Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
What's in a name? "that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet..."- William Shakespeare
The dictionary defines Marriage as the state of being united to a person in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.
The dictionary defines a Civil Union as the legal status that ensures to same-sex couples specified rights and responsibilities of married couples.
I often wonder if it is “the principle” that keeps us from getting what we really want, especially when it comes to same-sex marriage. Would it really be so terrible to have a Civil Union instead of a marriage, especially if it came with all the same legal benefits?
I realize that Marriage is more than just a word for many gay and Lesbian couples, it is the implied belief that with Marriage comes acceptance, not just from our family, but also from our church and society as a whole.
But do we really believe that by allowing Gay couples to marry that society’s negative beliefs about homosexuality will magically disappear? Perhaps it is a start, but so much more will need to be done before that idea comes to fruition, and at what cost? We have all heard the stories about partner's who are kept from each other during medical crisis, and benefits that are denied to gay and lesbian couples due to their unmarried status. Wouldn't it be better to have the legal rights and protection NOW, and worry about the name later?
Don't get me wrong, I would have loved if Proposition 8 was overturned and for California, as well as all states, to have recognized same-sex marriage. But the reality is, we have a long struggle in front of us, so why not change the rules a bit? If legally a Marriage is between a man and a women (at least in most states), then by changing the name from Marriage to Civil Union, do we not eliminate that entire argument?
When it comes down to it, you can call the joining of same-sex partners whatever you want, because in the end, it is truly about two people celebrating love, having a legally recognized commitment and having all the same rights and protections that are afforded to hetero-sexual couples.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Ap news reports that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Tuesday that it's only a matter of time before gay marriage is recognized in California.
I saw found this article online about the 8 toxic personalities to avoid and I thought I would share it with you.
by Brett Blumenthal - Sheer Balance
Although we like to think that the people in our lives are well-adjusted, happy, healthy minded individuals, we sometimes realize that it just isn't so. Personally, I've had moments where I'll be skipping through my day, happy as can be, thinking life is grand and BAM, I'll be blindsided by someone who manages to knock the happy wind out of my sails. Sometimes it is easy to write it off and other times, not so much.
Maybe you are a positive person, but when you are around a certain individual, you feel negative. Or, maybe you have an idealistic view of the world and when you are with certain people, you are made to feel silly, unrealistic or delusional. Or, maybe you pride yourself in being completely independent and in control of your life, but when you are around a certain family member, you regress into a state of childhood.
Some of these situations, and yes, these people, can have a tremendously negative impact on our lives. And, although we are all human and have our 'issues,' some 'issues' are quite frankly, toxic. They are toxic to our happiness. They are toxic to our mental outlook. They are toxic to our self-esteem. And they are toxic to our lives. They can suck the life out of us and even shorten our lifespan.
Here are the worst of the toxic personalities out there and how to spot them:
1. Manipulative Mary: These individuals are experts at manipulation tactics. Is a matter of fact, you may not even realize you have been manipulated until it is too late. These individuals figure out what your 'buttons' are, and push them to get what they want.
* Why they are toxic: These people have a way of eating away at your belief system and self-esteem. They find ways to make you do things that you don't necessarily want to do and before you know it, you lose your sense of identity, your personal priorities and your ability to see the reality of the situation. The world all of a sudden becomes centered around their needs and their priorities.
2. Narcissistic Nancy: These people have an extreme sense of self-importance and believe that the world revolves around them. They are often not as sly as the Manipulative Marys of the world, but instead, tend to be a bit overt about getting their needs met. You often want to say to them "It isn't always about you."
* Why they are toxic: They are solely focused on their needs, leaving your needs in the dust. You are left disappointed and unfulfilled. Further, they zap your energy by getting you to focus so much on them, that you have nothing left for yourself.
3. Debbie Downers: These people can't appreciate the positive in life. If you tell them that it is a beautiful day, they will tell you about the impending dreary forecast. If you tell them you aced a mid-term, they'll tell you about how difficult the final is going to be.
* Why they are toxic: They take the joy out of everything. Your rosy outlook on life continues to get squashed with negativity. Before you know it, their negativity consumes you and you start looking at things with gray colored glasses yourself.
4. Judgmental Jims: When you see things as cute and quirky, they see things as strange and unattractive. If you find people's unique perspectives refreshing, they find them 'wrong'. If you like someone's eclectic taste, they find it 'disturbing' or 'bad'.
* Why they are toxic: Judgmental people are much like Debbie Downers. In a world where freedom rings, judgment is sooo over. If the world was a homogeneous place, life would be pretty boring. Spending a lot of time with these types can inadvertently convert you into a judgmental person as well.
5. Dream Killing Keiths: Every time you have an idea, these people tell you why you can't do it. As you achieve, they try to pull you down. As you dream, they are the first to tell you it is impossible.
* Why they are toxic: These people are stuck in what is instead of what could be. Further, these individuals eat away at your self-esteem and your belief in yourself. Progress and change can only occur from doing new things and innovating, dreaming the impossible and reaching for the stars.
6. Insincere Illissas: You never quite feel that these people are being sincere. You tell a funny story, they give you a polite laugh. You feel depressed and sad and they give you a 'there, there' type response. You tell them you are excited about something and you get a very ho-hum response.
* Why they are toxic: People who aren't sincere or genuine build relationships on superficial criteria. This breeds shallow, meaningless relationships. When you are really in need of a friend, they won't be there. When you really need constructive criticism, they would rather tell you that you are great the way you are. When you need support, they would rather see you fail or make a fool of yourself.
