News You Should Know August 13, 2014

BTL Staff

MICHIGAN - United States Representative from Michigan Dan Kildee urged Gov. Rick Snyder today [Aug. 13] to drop the lawsuit defending Michigan's ban on same-sex marriages repeating his belief that Snyder may be on "the wrong side of history," something Snyder may be regretful of later on. Kildee is a Democrat from Flint and spoke to the Free Press as he launched a petition to drive Snyder and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to drop their support of the DeBoer v Snyder appeal. "Simply put, Gov. Snyder and Attorney General Schuette are on the wrong side of history when it comes to ensuring equal rights for LGBT Michiganders," Kildee said in an appeal for people to sign the petition, noting how many federal courts have struck down same-sex marriage bans. Sara Wurfel, a spokesperson for Snyder called Kildee's comments "counter productive" and "divisive" and claimed Snyder has a responsibility to uphold the MI Constitution. She made mention that the decision should be decided by voters.

MICHIGAN - Sick of refreshing your news browser or RSS feed anxiously waiting for the 6th Circuit ruling? Be the first to know when the Court makes a decision. Sign up for Michigan For Marriage's Email blast. They are primed and ready to deliver a message to you toute-suite. Sign up here.

ISRAEL - The country says it will now allow Jews to immigrate to Israel with their non-Jewish same-sex spouses. The Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar told immigration authorities not to differentiate between married gay and straight coupes. Israeli law grants citizenship to Jews and close non-Jewish relatives who move to Israel. Israel has only naturalized non-Jewish same-sex spouses of Jews following threats of Supreme Court petitions and does not permit gays to marry in the country. But the state does recognize same-sex marriages if they were performed legally abroad. LGBT members can serve openly in the military and parliament and the Israeli Supreme Court grants family rights including inheritance and survivor benefits to LGBT families.

NEPAL - Hundreds of LGBT paraded through Nepal's capital city Aug. 11 for a celebration of Gaijatra, a Hindu festival to remember the dead that is gleefully overtaken by the country's gay community. The festival comes with rainbow-colored balloons and banners along the one-kilometer route from a tourist hub to the city's central square. Many of the participants wore traditional dress of their ethnic communities while others were painted in makeup and cross-dressing. Nepal is a socially conservative Hindu-majority nation and the festival was traditionally the only day people felt free to cross-dress. A government committee is recommending same-sex marriage be guaranteed in a new constitution that would give Nepalese LGBT the right to adopt, buy joint property, open joint bank accounts and inherit from one another. Each political party in the country has already backed the idea and the gay community hopes the new constitution will be passed later this year.

SAN FRANCISCO - Shannon O'Malley and Keith Wilson have launched a fun feel-good book project showcasing many, many gay men drawing what they think a vagina looks like. It's one of this year's more unique Kickstarter projects that started three years ago when they began collecting the drawings of various skillsets giving us a look into the gay male mind. Wilson is a filmmaker and visual artist and O'Malley is a writer. They started making things together in Texas, focusing on O'Malley's recipe blog titled "Apocalypse Cakes: Recipes for the End." The book isn't out yet and the group is looking for donations to launch a full spread publication of the sizable and shapely drawn vaginas. They have raised more than their goal of $37,000 but extending the donations will provide interested readers with more copies of the book.

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