Gay Marriage Hub




Conservative Kansas Lawmakers Primed to Reintroduce Religious Freedom Bill

Kansas’s “religious freedom bill’ that would allow both public and private businesses to refuse LGBT customers service on religious grounds failed to make it past the Senate floor earlier this year following a deluge of complaints. Supporters of the proposed bill are gearing up to reintroduce it for legislative consideration following a federal court’s decision to overturn Kansas’s ban on same sex marriage.

FitzgeraldBefore dying in the Senate, the religious freedom bill successfully made its way through Kansas’s House of Representatives. Lawmakers like Kansas state senator Steve Fitzgerald (R) explained to the Wichita Eagle that the first iteration of the bill had been mischaracterized in such a way that derailed its advancement. Reintroducing the bill soon, he explained, would give conservative Kansans a chance at maintaining their religious freedoms.

“So what you’ve got is we’ll sue you and take everything you can get unless you participate in and help us celebrate what you consider to be gravely evil,” he said, recounting instances of conservative businesses being sued for discrimination. “So your freedom of religion is exactly, mmm, pay up.”

“You can be fired for being gay. You can be evicted for being lesbian. And you can be kicked out of a restaurant for being transgender. And you have no recourse,” said Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas.

“Should businesses that do business with the public have to serve everybody? Yes. That’s a principle of American society. You are open for business, then you’re open for business to everybody. And you don’t get to choose what classes of people you’re not going to serve.”


Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal In Scotland - VIDEO

  _79744632_045ba09d-51b0-409e-8d1d-70e25619d6e3

Same-sex couples can legally marry in Scotland now, reports Equality Network.

In February, Scotland became the seventeenth country in the world to legalise gay marriage. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 received Royal Assent in March and government has since been implementing the new law, including passing required secondary legislation.

Equality network scotlandScotland is considered to have one of the most progressive marriage equality laws in the world. The legislation differs from same-sex marriage laws in England and Wales in a number of respects including better protections for transgender people. The law also allows any religious or belief body to opt in to conducting same-sex marriages and does not ban religious or belief bodies from opting out.

Religious and belief organisations already authorised to conduct same-sex marriages include the Humanist Society Scotland, the Quakers, the Liberal Jewish Community, the Metropolitan Community Church, One Spirit Interfaith Foundation and the Open Episcopal Church in Scotland.

Scottish couples in civil partnerships also now have the option to convert to marriage through a free administrative process. Same-sex marriages performed abroad will also now be recognized in Scotland.

The first couple to make use of the new law were Douglas Pretsell and Peter Gloster, who converted their Scottish civil partnership to a Scottish marriage at the British Consulate in Melbourne, Australia.

Scott and David Barclay will be the first couple to take advantage of the new law by converting their civil partnership to a marriage in Scotland.

With the standard 15 day notice period required, it is expected the first same-sex marriages will take place on Hogmanay (December 31st).

Watch a Huffington Post report on the legalization of same-sex marriage in Scotland, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal In Scotland - VIDEO" »


Texas Teen With Two Moms Delivers Rousing Speech In Support Of Marriage Equality: VIDEO

Mason3

Freedom To Marry President Evan Wolfson was joined by Texas same-sex plaintiff couples for a marriage town hall at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin on Monday night.  

But Mason Marriott-Voss, a 16-year-old from Austin with two moms, stole the show with a rousing two-minute speech about the importance of bringing marriage equality to the Lone Star State.  

Marriott-Voss (shown with his family above) said when his two moms had him, same-sex marriage wasn't legal anywhere in the US, adding that a lot has changed, "but not here in Texas." 

"There are still people who stubbornly refuse to recognize family even when it's right in front of them," he said. "Some people are still genuinely concerned that my parents' love could harm tradition or erode society, maybe even threaten existing marriages."

Marriott-Voss talked about how ordinary his family is — his stepsister is a straight-A student who likes Harry Potter and his younger brother is wearing a Yoda-Santa hat every day in December in hopes that it will bring a white Christmas to Austin.  

