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July 31, 2014

Justices rule that registry does not violate the state's ban on gay marriage

Same-sex couples still can't get married in Wisconsin but they can continue to register to have some of the rights heterosexual married couples automatically have.

The state's supreme court ruled Thursday (31 July) that a 2009 that established a registry for same-sex couples in 2009 does not violate the state's ban on gay marriage.

The registry grants same-sex couples such things as insurance benefits under their partner's plan, the right to inherit assets upon the death of their partner as well as hospital visitation and medical leave to care for their partner.

June 29, 2014

To opt-out of marriage, the couple must legally end their partnership

Many same-sex couples in Washington, who are already in state registered domestic partnerships, will be recognized by the state as being married from Monday, whether they want to or not.

The automatic trigger was part of the 2012 state law legalizing same-sex marriages. A provision of that law converts all same-sex domestic partnerships – in which at least one partner is under 62 years old – to marriage on June 30.

May 28, 2014

The 2013 American Community Survey census is the first to count how many same-sex couples have married in America and the results will be out in September

The United States Census Bureau will know this year how many same-sex marriages there are in America as of last year as it recorded same-sex couples’ marital status in last year’s American Community Survey.

It is estimated that around 180,000 same-sex couples have now married in the United States but it was not possible for the Census Bureau to record them until the Supreme Court of the United States struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act in March last year which prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

April 26, 2014

'Our senior citizens and veterans should not have to pay more taxes just because they happen to be gay or lesbian'

Alaska's Supreme Court ruled the state discriminates against same-sex families by not allowing access  to property tax exemptions reserved for senior citizens and disabled veterans.

The legal rights group American Civil Liberties Union announced the court's decision on 25 April.

March 14, 2014

Trio join more than 50 existing lawsuits across the US seeking to overturn same-sex marriage bans

The fight in the courts to win marriage equality across the US ratcheted up Thursday (13 March) with lawsuits filed in Arizona, Florida and Indiana.

The lawsuits, two filed by Lambda Legal and one filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, join the more than 50 currently working their way through the legal system in various states.

In Arizona, a federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of seven couples and the surviving spouses of two additional couples challenging the state's gay marriage ban.

February 12, 2014

Kansas state Republicans are moving to pass a law allowing any business or government employee to legally discriminate against same-sex couples so long as it's for religious reasons

Under a law being passed by Kansas state Republicans it will soon be legal for any business or government employee to legally discriminate on religious grounds against same-sex couples.

An initial vote on House Bill 2453 passed in the state House of Representatives in a vote of 72 to 42 and if it passes another vote on Wednesday will then go to the Republican controlled state Senate.

Under the bill hotels, restaurants and stores can legally refuse to serve gay couples if ‘it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.’

February 8, 2014

Under new directive, federal lawyers will assume same-sex couples have the same rights like opposite-sex couples, including the right not to testify against a spouse

Early next week, the US Justice Department will announce plans to extend more federal protections to same-sex married couples, even those living in states where gay marriage is not recognized.

In a speech that will be given tonight (8 February) at a Human Rights Campaign gala in New York City, Attorney General Eric Holder will report government lawyers will, in federal courts, treat same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples the same.

October 11, 2013

Governor Jerry Brown signs bill into law also applies to unmarried couples

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed in to law a bill that will give same-sex couples equal access to insurance coverage for fertility treatments as heterosexual couples.

The law also applies to unmarried people and makes clear a non-discrimination provision of existing California law. The law requires health health plans to cover fertility treatments but does not cover in vitro fertilization.

October 8, 2013

Lawsuit alleges gays were considered too expensive to insure

Just last month, a Home Depot store in Salt Lake City got all kinds of attention when a video of a man proposing to his boyfriend in the lumber section amid a flash mob went viral.

Now the world's larget home improvement retailer is getting attention of a different sort.

A former employee is suing the company for $100,000 alleging he was fired from his job at a San Diego, California, store because he is gay.

September 19, 2013

Democrat senator Tammy Baldwin and Republican senator Susan Collins are pushing the US federal government to catch up with Fortune 500 companies by offering benefits to domestic partners of federal employees

Domestic partners of same-sex federal employees may soon be able to access partner rights.

Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin, who made history in November 2012 after becoming the first openly gay person in the US Senate, has teamed up with Maine senator Susan Collins to re-introduce the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2013 (DPBO).

September 5, 2013

Gay rights campaigners and religious organizations will be making their voices heard at the Scottish Parliamentary Committee

Same-sex marriage is ‘in sight’ for Scotland as the parliamentary committee hears evidence today (5 September).

Several LGBT rights groups and religious organizations will be making their voices heard in the first hearing of oral evidence at the bill’s parliamentary committee stage.

A second panel will happen on 12 September.

August 28, 2013

Announcement made quietly via postcard to employees

Behemoth retail chain Walmart has surprised many - including its employees - by announcing this week that they will begin offering benefits to same-sex partners.

The retailer, which has 10,900 stores in 27 countries, informed its employees of the change in a low-key way. They received a postcard pointing out several changes to their benefits plan including the addition of domestic partners including those of the same sex.