7. Disrespectful Dannys: These people will say or do things at the most inappropriate times and in the most inappropriate ways. In essence, they are more subtle, grown up bullies. Maybe this person is a friend who you confided in and uses your secret against you. Maybe it is a family member who puts their busy-body nose into your affairs when it is none of their business. Or maybe, it is a colleague who says demeaning things to you.
* Why they are toxic: These people have no sense of boundaries and don't respect your feelings or, for that matter, your privacy. These people will cause you to feel frustrated and disrespected.
8. Never Enough Nellies: You can never give enough to these people to make them happy. They take you for granted and have unrealistic expectations of you. They find ways to continually fault you and never take responsibility for anything themselves.
* Why they are toxic: You will spend so much time trying to please them, that you will end up losing yourself in the process. They will require all of your time and energy, leaving you worn out and your own needs sacrificed.
All of these personalities have several things in common. 1) the more these people get away with their behavior, the more they will continue. 2) Unfortunately, most of these people don't see that what they do is wrong and as a result, talking to them about it will fall on deaf ears, leaving you wondering if you are the crazy one. 3) Most of these people get worse with age, making their impact on you stronger with time.
Frankly, life is too short to spend your time dealing with toxicity. If you can, avoid spending mucho time with people who are indicative of these behaviors and you'll feel a lot happier. Have you encountered these personalities? What have you done? Any personalities you would add?
What most of us expected, and dreaded, came true today. In a 6-1 ruling, the California Supreme Court made the decision today to uphold Proposition 8, the initiative that took away the right to marry from same-sex couples in California
However, on a more positive note, the court did rule that the 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place last year after the court’s previous ruling that gays and lesbians could not be denied the right to marry each other, would remain valid.
Although the immediate impact of the decision is on the status of marriage for same-sex couples, the real question for the court was deciding what kinds of changes to the Constitution make it an amendment, requiring only a simple majority vote of the electorate, and what make it a revision, requiring a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature and a simple majority vote of the people. By ruling that Prop 8 was truly an amendment, the court found the will of the majority (in California) is enough to strike down the rights of a minority because doing so does not change the fundamental nature of the governmental process.
However, LGBT activists believe that this interpretation of Proposition 8 takes away fundamental safeguards for all minority groups, showing another example of how the power of a majority over an underrepresented and historically oppressed minority can prove to be devastating.
So what happened to the words of our Constitution, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Do these words only apply to some? Are we really just second class citizens?
Well, the one thing I do know is that this is not the end of marriage equality in California. In 2010 there will be another initiative before California voters that will try again to overturn Prop 8. And with five states now allowing gay marriage, and more expected to join this year, it is only inevitable that same-sex marriage will become legal in California, it will just be a matter of time.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Last Monday evening, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann made the Republican Party chairman Michael Steele the main subject of his “WTF!?! Moment.” Olbermann did an amazing job of "smacking down" the GOP leader's newest theory about same-sex marriage costing small business owners too much money. In fact, Olbermann even offers a solution, he has his own idea for a Gay Marriage Stimulus Plan. This clip is definitely worth watching!
Friday, May 22, 2009
BY FLASH SILVERMOON
June begins unfettered by the grip of the Mercury retrograde cycle that put the kabosh on many May plans. This means that all the information, emotions. and shifts that were trying to move forward in May will hit their mark now and that could feel overwhelming in the beginning of the month. Forward motion can take as much getting used to as backwards at first.
With Jupiter, Neptune, and Chiron still holding hands at 26 degrees of Aquarius for most of the month, we will most likely be seeing more wild windy and rainy weather and the possibility of more airline problems and accidents.
Economically we could find ourselves leaning more towards inflation, however, an entrepreneur with a new and unusual idea could also do very well during these unpredictable times as people will also just want to find ways to feel good.
The Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 7 could offer some "interesting times" with Saturn in Virgo throwing a feeling of restraint against an otherwise festive time.
Venus and Mars both being in Taurus will not let our sensuality be denied as they do all that they can to "bring sexy back!"
If you are looking for a great time to initiate or find new love, June 21, the Summer Solstice should be such a time with Venus and Mars conjoined at 14 degrees of Taurus, which will be in harmonious aspect to Saturn, which means the good vibe could last.
Traditionally, this holiday does suggest that whomever you dream of on the night of the Summer Solstice will become your new love when the new day comes.
Wild card Uranus will be conjoining the asteroid Juno which can have a lot to do with marriage and partnership. This actually could be an excellent time to pass a Gay Marriage initiative because Uranus rules rebellion and non tradition. We shall see.
A new moon comes the day after Solstice too, so this should be a time of refreshing change as well all recharge our Sacred Fires and drink in the fragrant flowers drenched in morning dew.
ARIES - I can make little fires everywhere that I go. No need to have a huge bonfire. I am feeling like sampling the smorgasbord of life experiences rather than focusing on any one thing. I just need for others to understand my style for now so that no feelings get hurt.Sometimes I just need to only meet my own needs and now is one of those times.
TAURUS - I am getting some new honey colored satin sheets and a pantry full of gourmet finger foods. I feel a weekend in bed coming on and not a moment too soon. We don't need a whole lot of money to feel rich and luxuriate in each other's arms. Its all right here and we can take all the time in the world discovering every curve and sensuous ripple.
GEMINI - I finally feel like I can play a little. Some of the heavier transits are letting me breathe so of course I want to do everything, all at once and where to start? I haven't gone to my local coffee hang out for awhile to people watch and I think that it is high time that I live more into my social butterfly persona which has been locked in her cocoon for months. I must say the down time was good for me and I am lookin' really good for it too.
CANCER - I love the Summer Solstice and I feel like it is a time when I really come alive. I usually don't embrace change gracefully but right now I am feeling like some sweet change is just what the shaman ordered. My sacred waters heat up and its time to cook up some new inspiration. The songs in my soul need to be sung and the music of the spheres will come flying from my fingers.
