Thursday, May 28, 2009

I am a straight man, with a big gay chip on my shoulder.

I came across this article on the internet by ROB is very much worth reading. He makes some great points. Click the title to get complete article..
I am a person who believes that people are born gay. I don't think you have any control over what moves you or to whom you're attracted. That's why it's called an attraction and not a choice.

I've heard it said before, many times, that if two men or two women are allowed to join into a civil union together, why can't they be happy with that and why is it so important that they call it marriage? In essence, what's in a name?

A civil union has to do with death. It's essentially a document that gives you lower taxes and the right to let your faux spouse collect your insurance when you pass away. A marriage is about life. It's about a commitment. And this argument is about allowing people to have the right to make that commitment, even if it doesn't make sense to you. Anything else falls under the category of "separate but equal" and we know how that works out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This is really starting to PISS me off!

To think that this guy is about to be fired -after 18 years of service, after several missions and a great career really pisses me off. How in the hell can a brave American who has decided to spend his life protecting this country and it citizens be fired simply because he is gay? This guy should get Medal not his walking papers! I am so unbelievably angry about this that I can hardly type the words. I hope that others are MAD AS HELL also and if you are PLEASE write to your members of Congress and the President NOW!

New President. New Congress. No Change. Here is the latest evidence of what our country is losing under the law that prevents gay men and women from serving openly in the armed forces of the United States.

Lieutenant Colonel Victor J. Fehrenbach, a fighter weapons systems officer, has been flying the F-15E Strike Eagle since 1998. He has flown numerous missions against Taliban and al-Qaida targets, including the longest combat mission in his squadron's history. On that infamous September 11, 2001, Lt. Col. Fehrenbach was handpicked to fly sorties above the nation's capital. Later he flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has received at least 30 awards and decorations including nine air medals, one of them for heroism, as well as campaign medals for Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is now a flight instructor in Idaho, where he has passed on his skills to more than 300 future Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force weapons systems officers.

Since 1987, when Fehrenbach entered Notre Dame on a full Air Force ROTC scholarship, the government has invested twenty-five million dollars in training and equipping him to serve his country, which he has done with what anyone would agree was great distinction. He comes from a military family. His father was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, his mother an Air Force nurse and captain. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach has honored that tradition.

And the Air Force is about to discharge this guy, a virtual poster boy for Air Force recruiting, because he is gay? Someone has to be kidding. This is sheer madness.

But Lt. Col. Fehrenbach does not have to be discharged. There is something the Pentagon can and should do now. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach's commanders and senior commanders can retain him in the service. Individual commanders are allowing many gays and lesbians to continue to serve openly in the armed forces. They are doing so because these are good service members who are doing their jobs. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach is no danger to unit cohesion, or to morale, or to good order and discipline. He goes to work every day, does a fantastic job for his country, has all the medals and job performance evaluations to prove it, and he should be allowed to serve.

Is the discharge of an officer with such critical and valuable skills, whom the government has spent millions training, is that really what Congress intended when it gave us "don't ask, don't tell"? Only last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told members of Congress, "If we don't get the people part of this business right, none of our other decisions will matter." Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress, "This is how we take care of our people."

He should have said, "This is how we take care of some of our people," because neither Secretary Gates nor Admiral Mullen could have been thinking of the 65,000 gays and lesbians in uniform today. Certainly they were not thinking of Lt. Col. Fehrenbach when they talked about "getting the people part right" because they got the "people part" wrong.

Watching Gates and Mullen on the Hill last week, you could see what President Obama is up against. They know how to deliver great performances. They know very well that their new Commander in Chief wants to get rid of "don't ask, don't tell." They know the President needs their help to accomplish it. So far, to put it gently, they have not been particularly helpful. "Dragging their feet" best describes what they've been doing, and the President, waiting on his military, finds himself in a box.

In an Associated Press story this afternoon, reporter Lara Jakes quoted Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell as saying that both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen are "aware of where the President wants to go on this issue, but I don't think that there is any sense of any immediate developments in the offing on efforts to repeal don't ask-don't tell." Does this mean they know where the President wants to go but they're not going there? It doesn't sound as if the President has made a lot of progress in getting the Pentagon players on his team.

The impending discharge of Lt. Col. Fehrenbach, an 18-year combat aviator, and the likely discharge of First Lieutenant Dan Choi , an Arabic speaking Army platoon leader, put real faces on this sad unfolding drama. These two service members and scores of others are paying an enormous price while grown men and women in Washington do their political dance. And make no mistake, Congress is in on this dance, too. It is their "don't ask, don't tell" law. They passed it; they own it. Only they can repeal it. Let's be fair and accurate here. This is far more complicated than a simple stroke of the presidential pen. If an Executive Order to temporarily suspend DADT discharges would work on all fronts, for all service members, I would be all for it. But we need a real, lasting fix.

A law is a law, even a bad law. Our country and service members are suffering the consequences as we watch this theater of the absurd play out. We need this new 111th Congress and this new President to engage each other immediately and with a sense of urgency to stop this obvious madness.

