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Keyword: civilunion

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  • Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions

    03/05/2014 2:19:44 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 104 replies
    CNN ^ | 03/05/2014 | By Daniel Burke
    Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage on Wednesday, but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions. The Pope reiterated the church's longstanding teaching that "marriage is between a man and a woman." However, he said, "We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety." States, for instance, justify civil unions as a way to provide economic security to cohabitating couples, the Pope said in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily. State-sanctioned unions are thus driven by the need to...
  • Study: Some Evangelicals in 'Messy Middle' on Homosexuality, Civil Unions

    08/16/2013 7:48:11 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 19 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 08/16/2013 | Napp Nazworth
    A significant number of evangelicals believe both that homosexuality is a sin and civil unions for same-sex couples should be legal, according to research recently presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting. These evangelicals find themselves in the "messy middle," Baylor University researchers Dr. Lydia Bean and Brandon Martinez argue, due to competing notions about how to engage with homosexuals: both wanting to show love and compassion for their gay neighbors, and wanting to remain loyal to the teachings of their faith. Those in the "messy middle," they find, are more similar to conservative than liberal evangelicals. Evangelicals sustain...
  • Chaplain quits So. Baptists over same-sex rite

    07/28/2012 6:28:26 AM PDT · by madprof98 · 54 replies
    Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | 7/28/12 | David Crary (AP)
    NEW YORK — A long-serving Air Force chaplain has left the Southern Baptist Convention after the conservative denomination publicly questioned his attendance at a same-sex civil union ceremony at his base in New Jersey. The chaplain, Col. Timothy Wagoner, is remaining on active duty and has affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which holds more moderate views on homosexuality and some other issues than the Southern Baptists. "I find very little that is more important and nothing that is more exhilarating than providing for the religious freedoms and spiritual care of all service members and their families — and will...
  • 1st same-sex civil union performed in Delaware

    01/03/2012 1:52:34 PM PST · by NYer · 34 replies
    CBS ^ | January 2, 2012
    More than 400 people, including a U.S. senator, witnessed the first same-sex civil union in Delaware on New Year's Day. Lawyers Lisa Goodman and Drewry Fennell were joined in the union by the Rev. Patricia Downing, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Wilmington, where the Sunday afternoon ceremony took place. Goodman and Fennell have been partners for 14 years. Goodman is a lawyer who led the advocacy group Equality Delaware's fight for the civil union law. Fennell heads the state Criminal Justice Council and formerly led the ACLU's Delaware chapter. U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., delivered the sermon and Lt....
  • Same-Sex Surrogacy Mess (Lesbian Custody Case Shines Light on Donor Insemination)

    02/17/2009 1:45:22 PM PST · by NYer · 6 replies · 832+ views
    NCR ^ | February 17, 2009 | GAIL BESSE
    RUTLAND, Vt. — First-grader Isabella doesn’t yet understand all the big decisions that judges here in Vermont and Virginia have made about her life.But her mother, Lisa Miller, knows how profoundly those court orders will affect her 6-year-old. Miller’s attorneys even petitioned this landmark custody case she’s fighting with her former lesbian partner to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the court declined to hear it.Isabella has been the subject of a five-year battle that has pitted conflicting state marriage statutes and drawn competing claims from federal laws.“It’s rather like the two women claiming one baby before Solomon. One is the...
  • Where the Boys Are

    06/18/2008 11:58:57 AM PDT · by bs9021 · 9 replies · 128+ views
    Campus Report ^ | June 18, 2008 | Emily Ham
    Where the Boys Are by: Emily Ham, June 18, 2008 After the state Supreme Court’s June 5 decision to discard the requests of attorneys general from some ten states to stay the May 15 ruling allowing gay marriage within the state, thousands of homosexual couples are expected to tie the knot in California as soon as the new legislation takes effect. But many people are seeing confusion in the horizon as questions are beginning to arise about how long the state’s new court ruling will be in place.This uncertainty began with the June 2 ruling in which the California Supreme...
  • How to Commit Marriage

    05/13/2008 10:35:21 AM PDT · by bs9021 · 61 replies · 91+ views
    Campus Report ^ | May 13, 2008 | Malcolm Kline
    How to Commit Marriage by: Malcolm A. Kline, May 13, 2008 A couple of professors from the University of Chicago think they have found a way out of what they see as a national impasse over state marriage laws. “To respect the liberty of religious groups while protecting individual freedom in general, we propose that marriage, as such, should be completely privatized,” Richard A. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein write in Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness. “Under our proposal, the word marriage would no longer appear in any laws, and marriage licenses would no longer be offered...
  • U.S. Christian Camp Loses Tax-Exempt Status over Same-Sex Civil-Union Ceremony

