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Married Italian Gay Couple Interviewed By Local Paper

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Italian Hawaiian Wedding

Some friends of ours who married last year in Hawaii were interviewed by Milena Montefiori of the Resto del Carlino Forlì newspaper.

Here’s our translation of the interview – there’s also a second article about same sex marriage in Italy in the linked article:

Married in Hawaii and The Government There Recognizes It

It was a beautiful wedding day: on the beach in Hawaii, at sunset. Bruno (a pseudonym), whi has lived in Forli for half his life, recounts with some emotion the day he married his partner.

RdCF: How long have you been together?

Bruno: For 13 years and two months.

RdCF: Why did you decide to take this big step?

Bruno: After living together for years, the idea was in the air. We thought that if we waited for Italian law to catch up, who knows when we would be able to marry. And so, when the opportunity presented itself in the US, we did it.

RdCF: What opportunity?

Bruno: We have some American friends that we met years ago during a discussion of marriage equality on Facebook. They had a house in Hawaii and they were our hosts.

RdCF: You lived the dream of many couples. But how much did it cost?

Bruno: Considering that we did not have to pay for nightly lodging, we spent about two thousand Euro a person, including the round-trip flight.

RdCF: And for the wedding, what steps did you have to take, and how much did it cost?

Bruno: In the US, it’s very simple. After having paid a fee of about $100, we chose an officiant and the type of ceremony.

RdCF: What was your wedding ceremony like?

Bruno: No frills, otherwise it would have been crazy-expensive. And afterwards, we celebrated with a group of American friends. Then we went on our honeymoon. Obviously, not with matrimonial leave; we used some of our regular days off.

RdCF: And when you returned to Forli? Did you celebrate?

Bruno: Yes, with my husband’s family that accepts us. They were very happy for us.

RdCF: Now, your marriage, where is it valid?

Bruno: In the US, for now only in the states that recognize marriage equality. And it should be recognized also in countries that recognize same sex marriage.

RdCF: Why is the registration of your marriage important to you?

Bruno: It would be a small step forward to make people here more comfortable with the idea of same sex marriage. Until then, however, we prefer to remain anonymous.

RdCF: Have you seen the judicial ruling in Grosseto that ordered the registration of a marriage between two men?

Bruno: Sure, we hope that it opens the door for our LGBT rights.

See the original article in Italian here.

Pagina Carlino

Edie Windsor on “Her Love Affair With the Gay Community”

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Edie and TheaToday, in honor of the three-year anniversary of marriage equality in her home state of New York, Marriage Equality USA is proud to release the final part of Edie Windsor: In Her Own Words, a multi-part series of interviews with LGBTQ icon and longtime MEUSA member Edie Windsor.

Today also celebrates the three-year anniversary of marriage equality in Edie’s home state of New York

“When Stonewall happened, I was really this ignorant middle class lady who said ‘I don’t see why I have to be identified with those queens.’ — I mean those queens changed my life. And I saw them and I loved what I saw. ” ~ Edie Windsor

In this last segment Edie talks about trying to protect her family through Thea’s declining health, how she first met with attorney Robbie Kaplan, and how she continued to break the rules (not surprisingly) even on the eve of her Supreme Court victory.

“I was moved by Edie’s final thoughts on her perspective of her journey and I’m in awe of her legacy to the LGBTQ community!” commented MEUSA Executive Director Brian Silva.

Each of these videos, the final being released today, explores Edie’s life through her own words as she relates her story to her friend and MEUSA colleague, Cathy Marino-Thomas. From how she met Thea and got to know the LGBTQ world during their early days together, through their struggle to get married, and eventually to the DOMA case and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Edie Windsor: In Her Own Words – PART 1 (June 26)
Edie Windsor: In Her Own Words – PART 2 (July 10)

USA: Marriage Equality USA’s Brian Silva Interviewed

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Brian Silva, MEUSAThe head of Marriage Equality USA, our partner for years now, was just interviewed in Dot429:

As the metaphorical cacophony of wedding bells ringing across the United States following the Supreme Court rulings begins to subside, organizations like Marriage Equality USA are stepping up to remind us there’s still work to be done. So, they’re hosting the inaugural Marriage Equality USA Los Angeles Awards Reception on August 10th, bringing together LGBT community leaders, allies, industry and corporate giants, political players, and celebrities to raise funds and highlight those who have contributed to the equality movement thus far.

