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

March 20, 2017

Vaquero Philippine Pres.Reverses PromiseNow Opposes Gay Marriage

The Philippines will not legalize same-sex marriage anytime soon, President Rodrigo Duterte has said, reversing a campaign promise in which he pledged to support legislation to allow gay unions.

Mr. Duterte stressed that the country was Asia’s bastion of Roman Catholicism, which steadfastly opposes same-sex marriage.

He pointed to a recent issue of Time magazine that tackled gender issues, featuring a transgender woman on its cover.

“That is their culture,” he said, referring to other countries where the American magazine circulates. “That’s for them. That can’t apply to us, because we are Catholics,” Mr. Duterte said in a lengthy speech on Sunday to the small Filipino community in Myanmar, where he arrived as part of a visit to bolster regional ties. He was scheduled to leave for Thailand on Monday.

A transcript of the speech was distributed to journalists in Manila on Monday.

“And there is the civil code, which states you can only marry a woman for me, and for a woman to marry a man. That’s the law in the Philippines.”

Mr. Duterte, who turns 72 next week, said he was only following what was in the books, asserting that he did not take issue with anyone’s sexuality. Two of his brothers-in-law, and some of his cousins, are gay, he said.

But he stressed: “Wherever God has placed you, stay there.” He noted that no one was empowered to “erase the great divide between a woman and a man.”

This stood in contrast to Mr. Duterte’s stance during the 2016 campaign, when he expressed support for possible legislation allowing same-sex marriage.

In a pre-election forum in January last year, Mr. Duterte endeared himself to progressives and the gay community when he was asked whether he would push for legislation to allow same-sex marriages, and he replied that he would. He said there appeared to be an “error in the Bible” when it said unions must be only between men and women.

It should have stated that marriages were for “Adam, Eve and the gays,” he said, to cheers from the crowd.

But since winning the presidency by a wide margin in May, Mr. Duterte has yet to act on that promise.

His allies in the House of Representatives, who control the votes there, have relegated a bill that seeks to protect the rights of gays and lesbians to the back burner, arguing that it was not a priority.

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The bill would have legalized same-sex civil marriage in the Philippines, where the Catholic Church wields substantial political influence.

The church successfully blocked until 2012 the passage of a family planning law that called for free contraceptives, and it is still in the forefront of efforts to stymie talk of legalizing divorce. Apart from the Vatican, the Philippines is the only nation in the world that still outlaws divorce.

Former Representative Etta Rosales filed a same-sex marriage bill in the House 18 years ago, but it has never progressed beyond first-round discussions.

Senator Risa Hontiveros sponsored a counterpart measure in the upper chamber last year. That bill has received a first reading, but it still has a long way to go before becoming a law.

The bill seeks to eliminate discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people in education, health, labor and other sectors. Senators are set to debate the proposal and amend some provisions if necessary before putting it up for a new round of voting on the floor.

Ms. Rosales, who remains an activist, charged that Mr. Duterte had a “narrowed view” of the issue.

“When people love each other, whether heterosexual or of the same sex, what is paramount is the love towards the other person’s humanity,” Ms. Rosales said. “This must be respected. Same-sex marriage, deriving from that principle, protects both parties with respect to property rights and even in caring for children both parties decide to adopt.”

She accused Mr. Duterte of being “unable to grasp truths beyond his myopic world of self-delusion.”

Mr. Duterte has had a complicated relationship with the Catholic Church, which he has assailed in vulgar terms as a “hypocritical institution.” He has openly accused its leaders of corruption and sexual exploitation.

The usually outspoken church has largely kept silent in the face of such attacks, but it has lately been forced to criticize the government amid mounting pressure to say something about Mr. Duterte’s bloody crackdown on drugs.

The church can still be a political force if it chooses. It helped topple two presidents — Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001 — over allegations of corruption. And in February, it gathered about 30,000 people in a largely peaceful protest against Mr. Duterte.

March 9, 2017

In Half Homophobic Brazil A Mayor Marries His Longtime Partner

Edward de Souza(left) was marrying his longtime male partner, Alexsandro Luciano Trindade
Pic by Gay Times

It was a 13-year courtship. But over the weekend, the mayor of the small Brazilian city of Lins finally tied the knot in front of 300 friends and family.

"It wasn't supposed to be a political act," Edgar de Souza said. "It was a ceremony for us. We waited long enough! But of course, it was also political.”

That is because Souza was marrying his longtime male partner, Alexsandro Luciano Trindade.
"It's the first time in Brazil that a mayor has starred in his own same-sex marriage!" Souza said with a laugh. “We want to give visibility to gay marriage and encourage others to take advantage of their rights."

He said he has received some hate mail, but mostly messages of support on social media.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013 after a decision by the National Council of Justice recognized marriage as a right for same-sex couples across the country. In the first three years, more than 14,000 same-sex couples were married.

