Same-sex couples seek immigration benefit

The Associated Press
July 18, 2009
"If you're going to have a system that's designed to keep families together, it should focus on keeping families together," says Judy Rickard of San Jose, CA. That could soon be the case, as more than 100 lawmakers in the House and about 20 in the Senate have signed onto bills that would add the United States to the 19 countries that already recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes. [Link]

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South African Rites

The New York Times
July 16, 2009
A self-described "middle-class white man" from South Africa tells of his experiences in applying for and receiving a marriage ceremony for he and his black partner of nearly two decades through a government-run Home Affairs office in Edenvale, near Johannesburg. [Link]

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Video: Marriage Equality Heating Up in Australia

Equal Love 09 - Australia
July 19, 2009
A series of internet-based ads has been launched in Australia by Equal Love 09 to inform the public about gay discrimination issues in the lead up to August 1st rallies to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. See all the ads at: http://www.youtube.com/user/EqualLove09



[Link]

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Australian Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduces marriage equality bill

Independent Political Report
July 9, 2009
Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced a private member’s Bill, proposing the freedom to marry, into the Upper House on Wednesday. The Bill seeks to remove all discrimination based on sexuality and gender from the Marriage Act. It will also allow marriages of same-sex couples legalized abroad to be honored in Australia. [Link]

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Letter from mother of gay son tells Irish minister civil partnerships are not good enough

Pinknews
July 8, 2009

Helen Doody’s letter to Irish justice minister Dermot Ahern on behalf of her son is fast becoming a hit on the internet. “Your Civil Partnership Bill is not good enough for my family, and hundreds, thousands of other families in this country. Revise this bill so everyone can be equal." [Link]

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Life partnerships for same-sex couples begin today in Hungary, but gap in rights persists

Hungary Around the Clock
July 7, 2009
Same-sex couples can forge life partnerships before public notaries starting this Wednesday. These life partnerships will be guaranteed the same tax, employment, social and immigration benefits as heterosexual marriages. Gay couples will be barred from adopting children and taking their spouse's name, however. [Link]

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Partnership rights in place for gay couples in Ireland by end of year

Irish Times
June 26, 2009
The Civil Partnership Bill giving statutory rights to gay and lesbian couples will be enacted and operational by the end of the year, the Government said yesterday. It will allow same-sex couples to register their civil partnership and allow them to enjoy the same statutory protection as married couples across a wide range of areas. The rights and obligations include the protection of a shared home, pension rights, the right to succession and equality with married couples of treatment under the tax and social welfare codes. [Link]

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61% of Britons Back Freedom to Marry

The Times of London
June 27, 2009
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, the gay charity, said be believed the introduction of civil partnerships in 2005 particularly helped to shift attitudes. “Suddenly millions of people realised gay people want to get married just like everyone else, and have slightly excitable ceremonies where aunties end up rowing, just like everyone else,” he said. “It comes up time and time again when I meet people who have been to civil partnership ceremonies or have heard of friends or neighbours having them.” [link]

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Marriage Equality Gets a Dutch Boost

The New York Times
June 25, 2009
Of all things, historical and cultural, that link Amsterdam to New York, there is a particular bond that strikes a personal chord with Carolien Gehrels. Mrs. Gehrels, the deputy mayor of Amsterdam, will be among a delegation of officials from the Netherlands who are flying to New York this weekend to attend gay pride celebrations and to embrace efforts to legalize the freedom to marry in New York State. Mrs. Gehrels brings a personal perspective to the issue: she is married to a woman. She said the legislation pending in Albany deserved a full debate. “This is exactly what happened in the Netherlands before the legalization of marriage equality. The debate as well as the legal recognition meant an enormous step forward in the acceptance of LGBT citizens in Dutch society.” [Link]

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Tradition of marriage equality in Igboland, Nigeria

Nigerian Tribune
June 19, 2009
One of the contentious issues in the debate over marriage equality is whether a marriage between persons of the same gender is totally alien to African culture and tradition. Those opposing the freedom to marry have continued to argue that same gender union is foreign to Africa. On the contrary, I have tried to draw their attention to the fact that there is a strain of the same gender marriage in African tradition particularly in Igboland. This is a situation where people are permitted to break taboos and deviate from traditions. This marriage practice pre- dates Christianity and the so- called western culture. Individuals are becoming more open, more assertive and expressive with their sexual and marriage choices, desires, orientations and identities. [Link]

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