    09/22/2007 8:35:41 PM PDT · by monomaniac · 31 replies · 578+ views ^ | September 19, 2007 | John Jalsevac
    U.S. Christian Camp Loses Tax-Exempt Status over Same-Sex Civil-Union Ceremony By John Jalsevac OCEAN GROVE, N.J., September 19, 2007 ( - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced on Monday that it was stripping the Methodist Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association of its tax-exempt status for part of its property. The Methodist camp made the news earlier this year after it refused, for religious reasons, to allow a lesbian couple to hold a "civil-union" ceremony at a pavilion on the camp's property. The pavilion, said Scott Hoffman, the camp's chief administrative officer to LifeSiteNews, "is a facility we...
  • Prominent UK Tory Politician Says Support for Civil Unions "Insults Intelligence" of British

    09/09/2007 8:10:45 PM PDT · by monomaniac · 1 replies · 248+ views ^ | September 5, 2007
    Prominent UK Tory Politician Says Support for Civil Unions "Insults Intelligence" of British Critical of Tory leader Cameron's attempt to shift party to left and re-brand it as "heirs to Blair" LONDON,  September 5, 2007 ( - One of the most senior MP's in the UK's Tory party, Michael Ancram, Member of Parliament for Devizes, has criticized the government's policy of treating homosexual partnerings as the equivalent to marriage. In a pamphlet published by the Daily Telegraph, Ancram calls on the party to remember its "conservative soul." With the possibility of a snap general election still being discussed, the Conservatives...
  • Malawi Officials to Challenge Appointment of Pro-Gay British High Commissioner

    08/28/2007 7:02:11 PM PDT · by monomaniac · 182+ views ^ | August 28, 2007 | Meg Jalsevac
    Malawi Officials to Challenge Appointment of Pro-Gay British High Commissioner Say pro-gay history "dangerous" to Malawi, where homosexuality still considered felony By Meg Jalsevac Malawi, August 28, 2007 ( - The appointment of the next British High Commissioner to Malawi has provoked government officials of the African nation to speak out against his suitability for the job in the conservative nation considering his record as a proponent of gay rights in his previous position in the Scottish Government.  Former Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell was tapped to assume the position beginning in 2011 but opposition to his appointment is already...
  • Methodists Sue New Jersey over Attempt to Force Gay “Marriage” at Church Owned Camp

    08/23/2007 11:19:49 PM PDT · by monomaniac · 3 replies · 459+ views ^ | August 21, 2007 | Hilary White
    Methodists Sue New Jersey over Attempt to Force Gay “Marriage” at Church Owned Camp By Hilary White TRENTON, August 21, 2007 ( – In another case of a clash between Christian traditional values and the new secular sexual morality, the United Methodist Church group that owns a private campground retreat are suing the New Jersey government, saying its rights of religious freedom are being violated. The state is investigating a discrimination charge brought against the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association by a pair of lesbians who wanted to use the private retreat campground for a “civil union” ceremony. The federal...
  • Lesbian Couple Files Complaint against Church for Refusing Civil Union Ceremony

    07/10/2007 8:27:34 PM PDT · by monomaniac · 29 replies · 1,361+ views ^ | July 10, 2007 | Peter J. Smith
    OCEAN GROVE, New Jersey ( - A New Jersey lesbian couple has filed a civil rights complaint against a Christian seaside retreat association that refused to facilitate their "civil union."Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster filed the complaint June 19 with the state attorney general's office on the grounds of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation after the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association declined the use of their Boardwalk Pavilion for their civil union ceremony, planned for September. Bernstein and Paster demanded "whatever relief is provided by law" including unspecified "compensatory damages for economic loss, humiliation, [and] mental pain." New...
  • Mexican state near Texas passes gay union law

    01/14/2007 1:17:01 PM PST · by Coleus · 19 replies · 725+ views
    The northern state of Coahuila, a mining and ranching region south of Texas, approved gay civil union Thursday, becoming the second area in Mexico to give legal status to homosexual partnerships. Legislators in the state Congress voted 20-13 for a bill that gives gays greater rights than a similar law backed by Mexico City last November. “It is more like a civil marriage,” said Silvia Solis, a gay rights activist in the capital. She said Coahuila would grant social security benefits to both members of a homosexual union, an important demand of gay campaigners. The law was promoted by Coahuila's...
  • Nation's First Same-Sex Civil Union Ends

    08/24/2006 7:52:35 AM PDT · by workerbee · 64 replies · 1,747+ views
    FOXNews ^ | 8/24/06 | AP
    BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — A lesbian couple who entered into the nation's first same-sex civil union officially split up Wednesday. Carolyn Conrad and Kathleen Peterson, both of Brattleboro, had entered a civil union shortly after midnight on July 1, 2000, the day Vermont's first-in-the-nation law went into effect. Conrad, 35, filed to end the union in October and later obtained a restraining order against her partner, saying Peterson punched a hole in the wall during an argument and threatened to harm a friend. A judge granted the request for a dissolution Wednesday. "It's a heartbreaking situation for any couple," Conrad told...
  • Lesbian army couple ties the knot