LEO - Nothing quite so cosmic for me this time, I just want to feel the heat on my skin and warm myself in the afternoon sun.Sipping a sweet fruit drink at the beachfront with my mate would be perfection but even solo, the pleasure of feeling and being in my own body would be delicious as well as uplifting.
VIRGO - This may just be my month for some fun and respite. Old Saturn has been holding my feet to the fire all year but now Venus and Mars are gettin kind of earthy in Taurus and I do believe that it is my turn to fill up the dance card. Damn I have even been boring myself and that usually leads to bad choices so before I get reckless, I better make some party plans and schedule in a good time.
LIBRA - I feel like I am adrift on a very still lake. Everything is calm and peaceful but I don't want to be stuck out here either. I had been craving peace but solitude for a Libra is quite over rated. I like doing most things with another so I had best start swimming for shore or at least a pontoon boat with a party going on board.My creative juices are flowing yet sometimes a good Muse is needed to pull the work out of me.
SCORPIO - I am not new to the Laws of Attraction and I also know that sometimes opposites really do magnetize towards each other so I am looking forward to the Venus /Mars Conjunction in my opposite sign Taurus to draw something steamy and sensual to my boudoir to enjoy the summer heat.
SAGITTARIUS - I love gazing at the big picture and it can be mesmerizing but lately I am also taking great joy in the little things the every day kindness and thoughtfulness of those who truly care for me.Funds may not permit a big vacation to someplace exotic and far away but we can take a magic carpet all our own with the right music, poetry and something sublime.
CAPRICORN - It's the good thing that I love a challenge is all I have to say. Somebody decided that I should get a strong dose of work ethic and it really took. Now I would like to out source the damn thing to those who need more ambition preferably those that I work with who need to pick up their own slack. I am over it and yet I don't like to see my good work to be damaged by slackers.
AQUARIUS - I still have a whole lot of strange energy flying around me and it is really disorienting. One day it all makes perfect sense and I know exactly what I need to do next and then its all a big blur. One thing I do see is that I am getting a big review on all of my Sacred Cows and philosophies to see which ones still hold water.Most of the time I feel pretty inspired but my focus shifts like the sands.
PISCES - I am learning to not only roll with the changes but to jump high when the lightning strikes. I am no stranger to the unexpected but these days we are intimate friends. At this point nothing would surprise me too much however I would be ever so delighted by a pleasant surprise. Feels like a good time to reinvent and allow myself to be led by Spirit towards a more inspiring place.
MANY BLESSINGS FLASH SILVERMOON
The California Supreme Court has just announced that on on Tuesday, May 26, they will release their decision on the fate of Proposition 8.
As the Courage Campaign put it, "The court will either uphold the Constitution, recognizing equal protection under the law, or uphold discrimination, taking away fundamental civil rights from a minority."
If you would like to hear the courts decision as soon as it is released releases it, the Courage Campaign is offering an email alert service that you can sign up for at:
And please remember, on Saturday May 30th, at 1:00pm, no matter what the court decides,
thousands of marriage equality supporters from across California will "Meet in the Middle for Equality" to celebrate or protest the Supreme Court's ruling at Fresno City Hall.
Nearly 100 organizations are mobilizing members for this amazing event in the heartland of California. "Equality Express" buses are leaving from several locations across the state. If you don't already have a spot reserved, think about car pooling with your friends to Fresno. For more information you can check out their web site at: www.meetinthemiddle4equality.com
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Last week's decision by a Florida judge requires Florida to recognize the legality of gay and lesbian adoptions finalized in other states, regardless of whether or not Florida itself allows them. A Washington state lesbian couple originally adopted each other's biological child, then moved to Florida where they eventually split up.
When one mother, Kimberly Ryan, attempted to bar the other mother, Lara Embry, from seeing the child, the court system became involved. An initial Florida ruling gave Ryan the continued right to bar Embry from seeing the child based on Florida's laws barring same-sex parent adoption.
In the District Court of Appeals decisions, Judge Whatley said that Florida law specifically required adoption decrees from other states must be recognized in Florida. Regardless of whether the trial court believed that the Washington adoption violated a clearly established public policy in Florida, in the judge's opinion it was improper for the trial court to refuse to give the Washington judgment full faith and credit.
FOX News just released their most recent poll showing where Americans stand on the Issues. The poll included their views on everything from Guantanamo Bay to gun control to gay marriage. Here is how they stood on the issue of Same-sex marriage:
Even though the country continues to be divided on the issue of gay marriage, the number who think gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry is increasing.
About a third of Americans today believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to get legally married, up from 27 percent in June 2006 and 20 percent in March 2004.
On the other hand, 29 percent of the public think there should be no legal recognition given to gay and lesbian relationships, down from 40 percent in 2004.
The remaining one third (33 percent) think gays should be allowed a legal partnership similar to but not called marriage.
Nearly half of Democrats (46 percent) think gays and lesbians should be allowed to get legally married, while nearly half of Republicans (45 percent) think there should be no legal recognition.
Among those who attend religious services regularly, 23 percent believe gays should be allowed to marry legally, 31 percent support a legal partnership and 41 percent believe there should be no legal recognition.
For those who attend services rarely, 39 percent support legal marriage, 40 percent legal partnership and 16 percent no legal recognition.
Click here to find out where they stood on the other issues.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Cynthia Nixon and her partner of nearly six years, education activist Christine Marinoni, are finally tying the knot!
The Sex and the City star, 43, showed off her diamond engagement ring at the Love, Peace and Marriage Equality rally for gay rights in New York City Sunday. The event supported New York governor David Paterson's proposed bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
Nixon has said she would wed "if it became legal in New York. "I don't really want to get married to get married pretend. I think we'd like to do it in a real, actual, legal way that the state would recognize."
