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June 2013

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30 June 2013

Pedro Julio Serrano On Status of LGBT Rights in Puerto Rico

PUERTO RICO: On 26 June 2013, with the striking down of Section 3 of the Defence of Marriage Act, Puerto Ricans married in one of the 13 US states and the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is recognized will get all federal rights on the island as well.

Putin signs 'gay propaganda' bill into law

RUSSIA, Moscow: On 29 June 2013, President Vladimir Putin was reported to have signed the nation wide 'gay propaganda' bill into law.

Justice Kennedy Shuts Down Prop. 8 Backers

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 30 June 2013, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy denied a request from Proposition 8 supporters to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in California without providing any reasons.

Gay Couple in Florida Receives Approval of Marriage-Based Green Card Petition Just Two Days After Historic Supreme Court Ruling Striking Down DOMA

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 28 June 2013, following the demise of DOMA, Julian Marsh and Traian Popov of Fort Lauderdale, Florida received good news. Julian's green card petition for his Bulgarian husband was approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Julian, a US citizen, filed an I-130 Petition for his husband Traian on 13 February 2013.

29 June 2013

Supreme Court petitioned to reimpose California gay marriage ban

UNITED STATES, California: On 29 June 2013, opponents of gay marriage petitioned the Supreme Court to immediately reinstate a 5-year-old ban on same-sex matrimony in California, saying a federal appeals court had acted prematurely in removing the prohibition on gay nuptials. The 9th Circuit acted under its own “broad discretion” to issue its stay in the first place and it is believed there is no prohibition against lifting the stay.

California Same-Sex Marriages Resume as Court Lifts Ban

UNITED STATES, California: On 28 June 2013, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the stay in the Kristin Perry, et al v. Edmund G. Brown, Jr., et al matter dissolved effective immediately thus allowing the immediate resumption of same-sex marriages.
• Order: Kristin Perry, et al v. Edmund G. Brown, Jr., et al No. 10-16696 PDF 57.96kb, 28 JUN 13

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28 June 2013

New Jersey Ban on Conversion Therapy Passes; Awaits Christie's Signature

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 27 June 2013, the state Senate passed bill S2278 28-9 to ban licensed therapists from trying to convert gay minors into heterosexuals. Previously adopted by the Assembly [A3371], the Bill now goes to the Governor for signature.

Judge blocks Michigan ban on benefits for same-sex public workers

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 28 June 2013, US District Court Judge David Lawson found that a Michigan law clearly deprived same-sex couples of benefits in violation of equal protection rights in the US Constitution, and he blocked the law. The ruling does not automatically expand coverage for Michigan's same-sex couples, but allows public employers such as counties, cities or school districts to choose to do so.
• Opinion and Order: Basset v. Snyder No. 12-10038 PDF 139.31kb, 28 JUN 13

Tasmania legalises same-sex adoption

AUSTRALIA, Tasmania: On 27 June 2013, the Upper House Legislative Council passed 10-3 the “Adoption Amendment Bill 6 of 2013” allowing LGBTI couples that have a registered relationship to now adopt children that are not known to them (Tasmania previously allowed the adoption of step children by same-sex parents).

27 June 2013

Sperm Donors Beware!

AUSTRALIA, Victoria: On 11 June 2013, Justice Cronin in the Family Court of Australia ruled that a known sperm donor to a single woman, who always wished to be just a “sperm donor” was a “parent”. Justice Cronin stated that the man was the “parent” in part because he was the biological parent, and that there were no statutory rules saying that he was not the parent.
• Reasons for Judgment: Groth & Banks [2013] FamCA 430 PDF 211.44kb, 11 JUN 13

Court Dismisses Adoption Appeal

NORTHERN IRELAND: On 27 June 2013, Girvan LJ in the Divisional Court dismissed an appeal against an earlier judicial decision (The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commissionís Application [2012] NIQB 77) that a ban on unmarried couples, irrespective of sexual orientation, and those in a civil partnership from being considered as potential adopters was discriminatory and opening the way for same-sex couples to adopt.

Russia's upper house approves 'gay propaganda' bill, will become law

RUSSIA: On 26 June 2013, Russia's upper house approved 137-0 the nationwide measure that bans LGBT events or public discussion and prohibits individuals from providing information to minors about the LGBT community. Individuals breaking the law would face fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($156), with foreigners facing a jail sentence of 15 days and deportation. Companies and media organizations could be fined up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) and would face suspension of their activities for up to 90 days. Signature by President Vladimir Putin is expected.

