Archive for the ‘Gay Marriage’ Category

Republicans have lost the war on gay marriage: Support for same-sex unions at all-time high – Salon

A new poll from Gallup shows record support for same-sex marriage. Survey results released Monday show that 64 percent of Americans are in favor of the Supreme Courts 2015 decision to legalize marriage equality up from 61 percent last year. In addition, 72 percent of respondents told Gallup that consenting relations between individuals should not be banned by law. Just 32 percent of Americans agreed with those sentiments three decades ago.

Interestingly, Gallup notes that the historic highs register across the board. Nearly half of Republicans (47 percent) are in favor of the freedom to marry, while a majority of Protestants (55 percent) support legal recognition for same-sex unions for the first time since the polling agency began tracking the issue.

These survey results are great news for the LGBT community, which has worked for decades to show that our relationships and families deserve the same rights as everyone elses. Twenty years ago, just 16 percent of Republicans believed that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. In the wake of the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, that same political party has attempted to undermine those newly won protections with legislation that contradicts the Supreme Courts decision, but Gallups findings show the GOP isnt winning back hearts and minds. Anti-LGBT conservatives are even losing their own party.

2017 has been a nonstop assault on LGBT rights across the U.S. The American Civil Liberties Union has estimated that over 200 pieces of discriminatory legislation targeting queer and trans people will be introduced at the state level this year, and a great many of those bills have gay marriage in their crosshairs. Having lost the courts, Republican legislators are trying to win the war by ensuring that same-sex unions are relegated to a second-class status.

The most obvious attempt to do so was a North Carolina bill which sought to ban marriage equality in the state. Known as the Uphold Historical Marriage Act, House Bill 780 declared the Obergefell ruling null and void in the State of North Carolina. Sponsored by Republican House Reps. Larry Pittman, Michael Speciale, and Carl Ford, the legislation stipulates that the states definition of marriage should supercede the national one. In 2012, 61 percent of N.C. voters cast a ballot in favor of a Constitutional Amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

That bill, like many such efforts, failed. It was tabled in April.

These attacks, despite their varying effectiveness, have remained consistent throughout this years legislative session. Tennessee got its own bill threatening to block same-sex marriage in the state called the Natural Marriage Defense Act but Republican legislators also introduced a bill that would prevent same-sex couples who conceive through artificial insemination from having both parties listed on the childs birth certificate. Neither of those bills have become law, but one bill did sneak through: Senate Bill 1085 requires that words like mother and father be treated with their natural and ordinary meaning.

While Texas considers a bill that would allow same-sex couples to be turned away from adoption agencies, a new law from a state thirsty for an anti-LGBT bill would allow for Kim Davis-style discrimination. Senate Bill 522, which got a thumbs up from the House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday, would allow county clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses based on their sincerely held religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

These legislatures have attempted to use same-sex unions as wedge issues to drum up support for the Republican party. By playing to what they believe their base wants and taking LGBT down a peg, it helps state representatives win their reelection races, sure to be contentious in 2018. Record numbers of people of color and women are running in next years midterms.

Although a handful of states have passed anti-LGBT laws in 2017, theres a good reason why more havent joined them: These appeals to Republican voters have fallen flat. Texas myriad attempts at discrimination which include bills targeting transgender bathroom usage and trans athletes have drummed up more opposition than they have support. The Texas Association of Business has warned that taking action against the LGBT community could lead to an $8.5 billion boycott of the state. That exact number has been questioned, but given the economic fallout after North Carolinas troubled anti-LGBT bill, the impact wouldnt be good.

Discriminating against LGBT people, especially same-sex couples, is as costly as it is unpopular. A poll from the Public Religion Research Institute released earlier this year showed that of all of the faith groups polled, only one supported the right of individuals to discriminate against LGBT married couples based on their sincerely held religious beliefs. White evangelical protestants were in favor of religiously-based refusals by a margin of 50 to 42. Over three-fifths of all respondents believed that LGBT and heterosexual couples should be treated equally.

Instead of driving a stake into the heart of the marriage equality movement, polling indicates that the intensifying GOP opposition only helps the cause. According to Gallup, the support for same-sex marriage has shot up in the past year by three points a pretty significant increase.

There will continue to be efforts to strike at LGBT peoples rights. Republicans will continue to push an agenda that makes queer and transgender people into scapegoats, whether its a Congressional bill that would allow LGBT workers to be fired or the slow rollback of federal protections under the new administration. The GOP may score a handful of victories, including the handful of anti-LGBT adoption bills enacted this year, but the surveys show that the forces of inclusion are winning.

