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Ryan_G
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Re: Looks like D.C. intends to join the fray...

I'm saddened by the vote, but I have to keep in mind that time is on our side on this issue.

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debbook
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Re: Looks like D.C. intends to join the fray...

 


Ryan_G wrote:

I'm saddened by the vote, but I have to keep in mind that time is on our side on this issue.


 

One step forward, two steps back. I feel that this issue has lost some momentum. I don't see it really being addressed by this administration in the next few years.

 

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TiggerBear
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Re: Looks like D.C. intends to join the fray...

At least it was close, I saw 52% to 48%.

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TiggerBear
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Re: Looks like D.C. intends to join the fray...

And now we begin to trail behind Latin America

 

 

 



Gay marriage in Argentina is 1st in Latin America

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Two Argentine men were joined Monday in Latin America's first same-sex marriage, traveling to the southernmost tip of the Americas to find a welcoming spot to wed.

Gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre were married in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego state, exchanging rings at civil ceremony witnessed by state and federal officials.

"My knees didn't stop shaking," said the 41-year-old Di Bello. "We are the first gay couple in Latin America to marry."

The slim, dark-haired couple previously tried to marry in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires but were thwarted by city officials citing conflicting judicial rulings. Argentina's Constitution is silent on whether marriage must be between a man and a woman, effectively leaving the matter to provincial officials.

This time around, they traveled to the southernmost city in the world, at the tip of South America, closer to Antarctica than Buenos Aires. The ceremony took place during the region's brief summer thaw.

Tierra del Fuego Gov. Fabiana Rios said in a statement that gay marriage "is an important advance in human rights and social inclusion and we are very happy that this has happened in our state."

An official representing the federal government's antidiscrimination agency, Claudio Morgado, attended the wedding, calling it "historic."

Many in Argentina and throughout Latin America remain opposed to gay marriage, particularly the Roman Catholic Church.

"The decision took me by surprise and I'm concerned," Bishop Juan Carlos, of the southern city Rio Gallegos, told the Argentine news agency DyN. He called the marriage "an attack against the survival of the human species."

Same-sex civil unions have been legalized in Uruguay, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and some states in Mexico and Brazil, but marriage generally carries more exclusive rights such as adopting children, inheriting wealth and enabling a partner to gain citizenship.

Di Bello, an executive at the Argentine Red Cross, met Freyre, 39, executive director of the Buenos Aires AIDS Foundation, at an HIV awareness conference. Both are HIV-positive.

At Monday's indoor ceremony, the grooms wore sport coats without ties, and had large red ribbons draped around their necks in solidarity with other people living with HIV.

Di Bello said the civil registry in the city of Ushuaia initially declined to authorize the marriage but went ahead after the couple received backing from the state of Tierra del Fuego.

"We filed an administrative appeal to the government of Tierra del Fuego, which finally authorized the wedding."

Legal analyst Andres Gil Dominguez said the Tierra del Fuego government appeared to base its authorization on a broad interpretation of the Argentine Constitution and obligations under international treaties.

Gov. Rios said the state's approval was based on a ruling by a Buenos Aires judge who declared two provisions of the constitution discriminatory and gave the go-ahead for the Dec. 1 marriage, which was then blocked by another judge's ruling based on civil law.

Individual provinces may not have final say over same-sex marriages for long.

A bill that would legalize gay marriage was introduced in Argentina's Congress in October but it has stalled without a vote.

Argentina's Supreme Court currently is analyzing appeals by same-sex couples whose marriages were rejected. A Supreme Court justice said on Monday that the high court would likely rule on same-sex marriage in 2010, but could defer to Congress if legislation moves forward.

Only seven countries allow gay marriages: Canada, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. U.S. states that permit same-sex marriage are Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Earlier this month, lawmakers voted to make Mexico City the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. Leftist Mayor Marcelo Ebrard was widely expected to sign the measure into law.

 


 

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dulcinea3
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Re: Looks like D.C. intends to join the fray...

[ Edited ]

I think that five states and a district beats one province and a city!

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Choisya
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Re: Looks like D.C. intends to join the fray...

Good news! They missed the UK out of the countries that allow gay marriages - since 2005. Here is a list of countries and US states as at 4 November 2009.   

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Ryan_G
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Re: Looks like D.C. intends to join the fray...

I'm excited about DC's vote as well as the marriage in Argentina.  I will say I was surprised by Mexico City but elated at the same time.  I'm just counting the years when this won't even be an issue any more, except for maybe some backwater justice of the peace in Louisiana.

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TiggerBear
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California again!

High-stakes gay marriage trial to begin in Calif.

By LISA LEFF, AP

SAN FRANCISCO — The national debate over same-sex marriage will take center stage in a California courtroom next week at a closely watched federal trial that could ultimately become the landmark case that determines whether gay Americans have a right to marry.