High Court Denies Appeal on Arizona Benefits Ban

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 27 June 2013, the US Supreme Court denied certiorari (declined to hear) the appeal of a preliminary injunction in Brewer v. Diaz, keeping a voter-approved ban on such benefits from going into effect. So state employees will continue receiving domestic-partner benefits while the challenge to the ban proceeds through the courts.

Same-sex couples: Beware the marriage penalty

UNITED STATES, National: On 26 June 2013, with the demise of DOMA same-sex couples gain access more than 1,000 federal benefits and can file their federal taxes jointly or “married filing separately”, this latter likely incurring additional tax. Conversely, health insurance tax will no longer be payable.

Same-sex marriage legislation published by Scottish Government

UNITED KINGDOM, Scotland: On 27 June 2013, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill to allow same-sex couples to marry was published by the Scottish Government.
• Bill: Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill [as introduced] PDF 1.23MB, 26 JUN 13

26 June 2013

Pentagon to Extend Benefits to Gay Service Spouses

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 26 June 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reportedly said the Pentagon would begin the process of extending health care, housing and other federal benefits to the same-sex spouses of military members as soon as possible. By 01 October, it would extend a variety of benefits to same-sex partners, including access to on-base commissaries and some health and welfare programs.

Another defeat for equal marriage in Northern Ireland in the Stormont Assembly

NORTHERN IRELAND: On 25 June 2013, Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) passed a Legislative Consent Motion which excluded recognising most of the provisions of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. It means same-sex marriages in England and Wales will be treated as civil partnerships in Northern Ireland.

Same-sex divorce available soon to non-residents in Canada

CANADA, National: On 21 June 2013, Bill C-32, the civil marriage of non-residents act, passed third reading in the Senate. The bill allows for people married in Canada because same-sex marriage isn't allowed where they live, to get a divorce from a Canadian court. C-32 still has to get royal assent before becoming law.

Doma Unconstitutional; California Ban on Marriage Dead

UNITED STATES: On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court released 5-4 decisions (1) ruling DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment and (2) dismissing the Prop 8 same-sex marriage case ruling the proponents do not have standing, allowing resumption of same-sex marriages in California if proponents do not seek a re-hearing within 25 days, after which the 9th Circuit Court must issue a dismissal order and lift the stay on the Walker ruling.
• Opinion: Edith Schlain Windsor v. United States et al No. 12-307 Word 320.65kb, 25 JUN 13
• Opinion: Dennis Hollingsworth et al v. Kristin M Perry et al No. 12-144 Word 169.09kb, 25 JUN 13

25 June 2013

Landmark Supreme Court ruling by Justice Tim Stanley increases gay partner's inheritance by $1m

AUSTRALIA, South Australia: On 06 June 2013, Justice Tim Stanley ruled that Patrick Robert Brennan and Ross Douglas Pfeiffer were a domestic couple and 55-year-old Patrick should be legally recognised as such. He increased cash left by 90-year-old Ross to his partner from $100,000 to $1 million, so he could continue to live in comfort.
• Judgment: Brennan v. Mansfield & Ors [2013] SASC 83 Word 150.0kb, 06 JUN 13

Buggery law challenge: Hearing pushed back to October 4

JAMAICA: On 25 June 2013, Justice Carol Edwards in the Supreme Court set 04 October for the hearing of an application by gay rights activist Javed Jaghai who is seeking to challenge the buggery law, giving him until July 5 to amend his affidavit after it was found to contain hearsay and aspects not directly related to the claimant and the Attorney General until 16 September to file and serve an affidavit response.

Australia outlaws LGBT discrimination under national laws for first time

AUSTRALIA, National: On 25 June 2013, the Senate passed the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013 to extend the Sex Discrimination Act to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. Aged care providers owned by religious groups will no longer be able to exclude people from aged care based on their LGBT or same-sex relationship status.

24 June 2013

Protection of LGBTI human rights officially part of EU foreign policy

EUROPE: On 24 June 2013, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union adopted “Guidelines To Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons”, a comprehensive legally binding document which will provide instructions to EU institutions and Member States on how to progress on human rights of LGBTI people in dealing with third countries and at international fora.
Guidelines To Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons PDF 206.97kb, 24 JUN 13

23 June 2013

Transgender 6-year-old wins civil rights case to use girls' bathroom

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 17 June 2013, Director Steven Chaves in the Colorado Civil Rights Division determined that the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 unlawfully discriminated against 6-year-old Coy Mathis on the grounds of sex and sexual orientation in denying Mathis access to the girl's restroom, in its place of public accomodation.
• Determination: Coy Mathis v. Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 P20130034X PDF 2.53MB, 17 JUN 13

Irish public to vote on same sex marriage in 2014

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 21 June 2013, Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Éamon Gilmore confirmed that a referendum on same sex marriage would be held some time next year.

