LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Same-sex marriage in Canada

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.

February 5, 2013

The British parliament has voted for marriage equality after its second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

The majority of members of parliament in the UK House of Commons have voted for same-sex marriage in England and Wales today (5 February).

Despite a large rebellion from backbench MPs, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) bill has passed the important vote needed to take it to the committee stage.

400 MPs voted in favor of same-sex marriage, and 175 voted against.

It will still have to pass other hurdles in both the House of Commons and House of Lords before it can finally pass to Queen Elizabeth II to sign the bill into law.

February 5, 2013

George Osborne, Theresa May and William Hague has written a letter asking Conservative MPs to back marriage equality in the vote

Senior Conservatives are appealing to backbench members of parliament vote for marriage equality in England and Wales today (5 February).

In a joint letter to address the split in government, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Home Secretary Theresa May have attempted to persuade other Conservatives to drop their opposition to same-sex marriage.

February 3, 2013

Senior local Conservatives are urging the UK prime minister to delay any parliamentary decision on gay marriage until after the next election

In a letter delivered today (3 January) to the UK prime minister, David Cameron, 23 current and former Conservative constituency chairpersons warned against legalizing gay marriage.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which is to be debated in Commons later this week, would enable same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, where a religious institution had formally consented, in England and Wales.

It would also allow couples who have previously entered into civil partnerships to convert their relationship into a marriage.

January 24, 2013

Maria Miller formally introduces same-sex marriage bill into House of Commons. First debate and vote scheduled

Members of Parliament (MPs) will get to vote for the first time on gay marriage in England and Wales on 5 February.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was given its first reading in parliament today, a two-minute long formality with no debate.

The bill was introduced by Maria Miller MP, Minister for Women and Equalities, in the House of Commons.

The leader of the Commons Andrew Lansley announced the first major debate will take place at the second reading on 5 February.

January 16, 2013

A majority of MPs in the House of Commons have committed to vote for marriage equality England and Wales

A total of 330 MPs have confirmed they will vote in favor of same-sex marriage legislation when it is introduced at Westminster later this year.

In contrast, just 126 Members of Parliament (MPs) have publicly stated that they remain opposed to a change in the law, meaning there is now a clear parliamentary majority for equal marriage.

December 20, 2012

Moves by European countries to legalize same-sex marriage may spark debate on the issue in their Caribbean dependencies

The upcoming legalization of same-sex marriage in France is predicted to spark debate in its remaining Caribbean territories, while same-sex marriage on the Dutch held island of Saba has lead to an upsurge of visitors.

The Dutch Caribbean territory of Saba is reporting an upswell of LGBT tourists following the legalization of same-sex marriage there.

December 17, 2012

Survey shows on 37% of the public support gay marriage in Vietnam, and 58% are against it

A survey released last week shows that public support could be a obstacle to government interest in legalizing same sex marriage in Vietnam.

The survey by Vietnamese social research group and rights advocates Institute of Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) showed that only 37% of those interviewed support same-sex marriage and 58% actively oppose it.

December 11, 2012

Conservatives and religious leaders continue equal marriage backlash, with one senior Catholic bishop likening the PM to Roman emperor Nero

British Prime Minister David Cameron told Tory rebels to be 'grown ups' over gay marriage, reassuring members of parliament they will have a free vote on the issue.

The Conservative Party leader told politicians in Westminster yesterday (10 December) that despite same-sex marriage not being a priority at a time when the government is busy trying to reduce the deficit, it was the right time to introduce the controversial legislation.

September 19, 2012

First marriage equality bill defeated in Australia’s House of Representatives, advocate says ‘more MPs have chosen the right side of history than ever before’

A vote on legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia has been defeated in the House of Representatives.

Forty-two MPs voted in favour and 98 against Labor MP Stephen Jones’ Private Members Bill.

Jones told marriage equality supporters to ‘maintain your rage’.

Both the prime minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott, plus former prime minister Kevin Rudd, voted against the bill.