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Republicans have lost the war on gay marriage: Support for same-sex unions at all-time high – Salon

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Constitutional Court to rule on gay marriage case Wednesday – Focus Taiwan News Channel (press release)

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Taiwan’s Council of Grand Justices is set to release its interpretation on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage on May 24.

The council will make the ruling after it received two requests for a constitutional interpretation on the issue.

One of them was filed by veteran gay rights advocate Chi Chia-wei () in 2015 after his registration of marriage with his male partner was rejected by the household registration office in Wanhua District in Taipei in 2013 and subsequent court appeals failed.

The other request was filed by the Taipei City government’s Department of Civil Affairs in 2015 after three same-sex couples filed an administrative lawsuit against the government after their marriage registrations were rejected by the department.

The Council of Grand Justices held a hearing on the issue on March 24 allowing supporters and opponents of marriage equality to debate whether Article 972 of the Civil Code, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.

Taiwan was the first Asian country to allow a constitutional interpretation on the issue.

If the judges rule that Taiwan’s current ban is constitutional, same-sex marriage will not have legal protection. If it rules that the ban is unconstitutional, then the Legislative Yuan will be forced to amend the law to legalize same-sex marriage.

Even as the case has been taken up by the Council of Grand Justices, proposed same-sex marriage legislation is also working its way through the Legislative Yuan.

(By Wang Yang-yu and Evelyn Kao) Enditem/ls

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Constitutional Court to rule on gay marriage case Wednesday – Focus Taiwan News Channel (press release)

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US state argues against federal gay marriage ban – Wisconsin Gazette

BOSTON (AP) The Massachusetts attorney general asked a judge Wednesday to strike down a federal gay marriage ban, arguing it interferes with the right of states to define marriage and have those marriages acknowledged by the federal government.

The challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act by Attorney General Martha Coakleys office was heard in federal court in Boston.

Assistant Attorney General Maura Healey argued states have historically had the right to define marriage.

She said the 1996 law could result in the denial of federal benefits to married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004.

A lawyer from the U.S. Justice Department, Christopher Hall, argued the federal government has the right to set eligibility requirements for federal benefits including requiring that those benefits only go to couples in marriages between a man and a woman.

Hall also pointed to instances where the federal government has regulated the definition of marriage in certain immigration cases.

It is the second time this month that a challenge to the federal law, also known as DOMA, has been heard in a federal court.

Earlier this month, gay rights groups launched their own challenge before the same judge, arguing the law unconstitutionally denies gay couples federal benefits available to other married couples.

An estimated 15,000 same-sex couples have been married in Massachusetts, which is one of a just a few states to legalize gay marriage.

U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro hasnt indicated when he would rule on the challenges.

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US state argues against federal gay marriage ban – Wisconsin Gazette

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Support for Gay Marriage Soars, But Americans Are Still Conflicted on Bathroom Policies – Unicorn Booty (blog)

LGBT individuals have long shared a home in a community of the misunderstood. A community built not by our respective differences, but by being part of a collective differentness.A community in part formed by a society thatpressures all things different into one separate category of abnormal, i.e., not cisgender and straight. Yet today our communities are moving towards acceptance at varying rates, according to several new Gallup polls. Can LGBT unity continue to exist as one entity, or are we bound to our individual identities?

A recent Gallup poll shows support for both same-sex marriage (64% in favor) and same-sex relationships (72% in favor) at an all-time high. Protestants, who generally rank much lower in support of gay rights than Catholics in the U.S., now hold a majority in favor of gay marriage (55%) for the first time in history. Signs also point to progress for Republicans and Independents in their growing support of gay marriage.

While America is moving in the right direction withregards to gay rights, the overall attitude toward trans rights isstill up in the air. Another recent Gallup poll shows that less than half of Americans believe individuals should be allowed to use arestroom based on their gender identity, whereas nearly 50% want to see trans men and women forced into the bathroom of the gender assigned to them at birth.

Its hard not to wonder if the widening acceptance of gay rights is causing a distance from the trans community. Has the gay community wavered in itssupport of trans rights? Sometransgender and gay individuals have come out in favor of separating the LGB from the T as a form of progress for all communities involved. They bring up the distinctdifferences between trans and gay rights, and that while both parties can remain fervent allies of one another, theres an importancethat society separate thetwo, thus separating sexuality and gender. There are also transphobesthat have begun a similar movement in the name of hate. In some sort of twisted irony, they have made claims that by needing hormones or surgery, transgender men and women are unnatural.

