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The Benefits of Legal Marriage

by C. Ann Shepherd

The typical married couple in America receives over 160 benefits and rights by virtue of their union. It seems ironic that a heterosexual couple married for one hour, has more rights and benefits than a same-sex couple that has been together for 30 years. The following is only a sample of some of the rights and benefits provided by legal marriage.

Note: Marriage benefits are granted on a state by state basis, and may differ from one state to the next.

Common Benefits of Marriage:

Insurance benefits through a spouse's employer

Insurance discounts offered to married couples and related persons living in same household

Read moreThe Benefits of Legal Marriage

The Power of Legal Marriage (by David Brooks)

Anybody who has several sexual partners in a year is committing spiritual suicide. He or she is ripping the veil from all that is private and delicate in oneself, and pulverizing it in an assembly line of selfish sensations.

But marriage is the opposite. Marriage joins two people in a sacred bond. It demands that they make an exclusive commitment to each other and thereby takes two discrete individuals and turns them into kin.

Few of us work as hard at the vocation of marriage as we should. But marriage makes us better than we deserve to be. Even in the chores of daily life, married couples find themselves, over the years, coming closer together, fusing into one flesh. Married people who remain committed to each other find that they reorganize and deepen each other's lives. They may eventually come to the point when they can say to each other: "Love you? I am you."

Read moreThe Power of Legal Marriage (by David Brooks)

Marriage - History or Mystery? by Sally M. Masters

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Northampton Pride and the 2nd anniversary of the legal recognition of same sex marriage in Massachusetts this year, history has been at the forefront of my mind. Several thousand same sex couples have married in Massachusetts over the past two years, and life is only better for the people of the Commonwealth as a result - better for ALL people!  Yet, a new fight began this past year to place the issue of same sex marriage on the ballot. 

