Mexico’s Supreme Court Upholds Freedom to Marry Law

Mexico's Supreme Court on Friday rejected three out of five challenges to Mexico City's freedom to marry law, El Universal reported. The court said the challenges brought by the governors of three states controlled by the conservative PAN Party were “clearly inappropriate.”

The court has yet to review challenges by two additional states – Sonora and Jalisco – and another by the federal government of President Felipe Calderon.

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Initiatives trample rights, California Justice Moreno says

Ballot initiatives have been used to mislead the public and trample on the rights of minorities, says Carlos Moreno, a Freedom to Marry Voice for Equality and the only California Supreme Court justice who voted to overturn the state's ban on the freedom to marry. "It's of great concern to me that certain basic rights, such as equal protection, the right to privacy and other fundamental rights, can be subject to change by simple majority vote," Moreno said in an interview last week while preparing to accept a gay-rights group's Equality Leadership Award.

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Video: HuffPo Impact Premiere: A New Documentary from Immigration Equality

Steve Ralls, Director of Communications for Immigration Equality, tells the story of Shirley Tan, a mother of two, originally from The Philippines, who answered a knock on her door at 7am in January 2009. She was getting her 12-year-old twin sons ready for school, and preparing to see her partner of 23 years, Jay Mercado, off to work. When Shirley answered, ICE agents produced an order of deportation, which Shirley had never seen before, then handcuffed her and threw her into a waiting van.

"The lack of recognition for lesbian and gay couples under immigration law is, literally, ripping loving families apart," said Rachel B. Tiven, Immigration Equality's executive director. "For every day that passes without action from Congress, another family faces separation and another child is put in jeopardy of losing a parent." Beginning today, house parties across the country will screen the group's new documentary, which is premiering exclusively on HuffingtonPost Impact. You can make an impact in the lives of Shirley, Jay and their sons - and tens of thousands of other families like theirs - by watching the video, passing it along and visiting to learn more.

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Voice for Equality: Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, director, and community activist. She started her career in the late 1980s as a dancer on Soul Train and has choreographed music videos by Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, Diana Ross, LL Cool J and The Boys. She was noticed in a dance club by Spike Lee in 1989, who hired her for her first major acting role in Do the Right Thing. She made her Broadway debut in Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. Perez had her third major role in the hit comedy White Men Can't Jump co-starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson. Pérez was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Peter Weir's 1993 film Fearless. In 1997 she starred in Perdita Durango, a controversial film in which many scenes of excessive violence, sex and nudity were edited out of the version released in the United States. She provides the voices of Click, the camera, on Nick Jr.'s Go Diego Go! and Chel, a beautiful native woman in the DreamWorks Animation film The Road to El Dorado. She played corrupt police officer Carol Brazier in the Judd Apatow-produced film Pineapple Express co-starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. Learn more here.

Ms. Perez was photographed wearing a White Knot at the Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, CA on February 21, 2009. The White Knot for Equality organization is dedicated to the idea of marriage equality. One of their quotes is “Everyone should have the right to tie the knot,” and they illustrate this point by producing and distributing White Knots nationally and worldwide. They encourage marriage equality supporters to “wear the White Knot every day to show support and to create conversation. Share the White Knot and spread the word that all loving couples deserve the same legal rights, benefits, and respect that civil marriage bestows." [Link]

Freedom to Marry salutes Rosie Perez as a Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Ms. Perez's support inspires you, get involved.

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Voice for Equality: Wilson Cruz

Wilson Cruz is an American actor, better known for playing a gay teenager on My So-Called Life and a recurring character on Noah's Arc. After coming out to his parents, Cruz went to Hollywood to seek work as an openly gay young actor. His strategy paid off in 1994, when he was cast as Enrique "Rickie" Vasquez, a troubled gay teen, in the short-lived cult classic TV series My So-Called Life. In one episode (entitled "So-Called Angels") drawn from his own life, Rickie comes out to his family, who throw him out of the house. Other television credits include appearances on: Great Scott!, Sister, Sister, ER, Ally McBeal and The West Wing. His film appearances include: Nixon, Joyride, All Over Me, Supernova, Party Monster and He's Just Not That Into You. Learn more here.

In both his acting and his community work, Cruz has served as a model and mentor to gay youth, especially gay youth of color. Most recently he has volunteered his time as host for the Youth Zone, an online community at for LGBT youth.

Mr. Cruz served on the Host Committee for a Hollywood fund-raising party organized by political consultant Chad Griffin and Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen which was held on October 20, 2009 to help support the marriage equality campaign in Maine. The invitation read:
While the fate of marriage equality in California makes its way through the Federal court system, the voters of Maine will decide whether or not to take away marriage rights, granted in May by the legislature, on November 3rd…OF THIS YEAR. That is why I am co-chairing, along with Bruce Cohen, a fundraiser for NO ON 1/PROTECT MAINE EQUALITY at Bruce’s house on Tuesday Night, October 20th from 6:30-8:30pm, and we are so hoping you will join us and/or contribute to help fight this important battle. [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes Wilson Cruz as a Voice for Equality! Learn about our many Voices for Equality here.

If Mr. Cruz's support inspires you - get involved!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Poll of US-Born Hispanics Shows Changing Attitudes

The Associated Press
December 11, 2009
A study released Friday by the Pew Hispanic Center found that 40 percent of young Hispanic immigrants and second-generation Hispanics living in the U.S. say they favor marriage equality, compared to 52 percent of Hispanics from the third generation and higher. [Link]

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Op-Ed: The Catholic Church allows straight couples to divorce and re-marry in civil unions, so why c
November 21, 2009
A Catholic can remarry under civil law without leaving the Catholic Church. He or she cannot have a second marriage by the Catholic Church, but a civil ceremony is allowed, granting all the state and federal rights and benefits associated with matrimony. In that case there is separation of church and state. Why does this not apply to same-sex couples seeking a civil marriage? [Link]

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Task Force discute igualdad en matrimonio en Despierta America

The Take Force -
November 9, 2009
El portavoz del National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Pedro Julio Serrano, es entrevistado sobre la igualdad en el matrimonio para las parejas del mismo sexo por la periodista Birmania Ríos en el programa Despierta América. [Link]

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Carlos Moreno, California High Court Justice, Has Raised His Independent Profile by Dissenting on Pr

The Los Angeles Times
September 26, 2009
Embracing a novel theory, Moreno said he "legally and morally" believes that a measure (Prop 8) that strips a minority of a key right cannot be approved as a constitutional amendment by a mere majority in an election. [Link]

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Gay Latino Americans are ‘coming of age’

September 9, 2009
Perez Hilton is a celebrity blogger who dishes out the latest Hollywood gossip, but he's also a Latino pioneer - one of the first Latino public figures in the U.S. to be openly gay (and in talks to host a Latinos for Marriage Equality fundraiser in Los Angeles). He, along with other latino/a trailblazers, is beginning to see anti-gay walls crumble. [Link]

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