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  • UMAffirmation
    Austin church will offer Episcopal same-sex blessing By Juan Castillo American-Statesman Staff St. David’s
    Message 1 of 22 , Feb 9, 2013
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      Austin church will offer Episcopal same-sex blessing

      By Juan Castillo

      American-Statesman Staff


      St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin will bless a same-sex couple next month, possibly becoming the first Episcopal church in Texas to perform the groundbreaking liturgical rite.


      Located downtown on East Eighth Street, St. David’s is the largest Episcopal church in Austin, and gays and lesbians make up what its rector, the Rev. David Boyd, called a significant number of the church’s roughly 2,500 parishioners.





      Same-Sex Military Couples Struggle for Recognition

      by Michael Biesecker

      Associated Press

      Sunday Jan 20, 2013


      Sgt. Karen Alexander fought for her country in Iraq, but back home she often feels the U.S. Army is fighting against her.

      Married to another female soldier with a 4-year-old son, Alexander is denied the same housing allowance and other family-friendly benefits she would be entitled to if married to a man. As far as Uncle Sam is concerned, she’s still single.





      Same-sex couples seek Va. marriage licenses

      January 17, 2013 | icon-comment5 Comments


      More than a dozen same-sex couples from across the South gathered outside the Arlington County Courthouse on Thursday to apply for marriage licenses.


      Gays and lesbians from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and North and South Carolina submitted applications to Arlington Circuit Court Clerk Paul Ferguson in the complex’s plaza. A constitutional amendment that Virginia voters approved in 2006 defines marriage as between a man and a woman in the commonwealth, but those who participated in the action described their decision to take part as symbolic.





      Taiwan: Gay couple withdraw lawsuit against the state for ban on equal marriage

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      23 January 2013, 2:13am


      A gay couple in Taiwan who filed a lawsuit last year after being rejected in their application for marriage, have said they will withdraw their case tomorrow. 





      US: Gay civil unions bill passes first vote in Colorado

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      24 January 2013, 1:57am


      On Wednesday, a bill to legalise civil unions in the US state of Colorado passed its first vote, bring the state one step closer to allowing same-sex unions.





      Same-sex marriage bill introduced in House of Commons

      by Scott Roberts
      24 January 2013, 11:37am


      The government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales has officially been introduced in the House of Commons by Culture Secretary Maria Miller.





      Poland Rejects Draft Laws for Unmarried Couples

      Associated Press

      Friday Jan 25, 2013


      Poland’s lawmakers have rejected three separate draft laws that were intended to give legal rights to unmarried couples, including same-sex ones.





      Britain Introduces Same-Sex Marriage Bill

      Associated Press

      Friday Jan 25, 2013


      The British government published a bill to legalize same-sex marriage Friday, and said lawmakers will get their first vote on it in Parliament next month.


      The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill extends marriage to gay couples but excludes clergy in the Church of England - the country’s official faith - from having to carry out the ceremonies.





      New Mexico Legislature to Vote on Gay Marriage Bill

      by Sergio N. Candido

      South Florida Gay News

      Saturday Jan 26, 2013


      The New Mexico state legislature is set to hear a bill that could make it legal for gay couples to marry in the state.





      Peter Tatchell: The equal marriage bill is commendable, but flawed

      by Peter Tatchell
      26 January 2013, 11:42am


      While legalising marriage equality is welcome and commendable, the government’s refusal to end discrimination against straight couples in civil partnership law is flawed and wrong. Opposite-sex couples are legally prohibited from having a civil partnership and for no rational reason David Cameron intends to keep it that way.




      Passage of Marriage Bill in Rhode Island Hinges on Religious Exemptions

      by Michelle Smith

      Associated Press

      Saturday Jan 26, 2013


      The fate of gay marriage legislation in Rhode Island could hinge on the exemptions it affords religious groups that oppose it, the State Senate president said Friday, a day after the House overwhelmingly passed the bill.


      Teresa Paiva Weed said she remains opposed to the bill and has heard that the sticking point for many senators is on how broad of a religious exemption is included in the only New England state that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage.





      French Gay Marriage Bill Presented to Parliament

      Associated Press

      Tuesday Jan 29, 2013


      The French government has presented a divisive plan to legalize gay marriage and adoption to Parliament for debate.





      HRC-Led Business Coalition Supports DOMA Repeal

      by Sergio N. Candido

      South Florida Gay News

      Tuesday Jan 29, 2013


      The Human Rights Campaign now counts with a new group of allies: a business coalition made up of companies like Marriott, eBay, and Armani Exchange.


      The group, comprised of Fortune 500 and brand name companies, has vowed to stand behind the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill which repeals the Defense of Marriage Act and recognizes all marriages for legal purposes, according to the HRC.





      Sweden: Married Ugandan men victims of ‘lottery’ asylum system

      by Corinne Pinfold
      29 January 2013, 6:05pm


      Two Ugandan men living in Sweden, who claim they are the first gay couple from their country to get married, may be separated once again after a lucky reunion following a decision by the Swedish Migration Board.





      Zimbabwe: New draft constitution includes equal marriage ban

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      29 January 2013, 5:12pm


      A new Zimbabwean draft constitution includes a clause banning equal marriage for gay couples, reports suggest.





      British Catholics Send One Million Anti-Gay Marriage Postcards to Parliament

      by Sergio N. Candido

      South Florida Gay News

      Wednesday Jan 30, 2013


      British Archbishop Peter Smith said he has distributed one million anti-gay postcards for churchgoers to mail to parliament as part of last resource effort to gain momentum against the bill.





