Tag Archive | john lewis

Love Around the World

On a recent trip to Japan to speak on LGBTQ rights for Marriage Equality USA, John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney had the honor of addressing the crowd at Pink Dot Okinawa, a wonderful event with over 1,000 attendees who were treated to music, dance, speeches, and a beautiful marriage ceremony for Kazuki and Harold — when the happy couple exchanged vows there was not a dry eye in the crowd. Read more…

Color Our World with Rainbow Pride

We must create global collaboration and community to truly color the world with rainbow pride. Perhaps no country speaks better of the potential of such collaboration than South Africa. In 2006, South Africa became the fifth country in the world to gain marriage equality—before every other state in the United States except Massachusetts—thanks to specific sexual orientation protection in their constitution. Two years ago, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg praised the South African Constitution—a true product of international collaboration—as “a fundamental instrument of government that embrace(s) basic human rights,” and calling it “a great piece of work that was done.” This year’s Pride celebrations remind us that we have much more great work to do together. Read more…

Taking on Conversion Therapy in Texas

When Ryan Kendall, a young gay man living in Denver, heard the news back in 2008 that the Califor­nia Supreme Court had ruled in fa­vor of the freedom to marry, he was so excited that he had to participate personally in the movement. He reached out to us as leaders of Mar­riage Equality USA, and we soon learned that Ryan as a 14-year-old boy had survived brutal so-called “conversion” therapy to change his sexual orientation. When Ryan’s parents had learned he was gay by secretly reading his journal, they shipped him off to a conversion program in Southern California.

Right now Ryan lives in Texas, and last Saturday the Texas Republican Party enshrined a pro-conversion therapy plank in its party platform. After testifying at the Prop. 8 trial, Ryan has testified before legisla­tures across the country and has been instrumental to passing state laws protecting LGBT youth from conversion therapy. Ryan shared with us his reaction to Saturday’s news. Read more…

Countdown to Equality

And then there were three.

Just a few weeks ago, there were five states either without marriage equality or without an active lawsuit for equal marriage rights. But the pace of change continues to accelerate with the filing of a new case for equality in Georgia, and the announcement that South Dakota will be next.

That will leave only three states—Alaska, Montana, and North Dakota—without either marriage equality or marriage lawsuits for the time being. Read more…

Utah Should Drop its Appeal and Let the Salt Lake City Weddings Begin Again

The State of Utah’s stunning admissions in last week’s oral argument before the Tenth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals and in briefs filed with the court make one thing abundantly clear: the state should drop its appeal of the federal district court’s ruling last December in favor of marriage equality. We’ll never forget the joy we felt seeing over a thousand LGBT couples dash to their local clerk’s offices in Salt Lake City and other Utah environs during the winter 2013 holiday season before the district court’s order was stayed. It’s time for those weddings to begin again. Read more…

A Whirlwind Six Weeks Ahead for Marriage Equality

Last year at this time, the United States Supreme Court had just finished hearing oral arguments in two LGBT cases that resulted in landmark marriage equality rulings striking down Section 3 of DOMA and Proposition 8. Although LGBT rights are not before the high court in 2014, this year promises to be a barnburner of a year for marriage equality litigation in lower courts with a dizzying sixty cases pending in thirty states or territories of the United States. Consider what’s ahead in just the next six weeks…

Reflections on Arizona’s Vetoed Anti-Gay Legislation: Time to Seize the Moment

Arizona’s recently failed attempt to enact a law permitting restaurants, hotels, and other businesses to deny services to LGBT people, under the guise of religious liberty, rightly raised the ire of LGBT people and all those who oppose discrimination. The nationwide attention the bill received also has a silver lining. Read more…