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Whew! I've certainly had politics on the brain today. Anyhoo, here's the latest updates in the gay marriage struggle:

Developments on Gay - Marriage Issue
Published: February 27, 2004
Filed at 9:04 p.m. ET

A look at developments Friday on the issue of gay marriage:

-- California Attorney General Bill Lockyer asked the state Supreme Court to immediately stop San Francisco from conducting gay weddings and nullify the nearly 3,500 such marriages already performed. The court declined, but told the city and a conservative group that opposes gay marriages to file new legal briefs by March 5.

-- In New Paltz, N.Y., Mayor Jason West conducted wedding ceremonies for 25 gay couples, giving them certificates but not marriage licenses. The state Health Department called on Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to seek an injunction to stop the weddings, but he refused, saying such a move should be taken only as a last resort. Spitzer did not issue an opinion on whether the marriages were legal.

-- More than 30 gay couples in Iowa City, Iowa, were denied marriage licenses by an openly lesbian county official who said she must uphold the law.

-- In Idaho, a state Senate committee voted 5-4 to kill a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have banned same-sex marriages. ``If I thought for one minute that this would threaten marriage in Idaho, I would vote for it,'' said Sen. Brad Little, one of three Republicans to reject the measure. ``The sanctity of marriage is not under attack in Idaho.''

-- The Social Security Administration has told its offices nationwide not to accept marriage certificates from San Francisco as proof of identification for newlyweds looking to make name changes on Social Security cards.

Some disagree this is a civil rights issue, but...

"In interviews with more than a dozen black legislators, most were reluctant to characterize their position as a stand against discrimination. Like many of those who oppose a constitutional ban, Representative Earnest Williams of Stone Mountain said comparisons between the struggle for black civil rights and the pursuit of gay marriage were disingenuous.

" 'You just can't equate sexual orientation to racial discrimination,' Mr. Williams said. 'You can make a choice of who you want in your bedroom, but you can't choose your skin color.'

"Even so, some who oppose gay marriage "” and opposition on that point was nearly unanimous "” said the idea of amending the Constitution to restrict the aspirations of a group of people was troubling. Representative Georganna Sinkfield of Atlanta cited previous state laws that upheld slavery, curtailed voting rights and outlawed marriage between blacks and whites.

" 'What I see in this is hate,' Ms. Sinkfield said, standing outside the ornate House chambers between votes. 'I'm a Christian, but if we put this in the Constitution, what's next? People with dark hair? You're opening the floodgates for people to promote their own prejudice.'

"For the most part, black elected officials, at least publicly, have portrayed their opposition as a matter of political pragmatism. Conservative Republicans, they say, are using the issue as a wedge between Democrats and rural whites, and as a way to send religious conservatives to the voting booths in November.

" 'This whole thing is designed to whip up a frenzy to get people to the polls,' said Senator Ed Harbison, chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. 'We have to see this for what it really is. ' "
Nicholas D. Kristof does it again:

"Long before President Bush's call for a 'constitutional amendment protecting marriage,' Representative Seaborn Roddenberry of Georgia proposed an amendment that he said would uphold the sanctity of marriage.

"Mr. Roddenberry's proposed amendment, in December 1912, stated, 'Intermarriage between Negroes or persons of color and Caucasians . . . is forever prohibited.' He took this action, he said, because some states were permitting marriages that were 'abhorrent and repugnant,' and he aimed to 'exterminate now this debasing, ultrademoralizing, un-American and inhuman leprosy.' "

" 'Let this condition go on if you will,' Mr. Roddenberry warned. 'At some day, perhaps remote, it will be a question always whether or not the solemnizing of matrimony in the North is between two descendants of our Anglo-Saxon fathers and mothers or whether it be of a mixed blood descended from the orangutan-trodden shores of far-off Africa.' (His zoology was off: orangutans come from Asia, not Africa.)

