The Week of Marriage Equality News

This has been a roller coaster week for marriage equality. On Monday, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed the marriage equality law that was passed in Washington state. Washington will become the seventh state to offer marriage equality starting in mid-June. Currently, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Iowa offer marriage equality, along with Washington D.C.

Continue reading

Washington State Passes Marriage Equality

Washington will become the 7th state to offer marriage equality in the United States. The Senate passed the bill last week and the House passed the bill today. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law, which would take effect after 90 days of the governor’s signature.

Currently, New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington DC have marriage equality for same-sex couples. Opponents of marriage equality have already started gathering signatures to put this to a vote in November; however, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling this week on Prop 8 would probably apply to Washington as well. Washington falls under the same appeals court and the circumstances, if this were to go to voters, would be nearly identical.

Why the Supreme Court May not Touch the Prop 8 Case

Image from sfappeal.com

With the historic decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today, Prop 8 looks to be dismantled. There is still a stay in place on gay marriage while this moves up the chain further, but the limited scope of the case may keep the Supreme Court from taking up the issue.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional today because “the people of California may not, consistent with the federal Constitution, add to their state constitution a provision that has no more practical effect than to strip gays and lesbians of the right to use the official designation that the state and society give to committed relationships, thereby adversely affecting the status and dignity of the members of a disfavored class.” Continue reading

Washington Democratic Senator Mary Margaret Haugen Announces Support for Marriage Equality

After some deep soul searching, Senator Mary Margaret Haugen has announced that she will support marriage equality in Washington, giving the state the needed 25th vote to pass the marriage bill. The Senator talks about her deeply religious history and how, ultimately, the Golden Rule made her decide that marriage equality should move forward.

“I have very strong Christian beliefs, and personally I have always said when I accepted the Lord, I became more tolerant of others.  I stopped judging people and try to live by the Golden Rule.  This is part of my decision.  I do not believe it is my role to judge others, regardless of my personal beliefs. Continue reading

South Carolina Becomes the Third State with LGBT License Plate

It looks like the two coasts are getting behind the ball when it comes to showing your support for the LGBT community with your car. Maryland was the first state to have an LGBT license plate; Indiana was second. South Carolina is looking to be the third.

I find it rather odd that the states that offer marriage equality do not have specialty license plates for the LGBT community. In fact, all three of these states have amendments banning marriage equality and do not even offer partnerships.

I just hope these plates will help the citizens of these states to get on board with marriage equality and LGBT rights.

Christine Johnson, executive director of South Carolina Equality (SC Equality)  said, “2012 represents our 10th Anniversary of providing LGBT advocacy in the Palmetto State, and we can think of no better way to kick off our year of celebration! We begin the New Year feeling grateful and fortunate that South Carolina license plate policy allows a broad expression of diverse opinion and organizational support. We have collaborated with the DMV to create a license plate we hope will appeal not just members of the LGBT community, but their families, friends and allies.”

via The Seattle Lesbian

Republican Primaries: Why they are important to all of us

The Republican primaries are under way and all over the news channels. As a liberal, you might be thinking that you do not care and that the primaries do not affect you. If you think that, you would be wrong. The primaries are important to all of us. If you are a liberal, you probably want Obama to win a re-election this fall. That means you want a Republican candidate that doesn’t appeal to moderates or Independents. If you are conservative, you want a candidate that does appeal to moderates and Independents.

It’s easy for the LGBT community to assume that we are all liberals that will vote a straight ticket Democrat (pun intended). Unfortunately, you would be wrong. There are liberal heterosexuals and conservative heterosexuals. Likewise, there are liberal people in the LGBT community as well as conservative people in the LGBT community. We are not all the same. Life would be really boring if we were.

If you are a liberal, you should hope that Santorum or Gingrich win the primaries. I really don’t think that either one of them has a chance of getting enough votes from the moderates and Independents. If you are a conservative, you should be hoping that Romney or Huntsman win the primaries. Personally, I want Huntsman to win. Both of these candidates have a chance of pulling the moderates and Independents from Obama.As for Ron Paul? I really don’t know. He may appeal to the centrists, but he may not.

So the next time you see an article on the primaries, you may want to pay attention. Also, if you can vote in the primaries you might want to try to push the candidate that you think will (or will not) win into the general election. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or an Independent, every primary is important to you. The importance just depends on whether you want the Republican candidate to win or the Democratic candidate to win.

Keeping Christ in Christmas: How Xtians Created Xmas

Now that Christmas is over, I want to dispel a myth that reappears every year. Shortly after Thanksgiving, the media (and now FaceBookers) rant and rave about keeping the “Christ” in Christmas. These people are up in arms about the prevalence of Xmas being used by marketing teams, advertisers and other people. They view the term Xmas as being used to cross off the Christ in Christmas.

Let me start with news that will shock you. The term Xmas is not new. The term did not first appear in recent times or even in your lifetime. Retailers did not create Xmas to take the Christ out of Christmas or to appease atheists. The term Xmas first appeared as early as the first century AD, but became popular in the 15th century. That’s right. The 15th century. As in the 1400s.

In any case, by the fifteenth century Xmas emerged as a widely used symbol for Christmas. In 1436 Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with moveable type. In the early days of printing typesetting was done by hand and was very tedious and expensive. As a result, abbreviations were common. Continue reading