The actress is mom to Samantha, 12, and Charles, 6, from her prior relationship with English professor Danny Mozes.
HAVANA - President Raul Castro's daughter led hundreds of Cuban gays in a street dance Saturday to draw attention to gay rights on the island.
Participants formed a carnival-style conga line around two city blocks to the beat of drums, accompanied by costumed stilt-walkers. Events also included educational panels and presentations for books, magazines and CDs about gay rights and sexual diversity.
"We're calling on the Cuban people to participate ... so that the revolution can be deeper and include all the needs of the human being," said Mariela Castro, an outspoken gay rights advocate who directs Cuba's officially sanctioned Sex Education Center.
The communist government discriminated against homosexuals - even sending some to work camps - in the early years of the 1959 revolution led by Mariela Castro's uncle, Fidel. But tolerance of homosexuality on the island has grown in recent years.
Duan Mena, 29, said it was great to celebrate his homosexuality in public without fear of censure.
Author and LGBT rights activist Stephanie Silberstein has began a week-long series of online events as part of the first annual LGBT Suicide Prevention Week. Throughout the week, Facebook users are invited to change their profile pictures to honor those who have killed themselves, post blogs about their experiences, and spread the word that LGBT youth are at special risk for suicide.
Silberstein has wanted to do something to spread LGBT suicide awareness since learning that 30% of completed youth suicides are LGBT related. She chose the third week in May because this month is both Suicide Awareness Month and the month in which Harvey Milk was born. Milk was one of the first, and best-known, LGBT activists, having served on San Francisco’s City Council as an openly gay man for a year before his murder in 1978.
“Harvey Milk encouraged people to spread hope,” Silberstein explains. “I can think of no better gift to give him on what would have been his 79th birthday than to give hope back to LGBT teens and young adults.”
Although the event is only two days old so far, Silberstein is encouraged by its success. Out of 29 people signed up to participate in the event, six have changed their profile picture and several others have included links to the Trevor Project, an LGBT suicide prevention nonprofit, or Silberstein’s own suicide prevention site in their status lines. She expects more people to participate as the week goes on, and has planned several activities so that participants have a choice in how they want to approach the issue.
In addition to changing their profile pictures, users are welcome to share their personal stories via blogs or messages. Silberstein’s own blog on the subject, detailing her experience dealing with a suicidal friend as well as living as a non-heterosexual, has generated ten responses in several hours.
The week will culminate with an observance of Harvey Milk’s birthday on May 22, 2009. Participants are encouraged to craft their own event on this date and post pictures or videos to the event page on Facebook. Silberstein encourages participants to wear t-shirts or other items relating to suicide prevention as part of these events, in the hopes that it will encourage others to keep living.
For more information please visit: www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=73243764218
Friday, May 15, 2009
A recent poll by Quinnipiac University has revealed that New York State voters are split on the issue of same-sex marriage, with Black, 55+ voters and Catholics and Republicans opposed to the issue.
The Quinnipiac poll broke the issue down by a variety of demographics, here are some of the stats:
- Jews support same-sex marriage 61 to 34 percent.
- Catholics oppose same-sex marriage 53-39 percent.
- Protestants oppose it 55-38 percent.
- New York voters over the age of 55 are opposed to same-sex marriage 55 to 37 percent
- Voters between 35 and 54 support the measure 48 to 44 percent
- Voters between 18-34 support the measure 61 to 33 percent.
- Black voters oppose same-sex marriage 57-35
- Hispanics voters oppose the measure 48-45
- White voters favor the measure, 47-45
- Democrats support same-sex marriage 59 - 34 percent
- Republicans oppose it 68 - 24
- Independent voters were split with 46 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed.
The question of whether Gays and lesbians are born that way, 46 percent of New York State voters say they are, while 29 percent of New Yorkers say people choose their sexual orientation and 6 percent say it is decided by upbringing.
On the question of whether same-sex marriage is a threat to traditional marriage between a man and a woman, New York State voters reject the idea by 63 - 32 percent Voters in every racial and religious group, men and women reject the argument. Only Republicans were split 48 - 48 percent.
On the question of whether same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children, voters were in favor, 60 - 31 percent. Although black voters narrowly oppose gay adoption, whites, Hispanics, men and women and all religious groups support the measure.
On the question of whether ending discrimination against gay men and women is as important as the civil rights movement of the 1960s, New York State voters say 55 - 39 percent, with agreement among all racial, religious and age groups. Only Republicans disagree 50 - 44 percent.
On the question of whether denying same sex couples the right to marry is discrimination, voters agreed, but by a narrow margin of 49 - 46 percent. White voters were split 49 - 47 percent, while black voters say 48 - 44 percent that this is not discrimination.
Ninety-three percent of New York State voters say they are heterosexual, with 2 percent who say they are gay or lesbian and 1 percent who say they are bisexual.
Sixty-three percent of voters say they have friends or close relatives who are gay or lesbian.
From May 5 - 11, 2009, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,828 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 1.8 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
A big congratulations goes out to comedian Wanda Sykes and her wife Alex, who welcomed healthy twins last month.
Alex gave birth to Olivia Lou and Lucas Claude on April 27th. Olivia Lou weighed in at 6 lbs., 7 oz., and was 19-inches long. Lucas Claude weighed in at 7 lbs., 9 oz., and was 20-inches long. "All are happy and healthy and at home," says Sykes's rep Danica Smith.
