#MarriageEquality

Will The Czech Republic Become The Next Country To Legalize Gay Marriage?

The Czech Republic is one step closer to legalizing gay marriage.

A few hours ago, news broke that the Czech Republic’s government decided to support a parliamentary bill that will legalize same-sex marriage.

The draft that was introduced to parliament earlier today will give the same rights that straight couples have to same-sex couples. This includes the right to a widow’s pension, equal guardian rights over children, and access to family care.

Since 2006, the country has been allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter registered partnerships, but 46 lawmakers drafted the bill because they think its time to upgrade national policy on marriage equality.

Lucie Zachariáš, the lawyer most recognized for her contributions to the fight for marriage equality in the country, said to iDNES:

“We are happy that the government has consistently spoken about the proposal to change the Civil Code and promote marriage for gays and lesbians.”

She also added: “It is practically the whole of Western Europe, and we have the chance to be the first post-communist country to take it.”

Many have joined Zachariáš in her celebrations on Twitter.

That said, all of this news may be a bit premature at the moment.

In order to pass, The bill needs a majority in the 200-seat house, while the constitutional change would require 120 votes.

While many lawmakers have already expressed their approval of same-sex marriage, such as Prime Minster Andrej Babis, there are those who oppose it.

37 lawmakers have introduced an opposing bill that calls for defining marriage as specifically the union of one man and one woman.

While its great news that many politicians are pushing for marriage equality in the Czech Republic, the change isn’t a sure bet.

Here’s hoping that lawmakers will take note of the many people celebrating the introduction of the bill and will then push forward in passing it.

Gov. Cuomo Proclaims June 20th 'Edie Windsor Day' In New York

What a perfect moment for Pride Month.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has proclaimed June 20 to be Edie Windsor Day in New York State as a tribute to her legacy championing equality and justice for the LGBTQ community, and for being on the front lines of the fight for marriage equality. 

Today would have been Windsor's 89th birthday.

When Windsor’s wife, Thea Spyer died in 2009, she was told she owed the U.S. government $363,053 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance of Spyer’s estate. At the time, federal law did not recognize same-sex marriages thanks to the woeful Defense of Marriage Act.

In 2010, Windsor filed a lawsuit for a refund rightfully calling DOMA unconstitutional.

A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed in 2012, as did the Second Circuit Court of Appeals later that year.

All this led to Windsor’s landmark victory in United States v. Windsor that secured equal rights for married same-sex couples on a federal level.

It was on June 26, 2013, that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5–4 decision declaring Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional "as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment."

Windsor’s win at SCOTUS paved the way for nationwide marriage equality. In 2013, TIME Magazine named her a finalist for their ‘Person of the Year,’ losing out only to Pope Francis.

As Gov. Cuomo’s proclamation declares, “Edie’s strength, perseverance, and conviction in the face of adversity has made her a hero to all New Yorkers and an invaluable inspiration to countless others in the fight for equality.”

“Edie was an iconic New Yorker who shaped history and taught us that love always wins,” Cuomo said today. “Proclaiming her birthday as Edie Windsor Day is a fitting way to salute a true New York hero whose strength, perseverance, and conviction in the face of adversity continues to inspire all of us.”

Windsor passed away on September 12, 2017, in Manhattan. Her second wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor was by her side.

Religious Groups In Taiwan Are Asking Lawmakers To Initiate A Referendum On Gay Marriage

Taiwan’s marriage equality is in trouble.

Last year, the world celebrated as Taiwan announced it would become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.

In May, the Grand Council of Justices ruled that it was unconstitutional for the Civil Code to not allow gay marriage. That said, the Grand Council gave lawmakers two years to update the law.

Unfortunately, that wide breath of time has also given opposition to the change enough time to challenge it.

The Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups is currently working on a referendum, a country wide vote, on whether same-sex marriage should be legalized and whether LGBTQ sex education should be taught in schools.

In order to have this vote, the Alliance had to go through a multi-step process. First, they had to get 3,500 signatures to get lawmakers to listen to them. They, unfortunately, were able to get that amount and more. Now, they are trying to get at least 281,745 signatures so that lawmakers know enough citizens are calling for this public vote.

