Thursday, July 24, 2014

Where is same-sex marriage legal?

Here is the answer as of July 24, 2014:

Same-sex marriage is legal in the Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Canada (2005), Spain (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Argentina (2010), Iceland (2010), Portugal (2010), Denmark (2012), France (2013), Brazil (2013), Uruguay (2013), New Zealand (2013), England and Wales (2014), Scotland (starting this fall) and Luxembourg (starting early 2015).

Same-sex marriages also have taken place on the Caribbean islands of Saba, a municipality of the Netherlands (2012), and Martinique, an overseas region of France (2013).

In Mexico, same-sex marriage is available in the Federal District (Mexico City) and the state of Quintana Roo --  and, for some couples who filed legal cases, in the states of Baja CaliforniaChihuahua, ColimaJalisco, Oaxaca and Yucat√°n. The marriages are recognized nationwide by Supreme Court order. Mexico has 31 states.

In Colombia, a handful of same-sex couples have managed to get married since September 2013, but the situation remains fluid. Latest here.

In Australia, same-sex couples were able to marry in the Australian Capital Territory from Dec. 7, 2013, to Dec. 12, 2013, under a special "same-sex marriage" law the territory enacted. On Dec. 12, Australia's High Court invalidated the law and the marriages, pointing out that marriage is a matter of federal law in Australia.

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts (2004), California (2008 for four months, then 2013 for good), Connecticut (2008), Vermont (2009), Iowa (2009), New Hampshire (2010), Washington, D.C. (2010), New York (2011), Maine (2012), Maryland (2012), Washington (2012), Delaware (2013), Rhode Island (2013), Minnesota (2013), New Jersey (2013), Hawaii (2013), New Mexico (2013), Oregon (2014), Pennsylvania (2014) and Illinois (2014). The U.S. has 50 states.

It also is legal within the Coquille Indian Tribe in Oregon (2009), The Suquamish Tribe in Washington state (2011), the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan (2013), The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington state (2013), the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in Michigan (2013), the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel in California (2013), the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma (2013), the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota (2013), and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians in Washington (2014).

Bans on same-sex marriage in Arkansas, Colorado*, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin have been struck down by federal or state judges, but the rulings were stayed while they are on appeal. In the remaining 29 states that lack marriage equality, lawsuits have been filed but have not yet seen rulings.

In Utah, 1,259 same-sex couples married over 18 days prior to the U.S. Supreme Court's staying a Salt Lake City federal judge's strikedown of the state's gay-marriage ban. (On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the lower court's decision, but stayed its mandate pending final disposition of the case. On July 18, 2014, the Tenth Circuit also upheld the strikedown of Oklahoma's ban, and issued a stay.) In Michigan, 315 same-sex couples married in four counties on Saturday, March 22, 2014, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a stay. In Arkansas, some 500 same-sex couples received marriage licenses (and many married) before the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay a week after the May 9, 2014, strikedown. In Wisconsin, more than 500 same-sex couples married June 6-13, 2014, before a federal judge finalized her paperwork and issued a stay. In Indiana, hundreds of same-sex couples married June 25-27, 2014, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a stay.

*Then there is Colorado, where I can't keep track of the myriad legal goings-on. At present, Boulder County continues to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing the Tenth Circuit's Utah ruling and in defiance of Attorney General John Suthers, whose legal efforts against the county have failed so far. Denver County was forced to stop issuing gay licenses by the Colorado Supreme Court. Pueblo County stopped after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Suthers, about which it expressed anger. More than 300 licenses have been issued to same-sex couples by the three counties. The Denver and Pueblo licenses were issued after a state court struck down the marriage ban on July 9, 2014, despite the court's having immediately stayed its ruling. On July 23, 2014, a federal district judge struck down Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage but issued a temporary stay of his injunction until Aug. 25. Suthers, who opposes gay marriage, promptly announced an appeal to the Tenth Circuit. Gov. John Hickenlooper supports same-sex marriage and has urged Suthers to cease his obstructionism. Just to make it all the more interesting, Suthers supported, in advance, the federal judge's striking down the ban. He was apparently hoping to get a stay that would last all the way until the U.S. Supreme Court deals with the Tenth Circuit marriage cases, but instead he only got one until Aug. 25, for now. Where that leaves Boulder, I don't know. At the moment, you can still get married there, and it may end up being real. Or not.

In U.S. states that do not allow or recognize same-sex marriage, married same-sex couples who live there are still recognized as married for many federal purposes, including income tax, immigration, military benefits and likely scores of other matters that always have been tied to whether a couple entered into a legal marriage anywhere in the world rather than to a state's marriage rules.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Illinois governor signs marriage-equality bill into law


Sitting at the desk on which Abraham Lincoln wrote his first inaugural address, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn today signed the marriage-equality bill into law. When the law comes into force, Illinois will be the 16th U.S. state (along with D.C.) where same-sex couples can marry. [Screen cap: Illinois.gov live feed]
Photo by Hal Baim/Windy City Times





Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Marriage equality arrives in Hawaii

The bill legalizing same-sex marriage has just cleared the Hawaii Legislature and is en route to strong supporter Gov. Neil Abercrombie. The final Senate vote was 19-4. Abercrombie will sign the bill tomorrow morning (Nov. 13) at 10 a.m. HST. Same-sex couples should be able to marry beginning Dec. 2.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

San Diego LGBT Pride today

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Prop 8 dies, plaintiff couples marry

Prop 8 federal case plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier were married yesterday afternoon at San Francisco City Hall by California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo were married last evening (video) at Los Angeles City Hall by Mayor Antontio Villaraigosa.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gays march through San Diego as Prop 8 dies

More than 1,000 people took to the streets of San Diego Tuesday evening in celebration of the demise of Prop 8 and DOMA. The impromptu march closed down about seven blocks of major thoroughfare University Avenue in the heavily gay Hillcrest district. The peaceful crowd eventually crammed itself into the LGBT Community Center for drinks, hors d'oeuvres and more partying.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

As Prop 8 dies, POTUS calls Chad and MSNBC catches it live

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Marriage equality passes in Delaware, Gov. Markell signs immediately



This is U.S. state #11 (plus D.C.) Delawarean same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses starting July 1.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Rhode Island legalizes same-sex marriage

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has just signed the bill making R.I. the 10th U.S. state with same-sex marriage. D.C. has it also. Same-sex couples will be able to obtain marriage licenses in Rhode Island starting Aug. 1.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Rex Wockner

Rex Wockner reported news for the gay press from the 1980s until 2011. His work appeared in hundreds of publications.

He has a B.A. in journalism, started his career as a radio reporter, and wrote for the mainstream press as well, including the Chicago Tribune and The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Highlights of Wockner's career include:

Going to Denmark in 1989 to cover the world's first registered partnerships granting gay couples the rights of marriage.

Covering the world's first full gay marriages in the Netherlands in 2001.

Reporting from the first gay-pride events in Moscow and Leningrad in 1991.

Reporting from world conferences of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and the international AIDS conferences.

Making early contact with gay movements in the former East Bloc and developing nations.

And filing stories in the U.S. from the Democratic and Republican conventions, Creating Change, NLGJA conferences, the GLAAD Awards, Equality Begins At Home, the National Gay Men's Health Summit, the LGBT marches on Washington, ACT UP demonstrations, the National Equality March, the Maine same-sex marriage battle, the trial in the federal Prop 8 case, and New Orleans after Katrina.

Wockner is on an extended sabbatical.
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