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Archive for the ‘Marriage Equality’

North Carolina Pollsters Complete Ballots with “YES” on Amendment 1

May 08, 2012 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Marriage Equality

Huffington Post and others have been reporting possible voter fraud in North Carolina, including ballots that exclude Amendment 1, which bans same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships.  This, however, takes the cake when it comes to intimidating voters:

I was given a ballot that was already filled out for Amendment One.  I made them give me a new one. – N. King

"I was given a ballot that was already filled out for Amendment One.  I made them give me a new one."

Speaker Boehner’s Office has Petitioners Arrested Violating 1st Amendment of Constitution

March 09, 2011 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Marriage Equality

Activists at John Boehner's OfficeToday, five activists from GetEQUAL Ohio, a direct action LGBT rights group associated with the national organization, GetEQUAL, were arrested while attempting to deliver a petition to Speaker of the House John Boehner at his office in Columbus.

The petition, which urged the Speaker to focus on job creation rather than using tax payer money to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), contained over 33,000 signatures.

Upon arriving at the office, the group was locked out and denied their First Amendment right to petition the government.  Not to be deterred in their representation of those who should be treated equally under the law, five members of GetEQUAL OH began reading the names of the petition signers in front of the office while others participated in a demonstration on the sidewalks.  Shortly thereafter, they were arrested for “trespassing” and removed from the premises.

Speaker Boehner sent a clear message with these arrests: the U.S. Constitution has no value to him, his office or our government.  It is undeniable that citizens of the United States have a right to petition their government.  Such right falls squarely within the First Amendment and is a fundamental right enjoyed by all Americans.  The right can be simply defined as “the right to present requests to the government without punishment or reprisal.  This right is guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution” (History Central, 1).

If Speaker Boehner is willing to violate the rights afforded within the “Bill of Rights” there is no reason he will not continue to deny the rights provided by the 14th Amendment, which is the portion of the Constitution that deems DOMA unconstitutional.

Call, write, email or visit (at your own risk) Boehner’s office and demand an immediate apology for continually violating the rights of Americans.  Tell him to focus on creating jobs as the Republicans promised instead of using tax payer money to defend unconstitutional government policies.

Those arrested include: Sean Watkins, Morgan Bonney, Jesse Bonney, Liz Mills and Karay Miller (pictured).

Today, five activists from GetEQUAL Ohio, a direct action LGBT rights group associated with the national organization, GetEQUAL, were arrested while attempting to deliver a petition to Speaker of the House John Boehner at his office in Columbus.

 

The petition, which urged the Speaker to focus on job creation rather than using tax payer money to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), contained over 33,000 signatures.

 

Upon arriving at the office, the group was locked out and denied their First Amendment right to petition the government. Not to be deterred in their representation of those who should be treated equally under the law, five members of GetEQUAL OH began reading the names of the petition signers in front of the office while others participated in a demonstration on the sidewalks. Shortly thereafter, they were arrested for “trespassing” and removed from the premises.

 

Speaker Boehner sent a clear message with these arrests: the U.S. Constitution has no value to him, his office or our government. It is undeniable that citizens of the United States have a right to petition their government. Such right falls squarely within the First Amendment and is a fundamental right enjoyed by all Americans. The right can be simply defined as “the right to present requests to the government without punishment or reprisal.  This right is guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution” (History Central, 1).

 

Today, five activists from GetEQUAL Ohio, a direct action LGBT rights group associated with the national organization, GetEQUAL, were arrested while attempting to deliver a petition to Speaker of the House John Boehner at his office in Columbus.

The petition, which urged the Speaker to focus on job creation rather than using tax payer money to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), contained over 33,000 signatures.

Upon arriving at the office, the group was locked out and denied their First Amendment right to petition the government.  Not to be deterred in their representation of those who should be treated equally under the law, five members of GetEQUAL OH began reading the names of the petition signers in front of the office while others participated in a demonstration on the sidewalks.  Shortly thereafter, they were arrested for “trespassing” and removed from the premises.

