The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled on Wednesday against the Christian owners of a bed and breakfast hotel who refused to allow a gay couple to stay.
"Sexual orientation is a core component of a person's identity which requires fulfillment through relationships with others of the same orientation," explained Lade Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court, according to The Guardian.
"Homosexuals can enjoy the same freedom and the same relationships as any others. But we should not under-estimate the continuing legacy of those centuries of discrimination, persecution even, which is still going on in many parts of the world," Hale added in the decision. more >>
A family in New Jersey is arguing that a gay waitress' accusation that she was stiffed on a tip and written a message criticizing her gay lifestyle is completely false and fabricated. The family, who has asked to remain anonymous, has gone to a local media station to argue they did in fact leave the waitress a tip, and that they have the credit card statement to prove it.
Dayna Morales, an ex-Marine and server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., made headlines earlier in November when she claimed she had been stiffed on a tip from a family and received a note on the margin of the receipt that read: "I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I don't agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life," referencing her gay lifestyle.
Since Morales' story has gone public, she has received over $2,000 in donations from those seeking to right the alleged wrong of the alleged stingy diners, and she has indicated her plans to donate the money to the Wounded Warriors Project, a charity that provides services to severely wounded veterans. more >>
Hawaii's House lawmakers who voted against the state's bill that recently legalized same-sex marriage have received a stocking full of coal in the mail by an anonymous sender this past week.
The 19 members of the state's House of Representatives who voted against Hawaii Senate Bill 1 received in the mail last Thursday black boxes, each one containing a large lump of coal wrapped in a red pouch and nestled in a bed of green tissue paper. A note acompanying the strange delivery read: "You left a piece of your heart at the State Building when you voted on SB-1 [the marriage equality bill] […] Your lifestyle choice of judging others and ignorance is very unfortunate. Good luck in the next election."
The packages were tracked to their return address, which was listed as the Hilo Medical Center on the big island of Hawaii, but the center has denied any involvement with the prank. Since it is not technically illegal to send coal to state politicians, the legislators have said they have no intention pursuing the peculiar package's origins further. None of the state's senators who voted "no" on the bill received a package. more >>
After several stories of private business owners being forced to compromise their faith, a Christian organization in Oregon filed a ballot initiative aiming to protect business owners who refuse to participate in same-sex ceremonies from being served with lawsuits or other penalties.
The Oregon Family Council filed the proposal, entitled the Protect Religious Freedom Initiative, last week in response to the numerous lawsuits and complaints targeting businesses who denied service to couples planning same-sex ceremonies in the state and across the nation.
"A growing trend of silencing can be seen where business owners of faith or with conscientious objections are being forced to compromise their individual conscience rights or face harassment, persecution, penalties levied upon them by the state, and the possibility of losing their business for declining to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies," Oregon Family Council wrote in a news release announcing the initiative. more >>
While Illinois became the 16th state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage on Wednesday, with Gov. Pat Quinn calling it an "epic victory" for America, a non-profit law group has warned that the new law may threaten religious freedom for those opposed to the practice.
"This new law is an epic victory for equal rights in America. Illinois is moving forward. We are a model for our country. If the Land of Lincoln can achieve marriage equality, so can every other state in the nation," Quinn said after signing the bill.
The gay marriage law, which takes effect on June 1, 2014, was pushed by the Illinois governor throughout the 2013 legislative sessions. Quinn has been a long-time supporter of expanding the definition of marriage, and in 2011 signed a civil union legislation, which has allowed more than 6,000 couples across the state to join in civil unions. more >>
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has involved himself in the recent online feud between his two daughters, Liz and Mary, after the two had a public tiff regarding same-sex marriage on Facebook over the weekend. The former political figure said in a joint statement with his wife, Lynne, that they are "pained" to see their family disagree on such issues, adding that Liz, who supports traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman, has always showed "love and respect" toward her sister's family and same-sex partner.
"This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public," Lynne and Dick said in a joint statement given to the Associated Press. "Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister's family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done."
The spat began on Sunday when Liz Cheney, who is challenging Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) in the upcoming GOP state primary election, said on "Fox News Sunday" that she is in support of traditional marriage. Mary, Liz's younger sister, is a lesbian and an outspoken proponent of gay marriage. more >>