Once a bastion of conservative Catholic values, Latin America has become something of a trailblazer for gay rights, with Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico City leading the charge along with Brazil.
Souza became the first openly gay mayoral candidate in Brazil during his first campaign, in 2012. He threw his hat in the ring after three successful terms in the local legislature.
“It was a dirty campaign," he said.

"My rivals said I was going to turn the town hall into a gay nightclub. They put up posters of me with my partner and said I would corrupt families," Souza said.
"But it backfired. The people of Lins rejected the homophobic attacks and I jumped 10% in the polls!
Souza won re-election last year.

January 27, 2017

Homophobia Seemed to Surge in Mexico After Peña Gay Marriage Proposal

Let me just quantify the tittle: The homophobes were always there like Trump voters were here, they just kept quiet about it…..

 Homophobia has surged in Mexico since president Enrique Pena Nieto proposed to legalise same-sex marriage in May, a gay rights group said, reporting 26 hate-fueled murders this year. Alejandro Brito, head of the Citizen Commission against Homophonic Hate Crimes, said there was a “defamation campaign” against gays.


"This can trigger a wave of violence and an increase in attacks against homosexuals. We think that it's important for the authorities to take care of this before a tragedy takes place," he said yesterday. "Homophobia has worsened this year due to the opposition to the initiative that the president has sent to Congress," Brito said at a news conference.
"We don't want an Orlando in Mexico," he said, referring the murder of 49 people by a gunman at a gay nightclub in the Florida city in June. Pena Nieto has proposed a constitutional reform that would legalise same-sex marriage nationwide after the Supreme Court ruled last year that state bans were unconstitutional.
Currently only a handful of the country's 31 states and Mexico City allow such weddings. Brito said that at least 26 people from the LGBT community were killed so far this year, with some brutal homicides perpetrated after the president's announcement.
On June 25, two lesbians were verbally attacked by a man for their sexual orientation while they were outside a store in the northern city of Monclova. The couple left but the man hit their car with his vehicle and shot one of the women in the neck, killing her, Brito said.
The Mexico Equality Movement has documented two other murders of gays after Pena Nieto's announcement. One was run over and the other one was tortured. Brito's group reported 44 homophobia-fueled murders in 2015, down from 72 in 2014. An average of 71 anti-LGBT murders have taken place every year in the past decade.
But Brito said the figure is likely much higher as the statistics are only based on news reports.
"For each case reported in the press, there are at least two others that are not reported," he said. Pena Nieto’s initiative has been opposed by Mexico's Roman Catholic Church and members of conservative parties. The leftist Democratic Revolution Party and LGBT rights groups filed complaints in the interior ministry and the government’s anti-discrimination agency against bishops and a cardinal, accusing them of violating the constitution for their public stance against same-sex marriage.
What’s missing from Mexico vis a vis United States gay marriage is education. What should have happened would have been for both public and private sectors to explain why should there be gay marriage. Who are the gay people? In United States there was a campaign before and after there was gay marriage showing the population that gays were in everyone’s family. Either in the past or in the present and if not, there are still gays we interact every day from friends and co workers that don’t talk about it and we don’t know their sexual orientation.
In United States we started the fight of going from state to state but realized some states were too far behind in recognizing gays as comparable human beings and it was the same states that had problems with the right to vote, inter-race marriage and even the end of slavery.
We realized we needed the same power that made all of those things I just mentioned happen and that was the power of the Supreme Court.
I don’t know the constitution of Mexico but if it proclaims that all citizens are to be treated equally then the highest courts there is the way to go.

Companies and Education:

The private sector also played a big role in education in the US. Many of those companies are also in Mexico. McDonalds, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, etc., can also make the effort there to educate and have equal hiring and opportunities for all and let the public know.

It was great that President Peña went for gay marriage and the timing seemed right since the Supreme Court in the US had made the decision but it seemed like there was a vacuum in education and for backing from organization the public respected. Yes,  the Catholic Church coming down hard against it is not helping but they also did in the US.

You have to teach people and find out why they oppose gay marriage and gay rights.
If its religious then you have to point out many things people do daily that does not square with the scriptures. If it’s sex, well that is private.  Is it the way we dress? Not everybody dresses the same way and the people they probably think are gay is because they are perceive to be effeminate in some way.
Then show them the figures in sports globally and in companies such as Apple, Mozilla,Pay Pal and others were their CEO’s are gay and nobody would know if they were not out to the public.

When you have organized opposition like the church and then you have new groups with Putin-Russian scare tactics you need to counter them and bring the truth out and the lie exposed to the light of that truth. This thing that kids cannot be told about gays like if kids were stupid needs to go besides it needs to be pointed out that gays are not made but born. There are gay kids and they should feel that there are other solutions for them besides suicide and getting married to go in the down-low.

