Esse Blog está no! Coloque o seu também! "GLBTI Weddings PLUS!": October 2006

"GLBTI Weddings PLUS!"

The Blog of the U.S.'s first GLBTI-specific Wedding and Events firm. Discussion spot for clients and visitors to interact with staff and experts, in an informal forum, regarding Gay Weddings or Same-Sex Marriage, LGBT weddings and Traditional weddings and other issues affecting the GLBTI.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

(Sir) Elton John funds gay marriage campaign
31-October-2006, Marc Shoffman, Pink News, UK

Music legend Elton John has donated $20,000 to defeat a gay marriage ban due to be voted on in Wisconsin.

The gay artist has pledged his support as debate surrounding the issue mounts amid Congress elections and a vote on gay marriage next week.

His money will help gay campaign group Fair Wisconsin counter an anti-gay advertising campaign from the family Research Institute of Wisconsin...

CONTINUE via Pink News

CEO's Statement:

"I admire Sir Elton's "walking the walk" on the matter by donating his own funds for efforts on behalf of Wisconsin's GLBTI couples. Thank you! I hope that other prominent public figures will have the courage, compassion and fair-mindedness to do similarly around the globe for 100% marriage equality." - MW Savant, CEO -

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Special to the blog by MW Savant, CEO

Special thanks to my compatriot, "Huntsu", at for catching this interesting little item/survey appearing in today's NJ Courier News in reference to the moniker that should be given to "legal unions between same-sex couples".

It, especially after all the discourse about the word marriage, surprises me that "marriage" simply isn't offered as one of the options. Hmmmm.

I am not a conspiracist so, therefore, I am inclined to believe that it wasn't a deliberate exclusion. No. Perhaps it was a hurried or novice editor. Possibly a typo? In any event, it is a glaring oversight, IMHO. Words matter!

See the results as of 10-30-06; 21:55?

Editor's Note: The opinion expressed herein is entirely that of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of, its affiliates or partners.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

MEET ALL THE Plaintiff Couples (HEROES!)
in Lambda Legal’s New Jersey Marriage Lawsuit:
Lewis v. Harris

Pictured: Sarah & Suyin Lael with Zenzali, Danica & Tanaj

Leading the list of plaintiff couples are Mark Lewis and Dennis Winslow, two Episcopalian pastors from Union City, Hudson County who have been a couple for 15 years. In addition to Lewis and Winslow, the plaintiff couples in the case are: Karen and Marcye Nicholson-McFadden, who have been together 17 years and are raising a seven-year-old son, Kasey, and three-year-old daughter, Maya; Saundra Heath-Toby and Alicia Toby-Heath, who have been together 17 years and are leaders in Newark’s Liberation In Truth Unity Fellowship church; Craig Hutchison and Chris Lodewyks, who have been a couple for 35 years and live in Pompton Lakes; Marilyn Maneely and Diane Marini, a southern New Jersey couple who were together for 14 years before Marilyn died tragically in the fall of 2005; Sarah and Suyin Lael, a 16-year couple raising three girls, nine-year-old Zenzali, seven-year-old Tanaj and six-year-old Danica; and Maureen Kilian and Cindy Meneghin, a couple of 32 years with a 14-year-old son, Josh, and an 12-year-old daughter, Sarah.

SEE images and read about them here at Lambda Legal!
GAIN insight from their individual affidavits?(PDF)

Lambda Legal’s attorneys on the case were David Buckel and Susan Sommer. Lawrence S. Lustberg of Gibbons, DelDeo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, one of New Jersey’s largest and most prestigious law firms, was a cooperating attorney for Lambda Legal.

Editor's Note: Thank you and congratulations to you all! We stand behind you as the battle for one-hundred percent marriage equality moves forward! Thanks for your courage and strength!


On Oct. 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland.

Read the day's dedication program of events?
(via New York Times)

Friday, October 27, 2006

New Jersey Politics 101
From a great blog we just discovered, BlueJersey

From their site:

"New Jersey Politics 101 was created by the writers of the community blog BlueJersey and is intended to serve as an introduction to government and politics in the state of New Jersey. We hope that after reading this guide, you will feel comfortable reading about and contributing to the discussion on issues affecting the state."

Definitely a must for all GLBTI NJ residents and supporters!

Get informed and get involved.


Click the link and type in your name to see
how many of you there are!
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Launches New Campaign

The Honor Every Veteran Campaign is a national outreach, education, and visibility effort to publicly honor the service of the more than one million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) American Veterans over the Veterans Day holiday weekend, November 10th - 13th.

You can help SLDN Honor Every Veteran! Show your support for our brave LGBT veterans by wearing an Honor Every Veteran T-Shirt, hanging an Honor Every Veteran sign, or having your favorite business join in our campaign. We will send participating businesses a kit with a donation tin, coasters, campaign cards, and SLDN brochures.

More information

Thursday, October 26, 2006

by MW Savant, CEO

Well, family, it's been a journey. But one that must continue. Portions of equality do not appeal to me, nor are they just. What I desire for us all is one hundred percent marriage equality. Anything less would be virtually useless and ill-serving. In reading the opinion, it appears that all the justices were in favor of equal rights and three of them wanted complete marriage equality to result.

The importance of total marriage equality was reinforced by remembering and watching the atrocious treatment of Laurel Hester (learn background) and her partner. Their treatment really stunned me and brought to reality for me the importance of utter equality in marriage. I can only imagine what the Lieutenant and her loved one, Stacie Andree, had to suffer. I know that I was outraged and horrified to see such heartless disregard under the "just following the rules" rhetoric. When human suffering and injustice are on offer, the answer is simple. CHANGE the rules. You can watch the video of Lt. Hester's appeal to the board prior to her passing (at your discretion) which contributed to them reversing their negative position.

Even in grade school we begin lessons on equality. Remember the old apple pie worksheet? There was only and always just ONE way to create two halves. By dividing them into two, EQUAL parts. This concept is something which was ingrained in us from youth. As adults, it should not be "a lofty concept". Fair is fair. Right is right. Equal is equal and anything less simply isn't. It also bears mentioning that the way to put it back together is to take the two, EQUAL, parts and create a balanced, complementary whole. If we continue to be less than equal, the whole continues to be imperfect and dysfunctional. There is no gray area in equality.

In the words from Steven Goldstein of Garden State Equality in an e-mail this morning...

