President Miguel Díaz-Canel Of Cuba Endorses Same-Sex Marriage

American LGBTs saw the power of the presidency in action when President Obama announced his ‘evolution’ and support for marriage equality in May 2012.

His statement made an enormous impact on the fight for marriage equality. And three years later, same-sex marriage came to all of the United States.

Now, Cuba is preparing for a nationwide referendum on changing the language in its constitution from defining marriage as a “voluntary union of a man and a woman,” to recognizing marriage as “between two people.”

And the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, has publicly announced his support.

According to the BBC, Díaz-Canel said in an interview with Telesur he favors recognizing “marriage between people without any restrictions.”

He added that embracing marriage equality is “part of eliminating any type of discrimination in society.”

The Cuban president acknowledges that Cuba has “been going through a massive thought evolution and many taboos have been broken.”

Much of the credit for Cuba’s ‘evolution’ on marriage is due, in great part, to the efforts of Mariela Castro, daughter of former President Raúl Castro.

Ms. Castro, who leads the Cuban National Centre for Sex Education, has spent years speaking out on behalf of LGBTQ rights. And those efforts are clearly paying off today.

Cuba bears a long, hideous history regarding the treatment of LGBTs.

In 1959, after the rise of Fidel Castro, 25,000 gay men were rounded up and sent to labor camps.

And during the height of the AIDS pandemic, those with HIV were quarantined in government-run sanitariums. That practice ended in 1993.

But even with the country’s “thought evolution,” it comes as no surprise that there are still hills to climb in the form of Cuba’s religious leaders.

Cuba’s Catholic Church, Assembly of God Pentecostal Church, the Evangelical League and Methodist Church all vigorously oppose the idea of marriage equality.

Cuban citizens head to the polls in February to cast their votes on the new constitution.

(h/t BBC)

UK Study: LGBTs Waiting Later In Life Than Heterosexual Couples To Marry

New data from the UK shows same-sex couples are more likely to marry later in life than heterosexual couples.

Commissioned by the Office of National Statistics in the UK, the study, titled “Being 18 in 2018,” examines different aspects of life for young adults who were born in 2000.

The subjects of the study include life expectancy, employment, becoming parents, and getting married, among many topics.

While couples are allowed to marry in the UK at the age of 18 without parental consent, the statistics show young folks are waiting longer and longer to walk down the aisle.

In 1970, for instance, the average age for women getting married was 22-years-old; and for men, it was 24-years-old.

Of course, that didn’t include any LGBT folks since marriage equality didn’t arrive in the UK until 2014.

Note: same-sex marriage is still not legal in Northern Ireland, although civil partnerships are allowed.

Looking at 2014, the average age of women who married men had risen to 31, and for men marrying women it was 33.

But when it comes to gay and lesbian couples, the average ages are noticeably higher.

The average age of lesbian couples getting hitched as 35, and for gay male couples it was 38.

By 2015, the average age for gay male couples had risen to nearly 40-years-old.

These stats do spark the question: why are LGBTs getting married later in life? Or - put another way - are young people not that drawn to the idea of marriage?

What do you think, readers?

(h/t Gay Star News)

LGBTQ Ally Kelly Clarkson Does Not Suffer Haters Lightly

Do not come for the gays on Kelly Clarkson’s Twitter account or you will be named and shamed.

On Sunday, the ever-and-always American Idol offered congrats to a couple of fans who had just tied the knot.



But one fan wasn’t down with Clarkson’s support for same-sex marriage, tweeting, “Sorry Kelly…. love your music but I don’t dig the dikes…still a sin any way you cut it.”



The Voice judge clapped back saying originally she wasn’t going to give the hate a spotlight, but decided the truth was more important.

Clarkson tweeted: “I almost didn’t respond 2 this because hate doesn’t deserve a spotlight but u know what, truth does, & the truth is that God is Love, & Love shared between two people should be praised not condemned in my personal opinion. I love u 2 although we see the world/love differently.”





Episcopal Church Approves New Rules To Allow Same-Sex Marriage in All Dioceses

There’s good news for LGBTQ folks who belong to the Episcopal Church. 