 

Speaker Boehner sent a clear message with these arrests: the U.S. Constitution has no value to him, his office or our government.  It is undeniable that citizens of the United States have a right to petition their government.  Such right falls squarely within the First Amendment and is a fundamental right enjoyed by all Americans.  The right can be simply defined as “the right to present requests to the government without punishment or reprisal.  This right is guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution” (History Central, 1).

If Speaker Boehner is willing to violate the rights afforded within the “Bill of Rights” there is no reason he will not continue to deny the rights provided by the 14th Amendment, which is the portion of the Constitution that deems DOMA unconstitutional.

Call, write, email or visit (at your own risk) Boehner’s office and demand an immediate apology for continually violating the rights of Americans.  Tell him to focus on creating jobs as the Republicans promised instead of using tax payer money to defend unconstitutional government policies.

If Speaker Boehner is willing to violate the rights afforded within the “Bill of Rights” there is no reason he will not continue to deny the rights provided by the 14th Amendment, which is the portion of the Constitution that deems DOMA unconstitutional.

 

Call, write, email or visit (at your own risk) Boehner’s office and demand an immediate apology for continually violating the rights of Americans. Tell him to focus on creating jobs as the Republicans promised instead of using tax payer money to defend unconstitutional government policies.

Your Representative’s View on DOMA – Mike Ross, Democrat, Arkansas.

February 28, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Your Reps on DOMA

Mike Ross - Opposition to Health Care Reform

Democrat Mike Ross also opposed Health Care Reform, leading many constitutents to post signs like this one.

From Arkansas Representative, Mike Ross, Democrat:

…please know that I support the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. In 1997, I joined my colleagues in the Arkansas State Legislature to enact two state laws that prohibit recognition of same-sex marriages in our state, and I voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment every time it has come before the United States House of Representatives for a vote.

On July 18, 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.J.RES.88, which would have created an amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring that marriage in the United States be only between a man and a woman.

I voted in favor of this amendment; however, it failed to receive the necessary two-thirds support to pass.

My strong belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman is among the family values that I was raised on and still believe in.  Please know I will continue to vote to ban gay marriage and only recognize marriage between one man and one woman, just as I have done many times before.

Legislating belief is a disgusting way to legislate.  How about we start legislating facts?  Agree?  Contact Mike Ross:

Mike Ross
2436 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3772
(800) 223-2220
(202) 225-1314 Fax
mike.ross@mail.house.gov

Texas Sees First *Legal* Same-Sex Wedding

October 11, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Marriage Equality

Marriage Celebration ProgramThe wedding between Mark Reed-Walkup, a provisional Board Member of the LGBT equality organization, GetEQUAL, and the “love of his life,” Dante Walkup, wasn’t the first wedding ceremony performed in Texas, but it was the first same-sex wedding performed on Texas’ soil which will have legal recognition.

The couple applied and received a “Certificate of Marriage” in Washington, D.C. back in May.  On October 10, 2010, Mark and Dante declared their love publicly to their friends and family in a small ceremony in Dallas, Texas.

As I took my seat in the ballroom, I began reading the wedding program.  “The Marriage Celebration of Thomas Mark Reed and Dante Karl Walkup” declared the program in a traditional fashion.  My heart swelled with joy for the very happy (and nervous) couple.  As I continued thumbing through the program, I quickly saw a difference between this wedding and those of heterosexual couples I have attended:

We Remember: Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Raymond Chase & the many other young LGBT lives who died due to suicide.  It does get better.

While weddings generally bring tears to my eyes, the tears are usually due to happiness for those celebrating their love.  In this instance, the tears were for the children we have lost before they had a chance to truly live.  Somehow, in spite of all the efforts of so many to make the world better for them, they lost hope.  I immediately thought of the words of Harvey Milk, “You’ve got to give them hope.”

As the wedding procession began, my tears continued to flow swelling with pride, joy, hope and even sorrow.  These amazing men were standing before me, declaring their love, declaring their devotion and declaring to all watching that “It does get better.”  This was no ordinary Texas wedding.

