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Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval Says He Will Fight Efforts to Stop Gay Marriage in the State

SandovalNevada Governor Brian Sandoval has pledged to oppose the anti-gay Coalition for the Protection of Marriage's efforts to get the Ninth Circuit to grant a full re-hearing of the challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban, the AP reports:

The Republican governor provided a quick answer Wednesday to an appeals court call for briefs within three weeks from the state and an advocacy group that won the right to gay marriage on behalf of eight Nevada same-sex couples.

Sandoval, who previously stated he believes marriage is between one man and one woman, has been supportive of the Ninth Circuit's pro-equality ruling, saying it "confirmed my previous position that the State’s arguments against same sex marriage are no longer defensible in court."

Now how about going after those pious wedding chapels in Vegas that continue discriminating against gay couples?


Las Vegas Chapels Refuse To Marry Same-Sex Couples - VIDEO

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A number of wedding chapels in Las Vegas, including the Elvis Chapel, are refusing to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies, reports The Washington Post.

After a federal appeals court ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage in Nevada was unconstitutional, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority produced a full-page same-sex marriage ad with the tagline “Now you can say ‘I do’ to one more thing here.”

Despite a state public accommodations law prohibiting venues from discriminating based on sexual orientation, a local television channel found that several chapels are nonetheless refusing to marry same-sex couples.

Dolly Deleon, owner of the 24-hour Vegas Wed Chapel, said that her Christian faith would not allow her to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies:

“I would be a hypocrite if I said I’m a Bible-believing person and yet I would perform marriage that I believe is solely against God’s law.”

However, according to Tod Story of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, wedding chapels - as opposed to churches and places of worship - are not covered under the Public Accommodation Law of Nevada. For-profit wedding venues that turn away same-sex couples can be charged with a misdemeanor. 

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Las Vegas Chapels Refuse To Marry Same-Sex Couples - VIDEO" »


Eric Holder Announces Federal Government Will Recognize Gay Marriage in Seven New States: VIDEO

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Responding to the Supreme Court's marriage decision last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the federal government will begin recognizing same-sex marriages taking place in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Idaho - with additional states likely to follow.

Said Holder:

“I am pleased to announce that the federal government will recognize the same-sex marriages now taking place in the affected states, and I have directed lawyers here at the Department of Justice to work with our colleagues at agencies across the Administration to ensure that all applicable federal benefits are extended to those couples as soon as possible.  We will not delay in fulfilling our responsibility to afford every eligible couple, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, the full rights and responsibilities to which they are entitled.

He continued:

The steady progress toward LGBT equality we’ve seen – and celebrated – is important and historic.  But there remain too many places in this country where men and women cannot visit their partners in the hospital, or be recognized as the rightful parents of their own adopted children; where people can be discriminated against just because they are gay.  Challenges to marriage restrictions are still being actively litigated in courts across the country.  And while federal appeals courts have so far been unanimous in finding that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, if a disagreement does arise, the Supreme Court may address the question head-on.  If that happens, the Justice Department is prepared to file a brief consistent with its past support for marriage equality. 

Watch Holder's full remarks HERE.

In addition to the seven states above, marriage equality has also come to West Virginia, North Carolina, and Arizona (announced earlier today).

Gay marriage began in Alaska but has since been put on hold while the state appeals a pro-equality ruling to the Supreme Court (expect marriages to resume later today)

A federal court ruling in the challenge to Wyoming's gay marriage ban is expected Monday, with Governor Matt Mead saying the state will respect whatever decision is made.


'The Wedding Capital Of The World' Wants You To Say 'I Do' In Las Vegas

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After same-sex marriage became legal in Nevada last week, Las Vegas - the “Wedding Capital of the World” - released a marketing campaign aimed at LGBT couples, reports Huffington Post.

The tag line for the main ad - "Now you can say 'I Do' to one more thing here."

Two versions of the ad were produced - the smaller one at the top of this post and the full version which you can see, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'The Wedding Capital Of The World' Wants You To Say 'I Do' In Las Vegas" »


Nevada Anti-gay Activists Claim Ninth Circuit Assigned Specific Judges to 'Influence' Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

NinthThe anti-gay Coalition for the Protection of Marriage is asking the Ninth Circuit to grant an en banc rehearing in the case challenging Nevada's gay marriage ban - with the coalition's lawyer, Monte Stewart, claiming the federal appeals court picked specific judges "in order to influence the outcome" of the case.

Same-sex couples were able to begin marrying Friday following last week's Ninth Circuit ruling by a three-judge panel overturning the state's gay marriage ban. 

Buzzfeed reports:

Reinhardt_berzonOne of the reasons he asked for the rehearing, he claimed, is the “high likelihood that the number of Judges [Stephen] Reinhardt and [Marsha] Berzon’s assignments to the Relevant Cases, including this and the Hawaii and Idaho marriage cases (which we treat as one for these purposes), did not result from a neutral judge-assignment process.”

Stewart wrote that the claim was the result of “careful statistical analysis” by Dr. James H. Matis.

Stewart went further, writing, “The appearance of unfairness is not a close question here. Even without the aid of professional statisticians, a reasonable person will immediately sense that something is amiss when one judge out of more than thirty is assigned over a four and one-half year period to five of this Circuit’s eleven cases involving the federal constitutional rights of gay men and lesbians, another to four of those cases, and both of them to the momentous ‘gay marriage’ cases.”

Read the ridiculous petition below via Equality Case Files


PHOTOS: Marriage Equality Comes to West Virginia and Nevada

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(photo via twitter)

With West Virginia Attorney General announcing he would no longer be defending the state's gay marriage ban in court and Justice Anthony Kennedy clearing the mix-up that inadvertently put a hold on marriages in Nevada, two more states were added to the marriage equality column yesterday. 

In Nevada, State Senator Kelvin Atkinson [top right] and Sherwood Howard [top left]  became one of the first same-sex couples to obtain a marriage license in Clark County. You can also check out the pair's wedding proposal we featured on the site yesterday HERE

In West Virginia, meanwhile, Casie McGee and Sarah Adkins [pictured below] became the first gay couple to be married in Cabell County.

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More photos (and video) from marriages in other counties across these two states, AFTER THE JUMP...

[bottom photo via Facebook]

Continue reading "PHOTOS: Marriage Equality Comes to West Virginia and Nevada" »


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