In the 2004 election, marriage equality advocates were on their heels after losing at the ballot box in eleven states. At the time, only Massachusetts recognized same sex marriage and many saw these defeats as a repudiation of my state’s insistence to recognize the rights of gays and lesbians.
Fast forward less than a decade and the tide of public opinion has shifted in favor of legalizing same sex marriages. Proof of that was the four wins in the November 2012 elections regarding same sex marriage. Hoping to capitalize on the change of heart, the campaign arm of the House Democrats launched what has turned out to be their most successful online campaign ever.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reports that it has seen more than 10 million views on its Facebook page and nearly half a million Facebook likes. If you’d like to show your support on Facebook like this page.
This tweet was making the rounds yesterday. In just 140 characters Will Ferrell has touched upon two current issues of social justice (not to mention common sense) that are near and dear to me. Wish he had thrown in a reference to the death penalty – could’ve scored the ever elusive #HumorHattrick.
Not all US Senate Democrats are receptive to marriage equality and The Huffington Post took these Democrats to task in their post Shame on Dem yesterday in a blistering article.
The arc of history is moving in the direction of marriage equality, regardless of how the Supreme Court ultimately rules in a case arguing its constitutionality. Just this past week, several senators announced their own evolution on the matter, going from being opposed to same-sex marriage to supportive.
And so, as of 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, the number of Democratic senators who have yet to embrace the right of gay marriage, or whose position is fuzzy by design, stands at 10. Their reasoning varies. Most say they are in the midst of an evolution; some are fine with it being considered on a state-by-state basis; some declined to discuss the matter at all. Their names and explanations (when provided) are below.
Read the Full Article here
UPDATE: Since the HuffPost article was published on Tuesday, March 26th, a reader has noted that US Senator Hagan from NC has stepped forward to voice her support for marriage equality.
Yesterday, the US Supreme Court heard arguments about California’s notorious Proposition 8. Today, the Justices will hear arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). While the court may not want to make a major national ruling on whether America’s gays and lesbians have a right to marry, the American public has doubled down with both sides arguing their points passionately. Mayor Menino once again showed his support for the Gay and Lesbian community addressing the crowd and asking to have the Gay Pride flag fly in Government Center.
While it will be several months before we have a ruling from The Court, DOMA justice rallies were organized around the country. Here in Boston a loud and upbeat crowd braved the cold winds in Government Center to show their support for greater acceptance and equality.
This week the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing two important cases that will have significant impact on the LGBT community. These cases concern the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8.
Marriage Equality Rally
Government Center starts at 3PM
As a sign of support the Human Rights Campaign and other pro-LGBT equality organizations have organized peaceful demonstrations in many cities through out the U.S. Here in Boston, a rally will take place in Government Center, starting at 3PM. Follow me on Twitter, as I post photos from the rally at Twitter.com/BosGuy.
Since the November 2012 elections marriage equality advocates have felt a renewed feeling of optimism so it is hard not to be excited to have the US Supreme Court hearing cases for California’s Prop 8 and DOMA this week.
Truthfully, this moment would not have happened if it was not for the millions of straight allies who have raised their voices to speak out in favor of Same Sex Marriage and to help end DOMA so this appreciative blogger would like to dedicate this post to you as my way of saying, “Thank You.”
When I was growing up here on the East Coast, California had this other-worldly, progressive reputation. Political and social trends always seemed to start there and work its way back east. However, at some point in the late 1990s that started to change. That doesn’t mean California isn’t still a magnificently beautiful state, but it seems to me the Golden State has lost some of its luster.
In 1995 California was the first state to enact a statewide smoking ban. Much of the rest of the nation followed; it took Massachusetts nearly a decade to catch up (banning smoking in 2004). In 1996 California again made news when it legalized marijuana for “medicinal purposes”. Depending on your opinion – this was either a sensible progressive policy or not, but since then it seems as if California has been behind the curve rarely leading the nation.
Health & Nutrition: NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s attempts to limit the size of large sugary drinks seems more like something health conscious California would conceive. Also, Massachusetts universal healthcare law in 2006 which became the blueprint for Obama’s national healthcare legislation also seems like something Californians would have implemented. There have been attempts like the failed Prop 37 initiative in 2012 to label genetically modified foods, but like other efforts in the state in recent years, it fell short.
Civil Rights: California has the largest gay population of any state yet, they were unable to legalize / recognize same sex marriage and suffered a humiliating defeat in 2008 with Proposition 8. By contrast Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same sex marriage in 2004 (despite a hostile Governor – Mitt Romney who vowed to retain “traditional marriage”). Since 2004 eight other states and Washington D.C. have all legalized same sex marriage.
