Esse Blog está no! Coloque o seu também! "GLBTI Weddings PLUS!": June 2007

"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.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Potential cure for HIV discovered

by Mira Oberman
Associated Press via EDGE Boston

A rendering of a cell infected with the HIV virus.  Scientists announced they have discovered a way to remove the virus from infected cells.

A rendering of a cell infected with the HIV virus. Scientists announced they have discovered a way to remove the virus from infected cells. (Source:Nihal ElRayess)

In a breakthrough that could potentially lead to a cure for HIV infection, scientists have discovered a way to remove the virus from infected cells, a study released Thursday said.

The scientists engineered an enzyme which attacks the DNA of the HIV virus and cuts it out of the infected cell, according to the study published in Science magazine...

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Gay and Lesbian (GLBTI) Wedding Cake Toppers!!!

We're thrilled to announce that is now a recognized vendor of these fantastic Renellie™
wedding cake topper figurines!

In our never-ending mission to provide the very best and latest to our clients and friends, is honored to be authorized to offer you authentic RENELLIE™ cake toppers!

By special arrangement directly with the owners of the acclaimed RENELLIE™ INTERNATIONAL, and per our company policy, we are able to provide these gorgeous toppers at ZERO mark-up to you!!! You only pay the manufacturer's retail price (+ shipping and insurance) for delivery to your door!

RENELLIE™ International offers a wide variety of keepsake quality wedding cake toppers featuring interchangeable, multi-ethnic partners (African-American, Asian, Caucasian. Latino & Latina) with blonde or brunette hair. We'll even teach you how to customize the hair color if you need to!

Each 7-inch tall figurine is handcrafted, beautifully detailed and exquisitely adorned. The RENELLIE™ artists have paid close attention to the hand-painted facial and fashion details of each figurine.

Partners can be individually matched and fit securely to the mounting base (1/2" High) and are safely packed in a sturdy keepsake box at
only $69.99 per COUPLE!

Ladies are able to select figurines in formal or contemporary wedding attire.

Order them for yourself, or your clients and, per company procedure and our code of ethics, AT NO MARKUP WHATSOEVER!!


You can call at 877-529-0587(Monday Through Saturday, 11am to 6 PM ET)
to place your order (wholesale orders welcome), View the collection or download an order form right from our website!

You'll enjoy sharing these beautiful and lasting mementos of their special day with your clients. Couples: You'll be so happy to have these elegant reminders of your ceremony!

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Trans Women in Prison - "Cruel and Unusual" Airs on WE network on Monday at 10pm

Women, transgender women such as Ashley, Linda, Anna, Yolanda and Ophelia, are incarcerated in men's prisons across the U.S. from Wyoming to New Jersey and Florida. Denied medical and psychological treatment, victims of rape and violence, the documentary Cruel and Unusual asks if the punishment for their crime is indeed cruel and unusual?
"Cruel and Unusual doesn't just transport the viewer within prison walls, but more importantly, into the hearts and minds of an acutely marginalized and misunderstood community. These women are not criminals in the way the public understands them to be. They are strong, honest, multidimensional individuals with dignity, inner-strength and determination," said Kate Black, Program Officer, The Soros Foundation.
Making its major festival premier at South by Southwest, Cruel and Unusual (2006, 66 minutes) is an unflinching documentary on the lives of transgender women in men's prisons. Shot over three years, this high-definition documentary film challenges the viewer's basic ideas about gender and justice through braids of poignantly graphic stories, vibrant landscape portraits and stark prison footage.

Prisons decide where to place inmates based on their genitalia, not their gender identity. Ophelia, who has lived in the prison of a man's body for all of her 46 years, now resides in a correctional facility in Virginia, having been sentenced to 67 years for bank robbery with an unloaded gun. Denied female hormone treatment, Ophelia felt she had no choice but to mutilate her genitals to force the system "to finish what she started."

Anna Connelly had been living successfully as a woman, raising her son, and working towards sexual reassignment surgery. She was on hormone therapy through a doctor for five years before she was incarcerated. Anna was refused treatment and put in solitary confinement which caused her to attempt suicide.

Once an individual begins estrogen treatment, their body stops hormone production altogether, which is akin to denying a woman hormones after a hysterectomy. Coupled with the psychological effects of returning facial hair and losing breasts, transsexuality in prison becomes an untenable situation amidst the general terror of prison. Explained Ashley, an inmate in the Tucker Unit, Arkansas Department of Corrections, "A lot of times I wake up, and I look around at my surroundings and I see all these men. I think, what am I doing here?" Learn more about the film here.

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Gay rights group evaluates the candidates

via DallasNews Religion

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has released what it calls the first comprehensive analysis of where the presidential candidates stand "on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues."

You can download the 35-page report here.

On the second page is a checklist showing where the Democratic and Republican candidates stand on eight issues of key interest to the task force. Across the board, the Democrats fare much better, in the eyes of the group.

One Democrat, Dennis Kucinich, got a perfect eight out of eight on the issues. Other Democrats, including front-runners Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Omaba, got seven out of eight...

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Photo: Timothy Ivy/NYTIMES

BREAKING NEWS: Newark Schools Superintendent Marion Bolden today attended the final graduation rehearsal at East Side High School in Newark and publicly apologized to graduating senior Andre Jackson in front of the entire graduating class of hundreds of seniors.

"And in a phone call we had with Superintendent Bolden moments ago, she agreed to meet on a regular basis, at least four times a year, with a Task Force on LGBTI Diversity and Sensitivity in the Newark Schools that Garden State Equality is forming with leaders of Newark's LGBTI community. In the call, Bolden called this yearbook episode "my lowest moment since I've been Superintendent."

Yesterday, as you'll recall, Superintendent Bolden had issued a written statement of apology to Jackson, which he and Garden State Equality deemed insufficient, for crossing out a photo of him and his boyfriend kissing in the school yearbook. Today Superintendent Bolden did the right thing.

More about our phone conversation today with with Superintendent Bolden: She called us. She was humble and remorseful in the conversation. When we asked her to meet on a regular basis, at least four times a year, with a Task Force on LGBTI Diversity and Sensitivity in Newark Schools that Garden State Equality is forming with leaders of Newark's LGBTI community, she immediately agreed.

In the call, Ms. Bolden called this episode "my lowest moment since I've been Superintendent." She unequivocally said that allowing the photo of Andre and his boyfriend to be crossed out was homophobic on her part. She volunteered the word "homophobic." She apologized for being insensitive to the LGBTI community and asked Garden State Equality to extend that apology to the entire community.

