Showing posts with label Gay Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Marriage. Show all posts

November 14, 2019

LGBTQ Community in South Korea Fights For Marriage Equality



SEOUL, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- South Korean lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights activists filed a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea on Wednesday calling for greater same-sex rights.
A network of organizations called Gagoonet, or the Korean Network for Partnership and Marriage Rights of LGBT, submitted the mass complaint, which cites violations of numerous economic and social rights in Korea due to the lack of legal same-sex partnerships. 
The petition carried the signatures of over 1,000 LGBT individuals, same-sex couples and family members.
At a small rally outside the commission's headquarters on Wednesday morning before submitting the petition, activists held up signs reading "Happiness" and "Caring" and chanted slogans such as "Not legalizing same-sex marriage is LGBT discrimination." 
Yi Ho-rim, an organizer with Gagoonet, said the group is pushing for the Human Rights Commission, a national advocacy institution, to make a recommendation to the government to introduce legislation for same-sex marriage and partnership rights.
"What we are asking for is the protection of rights for the LGBT community," Yi said.
She added that the LGBT community is looking to raise its profile in a country that remains deeply conservative on a number of social issues. 
"In South Korea, there's still not an active conversation on same-sex marriage or LGBT policies and laws," Yi said. "One purpose of this mass petition is to facilitate a public conversation about same-sex marriage."
Same-sex marriage and other forms of legal partnership are not available in South Korea, and in the military, consensual sex between men is punishable by up to two years in prison, a policy that Amnesty International condemned earlier this year.
In June, Gagoonet conducted a survey of 380 people living with same-sex partners in Korea and found that they faced a host of difficulties, such as exclusion from low-cost housing loans targeting newlyweds and legal rights when a spouse or partner is sick or dies. 
But while legal recognition remains limited, public attitudes have been evolving over the past few years, Yi said.
"Things are changing rapidly because the LGBT community is becoming more visible and many people are coming out to their families, in public, and at the workplace," she said.
At a meeting with religious leaders last month, President Moon Jae-in spoke out against LGBT discrimination in his most pointed remarks on the subject since taking office in 2017.
"A national consensus should be the priority for same-sex marriage," Moon told Christian and Buddhist, leaders. "However, regarding the human rights of sexual minorities, they should not be socially persecuted or discriminated against."
While campaigning for president, Moon drew criticism from rights groups by saying he opposed homosexuality during a televised debate.
At the rally on Wednesday, activists shared stories from their own lives as they called for the Human Rights Commission to formally recommend marriage equality.
Kim Yong-min described his husband's care for him during a long illness.
"My husband has been by my side for a long time as a treasured person who cares for me when I am sick," Kim said. "If this kind of relationship is not a family, what kind of relationship is it?"
Kang Sun-hwa said she was "shocked and saddened" when her son, now 24, came out as gay three years ago.
"I thought my son would get old without anyone to be with him and would be lonely," she said.
She quickly grew to accept her son's sexual orientation but felt she needed to do more to help secure his future.
"I decided not just to stop at the emotional acceptance stage," said Kang, who joined the organization PFLAG Korea, which stands for Parents and Friends of LGBTQ People. "I needed to work for my son to get the rights he deserves. I realized that we need political action to protect same-sex couples."
Same-sex marriage is now allowed in 30 countries and territories around the world.
South Korean activists have looked to progress being made in Asian countries such as Japan, where more than two dozen municipalities have recognized same-sex partnerships, and particularly Taiwan, which legalized same-sex marriage in a landmark ruling in May.
So Sung-uk, a 28-year-old NGO worker who joined the rally on Wednesday, said that coming out in South Korea is still difficult for many, but he found inspiration in scenes from Taiwan.
"When I saw the first married couples in Taiwan crying tears of happiness, I was moved," he said. "I desperately want that here."

September 11, 2019

Gay Marrying Couple Received Warning Letter To Not Get Married In Their Village


.      We reported on the wedding just after it happened but what people didn't know was there was a warning letter sent to them not to get married in their village.

