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Mexico City 1st in region to approve gay marriage
MEXICO CITY — Mexico City lawmakers have become the first in Latin America to legalize gay marriage.
City legislators passed the bill 39-20 on Monday with five lawmakers absent.
Gay marriage is currently allowed in only seven countries and some parts of the United States.
Leftist Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard is widely expected to sign the decision into law.
The bill calls for changing the definition of marriage in the city's civic code. Marriage is currently defined as the union of a man and a woman. The new definition will be "the free uniting of two people."
Happy fourth anniversary for civil partnerships : 21st December
Today marks the fourth anniversary of civil partnerships in England and Wales.
Although Scotland celebrated its first civil partnership on December 20th 2005 due to a misunderstanding over the date, today marks the fourth anniversary for gay couples in England and Wales. Read more
D.C. mayor signs same-sex marriage bill
Washington (CNN) -- The nation's capital city took a major step Friday toward legalizing same-sex marriage.
District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty signed a measure recognizing such marriages as legal. The district council overwhelming passed the bill Tuesday, following a similar vote December 1. Read more
Portuguese govt aims to permit gay marriage
LISBON, Portugal — Portugal's Socialist government has drawn up a proposal that would make Portugal the sixth European country to allow gay marriage. The law is almost certain to pass, as the center-left Socialist government has the support of all left-of-center parties, who together have a majority in Parliament. Right-of-center parties oppose the measure. Read more
Updated: Christian registrar Lillian Ladele loses appeal
An Islington registrar who refused to carry out civil partnerships for gay couples has lost her appeal.
The Court of Appeal ruled today that Lillian Ladele had not been discriminated against. She had said she could not hold the ceremonies because of her Christian beliefs. Read more
Same-sex marriage bill voted down in New York Senate
(CNN) -- The New York state Senate on Wednesday killed a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state, voting 38-24 against a measure that had the support of the state Assembly and Gov. David Paterson. Read more
Australian territory legalises gay civil partnership ceremonies
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has legalised civil partnerships ceremonies for gay couples, making it the first territory in the country to do so.
The bill, sponsored by the ACT Greens party, was approved today by legislators after an amendment was inserted banning straight couples from having a civil partnership. read more
Portugal to Legalize Gay Marriage
Sources close to Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates, who is forming a new government following September elections, said Oct. 23 that legalizing same-sex marriage will be one of the new team's first actions.
"The measure is part of the official program of the party and according to government sources, the move will be done as soon as [formation of] the government is complete," writes correspondent João Paulo from PortugalGay.pt.
Sócrates' Socialist Party captured 97 of Parliament's 230 seats. With 31 additional votes from members of the Left Bloc and the Communist Party, both of which support gay marriage, Sócrates should be able to pass the bill easily.
Echoes of Prop 8 as Maine voters repeal gay marriage
Voters in Maine have opted to repeal a new law which would give gay couples in the state the right to marry.
The latest figures show that 52.7 per cent of citizens voted against the new right, compared to 47.2 per cent in favour. Read more
Since the 2004 introduction of the Civil Partnership Act – which allows for two people to be registered as civil partners at a British Consulate in the presence of an officer in the Diplomatic Service – 487 couples have so far registered their partnerships in this way.
487 same sex legal partnerships have taken place in 20 different countries since 2004; 6 of these countries have since legislated for gay marriage, civil partnerships or something similar.
British Embassies in a further 9 countries are licensed to conduct British Civil Partnership but had yet to perform their first.
This will de-mystify same sex marriage to its opponents and provide hope for those struggle for LGBT equality across the globe.
View the list now
Jersey votes to allow Civil Partnerships
The vote, held today, passed with an overwhelming majority, with 48 of the 53 members in favour. The law will not come into force immediately. It must first be drafted and go to the Privy Council for approval. Read more
Tasmania to give gay couples official ceremonies
Gay couples in the Australian state of Tasmania will soon be able to have an official ceremony in which to register their relationships. The change, from November 1st, means that they will be able to sign their Deed of Relationship in a ceremony presided over by a marriage celebrant and in front of their friends and families. Read more
Nevada officials say they are expecting 1,400 couples to apply for a gay-inclusive domestic partnership on Thursday, October 1st, the first day the law goes into effect.
The state began accepting applications for domestic partnerships in late August.
