Tag Archives: same sex marriage

Bermuda High Court REVERSES Gay Marriage. Now Illegal.

Bermuda High Court REVERSES Gay Marriage. Now Illegal.

Backstory: In 2017, the Supreme Court of Bermuda declared that same-sex couples had a legal right to marry in the territory after a couple filed suit against the Bermudian Government. However, a bill to ban same-sex marriage and establish domestic partnerships was passed by the Parliament in December 2017 and went into effect on 1 June 2018 though same-sex marriages performed before that day remained legally recognized.

Two legal challenges were filed opposing the domestic partnership law. On 6 June 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the parts of the domestic partnership law that banned same-sex marriages but stayed the ruling while the government appealed to the Court of Appeal. It upheld the right of same-sex couples to marry when it handed down its ruling on 23 November 2018. On 14 March 2022 the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ruled against the Court of Appeal, banning same-sex marriage once again which ruled 4-1.

The only dissenting opinion came from Lord Sales, who wrote that the right to marry was implicit in the constitution and cannot be interpreted as limited to heterosexual couples. He argued that the Bermuda government’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage “interferes with the ability of same-sex couples to act in accordance with their conscience and breaches the state’s duty of neutrality between different conscientious or religious beliefs.”

In 2019, before the beginning of the COVID pandemic Bermuda’s internal travel and tourism consumption amounted to 990 million U.S. dollars, and  cruises from the U.S. go to Bermuda, almost 200 port calls per year.

We should really do something to change that.

Gay History – September 28, 1877: The First Lesbian Same Sex Marriage Takes Place In Nevada

On September 28, 1877, Sarah Maud Pollard, as Samuel M. Pollard, married Marancy Hughes in Tuscarora, Elko County, Nevada Territory.  

Homer Thiel, Tucson archaeologist and historian:

Sarah Pollard was born in 1846 in New York, the daughter of a middle class merchant family. After working in a shoe factory in Massachusetts and sewing shirts in New York, she headed west to Colorado in the 1870s. She caused a stir because of her masculine appearance. Around 1876 she moved to Nevada and took up wearing male clothing in order to find work and she started calling herself “Sam.” She met young Marancy Hughes, born in 1861 in Missouri, and actively courted her. Hughes’ family hated Pollard and the couple eloped on September 28, 1877.

 

They were happily married for six months, and then Marancy broke the secret. The small silver-mining town of Tuscarora, Nevada was transfixed by the story. The matter ended up in court and after Marancy testified, a dramatic re-union took place. Stories about the troubled marriage were carried in newspapers across the country (even appearing in a New Zealand paper). The couple broke up two more times, before Marancy moved on to a marriage with a man in 1880.

Pollard’s story appears to have had a happy ending:

Sarah moved to Minnesota to start a new life by 1883, working by herself on a farm. The story of her successful farming career again made national newspapers, which noted she wore a bloomers-type outfit while plowing. By the 1890s she had met a woman named Helen Stoddard, a schoolteacher who was born in 1864 in Vermont. In later census records Helen was listed as her partner or companion. Sarah died in 1929, and Helen paid for her arrangements at a local funeral home, the owners puzzling over the relationship of the two women.

There seems to be some confusion in the gay and lesbian historical community vs. the trans community about weather to identify Sarah as lesbian or transgender.

But a decade later, the evidence shows that she presented herself with a female name, and became a partner to a female schoolteacher.  Thus the reason I rightfully identify her in this piece as a lesbian.

Source:  Box Turtle Bulletin

Switzerland Overwhelming Votes For Same Sex Marriage. Passes By 2-1 Margin

Switzerland Overwhelming Votes For Same Sex Marriage. Passes By 2-1 Margin

Switzerland is one of the last nations in Western Europe to ban same-sex marriage. The Swiss parliament had already legalized gay marriage, but a group of conservative “Christian” political parties pushed for the decision to be revised in a referendum and put to vote.

On Sunday Swiss voters took to the pols and appear to have decided by a clear margin to allow same-sex couples to marry, according to a projection after a national referendum on Sunday.

The projection, by the gfs.bern polling agency for Switzerland’s public broadcasters, showed the measure passing by by a whopping 64% to 36%.

Switzerland, which has a population of 8.5 million, is traditionally conservative and only extended the right to vote to all women in 1990.

The passage means that t same-sex partners on an equal legal footing with heterosexual couples, by allowing them to adopt children together and facilitating citizenship for same-sex spouses. It would also permit lesbian couples to use regulated sperm donation.

Congratulations Switzerland!

Puerto Vallarta Sheraton Hotel Tells Gay Couple It Won’t Host an "Equal" Wedding Between Two Men

Puerto Vallarta Sheraton Hotel Tells Gay Couple It Won’t Host an “Equal” Wedding Between Two Men

Josh Rimer (Who happens to be Mr. Gay Canada) and his fiancé Heath wanted to have their wedding at the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center in the usually LGBT friendly city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico but after inquiring about a booking the hotel told them that it won’t host a “equal” same-sex wedding.

“This is probably the most homophobic experience I’ve ever encountered personally in my entire life” Rimer said. “It’s not like I’m trying to book a wedding in Uganda! This is Puerto Vallarta! It should not be an issue.”

