Philippines President Opposes Same-Sex Marriage and Favors Civil Unions. President Rodrigo Duterte has stated his position on legalizing same-sex marriage. According to a recent survey, a majority of Filipinos are also against legalizing same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Conservative Professor Wrongfully Fired. The court found that Marquette University violated the academic-freedom clause in the contract of professor John McAdams when it fired him over a 2014 blog post accusing a graduate student of refusing to allow undergraduates to express opposition to same-sex marriage during her class. Read more here.
Bermuda to Appeal Supreme Court’s Reversal of Ban on Same-Sex Marriage. The government has started proceedings against Chief Justice Ian Kawaley’s ruling to declare parts of the newly introduced Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) invalid. Justice Kawaley ruled in favor of a same-sex couple but gave the government six weeks to appeal his decision. Read more here.
Study Finds Marriage Tied to Lower Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes. The meta-analysis of 34 previous studies involving more than two million people and published in the journal Heart found that individuals who are married may be less likely to develop cardiovascular disease or die from a heart attack or stroke than individuals who aren’t married. Read more here.
U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case of Florist Who Wouldn’t Serve Same-Sex Wedding. The owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington was sued by the state and a male couple in 2013 for refusing to do the flowers for the couple’s wedding because it violated her religious convictions. The Supreme Court said that the ruling against the owner in the lower courts must be reconsidered in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in favor of a Christian baker from Colorado in a similar case. Read more here.
Czech Government Backs Bill on Same-Sex Marriage. The Czech Republic has allowed same-sex couples to enter registered partnerships since 2006. The bill would make the country the first in formerly communist Europe to allow same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Polygamy Banned in Turkmenistan. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow has signed a decree that amends the Family Code and adds the provision “Polygamy is not permitted in Turkmenistan” to Article 7. Polygamy is defined in the code as “cohabitation with two or several women simultaneously while maintaining a common household.” Read more here.
Government of Philippines Not Yet Ready for Same-Sex Marriage. The Supreme Court has begun holding oral arguments for a petition to legalize it in the country. A spokesperson for the administration said, “There is a right time for these kind of issues. I believe that the Supreme Court and the country are not yet ready for same-sex marriage.” Read more here.
Pope Francis Says the Only True Family is That of a Man and a Woman. In remarks to a delegation of Italy’s Forum of Family Associations, Pope Francis denounced the use of the word “family” to refer to unions that do not consist of a man and a woman. Read more here.
Bermuda Supreme Court Reserves Judgement on Same-Sex Marriage Case. Last year the court ruled in favor of a same-sex couple that sued for the right to marry. Parliament later passed a law that banned same-sex marriage but allowed domestic partnerships. Read more here.
Italian Court Rules Same-Sex Marriages Performed Abroad Will not be Recognized.The Court of Cassation ruled that Italian citizens must register their partnerships as civil unions. The court noted that civil unions provide most of the same legal protections as marriage and therefore could not be considered discrimination. Read more here.
Northern Ireland Same-Sex Marriage Bill Blocked. The bill was introduced for its second reading at the House of Commons. A conservative MP objected, and the bill was re-listed for a date in October. Read more here.
Greece Allows Same-Sex Couples to Foster Children. Legislation was passed that will allow same-sex couples to become guardians of orphaned children. Same-sex couples must be in a civil partnership. Adoption by same-sex couples is allowed in at least 12 European Union member states including France, Portugal and Spain. Read more here.
Report Finds More Unmarried Parents Living Together With Their Children in the U.S. The report published by the Pew Research Center found that 35 percent of all unmarried parents are now living together, up from 20 percent of unmarried parents in 1997. Read more here.
Indian Supreme Court Rules Adults Can Live Together Without Marriage. The court ruled that even if adults have not attained marriageable age they can legally live together. Read more here.
U.S. Episcopal Church Deletes “Husband” and “Wife” From Marriage Liturgy.Phrases related to “procreation” will also be deleted. Homosexual Episcopalians have complained that the current liturgy is exclusionary. Read more here.
Survey Finds Support for Same-Sex Marriage Increasing in the U.S. According to the American Values Atlas conducted by Public Religion Research Institute support for same-sex relationships is rising sharply among all major ethnic and racial groups and most religious groups. More than 40,000 Americans were surveyed. Read more here.
President of Ghana Says There Will be No Same-Sex Marriage During His Administration. Responding to comments that he was in favor of same-sex marriage, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo emphasized that he is not in support of its legalization. Read more here.
U.S. 2020 Census Will Ask About Same-Sex Marriages for the First Time. The census form will include separate categories for “opposite-sex” and “same-sex” spouses and unmarried partners. The purpose of the new wording is to prevent misreporting. Read more here.
Romania’s Ruling Party Hopes to Rally One Million People Against Same-Sex Marriage. The PSD party will stage a rally in May in support of traditional marriage and the family. Three million citizens previously signed a petition in support of amending the country’s constitution to define marriage as between and man and a woman. Read more here.
Utah Legislation Promotes Premarital Education. The law provides a $20 discount on the cost of a marriage license for couples who participate in premarital education. The incentive is intended to promote family stability. Read more here.
Peruvian Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage. The Superior Court of Lima reversed a previous court of appeals ruling and stated that the couple failed to respect the delays imposed by the law for the initial appeal. The same-sex couple was legally married in Mexico and filed a lawsuit to have the marriage legally registered in Peru. Read more here.
