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as soon as the concession and acceptance speeches were made we rushed to the castro where there was a big sound system playing great house music and a giant screen to watch the rest of the election results come in.
as much fun as it was - and it was FUN! - it was still a little bittersweet as prop. 8 seemed to be winning.
waking up this morning to find out that it indeed had won leaves me feeling really sad. i hate feeling like a second class citizen that doesn't have the rights/privileges that others do. and seeing the pictures of the cheering supporters of this measure leaves me thinking, "why is it so important to you to keep us separate in this way?"

sorry if i've quelched the deserved and enthusiastic celebration for obama, but this is a reality too.
now back to more cheering!!!!
To your point Gobs, the hideous anti-gay ballot initiatives stink and you have every right to feel bittersweet.

- voter demographics are coming in on these ballot things. what the findings are showing is that it was senior citizen voters, 65 and older, that voted overwhelmingly in favor of these anti-gay ballot initiatives.

- it was refreshing to see, at the national level at least, that the LGBT community could not be used as a political wedge issue against Obama. That tactic got some traction in 2004; it didn't this time. I'm sure even the Log Cabin Republicans would agree that is something to celebrate.

- if there's any lesson we can take from these ballot setbacks, as hurtful as they are, is that we still have a lot of work to do. We cannot become complancent, we have to keep fighting.

In the broader scheme of things, I genuinely do believe the victory of someone like Barack Obama means more than these discriminatory local measures. But we have to be aware of them and just keep going.
Oh Gobs I feel your frustration. I was thinking about it when I heard the news about Prop 8. If you made a list of the rights that are denied to gay people, like "Gay people cannot...." and substituted gay for black, chinese, left-handed, or whatever you just see how fucking ridiculous it is. I feel like if we can just get this point across to people it might help change things. Or am I naive?
I just saw Darla put a second soap box on top of the one she's been using.

I think Lex gets to a good point about the demographic slice that put the negative vote in on 8. So it isn't essentially a political question really, it concerns a non-reflective social bias from having internalized norms from three generations ago. So he's right about still needing to do a lot more work to get people to unlearn what they've internalized. The people who voted 8 in weren't really making a reasoned political decision based on party affiliation or even a mis-guided morality really. They did it out of social habit. And if it is true it was over 65ers who went for 8 it also then means initiatives like 8 will loose significant backing when that democraphic slice passes out of the voting population. So even if a massive political effort fails to turn those people's minds around they won't be here all that much longer, relatively speaking, to keep passing similar referendums. And remember it's been 40 years since Dr. King set Obama's trajectory in motion. Social change of something so deeply internalized is incremental at best. Another example is this election cycle's referendum of decriminalizing marijuana in Massachusettes. It's been over 30 years since many states and municipalities, a lot of them in the upper mid-west, all had pot decriminalized and here it is coming back again after such a long time.
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If you made a list of the rights that are denied to gay people, like "Gay people cannot...." and substituted gay for black, chinese, left-handed, or whatever you just see how fucking ridiculous it is.

Wow, that is so clear Pickles.
You must have gotten some sleep on a plane or something.
It really is as simple as that.
via Jackie Beat's blog:

Saturday, November 08, 2008
Current mood: neglected
Category: Life

That's right, Breeder -- GAYS ARE GOING ON STRIKE!

Yes, we Homosexuals here in sunny California -- the epicenter of not just mainstream entertainment, but the porn industry to boot, are going on permanent vacation!

And you know what that means...

No more amazing haircutting, hairstyling and/or hair-coloring. This is especially troublesome for the many Black women who voted YES on Prop 8, because the last thing you want is some straight guy doing your weave, honey! And trust me, you ain't gonna' wanna' watch Oprah after this strike starts. Ouch.

