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04/19/2007


Marriage Equality Becomes Reality In Minnesota, Rhode Island

Mn

As earlier anticipated, at 12:01 AM this morning same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota and Rhode Island, upping the number of states where gay couples can be legally wed to 13. According to The Star Tribune, couples in Minneapolis started marrying at city hall just after midnight, with Mayor R.T. Rybak and his staff officiating over 42 weddings. The ceremonies and celebrations went on early into the morning, with food trucks, jitneys and even the local Hotel Minneapolis joining in the merriment of what Governor Mark Dayton declared, "Freedom to Marry Day." Though many Minnesotans remain divided on same-sex marriage, at least one couple hoped that same-sex marriages would help to change the hearts and minds of Minnesotans opposed to marriage equality:

“Our wedding will be about celebration and commitment, but will also be about sharing our lives to help people better understand how much the same we all are,” said Phil Oxman, who married his partner 38 years shortly after 1 a.m. in Minneapolis City Hall.

RiWedding ceremonies in Rhode Island did not start until after 8:30 AM Thursday morning when local offices opened for business, though some had expected the ceremonies to commence after midnight as they did in Minnesota. Many have speculated that Rhode Island will not experience as big of a "rush to marry" given that it is the last New England state to legalize marriage equality and many same-sex couples in Rhode Island wed out of state in neighboring Connecticut or Massachusetts. Indeed, Rhode Island's new marriage equality law will recognize those out of state marriages as legal and valid thus eliminating many couple's need to seek an additional ceremony. Still, the state saw gay couples waiting outside to make it legal as city halls opened for business. According to Boston.com:

Kent Stetson and Luis Astudillo were among a handful of couples that came to Providence City Hall first thing to get a license. They planned to get married later in the day, on a street in downtown where they took a memorable walk on their first date 12 years ago.

‘‘We are securing our rights today. We would have been married years ago if we could,’’ Stetson said.

In Newport, a couple that have been together for 41 years, Federico Santi and John Gacher, were previously joined in a civil union, so they were immediately married after getting their license. They had no plans for an extravagant ceremony, saying that in their eyes, their marriage began in August 1972.

‘‘It’s certainly not going to change our lives, but it’s going to change the lives of lots of young people, and that’s what we are really proud of: that now they have the opportunity to get married if they choose to,’’ Santi said.

Congratulations to all the happy couples celebrating today!

(Caption photo via Twitter)


Marriage Equality Just Hours Away For Minnesota And Rhode Island

Minnesota Equality
The stroke of midnight on Thursday, August 1st, will mark the beginning for marriage equality in two new states: Minnesota and Rhode Island. Now that the time is just hours away, LGBT residents, supporters, and opponents are scrambling in the last few hours to make their goals a reality. 

Minnesota Public Radio reports that the City Hall of Minneapolis will be "hosting an extravaganza at City Hall tonight where Mayor R.T. Rybak will officiate at the marriage of 42 same-sex couples." The term "extravaganza" refers not only to the marathon of same-sex marriage, but the lavish celebration afterwards that will reportedly "stretch well into Thursday morning," and include "performances by local musicians, a brass quintet and a reception at the nearby Hotel Minneapolis." Rybak staffer Andy Holmaas told MPR about how the celebration comes partially as the result of an outpouring of generosity from community members and businesses alike. "People have been bending over backwards at the slightest ask -- an unbelievable outpouring," he said. "It's not surprising, but it's still really inspiring to see Minneapolis and the whole region just jump on board to do everything they can."

Midnight ceremonies are also planned at the courthouses of Minnesota's Polk and Clay counties. St. Paul has one scheduled to take place at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. Mall of America will also be hosting its first same-sex wedding celebration at the Chapel of Love at 12:01. More ceremonies are scheduled to take place across the state later on in the morning, with many couples opting to say their vows with the added pleasure of daylight. 

As was noted by MPR, Minnesota's ultimate embrace of marriage equality comes riding the tide of a rapid shift in public opinion. Not only did the state ban same-sex unions at one point, but one prior attempt to repeal the ban died when the measure was sent to voters for approval:

"After a divisive campaign that spurred many...to activism, Minnesota voters rejected the measure in November 2012 and gave the DFL control of both houses of the Legislature as well as the governor's office. Earlier this year, lawmakers approved legalizing same-sex marriage, and Gov. Mark Dayton signed the measure into law on May 14."

Rhode Island EqualityMeanwhile, in Rhode Island, city and town clerks have already been preparing to issue licenses, and have also fielded a high volume of calls from couples who were either interested in marriage licenses, or simply unsure as to the legal situation regarding their own union. The Providence Journal reports that:

"Providence and Pawtucket appeared to be the busiest as the Aug. 1 date approaches, with at least 7 couples taking advantage of a pre-registration period in Providence and more than 10 people calling with questions in Pawtucket. The questions have dealt with everything from what’s needed to get a marriage license to what a couple with a civil union has to do to marry to whether a couple that married elsewhere can marry here in Rhode Island."

Thanks to the new law, those wishing to apply for a license and get married, be they from inside or out of the state, will be able to do so. Those wishing to go from a civil union to a legal marriage have two options. They can either opt to have another ceremony declaring themselves legally married, or they can have their existing civil union license "merged" into a marriage license, eliminating the need for a ceremony. 

