Pete Earthlé, IdeasNConversations @IdeasN Happy Pride to Berlin LGBTQ Community. Enjoy your celebration during the Annual Christopher Street Day.
Both the states of Illinois and Hawaii signaled Same-sex Marriage as illustrated by an overwhelming support among each states legislature last Tuesday and Friday respectively. Either of the states will get the 15th or 16th place among US States that legalized Same-sex Marriages. Hawaii is a favorite destination of couples for vacations and special celebrations. Many LGBT community members enjoy the amenities of the Hawaiian island as well. Advanced Congratulations and Best Wishes to the future Same-sex couples who will marry once their state will sign the initiative into law.
In October 2013, the State of New Jersey got the 14th State that recognized Same-sex Marriage.
The States of Maine, Maryland and Washington were the first states that ratified same-sex marriage rights through citizens voting in November 2012.
Reference source: http://www.reuters.com
When Autumn comes, it is a marvelous weather with the beautiful colorful surroundings!
Department of State Secretary Kerry Announces Visa Changes for Same-Sex Couples
Per White House Public Engagement, earlier today Secretary of State John Kerry delivered remarks at the U.S. Embassy in London, that, effective immediately, the State Department will consider the visa applications of same-sex spouses in the same manner as opposite-sex spouses:
“One of our most important exports by far is America’s belief in the equality of all people. Now, our history shows that we haven’t always gotten it right. As I mentioned yesterday in Islamabad, slavery was written into our Constitution before it was written out. And we are still struggling to make equal the rights between men and women and to break the glass ceiling and to make sure that all people are created equal. That is what we try to do, I think wearing our heart on our sleeve, and sometimes our warts, more than almost any other nation on the face of the planet. We believe in working to do better and to live up to these higher values, and we try to do it in a lot of different ways.
Today is one of those days. I’m very pleased to be able to announce that effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a visa, the Department of State will consider that application in the same manner that it will consider the application of opposite-sex spouses. And here is exactly what this rule means: If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. If you are the spouse of a non-citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. And if you are in a country that doesn’t recognize your same-sex marriage, then your visa application will still be treated equally at every single one of our 222 visa processing centers around the world.”
Credit Source: Office of Public Engagement, The White House
The US Supreme Court has issued its ruling on two controversial issues that divided Americans for many years.
In June 26, 2013, the American LGBT Citizens gained equal respect, rights and privileges to their counterparts in the American Society within the Federal Level of government. The Supreme Court Judges removed the second class classification that was provided to the LGBT Citizens and recognized all Same-Sex Marriages in all states that allowed marriages, as equal to their counterparts among heterosexuals.
“This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better” – Pres Obama
“DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment,” “The federal statue is invalid” wrote Justice Kennedy.
A New York City immigration judge, Barbara Nelson, immediately adjourned Brooks’ deportation hearing after reading the Supreme Court ruling, specifically section 3 of DOMA which recognized only marriages between a man and a woman and granted federal benefits to such marriages. By striking down Section 3, the Supreme Court has allowed same-sex couples to receive more than 1,000 federal benefits and entitlements linked to marriage status.
It’s not just a generation gap that explains the profound shift, pollsters are discovering — even some older Americans are changing their minds about gay marriage, as are citizens in rural areas, from religious backgrounds and in traditionally conservative jurisdictions.
All Five Justices who demonstrated their decision in removing the discriminatory parts of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) will be remembered in the annals of history. They stood for the people who were being discriminated by such Law, that was signed in 1996 by then President Bill Clinton, of which he recently expressed regret and advocated the Supreme Court’s invalidation.
President Obama and his administration will be appreciated forever by Same-Sex Marriages including their families, friends and communities.
Where do we go from here?
In addition to our rich US History, today it illustrated that we have achieved another significant level of respect and dignity – Marriage Equality. While everyone do not agree to the Supreme Court Ruling, it is important to celebrate the correction of a wrong doing. The most important is the federal recognition of the same-sex marriages that exist within communities, will now have equal treatment with the heterosexual marriages. Same-Sex Spouses are now publicly documented in any legal documentations for both federal and state (where same-sex marriage is allowed) governments.
“So we welcome today’s decision, and I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.” – President Obama
A Salute to Everyone involved, who participated hard in this discrimination fight. Prayers to the souls of those who were discriminated, lost their lives and did not see today’s invalidation of DOMA.
Anderson Cooper’s AC360 covered a Highlight of the Day in his program! It is worth listening to their conversations. Awesome for Anderson to share this episode of AC360, More Power.
Credit to Sources: