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Showing posts from April, 2015

Northern Ireland Assembly Blocks Gay Marriage Motion

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The only country in the United Kingdom not to allow gay marriage is Northern Ireland, and it doesn't look set to change anytime soon.

On Monday, the country's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) blocked a motion calling for civil equality on marriage. It is the fourth time that such a motion has been defeated by the DUP.

Insisting that a marriage is only possible between a man and a woman, The DUP believe that trying to change the definition of marriage, to alter it to mean something else, is wrong.

Irish Republican Party, Sinn Fein, however, disagrees. It was their party that brought the debate forward and they remain wholly supportive and committed to establishing equal marriage throughout Northern Ireland. 

96 members of the Legaslative Assembly (MLA) took part with 49 voting against. 

The problem however, is that the DUP is the largest party in Northern Ireland. How can anyone hope to change the law in favour of gay marriage, when the very people preventing it are the ones most we…

Ecuador Has Approved Same-Sex Civil Unions

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Ecuador has approved same-sex civil unions.

Following an amendment to its civil code, Ecuador will allow gay couples to enter into civil unions. 

The motion was passed with a majority of 89-1.

Understandably, LGBT couples and campaigners are celebrating this, not only as a victory in the present, but (they hope) as a sign of better things to come.

The law change will also give same-sex couples in a civil union many of the same rights as married couples: certain state benefits and pension rights, for example. Admittedly, however, it does not include provisions for the custody of children or adoption. The amendment is also emphatic in its distinction between same-sex civil unions and marriage. 

There is no plan at present, to legalise gay marriage in Ecuador.

It was earlier in April that Chile announced that it, too, was changing its law to allow same-sex civil unions, so it's good to see positive movement within South America. Especially as the Catholic Church -- so often opposed to same…

Gay Pride UK May - July 2015

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Summer is now fast approaching, and it won't be long until we're up to our knees in neon legwarmers, near-deaf from silver whistles and half-cut on the Pimm's we've been sipping from plastic cups: yes, it's almost time for Pride.

It certainly looks like we're in for a treat this year, and what better opportunity than now to decide the who, the when and the where as we take a look at the 2015 season. 

We've compiled a selection of some of the bigger events that will be going on across the UK this summer, but we'll be listing others, too. Some of the smaller gatherings, the lesser known events and the local parties will feature in a future post so keep your eyes out. Below, you can click the link that will take you to the homepages of those that we've featured to find out more. 

Pride is a great way to celebrate LGBT culture, but it's also a way of politicizing and representing the issues that continue to effect the LGBT community both in the UK and …

6 Things You Shouldn't Say To The Bride

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Planning a wedding isn't easy. It almost goes without saying, doesn't it? 
There's the pressure that a bride will place upon herself, too. Many young girls still grow up expecting that their perfect day will be just that -- perfect. And it's hard to plan for a perfect day. Heck, it's hard to plan for a semi-perfect day. Actually, it's hard to plan for anything up to 24 months in advance, right?
The pressure we put upon ourselves for the wedding of our dreams is ridiculous. The pressure we put other brides is equally ridiculous. We might not mean to, but when we start asking a bride about the big day, we can actually be making her feel worse. 
So, if you know someone who is knee-deep in place cards and seating charts, then it's worth applying a little bit of thought and tact before you open your mouth. We've come up with a few of the questions that you might like to avoid.
1. I can't wait to be there!
This could be really awkward. Never assume that you…

Chile to Allow Same-Sex Unions

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We can expect to see the first civil unions taking place in Chile over the next six-months. 

The country's presidentMichelle Bachelet signed the bill on Monday, and it's expected that up to two million people will benefit from the law change. 

This is great news for same-sex couples in Chile, and it's importance shouldn't be underestimated. Being in a legally recognised relationship isn't just about having a ring on a finger or an excuse for a party. Becoming a civil partner gives an individual a number of key legal rights that wouldn't be the case otherwise: access to inheritance and pension funds, for example. In particular, the rights gained after the death of a spouse can make all the difference to their grieving partner especially if children are involved. 

As a predominately Catholic country however, Chile is always going to have a fight on its hands when it comes to universal sexual equality. At present, for example, the age of consent is 14 for heterosexua…

Wedding and Civil Partnership Venues in the North-East Part 2

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In last week's post, we looked at a range of wedding and civil partnership venues in the North-East of England. Of course, as there were too many to list in a single post, we promised to bring you part II and here it is!

But it isn't just the venues that make getting married in the North-East so special. There's the beautiful scenery, the fantastic services offered by local vendors and the many options for newly-weds desperately seeking honeymoons and mini-moons.

In case you missed it, you can find our part 1 here. We cover the whole of the UK with our directory, and you can search the rest of the country here.

And if there's a venue that you like the look of, then you can find out more about each one by clicking the link below each section. And don't worry if you're not a same-sex couple, these venues are open to everyone.

Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel (Hull)
The red-brick Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel is flanked by rolling lawns and tucked away in chocolate-box…

Wedding and Civil Partnership Venues in the North-East Part 1

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Today, we're looking at wedding and civil partnership venues in theNorth-East of England.
Our aim is to split this post into two parts so that it won't be too overwhelming. Keep an eye out for part 2 as we'll be posting itnext week. 
It's difficult to sum up theNorth-Eastin a few short paragraphs. There's real diversity in the region: in history, heritage and community. The rugged and inspiring landscapes create a beautiful counterbalance to the industrialised towns that once made the area such apowerhousein the British economy.
Three of England's most famous rivers flow through the region, too: Tyne, Wear and Tees, and, if you visit the area today, you'll be rewarded with the fruits of acultural resurgence. In recent decades, the decline of large-scale industry in the North-East has been atraumatic and painfulexperience for communities that earned a living in the factories, mines and mills. Recent urban regeneration projects, Big Lottery Funding and investme…