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February 28, 2015

The former couple has been living apart since November

Rosie O'Donnell and Michelle Rounds are making their separation, made public just three weeks ago, a permanent one.

O'Donnell filed for divorce on Friday in Manhattan State Supreme Court from her wife of less than three years. She cited 'an irretrievably broken relationship' as the grounds.

The couple, who have a two year old daughter, have a prenuptial agreement, according to People.com.

February 27, 2015

Complainant says he is not against homosexuality but wants to test the limits of the country's anti-gay law

India's largest online shopping site has been sued for 'abetting gay sex and exhibiting obscene products.'

Snapdeal.com sells vibrators and lubrication, which a Supreme Court advocate said broke laws banning gay sex and public obscenity.

Suhas Joshi said he filed the complaint not because he was against homosexuality, but to test the limits of the country's anti-gay law.

February 26, 2015

'Can they marry one of the same sex and one of the opposite sex?'

Alabama's Chief Justice has suggested that bisexual and transgender people want to marry two different partners. 

In an interview with Associated Press on Monday, Moore claimed that if the Supreme Court vote to legalize gay marriage nationwide, it will open up the door for bisexual and transgender people to marry two different partners, one male and one female. 

'You're taking any definition of a family away,' said Moore. 

February 25, 2015

A judge has refused to grant the adoption until the Supreme Court makes a decision on same-sex marriage

The lesbian couple whose lawsuit overturned Alabama's same-sex marriage law have had an adoption petition refused by a probate judge. 

Kim McKeand and Cari Searcy, who have been together for 16 years, were responsible for filing the lawsuit that lead to U.S District Judge Callie Granade to rule Alabama's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional last month (23 January). 

February 25, 2015

'No matter who you love, you will receive the same rights and protections as everyone else'

The Obama administration has redefined the term 'spouse' to include married gay couples.

The plans, which have been published today by The Department of Labour in a new 52-page document, will grant gay couples the Federal right to job-protected leave from their place of work, so they can take care of a sick partner, child or parent under the 1993 Family and Medical Leave act (FMLA).

February 24, 2015

Chhattisgarh will also pay for sex reassignment surgery

In a first for India, Chhattisgarh state has set aside a 2% housing quota for its estimated 3,000 transgender residents.

The move comes nearly a year after the Supreme Court recognized transgender citizens as third gender. In its ruling, the apex court directed governments to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs, education and basic amenities in line with other minorities.

AK Saxena, additional commissioner at the Chhattisgarh housing board, said from now on transgender residents would have the quota in all government housing schemes.

February 24, 2015

Michalak is the Global Director of Social Mission at ice cream giant, Ben & Jerry’s –  one of the world's first companies to provide same sex benefits to its LGBT staff

Ben & Jerry's, the Vermont-based ice cream company, has a long and proud history supporting LGBT rights. In 1989 it became one of the first publicly traded companies to extend benefits to same-sex partners.

Since 2001, its leadership has vocally supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and it has even allowed same-sex marriage ceremonies to take place in Ben & Jerry's stores. It's fitting that one of the company's mottos is "love comes in all flavors."

February 21, 2015

'We are a nation under laws'

Robert Bentley, the governor of Alabama, vows to follow the federal courts when it comes to marriage equality.

'We are a nation under laws,' the southern state's chief executive said to Politico. 'We may not always agree with them, but we obey them.'

February 21, 2015

Baton Rouge police chief issues issues memo to all officers telling them to stop enforcing the invalidated and unconstitutional law that prompted the arrests of the two men

Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie has 'finally' issued a 'department-wide memo to remind officers not to arrest people using that statute,' reported The Advocate, a local Baton Rouge newspaper.

The memo came after the chief also apologized after two Louisiana men were arrested on Friday using an unconstitutional and unenforceable anti-sodomy law after they were seen having sex in a car in a park.

February 21, 2015

'The rogue actions of Travis County judges do not withstand the scrutiny of law'

Texas wants its highest court to void the marriage license of the southern state's only legally married same-sex couple.

Yesterday, 20 February, state Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court.

February 19, 2015

State's Supreme Court issues emergency order blocking other same-sex couples from obtaining licenses

For now, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant are the only legally married same-sex couple in the giant state of Texas.

And they might be for awhile.

The couple has been together for 30 years and were married in Austin on Thursday (19 February). They said their vows in front of the Travis County Clerk’s Office, according to The Austin American Statesman.

February 18, 2015

But marriage licenses will not be issued to gay couples yet

A Texas judge Tuesday (17 February) ruled the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Travis county probate judge Guy Herman made the ruling as part of an estate dispute, in which an Austin woman sought to have her eight-year lesbian relationship recognized as a a common-law marriage.