Same-Sex Couple Becomes First in Polk to Be Granted a Two-Parent Adoption

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 18 June 2013,Judge Charles B Curry of the 10th Judicial Circuit Court gave final approval during a hearing in Bartow for Randy Vosburg and Nick Santamaria to adopt 11-year-old Francisco Santamaria Vosburg (“Frankie”), marking the first time a same-sex couple has been granted a two-parent adoption in Polk County.

22 June 2013

Oregon Supreme Court Dismisses Gay Marriage Ballot Title Challenge

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 20 June 2013, the Oregon Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to the ballot title for a proposed 2014 referendum asking voters to legalize gay marriage in Oregon. The ballot title reads: “Amends Constitution: Recognizes marriage between couples of same gender; protects clergy/religious institutions' refusal to perform marriages.”"

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21 June 2013

Heeding Putin, Russian Duma backs ban on same-sex adoptions

RUSSIA: On 21 June 2013, the Duma approved the bill barring same-sex foreign couples from adopting Russian children by a 444-0 vote in its third and final reading, sending it to the upper chamber, which is also expected to approve it.

Ruling upheld against comedian for discriminatory tirade against lesbian

CANADA, British Columbia: On 19 June 2013, Mr Justice J S Sigurdson in the Supreme Court upheld the Human Rights Tribunal decision in Pardy v. Earle that awarded CAD $14,000 to lesbian Lorna Pardy found to have been insulted by comedian Guy Earle who directed homophobic and sexist insult to her at a Zesty Food Services restaurant in 2007.
• Reasons for Judgment: Ismail v. British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal 2013 BCSC 1079, 19 JUN 13

20 June 2013

Second Kenyan transgender wins case

KENYA: On 18 June 2013, Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi of the Kenyan High Court declared that police at the Thika Police Station near Nairobi violated Alexander Ngungu Nthungi's rights and dignity by stripping him naked to ascertain his sexual identity and awarded him Sh200,000 compensation.

Lesbian couple win discrimination case against restaurant

IRELAND: On 20 May 2013, the director of the Equality Tribunal, Mr Niall McCutcheon was reported to have awarded two lesbian employees a total of 15,000 euros (£12,790) after suffering harassment and sexual harassment whilst working at a restaurant in Cork.
• Decision: Laura Mezei & Melanda Magyar v. Eddie Rocket's Blackpool Cork DEC-E2013-045, 20 MAY 13

Delaware Governor Jack Markell signs transgender rights bill into law

UNITED STATES, Delaware: On 19 June 2013, Governor Jack Markell signed into law a bill aimed at protecting his state's transgender residents by adding gender identity and expression to the stateís anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws.

Labor bill in South Australia seeks to legalise gay marriage

AUSTRALIA, South Australia: On 20 June 2013, the Same Sex Marriage Bill 2013 (HA 159) was introduced in the House of Assembly. If passed by both houses and signed into law, the legislation would likely face a High Court challenge.
• HA Bill 159: Same Sex Marriage Bill 2013 Word 152.74kb, 20 JUN 13

Bill to recognise foreign gay pairs fails

AUSTRALIA, National: On 20 June 2013, the “Marriage Act Amendment (Recognition of Foreign Marriages for Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2013” was defeated 44 votes to 28 in the Senate.

19 June 2013

Lawmakers approve bill which would remove ban on 'gay cure' therapy

BRAZIL: On 18 June 2013, the Commission for Human Rights and Minorities approved a Bill that seeks to lift a 1999 ban and allow the “treatment” of homosexuality as a disorder or pathology. The Bill has several more legislative stages to pass before becoming law.

18 June 2013

Tucson approves civil unions for same-sex couples

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 18 June 2013, Tucson City Council approved 6-0 with 1 absentee, an ordinance that allows for domestic partnerships and civil unions between same-sex couples. Same-sex couples will have the right to file contracts of inheritance rights, power of attorney, and living wills, among others.

Civil unions for same-sex couples by end of year

MALTA: On 18 June 2013, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced that the government intends to legislate in favour of civil unions by the end of the year.

Russian Lawmakers Back Ban on Adoption by Same-Sex Couples

RUSSIA. Moscow: On 18 June 2013, the Duma unanimously passed the second reading of a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by foreign couples in same-sex relationships and single people living in countries where same-sex marriage is legal. The Bill is expected to pass the third reading on 21 June.