The case will decide a challenge to California's gay marriage ban that was approved by voters in 2008, and the ruling will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. How the high court rules in the case could set the precedent for whether gay marriage becomes legal nationwide.

"This could be our Brown vs. Board of Education," said former Clinton White House adviser Richard Socarides, referring to the 1954 Supreme Court decision that outlawed racial segregation in schools and other public facilities. "Certainly the plaintiffs will tell you they are hoping for a broad ruling that says that any law that treats someone differently because of sexual orientation violates the U.S. Constitution."

The case marks the first federal trial to examine if the U.S. Constitution permits bans on gay marriages, and the challenge is being bankrolled by a group of liberal Hollywood activists including director Rob Reiner and producer Bruce Cohen.

They retained two of the nation's most influential lawyers to argue the case — former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson and trial lawyer David Boies. The lawyers are best known as the rivals who represented George W. Bush and Al Gore in the "hanging chad" dispute over the 2000 presidential election in Florida, and have tapped the talent of their respective law firms in preparation for the trial and plan to take turns questioning witnesses.

Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown are defendants in the lawsuit by virtue of their prominent positions in California government, but both men opposed the ban and have refused to defend the suit in court. Schwarzenegger has taken no position on the case, while Brown filed a brief saying he agreed with the Olson-Boies team that gays have the same federal constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals.

The sponsors of the gay marriage ban, a coalition of religious and conservative groups, joined the case as defendants. Their legal team is being led by Charles Cooper, a veteran trial lawyer who worked for the Reagan-era Justice Department. Cooper is being assisted by a team of lawyers from his own firm, along with a Christian legal group based in Arizona.

Presiding over the case is U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, a Republican named to the bench in 1989 by the first President Bush. Walker, who has a reputation as an independent thinker, was randomly assigned the lawsuit, put it on a fast-track to trial and has said he thinks it raises serious civil rights claims. During a pretrial hearing in August, the judge pointedly scolded Schwarzenegger for remaining neutral "on an issue of this magnitude and importance."

Walker says the case is so important that the court has taken the rare step of allowing videotaping of the proceedings so the public can watch. The trial, scheduled to start Monday, will air on YouTube every day.

To prevail, Olson and Boies will try to prove that denying gays the right to wed serves no legitimate public purpose and that Proposition 8 was motivated by legally irrelevant religious or moral beliefs or even anti-gay bias. The ballot initiative, which passed with 52 percent of the vote, supplanted a California Supreme Court ruling that had legalized same-sex marriages.

Boies and Olson say the ban is a blatant violation of Constitutional rights to equal protection and due process.

Testimony in the trial will explore many of the most contentious political arguments surrounding the issue. Leaders of the campaign to outlaw gay marriages have been called as witnesses, along with competing academic experts who will be cross-examined on topics ranging from how having same-sex parents affects children and if gay unions undermine male-female marriages.

Cooper's team plans to argue that same-sex marriage still is a social experiment and that it is therefore prudent for states like California to take a wait-and-see approach. Their witnesses will testify that governments historically have sanctioned traditional marriage as a way to promote responsible child-rearing and that this remains a valid justification for limiting marriage to a man and a woman.

"What sets this case apart is the strategy up until now, in the last 10 or 15 years, has been by the national organizations that support same-sex marriage to attack this on a state-by-state basis," said Brian Raum, who is helping to defend Proposition 8. "The impact of those cases, obviously, was limited to their respective states. But the potential impact in this case goes beyond the state of California."

Kristin Perry, 45, is the title plaintiff in the case registered on legal dockets as Perry v. Schwarzenegger. She and her lesbian partner of 10 years, Sandra Stier, 47, got married in San Francisco in 2004 when Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Six months later, they were among the 4,000 couples who had their unions invalidated by the state Supreme Court.

Perry and Steier, who have four sons, agreed to become involved in the challenge because they believe that a judicial approach grounded in constitutional law provides the best chance of success. Still, many gay rights groups objected to the timing of the lawsuit, fearing it was too soon to mount a federal case.

"All the other experiences around this have felt so politicized and in some ways outside of my control," Perry said. "But being in a courtroom where the rules of discussion are so different from a political discussion, I am feeling like as an American I have a right to ask someone if this is fair, someone whose job it is to do this every day and can make as educated a judgment about this as maybe anyone has made."

The plaintiffs will have plenty of star power with Olson and Boies. Olson helped Bush win the presidency in 2000 after the recount battle in Florida, and later served as the president's solicitor general — the lawyer who argues the government's cases before the Supreme Court. Boies represented Gore in 2000.

"The hope of the people behind this, in recruiting Olson and Boies, was to put a bipartisan face on this issue," said Jane Schacter, a constitutional law expert at Stanford. "I do think it's striking that one of the nation's senior conservative litigators is leading the charge, and it does cause some people maybe to take a second look, to see the issue through a different prism."

