For the latest overview of global marriage equality news, we look at recent happenings in Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, and here in the United States.
Brazilians took to the altar before President Jair Bolsonaro took office, with 9,520 gay weddings taking place in 2018, in statistics rereleased by governmental agency IBGE. Elected in October 2018, Bolsonaro, a self-identified and “proud homophobe” took office January 1, 2019. Couples were concerned the politician might pass legislation restricting or even limiting the right for same-sex couples to marry. Same-sex couples have legally been able to marry since 2013. A fifth of the weddings took place in December 2018, just before Bolsonaro took office.
Back in August 2018 the Costa Rican Supreme Court ruled against the same-sex marriage ban. This May Costa Rica is set to officially legalize same-sex marriage this May. Costa Rica president Carlos Alvarado, an ally to the community, has been outspoken about his support for same-sex marriage. The country’s Supreme Court gave members of the Costa Rican National Assembly a May 26, 2020 deadline to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. That day cannot come soon enough. Time to book a spontaneous trip to San Jose to support couples in late May. Go for it!
Chelsey Nelson, owner of Chelsey Nelson Photography has filed suit against Louisville through her attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. In a recent op-ed for USA Today Nelson states “my highest aim in life is to honor God. I can’t celebrate a wedding that devalues how seriously I take marriage, as a symbol of Christ and His church.” Kentucky introduced a Fairness Ordinance in 1999 which protects the LGBTQIA+ community from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation also protecting the community from discrimination based on religion, national origin, age, sex, color and race. The lawsuit states that the Fairness Ordinance violates the First Amendment.
When Josh Rimer, the recent winner of Mr. Gay Canada 2019, went to make a reservation with the Sheraton Bougainvillea’s Resort & Convention Center in Puerto Vallarta, and took to YouTube to recount what was “probably the most homophobic experience I’ve ever encountered personally in my entire life.” and recommended they book with another hotel because they don’t specialize in same-sex weddings, followed by an email echoing the same message. The news quickly spread, and Marriott apologized for the incident, but Hilton Puerto Vallarta took notice, offering Josh and his fiancée the #HiltonExperience, with an offer to host the wedding ceremony and host for free for 45 guests at Hilton Puerto Vallarta. We wish Josh much success with their wedding, and hope it ends up being the wedding of their dreams.
McLennan County Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley has been ben issued a public warning from the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct. The reason? Hensley, who believes she is entitled to a religious exemption, refuses to perform same-sex marriage. Couples who have requested Hensley to officiate a wedding receive information stating that she holds religious beliefs “as a Christian and will not be able to perform any same-sex weddings.” Hensley’s refusal to perform same-sex weddings is in direct violation of the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.
Last modified: May 12, 2020