High Court to Hear Case of Anti-Gay Protests at Funerals of U.S. Soldiers

March 8, 2010

from USA Today

The Supreme Court announced today that it will review whether the First Amendment protects the anti-gay protests held at the funerals of American soldiers.

read more

Advocacy Groups Release FAQ Guide for Maryland Same-Sex Couples Married Out of State

March 8, 2010

Today, Lambda Legal, American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality Maryland, and the American Civil Liberties Union released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guide for same-sex couples in Maryland who married out of state.

These leading advocacy groups have jointly released the following statement:

“This FAQ follows a favorable opinion by Maryland Attorney Douglas Gansler that says recognition of out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples is consistent with Maryland law, and a response by Maryland’s Governor assuring residents that they should expect state agencies to comply. This is a big step forward for Maryland and should bring greater security, protections, and peace of mind for many married couples living, working, and visiting in Maryland—though true equality will come only when same-sex couples in Maryland can marry in their home state. In the meantime, couples who married in other jurisdictions should live their lives as all married couples do and expect to receive respect in Maryland in a broad range of areas.

“This is a new and emerging area of law and this FAQ addresses just the tip of the iceberg.  This is an exciting time as State and local governments, private parties, and members of our communities assess all the ways that marriage recognition brings protections to same-sex couples in Maryland and how to implement it, but we should be aware that many answers await further developments and analysis.

”Legal conflicts may arise, but rushing into court may not be the answer, as we work to clarify all that marriage recognition brings to Maryland families.  Litigation on this issue could have widespread impact for many couples and should be considered with care.  If you are denied a service or protection to which married couples are entitled, please contact one of our organizations for assistance.”

To download the FAQ, click here.

Thousands March in Cape Town for Gay Rights in Africa

March 8, 2010

from Agence France Presse

Thousands of people took part in a raucous gay pride march Saturday in Cape Town, South Africa’s gay capital, pressing for more tolerance in Africa, one of the world’s most homophobic regions.

read more

A Test of Same-Sex Custody Rights

March 8, 2010

by David Ashenfelter | Detroit Free Press

Photo by Susan Tusa

For 19 years, Renee Harmon says, she and Tammy Davis lived as if they were married.

The two women had joint bank accounts, owned houses and decided to raise children together. Harmon said she even cut the umbilical cords when their daughter and twin boys were born, in 1999 and 2002, after Davis was artificially inseminated.

read more

March in D.C. and Tell Congress to Pass UAFA Now!

March 8, 2010

On Sunday, March 21st, thousands will march in Washington for March for America, to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform. Please join NCLR and Immigration Equality and send a message that comprehensive reform must include LGBT families too!

Current immigration policy unfairly discriminates against LGBT binational couples by not allowing U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor foreign-born partners for immigration. We must call on Congress for the swift passage of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), proposed legislation that would provide LGBT couples with the same immigration benefits as different-sex couples.

Sign up here to join us in the march and put a stop to the unnecessary and heartbreaking separation of our families. Join us on the day of the march at the World War II memorial at 11:30 a.m. Immigration Equality staffers will be on hand to distribute signs, but please feel free to bring your own and share your stories. We will then walk together to the Lincoln Memorial, where tens of thousands of other immigration advocates will kick-off the march at 1:00 p.m.

More than 36,000 same-sex couples are facing separation, or are already forced to live separately, because of discriminatory immigration policies, and nearly half of those couples are also raising young children. March in Washington and demand UAFA. Together we can make sure to put an end to LGBT discrimination in immigration policy.

In Solidarity,

Gay Couples Find One Marriage Barrier Gone, Others Still Rigid

March 8, 2010

by Michael Laris | Washington Post

Dominic Russoli retired in 2001 from an Air Force squadron that flies national leaders, and he is now a paralegal at the Justice Department. He had been in the military for 22 years, almost as long as he has been with his partner, Rolf Preisendorfer.

read more

Being Gay in Uganda: One Couple’s Story

March 8, 2010

by Glenna Gordon | Time Magazine

Pepe Julian Onziema looks great in a suit. Tall and lanky, she doesn’t slouch to hide her height and doesn’t apologize for her boyish figure. Or for anything. She’s got at least 10 suits: pinstripes, white linen, black, gray, navy and others. She buys them from a guy who runs a shop on Entebbe Road, a major Kampala thoroughfare. He knows her build, and he knows what she likes.

read more