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The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Treasury Department today (Aug. 29) issued a directive stating that same-sex couples, married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes.

The ruling – being described as landmark – applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Artist who painted Putin in underwear flees Russia

Written by The AP Thursday, 29 August 2013 06:59

A museum director says an artist whose paintings depicted Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women's undergarments has fled the country.

The director of St. Petersburg's Museum of Power, Tatiana Titova, said that Konstantin Altunin left for France and was planning to request asylum there.

Remarks by President Barack Obama at the March on Washington

Written by WiG Wednesday, 28 August 2013 14:42

President Barack Obama addressed the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington — the Let Freedom Ring Ceremony — on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at about 3 p.m. EST on Aug. 28. The following is the transcript of those remarks, provided by the White House.

Starbucks has moved to the No. 1 position of brands perceived as most supportive of the LGBT community, according to a new survey.

JCPenney, Target, Apple and Amazon round out the top 5.

Feds will not sue to stop marijuana use in Washington, Colorado

Written by WiG Thursday, 29 August 2013 11:38

The U.S. government will not sue the states of Colorado or Washington to block state laws allowing the recreational use of marijuana.

The Associated Press reported on Aug. 29 that the Justice Department issued a national policy announcement that identified eight priorities for the enforcement of marijuana laws. Priorities include: preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors, preventing sales revenue from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels and preventing the diversion of marijuana outside of states where it is legal under state law.

Marriage licenses given to same-sex couples in the state are invalid because the couples were barred from marrying, just like 12-year-olds, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's attorneys said on Aug. 28.

Corbett's administration has filed a lawsuit seeking to block same-sex marriage licenses in suburban Philadelphia, where Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes has issued more than 150 to gay and lesbian couples since July 24.

Walmart extends domestic-partner benefits to gay workers

Written by WiG
and AP reports
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 08:12

The nation’s largest employer is extending its health care benefits to its workers' domestic partners – including those of the same sex.

Walmart, which has long been a target of attacks by labor groups for its low skimpy wages and benefits, as well as other shoddy business practices, says the changes were made so it could have one uniform policy for all 50 states at a time when some states have their own definitions of what constitutes domestic partnerships and civil unions. Almost two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies already offer domestic partner benefits.

Capitol protester thrown to the ground, pinned by police and charged with felony battery

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 07:09

Three Capitol Police officers yesterday threw a protester to the ground, piled on top of him and pinned him by his neck before handcuffing and charging him with felony battery and resisting arrest, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other sources.

In a video of the attack posted on YouTube, Damon Terrell can be seen observing the daily “Solidarity Sing Along” in the Capitol Rotunda in Madison when several officers approach him in a menacing manner. As he backs away from the officers, they lunge at him, drag him off to the side and pin him on the ground.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today (Aug. 29) issued a memo clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives.

This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

At least 6 New Mexico counties issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Thursday, 29 August 2013 06:17

Dozens of gay couples gathered at a plaza in New Mexico's biggest city on Aug. 27 to hear the words many once thought they would never hear: "With the power finally vested in me by the state of New Mexico, I now pronounce you married."

The ceremony came just a few hours after the county clerk opened her door to a line of more than 100 people waiting to get same-sex marriage licenses following an Albuquerque judge's declaration Monday that gay marriage was legal. Two other counties began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples last week, and three more said they planned to do the same.

More than 300 sites to ring bells for MLK 'Dream' speech

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 28 August 2013 07:51

The final refrain of Martin Luther King Jr.'s most famous speech will echo around the world as bells from churches, schools and historical monuments "let freedom ring" in celebration of a powerful moment in civil rights history.

Organizers said people at more than 300 sites in nearly every state will ring their bells at 3 p.m. their time today, Aug. 28, or at 3 p.m. EDT, the hour when King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington.

3rd New Mexico county to issue marriage licenses to gay couples

Written by WiG Tuesday, 27 August 2013 05:25

A third county in New Mexico was expected to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples when the office opened at 8 a.m. on Aug. 27.

Same-sex couples will be able to get licenses from the Bernalillo County Clerk.