Federal court urged to strike down Puerto Rico birth certificate policy

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lambda Legal has urged a federal court to strike down a Puerto Rico policy that does not allow transgender people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

The group made the request in a brief it filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico on June 26.

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Supreme Court rules for lesbian parents in Ark. birth certificate case

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court reversed Monday an Arkansas high court ruling allowing the state to refuse to place a lesbian parent’s name on the birth certificate of their child if the parent isn’t the birth mother.

In the case of Pavan v. Smith, the court in a per curiam decision issued a summary reversal of the Arkansas Supreme Court decision on the basis it contravened the 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges extending marriage equality nationwide, which was handed down exactly two years to the day of the reversal.

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Couples get up early to wed in Pinellas County

By : Steve Blanchard
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St. Petersburg – The Pinellas County Clerk of Courts office in St. Petersburg started off with a line the morning of Jan. 6 as same-sex couples applied and received marriage licenses. According to the Clerk’s office, 67 licenses were issued to same-sex couples and county employees officiated 24 weddings.

Andrea Defelippo and Erin Bell of St. Petersburg were the first same-sex couple to be married in south Pinellas County Jan. 6. The pair, who have been partners for four years, had originally planned to get married in October. But they decided to make it legal Jan. 6 for “historic reasons.”

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Couples get married by Sarasota Pride

By : Steve Blanchard
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Sarasota – On Dec. 28, Sarasota Pride chairperson Cindy Barnes received her notary stamp. And she wanted it for one reason only—to officiate same-sex weddings on Jan. 6.

Barnes did just that shortly before 9 a.m. in the Sarasota County Courthouse’s courtyard when she united couples Susan and Barbara Pringle and Gail Foreman and Pat Cummins shortly after both couples were granted marriage licenses.

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Mayor Kriseman officiates same-sex wedding inside City Hall

By : Steve Blanchard
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St. Petersburg – For the first time in the history of St. Petersburg, City Hall welcomed a same-sex couple’s wedding into its foyer.

Mayor Rick Kriseman, a longtime advocate of LGBT equality, officiated the wedding of Bob and JoJo Wallace on Jan. 6 on the steps of the interior foyer. The short service was attended by friends of the grooms, several city employees and a throng of media.

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