"The bottom line is this: Marriage is the only currency of commitment the real world universally accepts. Anything short of marriage equality deprives LGBTI families of the equal protection they so desperately need. Contraptions short of marriage, like civil unions and domestic partnerships, do not provide that protection, as we've learned through the New Jersey experience. Thus we do not have a win yet."
That says it all.

Editor's Note: The opinion expressed herein is entirely that of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of, its affiliates or partners.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Regarding today's Ruling

"Dear Governor Corzine and members of the New Jersey Legislature:

We 268 community leaders are a cross-section of the vast progressive base of the New Jersey electorate. We include 84 African-American community leaders, 68 Latino/a community leaders, 54 labor union leaders and organizers, and 62 leaders from grassroots advocacy organizations that are predominantly straight. In light of today’s ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court, we express our support for marriage-equality legislation.

We are among the majority of New Jerseyans who support marriage for same-sex couples. According to a 2006 Zogby-Garden State Equality Poll, 56 percent of New Jersey support marriage equality while only 39 percent oppose it. The other recent statewide polls also show that a majority of New Jerseyans support marriage equality.

As members of Garden State Equality’s African-American, Latino/a and Labor Caucuses, together with allies from grassroots advocacy organizations, we ask you to keep New Jersey the State That Doesn’t Hate. Please pass 100 percent marriage equality legislation so New Jersey can treat all its families equally."


Erik Anderson, Northwest New Jersey For Democracy
Barbara Babcock, Union County For Democracy
Ed Barocas, ACLU of New Jersey
William J. Brown, Co-coordinator, Progressive Democrats of New Jersey
Laura Cayford, Monmouth For Democracy
Richie Chevat, BlueWave NJ
Claire Ciliotta, BlueWave NJ
Rosi Efthim, New Jersey for Democracy and Hunterdon Democracy For America
Paul Eisenmann, Chair, Bergen Grassroots
Barbara Epstein, Progressive Democracy South Jersey
Roger D. Fox, Essex County Democracy For America
Eileen Fausey, Citizens for Progressive Representation
Louise Friedman, Democracy for America/Hoboken Progressives
Jeff Gardner, New Jersey For Democracy and Passaic Democracy For America
Carol Gay, Democratic Candidate for Congress, NJ-4
Neal Gorfinkle, Administrative Organizer, SEIU 1199
Emily Grand, BlueWave NJ
Peter Gross, BlueWave NJ
Madelyn Hoffman, Director, New Jersey Peace Action
George Hunt, Progressive Democracy South Jersey
Jeanne LoCicero, ACLU of New Jersey
Deborah Jacobs, Executive Director, ACLU of New Jersey
Katherine Joyce, Essex County Democracy For America
David Kalkstein, Progressive Democracy South Jersey
Phyllis Salowe Kaye, Executive Director, New Jersey Citizen Action
Robin Kinlin, New Jersey For Democracy and Ocean Democracy For America
Shelley Krause, Mercer for Democracy, Princeton Township Democratic Committee
Gigi Lax, Passaic County Democracy For America
Mitch Manzella, New Jersey For Democracy and Middlesex Democracy For America
Mary Ellen Marino, Progressive Caucus of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee
Marcia Marley, President, BlueWave NJ
Sally McInerney, Citizens for Progressive Representation
Juan Melli, Chair,
Lewis Miller, Bergen Grassroots
Alan Myers, BlueWave NJ
Claire M. Nagel, Citizens for Progressive Representation
Lucy O'Brien, BlueWave NJ
Joanne O'Neill, Progressive Democracy South Jersey
Timothy J. O'Neill, Progressive Democracy South Jersey
Suzannah Porter, President, NOW New Jersey
Bettie J. Reina, Citizens for Progressive Representation
Nick Reina, Citizens for Progressive Representation
Dana Ricci, BlueWave NJ
Chip Robinson, Morris County Democracy For America
David Robinson, New Jersey For Democracy and Essex Democracy For America
Eleanor Ross, Monmouth For Democracy
Woody Ross, Monmouth For Democracy
Nathan Rudy, Council President, North Plainfield
Cristina Rojas, New Jersey For Democracy and Hudson Democracy For America
Donna Schiavone, Bergen Women's Political Caucus
Daniel Schoenberg, Morris County Democracy For America/Progressive Democrats of America
Mike Sedita, Northwest New Jersey For Democracy
Robin Seidon, BlueWave NJ
Jo Sippie-Gora, Seeds of Peace
Jake Stuiver, Hudson Democracy For America
Gerald D. Troiano, New Jersey for Feingold
Mary Walworth, Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War
Eve Weissman, New Jersey Citizen Action
Tom Wyka, Democratic Candidate for Congress, NJ-11
Paul Younghouse, Union County For Democracy
Joanne Zippel, BlueWave NJ
E.J. Zipprich, Monmouth For Democracy