I hope that the gay community there learn from us and other nations how they have done it. In  all cases education is key.
You are not going to have everyone accept you but at least the misinformed and uneducated can be brought to your around and for the hard core homophobic which many times are gay themselves or afraid of being gay, for those only time is the answer.
Adam Gonzalez

June 11, 2016

Scottish Episcopal’s Church Goes for Gay Marriage



The synod vote received support from five of seven bishops, 69% of the clergy and 80% of the laity - indicating that it has a good chance of succeeding when it returns next year.
If passed it would means Scottish Episcopal's would become the first major church in the UK to marry gay and lesbian couples in church.

This level of action is not happening within the Church of England, which will not conduct gay marriages, or allow clergy to be in a same-sex marriage.
The Scottish move could intensify the split within the wider Anglican Communion of 85 million Christians.

In January the Communion sanctioned the US Episcopal Church when it decided to allow gay marriage in church.
The church’s leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has struggled to keep the Communion together over the issue.

Lambeth Palace said the archbishop would not be commenting on the decision.
'Differing views'
Speaking after the vote, the secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, said: “The churches of the Anglican Communion are autonomous and free to make decisions about policy.

"Today's decision is only the first step in the process of changing canon law on marriage.
“I would echo what the Archbishop of Canterbury said recently in Zimbabwe on same-sex marriage: there are differing views within the Anglican Communion but the majority one is that marriage is the lifelong union of a man and woman.

"He also stressed our primates' opposition to the criminalisation of LGBTIQ people."
Same sex marriage became legal in Scotland at the end of 2014 but Scotland's main churches - the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church - opposed the move.
The legislation was designed to allow religious and belief bodies to “opt-in" if they wanted to perform same-sex marriages.

The Scottish Episcopal Church is a Christian church with an estimated 90,000 adherents in Scotland.
Its synod is being held at St Paul’s and St George's Church in Edinburgh.

The Right Reverend Dr Gregor Duncan, Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway and acting convener of the church’s Faith and Order Board, said: "The synod's decision this year is important because it represents the beginning of a formal process of canonical change.

"The church has been engaged in recent years in a series of discussions at all levels.
“The current process will enable the Church come to a formal decision on the matter."

Keith Porteous Wood, of the National Secular Society, said: "This will put huge pressure on the Anglican and the many other churches to wave through same sex religious marriage. It is just a matter of time before more do so.”

May 24, 2016

Mex.Pres.Wants Change Machista to ModernGay Marriage Friendly

Image result for mexico's President and gay marriage


Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto would have a hard time winning a popularity contest these days. After four years in office, he has slumped in the polls amid a sustained streak of corruption scandals, drug-war violence and a sputtering economy that has failed to meet global expectations.

But in recent days Peña Nieto has been making a slight comeback on one issue that was never part of his campaign platform: gay rights.

The president last week announced he will ask Congress to: 1) legalize same-sex marriage in the Constitution; 2) allow same-sex couples to adopt children; and 3) allow people to self-identify their gender on official documents. 
Say what you will about the president’s record on almost everything else, but his recent fight for gay rights in Mexico is a bold move in what many see as a machista society that’s predominantly Catholic.

The Mexican Conference of Bishops insists the Catholic Church will continue to recognize only marriages between a man and a woman. Other conservative organizations, such as the Mexican Council of the Family, have said the president’s proposals to allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children “harms” human rights.

A 2015 national opinion poll suggests Mexicans are divided on whether gay couples should have equal rights. So the president isn’t simply preaching to the choir. 
Peña Nieto is winning some points. Many Mexicans are pleasantly surprised by his unexpected championing of LGBTQ rights, and are encouraging those who normally criticize the administration to also celebrate when it does something right.

“The silence of many on Enrique Peña Nieto’s push for same-sex marriage is a pity,” popular Mexican YouTuber Chumel Torres recently tweeted out. “In Mexico victories are turned into defeats if they are achieved by those we hate.”

The president hasn’t done it alone. Mexico’s Supreme Court last year ruled it was unconstitutional for state laws to limit the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Experts say Peña Nieto’s sudden advocacy for same-sex marriage is somewhat of a “symbolic” gesture meant to accelerate the implementation of the high court’s decision.

“Technically speaking the president’s reform is not indispensable because the Supreme Court already ordered it,” said Mexican attorney Jose Antonio Caballero, who In 2010 formed part of a group of lawyers that led the charge to legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico City.

“The move is symbolic,” he told Fusion. The president is just calling for a constitutional reform that’s in accordance with what the Supreme Court has already decided.
But he insists Peña Nieto is still to be commended for framing the debate as a human-rights issue while making calls for inclusiveness in the law, including urging Congress to remove legal deninitions that state marriage is “for procreation.”

Caballero says the issue with same-sex adoptions is slightly more complicated. The president’s initiative doesn’t necessarily grant same-sex couples the right to adopt children, but states no institution can discriminate against homosexuals by excluding them from the adoption process.

But he says the president’s proposals go beyond the legal realm and are part of something bigger.

