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Scottie’s on the mend!


…and should be back soon.  In the meantime, here’s a new thread for comments and thoughts.  Thank you all for your patience!


  • 1. KryptonKid  |  January 14, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I'm so glad that Scottie's feeling better!

  • 2. scream4ever  |  January 14, 2016 at 8:56 am


  • 3. 1grod  |  January 14, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Scottie – know that you and your Baldwin Co AL perspective have been much missed.
    Georgia Lawmaker Files Bills Allowing Businesses to Refuse to Serve LGT People

  • 4. 1grod  |  January 14, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Kentucky's Kim Davis attends state of the Union? "Much of the president's speech was about the forces of abject bigotry on the current political stage and how we can't underestimate them. Kim Davis's presence in the chamber served to underscore his warning".

  • 5. allan120102  |  January 14, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Bad news coming from Guerrero Mexico. All the previous marriages that were officiate have been thrown out saying that they were not legal. Marriage equality is not legal in there, unless you get an amparo. That means that wikipedia and other pages need to change their maps or information. I feel pretty bad for all the couples that were supposedly married. 🙁

  • 6. scream4ever  |  January 15, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Fortunately, it looks like that it will return to the state as soon as the five amparos are granted.

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 14, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    New York: Alliance Defending Freedom LOSES Appeal, Court Rules Businesses Can’t Refuse To Serve Gays

    Via press release from the ACLU:

    Today, 14 January 2016, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, in "McCarthy v. Gifford," affirmed that it is illegal for businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation. The New York Civil Liberties Union victory came in the case of Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, who were turned away by the Albany wedding venue they chose once the venue owners found out that they were a same-sex couple.

    The McCarthys originally were thrilled to find what they thought was the wedding venue of their dreams when they discovered Liberty Ridge Farm, a “one-of-a-kind” wedding venue that boasts it is a “picturesque setting for weddings all year round!” But the farm’s owners, Cynthia and Robert Gifford, rejected them, stating they do not allow same-sex couples to get married at their business because they oppose same-sex marriage. But as the New York State Division of Human Rights ruled in 2014, under New York’s Human Rights Law, public businesses cannot discriminate on the basis of race, sexual orientation, national origin, or other protected classes.

    Together with the national anti-LGBT organization, ADF, Liberty Ridge Farm then appealed the decision to the Appellate Division, which today, 14 January 2016, vindicated the McCarthys and upheld the Human Rights Division’s decision. In its decision, the court noted that discrimination of the sort faced by the McCarthys hurts all New Yorkers, not just those who were directly harmed: “Discriminatory denial of equal access to goods, services, and other advantages made available to the public not only ‘deprives persons of their individual dignity,’ but also ‘denies society the benefits of wide participation in political, economic, and cultural life.’”

    The venue owners were fined $13,000 in 2014, but rather than settle the matter, they quite foolishly chose to appeal. The result of the appeal was another big loss for Alliance Defending Freedom, as now, the venue owners get to pay all the plaintiffs' court costs and attorney fees, as well as the original fine.

  • 8. JayJonson  |  January 15, 2016 at 7:11 am

    It is worth noting that the decision was unanimous. Written by Judge Karen Peters, it strongly upholds the determination made by the Department of Human Rights and eviscerates the arguments proffered by the ADF, including claims of religious practice, compelled speech, and free speech.

    The decision is well worth reading and may be found here:

  • 9. RnL2008  |  January 15, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Nice ruling and a well documented ruling as well……..just because one has the right to Freedom of Religion…..DOESN'T mean they get to use that religion to DISCRIMINATE and every case so far regarding this issue has been ruled AGAINST those using that argument…….in fact Alliance Defense Counsel has basically LOST every Court case they have defended on from the photographer in New Mexico til this case in New York. In fact the photographer from New Mexico had her final appeal denied cert from SCOTUS back in October of 2014.

    If folks think these idiots will eventually win out, they are sadly mistaken!!!

  • 10. Zack12  |  January 18, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Indeed, you don't want to serve all of the public then don't open a business that serves the public, simple as that.

  • 11. tx64jm  |  January 16, 2016 at 10:01 am

    From the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges:

    "Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered."

    Sounds like grounds for appeal of the New York Court decision, and there are already four votes for cert…

  • 12. bayareajohn  |  January 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    A careful and literal reading of the segment you quote clearly says only that the First ensures that they may TEACH and CONTINUE THEIR OWN FAMILY STRUCTURE.