Rev. Kevin E. Taylor, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick, Chair
Rev. Janyce L. Jackson, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark, Chair
Rev. Dr. Traci C. West, Drew University Theological School, Chair
Bev Beasley, African Asian Latina Lesbians United
Eddie Beck, Gay Straight Alliance, Rutgers University
Sandra Benthall, Liberation in Truth, Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Marybeth Boger, African Asian Latina Lesbians United
Millicent Braden, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Quincy Brayton, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Peter Briggs, New Jersey State Conference. NAACP
Joseph Brister
James Carrington, North Jersey Community Research Initiative
Minister Victoria Castillo, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Linda Champiou, Liberation in Truth, Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Rev. LaDana Clark, Church in the Hood
Tamara Cooper, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Albert Cunningham
Sacha Darius
Patricia Dillon
June Dowell-Burton, Newark Pride Alliance
Vailene Fields, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Pamela Kelly Fields, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Michael Folger, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Deacon Rwanda Gross, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Christine Hamlett, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network of Northern New Jersey
Rev. Rose Hardy, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Curt Harris, Grace Van Vorst Episcopal Church New Brunswick
Steve Hatcher, People’s Organization for Progress, Plainfield Branch
Rochelle Hayles, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Lyn Headley-Deavours, Episcopal Diocese of Newark;
Rev. Allen Hinman, retired Episcopal clergy
Elder Rev. Jacquelyn Holland, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Gloria Irby, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church
Netta Irby, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church
Rev Janyce Jackson, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church in Newark
Dawn James
Cassandra Jetter, Booker Team
Jonathan Jones, author
Christine Hamlett, Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network of Northern New Jersey
Jeffrey Hopkins
Kathryn Kawecki, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Montclair
Keith Kawecki, St. John’s Episcopal Church Montclair
Patricia Knowles Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Kathy Knox Dillon, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Tiye Lasley, African Asian Latina Lesbians United
Lou Leffler, St. Mark’s Church Mendham
Waleska Lucas
Gail MacQuaide, Grace Episcopal Church, Plainfield
TaShia Marsh, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Shea Maultsby Human Rights Campaign
Helena Maxwell, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Michele Meyer-Shipp, Merrill Lynch
Pamela Miller, Garden State Bar Association
Karen Mitcham, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Rev. Gladys Moore, St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Jersey City
Laquetta Nelson, New Jersey Stonewall Democrats founder
Minister Shonda Nicholas, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Peter Oates, African American Office of Gay Concerns
Christian Paolino, Episcopal Diocese of Newark
Deacon Tanya Parker, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Michael Petti, Christ Episcopal Church
Ranessa Porter, United Methodist Church of New Brunswick
Deacon Carmen Price, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Janine Quinlan, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Rev. Don Ransom, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Aida Rawlins
Lorna Reid, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Randi Rhodes Liberation in Truth, Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Ron Rice, Jr., Councilman, Newark, New Jersey
Tony Robinson Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Sharon Robinson, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Aurea Rodriguez, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
M.W. Savant,
Charlene Singleton, Victory Tabernacle Seventh Day Christian Church
Audrey Skeete, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Victoria Smith, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Shirley Spriggs Liberation in Truth, Unity Fellowship Church, Newark
Rev. Kevin Taylor, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick
Deacon Priscilla Thomas, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Joseph Vereen, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church Newark
Rita Warfield
Rev. Dr. Traci C. West, Drew Theological School
Lynne Womble, African Asian Latina Lesbians United
Gary Paul Wright, African American Office of Gay Concerns


Bill Kane, President, New Jersey State Industrial Union Council, Chair
Hetty Rosenstein, President, Communications Workers of America Local 1037, Chair
Dottie Gutenkauf, AFT Retirees of New Jersey, Chair
Margaret Allan, American Federation of Teachers Local 4277
Dominick Antonicello, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Robert Arey, American Federation of Teachers Local 1839, New Jersey City University
Diane Beeny, Industrial Union Council Solidarity Singers
Robert Began, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Kenneth D. Bishop, Communications Workers of America Local 1058
Christine Carmody-Arey, American Federation of Teachers Local 1839
Mariella Chavez, Communications Workers of America Local 1023
Rosemarie Cipparulo, AAUP/Communications Workers of America
Catherine Danata, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Nicole Daywalt, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Frank DeMaria, Industrial Union Council
Helen French, Communications Workers of America
Carol Gay, Communications Workers of America and NJ Industrial Union Council
Karin Goodman, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Theresa Guerriere, American Federation of Teachers
Harry Guerriere, Jersey City Education Association
Josef Gutenkauf, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
John F. Hall, USW 943
Natalia Hervia
John Kang, Democracy for America
Carla Katz Communications Workers of America Local 1034
Ann M. Klopp American Federation of Teachers Local 4277
Frances Ladson, Unite Here
Mark Lender, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Phillip A. Lewis, American Federation of Teachers Local 2373
Adam Liebtag, Communications Workers of America Local 1034
Michele Liebtag, Communications Workers of America Local 1034
Barbara Mapp, Communications Workers of America Local 1058
Kenneth McNamara, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Timothy Mitchell, Communications Workers of America Local 1058
Susan Morehead, New Jersey Education Association, NEA, PCEA
Charlie Murphy, Communications Workers of America Local 1058
Annmarie Pinarski, Communications Workers of America
Bettie Reina, Communications Workers of America
Nick Reina, Communications Workers of America
Jean Romsted, Industrial Union Council Solidarity Singers
Lilliam Rosado, American Federation of Teachers Local 1839
Christopher Shelton, Communications Workers of America
Karen Siefring, F.O.R.C.E American Federation of Teachers 2373
Anna Stephens, Communications Workers of America Local 1034
Ray Stever, Steelworker / Industrial Union Council
Susan Stone, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Karen Syczeparski, Health Professionals & Allied Employees
Anthony C. Tallarico, Communications Workers of America Local 1034
Vikki U. Thurston, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Maureen Timmons, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Debbie Turner
John Paul Velez, Communications Workers of America Local 1037
Jordan Wills, IINJ
Bennet D. Zurofsky, New Jersey State Industrial Union Council


Rev. Edgar A. Gutierrez-Duarte, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Paterson, Chair
Rev. Gus Vinajeras, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Union City, Chair
Anahi Galante, interfaith minister, Jersey City, Chair
Jose Ramon Acevedo
Maxim Almenas, New Jersey City University
Sonia Aranjo
Rafaela Billini, Garden State Equality
Cynthia Blandino, New Jersey City University
Tonio Burgos, Tonio Burgos and Associates
Miguel Cardenas, Jersey City Lesbian and Gay Outreach
Ivelisse Cartagena
Vanessa Casaretto, Chilltown Pride Center
Ida H. Castro, IC Alliance Development Group
Louis Cid, Chilltown Pride Center
Yvette Cid, Chilltown Pride Center
Jasmin Colon, New Jersey City University
Rosanna Cruz
Lucious Cox, Jr. AAMR
Roberto Deane, Garden State Equality
Priscila DeCarvalho, Artist
Jessella DeLaCruz
Dr. Nicolas DuMont, Columbia University
Gilda Espinal, Association for a More Just Society
Zulima Ferrer, civil rights leader, Paterson
Douglas Flores, Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network
Judith Galang, New Jersey City University
Susan Gamba, Chilltown Pride Center
Tina Garcia
J.C. Gehring Sr.
Yolanda Gehring, Chilton Memorial Hospital
Marta Gonzalez
Vanessa Gonzalez
Diane Gonzalez
Oscar Gonzalez
Jackie Lacayo
Jasi Maria Lanya
Suzanne Clare LaRosa
William LaRosa
Susana Latorre
Elaine Lazzaris, Artist
R.J. Legge
Rosario Lopez-Rivera, United Church of Christ Congregational, Plainfield
Paul Mendoza, Jersey City Lesbian and Gay Outreach
Renata Moreira, Jersey City Lesbian and Gay Outreach
Roberto Napoleon
Norman Ortega
Rev. Damaris Ortega, United Church of Christ Congregational, Plainfield
Anthony Papaleo
Rita Papaleo
Araya Perez
Rev. Gregory Perez, Episcopal Diocese of Newark
Margaret Ramos
Aida Rawlins, civil rights leader
Cristal Reyes, civil rights leader
Wanda Rios
Anna "Cuqui" Rivera, Hispanic Directors Association of New Jersey
Paul Rodriguez
Carmen Salavarrieta, El Centro Hispanoamericano
Al Santiago
Jisandrina Santos
Frank Solano, Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals
Nitza Tufino, artist
Virna Vargas, artist
Lia Varsalona
Rossana Villaflor, New Jersey City University
Cristina Villaflor, New Jersey City University
Sergio Villamizar, New Jersey City University
from Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality:

