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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Research Finds Same-Sex Couples Just as Committed and Possibly Happier than Heterosexual Couples

In a study done by Medical News Today, same-sex couples are just as committed in their romantic relationships as heterosexual couples and may be happier, say researchers who have studied the quality of adult relationships and healthy development. What they found disputes the stereotype that same-sex couples are not as committed as their heterosexual counterparts and are therefore not as psychologically healthy.

These results came from two studies featured in the January issue of Developmental Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association. This issue includes a special section that examines sexual orientation across the lifespan.

The first study examined whether committed same-sex couples differ from engaged and married heterosexual couples in how well they interacted and how satisfied they were with their partners. Evidence has shown that positive interactions improve the quality of relationships in ways that create healthy adult development.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign compared 30 gay male relationships and 30 lesbian couples with 50 engaged heterosexual couples and 40 older married heterosexual couples, as well as with dating heterosexual couples. All the partners responded to a questionnaire that documented how positively they interacted with one another on a day-to-day basis.

Results showed that all had positive views of their relationships but those in the more committed relationships (gay or straight) resolved conflict better than the heterosexual dating couples. And lesbian couples worked together especially harmoniously during the laboratory tasks and especially effective at resolving conflict.

In the second study, researchers from the University of Washington, San Diego State University and the University of Vermont wanted to examine how sexual orientation and legal status affected relationship quality. To do so, they followed 65 male and 138 female same-sex couples with civil unions, 23 male and 61 female same-sex couples not in civil unions and 55 heterosexual married couples over a three-year period. One member of each heterosexual couple was a sibling to a member of a civil union couple.

Partners in all of the couples answered questions regarding their demographics, status of their relationship, number of children, sexual behavior, frequency of contact with their parents with and without their partners and perceived social support. Partners in same-sex relationships also answered questions regarding how “out” they were with family, friends and co-workers.


Despite the legal status of their relationships, the civil union couples showed no differences on any of the relationship measures from the same-sex couples who were in committed relationships but not in civil unions.

However, the same sex-couples who were not in civil unions were more likely to have ended their relationships compared to those couples in same-sex civil unions or heterosexual marriages. Suggesting that the protections afforded by a legalized relationship may impact same-sex relationships, something the study's authors plan to follow up on with more research.

The findings also showed that same-sex couples, regardless of civil union status, were more satisfied with their relationships compared to married heterosexual couples. Same-sex couples reported more positive feelings toward their partners and less conflict than heterosexual married couples. They theorized that there may be societal pressures and norms, as well as the presence of legal status as a couple, which may contribute to heterosexual couples staying together even when they are not happy. Alternatively, many long-term, same-sex couples, stay together by their own will and hard work, since they don't have society's forces on their side.

This was the first study to follow same-sex couples in legalized unions over a period of time. This type of design allows the researchers to monitor changes in the relationships and compare them with changes experienced by both same-sex couples not in civil unions and heterosexual couples. All the couples were comparable with respect to race/ethnicity and age at the time of the study.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Pursuit of Equality Screening in San Francisco

In celebration of the 4th Anniversary of the historic San Francisco weddings, AT&T and PG&E are having a special screening of PURSUIT OF EQUALITY, Directed by Geoff Callan & Mike Shaw.

By issuing same-sex marriage licenses, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom uproots the status quo, attempts to change the way the nation looks at life, love, and marriage, and ignites what may become our nation’s next great Civil Rights issue.


Date: Wednesday, February 13TH, 2008

Location: HERBST THEATRE, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Details: Cocktails and Hors d' Oeuvres from 6:00-7:30PM in the GREEN ROOM
Film begins promptly at 7:30pm.

Special Appearance by San Francisco MayorGavin Newsom

Honorary Host Committee:
Neil Guiliano - GLAAD
Kate Kendell - NCLR
Kevin Cathcart - Lambda Legal
Geoff Kors - EQCA
Molly McKay - Marriage Equality USA

RSVP
by February 8th to: rsvpsf@pursuitofequality.com
Seating is Limited.

For more information, please visit: http://www.pursuitofequality.com/sfscreening/

Friday, January 25, 2008

Al Gore stands up for Gay Marriage

I have to applaud our former Vice President, Al Gore, for posting a video on current.com supporting gay marriage.

In his video Gore says,"I think that gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women – to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights, to join together in marriage, and I don't understand why it is considered by some people to be a threat to heterosexual marriage, to allow it by gays and lesbians," Gore said in the video on Current TV. “Shouldn't we be promoting the kind of faithfulness and loyalty to one’s partner regardless of sexual orientation?"

With the leading Democratic presidential candidates supporting some form of Civil Unions, but not same-sex marriage, I wonder if Gore's words will have any impact on the candidates positions.

Not Your Usual Lesbian Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is one of the few holidays that is celebrated throughout the world. And although many retailers would like you to believe that this holiday is all about the gift giving, there are many other ways you can make your sweetie feel special on Valentine's Day.