    By example, the Amish are entitled to TEACH and LIVE as their CHOSEN religion dictates. This respect does not mean that they can prevent any of the rest of us from using cellphones or going to Mars.

    And when the Amish sell products into commerce and avail themselves of the structured legal economy, they are as bound as any other by the laws of commerce.

    As are the cake-makers and public accommodation VENDORS. And so shall it remain.

  • 13. tx64jm  |  January 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Well, we'll see what ADF wants to do. Im pretty sure they are going to appeal.

  • 14. bayareajohn  |  January 16, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Advocacy of a losing proposition is always permitted. It's how we got our rights. But as we know, advocacy does not equate to rights without the addition of adjudication.

  • 15. JayJonson  |  January 16, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    It is true that Obergefell does not make same-sex marriage mandatory, but I rather doubt that is grounds for appeal of the New York decision. The whole point of Obergefell is that each individual, including-gasp!–heterosexuals, may choose whom to marry.

  • 16. montezuma58  |  January 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    SCOTUS didn't have four votes to grant cert in the analogous case from New Mexico.

  • 17. tx64jm  |  January 16, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Big difference between taking pictures and renting someones personal property.

  • 18. bayareajohn  |  January 16, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    If you make a public commercial offering of your goods, services, or facilities, you must abide by the laws regarding commerce. Actually the laws about public accommodations are typically among the most stringent in non-discrimination, due to the most grievous historical offenses of racial bias in that arena. So yes, there's a big difference… taking pictures is far more likely not to be compelled compared to renting facilities. And once you offer it in commerce, it's legally a public accommodation, not "personal property". It's the vended access that is the "product", not the property itself. But you know that. Why do you equivocate?

  • 19. tx64jm  |  January 17, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Right … but closely held corporations still have first amendment rights. See Hobby Lobby v. Burwell. Here, this is a FAMILY business, just like Hobby Lobby. So the public accommodation law must bend to the first amendement rights of the family, just as the Healthcare law had to bend to Hobby Lobby's first amendment religious rights.

    If this were a giant hotel chain, such as Holiday Inn, that might be different.

  • 20. VIRick  |  January 17, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    It is illegal for businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

    Get used to it, Tex.

  • 21. sfbob  |  January 18, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I know I'm wasting my internet breath but Hobby Lobby pertained to the provision of a specific health benefit to the employees of a closely-held corporation. I personally think the decision was vile but I can see at least some ways it could be rationalized since no employer is under any constitutional obligation to provide employees with any health benefits whatsoever (though I frankly believe there is at least a moral obligation to do so). The right to freedom of religion is balanced against the right to be treated equally under the law and since both are compelling interests it's entirely appropriate that any business entity which is not an actual religion must obey laws of general applicability in the provision of services they claim to offer to the general public.

  • 22. Zack12  |  January 18, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Then they should have used their property for only family and friends then.
    You open a business that serves the public, you abide by the laws of that state, including the discrimination ones.

  • 23. VIRick  |  January 14, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Colorado: New Federal Lawsuit Due to Alleged Housing Discrimination

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 14 January 2016, Lambda Legal filed a federal discrimination lawsuit, "Smith v. Avanti," against a Boulder County property owner who violated the federal Fair Housing Act and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act by refusing to rent a housing unit she owns in Gold Hill, Colorado, to a same-sex couple, one of whom is transgender, and their children, because she worried their “uniqueness” would jeopardize her standing in the community.

    The link to the complaint is here:

  • 24. RnL2008  |  January 14, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    You beat me to it Rick…..should have known that…

  • 25. VIRick  |  January 14, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    I would like to take a moment to issue a public "Thank You" to Fortguy for having taken a number of recent important changes in the on-going marriage equality situation in Mexico over to Wikipedia's "Talk" section on "Same-Sex Marriage in Mexico."

    Here's another possible suggestion: The Mexico map needs an additional color to distinguish between:

    1. States with 5 or more amparos and complying – Colima, Guanajuato, Querétaro.

    2. States with 5 or more amparos and not complying – Baja California, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Sinaloa, Yucatán.

    Also, an extremely important "test case" marriage of a same-sex couple (with amparo in hand from the recently-issued collective amparo granted to 55 persons in Querétaro, as amparo #5) was to have occurred today, 14 January 2016, at 3 PM, in Ciudad Querétaro. If it took place as scheduled, fine. Querétaro is definitely over the hump. If it did not, then someone in the municipal authority will be cited for contempt.