July 26, 2013

Activists hope TV show, university debate and discussion at influential Bangkok Foreign Correspondents Club will move Thailand closer to legal partnerships for same-sex couples

The debate into legal recognitions of same-sex partnerships is heating-up in Thailand, with a major TV show focusing on the issue, a discussion at one of the country's oldest universities next week and at Bangkok's Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) last week.

Two programs on LGBTI issues in Thailand, including discussion of equal marriage, anti-discrimination and gender identity law, have already been recorded for mainstream TV station Channel 9 and will be shown on Friday 9 and 16 August.

July 3, 2013

A political crossfire has broken out in Costa Rica as lawmakers argue over whether or not they approved same-sex unions in a bill that passed earlier this week

Costa Rican lawmakers seem to have accidentally approved same-sex unions.

According to Costa Rican newspaper La Nación, a project labeled to ‘reinforce the quality of life in the country's youth’ also contained clauses about changing the Family Code to include same-sex unions.

The bill that 45 MPs approved last night challenges Article 242 of the Family Code, which only recognizes legal partnerships as between a man and a woman.

June 27, 2013

Governor Jan Brewer had sought to strip partners of state employees of benefits

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's efforts to strip benefits from the domestic partners of state employees was rejected by the US Supreme Court today.

The court dismissed Brewer's petition to overturn a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth District. That court had ruled that Arizona violated the constitutional rights of state employees by passing a law in 2009 which denied them domestic partner benefits.

June 8, 2013

Starting 1 September 2013, same-sex domestic partners of US troops will be eligible for some benefits

The US military has made a groundbreaking move to offer some benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian troops.

The Army and National Guard posted online this week that same-sex domestic partners (SSDO) of serving troops will receive an ID card entitling them to a number of benefits.

This move comes after former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced in February his intentions to extend benefits to same-sex partners.

April 23, 2013

Nevada state Senate repealed a ban on gay marriage and passed a marriage equality resolution during which the impassioned debate Senator Kelvin Atkinson came out as a gay man

The Nevada state Senate passed a same-sex marriage resolution, by a vote of 12-9.

The resolution passed today (23 April) repeals the state text defining marriage as between a man and a woman, replacing it with ‘the state shall recognize marriages and issue marriage licenses, regardless of gender’.

Same-sex marriage was banned in 2002 when voters passed a constitutional amendment, Nevada Question 2.

April 11, 2013

Roger Gorley: 'I was not recognized as being the husband'

Despite being in a civil union for five years, a gay man was asked to leave his partner's hospital room in Kansas City, Missouri, when one of the patient's family members objected to his presence.

Roger Gorley refused to leave so the security staff at Research Medical Center ordered him off of hospital grounds and the police were called.

April 10, 2013

New Mexico Republican Governor Susana Martinez has signed a law giving the heterosexual spouses of veterans special treatment in applying for occupational licenses and then vetoed a bill which would have given the same-sex spouses of veterans the same treatment

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has vetoed a bill that would have given all spouses of military veterans special treatment in applying for occupational licenses to work in the state directly after she signed a bill that gave that same special treatment to heterosexual spouses only.

February 26, 2013

Lawmakers in Texas introduce two bills which aim to cut funding to educational facilities which have pro LGBT policies

Texas Republican lawmakers have introduced two anti-gay bills, one which would cut funding for schools and universities that have pro LGBT policies for students, faculty, or staff, and another measure allowing discrimination based on religious beliefs.

State representative, Drew Springer filed a bill aiming to reduce a school district’s healthcare funding by 7.5 percent if they offer domestic partner benefits to anyone other than an employee or a dependent of an employee.

January 28, 2013

But domestic partnership bill manages to advance

Wyoming will not be in the running to become the 10th state in the US to legalize gay marriage.

A marriage equality bill was rejected Monday (28 January) by the Wyoming House Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee in a 5-4 vote.

Think Progress reports that testimony against the bill included threats that gays are pedophiles and that same-sex activity damages colons.

January 25, 2013

GSN compares civil partnership and marriage as the UK government publishes its gay marriage bill for England and Wales

Britain is moving towards equal marriage but gay and lesbian couples already have access to civil partnerships. So is it really the case that 'separate but equal' is not truly equal?

As Conservative equality minister Maria Miller introduces The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales today (25 January), we examine the differences and see what impact the new bill will have, if it becomes law.

October 10, 2012

'There's a world of difference between calling someone your 'partner' and calling them your 'husband'

Elton John used to say the civil unions were enough and that same-sex couples didn't really need marriage.

He doesn't feel that way anymore.

The singer and David Furnish became domestic partners on December 25, 2005, the very first day gay couples in Britain were allowed to obtain a civil partnership.

July 11, 2012

Jan Brewer is requesting the Supreme Court reverse a ruling that gave benefits, including health insurance, to same-sex partners of state employees
 

Arizona's governor wants to do away with same-sex partner benefits.

Republican lawmaker Jan Brewer filed a petition on 2 July (Monday) to the Supreme Court to reverse a September 2011 ruling that gave health benefits to same-sex partners who are state employees.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in Diaz vs Brewers that benefits could not be refused based on sexual orientation.