Speed Read: Friday 13 December 2013

COLORADO’S READY: A survey in Colorado this month suggested voters may be ready for marriage equality. Colorado’s legislature passed civil union legislation that took effect just last May. But Public Policy Polling surveyed 928 Colorado voters between December 3rd to 4th, including 355 Republican primary voters. Of the full sample, 48 percent said they would support allowing same-sex couples to marry, 32 percent said only civil unions should be allowed, 18 percent said there should be no legal recognition of same-sex relations, and two percent offered no opinion.

PUTIN RESUMES HOSTILITIES: Russian President Vladimir Putin resumed his harsh public statements against gay people Thursday, saying Russian would be a wall against “so-called tolerance — genderless and infertile.” The latest remarks continue an erratic sequence of statements in which the Russian leader appears to offer reassurance that all athletes and visitors to the Olympics in Sochi in February will be treated with respect, then later expresses determination to crack down on any demonstrations of pro-gay sentiments. On Wednesday, he told the Olympic games president that Russia would provide a “protest zone” in the city of Sochi during the games. One day earlier, he dismantled the existing state television agency and replaced it with one headed by virulently anti-gay television host. In an editorial Thursday, the Washington Post said, “Mr. Putin’s rhetoric and the anti-gay law he supported have opened the floodgates for gay-bashing in Russia.”

AUSTRALIA SUFFERS SETBACK: The High Court of Australia struck down a law Thursday that had enabled same-sex couples in part of the country to marry. The unanimous ruling said the federal marriage law that has banned same-sex couples from marrying since 2004 trumps a Marriage Equality Act passed by the legislative assembly of the Australian Capital Territory allowing such marriages. Sounding a lot like the India Supreme Court earlier this week, the Australian court said that “whether same sex marriage should be provided for by law is a matter for the federal Parliament.”

EUROPEAN UNION TAKE: The Court of Justice, the highest court of the European Union, ruled Thursday in a case, Hay v. Credit Agricole, brought by a gay man who was denied his employer’s customary bonus and days off for marriage when the employee entered into a pact of civil solidarity (PACS) with another man. The court ruled that, in European Union countries where same-sex couples are not allowed to marry, employers must provide equal benefits to their gay employees who enter into PACS and similar partnerships.

CROATIA RE-THINKING THINGS: Voters in the eastern Mediterranean country of Croatia voted on December 1 to limit marriage to one man-one woman. But on Thursday, the government of President Ivo Josipovic introduced a bill to enable same-sex couples to register as a “civil partnership” and receive a number of marriage-like benefits. Public Administration Minister Arsen Bauk said the bill represents a “democratic compromise.” Bauk also said the legislation is needed to meet certain European legal commitments.

INDIA RE-THINKING TOO: Just one day after the Indian Supreme Court upheld laws banning sex between same-sex partners, India’s Minister of Law said the government should take swift action to change the country’s law banning sex between same-sex partners. The head of the majority Congressional party said she, too, thinks Parliament should “uphold the constitutional guarantee of life and liberty to all citizens of India, including those directly affected” by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

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