No more sassy designer clothes. Sorry, but you can always wear the fashion fast forward designs of former Charlies Angel, Ms. Jaclyn Smith. She was born NORMAL and her clothing line -- in comfortable and easy-to-care-for cotton jersey -- is available at K-Mart. You must turn in all your fabulous outfits by fabulous GAY designers by the end of the business day or risk being splashed and splattered by hot pink paint by hysterical unmarried second class citizens. And your interior designs will no longer be done by naturally talented fags. Exit popular style whizzes like Nate Berkus and Thom Felicia, enter glorified handiman Ty Pennington. Hope you enjoy your new bed in the shape of a pirate ship!

No more entertainment. Gay writers, responsible for the funny on all your favorite TV shows, are going on hiatus (which, ironically and conveniently rhymes with WHY HATE US?). Enjoy all your favorite shows like "Ugly Betty", "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy" -- which you may now re-title "GAYS ARE MAD AT ME!" -- now completely free of any pesky humor, witty repartee' or intelligence. Don't worry, there will still be plenty of Ivy League white frat boy humor. Essentially, every show will become a spin-off of "According To Jim", or one of the other many fat ugly lazy husband/sexy smart in-shape wife shows that I simply refer to as "Hot & Heavy". Yep, no more Marc Cherry, Darren Star or Bruce Vilanch. But don't despair, at least you will be able to enjoy the hair and makeup and costumes and sets -- oh wait. No you won't. And let us not forget about music. Enjoy your vagina-lovin' Michael Bolton and penis-desirin' Jessica Simpson. All openly gay, rumored to be gay, closeted gay and gay-friendly artists are joining the strike. And say bye bye to the queens of the big-screen: John Waters, Pedro Almodovar, Alan Ball, Clive Barker, Jean Cocteau, Fassbinder, Derek Jarman, Paul Rudnick, Larry Wachowski, Kevin Williamson and if you believe the rumors (and I do!), Alfred Hitchcock.

No more good and/or interesting art. DiVinci, Michelangelo, Warhol, Haring, Hockney, Mapplethorpe, David LaChappelle, Pierre et Gilles, Scavullo, Gilbert and George -- GONE! And you know that Pablo Picasso let some drag queen suck his cock at least once and Georgia O'Keefe didn't paint those suggestive flowers for nothing, so their canvases burn to white also. Enjoy the oh-so-artistic Thomas Kincade "Painter of Light" and the Cathy comic strip, fuck-face.

No more good books. Sorry, no enjoying Edward Albee, Hans Christian Andersen, James Baldwin, Rita Mae Brown, Augusten Burroughs, Wiliam S. Burrows, Truman Capote, Dennis Cooper, Noel Coward, Quentin Crisp, Mart Crowley, Christopher Durang, Sumner Locke Elliot, Bret Easton Ellis, Fanny Flagg, E.M. Forster, Jean Genet, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, Christopher Isherwood, Larry Kramer, Tony Kushner, Federico Garcia Lorca, W. Somerset Maughm, Armisted Maupin, Terrance McNally, Joe Orton, Marcel Proust, Christopher Rice, John Saul, Dan Savage, David Sedaris (yeah, suck on that!), Michaelangelo Signorile, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Gore Vidal, Alice Walker, Tennesee Williams or Virgina Woolf. But don't freak, you can still curl up in your pirate ship bed with the macho musings of Ernest Hemingway or the downright erotic word-weavings of animal print aficionado Jackie Collins. And since most American's don't even read anymore, let me send a real shiver down your straight spine: NO MORE PEREZ HILTON!

No more Broadway shows. No explanation necessary.

No more Scientology. Let's not even go there.

No more funny lesbians. No more Ellen, no more Rosie, no more Sandra Bernhard, no more Jane Lynch and no more Wanda Sykes. Oops. Well, now you know.

And last, but by no means least: NO MORE HOT SEX! Sorry, but no more juicy, deep-throating blow jobs performed by well-trained craftsmen who -- having the same equipment -- know how to treat it properly. No more no-strings-attached mind-blowing, bone-crushing orgasms in adult bookstores, truck stops, back rooms, porno theaters or church. I guess you'll just have to buy your wife an expensive gift from Kay Jewelers or JC Penney and try to talk her into sucking your dick. Good luck with that. Oh, and even your straight porn is gonna' suck because the actresses are not going to have their usual hair and makeup people and if you think those bimbos wake up looking that good, you're in for a rude surprise!

