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December 4, 2014

Catholic church launches a 16-page pastoral statement against gay marriage

The Irish church has said the legalization of gay marriage would be a 'grave injustice' in a 16-page pastoral statement it is distributing ahead of a referendum on the issue early next year.

The pamphlet, titled The Meaning of Marriage, was launched yesterday (3 December) at the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference in Maynooth, and is currently being distributed to more than 1,300 parishes across the country.

The statement said that 'to redefine the nature of marriage would be to undermine it as the fundamental building block of our society.'

December 3, 2014

'Same-sex marriage is simply not possible under this government'

Greek justice minister Haralambos Athanasiou yesterday categorically said gay marriage was impossible under the current government despite criticism from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

'This is a country that respects traditions, respects the nature of man and [gay] marriage is simply not possible, at least under this government and this ministry,' he told Mega TV.

'I will not discuss it; I will not even consider it.'

November 30, 2014

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg has allowed couples to marry for free under its roof for a day to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in South Carolina, and the couples didn’t even need to book ahead

A Unitarian Universalist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, has celebrated the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state by marrying couples for free for a day.

The church opened its doors last Sunday to couples regardless of sexuality from midday to 4pm, marrying them on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Local photographers volunteered to photograph the couples’ weddings and a local bakery donated cupcakes to serve as wedding cakes for the newly weds and their families after the ceremonies.

November 26, 2014

'I think people ought to have the freedom to choose their own life path'

Australian Senator David Leyonhjelm today (26 November) introduced his long-awaited gay marriage bill in parliament.

The straight Liberal Democrat told the upper house that he supported gay marriage 'because I think people ought to have the freedom to choose their own life path.'

'To most people, marriage equality means the right to get married irrespective of gender or sexual preference,' he said.

'But it is much more than that; it is the right to live your life as you choose and not have the government impose a particular view on you.'

November 26, 2014

Ceremony is Rio de Janeiro state's fifth such event since 2011

Rio de Janeiro married 160 LGBTI couples on Sunday (23 November) in what the state hailed as 'the largest collective same-sex civil wedding ceremony in the world.'

The event was the fifth mass gay wedding organized by state program Rio Without Homophobia and the state court, which have married a total 500 LGBTI couples.

'It is an affirmative action to call attention to all of the achievements and challenges in the area of civil and human rights of the LGBT community,' Cláudio Nascimento, coordinator of Rio Without Homophobia, told Agência Brasil.

November 24, 2014

Baja California officials then find 'inconsistencies' in the paperwork

The first gay wedding in the Mexican state of Baja California had to be postponed again after a registry official refused to perform the ceremony and then announced a bomb threat.

After a 19-month legal battle, hairstylists Victor Aguirre Espinoza, 43, and Fernando Urias Amparo, 37, were supposed to be the first gay couple to marry in the northwestern state on Friday (21 November).

The couple arrived at Mexicali city hall both dressed in white suits and defied the dozen praying Catholic protesters.

November 19, 2014

Same-sex couples can begin getting married immediately after marriage ban is struck down

Same-sex couples in Montana don't have to wait any longer to get married.

A federal judge on Wednesday (19 November) struck down the state's gay marriage ban passed by voters in the state in 2004.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris did not issue a stay on his decision which stated the ban was in violation of the 14th amendment of the constitution that guarantees equal protection.

November 10, 2014

Transgender bride cannot change her gender on offical documents so the union is legal

Two women have become the first gay couple to register their marriage in Russia despite laws banning same-sex unions.

Alyona Fursova and Irina Shumilova arrived at a St Petersburg registry on Friday both wearing white wedding dresses and carried bouquets.

The Family Code of Russia states that marriage is 'a voluntary consent of a man and a woman' but the couple found a loophole in the law.

Fursova is transgender and on hormone therapy and despite looking and living as a woman, she is unable to change her gender on legal documents.

November 1, 2014

'State officials don't get to pick and choose what laws they need to follow,' says ACLU of North Carolina legal director Chris Brook

At least six magistrates in North Carolina have resigned rather than be forced to officiate same-sex weddings after a federal court decision legalized same-sex unions in the state on October 10, the Charlotte Observer reported this week.

When the federal decision was handed down, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said all state agencies would comply. State Senator Phil Berger however asked to the courts to grant protections to public officials who refuse to perform same-sex ceremonies for religious reasons. It was denied.

October 28, 2014

'It is a very serious matter; same-sex marriage is totally contrary to the standard of God.'

The Westboro Baptist Church has lodged a legal brief against the ongoing legal challenge against gay marriage in Kansas.

The 'God Hates Fags' church filed a 22-page legal brief, claiming same-sex marriage is an issue that will 'destroy' the state.

'Today the number one moral issue facing this nation is same sex marriage,' they write, in the brief filed on 26 October.

October 26, 2014

Speaking at the group's national conference, he warned against using religion as an 'instrument for division or exclusion'

It's the first time a leader of either major political party has used the forum to challenge the agenda of the conservative lobby group which has consistency and strongly opposed same-sex marriage, gay adoption rights, and anti-discrimination laws.

Bill Shorten, leader of the opposition Labor Party, confronted the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) on same-sex marriage, telling them he is a Christian who supports marriage equality.

'I believe in God and I believe in marriage equality,' the keynote speaker told the ACL national conference in Canberra on Saturday.

