Posts Tagged ‘DOMA’

Random Friday Thoughts — June 28, 2013

I don’t think that I’ve looked so forward to the weekend as I am to this weekend.  With the deadly tornadoes and severe thunderstorms Monday that caused tens of thousands of Quad Citians to lose power (ours was out 44 hours Monday through Wednesday), I’m ready to just chill some.

We’re going out to dinner with four of our friends Friday night in Port Byron, Illinois, and then Saturday, there’s a work picnic.  On Sunday, we’re planning on a movie double feature.  And, I still didn’t get my pancakes last weekend, so that may be this weekend!

“UNDER THE DOME” WINS MONDAY NIGHT, BUT…

Under The Dome

While “Under The Dome” was the most watched show Monday night (13.1 million viewers), I didn’t get a chance to watch it with the power outage.  However, you can find the full episode on cbs.com or on television.  CBS will re-air Monday night’s premiere episode this Sunday night (June 30) at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. Central.   I wish that I was watching the season eight premiere of “Dexter” Sunday night, but we don’t have Showtime.  So, I’ll avoid the spoilers and wait for the DVD. 😦

Now, here are my random thoughts this Friday.

GOOD RIDDANCE DOMA

The Supreme Court of the United States made a landmark ruling Wednesday calling DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, unconstitutional.  For those of you that may not be very familiar with it, DOMA is a 1996 federal law that would only recognize marriage between a man and a woman.

That may sound simple to some, but it also denied federal benefits, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns for married same-sex couples.  So, while a gay couple could be married in one of twelve states or the District of Columbia, it would not be recognized by the federal government.

Thank you Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elana Kagan for your votes to strike down DOMA, 5-4.

DOMA Justices

And, Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence “Anita Hill” Thomas, and Samuel Alito, I hope you evolve.  President Obama did it and America is doing it.  I think it’s time that you do, too!

In the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy wrote, “Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways.  DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal.”

SIMPLY PUT, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR RELIGION?

Nothing!  You can still pray to God each night and attend church when it’s open.  While you may get married in a church, the official document is issued by the government, not the church.  It’s that document from the government that makes marriages legal and it’s also that government that’s based on the notion that “all men are created equal”.  After Wednesday, I feel more equal and less like a second-rate citizen.

Love Knows No Limits

What does this mean to your marriage if you’re in an opposite-sex “traditional” marriage?  Nothing at all — because you should be spending your time making each other happy and worrying less if  two men or two women can now share the same government benefits as you and love each other in a committed marriage bond, too.

Let God judge.  Amen!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Ding Dong Dead DOMA   Live Your Life WBCFood Is A DrugLaughing Inside

PAULA, STOP TALKING AND BE WITH YOUR FAMILY!

Food Network star Paula Deen is all over the television these days.  She’s the talk of radio, her face is all over the magazines, and blogger are feasting on a buffet talking about her.  There are many things being said about her — some say give her a break because she hasn’t said anything you probably haven’t said and some say she’s a racist.

Paula Deen Happy

Paula’s whirlwind downfall started recently after she was called to testify last month in a 2012 $1.2 million sexual and racial workplace discrimination lawsuit brought against her and her brother Earl “Bubba” Hiers by former restaurant manager Lisa Jackson.

Jackson, who is white, claims that Deen said this when asked about a theme for a wedding, “Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n—–s to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around.  Jackson says that Deen laughed and said, “Now that would be a true southern wedding, wouldn’t it?  But we can’t do that because the media would be on me about that.”

In that deposition last month, Deen admitted to using the “n-word” in the past.  However, she maintains that she hasn’t used it in years and when she did, it was because a black man held a gun to her head at her former place of employment.   Earlier this week on “Today”, Matt Lauer asked Deen , “Are you a racist?” and the 66-year-old grandmother responded, “No, I am not.” and “The day I used that word it was a world ago.  It was 30 years ago.”

This week, Deen was fired from the Food Network and she lost sponsorships with Wal-Mart, Smithfield Foods, Home Depot, and Target.  QVC is still deciding on Deen’s fate.

Domestic Diva Martha Stewart says, “”I feel sorry for Paula Deen.  She’s a public figure and I know you have to be extremely careful being a public figure.”  And, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton adds, “A lot of us have in the past said things we have regretted saying years ago” and “You cannot deal with what is fair or not fair until we see an outcome of the present circumstances she is accused of, not something that happened 20 years ago.”

So, with that being said, I want to know what you think.  Here’s what I think.

IF (and notice that’s a big IF) Paula made that joke about the wedding idea in any era, then or now, it’s not funny.  It’s stupid.  If Paula responded with the n-word after a man held a gun to her head as she stated, while not still acceptable, it’s more likely a case of forgiveness given the circumstances.

I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s South and that awful word was a commonly used word.  Sadly, my late father, was one of the most racist, homophobic, sexist, and the list goes on, man I think I’ve ever met.  And, even my late grandmother, who was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, uttered that word in my childhood, but she wasn’t using it to be ugly.  As I grew from a child to a teenager, I educated her that although people use that word, it’s not right.

And, as Paula stated in the interview with Lauer, that word is used too freely in today’s society in movies and music.  I agree and that has to stop, too.  I don’t care if you are an African-American or you identify as a black man or woman, that word has to stop in all circles.  While I’m a gay man, I don’t refer to myself as the derogatory “f-word” and I’d be truly offended if someone else did.

