Federal Judge Strikes Down Virginia’s Ban on Gay Marriage

The ruling was announced late Thursday evening. The order released around 10 p.m. stated the following:

“The Court finds Va. Const. Art. I, § 15-A, Va. Code §§ 20-45.2, 20-45.3, and any other Virginia law that bars same-sex marriage or prohibits Virginia’s recognition of lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions unconstitutional. These laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

via Federal Judge Strikes Down Virginia’s Ban on Gay Marriage| Gay News | Towleroad.

I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Homophobic Bigot

I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot

Throughout the months of September, October, and November, Minnesota Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer would use homophobic language in my presence. He had not done so during minicamps or fall camp that year, nor had he done so during the 2011 season. He would ask me if I had written any letters defending “the gays” recently and denounce as disgusting the idea that two men would kiss, and he would constantly belittle or demean any idea of acceptance or tolerance. I tried to laugh these off while also responding with the notion that perhaps they were human beings who deserved to be treated as human beings. Mike Priefer also said on multiple occasions that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible. He said all this in a semi-joking tone, and I responded in kind, as I felt a yelling match with my coach over human rights would greatly diminish my chances of remaining employed. I felt uncomfortable each time Mike Priefer said these things. After all, he was directly responsible for reviewing my job performance, but I hoped that after the vote concluded in Minnesota his behavior would taper off and eventually stop.

via I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot.

Some People Are Boycotting The Rose Parade Because Of THE GAYZ: LAist

Here’s an insane missive from the group:

The Rose Parade shouldn’t be used by gay activists to promote the gay agenda, and a rose parade float is no place to flagrantly display a gay wedding. But I guess they think they can pervert this year’s theme “Dreams Come True,” to allow this disgusting exhibition. Tell them NO! Tell their sponsors NO. Tell them you will boycott the parade by not watching or attending, and that you will NEVER watch or be part of it again.

In all honesty, it’s extremely sad to see something like this in this day and age, where marriage equality is more commonplace than it has ever been and people are making genuine steps to make this country a better place for all Americans. The fact that these people exist is a scary reminder that we still have a long way to go.

Some People Are Boycotting The Rose Parade Because Of THE GAYZ: LAist.

Same-Sex Couples Will Have Equal Access to Fertility Coverage Under New California Law| Gay News | Towleroad

Flag_of_California.svg

This Tuesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that would allow unmarried and same-sex couples to access insurance coverage for the same fertility treatments that married, different-sex couples are provided, the AP reported:

The legislation, AB460, clarifies the non-discrimination provision of an existing state law that requires health plans to offer coverage for fertility treatments, except for in vitro fertilization.

Despite the existing law, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, said many same-sex couples have been denied the coverage. In praising Brown’s signature on his bill, Ammiano said reproductive medicine should be for the benefit of everyone.

“To restrict fertility coverage solely to heterosexual married couples violates California’s non-discrimination laws,” he said in a statement. “I wrote this bill to correct that.”

The new law will take effect in January, and contains language prohibiting insurance plans that offer fertility coverage from discriminating on any grounds, including “domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status … sex or sexual orientation.”

Fertility issues for same-sex couples can be a hot-button issue, politically: when the French legislature approved a bill legalizing marriage equality in the country, fertility rights were left out of the debate.

via Same-Sex Couples Will Have Equal Access to Fertility Coverage Under New California Law| Gay News | Towleroad.

New Jersey Judge Rules Gay Marriage Legal, Orders Them to Begin| Gay News | Towleroad

A New Jersey judge has ruled that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection under the state constiution and ordered them to begin on October 21st.

MaryAP: “In a summary judgment issued Friday, Judge Mary Jacobson says now that the federal government recognizes gay marriages, not doing so in New Jersey would violate the state constitution.”

NBC New York:

Judge Mary Jacobson granted a summary judgment requested by Garden State Equality, which had claimed that the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the federal Defense of Marriage Act meant that same-sex couples in civil unions in New Jersey were being denied equal protection.

“The ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts,” the judge said.

“Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution,” she wrote.

