Civil Partnerships come to the House of Commons
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
Civil Partnerships will finally be debated by MPs today, as the much-delayed bill comes to the House of Commons.
Although MPs will see their second reading of the bill, amendments tabled by peers in the House of Lords are expected to be the main focus of gay rights groups.
The amendment stretched the rights and responsibilities on offer for same-sex couples to people in other relationships, including carers and siblings. Observers expect it to be dropped by MPs after critics accused the Conservative peers who tabled it of attempting to wreck the bill.
The amendment has also been slammed by legal experts and organisations for carers, who want to see a separate bill created to deal with the issues. They say that by including it, the Civil Partnerships bill will be unworkable.
Appeal court to hear gay marriage dispute
Ban making its way to state's top court
By Ed Anderson
BATON ROUGE -- A Baton Rouge appellate court, not the state Supreme Court, will have the next crack at deciding the battle over the legitimacy of a controversial constitutional amendment defining marriage as an institution only between one man and one woman and banning same-sex marriages and other civil unions.
Attorneys in the case had asked the Supreme Court to hear the matter next, bypassing the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge, but Supreme Court spokeswoman Valerie Willard said the high court decided to allow the normal appellate process to be followed.
No matter how the 1st Circuit rules, both sides in the ongoing controversy said the case will eventually wind up in the state's highest court, possibly by late this week or early next week.
Black, Asian Clerics Unite to Support Gay Marriage
By Kai Ma,
BERKELEY -- Calling for an end to discrimination and homophobia, seven local Asian-American and African-American religious ministers united yesterday at Berkeley's Pacific School of Religion in an emotional call supporting the rights of gays and lesbians to marry.
To an audience of more than 60 people, the ministers charged that Asian and Black religious leaders who in recent weeks have expressed support for President Bush's efforts to ban gay marriage do not speak for their entire communities.
Saudi women denied vote, candidacy
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Women may neither vote nor run in Saudi Arabia's first nationwide elections, the government has announced, dashing hopes of progressive Saudis and easing fears among conservatives that the kingdom is moving too fast on reforms.
An electoral official cited administrative and logistical reasons Monday for the decision to ban women from the municipal elections, scheduled to be held in three stages from February 10 to April 21.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there are not enough women to run women's-only registration centers and polling stations, and that only a fraction of the country's women have the photo identity cards that would have been needed to vote.
Many women in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, have balked at getting the ID cards -- introduced three years ago -- because the photographs would show their faces unveiled.
Caution: slippery slope
The natural limits of marriage
The lawyer representing Canada's Attorney General shocked supporters and opponents of marriage equality last week when he fell down the fabled "slippery slope" of same-sex marriage and into what the Supreme Court of Canada called "deep waters".
Peter Hogg, considered by many to be Canada's leading authority on constitutional law, performed more like a professor than a legal advocate during a spectacular misunderstanding of a question from the Supreme Court of Canada.
It happened early on Oct. 6, during the reference hearing on proposed legislation that will roll-out marriage equality to the remaining have-not provinces and territories. The court was concerned about the government's response to jurisdiction concerns raised by Alberta and Quebec (both interveners opposed to the proposed federal legislation, for different reasons)
The insurance industry has reached an agreement with Pink Finance to publish new guidelines on HIV, which should see the end of gay questions on life assurance application forms.
The agreement with the Association of British Insurers means the removal of the personal questions that are asked of gay men when applying for insurance products.
The 'gay' question on Life Assurance application forms is to be replaced with a new 'common question' that is to be asked of all risk groups regardless of sexuality.
Chris Morgan, editor of pinkfinance.com said: “We're very proud to have played the leading role in securing 'equal' treatment for gay men when applying for insurance products.
Is Bush Planning To Listen In On Gay Chat Rooms?
by Michael Hill
The Associated Press
(Washington) Amid the torrent of jabber in Internet chat rooms — flirting by QTpie and BoogieBoy, arguments about politics and horror flicks — are terrorists plotting their next move?
The government certainly isn't discounting the possibility. It's taking the idea seriously enough to fund a yearlong study on chat room surveillance under an anti-terrorism program.
Candace Gingrich argues gay rights are about equality
By Chris Foreman
Candace Gingrich wonders about the options that might be available to her partner if she were to be involved in a car crash.
Would she be permitted to visit her at the hospital? Would she have any say about the type of care offered?
These are the questions heterosexual couples don't have to think about when they tie the knot, Gingrich says, because the federal government grants them 1,048 benefits. These are the marital privileges that allow for health-care coverage for the other half, the ability to refuse to testify against a significant other, and the retention of a child's custody if one of the parents dies.
Gays, lesbians rally for right to marry
BY LAURA MECKLER
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Capitol at their backs, supporters of gay marriage pleaded, demanded and sang out for equal rights yesterday, hoping they will succeed in the long term but mindful of the hostile political environment they face today.
Opponents of gay marriage, led by President Bush, are trying to amend the U.S. Constitution to outlaw gay and lesbian marriages. Voters in 11 states will consider such amendments to state constitutions this fall, and most, if not all, are expected to pass. Even many politicians friendly to gay rights say they oppose same-sex marriage.
Gay Rights: U.S. More Conservative Than Britain, Canada
by Josephine Mazzuca, PhD
Senior Staff Writer, Toronto Bureau
If the issue of gay marriage seems to generate more vitriol in the United States than in Great Britain or Canada, then it’s probably because Americans are particularly likely to oppose it.
Sandals Resorts Ends Anti-Gay Policy
by Peter Moore
(London) After years of refusing to accept gays and lesbians one of the world's biggest chains of resort hotels has announced it will now welcome same-sex couples.
Sandals Resorts, faced with a threatened human rights complaint in Canada, and a negative media campaign in the UK, Monday night said it was lifting its ban on gay couples from 13 resorts it operates in the Caribbean. The ban had been in place since 2001.
Jerry Falwell urges Christians to vote
The Reverend Jerry Falwell, taking a break from his tour of battleground states, has urged members of a Central Texas congregation to get active in politics. "There's a revival sweeping our land," Falwell told several hundred people at Bannockburn Baptist Church on Sunday. "Our people are getting saved.... They're getting registered to vote, and they're voting Christian."
US mobile marriage campaign reaches Washington
Andrew Noyes, Gay.com/Planetout.com Network
An eight-day, cross-country caravan of same-sex newlyweds, religious leaders and activists culminated in a spirited rally on the steps of the US Capitol yesterday to speak out against the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
The mid-day event boasted a laundry list of speakers, including Democratic California state Assemblyman Mark Leno, who introduced his state's same-sex marriage bill, and Chrissy Gephardt, the lesbian daughter of former presidential candidate Dick Gephardt.
Indigo Girls urge fans to vote ‘no’ on gay marriage amendment
By Doug Gross
ATLANTA — Urging fans to shoot down a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Atlanta’s Indigo Girls took the stage at a lunchtime rally Monday, just over three weeks before Georgia voters will decide the issue.
About 100 supporters listened and cheered as the folk rock duo performed two of their songs — ‘‘Let It Be Me’’ and ‘‘Hammer and a Nail’’ — and called the initiative discriminatory and misleading.