Tag Archives: Civil union

Irish Government begin bid to allow same-sex couples to adopt

From “TheJournal.ie”:

JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter has, today, published the General Scheme of the long-anticipated Children and Family Relationships Bill.

The proposed legislation, which would clarify the legal status of children in in civil partnerships, surrogacy arrangements and assisted human reproduction, will now go forward for discussion at Oireachtas committee level.

The new laws will allow civil partners to jointly adopt a child for the first time.According to the Minister, this measure “removes the current anomaly where single lesbian and gay individuals can adopt children, but civil partners cannot jointly adopt”.

Today’s law relating to adoption provides for the adoption of children by married couples and by single persons (irrespective of their sexual orientation), but not jointly by civil partners.
 Shatter has asked the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality – in conjunction with members of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children – to undertake a consultation process on his proposals for the Bill.
The cross-party TDs and Senators will have until Easter to furnish any observations to his department before the outlined proposals which, according to the Minister, “seek to put in place a modern legal architecture to underpin family situations”.
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Brazilian judicial council: Notaries must recognize same-sex marriage

The Brazilian National Council of Justice, which oversees the nation’s judiciary, passed a resolution Tuesday that denies notaries the right to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

In Brazil, notaries officiate marriages and civil unions.
Recently, 12 Brazilian states began allowing same-sex couples to marry or convert their civil unions into marriages. However, since the Supreme Court does not carry legislative powers, it was up to each notary to officiate at their discretion, and many refused, citing the lack of law.
Joaquim Barbosa, president of the Council of Justice, said in the decision that notaries cannot continue to refuse to “perform a civil wedding or the conversion of a stable civil union into a marriage between persons of the same sex.”
Barbosa, who also presides over the Supreme Court, says the resolution merely follows the transformation of society.
“Our society goes through many changes, and the National Council of Justice cannot be indifferent to them,” he said.
Civil unions between same-sex couples have been recognized in Brazil since 2011, after the Supreme Court ruled that the same rights and rules that apply to “stable unions” of heterosexual couples would apply to same-sex couples, including the right to joint declaration of income tax, pension, inheritance and property sharing. People in same-sex unions are also allowed to extend health benefits to their partners, following the same rules applied to heterosexual couples.
Brazilian lawmakers have debated same-sex marriage, but in most cases, the bills introduced have not progressed through Congress.
Brazilian neighbors Uruguay and Argentina are the only other two countries in Latin America that have laws allowing same-sex couples to marry.

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UK Parliament to Vote on Equal Civil Partnerships

Straight couples could be allowed to enter civil partnerships, rather than get married, under proposals to be voted on by MPs.

MPs have tabled new amendments to gay marriage legislation currently going through Parliament to give straight couples the same rights as homosexual ones.
Campaigners said the amendment showed the changes risked weakening marriage by allowing straight couples to enter civil partnerships.
The measure, which is due to be voted on by MPs in the Commons at the end of May, would allow couples to be in civil partnerships rather than be married.
Tim Loughton, former Children’s minister, tabled the amendment to Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the Commons on Tuesday.
He said it was likely there would be “widespread support” for it when the amendment was voted on by MPs on the floor of the Commons next month.
Colin Hart, director of the Coalition for Marriage, said: “This is yet another amendment that pushes the redefinition of marriage beyond the consultation the Government has shifted its position constantly and this will report a further weakening of the institution of marriage.
The amendment will be seen as a direct challenge to Prime Minister David Cameron who suggested last month that he was against extending civil partnership rights to straight couples after MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of gay marriage.
Asked by Christopher Chope MP if he will “ensure that civil partnerships are open to heterosexual couples on an equal basis with homosexual couples”, he replied: “I will obviously listen carefully to what he says.
“But frankly I am a marriage man, I am a great supporter of marriage. I want to promote marriage, defend marriage, encourage marriage.
“The great thing about last night’s vote is that two gay people who love each other will now be able to get married. That is an important advance. I think we should be promoting marriage rather than looking at any other way of weakening it.”