  • 26. allan120102  |  January 14, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    In twitter the civil register said that the marriage was going to happen. Btw two other amparos have benn granted in Guanajuato. We really need to update the map. If I could I will but I am not sure how. I edit the Guerrero part though. I am still pretty angry about Guerrero not having marriage equality. Colima is expected to change its civil code in the next few months but still.the map need to change and I like your idea Rick.

  • 27. Fortguy  |  January 17, 2016 at 12:31 am

    I've previously given directions to edit the map in this previous post. Understand that you must document your edits with reliable sources on either the main article page or talk page lest some other editor will immediately revert your changes.

  • 28. Fortguy  |  January 17, 2016 at 12:44 am

    I disagree. Any state with 5 or more amparos and in full compliance should be dark blue just as the federal entities that have achieved SSM through legislation or executive action already are. There is already a golden-brown color for intransigent states that have reached the 5-amparo limit. The problem with updating the map is, let me say this again, documentation. I refuse to get into an edit war with other Wikipedians without being armed to the teeth with news reports, court docs, or other irrefutable proof of those amparos existing or evidence that all local officials are truly complying.

    Other than that, thank you for the call-out. Nayarit was easy to change because there was plenty of documentation to do so through the press and the state government's online official journal.

  • 29. VIRick  |  January 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Georgia: Transgender Workplace Discrimination Case

    Per Equality Case Files and Weiss Law:

    On 14 January 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled, in "Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales, LLC," that the employment discrimination case of Jennifer Chavez can move forward. The case had originally been dismissed by the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia because that Court felt there was insufficient evidence of discrimination.

    The 11th Circuit ruling reverses the District Court opinion in part, holding that there was sufficient evidence of discrimination for the case to be heard by a jury. The case is now returned to the District Court for trial.

    There is a link to the decision, audio of oral argument, and parties' briefs in the press release here:

  • 30. VIRick  |  January 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Federal "Birther" Lawsuit Filed Against Ted Cruz

    Bloomberg reports:

    Republican presidential contender, Ted Cruz, should be disqualified from the race because he isn’t a “natural-born citizen,” a fellow Texan claims in a “birther” challenge filed against the senator in US court. The suit, "Schwartz v. Ted Cruz a/k/a Rafael Edward Cruz," filed in the District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, seeks a court definition of the term to clarify whether Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother, can or can not serve if elected.

    “This 229-year question has never been pled, presented to, or finally decided by, or resolved by the US Supreme Court,” Houston attorney Newton B. Schwartz Sr. said in his 28-page complaint. “Only the US Supreme Court can finally decide, determine judicially, and settle this issue now.” Claiming that “time is of the essence” because of the rapidly approaching Iowa caucuses and March 1 Super Tuesday primaries, Schwartz asked that the case be expedited for resolution by the nation’s highest court as soon as possible.

    Wingnuts are already pointing fingers at Trump as being behind the suit. Read it here:

  • 31. davepCA  |  January 15, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Oh this is delicious.

  • 32. bayareajohn  |  January 17, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    It's a badly written filing. Grammar, spelling, construction, logical flow, extraneous side discussion, but – Oh the irony. The most rabid CRUZ supporters have a high correlation with anti-Obama fanatics… who live and breath birther nonsense. It's an amazing feat to balance both why Obama, born of a US citizen mother, and Cruz, born of a US citizen mother, should be treated differently. Regardless of where they were born. The only difference is that it is undisputed that Cruz was born outside the US, while only suspected by some that Obama may have been.

    AWKWARD…. but logical inconsistency has never been a deterrent for wingnuts.

    But sure, it's classic Trump. Both versions work to his advantage.

  • 33. VIRick  |  January 17, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    "It's a badly written filing."

    Indeed! Here's an example just from the short paragraph I quoted: In correct English, is there such word as "pled?" Shouldn't it be "pleaded?"

    The shooting victim bled to death, while the moron pleaded insanity.

  • 34. bayareajohn  |  January 17, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Actually, "pled" is correct.

    pled [pled]
    1. a simple past tense and past participle of plead.

    I found this sort of thing more fun:
    "Justice Ginsburg has opined recently on the precise constitution bass for the Court’s decision while she agreed to the end results."

    I presume a "constitution bass" is an old-school viola. I am amused by the mental image of Notorius RGB jamming on a fiddle twice her size.