Here are a few ideas to give you a head start on your February 14th plans:

  1. Try cooking a meal. Now don't freak out about this one, you don't have to be a gourmet chef to make a nice dinner for your partner. In fact, you can find recipes for chicken, steak or fish on the Internet that are surprisingly easy to follow. And if you’re a little too scared to attempt it alone, then perhaps you and your partner can cook a romantic meal together.


  2. How about an evening at home? Rent some of her favorite movies, make some popcorn and cuddle on the couch while watching movies. You could even order in for dinner and have a romantic meal by the fire. Another possibility, if your lucky enough to have a bath tub, light some candles and take a romantic bath together.

  3. Why not pamper yourselves? What better way to celebrate this day of love then by taking yourself and your partner to a spa. Spoil yourselves with massages, maybe a soak in the hot tub and then perhaps lounging in your robes while drinking tea.

  4. Get a little creative. Why not make a scrapbook documenting some of the special moment in you relationship. Or try writing a poem about how the two of you met. If you’re really artistic, perhaps you could make a collage with photos, quotes, etc. Handmade gifts are always appreciated and if you need more ideas, there are some great Valentine’s day DIY ideas at ecobites.com

  5. How about Love Coupons? Coupons can be easily created on your computer or by hand, and you can make them as specific as you like. In fact, you could even make some coupons that are romantic and others that might just relieve some stress in her life, such as doing all the house cleaning one weekend.

    Here are a few more coupon ideas…

    -Good for an evening of romance
    -Good for one kiss
    -Good for a weekend getaway
    -Good for one sensual act
    -Good for a massage
    -Good for one romantic dinner out
    -Good for a foot massage
    -Good for cleaning the dishes
    -Good for a home-cooked meal

  6. Fulfill a fantasy. Yes, I am referring to a sexual fantasy. Perhaps start with a little role-playing or a maybe new sexual position? You know what they say, experimentation breeds’ excitement in the bedroom, and what better way to spend your Valentine's Day. But, if that is a bit too risqué for your taste, then perhaps you can try taking turns reading an erotic book to each other...that can be just as much fun and may lead to other activities, if you know what I mean…wink wink nudge nudge.

  7. Make it a Surprise. Perhaps the most romantic gift of all, which may or may not be fulfilled by any of the above ideas, is to make whatever you do be a surprise. The best gestures are often those that are unexpected.

And If you do decide to buy your partner a gift, please try to be a bit more original then your basic long-stem roses and a plain box of chocolates. And while your at it, why not support the lesbian community as well? Here are a few gift ideas from companies that either cater to the lesbian community and/or are lesbian owned:



  1. Jewelry-Love & Pride and Talk about it has some unique Jewelery items made specifically for the GLBT community.


  2. Accessories and Art- 2Grrlz has some unique lesbian-centric accessories and artwork that would make a nice Valentine's Day gift.


  3. Sex Toys - Lesbian Toy Shop and Two girls and their toys both offer quite the variety of sex toys, from glass dildos to nipple clamps, they seem to have it all.


  4. Gourmet Chocolates - Poco Dolce is not your basic box of chocolates. Imagine tiles of silky dark chocolate with double roasted almond, crystallized Ginger, Burnt Caramel Toffee or Aztec Chile finished with smattering of sea-salt flakes...these are just a few of the options you will find with Poco Dolce.


  5. Clothing - Dyke Tees has a variety of unique and stylish T-shirts and Family Evolutions has clothing and gifts for lesbians and their children.

Whatever it is you end up doing for Valentine's Day, don't stress about it! It isn't about the gifts, or the restaurant, it is about taking the time to appreciate each other and remember why the two of you decided to be together.



Monday, January 21, 2008

Politically Correct Lesbian Phone Sex

Well I don't usually do 2 videos in a row, but my friend Sam pointed this one out and I am still rolling...



Friday, January 18, 2008

Lesbian Speed Dating

If you haven't already seen this video, it is definitely worth a look!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

End of Days: Girl-Girl Break Ups

I found this great article by K. Pearson Brown about lesbian break-ups...it is soo "right on the money," that I knew I had to share it, I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

For two years my ex Michelle lived with her ex Karen before moving on. They dated other women, but each night they went home to each other where they made house, grocery shopped, did yard work and even hosted parties together. To outsiders they were a couple. A couple of what you ask? A couple of typical lesbians who wallow in an agonizing slow burn of a breakup instead of ending it quickly like straight folk.

Many of us are guilty of it. We fan that dying ember of a relationship because it gives us just a little warmth and comfort, usually until one of us finds a new flame. In an interview after her separation from her former partner Julie Cypher, Melissa Etheridge revealed that her love affairs always overlapped so she never had to fully deal with heartache. That’s always nice, for one side.

The emotional dynamics between women lovers are different than between hetero partners, and we don’t have a Lesbians are from Jupiter manual to help us understand our mates. Our relationships begin quickly and intensely. We meld emotionally and nest together immediately. Often our body cycles even get in synch. So when things go south, it’s hard to pull apart.

My last relationship was so comfortable that we talked about splitting up for a year and half. We’d talk about it over dinner, and then in bed. The romance was gone, but neither of us wanted to leave. We didn’t want to lose our best friend.

