CANADA – A lesbian woman surprised her girlfriend with a heartwarming proposal during a televised ice hockey match in Canada.
Alicia and her girlfriend Christina, whose last names are not known, were watching the Ottawa Senators play against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Place stadium in Ontario at the weekend.
Video shows Maple Leafs fan Alicia being led into the rink blindfolded during a break in play.
When the blindfold is removed she looks up to see a message from her girlfriend, a Senators fan, on the video scoreboard saying: “My love for you is a journey, starting at forever and ending at never. You’re my world. Zing xox.”
As Alicia reads the board Christina walks onto the rink and the couple embrace.
Christina whispers in Alicia’s ear before dropping to one knee and slipping an engagement ring on her finger, causing the crowd to roar.
The couple kiss before the Senators mascot holds up a sign that reads: “she said yes”.
Same-sex marriage was legalised in Canada in 2004.
from Nine MSN
Posts Tagged ‘Gay Marriage’
CANADA – A lesbian woman surprised her girlfriend with a heartwarming proposal during a televised ice hockey match in Canada.
WASHINGTON, DC – When gay couples were given the right to marry in the District earlier this year, John Beddingfield and Erwin de Leon were among those who quickly obtained marriage licenses. In April, the Woodley Park couple – who have been together for 12 years – quietly exchanged vows before a justice of the peace.
Yet even as they pledged to stand by each other in sickness and in health, Beddingfield, 46, the rector at All Souls Episcopal Church, and de Leon, 44, a doctoral student from the Philippines, were aware that their marriage still hadn’t guaranteed them the same rights as heterosexual couples. The District recognizes their marriage, but the federal government does not. The country that had given de Leon a home, given him an education and given him Beddingfield would not allow him to start the process of becoming a citizen, even as it extends that benefit to the foreign-born spouses of heterosexual U.S. citizens.
Once de Leon’s student visa runs out next year, he will likely be forced to join the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
“I grew up looking to this country for its ideals and really believe strongly that it is about equality, freedom and opportunity,” de Leon said. “It is too bad that a small minority – gays and lesbians – are still treated as second-class citizens.”
About 24,000 gay and lesbian couples in the United States include at least one foreign partner, according to an analysis of census data by researcher Gary Gates at UCLA’s Williams Institute. Though five states and D.C. issue marriage licenses to gay couples, a large number of the 24,000 so-called binational couples in long-term relationships live in states that do not allow or recognize gay marriage.
The demand by these couples to gain the same immigration rights as heterosexuals is supported by key members of Congress, but is undermining the fractious coalition of groups needed to push through an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. Including equal treatment for gay partners of U.S. citizens, key advocates say, threatens to doom the already fragile hopes for change.
“It introduces a new controversial element to the issue which will divide the faith community and further jeopardize chances for a fair and bipartisan compromise,” said Kevin Appleby of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which last year said the inclusion of gay couples in a House bill aimed at reuniting families made it “impossible” for the group to support the measure. “Immigration is hard enough without adding same-sex marriage to the mix.”
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, a 16-million-strong group of evangelical Latinos that could play a key political role in an immigration overhaul, is similarly opposed to including provisions for gay and lesbian families. The president of the organization, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, said that including such a measure would prove to be the “death knell” for comprehensive change.
Gay and lesbian foreigners around the country who are in the same predicament as de Leon said the opposition of powerful Catholic and Latino groups was ironic because those groups often saw an immigration overhaul as a civil rights issue – and were quick to blame xenophobia and racism for anti-immigrant sentiment – while simultaneously arguing against equal rights for gays and lesbians.
Another Washington gay couple, who requested that their names not be published because the foreign partner is a Latino man currently living in the country under false pretenses and the American partner is a prominent Republican whose identity could easily lead authorities to the other man, said gays and lesbians fall in love in the same unpredictable way as straight people. Sometimes, the object of that love happens to be a foreigner.
“When you love someone, it feels the same,” said the Latino man, who is in the country on a tourist visa and has been working in violation of it. He is afraid that his immigration status could be exposed at any time, and he could be forced to leave. He travels outside the country periodically to keep his tourist visa valid, always making sure when he presents his visa at the border that he has an air ticket showing when he plans to leave the United States.
“I am insecure because I am worried,” he said. “If I have trouble with the police, they will send me back to my country. I have a partner. All my life is here. My family lives in Mexico City, but I feel comfortable here. I drive everyday – if I have an accident or the police stops me and ask me for my papers, I am afraid.”
“Every time he leaves, I wonder is he going to come back to his house, to our friends, to my family,” added his partner.
It is unclear whether an immigration overhaul will take place in the next 12 months. The rise of the “tea party” movement, the popularity of tough new anti-immigration laws in Arizona and other states and the growing likelihood that Republicans will control the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate after the 2010 midterm elections all suggest that an immigration overhaul will be difficult.