    02/01/2006 8:53:53 PM PST · by Aussie Dasher · 42 replies · 1,544+ views ^ | 2 February 2006
    A LESBIAN couple has become the first in the British army to tie the knot under the country's new civil partnership laws. Sonya Gould, 19, and Vanessa Haydock, 18, both privates in the Royal Logistics Corps, exchanged vows before friends and family at the register office in Chippenham, Wiltshire in the west of England, The Sun newspaper reported today. "It was wonderful to get married and being the first was the icing on the cake. We want to be together forever," said Haydock, pictured in The Sun kissing Gould in uniform – albeit not smack on the lips. While they...
  • Gay rights activists to target GOP speaker

    10/17/2005 4:43:30 PM PDT · by Hadean · 20 replies · 533+ views
    The World ^ | Oct 17, 2005
    TROUTDALE (AP) - This quiet, tourism-oriented town east of Portland could become a battleground as gay rights activists prepare a campaign to topple a Republican legislative leader who thwarted a move to allow civil unions for same-sex couples. Troutdale is in the heart of the district represented by GOP House Speaker Karen Minnis, who enraged gay rights backers this summer by refusing to let the House vote on a civil unions bill that had been passed by the state Senate with the blessing of the Democratic governor. State and national gay rights groups are targeting Minnis for defeat in 2006...
  • Homosexual Civil Union, Divorce and the Fate of a 3 Year Old

    09/20/2005 8:34:16 PM PDT · by SirLinksalot · 15 replies · 867+ views ^ | 9/20/2005 | Les Kinsolving
    Homosexual civil-union, divorce and a 3-year-old LES KINSOLVING 1:00 a.m. Eastern © 2005 Those members of the Vermont state Legislature who voted to approve same-sex civil unions are now faced with a consequence that should merit every one of them being voted into retirement. The New York Times devoted half a page to reporting from Vermont's state capital of Montpelier: Judges in Vermont and Virginia have different ideas about what is best for Isabella Miller-Jenkins, 3, born to a woman who had a civil union with another woman in Vermont. The relationship ended two years ago. Now each woman...
  • Britain to allow gay civil unions

    02/22/2005 12:03:05 AM PST · by JohnHuang2 · 7 replies · 340+ views
    Washington Times ^ | Tuesday, February 22, 2005
    From combined dispatches LONDON -- Same-sex partners in Britain will be able to enter into civil unions beginning in December, joining homosexuals in parts of Europe and the United States in obtaining many of the rights enjoyed by married couples, the government said yesterday. The Civil Partnerships Bill passed by Parliament last year gives same-sex couples the right to form legally binding partnerships and entitles them to some of the same tax and pension rights that married couples have. Starting Dec. 5, couples will be able to notify the register office at their local council that they intend to form...
  • THE BATTLE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE S.F. can't challenge 'mental disorder' argument

    12/28/2004 8:26:33 PM PST · by IllumiNaughtyByNature · 1 replies · 349+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 12/28/04 | Bob Egelko
    The judge who will decide the constitutionality of California's ban on same-sex marriage has refused to let San Francisco submit expert studies to counter their opponents' authorities, who contend that children need opposite- sex parents and that homosexuals can be cured. snip...
  • Calif. Gay Couples Now Have Registry Option

    11/28/2004 9:21:50 AM PST · by Rockitz · 55 replies · 2,731+ views ^ | November 28, 2004 | Fox News
    LOS ANGELES — A new state law in California allows gay and lesbian couples nearly all the same rights and benefits of married spouses if they choose to sign up with a state domestic partner registry. For thousands of same-sex couples in the state, that means legal recognitions they have long dreamed about having. California Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, author of the Domestic Partnership and Responsibilities Act (search), calls the measure historic. It grants same-sex couples everything from insurance benefits to adoption rights, but also adds responsibilities like their partner's debt.
  • Was Lincoln Gay?

    11/20/2004 9:46:35 PM PST · by Ma3lst0rm · 91 replies · 2,127+ views
    History News Network ^ | 6-10-01 | By W. Scott Thompson
    Was Lincoln Gay? By W. Scott Thompson Mr. Thompson is a professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. What drives our great to greatness? We search, and find hope and humanity, unassuageably-remembered hunger, driving fear; but sometimes the mystery goes deeper to presiding emotions unmistakable in their power but strangely indeterminate in their form. In the present case Abe Lincoln passed from death into a demigod of national might and righteousness, and now makes him the canonic hero of liveliest sympathy and spiritual growth. And neither depiction--better still a union of the two--rings false. We examine...
  • Avoid divisiveness over who marries

