As several New Jersey cities began officiating same-sex marriages early Monday morning following a state Supreme Court ruling, one Christian stood up at a same-sex wedding ceremony in Newark to protest the union after Mayor Cory Booker asked if attendees had any objections.
Mayor Booker was one of the first government officials to marry several same-sex couples at the stroke of midnight early Monday morning at Newark's City Hall; in total, Booker married seven same-sex couples and two heterosexual couples. While beginning the wedding ceremony of same-sex couple Joseph Panessidi and Orville Bell, Booker asked those in attendance if anyone had any objections to the union.
One attendee at the City Hall gathering that attracted dozens then proceeded to stand up and yell: "This is unlawful in the eyes of God and Jesus Christ," according to NJ.com. The protester was then reportedly escorted out of City Hall and Booker said that because there were no "substantive and worthy objections," the ceremony could proceed. more >>
More than 30 Pennsylvania pastors belonging to the United Methodist Church intend to officiate a same-sex wedding in direct opposition to the denomination's official position on homosexuality.
Clergy and laity recently met at Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia where many in attendance agreed to officiate a same-sex wedding next month.
Rev. David Brown of Arch Street UMC told The Christian Post that the action was done in response to the church trial of one of their peers over his involvement in blessing a gay union. more >>
Gwyneth Paltrow has expressed outrage over "completely false" rumors of an affair with a billionaire developer this week.
The actress has been married to Coldplay front man Chris Martin for the past decade, and the pair share two children together, but her relationship with Martin has been under the spotlight this week after rumors were sparked by media reports of an alleged affair - something the actress strongly denies.
According to recent reports, Paltrow had a "romantic relationship" with supermodel Elle Macpherson's billionaire husband, Jeff Soffer, in 2008. more >>
Same-sex marriages will go ahead in New Jersey starting on Monday after the state's Supreme Court ruled against an appeal to block the practice while an appeal is being considered, arguing that there is no reasonable chance the appeal will be successful.
"The State has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today. The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative," wrote Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in the decision.
All seven judges ruled on Friday that Governor Chris Christie's appeal to temporarily block gay marriage has "not shown a reasonable probability it will succeed on the merits," Reuters reported, which means that on Monday the Garden State will become the 14th state in the U.S. to allow the practice. more >>
A federal judge determined this week that a lawsuit filed by a same-sex couple seeking to wed in Michigan in spite of the state's ban on same-sex marriage will go trial. Both the couple who filed the lawsuit and the state were hoping the judge would issue an immediate ruling.
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said Wednesday that the trial for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse of Hazel Park, Michigan, will commence Feb. 25. In his statement on Wednesday, Friedman pointed to the Supreme Court's June ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, saying that these women were also "entitled to their day in court and they shall have it."
DeBoer and Rowse, both nurses, filed a lawsuit in January 2012 challenging the state's ban on same-sex adoption, as the couple would like to adopt each other's children, Nolan, 4, Jacob, 3, and Ryanne, 3. The couple was later convinced to also challenge the state's ban on same-sex marriage, a 2004 constitutional amendment that was passed by 59 percent of voters. more >>
The Constitutional Council in France has ruled that mayors who are not in favor of same-sex marriage will still have to hold such ceremonies despite their beliefs, following the legalization of the practice earlier this year.
"Freedom of conscience is not violated by officiating at weddings," the court said, according to BBC News. It also added that the government did not create an exemption for officials not in favor of same-sex marriage "to assure the law is applied by its agents and to guarantee the proper functioning and neutrality of public service."
France became the 14th country in the world to officially legalize same-sex marriage in May after President Francois Hollande signed the Assembly-approved bill into law, which also allowed gay couples to adopt children. The law has been met with heavy opposition from supporters of traditional marriage, who have staged a number of mass rallies drawing hundreds of thousands of people. more >>