In the Alliance’s corner is Tai Wei-li who is the chairman of Nanyang Industries, which distributes Hyundai automotives in the country.

Tasi is offering NT$1,000 (US$33) to any member of his staff who helps to campaign for those signatures and the referendum.

Though many have questioned him on this, Tsai says that the act is optional to his staff. And that he believes the country shouldn’t legalize gay marriage.

While Taiwan is seriously in danger of having religious folk turning back marriage equality, there is some hope thanks to Bermuda.

Last year, many were upset to hear that lawmakers on the island nation of Bermuda had overturned the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. They had created the Domestic Partnership Act (or DPA) to separate straight marriages from domestic partnerships for same-sex couples and straight couples.

That Act officially went into effect on June 1, but the Supreme Court then overturned that law just a few days later. The Court ruled that the Act was unconstitutional and conflicts with the right to freedom of conscience and creed.

As religious groups gather up to challenge marriage equality in Taiwan, perhaps the country’s Supreme Court can put them in their place like Bermuda’s did.

Meanwhile, the US’s Supreme Court is voting in favor of religious groups in open conflict with LGBTQ people, but that’s another story entirely.

h/t: GayStarNews

Bermuda Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage - Again

They say strange things can happen in the “Bermuda Triangle,” and this story may be even more proof of that.

In June of 2016, the citizens of Bermuda rejected the idea of legalized marriage equality by a vote of 69% against.

Boo!

Then, in May of 2017, Bermuda’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

Yay!

And then, in December, the Bermuda Assembly voted to halt same-sex marriages by passing the Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) making domestic partnerships the legal recognition offered to same-sex couples. These would offer the same rights as opposite-sex marriage, but without the title of ‘marriage’.

Boo again!

Now, the island nation’s Supreme Court  just ruled in favor of same-sex marriage again, making marriage equality the law of the land - again.

Yay again!

The Bermudan Supreme Court ruled against the section of the Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) which banned marriage equality.

Chief Justice Ian Kawaley said the sections of the Act which repealed the right to same-sex marriage were invalid because they were not in line with Constitutional provisions which give the right to "freedom of conscience and creed."

Johnson Lord and Hartnett-Beasley, Directors of OUTBermuda, helped turn the marriage equality issue in Bermuda around.

In a statement, the duo said:

“We all came to the court with one purpose. That was to overturn the unfair provisions of the Domestic Partnership Act that tried to take away the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Revoking same-sex marriage is not merely unjust, but regressive and unconstitutional; the Court has now agreed that our belief in same-sex marriage as an institution is deserving of legal protection and that belief was treated by the Act in a discriminatory way under Bermuda’s Constitution. We continue to support domestic partnership rights for all Bermudians to choose, but not at the expense of denying marriage to some.”

LGBT advocacy groups applauded the result as well.

From the Human Rights Campaign’s Ty Cobb: “The Bermuda Supreme Court has righted the injustice that occurred when Bermudian lawmakers made the islands the first national territory in the world to repeal marriage equality. We congratulate the plaintiffs in this case on their historic victory ensuring that once again. Love Wins!”

And from Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD said: “Today the Bermuda Supreme Court affirmed what we already know – that love can never be rolled back and that all loving and committed couples deserve the protections that only marriage affords.”

Watch reactions to the ruling below.

 

Reactions -

 

Ruth Bader Ginsberg's Dissent of Supreme Court Wedding Cake Ruling is a Scorching Must-Read

On Monday, the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans took a devastating blow when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Masterpiece Cake Shop owner Jack Phillips, who refused to serve same-sex couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins due to his Christian religious beliefs.