Read moreMarriage - History or Mystery? by Sally M. Masters

Countries With Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

YearCountryComments
2001The NetherlandsOn April 1, 2001, The Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriages. The legislation gave same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce, and adopt children.
2003BelgiumBeginning in 1998, the Belgian parliament offered limited rights to same-sex couples through registered partnerships. In 2003, the parliament legally recognized same-sex marriages.
2005CanadaIn 1999, some provincial governments extended common law marriages to gay and lesbian couples, providing them with most of the legal benefits of marriage but laws varied across the country. The Ontario Court ruled on June 10, 2003 that gay marriage would be legal, and in the same ruling accepted that two marriages done by banns on January 14, 2001 at MCC Toronto would be recognized as the first legal same-gender marriage in Canada, retroactively making Canada the first country in the world to have a government-legitimized same-sex marriage. In 2005, the Canadian Parliament passed legislation making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
2005SpainAlso in 2005, a closely divided Spanish parliament agreed to do the same. The law guaranteed identical rights to all married couples regardless of sexual orientation.
2006South AfricaAfter South Africa's highest court ruled the country's marriage laws violated the constitution’s guarantee of equal rights, parliament legalized same-sex marriage in 2006.
2008NorwayIn 1993 Norway allowed gay couples to enter civil unions, but it took until 2008 for a Norway to pass a gender-neutral marriage law. In January 2009, the bill was enacted into law, and gay couples were legally granted the right to marry, adopt children and receive artificial insemination.
2009SwedenIn 2009, Sweden voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. The bill passed with 261 votes in favor, 22 votes against and had 16 abstentions.
2010IcelandIceland's parliament voted unanimously to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010. Iceland's then-Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir married her longtime partner Jonina Leosdottir as the law came into effect.
2010PortugalPortugal has also allowed same-sex marriage since 2010, after legislation was originally challenged by the country's president. Portugal had passed a measure legalizing same-sex marriage in February of 2010, but Portugal's former president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, asked the Constitutional Court to review the measure. In April 2010, the Constitutional Court declared the law to be constitutionally valid.
2010ArgentinaIn 2010, Argentina became the first Latin American country to allow same-sex marriage. Prior to the same-sex marriage law, a number of local jurisdictions, including the nation's capital, Buenos Aires, had enacted laws allowing gays and lesbians to enter into civil unions.
2012DenmarkDenmark's legalization came in 2012 after Queen Margrethe II gave her royal assent to the proposed legislation. Denmark was the first country to allow same-sex couples to register as domestic partners in 1989.
2013UruguayUruguay passed legislation allowing same-sex marriage in 2013. Civil unions have been permitted in Uruguay since 2008, and in 2009 gay and lesbian couples were given adoption rights.
2013New ZealandIn 2013, New Zealand became the first country in the Asia-Pacific to legislate for same-sex marriage. The law won approval by a 77-44 margin in the country's legislature, which included support from former Prime Minister John Key.
2013FrancePresident Francois Hollande signed a measure legalizing marriage equality in France in 2013. Hollande's signature had to wait until a court challenge brought by the conservative opposition party, the UMP, was resolved. France's highest court, the Constitutional Council, ruled that the bill was constitutional.
2013BrazilBrazil’s National Council of Justice ruled that same-sex couples should not be denied marriage licenses in 2013, allowing same-sex marriages to begin across the country. Prior to the law, only some of Brazil's 27 jurisdictions had allowed same-sex marriage.
2014England & WalesEngland and Wales became the first countries in the UK to pass marriage equality in 2014. Northern Ireland and Scotland are semi-autonomous and have separate legislative bodies to decide many domestic issues. In 2017, a judge dismissed two cases on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
2014ScotlandScotland voted overwhelmingly in favor of of legalizing same-sex marriage later in 2014. In addition to allowing same-sex couples to wed, the measure gave churches and other religious groups the option to decide whether or not they want to service same-sex marriages.
2015LuxembourgLuxembourg overwhelmingly approved legislation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed and to adopt children that went into effect in 2015. The bill was spearheaded by the country's Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel. Bettel married his long-time partner Gauthier Destenay a few months after the legislation passed.
2015FinlandFinland approved a marriage equality bill in 2014, but it only went into effect in 2015. The bill started out as a public petition and was passed with 101-90 votes.
2015IrelandIreland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote in 2015. 62% of the referendum's respondents voted "yes" to amend the Constitution of Ireland to recognize same-sex marriage. Thousands of Irish emigrants had traveled home to participate in the popular vote.
2015GreenlandGreenland, the world's biggest island, passed same-sex legislation in 2015. Although Greenland is an autonomous territory of Denmark, it was not subject to Denmark's 2012 ruling on legalizing same-sex marriage.
2015United StatesThe United States Supreme Court made marriage equality federal law in 2015. Same-sex marriage had been legal in 37 out of the 50 US states, plus the District of Columbia, prior to the 2015 ruling.
2016ColumbiaColombia became the fourth Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2016. Same-sex couples were already allowed to form civil partnerships before the ruling.
2017Germany In 2017, Germany became the 15th European country to allow same-sex couples to wed. Germany gave full marital rights to homosexual couples in a vote that Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against.
2017MaltaNearly all of Malta's parliament voted in favour of legalizing same-sex marriage. Despite opposition from the Catholic Church on the small Mediterranean island, marriage equality was passed by a landslide 66-1 vote.
2018AustraliaAustralian lawmakers in December enacted the will of the majority of citizens who overwhelmingly voted in favour of same-sex marriage during a postal survey held weeks earlier. Same-sex couples were officially allowed to marry beginning January 9, more than a month after it was legalized in the country.

Crossing Lines - One Person's Thoughts About Same-Sex Blessings

We all grow up being taught the conventional wisdom of our surroundings. I never knew anyone whom I could identify as being a homosexual until I was in college -- nice people didn't talk about that. On the other hand, early on I learned the language of ridicule.

There was a boy in our neighborhood named Tony. He was a bit younger than my buddies, but large for his age -- bigger than me. But Tony never played with us. We invited him, but he didn't want to. He preferred to play house. He had dolls and a playhouse. He got along great with the girls next door. We didn't get too close to all of that. There was something about it that made the rest of us guys nervous. So we made fun of Tony and called him sissy. One kid called him a "queer", so the rest of us did too, even though we didn't know what that meant. We didn't know any better. Or did we? Somewhere inside, it felt wrong to tease him. Mostly we ignored him. That was easy. He was different.

Read moreCrossing Lines - One Person's Thoughts About Same-Sex Blessings

Let No One Be Turned Away

I have been married for 30 years, but I'll not put that forward as any sort of qualification.

Experience is not the same thing as wisdom. Wisdom is like a guide and grandmother to the changing, exploring, learning mind. Wisdom says that it's a good time to change your mind when it widens your heart.

