Big Gay News: 499
BigGayNews from Indiana:
Judge Strikes Down Indiana’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage, Says It Violates Equal Protection
U.S. News & World Report reports that a federal judge has struck down Indiana’s ban on gay marriage, calling it unconstitutional.
On Wednesday, June 25, U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that the state’s ban is in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s equal-protection clause.
While it’s not currently clear on whether this ruling will allow same-sex marriages to begin in the state, the Indiana attorney general’s office has vowed that it will appeal the judge’s decision.
BigGayNews from Utah:
U.S. Appeals Court Backs Gay Marriage In Marriage In Conservative Utah
Reuters reports that a U.S. appeals courted ruled on Wednesday, June 25, that conservative Utah may not ban gay couples from marrying, a decision that capped a day of victories for same-sex nuptials and nudges the issue closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling was the first time that a regional appeals court has made such a decision since the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA, and came on the heels of a federal district judge in Indiana striking down the state’s ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional.
In an expected move, the Utah state attorney general’s office said that it would file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
BigGayNews from Washington:
Starbucks Raises Gay Pride Flag Over Seattle Headquarters
The Huffington Post reports that Starbucks marked the 40th anniversary of Seattle Pride by raising an enormous 800 square foot flag over its headquarters in the Evergreen State.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, a longtime supporter of GLBT equality, stated that he is “thrilled that Starbucks is showing their support for the LGBT community in this very big, very public way,” and hopes that the rainbow flag will welcome the thousands of people coming into Seattle for Pride week.
Starbucks has been a longtime supporter of the GLBT community, and has been criticized in the past by conservative groups for their endorsement of same-sex marriage in Washington state.
BigGayNews from Minnesota:
Betty Crocker Sponsors Twin Cities Festival, Donates Wedding Cakes
The Huffington Post reports that Betty Crocker [General Mills] is once again making moves to show their support for the GLBT community and same-sex couples.
The company is an official sponsor for the Twin Cities Pride Festival for the second year in a row, and is also planning to donate wedding cakes to several couples who intend to marry during the Pride festival on Saturday, June 28, in Loring Park in Minneapolis.
Perteet Spencer, who serves as marketing manager for Betty Crocker, commented that “Pride is a way for us to really bring our brand purpose to life by celebrating all families.”
BigGayNews from Texas:
Trustee Wants Houston Community College To Withdraw From Pride Parade
The Houston Chronicle reports that Dave Wilson, an anti-gay activist who won a contested race for a seat on the Houston Community College board last November, wants HCC to cancel its plans to sponsor a float in this month’s gay pride parade.
The college has participated in the parade in previous years, and HCC Chairwoman Neeta Sane believes that their involvement reinforces the college’s policy of reaching out to all cross-sections of the community.
Wilson, however, is calling for a vote by the board, saying that “if the KKK had a parade, I would hope the college wouldn’t lend its name to that.”
BigGayNews from Pennsylvania:
Minister Who Was Defrocked For Officiating Gay Wedding Wins Appeals
The Los Angeles Times reports that Frank Schaefer, a Methodist minister who was defrocked six months ago after officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding, won his appeal to have his religious credentials restored by the church on Tuesday.
Reverend Schaefer’s punishment was reviewed by a nine-person panel of clergy and lay members, and his defrocking by the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference was determined to be “unlawful.”
Schaefer, who will now be able to return to religious work as well as retroactively receive his benefits and salary, commented that he is “just elated,” and considers it a victory for himself, the church and the GLBT community.
BigGayNews from Texas:
Mayors Take Stand Against Their States’ Anti-Gay Policies
The Huffington Post reports that city leaders from several states with gay marriage bans took a stand for marriage equality Monday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Dallas, when they signed a resolution calling on the Supreme Court to end marriage discrimination nationwide.
Many of the mayors who were integral to the passage of the resolution hailed from states such as Arizona, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Missouri, and Georgia which have bans on same-sex marriage, and even included the Republican mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer.
Evan Wolfson, the president of Freedom to Marry, noted that the resolution is heartening, stating “from small towns to big cities, America’s mayors know that including gay couples in the freedom to marry does nothing but strengthen families and communities for all.”
BigGayNews from Luxembourg:
Luxembourg Approves Same Sex Marriage, Adoption By Gay Couples
The Star Tribune reports that lawmakers in Luxembourg, whose prime minister is openly gay, overwhelmingly approved changes in the small European nation’s legislation governing marriage on Wednesday, June 18, that will allow people of the same sex to wed and adopt children.
In an overwhelming vote of 56-4, the Chamber of Deputies approved the bill, which is the first major change in marriage laws in the country since 1804.
The change could take effect by early 2015 according to the Chamber’s official website.