The court reversed a lower court’s ruling-- one in favor of the couple. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion argued that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, who opposed Masterpiece in the case, had shown “hostility” toward religious freedom arguments in the past and was not a “neutral” decision-maker. Kennedy and six other justices pointed out that Colorado Civil Rights Division has previously supported bakeries’ rights to refuse to make a cake that would have had “decorations that demeaned gay persons or gay marriages.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, RBG herself, isn’t having any of it. “I strongly disagree with the Court’s conclusion that Craig and Mullins should lose this case,” she says in her dissent. Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion was shared by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Kennedy’s side referred to a 2014 case, which was detailed in the court ruling, a man named William Jack had complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Division that bakeries were discriminating against his religious beliefs by refusing to make a cake for him— one which was to include an image of two groomsmen holding hands with a red ‘X’ over them, inscribed: “Homosexuality is a detestable sin. Leviticus 18:2.” One bakery [reasonably] refused to make the “hateful” cake, and when Jack brought his complaint before the state’s Civil Rights Division, arguing they were discriminating against him for being Christian, the state found no probable cause of unequal treatment.


And here is where RBG steps in as the voice of reason. In her dissent, she states the cases aren’t comparable, that a bakery’s refusal to print offensive text isn’t comparable to a bakery’s flat-out refusal to bake cakes for someone because of who they are.

“When a couple contacts a bakery for a wedding cake, the product they are seeking is a cake celebrating their wedding ― not a cake celebrating heterosexual weddings or same-sex weddings ― and that is the service [the couple] were denied,” Ginsburg wrote.

“The cases the Court aligns are hardly comparable,” she says. “The bakers would have refused to make a cake with Jack’s requested message for any customer, regardless of his or her religion. The bakeries’ refusal to make Jack cakes ... scarcely resembles Phillips’ refusal to serve Craig and Mullins: Phillips would not sell to Craig and Mullins, for no reason other than their sexual orientation.” 

“Jack, on the other hand, suffered no service refusal on the basis of his religion or any other protected characteristic. He was treated as any other customer would have been treated — no better, no worse,” she added.

Read Ginsberg’s powerful dissent in full here : https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-111_j4el.pdf

In related news, a splendid documentary called RBG is now playing in theaters.

SCOTUS Decision In Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Is Not A Terrible Thing?

My first reaction was to repost this horrible news, U.S. Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Anti-Gay Colorado Baker, and ask the question. "We can refuse to serve republicans and religious people, right?"

I do need to look further into that question, but in the mean time, one of Instinct's friends, Tim Peacock, from Peacock Panache, agreed to let me share his take on the ruling. You can read his entire SCOTUS ruling piece, Masterpiece Cakeshop Narrowly Wins Supreme Court Case, on his Panache website

Here's the bigger chunk of his explanation of what this ruling means. 


Oral Arguments

Following oral arguments presented to the high court in December 2017, observers predicted a victory for the cake maker in being able to legally discriminate against LGBTQ people using his religious beliefs as a legal shield to circumvent state public accommodation law.

We wrote last year:

Following the 90 minute oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court today in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, observers almost unanimously voiced concerns that the high court appears ready to side against LGBTQ public accommodation protections in lieu of granting a ‘religious liberty’ exception to business owners. Such a ruling would have a devastating effect on state and local level anti-discrimination laws meant to protect LGBTQ people from differential treatment.

The Washington Post offered similar thoughts:

Kennedy, who wrote the court’s 5 to 4 decision in 2015 saying gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, speculated about what might happen if a decision in baker Jack C. Phillips’s favor prompted requests for bakers across the country to refuse to make cakes for same-sex couples. Would the federal government feel vindicated? Kennedy asked.

On the flip side, just moments later, Kennedy sharply questioned Colorado Solicitor General Frederick R. Yarger. The justice seemed offended by a comment made during the deliberations of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when one commissioner said: “And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to — to use their religion to hurt others.”

At one point, Kennedy and some conservative justices raised the possibility that the proceedings against baker Jack C. Phillips had been infected by bias.

It would be this particular “possibility” that ultimately led seven of the nine sitting justices to rule in Jack Phillips’ favor. Using the argument that pointing out use of religious belief as a weapon to harm others – something Jack Phillips did when he used his religious beliefs to deny free market access to a gay couple – is a “despicable” form of “rhetoric,” the high court sided with the anti-gay cake maker.

