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May 25, 2015

Surrogacy is in the news, and gay men looking to become parents should pay attention, says Natalie Gamble from law firm Natalie Gamble Associates

Earlier this month, High Court judge Ms Justice Russell ruled that a UK gay couple should have main care of their 15 month old baby daughter after a ‘surrogacy dispute’ with the baby’s mother.

The decision followed a battle over what had been agreed, and a history of the mother breaching court orders and conducting a homophobic smear campaign against the father and his partner.

May 22, 2015

Probate judges must issue licenses to same-sex couples but ruling on hold until US Supreme Court rules on pending marriage cases

A federal judge has ordered all of Alabama's probate judges to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The ruling handed down by US District Court Judge Callie Granade on Thursday (21 May) will take effect when the US Supreme Court issues its decision - expected in late June - in several pending marriage equality cases in four states.

Granade's ruling came after four leading civil rights organizations requested the court expand the ruling in a Mobile County lawsuit to cover all same-sex couples and probate judges in all of the state’s 67 counties.

May 20, 2015

British teen reveals what happened to him at court

A gay teen came out on the same day he was sexually assualted by a taxi driver, a jury has heard.

The 17-year-old was kicked out of his home when he opened up about his sexuality in October last year.

Speaking in Bristol Crown Court this week, he said the taxi driver who drove him to emergency accomodation forced him to carry a sex act out on him.

David Whitrow, 62 of Redfield, denies the charge.

May 20, 2015

Viewers have been calling for the British presenter to be fired

Loose Women's Coleen Nolan has not apologised after inferring that supporting gay rights is like supporting ISIS.

The British ITV presenter discussed the court case in Northern Ireland that saw a Christian bakery being found guilty of discrimination for refusing to make a pro-gay rights cake.

May 20, 2015

She has previously said she is against gay couples adopting children

ISIS have thrown gay people off buildings, beheaded and stoned them, but Loose Women's Coleen Nolan has implied supporting ISIS is akin to supporting LGBTI rights.

The former girl band singer was discussing the court case that saw a Northern Ireland Christian bakery being found guilty of discrimination for refusing to make a pro-gay marriage cake.

May 12, 2015

Plaintiff was outed in viral online video that 'affected the company's image'

A court has thrown out China's first gay workplace discrimination suit due to lack of evidence.

The plaintiff, only identifed by the pseudonym Mu Yi, was fired from a design company in the southern city of Shenzhen a week after he was outed as gay in a viral online video in October.

He accused the company of violating his right to equal employment by dismissing him because of his sexual orientation and requested an apology and 50,000 yuan in compensation for 'spiritual damages.'

May 11, 2015

In order to recruit top talent, members of the Hong Kong business community wants the High Court to overthrow a decision by the Government not to recognize same-sex partnerships

The High Court in Hong Kong has been asked to rule on a decision by the regional Director of Immigration not to recognize foreign, legally registered same-sex partnerships and marriages.

The decision is being challenged by a woman who entered into a civil partnership in the UK but who now resides with her partner in Hong Kong.

The hearing of the so-called ‘QT case’ is expected to take place in Hong Kong’s High Court on 14-15 May.

Hong Kong does not currently recognize same-sex partnerships – whether between citizens or those from abroad.

May 9, 2015

If the worst should happen, it's important to understand how you might split your assets. Law firm Irwin Mitchell offer their advice for couples.

Since the 29 March 2014, same sex couples are able to marry in England and Wales under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.  The Act has also allowed, since December 2014, same sex couples who are in a Civil Partnership to convert their Civil Partnership into a marriage.  But what happens if that relationship breaks down?  How will the assets of a same sex couple be divided in the event of a divorce (or in the event of dissolution if they are in a Civil Partnership)?

May 8, 2015

Judge rules it is not up to the court to decide whether homosexuality is sinful

A federal judge on Thursday (7 May) dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Nebraska woman against all homosexuals.

Sylvia Driskell, 66, was suing on behalf of plaintiffs God and Jesus Christ and wanted the courts t0 decide whether homosexuality is a sin.

May 4, 2015

A ruling made last September by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will remain in place

The US Supreme Court has upheld New Jersey's ban on gay conversion therapy for minors. 

The court refused to hear a challenge to the law today, which means that a ruling made last September by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will remain in place.

The Court of Appeals said that the ban, which was signed into law in 2013, didn't violate the the free speech or religious rights of those who offer conversion therapy to minors in the state.

May 4, 2015

Joe Biden: 'It’s that fundamental'

When gauging the potential significance of the Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on gay marriage, US Vice President Joe Biden looks back to 1954.

The was the year the high court handed down a landmark decision that ended racial segregation in US schools.

Biden brought up the upcoming decision on marriage equality over the weekend at the OutGiving conference in Dallas, Texas. Among those in attendance was Mary Bonauto, the civil rights attorney who argued for same-sex marriage before the court last week.

May 1, 2015

But 57% think businesses should not be allowed to turn away LGBTI customers on religious grounds

Most Americans think the government should protect religious liberties over LGBTI rights when the two come into conflict, a new poll has found.

But 57% think businesses should not be allowed to turn away LGBTI customers on religious grounds.

AP-GfK polled 1,077 adults online between 23 and 27 April, just before the Supreme Court started hearing oral arguments on whether state bans on gay marriage are constitutional,

On the case, 50% said the justices should rule that gay marriage must be legal nationwide, compared to 48% who said they should not.