Ashley Jenkins, left, and Callum Hodge on their wedding day (Picture: SWNS)
Ashley Jenkins, left, and Callum Hodge on their wedding day (Picture: SWNS)
A gay couple about to get married was sent an anonymous letter warning them to have their village wedding somewhere else.
Police say they are investigating after the homophobic letter was posted in the village of Norton Malreward, Somerset, ahead of the wedding of Callum Hodge and Ashley Jenkins.
Four months before their wedding reception at Mr. Hodge’s home, his mother, Janie, a postwoman, received the letter.
The couple planned to have a reception at the family’s private barn conversion following a ceremony in nearby Bristol.
The anonymous note was dropped through the letterbox of his parents’ home in the village, which has a population of just 246 people.
Ashley Jenkins, left, and Callum Hodge had their wedding reception at Mr Hodge's family's barn conversion (Picture: SWNS)
Ashley Jenkins, left, and Callum Hodge had their wedding reception at Mr Hodge's family's barn conversion (Picture: SWNS)
The homophobic letter claimed it was the “consensus of the village” that the reception should be held elsewhere.
The author of the letter wrote that Mr Hodge “should be ashamed of himself for putting his grandparents through this”.
It said he would no longer “be welcome in heaven” and said his mother needed to lead him down a “new path”.
Mother-of-four Janie, 59, reported the letter to Avon and Somerset Police on the same day it arrived at her house.
But she didn’t tell her son about it until after his wedding in July.
“I was absolutely gobsmacked and just devastated to read it”, she said.
“It was addressed to me and said it was the consensus of the village that if the wedding was going to happen then it should do so far, far away from the village.
“I didn’t want to speak to anyone or acknowledge anyone in the village because I thought everyone was out to get us.
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“It is vile. It made me feel completely unwelcome in the village. The letter is so cruel and it made me very upset.
“I was so worried something would happen on the wedding day, like a protest or something. This person tried to ruin our day and it is so hateful.”
The sending of the letter is being treated as a potential hate crime and police are investigating.
Janie told her son about the letter a week after the “wonderful” wedding day.
The couple were married at a ceremony in Bristol (Picture: SWNS)
The couple were married at a ceremony in Bristol (Picture: SWNS)
Mr. Hodge, a dog walker, who lives with Mr. Jenkins, 27, a dressage rider, in Evenlode, Gloucestershire, said: “I found it really upsetting. I lived in that village for 29 years.
“It is evil. We are free to do whatever we want on our private land. It’s a homophobic attack.
“I feel pity for that person. Why do they feel as though they have a right to do that, to try to ruin our day? I was more angry at how it made my mum feel.
“She was made to feel completely unwelcome in the community. She felt like an outcast.
“To think that we probably have met that person makes me sad. They are pathetic and made up lies to attack us.
Mr Hodge, left, said the person who wrote the letter was "pathetic" (Picture: SWNS)
Mr. Hodge left, said the person who wrote the letter was "pathetic" (Picture: SWNS)
“But it didn’t spoil anything. We had the most amazing day and the room was filled with so much love.”
The couple married on July 13, which was also Bristol Gay Pride day.
Mr. Hodge took to Facebook to vent his frustration at the letter, which had been typed on a computer and posted through his parents’ front door.
He said: “We had an amazing day and to say we are now husband and husband means so much to us.
“It felt amazing to get married. We love each other but are like best friends too.
“After that, so many people came to the house or stopped us in the street to say it had nothing to do with them.
“The amount of support we received showed it wasn’t the village that felt like it as a whole.
“It is just some bigoted individual.”
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: “We have been advised of a letter which we were treating as a potential hate mail.”

June 14, 2019

Highest Court in Ecuador Orders Gay Marriages Be Legalized


Image result for gay marriage ecuador

              


By Kara Fox and Ana Melgar Zuniga (CNN)