In order for Dante and Mark’s wedding to be legal in Washington, D.C., the ceremony had to be performed by an official authorized by the District to conduct weddings.

To overcome the jurisdictional issues, Mark and Dante arranged for the officiant to appear via Skype along with several witnesses in D.C., while the couple stood within the boundaries of their home state before their friends and family.

Mark and Dante have shown us that love endures and regardless of how hard people try to stop us, our love will carry us through.  It seems, after all, love does conquer hate.

On a more personal note to the newly weds:  Thank you for being a part of my life.  You have inspired me, pushed me and even carried me in more ways than you can possibly realize.  You have given me hope.

Anti-Equality Messiah, Maggie Gallagher, Wants Her Equal Protection and to Eat it Too!

June 17, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Marriage Equality

National Organization for Marriage - the Anti-Gay NOM NOM NOMAssuming yesterday’s closing arguments are any indication of which way Judge Walker will rule in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger Prop 8 case, it looks like an obvious victory for marriage equality advocates.  In a statement on the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage’s website the group’s messiah, Maggie Gallagher, seemed to admit this defeat, stating:

Americans have a right to vote for marriage. Ted Olson doesn’t seem to understand the argument, and judging from today’s exchanges neither does Judge Walker. I expect Judge Walker will overrule Prop 8.

But what makes marriage different from other things on which Americans don’t really have the right to vote, like for president in the landmark case, Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000)?  In that case, the Supreme Court negated the recount of votes (cast by Americans) which effectively secured the previously certified win of George W. Bush in Florida and gave him the necessary electoral votes to be President (like it or not).  Why was that ruling “ok” but a ruling to grant civil rights to a suspect class of people that were taken away by voters not “ok?”  I’m sure Attorney Cooper would answer with something about the natural creation of children – as that’s about all he could come up with in the closing arguments for any question posed by Judge Walker.

The real parallel of the two cases is the rationale used by the Supreme Court in determining George W. Bush was the winner.  In its decision, the Court declared, in part, that the method for recounting ballots used in Florida was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states, “no state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  That clause was included within the Constitution of the United States in an attempt to prevent violations of the well known standard, “all men are created equal.”  The Supreme Court decided that there was no “equal” standard for counting votes in Florida so votes in one county might be counted one way, while votes in another county might be counted another.  This logistical problem was enough to invalidate the right to vote based upon the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution (as least in the Court’s opinion at that time).

In the Prop 8 case, we clearly have a much more blatant violation of the Equal Protection Clause than we saw in Bush v. Gore.  There is no hypothetical “it might happen” in the Prop 8 debacle, there is an “it did happen and will continue to happen.”

Madonna Comes Out for Malawi Couple Sentenced to 14 Years Hard Labor

May 21, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Marriage Equality

I’ve been following the story of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga since their wedding day.  When the couple became the first men in Malawi to get “married,” they knew the risk they were taking.  Shortly after their ceremony, they were arrested and charged with public indecency.  On May 20, 2010, after being denied bail because it would be unsafe for the couple to return to society, the two were sentence to 14 years hard labor.

Madonna, who has adopted two children, Mercy and David, from Malawi, made a plea to the Malawi people:

I am shocked and saddened by the decision made today by the Malawian court, which sentenced two innocent men to prison. As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, color, religion, or sexual orientation,” Madonna said in a statement.

Today, Malawi took a giant step backward. The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved.

I call upon the progressive men and women of Malawi – and around the world – to challenge this decision in the name of human dignity and equal rights for all.

Increased Risk Factors Associated with Heterosexual Sex Supports Criminalizing Straight Sex

March 03, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, LGBT News, Marriage Equality

No Straight Sex: Heterocopulative Disease and the Ban on Straight SexOur country, and the entire world, is faced with a huge risk brought on by the actions of heterosexuals.  These sexually active persons, perhaps unwittingly, are placing our social and economic well-being behind their needs to get off.  In 1997, the International Journal of Epidemiology published a study regarding this horror afflicting heterosexuals titled, “Heterocopulative syndrome: clinico-pathologic correlation in 260 cases.”