      Young gay New Zealanders say equal marriage would reduce youth suicides

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      30 January 2013, 4:30pm


      Young gay men have made submissions to the New Zealand select committee dealing with the equal marriage bill, to say that legalising equal marriage would reduce the number of youth suicides.





      French Gay Marriage Plans Stir Parenthood Debate

      by Lori Hinnant

      Associated Press

      Thursday Jan 31, 2013


      The French are all for sex and all for family - so long as you’re having sex to create one. Anything dealing with assisted reproduction makes a sizable portion of them uncomfortable, as the president’s plans to legalize gay marriage have unexpectedly exposed.

      The debate over whether society and science are overreaching when it comes to parenthood has sent thousands into the streets, turned the bridges over the Seine into billboards and prompted charges that women’s bodies will soon be for rent in a society that still has surprisingly deep conservative roots.





      Reuters: Major Anti-Gay Marriage Group in Financial Straits

      by Jason St. Amand

      Web Producer / Staff Writer

      Friday Feb 1, 2013


      A recent Reuters article exposes the financial cracks in ProtectMarriage.com, an anti-marriage equality group that is defending Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court. According to the news agency, the organization is in deep debt and is struggling to raise money to fight that case and to pay off other debts it has accumulated.

      ProtectMarriage.com "showed a $2 million deficit in its legal fund at the end of 2011, the third year in a row that expenses exceeded donations, federal tax records show," the article says. ProjectMarriage.com has been spearheading the court fight to overturn a federal appeals court judge who ruled that the referendum, passed by California voters in 2008 to ban same-sex marriages in California, was not valid.





      Polish MP opposes equal marriage because ‘gays are no use whatsoever to society’

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      1 February 2013, 1:40pm


      An Member of Parliament for the right-wing Polish opposition party has made homophobic remarks in a speech at a recent debate around the legalisation of equal marriage in the country.





      Wyoming fails to pass domestic partnership rights for gay couples

      by Scott Roberts
      31 January 2013, 3:59pm


      A bill to extend domestic partnership rights to gay couples in the US state of Wyoming has been defeated.

      The Republican-controlled house in Cheyenne voted down a bill on Wednesday night that would have given same-sex couples the same legal rights as heterosexuals.





      LGBT people in French Polynesia follow French equal marriage and adoption debates

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      30 January 2013, 11:30pm


      Now that the debate on France’s equal marriage and adoption law has gone before parliament, French Polynesia has begun watching the early stages closely.





      French General Assembly votes to make same-sex marriage legal

      by PinkNews.co.uk Staff Writer
      2 February 2013, 12:14pm


      The French National Assembly, the lower house of France’s Parliament has voted in favour of making same-sex marriage legal.





      US: Mayor holds ‘wedding’ for 13 gay couples to protest against proposed equal marriage ban

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      1 February 2013, 2:23pm


      The mayor of a city in the US state of Indiana has conducted a symbolic wedding for over a dozen gay and lesbian couples in protest to a proposed ban on civil unions and equal marriage.





      Illinois: Gay Marriage Vote Very Likely

      Associated Press

      Tuesday Feb 5, 2013


      Legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois is expected to come up in a Senate committee meeting Tuesday and could see a floor vote on Valentine’s Day.





      British Lawmakers Vote in Favor of Gay Marriage

      by Sylvia Hui

      Associated Press

      Tuesday Feb 5, 2013


      British lawmakers on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage championed by Prime Minister David Cameron, despite stronger-than-expected opposition from within his Conservative Party.


      In a first House of Commons vote, lawmakers voted 400 to 175 in support of the legislation. There was strong support from the left-leaning Labour Party and Liberal Democrats party, but many Conservatives rejected the proposals.





      Families First to Grant Domestic Partnerships to Florida Citizens

      by Steffany Skelley Gilmer

      EDGE Contributor

      Wednesday Feb 6, 2013


      LGBT citizens may soon find Florida to be a friendlier state, thanks to State Senator Eleanor Sobel (D). On January 9, Sobel filed a statewide bill appropriately nicknamed the "Families First" bill that would allow Florida citizens to enter into domestic partnerships.





      British House of Commons Approves Gay Marriage

      Luke Macgregor/Reuters

      Published: February 5, 2013


      LONDON — The House of Commons voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Britain, indicating that the bill is assured of passage as it moves through further legislative stages.





      Alice Arnold: I will marry Clare Balding rather than ‘marrying’ her only in inverted commas

      by Corinne Pinfold
      6 February 2013, 11:21pm


      Former Radio 4 presenter Alice Arnold has spoken of her plans to marry her civil partner, TV presenter and journalist Clare Balding, in the wake of the House of Commons vote on equal marriage.


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    • UMAffirmation
      MN Gov Dayton Endorses Gay Marriage in State of State Address 2-6-2013 While most of Dayton s speech focused on the budget, his brief mention of support for
      Message 2 of 22 , Feb 18, 2013
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        MN Gov Dayton Endorses Gay Marriage in State of State Address 2-6-2013


        While most of Dayton’s speech focused on the budget, his brief mention of support for same-sex marriage marked a step forward for that issue’s prospects at the Capitol. Dayton has previously supported same-sex marriage but had been reluctant to endorse a planned legislative push on the issue in 2013.