If theres one thing that cannot be shaken, its the history the LGBT community has endured together. Its impossible to look at the gay rights movement of the past without alsolooking at trans history. It would be like someone creating a film about the Stonewall Riots andexcluding the predominant trans presence that ignitedit.

What are your thoughts on the future of LGBT unity in America? What does this mean forthe other communities in theLGBTQQIP2SAA community? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

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Support for Gay Marriage Soars, But Americans Are Still Conflicted on Bathroom Policies – Unicorn Booty (blog)

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Texas House committee approves bill allowing county clerks to deny … – CW39

AUSTIN, Texas Many believe that the state of Texas is going out of its way to target Gay people.

The recent approval of House bill SB 522 is not helping this theory.

The bill will allow county clerks to deny marriage licenses for Gay couples if it conflicts with their religious beliefs despite the Supreme Court ruling two years ago that legalized Gay marriage.

Its something thats, these bills just going across and trying to like, this moment of payback for whats happened with the victories that are gained, Houston GLBT Caucus President Fran Watson said.

I should be allowed to marry who I want to, when I want to and not have to wait for somebody to come in and do their job, transgender resident Lou Weaver said.

It should not be legal to discriminate against people who are a different sexual orientation than you, William Dawson said. I think its wrong and completely unfounded.

I think we should all have the freedom to love whoever we want to love, Maree Ikonomou said.

But now SB 522 may be on a fast track to the governors desk.

The Lone Star State currently leads the nation in anti-LGBTQ legislation more than any other state according to stats from the Human Rights Campaign in Washington.

Communities of difference are getting a voice, are getting progress and what happens is you want to roll back the status quo, Watson said.

Texas is once again telling its LG&B residents that they are not worthy of the same equality as their counterparts, Weaver said.

Proponents of the bills said they are all about protecting religious beliefs and public safety but the LGBT community disagrees.

I think its ridiculous, Taylor Anderson, a Gay community sympathizer, said. I think that we are regressing as a society.

We believe that all Texans should be protected, Watson remarked. All Texans should be taken care of.

One bill actually legalizes denying Gay couples adoption services.

When were talking about the foster care system, were talking about kids effecting kids using Hate against communities of difference to hurt children, Watson said.

Then, theres the states controversial Bathroom Bill that prevents transgender people from using the public bathroom of their choice.

I dont feel safe with any men being able to go into a restroom with probably younger women, Houstonian Richard North said. Especially, I got three daughters. I dont want no man to be able to go into the restroom with them.

State Representative Chris Turner, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, issued a statement about the Bathroom Bill. Its sad that Governor Abbott is allowing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to dictate his agenda by pushing a discriminatory measure that will harm the Texas economy.

Watson agreed. And so this hurts Texas.

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Texas House committee approves bill allowing county clerks to deny … – CW39

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Catholic school teen writes 127-page opus in support of gay marriage to defy his teacher – The Daily Dot

Earlier this year, students in a Missouri Catholic high schools morality course were assigned an essay in which they had to defend the churchs stance against gay sexuality. Now, one teen has earned the applause of Reddit after sharing his 127-page opus that breaks from the churchs stance and defendsthe LGBTQ community.

Reddit user averagesmurfshared his Gay Marriage Is Fabulous essay on Reddits /r/lgbt subreddit last week. He said, even though he was tasked to show and prove that the churchs position is right about gay marriage, he had previously fought with his teacher over the subject, using the churchs teachings to defend homosexuality, arguing that many church conventions against LGBTQ life are flawed or go against Biblical teachings. After his teacher forced the class to watch an anti-LGBTQ propaganda video, he decided to write his paper and presentation in defense of gay marriage.

When we were talking about gay = pedophilia, I said that there was no evidence nor science to back the claim up, but rather much to discredit such a laughable theory, the teen said on Reddit. Furthermore, I went on to say that the only people who have higher rates of pedophilia are priests who molest little boys. Her response was, Is that a fact? Or is that just something the media wants you to believe? She went on to totally deny that priests had ever molested children.

Several posters werent convinced that the paper was real, so averagesmurf proceeded to posta GIF in which hegoes through each page. The teen later uploaded his full paper onto Google Docs, which can be read online. While he claims the essay isnt perfect, hes still proud of the hard work that went into it over the course of several months.

count

He reportedly loves the last paragraph, saying that its his favorite in the entire essay.

God created you, and he made no mistakes, God created me bisexual, and he made no mistakes, and he creates some people gay, and makes no mistakes, the paper reads. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected (1 Tim. 4.4-5). Marriage is not between man and woman, marriage is between love and love. Love is not wrong, love is not a mistake, love is not an abomination, love is just love.