At the Episcopal Church’s General Convention last week, a triennial event, the Church’s House of Bishops and House of Deputies approved resolution B012, which will allow gay and lesbian couples to be married in their home parish even if their local bishop has moral objections to gay marriage.

At the Church’s 2015 convention, gender-neutral marriage rites were approved for use in same-sex marriage ceremonies to be performed by clergy who were willing to participate. But, bishops were still allowed to forbid such ceremonies in their diocese if they disapproved.

Under the new resolution, which goes into effect in December, when a same-sex couple wishes to marry in a diocese where same-sex marriage is not condoned, the priest who has agreed to conduct the ceremony will be allowed to reach out to an Episcopal bishop in another diocese who can step in and provide pastoral support for the couple.

To be clear, though: no priest can be forced to perform any marriage ceremony they do not wish to be a part of.

The majority of convention attendees agreed with the solution.

From LifeSiteNews:

One priest said, “For 40 years our LGBT brothers and sisters have been at the back of the bus and, every so often, they are invited to move forward one row at a time.”

Another delegate who is a longtime pro-LGBT leader said she supported the resolution “recognizing that this is a hard-won compromise but one which I believe will lead us forward into that work as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.”

The chairman of the General Convention’s Task Force on the Study of Marriage, “implored deputies to complete convention’s actions on marriage. ‘We are fond of saying around the Episcopal Church that all are welcome, and all means all, y’all,’” according to an Episcopal News Service report.

According to the Episcopal Church website, the 8 holdout bishops who did not condone same-sex marriages were:  Albany Bishop William Love, Central Florida Bishop Greg Brewer, Dallas Bishop George Sumner, Florida Bishop John Howard, North Dakota Bishop Michael Smith, Springfield Bishop Dan Martins, Tennessee’s Bauerschmidt and U.S. Virgin Islands Bishop Ambrose Gumbs.

Bermuda Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage - Again

They say strange things can happen in the “Bermuda Triangle,” and this story may be even more proof of that.

In June of 2016, the citizens of Bermuda rejected the idea of legalized marriage equality by a vote of 69% against.


Then, in May of 2017, Bermuda’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.


And then, in December, the Bermuda Assembly voted to halt same-sex marriages by passing the Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) making domestic partnerships the legal recognition offered to same-sex couples. These would offer the same rights as opposite-sex marriage, but without the title of ‘marriage’.

Boo again!

Now, the island nation’s Supreme Court  just ruled in favor of same-sex marriage again, making marriage equality the law of the land - again.

Yay again!

The Bermudan Supreme Court ruled against the section of the Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) which banned marriage equality.

Chief Justice Ian Kawaley said the sections of the Act which repealed the right to same-sex marriage were invalid because they were not in line with Constitutional provisions which give the right to "freedom of conscience and creed."

Johnson Lord and Hartnett-Beasley, Directors of OUTBermuda, helped turn the marriage equality issue in Bermuda around.

In a statement, the duo said:

“We all came to the court with one purpose. That was to overturn the unfair provisions of the Domestic Partnership Act that tried to take away the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Revoking same-sex marriage is not merely unjust, but regressive and unconstitutional; the Court has now agreed that our belief in same-sex marriage as an institution is deserving of legal protection and that belief was treated by the Act in a discriminatory way under Bermuda’s Constitution. We continue to support domestic partnership rights for all Bermudians to choose, but not at the expense of denying marriage to some.”

LGBT advocacy groups applauded the result as well.

From the Human Rights Campaign’s Ty Cobb: “The Bermuda Supreme Court has righted the injustice that occurred when Bermudian lawmakers made the islands the first national territory in the world to repeal marriage equality. We congratulate the plaintiffs in this case on their historic victory ensuring that once again. Love Wins!”

And from Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD said: “Today the Bermuda Supreme Court affirmed what we already know – that love can never be rolled back and that all loving and committed couples deserve the protections that only marriage affords.”

Watch reactions to the ruling below.