Northern Ireland House of Lords Passes Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage.Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is still prohibited. Currently, same-sex marriage is illegal, and marriages carried out in other countries are not recognized in Northern Ireland. Read more here.
Proposed Change to Divorce Law in Denmark. Currently, Danish couples seeking to divorce can do so online for a nominal fee. The Ministry of Social Affairs has proposed new rules that will require couples to have a three-month “reflection period” during which they will have access to counseling. Read more here.
Government Minister Says No Same-Sex Marriages will be Allowed in Barbados. The Minister of Social Care and Community Development said that while he was tolerant of the LGBTI community, the government would not cave to their demands for legalized same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Colonel Stripped of Command for Refusing to “Appreciate” Retiree’s Same-Sex Spouse Wins Appeal. U.S. Air Force combat pilot Col. Leland Bohannon, who was also denied a promotion opportunity, has won an appeal affirming religious liberty. Read more here.
Marriage and Birth Rates Fall in Korea. Young Koreans are increasingly shunning marriage, and as a result, the country’s birthrate is one of the lowest in the world. Experts say that youth unemployment and the economic burden of marriage are contributing to the decline. Read more here.
Bermuda Same-Sex Marriage Ban Challenge to be Heard in May. The government banned same-sex marriage nine months after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing it. Now a civil case has been brought against the government challenging the constitutionality of the law. Read more here.
Supreme Court of India Issues Ruling on Marriage that Could Lead to Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage. The court said that no one has the right interfere in a marriage between two consenting adults. Read more here.
Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Blocked by El Salvador Supreme Court.The ruling blocks lawmakers from ratifying the measure, which would define marriage in the country’s constitution as between a man and a woman and also ban adoption by same-sex couples. Read more here.
Catholic Marriage Counseling Agencies in Ireland Must Accept LGBT Clients or Lose Funding. The counseling service administered by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference received about €1.5 million during 2016. Read more here.
Same-Sex Marriage an Issue as Costa Ricans Choose a New President. The candidate who is in the lead according to the polls has come out against same-sex marriage and against the recent decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that called for equal-sex civil marriage rights. Read more here.
International Court Pushes Same-Sex Marriage on 20 Latin American Nations. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights called for the recognition of same-sex marriage and “gender identity” as a protected category for nondiscrimination under the American Convention on Human Rights. The decision is not binding, but 20 countries throughout the Americas have accepted the jurisdiction of the court and will likely be pressured to implement its decision. Read more here.
European Union Judge Rules Same-Sex Spouses Have Same Residency Rights as Straight Couples. The ruling was issued after an American man was denied residency in Romania after moving there with his husband. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Romania. Read more here.
Fewer Couples Married in Japan Last Year than Since the End of World War II.According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the number of people married in Japan has declined for the fifth straight year. The ministry says the decline is due to the decreasing number of young adults. Read more here.
Costa Rica’s First Same-Sex Marriage Blocked. A top Latin American human rights court ruled that countries in the region should legalize same-sex unions, but notaries are refusing to recognize the marriage between two men until the laws are officially changed. Read more here.
Australian Bill of Rights Likely Following Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage. Both sides of the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage agree that there is a need to address protection of rights, particularly religious rights, going forward. Compared to other democracies, Australia has comparativly few rights enshrined in its constitution. Read more here.
Philippine Government Officials Believe Civil Unions are Currently More Appropriate than Same-Sex Marriage. Philippine President Duterte recently expressed support for same-sex marriage; however, other supporting lawmakers believe that legal civil partnership is more feasible than same-sex marriage. The first transgender Filipino Representative, Geraldine Roman, stated that while same-sex marriage is the ultimate goal, lawmakers should first attain what is most reasonable. Read more here.
Study Finds that Married Couples Report a Higher Level of Happiness. According to the British Household Panel Survey, long term data show that married people have a higher level of happiness and well-being. According to data gleaned from two UK surveys, researchers have found that the level of contentment is even higher when people think of their spouse as their best friend. Read more here.
Activists in Ireland are Appealing to Higher Courts to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. Same-sex marriage advocates in Ireland are taking the fight to the Northern Ireland Court of Appeals. Despite the fact that civil partnership, which was seen as the first step became legal 12 years ago, same-sex marriage supporters have seen very little movement. Read more here.
Austria Votes to Allow Same-Sex Marriage. Starting in 2019, same-sex couples in Austria will be allowed to marry as the result of a Supreme Court ruling that declared a law defining marriage as only between a man and a woman as a violation of the principles of non-discrimination. The legal team representing the plaintiff claims that Austria is the first country to recognize marriage equality as a human right rather than a political move. Read more here.
Australia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. Australian lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage and became the 26th country to do so. Weddings can take place starting in January, 2018, and those same-sex couples whose marriages took place overseas will automatically have their unions recognized under the new Australian law. Read more here.
Bermuda Government Halts Homosexual Marriages. Same-sex marriage had been legal in the country since a Supreme Court justice ordered the government to allow them earlier this year. The action comes after a bill providing for domestic partnerships for homosexuals was passed by the House of Assembly. Same-sex marriages already performed in the country will still be recognized as legal. Read more here.
Federal Judge Denies Trump Administration Appeal to Stay Order Requiring Military to Allow Transgender Recruits. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly had issued the order that the military begin processing transgender recruits January 1 while the case filed against President Trump’s order not to allow transgenders to serve was being litigated. The military is preparing to comply, but the administration will appeal her refusal to stay her order. Read more here.