I think it was N. Kristof who wroite an article some months back lampooning/ calling for a ban on DIVORCE in order to preserve the sanctity of marriage... he always has a beautifully mordant POV.
Maybe this is too naked-assed obvious, especially to say on these boards, but, this social turmoil is not because of a fear about what will happen to the institution of marriage, it is a fear about gays and lesbians. And that point, as plain as it may be to most here, needs to be yelled out very loudly.

You do not hear this said plainly at all by any of the voices of the official media. If and when the whole 'gay marriage' turmoil is resolved socially and legally (but really it is almost totally being played out by the media as it variously manages the publics' view of the circumstances, -the assorted judges, mayors and variety of civil authorities in their various rulings and opinions are not the forces that influence or change the publics' views) it seems to me nothing about this situation will resolve the underlying conservative fear of gays and lesbians.

In every article or broadcast done about this situation the real subject is the negative dialogical space of conservative fear. It is as if the media is humoring the fear by falsely portraying the subject of their reports as the rabid euphamism of (the fight over) 'gay marriage' which really is a false issue altogether (and plenty of the media reports tacitly conclude this, especially the editorial reports).

Conservative forces never had a chance in stopping Stonewall, or any of the other now, thankfully, more common manifestations of gay and lesbian cultural and social presences, from nightlife establishments to community centers to simple everyday public displays of affection between same sex partners. Just as conservative forces have no prospects whatsoever in preventing same sex partners from proclaiming and ritually demarcating their unions in some form of official, bureaucratically sanctioned way.

It is a mark of how hysterical, pernicious, nasty, and vindictive conservative morality, as it is currently promoted and institutionally insinuated, has become that in the face of every other form of open acceptance gays and lesbians have won in the last forty or fifty years, that the continued, neo-regressive conservative fear of same sex anything now gets such a high profile, front-burner position in our social discourse.

And forget the not uncommonly mentioned polls cited in a lot of the media reports stating how a majority of people are against same sex marriages. Polls are a statistical police science founded out of the very fear authorities point toward large social formations that can not be adequately controlled in the physical sense.

LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. Anything else and you are not really an American.
yes, seven it has become a discussion on allowing homosexuals in america, what to allow them to do is secondary. there is a tremendous fear of homosexauls, have seen it an entire lifetime with gray hair to prove it. from slights in the men's locker room to not being invited back to parties with groups of friends, to just plain being by-passed for promotions or actually dissed on the streets. the insults as a child were awesome to understand let alone learn to fight back.

homophobia seems another form of racism. for the solutions and technigues to deal with homosexuals are the same as those solutions for racial minorities in america. the extreme violence against gays and lesbians is similar to racial lynchings of the past two centuries as well.

this 1901 proposed constitutional marriage amendment was to stop poligamy and interracial marriages! funny that this is the concept that christians keep bringing up now in the media suggesting that accepting homosexaulity will lead to poligmany -- when poligamy has always been a christian mormon problem in america and not a christian gay and lesbian problem at all.

the more lions the better the show hattie? LOL actually no christians were killed in the making of the ledgends of the martyrdom in the coliseum told from the old roman days, it's a myth created by the christians to appear as bonefied victims of rome.
Bush's chief ringleader Dick "Bessie the Cow" Cheney waddled in from the pasture yesterday and shamelessly told the press that he supports the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage despite his own daughter's lesbianism. Adding insult to injury, Her Bovineness added that "One of the most unpleasant aspects of this business is the extent of which private lives are intruded upon when these kinds of issues come up," and that his daughter's life should remain "private".

But of course it's totally fine for our private lives to be intruded upon with discriminatory legislation written into our country's most sacred document. Just another example of the hideousness and hypocrisy we are up against. If only this belligerent cow could be turned into something useful, like a leather purse or a pair of shoes, instead of hogging up the White House. And even more pathetic is Mary Cheney herself, his dyke daughter, who continues to work for Bush's re-election despite being publicly kicked in the face by her own father. I suppose Home is Home, even if it's an abusive one.
The gay marriage tide gets higher and continues gaining momentum across the nation ... will it soon be a tidal wave?