According to Rimer the manager at the hotel told him “we don’t specialize in same-sex weddings” and suggested other hotels that do.

Rimer later received an email from the manager that read, in part: “I am infinitely grateful that you have thought of Sheraton for your big day., however, our hotel and our staff is not specialized to carry out an equal wedding and we would not like to take your wedding as a trial and error as our service could be poor compared to what characterized Sheraton, because we know and we are aware that is your special day for you and your fiancé, and do not want that by our non-specialized service some conflict can be generated on your big day.

The Marriott Corporation which owns Sheraton said they were looking into the matter.

We are troubled and greatly concerned about the experience reported by Mr. Rimer.  Marriott has long been committed to providing an environment where all are welcome including our LGBTQ guests and their loved ones. We have contacted Mr. Rimer and expressed our sincerest apologies for his experience.  In addition, we are looking further into the matter to better understand what happened and do what we can to prevent hurtful experiences like this from happening again.” Jeff Flaherty, Marriott spokesperson with Global Communications & Public Affairs

Nothing short of the firing of the Sheraton manager, a public apology, and a the resort hosting the same-sex wedding for free will come close to making up for the insult, humiliation and degradation the couple has been put through.

You all know what to do.

Sheraton BuganviliasAddress: Blvd Francisco Medina Ascencio No 999 Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Zona Hotelera, Nte, 48333 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico Phone: +52 322 226 0404

*Parent organizationMarriott International – Customer service: 1 (800) 325-3535

Trump Administration's Dept. of Health and Human Services To Drop LGBT Protections

Trump Administration’s Dept. of Health and Human Services To Drop LGBT Protections

The Trump Administration issued a proposed rule today that strips existing protections for sexual orientation, gender identity, and for individuals in same-sex marriages in all programs and grants administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.”

 Via the Washington Blade:

The Department of Health & Human Services went public on Friday with the regulation, which will undo an Obama-era policy prohibiting discrimination discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation among federal grantees. The proposed regulation, which will have far-reaching implications, was immediately was criticized by LGBT rights supporters. Julie Kruse, director of federal policy at Family Equality Council, said in a statement the policy was “outrageous,” especially at the start of National Adoption Month.

“The American public overwhelmingly opposes allowing taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away qualified parents simply because they are in a same-sex relationship,” Kruse said. According to NCTE, the rule will allow anti-trans discrimination in HIV and STI prevention programs, opioid programs, youth homelessness services, health professional training, substance-use recovery programs and other life-saving services.

Tha anti-LGBT recognized hate group the Family Research Council, applauded the Trump administration’s move saying that charities would no longer have to choose between “abandoning their faith or abandoning homeless children.”

Arizona Supreme Court Rules Business Can Refuse to Make Invitations for Same-Sex Couples

Arizona Supreme Court Rules Business Can Refuse to Make Invitations for Same-Sex Couples

In a 4-3 vote the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Phoenix-based Brush & Nib Studio, a small business that refused to produce wedding invitations for a lesbian couple.

Justice Andrew Gould for the majority wrote:

“The rights of free speech and free exercise, so precious to this nation since its founding, are not limited to soft murmurings behind the doors of a person’s home or church, or private conversations with like-minded friends and family. These guarantees protect the right of every American to express their beliefs in public. This includes the right to create and sell words, paintings, and art that express a person’s sincere religious beliefs. With these fundamental principles in mind, today we hold that the City of Phoenix … cannot apply its Human Relations Ordinance … to force Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, LC (“Brush & Nib”), to create custom wedding invitations celebrating same-sex wedding ceremonies in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Adopted in 2013, City Code 18-4(B)(1)-(3) prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability. It applies to businesses offering services to the general public. But the state of Arizona itself has no such protections on it’s books as law.  And as we all know there are currently no federal protections against LGBT discrimination.

Alliance Defending Freedom which is designated as hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center represented the printers.

Koski and Duka spoke at Alliance Defending Freedom’s Scottsdale office in a press conference with lawyer Jonathan Scruggs.

“This is a win not just for Breanna Koski and me; it is a win for everyone,” calligrapher Joanna Duka said at a press conference in the Scottsdale office of Alliance Defending Freedom. “Everyone should be free to live and work according to their beliefs.”

The city of Arizona issued the following statement:  “The city of Phoenix’s anti-discrimination ordinance is still a legal, valid law and remains in effect,” the city said in a statement after the ruling. “It currently affirms that everyone should be treated fairly and equally regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion, sex, gender or disability.  The Arizona Supreme Court made a very narrow ruling that one local business has the right to refuse to make custom wedding invitations for same-sex couples’ weddings that are similar to the designer’s previous products. This ruling does not apply to any other business in Phoenix. The city of Phoenix has had an anti-discrimination ordinance since 1964 to protect all residents and believes that everyone should be treated equally

Kansas GOP Backed Bills Would Ban Same-Sex “Parody Marriage” And Define LGBT Rights As A Religion

Kansas GOP Backed Bills Would Ban Same-Sex “Parody Marriage” And Define LGBT Rights As A Religion

Via USA Today r

A group of (Republican) state representatives in Kansas introduced legislation Wednesday that seeks to define same-sex marriage as “parody marriage,” stop the state from recognizing gay marriage and establish an “elevated marriage” option for straight couples who seek “higher standards of commitment.”

