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Florida Catholic Bishops: Marriage Equality Threatens Religious Liberty - VIDEO

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Catholic bishops in Florida say the decision to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage in the state is a threat to religious freedom, reports Pink News.

Yesterday, Miami-Dade County judge Sarah Zabel lifted the stay on her July ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Following her decision, Zabel proceeded to marry two of the gay couples who served as plaintiffs in the case.

In a statement following the ruling the bishops said marriage equality “threatens both religious liberty and the freedom of individuals to conscientiously object.”

Once again attacking gay parents, the statement reads in part:

“The conjugal nature of a marriage between a man and a woman has provided for millennia the basis for norms of marital exclusivity and permanence that made possible stable families necessary for human flourishing.

“[Marriage equality] advances the notion that marriage is only about the affective gratification of consenting adults. Such a redefinition of marriage does nothing to safeguard a child’s right to a mother and father and to be raised in a stable family where his or her development and well-being is served to the greatest extent possible.”

Watch the emotional courtroom reaction to Zabel lifting the stay, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Stephen Fry To Marry Partner Elliott Spencer: VIDEO

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English actor, presenter, comedian and National Treasure Stephen Fry has confirmed that he is to marry his 27-year-old partner, stand-up comedian Elliott Spencer.

Attitude reports that Fry (57) has given formal notice to wed Spencer at a registry office in Norfolk, England.

Fry was first seen in public with Spencer last November but the couple are thought to have been involved since last summer.

According to tabloid newspaper The Sun, a source said that Elliott has given Fry “a new lust for life” following a battle with depression and a 2012 suicide attempt:

“Stephen and Elliott get on brilliantly together. It’s fantastic to see Stephen with a smile on his face again.

“He has been very, very open about his battles with drugs and depression. Elliott seems to have given him the confidence to live his life again. It’s great to have the old Stephen back.”

Spencer's parents said they are delighted about the couple's decision to marry.

Fry has told his eight million Twitter followers that messages of congratulations have left him "close to sobbing".

Last year, Fry narrated a television special called Our Gay Wedding: The Musical on the UK's Channel 4.

Watch him discuss fame, addiction and mental health, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Archbishop Of Canterbury Refuses To Explain Why He Opposes Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO

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Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, England, has refused to discuss the reasons behind his opposition to same-sex marriage, reports The Guardian.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Welby (pictured above) was asked what makes gay relationships inferior in the eyes of the church.

However, the cleric declined to discuss his stance on the issue, saying:

“I’m really not going to answer the question very well because we’re now into conversations within the Church, both globally and locally, and I think if I weigh in at this stage it’s inappropriate.

“It’s something that as you go around the Communion, and having visited all the provinces I’m very aware of this, that is seen by many as an absolutely central understanding of obedience to Christ, in both directions.

“In human terms, it looks impossible, and many people say you shouldn’t bother to try.

“When I listen to people I know that I’m listening to people for whom not just the issue of sexuality but the whole way in which the Church lives and exists and reaches out to people, what it looks like to be a holy church, is something on which they feel passionately and are deeply, deeply, deeply disagreeing.

“If you love them you listen carefully.”

Although Welby has been vocal in his opposition to same-sex marriage, there was some good news last year when he announced a campaign to stop homophobic bullying in Church of England schools.

Watch Welby claim last year that same-sex marriage weakens "traditional" marriage and damages society, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Will Taiwan Become the First Country In East Asia To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage? - VIDEO

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Taiwan’s government today discussed the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage, the first legislation of its kind to be debated in East Asia, reports Focus Taiwan.

The bill, which aims to replace such terms as “man and woman” with gender neutral alternatives including “spouses”, was drafted by the Opposition Democratic Progressive Party’s Cheng Li-chiun.

6a00d8341c730253ef01a3fce19b83970b-250wiIntroducing the bill, Cheng said:

“No one deserves to be deprived of their rights at birth to be on an equal footing with others just because of their psychological or biological differences.

“If we cannot break the cycle of discrimination, then everyone could become a victim of discrimination because of their respective differences.”

The proposed amendment cleared a first reading last year but had been shelved before a committe could discuss it largely due to opposition from religious groups. Bills must pass three readings in order to be sent to the president to be promulgated.

In a statement opposing the amendment, the Taiwan Religious Groups Alliance for the Family accused pro-equality politicians and gay rights activists of "pretending to be civic groups" to "terrorize" other lawmakers with opposing views on same-sex marriage.

In October, the religious anti-gay lobbying group called for police to monitor the Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade in the interests of "protecting children."

Last year, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Taipei to protest against gay marriage while earlier this month, thousands took part in a rainbow run in Taipei in support of gay marriage

Watch a clip from Taiwan Pride 2014, AFTER THE JUMP...

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U.S. Diplomat To Marry Turkish Pop Star Partner: VIDEO

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Charles F. Hunter, U.S. Consul General in Istanbul, is to marry his partner, Turkish pop star Ramadan Çaysever, reports Daily Sabah.

Speaking at an event in the Dutch consulate, Hunter spoke about his relationship with Çaysever for the first time and confirmed reports about the planned marriage. The couple are thought to have met at one of Çaysever’s concerts.

Hunter proposed a few months ago and told friends about the planned wedding at Thanksgiving.

The wedding will take place in Hunter's hometown, Appleton, Wisconsin, where the couple are set to travel on December 20th.  However, a date for the ceremony has not been confirmed.

Same-sex marriage became legal in Wisconsin in October.

Watch the music video for Çaysever's "Diskotek", AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Couple of 49 Years Among First to Convert Civil Partnership to Marriage in England

A gay couple together for almost 49 years were among the first to be married under new laws in England allowing civil partnerships to be converted to marriage, reports LogoTV.

Roger192Roger Lockyer (87) and Percy Steven (75) were among the first couples in England to enter into a civil partnership in 2005.

Lockyer said:

“To me, it feels like reaching the top. We really are married. Which is what we have been for nearly half a century of course. But to have formal recognition of that I think is something that’s so unexpected and wonderful.”

Steven said that he is most looking forward to finally joining the couple’s utility accounts because he can now “ask for an account in both names.”

Same-sex marriage became legal in Scotland on Tuesday.  Northern Ireland is now the only part of the UK where gay marriage remains illegal.


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