        Dayton stopped short of definitively demanding a gay marriage bill on his desk this year. But after the speech, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk — who also had been tentative about a gay marriage push in the Legislature this year — said a bill could start moving at the Capitol in April, after lawmakers finish the budget. Bakk also said he would vote to legalize gay marriage if it gets to the Senate floor.





        Freedom to Marry pledges $2 million for state marriage campaigns

        February 7, 2013

        By Michael K. Lavers on February 7, 2013


        Freedom to Marry on Thursday announced it hopes to raise $2 million for various state same-sex marriage campaigns around the country this year.

        The group said it will invest an initial $800,000 through the “Win More States Fund” to groups in Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey and Rhode Island fighting to allow gays and lesbians to tie knot.





        Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury warns that equal marriage supporters are ‘on wrong side of eternity’

        by Corinne Pinfold
        11 February 2013, 12:42pm


        The Right Reverend Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, has once again preached an attack on the government’s equal marriage bill, less than a week after it was supported by MPs in the House of Commons.





        House of Lords may stage an anti-equal marriage rebellion

        by Corinne Pinfold
        11 February 2013, 12:33pm


        More than half the Conservatives in the House of Lords are planning to vote against the same-sex marriage bill alongside “dozens” of Labour and Liberal Democrat peers, according to the Telegraph.





        [Called Out Editors’ note – Really?  What age specifically?  We’re past our teens by more than a little bit and we haven’t grown out of it yet.]

        Tory MP: Same-sex marriage will damage youth who will grow out of a ‘normal gay phase’

        by PinkNews.co.uk Staff Writer
        10 February 2013, 2:56pm


        Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling, Sir John Stanley, has claimed that homosexuality is a ‘normal phase’ for youngsters before become heterosexual in later life.





        Anti-gay group targets National Cathedral over gay marriage

        February 11, 2013

        By Lou Chibbaro Jr. on February 11, 2013


        An organization started by religious right figure Ralph Reed is circulating an online petition demanding that the federal government halt all “current or future” funds for the Washington National Cathedral because of its recent decision to perform same-sex weddings.


        In a statement released on Friday, the Faith and Freedom Coalition noted that in recent years the National Cathedral has received a $700,000 grant from the National Park Service’s “Save America’s Treasure’s” program, which funds efforts to preserve and maintain historic buildings.


        “With this policy change, taxpayers are being asked to subsidize gay marriage ceremonies for a church that can readily access millions of their own,” the group said in its statement.





        Marriage equality supporters seek to repeal Oregon’s ban on gay marriage

        Associated Press


        SALEM, Ore. — Supporters of same-sex marriage said Monday they’re aiming at a vote next year to reverse Oregon’s ban on gay marriage, which was approved in 2004.


        The state’s leading gay-rights group, Basic Rights Oregon, said it’s formed a campaign organization to get a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot. The group will need to collect at least 116,000 valid signatures.





        French Assembly Passes Gay Marriage, Adoption Bill

        Associated Press

        Tuesday Feb 12, 2013


        France’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved a sweeping bill to legalize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children, handing a major legislative victory to President Francois Hollande’s Socialists on a divisive social issue.





        Gay Marriage Backers Plan Oregon Vote in ’14 to Reverse Ban

        by Jonathan J. Cooper

        Associated Press

        Tuesday Feb 12, 2013


        Supporters of same-sex marriage said Monday they’re aiming at a vote next year to reverse Oregon’s ban on gay marriage, which was approved in 2004.

        The state’s leading gay-rights group, Basic Rights Oregon, said it has formed a campaign organization to get a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot. The group will need to collect at least 116,000 valid signatures.





        French National Assembly approves equal marriage bill

        by Joseph Patrick McCormick
        12 February 2013, 4:20pm


        The French National Assembly approved the country's equal marriage bill (Image: James Cridland)

        France took a step closer to legalising equal marriage and adoptions for same sex couples, as its National Assembly approved a bill to do so, during its second reading today.





        Update: Cincinnati teacher sacked for refusing to recant statement supporting equal marriage

        by Joseph Patrick McCormick
        11 February 2013, 5:06pm


        The Assistant Principal at a Catholic school in Cincinnati has been sacked, for refusing to recant statements he made in support of equal marriage for gay people.





        US: Mayor of Atlanta admits that he was ‘wrong’ to oppose equal marriage in the past

        by Joseph Patrick McCormick
        13 February 2013, 4:29pm


        The Mayor of Atlanta, who recently announced he had changed his stance to support equal marriage, has said he feels he “was wrong” to have opposed equal marriage in the past, in favour of civil unions.





        Illinois Senate Passes Marriage Bill

        by Sara Burnett

        Associated Press

        Thursday Feb 14, 2013


        Illinois moved closer Thursday to becoming the 10th state in the nation where same-sex couples can legally wed, after the Senate voted to lift a ban on gay marriage.





        Associated Press reaffirms that gay married couples are ‘partners’ rather than ‘husbands’ and ‘wives’ in face of criticism

        by Corinne Pinfold
        15 February 2013, 5:44pm


        A spokesman for the Associated Press (AP), the foremost authority on journalistic style and standards, has reaffirmed that it will be sticking to guidelines published on 11 February that state reporters should “generally” not refer to same-sex married couples as “husbands” or “wives”.





        US: Illinois Senate passes equal marriage in Valentine’s Day vote

        by Joseph Patrick McCormick
        14 February 2013, 9:23pm


        Updated 10:44pm - The Illinois Senate has approved a bill to legalise same-sex marriage – although it still has to pass the House before it becomes law.





