India’s top court: Instant divorce among Muslims unlawful | Religion News Service

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday (Aug. 22) struck down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce their wives as unconstitutional.

The bench, comprising five senior judges of different faiths, deliberated for three months before issuing its order in response to petitions from seven Muslim women who had been divorced through the practice known as triple talaq.

Indian law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on NDTV that since the court deemed the practice unconstitutional there is no need for any further legislative action by the government.

Full report: Religion News Service

Botswana’s Gay Rights Groups Celebrate A Big Court Win 

Botswana’s top court has ruled that, regardless of moral disapproval, the government cannot ban gay rights advocates from forming political action groups.This crucial affirmation of civil rights could have wider meaning for LGBT organizations in the country and beyond.

In 2014 Botswana’s High Court ruled against the government to affirm that Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana cannot be prevented from registering as a non-governmental organization. The Court also acknowledged that LGBT groups are entitled to campaign on HIV/AIDS prevention and fight anti-gay legislation.

Botswana’s government decried the outcome and appealed to the Court of Appeals. Now, the Court of Appeals has upheld the ruling, stating that forming such a group is a fundamental right.

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Source:  Care2 Causes

Gay clergyman to appeal after losing discrimination claim 

A gay clergyman who lost an employment tribunal against the Church of England has been given the right to appeal.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton was prevented from taking up a post as a hospital chaplain in Nottinghamshire after marrying his partner, Laurence Cunnington.

Last year an employment tribunal found that Pemberton was not discriminated against, but he has said a hearing to review the decision will take place.

He tweeted: “My application to appeal against the ET judgment has been accepted #justiceforjeremy”.

Pemberton, who had his permission to officiate revoked after marrying his partner in April 2014, had alleged that the C of E’s stance on same-sex marriage breached the Equality Act 2010.

Source:  The Guardian

Fired Church Worker Still Proclaims Justice, Even After Diocese Settles Lawsuit 

There’s a feeling you get when you’re in the presence of someone holy. It’s different than when you meet a celebrity. With a celebrity, you feel awe because of their reputation, and tend to feel a little diminished in yourself. When you meet someone holy, you feel a mixture of awe and ease.  You are astonished at the goodness that radiates from that person, and at the same time, the person’s humble presence makes you completely relaxed. Awe and ease are what I felt when I met Colleen Simon two weekends ago

Source:  Bondings 2.0

European Court: People have ‘human right’ to bring same-sex partner into country

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that it is discrimination to deny same-sex couples the right to live together – meaning migrants should be able to bring over a same-sex partner

.Under the principle of ‘family reunification’, the presence of one or more family members in a certain country enables the rest of the family to immigrate to that country as well.For example, a young person may be entitled to bring over their parents in the country they are resident, and in most countries people are eligible to bring over a legal spouse.

However, the European Court ruled that the system should also be open to same-sex couples and families – who are frequently denied reunification in countries without legal recognition for gay relationships.

Source: European Court: People have ‘human right’ to bring same-sex partner into country · PinkNews

Another Red State Nail in the Coffin for Gay Marriage Bans

This doesn’t challenge the Kentucky ban directly, but it clearly prepare the way. In striking down the Kentucky prohibition on recognizing same – sex marriages from other states, the reasons given by Judge Heyburn could be also be used to challenge the ban itself:

  • The ban violates the US Constitution guarantee of equal protection
  • Tradition does not justify marriage statutes that violate individual liberties

Ky. ban on gay marriages from other states struck down

A federal judge Wednesday struck down Kentucky’s ban on recognizing valid same-sex marriages performed in other states, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II joined nine other federal and state courts in invalidating such bans.

Ruling in a suit brought by four gay and lesbian couples, Heyburn said that while “religious beliefs … are vital to the fabric of society … assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons.”

Heyburn said “it is clear that Kentucky’s laws treat gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.”