The conclusion of this very unfortunate episode of anti-LGBTI discrimination is that Superintendent Bolden and the Newark School District have agreed to every Garden State Equality request.

1. The Superintendent has now apologized to Andre Jackson publicly.

2. The District is redistributing yearbooks, with the photo of Andre and his boyfriend not redacted, free of charge.

3. The Superintendent will personally meet on a regular basis, at least four times a year, with the Task Force on LGBTI Diversity and Sensitivity in Newark Schools that Garden State Equality is forming with leaders of Newark's LGBTI community.

We at Garden State Equality now believe something good may emerge from this tragic instance of homophobia: A Newark school system respectful of every student regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and every other factor that makes Newark and all New Jersey a gorgeous mosaic of diversity.

Most of all, Garden State Equality thanks the more than 3,000 people from across the state and nation who wrote letters of protest to Superintendent Bolden since last Friday night. This victory for justice is yours -- God bless you all."

Steven Goldstein, Chair
Garden State Equality
from a membership e-mail blast.

Monday, June 25, 2007


MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2007 at 2:00 PM, press contact Steven Goldstein, chair, Garden State Equality--

In response to an intense 72-hour campaign by Garden State Equality that generated more than 2,500 outraged letters from across New Jersey and the entire nation, Newark Schools Superintendent Marion Bolden has formally apologized to graduating senior Andre Jackson for manually crossing out a photo of Mr. Jackson and his boyfriend in hundreds of East Side High School yearbooks.

In addition, Superintendent Bolden, in her statement, agreed to additional Garden State Equality requests: The school district will be reissuing yearbooks with the photo not redacted; the district will be paying for the reissuance at its own expense; and the district will be distributing the yearbooks free to students who want the new copies.

However, Mr. Jackson learned of Superintendent Bolden's apology today only through a press statement issued moments before Garden State Equality's 1:00 pm news conference today with Mr. Jackson.

At no point before issuing the press statement did Superintendent Bolden or other school district officials speak to Mr. Jackson, who described himself as "deeply hurt" by having had to learn of the apology through the press.

At the news conference, Mr. Jackson said Ms. Bolden's not calling him beforehand was "ridiculous" and that he would not accept her apology. He described himself as continuing to feel humiliated by the school district's redaction of the photo.

"The way Superintendent Bolden handled her apology today was grotesque," said Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality. "Neither Marion Bolden nor the school district had the human decency to call Andre Jackson to apologize. He had to learn of the apology through the press. It's absolutely disgusting how Superintendent Bolden found a way to deliver yet another slap in the face at Andre and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students across Newark. Shame on Marion Bolden, and shame on the school district, for humilating Andre Jackson and other LGBTI students and not having the courage to call Andre directly."

Garden State Equality promised that the story would continue. Working with Mr. Jackson, Garden State Equality is now demanding that the Newark school district meet with a committee on LGBT diversity in Newark schools that Garden State Equality and leaders of Newark's LGBTI community are forming, with Mr. Jackson serving on the committee.

The victory for Mr. Jackson is the latest in a long series of Garden State Equality victories for LGBTI New Jerseyans facing anti-LGBTI discrimination, including the late Lt. Laurel Hester, whom Ocean County had at first denied domestic partner benefits, and teacher Lily McBeth, whom some parents tried to keep out of the classroom because she is transgender.

Since Garden State Equality's founding in 2004, New Jersey has enacted 153 LGBTI civil rights laws at the state, county and municipal levels -- more LGBTI civil rights laws in less time than in any other state in American history, ever.
The Associated Press story is below.

Newark apologizes for blackout of gay kiss in yearbook

AP Photo planned

By Jeffrey Gold

Associated Press Writer

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ The Newark school district on Monday said it regretted a decision to have high school staffers use markers to black out a picture of a male student kissing his boyfriend from all copies of a school yearbook. The superintendent issued an apology to the student, Andre Jackson.

"The decision was based, in part, on misinformation that Mr. Jackson was not one of our students and our review simply focused on the suggestive nature of the photograph," the district said in a statement.

"Superintendent Marion A. Bolden personally apologizes to Mr. Jackson and regrets and embarrassment and unwanted attention the matter has brought to him," according to the statement.

The district said it would reissue an "un-redacted version" of the 2007 yearbook to any student of East Side High School who wants one.

Bolden, through a spokeswoman, declined a request for an interview.

Jackson planned an afternoon news conference with Garden State Equality, a gay rights group, which has condemned actions taken by the district last week.

Last week, Bolden had described the picture, which showed Andre Jackson, 18, kissing David Escobales, as "illicit."

"If it was either heterosexual or gay, it should have been blacked out. It's how they posed for the picture," Bolden told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Saturday's editions.

In the 4 1/2-by-5-inch photo, Jackson is seen turning his head back over his right shoulder and kissing Escobales, 19, of Allentown, Pa. It was blacked out after Russell Garris, the district's assistant superintendent who oversees the city's high schools, told Bolden he was concerned that the photo could upset parents.

The photo was among several others showing Jackson, friends and others _ including heterosexual couples _ that appeared on a special tribute page in the yearbook. Jackson, who paid $150 for the page, questioned the decision to black out the photo, noting that the yearbook is filled with pictures of heterosexual couples kissing.

"There is no rule about no gay pictures (or) no guys kissing," Jackson has said.

Newark public schools have about 42,000 students.

The district is one of three in New Jersey that are under state control, and is among 31 districts in the state's neediest areas that get special financial aid.

Garden State Equality Breaking News - Andre Jackson

A message from Garden State Equality Moments Ago.

"Garden State Equality members, in just the last 48 hours, nearly 2,000 of you have emailed the Newark schools superintendent to express your outrage at the school district's taking magic markers to cover up a yearbook photo of graduating senior Andre Jackson kissing his boyfriend.

We have been in touch with Andre throughout the weekend, and moments ago this Monday morning.

Andre has asked us to convey his deepest thanks to each and every one of you. He told us that the support of the LGBTI community and our allies, which he read about in the weekend papers, means more to him than anything.

In our all years of activism, rarely have we met a young person as brave as Andre. This morning, he told us that he stands with Garden State Equality 100 percent in what we're asking the school district: Namely that Newark Schools Superintendent Marion Bolden must apologize.

