The largest presbyterian group in the US has voted to recognize same-sex marriage, the latest sweeping move by the church to acknowledge it as Christian.
Presbyterian Church USA voted on Tuesday to amend its constitution to extend marriage rights from “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman”.
A majority of the church’s 171 governing bodies ruled in favor of the change, which will affect the church’s more than 1.7 million members, including those strongly opposed to marriage equality.
Individual pastors who oppose same-sex marriages can still opt out of performing same-sex marriage ceremonies or allowing them to be held in their church.
The group’s general assembly approved the constitutional amendment in 2014, but the “two people” measure needed to be ratified before the constitution could officially be changed. On Tuesday night, 87 had voted in favor, and 41 had voted against…
In recent years, the church has adopted more inclusive policies: in 2011, it undid an anti-same-sex marriage amendment by allowing LGBT pastors in the church, and last year ministers began performing same-sex marriages in states where it is legal…
Paul Detterman, national director of the Fellowship Community, a conservative group that opposes the decision, told the New York Times he expects the decision to drive practitioners out of the church. He said, however, that the vote might also compel people to stay in order to defend their stance…
The Covenant Network of Presbyterians, which pushes for LGBT inclusion in the church, praised the amendment. “We rejoice that all couples can now see those relationships solemnized before God and the Christian community in marriage, at the discretion of ministers and sessions,” the group said in a statement.
I like the libertarian sense of the amendment. It allows those church members whose brain and heart are trapped in the Dark Ages to remain there. Of their own free will.
Cop marries ex-Marine
Detective David Currie, 50, and his now-husband Aaron Woodard, 33, tied the knot shortly after midnight on Tuesday, the 7th, when the state legalized gay marriage.
And after requesting permission from his superiors, Currie walked down the registry aisle with full support of the Broward County Sheriff’s to wed in uniform.
All the conservative True Believers in Florida must have their shorts in a truly world-class bunch over this. Meanwhile, a couple of people who love each other get to live a legally married life together.
Wedding photo for Edgard Perez and Charles Windham
With arms interlocked, about 20 gay and lesbian couples, too eager to wait any longer, were married in a five-minute ceremony at 3 a.m. on Tuesday at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale as Florida marked a long, arduous journey to become the 36th state to legalize same sex marriage.
Now the nation’s third-largest state, Florida joined the list allowing same-sex unions just six years after the state, led by Republican lawmakers, voted to approve a constitutional ban on gay marriage, which garnered 62 percent of the vote.
“Do you take each other to be your spouse for life?” asked Howard C. Forman, the Broward County clerk of courts, slightly stressing the word spouse. Together, the couples uttered their individual vows to one another. “I pronounce you legally married,” Mr. Forman said.
With that, the couples, their families and friends roared, cheered and clapped, and Frank Sinatra’s “Love” blasted into the room. For Anthony Butera, 44, and Abdel Magid, 45, there was no doubt that marrying as soon as possible in their home state was a must-do. A couple for 12 years, the two donned wedding finery — Mr. Butera wore a cream tuxedo jacket with a black handkerchief and Mr. Magid a black tuxedo jacket with a white boutonniere — and infectious smiles.
“It’s special to be recognized and be treated like everyone else,” Mr. Magid said.
More victories in a nation that supposedly believes in equal opportunity, that preaches to the rest of the world that we are the bastion of democracy and reason – and there still are states and politicians, religions and zealots who believe they have a mandate to prevent equal civil rights for every American. They believed they could do it because of skin color, They believe they can do so because of sexual inclination.
Understanding their misbegotten belief doesn’t make it anymore defensible. Such bigotry belongs in history’s cesspool. Witnessing expressions of love and freedom from these newly-married folks is worth so much more than the hatred and fear of fools.
RTFA for more examples of a new kind of freedom creeping cautiously through the halls of Florida’s backwards government, a state which still tries to dignify the fascist time-warp infecting their brains.
Over the last nine months, Vox writing fellow German Lopez found himself covering two major policy changes in the U.S.: the rapid growth in support of same-sex marriage across the country, and the smaller, but gaining-in-momentum movement to legalize marijuana. German found inspiration to bring the two threads together after seeing politics writer Phil Bump compare the two policies at the Washington Post. With the visuals team, German created a chart comparing medical marijuana laws, full marijuana legalization, and same-sex marriage rights around the country. The end result: a playful chart that shows where you can legally get high at a same-sex wedding. It’s simple, it’s fun, and, yet, it delivers so much information about the state of affairs in the U.S. right now.
This short piece is a VOX specialty. It illustrates the growth and usefulness – therefore importance if you find thinking useful – of this new information source.
I’ve grown to accept their decision to omit reader comments. Of course, I qualify for Barry Ritholtz’s infamous acronym – if you don’t like the rules, GYOB. Get your own blog.
Though I have functioned as contributing editor at blogs with traffic as high as 5 million visitors per week, ideas and issues I consider important always start out here at my personal blog.
Gay couples began applying for marriage licenses in Anchorage on Monday, 15 years after Alaska helped touch off a national debate with a ban on same-sex unions…
Ann Marie Garber and her partner, Koy Field, were among the first gay couples seeking a license to wed in Alaska. “I had no idea this would happen in my lifetime,” she said.
They decided to apply immediately after the ban was overturned by a federal judge Sunday.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess ruled that ban violated both due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. His ruling came over the objection of gay marriage opponents, including Alaska Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, who has promised to appeal, saying blah, blah, blah, blah.
The ruling in favor of five couples who sued the state in May overturns a constitutional amendment approved by Alaska voters in 1998, defining marriage in the state as between one man and one woman.