What is happening in the United States military today is not the 17th century witch trials in Salem - nobody has been hanged on Gallows Hill - but it's not what most Americans think of as just or fair in a country that prides itself as having the best justice system in the world.
Lt. Col. Fehrenbach has just made his case before the American people on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show tonight. Let the 25 Million Dollar Aviator serve! Watch his interview with Maddow below.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Marriage Equality Boosts Mass. Economy
Click the byline to view more stories by this author.By Julie Bolcer
As Massachusetts marks the fifth anniversary of recognizing same-sex couples’ right to marry, two new studies show that marriage equality has helped bring more than $100 million to the Bay State’s economy.
The studies, released by UCLA’s Williams Institute on Friday, show that Massachusetts has gained clear economic advantages from the young, highly educated “creative class” of professionals drawn by marriage equality, and from the boost that same-sex weddings give to the economy.
Following a November 2003 ruling by the state's high court, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation where same-sex couples could legally marry on May 17, 2004.
Data show that same-sex couples in the “creative class” were 2.5 times more likely to move to Massachusetts after 2004 than before, while local businesses have benefited from the marriages of more than 12,000 same-sex couples, who on average spent $7,400 on their weddings in the state.
The full studies can be accessed here.

A gay brother & straight brother play on same Ruby team

Energy Drinks & Alcohol ..a dangerous mix?

Iowa City, Ia. - Health care professionals say University of Iowa leaders should think twice about selling energy drinks on campus or allowing company reps to hand out the caffeine-rich beverages at events where alcohol may be consumed.

A survey of 4,200 North Carolina college students showed that the 25 percent of students who drank alcohol and energy drinks combined consumed more alcohol than their peers who didn't mix booze with energy drinks. Students who drank energy drinks with alcohol were twice as likely to be injured or to take advantage of someone sexually and almost twice as likely to ride with a drunken driver, the survey showed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We need more than just words

This is fine - BUT it is long past time that Congress do something meaningful with regards to Gay Civil Rights. It is no longer enough to be invited to the party, so long as we write those campaign checks. It is no longer enough to be content with the mere mention of us in a debate or a speech. NOW is the time for those members in Congress & the one in the White House to stand up and Do something! Now is the time. We can no longer sit back and accept the fact that things take time and there is a lot going on in the country. Yes, there is plenty going on in the country. The very livelihood of gay citizens all across the country are at stake. Very brave Americans are being kicked out of the Military. We are about to add the 6th State that will legalize gay marriage. Now is the time for some real leadership on this issue- not just lip service.

Baldwin, Nadler Frank, and Polis Introduce Resolution Recognizing the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall

“The events at Stonewall 40 years ago had a profound effect on how LGBT Americans came to see their struggle for equality,” said Nadler. “Stonewall catalyzed gay Americans – and those who support their rights – into putting gay rights on the forefront, out in the open, unafraid and unapologetic. We have come very far in the battle for LGBT rights and acceptance since Stonewall, but we still have a ways to go. Together, we will keep fighting.” “Stonewall was a moment in time that sparked a movement,” said Baldwin. “We honor all those who stood their ground at Stonewall as we carry on their quest for full and equal rights for all Americans.”
Dan Savage corrects me:

Obama has acknowledged the breakthroughs in civil rights for gay Americans! He told a joke about it at the White House Correspondents' Dinner this weekend. (You were there, Andrew, didn't you catch it?) Barack Obama condescended to use marriage equality as a punch line; he made, essentially, a Chuck & Larry joke about two straight dudes—Obama and Axelrod—running off to Iowa to "make it official" with the queers and their "partners." And that's hilarious, you see, because Obama and Axelrod aren't actually homos! So they don't need to go to Iowa to make it official! They can get married—to women—in all fifty states! HA!The more I think about the joke Obama told at the WHCD the more ticked off I get.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Also taken from Andrew Sullivan. I really did expect more from Obama....

A reader writes:

I was a tepid Clinton supporter in the primaries last year and an enthusiastic Obama supporter in the general. I knocked on doors. I wore an Obama t-shirt. I teared up when he won. But now I kind of wish Clinton had gotten the nomination. Not because it wouldn't be more politics as usual - it would - but because at least then we'd all expect it.

My job is to tell it like it is and push for change, not make excuses. Yes, it's too early to write Obama off. A real judgment will be possible as his first term comes to an end. He deserves some lee-way. But he needs to know that we are not eager to acquiesce in our own civil inferiority. We have some self-respect.

Rhode Island

Maybe next year....

It looks as if this will be another year when gay marriage will go down to defeat, although several legislators will no doubt profess great respect for gays and lesbians. Some might even go so far as to admit having gay friends.
And if it is defeated, it will be more about numbers than personal conviction. I bet there’ll be a bunch of people at the State House who know gay marriage is right and just and fair and will vote against it anyway.
Many will no doubt remember the words of Rhode Island’s Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, who said that Rhode Island should take pride in being the only New England state not to recognize gay marriage.

What a fascinating idea — a state taking pride in denying thousands of its residents equal rights.

