Commentary on what today’s SCOTUS rulings mean to me

Same sex marriageI must admit, I never thought marriage was in the cards for me. Aside from the fact that same-sex marriage isn’t legal in my state, I chalked it up to consistently making poor choices in the relationship department. But the U.S. Supreme Court rulings today on DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and California’s Proposition 8 has made me rethink that. Not for myself, but for all of those who want not just the legal benefits of marriage, but the recognition as well.

I was at a party a few weeks ago for a friend’s birthday. Laughter and fun prevailed all afternoon. In attendance were two other friends, a gay male couple, who were speaking about their upcoming civil union ceremony. A young lady in attendance didn’t have a full understanding of what it all meant, and asked the question.

“Imagine if you will that you and your boyfriend are married,” my friend began, “and God forbid he dies. There is no question of you inheriting his estate without any legal or taxable issues, right”

She nodded in agreement.

“Now, imaging the same scenario for the two of us. Suppose I die, and want to leave my entire estate to my partner. Even though we are joined in a civil union, my death and his inheritance becomes a huge taxable occurrence for him. Does that seem fair?”

The young lady looked at him with a new sense of understanding…and compassion.

“Not at all,” she replied.

I am paraphrasing the actual story a bit, but this is the gist of the content. Did I mention that the gay couple in question has been together for 34 years? I would say that in this instance, that is quite a significant part of the story.

Even though the Supreme Court stopped short of a sweeping ruling on gay marriage with Proposition 8, the death of DOMA is of huge significance. While understandable in its conception, DOMA is been lorded over the gay community like the sword of Damocles for years. Now, with its death, states can re-examine their own laws. I suspect that while today has been a great victory, to battle has just begun for the 35+ states that currently have a same-sex marriage ban on their books.

Later today, my friends will be holding their civil union ceremony in a downtown courthouse. While seemingly less significant to some yesterday, it means quite a bit more today. It means that the struggles and prejudice the have experienced through their 34 years together have not been for naught, and that their relationship takes another step forward to complete equality not just for themselves, but for all of us.

As for me, I do have someone who is becoming more and more significant in my life now. Will we get to the point of the “talk” about a civil union…or heaven forbid…marriage? It’s too soon to say…at least from where I sit. But should the topic come up sometime in the future, I may consider it a bit more seriously. I never thought it was in the cards for me. But he is changing my mind…and today’s Supreme Court rulings are helping to plead his case as well.

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Ann Coulter does it again…she opens her mouth

It might truly be time fo Ann Coulter to check in for observation…

File this under the heading of cray-cray crazy. Conservative political pundit Ann Coulter has opened her trap and stuck not only her foot, but both arms and the cushions from a leather sofa in her mouth. In an interview on this past Sunday’s ABC “This Week” program, clueless Coulter, who was hawking her latest “book” (clearly written in crayon or while on medication), proclaimed that the quest for civil rights should only pertain to “the blacks.” Yes, you read that right…

Host George Stephanopoulos seemed genuinely perplexed by Coulter’s statements, but she stood her ground. In her opinion “various groups [including] gay rights groups, those defending immigrants, and feminists have commandeered the black civil rights experience.” Wait, it gets better…she then offered her own version of a history lesson by stating that “civil rights are for blacks” solely because of the U.S.’s “legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws.”

Further seeding her dark cloud of hate, Coulter further pontificated that the U.S. owes no debt to anyone other than black Americans.

“We don’t owe the homeless,” said Coulter. “We don’t owe feminists. We don’t owe women who are desirous of having abortions, or gays who want to get married to one another.”

Stephanopoulos then countered by asking whether immigrant rights were not civil rights. Coulter’s response was succinct; “civil rights are for blacks.”

Anna banana took her final bow by asking “what have we done to the immigrants? We owe black people something. We have a legacy of slavery. Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.”

No word as to whether her comments extended to immigrants that landed at Ellis Island in the last century. View Ann’s rant by clicking the link here. What do you think of her statements? Weigh in with your comments.

Gays deemed un-“Feng Shui” by restaurant for NYC couples reception

On the heels of a couple being discriminated against by Colorado bakery Masterpiece Cakes, word comes from NYC that another couple had their civil rights trampled on by a local restaurant.

Barrett Greene and Thomas Eng were denied the right to hold their wedding reception at NYC eatery Amber Village. In spite of paying their $750.00 deposit for use of the space for their reception, the couple’s plans were dashed when the restaurant reneged on the offer on the basis of “large groups of gays are bad Feng Shui.”

The most ironic part of the story is the restaurant’s location; Christopher Street in the heart of the west village area of NYC. Historically, the gay rights movement was born on this street, courtesy of the Stonewall Bar and subsequent riots that put the movement into motion. Now another battle looms on the horizon; Greene and Eng are filing a lawsuit against the establishment.

What do you think of the restaurant and their actions? Leave your thoughts in our comments section.

Today join “Starbucks” and other retailers in support of National Marriage Equality Day

Chick-Fil-A is out, Starbucks and other retailers in on support for National Marriage Equality Day August 7th.

Last week’s “Customer Appreciation Day” event held at Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the country called for by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee last week was a “record breaking success” according to the controversial food chain. In a direct response to that event, August 7th has been declared “National Marriage Equality Day” at Starbucks outlets across the country. Kirsten Ott-Palladino, the editor of an online same-sex wedding magazine, Equally Wed, who, along with her wife, started the equality day effort as a way to return the salvo fired by Chick-Fil-A supporters last week.

“It felt like the right wing groups were showcasing Aug. 1 as ‘This is how America feels,'” says Ott-Palladino.  “We are wanting to say, ‘This isn’t all of America and we can come out and support our businesses too.’”