    11/16/2004 12:00:00 AM PST · by Racehorse · 5 replies · 445+ views
    San Antonio Express-News ^ | 15 November 2004 | Editorial
    During the recent election, voters in 11 states approved amendments opposing same-sex marriage.So it is no surprise that Texas Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, rushed to prefile a bill proposing a constitutional amendment defining marriage in Texas as only between a man and a woman.Even though state law already defines marriage that way, Chisum's bill calls for a vote on the amendment in the November 2005 election.The measure is both unnecessary and divisive. The state should establish rules for civil unions that define legal relationships and leave the issue of who can marry to religious institutions, where it belongs.This uproar began...
  • The Wrong Kind Of Marriage

    11/09/2004 6:51:05 PM PST · by · 23 replies · 832+ views ^ | Apr 21, 2004 | Jonathan Lane
    I just might have the answer to the questions surrounding gay marriage. And I promise, it's very different from anything you've heard before. To agree upon a solution, we must first agree upon a problem, so let's start from the beginning. Once upon a time, homosexual couples asked for the same rights which married heterosexual couples enjoy. And you're hard-pressed to find someone who will deny that they ought to have these rights. And I agree - everyone should have the rights of contract and benefits that come with marriage, regardless of sexual orientation.
  • Was Arnie Snookered? California Domestic Partnership Law Grants Gay Couples EVERY Right of a Spouse

    11/05/2004 3:05:58 PM PST · by Hank All-American · 25 replies · 721+ views
    Hank All-American | November 5, 2004 | Hank All-American
    Despite having passed a referendum banning gay marriage in 2000, it looks like California has managed to establish the equivalent. A little-noticed provision of the recent expansion of California's domestic partnership laws will see the California Family Code Amended as of January to grant ALL rights and obligations of a spouse to any registered domestic partner. [Cal. Family Code Section 297.5] What does this mean? It means that by merely registering as domestic partners under the law, a gay couple in California will be considered the legal equivalent of a spouse in every way. This has completely been slipped under...
  • Books OK'd After Marriage Wording Changed

    11/05/2004 2:29:47 PM PST · by calenel · 4 replies · 317+ views
    AP ^ | 11/5/2004 | NATALIE GOTT
    The Texas Board of Education approved new health textbooks for the state's high school and middle school students Friday after the publishers agreed to change the wording to depict marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The board decision could affect books sold in dozens of states because of Texas' market clout as the nation's second-largest buyer of textbooks.
  • Obama Says Religion, Tradition Shape Opposition To Gay Marriage

    09/24/2004 2:13:59 PM PDT · by Scenic Sounds · 20 replies · 747+ views ^ | September 24, 2004 | That TV Guy
    September 24, 2004 — Democratic U-S Senate candidate Barack Obama says he's opposed to gay marriage because of tradition and his Christian beliefs. But Obama says he supports civil unions for gays and lesbians and would oppose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Obama made his comments today during a taping of W-B-B-M Radio's "At Issue" program. His Republican opponent, Alan Keyes, has said repeatedly that Obama supports gay marriage. But Obama says he personally believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. The Democratic candidate also says the issue of gay marriage should be left to the...
  • Opponents of Same-Sex 'Civil Unions' Equated with Hate-Groups

    08/23/2004 12:45:36 AM PDT · by deadmuas · 15 replies · 529+ views ^ | August 18, 2004 | Patrick Goodenough
    A debate over recognizing "civil unions" for same-sex couples in New Zealand has turned ugly, with opponents of the move being likened to hate-groups. Advocates of civil unions -- including the government minister responsible for the legislation -- have sought to link their opponents to extremists by appealing to current public worries about anti-Semitic activity and a planned visit to New Zealand by a controversial historian and Holocaust-skeptic. The Civil Union Bill, which passed its first reading in parliament last June and was sent to a select committee for public feedback, will give legal recognition to same-sex couples as well...
  • Civil Union Leads to Battle Over Child

    08/12/2004 9:13:57 AM PDT · by Former Fetus · 3 replies · 380+ views
    e-mail | 8/12/04 | NewsMax
    Breaking News from Civil Union Leads to Battle Over Child Janet Miller-Jenkins, 39, is asking a family court in Vermont, the only state where civil unions are recognized, to award her custody of the child, claiming that Lisa has barred her from seeing Isabella even though under Vermont law she is a co-equal parent," the Washington Post reported. "The dispute has mobilized activists on both sides of the gay-marriage issue. Lambda Legal, a prominent gay rights advocacy group in New York, is advising Janet, while Florida-based Liberty Counsel, which opposes gay marriage, is consulting with Lisa." Stephen Cable, president...
  • First comes love , then gay marriage – but what about divorce ?

