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I am inviting a lively discussion about what folks think the upcoming Supreme Court Marriage Equality ruling will be and if you would share why you believe this.

Will they?

1. Uphold the state marriage bans?
2. Will they mandate Nationwide Marriage equality and compel states to issue marriage licenses?
3. Will they simply invoke Full Faith and Credit, allowing states to define marriage as they see fit but requiring them to recognize and support all marriages from other states?
4. Some other option I have not considered?

My opinion and rationale below the fold.

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It seems that Marriage Equality opponents will never learn what the 1st Amendment really means.

They constantly try to make themselves the victim because they are not allowed to force their religious beliefs on to the rest of us.

They complain that public businesses should be able to refuse to provide service to LGBT people and same sex couples if it violates their religious beliefs. So basically they must think that public businesses are a church or something!

More below.

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Early results in the marriage equality referendum indicate a very strong showing for the yes vote. It's looking like a celebratory mood is emerging already within the Irish gay community, although we won't know the exact results until a bit later.

From the Irish Times:

The counting is continuing, but the smiles of all those who voted Yes are widening.
The chests of Yes campaigners are being pushed out; the tears and celebrations are likely to follow when confirmation of the results are announced in Dublin Castle.

Not only has Ireland has agreed to same-sex marriage, it has done so in a louder voice than many could have imagined, carried on the back of a remarkable turnout and an engagement by younger people not seen in years.

Following years of the politics of recession and bailout, the young were given something they could believe in, campaign for and vote for. And they did.

Yet, this one was largely for the younger generation, which turned out in its droves. Stories of emigrants returning home to vote and huge increases in voter registration offered indications of what was to come but the final results were astonishing.

From JMG:
Less than one hour into the counting of the ballots, leading Ireland activist Panti Bliss is calling it a landslide in favor of same-sex marriage. Three minutes later David Quinn, founder of the anti-gay Iona Institute tweeted his congratulations to the Yes Equality side.
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Judge Granade has granted the plaintiffs' (in the Alabama marriage equality case) petition for class certification. So, all probate judges in Alabama are included as defendants in the case, and all same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses in Alabama are included as plaintiffs. She has also granted the plaintiffs' request for preliminary injunction against probate judges recognizing Alabama's ban(s) on marriage to same-sex couples. The preliminary injunction is stayed pending the SCOTUS ruling in the marriage equality cases.
Classes are defined as:

- Plaintiffs: "All persons in Alabama who wish to obtain a marriage license in order to marry a person of the same sex and to have that marriage recognized under Alabama law, and who are unable to do so because of the enforcement of Alabama’s laws prohibiting the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples and barring recognition of their marriages."

- Defendants: "[A]ll Alabama county probate judges who are enforcing or in the future may enforce Alabama’s laws barring the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples and refusing to recognize their marriages."

via EQCF on Facebook

Update 1:

David Dinielli, the deputy legal director at the Southern Poverty Law Center and one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, told BuzzFeed News, “Judge Granade’s ruling is decisive and definitive. It ends the chaos and confusion that Attorney General Strange and Chief Justice Moore have intentionally caused through their reckless rejection of federal constitutional principles.”

Dinielli added that he expects Thursday’s ruling will make the process more smooth should the Supreme Court next month rule that bans like Alabama’s one are unconstitutional.

“As soon as the United States Supreme Court issues its ruling in June, Judge Granade’s decision will go into effect, and probate judges in every county of Alabama will be bound by a federal court order to comply with constitutional principles of fairness and equality,” he said. “This is a good day for all Alabamians who believe in the rule of law.”

via Buzz Feed
Discuss
Reposted from LGBT Kos Community by librarisingnsf
Earlier this year, I reported on an Alabama minister who tried to marry a same-sex couple in Alabama after they had gotten a marriage license at a county court house (Autauga County). She was at first sentenced to thirty days in the county jail. And, then the judge suspended the sentence and gave her  6 months unsupervised probation. Judge Fuller also ordered her to pay a $250 fine and other associated court costs. I don't see any of the anti-gay folks protesting because she was denied her "religious liberty" and prevented from practicing her religion. Have they set up a GoFundMe account for this minister? Nope.

From The Montgomery Advertiser:

Anne Susan DiPrizio, 44, of the 300 block of Cambridge Street, entered the plea before Judge Ben Fuller, but not before some delays and judicial wrangling. He gave her 30 days in the Autauga Metro Jail, and then suspended the sentence in place of 6 months unsupervised probation. Fuller also ordered her to pay a $250 fine and other associated court costs.
From Box Turtle Bulletin:
A minister in Prattville, AL, has been fined and sentenced to jail time for trying to uphold religious beliefs about same-sex marriage. But neither the Alliance Defending Freedom nor the Family Research Counsel nor any other defender of religious freedom has come to her aid or spoke in her defense.

Unitarian Universalists have a long history of social justice activism, and Anne Susan DiPrizio, as a Unitarian minister, believed it to be within the practice of her faith to offer matrimony services to two women who had just received a marriage license. When told that she could not conduct same-sex marriages in the Probate Office, DiPrizio refused to leave. So she was hauled to jail.

I’m not suggesting that DiPrizio should have defied the probate judge or sought to perform religious services where they were not allowed or welcomed. But it’s worth noting that amidst all the hue and cry turning cake bakers into martyrs in the name of religious freedom, here is an actual ordained minister who was jailed and fined for seeking to practice her faith and support same-sex marriage.

Update 1:

For those who have not been following this story, that courthouse was allowing marriage ceremonies right up until the time the federal judge struck down the ban(s) in the state. It was only then that the judge suddenly stopped allowing them.

Discuss

I''m actually very disappointed in this ruling:

A Northern Ireland bakery was found guilty Tuesday of discrimination for refusing to make a cake bearing the slogan “Support Gay Marriage,” a verdict welcomed by human rights activists but denounced by Christian conservatives in the British territory.

In her ruling, Belfast Judge Isobel Brownlie called the bakery’s cancellation of the order “direct discrimination for which there can be no justification.” The judge said the bakery was a business, not a religious organization, and therefore had no legal basis to reject an order based on a customer’s sexual orientation or beliefs.

She said the bakers knew the customer, Gareth Lee, was gay and they would have provided him a cake bearing a message that supported traditional heterosexual marriage.

I'm disappointed for a number of reasons.

1) Discrimination based on sexual orientation did not occur here. The gay customer was denied one particular service, and it was not because he is gay. Discrimination is about who you serve, not what you serve. A straight customer would have been denied the same cake.

2) This case could help play into the "special rights" bullshit of the Christian right. Why? Because I very much doubt that this man could have sued for discrimination over a denial of the exact same product if he was straight. The judge in the case made a point of noting that the man was gay, but I think that's irrelevant here, because that was not the reason he denied service. It does appear that him being gay led to a ruling in his favor, and that that wouldn't have happened if he was straight. This could give the perception that anti-discirminaiton laws provide special rights to LGBT people, which, when correctly applied, is not true. However, the laws were not correctly applied here.

3) This was a legitimate exercise of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Denying any cake to a same-sex couple is discrimination, and should be illegal. But this is not that. It involved the construction of an overt political message. People should not be forced to make merchandise to support a political cause that they disagree with.

4) I can easily see this being turned back on us. Azucar Bakery in Colorado has been harassed by Christian anti-LGBT bullies with two separate lawsuits for denying an anti-equality cake. That should not be illegal. That is her freedom of speech. But if we are going to celebrate the ruling against the Ireland bakery, how can we say that Azucar Bakery should not have to do the same thing? What are we going to distinguish the cases on? The message? I hope not. As I've said before, you can't be distinguishing two identical cases on the grounds that you like the message in one but not the other.

5) This is not a good look for us. It will give the appearance that we are intolerant of people who disagree with us. I believe that while some legitimately questionable actions are taken by some LGBT rights supporters from time to time, we are not intolerant overall. But I think this is one of those questionable actions, and I don't want to give the other side any other ammunition for that perception.

I know a lot of people disagree with me, so I'd love to hear your opinion in the comments.

Poll

Should the denial of a pro-marriage equality cake be illegal?

45%5 votes
45%5 votes
9%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 11 votes | Vote | Results

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With rhetoric reaching the highest of intensity levels prior to the marriage equality referendum vote on Friday In Ireland, some conservative homophobic folks have gone off the deep end. Take for instance this example of the hate mail that a lesbian journalist in Ireland has received and posted to her twitter account. We get homophobia, misogyny, and racism in one short piece of hate mail/trash. It's horrific and disgusting, and it looks like something one of our American fundamentalist bigots would send. Telling someone that G-d caused their cancer (for any reason) is absolutely unconscionable. I just don't know what else to say about it - just shaking my head in disgust.