I have changed my mind about marriage and had my mind changed by marriage many times in 30 years. It isn't over yet. I could say the same thing about my many years of interpreting and articulating the treasures of the sacred scriptures. I suspect that the aim of scripture is not so much fixing the mind as it is widening the heart.

Read moreLet No One Be Turned Away

Biblical Marriage: A Bad Source For Debate

Vaughn RosteNote: The son of two Lutheran pastors, Vaughn Roste is a Canadian who has worshipped and worked in Episcopalian, Presbyterian, United and Christian Reformed Churches, but his current employment is teaching at a United Methodist College. He has visited five continents and lived on four of them, holds three degrees in two different areas (theology and music), and has written one book: "The Xenophobe's Guide to the Canadians," available at Amazon.com.

We've heard a lot about "biblical marriage" lately, largely as a defensive reaction against same-sex marriage. I read one letter to the editor written by a Lutheran pastor that claimed that "the Bible clearly teaches that marriage is the God-ordained covenantal union of one man to one woman." How very applicable to the contemporary situation, I thought. If the Bible really teaches that (and in such modern language too!), then we all should be paying the Bible a lot more heed.

So I picked up my Bible and looked up all the passages that have anything to do with marriage (I had help: I used a concordance). I examined the scriptural use of all the words I could think of related to marriage: marriage, marriages, marry, marries, married, wedding, weddings, wed, husband, husbands, wife, and wives.

Read moreBiblical Marriage: A Bad Source For Debate

Contra Sola Scriptura

by Vaughn Roste

Note: This is an in-depth article based on the Contra Sola Scriptura principle as it relates to Lutherans. For an easier read by the same author covering the same basic points for a general audience, please go to Biblical Marriage: A Bad Source For Debate

I have recently read several comments made by Alberta pastors that Scripture alone should be used in determining Lutheran church policy. Pr. Brad Everett in the last issue of The Forum referred to the ELCIC Constitution which states (in part) " . . . the Old and New Testament . . . [are] the only source of the Church's doctrine . . ." Pr. Mike Wellunscheg makes the same point in his letter to the editor in the November 2003 issue of the Canada Lutheran: ". . . we are Lutheran and adhere to the Reformation principle of sola scriptura." When one side in a debate clearly aligns itself with Scripture it forces any opposing opinion into the uncomfortable position of having to argue against the Bible, which is difficult as the Bible is a document that we all tend to hold very dear.

Read moreContra Sola Scriptura

Gay Marriage In The Bible

from Internet Sacred Text Archive (used with permission)

There are about half a dozen direct references to what we today term homosexuality in the Tanach and NT, and a few others which are relevant but not direct. Two of the most negative passages are found in the book of Leviticus, alongside a mass of ancient Jewish food and incest taboos, purification rituals and medical protocols. In the New Testament, there are several instances in the Epistles where Paul disparages homosexuality. Notably, at no point in the Gospel narrative does Jesus condemn homosexuality.

Read moreGay Marriage In The Bible

Same Sex Marriage Miscellaneous


May 26, 2017 - Countries (nationwide or in some parts) that now legally recognize same-sex marriage are: Argentina, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay.
Note that this list is different than the list of countries that allow immigration of same-sex partners.
 
No country in Asia legally recognises same-sex marriage ceremonies performed under its jurisdiction, although Israel recognises same-sex marriages performed overseas for some purposes.


Jun 27, 2015 - The US Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. It means the 14 states with bans on same-sex marriage will no longer be able to enforce them.

~ President Barack Obama said the ruling was a "victory for America".

"If any white person intermarry with a colored person, or any colored person intermarry with a white person, he shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one, nor more than five years."

Remember that law? It wasn't all that long ago (1958, to be exact) that this very line, this nasty little bit of legalized hate, was on the books in Virginia. Yes, interracial marriages were illegal in many states as recently as 50 years ago.   ~ Mark Morford


Love And Let Love - a song by John Long, a straight, retired, married guy with kids, who believes in our cause. It's a beautiful home-recorded song, and we are most grateful to John for allowing us to use it.

Click Here to listen.

If you have a use for the song as well, please Contact John for permission.


"Concerning love, gay marriage satisfies the ideal prerequisites for marriage. Gays fall in love, have the intention of exclusivity, care deeply for each other, share burdens and blessings, enjoy being together, express as a couple their physical, emotional, intellectual, religious and/or philosophical yearnings and aspirations.

