There are a number of conservative commentators who continue to receive a fair amount of mainstream (and left-leaning) media attention, virtually every time they open their mouth and I’m left scratching my head to wonder why. Their views are documented, no longer shocking and frankly uninteresting.
Shy of them saying they believe in science, nothing they say is either surprising or newsworthy anymore so don’t pretend it is and stop giving them the attention they crave. It is annoying.
I firmly believe that if they were no longer given air time (aside from that already provided on their talk radio shows and other conservative outlets like FOX News) they would quickly fade into obscurity. Whatever they once were, they are now essentially ratings whores looking for attention and saying whatever they think might create outrage and get them on major news networks. So can we just stop talking about them – that goes especially for left-leaning sites like MSNBC, Huffington Post, etc…
Today a federal appeals court panel struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. The decision is significant because it also means similar marriage bans in North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia (states also part of the 4th Circuit) are considered unconstitutional.
Today’s ruling also impacts NC, SC and W VA.
This marks the second time an appellate-level court has ruled on state marriage bans and it sets the stage for a showdown in the US Supreme Court to consider state-level laws.
More information here.
Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the January 2014 decision from U.S. District Judge Kern in Bishop v. Smith that Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment that forbids same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
The state of Oklahoma now has the right to appeal before the full bench of the Tenth Circuit or it can do as the State of Utah did for the Kitchen case few weeks ago and appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Either way, an appeal of some sort is to be expected but this remains great news for marriage equality advocates. Oklahoma is one of America’s most conservative states and if marriage equality is legal here – it can and will be legal everywhere (and quickly too).
Read more about this here.
So who wants to get hitched in Key West?
Today Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled against Florida’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. Garcia wrote in his ruling, “This court concludes that a citizen’s right to marry is a fundamental right to the individual.” The ruling was stayed until Tuesday, July 22, at which point same-sex couples in Monroe County can begin obtaining marriage licenses, unless a stay is requested by the state attorney general and granted by the state court of appeals or Florida State Supreme Court.
I think it is safe to assume some form of protest by those opposed to marriage equality is likely but this is a great first step. Hopefully couples in Monroe County will not be blocked from seeking marriage licenses on Tuesday. More info here.
On Wednesday, a district court judge ruled against Colorado’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.
Just last week I mentioned six same sex couples had filed a federal lawsuit. I hadn’t expected that I’d be writing so soon that Colorado would become the 23rd state to have ruled in favor of marriage equality advocates in the past 12 months.
I’m irritated beyond reason that we continue to treat corporations like people.
Moreover, I can’t believe that discussions like this remain in American politics. Does anyone else find it strange that certain forms of birth control intended for women get to be determined by employers, but drugs like Viagra and Cialis are covered for Hobby Lobby employees. Seems like a misogynistic bent to a firm’s health care plan. To those who would say the employee has the option to not work at the Hobby Lobby I think you miss some pretty important points.
Yesterday was not a good day for those opposed to marriage equality. A Federal judge in the red state of Kentucky struck down the state’s 2004 marriage ban – making this the 23rd pro-marriage ruling in the past year. Read more here.
Additionally, six same-sex couples from Colorado filed a federal lawsuit challenging their state’s ban on the freedom to marry yesterday. Based on the Kentucky ruling (not to mention the 22 other states that have ruled the same over the past 12 months) it would seem likely that the increasingly purple state of Colorado may be on it’s way to saying “I do” to marriage equality as well.
On Tuesday our State Senate approved an economic development bill that had a provision in it that gives cities and towns more control over liquor licenses. Massachusetts currently caps the number of licenses allowed in a city or town, mandating that any requests for additional licenses must be brought before the State Legislature.
The Senate’s vote runs counter to The House which did not include the liquor license proposal is its version of the same bill. That means the next step is to bring the bill to a committee tasked with writing a compromise; lets hope that they maintain the liquor license plan in the final bill. If you feel strongly about this, I suggest you contact your state representative.
Don’t know your representative or how to reach them? Link Here.
Yesterday, US District Court Judge Richard Young ruled against Indiana’s statute banning marriage equality, making Indiana the latest state to see their marriage ban struck down since the US Supreme Court ruled in its historic marriage ruling last June.
Judge Young wrote, “In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as marriage – not same sex marriage.“
Congratulations Indiana – and welcome to the 21st century.
You can read more about this here.
This is something I find profoundly disappointing in my country, but what really upsets me is the blasé attitude by a majority of Americans that believe this is the price you pay for living in a free society. A “free society” somehow equates to having looser gun laws that allow purchasing and owning more and more powerful guns.
Here is a sensible article by Arkadi Gerney and Chelsea Parsons on four things America could do to help protect women from gun violence. They are all common sense solutions (e.g. prevent convicted abusers, stalkers and people subject to restraining orders from possessing a gun), but I hold out little hope that common sense solutions will be followed.
Statistics like the one shown above make me wonder if America even has a threshold that can be crossed before legislative changes are made. Back in 2012 I thought the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was our limit – I was wrong.
The ever so dreamy PA State Representative, Brian Sims, who I first wrote about back in 2012 (as one of my Men of Twittah) and more recently wrote about in my post, Lusting After Brian Sims, will be in Provincetown during Bear Week hosting a fundraiser for his campaign.
Lord knows I’ve spent a significant amount of time scouring the internet for a shirtless photograph of this handsome, progressive, gay state representative. Since I won’t be in Ptown during bear week, I’m encouraging anyone who might be there to be on the look out for this handsome Pennsylvanian sunning himself.
Want to learn more visit his website: www.sims4pa-ptown.com
Welcome to the 21st Century Wisconsin
Today U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled against Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, making Wisconsin the twelfth state to see such a ban struck down in federal court since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its historic marriage rulings last June. Details here.
Happy Pride Indeed
While I’m undecided on who I will vote for Governor, I thought it would be interesting to share this video that Republican candidate, Charlie Baker, released earlier this month. Charlie is a long-time supporter of LGBT rights, and I like the fact that he shows one can be a Republican and comfortable discussing / supporting LGBT rights.
It can often seem like the Republican Party has a personal vendetta against the LGBT community. That more than anything has probably contributed to my deep distrust of the party of Lincoln. Charlie’s video shows just how far the National Republican Party needs to come – I certainly hope they start to follow his lead. Much thanks to David at WGB for initially sharing this video.
The hangover from all the parties following Oregon’s ruling yesterday, legalizing marriage for same sex couples hasn’t even faded and another state has said Adios to marriage discrimination.
Today Pennsylvania became the 10th state where a federal judge has struck down a marriage ban since the historic US Supreme Court decision. Welcome to the 21st Century Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, The City of Brotherly Love, just got a bit more lovely in my opinion.
These days it is almost a full time job keeping up with all the Marriage Equality wins. Today Oregon became the 18th state (not counting Washington D.C.) to fully recognize marriage for same-sex couples. The map of the USA now looks like a patchwork that must leave people from other countries scratching their head. What I take away from this map (see below) is that full marriage equality in the US is not only an inevitability – but likely before the next Presidential election.
Judge Michael McShane, US District Court Judge, had this to say on today’s ruling. “Oregon recognizes a marriage of love with the same equal eye that it recognizes a marriage of convenience. It affords the same set of rights and privileges to Tristan and Isolde that it affords to a Hollywood celebrity waking up in Las Vegas with a blurry memory and a ringed finger. It does not, however, afford these very same rights to gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry within the confines of our geographic borders.”
Thanks to JMG for the great quote from Judge Michael McShane.