Ecuador's highest court has ruled to recognize same-sex marriage, marking a watershed moment for LGBTQ rights in the Catholic-majority country.
Judges on Quito's constitutional court ruled five-to-four on Wednesday to overhaul the country's laws, arguing that its current marriage legislation was discriminatory and unconstitutional, and that same-sex couples should be allowed equal rights.
The four dissenting judges said that changes to the Ecuadorean constitution should be decided and approved by the government and not the court.
Ecuador's National Assembly will still be required to officially change the laws that define the institution of marriage. Constitutional lawyer Salim Zaidán told CNN, however, that Wednesday's verdict was binding and that same-sex couples would be able to marry as soon as the constitutional court notifies local government offices of their decision. The court has 10 days to do so. 
The case was brought to the constitutional court by two same-sex couples who had petitioned for the right to marry.
On Wednesday, LGBTQ activists and supporters outside the courthouse hailed the celebration as a victory for a movement that has long campaigned for equal marriage rights.
Same-sex marriage advocate Pamela Troya, who had been denied a license to marry her partner, Gaby Correa in 2013, told CNN she was "overwhelmed with emotion," after a six-year fight. 
"The judges decided to be on the right side of history," she said, adding that now the pair will finally be able to get married. 
Human rights activist Cristhian Paula told CNN that the decision "recognizes a historic fight for equality in which every citizen has the same rights, with the same name" and that "an institution like marriage is no longer used as an excuse to segregate and discriminate."
Since 2015, Ecuador has legally recognized same-sex unions, with legislation
providing that couples are granted the same rights afforded to married couples,
with the exception of adoption.
Ecuador's LGBTQ movements have marked some victories over the years,
 notably through a 2008 constitutional protection that prohibits discrimination
 based on sexual orientation.
In 2013, conversion therapy was outlawed in rehabilitation institutions and, in 2015,
a change to the labor law made it illegal for employers to discriminate against
workers on sexual orientation.
Still, homophobic attitudes continue to prevail in parts of the country and the region.
Only a handful of countries in South America have legalized same-sex marriage,
 including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay, according to the
  International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

    May 20, 2019

    China Wants Credit For Gay Marriage in Taiwan!



                                            Image result for taiwan lgbt marriage



    By Steven Jiang, CNN

    Beijing (CNN)Taiwan has lashed out at China's state media for attempting to take credit for the island's historic decision to legalize same-sex marriage.
    On Friday, Taiwan's legislators passed a bill making same-sex marriage a reality, the first place in Asia to give LGBT couples many of the same rights as their heterosexual peers.
    LGBT activists were overjoyed at the news, but some of the most unlikely praise came from the Chinese Communist Party's mouthpiece.
    "Local lawmakers in Taiwan, China, have legalized same-sex marriage in a first for Asia," tweeted the People's Daily newspaper on Friday, along with a rainbow color-infused animated image that says "love is love" underneath.
    "Wrong!" Joseph Wu, Taiwan's foreign minister, shot back on his department's official Twitter account Sunday. "The bill was passed by our national parliament and will be signed by the president soon. Democratic Taiwan is a country in itself and has nothing to do with authoritarian China."
    "(People's Daily) is a commie brainwasher and it sucks."
    Taiwan and China are separated by fewer than 130 kilometers (81 miles) at their closest point. For seven decades, the two have maintained an uneasy truce following their split at the end of a bloody civil war in 1949.
    Unification is a long-term aim for China's ruling Communist Party, which regards self-governed Taiwan -- an island of 23 million people -- as a renegade province.
    The historic vote in Taiwan came almost two years after the island's Constitutional Court ruled existing laws -- which defined marriage as between a man and a woman -- to be unconstitutional.
    Despite sharply divided public opinions, Taiwan's legislators passed the law only a week before a court-set deadline to enact marriage equality laws. It will go into effect on May 24.
    As thousands of people in Taipei took to the streets to celebrate the outcome, Beijing's propaganda authorities appeared to see an opportunity to stake a claim on China's sovereignty over Taiwan and to highlight China's supposed LGBT-friendliness.
    The news from Taiwan was among trending topics Friday on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter. It has remained a widely discussed story, generating largely positive comments, despite the Chinese government's growing censorship on all LGBT-related subjects on social media.
    Global Times, a state-run tabloid known for its nationalistic rhetoric, posted a video Saturday showcasing gay social life in Beijing. The three-minute clip features interviews with local advocates as well as foreigners praising the Chinese capital's inclusive culture, complete with footage of drag queen performances.
    Homosexuality is not illegal in China and the authorities in 2001 removed it from the official list of mental disorders. But activists and experts agree that prejudices and discrimination persist, as well as periodic government crackdowns.
    Since he came to power in late 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has increasingly stressed the Communist Party's absolute control over all aspects of society, resulting in a push for more rigid moral codes and even less room for LGBT visibility and advocacy.
    In March, nearly all LGBT content was scrubbed from "Bohemian Rhapsody," the award-winning biopic of British rock band Queen, for the Chinese audience. Deleted scenes range from two men kissing to the word "gay."
    Last November, an author of same-sex erotic fiction was sent to jail for ten years. In 2016, Chinese censors banned the portrayal of "abnormal sexual behavior" in TV and online shows,including gay and lesbian relationships.
    Still, some Chinese activists want to focus on the positive impact of Taiwan's legalization of same-sex marriage may have on the mainland. 
      "It offers us a lot of hope," Xiaogang Wei, a leading LGBT rights activist who heads the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute, told CNN on Friday.
      "The Chinese government has pointed to cultural tradition as a reason for same-sex marriage being unsuitable in China. But the decision in Taiwan, which shares a cultural tradition with us, proves that Chinese culture can be open, diverse and progressive."