Hardline opponents speak of their disgust over homosexual sexual acts. But, anything homosexuals may do in the privacy of their bedrooms is already being done by some married couple according to the sex manuals available. Besides, heterosexual marriages are often a disaster rather than a worthy model. I believe gay marriages will provide a superior model that will enhance straight marriages that are currecntly anything but exemplary."

~ Rev. Gerald Walton Paul - Ordained United Church Minister

Justice = Civil Marriage Equality

by Christopher Hubble - July 7, 2004

"The union of a man and a woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith ... Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society,"
~ President George W. Bush, February 24, 2004.

This president seems bent on revising history to suit his misguided political purposes. He would persuade us that heterosexual unions have been the monolithic norm for eons. This position could not be further from the truth. Since the president has so much difficulty conforming to truth, fact, or sound reason regarding the issue of civil marriage equality, let us conduct our own examination of certain pertinent facts.

Read moreJustice = Civil Marriage Equality

What Is A Biblical Marriage? (by Brother Lawrence Damien)

Dear family,

We have been told that the Bible defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Therefore any other kind of marriage is wrong, including same sex marriages. However, is that what the Bible really says? Is the Bible open to more than one type of marriage? If so, how many types of marriage might it recognize?

To start with, let's recognize that nowhere does the Bible define marriage as between one man and one woman exclusively. As a matter of fact, the Bible mentions eight different types of marriage that are recognized and approved by God. They are:

Read moreWhat Is A Biblical Marriage? (by Brother Lawrence Damien)

How the Grinch Stole Marriage

by Mary Ann Horton, Lisa and Bill Koontz
(with apologies to Dr. Suess.)

 

GrinchEvery Gay down in Gayville liked Gay Marriage a lot......
But the Grinch, who lived just east of Gayville, did NOT!!

The Grinch hated happy Gays! The whole Marriage season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, his Florsheims were too tight.
But I think the most likely reason of all was
His heart and brain were two sizes too small.

Read moreHow the Grinch Stole Marriage

In Defense of Biblical Marriage (Satire)

by Cindy Scott

The Presidential Prayer Team is currently urging us to: "Pray for the President as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage. Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles. With many forces insisting on variant definitions of marriage, pray that God's Word and His standards will be honored by our government."

Any good religious person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on biblical principles:

A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women.
(Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5.)

Read moreIn Defense of Biblical Marriage (Satire)

Church of Scotland Expected to Move Towards Gay Marriage

May 21, 2017 - Scotland is moving towards being the country in the UK with most liberal Christian practice on gay marriage with the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church both taking steps in this direction in the near future.

On Thursday the Church of Scotland is expected to back same-sex marriage in a debate on how such weddings could take place in church.

Read moreChurch of Scotland Expected to Move Towards Gay Marriage

Attorney and Plaintiff in the First Same Sex Marriage Lawsuit of the Modern Gay Rights Movement

by Craig Dean

Craig DeanPerhaps no topic stirs the imagination as the legalization of same-sex marriage. In this veritable minefield of tradition versus progress, twenty years ago attorney Craig Dean filed the first discrimination suit to legalize same-sex marriage in over forty years when his marriage license application to his partner was denied by the District of Columbia because both parties were men.

Since then he has been speaking out on issues affecting gay and lesbian couples and has become a powerful advocate for legalization of gay marriages. His presentation gives a historical background to same-sex marriage, places it in the context of society and the modern gay civil rights movement, and discusses what the future may hold.

Read moreAttorney and Plaintiff in the First Same Sex Marriage Lawsuit of the Modern Gay Rights Movement

Church Recognizes Gay Pastor's Union

GLENN DALE - A church pastor and a Web page designer yesterday got as close to marriage as two same-sex Episcopalians can in Maryland.

During a service led by the Right Rev. John Bryson Chane, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, the 12-year relationship between the Rev. Michael Warren Hopkins and John Clinton Bradley was blessed and their relationship recognized by the church.

"We've always wanted to be able to have a public celebration of our relationship," Hopkins said before the ceremony. "Our time has come."

Read moreChurch Recognizes Gay Pastor's Union

Statement on Same-Sex Marriage

CALGARY - Yesterday the Liberal government introduced their much-awaited marriage legislation.