Ott-Palladino said in an interview with ABC News that the day was originally set to show support for Starbuck’s policy of offering benefits to same-sex partners, and their ongoing support for the cause of marriage equality. But store managers of the more than 7,000 location coffee juggernaut called on Ott-Palladino to expand the net of support, and add other companies to the scope of support; something she gladly did.

“In the end I think that I’m happier with it becoming this because it’s not just supporting businesses that support marriage equality, but also non-profits that are working tirelessly and sometimes thanklessly to support marriage equality in this country,” she said. “At the end of the day it’s not just about seeing how many lines we’re wrapping around Starbucks.”

Check out a list of companies the support the cause of same-sex marriage by following this link, and see if your favorite retailer is taking part in today’s “National Marriage Equality Day” today. Patronize them to show your support, and then share your thoughts or experience in our comments, or on the social media site of your choice.

Chick-Fil-A garners social media support for their day of appreciation

With Chick-Fil-A garnering support nationwide for their public disdain for homosexuality recent “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day,” a number of their supporter took to the social media stratosphere to voice their support for the company…some to the extreme. Click here to read some of the comments made by Chick-Fil-A supporters.

What are your thoughts on the comments? Please weigh in in our comments section.

Colorado radio host takes aim at the Muppets; but ire is misplaced

 

Kermit & Miss Piggy won’t need to battle ill informed radio host Kevin Swanson after all

Last week The Jim Henson Company made the decision to sever their relationship with fast food restaurant turned moving target Chick-Fil-A. Now, an evangelical minister has blasted the company for making this choice, accusing the company and its employees of “taking the sodomy route.” Kevin Swanson, Director of the Colorado based “Generations of Vision,” and its radio program “Generations Radio,” made this statement during a recent broadcast of his online show. But Swanson didn’t stop at dissing the Muppets; he also took his listeners on a history lesson into how homosexuals were dealt with in the past.

“A Christian perspective ultimately brought the death penalty upon homosexuality between roughly 350 AD and roughly 1850 or so, for about 1,500 years that form of life had pretty much been eliminated except here and there, it was in the closet, but it was almost unheard of for over 1,000 years, until recently,” he proclaimed. “Of course, now you have a massive, massive increase in this kind of thing.”

Swanson and his co-host on his radio show, Dave Buehner, quickly redirected their attention back to the topic at hand; the demise of popular Muppets characters Kermit the Frog, and his lady-love Miss Piggy. During the course of their conversation Buehner suggests that “Kermit is not that interested in Miss Piggy — maybe he’s interested in another frog,” Swanson suggests, “Maybe (Chick-fil-A President) Dan Cathy should consider doing a frog filet for one of the sandwiches.”

Buehner interjected, “I think Miss Piggy on a bun – that’s a better bet, the winner!”

Confusion ensued after the duos attack on The Henson Company because the pair didn’t really do their homework. The rights to the Muppets characters were acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2004; the Kermit and Miss Piggy characters were never part of the deal. The toys that were included in the Chick-Fil-A kids’ meals were from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop toys – essentially a plastic tube with cut-out features for customizing your own puppet. Adding salt to the wound, the toys which were slated for the meals from mid-July until mid-August have since been recalled.

In statement released on the Henson Company’s Facebook page, the company offered a simple and concise explanation for their choice to sever ties with the Chick-Fil-A organization.

“The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.”

Swanson previously has stated publicly that gay parents were the “most devastating thin in the history of mankind,” and that pedophilia was “part and parcel” with the “homosexual agenda.” According to his web site, Mr. Swanson is one of the country’s foremost experts of homeschooling, having been homeschooled himself. He also states that he was at one time “student body president of a large west coast university,” but doesn’t name the university, or any degree received.

With these credentials, and the impressive fact checking staff on hand at “Generations Radio, it’s no wonder that Mr. Swanson has achieved the heady heights he has. What do you think? Weigh in with your comments.

 

 

 

According to Pat Robertson the “death” of Dems is eminent with support of GLBT rights

Pat Robertson is predicting the “death” of the democratic party with his regular unbiased accuracy

The irascible Pat Robertson is back, sharing his own form of home-spun wisdom in the form of a warning to Democrats. It seems the announcement that gay rights will be a focal point of the dems campaign, and will garner special mention at the upcoming Democratic National Convention doesn’t sit well with Roberts. In his opinion, the decision to carry the banner for this particular issue is akin to political suicide.

“For the Democrats to go out on that limb, it just seems like to me that they are further alienating themselves from the mainstream of America,” Robertson said. “If that’s what they want to do, fine, but it will mean the death knell of their party, it seems like to me, and of course that’s what they’re doing but maybe they have a death wish.”

(For those unfamiliar with the term, a knell is the sound made by a bell rung slowly, especially for a death or a funeral).

Dramatic!

If recent polls are any indication, Robertson’s information is not exactly the feeling shared by much of the country. According to a poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 48 percent of the overall public supports same-sex marriage, while only 44 percent oppose it. Among Democrats, 65 percent support the right of gay couples to marry. Somewhat of a contradiction to Robertson’s slant on what America really wants considering the poll also shows that support for same-sex marriage has increased by nine percentage points, while opposition has decreased by seven percentage points over the past 4 years.

Robertson is no stranger to controversy over his comments; especially when it comes to GLBT rights. He has publically compared homosexuality to “demonic possession,” claimed legalizing gay marriage would result in a “downward slide” toward bestiality and child molestation, and even suggested, bizarrely, that gay marriage would lead to “angel rape.” One of his most famous rants was the opinion he shared two days after the 911 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center with the late Reverend Jerry Falwell. On his program he and Falwell placed the blame for the 911 attacks squarely on the shoulders of “the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians, who are actively trying to make an alternative lifestyle.”

What do you think about GLBT civil rights being part of the democratic agenda? Share your thoughts in our comments section…