Australia House of Representatives approves same-sex marriage bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Australian House of Representatives on Thursday nearly unanimously approved a bill that would extend marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The vote took place less than a week after the bill passed in the Australian Senate by a 43-12 vote margin.

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Lawmaker proposes during Australian same-sex marriage debate

By : wire report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian lawmaker giving a speech on same-sex marriage proposed to his gay partner Monday during Parliament’s debate on a bill that is expected to soon legalize marriage equality across the country.

Tim Wilson, a 37-year-old lawmaker in the conservative coalition government, was among the first lawmakers to join the House of Representatives debate and toward the end of his speech popped the question to his partner of seven years Ryan Bolger, who was watching from the public gallery.

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Australian court dismisses challenge to gay marriage survey

By : Wire Report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s highest court cleared the way Sept. 7 for the government to conduct a public survey on whether gay marriage should be legalized.

Gay rights advocates had argued in the High Court that the government didn’t have the power to conduct the 122 million Australian dollar ($97 million) postal survey without Senate approval, but the court dismissed that challenge.

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Australia’s top court hears bid to stop gay marriage survey

By : Wire Report
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Gay rights advocates argued in Australia’s highest court Sept. 5 that the government does not have the power to bypass Parliament to pay for a 122 million Australian dollar ($97 million) public survey on whether gay marriage should be legalized.

The advocates want Parliament to decide the issue without consultation with the public and argued in the High Court that the government does not have the constitutional power to start the postal survey next week.

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Challenge filed in court to Australian same-sex marriage ballot

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Gay-rights advocates filed a court challenge Thursday to the government’s unusual plan to canvass Australians’ opinion on gay marriage next month, while a retired judge said he would boycott the survey as unacceptable.

The mail ballot is not binding, but the conservative government won’t legislate the issue without it. If most Australians say “no,” the government won’t allow Parliament to consider lifting the nation’s ban on same-sex marriage.

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Australia’s ruling party refuses vote on same-sex marriage bill

By : Wire Report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s ruling party on Monday rejected a push to allow lawmakers to decide whether the country should recognize same-sex marriage, continuing a bitter political stalemate over the divisive reform.

The conservative Liberal Party-led coalition was narrowly re-elected in July 2016 with a promise to let voters decide whether Australia should recognize same-sex marriage through a popular vote. But the Senate would not allow the so-called plebiscite, which would have cost 160 million Australian dollars ($127 million), and the result could have been ignored by lawmakers when deciding how to vote on gay marriage legislation in Parliament.

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German president signs same-sex marriage bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday signed a bill that extends marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Steinmeier signed the measure less than a month after the lower house of the German Parliament, which is known as the Bundestag, approved it by a 393-226 vote margin. The bill is expected to take effect as early as Oct. 1.

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Church of England approves motion to ban conversion therapy

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The Church of England’s General Synod on Saturday approved a motion that urges the British government to ban so-called conversion therapy.

The motion — which members of the church’s national assembly approved during their meeting in the English city of York — describes conversion therapy as “unethical, potentially harmful and not supported by evidence.” It also says the controversial practice has “no place in the modern world.”

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New Zealand lawmakers apologize for 100s of gay convictions

By : Wire Report
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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – New Zealand lawmakers unanimously apologized July 6 for the “tremendous hurt and suffering” of hundreds of men who were convicted of homosexuality during the years it was treated as a crime.

Parliament took the rare step of issuing a formal apology to all those unfairly convicted under the antiquated laws. Lawmakers also approved the first stage of a bill that will allow the men to have their criminal records wiped clean, legislation that comes four years after the South Pacific nation legalized same-sex marriage.

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German lawmakers approve same-sex marriage bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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German lawmakers on Friday approved a bill that will extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The measure passed in the lower house of the German Parliament, which is known as the Bundestag, by 393-226 vote margin with four abstentions.

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German Parliament set to vote on same-sex marriage

By : Wire Report
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BERLIN (AP) – The German Parliament plans to vote June 30 on whether to legalize same-sex marriage, only days after Chancellor Angela Merkel backed off her conservative party’s long-standing refusal to budge on the issue.

The German news agency dpa reported June 28 the Parliament’s legal committee had given its OK for the vote to take place Friday.

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Confirmation of Serbia’s first gay Prime Minister thrown into doubt

By : Wire Report
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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – Serbia’s ruling conservatives said June 19 if Prime Minister-designate Ana Brnabic doesn’t get enough votes to be confirmed by parliament as the first openly gay person to head the country’s government, an early general election will be held.

Brnabic, nominated last week by Serbian Present Aleksandar Vucic, could also become the conservative nation’s first female prime minister if she’s selected. But some of Vucic’s coalition partners said they will vote against her because of her sexual orientation.

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