    07/07/2004 9:20:17 AM PDT · by Patriot11 · 16 replies · 593+ views
    Kansas City Star ^ | Patriot11
    BY STEVENSON SWANSON Chicago Tribune NEW YORK - (KRT) - First comes love, then comes marriage. Then comes divorce. With the first legalized same-sex marriages barely 1 month old, pondering gay divorce might seem premature. But according to attorneys and legal experts, it's already here. Gay and lesbian couples have been struggling with the legal fallout of breaking up for years. Without state recognition of their relationships, partners who are splitting up can find themselves cast adrift by the courts, with few provisions for equitable division of property, parental visitation rights or child support. If anything, the advent of same-sex...
  • NJ, Domestic partners awaiting their day New registration law takes effect 7/10/04

    07/06/2004 9:07:12 PM PDT · by Coleus · 7 replies · 486+ views
    For Marty Finkel and Mike Plake, South Orange village is the place to be this weekend. A new domestic partnership law making New Jersey the fifth state in the nation to give gay couples many rights accorded married people takes effect Saturday. In South Orange, officials will begin registering couples as soon as they can -- a minute after midnight. Finkel, 45, and Plake, 41, who lobbied for the law, expect to be the first couple officially recognized as domestic partners in New Jersey. "Everyone in the state is welcome," Finkel said. "It is very exciting." The new law, hailed...
  • Connecticut Couple Fights to Keep Their Same-Sex Marriage Legal

    07/05/2004 3:29:10 PM PDT · by Sweet_Sunflower29 · 18 replies · 1,259+ views
    Associated Press ^ | July 5, 2004
    Among the first things Katy Gossman and Kristin Marshall did after their May wedding in Massachusetts was change Marshall's last name to Gossman. But they are still waiting for her new driver's license to make it official. When the lesbian couple made the trek to the Connecticut Motor Vehicle Department, the clerk was at a loss for what to do. "He started to punch it into the computer, and then he looked at the marriage license again. He looked at us, he looked at the license," Katy said. "He said he didn't know what to do with us. They weren't...
  • Crowd assails unequal rights (Gay marriage, VA)

    07/01/2004 6:58:56 AM PDT · by The Other Harry · 31 replies · 574+ views
    News Virginian (Waynesboro) ^ | July 1, 2004 | COURTNEY HUCKABAY
    July 1, 2004 Crowd assails unequal rights By COURTNEY HUCKABAY The News Virginian More than 100 area residents crammed into a hot and stuffy council chambers at Staunton City Hall on Wednesday night to come out to the community in a way the Shenandoah Valley has never seen before. Though it seemed like the rallying action came too late for Virginia House Bill 751, the passionate activists made it clear that this town meeting was only the beginning. Though the public meeting, sponsored by Virginia Equality, was intended to inform the public at large about the effects of HB 751...
  • Homosexual boycott Virginia on Mis-information

    06/30/2004 1:12:08 PM PDT · by Gopher Broke · 14 replies · 477+ views
    The Family Foundation of Virginia Defending Faith, Family, and Freedom Across the Commonwealth -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Victoria Cobb, Director of Legislative Affairs Wednesday, June 30, 2004 Information Alert: Homosexuals Boycott Virginia Based on Misinformation Tomorrow, a new law banning civil unions in our Commonwealth will take affect. As a practical matter, House Bill 751 will not change anything. The Commonwealth of Virginia already explicitly bans same-sex marriage and has never recognized civil unions or other forms of homosexual relationships as a position of public policy. The intended purpose of the new law is to make explicit a statement of law that is...
  • Same-Sex Partners in Sweden Have High 'Divorce' Rates

    06/12/2004 12:49:01 PM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 36 replies · 675+ views
    Traditional Values Coalition ^ | May 13, 2004 | Traditional Values Coalition
    The Institute For Marriage and Public Policy has issued a report on the high rate of divorce among homosexual males and females in Sweden. The IMAPP study surveyed results from "Divorce Risk Patterns in Same-Sex Marriages in Norway and Sweden," presented at the 2004 meeting of the Population Association of America. The survey indicated that homosexual male couples were 1.5 times as likely to divorce as opposite-sex couples, while female homosexuals were 2.67 times as likely to divorce as opposite-sex couples.
  • Same-sex 'marriage' likely to prove costly