The decision I have come to has been a difficult one. I have spoken to many hundreds in my riding of Calgary Centre-North. I have met with many community leaders including religious leaders from Calgary and representatives of the gay community. I have held an open Town Hall Meeting and I have done my best to understand the legal and theological issues that this decision has raised.

For me, the marriage question is one of individual liberty - of constitutional liberty.

Read moreStatement on Same-Sex Marriage

The State's Role in Marriage (Part 1)

A possible Conservative victory in the upcoming federal election could mean social policies favouring a traditional "family" ideology: Where men are men and women are housewives and sexual and reproductive freedom is set back half a century.

It's an outcome too depressing to be worth discussion.

Instead, I want to talk about one aspect of Canadian social policy. During a time when our would-be leaders seem incapable of imagining any real transformations in Canadian society, I'm going to suggest a policy change that I think is genuinely worth considering.

Ironically, although I have no preconceived notions about minimizing government involvement in social life, this is one case where I would advocate getting the state out of our personal lives.

I'm talking about marriage.

Read moreThe State's Role in Marriage (Part 1)

The State's Role in Marriage (Part 2)

Read Part 1 of this article.

Today, as Canadians (or at least those of us who vote) are choosing our government for the next five years, I want to recall the words of a former national leader.

On Dec. 22, 1967, defending the decriminalization of homosexual behaviour, Pierre Elliott Trudeau opined that "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation."

To this dictum I would simply add, provided those in the bedrooms are consenting adults.

Read moreThe State's Role in Marriage (Part 2)

Same-Sex Marriage: A Call For Intense Dialogue

In the present ongoing discussion about same-sex marriages, the one thing that seems to be missing within the Roman Catholic Church and within our country, is a dialogue among people who respect one another.

And for me, as your pastor, it is much easier to remain silent, than to take up the challenge to use my own mind, and to listen to my own conscience, about how to deal with this very contentious issue, and to share some thoughts with you today.

I do not mean to be disrespectful towards the Pope, or towards our Canadian Bishops, but I am concerned that we are being treated like "parrots" rather than being recognized for the important role that we have as members of the Body of Christ of being pastors, parishioners, and yes, some are even parliamentarians. What we need is dialogue, not dictates.

Read moreSame-Sex Marriage: A Call For Intense Dialogue

Canadian Military Performs First Gay Wedding

HALIFAX, NS -- The military has marked its first same-sex wedding, more than a decade after gays were allowed to join the Armed Forces.

Two servicemen, who do not want to be named, exchanged vows May 3 at the chapel at CFB Greenwood, N.S., in front of 45 friends and a United Church minister.

Lt.-Cmdr. David Greenwood, the base's head chaplain, said the couple's decision to wed at the military chapel might encourage others to step forward and make their vows official in a setting that not long ago had a policy of excluding them.

Read moreCanadian Military Performs First Gay Wedding

Gay Marriage About Taking Responsibility

The Liberal sponsorship scandal, the Enron affair and the Parmalat case seem to be symptoms of a failure in modern Western culture. We put too much emphasis on individual rights and not enough on individual responsibilities. The public clamours for the individuals responsible for corporate and government failures to face the same sort of criminal prosecution as robbers and thieves. But our legal system is founded on a clear separation between criminal and civil law, and provides strict limits to individual responsibility for public and corporate leaders. Criminals who steal thousands from individual property owners are sent to prison for years, but those who 'misdirect' the public's millions receive dismissals and lavish pensions.

Read moreGay Marriage About Taking Responsibility

The Love that Proudly Speaks its Name

Lloyd Thornhill and his partner Bob Peacock were married last year in Canada and were involved in the court case for equal marriage in Canada. Below is a presentation they made to the government's Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights back on April 1, 2003 before they won the right to marry.

Vancouver, BC, April 1, 2003
Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights
Opening comments by the Chair-Hon. Andy Scott:

Read moreThe Love that Proudly Speaks its Name

Marriage, Loving and the Law

In June 1958, Virginia residents Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter traveled to Washington, D.C., got married and returned home. An unexceptional story but for one fact: Richard was white and Mildred black. Their marriage therefore violated Virginia's Racial Integrity Act. The Lovings were convicted in Virginia court and sentenced to a year in jail, with the sentence suspended on the condition that they leave Virginia and not return together for 25 years.

