Politico reports that President Obama supports the marriage equality bill in Illinois.
The above video from San Diego has nothing to do with this.
Now it appears that the hopes of binational gay families like mine are pinned on DOMA being overturned in United States v. Windsor. That does not, however, make me happy with Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, or Barack Obama. (Michael Bedwell, please note.)
Update from Chris Geidner.
Wow. A shocking reminder that there are some very disturbed people out there.
President Obama's commencement speech over the weekend at Morehouse College, the all-male liberal arts school and one of the nation's most renowned Historically Black Colleges and Universities, included these remarks:
Keep setting an example for what it means to be a man. Be the best husband to your wife, or your boyfriend, or your partner. Be the best father you can be to your children. Because nothing is more important. [...]
As Morehouse Men, many of you know what it’s like to be an outsider; know what it’s like to be marginalized; know what it’s like to feel the sting of discrimination. And that’s an experience that a lot of Americans share. Hispanic Americans know that feeling when somebody asks them where they come from or tell them to go back. Gay and lesbian Americans feel it when a stranger passes judgment on their parenting skills or the love that they share. Muslim Americans feel it when they’re stared at with suspicion because of their faith. Any woman who knows the injustice of earning less pay for doing the same work — she knows what it’s like to be on the outside looking in.
So your experiences give you special insight that today’s leaders need. If you tap into that experience, it should endow you with empathy — the understanding of what it’s like to walk in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, to know what it’s like when you’re not born on 3rd base, thinking you hit a triple. It should give you the ability to connect. It should give you a sense of compassion and what it means to overcome barriers.
A top judicial panel cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Brazil on Tuesday, ruling that gay couples could not be denied marriage licenses.
The National Council of Justice, which oversees the Brazilian judicial system and is headed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, said government offices that issue marriage licenses had no standing to reject gay couples.
The Supreme Court "affirmed that the expression of homosexuality and homosexual affection cannot serve as a basis for discriminatory treatment, which has no support in the Constitution," said Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa on the council's website, referring to a 2011 ruling by the top court.
Half a lifetime ago, I was on a flight back to DC from the GALA Choruses festival in Minneapolis when I read Justice Harry Blackmun's stirring dissent in Bowers v Hardwick. 17 years later, Bowers was overturned and we were no longer habitual criminals. Ten years further on, Minnesota becomes the 12th marriage equality state. How incredibly fast. Yet so many did not live to see it. The more victories we rack up, the more I think of vanished friends. Tonight I will raise a glass to them.
Our friend Joe Cantor especially raises a glass to our late friend Steve Endean, the founder of the Human Rights Campaign who's been gone twenty years now, whose home state did him proud today.
The Minnesota senate today passed the marriage equality bill by a vote of 37 to 30. The State House passed the bill last Thursday. The bill now heads to Gov. Mark Dayton, who will sign it on Tuesday. This brings us to 12 marriage equality states plus D.C. NYT reports. Congrats to all who made it happen.
Below, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman renamed the Wabasha Bridge the "Freedom to Marry Bridge" for the day, and city workers on Monday morning raised rainbow flags along it.
Artist Chris Ware discusses his Mothers' Day cover for The New Yorker. Happy Mothers' Day.
Alan Colmes presses AFA spokesbigot Bryan Fischer to give an example of his own destructive sexual impulses, since he's so concerned about others'. Very funny.
Delaware today became the eleventh state, plus D.C., to allow same-sex couples to marry. Governor Jack Markell has already signed it into law. It will take effect July 1. Congrats to all who made it happen. Chris Geidner reports.
A lovely video from Freedom to Marry on Audrey Smaltz and her wife, former Olympian Gail Marquis.
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed the Marriage Equality Act into law Thursday, making that state the tenth marriage equality state (in addition to the District of Columbia), and making New England the first entire region to enjoy marriage equality.
Congrats to all who made this victory possible. The march goes on. Meanwhile, Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin issued a pastoral letter warning his flock:
[B]ecause “same-sex marriages” are clearly contrary to God’s plan for the human family, and therefore objectively sinful, Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realizing that to do so might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others.
Thank you, Excellency, for sharing your concern about scandal. May I humbly suggest that you clean your own house before bossing others.
This news came out a few days ago, but I had not seen the video. KLASTV reports:
Before voting on a resolution that would repeal Nevada's heterosexual definition of marriage, state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson came out to his fellow lawmakers, telling them, "I'm gay." The resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 13, passed 12-9 and now moves on to the state Assembly for a vote. Atkinson, a Democrat, represents North Las Vegas.
Congrats and thanks to Sen. Atkinson for stepping up.