Perhaps one of the best things that gays would gain by winning the right to marry – besides equal rights under the law – would be the imposition of a proper divorce. No more dragging on dead-end relationships for months and even years. Sign some papers, divide the stuff, stay away from each other for a prescribed period of time, and it’s done.

But I wonder if we would miss the dyke drama that has become of rite of passage for lesbians. Often we have to have that last knock-down-drag-out screaming match, throwing things and slamming doors, to signal that it’s finally over.

At least we do it with flare. What could be worse, and more boring, than a straight friend’s recent breakup with her boyfriend in which he simply quit calling. Of course lesbians don’t have the corner on dramatic endings. Think Jean Harris and Herman Tarnower, Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuco, David Gest and Liza Minnelli, Brad and Jennifer. And certainly the boys aren’t exempt to those excruciating off-and-on again liaisons. Who doesn’t feel a twinge in the heart when Jake Gyllenhaal says to Heath Leger in the trailer to Brokeback Mountain, “I wish I knew how to quit you.”

When you think about the devastation of ending a relationship, it’s a wonder we ever regain the courage to love again. But even after a Titanic breakup, the heart does do on, as Celine Dion promises. Poor Kate Winslet. Come here, I’ll make you feel better.

A therapist once told me it takes three months for every year you were with a lover to get over the relationship. For the average two-and-a-half-year lesbian relationship, that means seven and a half months of recovery. The same therapist also told me that a good indicator of a person’s ability to have a healthy relationship is how that person ended past relationships and how friendly that person is with exes.

So, now that I have nearly two years behind me since my last romantic relationship, and my ex and I continue to be best of friends, it stands to reason that I am excellent dating material. But I have one question: Does this mean my ex has to move out?

K. Pearson Brown is a writer and public relations director living in Los Angeles. She is currently writing her first novel, You'll Never Eat P*ssy in This Town Again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

California Domestic Partnership Tax Information

The new Domestic Partnership tax laws are a bit tricky, so for those of you who are filing as Domestic Partners for the 2007 tax year, I thought I could give you a bit of information to help you out.

California enacted SB 1827 as law, beginning January 1, 2007, which requires registered domestic partners to use the same filing status as married couples. The information below will help you understand the changes associated with this tax law, as well as a few additional changes for the 2007 tax year.

California Taxation of Domestic Partners - General Principles.
In general, California now affords the same rights and responsibilities to RDPs that previously were available only to married individuals. For California tax purposes, the same rules applicable to married individuals (relating to filing status, community property income, etc.) now apply to RDPs. However, because the federal government does not recognize domestic partners as married individuals for federal tax (IRS) purposes, RDPs will continue to file as unmarried individuals on their federal returns.

Here are some common Q&A for RDPs:

Can I file a joint California return with my domestic partner for tax years prior to 2007?
No. Domestic partners cannot file a married filing joint or married filing separate return for tax years prior to 2007. A domestic partner is required to use the same filing status for state income tax purposes that was used or would have been used for federal income tax purposes. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2007, domestic partners are required to use the same filing status as married couples.

Is the earned income of domestic partners treated as community property for tax years prior to 2007?
No. Earned income is not treated as community property for state income tax purposes for tax years prior to 2007.

Are all domestic partners required to file joint or married filing separate returns under the new law?
No, only domestic partners who are registered with the California Secretary of State are required to file using the married filing joint or married filing separate filing status. More information on unions entered into from other states will be provided on this Website in the near future.

When will registered domestic partners (RDPs) use the same filing status rules as married individuals when filing California returns?
The new law applies for RDPs filing their 2007 tax returns in 2008.

Can RDPs file a California tax return with the same filing status as they use on their federal return?
No, the new law requires RDPs to file a joint return using the married filing joint or married filing separate filing status. Federal law does not allow RDPs to file a joint return.

If an RDP decides to file a California married filing separate return, are there any special rules for completing the return?
Yes, as is the case with all taxpayers eligible to use the married filing joint status, RDPs that choose to file a return using the married filing separate filing status should see FTB Publication 1051A, Guidelines for Married Filing Separate Returns.

Do RDPs combine the number of exemptions they claim on their separate federal returns to arrive at the total number of exemptions they claim on their California return?
Yes, all personal, blind, senior, and dependent exemptions should be combined on the married filing joint California return. For a detailed explanation of exemptions see Form 540A instructions.

Can an RDP who lives with their partner and files head of household (HOH) for federal purposes use the HOH filing status for state purposes as well?
If your RDP lived with you and your child, stepchild, adopted child, or eligible foster child, at any time during the last 6 months of the year, you do not qualify to use the HOH filing status for California purposes.

Can an RDP file as head of household (HOH) on a California return?
Yes, RDPs can file HOH on a California return if they maintain the main home for their child, stepchild, adopted child, or eligible foster child and are “considered not in a registered domestic partnership.”"

To be “considered not in a registered domestic partnership” you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Your RDP did not live in your home during the last six months of the tax year.

  • You file a separate return.

  • You pay more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year.

  • Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or eligible foster child for more than half the year.

  • You must be able to claim an exemption for the child.

