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Bisexual Identities Often Erased in Rush to Marriage Equality

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Robyn Ochs and Peg PrebleRobyn Ochs and her partner, Peg Preble, tied the knot after the ban on same-sex marriage was overturned in Massachusetts, the first U.S. state with marriage equality. Ochs and Preble were happily together for seven years before racing to the altar in a mad dash to beat any further legal challenges by then-Gov. Mitt Romney or others opposed to marriage equality. They wed May 17, 2004 making national news and history as one of the first same-sex couples to marry.

Ochs and Preble’s photo was used nationally and they were labeled a lesbian couple repeatedly, even by The Washington Post, to which they gave an exclusive interview headlined, “A Carefully Considered Rush to the Altar: Lesbian Pair Wed After 7 Years Together.” The pair quickly became poster children for “gay marriage.” The problem? Ochs not only identifies as bisexual but is a renowned bisexual activist.

Ochs taught classes at Tufts University on bisexual identity and sexual politics, something that was mentioned in the original Post article, and has dedicated her career to educating straight and LGBT people alike on the bisexual community. She is known for speaking nationally on bi erasure, biphobia, and monosexism (the idea that heterosexuality or homosexuality is superior to non-monosexual orientations). Yet the very thing Ochs works to eradicate happened to her.

“I contacted the journalist after the otherwise beautiful story came out and she apologized, saying she didn’t have anything to do with writing the headline,” Ochs said.

What happened to Ochs is more than just a useful anecdote for her talks all over the country about bisexual erasure. It’s an example of how bisexuals are left out of marriage even when fighting for it on the front lines.

Authored By Eliel Cruz – See the Full Story at The Advocate

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Image via Robyn Ochs and Peg Preble

Marriage Equality Round-Up 8/26/14

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Gay WeddingHere’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!

Australia: The World Congress of Families will hold its annual convention in Melbourne next week. Many are urging the venue to cancel the event. full story

Ireland: n estimated 8,000 people marched for marriage equality in Dublin. full story

Jamaica: 25K marched against marriage equality in St. Thomas. full story

Lithuania: Broadcasters are refusing to air a gay PSA because of the country’s anti gay “propaganda” law. full story

USA: Dot429 looks at the difficulties LGBT officials have in local governance. full story

USA: Ex-Gay awareness month is happening on 10/3 and 10/4 – will anyone notice? full story

USA: A new poll shows that LGBT Americans, especially women, report lower levels of well-being than non-LGBT adults. full story

USA: The Affordable Care Act helps transgender people, but there is still work to be done. full story

USA, Missouri: Jennifer Scott Stevens, a radio host in Springfield, Missouri, says she was fired for being gay. full story

USA, Pennsylvania: Newly released emails show that a middle school cancelled a production of Monty Python’s Spamalot because it included a same-sex wedding. full story

Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Seriously?Here’s the the latest in our ongoing series of some of the crazy things the anti-gay marriage equality opponents are saying and doing around the world.

Gays Can’t Marry Because They Can’t Conjugate, Just Like Kids

Robert George, a co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage thinks gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry because they can’t conjugate:

Just as the distinction between eighteen-year-olds and twelve-year-olds is relevant to the purpose of marriage – because the former but not the latter are actually able to form the union that is marriage – in the same way, the distinction between opposite-sex couples and same-sex partners is relevant to the purpose of the marriage statute, because the former but not the latter can actually form the kind of union that marriage is. Two people of the same sex cannot truly be married, any more than a pair of twelve-year-olds can be married – they are unable to form the kind of union marriage is: a conjugal union.

I just looked up the definition of conjugate: “to become temporarily united in order to exchange genetic material.” Hmm, Mark and I can do that! Are you sure that’s what you want to hang your “traditional marriage” hat on?

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Anti Gay Bigotry is a Sexual Orientation

WorldNetDaily founder and editor-in-chief Joseph Farah has a novel new argument in the fight against marriage equality – of you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em:

Let me pose a hypothetical intellectual challenge: The law that forms the basis for the action against the Giffords in New York is a provision that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Yet, isn’t that precisely what is happening to the Giffords? Are they not being coerced to accept and approve someone else’s sexual orientation? Are they not permitted to hold their own sexual orientation, one that acknowledges their God’s definition that marriage is a union of one man and one woman?

Seriously? Hey, maybe my love of Apple products is actually a religion. After all, I attend “church” on a regular basis, and tithe money to the organization… Do I qualify for a tax exemption?

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Gays Are Just Like Serial Killers, Rapists, and Pedophiles

Pastor Kevin Swanson thinks forcing a bakery to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple is equivalent to a number of heinous things:

The forcing of wedding cake bakeries to produce wedding cakes for homosexual marriages, or photographers, or bridal shops, not unlike serial killers walking into like a trophy shop requesting a plaque that indicates the accomplishments of the serial killer… it’s my position that the trophy shop should have the freedom to reject that service… a rapist has a party in which he requests a representative from the toastmasters to present a speech in favor of what these rapists are doing. or here’s another one. This may be a little closer, a little more realistic. A NAMBLA representative… a club, a local chapter of the NAMBLA organization, shows up at a Chuck E. Cheese in Denver… for a party involving 8-12 year old boys in Thailand.