Andre, like the rest of us, read in this weekend's papers that that Superintendent Bolden would be willing to apologize to him if they were to meet. This morning, he told us that he will insist her apology to him be public, just like the school district's hurtful action -- defacing the photo of him and his boyfriend and distributing it to hundreds of students -- was public.

Andre also wants the Superintendent to apologize to the LGBTI community.

He suggests that if the school district won't reprint and redistribute the yearbooks because of the expense, it should copy the page with the photo and make it available for free. We told Andre that if the school district balks at even this expense, Garden State Equality would pick up the tab to copy the page.

Finally, Andre came up with the best idea: He wants to team up with Garden State Equality and Newark LGBTI community leaders to form a committee on LGBTI diversity and sensitivity in the Newark schools -- and he wants the Superindendent to meet with this committee four times a year.

If you have not yet emailed Garden State Equality's pre-written letter to Superintendent Bolden, click on It will take only 30 seconds of your time.

Garden State Equality strongly believes that the school district's excising the photo from the yearbook is not only homophobic, but also illegal.

(a) New Jersey bars discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression;

(b) New Jersey's courts have ruled that schools hold the same responsibility not to discriminate and harrass that employers do;

(c) In New Jersey, same-sex relationships are not only legal, but they also qualify for government benefits when a couple enters a civil union.

Thanks from all of us at Garden State Equality. We appreciate all you do -- and most of all, so does Andre Jackson."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

School Officials Black Out Photo of a Gay Student’s Kiss

from Sunday's New York Times

Photo: Timothy Ivy for the New York Times
Andre Jackson, an East Side High senior, is upset that a picture of him kissing his boyfriend was blacked out of the school yearbooks.

Published: June 24, 2007

NEWARK, June 23 — It started with a kiss.

A black-marker splotch covered the photo, above, in students' yearbooks.

Andre Jackson, a senior at East Side High School, leaned over his boyfriend’s shoulder one day several months ago and kissed him on the lips. He took a picture of the smooch with his digital camera.

Like other students, Mr. Jackson later paid $150 to have his own special page of photos in the school yearbook. He decided to include the picture of the kiss, to make not a political statement, but a personal one.

“I didn’t intend to say, ‘Oh hey, look at me, I’m gay,’ ” said Mr. Jackson, 18. “It was just a picture showing my emotion, saying that I’m happy, you know, whatever. It was to look back on as a memory.”

On Thursday evening, when the seniors gathered at a restaurant here for the Senior Banquet, students received the yearbooks they had bought for around $85. But the picture of Mr. Jackson kissing his boyfriend was gone. School officials had blacked it out. Roughly 250 yearbooks were distributed, and all of them had a black-marker splotch covering every inch of the photo.

“I was upset,” Mr. Jackson said. “I was hurt. I felt embarrassed and abused.”

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gay pair's photo blacked out of yearbook---Gay Students Picture Defaced by Administrative Order

By Kasi Addison, Star-Ledger

This photograph of an East Side High School student Andre Jackson kissing his boyfriend David Escobales was blacked out of every copy of the school's yearbook by Newark school officials who decided it was inappropriate.

A photograph of an East Side High School student kissing his boyfriend was blacked out of every copy of the school's yearbook by Newark school officials who decided it was inappropriate.

Andre Jackson said he never thought he would offend anyone when he bought a page in the yearbook and filled it with several photographs, including one of him kissing his boyfriend.

But Newark Superintendent of Schools Marion Bolden called the photograph "illicit" and ordered it blacked out of the $85 yearbook before it was distributed to students at a banquet for graduating seniors Thursday.

"It looked provocative," she said. "If it was either heterosexual or gay, it should have been blacked out. It's how they posed for the picture."

Russell Garris, the assistant superintendent who oversees the city's high schools, brought the photograph to Bolden's attention Thursday afternoon. He was concerned the picture would be controversial and upsetting to parents, Bolden said.

There are several photos of heterosexual couples kissing in the yearbook, but the superintendent said she didn't review the entire yearbook and was presented only with Jackson's page.

Ripping the page out entirely was considered but, Bolden said, it was decided blacking it out with a marker would lessen the damage to the yearbooks.

Jackson said he showed up at the banquet, excited to collect his yearbook. He'd paid an additional $150 for the special tribute page filled with shots of boyfriend David Escobales, 19, of Allentown, Pa., and others. Jackson learned what happened to his page moments before the books were distributed.

While the students waited, staff members in another room blacked out the 4½-by-5-inch picture from approximately 230 books.

"I don't understand," said Jackson, 18. "There is no rule about no gay pictures, no guys kissing. Guys and girls kissing made it in."

East Side's is like most high school yearbooks. About 80 pages in the roughly 100-page tome is dedicated to class photos, formal shots of seniors, candids and spreads dedicated to a variety of sports teams and academic clubs.

The back of the book is a collection of tributes where students designed pages filled with pictures depicting them with their families, girlfriends and boyfriends, and friends.

Rules for publication of the pages prohibited shots of gang signs, rude gestures and graphic photos, said Benilde Barroqueiro, an East Side senior graduating with Jackson.

"You know, it couldn't be too provocative. No making out, no tongue," she said.

Students were surprised when they opened their books and found Jackson's picture had been covered with marker, Barroqueiro said.

"He purchased the page and fell under the rules," she said. "If they want to kiss, that's their page. If you don't like it, don't look at it."

Read more in Saturday's Star-Ledger

by CEO, MW Savant

I'm sad today. This story reminds me of just how far we have to go, as members of the GLBTI community, to be treated as equal citizens in the great state of New Jersey. Equal. Period.
I am baffled that some of our fellow citizens don't seem to grasp the concept.

Now I know that there are folks that will immediately say "it's inappropriate to depict a kiss in a yearbook". Which immediately begs the question, in my mind: "Is ANY couple shown kissing in the book?" If it was not deemed "inappropriate" to show other student-couples kissing and ALL those images were not removed, something isn't right here. You should know--- kissing opposite sex couples were allowed, without incident. Unacceptable.

What has, for decades, been considered "cute" when seen as heterosexual public displays of affection (PDA) has now challenged the cute factor in this new century. So much so that an administrator felt the need to order the homosexual version to be defaced? I guess it wasn't simply cute PDA for their purposes. It seems, though, the school happily accepted the $150.00 special page fee in order to manage publication costs. Hmmmm. Once the bill was paid, then the image was blacked out?

Where was the dutiful administrator when the yearbook advisor was collecting the images for 'dedication pages'? Why was this image not removed then and there? Why was the student's money accepted if the image was established as unwelcome and inappropriate by standing yearbook protocol?