H/T Fusion

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Catholic school teen writes 127-page opus in support of gay marriage to defy his teacher – The Daily Dot

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Poll: 64 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage – Politico

Democrats (74 percent) and independents (71 percent) have been most accepting of legalizing same-sex marriages. | Getty

Americans support for same-sex marriage has hit a new high, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

Sixty-four percent of adults surveyed said same-sex marriages should be legal, a 3 percent increase since last year and the most support for gay marriage since Gallup began tracking the issue in 1996, when just 27 percent backed legalizing gay marriage.

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Democrats (74 percent) and independents (71 percent) have been most accepting of legalizing same-sex marriages, with support among Democrats reaching a majority in 2004, followed by a majority among independents in 2007. Forty-seven percent of Republicans support legalizing same-sex marriage, the highest ever mark from the GOP.

The Supreme Court in June 2015 legalized gay marriage nationwide in a landmark 5-4 ruling that said the Constitution bars states from denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

While some may still have objections to same-sex unions over moral or religious grounds despite the Supreme Court ruling, Americans are more accepting of same-sex relations, with 72 percent of respondents saying it should be legal.

The survey of 1,011 adults was conducted May 3-7 via landline and cellphones. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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Poll: 64 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage – Politico

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Ellen DeGeneres & Caitlyn Jenner Trapped In Gay Marriage … – Radar Online


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Ellen DeGeneres & Caitlyn Jenner Trapped In Gay Marriage …
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Caitlyn Jenner is locked in a hissy fit feud with Ellen DeGeneres over gay marriage! The two have sparred over the issue since 2015, when Caitlyn declared …

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Chris Ott: What can the gay marriage victory teach us about resistance to Trump? – Madison.com

Remember when gay marriage seemed almost unimaginable? Hold on to that, because the way we got to where we are now with equal marriage rights throughout the land can teach us something about the Trump era.

The torrent of recent threats to civil rights and civil liberties from the Trump administration and Congress have sparked strong resistance, but they have also left many of us deeply worried. Facing such unprecedented threats with so much power behind them, some people understandably wonder whether or not we really have a chance of stopping them.

We have already learned the hard way that we need to take President Trumps threats seriously, and we cant take victory for granted. But we also have reasons for hope. Those who care about equal rights have been in really difficult situations before, and the decade before the nationwide win for marriage equality provides a recent and important example.

The first legally recognized lesbian and gay marriages in the United States began on May 17, 2004, in Massachusetts. This shot-heard-round-the-world breakthrough inspired many who care about equality but it also provoked a fierce backlash.

Dozens of states actually amended their constitutions to ban marriage and even civil unions for same-sex couples. A majority of Wisconsin voters jumped on this bandwagon for a while, approving an anti-marriage amendment 59-41 percent in November 2006. For a few years, it seemed that such measures could sail to passage anywhere.

Even Massachusetts had to face down a constitutional amendment. For years, Massachusetts remained the only state to recognize the freedom to marry. If an anti-marriage amendment had passed there, the light of equal marriage equality might have gone out for a long time.

But supporters of equality refused to give up and defied the odds, mounting an intense campaign to win people over. Massachusetts lawmakers eventually saw that times had changed, and they voted overwhelmingly 151-45 against putting fundamental rights on the ballot.

That made a huge difference. With just a little more time to see how the still-new notion of same-sex marriage helped lesbian and gay couples and harmed no one, more courts ruled for equality. Then voters even began to approve pro-marriage measures at the ballot. In Wisconsin, an ACLU case overturned this states marriage ban in 2014, and the next year, our client Jim Obergefell won at the U.S. Supreme Court, striking down the remaining marriage bans all across the country.

Those who have joined the resistance to President Trumps threats find ourselves in a similar position. We cant take victory for granted, but we have the potential for a remarkable comeback.

Todays resistance has familiar element: people outraged by inequality, who just wont give up. If anything, the energy behind the resistance to President Trumps attacks on women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and others far surpasses what propelled supporters of equal marriage rights to a history-making victory.

And just as in the case of marriage, todays resistance has organizing and legal know-how drawn from other civil rights work. We have already seen massive, successful, monthly marches against President Trumps threats. And within a week of the inauguration, against a backdrop of spontaneous and heartfelt demonstrations against the Muslim travel ban, the ACLU and our allies took President Trump to court, and judges began consistently and forcefully saying no.

We have many similar fights ahead to defend fundamental rights and liberties, but we have been here before. Just as dogged work for marriage equality even and especially when things looked worst led to a comeback victory, we can work today with real hope. Todays resistance will either convince elected officials to back off from attacks and show more respect for civil rights and liberties, or it will pave the way for those who will.

