Tag Archives: gay marriage

America’s first Openly Gay Bishop to Divorce

Gene Robinson the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopalian Church has announced via The Daily Beast that he is to divorce his partner of 25 years. The couple controversaly married in 2010 after gay marriage was legalized in the State of New Hampshire. Later Robinson was voted by the General Convention of the US Episcopalian church to become a bishop a move which shocked and angered the global Anglican community.

In his announcement Robinson writes: “Recently, my partner and husband of 25-plus years and I decided to get divorced. While the details of our situation will remain appropriately private, I am seeking to be as open and honest in the midst of this decision as I have been in other dramatic moments of my life—coming out in 1986, falling in love, and accepting the challenge of becoming Christendom’s first openly gay priest to be elected a Bishop in the historic succession of bishops stretching back to the apostles.”

Read More: The Daily Beast


The Supreme Court’s landmark decision on gay marriage today will see same-sex married couples in States who already have gay marriage, given the same constitutional rights as heterosexual couples. The case means that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.

The Supreme Court also dismissed California’s ban on same-sex marriage, under Proposition 8, meaning same-sex marriages conducted in California will be reinstated.

The DOMA decision split the Supreme Court down lines of liberal and conservative, with the centralist Justice Anthony Kennedy having the swing vote, on this occasion voting with the liberals.

The courts decision is seen as a reflection on the changing face of America. Within a decade Americans have gone for only 21% being in favor of same-sex marriage, at the time of George W Bush’s re-election, to 30% when President Obama first took office in 2009, and the most recent polls place support for gay marriage at 51%.

The full impact of these decisions will become apparent to ALL Americans, in the coming days and months ahead.

Read More: The Telegraph


One of Hollande’s campaign pledges, it has proved hugely divisive in a country that is officially secular but predominantly Catholic.

“Hollande, your mother isn’t called Robert”, shouted some of the demonstrators in a slogan that gained in popularity as the afternoon progressed.

PARIS – At least 150,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Paris to protest a new law allowing gay marriage, a largely peaceful gathering that later turned violent as riot police battled hundreds of right-wingers.

Police said they had made a total of 293 arrests and that six people were injured in the course of Sunday’s demonstration: four police officers, an AFP photographer and a protester.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls, in a statement, blamed the “extreme right” for the violence.

“These incidents were provoked by several hundred individuals, most from the extreme right and the (nationalist) Identity Bloc, who violently attacked police,” he added.

The rally came as the jury at the Cannes film festival in southern France on Sunday awarded its Palme d’Or top prize to the sexually graphic lesbian love story “Blue is the Warmest Colour” by French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche.

As the protestors dispersed, after a largely peaceful march, police said up to 500 people began attacking them by throwing metal barriers, smoke flares and beer bottles.

The youths shouted slogans against the government such as “Socialist dictatorship” and also threw objects at journalists covering the event.

Fears of unrest at Sunday’s protest had been fuelled by violence that erupted earlier this month during celebrations marking football club Paris Saint-Germain’s league victory, which saw tourists attacked and shop and car windows smashed.

But those in the protest ignored the recent tensions, bringing their children along as others had in previous demonstrations.
“We keep hearing about a far-right movement, I can see only families here,” said one man called Raoul, who came from the city of Dijon.

In Brazil, tens of thousands of evangelical Christians marched in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday protesting a recent legal ruling allowing gay marriage.

Another potential flashpoint will be in the southern town of Montpellier on Wednesday when the country’s first gay wedding is due to take place.



A historian has shot himself in the head at the altar inside Notre Dame Cathedral, in central Paris. 78 year old Dominique Venner is known for his right wing publications and essays. Venner placed a letter on the altar before taking his own life. At the time he shot himself the cathedral was full of around 1500 visitors.

The historian had earlier written on his website about the French government’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage and called for “spectacular action”. He called the laws “vile” and added, “There will certainly need to be new, spectacular, symbolic gestures to shake off the sleepiness… and re-awaken the memories of our origins.

“We are reaching a time when words must be backed up with acts.”

The French government formally legalised gay marriage at the weekend, amidst protests from the Catholic church and social conservatives.

The impact of such a dramatic suicide will not be lost on the French people. Notre Dame Cathedral is a powerful symbol in France, and Interior Minister Manuel Valls said “We are fully aware of the repercussions of such an act.”

This is the second dramatic suicide in Paris within a week. A 50 year old man also committed suicide in Paris, near the Eiffel Tower. This suicide occurred inside a primary school in front of a class of traumatised children.

Read More: Sky News


Same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada in 2005, since then it is estimated that there have been around 200 to 300 cases in which opponents of same-sex marriage have faced some sort of proceedings either through the courts, employment boards or human rights commissions.

In the National Review, Michael Coren, wrote: “once gay marriage becomes law, critics are often silenced by the force of the law.”

One Canadian Christian marriage commissioner was successfully sued for refusing to marry gay couples. There are now moves in Canada to withdraw tax free status from churches who refuse to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, and to ban teachers who refuse to teach same-sex marriage in both state and private schools.

A Catholic Bishop from Alberta was charged with human rights violations for writing a letter to local churches outlining the Catholic Churches position on gay marriage.