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling throwing out the Defense of Marriage Act, Heyburn struck down the portion of Kentucky’s 2004 constitutional amendment that said “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky.”

Heyburn did not rule that Kentucky must allow gay marriages to be performed in the state.

In a 23-page ruling, Heyburn said Kentucky’s sole justification for the the amendment was that was it was “rationally related to the legitimate government interest of preserving the state’s institution of traditional marriage.”

But Heyburn noted that over the past 40 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to allow mere tradition to justify marriage statutes that violate individual liberties, such as the ban on interracial marriages that was once the law in Virginia, Kentucky and other states.

via USA Today

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EU Court Ruling Upholds Suspension for LGBT Discrimination.

Three British Christians who claimed their religious rights were violated by employers were told by European judges today that they could take their rejected cases no further.

Shirley Chaplin, Gary McFarlane and Lillian Ladele saw their discrimination claims rejected by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg earlier this year.

Mrs Chaplin was switched to a desk job after she refused to take off a crucifix which hung round her neck, while Miss Ladele was disciplined by Islington council for refusing to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.

Mr McFarlane was dismissed from his role with the charity Relate after indicating he might have a conscientious objection to providing therapy to a same-sex couple.

The claimants attempted to take their appeals to the Grand Chamber of the Court but the judges have rejected their request.

Mrs Chaplin’s claims were rejected on the grounds that the removal of her necklace was necessary to protect the health and safety of nurses and patients.

Appeals by Miss Ladele and Mr McFarlane were dismissed on the grounds that disciplinary proceedings against them were justified.

The ruling stated that both Islington council and Relate were bound by duties not to discriminate against their clients and meant they could not support staff who refused to work with homosexual couples.

 – The Independent.

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N.Y. Judge Rules Against Federal Marriage Law

A federal judge in Manhattan joined a growing chorus of judges across the country Wednesday by striking down a key component of a federal law denying benefits to partners in a gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones said the federal Defense of Marriage Act’s efforts to define marriage “intrude upon the states’ business of regulating domestic relations.”

“That incursion skirts important principles of federalism and therefore cannot be legitimate, in this court’s view,” the judge said.

Judge Jones said the law fails because it tries to re-examine states’ decisions concerning same-sex marriage. She said such a sweeping review interferes with a system of government that places matters at the core of the domestic relations law exclusively within the province of the states.

-full report at Wall Street Journal

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Studio Can’t Turn Down Gay Weddings

A photo studio’s refusal to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony violates the New Mexico Human Rights Act, the Court of Appeals has ruled, rejecting the Albuquerque studio’s argument that doing so would cause it to disobey God and Biblical teachings.

It was the third loss for the studio, and victory for Vanessa Willock.

Willock first contacted photographer Elaine Huguenin of Elane Photography in fall 2006 about taking pictures of a “same-gender ceremony” and was informed the studio only handled “traditional weddings.” When her partner contacted the studio without revealing her sexual orientation, the studio responded with a price list and sent a follow-up email.

The opinion follows a national trend, according to the Pennsylvania law professor who represented Willock on the appeal.

Albuquerque Journal

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Appeals court to reveal gay marriage case plan

(Reuters) – An appeals court will say on Tuesday whether it will revisit the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 gay marriage ban or clear the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the issue.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February that the ban discriminated against gays and lesbians. It rejected the key argument by ban supporters that Proposition 8 furthered “responsible procreation.”

Ban proponents appealed the ruling to the full 9th Circuit, which could hear it with a larger panel of judges or decline to review it, opening the way for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the session that begins in October.

President Barack Obama last month turned gay marriage into a 2012 campaign issue, saying he believed same-sex couples should be able to marry. Republican Mitt Romney disagrees.

The vast majority of U.S. states limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, and popular votes have consistently approved bans on widening those rights.

But polls show growing acceptance of same-sex nuptials, which have been legalized in eight states and the District of Columbia, thanks to votes by legislators and court decisions.

-via Reuters.

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