Mormons join Hawaii’s gay-marriage fight, but with a new approach | The Salt Lake Tribune

In a letter dated Sept. 15 and read to congregations, LDS leaders across the state urged Mormons to “study this legislation prayerfully and then as private citizens contact your elected representatives in the Hawaii Legislature to express your views about the legislation.”

The letter did not tell members which side of the issue to take, only to study the church’s “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” a document that endorses one man/one woman as the ideal for marriage.

Whether Mormons favor or oppose the potential change, the letter said, they should push for “a strong exemption for people and organizations of faith” that would protect religious groups “from being required to support or perform same-sex marriages or from having to host same-sex marriages or celebrations in their facilities; and protect individuals and small businesses from being required to assist in promoting or celebrating same-sex marriages.”

via Mormons join Hawaii’s gay-marriage fight, but with a new approach | The Salt Lake Tribune.

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The 12 Best Honeymoon Spots For Newlywed Gay Couples… | Stuff.co.nz

We asked travel experts to weigh in on what they think will be the hottest honeymoon destinations for newly married gay couples.

And while honeymooners may want to avoid places like Russia, which passed severe anti-gay laws that will even impact gay foreign tourists, there are plenty of awesome destinations that are just waiting to welcome gay newlywed couples with open arms.

via The 12 Best Honeymoon Spots For Newlywed Gay Couples… | Stuff.co.nz.

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10 Principles to Make Your Travels Memorable | Caz Craig Makepeace

You’ve been planning your trip of a lifetime for months.

You’ve saved hard, budgeted and got your hands on every deal you could find. The tickets are booked, your meeting up with friends in London, and your bag is packed.

No more listening to everyone else’s travel stories; it’s time to create your own. This is going to be the Greatest Year of your Life.

Or is it?

What happens if you get on that plane and you hate it? What if all that dreaming, planning, and saving only points to a swift return home?

I’ve had travel experiences that haven’t been what I had hoped. It can be heartbreaking, not to mention a kick in the stomach financially. But it doesn’t have to take you out of the game, as long as you have the right mindset.

How can you make sure you won’t?

The following travel manifesto will help you stay on track to overcome challenges and create those memorable travel experiences you are hoping for.

via 10 Principles to Make Your Travels Memorable | Caz Craig Makepeace.

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Minneapolis mayor courts Chicago’s gay couples to marry in his city – latimes.com

When it comes to economic development, it is not unusual for some chief executives of states to sneak across a border or two to try to poach some jobs. The usual pitch, however, involves tax breaks, available land and a well-trained workforce.

But Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is counting on love to make a difference.

As part of his “I Want to Marry You in Minneapolis” tour, Rybak on Thursday went to a predominantly gay neighborhood in Chicago to remind people that they can visit their nearby neighbor of Minnesota for a while, or at least long enough to marry, because same-sex marriage has been legal since Aug. 1.

Illinois does not allow same-sex marriages, and nor do the other states, Colorado and Wisconsin, that the mayor plans on visiting soon to drum up business.

“Chicago is my kind of town, but it’s a second city in human rights, and right now that gives a tremendous competitive advantage to Minneapolis,” Rybak said.

via Minneapolis mayor courts Chicago’s gay couples to marry in his city – latimes.com.

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Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard Refuse Same-Sex Benefits

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, allowing the possibility for married couples of the same-sex to finally be allowed the same federal benefits as other married couples. Primarily, the focus has been on the military and that ID cards can now be given to same-sex spouses, allowing them access to transferable benefits like the GI Bill. Despite individual opinions about the issue, the military follows orders and this ruling cleared the way for officials to follow the law.

However, when one is a member of the National Guard — part of the Army, but operated by the State — which laws is one to follow?

In Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, National Guard spokespeople announced that they would not be issuing ID cards or processing applications for benefits from their state-owned offices. These states only recognize heterosexual marriage as defined by law, placing the National Guard in a situation where federal and state law clash.

via Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard Refuse Same-Sex Benefits.

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U.S. gays face challenges serving abroad – Washington Post

Austin Watkins had reason to celebrate when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, marking a breakthrough in gay rights and making his husband eligible for federal benefits everywhere in the United States.

But as a civilian defense worker deployed in Japan, Watkins faces a unique barrier. It turns out that a “status of forces agreement,” signed 53 years ago by the United States and Japan, does not recognize same-sex marriage. That prevents him from living with his spouse in Okinawa.

For now, Joseph Marcey resides thousands of miles away in Washington. He would have to apply for a tourist visa every 90 days to live in Okinawa, and he wouldn’t be able to receive medical care at military clinics, shop at a commissary or obtain a dependent ID card from the Defense Dep

via U.S. gays face challenges serving abroad – Washington Post.

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Ginsburg officiates same-sex wedding | Gay News | Supreme Court | DOMA : Washington Blade – America’s Leading Gay News Source

WASHINGTON —Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday presided over the Washington, D.C. wedding of her longtime friend and Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser and his partner, economist John Roberts.

Ginsburg is the first Supreme Court justice to officiate same-sex nuptials, according to the Washington Post, just short of four months after the court struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that prevented the United States government from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states that have legalized them

via Ginsburg officiates same-sex wedding | Gay News | Supreme Court | DOMA : Washington Blade – America’s Leading Gay News Source.

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