Those who would view today's Supreme Court ruling as a victory for same-sex couples are dead wrong. So help us God, New Jersey's LGBTI community and our millions of straight allies will settle for nothing less than 100% marriage equality.

Let decision makers from Morristown to Moorestown, from Maplewood to Maple Shade, recognize that fundamental fact right now. So today, without missing a beat, Garden State Equality announces that Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo, the Assembly Speaker Pro Tem, joined by Assemblyman Brian Stack and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, will introduce marriage-equality legislation. Thousands of us will now hit the streets, the phones and the hallways to get this legislation passed.

As the late Lt. Laurel Hester and too many other cases across New Jersey have shown, half-steps short of marriage -- like New Jersey's domestic-partnership law and also civil union laws -- don't work in the real world. Hospitals and other employers have told domestic-partnered couples across New Jersey: We don't care what the domestic partnership law says. You're not married.

That's why it wouldn't matter if the legislature added all the rights in the world to the current law without calling it marriage. Marriage is the only currency of commitment the real world universally understands and accepts.

We're not seeking marriage merely for some moral, ethereal victory. We're seeking marriage because New Jersey has proven that marriage is the only way a gay civil rights law will ever work in the real world.

Our community has a stunning track record, with victory after victory, when our fate is our own hands rather than in a court's. So right here and now, without wasting a moment, Garden State Equality kicks off its Campaign for a Marriage Equality Statute with these initial steps:

1. A GSE television commercial for marriage equality starring the late police officer Lt. Laurel Hester, known and loved throughout the state, begins in a few hours on News 12 New Jersey. It will air every single day and run for several weeks...

2. GSE today releases a communique from 268 key New Jersey grassroots leaders, a stunning cross-section of New Jersey's progressive electoral base, urging Governor Corzine and the Democratic-controlled state legislature to respect today's decision. Unprecedented in scope, the communique is signed by 84 African-American leaders, 68 Latino leaders, 54 labor leaders, and 62 leaders of grassroots advocacy organizations that are predominantly straight.

3. GSE will now create and lead a Statewide Task Force for a Marriage Equality Statute that will bring together the leadership and political savvy of 150 organizations across New Jersey, both straight and LGBTI.

4. GSE's "Equality Express" bus will now tour the entire state on upcoming weekends, with same-sex and opposite-sex couples talking to New Jerseyans about marriage equality. The first weekend tours will be to houses of worship across the state.

5. GSE will now accelerate implementation of "Awesome Autumn," our recently announced whirlwind of more than 50 public events across the state in just the next three months. It's the most concentrated, most ambitious statewide barnstorm ever produced by a public interest organization in New Jersey.

6. Because GSE understands that all politics is local, GSE's District Leaders -- leading the organization in each of New Jersey's 40 legislative districts -- now swing into immediate action to implement long-planned district-by-district grassroots campaigns.

That's the tip of the iceberg. Garden State Equality will shortly rollout DOZENS OF MORE ACTIONS including the next town meetings in our statewide town meeting series for marriage equality -- a series attended by more than 10,000 New Jerseyans and two-thirds of the state legislature since January 2003, and credited with transforming grassroots activism.

As you've seen from Garden State Equality's hundreds of events and thousands of e-mails over the past few years -- a breathless pace of activity that's not going to abate, so help us God -- we never give up and we never give in to those who tell us no.

Hell no. Over our dead bodies will we settle for less than 100% marriage equality. The people of New Jersey wouldn't want us to. According to the 2006 Zogby-Garden State Equality Poll, New Jersey favors marriage equality by 56% to 39%. Every other recent poll in New Jersey also shows a majority of voters favor marriage equality.

We will continue to exhaust our opponents until we win the marriage equality our families deserve. We will continue to outthink, outwork and outhustle the hatemongers every step of the way.

You must attend tonight's rally to tell legislators that anything less than 100% marriage equality is unacceptable. Right now, please call and forward this e-mail to all your friends to get them to the rally. There have never been circumstances more important than this. We'll see you tonight at 7 pm, Unitarian Church of Montclair, 67 Church Street.

Yours in history,

Steven Goldstein, Chair, Garden State Equality"

by The NJ Lesbian and Gay Coalition


Laura Pople, President New Jersey Lesbian & Gay Coalition

Lewis v. Harris
New Jersey Marriage Equality Case

October 25, 2006 Trenton: The New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition is thrilled by the recent decision of the State Supreme Court which recognizes that providing to "committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts" is mandated under the State Constitution. The New Jersey State Supreme Court has upheld equal rights for the all citizens. By leaving the "name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to same-sex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter [left to the legislature]" we look forward to a speedy process that reflects the diversity of New Jersey. We have faith that all fair-minded citizens of NJ agree with the Court's decision.

The Coalition, having spent the past few decades working continuously to ensure the rights of the GLBTI community through actions such as: the amendment of New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination to include sexual orientation; the signing of the Governor's Executive Order banning such discrimination in the state workplace; the passage of New Jersey's Domestic Partnership Act; and increased visibility of our community through lobbying and education, is proud to have been an integral part of this pursuit of equal rights.

We salute the tireless efforts of both Lambda Legal Defense and Garden State Equality -- along with all of those New Jersey residents who worked so hard to make this a reality. And we thank the seven litigant couples. They lit a lamp for all to see our families and now the movement will continue carrying their torch.

We are grateful for the support of our fair-minded leaders. We are excited to work with the Legislature to give every NJ citizen the rights of marrying the man or woman they love. The simplest solution is marriage. We encourage the legislature to act promptly.

The people of NJ will see as in other states and countries that marriage equality strengthens families. Our next step will be to invite people to come and see that New Jersey has true respect for marriage.