Reactions -


Gay Couple Wins Residency Rights At EU's High Court

Romanian-born Adrian Coman and his American boyfriend, Clai Hamilton, married in Belgium in 2010 after dating for 8 years.

Living in New York City in 2012, Coman requested residency permits for Mr. Hamilton to live and work in Romania. But the request was denied on the basis that the country doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.

The couple took their case to the Romanian courts in 2016 which referred the gentlemen to the European Court of Justice to inquire whether EU law applied to the issue of same-sex marriage.

EU law permits a non-EU spouse of an EU citizen to join his or her spouse in the member state where the European national resides.

According to the BBC, the EU court ruled on Tuesday that member states must recognize marriages contracted between people of the same sex in member countries.

“Although the member states have the freedom whether or not to authorise marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU Member State, a derived right of residence in their territory,” the court said.

"We are grateful to the EU Court and to the many people and institutions who have supported us, and through us, other same-sex couples in a similar situation," said Coman in response to the ruling. "It is human dignity that wins today."

Of the 28 member nations of the European Union, only 14 have moved to legalize same-sex marriage. Six member nations have no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

Which Alvarado Will Win In Costa Rica Today? Will Marriage Equality Be Victorious?

IT'S Easter Sunday and polls opened at 6 AM today in Costa Rica for a vote on whom will be that nation's next president.  The Conservative candidate,Christian singer and former TV journalist Fabricio Alvarado Munoz, looks to swing the current government's stance away from embracing gay rights.

An Inter-American Court of Human Rights based in San Jose, Costa Rica decided during a trial in Panama in January that marriage equality should be law. (Costa Rica: Pro Marriage Equality Court Ruling to Carry Over to a Total of 20 Nations (Jan 2018))

Not only is the ruling binding for the Central American country [of Panama], the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling also sets precedent for 19 other countries who have agreed to abide by the court’s decisions. The ruling is legally binding in Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay.

The current Costa Rican center-left ruling party candidate, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, supports following the above ruling.

Related Post: Costa Rica 'Accidentally' Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage? (July 2013)

Fabricio, seems to have based much of his campaign on his defiance of the court ruling, which may have helped him defeat his other 12 candidates in his party in February.

“We’re united... in defending life and family, but also to defend ethics and transparency and the battle against corruption,” the singer, who is a member of the Protestant Pentecostal movement, said on the eve of Sunday’s vote in a video appeal to Catholics, who account for more than six out 10 people in the country, seeking to forge common cause. - UK.Reuters.com

Like the US, the more modernized, coastal, and cultural areas of Costa Rica seem more moderate and liberal while the inner rural and less advanced communities are conservative.

Is marriage equality THE topic of the election?  It seems that the subject has overshadowed other crucial aspects, for one, the massive budget deficits



h/t: UK.Reuters.com

Tea Party Patriots Co-Founder Doug Mainwaring Says Same-Sex Marriage is The Antithesis of Marriage

Earlier today, I was looking around the internet when I discovered an article on LifeSiteNews.

The article was penned by Doug Mainwaring who’s a co-founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots, and an openly gay man against same-sex marriage.

Now, I could focus this article to discuss and debate Mainwaring’s views on same-sex marriage, and surprisingly there are some aspects that I agree with, but that’s not the point of this article.

In the LifeSiteNews article, Mainwaring directly uses Instinct Magazine to express his perspective on gay sites/blogs and same-sex marriage. Using five articles, he states that same-sex marriage is the antithesis of marriage.

“It is anti-conjugal and anti-complementary. It is genderless. It is sterile.”

“It exists to normalize sodomy, which is the sole binding element holding the entire LGBT movement and culture together.”      

“At the same time, the lowest common denominator virtues of monogamy, sexual self-control, personal modesty, parental role modeling, and paternal care are completely, unashamedly absent from these truth-based articles.”

But, of course, Mainwaring’s reasoning and defense are deeply biased and nonsensical, and I’ll explain how.

The five articles used were last week’s top story posts found at the top and right of the home page.

