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Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality (73)

Mississippi's ban on marriage equality struck down.

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Mississippi sees it's ban on marriage equality struck down.

U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves issued his ruling less than a month after he heard oral arguments in the case the Campaign for Southern Equality last month filed on behalf of two lesbian couples seeking marriage rights in the Magnolia State.

“The court concludes that Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban deprives same-sex couples and their children of equal dignity under the law,” writes Reeves. “Gay and lesbian citizens cannot be subjected to such second-class citizenship.”

Mississippi’s ban was passed by the biggest margin of any state amendment with 86 percent supporting the measure. But, as Judge Reeves points out, “The courts do not wait out the political process when constitutional rights are being violated, especially when the political process caused the constitutional violations in the first place.”

Roberta Kaplan, who successfully argued against the Defense of Marriage Act before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, is the lead counsel in the case and issued this statement:

“This is a big day since it means that gay Mississippians will have the right to be married in their own home state that they love so much. It is also a big day for our country and for our Constitution, since it means that Americans in yet another state can now appreciate that gay people, who are their neighbors, friends and family members, have the right to equal protection of the laws."

The ruling is stayed for two weeks pending appeal.
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Corporate Giant comes out in support of Marriage Equality

logo procter-gambleCorporate giant Procter & Gamble has publicly announced it's support for same-sex marriage.

The Cincinnati-based consumer products giant says it embraced gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees for more than 20 years. Now, the company says same-sex marriage has become an important enough issue to its workers that it is taking a public stand.

P&G executives say they want to attract top talent from all backgrounds and part of that strategy is providing a welcoming work environment.

"We have always supported our employees and fostered a culture of inclusion and respect – this includes the right to marry whomever they choose and to have that union legally recognized," said Deborah P. Majoras, P&G's chief legal officer and executive sponsor to GABLE – the company's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-allied employee group.

P & G has sponsored the Cincinnati Pride Parade since 2011, provided domestic partnership benefits since 2001 and included anti-discrimination language protecting gays since 1992.
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Marriage Equality comes to Alaska USA

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A federal judge ruled Sunday that Alaska’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, paving the way for gay couples to begin marrying in the state for the first time.

“The court finds that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage and refusal to recognize same sex marriages lawfully entered in other states is unconstitutional as a deprivation of basic due process and equal protection principles under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess wrote in a order in the case Hamby v. Parnell, released Sunday.

The Hamby suit was filed in May by five same-sex couples. It challenged the state’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman, approved by voters in 1998.

The ruling comes less than a week after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to overturn similar marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada. Same-sex marriage advocates said the 9th Circuit ruling would likely lead to the quick overturn of Alaska’s ban on gay marriage because the bans were similar and Alaska also falls under the jurisdiction of that court.

Both parties in the Hamby case made oral arguments in the case on Friday.

At 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Caitlin Shortell, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case, said she was just beginning to absorb the news of the judge’s decision, which came to her by email.

“We’re completely overjoyed,” Shortell said. “It’s an immediate injunction from further enforcement of the (law banning same-sex marriage), so people are going to start getting married.”

She and the other two attorneys working on Hamby v. Parnell were just getting in touch with plaintiffs.

“It’s been a long time coming,” she said. “It’s justice and equality in Alaska."

This is a developing story. Check back for details.
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Marriage Equality now LEGAL in over 60% of the USA

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The Supremem Court has declined to hear cases on Marriage Equality Bans in several US states overnight, making unions between same sex couples now immediately legal in Indiana, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Utah. Because the court’s decision lifted stays on circuit court rulings, it also created a path for six other states. 
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Presbyterian General Assembly votes to allow Same Sex Marriage

presbyterianThe top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has taken major steps toward recognizing same sex marriage. 

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church voted Thursday in favor of redefining Christian marriage in the church constitution as the union of "two people" instead of "a man and a woman." 

Over the next year, a majority of the 172 regional Presbyteries must approve the constitutional change for it take effect.
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Marriage Equality USA Election Results looking overly positive

altSome fast facts thanks to our good friend Thomas Roberts at MSNBC.

 

"Marriage Equality Supporters be proud. Looking stong @TheFour2012: ALL FOUR for #marriageequality! MD: 79% counted, 51% YES ME: 36% counted, 52% YES MN: 34% counted, 54% REJECT WA: 49.5% counted, 52% YES"

 

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