going to interfere.

Here we have what is effectively a high profile demonstration where the parish priest is able to use his own church for his own gay wedding in all but name and has upset a lot of people. Now the Bishop of Leicester, who was very vocal in the House of Lords in his opposition to gay marriage, has given his consent.”

Chalmers added that several parishioners have pledged to sever their links with the church and that at least one church warden is planning to resign in protest of a “gay wedding in all but name” in the Church of England.


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