The Fierce Urgency Of Whenever

From Andrew Sullivan.....very well the entire article...

And it's tedious to whine and jump up and down and complain when a wand isn't waved and everything is made right by the first candidate who really seemed to get it, who was even able to address black church congregations about homophobia. And obviously patience is necessary; and legislative work takes time; and there are real challenges on so many fronts, especially the economy and the legacy of war crimes and the permanently restive Iraqi and Afghan regions we are constantly in the process of liberating from themselves. No one expects a president to be grappling with all this early on, or, God help us, actually leading on civil rights. That's our job, not his.
But I have a sickeningly familiar feeling in my stomach, and the feeling deepens with every interaction with the Obama team on these issues. They want them to go away. They want us to go away.

Obama Needs to End Silence on Biggest Civil Rights Move of Our Time

If you have not been able to tell by all my posts....I am very upset about this!

But there is no excuse at all -- none -- for allowing the bigotry and harassment of gays and lesbians in the armed forces to stand. Gays populate the armed services now.
Obama's silence is disturbing and wrong. While he may not be able for political reasons to move on marriages, to do nothing on the military front -- which is in his portfolio -- deserves serious criticism.

Why you should care about Obama’s waffling on gay issues

Worth reading.....

Gay rights are one of those issues that should make you sad about politics. Even when the party in power of the White House and Congress has made a public stand on expanding rights and protections for gays and lesbians, and even when they personally believe that it’s the right thing to do, they still find an excuse to procrastinate and prevaricate on their commitment to basic fairness and equality. And if we don’t call them out on it, they’ll continue to do so.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Where is the President's leadership on this (yet another campaign promise)

I have long been a fan of Senator Harkin and I commend him for standing up and taking the lead on this issue. We need more people to do the same. It takes a lot of some to say they were wrong and have now become educated on this issue.

(Washington) Support is slowly growing in Congress for repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, but a bill has yet to be filed in either the House or the Senate.

The latest to support repealing it is Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) one of the original supporters of the measure.
Harkin said he has changed his mind on same-sex marriage.
”We all grow as we get older, we learn things, we become more sensitive to people and people’s lives,” Harkin told Iowa public television.
”The more I’ve looked at that, I’ve grown to think differently about how we should live. I guess I’ve got to the point of live and let live.”
Harkin also said he would oppose any ballot measure to overturn gay marriage in his own state of Iowa where the Supreme Court ruled the state cannot prevent same-sex couples from marrying.

More on DADT

Santa Barbara, California) A new study by a team of military law experts asserts that President Obama has the legal authority to end gay discharges through an executive order.

“The administration does not want to move forward on this issue because of conservative opposition from both parties in Congress, and Congress does not want to move forward without a signal from the White House,” said Aaron Belkin , Director of the Palm Center and a study co-author.
“This study provides a recipe for breaking through the political deadlock, as well as a road map for military leaders once the civilians give the green light.”

A broken promise...

Obama made the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell an issue for the campaign. Now it is time for him to follow through and END this policy NOW!

"I have learned many lessons in the ten years since I first raised my right hand at the United States Military Academy at West Point and committed to fighting for my country. The lessons of courage, integrity, honesty and selfless service are some of the most important.
At West Point, I recited the Cadet Prayer every Sunday. It taught us to “choose the harder right over the easier wrong” and to “never be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.” The Cadet Honor Code demanded truthfulness and honesty. It imposed a zero-tolerance policy against deception, or hiding behind comfort.
Following the Honor Code never bowed to comfortable timing or popularity. Honor and integrity are 24-hour values. That is why I refuse to lie about my identity," - Lt. Dan Choi, another patriot who served his country with honor and with skills the military desperately needs, whose reward is to be stigmatized and persecuted for his integrity as a human being. Choi served in Iraq and speaks Arabic.
He was discharged by president Barack H. Obama, whose attitude toward the civil rights movement of his time appears to be "the fierce urgency of whenever."

Gay Marriage in New York - now in hands of Senate

The state Assembly gave its approval to same-sex marriage Tuesday night but the issue's fate in New York remains uncertain.
"What we are doing is legislating civil, and I do mean civil rights," said Assemblyman Matthew Tittone, a Staten Island Democrat who is gay. "I am not looking for the right to force the Pope to preside over my big fat gay wedding."Read more:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

More on Iowa...

But it is the Iowa Supreme Court's decision to allow gay marriage that is seen as groundbreaking.
Iowa has become the first state in the socially conservative American heartland to allow same-sex couples to exchange vows.

"This is a remarkable decision not only because it occurred in the Midwest, but also because it was seven-zero," he said.

"So I think that while on the one hand this is a more tempered opinion, on the other hand it was a more aggressive opinion in that there was absolutely no toehold for naysayers to find in the opinion.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

We need to be on the offensive on this issue

Iowa created a dramatic shift, with a unanimous court decision coming from the heartland, that seems to have swept away all the old arguments. The justices on that court are not liberal by far; most of them were appointed by Republicans. Their arguments were rooted in the Iowa constitution’s history of protecting its citizens. If anything, theirs was a conservative argument founded on the state’s and nation’s principles of equality.