        Thailand: Public hearings on civil unions begin

        by Corinne Pinfold
        13 February 2013, 7:01pm


        A series of public hearings held by a joint team of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department and the House committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights - began in Thailand last week.





        Same-Sex Marriage/Civil Union Bills Filed In Legislature

        By Joey Palacios


        As some states across the U.S. approve same-sex marriage by voters or legislatures, many are asking when conservative Texas will move forward on the issue. Several lawmakers filed bills this week that can be seen at least symbolic victories of progress.


        In 2005, Texas voters approved a ban on same-sex partnerships, marriages and civil unions with 76 percent approving the ban. The resolution was known was Proposition II.  A couple years before that, in 2003, a bill by former state Sen. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio passed the legislature altering the Texas Family Code limiting the union to one man and one woman; what was known as the Texas Defense of Marriage Act.



      • Affirmation: United Methodists
        Poll: 92% of Nigerians support proposed bill to criminalise same-sex marriage by Joseph Patrick McCormick
        Message 3 of 22 , Jun 30, 2013
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          Poll: 92% of Nigerians support proposed bill to criminalise same-sex marriage

          by Joseph Patrick McCormick
          20 June 2013, 7:05pm


          The poll found that 92% of respondents agreed with the bill to ban equal marriage

          A new poll has found that 92% of Nigerians are in support of a proposed bill to make same-sex marriages punishable with 14 year prison sentences.





          US Supreme Court Justice says the court should not rule on ‘moral’ issues like equal marriage

          by Joseph Patrick McCormick
          22 June 2013, 5:37pm


          Less than a week until the US Supreme Court is expected to make rulings in two key equal marriage cases, one of its justices has spoken out to say the court should not be ruling on such an issue.






          U.S. High Court Rulings Impact Same-Sex United Methodist Couples

          by Heather Hahn

          June 26, 2013


          A UMNS Report


          The full ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings Wednesday, June 26, on same-sex marriage still are being hashed out.

          But on one thing many United Methodists agree: The decisions will add fuel to a longtime denominational debate on how the church ministers to gays and lesbians.


          In the case Windsor v. United States, a 5-4 majority opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, arguing that it is a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons as protected by the Fifth Amendment.





          DOMA, SCOTUS and You

          by Joey Reed

          June 26, 2013


          Today (June 26), the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) declared unconstitutional sections of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).


          You likely have an opinion.


          I do, too. I’d like our opinions to meet, have coffee, and learn from each other.


          Here’s mine. The ruling of the Supreme Court makes perfect sense if you understand that the Constitution is the operative document.

          The ruling of the Supreme Court makes no sense if you think that the Constitution is based on Scripture as the operative document.





          Same-Sex-Marriage Fight Shifts Back To States

          June 26, 2013 7:11 PM


          The dual victories the Supreme Court to gay-marriage supporters Wednesday seemed to temporarily shift the focus of the fight from Washington to the states.


          For instance, one of the more notable reactions to the Supreme Court decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and upholding a lower court ruling that blocked California's Proposition 8 from taking effect came from the American Civil Liberties Union.





          After DOMA: What's Next For Gay Married Couples

          June 26, 201311:52 AM


          The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Wednesday to is a monumental victory for advocates of same-sex marriage.


          But what happens now that the 1996 federal law that confines marriage to a man and a woman has been declared unconstitutional?


          Will federal benefits flow only to same-sex married couples living in states that recognize their unions?


          What about same-sex spouses who are legally married but living in states that ban such unions?





          How The End Of DOMA Will Affect Obamacare, Federal Employees

          by Joe Neel

          June 26, 2013 5:19 PM


          The Supreme Court's that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional will not only make a big difference in health benefits for some federal employees, it could also affect people who will be newly eligible for Obamacare beginning next year.


          For lower-income people seeking coverage under Obamacare, marriage may not provide a financial advantage, tax experts say.


          Once the dust settles and new policies can be drawn up, federal employees in same-sex marriages will be able to enroll their partners in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. The Obama administration has extended several benefits to gay employees in recent years, but was prohibited by DOMA from providing FEHBP coverage.





          Justice Kennedy At Center Of Gay Rights Decisions For A Decade

          June 26, 2013 2:33 PM


          Ten years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas "" law that criminalized some sexual acts.


          Today, on the anniversary of that decision, the high court that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.


          At the center of those landmark decisions has been Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the court's majority opinions in both.





          Supreme Court Strikes Down the Defense of Marriage Act

          by Mark Sherman

          Associated Press

          Wednesday Jun 26, 2013


          In a major victory for gay rights, the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.

          The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits.



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        • Affirmation: United Methodists
          Federal Marriage Benefits? Not for Everyone by Stephen Ohlemacher Associated Press
          Message 4 of 22 , Jul 16, 2013
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            Federal Marriage Benefits? Not for Everyone

            by Stephen Ohlemacher

            Associated Press

            Sunday Jun 30, 2013


            Like other married couples, same-sex couples are about to learn that federal benefits for being married might not be all they’re cracked up to be.

            Social Security benefits for spouses can be generous, but only for couples with big disparities in their incomes. Taxes are a decidedly mixed bag, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions for the Internal Revenue Service.

            Many middle-income couples should get welcome tax breaks now that they can change their filing status from "single" to "married filing jointly." The biggest benefits will go to couples in which one spouse makes more money than the other.