For details on filing HOH see FTB Publication 1540, California Head of Household Filing Status.

Does an RDP need to terminate the domestic partnership to qualify for HOH?
No, since a married individual can qualify for HOH without terminating the marriage (divorce) an RDP can qualify for HOH without terminating the domestic partnership. In both situations the parties would have to be “considered not in a registered domestic partnership.”

If one RDP dies, can the surviving RDP file a joint return?
Yes, if an RDP dies, the surviving RDP can file as married filing joint for the year the RDP dies if he or she does not enter into a new registered domestic partnership or marriage. If an RDP dies in the following year prior to filing their return the surviving RDP can file a married filing joint return. For more information on surviving RDPs see deceased taxpayer.

How do RDPs who file a California joint return combine their incomes, deductions, credits, etc., from their separate federal returns to complete their California return?RDPs will combine income and deductions from their separate federal returns to complete their California tax return and compute their tax. Draft instructions for RDPs will be available on our Website in June 2007.

How do RDPs who file a California joint return treat itemized deductions that are subject to AGI limitations?Under current law RDPs combine their federal AGIs to determine limitations of credits and deductions that apply to their California return. FTB is exploring alternatives to the current law for AGI. For details of the alternatives being considered, see FTB's AGI Limitation Discussion paper.

Can FTB waive accuracy-related penalties for RDPs due to reasonable cause?Yes, but there are no special rules to grant waiver of penalties for RDPs. "Reasonable cause" is a standard exception to most penalties imposed under the Revenue and Taxation Code and the Internal Revenue Code. Generally, reasonable cause exists where the failure to comply occurs despite the exercise of ordinary business care and prudence.

Will FTB impose a penalty for underpayment of estimated tax for RDPs who filed a joint 2007 tax return?No, unless the exceptions that normally apply are not available. See estimated tax penalty exceptions.

Will RDPs need to update their Form DE-4, Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate?
Although revising the Form DE-4 is not required, RDPs may want to update their California filing status withholding allowances on Form DE-4 to avoid over or under withholding of California income taxes. Under withholding of taxes may result in penalties.

How should RDPs report on their married filing separate returns items such as community income, community deductions, and separate expenses paid with community property funds?
An RDP will use the same community property rules that apply to married individuals filing a separate return. RDPs may want to use a worksheet to record the division of community property shown on each return.

Do RDPs combine their federal itemized deductions that are not subject to limitations to arrive at their California itemized deductions before California adjustments?
Yes, to arrive at California itemized deductions RDPs filing a joint return would combine their federal itemized deductions that are not subject to limitations.

Have the mortgage interest rules for RDPs filing California returns changed?
Yes, now that the RDPs are treated as married individuals for California purposes the limitations applicable on a federal return for married individuals will limit your mortgage interest deduction on your California return. For more information about those limits see federal Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction.

How does SB 1827 impact sales of CA real property?
Beginning January 1, 2007, RDP's who sell or transfer jointly owned CA real property that will be reported on their 2007 or later tax return shall be treated as spouses for purposes of completing Form 593-B Real Estate Withholding Tax Statement. Therefore, Real Estate Escrow Persons may complete and provide RDP's with a combined Form 593-B listing both partners for the completed real estate transaction.

Can an RDP who files a California married filing joint return exclude up to $500,000 of capital gain on the sale of a principal residence?
Yes, if they meet the capital gain exclusion rules that apply to a married individual filing a joint return. For more information, see federal Publication 523, Selling Your Home.

Can an RDP who filed a joint return apply for relief under California's innocent spouse provisions?
Yes, California innocent spouse provisions apply to anyone who files a married filing joint return.

If a court orders termination of a registered domestic partnership and a California Family Law Court awards spousal support (alimony), what is the tax treatment of these payments?
If the payment satisfies the requirements under tax law for alimony, it would be deducted by the payor and included by the payee. However, federal treatment of these payments is uncertain.

If a court orders a termination of a registered domestic partnership and a California Family Law Court orders a division of mutually acquired property (acquired with separate and/or community funds), what are the tax considerations for a gift, sale, part gift, or part sale? Could anything qualify for IRC Section 1041 or R&TC Section 18031 treatment?
If the property transfer satisfies the requirements under California tax law, the treatment is the same as for a property transfer by a married individual. Federal treatment of these transactions is uncertain.

What California tax benefits are available for a registered domestic partner?
Effective January 1, 2002, several taxpayer benefits were extended to a taxpayer's domestic partner and the domestic partner's dependent(s) for medical expenses and health insurance benefits that occur on or after January 1, 2002. The benefits provided by Revenue and Taxation Code section 17021.7 include:

  • An exclusion from gross income for employer-provided accident and health insurance.

  • An exclusion from gross income for medical expense reimbursement if the expense was not previously deducted.

  • Medical expenses deductible as an itemized deduction.

  • Long-term health care insurance deductible as a medical expense.

  • A deduction by self-employed individuals for health insurance costs. The deduction may not exceed the net earnings from the trade or business in which the insurance plan is established.

Federal tax law does not allow the same benefits for domestic partners. These deductions are taken as an adjustment on the Schedule CA(540) or Schedule CA(540NR). For more information go to the State of California Franchise Tax Board Web Site.