    05/18/2004 6:26:13 PM PDT · by wjersey · 12 replies · 129+ views
    Washington Times ^ | 5/18/2004 | Tom Ramstack
    <p>Employers, insurance companies, consumers and the government would foot the bill for the financial benefits that homosexuals would gain if same-sex "marriage" is legalized nationally. Insurance and tax costs would drop for the partners, while spousal benefits would increase. A General Accounting Office report lists 1,138 federal laws in which marital status conveys benefits, rights or privileges. The benefits include Social Security, disability payments, food stamps, Medicare and welfare. "Won't this just break the bank?" said Rep. Spencer Bachus, Alabama Republican, during a House Judiciary Constitution subcommittee hearing last week on same-sex "marriage." Health care and retirement benefits for domestic partners of federal employees would cost the government about $1.4 billion from 2004 to 2013, according to a Congressional Budget Office report that was cited by Mr. Bachus. Like President Bush, he supports a proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The exact cost to the government if same-sex "marriage" benefits were extended nationally has not been tallied, although government officials say it would be high. "It would undoubtedly have a significant impact on the budget through lower revenues and higher spending," White House spokesman Trent Duffy said. Massachusetts yesterday began allowing same-sex "marriages," and other states are considering it. However, only the federal government can decide who can file joint tax returns, receive Social Security or get other federal benefits. "For tax purposes, it doesn't matter what the states rule," said Tara Bradshaw, spokeswoman for the Treasury Department. Many unmarried homosexual couples pay significantly more in federal and state taxes than their married counterparts, according to a National Gay and Lesbian Task Force report released last month. The report profiled a homosexual couple that paid $1,929, or 25 percent, more per year in state and federal taxes than a heterosexual couple earning the same amount. The homosexual couple could not file a joint tax return. As with opposite-sex couples, the sliding scale of tax rates would create the biggest advantage of a joint return for same-sex "married" couples with greatly different incomes. Equal incomes would create no advantage for a joint return. Greater financial advantages also would come from insurance and Social Security benefits, which married people can receive when their spouses are sick, injured or die. Insurance companies interpret their obligations to same-sex domestic partners differently. In California, Kaiser Permanente, a health care provider, said it would provide same-sex partner benefits until the state Supreme Court rules otherwise. However, State Farm Insurance, the auto and home insurance company, said it would provide same-sex partner benefits in California, only if the state Supreme Court gives legal recognition to homosexual "marriages" this summer. Nevertheless, many employers are granting domestic-partner benefits, such as health insurance, as an incentive. "By itself, that's a big advantage, because an individual can rarely find the same kind of health insurance deal offered by a big company," said Jackie Perlman, senior tax research analyst for H&R Block. Currently, employees who receive the benefits for domestic partners pay taxes on them. Legalized "marriage" for same-sex couples would eliminate the tax. Any higher costs for employers would be passed on to consumers as higher prices for products and services. The costs for employers would include more expensive insurance as insurers raise rates to cover the new beneficiaries and protect their bottom lines. "If the law required that such benefits be paid, then rates would be adjusted accordingly and insurers would suffer no net loss," said Bob Hartwig, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade organization of the insurance industry. A limit on costs is naturally imposed by the number of homosexual couples. The Census Bureau estimates 594,000 homosexual couples live together, compared with 57.9 million heterosexual married couples living together. In the past year, 36 more of the nation's 500 largest companies have offered domestic-partner benefits to same-sex couples, raising the total to 311, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual advocacy group based in Washington. They include Apple Computer, General Electric, UPS, Nike, Best Buy and Anheuser-Busch. The Institute of Management and Administration (IOMA), a human resources trade organization, says the costs are relatively small for employers. Same-sex partner benefits raise costs for employers by less than 2 percent, according to IOMA. Other federal taxes and benefits reserved for heterosexual married couples involve estates and gifts. Married couples can give each other gifts and their estates without paying taxes. Same-sex couples get no special tax break. "For marriage purposes, an estate is treated as a community," said Chris Sega, an estates and trusts lawyer with Washington law firm Venable. "In the absence of a marriage, when it passes from one to the other, it would be taxed. In a marriage, it would be taxed only when it's left the community." The Virginia Bureau of Insurance forbids state-based companies from offering domestic-partner health-insurance benefits to same-sex couples. Self-insured companies are exempted. In Maryland, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, opposes same sex "marriages," said spokeswoman Shareese DeLeaver. The issue has arisen in the Maryland General Assembly, but any legislation has been killed in committee, she said. Support for same-sex "marriage" in the District is weak. D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams is "very clear about not pursuing that at this time," said spokesman Tony Bullock, the mayor's spokesman. "There's too much political intensity right now." The city allows same-sex couples to apply for a certificate of domestic partnership. If they are city employees, they can receive family health care benefits for their partners. In addition, the D.C. Council is considering recognizing same-sex "marriages" from other states.</p>

    05/18/2004 4:17:24 PM PDT · by swilhelm73 · 2 replies · 155+ views
    NRO - The Corner ^ | 5/18/04 | Ramesh Ponnuru
    THAT VIRGINIA LAW [Ramesh Ponnuru] A while ago, I said I would look into a bill underlying a dispute between Jonah and Andrew Sullivan. The latter said that Virginia had passed a law that made it impossible for gay couples to make certain contractual arrangements. He said that conservatives should denounce the bill, especially since many conservatives had suggested the use of contracts as a substitute for the practical benefits of same-sex marriage. Here’s the Virginia law in question: “A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations...
  • Support for Gay Marriage/Civil Unions Edges Upward