            Tax Benefits and Penalties of Marriage

            Associated Press

            Sunday Jun 30, 2013


            The Supreme Court has struck down part of a law that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples who were married in states that recognize their unions. The tax benefits of being married, however, are a mixed bag.





            Prop 8 supporters accuse court of ‘lawlessness’ for allowing resume of same-sex weddings

            by Joseph Patrick McCormick
            29 June 2013, 5:26pm


            Supporters of the now defunct Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages in the US state of California, have claimed that the courts have acted in a “lawless” way, following the resume of same-sex weddings in the state.





            US: Court gives green light to allow same-sex weddings to resume immediately in California

            by Joseph Patrick McCormick
            29 June 2013, 1:15am


            Same-sex couples wishing to marry in the US state of California have been pleasantly surprised, as a crucial stay has been lifted, meaning the state can immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.





            Supreme Court rules on same-sex cases

            Rulings do not change UMC definition of marriage

            by Heather Hahn on July 01, 2013


            (UMNS) — The full ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings June 26 on same-sex marriage are being hashed out. But the rulings already are winning praise from some United Methodists even as they trouble others.


            Decisions will likely add fuel to a long-time denominational debate.


            On one thing many United Methodists agree: The decisions will likely add fuel to a long-time denominational debate on how the church ministers to gays and lesbians.





            Judge: Trial Possible on Mich. Gay Marriage Ban

            by Ed White

            Associated Press

            Tuesday Jul 2, 2013


            DETROIT -- A judge signaled Monday that a trial is possible to determine whether Michigan’s ban on gay marriage is constitutional, nearly nine years after voters approved it by a wide margin.


            U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by nurses Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, who are challenging a law that bars them from adopting each other’s children as well as a 2004 constitutional amendment that defines marriage only as between a man and a woman.





            New Poll: Marriage Equality Support at Record High in Wake of SCOTUS Ruling

            by Jason St. Amand

            National News Editor

            Tuesday Jul 2, 2013


            According to a new USA Today poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage - a record high, which comes after the Supreme Court’s landmark rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.


            "By an unprecedented 55 percent to 40 percent, Americans say marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by law as valid, with the same rights of traditional marriage," USA Today writes. "That’s the highest level of support since Gallup began asking the question in 1996. Then, fewer than half that number, 27 percent, backed the idea."



          • Affirmation: United Methodists
            Same-Sex Ruling has Employers Tweaking Benefits by Sam Hananel Associated Press
            Message 5 of 22 , Jul 22, 2013
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              Same-Sex Ruling has Employers Tweaking Benefits

              by Sam Hananel

              Associated Press

              Friday Jul 5, 2013


              The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage has private employers around the country scrambling to make sure their employee benefit plans comply with the law.


              The impact of the decision striking down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is clear in the 13 states and the District of Columbia where gay marriage is currently legal, or soon will be: Same-sex married couples must be treated the same as other spouses under federal laws governing tax, health care, pensions and other federal benefits.




              ACLU Sues State of Montana Over Benefits for Gay Couples

              Associated Press

              Tuesday Jul 16, 2013


              A civil rights organization filed a new lawsuit against the state Monday on behalf of seven gay couples in an attempt to win for them the same benefits that married couples receive in Montana.

              The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana filed its amended complaint after the state Supreme Court rejected its first lawsuit in December for being too broad and not identifying specific laws that are discriminatory.




              Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Ark. Gay Marriage Ban

              by Chuck Bartels

              Associated Press

              Tuesday Jul 16, 2013


              Three gay couples filed a federal lawsuit Monday that seeks to overturn a 2004 Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage.


              Two of the couples applied to get married in Pulaski County and were turned down. One couple was legally married in New York but "are treated as legal strangers in their home state of Arkansas," according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Jack Wagoner III of Little Rock.




              Equal marriage bill passes final House of Commons stage and will receive Royal Assent

              by Joseph Patrick McCormick
              16 July 2013, 9:21pm


              The equal marriage bill for England and Wales has once again been passed in the House of Commons, and will soon will be given Royal Assent to become law.




              Britain Legalizes Gay Marriage

              Associated Press

              Wednesday Jul 17, 2013


              Britain on Wednesday legalized gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval, clearing the way for the first same-sex weddings next summer.

              Lawmakers cheered as House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said royal assent had been given - one day after the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales cleared Parliament.

              The queen’s approval was a formality and is the last step necessary for a bill to become law.




              Gay Marriage Supporters Launch $2 Million Illinois Campaign

              Associated Press

              Wednesday Jul 17, 2013


              Gay-marriage supporters are launching a $2 million statewide campaign to approve same-sex marriage in Illinois.

              Illinois Unites for Marriage is a coalition representing gay rights, civil rights and political groups.




              Tory MP Mike Freer: If gay people pay the same contributions, their pension rights must be the same

              by Scott Roberts
              17 July 2013, 7:23pm


              Conservative MP Mike Freer raised the issue of pensions inequality during Tuesday’s same-sex marriage Commons debate and said it was right to settle the discrepancy “whatever the cost”.




              Gay Marriage: Britain, France in Surprise Contrast

              by Angela Charlton and Gregory Katz

              Associated Press

              Wednesday Jul 17, 2013


              The French like to make fun of the British, joking about their repressed ways in matters of the heart. But when it came time to debate same-sex marriage, it was France that betrayed a deep conservative streak in sometimes violent protests - while the British showed themselves to be modern and tolerant.

