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September 18, 2014

From gay culture to hotels in Germany’s major cities, here’s a website to spark your imagination and wanderlust

The lovely people at the German National Tourist Office have re-launched a brand new website just for LGBTI readers to learn more about Germany and everything the country has to offer.

The country that gave us Adidas, Einstein and World Cup winning super-stud, Mario Gotze (move over Beckham) has now published the perfect resource to plan your next trip to Germany.

September 17, 2014

Associate justice says there will only be urgency for high court if a state ban is upheld

Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the US Supreme Court won't be in a big rush to hear a gay marriage case unless the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds state marriage bans.

If that were to happen, 'there will be some urgency,' Ginsberg said during a talk at the University of Minnesota Law School on Tuesday (16 September).

The Sixth Circuit covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee and has marriage equality cases pending.

September 17, 2014

The US retailer appears to be working harder to assert its diversity and LGBTI-friendly credentials

US retail giant Target has not always stuck out its neck in support for LGBTI rights.

In 2010, it emerged that it had previously made financial donations to Republican politicians fiercely opposed to advancing gay rights, prompting a short-lived boycott by some customers.

September 15, 2014

'This amicus puts these corporations on record saying that in addition to this being an issue of civil rights, it complicates the running of our businesses'

It's easy to love Ben & Jerry's. Especially chocolate chip cookie dough.

The company just made its flavors more irresistible. According to the Human Rights Campaign, on 12 September, the ice cream maker announced it joined 30 other companies in an employers amicus brief to the Supreme Court.

September 15, 2014

A lesbian couple in Dane County have been granted permission to adopt each other’s children – while a final decision is still pending from the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage in the state

Although same-sex marriage in Wisconsin remains barred for the time being, two judges in the state have granted adoptions that recognize the marriage of same-sex couples. Adoptions by same-sex couples have previously been illegal in the State.

A ban on same-sex marriage in Wisconsin was overruled in June when federal Judge Barbara Crabb said that the ban was unconstitutional. Over 500 same-sex couples rushed to take advantage of their legal ability to marry.

September 13, 2014

Federal judge orders Arizona to recognize gay couple's marriage despite state's same-sex marriage ban

It is victory for an 69-year-old gay man who had lost his spouse to cancer last month and was denied death benefits because Arizona does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Fred McQuire and George Martinez were partners of 45 years who got married in California this summer. However when Martinez, 62 and a Vietnam war veteran, died in late August, McQuire was unable to receive social security and veteran benefits because Arizona bans gay marriage.

September 12, 2014

'...Over the last few decades a number of well-known, reputable professional and scientific organizations have publicly condemned the practice of SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts]...'

A US court unanimously upheld New Jersey's ban on 'anti-gay' therapy for teenagers.

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled today (11 September) that the east coast state's law, prohibiting therapists from using conversion counseling with people under 18, does not violate free speech rights.

September 12, 2014

The government says transgender rights should not be extended to gay people

The Indian government on Wednesday filed an application to the Supreme Court seeking clarifications to a ruling that recognized transgender people as a third sex.

The Centre asked the top court to clarify the definition of transgender and for reassurance it would not include gay people.

September 10, 2014

A total of seven cases are now vying for review by nation's highest court

The attorney generals of both Indiana and Wisconsin petitioned the US Supreme Court on Tuesday (9 September) to review appeals court rulings that struck down gay marriage bans in their states.

Plaintiffs in both cases agree with the request to have the cases heard by the nation's highest court.

The latest two states to make this request are competing with similar requests made in cases in several other states including Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma.

September 10, 2014

Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Indiana cases in the running as justices meet on September 29

Justices of the US Supreme Court will meet later this month (29 September) to discuss whether to take on a gay marriages case during its next term which begins in October.

The high court indicated on Wednesday (10 September) that it will meet in a private conference to consider whether to grant review of appeals in cases challenging marriage bans in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

September 9, 2014

Three judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals left gay marriage supporters optimistic after challenging arguments used to uphold same-sex marriage bans in three states

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard arguments this week for and against gay marriage in three states.

Justices Stephen Reinhardt, Ronald Gould and Marsha Berzon listened as supporters and opponents of gay marriage in Idaho, Hawaii and Nevada made their cases.

Even though same-sex marriage in Hawaii has been legal since 2 December 2013, gay marriage supporters are seeking to ensure the state's Supreme Court doesn't overturn the law in the future.

September 7, 2014

'The time has come to end the divisive national debate as to whether the Constitution mandates same-sex marriage'

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants the US Supreme Court to make a definitive ruling on gay marriage.

September 6, 2014

'The status quo has not changed with today’s ruling'

J.B. Van Hollen, Wisconsin's attorney general, promises to take his battle against marriage equality to the US Supreme Court.

