LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Freedom to Marry

March 13, 2014

'We can tell you by experience that there’s tons of support down here,' says Mississippi native Bass in Freedom to Marry video

While gay marriage is slowly spreading - state by state - in the US, none of the states where it has become legal have been in the South.

Mississippi native Lance Bass, engaged to marry actor Michael Turchin, is confident that is about to change.

'We’re here; our feet are planted here in Mississippi, and we can tell you by experience that there’s tons of support down here,' Bass says in a video released Thursday (13 March) by Southerners for the Freedom to Marry.

March 6, 2014

Says one plaintiff: 'As much as I love this state, it is frustrating to be treated differently by the government because of who I love'

Four same-sex couples filed a lawsuit against Wyoming on Wednesday (5 March) in an effort to overturn the state's ban on gay marriage.

The suit not only challenges the ban on same-sex couples marrying but also the state's refusal to recognize the marriages of couples married in other states where they are legal.

Filed in state court, the suit claims that the current laws against same-sex marriage violate the Wyoming constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

March 5, 2014

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has announced his support for same-sex marriage a year after signing civil unions for same-sex couples into law

Democratic Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has announced that he wants his state to join the growing list of US states that allow same-sex couples to legally marry – releasing a statement in support of the campaign for equal marriage in his state.

‘We have advocated for equal rights for all Coloradans and we will continue to advocate for equal rights for all Coloradans,’ Hickenlooper said in his statement for advocacy group Why Marriage Matters Colorado.

January 22, 2014

Four of the plaintiffs are raising children together and want legal protections

Florida's ban on gay marriage is being challenged in court by six same-sex couples who want to tie the not.

The couples and the Equality Florida Institute filed a lawsuit in state court in Miami on Tuesday (21 January) in Miami seeking the freedom to marry.

Theor lawsuit argues that Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the US Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides.

November 8, 2013

Plaintiffs include university instructors, teacher of deaf children and a military veteran

Four female couples from Boise, Idaho, have filed a federal challenge to their state's ban on gay marriage and refusal to recognize same-sex unions from other states.

The lawsuit argues that Idaho’s laws are in violation of the United States Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and due process - an argument used in successful lawsuits filed in other states such as New Jersey.

October 29, 2013

Retired Lutheran pastor Gilbert Rossing has told of how his gay sons forced him to change his mind about homosexuality and Christianity and come to support same-sex marriage in backing gay couples’ right to wed in Oregon

A retired US Lutheran pastor has shared how his sons coming out to him has inspired him to question his beliefs and come to accept same-sex couples as acceptable for marriage in the eyes of God.

Gilbert Rossing, a former minister of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Portland who now lives in Washington state, told his story in a bid to urge people in Oregon to support efforts to put same-sex marriage on the ballot for 2014 elections.

October 21, 2013

Hours after the first same-sex couples were legally married, the anti-equal marriage governor has withdrawn his appeal to the Supreme Court

Governor Chris Christie has withdrawn his challenge to same-sex marriage in New Jersey, it was revealed minutes ago today (21 October).

The Republican politician was appealing a state Superior Court ruling that allowed same-sex couples to get married as of today.

On Friday (18 October), the New Jersey Supreme Court denied Christie's request to delay the start date.

The Court also indicated it would not rule in Christie's favor when the appeal is heard in Janaury next year.

October 18, 2013

State's Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples can get married as court case is being appealed

The New Jersey Supreme Court has given the go ahead for same-sex marriages to begin in the state on Monday (21 October).

The court has denied a request filed by the state to postpone the marriages as the high court considers an appeal to a federal judge's order that New Jersey allow same-sex marriages.

October 8, 2013

A group of US military veterans have added their voices to the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the state of Illinois as efforts to force the reform mount

US military veterans have joined the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the state of Illinois where the governor and state senate have backed the reform but the Republican controlled House of Representatives continues to block progress.

Veterans Unite for Marriage decided to organize after the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced in September that it would begin providing equal benefits to military personnel who were legally married in their home states.

October 2, 2013

Suit claims state law 'sends a purposeful message that lesbians, gay men, and their children are second-class citizens'

Three West Virginia couples are the lead plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday (1 October) that seeks to overturn the state's ban on gay marriage.

The lawsuit, filed by Lambda Legal in the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, argues that West Virginia's marriage ban unfairly discriminates against same-sex couples and their children.

July 25, 2013

New York is the first state to announce that qualifying LGBT couples will receive estate tax refunds

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, announced gay couples, who meet all requirements, will receive estate tax refunds.

In 2011 June, the legislature of the US Middle Atlantic State approved a same sex marriage law. State officials decided local estate tax regulations would apply to gay married couples on, or after, 24 June 2011.

July 17, 2013

House of Representatives failed to vote on bill in May for marriage equality

The activist group Illinois Unites for Marriage is pumping $2 million into a campaign to get gay marriage legislation passed in the state.

The Illinois House of Representatives failed in May to vote on a bill to make same-sex marriage legal. The bill had already passed in the Illinois Senate and Governor Pat Quinn had vowed to sign it into law.

Illinois Unites for Marriage will use the $2 million to hire a campaign manager, field director, a faith organizer and 15 field managers placed throughout the state.

June 22, 2013

Over 200 anti-gay conservatives who name themselves Freedom Federation published an open letter against marriage equality

US Christian groups have come together in writing to preemptively proclaim their refusal to recognize marriage equality.