"We share the same values and beliefs as everyone else, the same normal struggles and triumphs, except we are denied the basic dignity of being officially respected as the family that we are," Marriott-Voss said. "These anti-family laws create a raw deal for kids like me. Marriage is supposed to be a very important issue, but these laws cause children to be raised across the country in homes without it. The most important thing I want you to take away from me today, is that it's not our families that need to change, it's Texas." 

Freedom To Marry's Wolfson said people like Marriott-Voss continuing to tell their families' stories will be key to bringing same-sex marriage to Texas and the other 14 states where it's still banned.

A federal district judge struck down Texas' marriage bans in February, but Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has appealed the decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court. The 5th Circuit will hear oral arguments in the Texas case Jan. 9 — around the same time the U.S. Supreme Court meets to decide whether to hear appeals of a 6th Circuit ruling upholding marriage bans in four states.

But Wolfson's message to the more than 100 who attended Monday's town hall was that it's critical for people in Texas to remain engaged rather than sitting back and watching because they think victory is inevitable. 

"Clearly we are winning and there's tremendous reason for hope and optimism and excitement, but winning is not won, and the way we're winning is by getting out there and talking and telling our stories and building support, and showing the country and courts that America is ready and they (the courts) can do this, and that there's real urgency and they need to do it," Wolfson said. "So why would we stop doing what's working when we're on the verge of winning?" 

Watch Marriott-Voss' speech, and check out a few more photos from the event, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Continue reading "Texas Teen With Two Moms Delivers Rousing Speech In Support Of Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »


Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Asks Supreme Court to Stay Gay Marriage Ruling

BondiFlorida Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed a motion with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asking for an emergency stay on Judge Robert Hinkle's August ruling overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Earlier this month, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to extend Judge Hinkle's temporary stay on his ruling. If the Supreme Court chooses to not intervene in Florida, gay couples will be able to wed at the end of the day on January 5.

Responding to today’s filing, ACLU of Florida LGBT rights attorney Daniel Tilley stated:

“It is unsurprising, given how hard Governor Scott, his appointees, and Attorney General Bondi have fought to keep loving and committed couples from getting married and having their marriages recognized in Florida, that they would keep up this dead-end fight. But with just weeks until the ruling is scheduled to go into effect, it is disappointing.

“Florida families have waited long enough for the end of a ban that a federal court has declared unconstitutional. Since October, the Supreme Court has refused all requests to stay rulings striking down the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in other states. We are hopeful they will do the same here so that loving couples and their children can get the protections for which they have waited so long.”

Back in August, Bondi pledged to continue defending her state's gay marriage ban, saying she was "just getting started".

Last month, SCOTUS denied an emergency request in South Carolina's gay marriage case, but Justice Thomas stated he would have granted the stay. 

Read Bondi's motion via Equality Case Files:


Billionaire GOP Donor David Koch on Supporting Candidates Who Oppose Gay Marriage: 'That's Their Problem' - VIDEO

Koch

David Koch, one-half of the billionaire Koch Borthers who have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into conservative causes and candidates over the years, sat down with Barbara Walters for her "10 Most Fascinating People of 2014" special and discussed his political philosophy - being a "conservative on economic matters" but a "social liberal."

When Walters brought up the fact that although Koch is pro-choice and backs gay marriage, many of the candidates he supports are not, Koch brushes it off saying "that's their problem" and that economic concerns are more important to him. 

You're right Koch, that is "their problem". But since those d-bags are in charge of making laws, it ends up being our problem too...

Watch a segment of the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Walters1

I'm also including this screenshot of Babs since it's an accurate depiction of the shade my face was throwing while watching Koch talk too. 

Continue reading "Billionaire GOP Donor David Koch on Supporting Candidates Who Oppose Gay Marriage: 'That's Their Problem' - VIDEO" »


Gay Marriage News Watch: SC, AR, Hillary Clinton - VIDEO

Afer

AFER's Matt Baume reports on South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson's continued efforts to stop same-sex marriages in his state, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe hinting at supporting civil unions, Hillary Clinton winning Grindr's "Straight Ally of the Year" Award and more.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Marriage News Watch: SC, AR, Hillary Clinton - VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged