Chile’s Senate Approves Bill For Same-Sex Marriage

A gay man places a wedding ring on the finger of his husband

A gay man places a wedding ring on the finger of his husband

The Washington Blade: reports a bill has passed in Chile’s Senate that would make same-sex marriage legal in the South American country.

On June 1, President Sebastián Piñera publicly announced his support for marriage equality and asked lawmakers to expedite legislation on the issue. The bill now heads to the Chilean House of Representatives.

Although same-sex couples have been able to enter into civil unions in Chile since 2015, the country’s conservative ruling party has been slow to pass marriage rights for LGBTQ couples.

Currently, the only South American countries to legally recognize same-sex marriage are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Uruguay.

6 Years Ago Today: Marriage Equality Becomes The Law Of The Land

Six years ago today the United States Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal across the nation

Six years ago today, the United States took a huge leap forward in equal rights for all when the Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality was a constitutional right.

And just like that, my marriage was valid and equal to all.

Easily one of the most impactful, emotional days of my life. I will never be able to articulate the emotions that came over me in the minutes, hours, days after the news was announced.

And then, just to put the cherry on top of the sundae, the White House celebrated the occasion awash in the colors of the LGBT rainbow.

Still so far to go, but it’s important to slow down for a second and remember the good days.

Switzerland Will Hold National Vote On Same-Sex Marriage

A gay man places a wedding ring on the finger of his husband

Switzerland will hold a public referendum on whether to legalize same-sex marriage

I was surprised to learn today that Switzerland, of all countries, still has not legalized same-sex marriage.

One of the few European countries still lacking marriage equality, Switzerland will now ask its citizens to vote on the whether gays and lesbians can marry the person they love.

Switzerland’s journey to same-sex marriage has taken several twists and turns over the years.

Swiss lawmakers have been working on the issue since 2013 when the first bill was presented by the nation’s Green Party.

But the legislation stalled as lawmakers contemplated whether the move would require a change to Switzerland’s constitution.

In April 2020, the Council of States, the nation’s upper chamber, finally agreed a legal change was unnecessary.

On December 18, 2020, the National Council (Switzerland’s lower chamber) voted in favor of same-sex marriages by a vote of 24 to 11 with 7 abstentions. That bill also provides lesbian couples with access to sperm donation.

That vote triggered an uproar by two conservative groups – the Federal Democratic Union and the Swiss People’s Party – who quickly got to work collecting signatures for a petition calling for a referendum on the issue.

Reuters reports that Switzerland’s democratic system allows opponents of decisions by parliament the right to force a referendum, or a public vote, if a group can collect 50,000 signatures within 100 days.

On Tuesday, the Federal Chancellery confirmed that over 61,000 signatures had been collected.

In May, the government will announce a date for the vote which will probably happened this fall.

The good news is a survey commissioned by the LGBTQ advocacy group Pink Cross in 2020 showed 82% of Swiss citizens (in a country of 8.5 million) support same-sex marriage.

Podcast: Lil Nas X, 20th Anniversary Of Marriage Equality, And More

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• President Biden issues first-ever presidential proclamation for Transgender Day of Visibility

• Arkansas has passed a series of anti-LGBTQ laws in a week

• The Pentagon erases Trump-era ban on trans military service members

• Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first legal same-sex weddings

• Lil Nas X pens a touching letter to his 14-year-old self – Link to his new music video ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report podcast.

News Round-Up: April 1, 2021

Film & TV star Richard Chamberlain
Film & TV star Richard Chamberlain
Film & TV star Richard Chamberlain (image via Boy Culture)

Some news items you might have missed:

Boy Culture: Out actor Richard Chamberlain (above) turned 87 this week. Click over to BC for more photos of the eternally handsome star.

The Gaily Grind: The Nebraska Supreme Court has reversed a ruling by a judge who denied a lesbian couple’s petition to adopt a child because he said a dictionary defined a “wife” as having a husband.

Instinct Magazine: Did you know it’s the 20th anniversary of the first legal same-sex wedding and marriage? Twenty years ago, Dutch couple Gert Kasteel and Dolf Pasker became the first same-sex couple to get legally married in the Netherlands and the world.

CNN: The ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine confirms its protection remains high for at least six months after the second dose and likely lasts even longer. The vaccine also appears to be fully effective against the B.1.351 variant currently circulating in South Africa and beyond.

RawStory: Supporters of Donald Trump are furious that his vice president, Mike Pence, might try to run for president in 2024. Trump fans are still angry about Pence refusing to fight the 2020 election with the Electoral College certification.

NBC News: Every Republican in Congress voted against President Biden’s COVID stimulus package, that’s not stopping them from trumpeting popular aspects of the bill to their constituents as if they’d actually done something.

AP: The Montana legislature has approved a bill that would allow discrimination against LGBTQ people based on their ‘religious beliefs.’ Lawmakers rejected an amendment that would make it clear the law couldn’t be used to justify discrimination. The legislation now heads to the governor’s desk who has indicated he will sign it into law.

Japan Court Rules Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional

Wedding cake with two grooms

Wedding cake with two grooms

For the first time, a Japanese court has ruled the country’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Judge Tomato Takebe of the Sapporo District Court said in his ruling, “Legal benefits stemming from marriages should equally benefit both homosexuals and heterosexuals.” Takebe added that the prohibition violates Article 14 of Japan’s constitution which bans discrimination “because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.”

In addition to the emotional distress of being treated like second-class citizens, same-sex couples are also financially harmed by the ban.

Without the right to marry, same-sex couples have no parental rights to children, and can’t inherit their partner’s estate (houses, property, assets). Even for couples who marry abroad, without recognition in Japan binational couples don’t have access to visas which could force them to live separately.