In a letter published online, The Freedom Federation, who boast ‘Real hope, Real change, Real freedom,’ promise to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling if it changes the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

The letter was co-drafted by Mathew Staver, chairman of legal ministry Liberty Counsel Action, who has said that gay marriage will lead to polygamy and civil war.

June 4, 2013

House of Lords backs gay and lesbian marriage bill for England and Wales and will now scrutinize it in detail

The House of Lords has backed the further passage of the equal marriage bill – meaning it has now passed a crucial hurdle.

The upper chamber of the British parliament spent two days debating the government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which has already been passed by the elected House of Commons.

Despite a fierce debate the peers rejected an amendment by Lord Geoffrey Dear which would have stopped the bill in its tracks.

June 3, 2013

From lords who say gay marriage persecutes Christians to those who argue it's good for business, the debate comes to the UK's House of Lords today

From a lord who wants to marry his own son and fancies his brother, to an ex archbishop who says marriage equality will lead to polygamy and Nazi persecution, the opponents of gay marriage in Britain's House of Lords are numerous and vocal.

So it will be a stormy debate today and tomorrow (3 and 4 June) when the Lords, the unelected upper chamber of the British parliament, get to debate and vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales.

June 1, 2013

Illinois House of Representatives fails to vote on marriage equality bill

After two days of suspense, the Illinois House of Representatives on Friday (31 May) failed to vote on a bill to make same-sex marriage legal in the state.

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned for the summer without calling for a vote on SB10, the the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

Though the marriage equality bill has already passed in the Illinois Senate, 60 votes were needed in the House in order for the bill to move to Governor Pat Quinn for signature.

May 21, 2013

Legislation has been passed by Senate but is stalled in House of Representatives

Former President Bill Clinton is using his still considerable political clout to try and get Illinois to become the 13th state in the US to make gay marriage legal.

Proposed marriage equality legislation, already passed by the State Senate, has been stalled for some time in the Illinois House of Representatives.

In a statement released Tuesday (21 May) Clinton urged members of the House to pass the bill before the legislature adjourns its spring session on 31 May.

May 9, 2013

If also passed by the senate,  Minnesota would become first legislature in Midwest to pass marriage equality

The Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday (9 May) passed a marriage equality bill 75-59 after more than three hours of debate.

The vote was largely split down party lines although four of the House's 61 Republicans voted for the bill while two of its 73 Democrats voted against it.

If also passed by the State Senate then signed into law, Minnesota would become the 12th state in the US to allow gay marriage.

April 24, 2013

Will become 10th state in the US to legalize same-sex marriages

The state senate in Rhode Island has passed a bill that will make their state the 10th in the US to allow gay marriage.

In a 26-12 vote Wednesday (24 April), the Democratic controlled senate passed a bill that had made it out of the judiciary committee just a day earlier.

Rhode Island had been the only New England state where gay marriage is not yet legal. Governor Lincoln Chafee says he plans to sign the bill into law.

In a statement after the vote, Chafee said the senators has chosen 'tolerance and fairness over division and discrimination.'

March 13, 2013

Senate and House Committees approve bill, it will now proceed to full Senate vote

Both houses of the state of Minnesota's legislature voted on Tuesday (12 March) to proceed with a bill to legalize gay marriage.

The House Civil Law Committee voted 10-7 along party lines to pass the bill and the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-3 earlier on in the evening.

The bill is now headed for a full Senate vote, but that is not expected until much later in the session. 

The House hearing was filled with memorable moments including when State Rep. Glenn Gruenhage introduced an 'ex-gay' friend of his named Kevin Petersen.

March 9, 2013

More and more US voters are getting behind marriage equality

There used to be a time, very recently, when marriage equality took a constant beating in all polls. Now US voters seem more and more comfortable with LGBT families having the same rights of their straight counterparts.

This past week top pollsters for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama released a report that argued 'significant opposition to the freedom to marry is increasingly isolated within narrow demographic groups while a much broader and more diverse majority are ready to let same-sex couples marry.'

February 27, 2013

Governor Mark Dayton has indicated he will sign a marriage equality bill into law if it were to reach his desk

Marriage equality advocates are celebrating after Minnesota lawmakers have unveiled a new bill.

Sponsors of the same-sex marriage bill are aiming to repeal the outright 1997 ban prohibiting marriage for gay couples.

At a news conference today (27 February), co-author of the bill Scott Dibble spoke out in favor of marriage equality.

‘We are all human beings equal in the eyes of God,’ he said. ‘We’re affirming things that we all prize, love at the center of marriage.’

February 27, 2013

Toughest test of passing the full House of Representatives is next

Illinois took another step closer Tuesday (26 February) to becoming the 10th state in the US to make gay marriage legal.

The Illinois House Executive Committee,comprised of seven Democrats and four Republicans, voted 6-5 to advance The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. It will next go to the full House floor for a vote.

At least 60 House members must vote 'yes' to pass the legislation for it to move on to Governor Pat Quinn for signature. Quinn has promised to sign the bill into law if it receives legislative approval.

February 26, 2013

Iowa Republicans sponsor a resolution that would authorize a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage

Iowa Republican senator Denis Guth, sponsored Joint Resolution 8, which would specify marriage between one man and one woman as the only legal union that is valid or recognized in the state.

Guth said today (26 February) that the resolution has a total of 18 sponsors in the state senate.

The resolution aims to overturn a 2009 Iowa supreme court ruling that legalized gay marriage in the state, and republicans have repeatedly attempted to pass a resolution for state-wide referendum on the issue.