(Hat tip: Rod 2.0)
Brian Brown of National Organization for Marriage persists in the implausible assertion that those of us who have worked so hard for years for the right of loving gay and lesbian couples to marry are somehow abandoning marriage. Here are highlights from his latest update:
Dear Marriage Supporter,
The news this week is tough. I'm not going to sugar coat it.
In Rhode Island, all five Republican state senators joined the Democrats in the state senate to pass a same-sex marriage bill. It now goes back to the House which had previously passed a gay marriage bill and the governor has promised to sign it.
The Rhode Island bill does not create a new category of marriage for same-sex couples. Rather, it completely redefines marriage for all people in Rhode Island....
Same-sex marriage is not just an attempt to help ordinary gay people live their private lives as they choose—it is part of a push for an aggressive new public norm that affects us all....
For the politicians who refused to let the people of Rhode Island vote on marriage, this is not over!...
We intend to make sure that every Rhode Islander knows how their policymakers voted on this critical issue. We will hold the politicians accountable for their votes.
Republicans, especially, will have to answer for abandoning marriage—a core position of the GOP platform. In New York, when the dust cleared, 3 out of the 4 Republican state senators who betrayed their constituents and voted for gay marriage were no longer in office.
Brown and his allies are desperate to portray themselves as the true victims of intolerance. This can only emerge from a deeply held sense of entitlement to special status and special privileges from which some group of "others" must be excluded. But no matter how often and how brazenly they try to disguise the discrimination they demand, one couple's marriage is not in any way devalued by other couples being afforded the same status. Brown's crusade is not about mere disagreement. It is built on and sustained by lies.
One thing Brown says, though, is true: Given the increasing radicalization of the GOP, Republican primary voters can indeed often punish Republican office holders who vote for inclusion and equal protection for same-sex couples. Unfortunately for the GOP, this only puts their party more and more at odds with broader public opinion. The ongoing, aggressive self-marginalization of the Republican Party is like a slow, massive traffic accident.
This week's prize in mixed messages. These anti-gay protesters keep having to say (in French), "Excuse me, but my eyes are up here." Except they are gagged, so it's especially difficult to comprehend.
(Hat tip: Queerty)
Brian Brown of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage has finally condemned the violence in France over that country's enactment of marriage equality, though he falsely makes it sound as if the violence is on both sides:
It appears that France's socialist government is on the verge of succeeding in their ill-conceived quest to redefine marriage, despite massive grassroots opposition from the citizenry. We urge all French citizens to contact lawmakers to express their strong opposition to this policy. We also call on all citizens to conduct themselves honorably and peacefully. Even though the same-sex marriage policy being foisted on an unwilling public is profoundly unwise and anti-family, no citizen should ever express their disapproval through violent means. We condemn in the strongest possible terms violence by anyone on either side of this debate.
Think Progress reports:
The Delaware House of Representatives has approved marriage equality (HB 75) by a vote of 23-18. It now proceeds to the Senate, where it must pass out of committee before the full chamber considers it. Advocates are optimistic about passage. Governor Jack Markell (D) has strongly backed the bill. Marriage equality has the support of Delaware’s entire Congressional delegation, DuPont chemicals (one of its largest employers), and 54 percent of voters. The state easily passed civil unions in 2011.
Who said incrementalism doesn't work? (Of course, it worked very well for us here in D.C.)
France passes marriage equality; bigots react with violence. Think Progress reports:
The French National Assembly has finalized passage of the marriage equality bill with a vote of 331-225. Technically, New Zealand approved its bill before France, but together the two represent the 13th and 14th countries to legalize recognition of same-sex marriages. The National Assembly originally supported the bill 329-229 and the Senate passed it with a voice vote.
The advancement of same-sex marriage and adoption in France has been very contentious, with opponents promising retaliatory violence for the law’s passage. Indeed, violent hate crimes against gay French citizens have increased in recent weeks. Not only have anti-gay protesters repeatedly clashed with police, injuring journalists and destroying property as they march, but this past week, death threats were sent to lawmakers because of their intention to support marriage equality. In the lead up to today’s vote, the hashtag #IlFautTuerLesHomosexuels, or “Homosexuals must be killed,” has been trending on Twitter. Despite the National Organization for Marriage’s role in the French campaign, they have not acknowledged nor condemned this violence. Additional marches are planned to demand the withdrawal of the bill.
In a quest for more answers surrounding the swift publication of sociologist Mark Regnerus’ paper on the controversial “New Family Structures Study” in the sociology journal Social Science Research, independent journalist John Becker filed a lawsuit Monday, seeking access to public records from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where the sociology journal is housed and where the journal’s editor, James Wright, serves on the faculty. The suit alleges that the state school has violated the state’s public records law by failing to produce documents related to the study’s publication.
Becker filed a request for records last month through Florida’s Public Records Act, asking the school to turn over communications between Wright and other scholars and reviewers regarding the publication of the study.