Lawsuit Could Force All EU Nations to Recognize Homosexual Marriage. The suit filed by two homosexuals married in Belgium, one of whom is Romanian, asks the European Court of Justice to order Romania to recognize their marriage and grant marriage benefits even though that country defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. If they prevail, it would affect all EU countries regardless of how they define marriage. Read more here.
Australian Homosexual Marriage Survey Sets Off Religious Freedom Debate. There is a growing debate over the implications for religious freedom in the country when same-sex marriage is legalized. Strong support for homosexual marriage among those who returned a nationwide postal survey makes it virtually certain that the country’s parliament will pass a law to legalize it. Read more here, and here.
Iceland Has the Highest Illegitimate Birthrate in the World. In the tiny country of just over 300,000 people, 67 percent of babies are born out of wedlock. Read more here.
Unmarried and Same-Sex Couples Can Now Adopt Children in Ireland. Couples who have been living together for at least three years or same-sex couples who are in a civil partnership can now adopt under the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017 signed by Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone. Read more here.
Australian High Court Gives Approval for Marriage Ballot. The High Court unanimously struck down the challenges to the same-sex marriage ballot, clearing the way for ballots to be mailed to voters. The results will be announced on November 15. Read more here.
Romania Closer to Referendum that Would Define Marriage as Between a Man and a Woman. The Chamber of Deputies adopted the citizens’ initiative, which was supported by three million signers. The Chamber has now adopted the draft amending the Referendum Law, which stipulates that a referendum must be held within 30 days from the time the revision of the Constitution is adopted by the Parliament. Read more here.
Study Finds Married Patients With Heart Disease Have Better Survival Rates. According to researchers at Aston Medical School in the UK, married people are more likely to survive a heart attack and survive with preventable cardiovascular risk factors than single, divorced, and widowed people. Read more here.
Israel’s Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage is Not a Right. The court rejected the Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association’s demand that the Jewish state recognize same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Doctors Accuse Australian Medical Association of Misleading the Public on “Marriage Equality.” A group of doctors is urging the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to retract its “fatally flawed” position endorsing same-sex marriage. The group has issued a 15-page critique that identifies misleading and false claims. Read more here. Read the document here.
Survey Finds Australians’ Views on Same-Sex Marriage Have Shifted. The annual survey of the same 17,000 people found that 67 percent of women and 59 percent of men want to see same-sex marriage made legal in Australia. In 2005, it was 43 percent of women and 32 percent of men. Read more here.
UN Criticizes Australia for Refusing Same-Sex Divorce. The UN Human Rights Committee ruled that an Australian woman has been denied equal protection of the law because Australia does not allow her to end her legal, Canadian same-sex marriage. The committee said the decision was a violation of Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Read more here.
Law Professor Suggests Group Marriages on the Horizon. According to Professor Hadar Aviram of the University of California, marriages between multiple people could one day become a reality, even though they currently seem “unimaginable” like same-sex marriages once did. Read more here.
Same-Sex Marriage Legalized by Malta Parliament. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat promised to make this the first law brought before parliament in his new term. The law removes words including “husband,” “wife,” “mother,” and “father” from the Marriage Act and replaces them with “spouse,” “parent who gave birth,” and “parent who did not give birth.” Read more here.
UK Man Wins Pension Rights for Husband at Supreme Court. The court ruled unanimously in favor of a homosexual former cavalry officer who filed a lawsuit in an attempt to secure pension benefits for his spouse. Read more here.
Study Finds Divorced Adults Have an Increased Risk for Stroke. According to Danish researchers participating at the 3rd European Stroke Organization Conference, stroke rates, especially for divorced men, are higher than for married, single, or widowed people. Read more here.
Poll Finds Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage Changing in U.S. According to the Pew Research Center, support for same-sex marriage has steadily grown since it began polling in 2001. A majority of Americans, 62 percent, support same-sex marriage, while 32 percent oppose it. Read more here.
Armenia Now Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages Performed Abroad. According to the Family Code, marriages between Armenian citizens, those between Armenian citizens and foreigners, or stateless persons, which have been registered outside Armenia, are valid inside the country. Read more here.
Same-Sex Marriage Being Legalized Around the World. A growing number of countries have legalized same-sex marriage, and many more countries are considering whether to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. Read more here.
Legal Fight Continues Over Mississippi Same-Sex Marriage Law. Attorneys have asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to block the law that will allow government officials to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and would protect merchants who refuse services to LGBT people based on sincerely held religious beliefs. Read more here.
Study Finds Adults Raised by Single Mothers Experience Decreased Life Satisfaction. According to the study by the German Institute for Economic Research and published in Plos One, individuals who grew up with a single mother for their entire childhood or who experienced a parental separation showed a small but persistent decrease in life satisfaction into old age. Read more here.
Texas Supreme Court Rules Against Benefits for Same-Sex Couples. The court ruled that the city of Houston should not have extended benefits to married same-sex couples. The court threw out a lower court ruling that had favored the benefits and sent the case back to a lower court. Read more here.
German Parliament Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. The legislation passed by a vote of 393 to 226 with four abstentions. Chancellor Angela Merkel had voiced opposition to same-sex marriage in the past but changed her position on allowing a vote on the issue and permitted MPs to cast a “conscience vote.“ Read more here.
