Federal judge issues final ruling on Florida’s marriage ban

By : Jamie Hyman
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That settles it.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle has issued a final ruling that Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. This ruling should bring an end to the state’s attempt to continue to not fully recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

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Florida marriage equality plaintiff finally receives late wife’s social security benefits

By : Staff Report
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Her wife passed away in 2014, and now, a Ft. Myers woman will finally receive the Social Security survivor’s benefits to which she is entitled.

Arlene Goldberg was one of the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage. She and her wife, Carol Goldwasser, married in New York in 2011 and Goldwasser died in 2014, on the same day the ACLU of Florida announced it would challenge the marriage ban in court. Although the couple had been together for 47 years, Goldberg was not able to receive Goldwasser’s Social Security benefits, because Florida did not recognize their marriage.

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

By : Wire Report
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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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Nebraska’s defunct same-sex marriage ban could go before voters

By : Wire Report
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Lincoln, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska’s defunct same-sex marriage ban could once again go before voters under a measure in the Legislature that seeks to remove it from the state constitution.

The proposal triggered several heated exchanges Jan. 27 during a legislative hearing, with one senator predicting that voters are too “bigoted” to strike the ban even though it’s no longer enforceable.

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Alabama chief justice says marriage equality ban still in place

By : Wire Report
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Montgomery (AP) – Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says state probate judges remain under a court order to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples even though a US. Supreme Court decision effectively legalized same-sex marriage more than six months ago.

The outspoken chief justice, who previously tried to block gay marriage from coming to the Deep South state, issued an administrative order saying the Alabama Supreme Court never lifted a March directive to probate judges to refuse licenses to gay couples.

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Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor sworn in

By : Wire Report
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Salt Lake City (AP) – Jackie Biskupski was sworn in Dec. 4 as Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor, a landmark the former state lawmaker acknowledged shortly after taking the oath of office.

Biskupski, 49, said the historic moment should not be taken lightly, and noted great strides have been made for LGBT people in the state.

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Salt Lake City elects first openly gay mayor

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Former Utah lawmaker Jackie Biskupski Nov. 17 became the first openly gay mayor of Salt Lake City, the capital of the conservative state where the Mormon church and a small town judge delivered setbacks last week to the LGBT community.

The victory by Biskupski marked another milestone for LGBT people in Utah who have made major strides in recent years.

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Lawyers in Florida’s same-sex marriage case seek legal fees from state

By : Staff Report
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Jacksonville – The lawyers who won Florida’s same-sex marriage battle want the state to pay their legal fees accrued from the case.

One legal team out of Jacksonville is asking for more than $450,000. Another legal team is filing soon. They have yet to say how much they will be seeking.

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New Mormon rules push children to disown gay parents

By : Wire Report
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Salt Lake City (AP) – In the past two years, Nathan Kitchen has revealed to his five children that he’s gay, gone through a divorce with his wife and grappled with how to stay in a religion that doesn’t condone his lifestyle.

Now comes the toughest task: Telling his children he could be kicked out of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if he someday marries a man, and warning his two youngest, 11 and 15, that they might be barred from serving a mission under new church rules.

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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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Mississippi Supreme Court narrowly grants same-sex divorce

By : Wire Report
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A divided Mississippi Supreme Court voted to allow a lesbian couple to seek a divorce, even as two justices questioned the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage and suggested that landmark ruling has no constitutional basis.

The 5-4 decision Nov. 5 came after DeSoto County Chancery Judge Mitchell Lundy Jr. ruled in 2013 that the Mississippi Constitution and state law prevented him from granting a divorce to Lauren Czekala-Chatham and Dana Ann Melancon because the state didn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

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Salt Lake City may have elected Utah’s first openly gay mayor

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Vote tallies indicated Salt Lake City was poised to narrowly elect its first openly gay mayor in what would mark another milestone for the LGBT movement in the conservative state with a history of hostility toward gays and lesbians.

Former Utah lawmaker Jackie Biskupski was leading two-term incumbent Ralph Becker by 1,450 votes, according to election results released late Nov. 3.

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