The other unidentified voice in the audio also likens gays requesting services to celebrating the killing of puppies. And these folks wonder why we’re not “tolerant” of their views? Why we can’t have a civilized discussion about this? Seriously????

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Send Gays to Prison for 10 Years of Hard Labor

Michael V Williams, another loving “Christian”, had this to say about the gays:

“Whereas homosexuality used to be a felony in every state — referred to as sodomy — it has now been decriminalized, and homosexuality is allowed to be openly expressed in public. While Christians are becoming increasingly tolerant of homosexuals, homosexuals are becoming increasingly intolerant of us…. The only way to do this and keep it beyond the reach of activist judges and unaccountable bureaucrats is to create a constitutional amendment…’ Williams said… there should be an amendment to the US Constitution declaring the ‘United States of America is a Christian nation with Judeo-Christian ethics, morals, principles and values. This will descree the ‘practice of homosexuality in the United States of America and in all its territories and possessions, and in all its States, Counties and Cities shall be a felony punishable by ten years in prison at hard labor”

So let me see. While these folks are whining about having to make a wedding cake, calling gays intolerant, and claiming they will be sent to “re-education camps”, which has never happened in the history of LGBT rights, some of them are calling for us to be sent to prison for 10 years of hard labor for the new “crime” of being gay. Hypocritical much?

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Indiana, Wisconsin Marriage Equality Hearing Tomorrow

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Seventh CircuitTwo more states, Indiana and Wisconsin, will go before an appeals court this week.

WLFI reports:

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the Indiana gay marriage case in a Chicago courtroom Tuesday morning beginning at 10:30 Lafayette time. There will be 20 minutes set aside for attorneys for same sex couples and another 20 minutes for the state. Solicitor General Thomas Fisher will make those arguments. Then, both sides in a Wisconsin case will get the same opportunity. A three judge panel that will be drawn from the 10 judges in the 7th Circuit will decide the case. Seven of them were appointed by Republican Presidents, Three by Democrats.

Ten states are urging the judges to uphold the bans.

Chicago pride reports:

Ten states have joined in filing an amicus brief in support of gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana. The states are urging the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to uphold restrictive marriage bans in two challenges to be heard before the court on Tuesday… States involved in the brief include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

The Wisconsin plaintiffs got a send-off in Madison.

WBAY reports:

Two gay couples suing for the right to marry are off to Chicago to listen to oral arguments before a federal appeals court. Carol Schumacher and Virginia Wolf and Judi Trampf and Katy Heyning boarded a bus Monday morning after a send-off at the OutReach LGBT Center in Madison. About two dozen people showed up to see them off.

So did the Indiana plaintiffs, in Indianapolis.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Gay couples heading to Chicago to challenge Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban told supporters Monday that they believe they are on the right side of history. Nearly 100 supporters at a rally sponsored by Hoosiers Unite for Marriage gathered at the City Market in downtown Indianapolis to wave off the four couples as they left to attend legal arguments before a federal appeals court on Tuesday. The couples planned to attend other rallies in support of same-sex-marriage along the way in Lafayette, Munster and Chicago and said they hoped supporters and plaintiffs would join their convoy en route.

All eyes are on the Seventh Circuit tomorrow.

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Health Care Tops List of Fears for Same Sex Couples Who Can’t Marry

Monday, August 25th, 2014

HospitalWhen Niki Quasney felt a piercing pain in her ribcage in March, the oncologist treating her advanced ovarian cancer told her to get to an emergency room immediately. But instead of making the short drive to a hospital near her home in Munster, Indiana, she drove alone for more than 40 minutes to one in neighboring Illinois. Quasney said she was “terrified” her local hospital might not allow her and her partner of more than 13 years, whom she wed last year in another state, to be together if she suffered a health emergency.

Quasney and her partner, Amy Sandler, are among dozens of couples challenging Indiana’s and Wisconsin’s gay marriage bans in a case being heard Tuesday in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Looming large in the case is the issue of medical emergencies faced by same-sex couples.

The couples are suing for the right to marry or to have their out-of-state marriages recognized in their home states. They argue that powers of attorney and domestic partner registries don’t guarantee they’ll be allowed to make critical end-of-life or life-saving decisions. No legal document, they say, can provide the same protections as a marriage certificate.

Authored By Rick Callahan – See the Full Story at LGBTQ Nation

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Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Seriously?Here’s the the latest in our ongoing series of some of the crazy things the anti-gay marriage equality opponents are saying and doing around the world.

No Marriage for Gays Because they Can’t Join in One Flesh

So much for all those high-falutin’ spiritual reasons for not allowing same sex couples to marry. The Editors of the National Catholic Register have a new reason:

“Our bodies have meaning. The conjugal union of a man and a woman is not a factory to produce babies; marriage seeks to create a total community of love, a ‘one flesh’ union of mind, heart and body that includes a willingness to care for any children their bodily union makes together,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “Two men and two women can certainly have a close, loving, committed emotional relationship, but they can never, ever join as one flesh in the unique way a husband and wife do.”

