Gay Marriage Hub




Chilean Senate Approves Civil Unions in 25-6 Vote; President Has Promised to Sign

Same-sex civil unions are set to become the law in Chile after the Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill passed by the House last week that President Michelle Bachelet (pictured) has said she will sign, the Washington Blade reports:

BacheletThe Chilean Senate approved the measure by a 25-6 vote margin with three abstentions. The bill passed in the country’s House of Representatives by a 78-9 vote margin.

“A historic step against discrimination and for the advancement of human rights has taken place today with the passage of the civil unions bill,” said the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, in a statement.

AFP adds:

The law, which has been in the works for four years, gives legal recognition to unmarried couples and ensures their rights to receive pensions, enroll in health plans and inherit property from one another.

It also gives them greater standing in child custody cases.


Federal Judge: All Alabama Counties Must Marry Same-Sex Couples Should Stay Be Lifted On February 9

AlaAfter the Alabama Probate Judges Association argued that Judge Callie V.S. Granade's ruling against Alabama's same-sex marriage ban applied only to the plaintiffs in the case not the entire state, Judge Granade, a George W. Bush appointee, today issued a clarification of her ruling against the marriage ban.

As previously reported, Judge Granade imposed a 14 day stay of her ruling allowing the state to appeal the case to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. However, should the stay expire, Judge Granade made her position unequivocally clear: Alabama's ban is "unconstitutional because [it] violate[s] the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." As a result, all counties in Alabama will be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. No doubt referencing attempts made by opponents of marriage equality in Florida to limit Judge John Hinkle's ruling overturning that state's marriage ban, Judge Granade invoked Hinkle's ruling to underscore her own as Alabama is faced with an "almost identical issue":

History records no shortage of instances when state officials defied federal court orders on issues of federal constitutional law. Happily, there are many more instances when responsible officials followed the law, like it or not. Reasonable people can debate whether the ruling in this case was correct and who it binds. here should be no debate, however, on the question whether a clerk of court may follow the ruling, even for marriage-license applicants who are not parties to this case. And a clerk who chooses not to follow the ruling should take note: the governing statutes and rules of procedure allow individuals to intervene as plaintiffs in pending actions, allow certification of plaintiff and defendant classes, allow issuance of successive preliminary injunctions, and allow successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorney's fees.

* * * *

The preliminary injunction now in effect thus does not require the Clerk to issue licenses to other applicants. But as set out in the order that announced issuance of the preliminary injunction, the Constitution requires the Clerk to issue such licenses. As in any other instance involving parties not now before the court, the Clerk's obligation to follow the law arises from sources other than the preliminary injunction.

Read Judge Granade's clarification below:

1:14-cv-00208 #65 Order Clarifying Judgment by Equality Case Files


Lindsey Graham Grills AG Nominee Loretta Lynch About Gay Marriage and Polygamy: VIDEO

Graham_lynch

Hearings are underway in the Senate Judiciary Committee for U.S. Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch, whom Obama nominated as a replacement for departing Attorney General Eric Holder.

This morning Lynch was confronted by a question from Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who demanded to have her thoughts on the legal difference between gay marriage and polygamy, Mediaite reports.

Asked Graham:

“Same-sex marriage. This may go to the Supreme Court very soon. If the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, it violates the constitution for a state to try to limit marriage between a man and a woman, that’s clearly the law of the land unless there’s a constitutional amendment to change it.

What legal rationale will be in play that would prohibit polygamy? What’s the legal difference between a ban on same-sex marriage being unconstitutional but a ban on polygamy being constitutional? Could you try to articulate how one could be banned under the constitution and the other not?”

Replied Lynch:

“Well, senator, I have not been involved in the argument or analysis of the cases that have gone before the Supreme Court. So...and I’m not comfortable undertaking legal analysis without having had the ability to undertake a review of the relevant facts and the precedent there. So I certainly would not be able to provide you with that analysis at this point in time, but I look forward to continuing the discussions with you.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lindsey Graham Grills AG Nominee Loretta Lynch About Gay Marriage and Polygamy: VIDEO" »


Openly Gay Alabama State Legislator Doubles Down On Threat To 'Out' Anti-Gay Lawmakers Having Extramarital Affairs: VIDEO

AL

As we reported earlier this week, Alabama's first and only openly gay state legislator Dem. Rep. Patricia Todd took to Facebook over the weekend to fire back at politicians alleging that gay marriage would erode "family values" should it become legal in Alabama. Todd called out the hypocrisy of many lawmakers using the rallying cry of "family values" to prop up their anti-gay views when they are having extramarital affairs. Todd's remarks came on the heels of a federal judge (appointed by George W. Bush) ruling that the state of Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Wrote Todd:

"I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about 'family values' when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have," Todd, the state's only openly gay lawmaker, said on Facebook over the weekend. "I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet out."

