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marriage equality

BREAKING: You Can Now Get Gay Married in Florida


Florida Judge Rules Marriage Ban Unconstitutional |

A county circuit judge in Florida ruled against the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday.

“This court concludes that a citizen’s right to marry is a fundamental right that belongs to the individual,” wrote Judge Luis Garcia of the Monroe County Circuit.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, the decision was stayed until Tuesday, at which point same-sex couples in Monroe County can begin to obtain marriage licenses, unless a stay is requested by the state attorney general and granted by the state court of appeals or Florida Supreme Court. At this point, it is not clear whether the state will appeal the ruling, the Miami Herald reports.

Another ban bites the dust! Although this one only applies to the Florida Keys, more lawsuits are in the pipeline making Florida one step closer to full marriage equality.

Here’s a response from Equality Florida:

Said Nadine Smith, CEO, Equality Florida Institute: “This is a monumental step forward for Florida. Today’s historic ruling affirms what the majority of Florida residents already know to be true: All couples and their families deserve to be treated equally by their government.”

The case was brought by Key West residents Aaron Hunstman and William Lee Jones. They are represented by Bernadette Restivo of the law firm Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Farinas LLC.

On July 7, 2014, Judge Luis Garcia, Monroe County Circuit Court heard oral argument in the case. The couples argued that Florida’s ban on marriage equality cannot stand in light of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2013 that the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

Judge Garcia was appointed by former Governor Jeb Bush, a Republican.

Every court to consider these federal constitutional claims since last summer’s Supreme Court decision has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, including federal and state courts in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Equality Florida Institute, in partnership with several Florida organizations, will hold gatherings throughout the state today. These Decision Day gatherings will give an opportunity for all fair-minded Floridians to voice their support for the freedom to marry. Plaintiff couples, members of the legal community and local leaders plan to be at rallies as their schedules allow.

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: The Pride Center at Equality Park, 2040 North Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors 33305

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church, 13411 Shire Lane, Fort Myers 33912

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: United Church of Gainesville, 1624 NW 5th Ave, Gainesville 32603

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Blue Fish, 3551 St. Johns Ave, Jacksonville 32205

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Aqua Nightclub 711 Duval St, Key West 33040

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM 6 – 8 PM
Where: The courtyard of the LGBT Visitors Center, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach 33139

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Celebration MCC, 3400 Radio Road, Unit 107 Naples 34104

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: The Hammered Lamb, 1235 N Orange Ave, Orlando 32804


When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Marina Jack’s, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota 34236

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: King of Peace 3150 5th Ave N, St Petersburg 33713

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: TBD visit

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Unity Church of Tampa, 3302 W. Horatio St, Tampa 33609

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Casa Mar Village by Fresh Press Cafe, Mile Marker 81, Oceanside, Tavernier, FL

When: Day of Decision, 4:30 – 6 PM
Where: Palm Beach County Courthouse 205 North Dixie Highway West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Equality Florida Institute is the state’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Global LGBT Acceptance: Croatia Passes Civil Partnerships Law


With some of the bad news we see out of Russia and Uganda, it is always encouraging to see LGBT marriage equality progress in other parts of the world where it would have been unheard of even five years ago:

Their unions will be called ”life partnerships” protected by the Constitution. However, adoption rights for same-sex couples was not included in the bill.

On Tuesday, the Parliament passed the civil union law with 89 votes in favour and 16 against.

The bill was drafted along the lines of its German counterpart, with political support mostly from centre-left and liberal parties in the Coalition Government.

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic proposed the legislation saying he was determined to establish legal rights for same-sex couples.

Read more: Croatia passes civil partnerships law ·


Fox News Shrink: LGBT Rights Will Lead to Three Humans and a Dog Marriage


Following California’s lead on changing language in the marriage definition to accommodate same-sex couples, the whackos at Fox News are in a tizzy. Via The Raw Story:

Dr. Keith Ablow, the resident ‘psychiatrist ‘s Fox News and a member of the network’s Medical A-Team, asserted on Wednesday that legalized same-sex marriage would lead to bestiality.

During a Fox & Friends “Normal or Nuts” segment, host Anna Kooiman asked Ablow if it was “normal” for California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to sign a law replacing the words “husband” and “wife” with the word “spouse” in the state’s marriage definition.

“Get ready for the cards and letters,” Ablow quipped. “Nuts!”

“Here’s the thing, the state needs to get out of the marriage business because here’s what we can expect,” he continued. “There’s no way that the state of California can deny a marriage license to four spouses now, eight spouses.”

“Or, I would say, three human spouses and the canine they absolutely love because if love is the foundation of marriage, they can love their dog, too.”

Leona Helmsley left her fortune to her dogs when she died and I’m sure she would have married them if she had the chance. Let’s start with same-sex marriage and take it from there, Dr. Ablow.

Seriously, as marriage equality becomes law of the land, Fox News and other pundits will have to accept that it isn’t just about “man” and “wife” anymore.