This echoes, sadly, the biases against so many other GLBTI couples in this state. It is particularly resonant with the same disregard and humiliation that has befallen our couples who have entered civil unions in the state. Where is the compassionate compliance with the law. The civil union ruling in New Jersey was intended to level the playing field for all couples in love. As we have seen, it is failing markedly in too many situations.

The yearbook incident magnifies that lack of equality and makes me want to see the book myself to see what other 'types' of PDA were permissible therein. Were the Prom King and Queen, the Captain of the team and the Head Cheerleader allowed to be 'cute' within the pages?

There is no gray area in equality! I have said it time and time again. Yet I struggle to see that this insanely simple concept fails to grow in the minds and hearts of my fellow New Jerseyans.

Is this case discrimination or admirable administrative policing? Did a school administrator panic with the thought of the "imminent backlash" resulting from the printing and distribution of the photograph? Was the administrator's choice based on protecting the welfare of her students (the normal ones) or was her own personal position the key to her actions?

I received an alert from Garden State Equality this morning and, as a member of this organization, added my voice to the others of GSE in demanding an apology to the student, his boyfriend and all the other GLBTI students at East Side who have been humiliated and publicly reminded of just how reviled they are. I think an apology is due to every student there for being taught this lesson of fear, bigotry, paranoia and ignorance. GSE is also demanding the reprinting and redistribution of the yearbook: unedited and immediate.

You can support the effort to modify the standing of this situation by signing the petition and adding your voice to this call for fairness and equality.

We're making progress for equality in New Jersey and should be proud of that fact. With the efforts of the members of Garden State Equality and Steven Goldstein, in conjunction with the Civil Unions evaluation committee, we'll get there.

It is my opinion that this action amplifies, clearly, how much more work there is to be done.

Editor's Note: The preceding opinion is a statement by CEO MW Savant. It is his opinion and does not necessarily reflect the position of, its principals, staff or affiliates.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Unmarried Couples Lose Legal Benefits

Some States' Rulings Specifically Revoke the Benefits of Same-Sex Couples
Image: CNN/Magellan
States that have banned gay marriage are beginning to revoke the benefits of domestic partners of public employees.

Michigan has gone farthest, prohibiting cities, universities and other public employers from offering benefits to same-sex partners. In all, 27 states have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as the legally sanctioned union of a man and a woman.

A Michigan court ruled in February that public employers may not offer benefits to unmarried partners, gay or straight, because of a 2004 amendment defining marriage. Government employers there had offered benefits only to gay couples.

Kalamazoo and the Ann Arbor school district have notified employees that they will end domestic partners' benefits. An appeal is before the state Supreme Court.

Kentucky Attorney General Gregory Stumbo ruled this month that the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville may not offer benefits to domestic partners, gay or straight.

A U.S. appeals court last year upheld Nebraska's amendment barring government employers from granting benefits, including health insurance, to same-sex couples. It didn't address benefits for unmarried heterosexual couples.

Ohio state Rep. Tom Brinkman, a Republican, has filed a lawsuit to bar Miami University of Ohio from offering benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

"We're in kind of a giant race, a historic race, with all these court cases," says Matt Daniels, president of Alliance for Marriage, which lobbies for a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. "When the dust settles, we'll have a national standard for marriage. What is going on in the states is a dress rehearsal."

Gay-rights activists say they are fighting for families, too...

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Air & Sea Show Successfully Ends Fleet Week USA with a message from...

Photo: BizBash Media

Air & Sea Show Successfully Ends Fleet Week USA
The McDonald's Air & Sea Show raised $5 million and attracted more than one million people to Fort Lauderdale Beach to close out Fleet Week USA.

With 56 sponsors and more than one million people attending throughout the weekend, this year’s McDonald’s Air & Sea Show had a lot to live up to. Marking the end of Fleet Week USA, the 13th annual weekend event was expected to garner about $5 million in revenue, with headliners like the Thunderbirds and the Golden Knights U.S. Army Parachute Team, a group that jumped out of perfectly good airplanes to entertain the jam-packed beach crowd.

Editor's Note: Isn't that an interesting message written in the sky at the Air and Sea Show?? Talk about your creative event planners. If the numbers are accurate, the GLBTI family was represented some 10.000 strong, huh? What a huge gay wedding guest list?

The New York State Assembly passed a marriage equality bill Tuesday night:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 -- As reports intensify over employers in New Jersey failing to recognize civil unions at an alarming 13 percent rate, the New York State Assembly late Tuesday night -- pointing squarely to the New Jersey experience -- passed a marriage equality bill Tuesday night by 85 to 61.

New York State thus becomes the third state after California and Connecticut to see a legislative body pass a marriage equality bill. This past April, the Connecticut state legislative Judiciary Committee passed a marriage equality bill 27 to 15. In 2005, both houses of the California legislature passed a marriage equality bill, which Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed. The California legislature is expected to pass the bill again this year.

"That the Democrats who control the New York Assembly passed a marriage equality bill by such a significant margin, 85 to 61, should embolden Democrats who control both houses of the New Jersey legislature to take the same action," said Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality.

"Our movement's victorious and significant legislative steps in New York, Connecticut and California mean it's no longer so unusual for state legislators to vote for a real marriage equality statute.

"In New Jersey, there's masive momentum toward a marriage equality statute, and Tuesday night's action in New York will accelerate our momentum further. On October 25, 2007, the day the New Jersey Supreme Court handed down its Lewis v. Harris decision, only six New Jersey legislators favored a marriage equality bill. Today the number of legislative supporters is 40, or fully one-third our legislature. We expect to have the support of at least half our legislature by the end of 2007."

As the Gay City News reported Tuesday night, during the New York State Assembly's debate over the marriage equality bill, Manhattan Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, "talked about evidence emerging from New Jersey's four-month experience with civil unions, in which both gay advocates and state officials have received hundreds of complaints from gay and lesbian couples who say that employers and institutions such as hospitals have not treated them as spouses."

As of last Friday, 1092 couples have gotten civil-unioned in New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Service. As of today, 151 civil-unioned couples have complained to Garden State Equality that employers refuse to provide civil-union benefits.

In fact, 13 percent is, if anything, way too low an estimate of the New Jersey civil union law's failure rate. The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights reports that in the four months of the law, 90 couples a month have inquired about trouble with their civil unions working in the real world, for 360 such couples in all.

