Archive for the ‘Marriage Equality’ Category

>Headed toward marriage equality

July 9, 2010

>Yesterday was a banner day for equality, and two stories in The Birmingham News reflect this.

On the front page is the story about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voting to allow non-celibate gays to serve as clergy.

Actually what they voted for was to evaluate candidates on the basis of “calling, gifts, preparation and suitability.”

There is no mention of sexual orientation or sexual ethics in the proposed language.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is the nations 10th largest Christian church in the United States, with 2.8 million members.

A majority of the church’s 173 U. S. presbyteries still must approve the policy change. Two years ago, 94 presbyteries voted against the change.

Here is the news as reported on the church web site.

The church did, however, vote to retain their discriminatory definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

But progress is slow, especially in churches, so let’s celebrate this small (huge) victory.

In an unrelated action (but related to yesterday’s post), the Presbyterian assembly voted to “refrain from holding national meetings in states where travel by immigrant Presbyterians or Presbyterians of color might subject them to harassment due to legislation.”

Good for them!

In other marriage related news, and probably the biggest story, is that a federal court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The ruling only applies to Massachusetts, which challenged DOMA on the basis that it forced discrimination on the state’s same sex married couples. But it gives encouragement to other states that permit same-sex marriage, and gives heart to the LGBT community at large.

It is unclear as to whether the ruling will be appealed. The U. S. Justice Department would file the appeal, but President Obama has stated that the law is discriminatory and wants it overturned. So let’s just see how that plays out.

Here is the DOMA decision. You can click on “full screen” to read the entire thing.

DOMA Decision http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=34110077&access_key=key-20k996gvfbzrlqztjk2q&page=1&viewMode=list

Here are reactions from pro-equality organizations.

Equality opponents are blaming SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan (who filed a brief in the case for upholding DOMA when she was solicitor general) for deliberately sabotaging the case.

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>Levi Update and Flag of Equal Marriage

July 7, 2009

>Someone said I have been “curiously silent” in covering the Michael Jackson circus. I’ve just been watching the media (and the public) make a fool of itself and was especially amused when on CNN some anchor type led a discussion as to whether the media was devoting too much time to the story and making the claim that their 32 seconds of Iraq coverage was balance.

But I do wonder, is the interest in today’s memorial service that people are showing based on some kind of true connection, or is it just that they want to be part of a phenomenon or what? I mean, if Michael Jackson (or Elvis) unleashes the kind of response we are seeing among people who do not really know the man, then it seems that something is really missing in their lives. I mean, he’s filling a void that should really be filled by something else.

OK, that’s my take.

Levi Johnston is trying to return to normal life, after visiting New York (“I don’t like New York. There’s too many people.“)

He gets to see son Tripp a few times a week and plans a book because “there are still many untold stories about the Palins,” according to his bodyguard and publicist, Tank Jones.

Photo from GQ

Levi is probably the only sane one of the bunch and my former criticism of him had more to do with his association with Sarah Palin than him being a self described “F*ckin’ redneck.” I mean, we deal with “f*ckin’ rednecks” on a daily basis down here. And apparently his attitude toward children has changed (fatherhood does that), so maybe he listened to me.

This is pretty neat. The Flag of Equal Marriage.

They are adding a star to represent each state that assumes marriage equality. The stars represent the states in order of admittance to the union, beginning in the top left corner. On the most recent flag the stars are: Massachusetts – #6 – May 17, 2004, Connecticut – #5 – Nov 12, 2008, Iowa – #29 – Apr 24, 2009, Vermont – #14 – Sep 1, 2009, Maine – #23 – Sep 14, 2009, New Hampshire – #9 – Jan 1, 2010.

If the flag had been around in 2008 we would have seen California’s star (#31) light up and go dark again during that year.

It might be a long time before Alabama’s star is lit, but we are #22, and would appear just before Maine.

We want the flag of equal marriage to be complete, with all 50 stars lit up. We see three ways equal marriage, as we define it, could be achieved:

  • Every individual state could pass a law allowing same-sex marriage.
  • The federal government could repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and allow same-sex marriage at the federal level, overriding all state-level bans.
  • The term “marriage” could be removed from state and/or federal laws, turning all “marriages” into civil unions in the eyes of the government. PLUS, same-sex civil unions would need to be recognized in all 50 states or at the federal level.

Our protest flag helps you track our progress toward completion of one of these three goals.