Got that? Yes, you gays can stick your flesh together, but there’s no meaning there. Says the guy who filled his own meaningful body with alcohol and drove drunk one night back in 2012 and then joked about it. And who, BTW, can never get married or experience the “one flesh union” he so ardently describes.

full story

Marriage Equality = Government Tyranny

The Family Research Council’s Travis Weber is alarmed about the latest ruling striking down the state’s ban on marriage equality:

What’s most striking to me about these opinions … is the inability to comprehend marriage as anything but what the state defines it to be. You know this definition of morality and standards by which human beings order their lives by which the state … [is the] ultimate standard in law, authority in law, we should be aware of the danger of that. Yet that’s what we are buying into here.

What’s most frightening to me is people like Travis Weber, who want to substitute the rule of law with the Bible. And not just the Bible, but their own particular right-wing interpretation of it. And that should scare you too.

full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up 8/25/14

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Gay Wedding - HandsHere’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!

Ecuador: The Movement for the Integration and Liberation of Homosexuals is calling for books that list homosexuality as a disorder to be removed from schools. full story

USA: John Gallagher at Queerty explains why today’s libertarian movement is not at all pro-gay. full story

USA, Florida: An editorial in the Sun Sentinel calls for the state of Florida to give up the fight against marriage equality, calling it “horrible, embarrassing, demeaning”. full story

USA, Indiana: The Life Journey Church prayed for marriage equality head of the hearing tomorrow. full story

USA, Texas: Rev. Bill McElvaney, a longtime supporter of gay rights, has died. full story

Matt Baume’s Marriage News Watch 8/25/14

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Matt BaumeThe anti-gay Governor of Indiana just got caught making some wild claims in court, and now a judge has called him out in a sternly-worded ruling. Marriage equality has picked up another victory, with the first federal judge to rule in Florida. There’s a new case in Arizona, with an elderly couple about to lose their home; couples are fighting back against stalling tactics in Arkansas; and two major oral arguments are coming up in the next few days.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

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Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Seriously?Here’s the the latest in our ongoing series of some of the crazy things the anti-gay marriage equality opponents are saying and doing around the world.

Homosexuals Are Broken People Who Were Often Abused As Children

The AFA’s Ed Vitagliano starts out by saying “I love homosexuals.” And it just goes downhill from there:

What causes homosexuality? I think there’s probably a web of causes – some apply to this group, some to that, etc. I believe that some homosexuals have endured sexual abuse or other trauma; others suffer from a deficit of some sort that turned them toward the same sex side of the aisle in an attempt to heal… If a child is born blind, does that mean God approves? Isn’t it a sign that something is not as intended? Eyes were created to see. To not see is not the same as being able to see. The blind are still human, but their brokenness is still brokenness. But isn’t that what we’re doing with homosexuality? Aren’t we denying the obvious – that there’s a disconnect between design and operation in the homosexual? Aren’t we applauding as courageous those who declare their brokenness to be wholeness?

Sorry, Ed, but of all the gay people I know, only one was abused as a child, and she is a lesbian who was abused by an uncle, so shouldn’t she have turned straight? And who gave you the secret code book to God’s plan, anyhow? How do you know gays (and the blind) don’t have a purpose here on Earth, whether it is to help keep down the population, or maybe, just maybe, to educate bigots like you?

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God Will Send Islamic Terrorists to Punish the US for Gay Rights

How Bryan Fischer continues to have a platform for his outrageous views simply amazes me:

I believe that God is eventually going to run out of patience with the United States, because we are celebrating things that we should not celebrate, we are elevating things we should not elevate, we are protecting behaviors that we should not protect, we are punishing people who speak out against these kind of behaviors. We’re fining them. We’re sending them to re-education camps. We are firing them. We are punishing them. We are refusing to hire them. So we have got our value system completely turned upside down and God says look, ‘You know better.’ And here’s my question: If we do not turn, what if God will use the pagan armies of Allah to discipline the United States for our debauchery?

First, the most egregious claims. No one is being sent to re-education camps. No one I’m aware of is being fired, although some have decided to resign in the face of pressure after airing their bigoted views, not just about gays, but about jews and others. In fact, based on the few cases the right has been able to find and publicize, I’d say more gays are fired every month just for being gay than Christians are fired in a year for being mean to gays and others. And yes, there are fines, just as there are when a “Cristian” business owner turns away someone because of their race. In business, you have to treat everyone equally.

But how sick is it to suggest that the country should suffer a terrorist attack? If a liberal said this, the right would be out for blood.

full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up 8/24/14

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Gay WeddingHere’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!

Australia: The Queensland state branch of the Australian Labor Party voted today to join Tasmania in binding its MPs to vote for same-sex marriage regardless of their personal views. full story

Ecuador: Gays and lesbians and straight cuples) will be able to register their relationships with the government as a “union of fact.” full story

USA, Indiana: has a great FAQ on the marriage equality appeals case due in court next week. full story