The Latest Marriage Map



With Colorado joining the ranks as a marriage-equality state, here’s the latest status of the big picture. We are definitely getting there.

You Can Now Get Gay Married in Kentucky


Wow. Marriage equality is here to stay if Kentucky has “fallen.”

Via Freedom To Marry:

Today, July 1, 2014, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, striking down a constitutional amendment in the state that restricts marriage to different-sex couples. Previously, Judge Heyburn struck down the portion of the marriage ban in Kentucky that denies respect to same-sex couples who legally married in other states. Shortly after that ruling (in Love v. Beshear) in February 2014, two unmarried couples intervened in the case, which was retitled Love v. Beshear.

More from Kentucky’s Courier-Journal:

“In America, even sincere and long-hold religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted,” U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II wrote to invalidate Kentucky’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Heyburn in February had ruled that Kentucky must recognize gay marriages performed in other states. Heyburn upheld the right to marry today, but put his ruling on hold pending a decision by a higher court. Heyburn rejected the only justification offered by lawyers for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear — that traditional marriages contribute to a stable birth rate and the state’s long-term economic stability. “These arguments are not those of serious people,” he said. Heyburn held that the ban on gay marriage within Kentucky violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law and that there is “no conceivable legitimate purpose for it.”

The AP reports that Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said the state will appeal the decision.

Who is next?


You Can Now Get Gay Married in Indiana


From the Associated Press:

A federal judge has struck down Indiana’s ban on gay marriage, calling it unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled Wednesday that the state’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal-protection clause in a mixed ruling involving lawsuits from several gay couples. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the ruling means same-sex marriages can begin in the state. The Indiana attorney general’s office says it will appeal. Federal courts across the country have struck down gay marriage bans recently, but many of those rulings are on hold pending appeal. Attorneys on both sides of the issue expect the matter to eventually land before the U.S. Supreme Court. It also wasn’t immediately clear what impact Wednesday’s ruling might have on a faltering movement to add a gay marriage ban into the Indiana Constitution.

Congrats to Indiana for being able to partake with the rest of us.


Anti-Gays Scheme to Keep Jobs as Same-sex Marriage Acceptance Grows

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher

Jeremy Hooper at NOM Exposed has discovered that a group of anti-gay activists have created a new organization under the guise of “The Princeton Group.” The group consists of current NOM President Brian Brown, NOM Founder Maggie Gallagher, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone (he has been in the news lots lately), and other personalities who are scheming to keep their jobs as same-sex marriage acceptance grows:

On Friday, June 13, I celebrated my fifth wedding anniversay with the man to whom I have been partnered for eleven years. A few days later, my husband and I celebrated our first Father’s (or Fathers’) Day. It was a great weekend to honor our strong bond, loving family, and overall peace.

Little did we know that just about fifty miles away from our NYC home, over in Princeton, NJ, Maggie Gallagher (NOM cofounder and past president), Robert George (NOM cofounder and chairman emeritus), Brian Brown (current NOM president), John Eastman (NOM’s current board chair), and a number of other individuals who were responsible for creating NOM back then (like founding board members Luis Tellez and Chuck Stetson, for instance) and are responsible for maintaining NOM now (like Sean Fieler, a key funder, and Diego Von Stauffenberg, NOM’s current development director) were holding a secret, invite-only meeting focused on “developing and deploying an action plan to protect marriage and preserve religious liberties.” It certainly seems like some sort of secret, shadowy version of NOM (Super NOM?) is going on behind the scenes.

I have a feeling that we still have a long ways to go. This anti-gay movement is similar to fixing leaks in a dam that keeps developing new leaks – it is difficult to keep up.

Read more and see the event invite here.


San Francisco Archbishop To Speak At Silly NOM March


San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, who has riled LGBT rights groups over the years with anti-gay actions, is scheduled to speak at NOM’s ‘March for Marriage’ in Washington, D.C. next week:

According to NOM’s website, the June 19 March for Marriage lists Cordileone as a featured speaker, along with several well-known anti-gay leaders. On Tuesday the archbishop’s name and photo were briefly removed from the website, but by late Tuesday Cordileone’s photo was back on the site.

On Tuesday, June 10, 87 LGBT leaders and allies signed an open letter to the archbishop, asking that he cancel his participation in the march and rally. Signers of the letter include a who’s who of LGBT leadership: state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco); Assemblymen Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) and Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park); and Supervisors Scott Wiener and David Campos. Business leaders also signed on, including Selisse Berry, executive director of Out and Equal Workplace Advocates.

Allies include Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco’s former mayor, and Eva Paterson of the Equal Justice Society.

The letter, also signed by dozens of religious and faith leaders, makes mention of Pope Francis’s comment from last year, when he said, “If someone is gay, who searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Well, Cordileonoe is definitely judgmental. He was one of the creators of Prop 8 and once said “Only one idea of marriage can stand…if that’s going to be considered bigoted, we’re going to see our rights being taken away – as is already happening.” Pope Benedict XVI named Cordileone Archbishop of San Francisco in 2012.

Via Bay Area Reporter