16 June 2013

Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear challenge to state's domestic partner registry

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 14 June 2013, the Supreme Court issued a statement that it would review the 4th District Court of Appeals decision in Julaine K. Appling & Ors v. James E. Doyle & Ors that the same sex domestic partnership registry does not violate an amendment to the state constitution, but the statement didn't include any explanation why.

Lesbian may be forced to testify against partner in landmark Kentucky murder case

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 30 June 2013, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Susan Schultz Gibson will hear the Bobbie Joe Clary case raising the issue of whether same-sex spouses are exempt from being compelled to testify against each other and the broader issue of whether the state recognizes marriages or civil unions that are legal elsewhere.

15 June 2013

Church of England demands gay, but not straight, priests be celibate in order to become bishops

UNITED KINGDOM: On 08 June 2013, according to a new policy put forth to the General Synod, the legislative body of the Church of England, gay clergymen who are partnered wishing to become a bishop in the Church of England must prove they are not sexually active.
• GS Misc 1044: Choosing Bishops - The Equality Act 2010 (Revised) PDF 304.60kb, 08 JUN 13

Bermuda approves bill prohibiting discrimination against gays

BERMUDA: On 14 June 2013, the House of Assembly approved a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Bill also prohibits age discrimination in all sectors except at work.

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14 June 2013

Australia Includes 'Intersex' On New Gender Guidelines

AUSTRALIA, National: On 13 June 2013, the government announced new guidelines on gender recognition effective 01 July stating that “where sex and/or gender information is collected and recorded in a personal record, individuals should be given the option to select M (male), F (female) or X (Indeterminate/Intersex/Unspecified)”. Sex reassignment surgery and/or hormone therapy are not pre-requisites.

New Jersey Moves One Step Closer to Banning 'Ex-Gay' Therapy

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 13 June 2013, the Assembly Women and Children Committee unanimously approved legislation that would ban licensed therapists from practicing scientifically discredited, so-called conversion therapy that aims to change a person's sexual orientation from gay to straight. The Bill now awaits a vote by the full Assembly and Senate.

Transgender advocates applaud new Social Security policy

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 14 June 2013, the Social Security Administration announced transgender people will be able to update their gender on agency records without having undergone sex-reassignment surgery by submitting a passport or birth certificate that notes their gender or a letter from their doctor that confirms they have received transition-related treatment.

12 June 2013

150 Cities Now Offer Civil Unions for Gays and Lesbians

ITALY: As at 12 June 2013, over 140 municipalities including Pisa, Florence, Perugia, Ravenna, Milan, Bologna, Padova, Torino, and a host of lesser-known cities and towns, have approved same-sex civil union registries.

11 June 2013

Nepal recognises transgender passports

NEPAL: On 10 June 2013, after more than six years after the court ordered the government to enact laws to guarantee the rights of transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual people, the Supreme Court ordered the government to alter passports so that transgenders no longer have to describe themselves as male or female.

Russian Parliament Passes Antigay Bill, Protesters Detained

RUSSIA: On 11 June 2013, the Duma approved 463-0 a measure that would ban LGBT events or public discussion and prohibit individuals from providing information to minors about the LGBT community. Individuals breaking the law would face fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($156), with foreigners facing a jail sentence of 15 days and deportation. Companies and media organizations could be fined up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) and would face suspension of their activities for up to 90 days. Upper House approval and signature by President Vladimir Putin are expected.

Court Rules on Transgender "Same Sex" Wedding

ITALY: On 06 June 2013, the Court of Cassation ruled that the forced dissolution of the marriage of Alessandro and Alessandra Bernaroli violated Article 29 of the Italian Constitution, referring the case to the Constitutional Court.

10 June 2013

Iowa Jury Awards $147,000 in Damages

UNITED STATES, Iowa: On 07 June 2013, a Council Bluffs Iowa jury found employees or agents of Council Bluffs property management company New Life Multi-Family Management, LLC harassed and discriminated against two tenants and awarded $147,000 in damages.

08 June 2013

Arizona Bill Targeting Transgender Protections Dropped

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 08 June 2013, a Bill (SB 1432) that sought to undo a transgender protections ordinance in Phoenix was reported to have been shelved by its sponsor, Representative John Kavanagh.