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Psychee
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Re: California again!

Wow.  Sounds like it might be good viewing! 

 

Meanwhile, the NJ Senate squashed any hopes of allowing gay marriages in the state for the foreseeable future.  Proponents had hoped to get it passed before Governor Christie took over, as he had vowed to veto the bill if it passed, while the incumbent governor (Corzine)  promised to sign it into law.  But now the clock has ticked down and the cause, for now, is lost, at least in terms of getting the Senate to do something.    There are plans to take the decision to court.

 

On the positive side, there is a ruling of the state supreme court that says that gay committed partnerships should be afforded all the benefits of marriage, so the civil union laws are still very much intact.

 

 

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Portugal

Portugal parliament approves gay marriage

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TiggerBear
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California Gay Marriage is back IN

[ Edited ]

California gay marriage can resume next week-judge

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Thursday ruled that gay marriages can resume next week in California, while his landmark ruling last week that overturned a ban on same-sex matrimony is appealed.

The order to allow gay marriage will take effect at 5 p.m. PDT on Wednesday.

That will give an appeals court time to consider "in an orderly manner" whether the voter-approved ban, known as Proposition 8, should be left intact while appellate judges weigh the merits of the overall case, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled.

Both sides expect the case eventually to be appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court, giving the California legal battle national importance. The case against Prop 8 marks the first major challenge in federal court to a state law barring marriage between same-sex couples.

Gay rights advocates and civil libertarians have cast the legal battle as a fight for equal rights, while opponents, including many religious conservatives, see same-sex marriage as a threat to the traditional family.

Thirty-nine U.S. states have laws explicitly prohibiting gay marriage. Only five states -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire -- and the District of Columbia allow same-sex unions.

Thursday's ruling left neither side completely happy.

San Francisco City Hall's steps were lined with gay couples hoping for a green light from Walker to wed and their supporters.

"I think they should have lifted the stay today," said James Olivera, 58, a gay marriage supporter on the steps of San Francisco City Hall.

"God's Holy law has been trampled on by one person," responded Viktor Choban, 27, a supporter of the ban.

Walker ruled last week that Prop 8 violates due-process and equal-protection rights under the U.S. Constitution.

On Thursday he wrote that proponents of the ban had failed to show any irreparable harm that could arise from allowing gay weddings to go forward while the matter is under appeal.

"Proponents had a full opportunity to provide evidence in support of their position and nevertheless failed to present even one credible witness on the government interest in Proposition 8," he wrote.

NO SURPRISE

Walker's decision to delay his ruling doesn't come as a surprise, said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Legal Rights.

"There's both a political dimension here, and there's a human dimension," Kendell said. "Walker certainly wants to avoid any sort of stutter step when it comes to the ability of people to marry and to do so with some certainty."

A three-judge panel including two leading progressive judges is likely to decide whether to keep the ban in place for the year or more that the appeal takes. The high profile of the case may lead the panel to be cautious.

Charles Cooper, the lead trial attorney for Protectmarriage.com, a supporter of Prop 8, said he expected the appeals court to support voters behind the ban. "The decision whether to redefine the institution of marriage is for the people themselves to make, not a single district court judge, especially without appellate scrutiny," he said in a statement.

Another lawyer for Protectmarriage.com said he expected an appeal of the Thursday decision later in the day or on Friday.

(Reporting by Dan Levine, Courtney Hoffman, Jeremy Pelofsky, Alexandria Sage and Steve Gorman, writing by Peter Henderson, editing by Jackie Frank and Cynthia Osterman)

 


(humming a happy tune)

 

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Ryan_G
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Re: California Gay Marriage is back IN

I'm keeping my fingers crossed now that the New York State Assembly has approved gay marriage once again, that the Senate will follow through this time.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/15/new.york.gay.marriage/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

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Ryan_G
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Re: California Gay Marriage is back IN

I'm even more impressed by th UN today.  I'm amazed they were able to pass this.  What really amazes me is China abstaining, instead of voting no.

 

http://beta.news.yahoo.com/un-backs-gay-rights-first-time-ever-193814191.html

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chad
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Re: California Gay Marriage is back IN


Ryan_G wrote:

I'm even more impressed by th UN today.  I'm amazed they were able to pass this.  What really amazes me is China abstaining, instead of voting no.

 

http://beta.news.yahoo.com/un-backs-gay-rights-first-time-ever-193814191.html


Well, marraige is OK for some people. But my understanding also was that marraige can restrict freedoms in various ways. So, does the above photo depicting picket signs which read, "We all deserve the freedom to marry" seem a little incongruous? The other problem is that I also need to see a "single" president in the white house- although we usually feel the need to place other races,  women, maybe even people with different sexual orientations in the presidency....

 

Chad