Travis county clerk Dana DeBeauvoir commended Herman's order as 'a great step toward marriage equality,' but added that the judge had not instructed her to begin to issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

February 18, 2015

'What they seek is society telling them their sin is acceptable to God'

The notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church has said LGBTI people face 'zero' discrimination in the US.

The 'God hates fags' church made the claim in an amicus brief to a federal court hearing an appeal to the of Kansas' gay marriage ban.

'What they seek – indeed what they crave – is society telling them their sin is acceptable in the sight of God,' the church wrote.

February 17, 2015

'Section 377 is discriminatory in its application and unreasonable in its intent'

The chairman of the Law Commission of India has slammed the country's anti-gay as discriminatory and psychologically damaging.

Justice A P Shah made the comments yesterday in New Delhi at the launch of a book about LGBTI legal issues in the southeast Asian country.

'Section 377 is discriminatory in its application, unreasonable in its intent, deprives a group of its personal autonomy and violates individual privacy and human dignity,' he said.

February 16, 2015

'This power over marriage which came from God under our organic law is not to be redefined by the United States Supreme Court or any federal court'

Roy Moore, Alabama's Supreme Court chief justice, is certain any judge issuing same-sex marriage certificates is breaking the law.

February 15, 2015

'At the time Chief Justice Moore had not started bloviating on this topic and so there was no need to defy because I didn't ask for his opinion and frankly didn't need it'

A probate judge in Alabama is pushing against the state's chief justice, Roy Moore, in the gay marriage battle.

Today, February 15, Alabama Probate Judge Steven Reed was a guest on the ABC News show This Week.

February 14, 2015

Roy Moore, the court's chief justice, does not support marriage equality and advised probate judges not to issue certificates to same-sex couples

Next week the Alabama Supreme Court will consider a petition to block judges from marrying LGBTI couples.

The 6-2 decision was announced yesterday, 13 February; the request was filed by two conservative groups, the Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program.

According to Alabama.com, the organizations listed the state probate judges  adhering to the January ruling of District Judge Callie V.S. Granade.

February 14, 2015

Beaches, BBQs, and a brilliant outdoor lifestyle in New Zealand.

He's only recently moved to Auckland from the UK, but Jason Parmenter is loving his adopted home. 

If you're planning a trip to New Zealand then Jason has some insider hints and tips to help you make the most out of your visit.

Why Auckland?
I've made Auckland home because.the lifestyle here is great and the summer here actually deserves the title.

February 14, 2015

Close to half of Americans know a gay couple who has been married

A study sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign shows a majority of US voters are for gay marriage.

February 13, 2015

'All I’m doing on the Supreme Court is opining about who should decide'

It would come as a surprise to no one if US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia votes against making same-sex marriage legal nationwide later this year.

But he doesn't want to be labeled as anti-gay.

The staunchly conservative Scalia voted against the gutting of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and last week was on the losing end of a vote to extend the ban against gay marriage in Alabama.

February 13, 2015

'The fudge packers from Hollywood are shocked the good people from the heart of Dixie are resisting their imperialist, communist homosexual agenda!'

A Ku Klux Klan chapter has issued a 'call to arms in Alabama' in response to a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban, which the Supreme Court upheld earlier this week.

Brent Waller, the imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi, 'saluted' Alabama chief justice Roy Moore for refusing to bow to the yoke of federal tyranny.

Waller also called on Klansmen to join the 'massive' Christian protests 'that are surely coming.'

February 13, 2015

First time a US court rules homosexuality is not a disease or disorder

A New Jersey judge has ruled misrepresenting homosexuality as a disorder in marketing conversion therapy services is consumer fraud.

The ruling marks the first time a US court has found that homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder and that it is fraudulent for conversion therapists to make such a claim.

Hudson County superior court judge Peter Bariso Jr said Tuesday (10 February) such claims violated the state's Consumer Fraud Act.

February 12, 2015

Ruling by federal judge expected to send a signal to probate judges statewide

US District Judge Callie V. S. Granade on Thursday (12 February) ordered Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis to immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Davis (pictured) was among the probate judges in the state who were caught between Granade's ruling last month striking down the state's gay marriage ban and an order by Alabama Supreme Court Justice Ray Moore to not issue licenses.

February 12, 2015

Justice says people will accept it

Americans will accept same-sex marriage in every state, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has said.

Pointing to the sweeping change in attitudes towards gay and lesbian couples, the 81-year-old justice said the majority of the public will be happy if the Supreme Court legalizes marriage equality.

It comes as Alabama has become the 37th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The high court is set to rule on the issue in June, and conservatives Clarence Thomas has already indicated the court intends to rule in favor of gay rights.