While it seems that Mainwaring is a frequent reader of Instinct, as he started the article talking about an advertisement that’s been playing on the site “for a few weeks,” he didn’t bother to go through the site to back his perspective. He only used what could be found on the front page.

The first article reference, which he also acknowledged didn’t back his theory, was an article I wrote. It’s a short piece explaining that a male prostitute outed several priests in a 1,200 page dossier that was sent to the Vatican.

Simply put, this article has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, so let’s move on.

The second article covered actor/singer Ricky Martin’s thoughts on his role for American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace in which he plays a man in an open relationship.

While some fault belongs to the initial Instinct Magazine article for incorrectly quoting Martin’s words, Mainwaring falls for it and then incorrectly uses it to defend his perspective.

You see, the Instinct article wrongly quotes Martin’s response to being asked if he’d met the real Antonio D’Amico. Martin responds yes and then says he told D’Amico that he wanted to correctly represent him and his love of Versace.

“I want to normalize relationships like this. It’s good for the world; it’s good for me as a gay man with kids. It’s important that we shed some light on power couples like this, even though he was quiet and behind the scenes and he was just there supporting his man for 15 years.”

I believe, in this moment Martin was focusing on gay relationships in power and not just open relationships. He meant that we need to celebrate strong gay love on tv (including this particular open one), because that representation can impact our views in real life.

That said, the second part of the quote on the IM post does actually talk about open relationships.

“The level of commitment after 15 years. The level of security between them and trust between them is so solid. We want to normalize another kind of reality for open relationships. And that’s what we’re doing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong. We’re just two very self-secure men that are completely in love with each other, that trust each other to the maximum level, and here we are.”

The IM post jumps to a later section in the Vulture article when Martin talks about being committed to the role and representing this real life relationship, but there’s still a mistake here.

The full quote for this section reads:

“The silent person behind the scenes, yeah. One of the toughest scenes that I shot [was] the first, the interrogation when the FBI is investigating Antonio. It was a very excruciating scene for me. I mean, this guy was opening every door that was a secret from Gianni’s and Antonio’s relationship. I’m talking about bringing men into our lives. I’m talking about bringing escorts. That exposure is very heavy, and it can be extremely uncomfortable for me, for the family, but I’m here doing a job, and the story, once again, needs to be told, for people to see the level of unity between these two. The level of commitment after 15 years. The level of security between them and trust between them is so solid. We want to normalize another kind of reality for open relationships. And that’s what we’re doing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong. We’re just two very self-secure men that are completely in love with each other, that trust each other to the maximum level, and here we are. But the scene was very intense and painful. Excruciating. It was a long day.”

Here, Ricky Martin isn’t so much championing the open relationship cause, but stating that he had to act the part of a man in a loving and stable open relationship, and represent it well to audiences that don’t understand that life.

Simply put, Martin was not discussing the importance or role of open relationships in real life, but talking about acting as a member of a real life open relationship. As such, both that one Instinct article and Mainwaring are wrong for trying to use Martin’s words to push their agendas.

The third article referenced was about Tom Daley’s latest photo leak. Mainwaring used this as an opportunity to criticize the sanctity of Daley’s marriage to tv creative Dustin Lance Black and their plans to have a child through surrogacy.

My response to Mainwaring’s use of this article doesn’t need a big rundown, because simply Mainwaring shows bias here.

So what if Daley had a photo leak? While yes, you could make an argument about the promiscuity of Daley, that does not largely affect his capabilities as a husband and potential father.

How many straight people have had sex before marrying and having children? Why is it a problem that Daley has had sex with people other than Black? Because pictures show proof of this past? This is a non-issue.

And the same could be said for the third article which was about actor Russell Tovey’s fiancé Steven Brockman potentially being a former gay porn star.

While many may have their own thoughts about someone being a porn star, no one can assume how a relationship will flourish or deteriorate.

Even if Brockman was a former porn star, which he never confirmed, does that make him incapable of being a loving husband? Absolutely not.

