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Something wonderful to celebrate
As you may know, last month, Washington, Maine and Maryland became the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote. They joined six other states – New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont – and the District of Columbia that had already enacted laws or issued court rulings permitting same-sex marriage. After so long, change is finally afoot in the U.S. The fight there has been longer and harder than for Canadians and some other countries; and it is far from over. The law doesn't require religious organizations or churches to perform marriages, and it doesn't subject churches to penalties if they don't marry gay or lesbian couples. Married same-sex couples do not have access to federal pensions, health insurance and other government benefits available to heterosexual couples because the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, bars federal recognition of gay unions.
Sunday, December 9th, 2012 was the first day people could get married and Seattle supported this with fantastic celebrations. I loved this photo story of the weddings and I wanted to share it with you, as a way to congratulate those in the USA who continue to push for equality and human rights and to share the joy.
With a virtual toast to all the happy couples,
Farzana is a counsellor at David Kelly LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS Counselling, a program of Family Service Toronto. She is also a 'queer counsellor' at Family Service Toronto.
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