Cities: Perhaps the greatest change I’ve noticed since the mid to late 1990s between California and other parts of the country is how dirty the larger cities (in particular L.A. and S.F.) have become. Once upon a time, it was the older cities like NYC, Boston, Chicago, etc… that seemed to have a permanent smell of urine and litter on every corner, but that has changed. My post from last year San Francisco’s dirty secret sort of says it all.
California is still an amazing state blessed with some of the most beautiful coastline and spectacular towns and cities, but I can’t help but feel like the state has lost it’s mojo. What do you think?
While the US Congress continues to do nothing meaningful with regards to passing gun control legislation, Richard Branson took to Twitter to taunt their inaction. No doubt some of you will recognize the cadence of his tweet, which echoes the taunts hurled at President Johnson during Vietnam war protests.
Thanks to Joe.My.God for the tip.
Last year President Obama made history when he became the 1st sitting US President to support same-sex marriage. At that time he indicated that his views pertaining to this issue had “evolved”. Obama’s “evolution” isn’t unique. Last week it was reported by a number of news outlets that Pew Research polls has tracked support of same-sex marriage since 2001 and Obama’s change of heart is consistent with most Americans.
Pew found that support for same-sex marriage among Democrats increased nearly 20% from 43% in 2001 to 62% in 2012. Among Independents there has been a similar but less dramatic rise from 43% in 2001 to 52% in 2012. However, Republican voter opinions have barely budged with 21% in 2001 to 25% in 2012 supporting same-sex marriage.
Source: 538 blog
As an individual who would like to see same-sex marriage become recognized by the federal government, I hope that more Republicans realize they are on the wrong side of history and will be more receptive to a more inclusive society that doesn’t discriminate against individuals because of their orientation.
Madonna discusses the Boy Scouts ban on gay members and presents the Vito Russo Award to Anderson Cooper earlier this month. Note that Madonna expresses herself quite freely so keep that in mind when / if you watch the clip.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives.
George Will, a well respected conservative columnist comments on Sunday’s political talk show, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, response to Republican Senator Rob Portman from Ohio who announced earlier this week that he now supports same sex marriage and cited his gay son as the reason for the change of heart and position. FYI – Portman becomes the first Republican US Senator to voice his support for same sex marriage.
Hillary Clinton has made a video for the Human Rights Campaign to voice her support for marriage equality. This follows her vocal support for gay rights that she voiced as Secretary of State. If you’ve not seen this video, check it out here.
The Boy Scouts ban on gays which has increasingly seemed out of step with their own values (let alone the general public’s perception) has been the subject of much scrutiny and the butt of many jokes. Ellen DeGeneres perhaps put it best when she said on her popular TV show earlier this year, “…they won’t let their members be gay or openly gay anyway, but they’re letting them wear neckerchiefs and green short shorts?”
However, it is entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bill Gates, a former Boy Scout, who put it best when he was asked earlier this week at the first installment of Politico’s new interview series, Playbook Cocktails, if he believed the organization should move forward with lifting the ban on gay members.
Gates quickly responded “absolutely” and when Politico’s D.C. bureau chief Mike Allen asked “Why?” Perhaps it was his delivery or how succinct, but I loved his response.
“Because it’s 2013.”
Bill and Melinda Gates (as well as the company he founded, Microsoft) have long been supporters of LGBT rights, but I never have taken his stalwart support for granted and neither should you. While Ellen can woo America (and thank God she does), business leaders like Gates and others have made being gay okay in corporate America and we owe them a debt for their support. They have done more to advance and protect LGBT rights in the workforce than they get credit for. Keep in mind that you may be fired if you are gay in 29 states in this country. So whether it is regarding a Boy Scouts ban or legislation that allows discrimination, I’d like to point out I’m fed up with writing about these issues… “Because it’s 2013″.
Posted in Gay, Poltics
Tagged Gay, Politics
According to AmericaBlog, NBC News is reporting that President Obama will file an amicus brief today in the Proposition 8 (Prop 8) marriage equality case that is being heard by the Supreme Court at the end of March.
The brief must be filed by end of day to meet today’s deadline and came as a surprise since the administration has been somewhat evasive on the issue up until this moment.
John Aravosis explains the details of the political wrangling over whether to submit the brief far better than I could. If interested in reading more visit his blog, AmericaBlog.