Colombia Officially Recognizes First Polyamorous Family. Three men in a same-sex union have had their union legally recognized by the Colombian government. While the arrangement is not considered a “marriage” there are some legal protections for the threesome. Read more here.
Poll Shows Same-Sex Marriage Rate Lower Than Rate for Heterosexual Couples.The Gallup poll showed that two years after the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the U.S., 10.6 percent of adult same-sex couples are married compared to 13.6 percent of adult heterosexual couples. Read more here.
Lithuanian Parliament Rejects Proposal to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. Twenty-nine members of parliament voted in favor of the proposal, 59 voted against, and 20 abstained from voting. Polls show more than 80 percent of Lithuanians are against same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Arizona State Court of Appeals Judge Rules Paternity not Equal in Same-Sex Marriage. In what could be a significant setback for same-sex couples, the court ruled that the same-sex spouse of a woman who gave birth to a child is not entitled to a presumption that she is a parent and that the law applies solely to men. Read more here.
Switzerland Delays Same-Sex Marriage Deadline. The Swiss parliament extended the deadline by two years for deciding on allowing same-sex marriage. The delay will allow a legal affairs committee to investigate changes in the laws with regard to taxes, social security, adoption and reproductive medicine. Read more here.
Romanian Lawmakers Vote to Define Marriage as Between One Man and One Woman. The Chamber of Deputies voted to adopt the citizen’s initiative that will define marriage in Romania’s Constitution. The Senate must also vote on the initiative before a national referendum will be held. Read more here.
British Consulates Host Same-Sex Weddings in Australia. Over 30 weddings held by the British Consulate in Canberra are not valid under Australian law. Many Australians are objecting to this obvious effort to meddle in the country’s domestic political debate on the issue. Read more here.
Same-sex Marriage Plebiscite in Australia May Happen After All. The Senate rejected the plebiscite last year, but $170 million was allocated for it in the 2017-2018 budget, which states, “The Australian Government remains committed to a plebiscite in relation to same-sex marriage, despite the Senate not supporting the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016.” Read more here.
Bermuda Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. The Supreme Court ruled that the Marriage Act section 24 and the Matrimonial Clauses Act section 15 (c), which defined marriage as between a man and a woman “are inconsistent with the provisions of the Human Rights Act as they constitute deliberate different treatment on the basis of sexual orientation.” Read more here.
Taiwan to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage. The secretariat for the grand justices confirmed that they will rule on the constitutionality of a ban on same-sex marriage next month. Taiwan could become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. Read more here.
U.S. Millennials Choosing Education and Career over Marriage and Children.According to a report titled “The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975-2016” published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, most young adult Americans believe that “educational and economic accomplishments are extremely important milestones of adulthood,” and fewer Millennials are getting married. Read more here.
Study Finds Marriage is Important in Weathering Challenges of Parenthood.Research published in the journal Social Science Research using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study found that being married at the time of a child’s birth is associated with smaller declines in relationship quality during the first nine years of parenthood compared to cohabiting or dating couples. Read more here.
Big Companies Support Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in Australia with “Until We All Belong” Campaign. Companies including Airbnb, Quantas, and eBay are using the campaign to increase pressure on the federal government. The campaign features an incomplete ring people can wear that symbolizes the gap in marriage equality in Australia. Read more here.
UK Study Finds Marriage Lasts Longer than Cohabitation. The study by researchers at the University College London found that both marriage and cohabiting unions tend to end because of communication issues, relationship quality or unfaithfulness. In the UK, marriages last up to four times longer than cohabitations. Read more here.
Study Finds Millennials in the U.S. Less Likely to Marry than Baby Boomers. The study by researchers at Bowling Green State University found that Millennials are not only less likely to marry, but also less likely to live independently, to own a home, or to live with a biological child. Read more here.
Legislation Introduced in North Carolina to Ban Same-Sex Marriage. The bill would invalidate same-sex marriages and asserts that the U.S. Supreme Court “overstepped its constitutional bounds” when it struck down North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage. Read more here.
European Citizens’ Initiative “Mum, Dad & Kids” Completes Signature Collection.One year after the launch of the project more than 650,000 signatures have been collected in support of marriage being defined as the union of a man and a woman in Europe. Read more here.
Cohabiting Parents Now Account for Majority of Family Breakdown in UK. According to a report by the Marriage Foundation, despite making up only one-fifth of parents, cohabiting couples now account for over half of all family breakdown in the UK. Read more here.
Australian Government Requests Advice on Postal Plebiscite on Same-Sex Marriage. The Finance Department requested information after the legislation to enable a plebiscite was defeated in the Senate. Read more here.
Denmark Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage in Church Does Not Violate Constitution.The Supreme Court in Denmark upheld a previous ruling by a lower court that dismissed a lawsuit claiming same-sex weddings in church violate not only the constitution but also the religious freedom of Danish citizens. Read more here.
Taiwan Court Hears Landmark Same-Sex Marriage Case. A panel of 14 judges on Taiwan’s top court are hearing arguments in a case that may legalize same-sex marriage in what would be the first country in Asia. The government is also considering legislation that will legalize same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Protesters Gather in Taiwan Against Same-Sex Marriage. The protest was to urge the government to postpone reviewing a bill that will legalize same-sex marriage. The bill has passed its first screening and a committee review. Read more here.
