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because simon isn’t cool anymore.

Out-of-State Applicants Account for Nearly Half of All Iowa Same Sex Marriages

August 31, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Featured, LGBT News, Marriage Equality

IowaFlagYou may remember a short time ago, the U.S. Senate attached Hate Crimes legislation to a tourism promotion bill – prior to moving it over to the defense spending bill.  At that time, I wrote an article asking what sexual orientation/hate crimes and tourism have in common.  Well, now we have our answer.

Let’s face it, Iowa isn’t exactly the tourism capital of the United States.  In fact, it’s likely one of the last places mentioned when you ask someone where they would like to spend their summer vacation.  But now that same-sex marriage is recognized in Iowa, nearly half of all same-sex marriage licenses issued in the state between April and July 2009 have been to people who don’t live there.

Of the 676 same-sex couples [applying for marriage licenses], 312 couples weren’t from Iowa. They were from neighboring states. [via Iowa gay marriage drawing out-of-state couples – Kansas City Star.]

So, to the representatives of the states that want to boost tourism, instead of allowing gambling, building a brothel or launching a multi-million dollar marketing campaign this year, perhaps a little civil equality will do you well.

What Do Hate Crimes and Travel Promotion Have in Common?

June 15, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

HateCrimesTravelMaybe it’s just me, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what hate crimes and the promotion of tourism into the United States have to do with each other.  However, as is being reported via an “unnamed source” by way of the Washington Blade, Americablog and Pam’s House Blend, The United States Senate has, apparently, deemed adding the current Hate Crimes Bill (which passed the House as H.R. 1913) as an Amendment to S. 1023, also known as the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, proper.

The purpose of S. 1023 is “to establish a non-profit corporation to communicate United States entry policies and otherwise promote leisure, business, and scholarly travel to the United States.”


But this is, apparently, the bill which will get sexual orientation and gender identity included into existing federal hate crimes legislation – have gays, will travel.

As a very vocal advocate of Hate Crimes Legislation, I’ll be thrilled should the bill pass in any form; however, as Pam Spaulding wrote at Pam’s House Blend:

Sorry, folks, we’ll be elated to see the federal hate crimes bill succeed (and for the fundies to take a temporary bath), but there’s no way to mitigate the hate brief’s [Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss] damage to LGBT rights.

Well Pam, I think our knight in a shinning civil rights façade can mitigate the damages caused by the hate brief by: (1) withdrawing the Motion to Dismiss (which does not require legislative authority); (2) repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [DADT] or at least halting investigations and dismissals as a result of DADT (again without legislative authority); and (3) at minimal, proposing legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA].  Then maybe (just maybe) I’ll hammer the dents out of my Obama button, pull my Advocate Magazine with him on the cover out of the trash and say, “Damn, I was wrong, this man actually does have a little integrity.”  Now, if we add an Employer Non-Discrimination Act to that mix, I may just have to eat crow and give my first scientifically developed, genetically enhanced, super-brain child to Obama in retribution.