    If there were only a Constitutional basis for freedom of musical expression.

  • 35. davepCA  |  January 18, 2016 at 12:40 am

    A constitutional bass is a type of large fresh water fish that complies with the mandates of the federal constitution. (In practice, nearly all bass are 'constitutional bass'. It's really rather rare for a bass to violate the Constitution. Cuz they're just fish).

  • 36. VIRick  |  January 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Lebanese Judge Rules Trans Man Can Legally Change Gender

    A Lebanese judge has ruled that a transgender man can legally change his gender in the country’s civil registry. Judge Janet Hanna of the Court of Appeals of Beirut last September ruled in favor of the trans man who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery. Her decision was released today, 15 January 2016.

    Dr. Omar Fattal, president of the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health, applauded Hanna’s ruling. “LebMASH believes that Janet Hanna’s ruling in Lebanon is very significant. We hope that it’s a first step towards more comprehensive rights for transgender individuals and all other minority groups.”

    A judge in 2014 struck down Lebanon’s anti-sodomy law in the case of a trans woman who faced charges for allegedly having a relationship with a man. Discrimination and violence based on gender identity nevertheless remains pervasive in the Middle Eastern country.

    – See more at:

  • 37. Christian0811  |  January 16, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    The law wasn't struck down per se, I don't recall the Lebanese constitution allowing judicial review at all in fact.

    The judge set 'Jurisprudence Constant' (the French legal term for precedent) that held the law in question, which prohibits "unnatural acts", didn't apply to homosexual conduct in private. Just as a point of clarification 😛

  • 38. VIRick  |  January 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Germany: 700 Evangelische Churches Vote to Conduct Marriage Ceremonies for Same-Sex Couples

    Via Gay Star News:

    A group of Evangelicals (read as Lutheran) controlling 719 parishes in Germany have said they will start marrying gay and lesbian couples. The Evangelische Church in the Rhineland, Germany’s second-biggest territorial church, voted on the decision during their synod today, 15 January 2016.

    It is also the second territorial church area out of 20 to open marriage ceremonies to all couples; the Evangelische Church of Hesse-Nassau was first to adopt a similar change in church constitution.

    Only seven out of 211 voting attendees voted against treating same-sex marriages the same as their straight counterparts and allowing all couples to sign the church register. Until now, gay couples could only receive a consecration or blessing, which does not count as a religious ceremony. The new change in church constitution abolishes this separation.

    Related: Germany’s lower legislative chamber, the Bundestag, will soon consider two same-sex marriage bills. They are not expected to pass.

    A few words of "church" clarification, courtesy of commentators at Joe.My.God:

    The denomination in question is the Evangelische Kirche, which in the USA is known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the most liberal of the 3 different Lutheran sects, some of which are also affiliated with the even-more-liberal UCC.

    The Evangelische Kirche Deutschland is a combination of Lutheran, Reformed (Calvinist/Presbyterian), and Union (UCC) churches, and is the predominant liberal, mainline denomination in central and northern Germany.

    In Germany, the narrow-minded word we think of in the USA as Evangelical is Evangelikal (instead of Evangelische).

  • 39. 1grod  |  January 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    AL Judge calls for end of common-law marriages seems perverse when a dozen probate judges refused to issue licenses.

  • 40. VIRick  |  January 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Judge Calls for End to Common-Law Marriage in Alabama

    A state appeals judge is urging lawmakers to end the practice of common-law marriage in Alabama. Civil Appeals Judge Terri Willingham Thomas issued a dissenting opinion in a divorce case Friday, 15 January 2016, saying the practice of recognizing marriages without a marriage license or ceremony is outdated. Thomas says common-law marriages are legally cumbersome and lead to confusion and court fights. She says anyone can get married now, so common-law marriage isn't needed.

    The opinion came in a case from Shelby County where a woman challenged a lower court decision that concluded she wasn't married by common law to her longtime partner. The appeals court upheld the decision, ruling there wasn't public recognition of the couple's relationship as a marriage.

    Note to Graeme: Judge Thomas is actually at the other end of the scale on the subject of marriage when compared to the 12 renegade probate judges. Notice how matter-of-factly she correctly states, "Anyone can get married now."

  • 41. JayJonson  |  January 15, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    She says that "anyone can get married now," as though that means that common law marriage is no longer necessary, implying that gay people had access to common law marriage when they didn't have access to a ceremonial marriage. But that was not true; Alabama did not recognize same-sex common law marriages.