If a registered domestic partnership was terminated before the end of the 2007 taxable year, will a former registered domestic partner (RDP) be liable for outstanding tax liabilities that the other former partner has with the Franchise Tax Board?
Under California tax law, the Franchise Tax Board cannot hold the former RDP personally liable for the tax liability of the other former RDP. The same rules apply in this situation as apply to a previously married person filing a single return. When a single return is filed, the individual filer is responsible only for his or her own tax liabilities and penalties

If an RDP files a separate return and failed to include an item of community income on the return which should have been included, are there any circumstances under which relief may be allowed if an assessment of tax is issued based on the failure to report that income on the separate return?
Similar to the treatment of community property issues for married couples, if the RDP establishes that he or she did not know or have reason to know of the unreported item of community property, and it would be inequitable to include that item in the RDP's gross income, then relief from tax liability for that item may be available under California law.

If a court with jurisdiction of a dissolution proceeding for a registered domestic partnership assigns a tax debt owing to the FTB to one of the partners, is the FTB bound by the court order?
The parties to a dissolution can stipulate to any payment arrangement of taxes that they wish, and the court could order one party to satisfy outstanding tax liabilities. However, the FTB is not generally bound by such a court order. There are some circumstances where the FTB will follow a court order revising tax liability between the parties to a dissolution proceeding. See FTB Form 705.



All information came directly from the State of California Franchise Tax Board Web Site.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Where Do the Top 2008 Presidential Candidates Stand on Gay and Lesbian Issues?

A good friend of mine asked me if I would blog about the 2008 presidential candidate's stance on GLBT issues. Since the elections seem to be weighing on many peoples minds lately, I decided to take on the task. However, since there are 5 major Democratic candidates and 7 major Republican ones, I decided to narrow my scope to the top 3 of the Democratic Party and the Top 4 of the Republican Party.

So let me introduce you to you our 7 players:
The top three Democratic candidates are: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards,

The Top Four Republican candidates are: Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Mike Huckabee.

The main GLBT issues/questions for this upcoming 2008 election are as follows:

  • Do the candidates Support or Oppose including sexual orientation and gender identity in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act?


  • Do the candidates Support or Oppose funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment through funding initiatives such as the Ryan White Act and the Early Treatment for HIV Act?


  • Do the candidates Support or Oppose doing away with “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell?”


  • Do the candidates Support or Oppose including sexual orientation and gender identity in hate crime legislation, especially Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2005?


  • Do the candidates Support or Oppose same-sex civil unions and/or domestic partnerships?


  • Do the candidates Support or Oppose same-sex marriage?


  • Do the candidates Support or Oppose same-sex couples adopting children?


  • Do the candidates Support or Oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman only?


Okay, so lets begin...

Starting with the Democrats:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Announced: 31 Sep. 2007
Age: 59
Occupation: Lawyer, U.S. Senator
Current Job / Position: Senator from New York
Residence: Chappaqua, NY
Hometown: Park Ridge, IL
Religion: United Methodist
Campaign Website







Hillary's stance on GLBT Issues:
  • Supports transgender-inclusive ENDA

  • Supports HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment

  • Supports lifting military ban

  • Supports transgender-inclusive hate crimes laws

  • Supports Civil Unions

  • Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

  • Opposes Federal Marriage Amendment

  • Supports Same-Sex Adoption


Sen. Barack Obama

Announced: 10 Feb. 2007
Age: 46
Occupation: Lawyer
Current Job / Position: Senator from Illinois
Residence: Chicago, IL
Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia; Honolulu, HI
Religion: United Church of Christ
Campaign Website





Barack's stance on GLBT Issues:
  • Supports transgender-inclusive ENDA

  • Supports HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment

  • Supports lifting military ban

  • Supports transgender-inclusive hate crimes laws

  • Supports Civil Unions

  • Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

  • Opposes Federal Marriage Amendment

  • Supports Same-Sex Adoption



Former Sen. John Edwards
Announced: 28 Dec. 2006
Age: 54
Occupation: Trial Lawyer (litigation record)
Current Job / Position: Trial Lawyer, Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity
Residence: Chapel Hill, NC
Hometown: Robbins, NC
Religion: Methodist
Campaign Website






John's stance on GLBT Issues:
  • Supports transgender-inclusive ENDA

  • Supports HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment

  • Supports lifting military ban

  • Supports transgender-inclusive hate crimes laws

  • Supports Civil Unions

  • Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

  • Opposes Federal Marriage Amendment

  • Supports Same-Sex Adoption


And now for the the Republican Candidates:

Former Mayor Rudolph W. "Rudy" Giuliani
Announced: 5 February 2007
Age: 63
Occupation: Lawyer
Current Job / Position: Businessman, Consultant
Residence: New York
Hometown: Brooklyn
Religion: Catholic
Campaign Website






Rudy's stance on GLBT Issues:
  • Unknown if he Supports transgender inclusive ENDA. (Supports sexual orientation inclusion, unclear about gender identity/transgender inclusion.)