    05/17/2004 3:11:06 PM PDT · by RWR8189 · 9 replies · 240+ views
    Gallup News Service ^ | May 17, 2004 | David W. Moore and Joseph Carroll
    Public remains divided on constitutional amendment to ban gay marriagePRINCETON, NJ -- Same-sex marriages have been cleared to become legal Monday in Massachusetts after a federal judge last week refused a challenge to the Massachusetts court ruling that granted same-sex couples the right to marry. A recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey finds a modest increase in the number of Americans who support giving gay couples some of the legal rights that heterosexual couples enjoy. The public is about evenly divided on a law that would establish gay civil unions with some of the same rights that marriages have, and it remains...
  • Freedom to Marry, and to Spend on It

    05/15/2004 6:58:16 PM PDT · by NYC GOP Chick · 7 replies · 193+ views
    New York Times ^ | 5.16.2004 | Julie Flaherty
    Freedom to Marry, and to Spend on ItBy JULIE FLAHERTY OSTON — From a distance, there is nothing obviously gay about the advertisement from Shreve, Crump & Low, the storied Boston jewelry store founded in the days of Paul Revere. The design, a selection of Furrer-Jacot wedding bands resting on a wedding invitation, is traditional. The placement of the rings, priced from $750 to $15,000, on the invitation, obscures just who is getting married. The tag line, however, makes the sentiment unmistakable: "This is love. It's not up for a vote."Now that Massachusetts has become the first state in the...
  • Four same-sex couples file suit in Miami challenging federal gay marriage ban

    05/14/2004 11:42:50 AM PDT · by NYer · 18 replies · 138+ views
    Sun Sentinel ^ | May 12, 2004 | CATHERINE WILSON
    MIAMI -- Two sign-language interpreters, the entertainer ``Fluffy,'' two women with medical backgrounds and a gay couple together for 12 years gathered on the courthouse steps Wednesday to be the first to challenge an 8-year-old federal law banning gay marriage. Tired of waiting for approval from the government or gay rights groups, the four gay and lesbian couples filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which became model legislation for 38 states. The law defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman and allows states to refuse to recognize gay...
  • Provincetown To Grant Licenses To Out-Of-State Couples

    05/11/2004 6:36:19 AM PDT · by Know your rights · 8 replies · 232+ views
    WCVB-TV (MA) ^ | May 11, 2004
    PROVINCETOWN, Mass. -- Out-of-state gay couples will be able to get marriage licenses in Provincetown. The Cape Cod town's board of selectmen voted unanimously Monday to give licenses to nonresident couples, even if they have no intention of living in Massachusetts. Gov. Mitt Romney immediately issued a statement saying those marriages would be considered null and void. He also said his office will pursue "appropriate enforcement action" against clerks who defy state law. Romney previously said that a 1913 state law bars out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts, unless they have immediate plans to move here. The Provincetown decision...
  • Proposal to Leave Weddings to Churches

    04/26/2004 8:04:37 AM PDT · by The kings dead · 58 replies · 163+ views
    NPR ^ | April 25, 2004
    A proposal is put forth in Massachusetts that would take the state out of the marriage business altogether. Couples, of any sexual orientation, could receive civil unions from the state, but actual marriage would be left to religious institutions. NPR's Tovia Smith reports. [audio file]
  • All have right to civil marriage [NZ--BARF ALERT]

    04/23/2004 1:20:11 PM PDT · by MegaSilver · 14 replies · 205+ views
    The Barnstable Patriot ^ | 23 April 2004 | Lauren Green
    Surely we as a people have the capacity to recognize the inherent value of each of our citizens. Surely we must be able to acknowledge that every citizen is indeed created equal. Is there anyone out there that would take issue with these most basic of concepts? We are challenged these days with matters of equality as it relates to those in our communities, our neighborhoods, or the next desk over at work or school who identifies as gay or lesbian. Surely we can recognize that it is not our job to judge another's personal behavior lest we be willing...
  • Same-Sex 'Marriage' on Fast Track in California, in Limbo in Massachusetts

    04/22/2004 3:52:19 AM PDT · by truthandlife · 10 replies · 124+ views
    Agape Press ^ | 4-22-04 | Fred Jackson, Jody Brown, Bill Fancher, and Allie Martin
    The State of California has taken a major step toward legalizing homosexual "marriage." On Tuesday, the State Assembly Judiciary Committee voted to approve Assembly Bill 1967, legislation that would change California's definition of marriage in the state's Family Code from "a man and a woman" to "two persons." The vote was split along party lines with the eight Democrats voting in favor of the bill and the three Republicans rejecting it. The bill was introduced in February by Mark Leno, a homosexual assembly member from San Francisco. Pro-family groups are expressing outrage over the decision. Karen England of the Capitol...
  • Key ruling on gay marriage:Oregon county judge requires recognition of existing licenses

