News Roundup: August 9, 2011

Headlines around the web – August 9, 2011 [Will be updated throughout the day]

    S.F. gay married couple loses immigration battle (here via San Francisco Chronicle) - ” Citing the Defense of Marriage Act, the Obama administration denied immigration benefits to a married gay couple from San Francisco and ordered the expulsion of a man who is the primary caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted spouse. Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk's application to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples.”

    'Keep coming out', urges Malaysia's gay pastor (here via AFP) - ” Malaysia's only openly gay pastor is urging homosexuals in the mainly Muslim country to "keep coming out" to help battle homophobia, as he gets set to tie the knot with his American partner. Reverend Ouyang Wen Feng is a highly controversial figure who faced outrage and threats when he opened in 2007 the first gay-friendly church in conservative Malaysia, where sexual identity is a hot-button topic. Homosexuality, still a crime punishable by 20 years in jail under Malaysian laws banning sodomy, remains taboo across the racial and religious spectrum in Malaysia, which is home to large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities. But Ouyang, a journalist-turned-pastor, said gay men and women should speak out to "break the vicious cycle" and help fight misunderstandings about the gay community.”

    O'Brien urged O'Malley against backing gay marriage (here via Baltimore Sun) - ” In the days before Gov. Martin O’Malley came out in support of same-sex marriage, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien privately urged him against “promoting a goal that so deeply conflicts with your faith.” “Preserving the central role of the natural family unit has always been — and should continue to be — the reason why our government recognizes marriage as existing between one man and one woman,” the archbishop wrote to the governor in a letter dated July 20. Two days later, O’Malley said he would introduce legislation next year to allow gay couples to marry.”

    IRS shows newly married gay couples no love (here via MSNBC) - ” For all those same-sex newlyweds in New York, Lawrence S. Jacobs has a message: Enjoy the Champagne and the honeymoon, but expect no gifts from the IRS. Jacobs, a lawyer in Washington, specializes in estate planning for same-sex couples — and in delivering the bad news that their unions aren’t legal in the eyes of the IRS, a policy that will cost them time and money during tax season. Same-sex couples in Washington, which last year legalized gay marriage, must fill out a federal return to make calculations required for their D.C. joint return. But then they must set that work aside and fill out separate federal returns because the IRS doesn’t regard their union as legal, Jacobs says. “You just spent decades getting your marriage recognized, and now the feds say, ‘No, you’re not,’” says Jacobs, who as a partner in a same-sex marriage has firsthand experience of the problem.”

    Where Bachmann and Other GOP Candidates Stand on Gay Marriage (here via International Business Times) - ”GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann attended a non-denominational church service in Iowa on Sunday where the pastor gave a 30-minute presentation that included his church's disapproval of homosexuality, NBC News reported on Monday. Bachmann is already known for being against same-sex marriage, but what of the other GOP candidates? As it turns out, not all GOP presidential contenders are on the same page when it comes to gay marriage. Here is a look at how some of the major GOP presidential hopefuls feel about this hot topic”

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