October 23, 2014

Think homosexuality is unnatural still? You won't believe what these 11 animals are getting up to

You might have heard the quote that homosexuality exists in every single species on the planet but homophobia is found in only one: Humans.

But what is ‘homosexuality’ in animals?

Most zoologists would probably prefer you to say they are showing ‘same-sex attraction or behavior’, rather than label them with our words of ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’ or ‘straight’.

But very often animals can form relationships and bonds with others and do not stray away from them. Some show exclusive interest in only one gender and have their own ways of mating with the same sex.

October 22, 2014

Butch Otter, up for reelection, wants entire 9th Circuit Court to re-hear case

Same-sex marriages have begun in Idaho but the state's governor is still hoping that will be a temporary thing.

Butch Otter, who is up for reelection, announced Tuesday (21 October) that he plans to ask the full 11-member 9th Circuit Court to re-hear the case which successfully challenged the state's gay marriage ban.

It was a three-judge panel from the Circuit Court who overturned the ban.

Otter maintains that errors when it struck down the ban on 7 October.

October 18, 2014

'This is not an issue of people's rights to have religious beliefs… This is their job, and it's a job requirement,' says executive director of the LGBT non-profit Equality NC

Rockingham County Magistrate John Kallam Jr says he has resigned from his job because he can’t in 'good conscience' marry same-sex couples.

On October 10, 2014, same-sex marriage in North Carolina became legal following a federal judge's ruling that the state's denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples was unconstitutional. Same-sex couples were immediately issued marriage licenses, and on Monday, October 13, same-sex couples statewide began marrying.

October 17, 2014

Judge strikes down same-sex marriage ban, attorney general announces state will not fight decision

Arizona has become the 31st state in the US where gay marriage is legal and same-sex couples began getting married there today.

Deputy Maricopa County Clerk Michael K Jeanes posted on Twitter: 'Welcome All to the Clerk's Office. Your marriage license awaits and we are ready to serve you!'

The turn of events unfolded quickly as Attorney General Tom Horne announced he would not appeal the court ruling which struck down Arizona's gay marriage ban.

October 15, 2014

State's governor and attorney general accused of 'playing politics with our families'

The state of South Carolina was sued Wednesday (15 October) by two LGBTI groups for continuing to block same-sex marriages from taking place there.

Lambda Legal and South Carolina Equality claim that last week's decision by the US Supreme Court’s to let stand a 4th Circuit ruling striking down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban also applies to South Carolina because it is in the same jurisdiction.

They want the marriages to begin immediately.

October 12, 2014

'They deserve the right to equality, and the same respect and decency that other people have that are living right next door'

October 9, 2014

Former law dean says the concept of marriage as between a man and woman is 'obsolete'

The former law dean of the University of the Philippines said saying denying LGBTI couples the right to marry was unconstitutional.

Pacifico Agabin made the comments at a professional lecture given by retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Vitug.

The Inquirer quoted Agabin as saying, ‘The Family Code’s concept of marriage as a contract between a man and a woman aside from being obsolete, violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

October 8, 2014

Several cities say they will not obey

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said yesterday he would stop the registration of gay marriages contracted abroad because it was against the law.

He told RTL radio station that he had sent out a circular ordering cities to remove gay marriages from their registries, and if they did not comply the government would step in and annul them.

October 8, 2014

The male gender marker will also be removed

A Kenyan transgender activist yesterday won a landmark case to change the name on her high school exam certificate.

The high court gave the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) 45 days to change the name from Andrew Mbugua to Audrey Mbugua on her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.

She graduated with an A- grade.

The male gender mark will also be removed and any cost will be met by Mbugua.

Mbugua described her win as 'a huge watershed moment.'

October 6, 2014

Among those getting married are Oklahoma couple who in 2004 filed suit to overturn state ban

It was back in 2004 that Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin sued to get a marriage license in Oklahoma.

On Monday (6 October), they finally got it.

The couple were among the many in several states across the US to were able to obtain marriage licenses shortly after the US Supreme Court let stand the overturning of state marriage bans in Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana. Colorado also began to issue licenses.

September 25, 2014

A bill to recognize the hundreds of Australian gay couples who wed abroad was introduced in March

The Australian Senate has recommended parliament does not pass a bill to recognize gay couples who married in places where same-sex unions are legal.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee released a report on the bill today.

Some submitters expressed concern that the bill was 'a surreptitious attempt to introduce marriage equality.'

The Law Council of Australia was concerned that the bill would create a discriminatory situation where only couples with the financial resources to travel overseas would have access to gay marriage.

September 24, 2014

The Marriage Equality Bill has been stalled since October

Six Taiwanese gay couples have had their marriage registrations rejected on Saturday in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

The four gay and two lesbian couples and several LGBTI rights groups brought the required documents to register a marriage to the Household Registration Office, the Liberty Times reported.

However, staff said because of a problem with the adminstrative system only marriages between men and women could be registered.

September 22, 2014

Authorities say fake gay couples are harder to detect

Gangs in the UK are selling sham gay marriages to illegal immigrants as fake same-sex couples are more difficult to detect.

One such gang organizes sham gay marriages for £10,000 ($16,326).

The gang's leaders, Peter and Ricardo, told an undercover BBC reporter that it was easy to 'fix' weddings and they had done so 'lots of times.'

They offered the female reporter two Romanian brides, both of whom said they were not lesbians but were willing to go through with a fake gay marriage for money.