READ MORE: New Jersey Judge Rules Gay Marriage Legal, Orders Them to Begin| Gay News | Towleroad.

Gay Married Couples to Get Federal Tax Recognition Regardless of State Where They Live| Gay News | Towleroad

In a decision prompted by the recent SCOTUS ruling on DOMA the U.S. Department of the Treasury said today it would recognize gay married couples for tax purposes regardless of the state laws regarding marriage in which they reside, the HuffPost’s Sam Stein reports:

LewThursday’s ruling by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew provides a uniform policy for the IRS; the state of celebration — where the wedding took place — now trumps the state of residency when it comes to federal tax status for same-sex married couples.

“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve,” Lew said in a statement. “This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

The new policy, which was first shared by Lew in a conference call that included LGBT advocates, holds a bit of political significance. It was the burden of federal tax law on same-sex couples, after all, that prompted the legal challenge to DOMA in the first place.

Read more at TowleRoad

New Mexico Attorney General Will Not Challenge Same-Sex Marriage Licenses| Gay News | Towleroad

After Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins decided to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples earlier today, state Attorney General Gary King told reporters that he does not plan to challenge said marriage licenses, since he believes the state’s current ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. In another bit of possibly good news, King also told press that he would not challenge any other county clerk should they make the same decision, although he did warn that the licenses could be ruled invalid if the state Supreme Court deems the decision unlawful.

King’s decision comes after a prior legal challenge to New Mexico’s ban on same-sex marriage, another one that he has chosen not to defend. According to the Associated Press, same-sex couples in Las Cruces have already started taking advantage of the decision. “I was in a coffee shop grading dissertations when my partner sent me an email saying, `you want to get married?'” said Char Ullman, 51. “I went home to brush my teeth and headed to the courthouse.”

New mexico

via New Mexico Attorney General Will Not Challenge Same-Sex Marriage Licenses| Gay News | Towleroad.

CA Supreme Court Rejects Prop. 8 Proponents’ Appeal To Stop Same-Sex Marriages| Gay News | Towleroad

CA Supreme Court Rejects Prop. 8 Proponents’ Appeal To Stop Same-Sex Marriages| Gay News | Towleroad.

Meeting in closed session, the state high court rejected arguments by ProtectMarriage, Proposition 8’s sponsors, that only an appellate court could overturn a statewide law.

A federal judge in San Francisco declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional in 2010, and state officials refused to appeal. ProtectMarriage did appeal, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that initiative sponsors have no right to defend their measures in federal court. The decision left in place the ruling by retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker.

In its challenge before the state’s highest court, ProtectMarriage argued that a single judge lacked the authority to overturn a state constitutional amendment.  The group also contended that Walker’s injunction applied to two counties at most and that state officials had overstepped their authority by ordering county clerks throughout California to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

State officials countered that the challenge was a veiled attempt to persuade a state court to interfere with a federal judge’s order in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

 

Gay Sailor Celebrates His Homecoming With A Proposal| Gay News | Towleroad

Gay Sailor Celebrates His Homecoming With A Proposal| Gay News | Towleroad.

Jerrel-Revels-Dylan-Kirchnerx400A crowd of approximately 200 gathered at the dock of the Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut to welcome home the USS New Mexico. Among those in attendance was Dylan Kirchner, who was there to greet his boyfriend Machinist’s Mate Jerrel Revels. Kirchner ended up getting a little more than he bargained for, and was surprised when Revels got down on one knee and popped the question. Kirchner confessed to The Day that, while he had previosuly given thought to getting married, yesterday’s proposal proved to be completely unexpected. “I didn’t really care everybody was around. It felt just like the two of us,” he said.

Ten states to tackle gay marriage next – U.S. News

Ten states to tackle gay marriage next – U.S. News.

National gay rights groups say they now hope to persuade either the Supreme Court or Congress to legalize gay marriage across the country — in a matter of years, not decades.

“The answer is to win more states, win a critical mass of states, and a critical mass of public support, which creates a climate that encourages the court to do its job,” said Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry, a pro-gay-marriage group.