Monday, July 26, 2010

NEWS: Marriage Equality Edition

"Basic Rights Oregon" Sets Out to Change Minds on Gay Marriage
If you live in Oregon and oppose same-sex marriage, gay-rights supporters will be trying to change your mind -- and ultimately reverse a state ban on gay marriage -- with a three-week advertising campaign. Basic Rights Oregon, the state's largest gay-rights group, last week began airing 30-second ads on various cable television stations covering Ashland, Cottage Grove, Florence, Eugene, Corvallis, Albany and Coos, Clatsop and Washington counties. The ads are expected to cost several hundred thousand dollars and reach about 300,000 people.

Gay Marriage Opponents Running on Empty
What would happen if you planned an elaborate bus tour through 20 cities over the summer in an effort to stop the legalization of gay marriage, and no one showed up? Ask the folks at the National Organization for Marriage—because they know. So far, the group's “One Man, One Woman” Summer for Marriage Tour 2010 has drawn tens of people at each stop. Freedom to Marry is shadowing the NOM bus tour with a tour of its own, but instead of organizing the protest rallies, the group is using its time to organize activists. During a stop in Maryland last week FtM’s managing director, Scott Davenport, met with Equality Maryland to help it raise money to introduce a marriage equality bill in the next legislative session. READ MORE

British Man Wins French Civil Partnership Tax Victory
A French court has ordered that a British man should be returned more than £30,000 he paid to tax authorities after inheriting a home from his civil partner. Jerry Lea shared the holiday home in Loir-et-Cher with partner Geoff Page, who owned the property. When Mr Page died in 2008, he left the home to Mr Lea but at that time, France did not recognise British civil partnerships and Mr Lea was faced with paying 60 per cent inheritance tax, or £98,000 in total. READ MORE

'Kill Gay Couples': National Organization for Marriage

A National Organization for Marriage supporter offered up a solution for gay marriage at an antigay rally in Indianapolis: putting gay couples to death. A supporter brought to NOM’s “One Man, One Woman bus tour stop in Indianapolis. The sign states the NOM supporter's name and address: Larry Adams, from Cross Bearer Ministry in Indianapolis. READ MORE

Lesbian Couple Told by Swedish Bank to 'Live Apart'
A Swedish lesbian couple who tried to get a mortgage say they were shocked to be told by a bank clerk that they should reconsider their relationship and live apart. Sara Evaldsson, 29, and Maria Engström, 31, decided to move in together after living 100 miles apart and found a two-bedroom property in Västerås. The couple believed they had got a bargain price for the new home and were confident of securing a mortgage, as both were in employment and had good credit ratings. The couple, who said they were "shocked" by the clerk's remark, have reported her to Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman. They then obtained a mortgage from rival bank Nordea and since renovating the apartment, have had it valued at 800,000 kronor. READ MORE

New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects Gay Marriage Case
The New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to hear a case from six same-sex couples seeking the right to marry, saying the case needs to wind its way through the lower courts first. Gay couples unsuccessfully sued New Jersey four years ago for the right to marry. They claim that by creating civil unions, the state has not fulfilled a court order to treat them the same as heterosexual couples seeking to marry. The Supreme Court said Monday that it cannot consider whether the civil union law provides equal rights to gay couples until there is a trial record. The justices were split 3-3, one vote shy of the four needed for the motion to be granted. (AP)