New Zealand Becomes 13th Nation to Legalize Marriage Equality

New Zealand’s parliament voted 77 to 44 on Wednesday to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, making the country the first in the Asia-Pacific region and the 13th in the world to embrace marriage equality. The law is expected to take effect in August.

New Zealand has allowed civil unions for same-sex couples since 2005, but the new marriage equality law will confer two more crucial rights: couples will be allowed to jointly adopt children, and their marriages will be recognized in other countries.

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Pennsylvania Democrat Kicked Out of Christian Band for Supporting Marriage Equality

Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith is a proud Christian running for Lieutenant Governor in the state of Pennsylvania. He was also the lead guitarist for an up-and-coming Christian rock band — until he publicly announced his support for marriage equality.

During his campaign and on Facebook, Smith has been open about supporting same-sex couples’ right to marry. His campaign website reads, in part:

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Texas A&M Student Body President Nixes Religious Exemption to Student Fees

Religious students at Texas A&M University have spent the last few weeks coming up with creative ways to scare off GLBT students once and for all. Earlier this month, they nearly succeeded.

As a sneaky way to eliminate any and all support for gay life on campus, some students authored a measure that would allow anyone with “sincerely held religious beliefs” to opt out of paying the portion of their student fees allotted toward the school’s GLBT Resource Center, used by more than a thousand Aggies each semester.

Of course, the bill’s language was altered at the last minute to make it appear less discriminatory and more oriented toward “religious freedom.”

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How a Gay Student Came Out at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University

Let me say outright what we’re all thinking: If you’re gay, Liberty University is not the right school for you.

That’s what one former student thought at first, too; after all, Liberty’s founder, the infamous Jerry Falwell, is perhaps best remembered for founding the anti-gay Moral Majority, claiming that pagans, feminists and gays caused 9/11, and warning of a “homosexual steamroller” that would “literally crush all decent men, women, and children.” (In the years since his passing, the misuse of “literally” in Falwell’s steamroller quote has inspired one of the best Oatmeal comics of all time, but that’s another story.)

But in a piece for the Atlantic this week, former Liberty student Brandon Ambrosino says that when he came out as gay at Liberty, he was pleasantly surprised — at least to an extent. Ambrosino followed a girlfriend to Liberty, assuming God had intended for them to eventually get married. As the story often goes, they broke up, and it wasn’t long before Brandon knew he was actually gay.

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North Carolina Church Refuses to Marry Heterosexual Couples Until Gays and Lesbians Can Get Married, Too

Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina says it won’t perform any marriages between opposite-sex couples until same-sex couples can legally marry in the church as well.

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