At the same time, advocates for such an overhaul say, there are also powerful social and political forces that could move changes forward: Chief among them, the presence of 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country and the growing political clout of Latinos in states such as Florida, Colorado and Nevada. Rodriguez rejected the argument that opposing gay marriage provisions in an immigration overhaul constituted homophobia. Rather, he said, the choice was between excluding gay and lesbian families from an overhaul of immigration laws – or losing out on an overhaul altogether.
The key constituency to changes getting passed are white evangelicals, he added. After years of outreach, Latino evangelicals have formed alliances with white evangelical groups – and those evangelicals are key to getting Republican votes in the House. Including provisions related to gay marriage, Rodriguez said, would prompt white evangelicals to desert the coalition.
“It is not a matter of being anti-anything but being pro-immigration reform,” he said. “It is not fair to morph the immigration agenda with the same-sex agenda.”
Steve Ralls, director of communications at Immigration Equality, a legal aid and advocacy organization that seeks to include gay and lesbian families in any immigration measure, said he was confident that equal rights would be part of any overhaul. In the Senate, he said, an immigration bill would have to pass through the Judiciary Committee, where Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) has been a strong backer of equal gay and lesbian immigration rights.
For Beddingfield and de Leon, the issue is personal as well as political. De Leon expects to finish his doctorate in public and urban policy in the spring. If an immigration overhaul does not allow Beddingfield to sponsor his spouse for citizenship, de Leon might be able to acquire U.S. residency through his mother.
That’s ironic because de Leon’s mother came to the United States from the Philippines after he did. Like de Leon, she married an American, but quickly obtained legal residency because she was straight. It currently takes about 10 years for Filipinos to sponsor their children for U.S. residency. To de Leon, that’s a long time to wait for a legal right he argues he should already have.
from The Washington Post
Las Vegas – Gay marriage isn’t legal in Nevada, although domestic partnerships were recently approved. But divas make their own law.
Plus, there’s nothing to stop you from proposing while in Vegas.
In this really charming video from Saturday night at the Pearl at the Palms, Mariah Carey’s views on gay marriage are apparent — and they’re nothing like those expressed by Miss California Carrie Prejean at Planet Hollywood during the Miss USA contest earlier this year.
UPDATE: I just spoke by phone to Maurie Sherman, 31, of Toronto who proposes in this video to his now-fiance, Mathew Almeida. Gay marriage is legal where they live, and so they will in fact be married. “I wish we could have married in Las Vegas. I think Las Vegas would make a lot of money from allowing [gay] marriage,” Sherman said. Many locals and casino companies would agree with that assessment. But Nevada has a “Defense of Marriage Act” passed by voters from the entire state, not just Las Vegas.
Anyway, I asked Sherman what his hook-up was to arrange his on stage proposal at Saturday night’s Mariah Carey concert at the Palms. He did not have one. According to Sherman, he spent six months working to arrange what you see in the clip, and he bombarded everyone from the Palms to Perez Hilton, until he finally got the ear of Mariah Carey’s management company. And, even then, nothing was for sure:
“I worked as hard as I can to make it happen. Everyone loved the idea. But no one made promises. I did not find out until five minutes before the concert started. Her security came over and talked to me. ‘I think we are going to do this. And, I think it will be during the show on stage.’ I did not know before that moment. But I came prepared. I dressed nicely and brought the candy ring in my pocket and made sure it didn’t break. Mathew had no idea. Please let me add thanks to Mariah for doing it.”
from The Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW – A Moscow court on Tuesday ruled against two lesbians seeking to become Russia’s first legally married gay couple.
Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko said the Tverskoi District Court upheld a decision by the city’s civil registry that said Russian law defined marriage as between a woman and a man.
“We want recognition of our relationship by society and the state. We are a family already, we live together and share household chores,” Shipitko said. “We also would like to have children. That is why we want legal recognition of our union.”
Nikolai Alexeyev, a longtime Russian gay rights activist who is serving as the women’s lawyer, told reporters that they plan to fight the ruling.
“We understand quite well that it is a long road that must be taken before such unions will be recognized. But I have no doubt this recognition will come,” he said.
The two women said they planned to fly to Canada later this month to marry and then return to Russia, in a bid to force authorities to recognize the marriage.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in the 1990s, but many Russians are vehemently opposed to expansion of gay rights or gay-rights demonstrations.
from The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO — Wah Cheong, a lifelong Republican and the soon-to-be divorced father of two teenage boys, sometimes surprises his co-workers and neighbors in a relatively conservative community outside San Francisco when he says he supports same-sex marriage.
