“Merkel′s conservatives under pressure to allow gay marriage” | DW.COM

 

Marriage equality is legal in 22 countries, including Argentina, South Africa and the United States. Germany is not one of them. But now members of the junior governing Social Democratic Party (SPD) are pushing to change that. They are calling on their coalition partners, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU), to go along with a change of law that would grant same-sex couples the right to get married and not just obtain civil unions.

Thomas Oppermann, the head of the SPD in parliament, said he planned to put marriage equality on the agenda for the next coalition meeting of the SPD, CDU and CSU.

“Everyone’s talking about preserving our values these days. That shouldn’t just be a talking point in grant speeches, but rather a part of actual policies,” Oppermann told the newsmagazine Der Spiegel. “Among these values are not only the protection of marriage and family, but also equal rights for different kinds of relationships.”

Source: DW.COM 

Unionists could make pact to keep blocking equal marriage in Northern Ireland · PinkNews

Arlene Foster and Roy Beggs (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Just days after Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party lost their veto power over same-sex marriage, another MLA has vowed to help them block it.

Assembly elections were held last week in Northern Ireland after the collapse of the previous government, with the anti-gay marriage DUP losing ground to Sinn Féin.

The DUP, which lost nearly all of its hefty majority, had previously used peace process powers known as ‘petitions of concern’ to block same-sex marriage.

Hopes of progress were raised over the weekend when the DUP won just 28 seats – two short of the 30 needed to pass a petition of concern by themselves.

However, it’s far from plain sailing, and unionists from two other parties, the Ulster Unionist Party and Traditional Unionist Voice, have vowed to prop up the DUP on the issue.

Source:  · PinkNews

Finland votes to legalise same-sex marriage once again

Finland has voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage… for a second time.

Despite voting in favour of marriage equality back in 2014, with 105 to 92 votes in support, the country’s parliament was forced to vote on the issue once again after a citizens’ petition called for a repeal of the incoming law.

The ‘Genuine Families’ petition, which demanded that marriage remains “a genuinely egalitarian union between man and women”, passed the 50,000 signature mark which is required for a parliamentary debate.

Unfortunately for same-sex marriage opponents, the petition failed to achieve its goal, as even more MPs came out in support of equality than in 2014.

120 members of parliament were opposed to a repeal of the marriage equality law, while just 48 supported it. Two members abstained and 29 people were absent.

Source: Gay Times

Greens see hope for gay marriage after Foster comments – BelfastTelegraph

The DUP’s changed position on Stormont’s petition of concern could finally lead the way for same sex marriage in Northern Ireland, it has been claimed.

Green Party leader in Northern Ireland Steven Agnew said DUP leader Arlene Foster’s claims that she would like to see the petition of concern scrapped has left him hopeful of a change in the law for marriage equality.

A petition of concern – a mechanism introduced as part of the Good Friday Agreement to help protect minority rights in the Northern Ireland Assembly – was used by them in 2015 to stop votes on same-sex marriage being passed.

A majority of MLA’s voted in favour of same-sex marriage, but the motion was blocked by the DUP when it deployed the petition.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where gay marriage is not legal.

Source:BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Gay marriage to be introduced in Malta soon – timesofmalta.com

Gay marriage could soon be introduced in Malta as a Marriage Equality Bill is in the process of being drafted, Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli announced this afternoon.

Speaking during an event organised by the NGO Drachma, the minister said the Civil Union Law gave gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples under a different name. The government was now also “changing this”.

“You are not going to believe this but, just yesterday, I was revising a bill on marriage equality,” the minister said prompting a round of applause by those present.

“Our civil union law is already on a par with marriage. All the rights are there and it’s just different in name so we’re changing that. We’re working on it,” Dr Dalli said.

Same-sex unions were approved by Parliament in Malta on April 14, 2014. The Opposition had abstained.

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Source: – timesofmalta.com

Same-Sex Marriage Laws Linked To Powerful Drop In Teen Suicide Rate | The Huffington Post

Living in a community that recognizes gay marriage can improve the mental health of all teens, according to a new study.

State marriage equality laws enacted in the years before the 2015 Supreme Court ruling were linked to lower rates of suicide attempts among all high school students but especially among teens who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure. Ultimately, the researchers found, for every year that same-sex marriage laws were in place, 134,000 fewer teens attempted suicide. 

This is noteworthy because queer teens are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers.

While the study doesn’t demonstrate that these laws actually caused a reduction in suicide attempts, lead study author Julia Raifman theorized that having equal protection under the law may account for much of the change.