              With little fanfare or controversy, Britain announced Wednesday that Queen Elizabeth II - hardly a social radical - had signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriages in England and Wales. France has also legalized gay marriages, but only after a series of gigantic protests attracting families from the traditional heartland that revealed a deeply split society.




              Equality Network calls on Scotland to legalise equal marriage following England & Wales Royal Assent

              by Scott Roberts
              17 July 2013, 3:13pm


              Scottish campaigners have welcomed Wednesday’s Royal Assent of the same-sex marriage act for England and Wales, and are using it to redouble their efforts to achieve marriage equality in Scotland.




              Equal marriage bill for England and Wales given Royal Assent and is now law

              by Joseph Patrick McCormick
              17 July 2013, 2:18pm


              The equal marriage bill for England and Wales was today given Royal Assent, and is now officially law.




              N.Y. official pushes feds to recognize same-sex marriages

              MICHAEL GORMLEY | Associated Press

              Friday, July 19, 2013


              ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is using the power of the state’s $160 billion pension system to urge President Barack Obama to order federal agencies and programs around the country to recognize gay marriages performed in New York.


              DiNapoli’s idea is to adopt a “place of celebration” standard in federal government, meaning gay marriages that take place in New York would be recognized even in states that do not permit them. It could be a big push in DiNapoli’s effort to get major companies that do business with the state pension fund to adopt anti-discrimination measures when providing benefits for gay couples.




              For some Minnesota Methodists, a same-sex marriage conundrum on Aug. 1

              by Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio

              July 22, 2013


              MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota's new marriage law goes into effect Aug. 1, creating new urgency for many faith communities about whether they will perform such weddings, particularly those that have been wrestling with how to address sexual orientation for decades.


              Among those torn over the issue are Methodists, who have a unique history on the matter in Minnesota -- as retired pastor Roger Lynn would surely testify.




              Same-sex marriage in Minnesota: A cross-section of faith communities' approaches

              by Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio,
              Mike Cronin, Minnesota Public Radio

              July 22, 2013


              ST. PAUL, Minn. — Same-sex couples can legally wed in Minnesota on Aug. 1. Marriage in the eyes of the state's many faith communities, however, is a different matter.


              Reactions from Minnesota religious organizations -- and sometimes from within those organizations -- vary widely.




              NY Official Pushes Feds to Recognize Gay Marriages

              by Michael Gormley

              Associated Press

              Friday Jul 19, 2013


              New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is using the power of the state’s $160 billion pension system to urge President Barack Obama to order federal agencies and programs around the country to recognize gay marriages performed in New York.


              DiNapoli’s idea is to adopt a "place of celebration" standard in federal government, meaning that gay marriages that take place in New York would be recognized even in states that do not permit them. It could be a big push in DiNapoli’s effort to get major companies that do business with the state pension fund to adopt anti-discrimination measures when providing benefits for gay couples.




              Minnesota Gay Couples Await Guidance on Income Taxes

              Associated Press

              Friday Jul 19, 2013


              Minnesota gay couples preparing to get married after it becomes legal next month will have to wait a bit longer for guidance on their income taxes.




              San Diego County Clerk Seeks End to Gay Marriages

              by Paul Elias

              Associated Press

              Saturday Jul 20, 2013


              SAN FRANCISCO - The San Diego County clerk has asked the state Supreme Court to stop gay marriages.

              Ernest Dronenburg Jr. urged the state high court to immediately halt same-sex weddings while it considers his legal arguments that gay marriages remain illegal in California despite a U.S. Supreme Court’s decision widely regarded as authorizing gay weddings.




              Ohio Men Challenge State Law Denying Gay Marriage

              Associated Press

              Saturday Jul 20, 2013


              CINCINNATI - Two Ohio men have filed a federal lawsuit alleging Ohio violates the U.S Constitution by denying legal recognition to same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal.

              James Obergefell and John Arthur of Cincinnati filed the lawsuit Friday in Cincinnati against Ohio’s governor, attorney general and the Cincinnati health department registrar who files death certificates.




              Minn. Churches Prepare for Gay Wedding Decisions

              Associated Press

              Monday Jul 22, 2013


              Minnesota’s new law allowing gay marriage takes effect Aug. 1, but one former United Methodist minister with a long history of support for the issue won’t be able to publicly preside over any same-sex weddings.


              Roger Lynn, a retired United Methodist pastor, performed a wedding ceremony in 1971 for two Minneapolis men, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell, whose legal fight to be allowed to marry was among the nation’s first. Lynn’s role in the ceremony caused ruffles in the larger United Methodist community, and a year later its General Conference passed a resolution defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.




              32 comments Americas · Law · Politics · USA 

              US: Democratic West Virginia Representative backs anti-equal marriage federal ban

              by Scott Roberts
              19 July 2013, 7:08pm


              A Democratic lawmaker is joining dozens of Republicans who want to ban same-sex marriages in the US Constitution – even though there efforts are unlikely to succeed.




              US: City measure introduced to allow same-sex married couples full marriage benefits

              by Joseph Patrick McCormick
              19 July 2013, 4:39pm


              A measure has been introduced in the city of Richmond, Virginia which would allow employees of the city in same-sex marriages to receive the same benefits as straight married couples.



            • Affirmation: United Methodists
              Judge Rules for Ohio Men’s Same-Sex Marriage Associated Press Tuesday Jul 23,
              Message 6 of 22 , Aug 4 8:06 PM
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                Judge Rules for Ohio Men’s Same-Sex Marriage

                Associated Press

                Tuesday Jul 23, 2013


                A federal judge has ruled in favor of two Ohio men who want their out-of-state marriage recognized as one of them nears death, a case that’s seen as encouraging for same-sex marriage supporters in the state.