We noted after oral arguments concluded:

Arguing that because the Colorado courts did not recognize Jack Phillips’ inherent right as a Christian to tell same-sex couples he would not serve them in his business open to the public, Kennedy appeared ready to side with the bakery and against LGBTQ people’s civil rights.

Noting the importance of the case, Justice Stephen Breyer commented during oral arguments that the high court should be careful as they do not want to “undermine every single civil rights law.”

But a decision allowing one exception to public accommodation law on the grounds of ‘religious liberty’ would be a Pandora’s box – something the left-leaning justices of the court pointed out.

They questioned who else in the business world could consider their product “art” protected by the First Amendment, offering the very slippery slope conservative organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom would indubitably seize upon in other cases they’re handing similar to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

Following those arguments, the high court clearly took Justice Breyer’s comments into account in finding a way to simultaneously rule in favor of Phillips while preserving the integrity of existing state and local public accommodation laws.

The Decision

The Masterpiece Cakeshop majority decision is written as and is intended to be an “exception” case – a narrow decision not intended to be used as precedent in any future case. (Then again, that was the intent in Hobby Lobby and look how that turned out).

The court found:

As the record shows, some of the commissioners at the Commission’s formal, public hearings endorsed the view that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, disparaged Phillips’ faith as despicable and characterized it as merely rhetorical, and compared his invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust. No commissioners objected to the comments.

The high court added:

The Commission ruled against Phillips in part on the theory that any message on the requested wedding cake would be attributed to the customer, not to the baker. Yet the [Colorado Civil Rights] Division did not address this point in any of the cases involving requests for cakes depicting anti-gay marriage symbolism.

In the SCOTUSBlog live blog of the decision, Eric Citron noted:

The decision here looks intentionally factbound to me:  This is more about how the Colorado Commission considered Phillips’ particular case, and substantially less about whether there might or might not be a right under the constitution to refuse compliance with a neutral law forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public accommodations.  In that respect, this holding is not going to resolve the underlying politically charged controversy.

The majority opinion’s introduction confirms this. It states, “Given all these considerations, it is proper to hold that whatever the outcome of some future controversy involving facts similar to these, the Commission’s actions here violated the Free Exercise Clause; and its order must be set aside.”

What’s unclear – and SCOTUSBlog appears to agree – is if Phillips will have to go through another round of legal hearings beginning at the level the high court found unacceptably biased (the state civil rights commission).

Justice Kagain’s concurring opinion confirms the narrow-but-solid belief that Phillips did not receive an unbiased hearing. Arguing Colorado has the right to protect LGBTQ people, they “can treat a baker who discriminates based on sexual orientation differently from a baker who does not” adding the caveat that any hearing or case must “not infected by religious hostility or bias.”

Summing up the high court’s ruling, SCOTUSBlog’s Eric Citron added:

One version of the question presented in Masterpiece is:  “Does the Constitution give wedding cake bakers a right to refuse service to homosexual couples on the basis of a religious objection, even if a State generally prohibits discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation.”  That is the “Right not to bake a cake” version.  The Court does not answer that question.  Instead it holds that the way the Colorado commission considered Mr. Phillips’ case showed substantial hostility toward religion.  That preserves the possibility that a State could enact a law prohibiting discrimination against homosexual couples and constitutionally apply it to a baker who refused service to a gay couple.

Which is to say, today’s decision is not the doomsday scenario many thought the case would be.

Aftermath

This may come off as an unpopular take, but the Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop is not a terrible thing. While in the short term Jack Phillips and the religious right wing community have cause to celebrate, the high court actually established some fairly strong groundwork and guidelines activists can work with to win future cases.

For starters, they clearly established the cause for their decision: bias. The state commission that heard Phillips’ case allegedly demonstrated bias against his religious beliefs when hearing the case – at least, that’s how the conservative side of the high court interpreted it. In the court’s majority and concurring opinions, this is repeatedly referenced.

The opinion’s first page establishes this, in fact:

The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression.

While it is unexceptional that Colorado law can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other members of the public, the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.

[Emphasis Mine]

Kennedy took careful measure to cite the rights and privileges LGBTQ couples hold as recognized by the historic Obergefell v. Hodges ruling while balancing that with the notion that courts must be unbiased in reaching conclusions on breaches of those rights and privileges.