429 Magazine sat down with Marriage Equality USA’s Executive Director, Brian Silva, to discuss the event, the importance of inertia, and where the fight is heading next. Silva, a leader in the movement to pass marriage equality in New York, became Executive Director just last August.

429Mag: What are your thoughts on the trajectory of marriage equality?

Silva: I think everyone is really excited. The ruling last month was a tremendous boost to the movement, bringing full marriage equality to 12 states and DC. But we also know there are 37 states where, when you visit there or if you live there, you’re treated as a second class citizen. So there’s still a lot of work to do. It’s not inevitable. It will only happen by getting involved, volunteering, and continuing to support the entire community.

See the full interview at the link above.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Gay Marriage Watch Interviews Oregon United for Marriage

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Oregon United for MarriageWe just got back from a visit to Portland, Oregon, one of our favorite cities to visit. With a warm, gay friendly atmosphere and a progressive bent to its politics that’s almost unmatched, it’s a great town to visit or to live in.

But Portland (and Oregon in general) lacks one thing for gay and lesbian couples – the right to marry.

All that’s about to change, though. We were lucky to be here when the new umbrella group Oregon United for Marriage kicked off its petition drive to put marriage equality on the ballot in November, 2014.

We were also fortunate to snag a lunch meeting with Peter Zuckerman, the Press Secretary for OUFM. We met Peter at Yumm, a healthy café serving wraps and lots of tofu.

Peter spent a good hour and a half with us talking marriage equality, Portland, and Oregon politics.

He said the state has a democratic legislature and Governor who is very supportive. The speaker of the house is a lesbian, and the Secretary of State is also a big supporter.

But the Democrat/Republican split here is fairly close… it’s a redder state than you might think. Portland and Eugene are the most progressive areas, balanced out by rural Portland (just like rural California and rural Washington state).

Marriage equality advocates could have asked the legislature to refer the freedom to marry directly to voters, but they found that the fastest and most certain path to victory was to do the hard work and engage the voters with a signature campaign. Oregon’s constitution currently discriminates against same-sex couples, making it illegal for them to marry. The ban was enacted nine years ago, just months after Multnomah County started issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

This year, 116,284 valid signatures will be required to put the freedom to marry on the ballot. After that, Oregonians can vote to allow gay and lesbian couples to have the freedom to marry. A simple majority is needed to win.

Basic Rights oregon has been working for years to change hearts and minds on the issue, but with the legalization of marriage equality via the voters in Washington State and the overturning of Prop 8 in California, they felt it was time to take the next step.

The organization kicked off their petition drive on the Portland waterfront on Friday, July 26th, and by the weekend we were seeing blue-shirted volunteers around town collecting signatures.

Peter Zuckerman is the Press Secretary for the campaign, and is surprisingly modest, deferring to the “team of phenomenally talented people” around him when we ask him about his credentials. He has a long-term partner, and who knows, marriage could be in the cards one day. he’s also the author of a bestselling book, Buried in the Sky.

Like the rest of the team, he works about 80 hours a week on the campaign (to be young again!)


He kindly agreed to answer some questions for us:

GMW: How did the petition drive launch go this last week?

PZ: The launch has been a huge success. In three days, we collected more than 10,000 signatures. That’s an average of one signature every 26 seconds. I’m thrilled to announce that now we’re doubling our goal. We aim to collect 20,000 signatures by next Sunday. Overall, we have a year to collect 116,284 signatures to put the freedom to marry on the ballot.

GMW: How are things going so far?