"What we need to remember is that today's decision is not the end. Equally important is what do we do with it. Our next step is to continue forward on the march of human rights," reminds Laura Pople, President of the New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition, the state's oldest LGBTI advocacy group, comprised of 34 member organizations, and reaching over 16000 New Jerseyans. "This decision will give a NJ citizen a legal relationship to the man or woman they love, including all the NJ-based rights, responsibilities and privileges of marriage, but it doesn't end discrimination completely. Everyone knows what it means to be married, and we will have full marriage equality in NJ. In time, we'll achieve full equality in every way."

- End -


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

URGENT BULLETIN: The New Jersey Supreme Court will hand down its ruling in the marriage equality case Wednesday, October 25, 2006 at 3:00 pm. THIS SUPERSEDES THE COURT'S EARLIER ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THERE WOULD BE NO DECISIONS COMING DOWN ON WEDNESDAY.

The Court will post the decision at

Please attend Garden State Equality's statewide rally for marriage equality Wednesday night at 7:00 pm, Unitarian Church of Montclair, 67 Church Street, downtown Montclair. The rally supersedes any other event we have e-mailed you about.

Right now please call as many people as you can, and please forward this e-mail to every New Jersey resident whose e-mail you have, to get them to Wednesday night's 7:00 pm rally.
This e-mail must spread like instant wildfire to get people to Wednesday night's 7:oo pm rally on such short notice.

COME TO WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S 7:00 pm RALLY WHETHER OUR SIDE WINS OR LOSES THE CASE. Should our side win, you'll tell the State Legislature to leave the decision alone. Should our side lose, you'll tell the State Legislature to give us marriage equality by passing a bill.

Either way, our fight continues, our work continues -- we must send an unmistakable signal to the world! Please attend Garden State Equality's statewide rally for marriage equality Wednesday night at 7:00 pm, Unitarian Church of Montclair, 67 Church Street, downtown Montclair.

For further information: Steven Goldstein with Garden State Equality,

More from WNBC
Special to the blog by CEO, MW Savant

Fellow Jerseyans and GLBTI family;

First of all, I give thanks for and celebrate the indestructible seven couples who filed this suit to have their relationships and families recognized in our state. They are prepared for the rights and responsibilities that will come with an affirmative ruling. Thank you all for your bravery and willingness to stand up front and be counted. Thank you very, very much!

This is a time of incredible hope and also trepidation for me. Being born and raised in NJ, I have had many chances to see her courts rule in support of unflappable fairness and equality.

Tomorrow's expected ruling is far more important to the nation than to just our state, our region or the company I work for. It offers the sparkling hope of fairness and opportunity for our residents. Not being clairvoyant, I have been able to call the expansion of to the New Jersey area as serendipitous. Naturally a ruling in favor of marriage equality would be wonderful for our business. We already, however, enjoy the confidence and patronage of New Jersey residents at present. In serving them and making their dreams come true since our arrival has already fulfilled our hearts.

Regardless of the ruling, we at remain ready to continue our tradition of deeply caring and personalized care for all our couples in New Jersey and beyond. We stand proudly and publicly ready to continue our efforts for marriage equality around the world but especially in our new home state. I constantly rededicate myself to making certain that our couples and all members of the GLBTI family's ceremonies will never be treated with anything less than honor, respect and dignity. That's why this company was started in the first place.

I implore other New Jerseyans to get involved. Garden State Equality and their membership and leadership are astoundingly driven and tireless. It is inspiring to observe their work. And I thank them and Steven Goldstein for all that they do.

I pray that the universe endows the NJ State Supreme Court with the strength, vision and courage to do what is right in being a pioneer in the battle for marriage equality for all.

Good luck, New Jersey, and good night. May we awaken to a more equal state which demands and provides equality for everyone and honors the importance and value of our relationships.

Warm regards,

MW Savant, CEO

Monday, October 23, 2006

Judge talks of gay marriage from another side of bench
Bellinda Kontominas

October 24, 2006

JUSTICE Michael Kirby has used his experience as a gay man to highlight the legal discrepancies unfolding as same-sex marriage spreads to several countries.

In a speech to the National Family Law Conference in Perth yesterday, Justice Kirby called for equal treatment under one law for homosexual and heterosexual unions.

Tranquil lives … Justice Kirby and Johan van Vloten.
"It is a source of puzzlement to Johan and me, as we go about our tranquil lives, that there are many fellow citizens, some of them well educated and very important, who seem to be threatened and upset by such relationships and who feel the need to discriminate against them by laws enacted or unenacted by our nation's parliaments."
His comments come as the ACT Government revives its plan to legalise same-sex unions after legislation that would have allowed homosexual couples to enter into civil unions was disallowed by the Federal Government in June...continue via Sydney Morning Herald?


In a feature on by, called "Ten Traits of a Good Husband", they offer the top ten traits. We reviewed them and felt that actually they were ten GREAT traits for ANYONE to look for and provide in a healthy relationship. We thought we'd share them with you. The results below were taken as of this afternoon only and could possibly change as the day progresses. We thought there were some interesting numbers. What about you?

You can read the details of their points at their site. Just substitute the pronouns and adjectives as necessary. =)

What is the most important trait of a good partner?

Care more about your partner's well-being 26%
Think like part of a team 18%
Speaking honestly 16%
Be more affectionate 10%
Empathy 7%
Avoid being judgmental 7%

Admit mistakes 7%

Be generous and fair 5%

Owning your issues 3%
Not being an emotional Mr. Fix-It 1%

Total Votes: 9,742
Note on Poll Results

Speculation on Gay Marriage Ruling Swirls in New Jersey:

The Magnificent Seven?Top row, from left to right: Justice John E. Wallace, Jr.; Justice James R. Zazzali; Justice Barry T. Albin; Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto
Front row, from left to right: Justice Virginia Long; Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz; Justice Jaynee LaVecchia

Published: October 23, 2006

TRENTON, Oct. 20 — The New Jersey Supreme Court is carrying much constitutional freight as it considers whether the state will be the second in the nation to find that gay couples have the right to marry. But for those watching the court, speculation has centered lately on smaller issues, like the chief justice’s birthday and the re-election prospects of Senator Robert Menendez... Read the story via the New York Times (Free Registration Required)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Melissa Etheridge, partner have twins
(AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)

LOS ANGELES (AP)- Melissa Etheridge and her partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, are the new parents of twins, the couple announced Friday.