Chris Ott is executive director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. He served in the early 2000s as executive director of Fair Wisconsin, and worked as communications director for the ACLU of Massachusetts from 2007-2017.

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

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Republicans have lost the war on gay marriage: Support for same-sex unions at all-time high – Salon

A new poll from Gallup shows record support for same-sex marriage. Survey results released Monday show that 64 percent of Americans are in favor of the Supreme Courts 2015 decision to legalize marriage equality up from 61 percent last year. In addition, 72 percent of respondents told Gallup that consenting relations between individuals should not be banned by law. Just 32 percent of Americans agreed with those sentiments three decades ago. Interestingly, Gallup notes that the historic highs register across the board. Nearly half of Republicans (47 percent) are in favor of the freedom to marry, while a majority of Protestants (55 percent) support legal recognition for same-sex unions for the first time since the polling agency began tracking the issue. These survey results are great news for the LGBT community, which has worked for decades to show that our relationships and families deserve the same rights as everyone elses. Twenty years ago, just 16 percent of Republicans believed that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. In the wake of the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, that same political party has attempted to undermine those newly won protections with legislation that contradicts the Supreme Courts decision, but Gallups findings show the GOP isnt winning back hearts and minds. Anti-LGBT conservatives are even losing their own party. 2017 has been a nonstop assault on LGBT rights across the U.S. The American Civil Liberties Union has estimated that over 200 pieces of discriminatory legislation targeting queer and trans people will be introduced at the state level this year, and a great many of those bills have gay marriage in their crosshairs. Having lost the courts, Republican legislators are trying to win the war by ensuring that same-sex unions are relegated to a second-class status. The most obvious attempt to do so was a North Carolina bill which sought to ban marriage equality in the state. Known as the Uphold Historical Marriage Act, House Bill 780 declared the Obergefell ruling null and void in the State of North Carolina. Sponsored by Republican House Reps. Larry Pittman, Michael Speciale, and Carl Ford, the legislation stipulates that the states definition of marriage should supercede the national one. In 2012, 61 percent of N.C. voters cast a ballot in favor of a Constitutional Amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman. That bill, like many such efforts, failed. It was tabled in April. These attacks, despite their varying effectiveness, have remained consistent throughout this years legislative session. Tennessee got its own bill threatening to block same-sex marriage in the state called the Natural Marriage Defense Act but Republican legislators also introduced a bill that would prevent same-sex couples who conceive through artificial insemination from having both parties listed on the childs birth certificate. Neither of those bills have become law, but one bill did sneak through: Senate Bill 1085 requires that words like mother and father be treated with their natural and ordinary meaning. While Texas considers a bill that would allow same-sex couples to be turned away from adoption agencies, a new law from a state thirsty for an anti-LGBT bill would allow for Kim Davis-style discrimination. Senate Bill 522, which got a thumbs up from the House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday, would allow county clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses based on their sincerely held religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. These legislatures have attempted to use same-sex unions as wedge issues to drum up support for the Republican party. By playing to what they believe their base wants and taking LGBT down a peg, it helps state representatives win their reelection races, sure to be contentious in 2018. Record numbers of people of color and women are running in next years midterms. Although a handful of states have passed anti-LGBT laws in 2017, theres a good reason why more havent joined them: These appeals to Republican voters have fallen flat. Texas myriad attempts at discrimination which include bills targeting transgender bathroom usage and trans athletes have drummed up more opposition than they have support. The Texas Association of Business has warned that taking action against the LGBT community could lead to an $8.5 billion boycott of the state. That exact number has been questioned, but given the economic fallout after North Carolinas troubled anti-LGBT bill, the impact wouldnt be good. Discriminating against LGBT people, especially same-sex couples, is as costly as it is unpopular. A poll from the Public Religion Research Institute released earlier this year showed that of all of the faith groups polled, only one supported the right of individuals to discriminate against LGBT married couples based on their sincerely held religious beliefs. White evangelical protestants were in favor of religiously-based refusals by a margin of 50 to 42. Over three-fifths of all respondents believed that LGBT and heterosexual couples should be treated equally. Instead of driving a stake into the heart of the marriage equality movement, polling indicates that the intensifying GOP opposition only helps the cause. According to Gallup, the support for same-sex marriage has shot up in the past year by three points a pretty significant increase. There will continue to be efforts to strike at LGBT peoples rights. Republicans will continue to push an agenda that makes queer and transgender people into scapegoats, whether its a Congressional bill that would allow LGBT workers to be fired or the slow rollback of federal protections under the new administration. The GOP may score a handful of victories, including the handful of anti-LGBT adoption bills enacted this year, but the surveys show that the forces of inclusion are winning.