“We have received nearly 700 registration forms,” Pam duPré, a spokesperson for Secretary of State Ross Miller, told On Top Magazine in an email.
DuPré added that officials expect to hand out an additional 700 applications on Thursday.
In announcing the pre-registration period, Secretary of State Ross Miller said: “October 1 will be a historic day in Nevada. We would like as many couples as possible to be a part of it by having their certificates in hand.”
The Nevada Legislature passed the domestic partner law in June against the wishes of Governor Jim Gibbons, who vetoed the bill saying it was not necessary. The law offers gay and lesbian couples limited benefits associated with marriage, including hospital visitation rights, estate planning and shared responsibility for debt. The law does not guarantee spouses health care and other employer-related benefits.
Opponents of the law argue that such unions are too similar to marriage and go against the will of Nevada voters who approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2002.
Despite an ongoing challenge, a similar limited domestic partnership law went into effect on August 3 in Wisconsin. But opponents in Washington State have managed to put an expansion of the state's domestic partnership law on hold and up for a vote in November.
In Nevada, the law's sponsor, openly gay Senator David Parks, is expected to hand out licenses in Las Vegas on October 1. Registering with the state will cost a couple $50.
Gay marriage now legal in Vermont
The legalisation of gay marriage in Vermont took effect at midnight last night.
Vermont joins New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa to become the fifth American state to officially legalise gay marriage. Read more
Quakers ‘To Allow Gay Marriages'
Gino Meriano gay rights campaigner for same sex families comments “This is great news to see the BBC cover such a great story. Even though The Quakers have supported same sex unions for years now it's good to see that in this day the support is still strong and they are willing, yet again to come to the forefront to show support for a community that simply needs to be accepted as equal and part of a ever changing society”. Read more
Pink Weddings™ launches “TogetherTV™” a dedicated TV channel for same-sex couples, their families and friends
Gino Meriano founder of Pink Weddings™ the group launches UK's first and dedicated channel for same-sex couples, their families and friends – TogetherTV™.
Gino Meriano, founder of Pink Weddings comments “It has been an amazing 2009 so far seeing the launch of the designer civil partnership show hosted at the Andaz Hotel London, our book Civil Partnership - a guide to the perfect day and now TogetherTV ”.
The channel will aim to offer a wide range of high quality productions from real-life documentaries, movies, topical news from around the world, valued ideas and actual weddings with couples in the UK and beyond.
http://www.togethertv.tv broadcasting soon.
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Scottish island's to hold first same-sex ceremony today
The Isle of Lewis is set to have its first gay civil partnership ceremony today when BBC children's presenter Andrew Robertson will tie the knot with his partner Craig Atkins.
This will be the first one of its kind to happen on the island since same-sex civil partnerships were introduced in 2003. read the full story
Irish civil partnerships could be enacted by end of the year
Irish minister for justice Dermot Ahern has said he will soon seek cabinet approval for a civil partnerships bill which could be enacted by the end of the year.
He told the Sunday Business Post that the commitment give state recognition and protection to civil partnerships will be ‘‘implemented in full through the forthcoming Civil Partnership Bill, which I will publish within weeks''. Read the full story
Gay marriage legal in New Hampshire after Governor signs law
John Lynch, the Democrat governor of New Hampshire has confirmed that he would sign into a law to legalise gay marriage.
Earlier this evening (UK time), the House of Representatives voted in favour of gay marriage by198 votes to 176. This was just hours after the Senate voted 14 to 10 in favour of the law. Read more
New York moves closer to gay marriage
The New York Assembly passed a bill last night to legalise gay marriage.
After four hours of debate, the bill passed 89-52 and will now go to the Senate for a vote.
If it passes a Senate vote, it will go to Governor David Paterson, who has clearly signalled he will sign it. The bill would make New York the sixth state to legalise same-sex marriage if New Hampshire does not allow it in the next few days. Read more
Jersey to debate Civil Partnerships
The States of Jersey are to debate civil partnerships, four years after they were made legal in England and Wales.
BBC News reports that although no date has yet been set for the debate, the Council of Ministers has agreed to take the matter to the House later this year. Read more
Maine's governor passes gay marriage bill
Gay marriage is now legal in Maine after Governor John Baldacci signed it into law.
The Governor had previously opposed gay marriage but said in a statement he believed a civil union was not equal to marriage.