PZ: The enthusiasm has been phenomenal, and we have an amazing team of volunteers. The recent victories for the freedom to marry in Washington, Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, California and in several countries also add to our momentum. Oregon is now the only state on the west coast without marriage for same-sex couples. But these campaigns are tough. The effort to win the freedom to marry will be politically, financially and emotionally expensive. Our families will be put on the airwaves and attacked in political ads. It’s an extraordinary time, and for us to win, we need people to do extraordinary things. We hope that you will help.

GMW: Who is gathering the signatures? Any stories?

PZ: Volunteers are leading the effort to gather signatures, and they are doing an AMAZING job. Here are some stories:

* A husband and wife from Burns, Oregon in Harney County drove over two hours to pick up petitions from our Bend kick-off event. And they requested enough petition sheets to collect over 50 signatures from their rural town!

* In Ashland, 92-year-old Maryline White collected dozens of signatures from residents in her retirement community and at her church, and called to report how her fellow seniors “are just lining up” to sign.

* Yesterday in Portland, volunteers collecting signatures at the North Portland Sunday Parkways ran out of petition sheets–so another volunteer, Marc, hopped on a bike immediately to deliver fresh sheets!

GMW: What do you guys need most/what can folks do to help?

PZ: You can help by:


Check out their website at:

With folks like this working for them, we’re sure they’ll meet the challenge and bring marriage equality to Oregon in 2014.

California, USA: San Francisco’s Catholic Archbishop Talks About Marriage Equality Opposition

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore CordileoneSan Francisco’s recently-installed Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone gave an interview to USA Today on his opposition to marriage equality. The gist? Letting gays marry would turn all of society into inner city Oakland:

When I was Bishop of Oakland, I lived at a residence at the Cathedral, overlooking Lake Merritt. It’s very beautiful. But across the lake, as the streets go from 1st Avenue to the city limits at 100th Avenue, those 100 blocks consist entirely of inner city neighborhoods plagued by fatherlessness and all the suffering it produces: youth violence, poverty, drugs, crime, gangs, school dropouts, and incredibly high murder rates. Walk those blocks and you can see with your own eyes: A society that is careless about getting fathers and mothers together to raise their children in one loving family is causing enormous heartache.

To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant, and that marriage is essentially an institution about adults, not children; marriage would mean nothing more than giving adults recognition and benefits in their most significant relationship.

Got that? Keep in mind, this is from the man who was pulled over for drunk driving last year.

Exclusive Gay Marriage Watch With Sandy & Kris, Prop 8 Plaintiffs

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Exclusive Gay Marriage Watch With Sandy & Kris, Prop 8 PlaintiffsA week ago, we had the pleasure to meet Prop 8 lawsuit plaintiffs Kris and Sandy at the “8” Play reading in Sacramento. Kris and Sandy’s characters are major players in the play (and the case). They participated in the Q&A session after the plat, and were also gracious enough to agree to an interview with Gay Marriage Watch.

Thanks, guys, and our hopes are with you!

GMW: Where were you when Prop 8 passed, and what do you remember about that night?

Kris & Sandy: Sandy and I were home watching election returns. It wasn’t quite as clear the night of the election as it was the day after during my commute to work. I was listening to NPR and it finally hit me what a tragedy the passage of Prop 8 was and how personally hurt I was by it.

GMW: What kind of toll does living in a state that bans marriage equality take on gay families like yours?

Kris & Sandy: When we filed suit challenging Prop 8 our youngest sons were 14, they will tun 18 next week. They will have spent their entire childhoods in a family where the parents love each other deeply but cannot marry. It has a very harmful effect on them and on us to know we cannot provide the most basic foundation of security and permanence.

GMW: Have all your friends and family been supportive of your desire to get married?

Kris & Sandy: Our friends and family have surprised us with their interest and concern. Sandy and I have both heard from childhood friends who wanted to express support, distant relatives who felt compelled to reach out and our immediate family have been terrific. It takes great patience and understanding to share us with the case and the time demands. We hope to get back to being a part of the usual events in everyone’s lives when the case is resolved.

