US: ACLU asks federal government to recognise Indiana same-sex marriages

The ACLU has asked Eric Holder to issue a statement for Indiana same-sex couples married in June Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

The American Civil Liberties Union has asked US Attorney General Eric Holder to issue a statement saying the federal government will recognise Indiana same-sex marriages done before a federal appeals court stayed the striking down of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

A statement by Holder would make same-sex couples married in the state before the stay was put in place eligible for federal benefits granted to other married couples.

Holder has issued similar statements for both Utah and Michigan in the presence of similar stays to their marriage bans.

In a letter mailed to the attorney general’s office Friday, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana Ken Falk said:

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France: Government abandons teaching gender equality after boycott

France has backtracked on fighting gender stereotypes Share on WhatsApp 1 reader comment

The French government has cancelled school lessons that aimed to fight gender stereotypes.

Many parents had taken their children out of school in protest at the lessons.

The ABCD of Equality program was launched last September and trialled at 275 schools.

The government said the lessons were to promote equality and deconstruct prejudice.

Education minister Benoit Haman told France Inter radio: “We want to prevent anyone from forming the conviction at school that there would be… jobs and training and diplomas for girls, and jobs and training and diplomas for boys.”

The program was opposed by an alliance including the far-right National Front – who came first in the country’s European elections last month – alongside the Catholic Church and Muslim religious leaders.

Opponents said the lessons were teaching children that there were no differences between boys and girls and that this was dangerous.

The government has denied teaching gender theory or that there are no innate differences between boys and girls.

Parents organised school boycotts by text message and up to 40% of pupils were missing in some schools on boycott days.

France’s Minister of Women’s Rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, told France 3 television that the scheme’s replacement would be an “improved” version of the original and would apply to all schools.

Teaching unions have said that fears over the scheme are unfounded but that the hostile reaction to the program has put teachers in a difficult position.

France legalised same-sex marriage last April despite heavy opposition.

Probably as a result of this controversy, homophobic violence rose by 78% this year.

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LGBT group criticises UK Government for ‘same-sex marriage farce’

Same-sex couples are currently unable to marry in Northern Ireland Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

A leading LGBT rights support organisation in Northern Ireland has called on the UK Government to end the “farce” of marriage inequality across the UK.

The Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland’s largest LGBT support organisation criticised the Government for having introduced same-sex marriage in England and Wales and Scotland, but not Northern Ireland.

Referring to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s announcement last week on the countries which hold British consulates where British citizens may enter a same-sex marriage, Rainbow encouraged the introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Speaking on these developments, The Rainbow Project’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Gavin Boyd said: “The cognitive dissonance displayed by the UK government is breath-taking. They want British citizens to be permitted to marry in Beijing and Moscow, but not Belfast. They want British marriages recognised abroad, but not in Northern Ireland. What kind of government allows such blatant discrimination against its own citizens?

“In our opinion, the same-sex marriage bill passed in Westminster was fundamentally flawed. By not following the precedent set by the Civil Partnerships Act, which was settled on a UK-wide basis, the government has passed legislation which is riddled with constitutional anomalies.

“People living in Northern Ireland have the same right to marry as those living in England, Scotland and Wales and if politicians cannot see the irrationality and unreasonableness of the current law, a remedy will be sought through the courts.”

Under secondary same-sex marriage legislation which came into effect last week, couples can marry in 23 British consulates across the world under British law where local law prohibits same-sex marriage, including Russia and China.

The countries are Australia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, and Vietnam.

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Ireland: Government to ban religious schools from discriminating against gay teachers

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn will propose the change 12 reader comments

The Irish government is seeking to close a loophole in equality law that permits religious employers to discriminate against gays.

An amendment, jointly submitted by Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, would repeal a portion of the Employment Equality Act.

Section 37 of the Employment Equaltiy Act currently exempts religious institutions from the law, allowing discrimination “where it is reasonable to do so in order to maintain the religious ethos of the institution”.

It specifically mentions church-run “educational and medical institutions” do not have to follow the law.

