ADVOCATE.COM – Minnesota Senate Adds Its Blessing to Same-Sex Weddings

Minnesota Senate Adds Its Blessing to Same-Sex Weddings
In a vote of 37-30, the state Senate approved a marriage equality bill. The governor is expected to sign the legislation Tuesday.
BY SUNNIVIE BRYDUM MAY 13 2013 3:59 PM ET

Following several hours of often emotional testimony, the Minnesota state Senate voted in favor of marriage equality Monday. The final vote was 37-30.

Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign the legislation on Tuesday, The Star Tribune reports. Gay and lesbian Minnesotans can begin getting married August 1.

A far-reaching amendment that would have allowed individuals and organizations to refuse goods, services, and accommodations to same-sex couples based on sincerely held religious beliefs was overwhelmingly defeated by a vote of 42-25.

Senators opposed to the bill evoked fearful rhetoric about the endangerment of religious freedom and the “unknown consequences” of “redefining marriage.”

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One senator, who introduced a failed amendment to make sure the words “mother” and “father” were universally codified i

n state statutes, hoped the chamber would step 16 years back, to when the Minnesota Senate overwhelmingly voted to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“I think this is a wrong step in history, a step that we should not be going down,” said Sen. Torrey Westrom. “I think we should affirm what the legislature did in 1997. … If marriage is about marrying who you love, where does that stop?” asked Westrom, before his mike was cut, presumably because he ran out of his allotted speaking time.

Sen. Roger Reinert, a member of the Democrat-Farmwe-Labor party from Duluth, spoke movingly about the love the

unmarried senator hopes to find in his own life.

“I vote today to give something that is not really mine to give,” he said. “I vote today to recognize for all the very same desires that I have for myself. I vote today to ratify the right for all to life, liberty, and the pursuit of public happiness.”

The Minnesota House of Representatives approved the bill Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 75-59, including “aye” votes from four Republicans. In November, Minnesota voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned marriage for same-sex couples, only the second time an electorate had rejected such an antigay proposal.

NEW NOW NEXT – Lucky 11: Delaware Senate Passes Marriage-Equality Bill, Governor Signs Into Law

Lucky 11: Delaware Senate Passes Marriage-Equality Bill, Governor Signs Into Law
May 7, 2013 ● by NewNowNext Staff

Photo: Equality Delaware
The Delaware senate just approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, making it the 11th state to extend the right to marry to gays and lesbian couples. Governor Jack Markell signed the the bill into the law, saying “I do not intend to make any of you wait one minute longer.”

State Senator Karen Peterson came out as a lesbian for the first time publicly during debate on the bill today, saying ”no one chose to be gay–we are what God made us. We don’t need to be fixed. We aren’t broken.”

Freedom to Marry’s Marc Solomon said in a statement that the passing of this legislation “sends yet another message to the Supreme Court that it’s time for marriage for all Americans.”

The First State follows Rhode Island, which legalized marriage equality last week, and Washington, Maryland and Maine, which passed voter referendums in November.

Up next: Illinois and Minnesota!

QUEERTY – France Becomes 14th Nation to Legalize Gay Marriage

France Becomes 14th Nation to Legalize Gay Marriage

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Break out the baguettes, kids, we’ve got another country on board! Today, France became the ninth county in Europe and the 14th nation overall to

legalize same-sex marriage.
The bill passed the lower house of the National Assembly where the ruling Socialist Party and its allies voted 331-225 to give same-sex couples the legal right to marry and adopt children.
The bill

 

 

now has to be signed by President Francois Hollande, who gave his formal approval last November.
France’s justice minister, Christiane Taubira, said the first gay weddings could take place as early as June.
The vote follows months of division in the country, marked by violence and protests. Ahead of the vote, thousands of police mobilized in preparation for dueling protests around the National Assembly while on Twitter the hashtag, “homosexuals must be killed” became

popular.
France is the third country just this month to legalize gay marriage after Uruguay and New Zealand. Next stop: merry olde England!
BY: LESTER BRATHWAITE
ON: APR 23, 2013


 

 

ABC News – Uruguay Lawmakers Vote to Legalize Gay Marriage

Uruguay Lawmakers Vote to Legalize Gay Marriage

 

By PABLO FERNANDEZ Associated Press
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay April 11, 2013 (AP)
Uruguayan lawmakers voted to legalize gay marriage, making the South American country the third in the Americas to do so.

Supporters of the law, who had filled the public seats in the legislative building, erupted in celebration Wednesday when the results were announced. The bill received the backing of 71 of the 92 members of the Chamber of Deputies present.

“We are living a historic moment,” said Federico Grana, a leader of the Black Sheep Collective, a gay rights group that drafted the proposal. “In terms of the steps needed, we calculate that the first gay couples should be getting married 90 days after the promulgation of the law, or in the middle of July.”

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The “marriage equality project,” as it is called, was already approved by ample majorities in both legislative houses, but senators made some changes that required a final vote by the deputies. Among them: Gay and lesbian foreigners will now be allowed to come to Uruguay to marry, just as heterosexual couples can, said Michelle Suarez of the Black Sheep Collective.

President Jose Mujica, whose governing Broad Front majority backed the law, is expected to put it into effect within 10 days.

Nationalist Sen. Gerardo Amarilla opposed the law, saying it “debases the institution of marriage” and affects the family, especially in its “role in procreation.”

The vote makes Uruguay t

he third country in the Americas after Canada and Argentina to eliminate laws making marriage, adoption and other family rights exclusive to heterosexuals. In all, 12 nations around the world now have taken this step.

While some countries have carved out new territory for gay and lesbian couples without affecting heterosexual marrieds, Uruguay is creating a single set of rules for all people, gay or straight. Instead of the words “husband and wife” in marriage contracts, it refers to the gender-neutral “contracting parties.”

All couples will get to decide which parent’s surname comes first when they have children. All couples can adopt, or undergo in-vitro fertilization procedures.

The legislation also updates divorce laws in Uruguay, which in 1912 gave women only the right to unilaterally renounce their wedding vows as a sort o

f equalizer to male power. Now either spouse will be able to unilaterally request a divorce and get one. The law also raises the age when people can legally marry from 12 years old for girls and 14 for boys to 16 for both genders.

Outside congress, gay couples holding hands, transvestites and transgender couples jumped in celebration when the result was announced. People in costumes carrying Uruguayan and rainbow flags danced to electronic music.

“I have all the rights and obligations of everyone else. I pay my taxes and fulfill my responsibilities, why would I be discriminated against?” said Roberto Acosta, a 62-year-old retired gay man.

Mujica, w

 

ho spent more than a decade in prison for his actions as a leftist guerrilla in the 1970s and still lives on a ramshackle flower farm in a poor neighborhood on the edge of Uruguay’s capital, has pushed for a series of liberal laws recently. Congress agreed to decriminalize abortion, but Mujica had to suspend an effort to put the government in charge of the marijuana business, saying society has to reach consensus on that idea first.

Uruguay’s Roman Catholic Church asked lawmakers to vote their conscience and challenged the label of “marriage equality” as a false pretext, saying it’s “not justice but an inconsistent assimilation that will only further weaken marriage.”