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A Louisiana state senator took to the state senate floor to rake Governor Bobby Jindal over the coals for issuing the executive order after the 'license to discriminate' legislation failed in committee in the Louisiana state House. She believes that it will hurt Louisiana's tourist industry (her district includes New Orleans).

From Towleroad:

Karen Carter Peterson, a Louisiana state senator who represents the New Orleans area, took to the senate floor ahead of Gov. Bobby Jindal's "religious freedom" executive order earlier this week to set the record straight on Jindal's self-serving plan to circumvent the legislature and enact the discriminatory measure himself.

"Now we've heard him talk about how he feels about executive orders, but those are at the federal level. He don't like those. But today it's okay to just ignore the House and the clear rejection of something that's just not good for our state. He didn't even have the courage to testify before the House, but he wants to roll out a press release saying what he's going to do through executive action. But guess what he did have time to do? To start running commercial, not here in New Orleans, or Baton Rouge, or Monroe - he ran a religious freedom commercial in Iowa. Are you kidding me? Why don't you roll some commercials out on how to fix this nightmare that you've created right here in Louisiana? This is ridiculous."

Here is Bobby Jindal's commercial

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Reposted from Kossacks for Marriage Equality by librarisingnsf
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
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Reposted from Chrislove by Chrislove

Need a bit of inspiration this morning? I've got just the story for you.

On Tuesday, two men showed up on a street corner in Tillamook, Oregon, with signs reading "Homo sex is sin" and "Jesus said unless you all repent you will likewise perish." Apparently, this was not the first time these bigots protested in Tillamook. This time, however, their hateful display provoked a response.

Makaila Ragan, a high school junior, happened to notice the men on Tuesday standing outside her mother's workplace with their signs. She told the Tillamook County Pioneer:

I was so irritated because I see them all around town and all they ever do is make people feel like crap about themselves.
Unlike most people, she wasn't content to simply ignore the protesters.
I went inside and asked her and her boss if it would be all right if I made a poster that stands up for what I believe in. They were totally all for it.
And so she did. Her message? A simple one: "I <3 Gays."
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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.

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Tue May 19, 2015 at 04:33 PM PDT

A small but important detail

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by rserven

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee in Illinois unanimously passed HB 3552, which is an amendment to the Disposition of Remains Act which would allow transgender people to provide written instructions to the person charged with the responsibility for carrying out the decedent's funeral and disposition of remains to ensure that said transgender person's identity is respected.

Specifically, the directions may include instructions pertaining to appearance, chosen name, and gender pronouns.
Many transgender people face rejection by or isolation from their next of kin, or they fear stigmatization due to their gender identity or expression.

Some transgender people do not reveal their transgender status due to concerns about discrimination, harassment, and violence. This measure, through a simple legal change, will provide solace to transgender people facing end of life, in that it will ensure that their names and genders are respected after death.

--Alison Gill, Human Rights Campaign

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Reposted from Kossacks for Marriage Equality by librarisingnsf
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.

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Reposted from librarisingnsf by librarisingnsf
Madonna is fond of controversy, and she knows how to stir it up pretty well. Now, the "material girl" has posted a photo of a (presumably) gay Jewish man and a gay Muslim man about to kiss on Instagram.

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

Jewish news agency JTA describes the image as showing "a Jewish man with side curls and wearing a large white knitted kippah of the Breslover Hasidic movement and an Arab man wearing a traditional Arab keffiyeh."

Regardless, the Material Girl knows how to spark controversy, discussion, and debate, and what a great way to do it.

For millennia the Middle East has been a war zone of intellectual, spiritual, and physical battles between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and their adherents, followers, and advocates.

For millennia, and increasingly, homosexuality has been part of this debate.

Commenters on the image took all sides, but seemed overwhelmingly positive.

The responses have been mixed, but mostly positive. I think it's wonderful and sweet myself.

And, check out this video.

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Reposted from TransAction by rserven

 photo VictoriaRamirez2_zpss5qmmpor.jpgVictoria Ramirez put herself through college working for Barnes & Noble.  She worked herself up the ladder from bookseller to merchandise manager at a store in Irvine, CA.

But when she began transitioning from male to female, she says that managers told her she would not be allowed to use a new name, would not be referred to by female pronouns and would not be allowed to use the women's restroom.

In other words, her managers vetoed her transition.  She was told the store had a "neighborhood vibe" and that she should "think about the children."  When she complained she was fired.

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Reposted from TransAction by rserven

For the first time ever the American Health Association-National College Health Assessment survey allowed students to identify as transgender.  Out of this effort emerged

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Eating-Related Pathology in a National Sample of College Students, Diemer, Grant, Munn-Chernoff, Patterson and Duncan in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Abstract:  

This study examined associations of gender identity and sexual orientation with self-reported eating disorder (SR-ED) diagnosis and compensatory behaviors in transgender and cisgender college students.

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Sat May 16, 2015 at 03:26 PM PDT

Transgender Health Care

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by rserven

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the second largest group pf medical doctors in the nation, behind the AMA.  This past week the ACP has issued its positions on how best to support and serve the nation's LGBT people.

The ACP recognizes that LGBT people have significant disparity in the health care we receive, ranging from coverage to culturally competent care to state and federal policies that systemically reify social stigma, marginalization and discrimination.  That results in LGBT people being discouraged from seeking preventative health care, as well as increasing anxiety, suicidal ideation and substance and alcohol abuse.

So the ACP adopted nine positions:

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Reposted from Kossacks for Marriage Equality by librarisingnsf
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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