The Latest News Same Sex Marriages

Subscribe

Via Email:    

VICTORY! Same-Sex Spouses Nationwide Gain Equal Access to Social Security Survivor's Benefits

Posted On: September 15, 2020

This is a tremendous victory for same sex couples who lost a spouse, only to find they were not married for the required 9 months (although they may have been together for decades before marriage was legal) and were denied social security survival benefits!

While the number of states that allowed same-sex couples to marry gradually increased from 2004 until 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all remaining state bans, that freedom came too late for many couples. Even where same-sex couples married as soon as they could once their state marriage bans were lifted, many were unable to be married for nine months before one spouse died, and SSA denied them benefits for not being married for long enough.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Lambda Legal.

0

7 Black Queer Couples Share Their Best Relationship Advice

Posted On: August 03, 2020

Black lesbians are probably the most marginalized communities in the US.  This is a refreshing article on the positive outlook of black lesbian relationships as well as their best advice on how it works and how to make it last.  For most of us, what we learned in school about history actually reflected only white male history.  Minorities, including women (and especially the lesbian community), as well as the minority communities within the lesbian community, are extremely marginalized and were never part of mainstream education.  It's time for us all to embrace diversity. 

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

0

‘You Don’t Belong Here’: In Poland’s ‘LGBT-Free Zones,’ Existing Is An Act of Defiance

Posted On: October 27, 2020

How far have we come, as citizens of the world, when we cannot live our lives in peace and love who we love? I was absolutely stunned, mortified, and actually felt ill when I read this article! I cannot believe what is going on in the world. We had come so far in this country on LGBTQ rights.  While in college I had the good fortune of running the gay and lesbian student union.  I never thought I would see the day that marriage would be legalized for lesbians and gays.  Reading this article, I cannot imagine living in a country or having my own town and neighbors enforcing an LGBTQ Free Zone and constantly have to hide who I am.  I thought those days were over for all of us, but apparently not in some places in the world.

This demonstrates an absolutely backward shift in human rights.  I also fear that LGBTQ rights are being eroded in this country and there is a trend to reverse the strides forward that have been made.  We would ALL be better served with love and understanding, regardless of our personal opinions and choices.

This article shows the rhetoric that has been used in the past to demonize Lesbians and Gays.  Promotion of fear generating falsehoods that lesbians and gays promote pedophilia, child molestation and are the destroyers of families.  The truth and statistics show that these crimes are perpetrated by white straight men more than anyone else!

We cannot let the world revert to the times when people were killed for their religious beliefs or for who they are. We are not back in the Roman times when people were literally thrown to the lions and we should not revisit Nazi Germany. There has been too much hate!  The human race really needs to learn from our past history.  We need to be better people and love one another and move forward with inclusion, diversity and understanding.  Even if you do not agree with somebody then at least have the human dignity and respect to show some tolerance so that we may all coexist and live together in peace.

Story by Rob Picheta and Ivana Kottasová, CNN.  Photographs by Sarah Tilotta, CNN

0

‘Righting a Wrong’: Nevada Becomes First State To Protect Same-Sex Marriage

Posted On: November 24, 2020

It’s nice to share a bit of good news. This article was a welcome sight amongst everything that has gone on in the recent past and the fear of reversing rights for the LGBT community as well as a possible attempt to undo the Supreme Court case permitting lawful marriage nationally between same sex couples. 

I think everybody recognizes Las Vegas as the wedding capital of the world, in that it has been not only a place that people can get married quickly, but is known for its exuberant nuptials and themed weddings.  People have streamed into Nevada from all over the world to get married or “hitched” since the 1930s.  Nevada can now say that it is one of the first states to officially protect same sex marriage in its constitution. 

For years legal marriages were banned for same sex couples.  Nevada had voted a ban on same sex marriage in 2002.  In 2015, the nation recognized same sex marriage by the Supreme Court case of Obergefell v Hodges.  However, there is a looming question whether the two conservative Justices (Alito and Thomas), who have spoken out against this decision, might try to undo and seek to reverse that decision and leave it totally up to the states whether or not to discriminate against same sex couples who wish to marry. 