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Constitutional Court to rule on gay marriage case Wednesday – Focus Taiwan News Channel (press release)

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Taiwan’s Council of Grand Justices is set to release its interpretation on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage on May 24. The council will make the ruling after it received two requests for a constitutional interpretation on the issue. One of them was filed by veteran gay rights advocate Chi Chia-wei () in 2015 after his registration of marriage with his male partner was rejected by the household registration office in Wanhua District in Taipei in 2013 and subsequent court appeals failed. The other request was filed by the Taipei City government’s Department of Civil Affairs in 2015 after three same-sex couples filed an administrative lawsuit against the government after their marriage registrations were rejected by the department. The Council of Grand Justices held a hearing on the issue on March 24 allowing supporters and opponents of marriage equality to debate whether Article 972 of the Civil Code, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional. Taiwan was the first Asian country to allow a constitutional interpretation on the issue. If the judges rule that Taiwan’s current ban is constitutional, same-sex marriage will not have legal protection. If it rules that the ban is unconstitutional, then the Legislative Yuan will be forced to amend the law to legalize same-sex marriage. Even as the case has been taken up by the Council of Grand Justices, proposed same-sex marriage legislation is also working its way through the Legislative Yuan. (By Wang Yang-yu and Evelyn Kao) Enditem/ls

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US state argues against federal gay marriage ban – Wisconsin Gazette

BOSTON (AP) The Massachusetts attorney general asked a judge Wednesday to strike down a federal gay marriage ban, arguing it interferes with the right of states to define marriage and have those marriages acknowledged by the federal government. The challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act by Attorney General Martha Coakleys office was heard in federal court in Boston. Assistant Attorney General Maura Healey argued states have historically had the right to define marriage. She said the 1996 law could result in the denial of federal benefits to married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004. A lawyer from the U.S. Justice Department, Christopher Hall, argued the federal government has the right to set eligibility requirements for federal benefits including requiring that those benefits only go to couples in marriages between a man and a woman. Hall also pointed to instances where the federal government has regulated the definition of marriage in certain immigration cases. It is the second time this month that a challenge to the federal law, also known as DOMA, has been heard in a federal court. Earlier this month, gay rights groups launched their own challenge before the same judge, arguing the law unconstitutionally denies gay couples federal benefits available to other married couples. An estimated 15,000 same-sex couples have been married in Massachusetts, which is one of a just a few states to legalize gay marriage. U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro hasnt indicated when he would rule on the challenges.

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Support for Gay Marriage Soars, But Americans Are Still Conflicted on Bathroom Policies – Unicorn Booty (blog)

LGBT individuals have long shared a home in a community of the misunderstood. A community built not by our respective differences, but by being part of a collective differentness.A community in part formed by a society thatpressures all things different into one separate category of abnormal, i.e., not cisgender and straight. Yet today our communities are moving towards acceptance at varying rates, according to several new Gallup polls. Can LGBT unity continue to exist as one entity, or are we bound to our individual identities? A recent Gallup poll shows support for both same-sex marriage (64% in favor) and same-sex relationships (72% in favor) at an all-time high. Protestants, who generally rank much lower in support of gay rights than Catholics in the U.S., now hold a majority in favor of gay marriage (55%) for the first time in history. Signs also point to progress for Republicans and Independents in their growing support of gay marriage. While America is moving in the right direction withregards to gay rights, the overall attitude toward trans rights isstill up in the air. Another recent Gallup poll shows that less than half of Americans believe individuals should be allowed to use arestroom based on their gender identity, whereas nearly 50% want to see trans men and women forced into the bathroom of the gender assigned to them at birth. Its hard not to wonder if the widening acceptance of gay rights is causing a distance from the trans community. Has the gay community wavered in itssupport of trans rights? Sometransgender and gay individuals have come out in favor of separating the LGB from the T as a form of progress for all communities involved. They bring up the distinctdifferences between trans and gay rights, and that while both parties can remain fervent allies of one another, theres an importancethat society separate thetwo, thus separating sexuality and gender. There are also transphobesthat have begun a similar movement in the name of hate. In some sort of twisted irony, they have made claims that by needing hormones or surgery, transgender men and women are unnatural. If theres one thing that cannot be shaken, its the history the LGBT community has endured together. Its impossible to look at the gay rights movement of the past without alsolooking at trans history. It would be like someone creating a film about the Stonewall Riots andexcluding the predominant trans presence that ignitedit. What are your thoughts on the future of LGBT unity in America? What does this mean forthe other communities in theLGBTQQIP2SAA community? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

