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April 15, 2014

American Civil Liberties Union wants state to recognize the 300-plus same-sex marriages that took place last month

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan filed a lawsuit Monday (14 April) to guarantee that the marriages of 300 same-sex couples performed in Michigan last month are recognized by the state.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight same-sex couples who were married after a federal judge struck down the state's ban and before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put the decision on hold.

April 14, 2014

It is 10th consecutive ruling by a federal judge invalidating state bans since US Supreme Court ruling on Doma last June

A federal judge in Ohio officially issued a ruling today declaring Ohio's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

Judge Timothy Black gave advance notice last week of his intentions in order to give the state time to prepare its appeal. He also placed a stay on his ruling pending appeals meaning same-sex marriages cannot yet begin in the state.

Still, it marks the 10th consecutive ruling invalidating such a ban since the US Supreme Court gutted key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act last June.

April 11, 2014

Only Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota have state bans on same-sex marriage that are not being challenged in the courts as Americans wait to see if the Supreme Court will finally decide the issue for the nation

Only Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota still have state bans on same-sex marriage that are yet to be challenged in court and that number will soon dwindle to four after a South Dakota couple announced they will take legal action against their state.

Across the rest of America and Puerto Rico there are currently 65 lawsuits in progress against bans on same-sex couples marrying – including 44 in federal courts, meaning the issue could soon come before the US Supreme Court again.

April 4, 2014

Ruling in case involving birth certificates of children will recognize same-sex marriages from other states

A federal judge in Ohio has announced that he plans to declare the state's ban on recognizing out of state marriages of same-sex couples unconstitutional.

Judge Timothy Black made a statement giving notice that he will issue his ruling on 14 April - the advance notice is to give the state time to be ready with an appeal.

The ruling comes in a case that has four married same-sex couples seeking an order that would require the State to place the names of both parents on the birth certificates of their children.

March 28, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder says couples will not be asked to wait for further resolution in the courts before seeking federal benefits

US Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the marriages of the more than 300 same-sex couples wed last weekend in Michigan will be recognized by the federal government.

Holder's announcement comes days after Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said the state would not recognize the marriages while there was a legal stay on last week's ruling by a federal judge which overturned the state's gay marriage ban.

March 27, 2014

Private Chinese companies and western firms leading on LGBTI workplace issues but state-owned enterprises still lagging, says organizer

Top Chinese and western firms have met for a summit in Shanghai on how to support LGBTI workers, many of who are still in the closet.

Chinese companies often say they don’t know of any LGBTI staff – but now they are starting to tackle the issues.

The summit today (27 March), thought to be the first of its kind in China, brought together 120 people from around 100 companies, about 10% of which were Chinese.

Among them was HSBC, IBM and Chinese computer company Lenovo but 50 Fortune 500 firms were represented.

March 17, 2014

Inspirational advocates from across Asia share their stories at landmark awards ceremony in Singapore

Asia’s LGBTI heroes have been honored at the first Asian Pink Awards in Singapore.

Campaigners and company representatives flew in from all over the region and as far away as Europe for the event last night (16 March), organized by Asian gay men’s magazine Element.

Among those honored was A-Mei, the hit Taiwanese singer who held a free concert in 2013 to support same-sex marriage.

Another singer, Laure Shang, a past winner of the Chinese Supergirls contest and an LGBTI advocate was also given an award.

March 11, 2014

Virgin founder and fourth richest man in the UK Richard Branson has written about why LGBTI acceptance is good for business and his fears that Russia’s treatment of gay people will harm its economy

Virgin founder Richard Branson has written about why acceptance of LGBTI people is good for business in a column for Entrepreneur.com.

The 11 March column was written in a response to a question from a reader asking, ‘How do you merge the cultural diversity of individuals into a profitable brand?’

Branson replied that having people from a diverse range of backgrounds was important in any business’ success.

March 9, 2014

'It feels so schizophrenic not to be recognized for who you are'

Four Indiana gay couples are suing to have their out of state marriages recognized.

The suit, filed in federal court on Friday (7 March), seeks to overturn Indiana's Defense of Marriage Act, which views same-sex marriages illegal even if recognized by other states.

March 5, 2014

Governor Pat Quinn: 'Nobody should have to wait for equal rights when it comes to love'

Same-sex couples can now get married throughout Illinois - three months earlier than the state's ban on gay marriage was due to end.

'Nobody should have to wait for equal rights when it comes to love,' Governor Pat Quinn said in a statement.

Quinn's statement followed Attorney General Lisa Madigan's suggestion in a letter this week that county clerks across the state allow same-sex couples to wed.

Illinois' Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act was not due to go into effect until 1 June.

February 25, 2014

Scott Lively, who refuses to take credit for the anti-gay law, says it is too 'harsh' and says they should have enacted Russia-style gay propganda laws instead

Religious influences in the US are being blamed for the new anti-gay law in Uganda, one of the most draconic in the world.

The Pink Triangle Trust, a British LGBT humanist group, has condemned evangelists like Scott Lively for his alleged work in influencing the law.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law yesterday (24 February), which punishes homosexuality with up to life in prison.

February 21, 2014

Ellen Rosenblum does not believe the law can withstand federal constitutional challenge in lawsuit brought by four same-sex couples

Oregon's attorney general said in legal papers filed Thursday (20 February) that she does not believe the state's ban on gay marriage can withstand a federal constitutional challenge.