They got back sooner. On June 12, 1967 -- 40 years ago next Tuesday -- the Supreme Court struck down Virginia's ban on interracial marriages. Writing for a unanimous court, Chief Justice Earl Warren stated that the restriction served no purpose but that of "invidious racial discrimination" and therefore violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Read moreMarriage, Loving and the Law

Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart Threatens To Kill Gays

by Jan Prout
365Gay.com Newscenter
Toronto Bureau
Posted: September 20, 2004 12:02 am ET

(Toronto, Ontario) A Canadian television station has apologized publicly to viewers for a telecast of American evangelist Jimmy Swaggart's television program in which he threatened to kill gays.

The program, aired last week on Omni 1, a Toronto multicultural station, and throughout the US, has also prompted an investigation by the Canadian Radio Television Commission, the government agency which regulates television.

During the program, a rambling sermon by Swaggart who is trying to rehabilitate himself after an arrest for soliciting a prostitute, the televangelist turned to the subject of gay marriage.

Read moreEvangelist Jimmy Swaggart Threatens To Kill Gays

The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage

"The church is not of one mind. I expect this issue to continue to be raised until society comes to terms with it." ~ Bishop Elias Galvan of Seattle, March 21, 2004 (speaking after Methodist minister Rev. Karen Dammann was acquitted in a church trial over her sexual orientation.)

As recently as March, a CBS poll found that religion is a factor in people's views of same-sex marriage: "Three in four people who say religion is extremely important in their lives would favor a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, and three in five think there should be no legal recognition of same-sex relationships." And a Pew Research Center survey released in November, 2003, concluded that a person's religious beliefs are a "major factor" in determining how one feels about sexual minorities: "highly religious people are much more likely to hold negative views."

Read moreThe Bible and Same-Sex Marriage

Just Married, After 51 Years Together

Activist Gay Couple Accepts Leading Role

SAN FRANCISCO -- The bride on the left wears a lavender pantsuit. The other bride carries a gold-chained purse. As the music starts, they begin making their way toward the stage. They walk slowly, not because they want to, but because this is how they walk at age 83 and 79. The white-haired one in lavender is Del Martin. The one with coral lipstick is Phyllis Lyon. They are arm in arm.

A crowd of 2,000 in the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom presses toward the velvet ropes, cameras flashing, everyone craning to get a glimpse. Flowers are tossed. Fists are raised.

"That's them," someone shouts.

"ROCK ON," another yells.

Read moreJust Married, After 51 Years Together

When Marriage Between Gays Was a Rite

As the churches struggle with the issue of homosexuality, a long tradition of gay marriage indicates that the Christian attitude towards same sex unions may not always have been as "straight" as is now suggested, writes Jim Duffy.

A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St. Catherine's monastery on Mt. Sinai. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman pronubus (best man) overseeing what in a standard Roman icon would be the wedding of a husband and wife. In the icon, Christ is the pronubus. Only one thing is unusual. The "husband and wife" are in fact two men.

Read moreWhen Marriage Between Gays Was a Rite

Ten Reasons Gay Marriages Are Wrong! (Satire)

1. Homosexuality is not natural. Real people always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

Read moreTen Reasons Gay Marriages Are Wrong! (Satire)

Couple Has Everything But A Ring

Buoyed by hope, Kathy Barkley and Riki Blackwell, a married couple in every way but the one that legally counts, had planned a trip downstate this weekend. Then the weather out of Albany took a not-so-surprising turn. They had to call the whole thing off.

Riki turned 51 on Saturday. For her birthday, she and Kathy, who is 47, planned to spend a long weekend in New Paltz, the state-college town west of the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie. Like false spring in early March, New Paltz suddenly had become a mecca of long-awaited opportunity for loving couples such as these working-class women from Jefferson County.

Read moreCouple Has Everything But A Ring

Spanish Premier Zapatero's Remarkable Gay Marriage Speech

When the Spanish parliament yesterday took its historic vote legalizing both gay marriage and adoption of children by gay couples, Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who put the full prestige of his office and party behind passage of the gay human rights legislation -- made probably the most remarkable speech in favor of full equality for those with same-sex hearts ever delivered by a head of government anywhere, in which he quoted two of the most illustrious gay poets in history. Here are excerpts from Zapatero's speech:

Read moreSpanish Premier Zapatero's Remarkable Gay Marriage Speech