Gays Win Marriage in Sweden

Sveriges Radio
April 1, 2009

Same-sex couples in Sweden will be allowed to marry as of May 1st. Following a parliamentary vote Wednesday afternoon, MPs voted by a huge majority to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in civil ceremonies. [Link]

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Binational, Same-Sex Couples Face Immigration Problems

San Jose Mercury News
March 29, 2009
Binational gay couples discuss how the so-called DOMA and non-inclusive federal immigration laws negatively effect their lives, affirming their support for a change in federal law that would grant gay partners the immigration protections afforded to straight married couples.[Link]

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Japan Allows Its Gay and Lesbian Citizens Marriage Abroad

Agence France-Presse
March 27, 2009

Although Japan's government does not recognize marriage for gay couples, it has approved a policy to allow Japanese citizens to marry same-sex foreign partners abroad. [Link]

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British PM Brown: CA Marriage Ban ‘Unacceptable’

On Top Magazine
March 6, 2009

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown supports the defeat of a California ban on gay couples marrying argued yesterday in the state's highest court, reports the BBC. (Link)

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown attacks US marriage ban

BBC News
March 6, 2009
Gordon Brown has condemned California's ban on gay marriage as "unacceptable" and warned people to be vigilant against all forms of discrimination. The prime minister said the ban, backed in a referendum in the US state in November, would "undo" much of recent progress made in tackling prejudice. [Link]

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OPINION: In praise of civil marriage
February 26, 2009
"Introducing civil marriage ceremonies that are equal and open to all is the only way to resolve the discrimination. If Catholic states such as Italy were able to introduce civil marriages, there is no reason this can't happen in the Jewish State: After all, the Catholic Church does not recognize divorce at all (as opposed to Judaism,) and therefore the introduction of civil marriage (and divorce) was a much more dramatic step in a Catholic state than it would be here." [Link]

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Australia to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages in Some Transgender Cases

February 17, 2009
Towleroad reports that "Male-Female married couples in Australia in which a transgender individual makes a physical gender transition so that the couple becomes a same-sex couple will no longer have their marriages annulled by the Australian government later this year." [Link]

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Gay Pride on Valentine’s Day in Beijing

The Wall Street Journal
February 16, 2009
The Wall Street Journal's blog on Chinese current events reports on and shows photos of a Valentine's Day protest in Beijing in support of LGBT equality. [Link]

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Straight Couples in France Are Choosing Civil Unions Meant for Gays

Washington Post
February 14, 2009
The number of straight couples uniting under France's Civil Solidarity Pact, which allows gay or straight couples to unite in a social and legal status "halfway between living together and marriage," has grown from 42 percent of the total number of people entering such agreements in 1999 to 92 percent last year. [Link]

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TALKING TO CO-WORKERS: Marriage matters in Indiana too

Guest Blogger: Greg Disney-Britton

I climb telephone poles for AT&T, America’s number one phone company and I am just as proud of that as my non-gay co-workers. Also like my co-workers, I feel passionately about marriage. I am part of a work group in Indianapolis where all four members of our team are married, including me and we all talk about our spouses openly and with respect. Being the authentic me with my co-workers has made a big difference in my attitudes about work and it all started when I got married.

I was blessed to find the right man in my life after years of hoping, but we had to make a trip to Canada to be married. It was an awesome experience but it should not have been necessary because we should have had that right here in Indiana. However, if I had not taken the trip and had this special wedding in another country, I would never have realized how important marriage equality was to me and be able to share that with others.

That weekend, I was able to feel just like every other straight American feels on their wedding day. That feeling is so fresh in my heart and it makes me want to share it with everyone I meet. We ran into many couples on our special day in Niagara Falls, and we all wished one another well. They seemed to be all straight couples caught up in the joy of marriage. It was amazing!

I can understand Americans having a difference of opinion on the subject of marriage equality. What I can't understand is how anyone, straight or gay, thinks that marriage between a gay couple in America will make the marriage of a straight couple any less meaningful. The couples at Niagara Falls certainly didn’t and we shared in each other’s joy.

Before getting married, I didn’t talk much about being gay at work – my church, my weekend entertainment or the political issues impacting me as a gay man. Now, my co-workers hear about my real life every day just as I hear about the things that concern them. There are four of us guys on my team. We wear jeans and work-boots, and we are "the guys" called in for the big emergencies. We are a team, one gay and three non-gay, and we trust each other and respect one another’s marriages.

Yes, I climb telephone poles for AT&T but I’m also an openly “married man” with all my co-workers and that has made all the difference in the world. Thanks Marty, Ryan and Todd.

***Greg Disney works for AT&T and lives in Indianapolis. He and Tahlib were married on January 28, 2008.

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