April 30, 2015

'Notorious RBG' destroys every argument put forward against gay marriage

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had the perfect response to every argument against gay marriage put forward at the Supreme Court on Tuesday (28 April).

The 82-year-old justice has become a liberal champion for her support of gay marriage and has been dubbed the 'notorious RBG' by younger fans.

First, Ginsburg promptly shut down the argument that the court does not have legal right to change a 'millennia' of tradition.

April 28, 2015

The Court’s justices will begin to hear arguments this morning in Washington in cases brought buy Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee

US Supreme Court justices in Washington are due to meet today to begin hearing arguments ahead of them making a decision on same-sex marriage.

Thirty-six US states, and the District of Washington, have already legalized gay marriage. Others have continued to argue over the legality of same-sex unions – with the decision ultimately being referred to the Supreme Court for consideration.

The Court will be hearing case brought by Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

April 28, 2015

Likely deciding vote Anthony Kennedy: 'This definition has been with us for millennia. It's very difficult for the court to say, "Oh well, we know better"'

As expected, the US Supreme Court appeared sharply divided today during oral argument for marriage equality cases in four states that could make gay marriage legal throughout the country.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who cast the deciding votes two years ago in rulings that gutted the Defense of Marriage Act and allowed same-sex marriages to resume in California, sounded cautious about doing so again.

April 26, 2015

'...I think it does a disservice to both sides if the court wades into public policy like this'

Same-sex marriage opponent Tony Perkins will continue the battle against LGBTI couples, no matter what the US Supreme Court decides.

The president of the anti-gay Family Research Council was a guest on today's (26 April) CBS News show Face the Nation.

April 21, 2015

'The two are closely linked in a short and simple causal chain'

The Christian lawyer who unsuccessfully defended Utah's ban on gay marriage has said legalizing gay marriage will cause 900,000 abortions.

Gene Schaerr made the claim in an amicus brief filed with the US Supreme Court on behalf of '100 scholars of marriage.' The court will hear arguments on gay marriage from four states on 28 April.

April 21, 2015

Landmark ruling makes transgender citizens eligible for food security benefits

In another landmark decision for India's transgender community, a court has ruled that members are entitled to head of household status, making them eligible them to food security benefits.

Allahabad High Court observed that the intended public good of the National Food Security Act 2013 would be furthered if transgender citizens were recognized as head of household.

The court said the 'law needs to travel beyond non-discrimination, by recognising an affirmative obligation of the state to provide access to social security.

April 18, 2015

'Sexual conduct in a public place is not provocation for an assault of any kind,' the judge said as she rejected the prosecutors' claim that the bashing was a vigilante attack to rid the area of gay men

Two men from Perth, Western Australia have been sentenced to life in jail on Friday with a 21-year minimum for the fatal bashing of a gay man in a public toilet in a nature reserve in November 2013.

Daniel Wade Jones and Mark Taylor were found guilty of murdering 48-year-old Warren Gerard Batchelor who was then having a sexual encounter with another man in a disabled toilet.

April 16, 2015

His attacker is now in jail

A man who slashed the throat of his Grindr date and left him for dead is now jailed.

Shane Dunn, 25, was found guilty of attacking Ian Garrod, 55, with a kitchen knife last year.

The court heard how Dunn had brought crystal meth for them both to take before sex with Garrod on 8 September 2014.

When the pair fell asleep, Dunn got up during the night and told Garrod he was going for a glass of water.

But instead, he removed a knife from the kitchen and returned to the bedroom before slicing the victim's neck.

April 15, 2015

To protect public interest and religious and social values

An Egyptian administrative court Tuesday (14 April) ruled that LGBTI foreigners can be deported and banned them from entering the country.

The case in question involved an allegedly gay Libyan man who the interior ministry barred from returning to the Muslim-majority country in 2008.

The unnamed graduate student appealed the decision in hope of continuing his studies at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport but the court ruled in favor of the ministry.

April 8, 2015

Washington woman says $1,001 fine could cost her her home and business

A Christian florist that refused to service a gay wedding has raised nearly $100,000 in donations.

Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Washington, turned away a gay couple in 2013 'because of her relationship with Jesus Christ.'

Last month, the 70-year old was found guilty of violating the state's anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws and fined $1,000 plus $1 in court fees.

'It’s about freedom, not money,' she wrote in a letter to the state's attorney general after the ruling.

April 7, 2015

Even if the US Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage must be legal in all 50 states, some self-governing American Indian reservations will continue to ban the practice

Around a dozen Federally recognized Native American tribes will continue to ban same-sex couples from getting married on their tribal lands even if the US Supreme Court produces a definitive ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 US states.

Federally recognized Native American tribes have the same powers as US states to pass laws governing the lands that fall under their reservations but they are not bound by the US Constitution like states are so any reform on the issue will have to come from within.

April 4, 2015

Embracing my agalmatophilia while admiring the statues of London.

One of the things that I like to do when traveling, when visiting cities around the world, is to check out the museums and galleries.

In particular, I always enjoy admiring their statues.

I like to think that I'm appreciating the craftsmanship, the technique, the smooth lines of the marble that evoke a different time, a different place, a different world. An alternative explanation is that I could be experiencing a mild case of agalmatophilia.