US: First ever Mississippi mayor states support for equal marriage

The mayor of Waveland said he supported same-sex marriage Share on WhatsApp 4 reader comments

The first ever mayor in the US state of Mississippi has declared his support for same-sex marriage.

Waveland Mayor David Garcia, signed up to Freedom to Marry’s list of mayors in support of same-sex marriage.

“We know many people in loving and committed same-sex relationships who are active participants in improving our communities, and we’ve seen how important marriage has been for them and their families,” Garcia said in a statement.

“Because I believe in fairness for all American families, I support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples willing to take on that commitment.”

The group is an initiative of Freedom to Marry, a national same-sex marriage advocacy group, and has hundreds of mayors signed up. 

A Mississippi law that legalises anti-gay discrimination on the grounds of

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Gay Tory MP Nick Boles given ministerial responsibilities for equal marriage and LGBT equality

Nick Boles has been given specific responsibilities for same-sex marriage Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Share on WhatsApp 12 reader comments

Junior Conservative minister Nick Boles has been given specific responsibilities for same-sex marriage and LGBT equality, as part of today’s reshuffle, Downing Street confirms.

The former Planning minister will take up a joint-departmental position in Business and Education.

On Tuesday, David Cameron appointed Nicky Morgan as the new Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities.

She is now responsible for schools and the government’s overall strategy on equality.

The MP voted against same-sex marriage last year.

David Cameron also announced Mr Boles, a strong support of equal marriage, will become a junior equalities minister under Ms Morgan, looking after policies to do with same-sex marriage and LGBT equality.

Nick Boles is Minister of State for the Business & Education depts. Part of his brief will be equal marriage implementation. #Reshuffle

— David Cameron (

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Czech Republic: Support for equal marriage falls sharply

Support for marriage equality has fallen in the Czech Republic Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

Support for same-sex marriage in the Czech Republic has fallen, bucking the trend from other Western countries.

According to the new poll, support for same-sex marriage has become less popular over the past year, with a 6% fall in support.

Only 45% of people in the country said they support same-sex marriage, down from 51% in 2012 and 2013, and the first time it has found a lack of majority support.

48% of people also said same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt children, with just 45% in favour.

The only good news in the poll, which was conducted by the CVVM research agency, is that support for the country’s current same-sex civil union scheme is high, with 73% in favour.

Gay people can already adopt children as a single parent in the Czech Republic, but they are not legally allowed to as a couple, with second-parent adoptions also not permitted.

Last year, an Amnesty International report found the country was also ‘lacking protection’ against homophobic and transphobic crime.

A total of 1,390 same-sex couples entered into registered partnerships in the Czech Republic between the law’s uptake in 2006 and 2012.

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Fox News psychiatrist: Equal marriage will lead to ‘three humans and a dog’ marriage

Dr Keith Ablow claims three humans and a dog will be able to marry Share on WhatsApp 13 reader comments

A Fox News pundit has claimed that people will soon be able to enter into special marriages for three people and a dog.

Fox’s resident ‘psychiatrist’ Keith Ablow made the claim while denouncing California Governor Jerry Brown for signing legislation on Monday updating the state’s Family Code to cater for same-sex couples.

Ablow claimed “Get ready for the cards and letters…

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Video: Demi Lovato becomes face of equal marriage campaign

Email 10th July 2014, 12:43 PM Joseph Patrick McCormick, Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

Singer Demi Lovato has released a video supporting same-sex marriage in the US.

The video, posted by the Human Rights Campaign, shows the Skyscraper star as the new face of the Americans for Marriage Equality Initiative.

She says: “I believe that love comes in all different shapes, sizes and colours. So whether you’re LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) or straight, your love is valid, beautiful and an incredible gift…

“Please join me in supporting the majority of Americans who support marriage equality.”

Lovato earlier this month provoked anger from Russians, after two of her male back-up dancers, one naked apart from a picture of President Putin’s face covering his genitals, shared a kiss onstage at her concert.

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Australia: Liberal Students call for free vote on equal marriage despite party’s opposition

Matthew Lesh called on the Liberal party to allow a free vote on equal marriage Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Share on WhatsApp 1 reader comment

The student group associated with Australia’s Liberal party has called for a free vote to be held on same-sex marriage, in spite of the party’s formal opposition.

The governing Liberal party has long opposed equal marriage, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott giving his backing to the successful fight to end the brief recognition of same-sex marriage in the Australian Capital Territory last year.

A vote on equal marriage was last held in the Australian Parliament in September 2012, when the House of Representatives rejected it by 98-42, with the Liberals whipped against, and the Labor party divided.

The Australian Liberal Students’ Federation passed a motion on Tuesday calling on the government to allow its MPs to vote freely on the issue.

ALSF Spokesperson Matthew Lesh said: “It’s pretty simple: two individuals who love each other should be free to marry.