Sykes, who stars in "The New Adventures of Old Christine," and her wife were married on Oct. 25, 2008, just a few weeks before California voters passed Proposition 8.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Despite the milestone of recently out lesbian and comedian Wanda Sykes opening up for the president at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner last Saturday night, it appears that both bloggers and Twitter fans alike are in tail spin over President Obama's "gay marriage joke."
So what is all the fuss about? Well here dialogue so you can decide for yourself:
“David Axelrod is here. You know, David and I have been together for a long time. I can still remember — I got to sort of , I tear up a little bit when I think back to that day that I called Ax so many years ago and said, you and I can do wonderful things together. And he said to me the same thing that partners all across America are saying to one another right now: ‘Let’s go to Iowa and make it official.’"
Despite the reference to the Iowa Supreme Court’s recent ruling allowing gay marriage, Obama and Axelrod actually did seal their "political marriage" in Iowa, where Obama won the 2008 caucuses and then went on to win the 2008 Democratic nomination last year.
So should we be offended by this jokes? Here is the video if you want to check it our for yourself. Obama's "gay joke" is at about the 4:20 mark.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
(CNN) -- Lawmakers voted in favor of same-sex marriage in New Hampshire and Maine on Wednesday, leaving Rhode Island as the only other New England state without legislation in favor of the issue.
Maine Gov. John Baldacci signed his state's same-sex marriage bill less than an hour after the legislature approved it.
"I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage," Baldacci, a Democrat, said in a statement released as he signed the bill.
But he raised the possibility that the citizens of the state would overturn the law, saying: "Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law, it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the state belongs to the people."
It was not immediately clear whether New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat who has questioned the need for such legislation, would sign the bill passed Wednesday by the legislature in his state. Lynch said last week he did not think the law is necessary because the state already recognizes civil unions.
If he does sign, his state will join New England neighbors Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts, which all have laws approving same-sex marriages. That would leave Rhode Island, which has same-sex marriage bills pending in its general assembly.
Iowa is the only other state that allows same-sex marriages, after the Iowa state Supreme Court ruled unanimously on April 3 that it is illegal to discriminate against same-sex couples by denying them the right to marry. The first gay marriages in the state took place April 27.
California's state Supreme Court issued a similar ruling in May 2008, after which some 18,000 gay and lesbian couples got married there. But California voters in November approved Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to ban gay marriage. See which states allow same-sex unions »
The state's high court heard arguments earlier this year about whether Proposition 8 was itself constitutional, but it has not yet issued a verdict.
New York Gov. David Paterson introduced legislation in April to make same-sex marriage legal in his state. A similar bill died in the state Senate in 2007.
The District of Columbia voted Tuesday to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, but does not itself give marriage licenses to gay or lesbian couples.
In New Hampshire, the House voted 178-167 in favor of the legislation Wednesday after the Senate approved an amended version of the House's original bill last week. The amended version distinguishes between civil and religious marriage. It allows each religion to decide whether to acknowledge same-sex marriage, but extends the option of civil marriage to any two individuals.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign, a gay and lesbian rights organization, praised Maine's new law.
"This law is simply about making sure that loving, committed couples, and their families, receive equal rights and responsibilities. This is a step that will strengthen Maine families," Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said in a written statement.
A slim majority of Americans are against legal recognition for same-sex marriage, CNN polling found last month. Fifty-four percent of adults questioned in an April 23-26 nationwide CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll said marriages between gay or lesbian couples should not be recognized as valid, while 44 percent said they should be considered legal.
But there was a huge gap between the opinions of younger and older people, with younger people far more likely to approve of gay marriage.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
This Thursday the California Supreme Court may rules on whether it intends to uphold Proposition 8, and if it does, whether the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages will remain valid, during a high-stakes televised session that has sparked plans for demonstrations throughout California.
Thousands are expected to descend Thursday on the San Francisco Civic Center to watch the hearing live on a giant outdoor screen, just steps from the courtroom where the justices will be prodding lawyers in a jammed courtroom.
By now, the court already has drafted a decision on the case, with an author and at least three other justices willing to sign it. Oral arguments sometimes result in changes to the draft, but rarely do they change the majority position. The ruling is due in 90 days.
Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who wrote the historic May 15, 2008, decision that gave same-sex couples the right to marry, will be the one to watch during the hearing because he is often in the majority and usually writes the rulings in the most controversial cases.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A lesbian couple will try to defy deep-rooted Russian homophobia next week in the first attempt at a gay marriage even though rights activists say it will be rejected outright.
Public relations worker Irina Fyet, 31, and her partner of the same age will apply for a marriage license at a register office on May 12 in Moscow, a city where mayor Yuri Luzhkov once described gay pride marches as "satanic."
Gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseyev said it was the first time a gay couple would apply for a license.
"I am 99 percent sure there will be a refusal, but maybe later the situation in Russia can change, the political feeling can change," he told Reuters on Wednesday.
The pair will most likely legally marry in the coming months in Toronto, or Norway, he added. Neither country requires residency for gay couples wishing to marry.
Activists say a loophole exists in Russian law which bans gay marriage at home but does not prevent the recognition of a same-sex marriage that has taken place abroad.
The Soviet Union banned homosexuality and any type of nudity on TV, and Russia did not decriminalize gay sex until 1993, two years after the USSR's collapse.
Unlike other major European cities, Moscow has no gay-friendly district and the homosexual scene is still largely underground.
Despite the fact that one of Russia's most popular musical groups abroad, Tatu, traded on their fictionalized lesbian image, same-sex couples are rarely seen being affectionate in public.
"They want to be able to live like other citizens, this is not (gay) propaganda," Alekseyev said of Fyet and her partner.
His website www.gayrussia.ru quotes Fyet as saying "Our love is no different (than others)."
Gay pride parades, unheard of in the days of the Soviet Union, have been allowed in some cities in recent years but are generally met with public and political derision.