Now Oregon's Multnomah County got into the action and started issuing same sex marriage licenses today. Here in our state, Mayor John Shields of Nyack says he will not only marry same sex couples but will seek a license for himself and his partner! Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson has laid out a municipal strategy to provoke a court ruling on the state law and has pledged legal help to gay couples whose marriage licenses are denied.

It's getting fierce, girls. Eliot Spitzer himself seems to be egging on a court fight that will surely change the nature of the battle. in NYC there will be a demo tomorrow at City Hall.

I received this via email today:


The time is now!
President Bush has endorsed a Constitutional Amendment that would make discrimination against LGBT people the law of the land.

The time is now!

Thousands of same-sex couples are already getting married across the country.

What are you waiting for? An engraved invitation?

Tomorrow, THURSDAY, MARCH 4, 8:00 AM
Corner of Centre and Chambers Streets, Rain or shine!

Please come to a pre-action meeting tonight, Wednesday, March 3 at 7:00 PM at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center, 208 West 13th Street (between 7th and Greenwich Avenues) and visit our website at

You should come to the pre-action meeting if:

* If you are a same-sex couple interested in applying for a marriage license during a separate action tomorrow at the Marriage Bureau
* If you are an experienced marshal, or someone that needs marshal training, and would like to help out at tomorrow's actions
* If you would like more information about the demonstrations

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Actually I believe it was one of my idols, Cecil B. DeMille who invented the scenario of defenseless X-ians being mauled by hungry lions. The Romans would not have considered that very sporting in the amphitheatre. Slaves and prisoners were given weapons and put in the arena to fight lions-- THAT was considered sporting. And if they won they were released.

I believe X-ians were simply killed. Put to the sword, hung or crucified.
Leave it to one man's artistic license to forever change the public's perception of actual events.
hatches, to 'Leave it to one man's artistic license to forever change the public's perception of actual events'..... is a threatening nack our president seems to enjoy. being able to promise one thing and deliver one's hidden agenda at the same time just gets me gullet in tangle.

the history channel did a special on the burning of rome and came to the conclusion that the christians started it to fulfill their professies regarding the end of the world and the collapse of rome as the center of sin ........ while our president plays his violin?
This was forwarded to me this morning, and was allegedly written by the singer/actress and sent to President Bush...

Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2004 4:44:39 PM

Dear President Bush,

Today you called upon Congress to move quickly to amend the US Constitution, and set in Federal stone a legal definition of marriage. I would like to know why.

In your speech, you stated that this Amendment would serve to protect marriage in America, which I must confess confuses me. Like you, I believe in the importance of marriage and I feel that we as a society take the institution far too lightly. In my circle of family, friends and acquaintances, the vast majority have married and divorced - some more than once. Still, I believe in marriage. I believe that there is something fundamental about finding another person on this planet with whom you want to build a life and family, and make a positive contribution to society. I believe that we need more positive role models for successful marriage in this country - something to counteract the images we get bombarded with in popular culture. When we are assaulted with images of celebrities of varying genres, be it actors, sports figures, socialites, or even politicians who shrug marriage on and off like the latest fashion, it is vitally important to the face of our nation, for our children and our future, that we have a balance of commitment and fidelity with which to stave off the negativity. I search for these examples to show my own daughter, so that she can see that marriage is more than a disposable whim, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

As a father, I'm sure you have faced these same concerns and difficulties in raising your own daughters. Therefore I can also imagine that you must understand how thrilled I have been over the past few weeks to come home and turn on the news with my family. To finally have concrete examples of true commitment, honest love, and steadfast fidelity was such a relief and a joy. Instead of speaking in the hypothetical, I was finally able to point to these men and women, standing together for hours in the pouring rain, and tell my child that this is what its all about. Forget Britney. Forget Kobe. Forget Strom. Forget about all the people that we know who have taken so frivolously the pure and simple beauty of love and tarnished it so consistently. Look instead at the joy in the beautiful faces of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon - 51 years together!