Todd was responding to comments from her fellow lawmakers after Friday's decision by a federal judge to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

"It is pretty well known that we have people in Montgomery who are or have had affairs …" Todd told the TimesDaily this morning. "I just want them to be careful what they're saying, some of it might come back to stick on them."

Todd has stuck to her message, appearing on All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC on Tuesday night to discuss why she is going after anti-gay politicians by using their own dirty laundry against them:

"I just wanna remind [politicians who oppose gay marriage], they don’t have the corner on family values. There are thousands of gay couples across the state, many raising children, that have much stronger family values than they do. It’s an attempt to try to cool the rhetoric…if you want to talk to me of the merits of the issue then that’s fine. But I’m not going to let you get away with a five second sound bite where you condemn me and my community."

Todd also weighed in Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice's Roy Moore's comments that he would not respect or uphold any federal judge's ruling that allows same-sex couples to wed as such decisions were "judicial tyranny" in his eyes.

Watch Todd tackle the right's hypocrisy on family values, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Openly Gay Alabama State Legislator Doubles Down On Threat To 'Out' Anti-Gay Lawmakers Having Extramarital Affairs: VIDEO" »


Challenge To Nebraska's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Moves Forward As Judge Denies Stay of Lawsuit

Joseph_F._Bataillon_District_JudgeA federal judge has denied Nebraska's request to stay a lawsuit brought against it by seven same-sex couples seeking to overturn the Cornhusker State's ban on same-sex marriage. Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon found that the U.S. Supreme Court's pending review of four same-sex marriage cases does not provide sufficient grounds for Nebraska to delay the lower court's consideration of a similar question. The Lincoln Journal Star reports:

The Nebraska Attorney General's office argued for a stay, saying that even if Bataillon granted the couples' request to allow same-sex marriages, the state would appeal the decision to the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and would seek a stay there.

But Bataillon said that was "at least premature, if not irrelevant" to whether he grants a stay. And he pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied stays in cases in circuits where same-sex marriage bans have been struck down.

In this case, the judge said the parties would benefit from a full development of the record, whatever his decision on the motion.

"Whatever public interest the state has is insufficient in light of the plaintiffs' showing of serious, irreparable and immediate harm," Bataillon wrote.

Attorneys for the couples argued that they urgently need the protections of marriage and "would suffer serious and irreparable harms should the court stay the proceedings until the Supreme Court issues its opinion."

One of the plaintiffs, Sally Waters, has cancer and her children will be denied critical financial protections if she dies before the issue is resolved. Another, Chrystal Von Kampen, a disabled Iraq War veteran, will be denied financial protections married couples are afforded until her marriage in another state is recognized.

Bataillon has set a hearing for February 19th.


Bishop Hyperventilates Over Catholic Hospital Giving Equality To Gay Employees

St Louis Archdiocese

Mercy Health employs over 40,000 individuals over seven states in its Catholic health care system, so to better meet the needs of all of their employees they have announced that they "will extend benefits to all legally married spouses effective this spring." Which includes legally married gay spouses.

Bishop James V. Johnston of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in Missouri went apoplectic over the decision and wasted no time in going forward with unrestrained hyperbole, saying:

Bishop James V JohnstonNo believing Christian worthy of the name should violate God’s law because of ‘regulations.’ Our ancestors refused to abandon the faith even when subjected to the cruelty and torture of the Roman Empire, but in our age unspecified ‘regulations,’ government funds, and fear of public ridicule is sufficient in order to secure the compliance of some.

Johnston remarkably refrained from invoking Godwin's Law. The Archdiocese of St. Louis was marginally more restrained:

It is simply inconsistent to claim to be a Catholic institution while publicly acting against Church teaching.

The Archdiocese did not mention how providing legal - not religious - recognition to same sex couples and the attendant benefits and protections is acting against Church teaching. Unless the Church teaching is to make life miserable for all nonbelievers, which seems to be sort of the opposite of the teachings of the Bible.


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