Appeals court rejects challenge to same-sex marriage recusal law

By : Wire Report
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal appeals court has rejected a challenge to a North Carolina law that allows magistrates to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

The Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling June 28 that three couples who sued to overturn the law lack standing to challenge the law’s use of taxpayer funds.

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Puerto Rico ruling creates confusion over marriage equality

By : Jamie Hyman
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San Juan (AP) – An unexpected ruling from a federal judge in Puerto Rico is raising doubts and creating confusion about the future of same-sex couples seeking to get married on the island.

Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez ruled that a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows gay couples to marry anywhere in the United States does not apply on the island because it is a U.S. territory and not a state. The ruling also rejects a motion filed by Lambda Legal and Puerto Rico’s government to stop enforcement of the island’s ban on same-sex marriage.

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Pacquiao apologizes for homophobic statements after being dropped from Nike deal

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Manila, Philippines (AP) – Boxing star and Philippine Senate candidate Manny Pacquiao apologized for denouncing people in gay relationships as “worse than animals” but said he stood by his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Fellow Filipino celebrities were among those criticizing his remarks, made when a TV network asked candidates about their views on same-sex marriage.

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Panasonic forges ahead with recognition of same-sex marriage and possible benefits

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Tokyo (AP) – Panasonic Corp. said it will recognize same-sex marriages in its employment policies in a rare move for a major Japanese manufacturer.

Although details are being worked out, some of the benefits currently allocated to married employees include maternity leave, health insurance and a small cash bonus, said spokeswoman Chieko Gyobu. Panasonic said the new policy will come into effect in April.

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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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Same-sex couples exchange vows in Mt. Rushmore celebration

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MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. (AP) — Seven gay couples exchanged vows and another couple renewed their vows Sept. 6 during a group wedding at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The celebration of this summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage took place in the amphitheater overlooked by the presidential mountain carving.

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Fishing From the Other Side of the Boat

By : Michael Kilgore
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St. Petersburg – Stephen Graumlich, introducing The Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy L. Wilson, World Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, to a full house at the 4TH Annual Pride Celebration at The Cathedral Church of St. Peter’s paused a moment. He reflected upon one sentence she shared with him 30 years ago, “We have to learn to fish out of the other side of the boat.”

At the time Graumlich was struggling to find a place where, as a gay man, he could reclaim his spiritual roots. And Wilson was a minister in a fledgling MCC church. Graumlich finally found his home in an inclusive Episcopalian church. Wilson now heads a church with 300 congregations in 37 countries. Her message of inclusion remains the same.

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Mexico rules states’ same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

By : Wire Report
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MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s supreme court has ruled it is unconstitutional for Mexican states to bar same-sex marriages.

But the court’s ruling is considered a “jurisprudential thesis” and does not invalidate any state laws, meaning gay couples denied the right to wed would have to turn to the courts individually. Given the ruling, judges and courts would have to approve same-sex marriages.

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Religious objection to N.C. same-sex marriage leads to bill debate

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The state House is quickly taking up Senate legislation giving North Carolina magistrates and other judicial workers the ability to refuse to carry out duties for same-sex marriages due to their religious objections.

A House judiciary committee scheduled debate March 4 on the measure, which cleared the Senate last week. Senate leader Phil Berger filed the bill in response to a local magistrate quitting his job rather than presiding after federal judges struck down North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban in October.

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Alaska tribal organization gives the go-ahead for gay marriages

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Sitka, Alaska (AP) – The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska has given the go-ahead to its courts to allow the performance of same-sex marriages.

CoastAlaska News reports the largest tribal organization in southeast Alaska announced its new policy on Feb. 23 following a unanimous vote last week by the council’s seven-member governing board to define legal marriage without a gender requirement.

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Watermark’s Roundup of Marriage Ceremonies and Celebrations

By : Staff Report
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With same-sex marriage finally being recognized and legal in the State of Florida on Jan. 6, many people are looking for ways to celebrate this historic event – whether they’re looking to get married or not.

Here is a list of some wedding ceremonies and celebrations that are taking place throughout Central Florida and Tampa Bay that you can attend in honor of marriage equality coming to Florida Jan. 6.

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Publix expands benefits to married same-sex couples

By : Staff Report
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Publix will expand benefits to same-sex couples starting Jan.1, 2015.

According to Equality Florida, the benefits will be available to legally married couples, regardless of where they tied the knot.

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