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Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
 
Stonewall Riots Stonewall Riots
The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
 
Native Americans
A social role for individuals who crossed or mixed male and female characteristics was one of the most widely distributed institutions of native North America.
 
The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980 The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
 
Mixed-Orientation Marriages
Mixed-orientation marriages--those in which one partner is straight and the other is gay or lesbian--often end in divorce, but such an ending is not inevitable.
 
Leather Culture
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
 
Transgender Activism
Since the late nineteenth century, transgendered people have advocated legal and social reforms that would ameliorate the kinds of oppression and discrimination they suffer.
 
Gay Liberation Front
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
 
Topics In the News
 
U.K. Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in House of Commons
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 01/24/13
Last updated on: 01/26/13
 
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Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron supports the marriage equality bill.

On January 24, 2013, the United Kingdom's long-awaited marriage equality bill was introduced into the House of Commons by Culture Secretary Maria Miller. It has been scheduled for debate on February 5, 2013. The bill is the result of a long period of consultation. Despite a fierce campaign mounted by the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, polls show a majority of Britons in favor of marriage equality.

As Scott Roberts explains in PinkNews, the historic bill will allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in civil ceremonies. It will also permit religious organizations that decide to "opt in" to conduct marriage ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples, while a "quadruple lock" of measures in domestic legislation will protect religions that do not choose to "opt in" from being challenged through domestic or European courts.

Religious organizations and individual ministers will be prohibited from marrying same-sex couples unless their respective governing bodies have expressly opted in to do so.

In addition, the Equality Act 2010 is to be amended to ensure that no discrimination claim may be brought against religious organizations or an individual minister for refusing to marry gay couples (or allowing their premises to be used for this purpose).

Although some religious organizations, including Unitarians, Quakers, Reform Judaism, and Evangelical sects, have indicated their intention to marry same-sex couples, the bill explicitly prohibits the Church of England and the Church in Wales from marrying gay couples or to opt-in to do so unless there is a change in both primary law and Canon law.

Despite claims that almost half of Conservative Party MPs may vote against the bill, Prime Minister David Cameron is likely to secure a majority in the Commons with the support of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs.

The bill would then be subjected to the scrutiny of an MP's committee before making its way back to the Commons for a third reading--at which point it would then enter the House of Lords.

Secretary Miller has refused to rule out using the Parliament Act to override the House of Lords in the event the bill becomes stalled in that body.

The government's consultation on plans for same-sex marriage received a record 228,000 responses, a healthy majority of which were in favor of marriage equality.

In its response to the consultation the government said it has no plans to change the definition of adultery or non-consummation of a marriage, which means neither could be cited as grounds for divorce in a same-sex marriage unless the adultery was with someone of the opposite sex.

Culture Secretary Miller also dismissed the fear that the terms "husband" and "wife" could be removed as a result of same-sex marriages.

The Scottish Government has published proposed legislation of its own to permit the marriage of same-sex couples.

In September 2012, Secretary Miller contributed the video below to the Out4Marriage campaign to support marriage equality.

 
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