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"GLBTI Weddings PLUS!"

The Blog of the U.S.'s first GLBTI-specific Wedding and Events firm. Discussion spot for clients and visitors to interact with staff and experts, in an informal forum, regarding Gay Weddings or Same-Sex Marriage, LGBT weddings and Traditional weddings and other issues affecting the GLBTI.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Biden: Gay Community Don't Worry

By On Top Magazine Staff Published:
December 23, 2008

Speaking on Larry King Live, Vice President-elect Joe Biden said the gay and lesbian community had “nothing to worry about” concerning Barack Obama's commitment to gay rights.

Obama's choice of Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation at this inauguration sent shivers up the spines of gay activists last week. Warren supports the outlawing of abortion in all cases and is a staunch gay rights opponent. But his moderate tone on AIDS, poverty and climate change have made him controversial among social conservatives.

Gay activists say Warren is homophobic. They point out that his evangelical Saddleback megachurch in Southern California bans gays and lesbians from attendance, he supports the controversial ex-gay movement that claims gays can be “cured” through prayer, and, most importantly, he supported the...

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Couple marching against Prop 8 reaches SF

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A state-wide trek to protest Proposition 8 reached its final destination Friday in San Francisco.

Valerie Paget and Tracie Jones are a married couple from Los Angeles who five weeks ago began a 450 mile march across California as part of a movement to revoke Prop 8.
Their journey ended Friday as they were greeted by gay marriage supporters at the steps of San Francisco City Hall.

See the video

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NJ Commission Recommends Enactment of Marriage Equality

via Garden State Equality


The report will be posted at 10:00 am ET on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at

The New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission says the civil union law "invites and encourages" harm to same-sex couples and their children

The commission cites "overwhelming evidence" the civil union law will never provide equality with the passage of time

The 13 Commissioners include not only LGBT leaders, but also a right-to-life Republican, plus two clergy, plus six government officials representing an Administration that had opposed marriage equality in the courts

To watch video of same-sex couples testifying before the Commission, visit

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 – A New Jersey state government commission today unanimously recommended to Governor Corzine and the New Jersey legislature that they enact a law to allow same-sex couples to marry "expeditiously because any delay in marriage equality will harm all the people of New Jersey."

The recommendation is part of the 79-page final report of the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission, a 13-member body created by the civil union law enacted in December 2006. The 13 Commissioners include not only LGBT leaders, but also a right-to-life Republican, plus two clergy, plus six government officials representing an Administration that had opposed marriage equality in the courts. Their report, passed on a 13 to 0 vote with no abstentions, is based on testimony from more than 150 witnesses over 26 hours spanning 18 public meetings in 2007 and 2008.

The civil union law "invites and encourages unequal treatment of same-sex couples and their children," concludes the final report, titled The Economic, Legal, Medical and Social Consequences of New Jersey's Civil Union Act. "In a number of cases, the negative effect of the Civil Union Act on the physical and mental health of same-sex couples and their children is striking, largely because a number of employers and hospitals do not recognize the rights and benefits of marriage for civil union couples."

"The Commission is compelled to issue its final report now because of the overwhelming evidence that civil unions will not be recognized by the general public as the equivalent of marriage in New Jersey with the passage of time. Nearly a decade later, civil union couples in Vermont report the same obstacles to equality that New Jersey civil union couples face today," the report states, citing the recent study of a panel in Vermont.

Besides assessing the civil union law's impact on same-sex couples, today's final report describes how the absence of a marriage equality statute deprives New Jersey's entire economy of considerable revenue. "Spending on weddings and tourism could boost the New Jersey economy by approximately $248 million over three years," the report states. One expert testifying before the Commission estimates the figure could be $500 million or more.

But the heart of today's report is its delineation of the harm that New Jersey's civil union law has pro-actively inflicted upon same-sex couples.

"I'm a pro-life Republican and past Director of Gloucester County Right-to-Life," said Commission member AnnLynne Benson on the release of today's report, “so I know the diversity of this Commission. Our report demonstrates in exquisite detail why amending New Jersey's law to extend marriage to same-sex couples is a necessity. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that 'denying rights and benefits to committed same-sex couples violates the equal protection guarantee and can no longer be tolerated under our State constitution.'

Implementation of that ruling by the invention of a parallel status failed to deliver equality. It was like planting a toothpick and hoping a tree would grow."

According to the final report, civil union law's harm to same-sex couples includes:
▪ The inability of a number of same-sex partners to visit one another in the hospital, and to make medical decisions for one another, because hospitals don't accept civil unions as equal to marriage. The Commission's final report begins with the story of Naomi and Gina, a couple in Montclair, New Jersey who had a humiliating and life-threatening experience at a hospital.

Gina was admitted to the emergency room with cardiac arrhythmia, unable to give consent for treatment. When Naomi arrived and said she was Gina's partner, the doctor interrogated Naomi about the nature of the relationship and initially kept Naomi away from Gina and refused to let her give consent for Gina. The report has other stories like this.

▪ "Significant psychological damage" to the children raised same-sex couples because their families are given the stigmatizing label of civil union; and to LGBT youth who view themselves as inferior because they cannot marry. "Their heartbreaking testimony," the report states, "brings to life their struggle in a way that no numbers – whether complaints filed with government agencies or advocacy organizations – can encapsulate on their own." Dr. Marshall Forstein, a Harvard Medical School professor, testified: "Second-class citizenship, now institutionalized in some states in the form of civil unions, contributes to increased rates of anxiety, depression and substance use disorders in marginalized populations."