The court case was brought by three same-sex couples who filed their lawsuit seeking financial compensation for the challenges they’ve faced.

While the plaintiffs won on the broader issue of the right to marry, Judge Takebe declined to grant their request for financial compensation.

Attorneys for the couples say they plan to appeal the ruling in regard to the damages sought for compensation.

The ruling doesn’t bring about any real change at this point, but with four similar lawsuits making their way through courts in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka, it’s sure to help set legal precedent.

Japan is the only member of the G7 nations (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, and Canada) where same-sex marriages have not become legal.

In May 2019, Taiwan became the only country in Asia to legally embrace marriage equality.

Read more at AP News.

Pope Says Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Marriages Because God ‘Doesn’t Bless Sin’

Pope Francis (image via public domain)

Although Pope Francis has made “welcoming” comments regarding LGBTQ people and the Catholic Church in the past, a new statement from the Vatican makes clear the Church will not bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin.”

From AP News:

The Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a formal response to a question about whether Catholic clergy have the authority to bless gay unions. The answer, contained in a two-page explanation published in seven languages and approved by Pope Francis, was “negative.”

The note distinguished between the church’s welcoming and blessing of gay people, which it upheld, but not their unions.

It argued that such unions are not part of God’s plan and that any sacramental recognition of them could be confused with marriage.

The Catholic Church maintains that “marriage is a lifelong union between a man and woman, is part of God’s plan and is intended for the sake of creating new life.”

In a documentary released last October,  the Pope said in an interview that he endorses the idea of same-sex unions in the form of civil unions but not “marriage.”

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family,” Pope Francis said at the time. “They are children of God.”

Out Olympian Adam Rippon Is Engaged!

Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon has announced he and his longtime boyfriend have become engaged
Adam Rippon (right) and Jussi-Pekka Kajaala are engaged (image via Instagram/Adam Rippon)

Out Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon has announced the happy news that he and his longtime boo Jussi-Pekka ‘JP’ Kajaala are now engaged.

“JP and I didn’t get to see each other for almost all of 2020 because of the pandemic,” said in a post on Instagram. “When there was finally a chance for me to go and see him in Finland, I jumped at it. I was there for a little over two months.”

Amid sharing jokes, shoveling snow, binge-watching The Crown, and even booting up for a little skating, “We bought ourselves some rings and said that magic word.. ‘duh!’ We got engaged.”

“I’m excited to marry JP because he’s just the best,” Rippon tells PEOPLE in an statement. “He’s kind, he’s funny, and he’s just as beautiful on the inside as he is on the out (which is a lot). He’s my cheerleader and I’m his. I just love him a lot.”

Leading up to the big moment, Rippon says the couple “did everything together.” They bought the rings together, picked them up together, and even simultaneously dropped down to a knee and popped the question in unison so they could both “be the one who proposed.”

“We went to a nice dinner and we did it at the same time,” the 31-year-old athlete told Good Morning America. “We did three, two, one, and we put the rings on.”

Rippon became a household name during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he scored a bronze medal as part of Team USA. As a result, he became the first openly gay U.S. athlete to medal at the Olympics – and playfully declared himself ‘America’s sweetheart.’

It was while competing abroad that Rippon met his future fiancé on Tinder.

Since that time, the couple has been out and proud about their relationship.  Kajaala has appeared with Rippon on red carpets at events and shared moments on each others Instagram accounts.

Rippon, a longtime LGBTQ activist, says the exposure was done with a purpose.

“I think that representation and seeing people in different circumstances can help inspire,” he told GMA. “I think growing up, I never really saw myself getting married because I didn’t see how it would happen.”

“It was with JP, the first time I thought, ‘Oh yeah, I know the feeling I can marry somebody,’” he added.

The couple hasn’t picked a date yet, but Rippon says he’d be happy with a small, non-Olympic sized ceremony.

“I think what we are just going to do is wear some cool clothes, go to the courthouse, get married, come home and maybe go to Houston Steakhouse after and that will be that.”

Congratulations to the happy couple!

News Round-Up: December 18, 2020

Bremen Menelli (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Men’s Variety: With gyms closing in parts of the country due to COVID-19, here are 10 tips on how to exercise outside this winter during the pandemic – although InstaHunk Bremen Menelli (above) seems to have it figured out 😉

Gay Star News: After a seven-year campaign, Switzerland’s parliament has passed the final vote on same-sex marriage, making the central European country the 29th country in the world to approve marriage equality.

KIT212: Kenneth round’s up the what’s what in LGBTQ publications each week like this issue of Dallas Voice.

LGBTQ Nation: A 17-year-old transgender girl died by suicide earlier this week, just days after she was humiliated by a school administrator for wearing a skirt.

OMG Blog: The brainless bombshell known as the bimbo is one of our most familiar tropes, but recently, a new brand of halfwit hottie has been gaining recognition. Enter the himbo. Like their bimbo counterparts, the requirements for a himbo are simple: They’re hot, kind… and not too bright.

The Advocate: A gay couple in Eureka, California, woke up to find their Christmas decorations had been ripped down, torn, and smeared with feces. The local police chief has announced that, if found, the perpetrator will be charged with a hate crime.

Metro Weekly: A federal judge has ordered the state of Wisconsin to provide a transgender inmate with gender confirmation surgery to treat her gender dysphoria. Although she was permitted to receive hormone treatments, counseling, and even allowed to wear some women’s clothing, she was denied gender confirmation surgery after requesting it in 2013.

NBC News: A Republican committee in Virginia unanimously passed a resolution censuring Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va., saying he betrayed the party’s values when he officiated a same-sex wedding in 2019.