Gay Primary Source

Saturday, March 29, 2014

British PM Lauds First UK Same-Sex Marriages

"This weekend is an important moment for our country. For the first time, the couples getting married won’t just include men and women - but men and men; and women and women. After all the campaigning - not least by readers of PinkNews - we will at last have equal marriage in our country. Put simply, in Britain it will no longer matter whether you are straight or gay – the State will recognise your relationship as equal.
This is something that has been very important to me. I have been so lucky to find the most incredible lifelong partner in Sam and our marriage has been a very special part of the commitment we have made to each other. Of course any marriage takes work, requires patience and understanding, give and take - but what it gives back in terms of love, support, stability and happiness is immeasurable. That is not something that the State should ever deny someone on the basis of their sexuality. When people’s love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change.

The introduction of same-sex civil marriage says something about the sort of country we are. It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth. It also sends a powerful message to young people growing up who are uncertain about their sexuality. It clearly says ‘you are equal’ whether straight or gay. That is so important in trying to create an environment where people are no longer bullied because of their sexuality - and where they can realise their potential, whether as a great mathematician like Alan Turing, a star of stage and screen like Sir Ian McKellen or a wonderful journalist and presenter like Clare Balding.

... We are a nation that is growing stronger economically because of our long term economic plan. But I hope we can also be a country that is growing stronger socially because we value love and commitment equally. Let us raise a toast to that - and all those getting married this weekend."

British Prime Minister David Cameron, March 28, 2014; from his article in Pink News.


Feds Recognize Michigan Marriages

“I have determined that the same-sex marriages performed last Saturday in Michigan will be recognized by the federal government. These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages. The Governor of Michigan has made clear that the marriages that took place on Saturday were lawful and valid when entered into, although Michigan will not extend state rights and benefits tied to these marriages pending further legal proceedings. For purposes of federal law, as I announced in January with respect to similarly situated same-sex couples in Utah, these Michigan couples will not be asked to wait for further resolution in the courts before they may seek federal benefits to which they are entitled.

Last June’s decision by the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor was a victory for equal protection under the law and a historic step toward equality for all American families. The Department of Justice continues to work with its federal partners to implement this decision across the government.  And we will remain steadfast in our commitment to realizing our country’s founding ideals of equality, opportunity, and justice for all.”

US Attorney General Eric Holder, March 28, 2014.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Federal Court Strikes Down Ban on Same-Sex Marriage in Michigan

"Plaintiffs April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse (“plaintiffs”) challenge a November 2004 voter-approved amendment to the Michigan Constitution that prohibits same-sex marriage (hereinafter the “Michigan Marriage Amendment” or “MMA”), Mich. Const. Art. I, § 25. The Michigan Marriage Amendment states: “To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.” Plaintiffs maintain that the MMA violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and they seek to enjoin state and county officials from enforcing the provision and its implementing statutes.

After reviewing the evidence presented at the trial, including the testimony of various expert witnesses, the exhibits, and stipulations, and after considering all of the legal issues involved, the Court concludes that the MMA is unconstitutional and will enjoin its enforcement...

... The Court finds that the MMA impermissibly discriminates against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause because the provision does not advance any conceivable legitimate state interest...

... the Court rejects the “optimal environment” justification because that goal is simply not advanced by prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying. As Gates testified, there are thousands of same-sex couples currently raising thousands of children in Michigan, and these numbers have steadily increased over the past 20 years. Prohibiting gays and lesbians from marrying does not stop them from forming families and raising children. Nor does prohibiting same-sex marriage increase the number of heterosexual marriages or the number of children raised by heterosexual parents. There is, in short, no logical connection between banning same-sex marriage and providing children with an “optimal environment” or achieving “optimal outcomes.”...

... Many Michigan residents have religious convictions whose principles govern the conduct of their daily lives and inform their own viewpoints about marriage. Nonetheless, these views cannot strip other citizens of the guarantees of equal protection under the law. The same Constitution that protects the free exercise of one’s faith in deciding whether to solemnize certain marriages rather than others, is the same Constitution that prevents the state from either mandating adherence to an established religion, U.S. Const. amend I, or “enforcing private moral or religious beliefs without an accompanying secular purpose.” Perry, 704 F. Supp. 2d at 930-931 (citing Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 571 (2003)). As a result, tradition and morality are not rational bases for the MMA...

... Further, the Court rejects the contention that Michigan’s traditional definition of marriage possesses a heightened air of legitimacy because it was approved by voter referendum. The popular origin of the MMA does nothing to insulate the provision from constitutional scrutiny...

... In attempting to define this case as a challenge to “the will of the people,” Tr. 2/25/14 p.40, state defendants lost sight of what this case is truly about: people. No court record of this proceeding could ever fully convey the personal sacrifice of these two plaintiffs who seek to ensure that the state may no longer impair the rights of their children and the thousands of others now being raised by same-sex couples. It is the Court’s fervent hope that these children will grow up “to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.” Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2694. Today’s decision is a step in that direction, and affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail.

Accordingly    IT IS HEREBY DECLARED that Article I, § 25 of the Michigan Constitution and its implementing statutes are unconstitutional because they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

Senior Judge Bernard A. Friedman, US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, March 21, 2014.

  click here to read entire decision 


Monday, March 3, 2014

Academy Award Winner Jared Leto

"... This is for the 36 million brave souls who lost their lives to AIDS. And to anyone who ever felt injustice because of who they are or who they love. Tonight, I stand before the world, with you and for you."

Jared Leto Accepts Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the movie Dallas Buyers Club, March 2, 2014.

    click here to read entire speech and watch the video of it