  • 42. VIRick  |  January 15, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Jay, I totally see your point, now that I have re-read the article. However, I originally read her comment in a completely different manner.

    I took it that she was slamming the 12 renegade probate judges whose intransigence she views as being completely superfluous to the grand scheme of things. In other words, despite them, and their extremely limited sphere of influence, "Anyone can get married now."

  • 43. JayJonson  |  January 16, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Rick, I understand what you are saying and, of course, she may indeed be slamming the renegade judges. But, not having read the dissenting opinion myself, I wonder why she used a particular divorce case as a venue for attacking the recognition of common law marriages in general. Since hers was a dissenting opinion, I assume that she was in favor of recognizing this particular marriage, but thought the tradition should be discontinued. May we also assume that the common law marriage in question was between opposite-sex partners?

  • 44. 1grod  |  January 16, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Rick while on page 16 Thomas says "Unlike in the past, ceremonial marriage is readily available to everyone", the state appeal judge goes on to say: Requiring the minimal effort to access the benefits of marriage is not too much to ask when documentation of a person's marital status will improve both judicial and business efficiency". Just whose efficiency is served when a service intended to enable citizens to easily exercise of a fundamental right is denied? In reality, citizen's of areas of Washington, Clarke and Choctaw which bound one another are denied any local access as is available to those who live in other counties of the state. This mombo jumbo about judicial efficiency imo hardly matters to Nick Williams (Washington), Valarie Davis (Clarke), Michael Armistead (Choctaw), or more recently Laurie Shoultz-Hall (Marengo). Public servants who would deny readily available licenses to Judge Thomas' everyone. What hypocrisy! "Not too much to ask" when the number of recalcitrant judge has not shrunk despite all my and others' wishful thinking. Indeed Rick, please explain how Robert Bentley get away with his September appointment of Stephanie Kemmer JD as Bibb Co's probate judge without a personal guarantee that she would ensure that licenses would be issued to all with minimal effort.

  • 45. allan120102  |  January 16, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Completely disappoint with the new probate judge of Bibb county. bening new and taking the position after Obergefell she new marriage equality is the law of the land. She should have no excuse in no issuing.

  • 46. 1grod  |  January 16, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Rick & Jay: Elizabeth McMullins v Larry McMullins. Dissent of Thomas begins p 12/16
    As implied in my initial posting above, Judge Thomas's observation: the legislature, by its silence, should not require the courts of this state to continue to struggle to separate fraudulent claims from valid ones, when requiring parties who wish to enter into a marital relationship to obtain a marriage certificate would decisively solve the problem. equally applies to the change of language related to the role of probate judge's issuing of marriage licenses (ie changing "may" to "shall" issue). Indeed it should be a lot easier.

  • 47. VIRick  |  January 15, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Transgender Woman Sworn into Venezuelan National Assembly

    The first openly transgender person elected to the Venezuelan National Assembly was officially sworn in on Thursday, 14 January 2016. Tamara Adrián, a lawyer from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas who is a member of Popular Will, a left-leaning party that supports LGBT-specific issues, posted a picture to her Twitter page that shows her and other assemblymembers being sworn in.

    – See more at:

  • 48. allan120102  |  January 16, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    First ss couple to marry in Nayarit after the law was changed, and narriages are increasing in quitana Roo.

  • 49. VIRick  |  January 16, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Celebran Seis Bodas Gay al Mes en Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

    Six Same-Sex Marriages per Month Celebrated in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

    Playa del Carmen QR – En promedio el año pasado se casaron alrededor de seis parejas del mismo sexo cada mes, para este año se prevé que esta cantidad aumente hasta 50% debido a la promoción turística del destino.

    De acuerdo con Carlos Enrique Guerra Sánchez, director del Registro Civil, aunque no hay un punto comparativo, ya que 2015 fue el primer año completo en el que hubo bodas de este tipo, consideró que 2016, será el detonante para que más personas se acerquen a querer casarse bajo esta modalidad.

    Playa del Carmen QR – On average, last year about six same-sex couples married each month. This year, this number is expected to increase 50% due to the tourist promotion of the destination.

    According to Carlos Enrique Guerra Sánchez, director of the Civil Registry, although there is no point of comparison, as 2015 was the first full year in which there were marriages of this type, it is considered that 2016 will be the trigger for more people to come who wish to marry under this modality.