    04/21/2004 8:55:24 PM PDT · by writer33 · 5 replies · 102+ views
    Spokesman Review ^ | 04/21/2004 | Associated Press
    PORTLAND, Ore. _ A judge told Multnomah County to stop issuing gay marriage licenses Tuesday, but he handed gay couples a historic victory by ordering Oregon to recognize the 3,000 licenses already granted in the county. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Frank Bearden's decision marked the first time in the nation a judge has recognized gay marriage. An immediate appeal of the ruling was expected. "These are the first legally recognized gay marriages in the country," said Dave Fidanque, the ACLU's executive director in Oregon. "In no other same-sex marriages that have taken place has there been a court order saying...
  • Gay Couples Planning Marriage Get Health Screenings

    04/21/2004 10:25:28 AM PDT · by george wythe · 12 replies · 124+ views
    Dozens of same-sex couples in Massachusetts who are planning to get married next month have begun the process of completing state-required health screenings. Massachusetts law requires that people planning to get married obtain a blood test for syphilis and receive HIV counseling, but those procedures can't be done more than 30 days prior to filing out a marriage application. Tuesday was the first day health clinics could provide the service to same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage will become legal in Massachusetts on May 17, following a ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court in November. The Boston Globe reported that the Fenway...
  • Judge rules gay marriage legal in Oregon [but stops rogue issuance of licenses]

    04/20/2004 2:14:27 PM PDT · by AntiGuv · 40 replies · 203+ views
    Associated Press ^ | April 20, 2004 | William McCall
    A judge on Tuesday ordered Multnomah County to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Frank Bearden said that he believes the Oregon constitution, "would allow either a civil union or (marriage) privileges to same-sex couples." Bearden said that a Supreme Court ruling is needed to determine whether gay marriage should be allowed in the state. He also said, "public debate and legislative action may be required to carry out the court's mandate." His action effectively ends gay marriage nationally, because Multnomah County was the only jurisdiction known to allow it until May 17,...

    04/20/2004 12:43:59 PM PDT · by Exton1 · 32 replies · 307+ views
    HOMOSEXUAL "MARRIAGE" BILL PASSES CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE Thomasson: "AB 1967 is corrupt and any legislator who votes for AB 1967 is corrupt too" CAMPAIGN FOR CALIFORNIA FAMILIES (CCF) Randy Thomasson, Executive Director April 20, 2004 12 noon PST Today, at an early morning hearing at the State Capitol in Sacramento, the Assembly Judiciary Committee passed AB 1967, which would create full-blown homosexual "marriage" and reject 4.6 million Californians who voted for Proposition 22, the Protection of Marriage Initiative, just four years ago. AB 1967 advances to the Appropriations Committee. The vote in the Democrat-controlled committee was 8 to 3...
  • Federal Marriage Amendment dead? Activists urge Americans to ask Congress to move on bill

    04/20/2004 12:42:16 PM PDT · by pookie18 · 90+ views
    WND ^ | 4/20/04 | WND
    Fearing the Federal Marriage Amendment defining the institution as between one man and one woman may die in committee, traditional-values activists are urging their constituents to contract their members of Congress and U.S. senators and urge them to act on the proposal. "My friends, we are at a crisis moment on Capitol Hill on the marriage issue. Many members of Congress report they are hearing more from the pro-homosexual marriage crowd than they are hearing from those of us who believe marriage should remain between a man and a woman," wrote Gary Bauer of American Values. After homosexual "marriage" was...
  • Why Are Libertarians for Gay Marriage?

    04/16/2004 4:26:17 PM PDT · by gobucks · 97 replies · 224+ views
    The Hoosier Review ^ | April 6th, 2004 | Zach Wendling
    Gay marriage is unquestionably one of the hottest battles in the culture wars. Several recent developments have brought it to the fore after simmering on the backburner for years: the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Lawrence v. Texas, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling that the Commonwealth is required by their constitution to recognize gay marriages, the renegade actions in several municipalities to recognize gay marriages against State laws (San Francisco being the first and most prominent among these), and President Bush’s call for an amendment to the Constitution to ban gay marriages. No doubt this issue will continue to...
  • Gay Marriage - Two quiet ministers at intersection of church and state

    04/16/2004 9:19:38 AM PDT · by NYer · 5 replies · 141+ views
    AP Wire (direct feed) | April 16, 2004 | Michael Hill
    POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) _ They speak softly. One quotes Camus from the pulpit, the other cites Tolkien. They are in their 60s. One is straight, the other gay. Unitarian Universalist ministers Dawn Sangrey and Kay Greenleaf might seem like unlikely symbols in the fight over gay marriage. Yet criminal charges against the ministers for marrying gay couples in New Paltz last month place the two quiet women in the middle of the clamorous debate in a way they never quite intended. ``I said to myself, `What are they going to do to two little old lady ministers?''' Greenleaf recalled. The...