Three years ago, police, militant Orthodox Christians and neo-fascists attacked and violently broke up the first gay rights march in Moscow.
Next week's Russian gay pride march will purposely coincide with Moscow's hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest and competitors will be asked to back homosexual rights on stage.
The Russian Orthodox Church, resurgent since the fall of the Soviet Union, has helped turn public sentiment against gay pride events, which the then head of the church, Patriarch Alexey II, has called "propaganda for homosexuality."
(Editing by Alison Williams)
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
On May 22nd, 2009, California's Great America and the producers of FRESH @ Ruby Skye and Energy 92.7 FM bring you the 11th annual Gay & Lesbian Night, a private party with rides, dancing and amazing entertainment. Park rides and attractions are open from 5 p.m. until Midnight, dancing continues until 2 a.m.
Entertainment for the evening will include:
Andy Bell, from Erasure, has been one of Britain’s best loved pop icons for 25 years. His powerful voice, bittersweet lyrics and flamboyant stage manner have earned him millions of fans around the world. As a performer, re-mixer, collaborator, solo artist and DJ, Andy is a byword for great music and feel-good attitude. Even in the face of personal and political adversity, he lights up the toughest of times with sunshine, passion and romantic optimism.
The Perry Twins are based in Los Angeles and have been dj'ing professionally since the late 90's. They have spun throughout the country at hot clubs, outrageous parties, pride festivals, and star-studded events. Originally from the east coast, Doug & Derek developed a passion for music at a very young age. They inherited their rhythm and love of performing from their parents who are in a rock band called "Fortune". Their Mom sings and Dad plays drums. The twins grew up dancing and playing music so it was no surprise when they decided to take on dj'ing, choreographing, dancing and remixing professionally.
Exposé - After the tremendous response of their first two singles, "Point of No Return" and "Exposed To Love", it was clear that an entirely new era of dance music was about to spread around the world. Some called it "The Miami Sound", others referred to it as Freestyle, 80's Dance, Dance/Pop. We knew them as Exposé and one thing was for certain...music would never be the same again. Exposé consisted of Jeanette Jurado, Gioia Bruno, and Ann Curless.
Born Mark Martinez, Flava has been dancing all his life. He began his career in Las Vegas performing in the Siegfried and Roy show, but it was during his time abroad dancing in Europe’s most infamous dance clubs, which allowed him to hone his skills and launch his notoriety as a performer.
Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway by storm! Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol'fashioned Tupperware Parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, FREE giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. Loaded with the most up-to-date products available for purchase, see for yourself how Ms. Longate became the #1 Tupperware seller in the U.S. & Canada as she educates her guests on the many alternative uses she has discovered for her plastic products!
Heklina is an American drag queen performer and personality as well as the co-founder, hostess and promoter of San Francisco's alternative drag show Trannyshack known for cutting edge drag and performance art. "Defying all expectations, Trannyshack incorporates everything from low brow trash to high brow performance art, and has become famous (or, infamous) worldwide as the quintessential San Francisco experience."
Joshua Klipp is a transgender singer and hip hop dancer. In 2008 he hit the Billboard Charts with his Jamie J. Sanchez remix, “L1FE”, hosted MTV LOGO’s “New Now Next”, and lit up Pride festivals from Stockholm to San Francisco . His first music video, "Rescue Me" was shot and directed by comedienne Margaret Cho. Josh's history making song, "Little Girl" was featured in Season 4 of Showtime’s “The L Word”. Josh works with openly gay producer Kristopher Cloud and is artistic director of freeplay dance crew. For more info on Joshua Klipp visit www.myspace.com/cutelittlewhiteguy.
Freeplay Dance Crew is a group of LGBT and non-LGBT dancers whose composition and creative expression reflect the diversity of its members and its local community.
Soul Con is an innovative dance group known throughout the Bay Area for embracing the evolution of hip hop. With an eclectic style of music and choreography that stands out amongst the crowd, they have come a very long way since starting out in 2005.
Desi is an award winning choreographer, dancer, producer, director and noted photographer, Desi can now add recording artist to his list of credentials. Desi began recording in 2004 under the production team of Deron Reed and Tackett Productions out of LA. His first two songs, About You” and “Down On You” were both featured on the movie soundtrack “A Chosen Life.”
For more information you can check out the Gay Day Great America Website.
I am sure most of you are familiar with the popular Energy Drink Rockstar, but did you know that the founder, Michael Savage (aka Michael Weiner), is a radical homophobe who has made openly hateful comments about homosexuals, hispanics, Islam and even autistic children? In fact, his comments have been so completely outrageous that the UK has banned him from entering their country for fostering extremism or hatred.
Here are some highlights of comments made by Michael Savage over the past few years:
"Oh, so you're one of those sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig, how's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig? You got nothing better to do than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You got nothing better to do today. Go eat a sausage, and choke on it. Get trichinosis. Now do we have another nice caller here who's busy because he didn't have a nice night in the bathhouse who's angry at me today? Put another, put another sodomite on....no more calls? I don't care about these bums; they mean nothing to me. They're all sausages."
Source - Democracy Now!
ON RACISM: Savage has said that he believes that European Americans are being erased from America and that he doesn't believe that a non-white majority would treat a white minority as "fairly as non-whites are treated today."
Source - Media Matters
ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE: On his February 26, 2007 broadcast, Savage commented on Melissa Etheridge's acceptance speech for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, in which she thanked her long time partner Tammy Lynn Michaels, with whom she has raised two children. He said, "I don't like a woman married to a woman. It makes me want to puke...I want to vomit when I hear it. I think it's child abuse."