The first couple to be married on a military base met at a Baptist church,

Will and Erwynn met at church and fell in love. But they had a big problem—“don’t ask, don’t tell.” The unlikely story of the first gay military union.

It’s almost Christmas, and I’m eating lunch with Tech Sgt. Erwynn Umali and his fiance Will Behrens at a Cracker Barrel in New Jersey. Erwynn, 34, is an active-duty serviceman in the Air Force. Will, 35, is a branch manager for a financial firm. There are six months to go until Will and Erwynn get married at McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a joint military base in Wrightstown, N.J. It will be the first publicly announced gay civil union or wedding ever to take place on an American military installation. But today is about family, not planning for the big day. With us are Will’s children from a previous marriage, his 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son. When the country fried steak and chicken and dumplings arrive, everyone joins hands in prayer. Will thanks God for our food and prays that I’ll make it home safely. We say amen and eat.

 Little about the couple’s biographies would suggest that they would become gay rights trailblazers or find themselves on the progressive side of a culture war. Will was born outside of Chicago in 1976. His mother was a teacher. His father, a marine-turned-fundamentalist-minister, spent most of the year on the road through his work with Fairhaven Baptist church in Chesterton, Ind. Will’s father was its youth pastor and vice president of the church’s small Christian college.
Fairhaven Baptist was founded by Dr. Roger Voegtlin, a firm believer in corporal punishment. Will recalls Dr. Voegtlin giving spanking demonstrations and instructions during church. Will’s parents followed Dr. Voegtlin’s example, imposing strict discipline on Will and his three siblings. Will ran away from home twice, in fifth and sixth grade, because he was so fearful of punishment from his father.
-full report at Slate
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United Reformed Church to enable civil partnerships in its churches

This afternoon the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church turned its attention to same-sex relationships, specifically whether or not to allow civil partnerships to be registered in United Reformed Church premises. During an hour-long debate both sides of the argument were heard, but the Assembly agreed the resolution (that local churches were able to take a decision on whether to allow registrations to take place in there buildings) and in so doing has become the first mainstream Christian denomination to allow same-sex partners to register their civil partnership in church.

This resolution takes effect immediately and enables local United Reformed Churches in England and Wales to consider whether they wish to allow civil partnerships to be registered on their premises (i.e. for the legal formalities, as well as the religious ceremony, to take place in church).  Once a church has decided to take this step, it will need to ask its trustees to apply to the superintendent registrar of the relevant local authority to become registered as an approved venue.

The decision about applying to register as a legal place for civil partnerships will be in the hands of each local church meeting; the denomination cannot estimate how many of its churches will take advantage of this resolution. However, several of its churches have made it known that they will be seeking registration and are expected to be amongst the first wave of early adopters.

One such is City United Reformed Church in Cardiff; its minister, The Revd Adrian Bulley said: “For many years this church has been hosting services of blessing for those who have entered a civil partnership.  How sad that these couples have had to go through two ceremonies to enable their union to be blessed by God in the context of prayer and worship.  How wonderful that General Assembly has now opened the door and enabled those local churches that wish to do so, to register their premises in order that same-sex couples may have a single ceremony – both religious and legal – to mark their commitment to each other. This is a very welcome decision, finally enabling the Church to offer to same sex-couples what heterosexual couples have for so long taken for granted.”

– more at  United Reformed Church.

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Gay couple become first in Britain to hold civil partnership ceremony in a church

Gay couple become first in Britain to hold civil partnership ceremony in a church

A gay couple are thought to have become the first in the UK to hold a civil partnership ceremony in a church building.

Kieran Bohan and Warren Hartley made a commitment to each other at the Ullet Road Unitarian Church, in Liverpool, last month and are currently enjoying their honeymoon.

The couple, who described the event as a ‘milestone for equality’, only received council approval that the church could register civil partnerships a week before their big day.

Plans to allow religious buildings to host civil ceremonies were announced last February but the legislation was only implemented in December after public consultation.

Kieran, 41, who runs a youth group, said: ‘The pace of change is extraordinarily remarkable, but there is still work to be done.

-Read more Daily Mail
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