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Marriage Equality Round-Up – December 11th

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Here’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Chile: A marriage equality bill was formally introduced on Wednesday. full story

Finland: Finland Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen has vowed to challenge last Friday’s decision by MPs to legalize gender-neutral unions. full story

India: It’s exactly one year since India recriminalized same-sex relationships. full story

Romania: Slate has a report on what it’s like to be gay in the country. full story

South Korea: Seoul Mayor Won Soon Park has agreed to meet with activists occupying city hall, to discuss his decision not to proclaim a new human rights charter over concerns that it has caused “social conflicts.” full story

Syria: ISIS posted photos of militants throwing a man reported to be gay from a roof and stoning him to death. full story

UK: The Chairman of Grassroots Conservatives says Prime Minister David Cameron’s support for marriage equalitymeans the party “has little chance of winning a majority at the general election”. full story

USA: A new map shows US states that have marriage equality, and states that have no LGBT employment protections. full story

Marriage equality and employment protections map

USA: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) announced that he will introduce a sweeping federal LGBT rights bill that will cover employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations. full story

USA: The top civilian leader of the Air Force says she supports allowing transgender people to serve openly in the armed forces, and expects a review of the issue to take place soon. full story

USA, Arkansas: Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he remains opposed to marriage equality, but might support civil unions. full story

USA, Arkansas: Marriage equality plaintiffs delivered a petition urging AG McDaniel to not appeal the case. full story

USA, Arkansas: The Advocate has a great primer on the fight for marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Arkansas: HRC asks why TLC is still supporting the Duggar family after their successful transphobic repeal campaign against Fayetteville’s LGBT protections ordinance. full story

USA, Florida: AG Pam Bondi is being mum about her plans to deal with the expiration of a stay on a marriage equality case on January 6th. full story

USA, Maryland: NerdWallet.com crunched some numbers, and its analysis indicates that Maryland netted $52.7 million from same-sex nuptials. full story

USA, Missouri: A judge in Jackson County has rejected an attempt by the Missouri General Assembly’s GOP leadership to stop Kansas City from recognizing same-sex marriages from other states. full story

USA, South Carolina: Attorney General Alan Wilson will appeal a prominent lawsuit that resulted in same-sex marriages from other states being recognized in the state. full story

Vatican: Vatican officials are once again polling the world’s Catholics about their opinions on controversial “family issues” such as abortion, divorce, and homosexuality. full story

Sean Sala blasts Pastor who called for the execution of gays for an “AIDS Free Christmas”

Friday, December 5th, 2014
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Arizona “Pastor” Steven Anderson (Left) and National LGBT Policy Activist Sean Sala (Right)

Originally seen on SeanSala.com

Arizona Pastor Steven Anderson “rung in” the holiday season by calling for the execution of all gays, saying it would give the world an “AIDS FREE CHRISTMAS.”

National LGBT Policy activist Sean Sala, went on the Fox News KFYI Arizona’s talk show “The Voice of Merrill.” Sala called the the Pastor a “Blithering Idiot,” citing his inadequacies in Biblical and Health Statistical facts. Sala also mentioned that Anderson is inciting “everything that Jesus hated.”

See minute 32:00 for the beginning of the segment: HERE

Thanksgiving Hiatus

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Turkey for ThanksgivingHey all,

It’s been a crazy year for marriage equality – especially the last few months since the US Supreme Court issued their non-decision decision. Since then, 16 states have come on board, with more to follow soon.

We’re thrilled with all this, but we’re a bit worn out. So we’re taking a short hiatus for the Thanksgiving holiday (barring any huge developments).

We’ll be back on Sunday with a recap of anything we missed during the break.

Happy Turkey Day!

:)

–Scott & Mark
Marriage Equality Watch

A #Texas Family Defies the Haters and Loves their Gay Son – A #Holiday Message:

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
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Nancy K. (Middle)

We loved our Gay son – period | Originally seen on SeanSala.com

“Celebrate Me Home,” for the Holidays. – By Nancy K. 

This weekend I’ve been busy taking down my Thanksgiving decorations in order to fill the house with my wonderful obsession; the Christmas Holidays!