In his opinion, Justice Kennedy explicitly noted, “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

This is clearly a road map for any state, going forward, to ensure their Tenth Amendment right to offer  legal protection to LGBTQ people meets constitutional scrutiny.

On the flip side, the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision once again punts on making any substantial statement on LGBTQ civil protections and will undoubtedly be used by the anti-gay religious right to continue their legal battle against LGBTQ civil rights.

You can read the Masterpiece Cakeshop opinions here.


What do you think of Tim's interpretation? 

Are we screwed? 

Do you feel people will realize that this is a judgment on just this instance and not to be used to uphold further discrimination?

 


Tim Peacock

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.

North Irish Gay Couples Watched The Royal Wedding While Wishing "It Was Them Tying The Knot"

In the wake of the royal wedding, North Irish men are wondering when it’ll be their turn to marry.

Thousands of North Irish citizens are preparing to participate in a march and rally for marriage equality on June 2. One such couple is William Dalzell and Stephen Donnan.

Dalzell and Donnan watched the Royal Wedding yesterday with mixed emotions. On one hand, they were excited for the British social event, but they also felt a sense of sorrow.

Northern Ireland’s law still prevents gay marriage, so couples like Dalzell and Donnan are left wishing that they could get married.

“It’s hard not to feel like second class citizens,” said Donnan to BelfastLive.

“We hope Harry and Meghan have a really great day. But we just wish that we had the same right to get married as they enjoy.

“We’ve actually been a couple slightly longer than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and, as it happens, we even got engaged around the same time.

“The difference is that our Government won’t allow us to get married because we are gay.”

Like many gay men living in Northern Ireland, the couple is asking the UK Government to convince the country to match its laws with the rest of the UK. So far, Prime Minister Theresa May says this is an issue for Northern Irish folk to figure out by themselves.

North Ireland’s politicians, however aren’t doing much to help. Despite public polls finding that 76% of citizens are in favor of marriage equality, a Conservative politician blocked the second reading of a Bill that could have brought in same-sex marriage.

Dalzell and Donnan were disappointed by this development.

“The only government we have now is in Westminster - yet Theresa May and Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley are refusing to intervene to end the discrimination.

“When one of their own backbenchers blocked the equal marriage bill last week in the Commons, that was like rubbing salt into our wounds.

“We will march and protest and petition until we have the same right to get married as Meghan and Harry.

“And that’s why we will be joining the big march for marriage equality in Belfast in two weeks – we want to send a clear message to Theresa May and Karen Bradley that we want equality.”

h/t: Belfast Live

Will Marriage Equality Come To Cuba Because Of A Castro? Mariela Castro & LGBT Rights

Living in South Florida, there is no end to the debate about the Castros, Cuba, Obama's policy, and what steps are next. One positive Castro news that has been coming out of Cuba is that of the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro and her fight to extend marriage and other rights to LGBT Cubans.  On Friday, said her organization plans to submit proposals to the country’s National Assembly that would move forward her work and that of so many others that want to see LGBTQ+ citizens treated equally.

As the Director of the Cuban National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), Mariela Castro made elaborated on her organization's plans during a press conference in the Cuban capital. In July, CENESEX will propose amending the Cuban constitution and changing the country’s family and penal codes when the National Assembly meets again.

The timing of the announcement shows that Mariela Castro is not holding back as it comes a handful of days before events in Havana and in the city of Pinar del Río for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17th and less than a month after the National Assembly (which she is a member of) chose Miguel Díaz-Canel to succeeded her father Raúl Castro as Cuba’s president.

What is Mariela Castro fighting against? Her family's control of the government and their mistreatment of LGBTQ+ citizens.

More than 25,000 gay men and others deemed unfit for military services were sent to labor camps known by the Spanish acronym UMAP in the years after the 1959 Cuban revolution that brought Raúl Castro’s brother, Fidel Castro, to power. The Cuban government until 1993 forcibly quarantined people with HIV/AIDS in state-run sanitaria.