One of the two bills introduced contends LGBTQ people are aligned with the secular humanism movement, which it calls a religion. It also calls the gay pride rainbow flag a symbol of a “faith-based worldview.”

By doing so, the proposed legislation seeks to define marriage between a man and a woman as “neutral” and same-sex marriage as religious in nature. It then contends the state cannot constitutionally condone a religious practice.


The bills even if they do pass have little to no chance of being signed imto law. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s first official act in office was to restore non-discrimination protections for LGBT state workers, and she would almost certainly veto them.

But if they did pass it would be interesting. Especially since “religion: is a protected class under the 1964 Civil Rights act and being LGBT is not. Not to mention that all LGBT groups and organizations would become tax-exempt.

Lambda Legal Sues Social Security Administration on Behalf of Gay Widower Seeking Spousal Benefits

Lambda Legal Sues Social Security Administration on Behalf of Gay Widower Seeking Spousal Benefits

Lambda Legal yesterday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of a 65-year-old gay man seeking spousal survivor’s benefits based on his 43-year relationship with his husband. For decades they were refused the right the wed. His husband died seven months after Arizona began allowing same-sex couples to marry. 

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Michael Ely in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and argues that SSA’s imposition of a nine-month marriage requirement for social security survivor’s benefits is unconstitutional where same-sex couples were not able to be married for nine months because of discriminatory marriage laws.

“My husband was the love of my life,” Ely said. “We met in 1971, and we were inseparable for the next 43 years. Like other committed couples, we built a life together and cared for each other in sickness and in health. When Arizona’s ban on marriage by same-sex couples was struck down in 2014, we got married as soon as we could, quickly gathering our loved ones together in less than three weeks. But we were only able to be married for six months before I lost him to cancer. Even though we’d been together for 43 years, I’m barred from receiving the same benefits as other widowers, even though my husband had worked hard for 40-plus years and paid into the social security system with every paycheck.”

 in 2007. When Taylor got sick, Ely was his caregiver. Social Security generally requires that couples be married for at least nine months before a spouse dies in order for the surviving spouse to qualify for survivor’s benefits, but for many same-sex couples, that was impossible.

“Same-sex couples who weren’t able to marry for most of their relationship faced discrimination throughout their lives, and now surviving spouses like Michael face it all over again, after their loved one has died.  It’s like pouring salt in a wound.  Denied equality in life, they are denied equality once again in death,” said Lambda Legal Counsel Peter Renn.  “These benefits are as essential to the financial security of surviving same-sex spouses in their retirement years as they are to heterosexual surviving spouses.  But the government is holding their benefits hostage and imposing impossible-to-satisfy terms for their release.”

Lambda Legal’s attorneys working on the case are: Peter Renn, Tara Borelli, and Karen Loewy. They are joined by Tucson attorneys Brian Clymer and Autumn Menard.

 

WORLD NEWS: Romania's Anti-Same Sex Marriage Vote FAILS In Big Way

WORLD NEWS: Romania’s Anti-Same Sex Marriage Vote FAILS In Big Way

Although a poll on Friday indicated high support for a Romania constitution change to specify that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, only 20.4% of eligible voters cast ballots – short of the 30% needed to pass the measure resulting in a massive FAIL to the countries anti-LGBT extremist organizations.

The low turnout comes despite the support of the powerful Orthodox church, and the unusual step by the government of extending the vote to two days instead of one.

Mihai Gheorghiu, president of the pro-referendum Coalition for Family, ahead of the vote said they were trying “to protect, at a constitutional level, the definition of marriage – between one woman and one man.

The constitution will retain its current, neutral wording – that a family “is founded on the freely consented marriage of the spouses”.

Dan Barna, of the opposition Save Romania Union, the only major political party to oppose the referendum, has called for the government’s immediate resignation for “wasting €40m ($46m; £35m) of public money on a fantasy”

The president of LGBT rights organisation Mozaiq, Vlad Viski, called for the legalization of civil partnerships in the wake of the failed vote.

“They must answer the people’s wishes,” he said.

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Bermuda Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban

BOOYAH! – Bermuda Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban

Bermuda Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban

The Bermuda Supreme Court ruled that a previous law rescinding marriage rights to same-sex couples was unconstitutional on Wednesday, according to Bermuda’s The Royal Gazette.

 The court upheld a challenge to the Domestic Partnership Act because it was “inconsistent with provisions in the Constitution which give the right to freedom of conscience and creed,” according to Chief Justice Ian Kawaley’s judgement. This comes after Parliament passed the Act in December, essentially reversing the court’s view on same-sex marriage and becoming the first country to roll back same-sex-marriage.

A campaign partially funded by Carnival Cruise Lines, and boycott’s of the country by LGBT tourist joined the effort to challenge the law, and the ruling is seen as a win for Bermuda’s weakened tourism industry.