While doing so, of course I had to play my Christmas music to begin my joyful tradition!

My first choice of the season…”Celebrate Me Home” by Kenny Loggins.

As I was singing along at the top of my voice, “Home for the Holidays, I believe I’ve missed each and every face – let’s turn on every love light in the place”   I just stopped after carefully setting out my childhood Santa’s  that spelled out “J O Y”, I stared at those words and just listened to the entire song.

All my heart could think about was everyone, absolutely everyone being home for the Holidays and turning on every love light.   For me, the term “Love Light” means being open to pure truth and acceptance – love with no conditions.    You see, I am the proud mom of a Gay son. When he comes to visit he will be home for the Holidays surrounded with love.   The Love Light in our family has always been turned on. As the song says, “he will find himself totally surrounded in our circles.”

As I stood there staring at that simple 3 letter word “JOY” and listening to the words “Celebrate Me Home” I thought of the many kids that were facing hatred, unacceptance and very conditional type love, because they are gay.  They do not have this Joy in their soul. Joy doesn’t just happen, it is acquired from acceptance for the beautiful spirit that they are.   Are they being celebrated home this holiday season?  It is time for this acceptance, surround them in your circle with Pride.

When our son was just a 3 years old, we knew.   His dad and I always embraced his differences.  At Christmas time, we honored all of his wishes.  After all, for children it is a time of magic, wonderment and they are watching to see if Santa “listened” to their hearts desire!

One Christmas our son’s heart desire was a very special order – a pink Convertible electric car!

This was a mission my son’s  dad was determined to accomplish.  It took a lot of work, but on Christmas morning, my son awoke to the magic of seeing his pink Convertible electric car sitting right under that tree! Naturally, we would  love and honor our son  for who he is.  Gender expression is something we should cherish, even if it’s against the status-quo.

There is one song that my son will always remember, “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper.  It was my lullaby to him, dancing on my toes as I sang to him this song! I wanted for him to know, before he knew, that his True Colors would always shine through.  When the day came that he wanted to share with us his True Colors, we were so happy for him!   We knew almost his whole life.  We made the condition that it would be on his terms. We loved him for who he was – period.

Parents – there is a line in this wonderful holiday song that stands out, “It is a very uneasy highway,” yes it is.   Our job as parents is to make sure that this uneasy highway leads them to a home that is celebrated with complete love.  This is the season, right now to turn your love light on. If your relationship is dark, do not allow your child to sit in this darkness one minute more.  They are only waiting for that phone call from you. Please, bring JOY into your child’s life.   This will be the greatest gift you could give at this beautiful season of love.

All your child wants, all any of us want is to be Celebrated Home!

It’s time

Celebrate them home

 

Trans group “Military Freedom Coalition”: Statement on resignation of Chuck Hagel

Monday, November 24th, 2014
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Chuck Hagel resigns (Photo credit NBC News)

Originally seen MilitaryFreedomCoalition.org

The following is a statement from Staff at the Military Freedom Coalition – a leading organization lobbying for the removal of the Transgender Military ban. Advocating both nationwide and in Washington D.C. – represented by Transgender Navy SEAL (Retired) Kristin Beck:

“In May of this year Secretary Hagel said the ban on transgender service people would be reviewed. On August 5th of this year a new DOD Regulation was passed that removed the medical regulation that prohibited transgender service. In the following month I sat down with DOD officials and further reviewed the regulations and procedures to include open transgender service in the US military – the same open and equal service by transgender people seen in eighteen other nations including the UK, Canada, Australia and Norway.

Secretary Hagel has moved the rudder of the ship, but nothing has really changed for the individual transgender person. Over 15,500 Americans still serve in fear for their livelihood and sometimes their lives. We just want to serve our country with honor and integrity – “OPEN” and honest.

The services need to comply with the new regulation (DODI 1332.18) and update the policy. Or the new SECDEF needs to delineate and write very plainly what needs to happen to bring equality of service into the military. Steps have been taken and reviews are underway.
SECDEF Hagel, thank you for this and your service to our country. I look forward to my next meeting in the Pentagon with new staff to continue on this journey to freedom.” - National Transgender Military Liaison, Navy SEAL (Retired) Kristin Beck 

In a second statement:

During today’s press conference Hagel committed to remain in his position as Secretary of Defense until a successor has been named. During his remaining time, it is our hope that Hagel will keep his word about reviewing the ban on Transgender Servicemembers (11 May 2014).