“Here is my situation,” the 47-year-old chemical engineer tells them when the hot-button topic comes up. “If gays and lesbians were more accepted, I wouldn’t have married a closeted lesbian.”
Silence usually follows. Then, a spark of understanding.
Of all the constituency groups that advocate allowing gay couples to wed, none is perhaps more counterintuitive than the heterosexual spouses of gay men and lesbians.
Yet as the issue plays out in the nation’s courtrooms and statehouses, some of the wives and husbands who learned that their partner was attracted to other women or men are making their voices known in the often-polarized debate.
“We are the unacknowledged victims of the victims of homophobia,” said Amity Pierce Buxton, the founder of the Straight Spouse Network, a New Jersey-based support and advocacy group with 52 U.S. chapters. “When gays and lesbians feel they have to get married to be accepted and to have kids, that hurts not only gays and lesbians, but straight spouses and kids.”
The board of the volunteer-run organization, which claims thousands of participants, has adopted a policy of opposing laws that limit marriage to a man and a woman. Last fall, as California voters considered whether to amend the state Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriages, Buxton, 80, who lives in Oakland, wrote an impassioned opinion piece arguing against Proposition 8.
Some network participants have marched in gay pride parades, tried to persuade church groups that the Bible should not be used to justify anti-gay attitudes, and met with groups of gay fathers struggling to stay on good terms with their ex-wives. Others have expressed their views on talk shows when married politicians like former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey come out or are outed, or just quietly shared their perspectives in hope of changing a few minds.
To be sure, not all mates who discover they are in what has become known as “mixed-orientation marriages” are so sanguine. Cheong, who was married for more than 17 years when his wife told him she thought she was a lesbian, said he knows other straight spouses who voted for California’s same-sex marriage ban “out of spite for their ex’s, nothing else.”
Regardless of where they are on the acceptance scale, each spouse can pinpoint devastating moments of discovery or disclosure that rendered their marital relationships unrecognizable, if not shattered.
For Carolyn Sega Lowengart, 61, who lives outside Washington, D.C., it came after 31 years of marriage. Lowengart thinks if her husband had not seen his sexual orientation as a stigma, both of them would have been free to pursue other relationships.
After her husband moved out, “I asked him, ‘When did you know’”‘ He said, ‘When I was a teenager.’ I said, ‘Why did you marry me?’ And he said, ‘Because I didn’t want to be (gay),’” she said.
Randy Spires, 59, a former military police officer who lives in Southern Maryland, said he went through it on his 21st wedding anniversary when he found an e-mail his wife had sent to her female lover. Compounding his anger and confusion were the reactions of straight male friends who joked that Spires was lucky to be married to a lesbian.
“I’ve always compared the straight spouses with a chalk line at a crime scene,” said Spires. “The gay and lesbian community doesn’t want to associate with us because they think we are angry or what do you have to worry about, you’re straight. And then you have the heterosexual side saying wait a minute, there must be something wrong with you for this to happen. We lose our own identity. We don’t have a face.”
Spires’ ex-wife, Sue Spires, says she regrets having hurt Randy but does not completely understand why, 13 years later, he feels a need to talk about the end of their marriage, which produced two sons. But she agrees with him that if same-sex relationships had been more accepted when they were young, she would have had a relationship with a woman.
“I knew I was gay from the time I was 8-years-old,” she said. “But the socially correct thing to do was to get married. That’s what I did. We didn’t have an unhappy marriage, but if I could do it again I would be able to tell him, ‘No, I’m sorry, I can’t go through with this.”
Buxton, whose 1991 book, “The Other Side of the Closet,” is considered the definitive work on the topic, estimates there are as many as 2 million gay men and lesbians in the United States are or have been in heterosexual marriages. About seven out of every 10 involve women married to gay men, she said.
Of those who contact the Straight Spouse Network — the organization hears from five new straight spouses a day — about one-third immediately split up when the gay partner comes out. Another third stay together for a year or two. The remaining third resolve to make their marriages work.
Citrus Heights, Calif. residents Jim and Anne Marie Will are in the last category. Former high school sweethearts, they had been together for 15 years and married for 11 years when Jim told his wife in 2001 that he thought he was gay but had never acted on his feelings.
The couple, who have a 16-year-old daughter, decided to stay together and to give both of them the option to pursue sexual relationships outside the marriage, which Jim Will has done. Yet the bond between them remains strong, if unconventional.
When asked why they have remained married, both spouses say there is no one else with whom they would rather share their lives.
“Being open and honest relieved my burden of guilt and we were able to consider ways to safely accommodate my additional desires. There continues to be no one else we want to have a life with,” Jim Hill said.
“The one thing I have asked him to do for me is to not hook up with other gay married men,” Anne Marie Hill said. “I have seen the devastation these women have gone through, and I don’t want him to be part of that.”
from The Associated Press