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Content about Same-sex marriage in Canada

March 18, 2015

Ruling coalition votes against the motion

Australia's national Senate has supported a motion calling on all parties to allow a conscience vote on gay marriage.

The motion, proposed by Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, passed the upper house where opposition parties have the majority. The ruling Liberal-National coalition voted against.

'[Prime Minister] Tony Abbott should lift the gag on his MPs and let them vote freely on the issue of marriage equality. There's nothing to be afraid of,' she wrote on Twitter.

March 4, 2015

Marriage equality foe Chief Justice Ray Moore recused himself from vote

The Alabama Supreme Court ordered a halt to same-sex marriages on Tuesday (3 March) in a 7-2 vote.

The decision comes despite a recent federal ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban - a ruling the US Supreme Court declined to grant a stay on.

Chief Justice Ray Moore, an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, recused himself from the vote.

January 21, 2015

Irish public will vote in May

The wording of the same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland is now agreed on, it was announced today (21 January).

The Irish public will vote on same-sex marriage in May, the first country in the world to put the issue to a public vote.

They will be asked whether they agree or disagree with the following: 'Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex'.

The government will also enact legislative changes allowing same-sex partners to adopt children.

January 16, 2015

High court has agreed to hear same-sex marriage cases from four states

The US Supreme Court on Friday (16 January) agreed to take on same-sex marriage cases from four states in order to rule on gay marriage nationwide.

The high court will hear cases out of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. In each of those cases, federal judges had struck down marriage bans but those decisions were revered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Last October, the justices passed on reviewing five other marriage cases which had pro-marriage decisions from federal appellate courts.

December 2, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott backs away from his election promise to allow a conscience vote on marriage equality

An Australian senator yesterday threatened to block legislation if the prime minister breaks his election promise to allow a conscience vote on gay marriage.

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm introduced a private bill to legalize gay marriage in parliament last week.

November 1, 2014

'State officials don't get to pick and choose what laws they need to follow,' says ACLU of North Carolina legal director Chris Brook

At least six magistrates in North Carolina have resigned rather than be forced to officiate same-sex weddings after a federal court decision legalized same-sex unions in the state on October 10, the Charlotte Observer reported this week.

When the federal decision was handed down, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said all state agencies would comply. State Senator Phil Berger however asked to the courts to grant protections to public officials who refuse to perform same-sex ceremonies for religious reasons. It was denied.

October 29, 2014

Nicky Morgan says if the opportunity came up to vote for same-sex marriage again, she would vote differently

UK Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan has said if the opportunity to vote for same-sex marriage came up again, she would vote differently.

The 42-year-old Conservative politician caused outrage when she was named Minister for Women and Equalities by Prime Minister David Cameron on 15 July.

How could someone who voted against same-sex marriage have the best interest of LGBTI people at heart?

But now, Morgan says she has changed her mind and 'probably would' vote for same-sex marriage.

October 2, 2014

US high court is staying silent on same-sex marriage as anxious Americans wait to hear their decision on whether they will accept or reject the issue

The US Supreme Court has announced 11 cases it will hear in the new term, with same-sex marriage not being one of them.

Anxious Americans are waiting for history to be made, as one decision could affect all 50 states on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.

The justices had been scheduled earlier this week to privately consider pending appeals from five states over their bans on gay couples from marrying.

But an orders list, issued today (2 October), indicate the court are not prepared to immediately review the core constitutional question.

August 4, 2014

Australian lawmakers will again vote on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and unlike last time it’s looking very likely that government MPs will have a conscience vote on the issue

Australian lawmakers will once again vote on legislation that would see same-sex couples be allowed to marry across Australia and reports indicate it is likely that MPs from the ruling Liberal-National Coalition will be allowed to vote with their consciences.

Fairfax newspapers over the weekend published articles in which several unnamed Liberal MPs said they believed the party room would decide in favor of a conscience vote - including one who is opposed to same-sex marriage.

July 12, 2014

The  three-judge panel from the 10th Circuit of Appeals gave the state until 21 July to take its case to the US Supreme Court

Late yesterday, 11 July, a three-judge panel ordered Utah to recognize the marriages of approximately 1,300 LGBTI couples.

This past December District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled the state's gay marriage law violated the US Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

After the ruling, for 17 days, same-sex couples married in Utah. The ceremonies were halted when the state appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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.

February 4, 2014

LGBTI people and their allies are all awaiting the vote to see whether Scotland will join the 16 other countries to allow same-sex marriage

People all over Scotland are awaiting the final vote today (4 February), finding out whether it will join the 16 other countries in the world to allow same-sex marriage.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill is expected to be approved by parliament later today. But while a shock still could happen, it is looking likely it will pass around 6pm local time.

Under the new legislation, religious bodies will be able to opt in to perform same-sex marriages but individual celebrants who feel it would go against their faith will be protected.

December 12, 2013

Australia’s High Court has annulled the first legal same-sex marriages on Australian soil, striking down the Australian Capital Territory’s gay marriage law

Australia’s High Court has found the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) same-sex marriage law to be inconsistent with Australia’s national Marriage Act and thus struck it down.

The High Court made its verdict on the legality of the first same-sex marriages in Australia known earlier today.