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May 19, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

Texas House committee approves bill allowing county clerks to deny … – CW39

AUSTIN, Texas Many believe that the state of Texas is going out of its way to target Gay people. The recent approval of House bill SB 522 is not helping this theory. The bill will allow county clerks to deny marriage licenses for Gay couples if it conflicts with their religious beliefs despite the Supreme Court ruling two years ago that legalized Gay marriage. Its something thats, these bills just going across and trying to like, this moment of payback for whats happened with the victories that are gained, Houston GLBT Caucus President Fran Watson said. I should be allowed to marry who I want to, when I want to and not have to wait for somebody to come in and do their job, transgender resident Lou Weaver said. It should not be legal to discriminate against people who are a different sexual orientation than you, William Dawson said. I think its wrong and completely unfounded. I think we should all have the freedom to love whoever we want to love, Maree Ikonomou said. But now SB 522 may be on a fast track to the governors desk. The Lone Star State currently leads the nation in anti-LGBTQ legislation more than any other state according to stats from the Human Rights Campaign in Washington. Communities of difference are getting a voice, are getting progress and what happens is you want to roll back the status quo, Watson said. Texas is once again telling its LG&B residents that they are not worthy of the same equality as their counterparts, Weaver said. Proponents of the bills said they are all about protecting religious beliefs and public safety but the LGBT community disagrees. I think its ridiculous, Taylor Anderson, a Gay community sympathizer, said. I think that we are regressing as a society. We believe that all Texans should be protected, Watson remarked. All Texans should be taken care of. One bill actually legalizes denying Gay couples adoption services. When were talking about the foster care system, were talking about kids effecting kids using Hate against communities of difference to hurt children, Watson said. Then, theres the states controversial Bathroom Bill that prevents transgender people from using the public bathroom of their choice. I dont feel safe with any men being able to go into a restroom with probably younger women, Houstonian Richard North said. Especially, I got three daughters. I dont want no man to be able to go into the restroom with them. State Representative Chris Turner, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, issued a statement about the Bathroom Bill. Its sad that Governor Abbott is allowing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to dictate his agenda by pushing a discriminatory measure that will harm the Texas economy. Watson agreed. And so this hurts Texas.

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May 19, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

Catholic school teen writes 127-page opus in support of gay marriage to defy his teacher – The Daily Dot

Earlier this year, students in a Missouri Catholic high schools morality course were assigned an essay in which they had to defend the churchs stance against gay sexuality. Now, one teen has earned the applause of Reddit after sharing his 127-page opus that breaks from the churchs stance and defendsthe LGBTQ community. Reddit user averagesmurfshared his Gay Marriage Is Fabulous essay on Reddits /r/lgbt subreddit last week. He said, even though he was tasked to show and prove that the churchs position is right about gay marriage, he had previously fought with his teacher over the subject, using the churchs teachings to defend homosexuality, arguing that many church conventions against LGBTQ life are flawed or go against Biblical teachings. After his teacher forced the class to watch an anti-LGBTQ propaganda video, he decided to write his paper and presentation in defense of gay marriage. When we were talking about gay = pedophilia, I said that there was no evidence nor science to back the claim up, but rather much to discredit such a laughable theory, the teen said on Reddit. Furthermore, I went on to say that the only people who have higher rates of pedophilia are priests who molest little boys. Her response was, Is that a fact? Or is that just something the media wants you to believe? She went on to totally deny that priests had ever molested children. Several posters werent convinced that the paper was real, so averagesmurf proceeded to posta GIF in which hegoes through each page. The teen later uploaded his full paper onto Google Docs, which can be read online. While he claims the essay isnt perfect, hes still proud of the hard work that went into it over the course of several months. count He reportedly loves the last paragraph, saying that its his favorite in the entire essay. God created you, and he made no mistakes, God created me bisexual, and he made no mistakes, and he creates some people gay, and makes no mistakes, the paper reads. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected (1 Tim. 4.4-5). Marriage is not between man and woman, marriage is between love and love. Love is not wrong, love is not a mistake, love is not an abomination, love is just love. H/T Fusion

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May 19, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