“It signals a cultural shift. He’s turning same-sex marriage into something mainstream, something that’s a non-issue.”
- Jose Antonio Caballero on EPN's initiative
Caballero predicts Peña Nieto’s advocacy will weaken the efforts of those who oppose LGBTQ rights in Mexico. But others think it won’t be that easy. Legal scholar Julio Manuel Martínez penned an article in Mexican magazine Nexos that predicts the president’s call for same-sex marriage is likely to be met with resistance in most states. “The president doesn’t have faculties to initiate laws or reforms at a local level,” he said. 

Same-sex marriage is currently allowed in Mexico City as well as the states of Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Chihuahua and Michoacán. Same-sex couples in the other 26 states might still have to file appeals if they want to marry—something that could trigger a lengthy and complicated legal battle, Martínez says.

But some states are already following Peña Nieto’s lead. State lawmakers in Morelos voted last week to legalize gay marriage.

Some analysts say the president’s commendable stance on LGBTQ rights doesn’t undo all of his administration’s mistakes on human rights issues.

“I think the president’s proposal fulfills the debt that the Mexican government had with a specific sector of the population,” Mexico-based human rights expert Corina Giacomello told Fusion. “[But] neither this nor any other measure can fix the problems of corruption, lack of change in strategy, security results, Ayotzinapa, Tlatlaya, or the general situation with prisons or drug policies, to name a few issues.” 
Some think the president should focus his efforts on other human rights issues that are far more pressing.

“Our biggest human rights problems deal with torture, forced disappearances and the lack of due process in Mexico,” says Gabriela Rodriguez, a human rights professor at ITAM, a private research university in Mexico City.
But LGBTQ activists say nobody should minimize what the president is doing.

“Peña Nieto’s proposal is a consequence of the work and the pressure the LGBTQ movement has exerted for years, and comes on the heels of what the Supreme Court has said more than once: To deny same-sex couples the right to marry is discriminatory and unconstitutional,” said Enrique Torre Molina, a campaign manager for All Out, an international LGBTQ rights group.

He adds, “Yes, Mexico is a country with many grave problems, but there’s no excuse to postpone the recognition of LGBTQ rights. There’s homophobic crimes, many families remain unprotected before the law, and there’s violence against transgender people and exclusion from the labor force. It was time for a president to sum all of these voices and legalize gay marriage nationwide.”

May 2, 2016

Columbia Approves Gay Marriage

LGBT rights activist celebrate a Constitutional Court decision to give gay couples marriage rights, outside the Justice Palace in Bogota, Colombia.Image copyrightAP
Image captionLGBT activists celebrated in Bogota earlier this month after an appeal against gay marriage was rejected
Colombia's top court has legalised same-sex marriage, making the country the fourth in Latin America to do so.
Gay couples were already allowed to form civil partnerships, but Thursday's ruling extends them the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples.
Earlier this month the constitutional court dismissed a judge's petition against equal marriage rights for heterosexual and homosexual couples.
Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have previously legalised same-sex marriage.
Argentina was the first Latin American country to take the step in July 2010

December 22, 2015

Chinese Men are Challenging the Government to Marry Their Partners


A Chinese man is challenging local officials to allow him to marry his male partner, the latest move in a series of efforts to advance gay and lesbian rights in China.

Earlier this month, Sun Wenlin, a 26-year-old living in Changsha in central China’s Hunan province, filed a complaint against the Changsha Furong District Civil Affairs Bureau. The complaint challenges a decision by local authorities to decline to register the two for marriage. In the complaint, Mr. Sun argues that the law doesn’t specifically say marriage is between a man and woman, but between a husband and wife.

“A husband and a wife can be understood in terms of both relationship and identity,” Mr. Sun told China Real Time, explaining that he doesn’t think it means only a heterosexual man and woman can get married. “In terms of relationship, two people who have no blood ties can form a family.” 

The court has yet to accept the case, Mr. Sun says. A man working at the Furong District People’s Court district in Changsha said, “We will come out with a result.” By law the court has until Dec. 23 to respond. Mr. Sun said he will appeal to the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court if the lower court doesn’t accept his case. 

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Mr. Sun’s complaint comes amid a push among China’s gay and lesbian community to gain acceptance in the country. Until 1997, homosexuality was a crime in the Middle Kingdom, and it was classified as a mental illness until 2001.

In November, the gay dating app Blued, which now has more than three million daily active users, said it is considering an initial public offering. In February, Alibaba Group Holding held a contest where 10 same-sex couples won an all-expenses paid wedding ceremony and honeymoon in California. At the time, the company said it hoped the contest would foster “respect and understanding of homosexuality.”

“We just hope that we can legally become each other’s family in our own country someday in our lifetime,” Mr. Sun said. “Our most basic desires and rights have been denied and it is very difficult to vindicate. I feel very angry.”