I mean, honestly Mr. President - how many couples do you know who are together for 51 years? I'm sure you agree that this love story provides a wonderful opportunity to teach our children about the true meaning and value of marriage. On the steps of San Francisco City Hall, rose petals and champagne, suits and veils, horns honking and elation in the streets; a celebration of love the likes of which this society has never seen.

This morning, however, my joy turned to sadness, my relief transformed into outrage, and my peace became anger. This morning, I watched you stand before this nation and belittle these women, the thousands who stood with them, and the countless millions who wish to follow them. How could you do that, Mr. President? How could you take something so beautiful - a clear and defining example of the true nature of commitment - and declare it to be anything less? What is it that validates your marriage which somehow doesn't apply to Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon? By what power, what authority are you so divinely imbued that you can stand before me and this nation and hold their love to a higher standard?

Don't speak to me about homosexuality, Mr. President. Don't tell me that the difference lies in the bedroom. I would never presume to ask you or your wife how it is you choose to physically express your love for one another, and I defy you to stand before Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon and ask them to do the same. It is none of my business, as it is none of yours, and it has nothing to do with the "sanctity of marriage". I'm sure you would agree that marriage is far more than sexual expression, and its high time we all started focusing on all the other aspects of a relationship which hold it together over the course of a lifetime. Therefore, with the mechanics of sex set aside, I ask you again - what makes a marriage? I firmly believe that whatever definition you derive, there are thousands upon thousands of shining examples for you to embrace.

You want to protect marriage. I admire and support that, Mr. President. Together, as a nation, let us find and celebrate examples of what a marriage should be. Together, let us take couples who embody the principles of commitment, fidelity, sacrifice and love, and hold them up before our children as role models for their own futures. Together, let us reinforce the concept that love is about far more than sex, despite what popular culture would like them to believe.

Please, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our society, for the sake of our future, do not take us down this road. Under the guise of protection, do not support divisiveness. Under the guise of unity, do not endorse discrimination. Under the guise of sanctity, do not devalue commitment. Under the guise of democracy, do not encourage this amendment.

Bette Midler

The National Black Justice Coalition, Gay Men of African Descent and New York City Councilman Philip Reed will lead a press conference and rally at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 14, 2004 on the steps of New York's City Hall. This will be the first African American event to focus on the issue of same-sex marriage in New York.

The public is invited to attend. We are also looking for black LGBT couples to participate. If you are a part of a couple that would like to participate, or if you would like more information, call 212-828-1697, extension 212, or visit the website at
A small ray of hope. Refreshing. And a snappy judge!

Washington Judge Rules on Gay Marriage
Published: September 7, 2004
Filed at 8:43 p.m. ET

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down Tuesday by a second judge, who ruled that marriage is a fundamental right that should be available to gay men and lesbians.

The case in Thurston County, along with a similar ruling in King County, will be appealed to the state Supreme Court. One critic of the rulings said a drive to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage is all but guaranteed.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks held that Washington's constitution offers broad guarantees of equality. He said those guarantees are violated by the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman and bars same-sex civil marriage.

In the opinion, Hicks scoffed at what he called the ``Lilliputian view'' that marriage is meant just for male-female couples to have babies and raise children together.

He acknowledged the Legislature's intent was clear when it banned sex-sex marriage. But Washington's constitution, which offers broader protection of individual liberties than the federal Constitution, always trumps statute law, he said.

The state ``must take care to treat all its citizens in an equal way,'' he said.

The American Civil Liberties Union brought the case on behalf of 11 gay and lesbian couples from around the state.

Hicks' decision came just a month after a King County judge ruled in favor of eight gay couples. The cases will likely be consolidated before the state Supreme Court.