So, enjoy your exciting new GAY-FREE California! If you voted YES on Prop 8, you brought this on yourself.

Currently watching :
According to Jim: The Complete First Season
Release date: By 2008-10-21
Having just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary the day before this travesty, it hit us even harder that so many of our friends dont have the right to make such a long-lasting commitment and have it be honored in the same way. Terribly sad and unfair.

I wanted to share this beautiful letter that our own Anna Conda sent out to her mailing list from SF.


When I was born in the summer of love I was born under the sign of mental Illness. I was gay and that was enough to have me put in a mental institution and lock me away till I was better and straight. My parents just took me to see somebody to fix me. First the church. Then the psychologist. Then into the mental hospital. I did not change.

I spent my formative years hating myself for not being the son they wanted. I became depressed and ultimately tried to kill myself my senior year. I spent a month in a hospital and did not change.

In college I began to be aware that something was changing in the general consciousness around me. There were protests in 86 in Pittsburgh demanding gay rights. I went. I had rocks thrown at me and taunts and threats from the crowd of over 100 christians when we were only 20 in number. I feared now that someone would kill me. My parents saw me on TV and disowned me. I began to abuse myself with drugs and alcohol and cutting myself. I wanted to be loved and knew that it was never to happen.

Four years after trying to kill myself I tried again and almost succeeded. My wrists slashed in a warm bath tub till I was unconscious. I awoke to find myself in a hospital and then endured shock, pill, and basic therapy's till I lied enough to go home.

I was still hollow and afraid that my life would always just be pain. I hated myself so much I was careless and full of shame and began having unsafe sex. I contracted HIV. People were dying in droves around me and I waited for my time. The white house was saying no to drugs and yes to letting the gays die in the thousands.

That is when I became friends with out proud lesbian Constance Mayer. She told me they were wrong to hate me. That I was a beautiful person who was full of vitality and promise and I needed to join my living brothers and sister and fight injustice.

Five months later Queer Nation Pittsburgh was born under our direction. We went to malls and got makeovers from Lancome who refused to make over trannies in the area. I proudly went to the mall got my makeover and with my brothers and sisters celebrated diversity and my life for the first time. I have never looked back.

Moving to NY I gathered self esteem and self worth and left my family behind without contact till they could accept me. I had freed myself. I was becoming strong. I found drag and a voice and a wealth of power inside of myself. I was learning to overcome the hate. I was replacing it with the love and truth and my reality.

Dudley introduced me to spiritual minds who were about healing and love. Real love not the kind my family had shown me, full of ultimatums and repression, but instead love of who and what I was and the promise that I was full of. They loved me for me. I had found my true family.

Twelve years ago I moved to SF and my very last suicide attempt soon followed. Even though I had grown so much I still felt like I was a disappointment to my parents and knew that because they saw me as a abomination against god I would never really have their love. When I woke up this time I knew my fight had begun in ernest. I would no longer suffer from Poor Me Syndrome. I would be strong and I was in a community that would keep me safe and help me in my struggle. I became a militant fighter for gay rights.

I called my family and told them that until they saw what their pious hate had done to their son I would not be part of their family because I had all the loving family I needed and I believed in myself.

I am so proud to be part of this revolution. I am proud of who I am and how hard I have worked to be able to stand up and be counted. I was pround to be brother and sister to my chosen family and I was happy.

Three years and some change ago I was healthy enough to meet the man of my dreams. To let myself open up and share on a deep level. I was becoming whole and now Brett was able to be with me and I with him. His love has brought me to places that I never imagined. He has allowed me to expand and conquer and live on a higher plane and feel even safer and more sure. I understood what it is to really love not only myself but another person. I had come full circle.

two days ago the state of California was pushed into a decision by out of state interests to limit my civil rights. To try and stop my liberation and make me and my family go away.