September 5, 2014

Ceremony to take place at a time when number of potential marriage equality cases that might go before the high court grows

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an associate justice of the US Supreme Court, is set to perform yet another same-sex wedding ceremony this weekend - her fourth.

Ginsburg, 81, will be conducting the ceremony of her former law clerk, Danny Rubens, and his fiance Danny Grossman.

September 4, 2014

'...The only rationale that the states put forth with any conviction – that same-sex couples and their children don’t need marriage because same-sex couples can’t produce children, intended or unintended – is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously'

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin are unconstitutional.

The unanimous decision was released today (4 September).

September 3, 2014

Ruling by US District Court Judge Martin Feldman ends streak of post-DOMA victories in federal courts

A US District Court judge today upheld the constitutionality of Louisiana's ban on gay marriage.

 

It marked the first defeat for a marriage equality case since the US Supreme Court gutting of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

Judge Martin Feldman wrote that same-sex marriage is not a 'fundamental right' and that those defending the ban in the case offered 'a credible, and convincing, rational basis' for wanting the ban to continue.

September 3, 2014

Daniel Donaldson says Yes LGBT is misleading people into thinking an independent Scotland will better protect gay rights

An equality lawyer has said there are ‘fatal flaws’ in the Rainbow Paper that gay Scottish independence group Yes LGBT published on Monday.

Edinburgh-based Daniel Donaldson said the paper was ‘misleading’ and it was disingenuous of the group to say Scotland had consistently been more progressive than Westminster in terms of gay equality.

September 2, 2014

'Reply to all' claims another victim as a lawyer cites the Bible slamming a judge's decision to rule in favor of gay rights

A lawyer is regretting hitting that 'reply all' button after he sent out an offensive email calling AIDS the 'gay plague' to his entire company.

Now he is in 'severe' trouble after rallying against same sex marriage, spouting off religious bile in the name of opposing equality.

Walter Kubitz, a senior lawyer at Becker & Poliakoff, was angry a federal court recently found Florida's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.

September 1, 2014

In a 2012 speech to a far right group, Page called US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens a 'homosexual sodomite'

The St. Louis area police officer suspended after a video was discovered of him disparaging multiple groups, including the LGBTI community, has retired.

Dan Page, a 35-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department, faced scrutiny after a televised encounter with CNN's out anchor Don Lemon.

August 29, 2014

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have married after nine years together, breaking a longstanding pledge to not get married until same-sex couples can, though we suspect most will forgive them after years of speaking out for the LGBTI community

Long time Hollywood allies of the LGBTI community Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have reneged on a 2006 pledge to not get married until same-sex marriage is legalized across America but we suspect most people will forgive them after years of advocacy by the couple for gay rights.

The couple were reported to have married in France on Saturday in a small private ceremony in a chateau near Nice.

The couple were married by a Californian judge who also provided their marriage license.

August 29, 2014

They file official request for high court review a day after plaintiffs in Virginia case do the same

It seems likely that the US Supreme Court will take on a gay marriage case next year but the question is which case will be the one to settle the issue once and for all.

Plaintiffs in a Utah case made clear on Thursday (28 August) that they want their lawsuit to be heard by the high court by officially filing a brief making that request.

The three couples challenging Utah’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples asked the court to accept the request of Utah state officials to review the case.

August 28, 2014

Group hopes to pressure Supreme Court to reject gay marriage when cases are appealed in October

A Christian group have decided on an unusual way of attempting to stop same-sex marriage in the US.

The Virginia-based Family Foundation have embarked on a 40 day 'fast' - but they're still allowed to eat.

They believe this pressure will force the Supreme Court to reject same-sex marriage appeals when they come up in October.

However, when it comes to giving up food - an integral part of the fasting process - they're not that bothered.

August 28, 2014

Frank Bernard quit job as a manager with third largest pizza chain in US when it refused to cover his husband of six years

California resident Frank Bernard is suing the Little Caesars pizza chain because it refused to provide health insurance benefits for the former manager's husband.

The chain, the third-largest in the US, offers benefits to the spouses of its heterosexual employees. Bernard, 47, has been legally wed to his husband for six years.

August 27, 2014

States one judge: 'There was a tradition of not allowing black and whites' to marry. 'It was a tradition. It got swept aside'

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago expressed skepticism over gay marriage bans during oral arguments on cases in in Wisconsin and Indiana on Tuesday (26 August).

One member of the three-judge panel, Judge Richard Posner, hammered Wisconsin attorney Timothy Samuelson with questions seeking justification for why his state denies marriage rights to same-sex couples.

When Samuelson said it is a ban that is rooted in tradition, Posner stated: 'That’s the tradition argument. It’s feeble!'