marriages, partnerships, unions, and related news

6 08 2009
By location:
  • Albania: Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s ruling Democratic party will bring marriage equality legislation to the Parliament on the groups that discrimination should end in the conservative country. It will come to the floor in the fall.
  • Australia: The Prime Minister last week reiterated his opposition to equal marriage after massive protests throughout the country. “The prime minister has made it clear that a Labour government will not support any form of recognition of relationships that undermine marriage,” Attorney-General Robert McClelland told delegates to the Labour Party conference.
  • Britain: Fewer same-sex couples are taking advantage of that country’s civil union law, down 18% between 2007 and 2008. Advocates say they aren’t surprised due to an initial rush of long-term couples signing up.
  • California: A new field poll shows that a majority of Californians support same-sex marriage – 49-44 – though the support is still under 50%.
  • Maine: After opponents to the state’s nascent same-sex marriage law turned in their signatures to force a people’s veto (referendum), supporters turned in 60,000 of their own. No on 1/Project Maine Equality has sent a public letter to the law firm handling the opposition (the same firm that got Proposition 8 passed) asking for a clean campaign.
  • Rhode Island: Two young lesbians are under arrest for assault after disrupting an anti-equal marriage protest by throwing … mostly food.
  • Texas: El Paso City Council, after the embarassing taco hut kissing incident, moved to extend health insurance coverage to same-sex and unmarried partners of city employees. Religious leaders and angry citizens went nuts.
  • Washington (state): Opponents to the state’s “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law have turned in about 138,000 signatures — almost 18,000 more than necessary — to put same-sex relationships on the November ballot. The signatures now have to be culled through for accuracy and duplicates.
  • Wisconsin: Wisconsin Family Action has filed an injunction with the state Supreme Court against the state’s domestic partnership registry, saying it is unconstitutional and violates the 2006 Wisconsin Marriage Amendment.

By topic:

  • American Bar Association: In an August 3rd article arising out of their Chicago Annual Meeting, the professional organization’s governing House of Delegates supported removal of parts of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal marital benefits and protections.
  • FindLaw: The legal website has run a three part series on the State of the Same-Sex Union that’s worth a read. Part One, Part Two, Part Three.
  • Census: The U.S. Census will release same-sex marriage data in the 2010 Census after Commerce Department lawyers last week decided that doing so does not break the 1996 Federal Defense of Marriage Act. We will see initial data later this year when the 2008 American Community Survey is released.
  • Sexual Orientation Protections: I’ve been saying it for a while, but it’s nice that other people think the same thing … for most of the country, the marriage fight is secondary to the fight for employment, housing, accomodations, etc. protections.

And bizarre news of the day … Hillary Clinton says she will convey a dowry offer of 40 goats and 20 cows to marry Chelsea Clinton made back in 2000 by a Kenyan man.

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