  • Opposes HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment

  • Opposes lifting military ban (He said the issue should not be revisited during a time of war.)

  • Unknown if he supports transgender inclusive hate crimes laws. (Supports sexual orientation inclusion, unclear about gender identity/transgender inclusion.)

  • Supports Civil Unions

  • Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

  • Opposes Federal Marriage Amendment

  • Unknown if he supports Same-Sex Adoption



Former Governor Mitt Romney
Announced: 13 February 2007
Age: 60
Occupation: Businessman
Current Job / Position: Candidate
Residence: MA
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Religion: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
Campaign Website

Mitt's stance on GLBT Issues:
  • Opposes transgender-inclusive ENDA

  • Opposes HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment

  • Opposes lifting military ban

  • Opposes transgender-inclusive hate crimes laws (When Mitt Romney ran for Senate in 1994, he favored a federal nondiscrimination law for gays and lesbians, but after his term as Massachusetts governor, he now says he no longer favors nondiscrimination laws for gays and lesbians.)

  • Opposes Civil Unions

  • Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

  • Supports Federal Marriage Amendment

  • Opposes Same-Sex Adoption



Sen. John McCain
Announced: 28 February 2007
Age: 71
Occupation: Military Officer, Politician
Current Job / Position: Senator from Arizona
Residence: AZ
Hometown: Coco-Solo, Panama Canal Zone
Religion: Baptist
Campaign Website






John's stance on GLBT Issues:
  • Opposes transgender-inclusive ENDA

  • Opposes HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment

  • Opposes lifting military ban

  • Opposes transgender-inclusive hate crimes laws

  • Opposes Civil Unions

  • Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

  • Opposes Federal Marriage Amendment

  • Unknown if he supports or Opposes Same-Sex Adoption




Former Governor Mike Huckabee
Announced: 28 January 2007
Age: 52
Occupation: Businessman, Baptist Minister
Current Job / Position: Candidate
Residence: North Little Rock, AK
Hometown: Hope, AK
Religion: Southern Baptist
Campaign Website







Mike's stance on GLBT Issues:
  • Unknown if he Supports or Opposes transgender-inclusive ENDA

  • Unknown if he Supports or Opposes HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment

  • Opposes lifting military ban

  • Opposes transgender-inclusive hate crimes laws

  • Opposes Civil Unions

  • Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

  • Supports Federal Marriage Amendment

  • Unknown if he supports or Opposes Same-Sex Adoption



If your still confused about who to vote for, I found this great website that matches your own political positions with the Presidential candidate that most closely matches your views. You can find this site at www.2008smartselect.com.


Most of the information above was gathered from the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force's website, The Washington Post, and the individual candidate's websites.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

9 Bay Area State Parks Slated for Closure

Have you heard about this yet? I just received an email with the info and I found the following article at SF Gate.

Nine state parks in the Bay Area, including one that is the largest in Northern California, would be closed under the budget proposed today by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The parks, which would not close until the governor and Legislature agree on a spending plan sometime later this year, would be off-limits until the state's financial situation improves, officials said.

Money will be spent for patrols to keep people out of the closed parks, officials said.

Statewide, the governor has proposed closing 48 sites. For a map of all the parks picked for closure, go to links.sfgate.com/ZCAR.

The Bay Area parks slated for closure include:

  • Henry W. Coe State Park. This site covers more than 87,000 acres and includes 250 miles of hiking paths, making it the largest state park in Northern California. Located 13 miles east of Morgan Hill, it includes a 23,000-acre wilderness area and hosts several species, including mountain lions. Its high ridges and deep canyons make it a varied and rugged park. It was once home to the Ohlone Indians.
  • Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. This San Francisco park was a landfill during and after World War II, but public pressure prompted the Legislature to protect is as a bayfront park in 1977. The park was the first urban recreation area in the California and is still a popular spot for outdoor activities, including fishing, hiking, bicycling and picnicking. Birdwatchers also frequent the point, and a fitness course lines the popular shoreline. There is also a community garden in the park, and many cultural programs are hosted there. According to the state, the point was named for the abandoned ships that would often burn nearby during the 19th century, resembling candles.

  • Austin Creek State Recreation Area. Camping is available at this park located just north of Guerneville. Dotted by rolling hills and open grasslands, Austin Creek SRA has more than 20 miles of trails for backpacking and horseback riding.

  • Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve. Located next to Austin Creek SRA, this site on average gets 55 inches of rain a year. The site boasts coastal redwoods, as well as a visitor center, outdoor amphitheater, nature trails and picnic facilities. It is a dark, foggy, primeval forest.

  • Tomales Bay State Park in Inverness. Located 40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge and next to the Point Reyes National Seashore, Tomales State Park includes four beaches as well as forests, hills, meadows and marshes. A plethora of wildlife lives in the park, which was established in 1952 after a period of beachfront development led to fears that the wild coast would disappear.

  • Petaluma-Adobe State Historic Park. In the 1800s, this park was the main residence of Rancho Petaluma, run by General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. The park, located on the eastern side of Petaluma, still hosts the giant adobe building where Vallejo ran his much of his ranching business and has shaded picnic areas.