One of the first same-sex marriages in Rhode Island will take place in Providence, where State Rep. Frank Ferri, D-Warwick, will wed husband Tony Caparco once again. The two were married in Vancouver in 2006, but opted to have another ceremony to celebrate their legislative victory. Their ceremony will be officiated by House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, who championed the state's new same-sex marriage legislation.

Same-sex marriage ceremonies in Rhode Island will begin tomorrow in spite of a legal challenge that was filed yesterday in a Providence Superior Court. The challenge comes via Ronald L’Heureux, a cofounder of the Faith Alliance to Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage as Defined by God. L'Heureux brought with him a petition and complaint in an attempt to obtain a restraining order and stop the marriages. Luckily, Judge Daniel A. Procaccini promptly denied the request, and instead opted to schedule a hearing for August 9th. When asked exactly why he wished to obtain a temporary restraining order against all of the state's same-sex couples, the L'Heureux, who chose to represent himself, argued that same-sex couples would be violating the religious liberties of himself and others by having their unions recognized in the public sphere. “It violates the Constitution and causes irreparable harm, and once it passes they’re going to teach my children and grandchildren conduct that’s reprehensible to my faith,” he said in court.

Towleroad wishes to congratulate those couples who will be tying the knot tomorrow in the two states. 13 down...37 to go.


News Anchor Offers Worst Possible Intro to Gay Pride Story: VIDEO

Lunn

Minneapolis news anchor Bill Lunn fumbled over his words, announcing "I pledge allegiance to the fag" as he segued into a story about Gay Pride.

Oops.

Tweeted Lunn: "4 years and they couldn't get me on the KSTP blooper reel. I guess they've got me now."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via gawker)

Continue reading "News Anchor Offers Worst Possible Intro to Gay Pride Story: VIDEO" »


Meet the First Gay Couple Issued a Marriage License in Minnesota: PHOTO

License
(twitter bryan piatt)

Couples lined up early Thursday morning to receive the first marriage licenses issued to gay couples in Minnesota. They will be able to marry starting August 1.

Bryan Piatt tweets the above photo: "There it is. First same sex marriage license in Minnesota."

The couple is Al Giraud and his partner JEff Isaacoson, who met watching football in a sports bar in Tampa, and have been together for 11 years, MPR News reports:

Isaacson, a banking analyst, said the couple wanted to be the first to apply, after being together for more than a decade.

"It's the commitment between the two of us, and the fact that it not only is going to be recognized by our friends and family, it's now going to be recognized by the state," he said of their motivation. "We won't have to fight for any of the same rights that married couples currently have."

The law legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota takes effect on Aug. 1, and officials in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties are taking applications early.

The couple says they'll marry the morning of August 1.


Michele Bachmann Says She's Amazing, But Not Seeking Reelection: VIDEO

M_bachmann

In a new video, Michele Bachmann says that an 8-year term in the House is enough and she won't be seeking reelection even though she's perfect in every way possible.

The decision, she also notes, has nothing to do with  an ongoing ethics investigation into misconduct during her 2012 presidential campaign:

"It was clearly understood that compliance with all rules and regulations was an absolute necessity for my presidential campaign. And I have no reason to believe that that was not the case."

Looking directly into the correct camera, Bachmann says she'll continue to fight for family values, and all the things she hates about Obama.

"I fully anticipate the mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin on my decision not to seek a fifth term. Since I was first elected to Congress many years ago they always seem to find a dishonest way to disparage me. But I take being the focus of their attention and disparagement as a true compliment of my public service effectiveness."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP....

Continue reading "Michele Bachmann Says She's Amazing, But Not Seeking Reelection: VIDEO" »


News: Jake Gyllenhaal, Stonewall, Minnesota, Tumblr, Russia

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Game of Thrones set to end after its seventh season.

Jake6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Jake Gyllenhaal strolls around SoHo in disguise.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d A comic book about Stonewall will hits stands on the 44th anniversary of the riots. Watch a trailer here.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Singer and Daft Punk collaborator Romanthony dead at 46.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson might be done.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Neighbourhood Watch survey inquires whether responder is gay, bisexual or straight: "The questionnaire by West Midlands Police asked residents in Birmingham questions about their sexual orientation so they could help officers 'detect crime and anti-social behaviour.'"

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d 80,000 expected to attend today's Long Beach Pride parade.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Communion19n-3-webPride communion celebrates marriage equality in Minnesota: "Revolution Church in Minneapolis served congregants rainbow-colored communion bread during its inaugural service last Sunday."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d European Union asks Russia to not move forward with "gay propaganda" bill: "'The EU called on Russia to refrain from adopting federal legislation on ‘homosexual propaganda,’ which it believed could increase discrimination and violence against LGBTI individuals,' the EU said in a statement on its website. The statement referred to the results of a meeting on May 17 in Brussels between Russian and EU diplomats on human rights issues."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Yahoo will fork over $1.1 billion dollars for Tumblr.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Star Trek: Into Darkness has raked in over $84 million at the box office since it opened Wednesday.


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