marriage equality

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In New Zealand, same-gender couples begin celebrating wedded bliss

PONSONBY, New Zealand -- The big day is here - it is now legal for same-sex couples to get married.

And there are many lining up to finally tie the knot, with almost 1,000 marriage forms downloaded, four couples racing to be the very first and 31 ceremonies around the country.

One of the first same-sex couples to be married in New Zealand arrived to a huge welcome at the Unitarian Church in Ponsonby this morning.

Natasha Vitali, 37, and Melissa Ray, 29, arrived at the church about 8:15 am where a large, colorful crowd had gathered.

The quiet gay-rights revolution in America's churches

For most gay Americans in the 20th century, the church was a place of pain. It cast them out and called them evil. It cleaved them from their families. It condemned their love and denied their souls. In 2004, a president was elected when religious voters surged from their pews to vote against the legal recognition of gay relationships. When it came to gay rights, religion was the enemy.

New Jersey court hears argument in major post-DOMA case

TRENTON, N.J. — Today, in one of the first major courtroom tests since the demise of Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Lambda Legal presented oral argument on a motion for summary judgment before the New Jersey Superior Court in a case seeking marriage equality on behalf of Garden State Equality, New Jersey's statewide LGBT advocacy organization, and six same-sex couples who seek the freedom to marry, as well as their children.

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Professional boxer Orlando Cruz proposes to longtime boyfriend

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz has proposed to his longtime boyfriend, José Manuel, via a video he posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

Manuel said yes, also via a Facebook video. No wedding date was announced, though.

Both videos were viewed by various media outlets, but not long afterward, both videos were either removed or made private.

Cruz came out publicly in October 2012, making history as the first known professional boxer to be competing as an openly gay man.

California Supreme Court lets Prop 8 ruling stand

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court today decided not to take up the Proposition 8 case, a "Hail Mary" bid by anti-gay forces to stop same-gender marriage in the Golden State.

The state's high court decision likely ends all legal challenges to Prop 8.

The decision elated Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

"Prop 8 is dead and never coming back," Griffin said.

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Heart & Soul: Choosing to navigate a two-way street

It’s pretty exciting to see marriage equality in so many U.S. states.

It wasn’t very long ago that the possibly of walking down the aisle with our same-gender partner seemed like a dream that might or might not come true in the distant future, or even in our lifetime.

We remember what it felt like for people to refuse to consider our side of the conversation, to treat us with disrespect and completely ignore our opinions and desires.

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Submariner celebrates homecoming by proposing to his boyfriend

GROTON, Conn. -- After six months aboard the USS New Mexico (SSN 779), MM2 Jerrel Revels stepped onto Pier 31 at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton Monday afternoon, took to one knee, and proposed to his partner, Dylan Kirchner.

The proposal comes two years after the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" — the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members passed in 1993.

Revels, originally from Texas, met Kirchner, of Plainfield, through mutual friends last September.

Study: Many evangelicals are ambivalent about homosexuality and civil unions for gays

NEW YORK CITY — Tolerance toward gays and lesbians is growing within the evangelical community — long a stronghold against homosexuality — with many expressing ambivalent views about the issue, according to a Baylor University study.

The emerging voice of the so-called "Messy Middle" — evangelicals who oppose homosexuality on moral grounds but support equal rights such as civil unions for gays — has strong implications for the gay marriage debate, say Baylor researchers, who will present their paper at the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Congresswoman Susan Davis to host marriage equality town hall

SAN DIEGO – Congresswoman Susan Davis and the San Diego LGBT Community Center are hosting a Marriage Equality Town Hall to address the issue of federal benefits and taxes for same-sex marriages on Tuesday, Aug. 27 from 6-8 pm.

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Pink proposes on behalf of lesbian fan | VIDEO

SYDNEY, Australia – Pink played Cupid during her concert Wednesday night at the Entertainment Centre in Sydney, stopping her show and inviting a woman in the audience named Shirley to join her on stage.

The fan had persuaded Pink to play a role in her proposal plans.

“Where is she?” Pink asked Shirley. “Hey Courtney, will you marry Shirley?”

Courtney said yes.

Pink is an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights, and recently said she is flattered when people falsely call her a lesbian.

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