The gay divorcees

Figures for the number of gay marriages ending in divorce appeared in the press today.

A total of 122 same sex marriages ended in divorce in 2016. Of those, 78% were marriages of female couples.

Advertisements

Romania pulls up the shutters

Romania is gearing up to hold a referendum to amend the constitution to prohibit gay marriage, a move that civil rights groups warn could put the country on an “illiberal” path alongside the likes of Hungary and Poland, writes Politico.

Romania’s civil code forbids same-sex marriage, and civil partnerships have not been introduced.

The planned vote — which could be held as early as November — is the result of a campaign by “Coalition for Family,” which brings together more than 40 groups, many of them religious or describing themselves as “pro-life.” They gathered more than 3 million signatures to force a referendum.

http://www.politico.eu/article/romania-gay-marriage-turns-illiberal-with-moves-against/

Goodbye Edie

The BBC reports that Edith “Edie” Windsor, whose same-sex marriage fight led to a landmark US ruling, has died aged 88. She leaves her wife Judith Kasen-Windsor.

Windsor’s Supreme Court case struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, granting same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time.
She sued the US government after being ordered to pay $363,053 in federal estate tax after her previous wife, Thea Spyer, died.

The couple had married in Canada in 2007.

Gay Activist sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41248327

Chile considers gay marriage

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has introduced a bill to legalise gay marriage.

Bachelet signed the proposal at a ceremony in the presidential palace. The measure will expand the definition of marriage between a man and a woman and would also allow gay couples to adopt children.

“We can’t let old prejudices be stronger than love,” President Bachelet told media.

Chile decriminalised gay sex in 1999 and introduced civil unions for same-sex couples only in 2015.

Gay Activists in Chile are not hopeful the bill will be passed by Chile’s law makers, though.

She ends her term as President in March 2018.

“It’s the beginning of the end of discrimination based on sexual orientation to access marriage,” said Luis Larrain, founder of the Iguales Foundation, hopefully.

Chile tends to be a traditional country.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/chile-gay-marriage-bill-michelle-bachelet-lgbt-rights-weddings-legalised-reforms-a7918441.html

We want to get married, say Australians

17154

David Crosling/AAP | 17154

Thousands of people rallied for marriage equality in Australia’s second-biggest city of Melbourne today ahead of the postal ballot on same-sex marriage.

Australia has been slow not to have legalised same-sex marriage.

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus of the Labor Party called on the Liberal Party-led government to do more to ensure the debate did not turn ugly ahead of the postal survey next month. “I’m particularly calling on the prime minister of Australia to speak out against any bile or hate speech that we might see in this campaign,” he said.

Australians will vote over several weeks from mid-September in the advisory ballot on whether to legalise same-sex marriage, which is supported by 61 percent of Australians, according to a Gallup opinion poll in 2016.

The issue has fractured the Turnbull government and damaged his standing with voters, which is now at a six-month low.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-protests-gaymarriage-idUSKCN1B6074

Referendum minister repeats apology

17151

Michael McCormack | AAP | 17151

As you may have read or heard, Australia has launched an official national postal referendum on the issue of gay marriage.

Government Minister Michael McCormack is in charge of the Australian Bureau of Statistics which is conducting the marriage survey and has apologised for previously denigrating gay people. He wrote a newspaper editorial in 1993 in which he said a week never went by “that homosexuals and their sordid behaviour don’t become further entrenched in society … Unfortunately gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn’t wipe out humanity, they’re here to stay”.

Today Mr McCormack said he had grown and learnt not only to tolerate, but to accept all people regardless of their sexual orientation. “I apologised wholeheartedly for the comments at the time and many times since, but I am making this statement to unreservedly apologise again today. … I want all Australians to show each other the respect that they deserve and embrace the things that make us all unique.”

He said he would respect the final result “and vote accordingly in the parliament”.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/08/11/minister-responsible-abs-offers-apology-over-historic-anti-gay-comments

Leo likes Belfast!

17146

Mr Varadkar (centre, in jeans) | Peter Morrison/Press Association  | 17146

Attending Belfast Pride yesterday, Republic of Ireland Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it is “only a matter of time” until same sex marriage is legalised in Northern Ireland. Earlier, he attended a Gay Pride breakfast meeting at the Northern Whig bar in Belfast where he met gay members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, pictured, and others.

The DUP did not oppose Mr Varadkar’s attendence at the event, but a small group of Free Presbyterians staged a protest across the road.

Asked if he believed gay marriage would be introduced in the North, Mr Varadkar – who is openly gay – replied: “I do, I think it’s only a matter of time. Of course, the decision is for the Northern Ireland Assembly. But I am confident that like other western European countries they will make that decision in due course.”

http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/gay-marriage-varadkar-northern-ireland-10936013

German gay marriage legal, but faces legal challenge

The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, signed the “marriage for all” bill into law on Thursday. The new law will come into effect after 1 October 2017.

The final step in the legalisation of gay and lesbian marriage comes three weeks after the country’s Bundestag approved the law at the end of June.

The law was controversial, and was rushed through both houses of parliament before the summer break.

Lawmakers who are opposed to “marriage for all” have threatened to have the legality of the new law checked by the Federal Court of Justice, which is Germany’s highest court.

The main change between civil partnerships and marriage equality in German law means same-sex couples will be able to jointly adopt children.

http://www.dw.com/en/german-president-signs-gay-marriage-bill-into-law/a-39795137

Mrs May backs gay marriage in Churches

The Prime Minister has told the Church of England to “reflect” on allowing same-sex couples to marry in church. She also said her father, the Reverend Hubert Brasier, would have supported church blessings for gay couples. She believed her father “very much valued the importance of relationships of people affirming those relationships and of seeing stability in relationships and people able to be together with people that they love”.

Church of England priests are currently not allowed to marry gay couples in church or bless same-sex marriages, an issue which has split the church – progressives are pushing for greater inclusion of gay people while conservative evangelicals are resisting change.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/19/prime-minister-church-should-reflect-allowing-gay-couples-marry/

Malta said Yes

As predicted a week ago, last night Malta’s parliament legalised gay marriage.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat praised the passage of bill, which his Labour Party had vowed would be the first legislation it would bring forward after winning a second term in a snap parliamentary election in June.

“I think it is a historic vote,” said Muscat. “It shows that our democracy and our society is maturing, has reached an unprecedented level of maturity and it is a society where we can all say we are equal.”

http://www.politico.eu/article/malta-legalizes-gay-marriage/