GMW: Have you worked with Broadway Impact to get the story out via the play?

Kris & Sandy: Yes, Sandy and I have been a part of the great work Broadway Impact has done to support AFER and marriage equality. The distribution of Dustin Lance Black’s play and spreading the results of the case has done so much to raise the visibility of this issue.

GMW: What will you do when Prop 8 is finally struck down?

Kris & Sandy: Prop 8 has been struck down 2 times already. If SCOTUS agrees with the lower court rulings we will celebrate by getting married. Something we have wanted to do for 4 years.

Gay Marriage Watch Interviews Kate Sullivan Gibbens, Researcher for “8” The Play

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

* Play in DavisMark and I attended the Davis presentation of “8”, the play about Prop 8 that dramatizes the Prop 8 trial using the actual transcripts of the trial. The Davis production was put on by Studio 301, a student theater group. It was a very intimate setting, much different than seeing it with the stars on YouTube – and the directory made the interesting choice to have women play all three attorneys.

Afterwards, the cast held a back-and-forth with the audience, and w ehad the pleasure to meet Kate Sullivan Gibbens, the dramaturge (credited as researcher) for “8” – who spent untold hours going over the transcript, helping Dustin Lance Black put together the play.

Kate is putting on a new reading of the play at the Crest Theater in downtown Sacramento.  Kate graciously agreed to let us do an interview about “8” and about her own work:

Kate Sullivan GibbensGMW: How did you first get involved in the fight for marriage equality?

Kate: I’ve always been a political person. When I was 5, my mother took me to see Al Gore speak and I stayed up late the night before making a sign covered in recycling symbols. I’ve always been personally on the side of marriage equality, but I am one of those people who didn’t really realize what an uphill battle it was until after Proposition 8 had passed.

I had just finished college in Boston at the time, and had voted absentee in California. I remember celebrating President Obama’s victory for a couple of hours when I learned Prop 8 had actually passed. I was absolutely shocked. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t in the state at the time, but I had just assumed that the majority of Californians stood FOR marriage equality.

I knew I had to do something, so the next day I went to the Boston protest at Government Center. Seeing so many people show up to rally around equality in a state that already had gay marriage rights moved me into action.

GMW: How did you get involved with “8”?

Kate: Dustin Lance Black had sent an email out to the head of the film department at UCLA looking for a playwright to work with him on going through trial transcripts and interviews and putting the script together for “8.”

Coincidentally, we had just read the screenplay for “Milk” in my playwriting class, and I had done a little research on Lance for the class. So when my teacher read the email aloud to us I jumped at the chance to interview with him.

I met Lance at a coffee shop a couple weeks later. He was at once easy-going and incredibly focused and we actually got right to work that day.

GMW: What, exactly, is a dramaturg?

Kate: I am actually listed as researcher on the script,I just tend to use the term “dramaturg” as a sort of catch-all to describe my work on the project. Traditionally, a dramaturg works on the research involved in creating a piece, along with overseeing the play’s development.

However, I find it to be a highly malleable position that changes with every play that utilizes the position. Since the grand majority of “8” is pulled directly from trial transcripts, interviews and articles, I did a lot of reading.

I remember walking over to Lance’s house to pick up the trial transcripts and having to call someone to pick me up – I hadn’t realized it would be four giant stacks of pages!

GMW: How does the whole “8” play thing work? What are some of the guidelines given to theaters who want to perform the play?

“8” is licensed through Broadway Impact (, an organization that is committed to pursuing marriage equality through theatre. They are really a fantastic organization, and always there to help with any producing questions.

Kate: Anyone can apply to produce “8,” whether you’re a theatre company, school group, community organization, or just one motivated person. Once approved, they give you options for different styles of readings and then help you to make your reading a success. Money raised at performances of “8” goes to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the sole sponsor of Perry v. Brown.