The hazards of heterosexual behaviour have been well documented. They include, but are not limited to, unplanned pregnancies, penile and cervical cancer, vaginitis, a host of sexually transmitted diseases (some of them incurable or deadly), a disproportionate propensity to engage in child molestation, global overpopulation, socially oppressive gender roles, and more. A recurring pattern of these health disorders resulting from the union of the penis and vagina has been named heterocopulative syndrome.  — Heterocopulative syndrome: clinico-pathologic correlation in 260 cases. 1998. Scarce, M. Int J Epidemiol. 2002 Apr;31(2):498-9.

This study clearly illustrates the need for governments around the world to intervene and outlaw heterosexual copulation and marriage – at least if we follow the same false-logic of same-sex marriage opponents.

Barb White, a republican candidate for the congressional seat in Minnesota (District 5), expressed her opinion that gay marriage was dangerous because, amongst other ridiculous claims, homosexual sex results in “Gay Bowel Disease”.  That diagnosis is a frightening one, but what is “Gay Bowel Disease”.

In 1976, before we learned the lesson from Gay Related Immune Disease (“GRID”, now known as AIDS) that we should not label a disease to be exclusive to one group of people unless it really is, a group of researchers in New York studied 260 gay men and found that these men showed a higher rate of anorectal disorders such as hemorrhoids, polyps, nonspecific proctitis, anal fistula, perirectal abscess and anal fissure.  All of which can be found in heterosexuals as well.  However, due to the findings that such disorders seemed more frequent in gay men, the term “Gay Bowel Syndrome” began permeating medical literature of that time.   Under this same horrifying logic, it could further be argued that there is a “Pregnant Woman Bowel Disease” as pregnant women are at a significantly higher risk of hemorrhoids than are non-pregnant women.

Researcher and activist, Michael Scarce (author of the aforementioned Heterocopulative disease” paper) responded to Gay Bowel Syndrome in 1976 in an article published in the Journal of Homosexuality:

In 1976, a group of physicians in private proctologic practice in New York City coined the illness “Gay Bowel Syndrome” in reference to a constellation of gay male anorectal disorders. Through analysis of biomedical discourse and popular media, it is apparent that Gay Bowel Syndrome is an essentialized category of difference that is neither gay-specific, confined to the bowel, nor a syndrome. The use and diagnosis of Gay Bowel Syndrome must be abandoned before it further lends itself to the formation of social policies and governing practices that seek to force gay male bodies into positions of social, cultural, and political subordination. — Harbinger of plague: a bad case of gay bowel syndrome, Scarce, M., J Homosex. 1997;34(2):1-35.

Therefore, should we accept Barb’s argument that an increase in anal fissures is grounds for denying gay citizens equal rights, we must accept the same argument as to other citizens and immediately ban heterosexual copulation due to the increase health hazards and significant burden such behavior places on the health care system.

eMarriage License Proposal Could Change Geography of Same-Sex Marriage

December 14, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Featured, LGBT News, Marriage Equality

emarriageAdam Candeub and Mae Kuykendall are law professors at Michigan State University in Lansing.  The two have been researching an interesting new way for states to issue marriage license.  They’ve proposed that states allow people to apply for marriage licenses online, dubbing the proposal “eMarriage.”  Candeub told NPR:

What we’re arguing for is that states should formalize in their laws what they’ve always been doing in smaller degrees in specific areas, which is, allow people outside their states to use their laws.

The proposal would allow couples in any state the ability to go online and download their new marriage license from a state which recognizes same-sex marriage and prevent the unnecessary costs and expenses associated with same-sex marriage tourism.  In that, lies the problem for Christopher Diebel, founder of MyIowaGayWedding.com, and others using same-sex marriage laws in their states to corner the market. According to Mr. Diebel:

Those of us that are involved in that industry are certainly going to want to protect our investments and the business that comes to our state.  And frankly, we would all believe that our state deserves to have that income brought into it for being at the forefront of this fight and leading the way.