Attorneys said they expect Hicks to suspend the effect of his ruling during the appeal, meaning that there would be no loophole for gay couples to get licenses and marry during that time.

The ACLU and the couples involved in the case praised Hicks' ruling.

``I think the tide is turning,'' said Jeff Kingsbury, a community leader and artistic director of a theater company in Olympia. He and his partner, Alan Fuller, have been together for 12 years.

``Washington could have a significant place in leading the way to a new and more tolerant direction,'' he added.

Jeff Kemp, a former Seattle Seahawks football star who heads a pro-traditional marriage group called Families Northwest, said he was disappointed by the ruling.

``What is new here is the judge saying ... the morality of one class of people somehow trumps what society and an overwhelming bipartisan majority of elected officials have determined to be the definition of marriage in Washington,'' he said in a statement.

He said the two rulings all but guarantee a move to amend the state constitution.

The challenges were raised after Massachusetts, in May, became the first state in the nation to allow same-sex marriages.

In stark contrast to the results of last Tuesday's vote where 11 states in the US passed propositions that rejected legal marriage between GLBT couples, the courts in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan has ruled that existing marriage laws discriminate against gay couples and are unconstitutional. Saskatchewan, one of the provinces located on the Canadian Prairie and usually considered to be more socially conservative than its neighbors, now has joined 5 other provinces Quebec, BC, Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia) and one territory (The Yukon) with this decision.
It is also expected that at some point next year, a new federal law will legalize such marriages throughout all of Canada. Once again, the US lags behind.
Meanwhile, back in Texas...

Health Textbooks in Texas to Change Wording About Marriage
Published: November 6, 2004

"The Texas Board of Education approved new health textbooks for the state's high schools and middle schools on Friday after the publishers agreed to change wordings in the texts to depict marriage strictly as the union of a man and a woman.

"The decision involves two of the biggest textbook publishers and is another example of Texas' exerting its market influence as the nation's second-largest buyer of textbooks. Officials say the decision could affect hundreds of thousands of books in Texas alone.

"On Thursday, a board member said that proposed new books ran counter to a Texas law banning the recognition of gay civil unions because the texts used terms like "married partners" instead of "husband and wife."

After hearing the debate on Thursday, one publisher, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, agreed to include a definition of marriage as a "lifelong union between a husband and a wife." The definition, which was added to middle school textbooks, was already in Holt's high school editions, Rick Blake, a company spokesman, said.

The other publisher, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, changed phrases like "when two people marry" and "partners" to "when a man and a woman marry" and "husbands and wives."

"The board expressed an interest in having us" make the change, Mr. Blake said. "We thought it was a reasonable thing to do."

But Mr. Blake said the publisher did not plan to add its definition of marriage in books to be sold outside Texas. A spokeswoman for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill did not immediately respond to questions.
The Daily News March 28, 2005/ Dear Harriette:

(Found this a couple days ago..What do you think of the situation and the response ?)

Dear Harriette,
I am a male who lives as a female. Recently, a close friend of mine, Christina, asked if I would participate in her wedding as a bridesmaid. I'm thrilled and honoured but also a bit concerned Although almost everyone in our circle of friends knows my status, I'm a bit worried how her friends and family, who don't know me, will react. She mentioned to her mother that she would like me as a bridesmaid, and her mother expressed some tripadation and concern for the families of the bride and groom, some of whom will be bringing children. I have only recently started living as a woman, and feel that I'm quite passable, but I would rather avoid any trouble. Christina insists that she wants me there as a bridesmaid. What should I do?
Michelle of NYC.

From Harriette Cole / The Daily News

Dear Michelle,
As welcoming and inclusive as Christina is being with you she doesn't seem to be thinking fully about the big picture. Yes, some family members and friends probaly will be uncomfortable about your role. More important though, by putting you " on display" she may be drawing more attention to you than you feel comfortable having on her wedding day. You should not become the center of attention by default. Rather than simply being able to support your friend on her day of great joy you may find yourself having to defend yourself before people who are judgemental about your role. Trust your instincts. Thank Christina for the invitation and ask her if you can serve in a less visable role during the wedding where you don't have to be front and center.

