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.
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.
Self-made billionaire and out-going Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has set his sites on the National Rifle Association (NRA) and is putting his money where his rhetoric has been for years, forming a super PAC to target political candidates opposed to sensible gun reforms.
On Monday Bloomberg’s PAC released an ad against former Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) who is running to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D). His PAC has said it will spend $1+ million against her this week. The ad says ”Gun violence — it’s out of control. Debbie Halvorson will make it worse. Halvorson opposed a ban on deadly assault weapons. She co-sponsored legislation to allow some criminals to carry loaded hidden guns across state lines. No wonder Halvorson received an A+ rating from the NRA, the special interest lobby against effective background checks. Debbie Halvorson’s record: more guns in the hands of criminals.” Watch the ad here.
Can Bloomberg’s money in key elections around the country combined with President Obama’s focus on passing sensible reforms make a difference? I certainly hope so.
I know that the Brown – Warren US Senate race last November received a lot of attention and the election cycle has resulted in making Elizabeth Warren a more divisive figure in politics. But one of the many things I found appealing about Warren was her promise to act as a consumer watch dog for ordinary people like you and me. So I was heartened to read that last week she made news for asking top regulators from our largest financial regulatory agencies why they had remained so inactive in pursuing criminal action following the banking crisis.
You may read the full article that inspired this post in the Huffington Post, Whine Street.
For a US Senator who wants smaller government and less regulation, Rand Paul (R-KY), seems to feel differently when discussing social issues like gay marriage, where he conveniently forgets his self-proclaimed libertarian bent and rails that there apparently is not enough government interference and regulation.
Last week Sen. Paul had this to say about marriage equality rights when he spoke with the very conservative American Family Association’s, Bryan Fischer.
“We should try to keep it as a state issue… My fear is that in federalizing it, we’re going to lose the battle for the whole country. And keeping it state-by-state… that we’ll still have areas that will continue to have traditional marriage… If the urban centers are able to dictate for the rest of the country what our definition on marriage is, I’m a little concerned about that.”
Clearly, Sen. Paul isn’t pleased to see the country’s growing acceptance that marriage equality is a civil right worthy of federal recognition become the majority opinion. With more states looking to recognize same sex marriage and the US Supreme Court’s expected ruling on California’s controversial Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), 2013 is shaping up to be a “tipping point” in the United States.
Politico pointed out that President Barack Obama became the first to use the word “gay” in an inaugural address when he addressed the nation on Monday.
I thought this particular quote shows a continued evolution from last spring when he first voiced his support. The introspective nature of that initial endorsement has become more forceful.
Thank you Mr. President for using your Inauguration Speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to recognize inequality and to call all Americans to come together.