Still, 40 years ago the Stonewall rioters couldn’t have imagined that on this day there’d be gay people getting married in the heartland or that a legislature would override a governor in standing up for marriage equality. Iowa and Vermont, perhaps more than Prop. 8 and the protests that followed, will likely be looked back on as a major turning point, yet another Stonewall moment.


For years I have been saying that the message of the "gay rights groups" including HRC have been focused on the wrong things. Finally someone else gets that.

A voter who is strongly opposed to gay marriage won’t respond to an ad that just tells her she’s wrong – she’ll probably just dig her heels in even harder. And a voter who isn’t tuned in to the gay marriage debate won’t necessarily be moved by things that are meaningful to those of us who are.

Perhaps the hardest – and most interesting – challenge is learning to empathize the voters who are against gay marriage. As hurtful as they’ve been to the LGBT community, most of them don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “Myoohoohahaha! Can’t wait to get started on the oppressing!” And most would be offended at the suggestion that they’re bigots.
Starting a debate by jabbing a finger in someone’s face and telling that he’s wrong and an awful person will cause him to shut down. It certainly won’t help him change his mind

Does Obama's Opinion Matter?

I do think it is time we all put some pressure on our elected officials.

I would love to see Obama stand up and say that LGBT Americans deserve equal rights in all areas of the law – something he stated publicly many times before he was President and a sentiment he has now retracted. After all the time spent campaigning for Obama, my own little heartbreak would be mended if Obama would tell the entire country that people like me are worthy of full rights.

But as a political junkie not only do I know that won’t happen, but I don’t care if it does.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Why does the White House remain silent?

As Democratic analyst Paul Begala noted during Thursday's CNN segment on LGBT issues, "The gay rights movement and marriage equality is advancing very nicely, thank you very much, without Barack Obama's help." Begala also predicted that the president would eventually come around to supporting marriage equality, but not any time soon.

Our next chance to examine the Obama administration's mind-set on repeal will likely be next Wednesday, when Defense Secretary Bob Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen testify in front of the House Armed Services Committee on the Defense Department's 2010 budget. Activists expect that leaders on both sides of the aisle will ask about the administration’s intentions regarding "don't ask, don't tell." Gates and Mullen will surely be prepped, but whether they will be "fired up and ready to go" on repeal remains to be seen.

Marriage Foe Pledges $125K for Gays

Iinteresting article....

Manchester told [Cummerford] that he had lost $7 million due to this boycott," he says. "If that is the number he admits to, then I assume it is a lot higher. Our boycott has been very effective. For example, the latest blow is the National Trial Lawyers Association, who just announced that they were moving their convention of 2,000 lawyers not only from Manchester's hotel but from San Diego entirely. Their event is in July and they are moving to San Francisco, so at great expense to them, in order to show solidarity."

Senator Harkin on Gay Marriage in Iowa

Well, you know, we all grow as we get older and we learn things and we become more sensitive to people and people's lives and the more I've looked at that I've grown to think differently..and I'm to that point: 'Live and let live.'"

"A couple of years from now, people will look back and say, 'What was the fuss about?'" Harkin said. "(In) 2010, the elections will hinge on the economy; health care reform; what we're doing on energy and whether families are doing better -- whether they can see that their kids are going to have a better education, whether their lives are getting better or not. It's not going to have one whit to do with gay marriage."

Pawlenty's approval rating slips...

Complete article on

Arguably, in fact, the Franken affair is already impairing Pawlenty's political fortunes. According to polling from SurveyUSA, Pawlenty's popularity has suffered significantly since the November election, and he now has a net-negative approval rating, with 50 percent of Minnesotans disapproving of his performance and 46 percent approving. The Star Tribune has also found Pawlenty's approval to have declined to 48 percent -- against 36 percent disapproving -- the lowest figure it has tested, while polling from Public Policy Polling last month found just 46 percent approving of Pawlenty's performance (against 40 percent disapproval) and that some three-fifths of Minnesotans think he should certify Franken.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another Broken Campaign Promise!?

It does not matter if you agree with this program or not - frankly I think it is a good program. But what is beginning to concern me a great deal is that the administration is "not yet ready" that seems to be a theme and I don't like it!

Obama, during the primary campaign, pledged his support of needle exchange programs to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS. When he took over the White House, the administration website affirmed: "The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users."

White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said the administration isn't yet ready to lift the ban - but Obama still supports needle exchange.

So, let me get this right - you say you SUPPORT it but are not going to FUND it? Hmm.....where have I heard that before??

Where is the leadership?

Which means we need to stop being patient, stop giving him time, and start raising our voices until we are heard.

Obama’s No-Show
by Jennifer Vanasco
First published in the Chicago Free Press, May 6, 2009
By the end of Barack Obama’s first 100 days, it became clear: gays and lesbians are not this president’s priority.

He stopped mentioning us, except for two notable cases: the brouhaha surrounding the invitation of Rev. Rick Warren to give the inaugural prayer, and the call to Congress to support including sexual orientation and gender identity in hate crimes.