We are not going. We will not give up. I am going to see that my justice will be a reality. I will not pander to straights and thank them for my rights. I am going to get my rights and no one will be able to stop me. I will not do it alone. I have a family to guide me and fight along side of me till our dream is realized. We are not going away. We will not stop until we get what is ours. I will not suffer under the oppressor any longer. We will rise up and we will win.

We will do all this and we will do it together because we know in our hearts that we are right to want to be treated as everyone else is in this country.

I call you to battle my friends. I ask that you don't stop, don't give up hope, not let the hate get you. It's hard but we are strong and we will win our place in this society.

I will live to see the day when we have won this victory because the fight is on and we are ready and we will win over hate.

I have lived this life and not changed who I am but I have changed how grateful I am to be me. To be strong and ready to take a stance and to join the fight for what IS mine. we have come to far to back down now.

Look out nation, state, world. We are here. we are queer. We are not gonna take it any more! We will have justice and we will have it NOW!

Anna Conda/ Glendon Hyde-Helms
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how grateful I am to be me.

Now that is all the self respect it will take.
When a person is abandoned by the authorities that are supposed to be protecting everyone and all one is left with is their own self respect the status quo had better take notice because self respect is the one resource that can not be defeated.

When hate groups from outside a state can come in and take over the laws of the state to oppress their targets it ends up being the oppression of everyone because it means no one is safe. Horrific that the state of California has a kind of retail hate, that a kind of retail sales bigotry can purchase its own hate law and impose it on anyone. The entire straight population of California was put on notice of this whether they know it or not. Which is the point of Anna's and Jacki's writtings.
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from the l.a. times:

"No matter your opinion of Proposition 8, we should all agree that it is wrong to intimidate and harass churches, businesses and individuals for participating in the democratic process," Ron Prentice, of, said in a statement. Boycotters were "unabashedly trampling on the rights of others," he said.

how can people like this be so ignorant of their own hypocrisy??!??!!
the mind wobbles.

these days the dollar can be more powerful than a ballot. please remain aware of those who donated to "YES on 8" and participate in the boycott on their businesses.
the CEO of CINEMARK theatres made a sizable contribution. here is a listing of their theatres nationwide: cinemark locations
Last edited by goblin73
a gay friend of mine here in s.f.
said he felt like this was all
getting to be a little too "mccarthy era"
for his tastes.
i didn't take him to task on that yet.
but does anyone else feel that way??

i just can't make a clean correlation
when the "mccarthy" of the analogy is
a minority group fighting for their rights
as opposed to a political bigwig using
his power to forward an agenda.
and in the same way that the mormons and others
have every right to their opinions and
can donate to whichever side of whatever
political cause they want, we too have those rights.

and YES lex! i agree about all the heat...
so i feel it's important that we now
"strike while the iron is hot."
The Rally in Cincinnati was a big success.

One thing that really helped with the turnout was an appearance by Margaret Cho. She debuted an anti-Prop 8 and very anti-Mormon involvement song. I think it might have been called "Shove Proposition 8 Up Your Ass." if not, it was the major theme...

There were over 500 @ City Hall (hey, this isn't NYC)and the crowd needed to spread out across the street from City Hall.

It was also the top story on the early FOX news, and the blogs on are getting very heated.

I also agree Lex, it IS happening, and it's happening all over.

Join The Impact Flickr Group

"Yes We Can." Was being chanted at our rally, and I think that feeling is underscoring everything. We can feel the universe is bending our way. We feel that we can speed up history. We CAN turn the pages faster.

Cincinnati - National Day of Protest Against Prop 8

Today was a good day.
What makes you think he didn't notice?

Welcome to New York City Z & S. Sorry I'm not there to see what you bring to New York life.
I know you will make your mark on Gotham.

Back to Barack and gay marriage...I think he made his feelings known well before the election on that topic. I read an interview with him a few years ago and thought his perspective on the gays could use some altering.
it's way beyond just the prop 8 thing.