Una Mullally, a journalist for the Irish Times, received the following hate mail.

If you're unable to read it, it reads:

“I was so sorry to hear about your cancer but maybe it is the will of God.

“After all you have been relentlessly pushing the twisted idea of gay marriage which would destroy the family as we know it and ruin the lives of generations of innocent children victimised by the narcissism of their mammys or two daddys.

“And how do two gays have children in the first place, if not by artificial means that make a mockery of natural relationships?

“My advice is to accept that you are both homosexual and not very pretty, as there are worse fates; you might be black for instance.

“And stop preaching to people who may have been around a lot longer than you and have more common sense in their little finger than you have in that poor muddled ugly head of yours. Frankly if I looked like you I would plead with the editor not to publish my photo.”

Via Pink News

In one of her tweets, she says that this is not even the worst or most hateful piece of mail that she has received.

Discuss

Mon May 18, 2015 at 05:06 PM PDT

Marriage Equality

by RickThompson

Reposted from RickThompson by librarisingnsf

With great interest I tune into the "gloom and doom" sayers concerning marriage equality. According to them, if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the various same-sex marriage bans enacted by some of the states, the ten plagues which befell Egypt will be nothing in comparison to what God has planned for us.

According to Bill Koenig of the World Watch Daily, gay rights in America are the reason California is going through its worst drought in History. God is angry with us!

It has to be that. The drought couldn't be the result of America's 100-year love affair with the internal combustion engine. Let's face it, that Global Warming scare is a hoax. We can trust the Republican Party (the wholly owned subsidiary of the oil industry).

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This Friday, Ireland could become the first country in the world to legalise marriage equality by a popular vote. I'm expecting that it will pass, although I am less sure than I was at the start of the year.

NOM has not failed to take notice of it, and is urging its supporters to do what they can to support the campaign. They've also accused us of hypocrisy for going to a referendum, saying:

One week from today, on May 22nd, the people of Ireland will vote on a national referendum that would redefine marriage in their Constitution.

After years of talking about the "fundamental right" of marriage not being subject to votes, advocates have organized and are going to the ballot box in an attempt to get what they want.

First of all, you'd think they'd be happy that we're playing by their rules this time, but no.

Secondly: NOM, that's not what we meant. When we talk about fundamental rights in America, we talk about fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution. Those are the rights that cannot be subjected to a vote. Legally entrenched rights cannot be annulled by a vote. But while marriage is a right in America, it is not in other countries, like Ireland. If we could sue, we would. But we can't in Ireland, so we have to do it with some kind of popular approval process.

But there's more. They've also included this insane graphic:

"Don't let them redefine marriage in Ireland"? NOM, if marriage is redefined, you do know who it will be by, right? It's a popular referendum, don't you remember? It's Ireland's own citizens, isn't it? Do you really propose not letting them decide their own laws?

Oh, wait, you would do something like that. Of course you would.

Discuss

It is common for many of us to think of the modern Marriage Equality movement in the United States as starting in the 90’s but when did the movement really have its beginning? Let’s take a look at the timeline.

*1972 – On October 10, 1972; Baker v Nelson. The US Supreme Court dismisses this case from Minnesota for want of a substantial Federal question.

*1973 – Maryland becomes the first state to pass a statute banning marriage between same sex couples (January) and in November the Kentucky Court of Appeals in Jones v Hallahan ruled that same sex couples could not marry.

*1974 – Washington Court of Appeals denies the case brought by John Singer and Paul Barwick challenging the denial of freedom to marry.