Cuba in 1979 repealed its sodomy law. Fidel Castro nearly three decades later apologized for the work camps during an interview with a Mexican newspaper.

The Cuban constitution currently defines marriage as between a man and a woman. - washingtonblade.com

 

If Cuba moves forward it will join neighbors Puerto Rico, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico City as they are the nations in Latin America where same-sex couples can legally marry.

 

 

And what about the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in January issued a landmark ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage and transgender rights? (Costa Rica: Pro Marriage Equality Court Ruling to Carry Over to a Total of 20 Nations) It did not apply to Cuba since it is not part of the American Convention on Human Rights.

We always hope that LGBTQ+ rights continue to grow across the globe.  With these signs of the Inter-American Court and Mariela Castro's work, the Western Hemisphere is moving forward quickly!

 

h/t: southfloridagaynews, washintonblade

Kim Davis's Lawyer Thinks We're "A Few Months Away" From Reversing Marriage Equality

We have another case of a conservative saying some scary stuff while on the radio.

While speaking to VCY America radio host Jim Schneider, lawyer Mat Staver, who’s most notably known for representing Kentucky magistrate Kim Davis, said that we’re just weeks away from marriage equality being overturned.

The context of that statement comes from Staver's excitement at seeing conservative judge Kyle Duncan joining the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Duncan is known for objecting to the Affordable Care Act supporting contraceptives.

Staver saw Duncan’s appointment as a sign of Donald Trump’s administration pushing for ““constitutionalists, originalists, dedicated to the original understanding and interpretation of the Constitution and the statutes.”

Essentially, he’s excited to see more conservative players in the justice system who can not only rule in favor of conservative values in future court hearings, but also overturn progressive rulings that have already passed.

With Justice Anthony Kennedy expected to retire soon, there is already an opening seat in the Supreme Court. Plus, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is also growing older and reaching the possible end of her time with the Supreme Court (though, she’s hired staff to work with her until 2020).

To stay on top of that, Staver encouraged conservative listeners to go out and vote during midterms this coming November. That way, conservative lawmakers can maintain power in the Senate and help bring in new conservative judges to the Supreme Court.

Otherwise, liberal voters will flood Congress with progressive lawmakers and Trump will have to find “somebody who’s palatable to the judicial activist crowd in the Senate.”

It’s Staver’s assertion that if they can get one or two more conservative Justices in the Supreme Court, “the abortion decision, the same-sex marriage decision, all of those things that went the wrong way will ultimately be in the balance to be reversed. So literally we are a few months away.”

Let's hope that doesn't come to pass. Better yet, lets vote to make sure it doesn't.

h/t: NewNowNext

Japan Moves Closer To Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages, Step by Step, City by City.

 

Is Japan following in America's footsteps when it comes to making marriage equality the law of the land?

It wasn't too long ago that we in the United States fought state-by-state to pass marriage equality for 3 million here, 6 million there, 4.5 million in another state. Now we have marriage equality for all. It will be amazing when we don't remember a time when same-sex weddings were illegal. 

Japan has not passed marriage equality. It is still illegal in Japan and across Asia except for one nation (Taiwan's The First Country In Asia To Legalize Gay Marriage).

But what is happening in Japan is that cities are allowing same-sex "marriages" to occur. Fukuoka, Japan, a city of 1.5 million people, making it the second biggest city in the nation, now allows their citizens to have a same-sex partnership that is recognized by law and are given a partnership certificate. Fukuoka follows last year's move by Sapporo to grant same-sex unions and Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward established a similar system in 2015.

Seven cities and wards have now legalised same-sex partnerships.

The certificate does not entail legal rights or obligations like marriage under the civil law, but such couples will be treated as the equivalent of traditionally married couples when they rent city-run housing or seek treatment at municipal hospitals. - japantimes.co.jp

With more and more large cities granting same-sex marriages/unions/partnerships/certificates, will the rest of the nation follow?  More and more of the larger states in the United States were making marriage equality the law of their states and then we had victory for all.

We will keep hoping all will have mariage equality soon in Japan.  What a victory that would be!

 

 

 

 

h/t: japantimes.co.jp

 

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