U.S. Divorce Rates Increase for Couples Over 50. The Pew Research Center reports that according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, although divorce in America has decreased by 21 percent for couples aged 25-39 over the past twenty-five years, it has nearly doubled for couples over 50. Read more here.
Philippine President Backpedals on Same-Sex Marriage. In 2015 President Rodrigo Duterte said he would consider legalizing same-sex marriage, but now he says he is opposed to it. The Catholic Church is a strong supporter of traditional marriage, and there are 80 million Catholics in the Philippines. Read more here.
Texas Challenges Same-Sex Marriage Benefits. The Texas Supreme Court is hearing a case challenging the city of Houston over its decision to provide benefits to same-sex spouses of city employees. Conservative lawyers argue that the 2015 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Obergefell v Hodges, does not contain language specifically extending benefits to same-sex spouses. Read more here.
Lutheran Bishops in Finland Say Priests who Perform Same-Sex Weddings “Will Face Consequences.” Same-sex marriage was recently legalized in Finland, but the official position of the Lutheran Church in Finland is that priests should not officiate at same-sex weddings. Finland is the last of the five Nordic countries to allow same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Same-Sex Marriage Legalized in Slovenia. The law legalizing same-sex marriage was passed by the Slovenian government last year. The law does not permit same-sex couples to adopt children unless they are from a spouse’s previous marriage. Read more here.
Study Finds Married People Have Lower Levels of Stress Hormone. The study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that married individuals had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who never married or were previously married. These findings support the belief that unmarried people face more psychological stress than married individuals. Read more here.
Finnish Parliament Confirms Same-Sex Marriage Law. A citizens’ petition demanding the repeal of the law legalizing same-sex marriage that will go into effect next month was voted down by members of parliament. The law was passed in 2014 by the previous parliament. Read more here.
Australian Senate Committee Inquiry Releases Report on Same-Sex Marriage. The committee’s report on the government’s same-sex marriage bill recommends creating a new category of independent religious celebrants who would be allowed to refuse to marry couples on the basis of religious belief. Civil celebrants would be required to marry any couples that are legally allowed. Ministers of religion would retain their current right to refuse weddings on grounds of sex, sexuality and family status. Read more here.
Polish President Says Country’s Constitution Defines Marriage as Between a Man and a Woman. President Andrzej Duda stated that the governing majority is unlikely to change the law. Poland is one of seven European Union countries to ban same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Norway’s Lutheran Church to Allow Same-Sex Marriage. The church voted to allow its pastors to conduct same-sex marriages and has modified the text of the liturgy to make it gender neutral. Read more here.
Marriage Group Says UK Families Among Most Unstable in the Developed World. According to the Marriage Foundation, three in five British children born to unmarried parents living together experience family breakdown before they hit their teens. Read more here.
Study Finds Cohabitors Experience More Intimate Partner Violence. The study by researchers at Bowling Green State University found that serial cohabitors especially experience more violence than individuals who are married or dating. Read more here.
Study Finds Cohabitation is Less Stable for Families than Marriage Worldwide, Though More are Doing it. According to the 2017 World Family Map by the Institute for Family Studies and the Social Trends Institute, marriage is more powerfully associated with stability for kids than is a parent’s level of education. American and European children whose parents were living together but not married at the time of their birth are by age 12 vastly more likely to see the parents split. Read more here.
Fidelity Will no Longer be a Requirement for Marriage Under Draft Italian Law. The law under consideration by Parliament will amend the current statute and eliminate the spousal pledge of fidelity from Italian marriage contracts. Read more here.
U.S. Immigrant Families More Likely to Have Two Married Parents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 75 percent of immigrant children live in married-couple families, compared to 61 percent of children of U.S.-born parents. Read more here.
Arkansas Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Birth Certificate Law. The Arkansas Supreme Court threw out a judge’s ruling that could have allowed all married same-sex couples to get the names of both spouses on their children’s birth certificates without a court order. The court stated that it doesn’t violate equal protection “to acknowledge basic biological truths.” Read more here.
Kyrgyzstan Voters Back Amendment to Ban Same-Sex Marriage. According to the Central Election Commission, over 80 percent of voters were in favor of the amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Related legislation making its way through parliament toughens punishments for promoting “a homosexual way of life” and “nontraditional sexual relations.” Read more here.
Israel to Ease Citizenship Process for Same-Sex Couples. Same-sex couples who have foreign marriage documents will now undergo the same procedure to become naturalized citizens as heterosexual couples. The change is a result of a petition presented by the Israeli Gay Fathers Association. Read more here.
Cherokee Nation Will Now Recognize Same-Sex Marriage. A ban on same-sex marriage involving members of the Cherokee Nation was overturned by the tribe’s attorney general in an opinion issued Friday. Read more here.
Most U.S. Children Live with Two Married Parents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s report “America’s Families and Living Arrangements,” 69 percent of the nation’s children under 18 live in families headed by two biological, step, or adoptive parents. Read more here.
Taiwanese Protesters March Against Same-Sex Marriage Bill. More than 20,000 pro-marriage and pro-family Taiwanese citizens marched through the capital demonstrating against an anticipated approval of homosexual marriage by Parliament. Read more here.
Study Finds Parental Union Disruption Increases Offspring Union Disruption. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that both parental divorce and parental cohabitation increases the likelihood of offspring union disruption and offspring’s number of sexual partners. Read more here.