Barack Obama has picked a truly despicable creature to usher in "change"

This is a "defining moment" as Obama likes to say over and over.

Unfortunately, at this moment he is redefining what could have been a magical
moment for our society, the inauguration of the first African American president with the
inclusion of a radical cleric who thinks of non believers, jews, gays and lesbians, and many others
as less than full citizens.

It's more and more upsetting the more I think about it.

I think Hitchens has it right
I know, I know Bobby, this shouldn't be a surprise.
I just thought he'd wait until after he was actually in office to slap us in the face.

What a contrast to see "MILK" last night with footage of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter publicly denouncing Prop 6... 30 years ago, and then we have Obama asking one of the biggest reasons Prop 8 passed, to speak for God for the entire nation.

If he did notice the Prop 8 protests, he didn't understand the feeling and meaning behind them, or just doesn't care.

The equivalent would have been for Ronald Reagan to remain silent during the Prop 6 vote, then years later invite Anita Bryant to speak at his inauguration under the guise of "inclusion."

You are right Lily, this does have MANY more insulting implications and I think that article NAILS them.

It's not just that Obama is allowing Rick Warren to define who God is for the entire Nation at that moment in time, he's also explicitly reinforcing the Evangelicals political power.

Honestly, this is a message to them, we're just eavesdropping.

You're not missing us quite yet Bobby, we'll be residents starting January. I'm sure it it won't take long for us to make it up to Ptown after that. Smile

Interesting threads on the Huffington Post about the Obama-Warren thing. I hadn't heard that Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a supporter of gay marriage, is giving the benediction at Obama's inaguration. While it makes me feel somewhat better about the Obama's "inclusion" excuse, I'd still feel better if Warren and Lowery had switched roles, giving Lowery the more prominent one.

The one thing that concerns me is the rising tension between the LGBT and black communities. It's complicated. Read some of the thread about the Time magazine thing ... kind of unsettling.

Obama Talking Points on Warren

Time Mag Columnist Calls Obama 'Very Rational-Sounding Sort of Bigot'
Originally posted by Lily of the Valley:
it's way beyond just the prop 8 thing.

Barack Obama has picked a truly despicable creature to usher in "change"

This is a "defining moment" as Obama likes to say over and over.

Unfortunately, at this moment he is redefining what could have been a magical
moment for our society, the inauguration of the first African American president with the
inclusion of a radical cleric who thinks of non believers, jews, gays and lesbians, and many others
as less than full citizens.

It's more and more upsetting the more I think about it.

I think Hitchens has it right
JAYNE COUNTY HERE. Exactly, Lily. Its not just a case of allowing people to have their own religious beliefs, these people are dangerous because they want to make their narrow minded twisted version of the Bible, LAW! They want to change AmeriKa into a Right Wing Christian Fascist Theocracy! It is WRONG for Obama to have this disgusting excuse for a human being deliver such an important prayer! An insult to us all who voted for him! He is pandering to those bigots who voted against him! SHAME!!! When you try to please everybody you only end up alienating everyone! I will not be watching his inaguration. It would only infuriate me more! My high hopes have been dashed! Rick Warren is no better than the KKK. Using God as an excuse to deney rights to Gay People just as the white supreamacists used the Bible as an excuse for SLAVERY!!! *Slaves submit to your masters.* Yep, that is in the Bible! I am so dissapointed that Obama is so small minded that he cannot see this important point! Or mayby he just dosn*t give a shit! Either that or he is just plain stupid! WON*T GET FOOLED AGAIN!!! x JAYNE COUNTY
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here's the thing. Rick Warren isn't going anywhere. Obama can make up for this by doing a few things.

1: repeal the Defense of Marriage act so the federal government will recognize same sex marriages in states that allow them.

