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From the Times Union Capital Confidential:
Senate sources say a debate and vote on gay marriage is still likely to follow close upon the heels of passage of the $2.8 billion deficit package currently being hammered into vote-ready form.
If there's a phone call you can make, please make it.
If not, a prayer would be great!
Gov. Paterson is trying really hard to get the State Senate to pass a same-sex marriage bill during the session that started today.
He will sign it once it gets to him.
I live in Sen. Betty Little's district (the Northway, basically), and I am in favor of same-sex marriage in new York.
I think it's important for our citizens, and I think it's important to take the momentum away from the decision in Maine.
Our senator, Betty Little, who is generally and good and supportive senator, has oppsed same-sex marriage in the past, and I have express my concern about that.
I called her office at (518) 455-2811 and talked to Kathy, who said the senator does not think the state should redefine marriage.
She also said they are keeping track of the number of calls they receive expressing an opinion.
Honestly, if you have a strong opinion on this, I urge that you call either way.
In case you are not up here, this site will tell you how your senator stands on the issue -- http://tools.advomatic.com/24/nyequality/totals
Even if your senator has declared opposition to same-sex marriage, please contact him/her so our voices can be heard.Update:
Fom the Albany Times-Union's "Capitol Confidential" blog a little while ago:As for legislation legalizing gay marriage, the Senate Democrats engaged in heated discussion during conference earlier — a conference meeting that did not include Sen. Tom Duane, the lead Senate sponsor of the bill. But so far, there’s been no indication that it will be brought on the floor today.
Obama signs first major federal gay-rights lawWASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, a milestone that activists compared to the passage of 1960s civil-rights legislation empowering blacks.
The new law adds acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to the list of federal hate crimes.
Having now had a few days to look over some of the information that has come in and been pored over by personal friends of mine who are lawyers and ivy league professors, I have come to accept that my reaction (as the case has been with many) was very knee-jerk in my previous post. I was angry and upset, and as a result I posted my rage without really scrutinizing what actually took place. I have since deleted that post as it serves no purpose. I know now what I didn't then and until or unless you take the time to read and process what others have simplified so generously, own that your righteous anger may be rooted in the wrong things. I'll own my ignorance and the fact that I'm neither proud of it nor happy with myself for giving in to it so quickly. I've accepted it and I'm moving on as I hope we all will, with a renewed sense of purpose and a plan to act - because there is work to be done and we all have a fair share.
If you're interested to know what has happened in regard to the Obama DOJ's brief that has effectively turned us all into hysterics (I'm just as guilty and I admit it) then I recommend reading two things. The first is a post written by my friend Joe at his blog: Everyone Calm Down On Obama DOJ’s DOMA Brief!
, which offers a breakdown compare/contrast of John Aravoisis' post
that whipped the masses up into an unecessary lather. In retrospect the AmericaBlog post seems way out of context when you assess the situation reasonably and with logic, scrutiny, and without personal bias.
The blogosphere is on fire because of the recent brief submitted by Obama’s DOJ in response to a lawsuit, Smelt v. United States, seeking to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act that states marriage to be only between a man and a woman. The fires are being stoked by Americablog, which in my opinion twists what’s going on in the brief out of context for people who are not well-versed in the legal arguments being made. I’m not happy that Obama is defending DoMA, but let’s have a rational discussion about what’s really going on.
The other thing to read after the Centerblue post from Joe is my friend Ian's post here: Don't Moan, Organize
I can't help wonder if some folks expected Obama's victory to solve all our problems. The campaign to win last year was critical and wonderful -- but it was the pre-game show; now the work really begins. I'm reminded of Frederick Douglass' stirring admonition: power never concedes anything without a struggle -- it never has, and it never will.
Let us all offer our collective gratitude to Joe and Ian for taking the time and care to weigh in on these issues and sort the proverbial wheat from the chaff.
I want to explain a bit more about my initial reaction. I for one felt like a lit fuse and I take full responsibility for my own part in creating and/or fueling any anti-Obama hysteria. I was wrong to have done that and I take no pride in my actions. I will not offer excuses, but I will explain why I went from 0 to 80 so fast, because I think it is similarly felt and the point is that there is now a lot more work that has to be done and we cannot afford to be lazy - this affects us all and in order to remain vigilant and bring about change, we have to be that change. It's not coming to us, we must work and fight for it, and we must stop fooling ourselves and each other with the kind of arrogant thinking that replaces effective action.