Study Finds Nearly Two-Thirds of Women Have Cohabited. Researchers at Bowling Green State University found that the percentage of women over the last 25 years who have ever cohabited has almost doubled to 65 percent. Read more here.
South Australia Passes Law Recognizing Same-Sex Relationships. The South Australian Parliament passed legislation that recognizes overseas homosexual marriages and introduces an official register for same-sex couples. Read more here.
South Korean Court Rejects Same-Sex Couple’s Marriage Appeal. The South Korean appeals court upheld a previous ruling that refused to legally recognize the marriage on the grounds that “same-sex marriage does not satisfy the definition of husband and wife in civic law.” Read more here.
Taiwan to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. Taiwanese lawmakers are currently working on three bills in support of same-sex marriage, one of which could pass within months. The country would be the first in Asia to legalize genderless marriage. Read more here.
Australian Parliament Blocks Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite. The Senate rejected proposals by the government to hold a nationwide referendum. Currently same-sex couples can have civil unions or registered relationships in most states but are not considered married under national law. Read more here.
Study Finds Divorce is More Painful for Couples with Children. According to the study conducted by researchers at the University of Amsterdam and published in the journalDemography, couples with children suffer greater economic and social losses from divorce than couples without children. Read more here.
Mexico Congressional Committee Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Measure. The measure defeated on a 19-8 vote would have legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. Marriage supporters have mounted massive rallies in opposition to legalizing homosexual marriage. Read more here.
Grenada Referendum Postponed Amid Concerns Over Same-Sex Marriage. The referendum for a new constitution that was to be held at the end of October has been postponed at least one month over concern that one of the seven bills to be voted on encourages same-sex marriage in the Caribbean country. Read more here.
Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite Passes Australian Lower House. The bill passed narrowly on a vote of 76-77. It is expected that the legislation will not pass the Senate. Read more here.
Romanian President Urges Tolerance for Same-Sex Couples. The Constitutional Court, the nation’s highest, is considering whether to recognize a same-sex marriage between a U.S. citizen and a Romanian man who were married in Belgium. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called for “tolerance and acceptance” of the country’s homosexuals. Read more here.
International Survey Purports to Find One in Three People Believe Same-Sex Marriage Should be Legal. The survey of nearly 100,000 people in 65 countries by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) found that 32 percent of respondents said same-sex marriage should be legal, but a greater percentage, 45 percent said it should not be legal. Most neutral political observers are very skeptical of polls conducted or sponsored by advocacy groups. Read more here.
Thousands March Against Same-Sex Marriage in Paris. According to organizers, 200,000 people gathered in Paris, France to call for the repeal of a law allowing same-sex marriage before France’s next presidential election. Read more here.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Suspended Over Same-Sex Marriage Order. The state’s Court of the Judiciary suspended Judge Roy Moore from the bench for the remainder of his term. Moore was charged with violating judicial ethics in issuing an order stating that probate judges in the state “have a ministerial duty not to issue” marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Read more here.
Printer Refuses to Print Australian Book On Traditional Marriage. In an excellent example of one-way tolerance, a printer in Australia has refused to print a book by Dr. David van Gend on traditional marriage because of the content. Read more here.
President of Chile Will Send Same-Sex Marriage Bill to Congress. During a UN General Assembly panel on LGBT rights, President Michelle Bachelet said the government has committed to submit the bill on marriage equality to Congress in the first half of 2017. Read more here.
U.S. Federal Judge Dismisses Challenge to North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Law. District Judge Max Cogburn dismissed a lawsuit filed by three couples, two of whom are same-sex couples. The judge ruled that the couples lacked legal standing to challenge the law that allows magistrates to refuse to marry same-sex couples by citing religious beliefs. Read more here.
Over One Million People March in Mexico Against Same-Sex Marriage. Mexican citizens gathered in 122 cities across Mexico marching in support of marriage and the natural family in response to President Enrique Peña Nieto’s move to enshrine same-sex marriage in the nation’s Constitution. Read more here.
Church of Finland Bans Clergy from Performing Same-Sex Weddings. The state Lutheran Church said when the Marriage Act comes into effect in early 2017, it will have no impact on church weddings, which are defined by the church as being between a man and a woman. Read more here.
Anglican Church Says it Will Accept the Results of Australian Plebiscite on Marriage. The head of the Anglican Church in Australia, the Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, said a change in the civil definition of marriage must be accepted if the plebiscite approves same-sex marriage, but it is unlikely that the church’s doctrine will change. Read more here.
Same-Sex Marriage Vote Runs Into Roadblocks in Australia. The government’s plan to hold a popular vote on whether Australia should allow same-sex marriage suffered a setback when a political party announced it would not support legislation to authorize the proposed plebiscite. Read more here.
Over 2000 Same-Sex Weddings in Three Years in New Zealand. Since same-sex marriage was legalized in New Zealand three years ago, 2118 same-sex couples have married. Almost 970 of those couples traveled from abroad to marry. Read more here.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Says States Can Deny Same-Sex Spousal Benefits. The court refused to review a lower court ruling holding that cities may not deprive married same-sex couples the benefits it provides to opposite-sex couples. But in a dissenting opinion, Justice John Devine argued that the court should have reversed the lower court’s ruling and that the state has an “interest in encouraging procreation.” Read more here.
