Saturday, August 1, 2009

Marriage updates: around the US and around the world

Albania considers marriage equality:
Albania would join European Union members The Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain in giving gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples and would be the first country in the Balkans to do so.

"This is not only a step to be taken for European integration, but primarily for the emancipation of the Albanian society," the Alliance against Discrimination of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) said Friday.....

An Albanian lesbian speaking on behalf of the alliance said the proposal for same-sex marriages took their group by surprise as they had lobbied only for a law against discrimination in society and the workplace.

In the UK, Quakers agree to perform same sex marriage, and urge the government to replace its current civil unions for gay people with actual civil marriage.
The Quakers sanctioned gay marriages yesterday and called on the Government to give same-sex couples who marry in their ceremonies the same standing as heterosexual people.

Other Christian churches and religious denominations have approved blessings for same-sex civil partnerships but the Quakers are Britain’s first mainstream religious group to approve marriages for homosexuals.

Progress is balanced by setbacks. In Portugal, the court upholds a marriage ban
The court said the question before it was not whether the constitution allows same-sex marriages, but whether the constitution compels them to be accepted, which it does not......
Five years ago, Portugal extended some legal benefits — such as joint tax returns — to people who live together, including gays. However, the concessions fell far short of the entitlements gained by marriage.

And, sadly, in Maine, a petition was submitted that will put marriage equality on the Ballot. (This is assuming they got enough valid signatures.) Proposition 1 will ask whether marriage rights should be rescinded for same sex couples.
"We know this is going to be a really hard-fought election. There are passionate supporters on both sides of thisissue. But we feel very confident that our campaign (has) over 60,000 supporters so far," said Jesse Connolly of the No on 1 campaign. "I think our advocates knew when they went into this ... that they'd have to win both in the Legislature and also at the ballot box."

Mainers: Vote NO in November to preserve marriage equality. More info at Maine Freedom to Marry.

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