I got the news of the DOMA brief on the very day that marked the anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision, which was a the civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, the "Racial Integrity Act of 1924", unconstitutional, thereby overturning Pace v. Alabama (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States. This past May was the 1 year anniversary of the death of Mildred Loving, a woman I admire deeply, and I had only a few days earlier brought the case up in a discussion with a friend of mine about marriage equality as a civil rights issue. She was weighing heavily on my mind that day in particular and when this news came floating into my inbox with all the subtlety of a flying brick I had the reaction anyone without the facts of the situation might have given the gravity of the state I was in. Add to that the multitude of conversations I've had in recent months with others about how good it feels to have hope again with someone like Barack Obama in office in the current political climate, which I haven't felt in many years now. In light of the Cairo speech, I am of the opinion that a similar opportunity could not have been pulled off as effectively with Hillary Clinton as President, and the opportunity would never have happened with John McCain. It mattered and it meant something.
As someone who has blogged about civil rights and equality for years, as someone who has studied the legislature and worked with countless organizations, I've had to accept that I'm a human being and there are times when it all just gets to be too big, too much, too fast. I crack under pressure sometimes. I felt two days ago as if the wind had been let out of my sails, but that was all self delusion on my part for following the mob mentality that was angry and wanted a pound of flesh. I get it now. I'll take care not to do that again.
My apologies to anyone who was upset, offended, or mislead by my words and actions. I'm a very passionate man about my activism, but I'm still a man with faults like anyone else. All I can do is admit when I'm wrong and use the opportunity to learn something, in this case how not to make the same mistake again.
I am sorry for anyone who has felt let down by me, and I will make amends by digging in my heels a little bit deeper and continuing to open doors for others wherever I can because that is what I do.
Vermont lawmakers legalize gay marriage
Governor's veto is rejected; state becomes 4th in U.S. to take that path
MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont on Tuesday became the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature's vote.
The Legislature voted to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.
The vote came nine years after Vermont adopted its first-in-the-nation civil unions law.
The other states allowing same-sex marriages are Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa.
Essentially- there have been legal briefs filed, and there's a movement to nullify the marriages of gay couples in California that occurred before the passage of Proposition 8. In the link below, there's a rather moving video about this ordeal, and there's also a letter that they ask you to sign.
Please check out this link to see more information, the video, and the letter itself: http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/divorce
I figured this is something that members here would be interested in participating in.
I know this was posted to the community as a photo collection, now it's a video to fight Kenneth Star's pro-8 legal brief.Don't divorce us!
(In case an intro is needed
-- I just joined the community, steered here by xforge
. I'm a straight-but-not-narrow MCC member living in Indy)
As you may remember, I posted
a few weeks ago about the inaugural parade invitation that was extended to the Lesbian and Gay Band Association. I'm pleased to report that since then, there has been a veritable cavalcade of media reports on us, from local and national (and international) sources, almost all of it positive! At the LGBAC's rehearsal in NYC last week, we were filmed/recorded by reporters from LOGO, Univision, and WNYC public radio.( Here's a selection of stories from around the country and the globeCollapse )
So long story short, tomorrow morning I (and 39 of my neighbors) hitch a ride down to DC for rehearsals Sunday and Monday, and brave (possibly brutal) cold weather and crowds to make history on Tuesday with my little old clarinet. I'm so happy!
*Just as well I can't find it. I remember leaning over to my friend saying, "Watch, now there's going to be national news footage of me making faces at my reed" (which was misbehaving that night) and I was right! I'm the one in the maroon shirt in the front row. Aaaahahaha.
AL SHARPTON DENOUNCES ANTI-GAY BLACK MEGA-CHURCH PASTORS
, for this article!
Says Al: "There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people's bedrooms and claim that God sent you."
Here is the entire article:Call me Al
- Music:I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You - Colin Hay
Merry War on Christmas -- The Religious Right Isn't Going Anywhere
The Christian right has launched a permanent religious war to thwart, and even to roll back, advances in civil rights. By Frederick Clarkson, The Public Eye. Posted December 25, 2008.