                NM Attorney General Not Defending Gay Marriage Ban

                by Barry Massey

                Associated Press

                Tuesday Jul 23, 2013


                New Mexico Attorney General Gary King told the state’s highest court on Monday that a prohibition on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.


                In written arguments filed with the court, King said the justices should invalidate the state’s ban on gay marriage if they agree to resolve the issue in a lawsuit filed by two Santa Fe men who were denied a marriage license.




                Mo. Court Seeks More Input on Gay Death Benefits

                Associated Press

                Tuesday Jul 23, 2013


                A U.S. Supreme Court decision about federal benefits for gay couples has prompted the Missouri Supreme Court to take a second look at a pending case.




                NY to Refund Gay Couples Forced to Pay Estate Tax

                by Michael Gormley

                Associated Press

                Tuesday Jul 23, 2013


                Same-sex spouses forced to pay high New York estate taxes upon the death of their partner will get refunds from the state.

                Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the refunds are being issued as a result of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA.




                Archbishop of Kenya warns Justin Welby against supporting civil partnerships

                by Scott Roberts
                23 July 2013, 1:28pm


                The Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, has criticised the Archbishops of Canterbury and York because he feels they are softening their position on same-sex civil partnerships.




                Ky. Couple Challenges Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

                by Brett Barrouquere

                Associated Press

                Friday Jul 26, 2013


                A Louisville couple challenged Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriages, saying Friday that the state isn’t treating them and other same-sex couples on equal footing with other married couples.


                Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon, both 55, are asking a federal judge in Louisville to require the state to recognize valid unions from other states and countries.




                Federal Judge Orders Ohio Officials to Recognize Same-Sex Couple’s Marriage

                by Justin Snow

                Metro Weekly

                Saturday Jul 27, 2013


                A federal judge Monday ordered Ohio officials to recognize the marriage of a same-sex couple wed in Maryland on the death certificate of one of the two men currently in hospice care.


                Timothy Black.jpgU.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black wrote in Monday’s order that despite Ohio’s 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, "Ohio law has historically and unambiguously provided that the validity of a marriage is determined by whether it complies with the law of the jurisdiction where it was celebrated."




                July 27, 2013 9:05AM

                New Challenges to Gay Marriage Bans From Within States & Denominations

                Post by Candace Chellew-Hodge


                Don't look now but the marriage equality snowball is gaining momentum. Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act allowing legally wed gay and lesbian couples access to the federal rights and responsibilities of marriage, LGBT rights groups have wasted no time using the momentum to push for more changes.


                Couples in states like Kentucky, Virginia, Arkansas and Pennsylvania have filed lawsuits challenging those states' laws against marriage equality.




                Gay Marriage Court Win In Ohio May Spawn New Suits

                by Amanda Lee Myers

                Associated Press

                Saturday Jul 27, 2013


                Two gay men who successfully sued to get their out-of-state marriage recognized in Ohio despite a state ban are at the forefront of what supporters and experts believe will be a rush of similar lawsuits aiming to take advantage of an apparent legal loophole.

                John Arthur of Cincinnati, who is dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease, won the right to be listed as married on his death certificate and to have his partner of more than 20 years listed as his surviving spouse.




                Lawmakers to Revive Gay Marriage Debate in Neb.

                by Grant Schulte

                Associated Press

                Monday Jul 29, 2013


                Nebraska lawmakers will revive a gay marriage debate later this year, with a hearing that could lead to a proposed ballot measure on the issue.


                The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee will convene on Oct. 4 to review Nebraska’s constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.




                Nigeria Denies Will Allow Gay Married Diplomats

                Associated Press

                Monday Jul 29, 2013


                Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is denying reports the minister said he would allow gay married diplomats to be accredited.




                Mexico: State of Colima legalises civil unions for same-sex couples


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              • Affirmation: United Methodists
                UruguayÆs Same-Sex Marriage Law Takes Effect Monday Aug 5, 2013 As reported in BBC News , today
                Message 7 of 22 , Aug 18 6:38 PM
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                  Uruguay’s Same-Sex Marriage Law Takes Effect

                  Monday Aug 5, 2013


                  As reported in BBC News, today Rodrigo Borda and Sergio Miranda became the first same-sex couple to register to marry in Uruguay, just hours after the law legalizing gay took effect in the country. The couple plans to marry in September.


                  The marriage equality bill, which passed by overwhelming majorities in both houses of the legislature last April and was signed into law by President José Mujica in May, makes Uruguay the second country in Latin America to offer full marriage rights to all of its citizens.




                  Ill. Governor Says Wis. Should Legalize Gay Marriage

                  Associated Press

                  Monday Aug 5, 2013


                  Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says Wisconsin should follow the lead of other Midwest states and legalize gay marriage.

                  Quinn said Saturday during a break at the National Governors Association meeting in Milwaukee that gay people should not have more rights in some states in the region and less in others.




                  Marriage Equality Not Coming to Wisconsin Anytime Soon

                  by Jason St. Amand

                  National News Editor

                  Monday Aug 5, 2013


                  Same-sex couples hoping to tie the knot in Wisconsin may have to put any wedding plans on hold for awhile, after Gov. Scott Walker (R) made some discouraging comments at a weekend conference in Milwaukee, the Huffington Post reports.