GMW: Tell me a little about the upcoming Sacramento performance of “8”

Kate: I am so proud to be able to bring “8” back to the town I grew up in. The performance is Saturday October 20th at 8pm, at the Crest Theatre. There’s more information available at, but I am really excited to talk about our cast.

Coming up from LA, we have comedian Thai Rivera (LOGO, Comedy Central), as well as actor/composer Patrick Burns (From Foster Care to Fabulous). We also have the mayor of West Sacramento, Christopher Cabaldon, playing Judge Walker and gay rights pioneer George Raya as Evan Wolfson.

The rest of the cast is made up of some outrageously talented Sacramento actors including Kurt Johnson, Nanci Zoppi and Steve Minnow. We also have the plaintiffs from the trial, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier coming to speak at the post-show discussion. Keep up with us at for more updates.

GMW: What would you say to gay and lesbian couples who live in places where marriage equality is not recognized?

Kate: I know a lot of people are waiting to get married until they can make it legal and official, and that is something I completely understand and respect. If you do decide to get married now, before it is legally recognized, I say don’t be afraid to use the term “husband” or “wife.”

The more we can be out in our community (when it is safe to do so) and show people what families can and do look like, the more we can affect those people who are still on the fence about marriage equality.

I would also say, no matter the outcome of various elections and court cases in your state, don’t give up. Minds and hearts are changing, and marriage rights will be granted to LGBT individuals eventually. Thankfully, organizations like AFER are working to make sure it happens as soon as possible.

GMW: What are you working on now?

Kate: I recently had a reading of a play, “click,” which I am looking to get produced. It tells the story of Cole, a female-to-male transgender person who begins to have doubts about the way he’s handled his transition.

It’s a play with some great characters and it explores a lot of the issues surrounding society’s need for labels. I am also writing a two-person show with Caitlin Ary, a really talented performer I directed in Spring Awakening in Los Angeles.

The working title is “Fluid” and it uses music and storytelling to dig into the way the identities of two bisexual women keep shifting as they have romantic relationships with men and women. We’re looking to workshop that this spring in Los Angeles, and I am excited to be on stage again.

USA: Rachael Maddow Interviews Prop 8 Attorneys

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Rachel Maddow interviews attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson at NYU’s law school about their challenge of Prop 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban.

See the Video at MSNBC

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Matt Baume Interviews Head of “Stop the Deportations”

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

I just posted an quick interview with Lavi Soloway, who runs the LGBT immigration-rights group “Stop the Deportations.” Lavi was present for the DOMA hearings yesterday, and he describes the scene in the court and some of the most important moments from the arguments.

He also talks about the brand new anti-DOMA case that was just filed by Immigration Equality, and his own work to try to save bi-national couples from being deported. It’s really heartbreaking that the government is continuing to break up legally married couples while all this DOMA litigation is still pending.

Full Story from Marriage News Watch

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Interview With Marriage Equality USA’s Ned Flaherty

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

MEUSA LogoI talked with Ned Flaherty, Project Manager Election 2012 for the national LGBT organization Marriage Equality USA, to get an update on LGBT relationship protections in America. Ned has created a significant map for Marriage Equality USA, revealing the encouraging news that 42 percent of Americans now live in the 21 states that offer some form of legal recognition at the state level for same-gender relationships. The map illustrates the states offering partial equality, as well as itemizing the 30 states where various bans on marriage by law, constitution, or both remain in effect.

Ned Flaherty lives in Massachusetts, where gay marriage is celebrating its eighth anniversary in May. When asked what his reaction has been to the recent news of gay marriage passing in Washington state, Prop 8 being found unconstitutional in California by the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the possibility of marriage equality passing in Maryland, Flaherty stated:

“I expect that every state that passes marriage equality in any significant way is going to have the same experience we’ve had for the last eight years in Massachusetts — and that is, first of all, none of the dire consequences threatened by the religious evangelicals or the right-wing republicans have ever occurred here.”

Listen to the Interview Here

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