  • Portola-Redwood State Park. Located off Highway 35 west of Cupertino, the park is forested with coastal redwoods, oak trees and Douglas fir. It is also home to one of the tallest redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains, according to the state parks department.

  • Benicia Capitol State Historic Park. This Solano County city was the state's third capitol from 1853-54. The park protects the capitol building, the only pre-Sacramento capitol still standing. The inside of the old capitol has been restored with furniture from the period and a Ponderosa pine floor.

  • Benicia State Recreation Area. This park, which covers the waterfront and hillsides along the Carquinez Straight, is popular with horseback riders, walkers, bicyclists and anglers. People with campers are permitted to stay overnight in the park, which includes 2 1/2 miles of paths.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cheating Women. Why Do They Do It?

I received this article as a comment to one of my blog posts. Although it was totally unrelated to the post, I found it interesting enough to share with you anyway, so here you go.

Why do some women cheat? Can you stop cheating women? More women are choosing to cheat on their partners than ever before; Here are some of the reasons:

1. Revenge. Although you didn't sleep with someone else, you may as well have. You have broken her trust in some other way. Cheating women often sleep with someone else to pay you back for that dodgy investment or the lie she caught you out on. Apologize profusely and hopefully she will forgive you instead of joining the cheating women society.

2. Feeling unappreciated. Do you treat your wife or girlfriend like an unpaid nanny? Do you ever thank her for all those boring chores she does in and out of the house? What is she doing while you are playing golf? Housework? Minding the children? Seeing someone else? Cheating women often do so because they feel totally neglected at home. Show her you do appreciate her. Say thank you. Notice what has been done. Give her some help. Cheating women are looking for some appreciation and thanks.

3. The honeymoon is over. Another motivator for cheating women is that they are not getting enough sex at home. Once that sexual glow has gone and the sex becomes less frequent, cheating women look for it elsewhere. Try and put some time aside for sex. Go to bed early instead of falling asleep in front of the TV could be all you need to do.

4. Boring sex. Cheating women often say that it is the excitement of the affair that is the big attraction. Sex at home has become boring and routine. Try and put a spark back into your sex life so that your partner need not leave home to find sexual adventure. Cheating women love the thrill of the illicit affair.

5. Low self esteem. Having someone pay attention to you can really boost your ego. Cheating women are often looking for the flattery they are not getting at home. Pay your partner some attention, flatter her, and prevent her from becoming a cheating woman.

6. No intimacy. All women need to feel close to their loved ones. Cheating women have given up on getting it from their partners and are looking elsewhere. Hugs, kisses, massages, all will make her feel closer to you.

7. No emotional input. Women need you to talk about your emotions. You may think it is worse than going to the dentist. Cheating women are looking for the emotional feed back they are not getting at home. Cheating women can be prevented just by expressing your emotions.

8. You cheated first. Cheating women are often paying back their husband for his sexual infidelity. Sexual revenge is a huge motivator for cheating women. This kind of tit for tat is only going to hurt you both.

9. Sayonara. Some cheating women have already mentally left the relationship and are looking for the replacement. Emotionally, this cheating woman has already left you. She probably isn't planning on staying.

With some attention and flattery your partner need not join the lengthening list of cheating women.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year's Resolutions Anyone???

Everyone seems to have their own ideas and traditions for a New Year's resolution. My own tradition has been quite varied over the years. There have been times that I write down my goals and do my best to follow them (at least for the first few months). And on other years, I have thought about making some changes for the new year, but never really solidifying anything on paper.

So for 2008, since there are many things I would like to work on, I think I will try and focus on just a few:

  • Staying present

  • Listening compassionately, both to my own needs, as well as those of others

  • Keeping my relationship healthy, passionate and sexually interesting. (I know my GF is blushing right about now).


I also asked a few friends what their New Year's resolutions were for 2008 and this is what they came up with:

  1. I dislike the notion of "resolutions" on just one day of the year; trying to better oneself throughout a year should be the goal. that, and people are too unrealistic with their goals because they're biting off more than they can chew on that one day.

    The other, more pompous opinion? that you're good enough as you are, so you don't have a need for resolutions!!
    -Casey


  2. I don't really do resolutions but I know I want to try to be more relaxed this new 2008...whenever I start to stress...I'm just going to tell myself relax + I'm doing the restorative yoga and messages more frequent = excellent!
    -Ange

  3. My FIRST new year's resolution should be to finish Vol. 8 of Jane's World
    -Paige

  4. To be more accepting/tolerant/patient
    to have more fun (take things less seriously)
    to not get stressed out at myself or anyone on our wedding-ceremony day/weekend
    to be more mindful
    -Bee

  5. Well, as far as resolutions, (even though I hate to have them/make them), it was necessary for me this year. I will be "getting in shape" this year and make taking care of my physical health a priority for me. Actually when folks at work asked me what my resolution(s) were, I said, "more SEX, drugs, and rock 'n roll".
    -Jess

  6. NYE's resolution?????? humm? I tend to not do the whole "proclaiming" of resolutions, but... with that said, I do have a few things I would like to work on. And, those being.....