Coren believes the number affected by the redefinition of marriage will be far higher as it does not take into account those who have been dismissed from jobs casually.

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As the Supreme Court convenes to hear the arguments in the Proposition 8 case, it has emerged the lesbian cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts will be attending. Jean Podrasky, from San Francisco, will be sitting in the area reserved for friends and families during Tuesday’s hearing.

Podrasky has a very personal interest in the case, she wants to marry her partner Grace Fasano, and has campaigned against prop 8.

Podrasky has said previously in an interview with Fortune magazine that she would never ask her cousin his views on gay marriage, out of respect. Chief Justice John Roberts and Jean Podrasky only meet occasionally at family functions.

The Supreme Court is expected to make it’s ruling on the prop 8 case in late June, at the same time it delivers it’s verdict on the DOMA case, also being heard this week.

Read More: The Huffington Post


The Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in the first of two cases on Tuesday. The line began at 4 p.m. on Thursday by paid line stander John Spears. The line formed a full 114 hours in advance, which is even earlier than the line for the Obamacare case, which started about 72 hours before the hearing.

The hearings of oral arguments this week will include California’s Proposition 8, which addresses gay marriage, on Tuesday and the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday. According to the Supreme Court Hearing List, Proposition 8 is to have about and hour for their arguments and the Defense of Marriage Act Jurisdiction will have 50 minutes and Merits will have an hour for their arguments.

Read More – Huffington Post: Supreme Court Gay Marriage Line Forms Even Earlier Than Obamacare Queue


The House of Commons, in London, voted today to legalise same-sex marriage. The Prime Minister won the vote with a comfortable margin of 400 to 175 against. The bill will now pass to the House of Lords, where it is expected to face stiffer opposition.

The bill has divided David Cameron’s Conservative party, with more than half of his own MPs voting against the bill, and the Prime Minister relying on support from the Liberal Democrats and Labour to win the vote.

Although the bill is likely to face a tougher challenge in the Lords, it is predicted that the bill will become law, by May.

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Lawmakers in France passed the first part of the Marriage Equality Bill today. They voted on the most controversial article of the bill which redefines marriage as an agreement between two people of the same or opposite sex. The article was passed with an overwhelming majority of 249-97.

The Marriage Equality Bill also seeks to grant same-sex couples equal adoption rights as heterosexual couples.

Over the Channel in Britain, parliament is also set to debate gay marriage next week. The UK government are keen to legalise same-sex marriage, and are expected to win the vote this week. However, the bill will face stiffer opposition in the House of Lords. A final vote in the Commons is expected in May.

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As British Prime Minister David Cameron continues to push ahead with his government’s plans to legalise same-sex marriage in the UK, many in his party are feeling alienated. The majority of grass roots Conservatives are opposed to the plan.

A minister has now suggested the driving force behind the policy is the Prime Minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron.

Mrs Cameron is the daughter of a baronet, and is known for her socially liberal views. She is said to be horrified by the socially conservative views of America’s Republicans.

The suggestion came out, at the same time as Mandrake asked David Cameron’s mother why her son was so determined to go ahead with a policy, that so many conservatives are opposed to. Mary Cameron, a former Justice of the Peace, replied, “I know, but David just won’t be told.”

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View Champ de Mars in a larger map

Yesterday, thousands of protesters as a part of three marches, converged on the Champs de Mars in Paris, France, to show their opposition to the Marriage Equality Bill.  The bill would give the right of marriage and adoption to gay individuals. Extending the rights of same-sex couples was a part of Francois Hollande’s presidential election campaign. Police estimate the number of protesters was around 340,000 while the organizers, the Catholic Church and the right-wing opposition, estimate it was around 800,000.

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The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, along with other senior members of the Conservative Party have come out in support of same-sex marriage. They are uniting under the slogan “Freedom to Marry”.

The move has angered many within the Conservative party, who hold to a traditional view of marriage. Prime Minister David Cameron would like to legalize gay marriage, and allow marriage ceremonies to take place in churches, but also let churches who do not want to conduct same-sex marriages, the right to refuse.

The UK already allows civil partnerships for gay couples, but the group of 19 senior Tories has said, “We recognise that civil partnerships were an important step forward in giving legal recognition to same sex couples. But civil partnerships are not marriages, which express a particular and universally understood commitment.”

Sources within the coalition say that the government is keen to have a bill voted on before Easter next year. Conservative backbenchers are calling for any such vote to be a free vote.

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Christians fight for rights at work in European court – Home News – UK – The Independent

Christians fight for rights at work in European court – Home News – UK – The Independent.

Four Christians who faced disciplinary action in their respective jobs have taken their cases to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to argue their cases.

Two of the cases involve the right to wear crosses at work, another involves a marriage counsellor who lost his job after expressing reluctance at giving sex therapy to gay couples, and the final case, a registrar who would not perform civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

The four have delivered their cases to the court, arguing their right to religious freedom is a stake. The landmark case will have consequences for future cases in the UK, and Europe.

Furthermore, a top British QC has said that Christians should, “leave their beliefs at home or get another job”. However, some Christians feel there is a different set of standards for Muslims, with employers adapting dress codes to accommodate the headscarf for female employees, for example.

The European Court is expected to give it’s verdict shortly.