  • 50. VIRick  |  January 16, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Registra Nayarit Primer Matrimonio Igualitario (Despues Reforma)

    Nayarit Registers its First Same-Sex Marriage (Since Reform)

    Tepic, Nayarit – Esta mañana de viernes 15 de enero 2016, se realizó en Tepic la primera boda gay entre dos personas del sexo femenino sin la necesidad de interponer un amparo federal como venía ocurriendo. Se trata de la boda por lo civil de Ana Dalila López Rodríguez e Irma Edith Salgado Ávila que se convierten en la primera pareja en contraer matrimonio en Nayarit con la reforma al Código Civil, sin necesidad de amparo.

    Tepic, Nayarit – This morning, Friday, 15 January 2016, the first same-sex marriage of a female couple was held in Tepic without the need to file a federal injunction before it occurred. It was the civil wedding of Ana Dalila López Rodríguez and Irma Edith Salgado Ávila who became the first couple to marry in Nayarit since the reform of the Civil Code, without the necessity of an amparo.

  • 51. VIRick  |  January 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    US Episcopal Leader: Church Will Not Reverse Same-Sex Marriage Stand

    New York — Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said Friday, 15 January 2016, the US Episcopal Church will not roll back its acceptance of same-sex marriage despite sanctions imposed this week by Anglican leaders in Britain. In a phone interview from England, where he attended the gathering of top Anglican archbishops, Curry said he told his fellow leaders they should expect no change.

    The top Episcopal legislative body, called General Convention, last year voted overwhelmingly to authorize same-sex marriage ceremonies in church. In response, Anglican leaders in Britain on Thursday, 14 January 2016, stripped the Episcopal Church of any role in deciding doctrine or determining how the Anglican Communion operates for three years, effectively reducing the church to observer status in the 85 million-member global fellowship.

    “They heard from me directly that that’s not something that we’re considering,” Curry said. “They basically understand we made our decision, and this is who we are, and we’re committed to being a house of prayer for all.”

  • 52. 1grod  |  January 16, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Rick – as only some clergy/parishes/dioceses of the Anglican Churches of Canada "bless'' same sex couples in a civil marriage, members of the church of Canada did not get zinged like you did. However when the Council of the General Synod [Canada] meets in 2016, it will be considering a strong recommendation that follows in your foot-steps originating from the 2013 General Synod. Its recommendation can be found here

  • 53. Fortguy  |  January 17, 2016 at 12:12 am

    The Anglican Communion is deeply divided on the issue of LGBT rights. Anglicans belong to 38 "provinces" which is to say national or regional autonomous churches. The oldest, and the one regarded as the "mother church" of the communion is the Church of England whose primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is regarded by Anglicans as being first among equals and the spiritual leader of the communion despite having no authority outside the English church.

    The two most prominent North American churches, the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA and the Anglican Church of Canada, have been vanguards in the advocacy of LGBT rights although many conservative parishes and even entire diocese have renounced their affiliations with their national churches choosing instead to affiliate with African or Latin American provinces with more traditional leanings.

    The Church of England, as well as other Anglican churches in the British isles and other countries where LGBT rights are ascendant such as Australia and New Zealand, are deeply conflicted between a conservative hierarchy and socially liberal parishioners who fill the pews. This is especially true of the English church which, besides hosting most ecumenical conferences within the communion as the mother church, must walk the fine line between being the official state church of a country that recognizes SSM and keeping the peace with homophobic provincial churches like Nigeria and Uganda.

    Another problem within Anglicanism is that developed countries most accepting of LGBT rights are also where mainline faiths are loosing adherents as more people reject organized religion. Instead, Anglican growth has been mostly in extremely homophobic former British colonies such as in Africa and the West Indies. One bright exception is the Anglican Church of Southern Africa which includes South Africa where SSM is legal and is the church of retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu whose daughter is a married lesbian priest and is himself a strong LGBT rights advocate.

  • 54. VIRick  |  January 16, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Kansas Anti-Discrimination Bill Seeks to Protect LGBT Citizens

    Topeka KS — Kansas legislation that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination statute is drawing opposition, with critics worried the measure could lead to more lawsuits. The measure, which was the subject of a legislative hearing Thursday, 14 January 2016, would make it illegal to fire or evict someone for being gay or transgender, and ensure equal access to public accommodation, the "Wichita Eagle" reported.