Tasmania Seeks to Protect Freedom of Religion Ahead of Same-Sex Marriage Debate. Prior to the upcoming national plebiscite in Australia, the Tasmanian government proposed changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act that will allow churches the freedom to speak out against same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Chief Minister Calls on Australian Government to Drop Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite. Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, Andrew Barr, called the plebiscite expensive, unnecessary, and divisive, and said there should be a free vote instead. Read more here.
Study Finds Wealth Gap Between Married and Unmarried Parents. A new report surveying 20 countries in Europe shows that among parents in the top one-fifth of income earners, 82 percent are married, whereas only 42 percent of those receiving the lowest fifth of income are married. Read more here.
Study Finds Individuals in Same-Sex Marriages Have Higher Suicide Rates. The study of over 6,000 Swedish couples published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that the risk of suicide for same-sex married women is 2.5 times higher and 2.9 times higher for same-sex married men than for heterosexual married couples. Read more here.
Survey Shows Majority of LGBT Australians Oppose Plebiscite on Marriage Equality. According to the survey of 5,463 LGBT individuals, 85 percent would prefer to wait for a parliamentary vote to avoid a plebiscite. Read more here.
Study Finds Just Thinking About Marriage Lowers Delinquency. The study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that teenagers and young adults who expected to get married within the next five years reported committing fewer delinquent acts in the next year than those who were not considering marriage. Read more here.
Study Finds Unequal Division of Labor in Marriage Increases Risk of Divorce. According to one of the researchers, “It’s the behaviors of husbands and wives in a marriage — employment status and the division of housework…that affect a couple’s divorce risk. Read more here.
Canadian Anglican Primate Acknowledges “Deep Divisions” Over Same-Sex Marriage. The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz made his comment in a pastoral letter after last week’s decision of the province’s General Synod to approve an amendment that will permit same-sex marriages. Read more here.
Australian MP Denies Delay of Same-Sex Marriage Vote. Liberal homosexual marriage advocate Warren Entsch said there is no deliberate delay, but rather necessary procedures and legislative timeframes that will determine the scheduling of a vote. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has indicated a plebiscite could be held in early 2017 if not this year. Read more here.
Romanian Constitutional Court Rules Citizen’s Initiative Defining Marriage as One Man and One Woman is Valid. Romanian law stipulates that the constitution can be changed after a proposal by the president, the government, a quarter of the members of parliament, or at least 500,000 citizens. The initiative was signed by three million Romanians. Read more here.
Anglican Church Of Canada Backs Same-Sex Marriage. One day after the church voted not to authorize same-sex marriage, there was a recount of the votes and the result was reversed. Read more here.
David Cameron Says MPs Will not Repeal Same-Sex Marriage Legislation. The outgoing British prime minister said he was “extremely proud” of the legislation. Read more here.
Religious Liberty and Same-Sex Marriage Addressed in U.S. Congressional Hearing. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will examine how the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage has affected people who hold traditional views about marriage. Read more here.
United Reformed Church in Britain Votes to Allow Same-Sex Couples to Marry in its Facilities. The members of the ruling general assembly voted on the policy, although individual churches will not be forced to comply. Read more here.
Marriage Rates Decline in Britain. Data from the Office of National Statistics show that the percentage of people aged 16 and over in England and Wales who are married has fallen to its lowest level since 2002. In 2015, 50.6 percent of the population was married, compared with 54.8 percent in 2002. Read more here.
Bermuda Voters Reject Same-Sex Marriage. A large majority voted against legalizing same-sex marriage and civil unions, but the referendum was invalidated because voter turnout was below 50 percent. It is now considered likely that homosexual marriage supporters will sue to overturn the current ban. Read more here.
Poll Finds Same-Sex Marriage in U.S. Increasing and Domestic Partnerships Decreasing. According to the Gallup Poll, nearly half of same-sex couples living together in the United States are married a year after the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the country. It is estimated that about 123,000 same-sex American couples married in the past year. Read more here.
Australian Prime Minister Promises Referendum on Same-Sex Marriage This Year. Prime Minister Turnbull said if the Liberal Party of Australia is voted back into power there will be a plebiscite by August. Read more here.
Mexican President’s Party Hit with “Protest Vote” After Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage. Shortly after Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto announced measures to legalize same-sex marriage and homosexual adoption throughout the country, his party lost elections for governor in seven of 12 states. Read more here.
European Court of Human Rights Confirms There is no Right to Same-Sex Marriage. The ECHR unanimously ruled in the case of Chapin and Charpentier v. France that the European Convention on Human Rights does not provide the right to same-sex marriage under the right of respect for private and family life or the right to marry and found a family. Read more here.
Presbyterian Marriage Ceremonies in Ireland Must Now Also Renounce Same-Sex Unions. The Presbyterian church’s general assembly made the decision, which is now the “law of the church,” that marriage ceremonies must include a statement that such unions can only be between a man and a woman. Read more here.
Study Finds Marriage May Offer a Boost for Heart Attack Survivors. The British study found that married people were 14 percent less likely to die of a heart attack than single people, and they also left the hospital earlier. Read more here.
Study Finds People With More Premarital Sex Partners Have Higher Divorce Rates. While the association between premarital sex and marital stability can be fairly complicated, in general, data from recent years show women with 10 or more partners were the most likely to divorce, women with 3-9 partners were less likely to divorce than women with 2 partners, and women with 0-1 partners were the least likely to divorce. Read more here.
