Archive for the ‘Same-Sex Marriage’ Category

Civil Unions in Mexico City

18 March 2007

A law in Mexico City to allow gay couples civil unions came into effect Friday, according to BBC News. It was approved by the city council last November and gives the couples similar inheritance and social rights, though not some other things such as in regards to adoption.

Members of Felipe Calderon’s conservative party are filing a court challenge against the unions.

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HRC Lying About Membership?

11 March 2007

According to Andrew Sullivan’s blog, Human Rights Campaign membership due totals don’t add up to the 650,000 members they say they have. Due to large donations and a minimum $35 annual membership due, he comes up with a maximum of 150,000 members. If HRC really had lied about their members, especially so massively, it would obviously be negative for the gay rights movement, as the right would inevitably pounce on it.

However, this is all with the assumption that $35 is actually a requirement for membership. University branches, for instance, might have lower requirements (the Ohio State University chapter happened to have a webpage and came up in a google search: students who attend a certain number of meetings aren’t required to pay anything), but still be counted in the total. Additionally, the HRC.org membership form has a space for partners/spouses, and they probably assume that the partners are supporters as well, which would mean that couples, despite paying only $35, would be fairly counted as two supporters. There are a number of ways to be an HRC member without having paid them 35 dollars. While it does seem odd to assume that so many members are student or otherwise non-full-paying members, it also seems unlikely that HRC would put a membership number so much larger than the real one.

All in all, I hope that HRC was being accurate, and I think it’s very likely that they were.

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Gay Marriage Decisions Soon in Three States

2 March 2007

Three states, California, Connecticut, and Maryland, might soon announce a decision on the constitutionality of gay marriage, according to the Pew Research Center.

A lower Maryland court has already found a right to gay marriage. In 2005 California became the first state to have its legislature pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage without court order, but Schwarzenegger vetoed it. California and Connecticut both have appeals awaiting arguments concerning whether civil unions or domestic partnerships are legally adequate substitutes for marriage.

The interesting thing there is the term “substitute.” If it is a substitute then, by definition, it is technically equal but still separate, and therefore not truly equal.

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NJ Becomes Third State to Allow Civil Unions

19 February 2007

New Jersey became the first state to offer civil unions this morning, according to ABC News, along with Connecticut and Vermont. The civil unions will guarantee equal rights to same-sex couples, such as adoption and child custody, hospital visitation, and making medical decisions.

Same-sex couples will not, however, have their relationships granted the title of marriage. In addition, the federal government and most other states do not recognize these rights, so a same-sex partner cannot receive social security benefits after their partner’s death, and if their partner was hospitalized in another state they may not be allowed the right to visit or make medical decisions.

Currently, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Vermont offer civil unions for same-sex couples, Massachusetts offers marriage, and several other states offer domestic partnerships.

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NJ to Allow Non-NJ Gay Unions

17 February 2007

According to Eyewitness News, New Jersey’s attorney general has ruled that, starting Monday, New Jersey will recognize gay unions from other states and countries where gay marriage is legal. The unions will grant to gay couples all of the rights of an opposite-sex marriage.

This is obviously a step forward, but, while it provides for equal rights, the ruling keeps marriage and civil unions separate.

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Bill Would Allow Benefits to Gay NH Workers

12 February 2007

A proposed bill in New Hampshire would provide to gay couples the same state worker benefits that straight couples have currently, according to the Boston Globe. The state would be required to offer them to its workers if their partner resided with them and was older than 18, though the bill would not affect local governments. Currently, unions have to negotiate for the benefits.

Representative Ed Butler testified in support of the bill, saying he has been in a relationship with a man for 29 years but cannot name him on his health insurance because they cannot legally marry. No one testified against the bill.

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Increase in Laws Against Gays?

20 January 2007

Maybe I just happen to read more of it, but it seems like there has been a sudden increase in potential laws against homosexuals, both in and out of the United States.

  • According to 365Gay, the Nigerian parliament will be voting on a bill that would take all civil rights from homosexuals. It started as a ban on same-sex marriage, but now would prohibit, among other things, selling or renting property to same-sex couples, forming gay rights organizations or visiting one’s website, expressing love in a letter to a same-sex partner, giving HIV/AIDS information to a homosexual, or even a group of heterosexuals meeting with a group of homosexuals for any purpose. The punishment would be five years imprisonment.
  • According to The State, the Iraqi government has criticized the UN for, among other things, making reference to the attacks on Iraqi gays in a report.
  • According to 365Gay, New Mexico Representative Gloria Vaughn (R) is now trying to pass an amendment to the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Happily, the proposed law in Arizona that would amend the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage has been removed from consideration, according to 365Gay.

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Ban on Gay Marriage Possible in Arizona

14 January 2007

An amendment to the state constitution that would define marriage as a heterosexual union might be on Arizona’s 2008 ballot, according to the Business Journal of Phoenix. There is already a state law prohibiting same-sex marriage, but Republicans want it in the state’s constitution as well.

A similar ban, Proposition 107, lost in November, but included a prohibition on public employers from offering legal status or health benefits to unmarried couples, which led to opposition from some business groups and labor union, as well as the governor.

Conservatives say that the new proposed ban would not deal with benefits for domestic partner or unmarried couples, and that they are confident they can win a direct vote against gay marriage.

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Penguin Book Returns Pending Further Protest

13 January 2007

A non-fiction book about a pair of penguins in New York City’s Central Park Zoo who raised an adopted egg together will return to the library in schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina), according to Banned books and other forms of censorship. After some parents had protested it, it was removed from shelves in four elementary schools there.

Apparently the issue was that the adoptive parent penguins were both male.

The superintendent said that the procedure was not followed correctly by the protesting parents, so until there is further protest the book will be allowed in the libraries.

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Numbers from 2006

31 December 2006

Election
Number of 2006 problems in the VotersUnite.org log: 246
Number of Gateway, Arkansas residents: 122
Number of votes in the Gateway, Arkansas mayoral election: 199
Number of Pea Ridge, Arkansas residents: 3,344
Number of votes in the Pea Ridge, Arkansas mayoral election: 3,997
Number of poll workers who were charged with assault after with choking a voter: 1

Gay Rights
Number of states to allow gay marriage: 1

NSA Wiretapping
Number of phone wiretapped: Unknown
Amount of information available to Congress regarding wiretaps: Unknown

Prisons
Number of CIA black sites: Unknown
Number of detainees at CIA black sites: Unknown
Number of detainees tortured: Unknown
Number of detainees at Guantanamo Bay: 395-435
Number of detainees who will face trial: Unknown

Risk Assessment Scores
“Risk Assessment” scores: Unknown
Time scores are kept: 40 years
Accuracy of scores: Unknown

Government transparency: 0

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