Same-sex marriage advocates have often invoked the argument at the state level that recognition of such marriages would result in a “tourism” market and bring additional income to the area.  The proposal by Candeub and Kuykendall, if successful, would effectively make the argument moot; however, the debate of the issue certainly lends credibility to the argument that same-sex marriage is a money maker for states.

The proposal is still being tweaked; however, according to Candeub and Kuykendall, it is gaining momentum.  The duo are prepared to advise any legislator about the process in an effort to “extract their state from the culture wars of same-sex marriage.”

The Little Engines that Wouldn’t – Courage Campaign and Lambda Legal Refuse to Fight.

December 01, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Featured, LGBT News, Marriage Equality

LittleEngineThatWouldntRick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign (Los Angeles), has announced that polling indicates that overturning Proposition 8 via a ballot measure in 2010 looks bad. According to the Courage Campaign sponsored polling, providing equal rights to all Americans is not supported financially, with strong leadership or with an edge in public opinion.

While the leadership problem could easily be solved if the Courage Campaign would step up and lead, that doesn’t seem to be in the organization’s plan.  Instead, they have given up on a 2010 ballot initiative preferring instead to waste the valuable human resources, passion and drive available to the organization after over a year of rallies, protests, marches and lobbying days.

But Courage Campaign isn’t alone in its criticism of the 2010 ballot initiative.  Lambda Legal declared that, although it will do anything to gain equal marriage rights for LGBT couples, it won’t support this effort.  Why?  Because a loss could “polarize voters” and “hurt and anger supporters of same-sex marriage.”

Well, this supporter of same-sex marriage is more hurt and angered by organizations unwillingness to fight.  The entire scenario smells like garbage to me.  It wreaks of “If it turns out they may actually win, we’ll throw our name in the basket and ride the glory to our next fund drive.

The coalition of various small organizations sponsored by Love, Honor, Cherish, known as Restore Equality 2010, is refusing to give up on their rights.  They intend to press forward in spite of the lack of support from the large, well-funded organizations and continue to seek out volunteers using social media outlets to help them gather the 1,000,000 signatures needed to put an overturn of Proposition 8 on the ballot.  Jo Hoenninger, chair of the interim Executive Committee for Restore Equality 2010, said:

This is a movement for equality. Harvey Milk didn’t wait for research. He hit the streets year after year. We honor his memory by gathering signatures now so our rights can be restored in 2010 not at some later time when it might be an easier struggle.

The end of the year is quickly approaching and with that will come the tax season.  As you consider which organizations deserve your hard earned money, consider which organizations are fighting the hardest, loudest and most resiliently for your rights.  Should your answer be Restore Equality 2010, here’s a link to make your contribution.

Restore Equality 2010: When They Fight, They Give Us Hope

November 16, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Headline, LGBT News, Marriage Equality

Restore Equality 2010Perseverance may will pay off in California next year.  Restore Equality 2010 officially launched its petition drive along with a social networking site, today.  The statewide group is a coalition of organizations committed to repealing the unconstitutional Proposition 8 which narrowly passed last November, damaging thousands of families in the state and destroying what could have been the election’s most prized lesson: prejudice and discrimination are a thing of America’s past.

Restore Equality 2010 has not been without critics, including some within the LGBT community.  Many large, well-funded state and national groups have taken the position that a 2010 ballot initiative won’t give organizations and activists enough time to prepare.  However, the passion, enthusiasm and promise of the people behind Restore Equality 2010 remind this blogger that “…there is hope that the system can work for all minorities if we fight. We’ve given them hope.” — Harvey Milk

According to Jeffrey Taylor, spokesperson for Restore Equality 2010, “This is the moment activists across our great state have been waiting for. Restore Equality 2010 is thrilled to mobilize in support of SignForEquality.com and Love Honor Cherish’s inspiring and unwavering stand for the immediate restoration of marriage equality in California.”

Proponents of the ballot initiative have until April 12, 2010 to gather approximately 1 million signatures.