This page contains news for the period July 21, 2001 through July 28, 2001.
<< July 2001 >>
Thursday, July 26, 2001
tops domestic partner couples in Orlando, Florida
A story published today by the Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports that Colonialtown, just
northeast of downtown Orlando, Florida, nearly half of the unmarried couples who live
together -- roughly 4 percent of all households -- are gay, according to the U.S. Census
Throughout the region, gay and lesbian couples make up less than 1 percent of
households. But they are everywhere: From Howey-in-the-Hills to Christmas, 99 percent of
the almost 500 individual areas surveyed in the census contain at least one same-sex
That's the trend statewide as well. The census recorded 41,018 same-sex couples --
about one out of every 380 households. Of those, 22,958 were male couples and 18,060 were
Because no state officially recognizes same-sex marriages, gay and lesbian couples who
identified themselves as being married in the1990 Census, were usually reallocated
to several categories, including roommates, unmarried partners and relatives.
In the 2000 Census, all "married" same-sex couples were put in the category
of unmarried partners.
Experts, including the Census Bureau itself, think the numbers are artificially low
because some gay couples might not have defined themselves that way on the census form.
"We know that the underreporting is dramatic, even more so in rural areas,"
said Nadine Smith, director of Equality Florida, a gay-activist group based in Tampa.
Swedish minister promotes
extension of partnership registration rights
A story published today by the Nordic Business Report states that
according to Swedish justice minister Thomas Bodstrom, the partnership law of Sweden
should be changed to allow all religious communities to register partnerships between
same- sex couples.
Bodstrom has said that he thinks the current law on domestic
partners is wrong as the religious communities do not have the right to 'tie the knot'
between same-sex couples. Bodstrom believes that no religious community should be forced
to register partnerships but that the choice should be there. Currently only experienced
judges at district courts and priests of the Swedish Lutheran church are allowed to
register a partnership
Tuesday, July 24, 2001
Canadian couples challenge B.C. Supreme
Court on gay marriages
A story released today by Ananova.com reports that eight gay
couples have begun a legal fight to change Canada's marriage laws.
The couples will argue in the British Columbia Supreme Court
that the Marriage Act violates their right to equality.
The government maintains it is not discriminating by denying
marital status to same-sex couples. Lawyer Judith Bowers said: "The federal
government has come to court to defend the historic definition of marriage, that being an
opposite sex institution."
It is highly unlikely the issue will be put to rest in the
trial, expected to last two weeks, said Ms Bowers.
"It will end up, I'm assuming, at the federal
level," she said, estimating it could take at least three years to bring the case to
the Supreme Court of Canada.
She described the case as a "first foray" into the
courts on this issue.
Saturday, July 21, 2001
Maine couples participate in domestic partner registry
A story released today by the Associated Press reports that fifteen gay couples and
four unmarried heterosexual couples from Portland, Maine have obtained domestic-partner
status since Portland began recognizing same-sex and opposite sex couples as families a
The registry extends to same-sex and unmarried couples of opposite sex many of the same
rights enjoyed by married couples. For instance, they qualify for any city program or
benefit offered to married couples.
''We did it because I guess it's finally some official recognition that we made a
commitment to each other,'' Joseph Stackpole said of himself and his partner of nearly
five years, Richard Johnson.
Brenda Buchanan, a Portland attorney who helped create the domestic partner ordinance,
said she has heard a number of her clients mention interest in the registry.
''It's hugely important to gay couples who don't have any other option,'' she said.
''When people realize the numbers, they see that these couples exist.''
To be eligible for the registry, applicants may not be married, must be at least 18
years old and be Portland residents. Applicants must also identify any dependents.
Some couples may also pay an additional $50 for a more formal registry signing in the
State of Maine room. To date, no couple has chosen that ceremony.