“This does not impact other people’s lives, but does mean a lot to those same-sex-attracted individuals who are restricted from marriage.

“It is both liberal and conservative to support marriage equality. Liberals respect the rights of individuals to choose their own partners and their freedom to marry whom they decide.

“Conservatives recognise the importance of building a strong civil society by strengthening commitment between individuals regardless of sexual orientation.”

Abbott, who remains opposed to same-sex marriage, previously said the party would consider whether to whip MPs or not when a private member’s bill came before parliament.

He said: “Our policy has been that marriage is between a man and a woman, but in the end it’s up to the party room to decide what our policy is.”

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said: “The Liberal Students’ Federation has highlighted an important home truth to its seniors in the Coalition: marriage equality is about core the Liberal values of enhancing personal freedom and reinforcing family values.”

“The Federation’s support for marriage equality, and a free vote on the issue, is a reminder to Coalition MPs to live up to their own values.”

Despite close ties, the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation is not formally affiliated with the Liberal party.

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US: Federal court rejects attempt to appeal against equal marriage in Pennsylvania

Theresa Santai-Gaffney is attempting to appeal the ruling Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Share on WhatsApp 3 reader comments

An appeals court has rejected a county clerk’s attempt to appeal against same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Pennsylvania following a ruling by Judge John Jones on May 20.

It was cemented as law when the state’s Governor, Tom Corbett, refused to appeal, alongside the Attorney General.

Despite the law already being in effect, Schuylkill County clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney had earlier this month sought permission to file an appeal, claiming that she had standing to appeal as the ruling had made the scope of her duties unclear.

As the deadline for any potential appeals has now passed, Santai-Gaffney’s appeal is now the last stand of opponents of marriage equality in the state.

Judge Jones found against her last month, ruling that her

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Italy: Interior Minister ‘open’ to gay civil unions, but remains against equal marriage and adoption

Angelino Alfano suggested he would support civil unions for gay couples Share on WhatsApp 4 reader comments

In a mixed bag of comments on Thursday, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, appeared to suggest he was “open” to the idea of introducing civil partnerships, including for gay couples.

Despite insisting that such a move be made “on condition that the value of the family, made up of a man and a woman, is not denied”, Alfano suggested that civil unions could be an option.

In the interview with La Repubblica, he said:  “In the context of the civil code, we have no difficulty reasoning about a matter that exists, namely the protection of people living together, including gays.”

He did go on, however, to state continued opposition to same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption, saying:  “No to gay marriage, no to adoption by gay couples or surrogacy, no to pension reversibility.”

The comments by Alfano were hailed by Laura Cantini, a Democratic Party senator, who said that “all the conditions” were in place to “rapidly” introduce civil unions.

The leader of the Socialist Party Riccardo Nencini, went even further to call on the Italian Parliament to discuss “third generation civil rights”, in a broader sense, saying Italy was “guiltily behind” on some issues.

A spokesman for Italy’s Gay Centre, however, criticised the comments, suggesting they were more negative than positive.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi last week signalled his support for the gay rights movement, reversing his previous stance.

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Russell Brand: Opposing equal marriage is pointless, spend time with your loved ones instead

Email 4th July 2014, 11:34 AM Nick Duffy, Share on WhatsApp 2 reader comments

Russell Brand has ridiculed anti-gay activist Dr Ben Carson, advising him to take up gardening and spend more time with his loved ones.

On his web series The Trews, Brand mocked a Fox News interview with Carson, who recently claimed same-sex marriage is a “plot” conceived by the New World Order to impose communism.

In the interview, Carson claimed that marriage should not be redefined because it’s a “fundamental pillar of society”.

Brand said: “How can you get attached to the fundamental definition of a pillar of society? Oi, that’s a pillar of society! You know it’s only a metaphor?

“If an issue is important, how important can it be if you ignored it and did nothing, there are no consequences?

“What do they think would happen, if he thought ‘oh, I’ll focus on my garden, and the people I know and love, and getting involved in communal activity’… do they think it’d get out of control?

“Say he went ‘oh, just don’t worry about gay marriage’ … nothing would happen, if he would just try doing nothing. ‘It’s mandatory now, everyone has to be forced to be gay married!’”

When Carson mentioned political correctness, Brand added: “Sometimes when people talk about political correctness, it’s not long before they say something either racist or homophobic. There you go mate, they’re right, aren’t they?

“It seems like a branding issue almost – it’s like he’s got his own version of Coca cola, and he doesn’t want anyone else calling it Coca Cola.

“THIS is marriage, her and him! Not her and her or him and him, you’re meddling with our recipe! Knowing there’s someone out there married to someone of the same gender… that’s ruining our marriage!

Carson apologised last year, after comparing gay people to paedophiles.

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