Colorado Civil Unions Bill Passes Senate

Colorado Gay marriageYesterday,  a Colorado Senate committee voted 3-2 to pass Senate Bill 11, which would legalize civil unions for same-sex couples in that state.  The bill was opposed by Republicans in that vote.  The bill will now be heard by the Appropriations Committee before it reaches Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk.  The bill is expected to become law.

The Governor challenged the legislature to make civil unions available during his last State of the Union address.

“As mentioned earlier, there are quite a few mountains we ought to climb together before this session ends in May,” said the Governor.  “Some of us tried very hard, but it didn’t get done last year. This year, let’s do it. Let’s pass civil unions.”

If the law passes, Colorado will become the 6th state to support civil unions.  Colorado currently has a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage.

————————————

Stay connected with our Social Media Pages:

Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. 

Attorney O’s Midnight Musings Blog on Facebook for all blog posts from that blog as well as other legal news.

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Facebook

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Google+

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Twitter

Be sure to LIKE our pages and become a follower!

————————————

Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2013 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.

Florida Senate Files Statewide Domestic Partnership Bill

Gay FloridaAccording to the Equality Florida website, Senator Eleanor Sobel (D) filed a statewide bill (SB 196) this week intended to allow Floridia residents to enter domestic partnerships.  The bill, known as “Families First” would give same-sex couples in that State legal protections hospital visitation rights and the ability to make healthcare decisions for a partner.

“This bill makes a lasting change in the lives of many Florida families. By keeping couples together through affording them the same equal rights, we are supporting Florida families,” Senator Sobel commented. “A majority of Americans support extending benefits to couples in domestic partnerships. We cannot allow Florida to be the last state to treat all of its citizens fairly and equally. I am committed to sponsoring and fighting for this bill until it is heard, passed, and signed by the governor.”

If you are a Florida resident, be sure to support the bill and get involved with Equality Florida to promote rights for same-sex couples.

————————————

Stay connected with our Social Media Pages:

Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. 

Attorney O’s Midnight Musings Blog on Facebook for all blog posts from that blog as well as other legal news.

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Facebook

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Google+

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Twitter

Be sure to LIKE our pages and become a follower!

————————————

Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2013 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.

Virginia Lawmakers Vote Down Bill to Repeal Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage

Gay VirginiaOn Monday, a House of Delegates subcommittee in Virginia voted 6-1 against HJ665, a bill to repeal that State’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

HJ665 was introduced on January 9th by Virginia Delegate Scott Surovell (D-).  In an interview with the Washington Blade, Surovell said, “people affirming their love to each other and living in committed relationships is a universal human right.”

“It’s a civil right,” Surovell continued. “I don’t think that the constitution should prohibit the government from recognizing people’s love and commitment to each other solely because of their sexual orientation. I think it’s wrong and it’s hateful.”

In a statement to the Washington Blade, Delegate Rob Krupicka (D) said, “Virginia is going to have to re-visit this issue either because the public demands it, because we are forced to by the Supreme Court or because corporations make it clear that they’d rather move to D.C. or Maryland in order to protect their employees.  Marshall-Newman is so broadly worded, that it puts even basic contracts in question. Ultimately, I’d like us to be talking about an amendment to add marriage freedom to our constitution. But as today’s action shows, we have work to do to even allow for basic contract rights between two people.”

It looks like supporters of same-sex marriage in Virginia have a lot of work to do to convince the legislature that the discriminatory amendment must be repealed.  If you’re looking for a way to help the cause, you may wish to contact Equality Virginia.

————————————

Stay connected with our Social Media Pages:

Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. 

Attorney O’s Midnight Musings Blog on Facebook for all blog posts from that blog as well as other legal news.

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Facebook

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Google+

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Twitter

Be sure to LIKE our pages and become a follower!

————————————

Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2013 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.

Colorado Governor Wants Civil Union Legislation Passed This Year

Colorado Gay marriageIn his third State of the Union address, Colorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper, called for the legislature to pass civil union this year.

“As mentioned earlier, there are quite a few mountains we ought to climb together before this session ends in May,” said the Governor.  “Some of us tried very hard, but it didn’t get done last year. This year, let’s do it. Let’s pass civil unions.”

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has supported the Colorado Civil Union Act since it was first introduced in the legislature in 2011.  The Republican controlled House opposed the measure even though it had gained bipartisan support in the Senate.  In 2012, the bill was again cleared by the Senate with bipartisan support.  It also cleared three House GOP committees.  The bill died after the clock ran out on the legislative session.  According to Out Colorado, then-Speaker of the House Frank McNulty, (R) called it an impasse and said his chamber’s body didn’t have enough time to consider the bill. The bill was introduced on the first day of the regular session but was held in the Senate while sponsors state Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Mark Ferrandino, both Denver Democrats, shopped for a GOP House sponsor.  Less than 24 hours later, Hickenlooper told lawmakers he would call a special session to give Republicans the time they needed to consider the bill.  McNulty sent the bill to the House State Affairs committee where it was killed on a party line vote.