Source - Media Matters for America
ON TRANSGENDER: On his March 20, 2007 Savage Nation talk show, he referred to a transgender murder victim as a "freak" and a "psychopath," stating that the victim "should have been in a back ward in a strait jacket for years, howling on major medication... What's this sympathy, constant sympathy for sexually confused people? Why should we have constant sympathy for people who are freaks in every society? I didn't say hurt the freaks. I didn't say do anything to the freaks. But you know what? You're never gonna make me respect the freak. I don't want to respect the freak. The freak ought to be glad that they're allowed to walk around without begging for something."
Source - Wikipedia - Michael Savage
ON MUSLIMS: In April 2006, " Intelligent people, wealthy people... are very depressed by the weakness that America is showing to these psychotics in the Muslim world. They say, "Oh, there's a billion of them." I said, "So, kill 100 million of them; then there'd be 900 million of them." I mean... would you rather us die than them?... Would you rather we disappear or we die? Or would you rather they disappear and they die? Because you're going to have to make that choice sooner rather than later. "
Source - Media Matters for America
General views and thoughts: On the air, he says that Latinos "breed like rabbits." He explains that civil rights are a "racket" that is "used to steal only from the white male -- no one else pays the price." He is worried about "degenerates on the left who want to sell Americans on the idea that homosexuality, bisexuality, trans-sexuality, even sex with animals is normal." He demonizes pot smokers, refers to third-world nations as "turd world nations", and strongly opposes abortion.
In 1996 Savage founded the Paul Revere Society with his son Russell to protest illegal immigration. The organization boasts 4,000 members.
Source - Metro Active
On June 5th, 2006, The Paul Revere Society was stripped of its tax-exempt status by the IRS.
Source - Irs.gov
And Michael isn't the only one on the payroll that has these hateful views. Michael Savage's son, Russ Weiner, Rockstar's CEO, also has a history of anti-LGBT comments. At a Rockstar-sponsored concert last year, Weiner warmed up the crowd by chanting: "Who's heterosexual and proud?! If you aren't, hopefully you will be soon!"
A website called The Truth About Rockstar has exposed the truth about the popular Energy Drink's founder and has even created a petition to boycott Rockstar Energy Drink on the basis that the family behind it openly supports hate and intolerance based on sexual orientation, nationality, religion and gender.
Hopefully this information will make you think twice about purchasing a Rockstar Energy Drink. Spread the truth and drink something different.
By Susan Adams, Founder of Lavender Liaisons
After decades of matchmaking experience, and years of living and loving within Our Community, I have found the secrets to successful, functional, monogamous lesbian relationships.
Begin by stating your honest relationship intentions. If you truly crave a monogamous relationship, then say so, and let your actions reflect your desires. It's duplicitous and hurtful to say you want monogamy and then date a different woman nightly, or spend your weekends in a singles bar. If you desire diversity in dating, state that as well. Be honest about your intentions regarding yourself and your partner.
Resist the sex dance until further exploration! Discover each other slowly and determine your compatibility, before getting swept away by sensuality. The more cautious your approach, the better your chances of a successful, long-term, monogamous relationship.
Develop exceptional communication and negotiation skills. A relationship is all about enjoyable compromise. Learn to ask for what you want! As women, so many of us get stuck 'giving and hoping' and don't relax and receive love. Others become self-consumed and believe that as long as their needs are being met, then all is fine with their partners—which is not typically the case. Learn to ask the right questions to determine that your partner is getting her needs met too. Compromise and communicate.
Outline your deal breakers from the beginning and discuss them. The most common are: drug or alcohol abuse, infidelity, jealousy, trust issues, and controlling behavior which is also a by-product of trust issues. Determine your own list of deal breakers. What do you absolutely need in a relationship and what will you not tolerate? Make your list, discuss it and stick to it.
Let go of your painful past. Don't carry your war wounds into your new relationship. We all have baggage, everyone does, if you say you don't, then you haven't lived. Dragging yesterday's pain into today's relationship could be toxic. Give your new relationship a chance! Don't sabotage it before it blossoms.
Overcome jealousy and insecurity. Jealousy is a by-product of insecurity. Some of us are more secure than others. If your new partner is insecure then take the time to discuss this and reassure her. Jealousy will poison any healthy relationship. It tells your partner "You don't trust me." How can you build a relationship without mutual trust?
Another important factor in lesbian compatibility is type alignment. How do you define yourself? Are you a hardcore butch or butch-lite? Lipstick femme, sporty femme or androgynous? Or do you prefer not to be typed? Discover who you are, and who attracts you, and then align yourself with your compatible counterpart. Have that honest conversation at the beginning of the relationship and save months of struggle and ultimate heartache by trying to align incompatibilities.
With many lesbians, the initial approach is the most difficult. How do you approach someone attractive and risk rejection? Some of you are shy. For others, it's too uncomfortable—the fear of rejection is daunting and you don't try. Or you keep choosing the same type of woman—the type that is not healthy for the long term.
Once you are provided with an exciting introduction, or muster up the courage to introduce yourself, make the most of it!
Now that you know the secrets, utilize them! Ensure compatibility, state your honest intentions, resist the initial sex dance, communicate and compromise, don't tolerate jealousy, alcoholism or drug abuse. Leave your painful past behind, discover yourself and align with your most compatible companion. Then embrace her, enjoy her, love her and she'll adore and love you!
About the Author
Susan Adams, founder and CEO of Lavender Liaisons has 20 years of matchmaking experience. Having successfully arranged a host of marriages and hundreds of relationships, Susan's experience and personalized approach has made Lavender Liaisons the most flourishing lesbian matchmaking company in the San Francisco Bay Area.