2. repeal "don't ask, don't tell"

3. Pass the Employment Non discrimination act so you can't be fired for being gay (we already have a law like this in New York, but other states don't)

these steps will matter more than who speaks on the 20th. It doesn't excuse it but actions speak louder than words from a radical cleric.
from The Onion...
SACRAMENTO, CA—Activists on both sides of the gay marriage debate were shocked this November, when a typographical error in California's Proposition 8 changed the state constitution to restrict marriage to a union between "one man and one wolfman," instantly nullifying every marriage except those comprised of an adult male and his lycanthrope partner. "The people of California made their voices heard today, and reaffirmed our age-old belief that the only union sanctioned in God's eyes is the union between a man and another man possessed by an ungodly lupine curse," state Sen. Tim McClintock said at a hastily organized rally celebrating passage of the new law. But opponents, including Bakersfield resident Patricia Millard—who is now legally banned from marrying her boyfriend, a human, non-wolfman male—claim it infringes on their civil liberties. "I love James just as much as a wolfman loves his husband," Millard said. "We deserve the same rights as any horrifying mythical abomination." On the heels of the historic typo, voters in Utah passed a similar referendum a week later, defining marriage as between one man and 23 wolfmen.
Who would have thunk it? Iowa?

Iowa high court strikes down same-sex marriage ban
* NEW: "This is a great day for civil rights in Iowa," Lambda Legal attorney says
* Iowa joins Massachusetts and Connecticut in allowing same-sex marriages
* Decision upholds 2007 ruling by lower court that said ban stigmatized gay couples
* Debate rages in New England as two state legislatures consider the issue

(CNN) -- The Iowa Supreme Court struck down a state law Friday that banned same-sex marriage.

Iowa becomes the third state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage, after Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Friday's decision upheld a 2007 ruling by a lower court that Iowa's 1998 law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples went against the state's constitution. It becomes effective in 21 days.

"This is a great day for civil rights in Iowa," said attorney Dennis Johnson, a co-counsel with Lambda Legal, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of six same-sex couples seeking to marry in Iowa. "Go get married. Live happily ever after," he said at a news conference where there was loud clapping among plaintiffs.

Other organizations were not pleased. "It's, quite frankly, a disaster," said Brian English, a spokesman for the Iowa Family Policy Center. "Obviously, we're extremely disappointed. We're saddened, perhaps a little bit surprised in the unanimous decision that the court handed down."

The state's highest court determined that "the Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution," court spokesman Steve Davis said in a written statement. Read PDF of court ruling

"The decision strikes the language from Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil marriage to a man and a woman. It further directs that the remaining statutory language be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage," the statement on the court's Web site says.

The Iowa Supreme Court said it has the responsibility to determine if a law enacted by the legislative branch and enforced by the executive branch violates the Iowa Constitution. "The court reaffirmed that a statute inconsistent with the Iowa Constitution must be declared void, even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion," the court said.

Polk County District Judge Robert Hanson found that the law violated the Iowa Constitution's guarantee of equal protection, and hurt gay and lesbian couples "in numerous tangible and intangible" ways

"Civil marriage in Iowa is the only gateway to an extensive legal structure that protects a married couple's relationship and family in and outside the state," Hanson ruled in Des Moines.

"Iowa reserves an unparalleled array of rights, obligations and benefits to married couples and their families, privileging married couples as a financial and legal unit and stigmatizing same-sex couples."

The case was joined on appeal by several state lawmakers who opposed Hanson's ruling, calling it "a mockery of the judicial system." They argued that the ruling stepped on the state Legislature's authority by using the courts "to effectuate fundamental changes in public policies regarding marriage."

Legislatures in two New England states, Vermont and New Hampshire, have taken steps toward legalizing same-sex marriages.

The Vermont Senate and House have voted to legalize same-sex marriage -- the House voted Thursday night -- but Vermont's governor has said he will veto the measure. New Hampshire's governor has signaled his opposition in the past.

Vermont, New Hampshire and New Jersey allow civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.

Nationwide, the issue of same-sex marriage remains highly divisive. A June 2008 CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that 44 percent of adult Americans believe gay marriage should be recognized by law as valid; 53 percent are opposed.