    Supporters of the bill consider it necessary because the LGBT community in Kansas routinely faces discrimination. Opponents say the measure would make Kansas residents who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds vulnerable to lawsuits and that transgender women would be allowed to enter women’s bathrooms.

    Current law shields Kansas residents from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations based on race, religion, color, sex, disability, family status, national origin, or ancestry. The new legislation specifically states that public accommodation shall not refer to religious organizations, the measure’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. John Carmichael of Wichita, said after Thursday’s hearing.

  • 55. allan120102  |  January 16, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Finally! Michoacan to finally abide and will change its code as soon as the 2016 session start. Looks like marriage equality will como to Michoacan pretty quickly

  • 56. VIRick  |  January 16, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Taiwan Elects New President Who Supports Equal Marriage

    A vocal supporter of same-sex marriage has been elected as Taiwan’s new President. The country, known variously as Taiwan, the Republic of China and Chinese Taipei, made a bold step today,16 January 2016, by electing Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party as President.

    As well as being the country’s first female President, Ms Tsai is an outspoken independence campaigner who has called for the country to gain more autonomy from China. She is also a strong advocate for LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, despite no other Asian country passing equal marriage laws to date.

  • 57. GayLawNet  |  January 16, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery to a healthy 'normality' and trouble free 2016! David Allan, GayLawNet.

  • 58. SethInMaryland  |  January 16, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Looks like Taiwan will now become a marriage equality country very soon

  • 59. Christian0811  |  January 16, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    I've read that Taipei referred the matter to the constitutional court last June, wonder if the legislative yuan or the court will get to it first.

  • 60. VIRick  |  January 17, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Romanian Orthodox Church: Marriage Only between Man, Woman

    Bucharest, Romania — The Romanian Orthodox Church says it supports an initiative to change Romania’s constitution to specify that marriage is between a man and a woman. The statement comes amid concerns from some that the conservative East European nation will align with other EU nations and permit same-sex marriage. Romania currently does not recognize marriages between people of the same sex.

    The church, to which more than 85 percent of Romanians belong, said Friday, 15 January 2016, it supports a recent proposal made by the Family Coalition to amend one article in the constitution referring to marriage.

    The MozaiQ Association, which supports gay minority rights, has accused the church of meddling in secular matters. The constitution, last revised in 2003, says marriage is between “partners” without specifying gender. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 2001.

  • 61. allan120102  |  January 17, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Chihuhua.If there was doubt Chihuhua had marriage equality they should be put at ease. Hundreds of couples are to marry in the state. That includes heterosexual and Homosexual couples. The civil register said that they are following the supreme court decision issued on June.

  • 62. VIRick  |  January 17, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Chihuahua: Casarán a 6 Mil en Boda Colectiva

    Chihuahua: 6000 to Marry in a Collective Wedding

    Convocan a ciudadanos que quieran contraer matrimonio, incluyendo parejas del mismo sexo. El Registro Civil (de Ciudad Juarez) espera unir este año a 6 mil parejas juarenses dentro del programa Matrimonios Colectivos 2016, el cual se realizará el próximo 14 de febrero en el Gimnasio Universitario.

    Ricardo Yáñez, director de la dependencia, confirmó que la convocatoria está abierta para todos los ciudadanos que quieran contraer matrimonios, por lo que podrán participar las parejas del mismo sexo. Destacó que entre los 11 municipios donde se realizará el programa esperan casar a 15 mil parejas, cifra que les permitirá superar la meta que fijó el gobernador, César Duarte, de 50 mil matrimonios para el cierre de su administración.….

    This a call for citizens who want to marry, including same-sex couples. The Civil Registry (of Ciudad Juarez) expects this year to join 6000 couples within the Collective Marriage 2016 program, which will take place on 14 February at the University Gym.

    Ricardo Yáñez, director of the agency, confirmed that the call is open to all citizens who want to get married, including same-sex couples. He noted that among the 11 municipalities which will host the program, they expect a total of 15 thousand couples to marry, a figure that will allow them to exceed the target set by the governor, César Duarte, of 50 thousand marriages to close out his administration.

  • 63. 1grod  |  January 18, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    While Rasheed may not be among the 11,342 Syrian refugees that have arrived in Canada since Nov 4 2015, his reflection of the adjustment to Toronto is helpful in coming to appreciate the challenges/opportunities faced in a new culture.

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