Michaels gave birth to a boy and girl Tuesday: son Miller Steven and daughter Johnnie Rose.

"Tammy and the babies are in excellent health," Etheridge said on her Web site. The babies were conceived using an anonymous donor from a sperm bank.

"The creation of life brings about immeasurable love, and pours hope into the future. The joy will help carry us through our upcoming sleepless nights," the couple said in a statement.

Etheridge, 45, and Michaels, 31, held a commitment ceremony in 2003. The Grammy-winning singer has two children from her relationship with former partner Julie Cypher: daughter Bailey Jean and son Beckett. Cypher had the children through artificial insemination using a sperm donation from rock legend David Crosby.

Etheridge, 45, and Michaels, 31, held a commitment ceremony in 2003. The Grammy-winning singer has two children from her relationship with former partner Julie Cypher: daughter Bailey Jean and son Beckett. Cypher had the children through artificial insemination using a sperm donation from rock legend David Crosby.

Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, but is now cancer-free. She last released a greatest hits album titled "The Road Less Traveled."

Michaels starred on the 2005 NBC comedy "Committed" and has appeared on Showtime's "The L Word."

Friday, October 20, 2006 CEO Published Again

After MW Savant's self-described "rant of frustration and disbelief" published here on the blog this week, the article is being picked up all around. Via his freelance column, "The Equalist", the musings of MW Savant are getting around. The most recent appearance/
publication is as a lead feature on It has also been picked up as the lead GLBT feature on other Edge sites as EdgeProvidence, EdgeProvincetown and EdgeNew England.

Editorial Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this feature are entirely the writer's and do not necessarily reflect those of the GLBTI WEDDINGS PLUS! editorial staff, or any of our affiliates, vendors or other partners.

Quakers state view on Constitutional Marriage Amendment
(Letter to the Editor- Vernon County Broadcaster, 10/17/06)

(PHOTO: Greater Boston PFLAG)

On November’s ballot, Wisconsin will vote on a constitutional ban on same-gender marriages. We of the Religious Society of Friends believe the movement to isolate and scapegoat homosexuals, to promote hatred against them and to impose in law one group’s religious beliefs on us all, is blatantly immoral and contrary to Jesus’ teachings.

With half of marriages ending in divorce, unquestionably the right thing to do is to strengthen marriages. But diverting the question to whether two people of the same sex can have legal rights together, completely loses track of the problem of frail marriages. It is marriages between “one man and one woman” that are having trouble; it is violence within the home, a lack of deep commitment and promiscuity with other heterosexuals that threatens traditional marriage. Heterosexual marriages are not threatened by homosexuals, especially by those gays and lesbians in committed, stable, monogamous relationships - those who would be most targeted by this law.

The proposed constitutional amendment really has nothing to do with marriage; it is a thinly veiled attack on gays and lesbians, part of a pattern of discrimination and institutionalized hatred. They are currently the favorite target to be slandered by our country’s hate groups. By focusing on gays as the “cause” of our society’s troubles, the promoters of intolerance keep the public’s attention away from their own shortcomings. It is a strategy of power practiced by would-be tyrants throughout history.

Some have portrayed persecution and hatred of gays as a Christian thing to do. We can find nowhere that Jesus said anything about homosexuality. Nor did Jesus ever suggest encoding Christian teachings into a Sharia-like law to force religious beliefs on society. The only people Jesus ever spoke against, in fact, were the priests, scribes, and pharisees - those religious leaders who spoke righteous words but put their own power above the well-being of others. Otherwise, he spoke only with love and compassion.

We believe that God loves us all equally, and that we are called to treat each other with the same love in which God created us. We have no need to hate, or to discriminate against, any group for any reason. It is simply not Christian to do so.

David Chakoian, Clerk
Kickapoo Valley Monthly Meeting,
Religious Society of Friends (Quaker)
Fantasy Fest Kicks Off In Key West

Key West residents are anxious to kick off Fantasy Fest on Friday after a shortened festival last year.

Hurricane Wilma delayed the celebration by six weeks last year and cost the area millions of dollars. Business owners said the event allows them to make enough money to pay rent through Christmas when tourism season begins. About 70,000 people, nearly three times Key West's population, are expected to attend. The 10-day event is known for elaborate costumes and parades. It runs through Oct. 29. Last year was the first time in 27 years that Fantasy Fest could not be held at the end of October.

VIEW last year's Fantasy Fest Images via

Editor's note:'s concierge department can make all of your reservations at no charge for Fantasy Fest. The entire island sells out (often all the way up to Miami & Key Largo). Our team can find your accommodations, activities, reservations and more with just a phone call. Plan for Fantasy Fest 2007 now. You'll be glad to know that those hard to get rooms are booked and confirmed for you and you can rest and enjoy preparing for the fest!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The killing of the Writ of Habeus Corpus protections...
Does this also have implications for the GLBTI community? In what ways?

Learn the facts via a video response of Keith Olbermann on the Murder of Habeus Corpus.
with guest Jonathan Turley, Professor of Constitutional Laws at George Washington University.
"People have no idea how significant this is. Really a time of shame this is for the American system.—The strange thing is that we have become sort of constitutional couch potatoes. The Congress just gave the President despotic powers and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to Dancing With the Stars. It's otherworldly..People clearly don't realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country. What happened today changed us. And I'm not too sure we're gonna change back anytime soon." - Jonathan Turley

On Friday, October 20, 2006, the PBS weekly newsmagazine NOW will present a special hour-long episode into the fight to keep American elections free and fair across the country. Called "Votes for Sale?", the show will spotlight the Clean Elections movement that has taken hold in Maine and Arizona as well as talk about campaigns to win Clean Elections across the country. ( Preview-5:53:00)

The show includes an interview with Nick Nyhart, Executive Director- Public Campaign Action Fund and Public Campaign on Clean Elections efforts both nationally and in the states. Also featured is David Donnelly, the Public Campaign Action Fund’s national campaigns director, on his time as the campaign manager for the successful ballot effort that made Maine the first Clean Elections state in the nation. "Votes for Sale?" will air Friday, October 20 on PBS stations nationwide.