▪ The denial of health insurance by employers to same-sex partners, especially harmful during the current economic crisis. Today's final report underscores what the Commission's interim report of February 2008 found, that the federal Employment Retirement Insurance Security Act (ERISA) preempts the New Jersey Civil Union law for approximately 50 percent of all employers in the state. For that 50 percent, providing equal rights and benefits for same-sex couples under the civil union law is an option rather than a requirement.

The Commission's final report refutes the notion – as the interim report did – that a change in state law from civil unions to marriage equality would have minimal impact because Federal law does not recognize same-sex relationships. The final report provides ample evidence to the contrary, based on the dramatically lower invocation of ERISA by companies in Massachusetts, which has a marriage equality law. "The term 'marriage,' the report concludes, "would make a significant difference in providing equality even with no change in federal law."

▪ Compounded harm to women, African-Americans and Latino-Americans, all of whom face discrimination because of their gender, race or ethnicity, and who now suffer double discrimination when denied equal rights and benefits under the civil union law. The state Public Advocate told the Commission about "the particular difficulty for lower-income same-sex couples who encounter discrimination because they have fewer resources with which to seek legal counsel and redress, and who have difficulty meeting expenses if faced with reduced healthcare benefits."

▪ Harm to the marriages of couples where one partner is transgender. The final report reaffirms the finding in the Commission's interim report that the classification of civil union places marital status in question for these couples, who had gotten married legally when they were opposite-sex couples.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Iowa Supreme Court Marriage Equality

BREAKING NEWS: This morning, Lambda Legal argued our historic marriage case, Varnum v. Brien, before the Iowa Supreme Court. "We hope that the Court breathes life into the Iowa Constitution's promise of equality," said Camilla Taylor, Senior Staff Attorney and chief architect of the lawsuit.

The case was argued this morning on behalf of Lambda Legal's six plaintiff couples and their children by co-counsel Dennis Johnson, former Iowa Solicitor General and partner at the firm Dorsey and Whitney...

In August of 2007, a district court ruled that denying marriage to same–sex couples violates the Iowa Constitution. But the court granted a stay of the decision pending appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court. In March of 2008, we filed our brief with the Iowa Supreme Court, which was joined by 15 friend–of–the–court briefs supporting same-sex couples seeking the right to marry and the right of their children to have their families treated fairly.

Ingrid Olson and her partner Reva Evans are plaintiffs in the case with their son Jamison. Today Ingrid said: "My grandparents were married 68 years and Reva's grandparents were married 57 years. My family values the importance of marriage and commitment, and I learned that lesson very early — it's a lesson I want to pass on to our son."

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Calif. lawmakers voice support for gay marriage

via 365 Gay: News

(Sacramento, California) A resolution has been introduced in both the California Assembly and Senate to reaffirm support for same-sex marriage.

The measure is non-binding, but the symbolism in the wake of Proposition 8 is significant, LGBT rights leaders say.

California voters last month agreed to void the state Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. The legality of the vote, however, is back in the hands of the court, which will hear arguments in the case early next year.

State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), the first openly gay man elected to the California Senate, and State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano ( D-San Francisco) introduced concurrent resolutions that back up the legal arguments of Prop 8 opponents.

“While a proposed amendment to the California Constitution can be accomplished through the initiative process,” the resolution reads, “A proposed revision of the California Constitution must originate in the Legislature and must be approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the Legislature before being submitted to the electors.”
Proposition 8 passed with a slim 52 percent majority. Following the election three challenges to the vote were filed by LGBT rights groups.
All three cases claim the measure abridges the civil rights of a vulnerable minority group. They argue that voters alone did not have the authority to enact such a significant constitutional change.
The justices said in addition to hearing arguments on the validity of the vote, it wants to address what effect, if any, a ruling upholding the...

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Proposition 8 inspires star-studded musical

-- Shelby Grad
See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

The Proposition 8 battle has prompted a star-studded music video that is available at the website Funny or Die.

Written by Marc Shaiman and directed by Adam Shankman, the piece shows gay marriage backers and foes debating the issue in song against the backdrop of a Sacramento community college theater. John C. Reilly and Allison Janney lead the gay marriage foes -- all dressed in dark Sunday-best suits. The anti-Prop. 8 crowd includes Neil Patrick Harris and Andy Richter.
The musical begins with the gay marriage supporters singing about "a brand new bright Obama day.... Happy days for the gays." The anti forces then move in, singing: "Nobody's looking, let's spread the hate ... Proposition 8!"

Jack Black then appears as Jesus, who takes part in some mediation. By the end of the video, everyone seems to oppose Prop. 8 (in part because of the lawyers and tattoo removal required to end those same-sex marriages).

The video posted just recently. Early reviews?
Gawker: "This reminds us how smart Obama was to keep celebrities from too-vocally supporting him.... Because usually they seem really obnoxious and do more to aggravate than they do to inure. Oh, plus the music sucks."

Playbill has some of the cast names: The "Proposition 8'ers and The People That Follow Them" include John C. Reilly as Prop 8 Leader; Allison Janney as Prop 8 Leader's #1 Wife; Kathy Najimy as Prop 8 Leader's #2 Wife; Jenifer Lewis as Riffing Prop 8'er; Craig Robinson as A Preacher; and Rashida Jones, Lake Bell and Sarah Chalke as Scary Catholic School Girls From Hell.

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