      January 30, 2019

      Trump Names Lawyer For Fed.Judge Who Fought At the Supreme Court Vs.Gay Marriage ⧭⧭ Should He Be Approved?




      FILE - In this June 29, 2015 photo, Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case that legalized same sex marriage nationwide, is backed by supporters of the courts ruling on same-sex marriage on the step of the Texas Capitol during a rally in Austin, Texas. The Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. It was 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry. Eleven years later, the Supreme Court has now ruled that all those gay marriage bans must fall and same-sex couples have the same right to marry under the Constitution as everyone else. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) In this June 29, 2015 photo, Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case that legalized same sex marriage nationwide, is backed by supporters of the courts ruling on same-sex marriage on the step of the Texas Capitol during a rally in Austin, Texas. The Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. It was 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry. Eleven years later, the Supreme Court has now ruled that all those gay marriage bans must fall and same-sex couples have the same right to marry under the Constitution as everyone else. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) 
      In March 2013, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, broke with his Republican colleagues and penned an op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch supporting same-sex couples' right to marry, a conclusion he reached shortly after his son came out as gay. In the article, he expressed his desire for each of his three children to have "the same opportunities to pursue happiness and fulfillment" in all aspects of their lives. So I was surprised to find out that Portman was supporting the nomination of Eric Murphy to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit even after Murphy argued against same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court.

      Barely four years ago, Mr. Murphy made a forceful argument that my marriage was unconstitutional. As the attorney tasked with defending Ohio's discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage, he used dog-whistles such as "traditional marriage" in his brief to the Supreme Court and argued that "bigotry" had nothing to do with why the state refused to recognize my lawful marriage to my late husband.

      The court rejected Murphy’s arguments and overturned that law. In a landmark opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy — for whom Murphy himself once clerked — the Supreme Court declared that “it demeans gays and lesbians for the State to lock them out of a central institution of the Nation’s society.” Gay couples “ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law,” Kennedy wrote. “The Constitution grants them that right.”

      Still, if Murphy had been successful, John and I, and tens of thousands of couples like us, would have been denied the right to marry and forced to live as second-class citizens.

      Now, Murphy seeks to be a judge who will decide cases such as mine; his renomination was sent to the Senate this week. As a federal judge, Murphy would have immense power and influence over the rights of the LGBTQ community. Judges can decide if presidents can ban transgender soldiers from serving in the military. Judges can decide if people can be fired from their job for being gay. Such decisions would affect people such as me, Senator Portman’s son, and thousands of other LGBTQ people living in the 6th Circuit states of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.
      In light of his past arguments, Murphy must show he is capable of being fair and unbiased toward the LGBTQ community.

      Now that he is no longer obligated to defend the old Ohio law, he should explicitly affirm that my Supreme Court case was correctly decided and vow that discrimination against the LGBTQ community would have no place in his courtroom. Surely there is no longer anything stopping Murphy from showing the same respect and dignity to the LGBTQ community as Kennedy and Portman have.
      Until Murphy makes such a statement, Portman and his fellow senators should oppose his nomination.

      I was fortunate enough to meet John in 1992 and knew instantly that he was the love of my life. In Portman’s own words, my late husband and I were two people “prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad.” We need senators — on both sides of the aisle — to ensure our community can live free from discrimination at work, at school and in the military. 

      Portman has already stated his desire to make sure all of his children, gay or straight, have the same opportunities. Now is the time for him to commit to making sure all of his constituents, including LGBTQ families, couples and children, can do the same. He can start by challenging Murphy, and all of President Trump's nominees, to publicly denounce LGBTQ discrimination in any form before agreeing to support their confirmations. 