Released by A&E

NEW YORK, NY, OCTOBER 18, 2006 - A&E puts a comedic twist on one of America's most controversial issues - gay marriage - with "Wedding Wars," premiering on Monday, December 11 @ 9PM ET/PT. The romantic comedy from executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago, "The Reagans," Hairspray), stars John Stamos ("ER," "Full House"), Eric Dane (X-Men: The Last Stand, "Grey's Anatomy"), James Brolin ("The Reagans," Traffic, Catch Me if You Can) and Bonnie Somerville ("The O.C.," "Grosse Pointe").

Not all is fair in love and war, especially when the war is between brothers. In "Wedding Wars," love, family, politics and marriage rights collide when Shel (Stamos), a gay party planner, agrees to organize the nuptials for straight brother Ben (Dane) to Maggie (Somerville), the Governor of Maine's (Brolin) daughter. After Shel finds out that Ben, a campaign manager for his future father-in-law, is behind the governor's speech against gay marriage, he decides to go on strike for equal rights. Shel's strike picks up steam and eventually spreads nationwide, leaving the impending wedding vows in the hands of a tacky planner and overall, in question.

Produced by Storyline Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television for A&E Network, "Wedding Wars" is directed by Jim Fall (Trick, The Lizzie McGuire Movie), from a script by Stephen Mazur (Liar, Liar). Storyline Entertainment's Craig Zadan and Neil Meron serve as executive producers.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mr. Hara will be denied pension benefits of his husband Studds
The affront is reprehensible and the inequity is glaring.
Opinion: Special to the blog by MW Savant

Well, family, as if one needed any further proof of the outright, blatant and vitriolic hatred and dismissal of GLBTI people and our relationships, here it is.

Following the death of Gerry Studds recently, his husband, Dean Hara, will not receive any portion of Mr. Studds' pension benefit. The pair had been partnered for fifteen years and married for two. If Hara was female he would have been entitled to and received about half of the nearly $115,000.00 pension.

Even as a somewhat controversial member of congress in his heyday, Studds was an effective and respected political figure and the first congressman to be openly gay. The spouses of other members of the congressional body would be irrefutably and fully entitled to the benefits of their deceased spouse. How dare this government, whether it favors same-sex couples, GLBTI people or not---How dare they so heartlessly and coldly permit this insult upon a bereaved human being.

How dare this nation talk about human and civil rights to any other nation on earth when it boldy demonstrates its own failings in that regard. I am outraged but obviously not surprised.

It is glaringly clear that this country's immaturity and rancor regarding GLBTI life and people is so great that there is absolutely zero regard for the inexcusable lack of compassion and fairness.

I would remind the haters that "You don't have to like us. You don't have to "approve" of our life choices. It is not for you to approve. However, you must respect other human beings." It is unconscionable that there isn't a tremendous hue and cry of outrage at this newest 'slap in the face' to the GLBTI family and the human family.

There is no excuse. There is no justification. There is no possible way that this inequality can be allowed to drop off the radar.

There was a time in this nation when I actually believed that one could shout loudly enough, and with right on one's side, to shake the rafters and effect change. I shudder to think that, now, this nation
WILL turn its back on this disgusting and obvious travesty. I imagine that it will do nothing.

I once actually heard someone say to another with complete, insane candor:
"I could slit your throat, step over the body, make a sandwich and not think about it for another moment." It appears to me that that is precisely what our leaders are more than capable of doing and have done for centuries.

The treatment of gays and lesbians in this country, while cloaked in more general protections- reluctantly given- reeks of the horrible treatment of women in early America. Unflappably willing to be redundant---it stinks of the treatment of those forced into Japanese internment camps, slavery, anti-miscegenation laws, and the many other documented and moronic incidents that we have dropped upon each other throughout our history. One common thread therein, is the fact that it was felt by the 'majority' that these situations were commonly recognized as acceptable. Therefore, they were permitted, promoted and treated as a matter of course. When will we evolve beyond petty ignorant biases and ignoble, taught predjudices?

Have we learned nothing else?

The gaul of this most recent irreverent and brash acceptance of this and other inequalities in this nation is too much. In the words of Dr. Maya Angelou--- "STOP IT!"

When someone is hurting you tell them to stop it. When you are being mistreated, demand that they stop it. When you are being relegated to the fringes of acceptability by the masses, insist they stop it. When your rights, or the rights of your fellow human beings are being ruthlessly and nonchalantly assailed we must stop it.

Remember the quote by Pastor Martin Niemoeller, Dachau, Germany, 1941:
"In Germany they came first for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me-- and by that time no one was left to speak up."
  • Stop interfering in our adult relationships They OBVIOUSLY do not nor cannot effect your relationship unless you choose to allow them to.
  • Stop judging and proclaiming mores from your bully pulpit and perch of hypocrisy.
  • Stop accepting, inspiring and inciting brutal gay bashing and homophobia which is fed and sanctioned by our leadership.
  • Stop your futile attempts to prevent us from marrying the persons we love and know that it may or may not become legal on your watch, but it most assuredly will become.
  • Stop your obsession with the romantic lives of same gender loving people in this nation. Aren't there MUCH bigger fish to fry?
  • Stop presenting yourselves as the rights and morals wardens of the country and the world---you are not worthy.
  • Stop fighting the fact that this is no longer the land of our fathers. It is a new century to which you must adapt and grow.
  • Stop oppressing the liberties of others to maintain your rapidly slipping racial, political and theological majority status and delusions of entitlement.
  • Stop misleading the lambs for political gain and inspiring bigotry and homophobia.
Stop it.


Mr. Studds Entire Obituary via Boston Globe

Editorial Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the GLBTI WEDDINGS PLUS! editorial staff, or any of our affiliates, vendors or other partners.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Black SGL and LGBT organizers and activists vowed to hold a rally on this coming Monday to demand an end to hate violence in the city and to hold city leaders accountable. The rally is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. Monday, October 16 at New York City Hall . The rally is being sponsored by People of Color In Crisis, the New York State Black Gay Network, Gay Men of African Descent, the New York City Anti-Violence Project and the National Black Justice Coalition.
"How many more black gays and lesbians have to be beaten, killed or attacked in New York before we rise up and do something about it?" noted author and NBJC founding Board President Keith Boykin (Pictured) asked in a written statement.

"After Kevin Aviance, Rashawn Brazell, Dwan Prince and Sakia Gunn, we have a responsibility to speak out on their behalf."
NBJC has launched a crime watch and anti-defamation e-hotline. If you have information about a hate crime or anti-gay activity or just want to get involved email us at

The National Black Justice Coalition is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. The Coalition works with our communities and our allies for social justice, equality, and an end to racism and homophobia.
Campaign to ban same-sex marriage in Virginia gets messy

Canvassers in the town of Warrenton, Va., have been threatened with arrest should they continue going door-to-door urging people to vote against an amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state. Police officers have referenced a town ordinance meant to control door-to-door salespeople to justify the threats of arrest.

