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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.


Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe Extends Adoption Rights to Married Gay Couples

McauliffeComing on the heels of an executive order requiring all state agencies to disregard Virginia's former ban on same-sex marriage, Governor Terry McAuliffe has secured adoption rights for married gay couples, The Virginian-Pilot reports:

“Now that same-sex marriage in Virginia is officially legal, we owe it to all Virginians to ensure that every couple is treated equally under all of our laws, no matter whom they love,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. “This historic decision opened the door to marriage equality, and now it is my sincerest hope that it will also open more doors for Virginia children who need loving families.

“By formally recognizing that same-sex couples can now legally adopt, we are more fully complying with the ruling in this important case, and sending the message once again that Virginia is open and welcoming to everyone.”


VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe Secures Equal Benefits for Married Same Sex Couples

Governor-McAuliffeTerry McAuliffe (D), Virginia’s recently elected governor, threw his support behind instituting protections for LGBT people in the workplace by issuing an executive order requiring all state agencies disregard the state’s former ban on same sex marriage. In a 2-1 split, a federal appeals court officially declared the ban to be unconstitutional in July of this year.

"The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual's life," the opinion reads. "Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance."

McAuliffe’s order will ensure that all gay and lesbian state employees whose marriages are now recognized within Virginia will be able to provide their spouses with access to state health programs. The announcement  comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear petitions from five states regarding same sex marriage. Within hours the decision triggered an immediate spike in the number of wedding licenses issued to gay couples throughout Virginia.

“After decades of work to change hearts and minds, the freedom to marry is now a reality,” executive director of Equality Virginia James Parrish told The Washington Blade. “This is such an exciting and historic day, and we are thrilled for the thousands of couples whose relationships — and families — will now be recognized by the commonwealth of Virginia.”


Christian Group Ends Fake 'Fast' Against Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO

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Virginia-based anti-gay group Family Foundation has announced that members have completed their very strange fast in opposition to same-sex marriage, reports Pink News.

Last month, the group announced its 40 Days of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance For Marriage which started on August 27th and finished on Sunday, the day before the Supreme Court was due to hear a series of same-sex marriage appeals cases.

However, not entirely getting it, the group said that it was actually fine to eat during the fast although "feeding on the spiritual food provided is vital.”

Failing to address the possibility that if they had perhaps actually fasted, yesterday's Supreme Court decision might have gone their way, a letter to supporters released at the end of the “fast” read:

“Thank you for participating in these 40 HOLY days of prayer and fasting as we have opened the pages of our Marriage Covenant and travelled through the three stage ritual of a traditional Wedding Ceremony in our journey to a more perfect union with the Lord Jesus Christ.

“May you, your family, and your ministry be strengthened and encouraged as you continue to walk in all the ways of holiness, and as you open the hearts of others to the knowledge of the Lord’s extraordinary grace and love.”

Watch Family Foundation's apocalyptic video announcing the fake fast, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Christian Group Ends Fake 'Fast' Against Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO" »


WATCH: Gay Couples Tie the Knot in Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, Utah, and Wisconsin

Virginia

Huge day for equality as gay couples in Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Wisconsin have finally secured the freedom to marry after the Supreme Court refused to review seven gay marriage cases before it this morning.

The court's decision has also paved the way for marriage equality to begin in Colorado, Kansas, West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Wyoming in the near future. 

Tons of footage and pictures are streaming in from couples who are taking part in this historic day. Check out our rolling coverage AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

(photo via Instagram)

Continue reading "WATCH: Gay Couples Tie the Knot in Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, Utah, and Wisconsin" »


Virginia AG Mark Herring Says Gay Marriage Will Begin in the State 'Later Today'

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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has announced via Twitter that same-sex couples in the state should be able to begin obtaining marriage licenses "later today" following the Supreme Court's denial of all seven gay marriage cases earlier this morning

In January, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced he would not be defending the state's discriminatory ban in court. 


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