Then, at just about the 100 day mark, bloggers started pointing out something disturbing: had stripped its “civil rights” page of almost all things gay.

It narrowed down promises to the LGBT community from eight to three, and from a full half-page to a few sentences.
When bloggers called the White House to protest, some of the promises came back, including a full repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — but talk of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act had disappeared.

What also disappeared was this moving quote from Obama himself, on June 1, 2007, when he was still in campaign mode and working for our votes:

“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”
When blogger John Aravosis called the White House to ask what was going on, this is what he was told:

"Campaign promises are campaign promises. It is not enough that Obama said he was our ‘fierce advocate’ during the campaign. He needs to now show us that he is our president as well."
“Recently we overhauled the issues section to concisely reflect the President’s broad agenda, and will continue to update these pages. The President’s commitment on LGBT issues has not changed, and any suggestions to the contrary are false.”

Well. Maybe we’d believe that Obama’s commitment hasn’t changed if we saw some action on our issues, instead of almost complete avoidance.

Obama made that call for hate crimes legislation, great. Of course, that was the easiest of our issues to get behind — it is supported by the majority of our police forces and attorneys general, after all.

And yes, he’s facing big issues — the economic meltdown, two wars, now a retiring Supreme Court Justice. But in his first 100 days, he was somehow able to make it easier for women to sue for equal pay, lift Bush’s ban on stem cell research, lift the traveling restrictions for Cuban-Americans to Cuba, and protect two million acres of wilderness.

In other words, he made significant, sweeping change in government and for some groups of people, change that is only tangentially related — if at all — to the economy, or to the wars.
We’ve seen change, all right. Good change. For others. But we haven’t seen change for gays and lesbians and we haven’t seen proof of commitment to our issues.
Campaign promises are campaign promises. It is not enough that Obama said he was our “fierce advocate” during the campaign. He needs to now show us that he is our president as well.
Richard Socarides, a former adviser to President Clinton, pointed out in the Washington Post that Obama has no gay friends close to him in the administration. He does, however, seem to have evangelical friends.

If it’s true that you can tell a person by the company they keep, then we may be in deeper trouble than we know. We’ll have to see what the next 100 days brings.

Obama is a good president. But we are clearly not his priority. He has forgotten, perhaps, that we are part of America’s “founding promise.” Which means we need to stop being patient, stop giving him time, and start raising our voices until we are heard.

Waiting for Obama.......


In addition to Jennifer Vanasco's column posted at left, "Obama's No Show," it's beginning to dawn on some activists (not those at the Democratic Party auxiliary known as the Human Rights Campaign, but to some others) that their president is a bit of a let down when it comes to being the promised "fierce advocate" for gay rights (excepting for the small matter of the right to marriage, which he upfront opposes as un-Christian).

Reports the New York Times, "President Obama was noticeably silent last month when the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage." And while the president has urged Congress to pass a dubious bill federalizing hate crimes against selected victims, he's delayed action on one of his key campaign promises that, like marriage, involves fundamental equality under the law: repealing the military's "don't ask, don;t tell" gay ban.
Last weekend, Richard Socarides, who advised President Bill Clinton on gay issues, published an opinion piece in the Washington Post headlined, "Where's our fierce advocate?"

It's about eggs and baskets, and what happens when you put all in one (HRC to Obama last year: here's our unconditional support plus our dollars and volunteer hours, given at the expense of fighting anti-gay state initiatives; we trust you'll be kind to us and invite us to your victory parties).

Obama Fires A Military Linguist

As a very strong, vocal support of Obama during the campaign I am VERY disappointed that he has not moved forward on removing this policy! We all must demand he do so and do so NOW!

It's the commander-in-chief's first persecution of a servicemember critical to national defense and intelligence. The man is Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and officer in the Army National Guard who is fluent in Arabic and just returned from Iraq. Obama is firing him because he's openly gay. And he has no plans to change that policy, despite a clear campaign commitment.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2 states in one day??

Could it happen ?? 2 States in 1 day??? It is now in the hands of Gov. Lynch!

New Hampshire's House passed gay marriage legislation this afternoon, sending the bill to Gov. John Lynch.
It is not clear what Lynch will do when the bill comes to him for signature.

Then Why the Hell did Congress pass DOMA

If Congress wants to leave this up to the states then WHY THE HELL DID THEY PASS DOMA! It is time that Federal Elected Officials stand up and show some Leadership on this issue!!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress should stay out of the gay marriage debate, adding that it isn’t the right time for Congress to decide whether married gay couples should have the right to federal benefits. Her cool approach to the federal role comes as several states, plus the District of Columbia, have moved to recognize gay marriages. “I don’t think the Congress should intervene [in the legalized states] in terms of their recognition of marriages, just as they shouldn’t intervene in New York and their recognition of marriages,” Pelosi told reporters Wednesday. Pelosi said that while the House was pursuing a human rights agenda, including last week's passage of a hate crimes bill, the House was not going to address the question of whether legalized same-sex marriages would be afforded federal benefits. “Right now our agenda is jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs,” she said.