Harriette Cole

If you feel moved ,drop Harriette a line or two and let her know how you feel.
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Weddings can be awfully square, and it might just end up with Michelle being the butt of jokes and getting angry.

The advice was kind of stupid. The question is also whether the other bridesmaids are going to accept her. If those other chicks are a bunch of boring quares she will not have any fun and should opt out. My trans friends are always falling over bored trying to educate the masses. If she isn't up to it, she should go with a hunky date, dressed to the nines, in a dress that I am sure will be nicer than some bridesmaid crap.

S'tan Landers
I agree with S'tan mostly. If the bride asked for the person's participation I don't see anything amiss. I think if some straight person has a problem with it then that is really their problem and I personally wouldn't get too caught up in that drama since that is what anyone having a problem would want, to suck the trans person in to some soap opera over the whole thing. It is way past time straight people got used to these situations. For me the whole point is that trans people should no longer be getting considered to be freaks by the straight world. So no reason not to go and be just another happy participant. Really the only thing to pay attention to is what the bride's real motive is for asking. If it is really a genuine desire, really there is nothing off about participating as a bride's maid if all the scrutiny is of no matter to the maid. The whole event may even turn out to be more memorable for it.

But then, I used to go to parties and such functions simply to see how many people I could unsettle. It is just that doing that turns out to be soooo easy.
this is racism. treating trans gender/sexual people like they are less than human is the point.

how did european christian americans convince america to go along with slavery? how did euro christian america get americans to go along with segregating out from society all african/asian/& american indians too? how did americans get america to go long with owning people legally ever in america? (they worked hard at it!)

how do christian americans keep gay/lesbian/transgender/transexual people down now? how do 'they' still keep these uppity 'alternative' types in their place? isn't that the real question? how to make it uncivilized, anti-social, and anti-family to be gender different anything and in public?

why did we allow white christians to say they couldn't possibly be good christians unless people of color were not allowed to go to the movies/hospital/airports/bathroom with european christians in america and had to sit in the balcony or back of the bus? how did america let white christians tell us people of color were meant to be non-human slaves? isn't this the same game being played now on the rest of us?

so with this white wedding, we are all advised to hide the cross dresser? hide the transgender? hide those transexuals? make those gays hide in the basement when company comes? who is letting this happen?

merlin bets more than one 'straight' boy at the wedding will chat the crossdresser up, dispite the color of the bridesmaid dress he is wearing.
I am sure you are right about that Merlin.

And that is one of the things any fear of the trans person is based on. Simply that quite a few people will really not find anything at all offensive about a bridesmaid that didn't start life womyn-identified, that plenty of wedding attendees will welcome such a person and be glad they are there. The fearful are scared of any such opportunity where what they see as a threat to their oppressive social order could be accepted without any qualms at all.
we are subscribing male attributes to men in dresses, not as a woman might be described. like crossdressers are as aggressive as gay men? as men in general, lol.

all men are aggressive and all men know other men can be as strong as they are whether in a dress or not. that is what fightens people, there their big male bull may not be as strong as a big male bull crossdresser?

merlin has met more than one aggressive submissive male and female. and that is what changes the natural order? for the image of a woman to be weak and not be a muscle guy underneath the dress?
The particular example this string started out with from the newspaper advice column that Bobby posted is specifically a "male who lives as a female". But I think you hit on the core of the matter Merlin -social confusion is the prime source of the question about being 'integrated' into the dominant order.
Well, bridesmaid's gowns aside, it appears tha NYC will now be recognizing out of state gay marriages...