Garden State Equality congratulates the Empire State Pride Agenda, our sister organization in New York, for its heroic work in making history in New York State.

"Though the state Senate in New York is Republican-controlled and is not expected to pass marriage equality this session, with the Empire State Pride Agenda's leadership, New York will stand right beside New Jersey as the first states to enact marriage equality through legislation," said Goldstein.

"Someday soon, the PATH train that connects our states will be the PATH to marriage equality in either direction."

Contact: Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

BREAKING NEWS--Assembly Judiciary Committee Approves Marriage Bill


Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell appears to be on the verge of steering Governor Eliot Spitzer's marriage equality bill to passage in his chamber.

In a straight party-line vote, the Judiciary Committee of the New York State Assembly this afternoon approved the marriage equality bill introduced by Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer in April and sponsored by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell and Senator Tom Duane.

The favorable vote out of Judiciary is a strong predictor that the full Assembly will approve the measure later this week.

The 16-5 vote came at the conclusion of roughly 10 minutes of deliberation during which O'Donnell, an openly gay Upper West Side Democrat and a Committee member, fielded questions from its ranking Republican, Jack Quinn of upstate Hamburg, near Buffalo.

Among the questions Quinn posed to O'Donnell were why civil unions were not an adequate substitute for marriage equality and what other state legislatures had passed such legislation.

The vote in the Assembly, coming as it does just three days before the Legislature recesses, is significant for several reasons.

The Democratic conference, which includes 108 of the chamber's 150 members, has been weighing whether to bring the bill to the floor for the past month. Speaker Sheldon Silver, the Democratic leader from the Lower East Side, was known to be unwilling to have a floor vote unless he were certain that his party had enough votes, at least 76, for passage, and the number of known Democratic supporters has been hovering right near that number for the past several weeks.

It is widely considered unlikely that the bill would have gone to the Committee unless the intention were to take it as well to the Assembly floor. The unanimous Democratic vote for the measure signals that the conference has come around to support its passage.

Specifically, four of the Democrats who supported the measure today - Helene Weinstein of Queens, the Committee chair; Peter Rivera of the Bronx; Michele Titus of Queens; and Kenneth Zebrowski, Jr., of Rockland County - were all to-date publicly neutral. The shift of four Democrats in a group of 16 confirms the party's coalescence around the measure.

Observers in Albany are predicting that the full Assembly may take up the bill as early as Tuesday. The only obstacle remaining prior to a vote on the floor is approval by the Rules Committee, chaired by Speaker Silver. That formality would likely come immediately prior to an Assembly vote.

Though passage of the marriage equality bill in the Assembly seems increasingly assured in this session, the prospects in the Senate are considerably more problematic.

The Republicans hold a two-seat advantage among 62, and Joe Bruno, the Rensselaer-area Senate majority leader, has said he will not move the bill in his chamber. But time may be working against Bruno; his majority has been trimmed in each of several recent elections, and he currently faces a federal probe of his outside business dealings.

The most recent Senate special election, held in February to fill a vacancy previously in Republican hands in Nassau County, saw the election of Democrat Craig Johnson, a vocal marriage equality supporter. Numerous Albany insiders have predicted that another Democratic special election win could force one or more nervous Republicans to bolt their party, relinquishing GOP control of the Senate.

Duane, the marriage bill's Senate sponsor, has lined up 18 of his Democratic colleagues as co-sponsors. The Empire State Pride Agenda, the state's LGBT lobby, puts the number of Senate marriage equality supporters at 20, with 29 opposed and 13 uncommitted.

©GayCityNews 2007

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NJ legislator urges compliance with civil unions law

Associated Press Writer
June 18, 2007, 6:09 PM EDT

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. -- One of New Jersey's top lawmakers is pushing for better compliance with the state law that says gay couples should get the same legal treatment as married couples.

Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr. sent letters earlier this month to several state agencies, business organizations and insurance companies, calling for better enforcement and compliance with the law, which took effect in February.

Since then, 1,092 same-sex couples have applied to join in civil unions, according to the state. The gay rights group Garden State Equality has heard from 148 couples who say their rights have not been granted the benefits married couples get from their employers or insurers.

The Division of Civil Rights has been getting about 90 calls a month with questions about the civil unions law. Last week, the division got its first formal complaint, from Robert S. Kleid, a physician's assistant from Atlantic Highlands, who claims that his employer improperly denied him the chance to get health insurance for his partner. His complaint was against Minimed of Chester, N.J., for which The Associated Press could not find a telephone listing.

"The civil union law was not enacted to be a symbolic gesture," Roberts wrote. "It was passed with the expectation that its various provisions would be complied with and respected."

He did not accuse any company or organization of breaking the law.

Roberts, D-Camden, said he wrote about 15 letters in a move that he said was unusual for him. Recipients included the state Attorney General's Office, the Department of Labor, several health insurance companies and business groups such as the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

"I expect every state government agency to be as aggressive as possible in making sure the law is followed," he said.

He asked business organizations to help their members comply and insurers to explain if there are regulatory reasons that keep them from complying.

Jim Leonard, senior vice president at the Chamber of Commerce, said its members, mostly the state's largest employers, have generally extended benefits to same-sex couples for years.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's largest health insurer, issued a short statement saying it is following the law.

Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, said his group did not ask Roberts to send the letters _ and did not even know about them until Monday.

"It's a real acknowledgment that this law is not working," Goldstein said.

The law grew out of a decision last October by the state Supreme Court, which ruled that same-sex couples must have the same rights as married couples in many areas, including adoption and inheritance rights and the right to be covered by employer-offered health insurance the same way that spouses are. The court, though, left it up to lawmakers to decide whether to call the institution "marriage" or something else. The Legislature responded by passing the civil unions law quickly.

Goldstein's group pressed lawmakers to call it marriage, and has vowed to campaign for that again next year.

Also Monday, a state commission formed to study civil unions held its first meeting. Goldstein, the vice chairman of the commission, said it would meet monthly and hold additional public hearings.

Both supporters and opponents of gay marriage think the commission is likely to recommend allowing gay couples to marry.

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Reggae Compassionate Act: Reggae stars renounce homophobia

SOURCE: Reggae Stars Renounce Homophobia>
Contributed by Cheril N. Clarke

Reggae stars renounce homophobia - Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton sign deal

Historic Agreement to Stop Anti-Gay ‘Murder Music’ - Reggae stars renounce homophobia - Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton sign deal

LONDON, June 13, 2007 – Three of the world’s top reggae/dancehall singers have renounced homophobia and condemned violence against lesbians and gay men.

Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton had previously released anti-gay hate songs, including incitements to murder lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

They have now signed up to the Reggae Compassionate Act in a deal brokered with top reggae promoters and Stop Murder Music activists.

The agreement follows the three-year-long Stop Murder Music campaign, which resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of the singers’ concerts and sponsorship deals, causing them income losses estimated in excess of five million dollars.

“The Reggae Compassionate Act is a big breakthrough,” said Peter Tatchell, of the British gay human rights group OutRage!.

Mr Tatchell is coordinator of the worldwide Stop Murder Music campaign. He helped negotiate the deal with the three singers.

“The singers’ rejection of homophobia and sexism is an important milestone. We rejoice at their new commitment to music without prejudice,” said Mr Tatchell.

“This deal will have a huge, positive impact in Jamaica and the Caribbean. The media coverage will generate public awareness and debate, breaking down ignorance and undermining homophobia.

“Having these major reggae stars renounce homophobia will influence their fans and the wider public to rethink bigoted attitudes. The beneficial effect on young black straight men will be immense,” he said.
visit source for the rest.

Editors Note: According to the CEO, celebrates this progress toward reversing the bigotry, hatred and violence aimed at GLBTI people in the lyrics of certain reggae music. We uphold our position of not booking in Jamaica and some other caribbean locations until their governments assure the safety of GLBTI residents and visitors and produce substantial change toward that condition. We hope that this development will encourage a more open-minded GLBTI position and humane situation in the reggae community.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

State bans transgender bias

(Source: Courier Post Online)
Gannett State Bureau

When Jillian T. Weiss made the change from male to female back in 1998, she found it hard to get a job as a lawyer.

"People were unwilling to have me work with them when they could tell when I was transitioning," Weiss said.

Only able to get a job as a legal secretary, Weiss had to "go back" and work her way up. After getting a doctorate, Weiss now is an assistant professor of law and society at Ramapo College. Weiss says how she expresses her gender is a nonfactor with her students and co-workers.

Weiss said her experience beginning nearly a decade ago is similar to what many transgender people deal with in the work force. The state, however, is looking to end this type of workplace discrimination.

On Sunday, New Jersey became the sixth state to explicitly prohibit transgender discrimination. The change to the state's Law Against Discrimination adds "gender identity and expression" to the list of categories already protected against discrimination involving employment, along with public accommodation, contracts, housing, credit and union membership.

"What this is going to do is provide a push-in for people so they can start to get jobs," said Weiss, who conducts workshops with corporations and small businesses to teach workplace diversity. "Even though there will continue to be unemployment, they will find that it is going to relieve some of the frustrations they have that they can't get jobs at all."

New Jersey's law was signed in December, but didn't take effect for 180 days. It was enacted with wide support in the Legislature, 69-5 with six abstentions in the Assembly, and 31-5 and 33-3 in its two votes in the Senate.

Violators could face stiff penalties. The law allows for a pretrial investigation by the state Division on Civil Rights or a civil court hearing, and anything from a cease and desist order to compensation for the harmed party could be issued. Fines could also be handed out, from $10,000 for a first offense to $50,000 for multiple offenses.

Reach Michael Rispoli at

send a letter to the Courier Post Online editor.

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Commission begins review of civil unions

Commission begins review of civil unions

Posted by Robert Schwaneberg June 18, 2007 3:22PM

Categories: News, Statehouse

The state announced today that more than 1,000 same-sex couples have applied to form civil unions as a commission convened to study whether that new legal relationship really does convey all the benefits of marriage by another name.

At its organizational meeting in Trenton, the 13-member New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission elected as its chairman J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, the director of the state Division on Civil Rights.

The commission also elected Steven Goldstein as vice-chairman. Goldstein, appointed by Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) as one of seven public members on the commission, chairs the gay rights organization Garden State Equality.

Joe Komosinski, the state registrar of vital statistics, told his fellow commission members that as of Friday, 1,092 same-sex couples - 671 female couples and 421 male couples - had applied to form civil unions.

The law creating civil unions went into effect Feb. 19. It also established the review commission to evaluate how effective civil unions are at providing same-sex couples the benefits of marriage and to determine whether additional protections are needed. The commission has three years to complete its task and plans to issue twice-yearly updates to the Legislature.

Committed same-sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples...

Monday, June 18, 2007
Mark Lewis and Dennis Winslow, et al. v. Gwendolyn L. Harris, etc. et al.

10-25-06 (A-68-05)

Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social
benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual
counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate
governmental purpose. The Court holds that under the equal
protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey
Constitution, committed same-sex couples must be afforded on
equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex
couples under the civil marriage statutes. 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 democratic process.

Posted by Ken Vercammen NJ Law Blog at 11:19 AM

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The bigotry and hate behind the gay marriage debate (OP/ED)

Via Steverino and the Blog/Boston Now

"Hello world!
The bigotry and hate behind the gay marriage debate

I have read and watched with great interest the all too consuming gay marriage debate. As a heterosexual, married man I probably should not be concerned with gay marriage as it will not affect me in any way but yet I am affected by it and angered by the hate and the holier-than-though venom that spews from the mouths of those that oppose it.

There was a time in this country when others were treated as second class citizens because of their race, religion or color of their skin. This is no different. Those that oppose gay marriage and hide behind the so called teachings of their religion or the “right to vote” are simply denying themselves the fact that they are scared, narrow-minded and uneducated. Bigotry is all these things.

The newspaper this morning quoted a man as saying homosexuality leads to violence. Had this particular man ever traveled beyond his neighborhood, or possibly graduated from high school may actually realize that his opinion is ridiculous, insensitive and totally ignorant. It is not gay marriage that is the problem with America but the bigots, religious zealots, the narrow-minded and the uneducated that make America a sad place to live these days. These are the people that voted for our current president and have seen an unconstitutional war, a national debt climbing by the second and the separation of people from all walks of life in this country. These are the idiots that blame the liberals for our problems instead of looking in the mirror. It was Shakespeare who wrote: “The fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

Marriage is a civil right and it is never to be voted upon. If you don’t agree with this than move. There are countries in the world like Iran and North Korea will they will love you and your uneducated and backwards ideas. Perhaps after you do leave we liberals can start taking care of things that do matter like equality, fair housing, a fair wage and a right to be free and a freedom of choice."