*1975 – Marriage license issued to a same sex couple by County Clerk Clela Rorex in Boulder Colorado who finds nothing in Colorado law against it. The couple applies for an immigrant VISA for Anthony Sullivan from Australia which was denied and the response from the Immigration service was You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots. (More on this case)

As you will see from the following timeline this struggle was largely silent for 18 years. Continue reading below the fold for the rest of the timeline.
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As we await the SCOTUS ruling with regard to nationwide marriage equality here in the states, things are getting intense prior to the marriage equality referendum in Ireland. It reminds me somewhat of the days just prior to the election in 2008 in California and the Proposition Eight campaigns. As a result, it bothers me a great deal when people vote on the rights of others. It just doesn't seem right. Nevertheless, that is how the Irish have decided to deal with the issue. The marriage equality referendum will be voted on next Friday in Ireland. If the "yes" vote wins, the constitution of Ireland will reflect that same-sex couples have the right to civil marriage in Ireland.

In response to that referendum, an Irish journalist has come out to her family and to the public at large. She has written a very heart-wrenching opinion piece in the Irish Times. I will reproduce just a portion of that op-ed here, however the entire piece is excellent and worth reading in full.

From Box Turtle Bulletin:

One week from today, the people of Ireland will vote on whether to change their constitution so as to allow same sex couples to marry. The move has the backing of the Government and, though opposed by the Church, is polling favorably.

It is also starting conversations where they might not have otherwise arisen. One such discussion is the one that Ursula Halligan is having with the Irish people.

Halligan is the political editor of Ireland’s main independent television station, TV3. Ireland knows her well. But today Ireland knows her better.

And, from Towleroad:
In an opinion piece published today, Halligan - who came out to her family in the last few days - writes about her experience growing up as a gay woman in Ireland.

She quotes from her diary, written as a 17-year-old in 1977:

“These past few months must have been the darkest and gloomiest I have ever experienced in my entire life. There have been times when I have even thought about death, of escaping from this world, of sleeping untouched by no-one forever. I have been so depressed, so sad and so confused.”
She goes on to describe a sense of loss because she hasn’t experienced the same social approval as her siblings:
“For me, there was no first kiss; no engagement party; no wedding. And up until a short time ago no hope of any of these things. Now, at the age of 54, in a (hopefully) different Ireland, I wish I had broken out of my prison cell a long time ago. I feel a sense of loss and sadness for precious time spent wasted in fear and isolation.”
She concludes:
“If Ireland votes Yes, it will be about much more than marriage. It will end institutional homophobia. It will say to gay people that they belong, that it’s safe to surface and live fully human, loving lives. If it’s true that 10 per cent of any population are gay, then there could be 400,000 gay people out there; many of them still living in emotional prisons. Any of them could be your son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father or best friend. Set them free. Allow them live full lives.”
Many LGBT folks can relate to her emotions and feelings of loneliness, isolation, and despair. Her words in the op-ed illuminate those emotions quite well.

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Reposted from unapologeticliberal777 by Chrislove

I have been sitting here for thirty minutes struggling with that question.  

Why?

Because of a diary sitting at the top of Community Spotlight section on Daily Kos written by kay3295 titled "My Gay Wedding Story."  If you have not read it, I strongly urge you to read it as the writer does an amazing job of capturing the emotional roller coaster that gay couples experience, regardless of where you get married, what decade you get married in, or whether or not your marriage is "legal."

I understand what the emotional roller coaster feels like as I married my partner in 1992, four years before DOMA was signed into law by then President Bill Clinton, after "liberal" members of the U. S. Senate, including Paul Wellstone, Barbara Mikulski, Tom Harkin, Patty Murray, Patrick Leahy, and Dick Durbin, voted for DOMA.

http://thinkprogress.org/...

Needless to say, 1992 was not a great time for a man to marry another man, in terms of being accepted by society as a whole.  It was tough to get your family, friends, and co-workers to accept the fact that you are gay, never mind marrying your partner.

We got married on September 9, 1992 - so this was before Bill Clinton and Al Gore won the presidential election in November of 1992.  The political environment had been horrible for gay folks for pretty much an eternity, or since 20000 B.C., whichever is longer.  But things seemed to get so much worse with the AIDS crisis that began in 1980.  Society stood by, demonizing gays for starting the "gay plague" while tens of thousands died.  It was so painful to watch your friends who had become your "family" waste away and die a slow, miserable death.  My heart still aches for some of my friends, who were struggling emotionally trying to understand why everyone sat back and did nothing, as the virus decimated their immune systems and they could no longer take care of themselves.  And most held one individual responsible for it all and became the "poster child" for societies indifference to gay men who were dying of AIDS - and that was president Ronald Reagan.  But of course, that is a whole other diary.  