                  Lawsuit Challenges Illinois Gay Marriage Ban

                  Associated Press

                  Tuesday Aug 6, 2013


                  CHICAGO - A Cook County judge is scheduled to hear arguments on whether to dismiss a case challenging Illinois’ ban on same-sex marriage.

                  Circuit Judge Sophia Hall will hear arguments Tuesday.




                  West PA Mayor Marries Gay Men with E. PA License

                  Associated Press

                  Tuesday Aug 6, 2013


                  BRADDOCK, Pa.-A Pittsburgh-area mayor has married two men who obtained a license from an eastern Pennsylvania county official who has issued more than 60 licenses to same-sex couples despite a state law that defines marriage as a contract between one man and one woman.




                  Decision on Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit Next Month

                  Associated Press

                  Wednesday Aug 7, 2013


                  CHICAGO After hearing nearly two hours of arguments, a Cook County judge said Tuesday she’ll decide whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Illinois’ gay marriage ban late next month.




                  Demand For Gay-Marriage Licenses in Pa. is Rising

                  Associated Press

                  Wednesday Aug 7, 2013


                  Demand among same-sex couples for marriage licenses from an eastern Pennsylvania county official flouting state law shows no sign of slacking.




                  Pentagon May Revise Same-Sex Benefits

                  Associated Press

                  Wednesday Aug 7, 2013


                  WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is poised to extend health care, housing and other benefits to the same-sex spouses of military members by the end of August, but may reverse earlier plans to provide benefits to gay partners who are not married.




                  Taiwan: Authorities uphold first same-sex transgender marriage

                  by Aaron Day
                  8 August 2013, 3:21pm


                  Authorities in Taiwan have agreed not to revoke the marriage status of a local transgender couple, in a move activists have called a “benchmark” ruling.




                  Exclusive: Alex Salmond says ‘It’s Time’ for equal marriage in Scotland because it’s the ‘right thing to do’

                  by Scott Roberts
                  8 August 2013, 10:59am


                  Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has spoken out about why he supports equal marriage in a video recorded as part of the Equality Network’s It’s Time campaign.




                  US: Pentagon to extend some benefits to same-sex military spouses by end of August

                  by Joseph Patrick McCormick
                  8 August 2013, 1:32am


                  Reports suggest that the Pentagon is to extend health care, housing and other benefits to the same-sex spouses of military members by the end of this month.




                  Brazil Army Must Recognize Same-Sex Civil Union

                  Associated Press

                  Friday Aug 9, 2013


                  A court has ordered Brazil’s Army for the first time to recognize a same-sex civil union between a sergeant and his companion.




                  Pa. County Grants 100th Same-Sex Marriage License

                  by Maryclaire Dale

                  Associated Press

                  Friday Aug 9, 2013


                  A suburban Philadelphia county defying Pennsylvania’s marriage law issued its 100th same-sex license Friday, just weeks after opening the courthouse door to gay men and women.




                  Brazil: Court orders army to recognise same-sex civil union

                  by Joseph Patrick McCormick
                  9 August 2013, 6:10pm


                  The judge ruled that the army must recognise the civil union of the same-sex couple

                  For the first time in Brazil, a court has ordered the Brazilian Army to reconise a same-sex civil union.




                  Gay Rights Group: Don’t Delay Marriage in N.J.

                  Associated Press

                  Sunday Aug 11, 2013


                  TRENTON - Lawyers for a group of gay couples said in a court filing Friday that New Jersey’s key argument against allowing same-sex marriage immediately is "contrary to established law."




                  US: Pennsylvania Health Department says issue of same-sex marriage licences ‘risks causing serious harm’

                  by Joseph Patrick McCormick
                  12 August 2013, 11:49pm


                  The decision by a Pennsylvania county clerk to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples could result in a separation of powers violation which ”risks causing serious and limitless harm”, a filing by lawyers for the state Health Department said on Monday.




                  Nigerian bishops: We’re against equal marriage but empathise with people who live with ‘homosexual tendencies’

                  by Scott Roberts
                  12 August 2013, 5:26pm


                  A group of bishops in Nigeria have warned against equal marriage but say they “empathise with people who live with homosexual and gay tendencies”.




                  Source: Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard considered reversing equal marriage opposition

                  by Daniel Carter
                  12 August 2013, 12:25pm


                  It’s being reported by an Australian broadcaster that former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was tempted to drop her opposition to equal marriage during her time in office.




                  US: New Jersey judge to hear potentially groundbreaking case on implications of DOMA strike-down

                  by Joseph Patrick McCormick
                  11 August 2013, 4:15pm


                  A New Jersey court case will this week hear oral arguments in a test of the implications of the Supreme Court ruling which struck down key sections of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), to find out what it means for that states.




                  Same-Sex Couples Seeking Insurance Wait For IRS Rules

                  by Michelle Andrews

                  August 13, 201310:49 AM


                  Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the federal ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, federal agencies have to figure out the regulations that govern everything from to income taxes.




                  Gay Ohio Couple Win Extension Recognizing Marriage

                  Associated Press

                  Tuesday Aug 13, 2013


                  CINCINNATI: A federal judge on Tuesday extended a temporary restraining order preventing state authorities from enforcing their ban on gay marriage against two men who got married in another state as one of them nears death.



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                • Affirmation: United Methodists
                  Religious leaders in Hawaii call for passage of marriage equality bill Governor says special session to consider marriage bill is very likely OSKAR GARCIA
                  Message 8 of 22 , Sep 5, 2013
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