Poll: 64 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage – Politico

Democrats (74 percent) and independents (71 percent) have been most accepting of legalizing same-sex marriages. | Getty Americans support for same-sex marriage has hit a new high, according to a Gallup poll released Monday. Sixty-four percent of adults surveyed said same-sex marriages should be legal, a 3 percent increase since last year and the most support for gay marriage since Gallup began tracking the issue in 1996, when just 27 percent backed legalizing gay marriage. Story Continued Below Democrats (74 percent) and independents (71 percent) have been most accepting of legalizing same-sex marriages, with support among Democrats reaching a majority in 2004, followed by a majority among independents in 2007. Forty-seven percent of Republicans support legalizing same-sex marriage, the highest ever mark from the GOP. The Supreme Court in June 2015 legalized gay marriage nationwide in a landmark 5-4 ruling that said the Constitution bars states from denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. While some may still have objections to same-sex unions over moral or religious grounds despite the Supreme Court ruling, Americans are more accepting of same-sex relations, with 72 percent of respondents saying it should be legal. The survey of 1,011 adults was conducted May 3-7 via landline and cellphones. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Missing out on the latest scoops? Sign up for POLITICO Playbook and get the latest news, every morning in your inbox.

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

Ellen DeGeneres & Caitlyn Jenner Trapped In Gay Marriage … – Radar Online

Radar Online Ellen DeGeneres & Caitlyn Jenner Trapped In Gay Marriage … Radar Online Caitlyn Jenner is locked in a hissy fit feud with Ellen DeGeneres over gay marriage! The two have sparred over the issue since 2015, when Caitlyn declared … and more »

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

Chris Ott: What can the gay marriage victory teach us about resistance to Trump? – Madison.com

Remember when gay marriage seemed almost unimaginable? Hold on to that, because the way we got to where we are now with equal marriage rights throughout the land can teach us something about the Trump era. The torrent of recent threats to civil rights and civil liberties from the Trump administration and Congress have sparked strong resistance, but they have also left many of us deeply worried. Facing such unprecedented threats with so much power behind them, some people understandably wonder whether or not we really have a chance of stopping them. We have already learned the hard way that we need to take President Trumps threats seriously, and we cant take victory for granted. But we also have reasons for hope. Those who care about equal rights have been in really difficult situations before, and the decade before the nationwide win for marriage equality provides a recent and important example. The first legally recognized lesbian and gay marriages in the United States began on May 17, 2004, in Massachusetts. This shot-heard-round-the-world breakthrough inspired many who care about equality but it also provoked a fierce backlash. Dozens of states actually amended their constitutions to ban marriage and even civil unions for same-sex couples. A majority of Wisconsin voters jumped on this bandwagon for a while, approving an anti-marriage amendment 59-41 percent in November 2006. For a few years, it seemed that such measures could sail to passage anywhere. Even Massachusetts had to face down a constitutional amendment. For years, Massachusetts remained the only state to recognize the freedom to marry. If an anti-marriage amendment had passed there, the light of equal marriage equality might have gone out for a long time. But supporters of equality refused to give up and defied the odds, mounting an intense campaign to win people over. Massachusetts lawmakers eventually saw that times had changed, and they voted overwhelmingly 151-45 against putting fundamental rights on the ballot. That made a huge difference. With just a little more time to see how the still-new notion of same-sex marriage helped lesbian and gay couples and harmed no one, more courts ruled for equality. Then voters even began to approve pro-marriage measures at the ballot. In Wisconsin, an ACLU case overturned this states marriage ban in 2014, and the next year, our client Jim Obergefell won at the U.S. Supreme Court, striking down the remaining marriage bans all across the country. Those who have joined the resistance to President Trumps threats find ourselves in a similar position. We cant take victory for granted, but we have the potential for a remarkable comeback. Todays resistance has familiar element: people outraged by inequality, who just wont give up. If anything, the energy behind the resistance to President Trumps attacks on women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and others far surpasses what propelled supporters of equal marriage rights to a history-making victory. And just as in the case of marriage, todays resistance has organizing and legal know-how drawn from other civil rights work. We have already seen massive, successful, monthly marches against President Trumps threats. And within a week of the inauguration, against a backdrop of spontaneous and heartfelt demonstrations against the Muslim travel ban, the ACLU and our allies took President Trump to court, and judges began consistently and forcefully saying no. We have many similar fights ahead to defend fundamental rights and liberties, but we have been here before. Just as dogged work for marriage equality even and especially when things looked worst led to a comeback victory, we can work today with real hope. Todays resistance will either convince elected officials to back off from attacks and show more respect for civil rights and liberties, or it will pave the way for those who will. Chris Ott is executive director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. He served in the early 2000s as executive director of Fair Wisconsin, and worked as communications director for the ACLU of Massachusetts from 2007-2017. Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed


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