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Religious Tolerance logo

Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.

2013-AUG: Accelerating steps towards
same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.

Sponsored link.

We use the acronym "SSM" throughout this section to represent "same-sex marriage"
We use the acronym "LGBT" to refer to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. The acronym "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

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See also the previous essay describing events during 2013-JUL

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  • 2013-AUG-01 at about 12:01 AM: MN: The new marriage law in Minnesota became effective. The first same-sex couples to be married were Margaret Miles to Cathy ten Broeke, and Jeff Isaacson to Al Giraud. Officiating was Mayor R.T. Rybak at the Minneapolis City Hall. Over the next 6 hours or so, Mayor Rybak married 40 additional same-sex couples at the rate of about one each 9 minutes. State officials estimate that about 4,000 same-sex couples will marry during the next year.

  • 2013-AUG-01: RI: When government offices opened at 08:30. same-sex couples started picking up their marriage licenses for the first time. The first at Newport, RI, were Federico Santi and John Gacher who have been together for 41 years. They married immediately after receiving their license. More details.

    Sen. Donna Nesselbush, sponsored the same-sex bill and is the only openly lesbian senator in the state legislature. She planned to be at Pawtucket City Hall to greet the couples. She said:

    "As the only openly gay [Rhode Island state] senator and as the prime sponsor of the bill in the Senate, [Thursday] is a day that I wish to remember both professionally and personally." 1 More details

  • 2013-AUG-05: Uruguay: First same-sex couple registers to marry: Rodrigo Borda and Sergio Miranda registered to marry in Montevideo. Miranda said:

    "We are celebrating it and sharing it because this law establishes that we all have rights. There are no [longer] first and second class citizens." 2

  • 2013-AUG-14: CA: California's SSMs are secure: ProtectMarriage had asked that the California Supreme Court issue an immediate "stay" or hold on any future same-sex marriages. This was unanimously rejected by the Court. Same-sex marriages can now proceed with some degree of security that they will continue into the future. More details

  • 2013-AUG-14: USA: The Pentagon and same-sex married couples: The Pentagon had been limited by the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) from extending equal benefits to married couples who were of the same sex. This requirement ended with the U.S. Supreme Court's DOMA decision on JUN-26. The Pentagon announced that as of SEP-03, they will treat married opposite-sex and same-sex couples equally. This could be an enormous financial benefit to some couples who would be eligible for family housing benefits and medical benefits for the first time. The Pentagon recognizes that to take advantage of these benefits, some couples will have to visit another state in order to get married. So, they are offering non-chargeable leave to service members in order to facilitate such trips. More details

  • 2013-AUG-19: New Zealand: Same-sex couples are permitted to marry for the first time. The country became the first in the Asia-Pacific region to allow SSMs and the 14th country in the world. Their Parliament passed a bill during 2013-APR to amend the 1955 marriage act. This was opposed at the time by Family First, a conservative Christian advocacy group who called the move "an arrogant act of cultural vandalism" which did not have a mandate from the public.

An Auckland couple, Tash Vitali and Melissa Ray, were among the first same-sex couples to marry. They had won a radio station's all-expenses paid ceremony.

Rev. Matt Tittle said:

    The world is still a dangerous and even deadly place for gay, bisexual and transgender people. We thank God that's not true in New Zealand. ... All love is holy."

About a thousand same-sex couples living in Australia plan to fly to New Zealand to marry. Their marriage will not be recognized when they return home to Australia, where SSM is being actively discussed. 3

  • Second half of 2013-AUG: NM: An amazing series of events occurred in rapid succession:
    • The New Mexico Supreme Court had been asked by the ACLU-NM to rule on whether same-sex couples should have access to marriage. They declined to rule, but did ask that an existing case be expedited by a District Court.

    • Lynn Ellins, the County Clerk of Dona Ana County decided to began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    • Attorney General Gary King said that he had no plans to challenge the move by Ellins or by another other county clerks who might issue licenses to same-sex couples. He said that:

      "We feel like our position that the law is unconstitutional presents a barrier to us from bringing any action."

    • The ACLU in New Mexico filed an emergency request with a state District Court to allow a lesbian couple, Jen Roper and Angelique Neuman to marry. Jen Roper is suffering from terminally brain cancer and is not expected to live much longer. They are worried about the lack of family protections after Jen's death if they are unable to marry.

    • A District Court ordered Geraldine Salazar, the Santa Fe County clerk, to issue a marriage licenses to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

    • The New Mexico Supreme Court issued a ruling that found a co-owner of Elane Photography guilty of violating the state's human rights laws when she refused to photograph the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple in 2006.

    • Another District Court ordered the Bernalillo County Clerk, to issue a marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    • County clerks in San Miguel County and Valencia County have started issuing licenses for same-sex marriages.

    • A third District Court ordered the clerk for Taos County to issue licenses for same-sex marriages.

    • By AUG-30, seven counties were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. About 60% of New Mexico residents could pick up licenses at within their local county. Three county clerks made this decision on their own. In four other counties four separate state District Courts ordered them to do so. An appeal to the New Mexico Supreme Court was being prepared.

    • On AUG-31, a group of Republican state legislators filed a lawsuit to try to block same-sex marriage in Dona Ana county. It might ultimately provide a second path to the New Mexico Supreme Court who is expected to make a final decision that will apply state-wide.

We have never seen so many significant developments in any other state over just a two week interval. More details.

  • 2013-AUG-31: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first justice of the court to conduct a same-sex wedding ceremony. She married Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center to economist John Roberts at the performing arts center in Washington DC. She said:

    "I think it will be one more statement that people who love each other and want to live together should be able to enjoy the blessings and the strife in the marriage relationship. It won’t be long before there will be another."

    She is scheduled to marry another same-sex couple in September. 4

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See events during 2013-SEP in the next essay

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Related essay:

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Ben Brumfield, "Midnight vows: Same-sex couples ring in new lives as law takes effect," CNN, 2013-AUG-01, at:
  2. "First gay couple registers to wed in Uruguay," 2013-AUG-05, at:
  3. "New Zealand gay couples hold first weddings," BBC/Asia, 2013-AUG-19, at:
  4. Robert Barnes, "Ginsburg will be first justice to officiate at same-sex wedding," Washington Post, 2013-AUG-30, at:

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How you got here:

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu > Tipping point > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Agenda & news >LGBT News > here

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Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2013-AUG-02
Latest update: 2013-AUG-31
Author: B.A. Robinson
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Go to the previous page, or to the Gay - lesbian news menu, , or go to the LGBT "Tipping point" menu, or go to the "Same-sex marriage" menu, or choose:

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