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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.


Indiana Agrees to Recognize Marriage of Terminally Ill Lesbian

A federal judge yesterday approved an agreement for Indiana to recognize the marriage of two women - one of whom is terminally ill, the Indiana Times reports:

IndianaVeronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court this week asking a judge to order Indiana to recognize their Illinois marriage because Rivera has advanced ovarian cancer.

The couple's lawsuit named Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller; Indiana Health Commissioner William VanNess; and Lake County Clerk Michael A. Brown, who issues marriage licenses.

A joint stipulation was filed Wednesday in which Indiana agreed to recognize the couple's marriage and, in the event of Rivera's death, issue a death certificate listing her as married and recording Romero as the surviving spouse. The Indiana State Department of Health also agreed to assist local health departments, funeral homes, physicians, coroners and others involved in completion of a death certificate to understand their duties in the couple's case.

The case has been stayed while Indiana appeals last week's 7th Circuit ruling overturning its gay marriage ban to the U.S. Supreme Court. 


Alabama Mother Attempts To Deny Her Dead Son's Husband His Estate

Pat Fancher

Issues like this are why legally-recognized gay marriage is so important. Alabama man David Fancher was killed in an auto accident in 2011 and left his estate to his husband, Paul Hard. He and Hard were married in Massachusetts just three months earlier after having been a couple for over six years. However, Alabama’s Sanctity of Marriage Amendment denies the validity of their marriage, so Hard is suing the state decrying the amendment as unconstitutional, and thus entitling Hard as Fancher's legal husband to half of his estate.

Enter David Fancher's mother Pat Fancher, who has been granted the right to intervene in the case and does not want her son’s name used to advance the cause of same-sex marriage:

I am a devout Christian and I am deeply disturbed that the death of my son David is being used by Dr. Paul Hard to advance the cause of same-sex marriage. I did not agree with all of the decisions that my son made, but I loved him very much and we always had a good relationship. It is wrong for David’s death to be used in this manner.

As such, she has enlisted the aid of the Foundation for Moral Law, who have filed an amicus brief to try and overturn the Tenth Circuit's strike down of Utah's ban on same-sex marriage: 

The Foundation has an interest in this case because it believes that this nation’s laws should reflect the moral basis upon which the nation was founded, and that the ancient roots of the common law, the pronouncements of the legal philosophers from whom this nation’s Founders derived their view of law, the views of the Founders themselves, and the views of the American people as a whole from the beginning of American history at least until very recently, have held that homosexual conduct is immoral and should not be sanctioned by giving it the official state sanction of marriage.

The Foundation for Moral Law counselor who filed the brief is John Eidsmoe, a wingnut who tried to get the U.S. military to provide "ex-gay" therapy to gay soldiers who would otherwise rape kids. Unsurprisingly, he follows the American Taliban mentality of promoting rule by biblical law.


National Organization for Marriage Continues Its Fight Against Oregon's Pro-Gay Marriage Ruling

OregonFollowing U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane's ruling back in May striking down Oregon's ban on gay marriage, the National Organization for Marriage asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the decision. Two weeks ago, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit denied NOM its request, leading to the anti-gay organization to now ask the full Ninth Circuit Court to reconsider the decision.

The Oregonian reports:

NOM unsuccessfully sought to gain standing to appeal McShane's decision. But McShane denied the group's attempt to intervene in the case and NOM has so far failed to find any success on appeal. 

In its latest petition, NOM said the lack of an opposing party in the Oregon litigation is part of a dangerous trend  "threatening the very adversarial nature of our system of justice."

In February, Oregon's Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced she would no longer defend the state's gay marriage ban in court. 


Catholic Choir Director Fired For Same-Sex Engagement Meets With Cardinal, Receives Support Rally

Collette

Colin Collette (above center in white jacket) was fired from his position as music director at Holy Family Catholic Community church in Inverness, IL this July after photos of his same-sex marriage proposal emerged. Ever since he has received an intense outpouring of support from the church's parishioners, though the archdiocese of Chicago have remained tight-lipped. When Collette reached out to Cardinal Francis George for a meeting regarding the incident, however, the response was immediate and affirmative; the two met on Tuesday, praying together and, if all went to Collette's plan, discussing his job. 

Collette1The Chicago Tribune reports:

“I was incredibly grateful to the cardinal for meeting with me. This is an incredibly difficult time for him. ... I was moved beyond words that he would meet with me,” Collette said of George, who is battling cancer. “We prayed together. He was wonderful. He was very pastoral.”

Collette declined to elaborate on the nature of the discussion Tuesday. He said he had sought the meeting in hopes of getting his job back. While there was no indication that would happen, Collette said the cardinal urged him to speak to his pastor.

“My head is sort of spinning, but as I said over and over, my whole life has been the church. It's my love. It's my passion, and I pray for the opportunity to do that,” he said.

Check out a Chicago NBC 5 report on Collette's meeting with the Cardinal, AFTER THE JUMP...

Though Collette has been the recipient of a great deal of community support--including a rally held Sunday to indicate that support to church leaders--he is well aware that his sexual orientation and relationship are not to everyone's liking.

“I'm not that naive to know that there are some people who believe that who I am basically is wrong. I'm not that naive, but the love and support I have received is truly humbling and is beyond words,” Collette said.

We will continue to report on Collette's story, but for now we are happy to see the level of affirmation he is receiving from church members, and a willingness on the part of some church officials to discuss the matter. Collette said that he and the Cardinal would meet again soon.

Check out video coverage of the press conference at the Chicago Tribune.

Continue reading "Catholic Choir Director Fired For Same-Sex Engagement Meets With Cardinal, Receives Support Rally" »


One Year On: The United Nations LGBT Advocacy Campaign 'Free And Equal' - VIDEO

The welcome UN Human Rights LGBT campaign

On July 26th, 2013, the United Nations Human Rights office launched "Free and Equal," an unprecedented global public education campaign aiming to combat violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people around the world.

Free&equalThe campaign has included a Bollywood gay marriage video The Welcome and the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

What's happened since the campaign's launch?

Watch the video to find out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "One Year On: The United Nations LGBT Advocacy Campaign 'Free And Equal' - VIDEO" »


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