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: The threat to marriage equality in Massachusetts is now over!

via Garden State Equality and via the Associated Press & NY Newsday

In one of the greatest victories ever for the LGBTI civil rights movement in America, the Massachusetts state legislature has once-and-for-all defeated a state constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality. See the Associated Press article below:

Here, now, is the Associated Press story on today's huge victory in Massachusetts:

BOSTON, Thursday, June 14, 2007 (AP) -- Massachusetts lawmakers blocked a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday that would have let voters decide whether to ban gay marriage in the only state that allows it.

The narrow vote was a victory for gay marriage advocates and a blow to efforts to reverse the historic court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. More than 8,500 gay couples have married in Massachusetts since it became legal in May 2004.

To get the proposed ban on the 2008 statewide ballot would have required 50 votes. It got 45, with 151 lawmakers opposed. There was no debate.

As the tally was announced, the halls of the Statehouse erupted in applause.
"We're proud of our state today, and we applaud the Legislature for showing that Massachusetts is strongly behind fairness," said Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.
Opponents of gay marriage vowed to press on, but Thursday's defeat after more than three years of sometimes wrenching debate could prove insurmountable. Any effort to mount a new ballot question would take years at a time political support in Massachusetts is swinging firmly behind gay marriage.

For gay couples, the vote marked what could be the end of a struggle that began in 2001, when seven same-sex couples, denied marriage licenses, sued in Suffolk Superior Court.

Outside the Statehouse, hundreds of people rallied on both sides of the issue.
"We believe it's unconstitutional not to allow people to vote on this," said Rebekah Beliveau, 24, of Lawrence, a student at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary who stood with fellow college-age amendment supporters across the street from the Statehouse.
Advocates of the amendment said they gathered 170,000 signatures supporting the amendment, although the secretary of state's office accepted only 123,000. "We're standing up not necessarily on the issue of same-sex marriage, but our right to vote," Beliveau said.

Across the road, gay marriage advocates stood on the front steps of the capital waving signs that read, "Wrong to Vote on Rights" and "All Families Are Equal."

Jean Chandler, 62, of Cambridge, came with fellow members of her Baptist church in an effort to rebuff the image that strict followers of the Bible are opposed to gay marriage.
"I think being gay is like being left-handed," Chandler said. "If we decided left-handed people couldn't marry, what kind of society would we be?"
In contrast to previous joint sessions, there was no debate Thursday. Senate President Therese Murray opened the constitutional convention by calling for a vote, and the session was gaveled to a close immediately afterward.

"The threat to marriage equality in Massachusetts is now over! Garden State Equality salutes MassEquality, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), among other incredible advocates in Massachusetts, whose heroic work defies description. They are among the greatest civil rights heroes of our time.

Just like there was unstoppable momentum among legislators to protect marriage equality in Massachusetts, so, too, is there unstoppable momentum among New Jersey legislators to establish marriage equality here. On October 25, 2006, the day of the Lewis v Harris decision that led to civil unions, only six legislators supported a marriage equality bill. Now one-third of the state legislature does, and by the end of the year, we expect it will be over half.

New Jersey legislators understand that civil unions don't work in the real world.

Employers in New Jersey are failing to recognize civil unions at least 1 in 8 times demonstrating that civil unions do NOT provide all the state rights and benefits of marriage simply without the name. Too many civil-unioned couples in New Jersey continue to be robbed of adequate health care and financial security.

That's why Garden State Equality is fighting for marriage equality. If you'd like to help the fight, please buy a ticket to SUMMERTIME: Rio 2007!, whose proceeds will go to Garden State Equality's marriage equality campaign. SUMMERTIME: Rio 2007! is just 10 days away -- it's on Monday, June 25, 2007 at 6:30 pm at Moonstruck, 517 Lake Avenue, Asbury Park. You may buy tickets online at
Thanks from all of us at Garden State Equality."

-Steven Goldstein (via e-mail blast)

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cambridge, England, Welcomes First Transgender Mayor

Mayor Jenny Bailey
Photo: Cambridge City Council


On first glance, Jenny Bailey, 45, and her partner Jennifer Liddle, 49, don’t look like history makers. That’s just what they became late last month, though, when they were installed as mayor (Bailey) and mayoress (an honorary titled bestowed upon Liddle) of the Cambridge City Council.

Both Bailey and Liddle were born male and had gender-reassignment surgery in their 30s, according to an Associated Press report, which makes Bailey the first transgender person to ever serve as a mayor in England.

The Council, and the rest of the university city, have taken the newsworthy event in stride. “It is the council’s firm view that someone’s gender and sexual orientation has no bearing on their suitability to hold public office,” Rob Hammond, the Cambridge Council’s chief executive, told the Associated Press.

Bailey, has two sons with an ex-wife, and Liddle have done the same. “People can take me as a role model if they want,” Bailey was quoted as saying in the Times newspaper.

“But for transgender people, all we want is to disappear and become normal, so I don’t want to let it define me. When you go through transgender experience and come through the other side, you are just happy to get on with normal life, normal problems, so this is a wonderful opportunity.”

© 2007; All Rights Reserved.

The Fortieth Anniversary of Loving vs, Virginia. Faith in America and The National Black Justice Coalition's Commercial.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Impact of Loving in 2007?
Happy Anniversary?

Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), was a landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, the "Racial Integrity Act of 1924", unconstitutional, thereby ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.(wikipedia)
On June 12, 1967 a momentous decision rocked Virginia and the nation. This ruling broke down a major barrier for couples in love.

That is the date that Loving vs. Virginia was decided, abolishing Virginia's Anti-Miscegenation laws. People of mixed races (in this case, at the time, a 'Negro' woman and white man) could now marry. This was a tremendous step for marriage equality in this nation. What is its impact today? Are we not a nation 40 years more civilized, more informed and less afraid? Are we willing to face the truth in the answer to that question?

Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, already married nearly ten years before, returned to their home state where they were faced with imprisonment and the ire of their community. They were not permitted to remain in their home State. They were considered 'felons' simply because they loved and married. You can read the opinion summary by clicking the source link.
"Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the wrong kind of person for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights." - Mildred (Jeter) Loving
Do GLBTI people have the right to be inspired and buoyed by this historic decision? Perhaps so. The decision proves that at least sometimes, fairness and equality win out over bigotry, ignorance, fear and hatred. How much hope can we rationally afford to have in this day and time--- a time where, clearly, the politics of GLBTI scapegoating and oppression are thriving? Is hope enough?