The civil union bill was reintroduced this year and with a legislature controlled by Democrats, seems destined to pass.

————————————

Stay connected with our Social Media Pages:

Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. 

Attorney O’s Midnight Musings Blog on Facebook for all blog posts from that blog as well as other legal news.

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Facebook

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Google+

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Twitter

Be sure to LIKE our pages and become a follower!

————————————

Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2013 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.

Heterosexuals Using Their Weddings to Further Same-Sex Marriage Equality

Although I missed this article when it appeared in the NY Times (it was my birthday, perhaps I was distracted), I thought it was worth taking the time to pass it along after the fact.

It seems that a when heterosexual couple recently tied the knot in a traditional wedding ceremony, they added a special touch.  When the officiant presented the first reading, it was excerpts from a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in the case of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.

“Without the right to choose to marry,” the officiant, Julie Maxwell, intoned, “one is excluded from the full range of human experience.”

You may recall that the 2003 Goodrich court concluded that same-sex marriage is a legal and civil right.

I don’t want to paraphrase the article, so I’ll just refer you to it.  It’s worthy of a read … and of passing on to your heterosexual friends who are planning weddings!

Read:     Adding a Ritual to a Wedding: Showing Support for Gay Marriage

————————————

Stay connected with our Social Media Pages:

Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. 

Attorney O’s Midnight Musings Blog on Facebook for all blog posts from that blog as well as other legal news.

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Facebook

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Google+

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Twitter

Be sure to LIKE our pages and become a follower!

————————————

Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

A Guide to Marriage In Washington State

Now that same-sex couples will be allowed to marry in the state of Washington, there are a lot of questions about the procedures.

When can we obtain a marriage license?  Starting on December 6, 2012.  Marriages can begin on December 9, 2012.

How does the new marriage law impact a couple’s Domestic Partner status?  It terminates if you get married but if you choose not to do the whole marriage license thing, it will automatically convert to marriage on June 30, 2014.

Those are the simple basic answers to the 2 most common questions.  For more information on the topic, I refer to you a wonderful fact sheet with lots of Q & A’s by QLAW (Washington GLBT Bar Association).  Read :  Marriage Equality in Washington!

————————————

Stay connected with our Social Media Pages:

Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. 

Attorney O’s Midnight Musings Blog on Facebook for all blog posts from that blog as well as other legal news.

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Facebook

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Google+

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Twitter

Be sure to LIKE our pages and become a follower!

————————————

Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

Michael Bloomberg Pledges Additional $500,000 to Marriage Equality Campaigns

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that he will contribute another $500,000 of his personal funds to support marriage equality campaigns in Maine, Minnesota and Washington state.

Washington United for Marriage received $250,000  supporting Referendum 74, which would uphold a gay marriage law approved this February by Washington lawmakers.  Senate Bill 6239 would legalize same-sex marriage and convert into a marriage on June 30, 2014, any undissolved state registered domestic partnership that does not involve at least one party aged 62 years or older.

Bloomberg pledged $125,000 to Mainers United for Marriage to support their efforts in the successful passage of Question 1 this November.  Question 1 seeks to overturn a voter-approved 2009 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in the state after Maine’s legislature approved same-sex marriages.  The governor signed the bill into law in May, 2009 and it was scheduled to go into effect 90 days after the legislature concluded its session.  The 2009 ballot measure stopped gay marriages before they began.

Minnesotans United for All Families received a $125,000 pledge to support its fight against Amendment 1, which would define marriage in that State as between one man and one woman.  North Carolina unfortunately passed a similar amendment this May.

“Marriage equality is the next big step in America’s long march of freedom,” Bloomberg said in a statement announcing the contributions. “I do not believe that government has any business telling one class of couples that they cannot marry.”

It is Bloomberg’s hope that his pledges will spur matching contributions.  Do your part, folks.  Marriage equality is everyone’s business whether it’s on the ballot in your own state or not.  If you can make a donation, now is the time to do it.  Time is running out.

————————————

Stay connected with our Social Media Pages:

Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. 

Attorney O’s Midnight Musings Blog on Facebook for all blog posts from that blog as well as other legal news.

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Facebook

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Google+

Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC on Twitter

Be sure to LIKE our pages and become a follower!

————————————

Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.