UK Study Finds Children’s Self-Esteem Associated with Family Structure. According to the Marriage Foundation, children with married parents exhibit significantly higher self-esteem than those in non-intact families. The study used data on 3,822 children from the British Household Panel Survey. Read more here.
Study Finds Marriage Linked to Lower Alcoholism Among Adults. The Swedish study published inThe American Journal of Psychiatry found that first marriage to a spouse with no lifetime alcohol use disorder is associated with a large reduction in risk for alcohol use disorder. Read more here.
Korean Court Rejects Request to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage. The Seoul Western District Court rejected a petition from a same-sex couple who requested that their marriage be legalized by the country. Read more here.
Petition for Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Romania has Three Million Signatures. The petition calls for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. The current definition of marriage under the Romanian constitution defines marriage as a union between “partners.” Read more here.
Bermuda Same-Sex Marriage Referendum Facing Legal Challenge. The watchdog organization, Centre for Justice said it has been granted leave by the Supreme Court of Bermuda to apply for judicial review of the June 23 referendum, saying the questions proposed by the Government will breach a variety of fundamental rights related to due process. Read more here.
Church of Scotland to Allow Ministers to be in Same-Sex Marriages. While the church maintains the traditional view of marriage between a man and a woman, the new policy approved by the church’s general assembly will allow individual congregations to “opt out” if they want to appoint a minister or deacon in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership. Read more here.
Study Finds Being Married May Help Prolong Survival in Cancer Patients. The study of nearly 800,000 adults published in the peer-reviewed journal, Cancer, found that unmarried cancer patients had higher death rates than married patients. The beneficial effects of being married differed across racial and ethnic groups. Read more here.
Nancy Pelosi Admits Same-Sex Marriage Could not be Achieved Legislatively. U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi admitted that the goal had to be achieved through the courts. Pelosi explained her party’s “four point” plan to advance the homosexual lifestyle at a press conference on Capitol Hill. Read more here.
President of Mexico Proposes Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Nationally. President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a reform initiative that would include the recognition of the right to marry without any form of discrimination. Same-sex marriage is legal in Mexico City and several Mexican states. Read more here.
Italy Legalizes Same-Sex Civil Unions. The Italian Parliament passed the law, which does not recognize same-sex marriage, on a vote of 372 to 51. The Roman Catholic Church opposed the measure. Read more here.
U.S. States Determine How to Respond to Government Officials Who Won’t Perform Same-Sex Weddings. Same-sex marriage was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2015. Since then, some officials in several states have refused to participate in same-sex ceremonies on religious grounds. Read more here.
New York Mayor Urges Residents to Boycott Chick-fil-A Restaurant. Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling for New Yorkers not to patronize the new restaurant opening in Queens, citing “hate” against homosexuals. However, customers are flocking to the two locations in the city. The owners of Chick-fil-A have openly supported marriage between a man and a woman. Read more here.
Anglican Church in New Zealand Debates Same-Sex Relationships. The General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia will consider the report by the “Way Forward Working Group” on the blessing of same-sex marriages. The report was requested by the last meeting of the General Synod in 2014. Read more here.
Colombia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. The 6-3 ruling on the law by the Constitutional Court makes Colombia the fourth South American country to allow same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Alabama Judge Suspended Over Same-Sex Marriage Stance. Judge Roy Moore, chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court was suspended by an Alabama judicial oversight body charging that he had “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority.” Moore ordered the state’s judges to refuse applications for marriage licenses by same-sex couples. Read more here.
Judge Rules Against Same-Sex Couple in China. The couple had sought the right to marry in the first court case addressing same-sex unions in China. The couple plans to appeal the ruling. Read more here.
Norway’s Lutheran Church Votes to Allow Same-Sex Marriage. The measure passed at the annual conference of the Norwegian Lutheran Church by a vote of 88 to 27. Priests who object will have the right not to marry same-sex couples. Read more here.
Federal Appeals Court Overturns Ruling Upholding Natural Marriage in Puerto Rico. The First Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the decision of Judge Pérez-Giménez who upheld Puerto Rico’s ban on same-sex marriage stating that the Obergefell ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court did not apply to Puerto Rico. Read more here.
Colombia High Court Paves Way For Same-Sex Marriage. The Constitutional Court ruled against an earlier opinion that would have prevented public notaries from registering same-sex civil unions as marriages. The court ruled last year that same-sex couples can adopt children. Read more here.
Study Finds Parental Divorce is Worse than Parental Death. The study done by researchers from Virgina Commonwealth University and the University of Tokyo found that “parental separation has stronger and wider effects on mental illness than death.” The researchers concluded, among other findings, that “parental separation had the strongest impacts on risk for depression and drug abuse/dependence.” Read more here.
Alabama Senate Passes Measure to Stop Issuing Marriage Licenses. In response to the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage, the Senate voted 23-3 on the measure that would require couples to file a form provided by the state that would record their marriage rather than have county probate offices issue licenses. This would allow anyone to marry and would also allow officials who oppose same-sex marriage to not have to issues licenses to same-sex couples. The bill will move to the Alabama House. Read more here.
U.S. CDC Survey Finds Americans More Likely to Accept Cohabiting and Out-of-Wedlock Births than a Decade Ago. Data from the Centers for Disease Control’s National survey of Family Growth found that Americans were also more likely to accept the idea of the adoption of children by same-sex couples and were less likely to accept the idea of divorce now than a decade ago. Over 45,000 people ages 15 to 44 were included in the survey. Read more here.
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