“I do think it continually should be reviewed,” he told ABC’s Martha Raddatz. “I’m open to those assessments, because, again, I go back to the bottom line, every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it.”

As the White House struggles with it’s own foreign policy, the battle for transgender rights in the military wages on. There can be no mistaking the controversy that surrounds this day. The war in Afghanistan, ISIS (ISIL) and Transgender Servicemembers… all issues that Hagel has left open ended. While we cannot expect anyone to be selected during the current Lame Duck Session (between now and end of the year) – it is our sincere hope that the Senate Republicans will work with Democrats and name the successor in a timely and equitable manner.” – National Transgender Coalition Liaison, Ashleigh Barraza

For further press inquires contact Sean@MilitaryFreedomCoalition.org

 

“God’s Cock” – A Gender Stereotyped “god” Who Hates Trans people? – By Kristin Beck

Friday, November 21st, 2014

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“God’s Cock” – By National Transgender Military Liaison Kristin Beck 

Originally seen on MilitaryFreedomCoalition.org

I grew up very religious as a youngster and have read the Bible, parts of the Koran, Kabala, Book of Five Rings, Siddhartha and many other foundations of religion books. I served in the military for 20 years and worked with people from around the world; many people who believed in many gods. I appreciated and respected all of the people I met along the way, even the ones who were trying to kill me.

So why the “cock” and why did God send it? I am told many things and most of it I don’t agree with. I am told that I am transgender, from male to female. I am told I am evil, Satan, weird, miscreant, infidel and many other things. I even am told that I should be put to death. Most of this hate and misunderstanding  comes from religious people. The more you look the more you see that religion is the basis of most of our pain, suffering, war, scourge, guilt and punishment. Religion has gone sideways. So “God’s Cock” is a ROOSTER that is telling you religious folks to wake up!

The religion of today’s world is going to destroy the earth. I really believe this is true. I don’t worry about global warming or the politics of China or communism; I worry about religiosity.  The two biggest culprits today are the Christians and the Muslims with communism (void of religion, but full of indoctrination and zeal) – taking up a poll position. The Christians had their Crusades and Inquisitions and their hunting of outcasts and naysayer; which includes people like me throughout time (I will not drink hemlock). Now Islam seems to be following suit and maybe, thanks to modern technology and greater population density could out kill the Christians.

The worst or funniest part is that all of the hate, discontent, killing and war between Christians and Muslims are ironically that they are from the same tribe! They are all from Abraham – the same God.

Religion based killing and hate is destroying themselves and the world with it. So why do I even have an opinion worth stating?

In my position of being hated by all of the religions with equal zeal I guess I can have an opinion and maybe it’s worth it. I am living my life as my spirit guides. I prefer two-spirit or twin flame. I am not in the wrong body and I have transitioned nothing; I have not changed. My life now, showing two-spirits has put me in direct fire of the prejudice and outright mistreatment toward women, minorities and people who live outside of norms. I see the issues and weep over the subjugation of women and minorities around the world. I lived as a man and now as a woman; I am living a path of two-spirits and the religious zealots say, “This is against god’s plan.” I ask you, “How do you know?”

What if my journey while here on earth is to live in both genders? What if this is god’s plan? This body is not mine and it is not forever. This mortal body you see is just a shell and my color, race, gender, sex, height and weight mean nothing in the end. You can’t bring your money or your penis to the afterlife, if there is such a thing. My spirit is forever… my spirit and energy is made in a creator’s (god’s) image, not my body. Be sure that you understand that your actions while here on earth are forever and your spirit will not forget. Everything you do leaves an imprint on others and yourself. Regardless of what religion you are, look into another person’s eyes and tell me you could hate that person? Tell me they are different than you and are less than you. Can you see the spirit or just their body? Everything I do while in this body should be in the spirit of love, kindness and promoting others to do their best.