      September 22, 2018

      Gay Married Couple Forced to Live Apart Thanks A Judge in The US and Inexplicably for a UK Judge





      A gay couple claims they could be forced to live in separate countries after a judge refused to recognize their marriage. Brian Page, 41, from North Carolina, United States, has failed to get an extension to his UK visa after his latest appeal to the Home Office failed. That means he will be unable to live with his husband Benjamin Page, 36, from Milton Keynes, who is unable to move to the US after receiving a ten-year ban for overstaying. 

      Brian (left) and Ben Page could be split apart (Picture: SWNS) 
      Brian (left) and Ben Page. See SWNS story SWGAY; A married gay man could be forced to leave the UK and return to the States, despite the fact that he is married to a UK citizen. Brian Page from North Carolina and Benjamin Page, 36, from Milton Keynes who married in the United States in June 2014 came to the UK to spend time with Benjamin?s mother when she became terminally ill. However, Brian has had his latest appeal to the Home Office for an extension of his visa refused on September. Subsequently, he was told that he must either leave the UK within 14 days or apply for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal, the next stage of the process.

      The couple got married in New York – three years after same-sex marriages became legal in the state. The Pages spent 18 months in the US but returned to the UK to spend time with Benjamin’s terminally ill mother, who has since died. His dad has now been diagnosed with lung cancer and they want to stay to look after him.  

      They claim the judge refused to recognize their marriage Picture: SWNS) Brian said: ‘We feel absolutely offended by this as the judge has been extremely disrespectful as it completely changes the whole angle of our marriage which is legally recognized.

       ‘The LGBTQ community has had to fight for these rights to get married and this undermines this. ‘I never thought we would be here asking for people to help us stay together. ‘We are hard-working people who haven’t ever asked for anything from anyone until now. ‘After draining all of our savings over the last four years fighting this, we don’t have the money to fight this last bit. 

       The couple was annoyed the judge apparently referred to them as a ‘civil partners’ instead of a ‘married couple’ and argued this was the reason the application for a new visa was denied. 

      Brian has been told he must either leave the UK within 14 days or apply for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. He added: ‘The judge has been very disrespectful in refusing to recognize our legal marriage and disregard our relationship. 

      ‘Clearly, my husband and I are not in a position to return to the United States due to the passing of my mother in law and now the diagnosis for lung cancer for my father in law, we would like to remain together so that I may be with my husband, my father in law and offer comfort and support, both mentally and physically at this difficult time.’ 

      The couple is now trying to raise £3,000 to cover the cost of a barrister and has spent more than £16,000 on the application so far. You can contribute to their crowdfunding here. Metro.co.uk has approached the Home Office for a comment.


      September 10, 2018

      Kavanaugh Refused To Answer Anything on Gay Marriage Which Are Not Settled Law if They Come Back to The Supreme Court



      Settled law only applies to lower courts. If a case comes back to the Supreme Court the Justices do not have to accept them as settled law but if they wish as a new issue which they can change what ever way they feel is right. 🦊Adam


      Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh declined to answer a question from Sen. Kamala Harris on marriage equality. 
      Harris pressed Kavanaugh to say whether he felt Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, was correctly decided.
      Kamala Harris Brett Kavanaugh hearing
      Drew Angerer/Getty Images
      Instead, he made note of the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, in which Colorado baker Jack Phillips won a narrow ruling in a case in which he argued his right to free speech would be violated if he were forced to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, calling it “relevant to your question.”

      “Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion…The days of discriminating against gay and lesbian Americans, or treating gay and lesbian Americans as inferior in dignity and worth, are over,” Kavanaugh said. 
      When Harris inquired if he agreed with that decision, Kavanaugh declined to answer, taking the position that it would be improper for him to comment on recent or pending cases.


      “Brett Kavanaugh’s refusal to answer very basic, very direct questions about the Supreme Court’s historic ruling bringing marriage equality nationwide is alarming and completely unacceptable,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement.
      “The Obergefell decision is settled law. If this nominee cannot so much as affirm that or the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people and our families, he should not and must not be granted a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court.”

      “I think the potential is there for him to have a dramatic negative impact,” Jim Obergefell, whose legal battle made marriage equality possible, told The Advocate
      “I’m worried that it could cause people who have been discriminated against not to pursue legal action because they might doubt the idea that they could take their case all the way to the Supreme Court and win. I worry that they will decide it’s not worth it.”
      Obergefell added that he would have been “terrified” to have his case before the Supreme Court if it included all the justices currently on the bench plus Kavanaugh. 
      Journalist based in Charlotte, North Carolina, whose work has appeared in The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing, and more.

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