The decision makes Maine the fifth US state to legalise gay marriage, after Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa. Read more
Maine House of Representatives votes in favour of gay marriage
The lower house of Maine's legislature has voted in favour of the state allowing gay marriages. If enacted, Maine would be the fifth state to allow same-sex marriages.
The bill had previously been approved by the state's Senate. It passed in the House of Representatives 89 votes to 57. The bill will now return to the Senate for its final approval Read the full story
Gay marriage becomes legal in Sweden today
A gender-neutral marriage law in Sweden has come into force today, meaning gay couples can now marry in the country in religious or civil ceremonies.
However, they cannot yet get married in church ceremonies. Read the full story
New York governor confirms introduction of gay marriage bill
David Paterson, the governor of New York, has confirmed he will introduce legislation to make gay marriage legal in the state.
If passed, the bill will make it the fifth state to legalise gay marriage, after Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa. Read more
DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa's Supreme Court legalized gay marriage Friday in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third state and first in the nation's heartland to allow same-sex couples to wed.
Iowa joins only Massachusetts and Connecticut in permitting same-sex marriage. Read the full story
Increased rights for Colombian same-sex partners "not automatic"
Gay and lesbian couples in Colombia still face challenges after a ruling granting them increased rights.
The decision by the Constitutional Court means that same-sex partners will now have all of the guarantees and benefits offered to unmarried heterosexual couples, except adoption. Read more
Hungarian government proposes registered same-sex partnerships
It replaces a previous law on registered partnership that was struck down by the Constitutional Court in December, just weeks before its was due to come into force.
The new bill introduces the institution of registered partnership only for same sex couples and a scheme of domestic partnership registration for both same sex and different sex couples. Support for the bill in the Parliament is still an open question. Read More
Governor of Utah commits to equal rights for same-sex couples
The Republican leader of the US state of Utah has said he backs civil unions for gay and lesbians. According to opinion polls, 70% of Utah citizens oppose civil unions. Read more
Gay Marriage In New York Unlikely in ‘09 or ‘10
Daniel Squadron, the twenty-nine year old freshman New York State Senator, is ready to take the lead on gay marriage in New York. Squadron said his goal was, “making this a law as quickly as possible,” last night at a meeting of the Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn . He came to discuss strategy with leading activists and received plenty of feedback.
However, Squadron is not optimistic about passing gay marriage in the 2009 Senate session and believes that 2010 will be even tougher, due to the election year. “Looking at the members, it's hard to get to thirty-two votes,” he admitted. Thirty-two is the magic number to pass a bill in the New York State Senate. Read more
Civil unions a minefield for Obama
Some fear plan could delay marriage progress; Frank says DOMA repeal unlikely in new president's first term. President Barack Obama's support for legislation to provide all of the federal rights and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples joined in civil unions and other legally recognized relationships has raised concern among some activists that the president's proposal could delay progress on same-sex marriage. Read more
Civil partnerships bill listed in Irish parliament's spring session
The Irish government has listed a Civil Partnership Bill among legislation for the spring session of Parliament. Read more
Hawaii politicians back civil unions legislation
A new law that would allow gay and lesbian couples in Hawaii to form a civil union has the backing of a majority of state House members. Read more
Swedish proposal on gay marriage presented to parliament
Sweden may allow homosexuals to wed in the Lutheran Church or civil ceremonies as of May if parliament adopts legislation presented to parliament Wednesday, the prime minister 's party said. Read more
Swedish MPs move to legalise gay marriage
A motion tabled in the Swedish parliament and backed by three of the four parties in the coalition government would legalise gay marriage.
"Regardless of sexual orientation, people in stable couple relationships have a need to manifest their feelings and their desire to live together," it reads. Read more
A Maine lawmaker introduced a bill on Tuesday that would allow same-sex marriages in the state
Democratic state Sen. Dennis Damon's bill is entitled "An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedoms." It would allow any two people in Maine to apply for a marriage license. Read more
Jersey may become first Crown dependency to introduce civil partnerships
The government of Jersey is to consider the implications of granting same-sex couples the right to enter into civil partnerships.
The Council of Ministers will look at the financial costs of the proposal in the next few months. Read more
New Mexico Moves Closer to Equality
When the New Mexico state legislature re-convenes on January 20, 2009, one of the first bills to be considered is House bill, HB 21, a domestic partnership bill which is sponsored by Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuqurque. Read more