Italian Senate approves bill to allow civil unions

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ROME (AP) – Italy’s Senate voted Feb. 25 to grant legal recognition to civil unions, as the last holdout in Western Europe took a compromise step to give some rights to gay couples after a bitter, years-long debate.

Premier Matteo Renzi described the passage of the bill Thursday as “historic.” But gay and lesbian groups denounced the watered-down legislation as a betrayal because Renzi’s Democratic Party sacrificed a provision to allow gay adoption in order to ensure passage.

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Italian Prime Minister ready to push civil union legislation

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ROME (AP) – Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is considering resorting to a risky confidence vote in the Senate to ensure the passage of a bill allowing civil unions, but not marriage, for gay couples.

He told his Democratic Party members he is `’ready” to use the tactic on the bill if needed.

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Nebraska judge strikes down state’s same-sex marriage ban

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Omaha (AP) – A federal judge has issued a permanent injunction striking down Nebraska’s now-negated constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions.

The injunction, issued FEb. 4, was largely a formality because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in late June that legalized gay marriage nationwide. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also struck down Nebraska’s ban following the high court’s ruling.

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Dolce & Gabbana release handbags, t-shirts celebrating same-sex families

By : Jeremy Williams
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After making derogatory comments about children of same-sex couples, Dolce & Gabbana have done a 180 and released handbags and t-shirts celebrating same-sex couples and families.

The designing duo released three photos on their Instagram account Jan. 29. The photos depict simple drawings of a same-sex couple, one featuring men and the other women, with several multi-racial children on a handbag. A third picture features similar artwork on t-shirts. The posts are accompanied with #dgfamily.

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Tens of thousands anti-gay Italians protest marriage equality

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Rome (AP) – Tens of thousands of people opposed to gay rights rallied in Rome’s Circus Maximus against legislation that would permit civil unions for same-sex couples and grant them legal recognition as families.

Massimo Gandolfini, organizer of Jan. 31’s `’Family Day” protest, told the crowd that the legislation now in the Senate needs to be defeated.

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As LGBT acceptance grows, Italians struggle to redefine family

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Rome (AP) – In Italy, family is considered so sacred that marriage is lauded in the Constitution. But what kind of family?

That has become a bitterly divisive question in a nation where the Vatican packs considerable political weight and where gays have grown impatient as other traditionally Catholic European countries have either allowed same-sex couples to marry or legally recognized their civil unions.

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Italian protesters urge government to grant same-sex civil unions

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ROME (AP) – Tens of thousands of people demonstrated Jan. 23 in nearly 100 cities across Italy to urge the government to permit gay and lesbian couples to have civil unions and legally recognized families.

Mirco Pierro, 39, rallied in front of the Pantheon in Rome with his partner and twin infants, saying he wanted “to defend the rights of our children, not just our rights.” Pierro and his partner were married in Los Angeles but their union is not recognized in Italy and only one of them has parental rights.

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Civil unions legal in Estonia but couples being advised to hold off

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Stockholm (AP) – A law allowing gay partnerships took effect in Estonia Jan. 1, but same-sex couples are being advised to hold off on getting hitched until a series of legal issues have been worked out.

Estonia in 2014 became the first former Soviet republic to approve gay civil unions, but Parliament has not yet adopted laws required to implement that decision.

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Veterans Administration makes right on old wrong

By : Billy Manes
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According to a story from thenewcivilrightsmovement.com, the U.S. Veterans Administration is beginning to change its tune when it comes to paying out retroactive death benefits to some partners in civil unions who had not yet had the ability to convert those civil unions into marriage licences. The move came, obviously,  in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage on June 26. Joe Krumbach and Army vet Jerry Hatcher had all the trappings of a legitimate union in Washington, right down to the outrageous wedding ceremony in Seattle replete with butterflies and an Austin Powers impersonator (!). Unfortunately, Hatcher passed away from cancer in 2008, years before all civil unions would be automatically converted into marriages in Washington, leaving Krumbach begging at the federal trough for the benefits he rightfully deserved.

“I was pissed,” Krumbach told a Washington NBC affiliate. “How dare you say ‘no.’ His service was no different than any other service and denying someone those benefits is inherently wrong.”

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Colombia high court rules for same-sex couple adoptions

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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — In a historic decision, Colombia’s constitutional court opened the door Nov. 4 for same-sex couples to legally adopt children in the conservative South American nation.

In the 6-2 ruling, the court said adoption agencies can’t discriminate against gay, lesbian and transsexual couples during an adoption process.

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Same-sex couples celebrate first civil unions in Chile

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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Dozens of same-sex couples in Chile began celebrating civil unions on Oct. 22, taking advantage of a new law that gay advocates say is a clear sign of change in a country long regarded as one of Latin America’s most socially conservative.

The civil union law was debated in Congress for over a decade until it was passed and signed into law by the president in April. As it went into effect, couples began arriving at civil registry offices early to officially validate their unions.

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IRS says it will recognize all same-sex marriages after Supreme Court ruling

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS is making it official: The tax agency says it will now recognize same-sex marriages regardless of where they were performed.

The IRS and the Treasury Department also said they will interpret the terms “husband” and “wife” to apply to same-sex spouses as well as opposite-sex spouses.

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