"New York City To Recognize Gay Marriages
by Doug Windsor

Posted: April 7, 2005 5:01 pm ET

New York City will recognize same-sex marriages and civil unions - but only if they were performed outside the state in areas where they are already legal.

The announcement was made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's special counsel, Anthony W. Crowell and comes two months after the mayor appealed a ruling by a New York City judge that denying marriage to gay and lesbian couples violated the state constitution.

While the appeal works its way through New York's appeal process, the Mayor's decision to recognize the marriages of New Yorkers who went out of state to marry or form civil unions was welcomed by LGBT civil rights activists.

"We applaud Mayor Bloomberg for taking a step in the right direction and working to ensure that same-sex couples who live in New York City and have been married in Canada, Massachusetts and other places are now as legally married as a couple who got a license at City Hall," said Allan Van Capelle, the executive director of Pride Agenda.

New York City becomes the sixth locality in New York State to pro-actively affirm that it recognizes marriages of same-sex couples, according them the same rights as all other marriages within their local jurisdictions. Other localities are Buffalo, Rochester, Brighton, Ithaca and Nyack. The announcements follow Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's opinion that marriages and civil unions of same-sex couples performed outside the state should be treated as valid marriages in New York State.

"The Mayor's pro-active announcement on same-sex marriage means that 8,591,000 of New York State's 18,976,457 people, or more than 45% of the state's population, live in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is a legal fact," said Van Capelle. "Given that Massachusetts has a population of only 6,349,000 people, there are now more New Yorkers living in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage has been declared legal than there are people in all of Massachusetts."

But, it may be a year or more before gay and lesbian New Yorkers find out if they will be allowed to marry in their own state.

A bid to expedite Bloomberg's appeal, and one in Ithaca where a judge ruled against same-sex marriage, was rejected by the state's highest court last month. The New York Court of Appeals ruled that the cases must work their way through the lower court appeals process first.

In addition, those marriages performed in New Paltz are not recognized by the state.

But, while the issue of same-sex marriage drags on in the courts a poll released Wednesday shows that most people in New York State support marriage for same-sex couples.

The Global Strategy Group survey found that 51% of New Yorkers support marriage for same-sex couples while 42% do not. A similar Global Strategy Group poll conducted for the Pride Agenda last year in March 2004 found 47% in support of marriage and 46% opposed."
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May 13, 2005
Judge Voids Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb., May 12 (AP) - A federal judge on Thursday struck down Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage, saying the measure interfered not only with the rights of gay couples but also with those of foster parents, adopted children and people in a variety of other living arrangements.

The amendment to the state's Constitution, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, was passed overwhelmingly by the voters in November 2000.

The Nebraska ruling is the first in which a federal court has struck down a state ban on same-sex marriage, and conservatives in the United States Senate pointed to it as evidence of the need for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"When we debated the merits of a federal marriage amendment on the Senate floor, opponents claimed that no state laws were threatened, that no judge had ever ruled against state marriage laws," said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas. He added, "After today's ruling, they can no longer make that claim."

The drive for a constitutional amendment stalled out after the last election as Senate leaders said they would await court rulings on the many state constitutional amendments that already ban same-sex marriage.

The judge in the Nebraska case, Joseph F. Bataillon of Federal District Court, said the ban "imposes significant burdens on both the expressive and intimate associational rights" of gay men and lesbians "and creates a significant barrier to the plaintiffs' right to petition or to participate in the political process."

Judge Bataillon said the ban went "far beyond merely defining marriage as between a man and a woman." He said the "broad proscriptions could also interfere with or prevent arrangements between potential adoptive or foster parents and children, related persons living together, and people sharing custody of children as well as gay individuals."

Forty states have laws barring same-sex marriages, but Nebraska's ban went further, prohibiting same-sex couples from enjoying many of the legal protections that heterosexual couples enjoy. Gay men and lesbians who work for the state or the University of Nebraska system, for example, were banned from sharing benefits with their partners.

