Watch: Marriage News Watch from AFER

Illinois Marriage Equality on “Fast Track”

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

On Top Magazine had an article quoting IL Representative Greg Harris, “We are on a fast track to passing marriage equality in the state of Illinois”

Illinois passed civil unions two years ago with a bill Harris sponsored..  As expected, the lesser designation does not grant equal rights to same sex couples.  Civil unions are “marriage lite”.  Court after court has ruled in civil rights cases that separate is not equal.

Harris feels the legislation is on the fast track because people in the state have, “ talked to their neighbors, they’ve talked to their clergy people; they’ve decided treating every couple equally in the eyes of the law is the right thing to do.”

Here’s hoping he’s right and that Illinois will be the 10th state to offer Marriage Equality!

Hickenlooper Talks Civil Unions

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper gave his longest State of the State address on Thursday, January 10th, 2013. While the speech did cover expected topics such as gun control, marijuana regulation and Medicaid, Hickenlooper did make a point to mention civil unions. This topic has not been on the forefront of recent Colorado debates given the media attention on other issues. However, Gov. Hickenlooper did take the time to urge lawmakers in Colorado to pass legislation allowing civil unions for same-sex couples.

Any mention in favor of gay rights and marriage equality in politics is favorable and we hope to see the encouraged legislation passed sooner than later.

See a clip of Denver Post reporters discussing Hickenlooper’s speech in the video below or read more about the speech from Tim Hoover’s article in the Denver Post.


Read more:Hickenlooper’s speech touches on issues from guns to civil unions – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22347649/gov-hickenlooper-calls-universal-background-checks-gun-sales#ixzz2HoMXx2eU
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What To Expect When the Supreme Court Takes up Marriage Equality

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In December, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear two cases involving marriage equality.   Oral arguments are scheduled for March, and a final decision on both cases should come early in the summer, at the end of the courts current term.  Douglas NeJaime, an associate professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles has written an OpEd for the Advocate arguing that marriage equality for all may not be in the cards, even if court decides in the favor of LGBT couples.  It’s a good read and a reminder that total equality may still be years away.

Read the article here.

National Cathedral to Perform Same Sex Weddings

The Washington National Cathedral announced on Wednesday, January 9th, that they will soon host same sex marriages. The National Cathedral, where new presidents are celebrated and national tragedies are mourned, will be among the first episcopal congregations to host gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender weddings.

The cathedral’s dean, Very Rev. Gary Hall, explained more behind the decision for the National Catedral to perform same sex weddings. “As a kind of tall-steeple, public church in the nation’s capital, by saying we’re going to bless same-sex marriages, conduct same-sex marriages, we are really trying to take the next step for marriage equality in the nation and in the culture.”

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest group for gay rights in the U.S., applauded the move and said that the cathedral’s actions sent a strong message to LGBT Episcopalians, that they are loved for just the way they are.

Gay weddings are allowed immediately but the Cathedral will most not likely see any marriages until this summer due to being booked for the next six months.

Read the full article by Brett Zongker here, on The Big Story.

National Cathedral Same Sex Marriage
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Marriage Equality Bills Introduced in Rhode Island

We are only a week into the New Year and there are already exciting developments. Two brand new marriage equality bills for Rhode Island have been introduced. Also, while the vote on same sex marriage stalled in Illinois, the bill will be presented again and may be voted on as soon as February. Marriage News Watch covers the above as well as the latest news on a Congressional bill to repeal DOMA in the video below. 2013 will be an exciting year indeed.

Fighting Homophobia in Sports

Today, the sports world is still a struggle for gays. While studies show that society’s perspective is evolving-approval of same sex marriage has gone from 11% in 1988 to 46% in 2010-there is still a perception that homosexuality and sports do not mix. In  fact, more often than not, homosexuality is ignored in sports. Yet there are a few athletes that are taking grand steps to change that.

Brendon Ayanbadejo, a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, and Matt Jarvis, a professional European soccer player, have both stepped up to advocate for gay rights and are fighting homophobia in sports.

Ayanbadejo joined Athlete Ally, a program designed to challenge homophobia in sports through athletes speaking to management, coaches, and players. Ayanbadejo stated, “Athlete Ally is about respect and ensuring people the opportunity to be themselves. There’s nothing more fundamental than that when it comes to football.”

Jarvis, a married and well known soccer player, stood up for gay rights by posing on the cover of Attitude, the best-selling gay magazine in Britain. He discussed the fear that a gay footballer would have and yet affirmed that there would be a large amount of support for anyone that did come out.

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of athletes taking a stand for equal human rights. Read more from the full article on Ayabbadejo in Outsports, Or learn more about Jarvis from The Independent, in the full article here.

athletes fighting homophobia

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Urges IL Lawmakers to Legalize Gay Marriage

Barack Obama has endorsed marriage equality in his home state of Illinois.

White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet Sunday that the president “believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect” and that, were he still a member of the Illinois state legislature, “he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally.”

Obama’s endorsement comes a month before state legislators plan on bringing a bill to the floor. Passage of the bill would make Illinois the 10th state to allow same sex marriage.

The tides have turned. Poll after poll have shown public opinion rapidly shifting in support of same sex marriage. In November, three states voted for marriage equality, Washington, Maine and Maryland.

Read the full article from the Huffington Post here.

U.S. Marine’s Proposal is First Ever Engagement of a Gay Couple at The White House

A U.S. Marine’s recent proposal to his boyfriend made history as the first ever engagement of a gay couple at the White House. U.S. Marine Corps captain Matthew Phelps proposed to his boyfriend Ben Schock when they were visiting the monument. The event was not only historical but also heartfelt when Ben said “Yes!”

Historical White House Engagement

Afterward, Phelps posted on his Facebook:

Such a special night surrounded by wonderful people in an amazing place, and the best is still yet to come with Ben Schock. Thanks for all the wonderful greetings and messages, and thanks to Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for lending us your home for the occasion! 

This wonderful engagement illustrates the progress we are making.  The repeal of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell, same-sex marriage is legal in a few states, and the President has voiced his approval of marriage equality.

There is still a ways to go but we are headed in the right direction. Read more about this great story in an article by Madeline Davies, here.

Study Shows Marriage Provides Mental Health Benefits to Gays

A recent study from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the UCLA Williams Institute suggests gay couples that are in a legal marriage show lower signs of psychological stress than unmarried LGBT couples.

“Same-sex or different-sex, there appear to be positive mental health benefits associated with legal recognition of one’s relationship,” said Wight. “Mental health benefits of extending marriage to same-sex couples might be derived from a heightened sense of social inclusion concomitant with the social institution of marriage.”

The researchers suggest further study on the health consequences of marriage equality should be conducted.

Read the full article here.

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