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07 June 2013

Delaware Senate approves transgender rights bill

UNITED STATES, Delaware: On 06 June 2013, the Senate approved 11-7 Senate Bill 97 that would add gender identity and expression to the stateís anti-discrimination and hate crimes law. The House Administration Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on SB 97 on June 12.

Military benefits for same-sex couples to begin Sept. 1

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 06 June 2013, the Pentagon notified plans to begin issuing identification cards to the same-sex partners of service members beginning Sept. 1, entitling them to benefits including education, survivor, commissary, travel, counseling and transportation, but not health care and housing allowances. The service member and their same-sex domestic partner must sign a declaration attesting to the existence of their committed relationship.

06 June 2013

N. Idaho Town Passes Ban on Homosexual Discrimination

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 04 June 2013, the Coeur d'Alene City Council passed an ordinance 5-1 that bans discrimination on the grounds “sexual orientation, gender identity and expression” in employment and public accommodations.

Pocatello council OKs amended anti-discrimination ordinance

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 06 June 2013, the Pocatello City Council voted 4-2 to pass an ordinance to protect members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from discrimination when it comes to housing, employment and public accommodations.

Argentina Requires HMOs to Fund Fertility Efforts

ARGENTINA: On 05 June 2013, the lower house of congress voted 203-1 to approve a law, which applies to private medical plans as well as the public health care system. Health care providers must now provide fertility treatments to anyone older than 18 who wants them, be they married or single, gay or straight.

New Mexico couple files lawsuit seeking same-sex marriage

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 06 June 2013, Santa Fe men Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson filed a lawsuit in the First Judicial District Court seeking an order that the Santa Fe County clerk to issue them a marriage license.

Attorney General issues same-sex marriage statement

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 06 June 2013, Attorney General Gary King stopped short of issuing an official legal opinion on same-sex marriage, but says county clerks should not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because state law is unclear.

Top German court gives gay couples equal taxation rights

GERMANY: On 06 June 2013, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that a taxation law, which did not extend to homosexual civil unions, went against the German Constitution's rule of equality and ordered that the new taxation law be applied to homosexual civil unions retroactively dating back to August 2001.

05 June 2013

Sarasota County Green Lights Creation of Domestic Partner Registry

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 05 June 2013, the Sarasota County Commissioners unanimously voted to green light a countywide domestic partner registry that would offer a handful of protections to non-married couples living in the county. The Ordinance is expected to be ready for consideration on 19 June.

Miami Beach passes tax equity ordinance

UNITED STATES, Miami Beach: On 05 June 2013, the Miami Beach City Commission for unanimously passing a tax equity ordinance that allows the city to reimburse municipal employees in domestic partnerships who pay extra taxes on health benefits that married heterosexuals do not have to pay.

Same-sex marriages revealed in 1930's Australia

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 04 March 1932, The Arrow newspaper reported that gay men were seeking to marry each other in Australia as long ago as 80 years ago.
• The Arrow: Wide Open Immorality Among Brisbane Perverts PDF 312.61kb, 04 MAR 32

Tick for same-sex families

AUSTRALIA, Melbourne: On 31 May 2013, the initial finding of The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families reports that children of same-sex parents are doing as well or better than the rest of the population on a number of key health indicators.
• Interim Report: The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS) PDF 152.13kb, 31 MAY 13

04 June 2013

Constitutional Court Reserves Judgment in Guyana Cross Dressing Case

GUYANA: On 04 June 2013, Chief Justice, Mr. Ian Chang, sitting in the Constitutional Court reserved his decision in “Quincy McEwan, Seon Clarke, Joseph Fraser, Seyon Persaud and the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD)”, that section 153(1) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act which criminalizes cross-dressing for an 'improper purpose' violates the Constitution of Guyana.

Bisbee, Arizona same-sex marriage: Council approves civil unions measure

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 04 June 2013, the Bisbee City Council voted 5-2 to approve a new version of an ordinance under which people who are in civil unions recognized only within the city of Bisbee could file contractual statements spelling out their agreed-upon “rights, obligations and expectations” in matters such as inheritances, property ownership and children.

LGBT anti-discrimination laws pass lower house

AUSTRALIA, Federal: On 30 May 2013, the House of Representatives passed the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill. The Bill provides new protections against discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status and protection against discrimination for same-sex de facto couples and now moves to the Senate.

U.K. House of Lords Gives Initial OK to Marriage Equality by 242 Votes

UNITED KINGDOM: On 04 June 2013, the House of Lords rejected 390-148 an effort to defeat the “Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill” bill during its second reading, sending the legislation to a committee and report stage, before it returns to the House of Lords for a final vote.

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