Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
(New York City) The New York State overseerer of insurance companies has told companies they must treat legally married same-sex couples the same as they treat opposite-sex married pairs.
Although state law does not permit gay marriage within New York State, a Rochester court ruled that valid out-of-state marriages of lesbian and gay couples must be recognized. The state’s highest court upheld the ruling.
In addition, Gov. David Paterson in June issued a directive instructing state agencies governing insurance and health care - to immediately change policies and regulations to recognize gay marriages performed in areas where they are legal.
Nevertheless, some private insurers have declined to recognize same-sex marriages.
In his directive to insurance companies operating in the state, Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo said legally married same-sex couples cannot be treated differently than other married couples...
Thursday, November 20, 2008
From our friends at Garden State Equality
Today we remember our transgender sisters and brothers murdered because of their gender identity or expression. New Jersey is fortunate to have a statewide law that bans discrimination based on gender identity or expression, enacted in 2006; and a hate crimes law that mandates tougher penalties for crimes based gender identity or expression, enacted in 2008.
But there are no corresponding laws in most other U.S. states or at the Federal level, and none in most countries across the world. The absence of such laws is one of the biggest tragedies of our time.
Tonight at 7:30 pm in Princeton, at the Princeton University Chapel, is New Jersey’s annual and deeply moving Transgender Day of Remembrance service, open to all and no RSVP needed.
If you can’t make it tonight, please take a moment to remember these fallen heroes. They are members of the transgender community murdered since last year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance – murdered because of their gender identity or expression. May we achieve a more inclusive, less hateful world to honor the memory of their lives.
Date of Murder: January 22, 2008
Date of Murder: February 12, 2008
Simmie Williams Jr.
Date of Murder: July 29, 2008
Cause of Murder: Drowned, her body was found floating
Date of Murder: November 3, 2008
Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgendered — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgendered people.
We at savvyplanners.com stand with our trans men and women who are living life as it was meant to be for each of them.
Life is far too short to live oppressed, hidden or ashamed. Congratulations on living your truth!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Today the California Supreme Court granted review in the legal challenges to Proposition 8, which passed by a narrow margin of 52 percent on November 4. In an order issued today, the Court agreed to hear the case and set an expedited briefing schedule. The Court also denied an immediate stay.
On November 5, 2008, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court on behalf of six couples and Equality California. The City of San Francisco , joined by the City of Los Angeles , the County of Los Angeles , and Santa Clara County , filed a similar challenge, as did a private attorney in Los Angeles .
The lawsuits allege that, on its face, Proposition 8 is an improper revision rather than an amendment of the California Constitution because, in its very title, which was “Eliminates the right to marry for same-sex couples,” the initiative eliminated an existing right only for a targeted minority.
If permitted to stand, Proposition 8 would be the first time an initiative has successfully been used to change the California Constitution to take way an existing right only for a particular group. Such a change would defeat the very purpose of a constitution and fundamentally alter the role of the courts in protecting minority rights.
According to the California Constitution, such a serious revision of our state Constitution cannot be enacted through a simple majority vote, but must first be approved by two-thirds of the Legislature.
Since the three lawsuits submitted on November 5, three other lawsuits challenging Proposition 8 have been filed. In a petition filed on November 14, 2008, leading African American, Latino, and Asian American groups argued that Proposition 8 threatens the equal protection rights of all Californians.
On November 17, 2008, the California Council of Churches and other religious leaders and faith organizations representing millions of members statewide, also filed a petition asserting that Proposition 8 poses a severe threat to the guarantee of equal protection for all, and was not enacted through the constitutionally required process for such a dramatic change to the California Constitution. On the same day, prominent California women’s rights organizations filed a petition asking the Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because of its potentially disastrous implications for women and other groups that face discrimination.
In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court held that barring same-sex couples from marriage violates the equal protection clause of the California Constitution and violates the fundamental right to marry. Proposition 8 would completely eliminate the right to marry only for same-sex couples. No other initiative has ever successfully changed the California Constitution to take away a right only from a targeted minority group.
Over the past 100 years, the California Supreme Court has heard nine cases challenging either legislative enactments or initiatives as invalid revisions of the California Constitution. In three of those cases, the Court invalidated those measures.
For more information on this case>>
RELATED: via Lambda Legal
BREAKING NEWS: The California Supreme Court just announced that it will review the Prop 8 challenge brought by Lambda Legal, NCLR, ACLU and others. This is exciting news!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
BOSTON – Gay rights supporters waving rainbow colors marched, chanted and danced in cities coast to coast Saturday to protest the California vote that banned gay marriage there and urge supporters not to quit the fight for the right to wed. Many cast it as a civil rights issue.