Teachers’ unions in the country have long campaigned for the change, arguing that the provision is effectively a license to discriminate against gay people for church groups.

According to the Irish Times, a proposal to repeal Section 37 will be taken to the Cabinet on Tuesday.

One the proposal gains cabinet approval, it will head to the country’s parliament in the Autumn.

Previous opposition bills on the issue have failed to gain traction previously, due to the strong opposition of religious groups.

Quinn’s proposals are largely modelled on one such bill, submitted by Labour Senator Ivana Bacik in the Senate last year.

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Telegraph boss Lord Black calls on Government to ban gay ‘cure’ therapy

Lord Black of Brentwood called on the Government to ban the practice 11 reader comments

PinkNews Exclusive
The Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group, Lord Black, has called on the Government to ban the widely condemned practice of gay conversion therapy.

In a written question to the Government, Lord Black of Brentwood asked “whether they are considering introducing legislation to prevent the practice of reparative or conversion therapy on homosexual men and women.”

Earl Howe, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health, responded this week, to simply say: “This Government does not believe that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is an illness to be treated or cured.”

Speaking to PinkNews, Lord Black reacted to commend the Government for its stance against the practice, but said more needed to be done to ban it.

He said: “I’m pleased that the government is so firmly against the principle of reparative therapy. But we need to do more. It’s time for these terrible practises to be banned by law, and I will be looking for an early opportunity to bring forward legislation on the matter for Parliament to consider.”

The practice of gay “cure”, or “conversion” therapy is widely criticised as harmful to recipients. At least two states in the US have passed legislation banning the practice on minors.

During the debates on same-sex marriage, Lord Black, who helped lead the campaign in the Lords in favour of equality said: “I am in a civil partnership with somebody with whom I have been together for nearly a quarter of a century. I love him very much and nothing would give me greater pride than to marry him.”

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Government to make no changes to civil partnerships following consultation

The Government will make no changes to civil partnerships for the time being Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics equal marriagegay marriagemarriage equalitysame sex marriagemarriagegay weddingSame-sex weddingweddinglesbian weddinglesbian marriageCivil partnershipsconsultation 0 reader comments

Following a consultation into the future of civil partnerships, the Government has announced that the legislation will remain in place, unaltered.

The Government consultation into the future of civil partnerships closed in April.

The results were announced by Helen Grant, Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, alongside a review into marriages by non-religious belief organisations.

In a written response to the consultation today, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), revealed the results of the consultation.

The document from the DCMS read: “We have now analysed responses to the consultation on the Civil Partnership Act 2004. A majority of respondents who expressed a view on them were opposed to each of the three main changes to civil partnership. There was therefore no united call for change from respondents to the consultation at this stage.”

Out of more than 10,000 responses, less than a third wanted to abolish civil partnerships, a majority were against ‘grandfathering’ the legislation, meaning no new civil partnerships would be entered, and more than 75% were against opening up civil partnerships to straight couples.

The document goes on to note that “several important organisations thought it was too soon to consider making changes to civil partnership”, but notes that others did make the case for extending civil partnerships to straight couples.

The Government vows to monitor the situation going forward, as more gay couples enter into marriages, some into civil partnerships, and some convert their civil partnerships to marriage from 10 December, as announced by Minister for Equalities Sajid Javid today.

The document confirms: “Given the lack of consensus on the way forward, the Government will not be making any changes.”

A day before same-sex marriage took effect in England and Wales, Labour’s shadow Equalities Minister Gloria De Piero wrote an open letter to Maria Miller, then Culture Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, to urge her to

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Government report shows equalising pensions for gay couples could cost £2.9 billion

A government source told PinkNews that it was likely ministers would issue a response to the report before the end of 2014 Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics same sex couplesgay couplesEquality Act 2010pensionsdepartment for work and pensionsTreasuryThe Equality ActThe Equality Act 2010pension schemespensions schemes 0 reader comments

A joint review looking at equalising pension schemes for same-sex couples shows the government will have to

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