Big Gay News: 525

BigGayNews from the United States:
Supreme Court Rules Gay Couples Nationwide Have A Right To Marry
The Supreme Court on June 26 delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling five to four that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

The Washington Post reports that the four dissenting justices – Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. – all wrote scathing separate opinions following the historic decision, with most of them pointing to their opinion that the SCOTUS ruling usurped a power that should belong to the people and not to the justices.

That evening saw the very face of the White House aglow with lights in rainbow colors in celebration of the victory for equality.

BigGayNews from the United States:
U.S. Landmarks Light Up In Rainbow Lights To Celebrate Gay Marriage Ruling
The Gaily Grind reports that several U.S. landmarks celebrated the Supreme Court’s historic ruling by lighting up local landmarks in rainbow colors on June 26.

The White House was the most prominent edifice showing off its celebratory lighting in the wake of the landmark decision, but venues across the nation showed off their pride and support by lighting up with the colors of the rainbow, which is traditionally associated with gay pride.

Tweets and Facebook posts showed such notable landmarks as Niagra Falls, the Empire State Building, the I-35 Bridge in Minneapolis, San Francisco City Hall and even Cinderella’s castle at Disney brilliantly lit in celebration.

BigGayNews from the United States:
“Keep Fighting”, Plaintiff Jim Obergefell Says After Supreme Court Ruling About Gay Marriage
The Dallas Morning News reports that as gay and lesbian couples got marriage licenses in downtown Dallas June 29, the man whose story helped inspire the landmark Supreme Court ruling stood yards away.

Speaking outside the Dallas County clerk’s office, Jim Obergefell urged GLBT activists and supporters to not sit back and rest on the laurels of the recent Supreme Court decision but to instead keep fighting for an end to discrimination in the workplace and in other aspects of their lives, calling for a push to enact federal nondiscrimination laws.

Obergefell, whose name will go down in history as being part of the landmark ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges, found his place in the public arena simply because he wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on his longtime partner and husband’s death certificate. The couple had been legally married in Maryland, but when they returned home to Ohio, the state would not recognize their legal union and allow Obergefell to be listed on John Arthur’s death certificate. This set into motion the case that would eventually lead to the landmark ruling to allow legal same-sex marriage across the nation.

BigGayNews from the United States:
Pride Parades Supercharged By Court Ruling On Marriage
USA Today reports that some of the superlatives offered as revelers nationwide marched Sunday in gay pride parades supercharged by the historic Supreme Court ruling extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in all 50 states included words like ‘historic’, ‘emotional’, ‘magical’ and ‘epic’.

The mood was jubilant as thousands marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City, festooned with rainbow buttons and clothing, and waving rainbow flags, balloons and umbrellas as they celebrated the historic decision made by the SCOTUS only two days before.

Many tearfully said that they never thought that they’d see this day in their lifetime, and that was a sentiment that was repeated over and over in Pride celebrations from New York to Chicago to Houston to Minneapolis to San Francisco and Seattle.

Revelers admitted that there is still a ways to go before same-sex marriage is seen as being as unremarkable and ordinary as heterosexual marriage, and that there is still progress that needs to be made in the road to full equality and protection for the GLBT community in all aspects, but that this huge step was worthy of a grand celebration decades in the making.

BigGayNews from Minnesota:
Minneapolis Pride Parade Fills Streets With Rainbow Colors
The Pioneer Press reports that, decked out in nearly every color of the rainbow, nearly 400,000 revelers packed the sidewalks along Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis to celebrate the GLBT community at the annual Twin Cities Pride parade.

Over 100 entries rolled down Hennepin Avenue, and included local celebrities and politicians as well as floats and marching groups representing Target, 3M, OutFront Minnesota, PFLAG Twin Cities, and the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus.

The atmosphere at the weekend-long festival was especially ebullient, thanks to Friday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that granted marriage equality to same-sex couples, and the smiles and joy of those at Loring Park and along the parade route reflected the victorious and optimistic feeling.

More than 400 booths filled the park, offering something for everyone who turned out with their families, children, friends, and pets to enjoy the weekend’s festivities and musical performances.

BigGayNews from the United States:
Big Brands Chime In On The SCOTUS Ruling On Gay Marriage
The American Genius reports that when history was made when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing gay marriage nationwide, brands responded.

Social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook lit up with rainbows and hashtags such as #LoveWins, while many corporations made posts and tweets supporting the decision and celebrating the win for marriage equality for the GLBT community.

Many brands such as Gap, MasterCard, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, AT&T and others also temporarily rainbow-tized their logos, and proudly announced their support for the landmark decision.

BigGayNews from Texas:
Texas Attorney General Says County Clerks Can Refuse Gay Couples Despite SCOTUS Ruling
Religion News Service reports that county clerks in Texas who object to gay marriage can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite the week’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring states to allow same-sex marriage, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Sunday.

Although the decision handed down by SCOTUS on Friday provided same-sex couples the right to wed in all fifty states, Paxton said that his office had received many inquiries from public officials on how to handle the question of issuing marriage licenses or conducting same-sex ceremonies if they themselves hold religious objections to doing so.

Paxton assured those clerks that he will do everything in his power from his office to be a voice for those who stand by their convictions, and that numerous lawyers would be ready and willing to take on their cases should the need arise.

BigGayNews from Michigan:
Ministers Won’t Be Forced To Marry Gay Couples, Law Professor Says
MLive reports that although the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on June 26, ministers will not be forced to marry gay couples, said a professor who specializes in constitutional law.

Devin Schindler, a professor for Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School, said that he does not foresee a change in the current laws in the state of Michigan, none of which would require a minister to perform a ceremony for a couple that they do not wish to marry. Churches are already allowed by the U.S. Constitution to set rules for memberships and practices, and Schindler says that he highly doubts there will be a push to force pastors, ministers, and other clergy to go against those rules in their own churches.

However, the bigger question will be when it comes to judges performing marriages, and whether or not they will be under an obligation to marry same-sex couples if doing such would go against their religious beliefs. Schindler said that, in that case, “judges take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and so when they’re acting in their official capacity, they’re obligated to do what the Constitution requires.”

Schindler said that the main split on that issue would be that, while judges have the legal authority to perform marriages, there is still the question on whether they should be required to or not.

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