It bars enforcement of any state law that keeps gay couples from marrying or refuses to recognize same-sex unions performed elsewhere…
The landscape has changed very quickly for gay marriage in the U.S. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from several states seeking to retain their bans on same-sex marriage. The Oct. 6 move effectively legalized gay marriage in about 30 states and triggered a flurry of rulings and confusion in lower courts across the nation, including the Alaska decision.
The lead plaintiff in the Alaska lawsuit was Matthew Hamby, who helped other couples through the application process Monday before completing his own.
He and his husband, Christopher Shelden, plan to renew vows they made in their 2008 marriage in Banff, Alberta, Canada. They haven’t set a date yet, but the $60 licenses are good for three months.
Congratulations from the lower 48 to all the happy couples.
Any other Alaskan whose bigotry and hatred has their knickers bunched — take it and work it, chump!
Marriage freedom selfies, a new day in Idaho, Nevada — JIM URQUHART/REUTERS
Legal momentum for extending U.S. marriage rights to same-sex couples accelerated on Tuesday as a federal appeals court struck down bans on gay matrimony in Idaho and Nevada a day after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand similar rulings for five other states.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled the bans in Idaho and Nevada violated the constitution and cannot be enforced, adding to a growing list of states where same-sex unions are now legal.
The 9th Circuit move puts the United States on track for legal gay marriage in 35 states, as rulings by the court are binding on all states in its region including three others that do not permit gay marriage, Arizona, Montana and Alaska…
Nevada’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, whose state withdrew its opposition to gay marriage earlier this year, said he respected the ruling, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada welcomed it warmly…
By contrast, Idaho Republican Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said blah, blah, blah…
County clerks’ offices in big cities in Idaho and Nevada said they were reviewing the ruling and waiting for formal direction before issuing licenses.
Diana Alba, clerk of Nevada’s Clark County, said her office had been preparing for weeks, including changing the forms for marriage licenses so they use gender-neutral pronouns, employing “party one” and “party two” instead of “bride” and “groom.”
“When we get the green light, we’re ready,” Alba said…
Click the link above to read the complete article. It finishes with a state-by-state update on further challenges to the last few states dragging their feet. Still afraid to enter the 21st Century.
Republican commitment to Christian sharia law illustrates what a dead end that party has become. They haven’t a conservative viewpoint to offer. They only whine “NO”, beat their holier-than-thou bosoms and hope there are enough old white folks left to keep them in office – picking plums off the tree of corporate lobbyists.
In this occasional land of the free, there are plenty of old white folks like me who were willing to stand up for our Black brothers and sisters in the 1950’s. We’re still here and perfectly able to smack Democrats on the butt to get them to join up with progressive women, minorities, young people. Speak out, march to the polls and shove foot-dragging bigots out of the way.
It may not be quick enough to satisfy this short time each of us has to tread on this Earth – but, the need for freedom shall prevail.
UPDATE: Idaho governor apparently whined loud and hard enough to nudge Justice Kennedy into ordering a temporary stay of the order allowing same-sex marriages. Shouldn’t be long before the appellate court can review the plea. Sanity will return.
The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for an immediate expansion of same-sex marriage by unexpectedly and tersely turning away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions. The court’s order effectively makes gay marriage legal now in 30 states.
Without comment, the justices brought to an end delays in same-sex marriages in five states- Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin…
Couples in six other states – Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming – should be able to get married in short order. Those states would be bound by the same appellate rulings that were put on hold pending the Supreme Court’s review.
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, called on the high court to “finish the job.” Wolfson said the court’s “delay in affirming the freedom to marry nationwide prolongs the patchwork of state-to-state discrimination and the harms and indignity that the denial of marriage still inflicts on too many couples in too many places.”
Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an opponent of same-sex marriage, said blah, blah, blah!
James Esseks of the American Civil Liberties Union said he believes the court will quickly take up a case if an appeals court upholds state bans.
It takes just four of the nine justices to vote to hear a case, but it takes a majority of at least five for an eventual ruling. Monday’s opaque order did not indicate how the justices voted on whether to hear the appeals.
Most important, the SCOTUS non-ruling lets all the Circuit rulings overturning homophobic state law stand – and extends it automatically to the other states within each circuit. Otherwise, the Supreme Court is as adept as Congress or the White House at avoiding the demonstration of leadership on any critical question.
We are an obedient nation led by cowards.
The US Census Bureau just released information on same-sex couples as part of its release of the 2013 American Community Survey data. Here are some of the highlights from the release.
Same-sex couples are a bit more educated than straight couples. While both married and unmarried gay and lesbian couples are about equally likely to have both partners holding at least a bachelor’s degree, unmarried heterosexual couples are half as likely for this to be the case as married straight couples…
…Same sex couples tend to have higher incomes than straight couples….Unmarried straight couples had the lowest average income…
Interracial marriages are more common among same-sex couples than among heterosexual couples…and we know who that pisses off.
RTFA for more demographics. To read the whole report from the Census Bureau – go here.
A federal judge overturned Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday, saying that 50 years from now it will be seen as “an obvious pretext for discrimination.”
U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle ordered the state to recognize the marriages of couples who tied the knot in jurisdictions where they could do so legally. But he stayed the order while Florida decides on an appeal.
“When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination,” Hinkle said. “Observers who are not now of age will wonder just how those views could have been held.”
As it was with Jim Crow laws, anti-miscegenation laws, every kind of bigotry held as just and holy by the ignorant and stupid – this, too, shall pass. The shame belongs to the ethically corrupt who try to profit politically from the continuance of bigoted laws.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, supporters of same-sex marriage have challenged laws across the country and have had an almost unbroken string of legal victories…