She created it with the vision, and the goal, to reinvent the common practice of matchmaking, and cater it to the lesbian community. Her service is dedicated to women of courage, caliber, and commitment. Lavender Liaisons is a customized personalized service whose mission is to provide lesbians with a safe place to share their stories, be understood, celebrate each other and fall in love. www.lavenderliaisons.com
Monday, May 4, 2009
It may be surprising for some to hear that Howard Stern is a supporter of Gay Marriage, as well as gay rights in general. I have never been much of a Howard Stern fan, but I have to admit, it is nice to know that he is on our side when it comes to this issue. This video is from a radio broadcast last Wednesday, April 29th. If you don't want to watch the video, the conversation is typed out below.
Howard: I was talking to someone recently and they said, 'Oh you have so many gay guests lately, the show is getting too gay.'
OK -- first of all, we don't have that many gay guests. And my feeling about gay people is that we have a responsibility not only to make gay marriage acceptable and to make gays feel as accepted as heterosexuals, but that we have to hold gay people above all others.
Robin: What the hell does that mean?
Howard: In other words, gay people are downtrodden. They're beaten and abused for their sexuality. And it goes across race – it's in the white community and the black community. Gay people are the bastards of the world. And in order for things to change – because anyone of you could have gay children, gay relatives or gay friends –
Robin: And in some countries, you can be put to death for being gay.
Howard: Yes. You know, it reminds [me] almost of the Jews in Europe. In Poland, Warsaw was one of the great cities of Europe. They had Jews and the Jews were very important to the culture of Poland, and elevated the society. And then when the Nazis came and cleaned them out, Poland became what is today – nothing. It's really…not much.
Now, gay people in our society are responsible for some of the most creative arts, and creative science – and not just the Arts, because I don't want this to sound like a cliché. What I'm saying is that they're contributors, they are people who want to thrive and they're artistic and they're free thinkers.
So I think we have a responsibility to make [gays] acceptable. We have to get past all this bullshit, so that some gay kid going to high school doesn’t get the shit beat out of him just because he's gay. And like, what is this hang up with gay marriage, you know? Who cares?!
I mean, we aired a clip yesterday where this guy was carrying on – he's petitioning, and he's devoting his whole life to making sure that gay marriage doesn't happen in his state. And I'm thinking, 'Geez, this man must have the most empty fucking life.' It's just such bullshit.
If you want to believe in God, that's great. But don’t buy into these religions that were created by man that have all these cockamamie rules that were created by some uptight douche bag.
Artie Lange: And God created gay people, so I don’t know what these religious nuts are even talking about. Look, you can become a Nazi and you could be mad at them for doing that. But you're not born a Nazi. Every type of person was created by God, so you love them and accept them. Some people think it’s a choice, being gay, but I really don’t think so. I mean, why would you choose to be downtrodden?
Robin: Why would you choose to get the shit kicked out of you?
Last week the California Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that allowed a private religious school to expel two teenage girls for having an alleged lesbian relationship.
The girls were juniors at California Lutheran High School when their principal, Gregory Bork, called them to his office in September 2005 and questioned them separately about their sexual orientation, after another student reported postings on their MySpace pages. He then suspended them based on their answers, and the school's directors expelled them a month later stating they were exhibiting “a bond of intimacy” that was “characteristic of a lesbian relationship.”The teens parents initially sued the Riverside County school, based on the Unruh Act, a 1959 state law that forbids discrimination by businesses that was amended in 2005 to include bias based on sexual orientation, as well as someone else's perception of sexual orientation.
In January, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in San Bernardino said the school is not a business, but a social organization entitled to follow its principles. The ruling relied on a 1998 California Supreme Court decision that allowed the Boy Scouts to exclude gays and atheists. The Boy Scouts of America, which had faced similar discrimination charges, did not have to comply with the state's anti-discrimination law because it was a social organization.
Advocates for religious freedom called it "the right decision," however, the teen's attorney, Mike Grace, said he fears the decision could open the door for more religious discrimination.
Los Angeles Times
Friday, May 1, 2009
I was reading an article this morning on onenewsnow.com about how Diane Feinstein has just introduced an emergency immigration bill on behalf of a lesbian immigrant to keep her from being deported. I found it interesting and thought I would share it with you.
Emergency legislation favors lesbian in U.S. illegally
By Chad Groening
A pro-family activist says it is "ridiculous" that California Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced legislation designed to help an illegal alien who is a lesbian remain in the U.S.
The case involves 43-year-old Philippines national Shirley Tan, who came to the United States on a visitor's visa in 1989. She overstayed that visa and has been living in a lesbian relationship with a naturalized citizen in Pacifica, California.
Immigration authorities have ordered her to leave the country, but at the urging of homosexual rights groups Senator Diane Feinstein (D-California) intervened, arguing that if Tan's homosexual partner was a man, they could marry, and she could be eligible for residency.
Feinstein has now introduced an emergency immigration bill on behalf of Tan. That means Tan cannot be deported unless Congress votes down the legislation or it is allowed to expire without being reintroduced.
Peter LaBarbera, founder and president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, sees this as another attempt at gaining special rights for homosexuals.
"We don't need to start providing government benefits and special treatment to relationships based on homosexuality, which many people regard as a sin," says LaBarbera. "I think this is an egregious example of special rights for homosexuals."
The pro-family activist contends that homosexuals and their supporters are using this case to push for the passage of the Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 1024), which would give homosexual Americans the right to sponsor foreign-born partners for residency.
"This is a ridiculous piece of legislation," exclaims LaBarbera. "Americans are already concerned over illegal immigration. I don't think most Americans want to give incentives to bring more homosexual activists into the country, which is what this case embodies."
In the meantime, if Congress approves Feinstein's bill Tan would have two years to apply for a new visa or permanent residency.