Mr. Sun, an editor at an Internet company, said he met his partner on instant-messaging service QQ in June 2014. He says the two came out to each other when they first met, and bonded over difficulties of being gay in China, such as coming out to family. Mr. Sun called his partner, who works as a security guard, “kind-hearted and tender.”

It isn’t clear whether Mr. Sun’s case is a first gay marriage case in China. One commenter on the official Weibo social-media account of a gay rights group said, “Someone may say this is meaningless and doomed to fail. But if there is anyone who stands out first, then there must be a second one to protect his rights.”

Mr. Sun said he remains optimistic. “If there is still no progress this year, we will continue to come to this marriage registration office on our anniversary next year,” he said. “I believe Chinese society will change because of our actions.”

Alyssa Abkowitz, Marco Huang and Chang Chen. Follow Alyssa on Twitter @AlyssaAbkowitz.

November 23, 2015

Gay Irish Crossing to the South of Ireland to get Married



The North is now the only region in the UK and Ireland not to extend civil marriage rights to same sex couples so many are now choosing to cross the Border to get married.

At Stormont last month, a motion in support of marriage equality received a slim majority in favor for the first time but the move was only symbolic as it vetoed by the DUP using a petition of concern blocking mechanism.

Following Ireland’s historic Yes vote in May the campaign for marriage equality in the North is gaining momentum and is being challenged in the courts.
Labour Senator Mairia Cahill with Labour leader Joan Burton. A party sources said “we believe we will be back in government”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish TimesTop Labour Party figures warn party could lose 20 seats

Princess Anne speaks with jockey AP McCoy after she officially opened the Princess Royal Grandstand during day one of The Open at Cheltenham raceourse, Cheltenham. Photograph: Tim Goode/PA WireMiriam Lord’s Week: Irish lads keep it cool in royal presence
Photograph: Matt KavanaghA very Panti Christmas: Rory O’Neill makes merry with family, Roses and a good film

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson speaks about his decision to step down at Stormont Castle, November 19th, 2015. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire Belfast locals give views on Peter Robinson stepping down

Despite civil marriages carried out in the south only being recognised as civil partnerships in the North, gay and lesbian couples are choosing to tie the knot over the Border anyway.
Donal Murray (32), a nurse practitioner and John Campbell (30), a hotel supervisor met more than five years ago during Belfast Pride festivities.
Their wedding is due to take place in Ballymagarvey Village, Balrath, Co Meath on July 24th next year.
The couple were to have a civil partnership, but following the Yes vote in the referendum they immediately decided to opt for civil marriage instead.
“When the referendum was a success then it just reaffirmed to both John and I that having our wedding in the south was going to be even more special and significant as we would be legally married in the south.”

Murray added that he and Campbell “firmly support equality for the LGBT community and hope that in time the North will change in line with the rest of the UK and Ireland”.
They will be joining the growing list of couples from the North to opt for a civil marriage ceremony across the Border.

Darren and Tony Day for east Belfast were among the first couples to get married last week after the Marriage Act 2015 was signed into law.
Tony (38) a publisher, originally from Lisburn and Darren (42) a musician and teacher, originally from Newtownabbey, have been been together for more than six years after meeting online.
Their wedding was held in Co Monaghan on Saturday and their marriage was legally recognized on Tuesday when a short ceremony made it official.

“We didn’t originally decide to get married in the south,” said Tony.
“Originally we planned on having a civil partnership in Belfast on Thursday but when the choice arose to wait a couple of days after our big day to actually get married we decided that was a better option.
“Purely so that when it does eventually become recognised in NI, we don’t have to upgrade from a civil partnership to a marriage.”
Civil marriage

Day’s ex-wife Sabrina was one of his “grooms maid”, their daughter India (14) did a reading at the service and son Parker (7) walked Tony and Darren down the aisle.
“It was a disappointing that literally an hour after we were married and travelled back to NI, our marriage was no longer recognized as such,” he added.

Belfast solicitor Ciarán Moynagh says couples will avail of civil marriage across the Border, despite it not being recorded as such in the North.
“The progressive movement in the south is hugely positive and really puts the focus on the North of Ireland. It shows that our position is unsustainable,” he said.

He added: “Under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 section 215 downgrades an ‘overseas relationship’ to civil partnerships. Obviously this marriage is not overseas but this provision applies as it has been formed outside the United Kingdom. We have even more difficulties when it comes to looking at Scotland. I am not sure the Government when drafting the Civil Partnership Act 2004 ever envisaged this unique issue and I have been approached by couples seeking advice on their status in the North.”
The case of a couple Ciarán Moynagh represents, challenging the conversion of a same-sex marriage in London to a civil partnership in Belfast, is ongoing before the High Court and is listed for two further days of hearing at the start of December.

John O’Doherty, director of the Belfast-based Rainbow Project, said with “equal marriage now a reality across these islands there will be an increasing number of married same sex couples living in Northern Ireland who are not recognised”.
“This further reflects the irrationality of the illogical patchwork of marriage laws across the UK and Ireland.