Why don’t we teach love and compassion in religion? Why do most religions have so many rules that are based on worldly possession and power? Why is division such a vast array between us? The differences between us are less than a millionths of the eye of the needle?

Its foundations are covered in religion – In reality based upon kings and power, the dominion over the masses of people. It is control and manipulation of the ignorant and the peasant. Don’t tell me that female circumcision has any basis in care or the wearing of clothing that covers every inch of skin is healthy. Wearing your hair a certain way or tying your beard up under your chin. Are any of the religion based prerogatives healthy or care-giving and to whom? Who requires prayer, tithing, confessions and all the trappings of religion? Who thought of magic underwear, fish on Friday, walking 6 steps behind and promises of virgins in heaven?

Does god need money and power or numbers in a congregation? Does anyone really think that a creator or god cares about any worldly possessions or rituals in minutia? How about The Children’s Crusade? Would a creator or god of love only endorse Fatwas of hate and suffering? Of killing and bombs connected to power, oil and land grabs… When was the last Fatwa of PEACE? When was the last Crusade to feed the poor? A Fatwa/Crusade of compassion and understanding would go a long way in god’s eye, believe me.

God’s Cock is a rooster that is crowing really loud around the world for you to wake up and stop all this madness of hate filled agendas. Religious leaders need to WAKE UP and start leading the flocks of followers on a path to understanding and compassion for each other.  Every person is responsible for themselves. You have one chance to live and your spirit is forever. Start living well and good. If your leader is teaching hate, call them out or lead yourself.

God’s Cock is crowing loudly to end the Fatwas and Crusades of hate.

Remembering #RyanWhite and the Gay Men Who Died During the #Aids Crisis

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

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Remembering Ryan White and the millions of gay men who died during the darkest days of our AIDS crisis

By C.L. Frederick

Featured on SeanSala.com

It’s easy for the LGBTQ community to forget the past, since we are always looking forward and breaking down the societal barriers that have held us back for eons.  I for one have been guilty of forgetting our past struggles for the sake of moving our community forward socially and, in all honesty, because I never believed our history applied to my life.

Then I was diagnosed with HIV. That was certainly was expectedly a life changing experience, but it also changed the way I looked at the gay community.  Stories from our past became my saving grace.

I found myself being re-introduced to the era of the death sentence and I realized that I owed a debt of gratitude to those who came before me during the early days when medicine and treatments were not advanced enough to save lives, those who died during the time when HIV/AIDS was looked at as the “gay disease,” when hate and ignorance were mixed into one’s fight to live.

I was just a boy when AIDS began to enter the public consciousness, and I acutely remember hearing news reports and adults in my life discussing this “gay epidemic.” I just wanted to know why so many people were dying and why people on the news and the grown-ups I respected lacked sympathy for them.

I picked up on the vitriol being spewed at gay men with HIV/AIDS and it was jarring for me. News reports on TV seemed to shame these men and I was confused as to why that was. Then a few years later I heard about a boy named Ryan White who acquired HIV/AIDS through a blood transfusion.

He was a boy close to my age and I found myself paying attention to his story.  He seemed so strong and was so well spoken.  Here was a boy fighting for his life, growing gravely ill from his disease and treatments, a boy who encountered a great deal of hate and ostracism from all over the country because he wanted to simply go to school and be a part of his community.

Such hostility aimed a boy who did nothing to deserve the social prejudice added to his fight to live!

I could identify with Ryan and I continued to follow every bit of information concerning his journey as a youth with AIDS. This was not an interest that I could share with my family or friends, but my soul was rooting for him.

Ryan did not survive his fight against HIV/AIDS and when I learned of his death I was quietly heartbroken. Ryan’s life was quite possible the first human interest story to have an impact on my own humanity.

The years following Ryan White’s death saw HIV/AIDS treatments advance and prolong lives.  I began to come into my own as a gay man and started to forget about those who had died. People with HIV/AIDS were living longer and issues like LGBTQ equality and gay marriage were on the cusp of national and worldwide attention.

I would think of Ryan’s life from time to time, but I failed to realize how globally impactful his story was and should continue to be.