Isn't it interesting that the motto of the state is
Sic Semper Tyrannis (Wikipedia)? It is also depicted on the seal of the commonwealth (pictured).


In the past year, audiences around the world were captivated by the love story of Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist. Now, you have an opportunity to bring home a part of what made Brokeback Mountain such a special film.

The producers of Brokeback Mountain, in partnership with Focus Features and, are auctioning the movie's entire wardrobe, with proceeds benefiting the Human Rights Campaign. Click here for your chance to bid on a unique memento from this powerful and important film.

Jeans, cowboy hats, boots, and other items worn by the actors during filming will be auctioned online at from October 13th to 20th. You've only got a few short days before the auction ends, so click here to see the complete list of available items and start bidding today!

(via Seen On) (view the charity confirmation letter)

Studds, 1st openly gay congressman dies
By JAY LINDSAY, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON - Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds (D-Mass.), the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said. He was 69. (Read story via Yahoo! News)

Hara, who married Studds shortly after gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts in 2004, said Studds was a pioneer who gave courage to gay people everywhere by winning re-election after publicly acknowledging his homosexuality.

Same-Sex Marriage Opposition may be waning as New Jersey expects a ruling Special to the blog by MW Savant, CEO

Recent report indicates that up to 70 percent of heterosexual adults know a gay person. (via Human Rights Campaign). More and more states' ballot initiatives are finding themselves a bit less aggressive and less important in the minds of voters.

Polls indicate growing tolerance of GLBTI persons, generally, and an increase in approval (or lessened disapproval) of the concept of same-sex marriage specifically. People seem mortified by the most recent scandals that continue to emerge in the current government.

What does all this portend in the wake of the public's feeling that there are bigger fish to fry? It is clear that a vast number of Americans are more concerned about the war, the administration, the mid-term elections and alleged improprieties throughout the party in power at seemingly every level.

With a supreme court ruling expected any day now in New Jersey, one of our service areas and my home state, what effect will an affirmative ruling here have on the GLBTI community and on those less than friendly to it?

Through the incessant and honorable efforts of individuals and organizations such as Garden State Equality's STEVEN GOLDSTEIN, I have observed the ferociously adept leadership of various marriage equality activists and supporters in the state. I encourage all fair minded New Jersey residents to lend your voices, hearts, muscles and dollars to this organization.

I recently was an invited observer on a conference call with Governor Howard Dean, Senator Bob Menendez and NJ Governor Corzine, Linda Stender and 100 other participants, including Mr. Goldstein---a long-time NJ activist and gay rights leader. I heard the conviction and resolve of various county chairs and members and witnessed the impassioned and serious commitment of the call's participants.

There is much to be done and in my estimation, while every organization's contributions are vital, GSE seems to be at the apex of that esteemed list of organizations. Support Garden State Equality in whatever ways you can. There is so much information on their website .

I continue to pray that New Jersey will once again lead the way against GLBTI bias and homophobia. There is no gray area in equality. As a Jerseyan, born and raised, I have seen our state set the bar on so many counts and occasions. We can and must do it again now.
We are living in the most progressive state in America, a state that has a live-and-let-live attitude, a state that seeks to deprive no citizen of equality," Goldstein said. "People in this state correctly care about issues that affect their pocketbooks, their own lives."
- in the The Gloucester County Times

Some additional insight on the national feeling about GLBTI marriage may be found in this interesting article in the New York Times (via AOL) by Kirk Johnson.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Come Out for Marriage Equality on National Coming Out Day October 11th!

Come Out for Marriage Equality on National Coming Out Day October 11th.

This year let everyone know that you are out for equal rights on National Coming Out day and every day by trying some of the interesting, innovative, and thought provoking ways described below. For instance,

If you're LGBT and at your high school or college reunion, and an fellow classmate asks, "So are you married?" Try responding "No ... It's illegal!" When they look confused, explain that federal law and 49 of the 50 states' laws prohibit you from marrying and how this denial affects you as an LGBT person. If you have a partner, introduce them and tell about you life together.

If you’re straight and at your high school or college reunion, and an fellow classmate asks, "So are you married?" Try responding "No I’m waiting until it’s legal for my LGBT friends, families, and co-workers!" or “Yes, luckily we have access to the 1138 federal rights that are denied LGBT Americans.” ...Get the details from Marriage Equality USA?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Same-sex R.I. couple weds in Mass. after judge gives the OK
Brandie M. Jefferson, Associated Press

Mary Norton, left, and her partner, Wendy Becker, right, both of Providence, R.I., exchange a cup of wine after exchanging vows during their wedding ceremony Sunday, Oct. 8, 2006, in Attleboro, Mass. Looking on are Judge Donna Nesselbush, second from left, the Rev. Maryellen Butke, second from right, and the couple's adopted children, Mickey Becker-Norton, 3, lower left, and Hannah Becker-Norton, 6, lower right. The couple successfully fought to allow same-sex couples from Rhode Island to marry in Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

They have been together for 18 years. But they hadn't discussed marriage, Becker said, until the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that same-sex marriages were legal in the state.

Then, Becker said, the couple decided marriage would be best for the children. "It's also about being part of this moment in time where we're close to having equality," she said.

After at first being denied a marriage license, Becker and Norton challenged the 1913 Massachusetts law that prohibits out-of-state residents from marrying if the union would not be permitted in their home state.

They argued that same-sex marriage is not specifically banned in Rhode Island. Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly agreed, saying in his ruling he saw no evidence of a "constitutional amendment, statute, or controlling appellate decision" making same-sex marriage illegal in Rhode Island.

The decision brought cheers from same-sex marriage advocates and put opponents into a defensive position.

Becker's mother, Marjorie, stood near the women, reminding them to hold their bouquets at their stomachs, not their chests. Her father, William, couldn'

Eliot Spitzer Says "We Will Make [Gay Marriage] Law in New York".

Gubernatorial Candidate Eliot Spitzer "made his strongest declaration yet" regarding same-sex marriage at last week's Empire State Pride Agenda dinner, reports the NYT:

Get the story via Towleroad! New York Times?