‘The High Court decided unanimously that the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013, enacted by the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory, cannot operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act 1961,’ the justices wrote in a summary of their judgement.

September 19, 2013

Government officials announced a proposal to give same-sex civil unions the same legal rights as marriage between a man and a woman

Thailand's government is preparing to review a 'gay marriage' bill in coming months.

Naras Savestanan, the director general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, announced in a press conference yesterday: 'We will put forward the same-sex civil-union bill in Parliament.'

He said, under the bill, same-sex civil unions would become the legal equivalent of a marriage of a straight couple.

As such, same-sex couples would receive the same rights and benefits as heterosexual couples including 'tax benefits, pension benefits and more'.

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 3, 2013

As a two-day debate on UK marriage equality goes underway in the House of Lords, senior church officials fear a backlash if too many bishops vote against the bill

The future of gay marriage in England and Wales will be debated in the House of Lords today and tomorrow.

As the Lords argue the merits of the bill over two days that will culminate in a crunch vote at around 5pm on Tuesday (4 June), bishops have been told to abstain from voting to avoid being singled out and blamed should the bill not pass.

May 21, 2013

The same-sex marriage bill for England and Wales has passed its report stage and third reading in the House of Commons and will now pass to the Lords for more debate

UK Members of Parliament (MPs) have again backed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales.

It was the third and final reading of the bill in the House of Commons.

In the vote 366 MPs voted for the bill with 161 against, a landslide majority of 205.

The last two days have seen attempts by some Conservative backbench MPs to water down the bill, meaning marriage registrars could opt out of conducting same-sex weddings and teachers wouldn’t have to tell pupils that equal marriage was the law.

Both were rejected.

May 4, 2013

Australian equal marriage activists say that if Australian Opposition leader Tony Abbott is so sure few of his MPs will vote for marriage equality then why not let them

Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has ruled out a free vote in the Australian Parliament on same-sex marriage before 2016 if he is elected Prime Minister and says that so few of his MPs would vote for it that it would not pass now.

'I don't think anyone should expect that this is necessarily going to come up in the next parliament,' Abbott told Fairfax newspapers.

April 23, 2013

Straight Green party senator John Sudarksy has emerged as a champion of LGBT equality and talks about why he thinks it unlikely Colombia’s Senate will say ‘I do’ to gay marriage

As the Colombian Senate prepares its second attempt to vote on marriage equality bill shortly today, we speak to Green Party senator John Sudarsky, an ardent supporter of LGBT rights in Colombia.

Last week Colombia’s Senate decided to postpone the debate on same sex marriage until today (23 April).

However most commentators are pessimistic, after an agreement was allegedly reached between Colombia’s two largest parties, the Conservative and the ‘U’, to not allow the bill to become law.

April 18, 2013

After a three-hour debate, where a majority of Colombian senators appeared to oppose marriage equality, Colombia’s senate postponed the debate to next week

The Colombian Senate decides to suspend marriage equality vote until Tuesday (23 April) by a vote of 35-30.

Only 65 senators attended the vote out of the Senate's 102 members.

During an intense discussion that started today (17 April) at 5pm local time, the Senate unexpectedly postponed the vote on the equal marriage bill.

The decision was made following a proposal of the Senator Juan Restrepo of the ruling 'U' party, who pointed out that the debate ‘was very important’ for country’s future and that therefore it should be delayed.

February 14, 2013

Measure passes by 34-21 vote on Valentine's Day

The Illinois State Senate today (14 February) passed a marriage equality bill by a vote of 34-21 setting the stage for the state to become the 10th in the US to allow gay marriage.

The bill, known as the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, will now need to be considered by the House of Representatives. If  approved by the House, the legislation will be signed into law by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

February 12, 2013

19 members of parliament will now meet in committee to decide on each aspect of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

After the UK House of Commons voted in an overwhelming majority to back marriage equality in England and Wales, the world started celebrating.

But don’t go buying your hats yet, as there are several stages left before Queen Elizabeth II can sign the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill into law.

Today (12 February), 19 members of parliament will hear evidence from religious, parliamentary and gay rights experts.

Over the next few weeks they will go through each line of the bill and decide on the merit, the accuracy and whether it should remain.

February 7, 2013

British MPs have voted for gay marriage. But the next stages of the Bill may prove to be a bumpy road through the comitttee stages and the House of Lords

When the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill stormed through the House of Commons on Tuesday (5 February), England and Wales moved a giant step closer to recognizing equal marriage.

The House of Commons vote passed with a majority of 225, with Prime Minister David Cameron and other major party leaders Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg voting in favor.

But despite the support from Members of Parliament (MPs) the bill still has some way to go before it becomes law.

It is now set to be scrutinised line-by-line in the committee stage by a cross-party group of MPs.

February 5, 2013

Mike Freer, Ben Bradshaw, and Margot James are among the few making their voices heard as gay people in the House of Commons

Gay members of parliament have spoken out on equal marriage in the second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill today (5 February).

Put forward by culture secretary and equalities minister Maria Miller, the House of Commons is debating the bill before the vote later tonight.

Stephen Williams, a Liberal Democrat who was the first openly gay MP to serve Bristol, said: ‘I was born when homosexuality was still a criminal offense.