Editor's Note: The idea that Bush's departure and Barack Obama's election herald a decline in power for the Christian Right in America is sorely mistaken. As the "War on Christmas" turns into an annual outrage, and progressives argue against the choice of anti-gay, anti-abortion Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration, we are reminded all too soon that the Religious Right is a steady force in the political and cultural arena. Frederick Clarkson's essay makes the case that we are in the middle of a religious war -- and that we should always be on alert against it.
Here are a few snapshots from real-life politics in the states in 2008 and what they portend for the future:
- Anti-marriage-equality initiatives prevailed in Arizona, Florida and California in 2008. Fueled with funding from politically animated Mormons, Catholics and Protestant evangelicals at the urging of religious leaders, the initiatives passed, and for the first time in American history, rolled back a court-ordered civil rights advance.
- While Rhode Island and New York recognize the validity of same-sex marriages from other states, the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act allows states to refuse to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court has so far declined to hear constitutional challenges to DOMA. So far, 30 states have passed anti-marriage-equality initiatives; and 10 states passed statutory DOMAs.
- New York and New Jersey: The conservative religious coalition that passed the stunning reversal on marriage equality in California plans to take the battle to these eastern states.
- Constitutional Convention initiative in Connecticut: Every 20 years, the state is required to have an initiative asking the voters if it is time for a state constitutional convention. Following the state's Supreme Court legalization of same-sex marriage, the Religious Right and the Catholic Church seized on the initiative, purchasing a large, last-minute TV ad campaign. While this effort was unsuccessful, we can expect further battles in Connecticut.
- Failed efforts to get other anti-abortion or anti-gay initiatives on the ballot: Montana, Arkansas and Massachusetts. Even in losing, the Religious Right has considerable capacity to keep its issues on the front burner.
- Texas: The elected State Board of Education appointed three prominent "intelligent design" advocates to a six-member science-review panel. The chairman of the SBOE wrote in an op-ed, "Science education has become a culture war issue" and that the claims of scientists "will be challenged by creationists."
- Alabama: The State Board of Education, under pressure from the Religious Right, recently approved a controversial Bible study curriculum as an elective.
- Louisiana: In 2008, the legislature approved the use of "supplemental" materials in public schools, that appears to open a backdoor to the use of creationism and intelligent design materials banned from science curricula by the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Kansas: Control over the elected State Board of Education has flipped back and forth between the Religious Right and moderate Democrats and Republicans since the late 1990s. In 2010, five seats are expected to be contested.
- Iowa: Shortly after the 2008 presidential election, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Religious Right Roman Catholic, headlined a high-dollar fundraiser for the Iowa Family Policy Center, the state political affiliate of Focus on the Family. The event was seen as a foreshadowing of the 2012 Iowa presidential caucuses.
- Alaska: Republican Gov. Sarah Palin, who was vetted by the Religious Right-dominated Council for National Policy and forced onto the Republican Party presidential ticket, has emerged as a party leader along with such Religious Right figures as Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (currently a Fox News program host and a former presidential candidate) and, arguably, Mitt Romney (a Mormon who has moved toward the Religious Right since serving as governor of Massachusetts).
These snapshots suggest not only that the Religious Right remains strong in the Republican Party, but that it intends and is capable of, waging and winning theocratic battles against LGBT and women's civil and human rights, as well as disrupting secular public education. The religious war Buchanan described has shown that it can transcend the wins and losses of any given election season. The only way the culture war could be over, or nearly over, is if one or another side is clearly winning or losing, its capacity to wage the war has been significantly enhanced or degraded, or it is about to call a truce or to surrender. None of these things is happening.
They will never stop, folks - not ever, unless they have no other choice - and failure is not seen as an option for them. They outnumber us, they are better connected and better financed, and genuinely believe they are doing 'God's work'. This is what we are up against when you get down to brass tacks. They must not be allowed to claim they love us and in the same breath smile while making every effort to dehumanize, nullify, and demonize our lives, families, and civil rights as American citizens. Not for any reason, least of all trivialization of that which they do not understand, not even once. People have died in order for us all to have civil rights and to not do everything within our power to ensure these legal protections that have been fought for (literally - with blood, sweat, and tears) are ensured, is not only insulting to their memories, it shows a staggering lack of self respect.
What will you do to try and stop them, effectively and intelligently? What WON'T you do? It is time to get organized as a community - I'm calling for suggestions.