With the stoke of his pen today, Democratic Gov. John Baldacci made Maine the fifth state to approve gay marriage. For us who support marriage equality, this is another step in the movement toward recognizing the dignity of all gay and lesbian Americans.
Earlier today, Maine’s Senate voted 21-13, with one abstention, for a bill that authorized marriage between any “two people” rather than between “one man and one woman.” The House had passed the bill yesterday.
Opposition was surprisingly limited with Republican Sen. Debra Plowman arguing that the bill was being passed “at the expense of the people of faith.” But Democrat Senate Majority Leader Philip Bartlett II said the bill does not compel religious institutions to recognize gay marriage. “We respect religious liberties. … This is long overdue,” said Bartlett.
Let’s be clear, nothing is different in Maine for churches this afternoon than it was yesterday. Houses of worship can still reject or accept gay marriage. People of faith can continue to hate us or support us. What they can no longer do is tell the state of Maine who can and who can’t enter into a legal civil marriage.
And for that, I’m thrilled!
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The wire services and blogospherer are alive this afternoon with news that Rudy Giuliani has come out strongly against NY Gov. David Paterson’s proposed gay marriage bill. And Rudy warns gay marriage will be a deciding issue in the 2010 elections.
Now you got to hand it to him, Rudy knows a thing or two about the dignity of marriage, and marrying the one he loves – hell, he’s already done it three times. Remember that while New York City’s mayor, wife number two refused to move out of the mayoral mansion forcing Rudy to sleep on a friend’s couch. Now that was dignified!
The siren song of those who oppose gay marriage – those outside of the gay community and some very strange personalities within the movement – is that it will destroy marriage and hurt children. Well, I have a new flash. Fifty percentage of marriages, one out of every two, end up in divorce. Rudy does know a lot about divorce, he’s racked up two.
The added tragedy is that the majority of those marriages have children. Further, children born outside a marriage is now commonplace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 40% of all children are born outside of marriage, up from 5% in 1960. Seventy percent of black kids are born to single black women.
My advice to gay marriage opponents is simple. If you really want to protect marriage, if you are concerned about the stability of the institution, if you are truly committed to raising children in strong, stable, and healthy families then enter marriage more carefully, work your butts off to make them flourish, and don’t be afraid to get help when you need it.
No one – no one — is served by failed marriages. But face up to the real issues because they aren’t gay marriage.
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This is a recent, albeit short, interchange between MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan and Human Rights Campaign leader, Joe Solmonese.
In other blogs, Solmonese’s performance has been criticized as lackluster. But in all fairness, let’s remember that Buchanan is an MSN commentator and as such, is given more face time. For Hardball (and most of cable TV), it’s all about rating and Buchanan is certainly chum for the sharks. While Matthews directed more questions to Buchanan, Joe was strong on what he stated.
Personally, I wish Joe stressed that if the rights of blacks or women were up to the electorate, we would still be waiting for integration or gender equity. In my own state of Virginia, interracial marriage was illegal until 1967. Our court system serves as the third prong of government to protect the rights of the minority from the majority.
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It doesn’t matter how long a same-sex couple has been together, come Tax Day — April 15th — they are considered single by the federal government.
Even though my partner and I have been together for 21 years, for tax purposes we are two, single and unrelated individuals. As single people, we must pretend that our finances and our futures are not intertwined and forgo access to the many economic safety nets our tax dollars help fund, such as Social Security survivor benefits, estate tax deferral when inheriting property, and the ability to file taxes jointly.
Every year, lesbian and gay people are forced to pay taxes on their partner’s health care benefits as if it were additional income. Opposite sex couples are exempt from this unfair taxation.
Even in Massachusetts and Connecticut and soon-to-be Iowa and Vermont, where same-sex marriages are recognized by the state, they are not recognized by the federal government, and all of the above injustices apply.
Gay and lesbian couples people need equal rights for equal taxes paid. There are many paths to this equality, including repealing the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and passing an inclusive Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). I urge everyone to contact their members of Congress and eliminate this discrimination today.
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The American Family Association has teamed up with PFOX to launch a boycott of all Pepsi products. They are upset over Pepsi’s support for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), which the AFA claims promotes “intolerance of the ex-gay community.” Which seems very strange to me. If there is such a thing as an “ex-gay community,” it has to be among the most invisible communities in the world. Sort of like the “leprechaun community” or the “pixie community.” Besides I thought the “ex-gay community” was supposed to be the “straight community.”
Anyway, the AFA’s latest action alert, which is ironically titled, “Pepsi refuses to be neutral in the culture war,” says:
By issuing national press releases against PFOX, by organizing protests at ex-gay conferences, by publishing anti-ex-gay literature, and by opposing ex-gays equal access to public venues, Pepsi-supported Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) contributes to the intolerance of the ex-gay community, stereotypes former homosexuals, and continually misrepresents PFOX’s mission.
PFLAG is a vocal and activist homosexual group that calls those who oppose homosexual marriage “the forces of prejudice and discrimination.” PFLAG not only cheered the California Supreme Court’s ruling on May 15 which legalized same-sex marriage, it was also vociferous in its opposition to Proposition 8, the ballot initiative which restored traditional marriage in California on Election Day.
By funding PFLAG, PepsiCo and its shareholders help promote fear and hostility against the ex-gay community and other heterosexuals. PepsiCo is the leading corporate sponsor of PFLAG.
The AFA wants its members to call Pepsi’s corporate office to complain, and they want their members to call their nearest Pepsi bottling company. From what we hear, Pepsi is being bombarded with nasty phone calls.
So let’s all call Pepsi (914-253-2000 or 1-800-433-2652) and tell them we appreciate their support and their refusal to bow to anti-gay extremists. The boycott also extends to other PepsiCo products, like Frito-Lay (800-352-4477), Quaker Oats (800-367-6287), Tropicana (800-237-7799) and Gatorade (800-884-2867).
Source: Box Turtle Bulletin
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With the defeat of gay marriage in California followed by similar actions in Florida and Arizona, it feels like a gauntlet has fallen. Previously, I hadn’t really cared about gay marriage. My partner Patrick and I have been together for nearly 21 years. We don’t need external recognition that we matter to each other. I never really cared for that type of validation feeling it was nothing more than a straight semblance of legitimacy. I haven’t cared until my relationship was compared to a ménage à trois, a pedophiliac arrangement, or even a relationship between people and animals. Now it’s become personal. My guttural reaction is “who the fuck anointed you to decide what love is of value, and which is of importance?”
If you want a fight, than bring it on. After eight years of the worst president ever who at every possible turn demonized gay and lesbian Americans, I am more than ready. Reports out of California attested that Blacks — while making an historic vote for the first African American President — voted at a rate of 70% against gay marriage. Imagine the insanity of voting for inclusion on one hand, and voting for exclusion on the other. And the Mormon Church sunk $72-million into California against gay marriage. So much for addressing the plight of the poor!
Tonight as I write from Washington on the eve of a national action against this clear and coordinated discrimination, I say to America that we are your sons and daughters, your neighbors, co-workers and friends. We have lived in shame and fear for far too long and now it must be over.
America, you have not seen the tidal wave of protest that we will bring to you. This faggot is pissed.
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