Can we expect the demonstrated courage, fairness and humane treatment illustrated by the decision to see light today? There is no gray area in equality. If there is then it "ain't" equal.

Our United States Supreme Court decided, in Loving, that:

"Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law.

The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State." (Wikipedia)
Now, the plaintiffs did not represent GLBTI people's interest in the matter. However there are many parallels between the form of oppression, and the timbre of the zeitgeist in the country, the Lovings endured that which is fighting to live unrestricted today.

Much like the Lovings: gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender and intersex citizens are looked upon as unbearable and villainous. We are loudly, overtly and commonly reviled, taunted, berated and abused by people who do not like us or with whom or how we express the love in our hearts.

It is interesting that the "n" word, in their time, was freely thrown around publicly and as shamelessly as the "f" word is today. It is tolerated on a virtually equal scale.

Also, the Lovings were hated immediately and for no other reason than the 'majority' felt justified in their racism and ordained and blessed by their "higher power". Today those same short-sighted, oppressive feelings thrive. Have we learned nothing?

One difference from the case is that our would-be plaintiffs represent the entire spectrum of humanity. From every culture, background, country, color... perhaps the Lovings represented, in their time, only the damage being done to black and white couples in love. So their experience is not exactly the same.

Their courage, however, is inspiring and proves that sanity can win over baseless rancor and discrimination when reasonable decision makers consider the facts.

There is no impact on one's neighbor down the street when one is permitted to marry the person whom they choose to love. A person's ability to marry another of the same gender has no power to convince a straight person not to procreate, thereby "destroying marriage". The evidence is shown by each and every person one sees or has ever seen. Each one of us exists as a result of procreation but guess what? GLBTI persons have been around from the beginning of time and there are record numbers of births worldwide. Procreation, for millennia, has not ceased. The counter argument, therefore, is moot and laughable.

The loudest or most numerous 'voice' isn't correct in every instance. Imagine the shrieks of the fabled "lemmings" as they followed, blindly, the march into the sea. Can that same chant be heard today? It appears so. It's being shouted as fervently, devoutly and viciously as ever.

As the fortieth anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia approaches, let's not be afraid to give thanks to the universe that someone dared to love and be loved. Let's rejoice in the bravery that this couple's actions represented. Are we not as capable of loving our mate, and our fellow citizen, enough to fight rigorously for what is fair, correct, rational and constitutionally assured. It seems nobody can cite the passage that reads "All men are created equal...except the gays, two spirits or absolutely anyone else that "we" just don't happen to care for."

Let's look to the fearless progression that the Lovings created. Perhaps one might be inclined to even say 'thanks' to them. This writer is. Marriage equality now.
To learn more, go to Loving Day. org!

To read Mildred Loving's poignant statement (in part) as posted by
Stephen J. Hyland, Esq.; NJ Domestic Partnership:The Law of Domestic Partnership
click here!

Happy Loving Day!

-MW Savant, CEO

Editor's Note
: The preceeding opinion is a statement by CEO MW Savant. It is his opinion and does not necessarily reflect the position of, its principals, staff or affiliates.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Is your legislator sponsoring a Holocaust denier's anti-gay bill?

Brian Camenker of MassResistance Testifies in Support of Parental Notification Images Bill S321 By Denying That Homosexuals Were Among the Victims of the Nazi Holocaust

Seventeen Republicans and Eight Democrats are sponsoring an anti-gay bill that would require a parental permission slip for public school teachers to use the word homosexual, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual.

This would also require a permission slip for classroom discussion of same-sex marriage, the current Equal Rights fight for LGBT, and even families being headed by same-sex parents.

But it gets worse. At Tuesday's Hearing of the Joint Committee on Education, two chief supporters of this bill gave testimony in which they denied part of the Holocaust -- claiming that homosexuals were not among the victims of the Nazi concentration camps (see Bay Windows article and KTN BLOG).

The legislators sponsoring this disgraceful bill and supporting the work of anti-gay Holocaust deniers are listed below. If your legislator is listed, you must contact them and demand that they withdraw their sponsorship of Bill S321 -- Parental Notification. A legislator may have his/her name removed from a Senate Bill by sending a letter of request to William Welch, Senate Clerk, Room 335, State House.

Rep. Bruce Ayers (D-Quincy)

Rep. Jay Barrows (R-Mansfield)
> Rep.FJayBarrows@Hou.State.MA.US

617 722-2425

Rep. Thomas Calter (D-Kingston)

617 722-2425 x7310 C: 781 831-3221

Rep. Robert Coughlin (D-Dedham)
now in Gov. Patrick's administration. Call his assistant Sarah MacDonald at 617-788-3649

Rep. Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth)
617 722-2100 or 508 224-7572

Rep. Stephen DiNatale (D-Fitchburg)
> Rep.StephenDiNatale@Hou.State.MA.US

978 342-0110

Rep. Paul Donato (D-Medford)
617-722-2960 or 781-395-1683

Rep. Joseph Driscoll (D-Braintree)


Rep. Lewis Evangelidis (R-Holden)


Rep. Christopher Fallon (D-Malden)
617-722-2430 or 781-321-5553

Rep. Paul Frost (R-Auburn)
> Rep.PaulFrost@Hou.State.MA.US


Rep. Susan Gifford (R-Wareham)

617-722-2090 or 508-295-5999

Rep. William Greene (D-Billerica)

617-722-2210 or 617-722-2215

Rep. Robert Hargraves (R-Groton)

(617) 722-2305 or 978-448-5456

Rep. Bradford Hill (R-Ipswich)

617 722-2489 or 978 356-9008

Rep. Donald Humason (R-Westfield)
617-722-2803 or 413-568-1366

Rep. Jeffrey Perry (R-Sandwich)

617-722-2396 or 508-888-2158

Rep. George Peterson (R-Grafton)
617-722-2100 or 508-839-1000

Rep. Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleborough)
617-722-2976 or 508-695-3296

Rep. Karyn Polito (R-Shrewsbury)

617-722-2230 or 508-845-2300

Rep. Richard Ross (R-Wrentham)
> Rep.RichardRoss@Hou.State.MA.US


Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Hanson)
617-722-2487 or 781-826-6712

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Wrentham)

(617) 722-1555

Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth)


Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester)

(617) 722-1600

If you don't fight for your rights, who will?

Read more on this topic and talk on the KTN BLOG

Tom Lang, Director
(978) 335-0477,