“The idea that a marriage can be recognised in some parts of the UK and not others has no basis in law and is directly discriminatory towards legally married couples residing in Northern Ireland.
“Unfortunately the Northern Ireland Assembly has proven itself incapable of dealing with this inequality so same sex couples have had to turn to the courts.

“We know that a majority of both people and politicians in Northern Ireland support the introduction of equal marriage so it is only a matter of time before it becomes reality.”

October 21, 2015

15K+ Since Same Sex Marriage Became Legal in England and Wales

 Ferris in London Celebrates Same Sex Marriages

  More than 15,000 same-sex marriages have taken place since it became legal in England and Wales, the first official statistics have revealed.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed a total of 15,098 couples had legally married since 2014.
Of those, 7,366 were marriages while 7,732 accounted for conversions from civil partnerships.
The number of couples opting for civil partnerships fell by 70% between 2013 and 2014 it found. 
Same-sex marriage became legal just after midnight on 29 March 2014, with several couples opting to tie the knot moments afterwards.

 Peter McGraith and David Cabreza married at 00:01 BST at Islington Town Hall having been together for 17 years.
Mr McGraith said: "I don't think things have changed for us in many ways, we were already in a long-term relationship, we already had two kids, except the visibility of gay marriage across the world starts to make a difference.
"There have always been gay men and lesbians in long-term relationships that have quite happily survived within the context of family and community, but the law caught up with the existence, and I'm hoping in other countries legislation can give people a chance."
He added: “Gay men and lesbians don’t want to be defined or constrained by notions of 'traditional' marriage, but the introduction of marriage equality around the world is a signifier of a kind of progress for sexual minorities." 
The ONS said the most popular month to get married so far had been August 2014 with 844 marriages. The summer months traditionally see more marriages than the rest of the year.
It also revealed 55% of marriages were between female couples and 45% male with the average age being 37 for women and 40 for men. 
Teresa Millward, who married Helen Brearley in Halifax on the day it became legal, said: "It was very overwhelming. Getting married was about creating a stability and having that option to have a family and I'm now no different to my brother, my neighbours or my friends."
Since their wedding the couple have become parents to a son, Hilton. 
Ms Millward, who gave birth to Hilton, said: "Helen automatically became the second parent rather than having to do anything complicated with documents and it means if anything happens to me she has the same rights as I do as a Mum and would automatically be Hilton's second parent."

 Just over half of the 15,000 weddings which have taken place have been for couples converting their civil partnerships to weddings, an option which became available in December 2014.
Couples wishing to do so must attend a register office or an approved premises to make the conversion official. 
In May the Republic of Ireland voted to legalise same-sex marriage in a referendum which saw 62% of the votes cast in favour of amending the country's constitution.
Scotland legalised the convention in December 2014 with the first gay weddings taking place on Hogmanay.
Northern Ireland is currently the only place in the UK and Ireland that has not legalized same-sex marriage, which Mr McGraith described as "really embarrassing".

October 2, 2015

In China Where there is no Gay Marriage a SubwayProposal Goes Viral


Gay marriage may not be legal in China, but one gay couple’s public proposal is going viral in the country.

A man proposed to his partner on a crowded subway car in Beijing, getting on one knee and saying, “I want everyone I know or I don’t know to witness this. I will be loving you for the rest of my life,” CNN reports.

The crowd on the subway car is supportive, and support online has been pouring in as well. The post has been shared more than 10,000 times on Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, according to CNN, and the comments have been largely positive. That support comes in spite of the fact that homosexuality was once illegal in China and was decriminalized as recently as 1997.

July 6, 2015

Catholic Spain 40yrs Dictatorship Follow 10 yrs Same sex Marriage

 Cosmopolitan Madrid, Chueca, Spain 

In the summer of 2005, the socialist Spanish government legalized gay marriage in Spain. My overwhelmingly Catholic country, with a legacy of a 40-year-old fascist dictatorship that even banned divorce, surprisingly became the third European Union member to authorize same-sex unions.Ten years and around 28,000 couples married later, a whole generation of LGBT people has grown up. We have developed our sexual and family choices in an environment where we are as free to marry as we are to eschew marriage as an old-fashioned and cheesy option.
As many in the US celebrated last week’s Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the country, I counted myself lucky to have lived with this freedom for a decade.
Here’s some of what that decade has taught us in Spain’s LGBT community, and some takeaways for our US counterparts:
Equality is a daily, unfinished fight

No sooner had same-sex unions arrived arrived in Spain, as attacks to those newly acquired rights came from various directions. The Popular Party, the Spanish conservative party, gave permission to its members not to marry gay couples, arguing conscientious objection. It also filed a claim that the law was unconstitutional, which was not resolved until 2012 when the Constitutional Court reaffirmed the law.
Today, the Spanish Roman Catholic Church keeps calling for demonstrations to defend what it calls “the traditional family” while untiringly denouncing gay marriage as a sign of a crisis in Spanish society. Its claim is that these unions should have a name that is not “marriage.”
Likewise, in the US, people and organizations in some states have already started looking for loopholes to get in the way of gay unions.
The focus should be on helping the next generations