The issue took center stage in the largest U.S. state in November, when California voters narrowly approved a proposition amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. California had been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples since a May 2008 ruling by the state Supreme Court legalized the unions.

However, judging from some of the over 700 comments replying to the article in the Desmoines Register we're likely to see some voter backlash similar to California.
Last edited by Zazoo and Satori
And now votes in Vermont overturns their Governor's Veto:
(from )

With veto overrides, Vermont legalizes same-sex marriage

* Vermont House and Senate voted Tuesday to override governor's veto of bill
* Same-sex marriages will become legal in Vermont on September 1
* Vermont becomes fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage
* Jubilant supporters of the bill throng legislative building after the override votes

(CNN) -- Vermont's House and Senate voted Tuesday to override the governor's veto of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.

The Senate voted 23-5 to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto, according to the Senate office. Shortly afterward, the House overrode the veto on a 100-49 vote. The votes surpassed the number needed -- two-thirds of those present -- to override the veto.

The action makes Vermont the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriages. The others are Massachusetts, Connecticut and, as of last week, Iowa.

Douglas vetoed the bill Monday. "Vermont's civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples," the governor wrote in a letter to David Gibson, secretary of the Senate. "Our civil union law serves Vermont well, and I would support congressional action to extend those benefits at the federal level to states that recognize same-sex unions. But I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman."

Tuesday's votes end a 10-year battle to legalize same-sex marriage in Vermont despite a court ruling legalizing civil unions, according to CNN affiliate WPTZ-TV. Same-sex marriages will become legal on September 1.

Following the House vote, corridors of the legislative building filled with jubilant supporters, some embracing and others talking on cell phones to spread the news, WPTZ said.

"We haven't decided who's going to propose to who yet," said one man, standing with his partner. The couple told WPTZ they will have been together 25 years in September.

The Human Rights Campaign, which describes itself as the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued a statement applauding the votes, noting Vermont is the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through the legislative process.

"This historic vote in the Vermont Legislature reminds us of the incredible progress being made toward equality," said Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign president, in the statement. "Less than five years ago, lesbian and gay couples began marrying in Massachusetts. Now, with the Iowa court decision last Friday and today's vote in Vermont, there will be four states recognizing the right to marry for loving, committed lesbian and gay couples."

Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin was quoted in the statement as saying, "The struggle for equal rights is never easy. I was proud to be president of the Senate nine years ago when Vermont created civil unions. Today we have overridden the governor's veto. I have never felt more proud of Vermont as we become the first state in the country to enact marriage equality, not as the result of a court order, but because it is the right thing to do."

Vermont's neighboring state, New Hampshire, also has taken steps toward legalizing same-sex marriages. On March 26, the New Hampshire House passed a bill by seven votes that would legalize same-sex marriage, sending it to the Senate, according to the Concord Monitor newspaper.

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch has said he opposes same-sex marriage but has not said whether he will veto a bill legalizing it. Like Vermont, New Hampshire allows civil unions for same-sex couples.

"The civil unions bill [Lynch] signed into law prevents discrimination and provides the same legal protections to all New Hampshire families to the extent that is possible under federal law," Lynch spokesman Colin Manning told the Monitor.

On Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a state law banning same-sex marriage. The decision upheld a 2007 ruling by a lower court that struck down Iowa's 1998 law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

Polk County District Judge Robert Hanson found that the law violated the state constitution's guarantee of equal protection and hurt gay and lesbian couples "in numerous tangible and intangible" ways.
Vermont's vote today was historic because it's the first time same sex marriage has been legalized by an elected legislature instead of a court. The problem with California is they have an insane process where you can put anything on the ballot, even a constitutional amendment just by getting enough signatures. In New York and most eastern states you can't do that.

We will have same sex marriage in New York soon. The Assembly has passed it and the Governor supports it. The vote in the State Senate is close. We just need to bring a few more State Senators over and then we win.

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