Rex Wockner Hub

Gay Marriage Arrives in Baja California: VIDEO


The first same-sex marriage in Baja California took place in the capital city of Mexicali yesterday, U-T San Diego reports:

Victor Fernando Urias Amparo (above middle), 37, and Victor Manuel Aguirre Espinoza (above left), 43, took their vows amid a crush of media and supporters outside Mexicali City Hall. “Yes we could, yes we could,” the crowd cheered in Spanish.

The impromptu wedding ceremony came as a surprise to the pair, who had come to City Hall on Saturday morning to participate in a gay rights demonstration, said their attorney, Jose Luis Marquez. They had received hints that a wedding might take place, but were doubtful. They had already been rejected three times, despite an order from Mexico’s Supreme Court last June.

The two first sought a marriage license nearly two years ago, but a steady stream of roadblocks during their various attempts prevented them from tying the knot. Two months ago, Mexicali officials cited a paperwork error in refusing to perform a civil ceremony for the couple.

Last week, Aguirrre and Urias were scheduled for a ceremony at Mexicali City Hall but were barred from marrying after an anti-gay activist lodged a formal complaint that the men "suffer from madness." That led to a social media campaign #MisDerechosNoSonLocura ("my rights are not madness") that caught fire and was retweeted by a number of Mexican celebrities over the past week. 

Rex Wockner was outside the city hall to capture the marriage ceremony. You can watch the historic moment for yourself AFTER THE JUMP...

In related news, the mayor of Tijuana Jorge Astiazarán Orcí has announced gay couples will also be able to marry in his city as long as they meet the requirements. 

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Mexican State Of Coahuila Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO


By a vote of 19-1, the Congress of the Mexican state of Coahuila has voted to legalize same-sex marriage. The vote came down yesterday and, as Rex Wockner reports, Coahuila is the first Mexican state to legalize same-sex marriage through its state legislature: 

CoThe new law, which alters more than 40 parts of the state's Civil Code, takes effect in one week.

According to reports, the law says, "Marriage is the free union with full consent of two people, which has as its objective to realize community life where both [people] seek respect, equality and mutual aid, and make in a free, responsible, voluntary and informed way reproductive decisions that fit their life project, including the possibility of procreation or adoption." [...]

The law's "exposition of motives" says it "puts an end to the restrictions and limitations imposed on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, travesti, transgender and intersex community, which constitute a constitutional and international violation."

Same-sex marriage is currently also legal in two other Mexican states, the Federal District (which includes Mexico city) and Quantana Roo. Coahuila borders the U.S. state of Texas. 

Watch a Spanish language news clip on the new legislation approving same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Photos, Video: GetEQUAL Holds ENDA Rally in San Francisco


Rex Wockner sends us these photos of a rally held late yesterday urging passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act at the federal building in San Francisco.

Pictured below are National Center for Lesbian Rights' Kate Kendell and GetEQUAL's Kip Williams.

4-Kate-Kendell-NCLR   5-Kip-Williams-GetEQUAL-1 

GetEQUAL also posted a message online to send to Pelosi urging her to bring ENDA to a vote immediately. You can sign it here. Pelosi on Monday held a conference call to discuss the status of ENDA and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Read about it here.

Pictured below, Masen Davis, the executive director of the Transgender Law Center.


In related ENDA news, I mentioned yesterday a press conference that was going to be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. ENDA Now has some excellent coverage of it here.


Robin McGehee of GetEQUAL, above. Rex's video from the rally, AFTER THE JUMP...


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Mitt Romney Met by Gay Protest at Mormon Bookstore in La Jolla


Guestblogger Story and photos by REX WOCKNER

A dozen gay people protested an appearance by Mitt Romney at a Mormon bookstore in La Jolla, Calif., yesterday.

They said Romney should apologize for Mormons' having donated "$30 million" to the campaign that led to the passage of Proposition 8, which re-banned same-sex marriage in California in 2008.

"As a national political leader and influential member of the Mormon Church, Mitt Romney could persuade church leaders to end their 15 years of active involvement and massive financial support to oppose equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans," said Californians Against Hate, which organized the demonstration.

The protest took place outside a mall that houses the Deseret Book Company, where Romney signed copies of his new book, "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness."

News reporters and photographers were not allowed inside the store. News photographers were instructed to take their pictures through the windows.

Several hundred people waited in line to meet the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential candidate.

Romney is considered a front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential election.


Gay Activists Hold 'Kiss-In' at San Diego's Mormon Temple


In solidarity with two men who were arrested in early July outside the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City for kissing one another, about 30 San Diegans held a "kiss-in" protest outside the LDS Church in La Jolla.

Rex Wockner has a report on the demonstration. A news report from Fox 5, AFTER THE JUMP...


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Hildebrand: On Gay Issues, President Obama Will Get 'er Done

Rex Wockner turns in a must-read interview with Steve Hildebrand, who was Barack Obama's openly gay deputy national campaign director.

2 In it, Hildebrand says the president did not read the offensive DOJ brief before it came out, but "he expects much better from his administration" and "he subsequently has read the brief and was not happy at all with both the direction as well as the language that was used."

Hildebrand has communicated directly with the president on the uproar over that document.

"I told him very clearly that many in the gay community across the country are getting very anxious and that folks have felt very hurt by the Justice Department brief—the language that was used in it. He reassured me that he will not disappoint the gay community during his time as president, that the promises he made during the campaign are promises he will fulfill, and he was very forthright about his commitment to equality."

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