Gay marriage amendments

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W hen President George W. Bush declared his support for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, his most vitriolic critics, such as Senator Edward Kennedy, accused him of playing a divisive, mean-spirited political game. The New York Times and Washington Postsupporters of the idea of same-sex marriage, raised a more sophisticated objection to the amendment: it betrays, they claim, the venerable principle of American federalism that respects states' relative autonomy in setting marriage policy.

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The Windsor decision invalidated Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act DOMAwhich barred married same-sex couples from being treated as married under federal law. Following the Windsor decision, the IRS issued Revenue Rulingwhich holds that married same-sex couples are now treated as married for all federal tax purposes where marriage is a factor, if the couple is lawfully married under the laws of one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, a U. Notice gives additional guidance on how qualified retirement plans should treat the marriages of same-sex couples.

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The FMA would also prevent judicial extension of marriage rights to same-sex or other unmarried heterosexual couples. An amendment to the U. Constitution requires the support of two thirds of each house of Congress and ratification by three fourths of the states.

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What limitations does the Constitution place on ability of states to treat people differently because of their sexual orientation? The Court first considered the matter in the case of Bowers v Hardwicka challenge to a Georgia law authorizing criminal penalties for persons found guilty of sodomy. Although the Georgia law applied both to heterosexual and homosexual sodomy, the Supreme Court chose to consider only the constitutionality of applying the law to homosexual sodomy. Michael Hardwick, who sought to enjoin enforcement of the Georgia law, had been charged with sodomy after a police officer discovered him in bed with another man.

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The commission in charge of writing Communist-run Cuba's new constitution has revised an original draft to remove the concept of marriage altogether after originally amending it to open the doorway to same-sex unions. The first draft of the new constitution, that was unveiled in July, included Article 68 redefining matrimony as gender neutral rather than between a man and a woman, a project promoted by the daughter of Communist Party head Raul Castro. Controversy over that amendment in the macho country dominated a nationwide, three-month public consultation on the new constitution designed to update a Soviet-era one.

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Many U. Some amendments prevented a state from legalizing same-sex marriagecivil unions and domestic partnershipswhile others banned only same-sex marriage. Conservative activists who favor such amendments may refer to them as "defense of marriage amendments" or "marriage protection amendments.

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Ministers will attempt to force emergency Northern Ireland legislation through the Commons in the space of a day next week, in a move critics allege is an attempt to block a cross-party effort to legalise equal marriage in the province. On Monday the government will seek to pass all stages of a bill, introduced this evening, that will further delay the statutory August deadline for a fresh Stormont election. The time allotted to such legislation is usually agreed with opposition whips.

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The Morrison government is seeking to amend the Marriage Act as part of its religious discrimination act, the first time the act will have been amended since the legalisation of same-sex marriage following the postal survey in The prime minister, Scott Morrison, reportedly told colleagues he wants to consult with Labor on the proposed legislation, and backbenchers will be allowed to shape the legislation through workshops with Porter starting later this week. Due to earlier leaks about the contents of the Ruddock report, the government was facing pressure from Labor and LGBT groups to legislate to prevent LGBT students being kicked out of religious schools, or LGBT teachers from being fired from religious schools on the grounds of their sexuality or gender identity. In the Senate on Tuesday night, the Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said the report deadline should be brought forward before any new law is passed.

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Same-sex marriage has been on the political agenda in Australia for several years, as part of the broader debate about the legal recognition of same-sex relationships. The expansion of legal rights and protections afforded to same-sex couples in Australia is well developed at both federal and state level. For example, legislation now exists in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory that provides for the legal recognition of relationships, including same-sex unions.

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MPs have voted resoundingly to extend same-sex marriage and access to abortion to Northern Irelandbringing the region into line with the rest of the UK on the two significant social issues. The two historic votesarriving within little more than a quarter of an hour of each other, were greeted ecstatically by equalities campaigners. With ministers promising to respect the results, they could have vital repercussions for people in Northern Ireland. The changes came via amendments to an otherwise technical government bill connected to budgets and elections for the devolved assembly.

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