Maine became the latest in a growing number of states and localities trending towards the support of same-sex marriage when that state’s governor signed a bill approving it Wednesday.
But the White house isn’t wading too far into that issue.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked at his White House briefing, “Does the president or the White House have a reaction to the governor of Maine signing a same-sex marriage bill?”
GIBBS: “No, I think the president’s position on same-sex marriage is — has been talked about and discussed.”
QUESTION: “He opposes same-sex marriage?”
GIBBS: “He supports civil unions.”
QUESTION: “Does that mean that he’s going to say or do anything against what the citizens of Maine did — did today?”
GIBBS: “Not that I’m aware of. I think the president believes this is an issue that’s best addressed by the states.”
But this won’t be the last time Gibbs will be asked about the issue. The Washington, DC Council has approved legislation recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Why does that portend extra attention? Because the US Congress has final say over the city’s laws and we know how vocal its members can be!

Reason to Celebrate!

Recently I have received a little ribbing for my "obsession' with the gay marriage issues/debates that have played out in a few states over the past few months. I make no apologies for paying so much attention to it (watching the debate from the various states on line etc). To me this is a remarkable change over how this issue was viewed just a few years ago. It was not to long ago that I thought perhaps 'we' should re frame the debate over this and call it civil unions, if in fact it was about getting equal rights. But now I am simply amazed at how the landscape has changed, even if it is ever so slight. Of course there is Prop. 8 and other setbacks. Sure I think that Obama needs to step up to the plate and repeal DADT, DOMA. But for now I am simply going to enjoy the landmark cases -both both Order of the COURT AND LEGISLATION! For me this years Gay Pride (which I usually avoid celebrating) will have so much more meaning.

State # 5!

Today Maine became the 5th state to vote for Marriage Equality. Yesterday the City of Washington DC also voted to recognize gay marriages that take place in other states. Iowa and Vermont allowed Gay Marriage in the past month. New Hampshire could also join the list as soon as this week.

One thing that I am still struck by is the lack of news attention this has received. Just 4 or 5 years ago this would have been Front Page Breaking News! - today it is hardly mentioned - all which are good signs and an indication that peoples views are changing.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's governor signed a freshly passed bill Wednesday approving gay marriage, making it the fifth state to approve the practice and moving New England closer to allowing it throughout the region.
New Hampshire legislators were also poised to send a gay marriage bill to their governor, who hasn't indicated whether he'll sign it. If he does, Rhode Island would be the region's sole holdout

Maine Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat who hadn't indicated how he would handle his state's bill, quickly signed it.
"In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions," Baldacci said in a statement read in his office. "I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage."

The law is to take effect in mid-September but could be sidetracked before then. Opponents promise to challenge it through a public veto process that could suspend it while a statewide vote takes shape.

200 students use FB to counter anti gay protest

About a half dozen members of the Westboro Baptist Church protest near a Des Moines high school and 200 students show up to protest them! Sometimes I think that this stupid group does more good for the advancement of gay rights than they really know.

More than 200 students gathered at the northeast corner of Lincoln High School's campus Tuesday afternoon to counter a protest by about a half-dozen anti-gay pickets from a controversial Kansas church.

Maine #5? - now in the hands of the Gov

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Legislature has given final approval to gay marriage and sent the bill to an undecided governor.

The Senate voted for the bill on Wednesday but not by enough votes to override a veto. Gov. John Baldacci (bahl-DAH'-chee) has 10 days to decide whether to sign it.
The bill would make Maine the fifth state to allow gay marriage. Voters could still overturn the law in a referendum even if the governor signs it.

Four states currently allow same-sex marriages. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa have been ordered by the courts to do so, and Connecticut has enacted a law codifying a court ruling. Vermont passed a gay marriage law in April over the governor's objection.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I don't think I will ever be able to understand this point of view. I guess perhaps it is because I have had the strong support of both my parents since I came out to them years ago. My parents have always been very supportive and more than respectful to the guys I have dated.

Maine Rep. Discloses Wrenching "Choice"

Click the byline to view more stories by this author.By Julie Bolcer

Moments ago, during the debate over marriage-equality legislation in Maine, Rep. Sheryl Briggs, a Democrat of Mexico, took the floor to express her opposition to same-sex marriage.
She also revealed that her daughter is a lesbian.
Briggs said that her daughter has been out to her for 15 years, and that she still regards her daughter’s sexual orientation as a choice. The representative tearfully announced that she made her own difficult choice to oppose marriage equality.
“Blame it on my upbringing, or the good book, but the deepest part of my soul tells me that this is wrong,” Briggs said. “I can’t change how I feel. These feelings run very deep. I have kept this secret within me for 15 years, but because of who I am, and where I am today, and as a member of this legislative body, ethically, it is my duty, and my responsibility, to publicly say to my daughter, that I do not support her way of life."
”I have no choice. I have to hit that button,” Briggs said.

A Gay Supreme Court Justice???

I would be completely shocked if Obama were to pick an openly gay person for the Supreme Court. But wow -that would cap a great last few months for those that support gay rights issues...