    1) To put make an earnest effort in pursuing a couple of avenues I am interested in.

    2) To learn how to quiet the mind & listen within....(spiritually)
    -Sam

  7. My resolution is to move back to Guerneville (to get away from the shadow of the ex) and get reconnected with friends.
    -CT

  8. Well my resolution is to finish losing weight and look good for the friends and family who haven't seen me in a long while. Another one is finding a great woman who will not only love me for me, but be supportive and understanding with any decision I make.
    -Chas

  9. I'm gonna be a bitch to everybody.... just like I was last year, and the year before, and the year before...LOL.
    -Leila


Whatever your New Years Resolution is for 2008, be good to yourself and remember the past is gone, the future is unknown and all you have is RIGHT NOW, so enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Laws for 2008

Every year there are a ton of new laws that come into effect on Jan. 1st, most of which none of us have never even heard of. I mean how can we be expected to keep up with all the laws when politicians like Governor Schwarzenegger sign 740 new ones for 2008? I guess I shouldn't complain too much, there are actually quite a few this year that will benefit many of us...even a few civil rights laws...

Here are just a few of the laws that come into effect this year:

California Auto/Driving Related Laws that take effect Jan 1, 2008

  • Smoking in Vehicles. SB 7 prohibits anyone from smoking a cigarette, a cigar, or a pipe in a vehicle, whether in motion or not, in which there is a minor. The smoker can be fined up to $100. Police can only cite for this violation in connection with a stop for a suspected violation of another driving offense.

  • School Zones. AB 321 will now allow local jurisdictions to adopt an ordinance establishing a speed limit of 15 miles per hour in a school zone. The 15-mph speed limit must be posted and applies up to 500 feet from the school. A 25-mph limit will apply at a distance of 500-1,000 feet from the school.

  • Key Codes. SB 1542 gives motorists a convenient and secure option for getting replacement keys when theirs have been lost, stolen, or damaged. Automakers must provide, at any time, the key codes necessary for a licensed and registered locksmith to make a replacement key for vehicles sold or leased in California on or after January 1, 2008. Exceptions include automakers that sell fewer than 2,500 vehicles annually, and manufacturers that make their own keys -- i.e. BMW and Mercedes-Benz -- who have until 2013 to comply with the law provided that, in the interim, they send a replacement key by overnight mail.

California Auto/Driving Related Laws that take effect July 1st, 2008:
  • Cell Phones and Driving. SB 1613 prohibits the use of handheld cellular telephones while driving. Starting July 1, 2008, an adult driver may use a cell phone only if it has a hands-free listening and speaking system. Drivers ticketed for a violation will be subject to a fine of at least $70 (base fine plus penalties) for a first offense and at least $175 (base fine plus penalties) for subsequent offenses.

  • Teen Drivers and Cell Phones. SB 33 prohibits drivers under age 18 from using any cell phone or other "mobile-service device" while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device.


Misc. California Laws

  • California Minimum Wage Law. The hourly pay will increase by 50 cents to $8 on Jan. 1, making them the second highest paid minimum wage workers in the country along with workers in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts minimum wage also will reach $8 an hour on Jan. 1, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

  • Gang Parenting. Courts could require the parents or guardians of gang members to attend parenting classes in attempt to prevent first-time juvenile offenders from committing additional crimes.

  • Illegal Immigrants. Legislation prevents cities and counties from requiring landlords to serve as surrogate border patrol agents by obtaining and reporting the immigration status of their tenants. The measure also prohibits ordinances preventing landlords from renting to illegal immigrants.

  • Gift Certificates. This law allows shoppers to cash in gift certificates that have less than $10 left in value. Consumer advocates say that will prevent stores from benefiting from an "undeserved bonanza" generated by unexhausted gift certificates that stores have refused to trade for cash.

  • The Civil Rights Act of 2007 (AB 14). The Unruh Civil Rights Act entitles all people in California to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges or services in all business establishments regardless of sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status or sexual orientation. This bill expands these protections to include a number of groups and individuals previously not specifically listed.

  • Name Change, Domestic Partnership and Marriage License (AB102)
    Requires the state Secretary of State to amend domestic partner registration forms to include an option for either or both parties to change their middle and/or last names. The Secretary of State, when preparing the Certificate of Registered Partnership, must include the name used by each party before registration and any new name(s).

  • Health Care and Whistleblower Protection (AB 632)
    This bill prohibits a health facility from discriminating or retaliating against any patient, employee, member of the facility's medical staff or any other health care worker of the facility because that person has (1) presented a grievance, complaint or report to an entity or agency responsible for accrediting or evaluating the facility or to any other governmental agency; or (2) has initiated, participated or cooperated in an investigation or administrative proceeding related to the quality of care, services or conditions at the facility.


New Hampshire's New Same Sex Union Law

  • As of Jan 1st, 2008, Lesbian and Gay couples can now apply for Same Sex Civil Unions.


New Oregon Laws

  • The Oregon Equality Act. Prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (including gender identity)

  • The Oregon Family Fairness Act. Establishes domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.

 

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