Lastly, the LifeSiteNews article references the coverage of porn director Michael Lucas who’s decided to record every sexual interaction he has. Basically, this man, who’s married, is making a business out of his bedroom.

While I personally grit my teeth at this story, I can also recognize that this isn’t the norm for same-sex marriages. Michael Lucas doesn’t represent all gay people and their relationships. To think so is beyond silly.

And that’s what Doug Mainwaring’s article boils down to, beyond silly. It’s beyond silly to equate four articles as not only representative of all gay sites but also of all same-sex marriages.

And for the record, these stories generated the most on Instinct Magazine in that week or two because sex sells. Despite what we all like to believe or wish were true, a story with scandal or sex appeal will always generate more clicks (trust me, I’ve had many headaches about this fact). That’s true for gay sites and straight sites.

That said, that doesn’t mean Instinct or gay sites don’t share stories celebrating monogamy and dating only one person.

Doug Mainwaring argues that gay sites like Instinct Magazine don’t cover stories with “the lowest common denominator virtues of monogamy, sexual self-control, personal modesty, parental role modeling, and paternal care.”

Yet, he didn’t bother to dig further into the site to discover stories like:

These are only a few of the stories that I’ve written in the past year, so imagine that plus the stories written by my peers here at Instinct, and then imagine all the other stories written on other gay sites.

Same-sex marriage is not the antithesis of marriage and at the same time it is not the same as straight marriage.

Same-sex marriage is still something we are understanding more by the day. That said, same-sex marriage is as diverse as straight marriage and shouldn’t be put down because one man has a bias against it.

PS: This article is not anti-open relationships, but simply a reaction to the LifeSiteNews article. In addition, I apologize to the other Instinct Magazine writer for low-key calling him out. I'll buy you a coffee sometime.

PPS: This post is the opinion of this contributing writer to Instinct Magazine.  Opinion pieces do not always reflect the stance of the magazine or the other contributing writers.

Former President Jimmy Carter - 'No Problem' With Same-Sex Marriage

While Donald Trump has shown over the past 17 months that his promise to be "better for the gays" than Hillary Clinton to be empty campaign slogans, past presidents have done much more than 'talk the talk.'

President Obama famously told the world in 2012 he believed same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. Additionally, he issued a proclamation every year of his administration recognizing Pride Month.

Each year after the woeful Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed, Obama's Department of Defense also issued a proclamation observing Pride Month. And, senior Defense officials attended events in honor of LGBTQ Pride.

And Obama wasn't the only president to show support for the LGBTQ community.

In an interview with HuffPost Live in 2015, former President Jimmy Carter shared he believes that Jesus would approve of same-sex marriage.

Promoting his book Faith: A Journey For All, Carter was asked by journalist Marc Lamont how his religious background aligns with the concept of marriage equality.

“That’s no problem with me,” he said. “I think everyone should have a right to get married regardless of their sex.”

The only conflict Carter says he holds regarding the issue would be if a church were forced to perform same-sex marriages which conflicted with that church’s teachings. This, of course, has never happened.

“But those two partners should be able to go to the local courthouse, or to a different church, and get married,” he added.

The 39th president did say abortion was a moral “problem” for him. 

“I have a hard time believing that Jesus, for instance, would approve of abortions “unless it was because of rape or incest or if the mother’s life was in danger.”

Carter admitted that while he has long held a conflict on the issue he ‘went along with that” because his “oath of office was to obey the Constitution and the laws of this country, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.”

Lamont pivoted back to the topic of marriage asking point-blank, “Would Jesus have approved of gay marriage?”

The 93-year-old didn’t hesitate in answering. “I believe he would,” Carter said. “I believe Jesus would. I don’t have any verse and scripture.”

“Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere, and was not damaging to anyone else,” he added. “And I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else.”

A longtime ally, Carter campaigned on the idea that “homosexuals should not be singled out for discrimination.”

After winning election, in 1977 Carter became the first sitting president to invite LGBTQ advocates to the White House.

He also shared in 2010 that he feels the United States is ready for an openly gay president.

Watch the interview with HuffPost Live below.


(h/t NewNowNext)