Latin America Sees Its First Same-Sex Marriage

December 29, 2009

from CNN

Less than one month after a Buenos Aires court derailed the marriage of Alex Freyre and Jose Maria di Bello, the couple wed Monday at the southern tip of Argentina, making it the first same-sex marriage in Latin America.

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A Proud Way to Start the New Year

December 29, 2009

Concord Monitor editorial

About a year ago in this space we congratulated state Rep. Jim Splaine for his courage in sponsoring a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New Hampshire. His colleagues in the Legislature, we observed, might take time to come around to his point of view, but Splaine was on the right track. We encouraged him to persevere, even if the effort took years.

How amazed and happy we were to be proven wrong. Just a few months after it was filed, Splaine’s bill won the endorsement of New Hampshire legislators, and Gov. John Lynch signed it into law. This week, New Hampshire joins a small fraternity of states and countries to permit gay marriage – a powerful statement to the nation and the world that New Hampshire will no longer treat some residents as second-class citizens.

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Gay Candidates Get Support That Causes May Not

December 28, 2009

by James C. McKinley Jr. | New York Times

When an openly gay woman won the mayor’s race here this month, it was the latest in a string of victories by gay candidates across the country, a trend that seems to contradict the bans on same-sex marriage that have been passed in most states in recent years.

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Supporters Urge Rhode Island Lawmakers to Override Veto of Funeral Bill

December 28, 2009

by Steve Peoples | The Providence Journal

Mark Goldberg joins Susan Heroux, from Queer Action of Rhode Island, in submitting a petition to House Majority Leader Gordon Fox.

Mark Goldberg did not want this role.

Thrust into the spotlight because of the untimely death of his partner, he has become a legislative witness, a State House lobbyist, a reluctant activist.

The East Side man continued his unwanted mission on Smith Hill Wednesday, delivering a petition with 425 names to General Assembly leaders who have the power to end his political activism.

“This is for everyone,” he said, standing in the State House rotunda. “It’s not a gay or straight issue.”

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Archbishop of York Attacks Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

December 28, 2009

by Raphael G. Satter | Associated Press

A top Anglican cleric who was born in Uganda spoke out Thursday against a proposed law in his native country that would impose the death penalty on some gays.

Archbishop of York John Sentamu – who along with the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is one of the global fellowship’s most senior priests – condemned the anti-gay law now being considered by the East African nation’s parliament.

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East Point, Georgia Adds Protections for Gay, Transgender Workers

December 28, 2009

by April Hunt | Atlanta Journal Constitution

East Point has become just the second city in Fulton County — and one of a handful statewide — to adopt protections for its gay and transgender employees.

The local law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, approved by the City Council earlier this week, is almost an afterthought in a city that has offered same-sex domestic partner benefits for employees since 2005.

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What’s at Stake in the UC Hastings-Christian Legal Society Case

December 23, 2009

by Shannon Price Minter and Christopher F. Stoll | L.A. Times

We represent Outlaw, the UC Hastings College of the Law’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students group, in the case brought against Hastings by the Christian Legal Society (CLS). The Christian group argues that Hastings’ nondiscrimination policy violates 1st Amendment rights to the extent that it prohibits officially recognized student groups from discriminating against prospective members on the basis of religion or sexual orientation. The Times’ Dec. 16 editorial supporting CLS’ case before the U.S. Supreme Court fails to grasp the implications of what a ruling in favor of the Christian group would mean. Stating the issues clearly and accurately is all the more important because this case has enormous implications for the future of anti-discrimination laws that reach far beyond the intersection of religion and LGBT rights.

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‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’—Don’t Call Home?

December 23, 2009

by Ed Hornick | CNN

There’s a constant fear that hangs over some service members deployed to a war zone — and it’s not necessarily the threat from insurgents or roadside bombs.

One Marine serving in Afghanistan said suppressing the truth about his sexual orientation is gut-wrenching.

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Mexico City 1st in Region to Approve Gay Marriage

December 21, 2009

from the Associated Press

Mexico City lawmakers have become the first in Latin America to legalize gay marriage.

City legislators passed the bill 39-20 on Monday with five lawmakers absent.

Gay marriage is currently allowed in only seven countries and some parts of the United States.

Leftist Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard is widely expected to sign the decision into law.

The bill calls for changing the definition of marriage in the city’s civic code. Marriage is currently defined as the union of a man and a woman. The new definition will be “the free uniting of two people.”

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Obama Decision to Deny Benefits to Lesbian Employee Latest in String of Insults to LGBT Community

December 18, 2009

A statement from NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell

(San Francisco, California, December 18, 2009) — Today President Obama’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that it will not provide equal health benefits to the spouse of federal employee Karen Golinski, defying a decision by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski concluding that the benefits must be provided pursuant to the Court’s nondiscrimination policy. Karen Golinski is represented by Lambda Legal in this matter. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) issued the following statement:

A statement from NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.

“Today’s decision fails our families and the legitimate expectations of our community. It is based on an overly expansive reading of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and an unnecessarily narrow view of the law on federal employee benefits.  We call on the Obama Administration to end government-sanctioned discrimination against same-sex couples and their families and to do everything in the President’s power to ensure equal treatment under the law.

Respectfully, we say that President Obama must do more to lead on these issues.  He should instruct his administration to stop offering offensive and ludicrous arguments defending DOMA, to stop interpreting DOMA as broadly as possible to block protections that families need, and to endorse the federal Respect for Marriage Act.  The Respect for Marriage Act is federal legislation to repeal DOMA and ensure that married same-sex couples are treated equally under the law.  While NCLR supports the federal Domestic Partners and Obligations Act, only ridding the country of DOMA once and for all will end this invidious discrimination.

Today’s decision stokes the growing criticism that the Administration is not delivering on the President’s promises to this nation’s LGBT families.”


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