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June 16, 2014

A politician has written an incredible Father's Day message to his child, affirming his belief in gay rights

A Texas politician has written an incredible letter to his lesbian daughter.

Juan ‘Chuy’ Hinojosa, a state senator, said it saddens him to know she lives her life in a society that views her as ‘different’.

‘You are my daughter — you deserve the same love and acceptance and to share in the same freedoms to marry the person you love,’ he said.

In 2013, Hinojosa sponsored a bill to legalize civil unions in the US state, but in the letter he declares he now supports full equal marriage.

Read the entire letter:

June 2, 2014

Jim Darby and Patrick Bova are finally able to make their relationship legal

Jim Darby and Patrick Bova, the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking marriage for all same-sex couples in Illinois, were finally able to exchange vows on Monday (2 June).

Darby, 82, and Bova, 76. have been a couple for 51 years.

Among the guests at the ceremony held at the Museum of Contemporary Art was Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

All counties in the state began begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Sunday (1 June).

Lambda Legal, which filed the lawsuit on the couple's behalf, called the occasion 'a joyous day.'

May 22, 2014

Plaintiffs want to either get married or have Montana recognize their marriage performed in another state

Four same-sex couples have filed a federal suit against the state of Montana's ban on gay marriage.

The couples, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, are suing for the right to marry in Montana or to have their marriage performed in another state legally recognized where they live.

The plaintiffs are: Angie and Tonya Rolando of Great Falls who share a last name but are not married; Shauna and Nicole Goubeaux of Billings; Ben Milano and Chase Weinhandl of Bozeman; and Sue Hawthorne and Adel Johnson of Helena.

April 24, 2014

'Marriage is a fundamental freedom, and freedom means freedom for everyone'

Today, 23 April, a federal court judge heard arguments challenging Oregon's same-sex marriage ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union, and two law firms, brought the case on behalf of two same-sex couples and a local gay rights group called Basic Rights Oregon.

April 9, 2014

Alan Simpson says in new ad: 'I have had a wonderful married life, why shouldn’t somebody else have the joy of marriage'

Retired US Senator Alan Simpson became a political rarity this week: he is Republican who has come out very publicly in favor of gay marriage.

Simpson, who served in the Senate for 18 years before retiring in 1997, felt so strongly about the issue that he agreed to appear in a television ad for the group 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.'