President Barack Obama is looking to advance diversity with his pick to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter — and early speculation has focused on whether he'll pick a woman, or perhaps the first Hispanic justice. But gay rights groups — disappointed that Obama didn't pick an openly gay man or woman for his Cabinet — are pushing him to put the first openly gay justice on the Supreme Court. Within hours of word of Souter's departure, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund was hailing the candidacy of a First Amendment scholar and former dean of Stanford Law School, Kathleen Sullivan. "Out lesbian a contender for Supreme Court," one of the group's web sites declared.

DC Council voted to recognize same sex marriages

An overwhelming majority on the D.C. Council voted today to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, sending the District deeper into the national debate and galvanizing supporters on both sides of the issue.

Another post I liked from Andrew Sullivan

Matt Baume on why we are winning the marriage equality fight:

What’s hastening along this shift in public opinion? Conversations. The more people talk about gay couples, the more comfortable they are with them. And it doesn’t even seem to matter what people say — lord knows, there’ve been plenty of anti-gay conversations lately — every conversation keeps nudging public opinion towards equality. So the anti-gay-couple groups like the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) are standing in quicksand: the more they keep struggling, the faster they sink. Next month, the California Supreme Court will rule on Prop 8 — and no matter the outcome, it’ll nudge public opinion yet again.

I couldn't help but notice the Vows section of the NYT yesterday. Here's one notice:
Jon Cooper and Robert Cooper were married Thursday at Binney Park in Old Greenwich, Conn. Ann S. Isaacson, a justice of the peace in Greenwich, officiated... Robert Cooper, 51, legally changed his surname 21 years ago, soon after the first of the couple’s five children was adopted. He is a member of the board of the Family Service League, a nonprofit organization in Suffolk County that offers assistance to needy families.

This couple has been together for more than two decades, seem like model citizens and have brought up five adopted children. At what point do gay people start getting the respect so many deserve?

Will Maine become the 5th State??

Today the Maine House will vote on whether to allow same-sex couples to marry. As the House is about two thirds Democrat and because over a thrid of House members have signed on as sponsors of the bill, supporters are “cautiously optimistic” of its passage.
Then the bill will go to Governor Baldacci for signature. Although he has opposed same-sex marriage in the past, he has also made recent statements that are encouraging that he may sign the bill.
It is possible that before you go to sleep tonight that Maine will decide to become the fifth state in which same-sex couples may marry.
Update: You can watch the live debate and vote here

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Even most in the Iowa GOP - don't think it is that big a deal

70% is a big number. I hope that as time goes on this will become a "non issue" in IOWA!

The survey of 603 likely Iowa voters was conducted by Hill Research Consultants, a Texas-based Republican polling firm, from March 28 to 31. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Seventy percent of Iowans say they prefer a candidate who is focused on economic and government management, compared with less than a quarter who say they want someone focused on social issues like abortion and gay marriage.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Obama and Gay Rights ??

I have been just posting a link to the articles and a few lines from them - but here I am going to post the entire article because the Washington post link does not always work if you do not have an account. This is worth reading.......

Where's Our 'Fierce Advocate'?
By Richard SocaridesSaturday, May 2, 2009
In December, while trying to quiet the furor over his invitation of Rick Warren to take part in his inauguration, Barack Obama reminded us that he had been a "consistent" and "fierce advocate of equality for gay and lesbian Americans." But at the end of its first 100 days, his administration has been neither.
What makes this especially disappointing is that it comes during a crisis-driven "change moment" in our country's history that not only cries out for leadership but presents a particularly good climate for making substantial progress on gay equality.
As an adviser on gay rights to President Bill Clinton during his second term, I know how hard it is to achieve real progress. We learned that lesson acutely during Clinton's abortive first-term attempt to allow gays to serve in the military, an outcome for which he is still paying a steep legacy price.
But recent victories on gay marriage, a youth-driven paradigm shift in public opinion and the election of our first African American president make this a uniquely opportune moment to act.
I understand that the president has his hands full saving the economy. But across a broad spectrum of issues -- including women's rights, stem cell research and relations with Cuba -- the Obama administration has shown a willingness to exploit this change moment to bring about dramatic reform.
So why not on gay rights? Where is our New Deal?
It is the memory of 1993's gays-in-the-military debacle (and a desire never to repeat it) that has both the president's advisers and policy advocates holding back, waiting for some magical "right time" to move boldly.
This is a bad strategy. President Obama will never have more political capital than he has now, and there will never be a better political environment to capitalize on. People are distracted by the economy and war, and they are unlikely to get stirred up by the right-wing rhetoric that has doomed efforts in the past.
And people are willing to try new approaches. The court ruling legalizing gay marriage in Iowa represents a real opening, an opportunity to get "undecideds" to take another look not only at gay marriage but at gay rights in general. As Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin remarked, many Americans may be asking themselves, "If the [Iowa] Supreme Court said this, maybe I have to think anew."
Here is what Obama should do to seize this opportunity:
First, he should start talking about gay rights again, the way he did during the campaign. What made Clinton such a transformational figure of inclusion was his constant willingness to talk to and about gay people. When he said, "I have a vision and you are a part of it," you could feel his sincerity.
As president, Obama barely mentions gay and lesbian Americans. During his first 100 days, he has done so only while defending his selection of inauguration speakers. He was silent after the announcement of the Iowa decision -- one of the most important gay civil rights victories ever.
Second, he should move swiftly, as he promised during the campaign, to help secure passage of the bill now moving through Congress imposing new federal penalties for anti-gay hate crimes, as well as legislation allowing gays to serve in the military. Ten years have passed since Matthew Shepard was killed. We have endured 15 years of "don't ask, don't tell" discrimination. We have waited long enough.
Third, he should appoint a high-ranking, respected, openly gay policy advocate to oversee government efforts toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. Give this person access to policymakers, similar to what has been done on urban policy and for people with disabilities. This is especially important because, unlike Clinton, who had gay friends such as David Mixner, Roberta Achtenberg and Bob Hattoy around to nudge him, Obama has no high-profile gay senior aides with a history in the gay rights movement.
Finally, Obama should champion comprehensive, omnibus federal gay civil rights legislation, similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation and granting a basic umbrella of protections in employment, education, housing and the like (rather than the existing piecemeal approach to legislation). Such a bill should also provide for federal recognition of both civil unions and marriages as they are authorized by specific states.
Obama is in a good position, and the time is ripe for a new approach. Taking these steps might spare the country the trauma of devolving into a pervasive and divisive debate over gay marriage, which, after all, is not the only issue of concern to gay and lesbian Americans.
Gay voters who supported Barack Obama remain positive about him, and most are prepared to be patient. It's still early on gay rights for the Obama administration -- but now is the time to act boldly.
The writer, a lawyer in New York, served on the White House staff from 1993 to 1999, including three years as special assistant to President Bill Clinton.