This means Ellen Rosenblum joins attorneys general in at least five other US states - all Democrats - who are refusing to defend state gay marriage bans in court.

The state is facing two lawsuits involving three same-sex couples who are seeking to have the ban overturned on the basis that it is unconstitutional.

February 14, 2014

To make it on the ballot box, the draft must pass two consecutive sessions of the Wisconsin state legislature

Democrats in Wisconsin have introduced a bill to end the midwestern US state's ban on gay marriage.

'A growing majority of Wisconsinites believe the ban on marriage equality does not reflect their belief in how the state should recognize our families,' out state Sen. Tim Carpenter, the bill's sponsor, said in a statement according to Talking Points Memo.

February 13, 2014

The Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have filed a ‘friend of the court’ brief in the Utah state government’s appeal of a court decision that overturned its ban on same-sex marriage

The Mormon church has filed a last minute legal brief with the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals which is hearing the Utah state government’s appeal of the court decision that struck down its ban on same-sex marriage.

Nearly a thousand same-sex couples were able to marry in Utah during a brief window before the US Supreme Court issued an order for state officials to stop marrying more gay couples until an appeal could be held.

February 12, 2014

Federal judge rules that state's ban treats gays and lesbians differently in a 'way that demeans them'

Kentucky's ban on gay marriage suffered a major blow today.

A federal judge has ruled that the US state must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where such unions are legal.

In partially striking down the ban, US District Judge John G. Heyburn II wrote that the state's laws treat gay and lesbians differently in a 'way that demeans them.'

February 12, 2014

Kansas state Republicans are moving to pass a law allowing any business or government employee to legally discriminate against same-sex couples so long as it's for religious reasons

Under a law being passed by Kansas state Republicans it will soon be legal for any business or government employee to legally discriminate on religious grounds against same-sex couples.

An initial vote on House Bill 2453 passed in the state House of Representatives in a vote of 72 to 42 and if it passes another vote on Wednesday will then go to the Republican controlled state Senate.

Under the bill hotels, restaurants and stores can legally refuse to serve gay couples if ‘it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.’

February 12, 2014

Suit claims couples are instructed by state to lie on their federal tax returns by stating they are single

Four couples filed a federal lawsuit today challenging Lousiana's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

The suit was filed on the same day as a federal judge in Kentucky struck down a similar ban in that state which co-plaintiff Forum for Equality Louisiana looks at as a major plus.

February 11, 2014

Nigerian LGBTI activists are calling on people around the world to hold protests against homophobic legislation

Gay people in Nigeria are calling on the world to help them protest against anti-gay laws.

Signed into law by Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan in January this year, the Solidarity Alliance is hoping international pressure could help repeal the legislation.

The law prescribes 14 years of imprisonment for LGBTI people in the country, and also criminalizes the witnessing or aiding of same-sex relationships.

February 5, 2014

Gay people live in and travel to places that may not have the best LGBTI rights record. Should that stop us from traveling to these destinations?

Last month, some of the LGBTI community’s leading activists met in London to debate the ethics of LGBTI travel.

Should individuals travel to a country hostile to the gay, bi and trans community?

Should travelers boycott these countries in attempts to influence them by hurting their travel industry, or should we go anyway to engage with the locals and support the local LGBTI movement?

February 4, 2014

Ted Olsen and David Boies tell judge a law that relegates same-sex couples to second-class status cannot stand

Attorneys Ted Olsen and David Boies were back in a federal court on Tuesday (4 January) arguing for the right for same-sex couples in the state to get married - this time in Virginia.

The unlikely legal team, who famously squared-off against each other in a 2000 Supreme Court case that resulted in George W. Bush's presidency, are hoping to repeat their success in California when gay marriage ban Proposition 8 was overturned.

February 4, 2014

Trio brutally beat and stabbed victim to death in country's far east region then put his body in a car they doused with gasoline and set on fire

Three men in Russia were found guilty on Monday (3 February) of brutally murdering a man because they thought he was gay.

They have been sentenced to between 9 and 12-and-a-half years in prison for the grisly crime which last took place last May in a village in the country's Kamchatka Region, according to RIA Novosti.

The victim, 29, was beaten and stabbed in the chest, face and neck.

January 29, 2014

HRC's Chad Griffin says US president also 'side-stepped' commitment to sign executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday (28 January), US President Barack Obama had been expected to make some mention of the long-stalled Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

It did not happen.

Known as ENDA, the act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal anti-discrimination protections. It has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994 and never had enough support for passage.

January 28, 2014

House of Reps removes most controversial provision which also banned civil unions and domestic partnerships

A proposed constitutional marriage ban bill in Indiana suffered a major setback on Monday (27 January).

The state's House of Representatives voted 52-43 to amend the bill by removing its most controversial provision which also banned civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Representatives from both parties expressed concern about the language that prohibits any legal relationship that is 'identical or substantially similar' to marriage.

January 19, 2014

'It has nothing to do with persecuting people for their non-traditional orientation. My personal position is that society must keep children safe'

In an interview with a small group of reporters, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his country's ‘gay propaganda’  laws.

'It seems to me that the law that we have adopted does not hurt anyone,' he said in a 17 January interview, according to ABC News.