Last summer’s publication of Regnerus’ explosive study – which found negative outcomes for children raised in same-sex households compared to children raised by married heterosexual parents – culminated in a widespread consensus that Regnerus’ study was methodologically flawed. Questions were raised about the political motivations of Regnerus’ conservative funders, as well as the seemingly rushed rate of publication.
As The American Independent reported recently, many of these suspicions were justified.
HuffPo reports on the moment when marriage equality was adopted in the New Zealand parliament:
On Wednesday, New Zealand's Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage in a 77 to 44 vote. As lawmakers applauded the final vote, spectators crowded into the public galleries above burst into song, serenading the bill's sponsor, lesbian MP Louisa Wall.
The Associated Press reports the song was "Pokarekare Ana," a love song in the country's indigenous Maori language.
Beautiful. Congrats to Ms. Wall and all who helped her.
New Zealand MP Maurice Williamson, member for Pakuranga, gives one of the funniest and most moving speeches in defense of marriage equality that I can recall. Bravo, sir.
The Guardian reports.
Meanwhile, the Church of England has ruled out blessings for same-sex couples. Because marriage is a sacred institution meant only for one man and one woman, said King Henry VIII whose desire to get out of his first marriage caused him to split from Rome and start his own church. Anglican, please.
The Blade reports. I appreciate D.C. gay Republican Bob Kabel's vote against the Republican National Committee's resolution Friday reaffirming its opposition to marriage equality. Kabel is a board member of Log Cabin and was a signatory on the amicus brief against Proposition 8 that was circulated by former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman. But the GOP has gotten worse on gay issues, not better. This is hardly a surprise, given that the crazies have taken over the party. So what is the point of sticking around? I realize that in other respects people like Kabel agree with conservative values. But given the GOP's evident inability to learn any lessons from its 2012 losses, wouldn't it be better for people like Kabel and Mehlman to work with other non-extreme conservatives to build a new conservative party not in thrall to the social right? I am only an observer here, as I am not conservative. But liberals need conservative negotiating partners. Our country needs to address its problems. Unfortunately, party leaders like Mitch McConnell clearly believe that gridlock will work to their advantage. So they continue to harm the country in pursuit of partisan gain and minority control over the country. No cause for pride there.
The latest idiocy from former Sen. Rick Santorum.
New Ways Ministry blogs:
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, retired auxiliary bishop of Detroit, has told Catholics to ignore Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s recent statement discouraging pro-marriage equality Catholics from receiving communion.
“If you look at it from a pastoral point of view where you’re trying to reach out to people, trying to draw them in, then the last thing you want to do is impose a penalty or make them feel like they have to impose a penalty upon themselves.
No translation is needed to appreciate this moment of victory for marriage equality in Uruguay. Video courtesy Associated Press.
My latest column looks at how online hit jobs against marriage equality risk a progressive schism. Here's a portion:
Clarence Mitchell, the civil-rights activist and longtime chief lobbyist for the NAACP, used to tell of something then-Senate Democratic leader Lyndon Johnson often said to him in the 1950s: "Clarence, you can get anything you want if you've got the votes. How many votes have you got?" Effective activism requires building coalitions that bridge a community's cultural, racial, religious and other forms of diversity. A good coalition practices the politics of addition.
Some advocates of change, perversely, prefer the politics of subtraction. On March 27, as Edith Windsor's challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act was being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, Keli Goff of The Root was trying to drive a racial wedge: "Yet again, wealthy white males are driving the agenda, and everyone else is expected to follow, including the media and the president."
This might come as news to the National Black Justice Coalition, whose film Black Love tells the stories of black gay and lesbian couples "who have courageously stood on the front lines of the fight for marriage equality." It might also surprise NAACP President Ben Jealous and Maryland Pastor Delman Coates, who played significant roles in Maryland's marriage-equality victory in the 2012 election. But it would not surprise the National Organization for Marriage, whose strategic goal "to drive a wedge between gays and blacks" was exposed a year ago.
Read the whole thing here.
The Blade reports:
Immigration Equality Executive Director Rachel Tiven on Monday said she does not expect same-sex couples will be included in the comprehensive immigration reform bill a bi-partisan group of senators could potentially introduce by the end of the week.
“We are not expecting LGBT families to be included in the Gang of 8 bill,” she told the Washington Blade during a conference call ahead of a rally in support of comprehensive immigration reform on Wednesday that is expected to draw tens of thousands of people to the U.S. Capitol. “That in our minds means that of course the bill is incomplete.”
Tiven will participate with other civil rights leaders (including Wade Henderson of the Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights) in a rally for citizenship on Wednesday, April 10 at 3 pm on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
Beck appears to be saying that anti-gay forces used the wrong argument rather than really agreeing with us. But I'm glad he acknowledges that we are winning.