We also soon found out that the law does not mean that younger generations are free from the homophobic behaviors and offensive comments that we grew up with.
In Spain, half of young gay people between 15 and 25 years report having suffered bullying in school (link in Spanish). And 43 percent of them have considered suicide, with 17 percent of them saying they have tried to hurt themselves. To teenagers facing discrimination, the knowledge that they can legally marry later may offer little comfort—the law makes it no easier for them to come out.
Coming out is just as tough for young LGBT Americans. According to a Pew Research report, 43 percent of LGBT people were older than 20 when they first came out to a friend or family member.
Spanish attitudes to LGBT issues have significantly changed over the decade that gay marriage has been legal. The percentage of people in Spain who support gay marriage increased seven points after the law, reaching a 75 percent in 2005.
And a 2013 Pew Research survey that asked if society should accept homosexuality found that 88 percent of Spaniards answered “yes”—compared with only 60 percent of Americans who replied the same.
It remains to be seen whether American attitudes will undergo a similar evolution. In Spain, policy clearly moved faster than societal attitudes, whereas in the US it has taken a while for the law to recognize an increasingly accepted reality.
Still, the mindsets of older people remain hard to change, on both sides of the Atlantic. Among my young Spanish friends who live openly, many are still to scared to come out to older members of their families.
Likewise, a Gallup survey found out that Americans over 65 are more likely to oppose gay marriage. And, as my colleague Meredith Bennett-Smith wrote not so long ago: That is not “a demographic that can be dismissed.”
“These are our aunts and uncles, our mentors, and our teachers,” she said. “It’s also a generation that remembers an era when homosexuality was still something best kept to oneself.”
LGBT discrimination takes many forms. In Spain, 60 percent of gay, transgender or bisexual reported to have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace. (In the US, 21 percent of LGBT adults have suffer the same.)
And some marginalized groups have fewer changes in their treatment. Undocumented immigrants, gypsies and other ethnic minorities, older gay people, and residents of rural areas are more likely to experience discrimination, to live in poverty or to suffer violence due to their sexual orientation. Lesbian women are particularly vulnerable.
“It is time to stop thinking about same-sex marriage, and to make a way for other demands and needs,” said LGBT activist Lucas Platero in a recent article, (in Spanish), adding that those “may not be the concerns of the elite LGBT groups, but those of ordinary people.”
In recent years, a faction within the Spanish LGBT activist community called Critic Pride has arisen. This group argues that the original cause has been commodified by brands that sponsor parades, and that the rights of marginalized groups have been neglected or ignored. “A pride that makes dykes and the precarious realities of trans and migrants invisible cannot represent us,” said this year’s manifiesto (in Spanish).
In the US, some are already pointing out the next issues the LGBT agenda needs to address, particularly in underserved communities: violence, employment discrimination, poverty, and access to healthcare.
So, America: Now is the time to celebrate. But get back to work as soon as you can.

Maria Sanchez Diez

June 15, 2015

While Nobody was Watching Mexico’s Supreme Court Legalized Gay Marriage

  His church turned him away, his family discouraged him from a public fight and the government of the state where he lives vowed it would never happen.
But it did. Hiram Gonzalez married his boyfriend, Severiano Chavez, last year in the northern state of Chihuahua, which, like most Mexican states, technically allows marriage only between a man and a woman.
Mr. Gonzalez and dozens of other gay couples in recent months have, however, found a powerful ally: Mexico’s Supreme Court.

In ruling after ruling, the court has said that state laws restricting marriage to heterosexuals are discriminatory. Though the decisions have been made to little public fanfare, they have had the effect of legalizing gay marriage in Mexico without enshrining it in law.
“When I heard the judge pronounce us legally married, I burst into tears,” said Mr. Gonzalez, 41, who, like nearly all gays marrying in Mexico, needed a court order enabling him to exchange vows.
As the United States awaits a landmark decision on gay marriage by the Supreme Court, the Mexican court’s rulings have added the country to a slowly growing list of Latin American nations permitting same-sex unions.

Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil already allow same-sex marriage. Chile plans to recognize same-sex civil unions this year; Ecuador approved civil unions in April; and Colombia grants same-sex couples many of the same rights extended to heterosexual married couples.
“It’s a huge change from where things were 10 years ago,” said Jason Pierceson, a professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield who studies gay marriage trends in Latin America.
The shift in Mexico, the second largest country in Latin America after Brazil, is the product of a legal strategy that advocates used to bypass state legislatures, which have shown little inclination, and often hostility, to legalizing gay marriage.