Nebraska has no state law against same-sex marriage, but Attorney General Jon Bruning said it was not allowed before the ban and would not be permitted now. Mr. Bruning said he would appeal the ruling.

The challenge to the marriage law was filed by the gay rights organization Lambda Legal and the Lesbian and Gay Project of the American Civil Liberties Union.

A lawyer for Lambda Legal, David Buckel, has called the ban "the most extreme anti-gay family law in the entire nation."

Massachusetts has allowed same-sex marriages since last May; Vermont has offered civil unions since 2000. The actions came after courts ruled that gay couples were being discriminated against.

Those court decisions spurred the move last year for a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, a move President Bush has said he supports. A subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a May 19 hearing on the need for such an amendment.
Here's some good news amidst all of the bad lately:
Calif. lawmakers pass gay marriage bill
Action is first by a U.S. legislative body; bill goes to Schwarzenegger's desk
Shelly Bailes, left, and her partner of 31 years, Ellen Pontac, celebrate after the California Assembly passed a same-sex marriage bill on Tuesday.

Updated: 7:17 a.m. ET Sept. 7, 2005
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gay rights supporters cheered loudly from the gallery as California lawmakers became the first in the country to approve a bill allowing same-sex marriages. But their celebration may be short-lived.

The legislation could be vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has expressed an acceptance of gay marriages but said it's an issue that should be decided by voters or the courts.

"He will uphold whatever the court decides," spokeswoman Margita Thompson said Tuesday after the state Assembly approved the same-sex marriage measure, 41-35. The Senate had approved it last week.
First New Jersey and now... Scotland?

I thought it was time again to dust off this venerable topic...

From todays Sunday Times- Scotland:

"This weekend the Kirk "” one of the last bastions of Presbyterian rectitude "” signalled that it is ready to bless gay weddings for the first time. The admission may be enough to make John Knox... the father of the Protestant reformation in Scotland, spin in his grave, but it is an unmistakable sign of changing times.

Sheilagh Kesting, who takes over as the new moderator of the Church of Scotland's general assembly next May, says "the time is right" to allow Kirk ministers to conduct services marking civil partnerships... "

That news and other world news such as the recent Anglican New Zealand controversy makes me realize that there is a revolution happening-- it's just that the US has fallen so far behind the rest of the Western World.
Last edited by hatches
The next stage of the global revolution may happen right here in our own state. Eliot Spitzer said months ago that he supports gay marriage and would work to enable legislation if elected. Shockingly it has not hurt his standing in the polls AT ALL and his victory on Tuesday is a forgone conclusion. Few government officials have spoken out against his gay marriage stance, and if Spitzer stays true to his word then Bloomberg will not be able to make excuses for opposing gay marriage like he did here at the local level. We'll see what happens.
"SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) ...This Valentine's Day gay and lesbian couples in Northern California's Yolo County won't go home with a marriage license, but they won't walk away empty handed either. County Clerk Freddy Oakley will be handing out what she calls "certificates of inequality," which claim California law against gay marriage is wrong.

The controversial move is drawing attention and criticism, but Oakley is standing firm in her decision. "It's not a stunt. It comes from the heart. If they could say no to these folks and not feel bad about it, I would be concerned for their moral health," she said. "
From the most recent edition of Towleroad:

"Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's National Assembly recently said that he expects the government will soon legalize gay marriage or civil unions: "We have to abolish any form of discrimination against those persons. We are trying to see how to do that, whether it should be to grant them the right to marry or to have same-sex unions. We have to redefine the concept of marriage. Socialism should be a society that does not exclude anybody."

Gay culture in TV and film have helped to transform the nation's attitudes, the article argues.

A top judicial leader agrees that discrimination against gays has to go. Ruben Remigio Ferro, president of Cuba's Supreme Court: "Because of our historical heritage, Cuban society has been intolerant of homosexuals. But there has been a change in thinking. We are developing a program to educate people about sexual orientation. But it is not a problem that has been solved."

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