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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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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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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New Mexico county begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses amid pending court battles – The Washington Post

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gay couples rushed to a courthouse in Las Cruces on Wednesday after the county clerk decided to issue same-sex marriage licenses in a surprise move that came as several legal challenges on the practice make their way through the courts.

“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.”

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins said his office had provided 35 licenses to same-sex couples compared to four or five given on an average day to heterosexual couples.

“It’s a happy office today. Lots of happy people,” he said. “One of the first couples that came in today said they had been waiting 31 years. Another couple says they’ve been waiting 43 years. It’s time to stop waiting.”

Jeff Williams, a public information officer in the county’s government and a reverend with Universal Life Church, said he was marrying same-sex couples all day long while wearing his rainbow-colored tie.

Outside the courthouse, television reporters were busy interviewing the people getting married and there was no sign of any protesters.

Ellins said he had carefully read state laws and concluded the “state’s marriage statutes are gender neutral and do not expressly prohibit Dona Ana County from issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples.”

Later in the day, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said he had no plans to challenge the move by Ellins or another other county clerks who might allow the practice.

Ellins said he had been considering issuing the licenses since June, when King released a position paper saying state laws don’t allow same-sex marriage. King had asked county clerks to hold off on issuing licenses, even though he believes the laws are unconstitutional.

Ellins, however, said “any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act.”

via New Mexico county begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses amid pending court battles – The Washington Post.

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How Bridal Wear Is Changing to Cater to Same-Sex Couples Post-DOMA | Fashionista

At the end of June, the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, marking an historic victory in the fight for marriage equality. As the LGBT community took to the streets for Pride to celebrate just a few days later–and as scores of gay couples proposed to their partners–the wedding industry was celebrating too, as market insiders predict a million dollar boon to the business.

Yet even as the industry prepared for a wave of new business, insiders we spoke to cautioned that the boost would be short-lived.

“Overall, I would say you’re probably going to see a bump,” says Shane McMurray, founder of The Wedding Report, a research company that tracks and forecasts number of weddings, spending, and consumer trends for the wedding industry. “The likelihood that it’s going to be this big boom is probably not true. If you look at any of the States, that have legalized gay marriage, there is a small bump and then it levels off to regular patterns.”

One reason the post-DOMA boost will likely level off is that, while gay marriage might have only recently be legally recognized in many States, gay weddings are certainly nothing new.

The Knot has been covering gay weddings for years now, but, in a moment of fortuitous timing, they launched a separate gay wedding vertical just days before DOMA was overturned.

How Bridal Wear Is Changing to Cater to Same-Sex Couples Post-DOMA | Fashionista.

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Same-sex marriages begin in Minnesota, Rhode Island – Washington Post

Minnesota and Rhode Island became the 12th and 13th states to recognize gay marriage Thursday, with Rhode Island’s first same-sex weddings performed this morning and Minnesota’s just after midnight:

Dozens of Minnesota gay couples made last-minute preparations Wednesday for midnight marriages, determined to exchange vows at the earliest possible moment under a new state law legalizing same-sex marriage.

Weddings were scheduled to start at the stroke of midnight at Minneapolis City Hall, St. Paul’s Como Park, Mall of America’s Chapel of Love and at county courthouses sprinkled around the state. One group planned a cluster of weddings in a Duluth tavern.

“It feels historic. It’s an honor to be a part of it,” said Tim Roberts, the Stearns County court administrator, who planned to perform a 12:01 a.m. wedding at the courthouse in St. Cloud. . . .

via Same-sex marriages begin in Minnesota, Rhode Island – Washington Post.

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Gay-marriage campaign heads to state courts – Washington Times

Freedom to Marry has named Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Oregon as its immediate targets. All of these states have civil union or domestic partnership laws that can convert to same-sex marriage. In states including Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, activists are laying the groundwork to repeal amendments or laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.

Read more: Gay-marriage campaign heads to state courts – Washington Times.

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

Energized by two big victories at the Supreme Court, advocates of gay marriage are turning their attention to a handful of states that they believe are most likely to allow it next.

One of those two wins made California the 13th state where gay couples can now legally get married. Counting the District of Columbia, gay marriage is legal in places covering about 30 percent of the U.S. population.

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.

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

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