So fast forward to 1990 when I met my partner.  It was two years after President  George H. W. Bush won election to the presidency via an ad he ran about a murderer/rapist named Willie Horton who Governor Dukakis had let out on a furlough from prison and who then raped and murdered a woman.  By 1992, gays were so for down the societal ladder, I heard one guy say that Willie Horton had a better moral compass than gays did - that is where things stood.  

But I used that negative energy to build my confidence after watching members of Act-Up publicly fight the FDA over AIDS drugs and how their "in your face" style of protest, actually having shut down the FDA in October of 1988, surprisingly was able to shift public opinion and force the FDA to move drugs through the regulatory process quicker to battle AIDS and in order to save lives.

http://www.actupny.org/...

So I was standing tall at that point, after being closeted for so long, I was happy to have someone I loved in my life, and I absolutely LOVED fighting conservatives in the political arena, but especially all the fundamentalist Christians out there, who I loved exposing for the frauds that they still are today.  But my whole world came crashing down.

I was so stupid.  As I said, I loved fighting the fight in the political arena, but was becoming frustrated that we were making little headway on a number of progressive issues, including gay rights.  But then, my wedding invitations were mailed out and the bottom of my world fell out and I quickly learned why we were not making headway politically.

They say all politics is local - and it's true.  Clearly, things were moving so slowly on the national political front, because for so many members of the gay community in those days, we couldn't gain acceptance from our friends and family.      

I called my parents in 1991 and told them I was gay.  We lived on different coasts so I had to do it by telephone - but to be honest, I was terrified to tell my parents in person, not so much my dad, but my mom, so of course I did it by telephone.  And of course the telephone conversation went the way I figured it would.  

I called my parents in the summer of 1992 and told them I was getting married, then mailed the invitation to them.  I called a week later and resigned myself to the fact that this was not going over well and they wouldn't be attending.  I called my siblings and told them of my big news, and with most of them, it went over like a lead balloon, but even those who were supportive couldn't attend.  I started telling friends as well and while some were supportive, but a lot were clearly uncomfortable and many couldn't attend our wedding due to "family obligations."  I never saw most of them after that.

Surprisingly, the most supportive group were my co-workers.  Seven of the eight I invited from work came to the wedding, but the one that did not, who had actually become close to my partner, betrayed us, and faxed our invitation to other offices around the country where I had worked previously, and where I still had good friends  working.  Needless to say, all of that caused me a lot of grief for me and my friends and highlighted one more instance of betrayal by someone I thought was a good friend.  But I weathered the storm, things settled down, and after that experience, I decided I didn't give a rats ass what anyone thought of me, and my life became so much better after adopting that attitude.

I got married on September 9, 1992 at home in front of some friends, a ton of neighbors, and my co-workers.  The ceremony was conducted by a minster from the local Unitarian Church.  My partner had the whole event catered, and turned our home upside down, having had all the furniture hauled away and put in storage, and turned the house it into a wedding venue like nothing I had ever seen even in a magazine - everything was done in white, from the flowers to our tuxedos.  All I had to do was show up, say "I Do," and have a blast with the guy who meant everything to me.    Everyone had a blast, the whole affair went on until 4:00 a.m., and it was a day I will never forget.  And even though our marriage was not recognized legally, I really liked having the control of doing it the way we wanted to do it without fighting the government to do it or having to wait until the government said it was okay to do it.  There was no political will for gay marriage back then.  I don't even recall it being a political issue, so you did what you had to do to be happy and move your lives forward and we did just that.  And I loved the fact that we did it without societies approval - we did it on our own terms.    

So, that was my gay wedding experience.  

It's quite difference from what a lot of gay couples experience today.   Clearly, society is much more supportive of gays getting married, as are friends, family and co-workers, for the most part.  And with the expected ruling by the Supreme Court this June, marriage equality will be the law of the land, as it should be, and as it should have been a long time ago.  

Everyone deserves to have the right to marry the person they love.  

A big thank you and shout out to kay3295 for her dairy and congratulations to her and her new bride.  Your diary really triggered a lot of emotions in me this morning.  I felt compelled to write about my experience as a result.  And although it has been really tough for me writing this diary and feeling so vulnerable by putting all these emotions into words, I also feel good having shared it as well.

Peace to all.  

   

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