Howard Stern on Gay Marriage...
I want to assure everyone that reads this (the 1 or 2 people) that this blog is not only going to be postings about Gay Marriage (however, this blog was sort of started because of all the emails I was sending friends after Gay Marriage became legal in IOWA) But I do think that theevents on the gay rights front in the past few weeks are very important! Many say that things have not come far enough, or fast enough - but for me I think these are HUGE steps in the right direction.

Seriously, did anyone really ever think that these events would all take place in a span of a week and on the heels of Gay Marriage in IOWA & VERMONT (both also occured within the same week)???

Thursday morning, the Maine Senate passed a marriage equality bill, granting same-sex couples the same rights, privileges and protections that heterosexuals in the state have.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration next week.

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire senate also legalized same-sex marriage. Their House already passed it as and the bill is now in the hands of the NH Governor, who has not said whether he will sign, veto or not sign.

Also yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, which extends federally protected categories to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

And, this week as a well, new polls show that right now, Americans as a whole are favoring gay marriage by 42%, that's 9% more than just a month ago. An additional 25% are in favor of civil unions."

In Minnesota...its a start

This is a good step.......

Despite fierce opposition from Republicans, a bill that would allow same-sex partners to make end-of-life decisions for their partners passed the Minnesota Senate on Thursday by a 37 to 24 vote. The bill, which also gives same-sex partners the right to sue for wrongful death, was opposed by legislators who said it was simply a back door to gay marriage.

The bill gives same-sex couples rights currently prohibited by law: it creates a definition of “domestic partner,” allows partners to sue in cases of wrongful death and gives same-sex partners decision-making power about remains.

A change in mood or attitude???

As you might be able to tell I steal a lot of stuff on here from Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Dish

Ryan Sager looks at the new marriage poll:

I want to make the argument that we may be starting to see a “bandwagon effect” that will significantly increase support for gay marriage in the next few years.

The bandwagon effect — relatively well-established in social and political science — is when voters are influenced in their opinions or votes by which side they perceive as having majority support or being the “winning” side. While partisans tend to remain committed, more undecided voters react to two basic impulses: wanting to follow the herd and assuming that the majority of people must have information that they don’t.

Hate Crimes

I find this take very interesting.

I believe the left has abandoned its principles here in same way that the right abandoned it's principles on torture. Outside of the issue of hate crimes, you will find progressive thinkers opposed to slapping on more jail time as a solution to everything. This is why, they say, you will find overcrowded prisons costing the state in terms of upkeep and lost economic potential. Moreover, they say, long prison sentences automatically imposed (by such laws as the three strikes rule) take justice out of context and only contribute to the problem.

Why, then, do these same people suddenly want to throw away the key for those who inflict pain on others from prejudice? Is it because they think the prison system works for bigots where it fails everyone else? This is a profound contradiction that at least requires explanation.

Matthew Shepard was murdered. If the penalty for murder is not enough, then the real problem is how we treat murder cases. All of them.

Of course, if you believe that his murderers deserved the maximum sentence because they brutally murdered someone, and not because they were meth-fueled bigots, it doesn't matter. I want the same laws against the same acts enforced equally on everyone. If police don't enforce the law equally, get on their case. But leave the laws alone.