Crowds gathered near public buildings in small communities and major cities including New York, San Francisco and Chicago to vent their frustrations, celebrate gay relationships and renew calls for change.
"Civil marriages are a civil right, and we're going to keep fighting until we get the rights we deserve as American citizens," Karen Amico said in Philadelphia, holding up a sign reading "Don't Spread H8".
"We are the American family, we live next door to you, we teach your children, we take care of your elderly," said Heather Baker a special education teacher from Boston who addressed the crowd at Boston's City Hall Plaza. "We need equal rights across the country."
Massachusetts and Connecticut, which began same sex weddings this past week, are the only two states that allow gay marriage. All 30 states that have voted on gay marriage have enacted bans...
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Schwarzenegger Encourages Gay Marriage Backers
While discussing Proposition 8 – the ballot initiative that amends the state's constitution to ban gay marriage – Schwarzenegger offered a dramatic new pro-gay position. “It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the...
In a CNN interview Sunday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger came out swinging in favor of gay activists who had have taken to the streets in protest to Tuesday's passage of a gay marriage ban in the state. The governor said, “They should never give up.”
While discussing Proposition 8 – the ballot initiative that amends the state's constitution to ban gay marriage – Schwarzenegger offered a dramatic new pro-gay position.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
photo credit: AFP/Google
Special to the Blog:
Op/Ed by MW Savant, CEO
In an article via AFP entitled Californians vote to ban gay marriage, there is certainly no room left for interpretation. Proposition 8 was voted in and upon by California voters.
What does this mean to the thousands of couples who chose to wed, LEGALLY, while they could? Well the Attorney General says they'll remain valid, but that legal challenges are possible.
It is utterly inconceivable that just over fifty percent of the residents of the state, upset about the supreme court ruling and those "activist judges", could really be so cruel as to prevent GLBT couples from marrying--- after the right was already granted. How could you??
What a heartless and myopic and cruel thing to do to fellow Americans and Californians.
Just one day after the election of a President who appears to speak to unity and fairness, Proposition 8 rears its horrible head as the exact opposite. But what have its backers really accomplished?
If they were going for appearing incapable and unwilling to live and let live: Done. To cling to the bigotries of the past under the disingenuous guise of "protecting the sanctity of marriage"... done. To fight, ruthlessly, for a raison d'Etre...OK. To blindly, and without comprehension of the damages being done to thousands of GLBT couples and families, enact and support some hatefully Draconian resolution? They did it! If they wanted to punish people that they don't particularly care for... mission accomplished. They must be so proud.
Like it or not, in case they hadn't stopped hating long enough to have observed last evening's historic mandate... times, they are a- changed. The country said "enough" to bigotry and hatred ---to fear and animosity--- and hello to inclusion and mutual respect for our fellow human beings. Without regard for "what" they happened to be.
I am horrified and disgusted by the passage of Resolution 8! I am terrified that, in this century, people continue to choose to oppress fellow citzens--- swaddled in the cloak of righteous indignation and preservation of an "institution".
While I respect anyone's right to have their opinions, I cannot idly abide unabashed bigotry. The Prop. 8 backers know as well as I (and the REST of California) that NONE of the GLBT marriages that have taken place have in any way damaged, harmed, demeaned or threatened their own marriage(s). Nor would ones in future. So what was this really all about?
I am ashamed that certain of my countrymen elected to take away another human being's rights. The 18,000 (+/-) weddings constitute the proof that loving couples need, and desire, to make their relationships "real" and in terms that absolutely no one could fail to grasp. "Married".
It is a hurtful, hateful, reprehensible thing to take away marriage that was legal, for no other reason than what appears, on its face, to be sour grapes and inhumane sport. But you won. Congratulations. How many strangers have you now harmed?
While the current marriages will remain valid, legal challenges are likely.
"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up
because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
then they came
for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . .
they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one
left to speak up."
-Pastor Martin Niemöller
Perhaps , someday, you'll need someone to speak up for you. There is no gray area in equality.
We'll continue to fight for marriage equality for all.
RELATED: SF city attorney prepares legal challenge to Prop 8
Editor's Note: The opinion expressed above is entirely that of MW Savant and does not, necessarily, reflect the view(s) held by savvyplanners.com™, LLC, its principals, affiliates or subsidiaries. However, in this case it DOES.
Full disclosure: savvyplanners.com donates to and supports organizations advocating for full marriage equality.