After learning I was HIV-positive, I found myself searching for stories to relate to, stories to comfort me in my time of need.

One night I watched the HBO movie The Normal Heart, and I was reminded of the struggles gay men with HIV/AIDS dealt with at the onset. I don’t cry much, but watching the movie was an emotional rollercoaster for me.  I have never been moved to that extent or cried so much because of a film.

To be reminded of those who came before me was a painful and humbling moment. The cards were stacked against them during that time: medications that would put a body through hell, men fighting to live only to be beaten down by society and ignorance in the process, and the fact that most knew they were dealing with a death sentence.

I am able to live a fairly normal life as a positive man today because of their voices, their fight and their bravery to live in the face of so many painful obstacles constantly working against them. Living with HIV/AIDS today still has its challenges. It is still a mountain of obstacles to overcome to remain healthy and get access to medications and treatment.

But the fact is that I only deal with a fraction of the challenges that those who came before me encountered. We have lost millions of voices that could have told us billions of stories. And I can’t help but think how different life would be today if we never had to lose any of those men.

What plays would have been written? What art created? Would one have become our first gay president? Was one my soul mate?

I get to live today, but I fully realize that all who have died of AIDS deserved to live just as much as I do.  I will never again forget the legacy of Ryan White and the men who came before me.

How to Tell if Someone is Gay

Friday, November 14th, 2014

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Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 7th

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Here’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Greece: The Greek Ombudsman is prodding the government to pass a civil unions bill for gays and lesbians. full story

Latvia: Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics just came out. full story

Malaysia: Three transgender women in Malaysia have won their lawsuit against an Islamic law that prohibits “cross-dressing.” full story

UK, Northern Ireland: After being threatened with fines for refusing to make a marriage equality cake, a bakery is still refusing to apologize. full story

UK, Scotland: Gay Star News profiles the men who will be the first same-sex couple to marry in Scotland full story

USA: The schism in the Presbyterian Church over marriage equality is continuing. full story

USA: A new report says that inconsistent marriage laws across the country cost businesses $1.3 billion every year. full story

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 6.30.50 AMUSA: We have a new marriage equality map from Wikipedia. full story

USA, Illinois: A married gay widower today sued for spousal benefits denied by the Social Security Administration. full story

USA, Kentucky/Michigan/Ohio/Tennessee: The ACLU says it plans to appeal the Sixth Circuit ruling directly to the Supreme Court. full story

USA, Michigan: Reacting to the circuit court ruling upholding his state’s marriage equality ban, Gov. Rick Snyder said defending the ban is a duty, not a matter of personal preference. full story

USA, Missouri: 26 wedding vendors in the state discuss why they support marriage equality. full story

USA. Missouri: After a judge legalize marriage equality in St. Louis, many other counties are not following suit. full story

USA, Montana: Attorney General Tim Fox filed a brief in the state’s continued attempt to stave off marriage equality. full story

USA, New York: The Empire State Pride Agenda announced the launch of its second annual Transgender Awareness Month. full story

USA, North Carolina: The chief administrator of North Carolina’s courts reiterated his order that all magistrates must perform weddings for same sex couples. full story

USA, Ohio: In the wake of the circuit court ruling upholding the state’s marriage equality ban, FreedomOhio says it will go ahead with a petition drive to put repeal on the ballot. full story

USA, South Carolina: The focus of the Charlotte marriage equality lawsuit is the children of same-sex couples. full story

USA, Texas: State officials have cited the Puerto Rico judge’s anti-marriage equality decision in their own defense of their state’s ban. full story

USA: State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, and Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, are joining with colleagues in the Texas Senate on Monday to file legislation to repeal the state’s ban on marriage equality. full story

Featured Gay Wedding Vendor: Pendleton House Bed & Breakfast, Pendleton, Oregon

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Pendleton House B&B

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Gay Wedding Event Location in Pendleton, OR, USA. Historic mansion and beautiful garden/event area for your special day. Encounter the charm of western heritage, historic grandeur and the welcoming aspect of gay-owned and operated business that caters specifically to you and your guests.

See the Pendleton House Bed & Breakfast Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Oregon