January 27th, 2013
It’s getting marriagey all over the place. And it’s also getting hard to keep track of what is going on where. So here is an update to help (which will almost certainly be outdated by the time I hit “publish”).
Netherlands – marriage has been equaul since 2001. The first legally recognized same-sex marriages in the modern world took place here.
Belgium – marriage has been equal since 2003.
Spain – marriage has been equal since 2005.
Norway – marriage has been equal since 2009.
Sweden – marriage has been equal since 2009.
Portugal – marriage has been equal since 2010.
Iceland – marriage has been equal since 2010.
Denmark – marriage has been equal since 2012.
In addition, a number of nations offer various levels of couple recognition, several of which are in flux.
England and Wales – Since 2004 the United Kingdom has had “civil partnerships”. In a move that is reversed from that of many countries, while civil recognition is allowed, religious officiation has been banned. In fact, religious symbols, readings and music are prohibited and until 2010 they could not take place in a religious venue.
Before David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010, he set about changing the Conservative Party’s position on gay issues, including promoting gay MP candidates, apologizing for anti-gay Section 28, and even promoting gay tolerance to the US’s Republican Party. Yet still it surprised many when in the fall of 2011 he announced that he strongly supports equality and the government introduced the process of bringing a marriage bill. After a lenthly review process and public input, the marriage bill has been introduced and will be brought for vote on February 5th. While the Tory party is split (and Cameron is allowing a “conscience” vote), Labour favors the bill and it should sail to law.
In an odd twist, churches may opt-in and conduct religious ceremonies – with one exception. Because the Church of England and the Church of Wales are official state churches, parliament weighs in on doctrinal and procedural change. So those churches are excluded from opting-in on marriage and Anglican ministers are forbidden to participate until parliament votes to lift the ban. Althouth the Anglican Church had whined for a year about Teh Ghey, the Archbishop of Wales was not happy by being told that they didn’t have a choice. Nevertheless, Quakers and Reformed Jews are delighted.
Scotland – in a procedure separate but mirroring that in England, Scotland’s government announced in July 2012 that it would bring a marriage bill. Plans were laid out last month, but in a departure from England and Wales, in Scotland no church will be banned from participation (the Church of Scotland, though emotionally associated, is Presbyterian and not a state church; the state has no say in its theology.) Drafting of language will last until March when a bill will be introduced.
France – since 1999, France has offered same-sex couples Pacte civil de solidarité (PACS), Europe’s weakest form of recognition. Efforts for greater recognition have been rebuffed.
However, during his campaign, Socialist candidate FranÃ§ois Hollande promised support for marriage and, after his May 2012 election he made good on his promise. In early November, a bill was presented to allow for marriage equality and to allow same-sex couple adoption.
France, though long thought to be a rather secular nation, is nominally Catholic. But that nominalism was put to the test in the past few months as a fierce campaign by the Catholic Church has resulted in nationwide protests, including a street protest in Paris of hundreds of thousands. A somewhat smaller – but still a quarter of a million people – poured into the streets today to counter-protest in support of equality.
The legislature will vote this Tuesday on this bill.
Poland – on Friday, the legislature rejected three bills that would have given recognition to same-sex couples. The weakest of these, a bill similar to France’s PACS, failed 228 to 211. While a setback, the closeness of the vote holds hope for future efforts.
Luxembourg – the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the tiny nation between Germany, France, and Switzerland, has long had colic unions. However, the Prime Minister has announced that marriage equality will be a priority in the next
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.