In 2009, Mexico City, a large liberal island in this socially conservative country, legalized gay marriage — a first in Latin America. There have been 5,297 same-sex weddings there since then, some of them couples coming to the city from other states.
Of the nation’s 31 states, only one other, Coahuila, near the Texas border, has legalized gay marriage. A third state, Quintana Roo, where Cancun is, has allowed gay unions since 2012, when advocates pointed out that its civil code on marriage did not stipulate that couples be one man and one woman.
In most of the rest of the country, marriage is legally defined as a union between a man and a woman — laws that may remain on the books despite the court’s decisions.
The Supreme Court upheld Mexico City’s law in 2010, adding that other states had to recognize marriages performed there.

Advocates of gay marriage saw that as an opportunity to use the court’s rulings to assert that marriage laws in other states were discriminatory.
The court — taking into account international decisions and antidiscrimination treaties that Mexico has signed — has steadily agreed, granting injunctions in individual cases permitting gay couples to marry in states where the laws forbid it.

 A major turning point occurred this month when the court expanded on its rulings to issue a decree that any state law restricting marriage to heterosexuals is discriminatory.
“As the purpose of matrimony is not procreation, there is no justified reason that the matrimonial union be heterosexual, nor that it be stated as between only a man and only a woman,” the ruling said. “Such a statement turns out to be discriminatory in its mere expression.”
The ruling, however, does not automatically strike down the state marriage laws. However, it allows gay couples who are denied marriage rights in their states to seek injunctions from district judges, who are now obligated to grant them.

“Without a doubt, gay marriage is legal everywhere,” said Estefanía Vela Barba, an associate law professor at CIDE, a university in Mexico City. “If a same-sex couple comes along and the code says marriage is between a man and a woman and for the purposes of reproduction, the court says, ‘Ignore it, marriage is for two people.’”

The Roman Catholic Church, often an influential force socially and politically in a country that is 83 percent Catholic, objected to the ruling, saying the court had flouted two millenniums of convention.
“We reiterate our conviction, based on scientific, anthropological, philosophical, social and religious reasons, that the family, cell of society, is founded on the marriage of a man and a woman,” Msgr. Eugenio Lira Rugarcía, secretary general of the Mexican bishops’ conference, said in an email on Sunday in response to the decision.
He added that the church’s position is “stated in the millennia of Western legal tradition, collected and deepened throughout our history by legislators and judges from very different schools of thought and ideologies.”

In Mr. Gonzalez’s case, the Supreme Court had already ruled that the law in Chihuahua State was unconstitutional, enabling the couple to get an injunction so that their marriage could go forward.
State officials in Chihuahua vowed to never legalize same-sex marriage, and Mr. Gonzalez said he was expelled from his local church for being gay.
He and his husband refused to go to Mexico City to get married because they believed they should have that right in the state where they pay taxes.
The principle, he said, was important.
“It is not just the legal battle, but what it involves, the emotional and physical strain of the process,” Mr. Gonzalez said. “At the end, it’s a fight for your dignity.”
Alex Ali Mendez, a lawyer and gay rights activist with Mexico Marriage Equality, took on a case involving three couples from Oaxaca State in 2012, using the Supreme Court’s arguments to challenge the law in that state.
 “We opened the door in Oaxaca, and we are now opening it in different states,” Mr. Mendez said.
Bureaucratic hurdles, and sometimes hostility, remain.
Civil registry authorities abiding by state laws can still block couples hoping to marry.

 It is up to the couples to appeal to the courts, a process that can cost $1,000 or more and take months. Although gay rights advocates are spreading the word, many couples remain unaware that they have a strong legal case to get married.
José Luis Caballero, a constitutional scholar who directs the law school at the Iberoamerican University in Mexico City, said that even though judges must now rule in favor of gay couples, full equality has yet to be reached.
“What has to happen is that the state laws have to be reformed so that couples have the same rights and they don’t have to spend time and money,” he said. “A couple with resources can get married. A couple without resources can’t.”
Victor Manuel Aguirre, 43, and Victor Fernando Urias, 38, in January faced down protesters and bureaucratic roadblocks in Baja California before, with the power of a court injunction, they became the first gay couple to marry there.
At one point, they could not get into the civil registry building because of demonstrators.
“We were both dressed in white and went back home completely defeated and humiliated and just cried our eyes out,” Mr. Aguirre said.
After news media coverage of the fracas, the mayor of Mexicali called them and said that there had been a misunderstanding and that they could marry.
“With many setbacks, love triumphed after all,” Mr. Aguirre said.

Mr. Mendez, the lawyer pressing these cases, said the next step in the legal process was compiling enough injunctions in each state to reach a threshold under which the court could formally order state legislatures to rewrite their laws.
But experts said that Mexico had already reached a watershed.
“It certainly looks like there will be more marriage equality in Mexico in the near future,” said Professor Pierceson. “We don’t know if there will be any backlash or counter protest to stop it.”

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