It is also heartening that the vote in Nevada was passed by a 60% margin.  Getting it to be part of a state’s constitution is not easy.  In fact, in Nevada, it had to go through the state legislature twice, in 2017 and 2019 before it was able to be put on the ballot.  Nevada has long been a swing state with the electorate ranging from cowboys to casino workers and people transplanted from many other states.  It is apparent that Nevada has now been trending more democratic in recent years and the fact that it was called for Biden and Harris shows it is presently a more democratic state. 

At present about 30 states still have same sex marriage bans on the books, though they have been blocked by the courts.  Notwithstanding the Supreme Court decision, these bans still exist, although they cannot be enforced.  Only a few states have actually repealed their bans and some efforts, like in Indiana and Florida, to repeal a ban have failed. 

Another note of interest, Nevada is also a place that people have flocked to undo their marriage in an easier fashion than their own states:  by setting up short residency they are able to get a non-contested divorce.  This has changed in many states, but most states, like New York, have a requirement of residency prior to being able to file for a divorce. 

0

Victory! Court Rules State Department Violated Law in Denying Passport to Married Same-Sex Couple’s Daughter

Posted On: September 08, 2020

A federal court in Georgia recently ordered the Trump Administration to recognize the U.S. citizenship since birth of Simone Mize-Gregg, the two-year-old daughter of a married same-sex couple, and to issue her a U.S. passport. The U.S. State Department had refused to recognize Simone as a U.S. citizen, even though both of her parents, Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg, are U.S. citizens and children born abroad to heterosexual married U.S. citizens are automatically considered U.S. citizens themselves.

Click here to read more about this landmark victory!

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Lambda Legal.


0

Can CNY Christian Adoption Agency Exclude Gays, Unmarried Couples? NY Law Faces High-Profile Court Test

Posted On: December 09, 2019

To piggy back off of last week's post, NY now has its own hot profile case on the LGBTQ adoption issue.

A Syracuse Christian adoption agency says it doesn't take gay or unmarried couples as adoptive parents because it's not "in the best interests of children." New York has said New Hope Family Services will face closure if it doesn't comply with the state's anti-discrimination law.

New York in 2013 issued new regulations to adoption agencies, prohibiting them from discriminating against applicants who sought their services. The anti-discrimination rules covered everything from race to religion, sexual orientation to marital status. In the fall of 2018, after New York’s anti-discrimination regulations had been on the books for a few years, New York’s Office of Child and Family Services came to Syracuse for a routine inspection of New Hope. Thereafter OCFS told New Hope it would have to comply with state regulations. It would have to begin placing children with same-sex and unmarried couples. New Hope refused on religious grounds and OCFS made it clear in subsequent emails and letters it was delivering an ultimatum: Change the policy of not accepting certain couples, or shut down. New Hope filed suit and its case is now on appeal. New York says New Hope isn’t forced to do anything. The state insists that New Hope can always stop participating in public adoptions. But if it wants to continue this work, it simply must cooperate and follow the state’s rules.  Here, the law is concerned not only with New Hope’s religious freedom and discrimination against prospective adoptive parents -- but adoption is a heavily regulated process, in which a child’s rights and future is also at stake.

The New York attorney general, defending the state, also argues the case is different because adoption is conduct, not speech.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Julie McMahon of Syracuse.com

0

Divorce OUTSIDE The Court System For The LGBTQ Community

Posted On: July 07, 2020

Just because it's July doesn't mean we have to stop celebrating June Pride month!

Going through a divorce outside the Court system is critical for the LGBTQ community not only for confidentiality reasons, but also for comprehensive consideration of the relationship, which the Courts are limited to accomplish.  The Long Island Collaborative Divorce Professionals are proud supporters of the LGBTQ community, and I am a proud member!  We are dedicated to helping all couples but are also highly experienced in helping LGBTQ families.  Anyone seeking more information about how we can help families in conflict, during divorce or separation, please reach out.

0

The LGBTQ Rights We Gained—and Then Lost—This Decade

Posted On: January 05, 2020

As we look at the end of last year and the end of a decade, this article really gives a good perspective and highlights many points with respect to the LGBTQ Community and the rights we have gained and lost over this past decade.  It is definitely a good read and highlights some of the significant things that have happened over this past decade.  It also gives us pause, to know that so many rights have been lost that took so long to obtain.  There is a lot of work ahead of us in the decade to come.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Lisa Needham of Rewire News & Getty Images

0