New marriage battle ahead for MD

The Gazette
January 25, 2008
"This is the first time in recent history that the legislation has been introduced since the [appeals court] case. Now it’s time for the legislature to take this on. Legislators will have to go on the record with their positions and those opposing will have to say why they want to continue denying these rights," said Carrie Evans, director of policy and planning for Equality Maryland. "A month ago we were thinking we would be lucky to have 25 co-sponsors. On Friday we have 49 sponsors so we've exceeded expectations there. Do we have the votes on the floor today? No we don't, but we have a lot of people who support this bill and we will continue throughout the session to send in our people and our families to talk to lawmakers." [Link]

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Europe: Gay Adoption Ruling Advances Family Equality

Human Rights Watch
January 24, 2008

In a ruling that could have far-reaching consequences the European Court of Human Rights said Tuesday that the exclusion of individuals to adopt children simply because of their sexual orientation is discriminatory and in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. [Link]

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For My Wife

The Advocate
January 23, 2008
When a flash flood killed the renowned audiobook narrator Kate Fleming, her partner, Charlene Strong, endured firsthand the cruel consequences of having been unable to marry and secure legal protections. Now she is making a documentary to tell their story and change the law--in memory of the woman who was her wife in every way but legally. [link]

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Gay couples as committed as non-gay couples

January 22, 2008
In two new studies that compared same-sex and heterosexual couples using different factors and methods to assess their happiness, scientists found few differences. [Link]

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Impatient witness: Reflections on the long struggle for gay rights

Providence Journal
January 21, 2008
M. Charles Bakst, a non-gay columnist, wrote with powerful support for marriage equality saying, “I identified with the gay rights movement because I am Jewish, and because, the way I was brought up, you treat people decently and if there’s something amiss in the world you try to fix it… I believe discrimination against gays is evil, and marriage equality is not rocket science. Society benefits from loving, stable relationships. A man and a woman should be able to wed; two men or two women, that’s fine too. And if it’s not for you, don’t do it. I don’t get hung up on ideological or theological details.” [link]

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Pair reflect on months as married couple

Des Moines Register
January 20, 2008
"I now realize how important marriage is," Sean said. "I've (known I am) gay since I was a teenager. Gay marriage was always something that's going to happen in the future, but I couldn't go get one, so it wasn't on the table. All the sudden it was on the table. And I got one. I was like, whoa, I really wanted this the whole time, and I was ready for it, and I just told myself I wasn't because it wasn't feasible." [Link]

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Gay Families Seek Lifting of Adoption Restrictions

Salt Lake Tribune
January 18, 2008

The community is gearing up for a new political fight in the 2008 legislative session, which begins Monday. The goal: to get adoption restrictions on cohabitating couples, including same-sex couples, lifted. [Link]

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Marriage equality is ‘coming closer’ in Israel

The Jewish Chronicle
January 18, 2008
In what is being heralded as a “first step towards civil marriage” in Israel, same-sex and mixed-faith couples are being offered partnership cards. [Link]

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Are Gay Relationships Different?

January 17, 2008
Ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage would probably help prolong gay relationships, if only because of the financial and legal benefits married couples enjoy. [link]

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Gays & the Church

Pittsburgh Tribune Review
January 16, 2008
As a gay man who has been partnered for 19 years, married in Canada in 2005 and parent of a 2-year-old, I can tell you that we are not attacking Catholics or marriage. We don't want anything more than what all other committed couples have: the tax, health, pension, visitation and death protections that are a part of marriage. These are not special rights. They are protections offered by the government, not the Catholic Church. [link]

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