In this country, you’re supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty”.  How do we know that Lisa Jackson is telling the truth?  I’d really be saddened to know that Paula Deen was not a racist and these allegations ruined her life and career.

Paula Deen Crying

My only advice to Paula is stay off television, avoid interviews, and stop posting internet apologies.  I know you’re hurt and scared, but the tears and the pleas make you seem too apologetic.  As you’ve stated, people who know you know the truth — whatever that truth is.

The bottom line is that if Paula Deen is a racist and she freely used the n-word as Jackson claims, more people would be coming out of the woodwork to make other allegations.  They haven’t!

And, I have to say that I commend Paula for the heartfelt and seemingly genuine comments in the interview, “I believe every creature on this Earth … was created equal, no matter who you choose to go to bed at night with [and] no matter what church you go to pray.”  And, “There’s a couple of kinds of people that I don’t like that I am prejudiced against, Matt, and that’s thieves and liars.”

Lisa Jackson, if you’re a liar, I hope you get yours.

THE SAD LIFE OF A PIG (AND OTHER FARM ANIMALS)

Oh, how I wish that every pig was like Hollywood’s “Babe”.

This past Tuesday, I took part in the “Celebrity Showmanship” contest at the Rock Island County Fair.  In less than an hour, I had to learn as much as I could about pigs and about showing one from my 4-H member, Grace.  I aced my quiz from the judges and answered all of my questions correctly.

However, when it came time to show my pig, I learned that “my” pig has been competing all day in the summer heat and it was exhausted.  The judge told me “if he lays down, just let him”.  Well, the poor creature did and I think it cost me a ranking in the Top Seven!  I did get a special “honorable mention” for my knowledge of pig farming, so I’m telling myself that I came in 8th place out of 15 people.  I also won $50 for my charity, the Quad City Animal Welfare Center in Milan, Illinois.

As you look at this picture, you’ll see that the pig was exhausted.  But, once he was sprayed with water and cooled off, after the competition, he walked away happily to his barn to sleep.

Pig Showing Contest

(Photo courtesy:  Thomas Geyer of the Quad City Times.)

The whole learning process made me think even more about the lives of pigs and cows.  While I don’t condemn people for eating steak or hamburger, I haven’t eaten either in a very long time and I will not.  As for pork, I’ve been on the fence the past few months.  After Tuesday and learning that the pigs “go to market” in about five to six months, I decided that pork is another meat that I’ll have to decline eating in the future.  What a short little life for the creatures!

Again, I don’t condemn others for eating beef or pork, but I’ll have to stick to chicken, turkey, and seafood for now.  I don’t have the same guilt toward them –yet.

BIG SCREEN SPECTACLE

I love “The Walking Dead” and I love George Romero’s “Night of The Living Dead” and all of its sequels and remakes.

When Brad Pitt announced that he would be starring in “World War Z”, a zombie epic, I got excited.  Then when I saw the trailer for the first time, it looks intriguing, but I got a little concerned about the trailer not showing much of the zombies.  And, then the stories about the problematic shoot started surfacing:  it was going way over budget and the entire third act went through a reshoot.

WWZ

The movie opened last weekend to $66.4 million in U.S. ticket sales alone, which is the biggest open for a Brad Pitt movie.

“World War Z” wasted no time getting right into the action.  Pitt plays Gerry Lane, who used to work for the United Nations.  He gave it up to be a stay at home dad to two girls.  As the family is heading out-of-town (Philadelphia), they encounter an unprecedented traffic jam that turns into chaos with planes flying overhead and then it happens — the undead come alive and start attacking the living.  City after city across the world fall to the zombies.

After spending the night holed up hiding out with a family, they make it out just in time to be taken to a fleet of ships out in the ocean off New York City safely away from living hell on land.  There’s only one catch.  They want Lane to go back to work for the U.N. to try to find what started this epidemic that has killed millions and if he agrees, his wife and two children can stay on the vessel.

Lane agrees and heads off to South Korea where he’s told by a hot-shot young doctor from Harvard that “Mother Nature is a serial killer” and that she leaves little clues to get caught.  While there, Lane and most of his crew barely escape, but he learns that the zombies are attracted by noise.

From there, he’s off to Jerusalem, where he finds out how the Israelis learned about the zombies and how they’ve managed to keep the zombies and the plague from wiping them out.

WWZ Israel

The scene turns deadly as the zombies attack and Lane once again barely escapes to Wales on the most exciting and slightly unrealistic airplane ride ever!

WWZ Airplane Scene

As the massive real-world destruction continues, Lane figures out a couple of more things that might stop the deadly zombie apocalypse.  Let me just say that I’m glad that the trailer did not feature the zombies prominently.  They were amazing, but not your typical zombies.

If you want a thrilling psychological drama, a “Contagion” with action, this is the movie.  It accomplishes the excitement and fear without the blood and gore of “The Walking Dead”.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the gory AMC series, but it was fun to see this thriller dominated by the shock of fear and not guts!

GRADE:  A+ (And, I rarely give a movie an A+!)

WEEKEND DOUBLE FEATURE

In last week’s “Random Friday Thoughts”, I mentioned that we might go see a double feature at the movie.  We only got in “World War Z”.  So, this weekend, it’s going to be “This Is The End” (you can see the trailer in last week’s blog), and the new Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx action thriller, “White House Down”.

For all you women and men (openly gay, closeted, or just secretly jealous), I think we need to get crazy like Precious and Miley Cyrus and check out and sing along to the humorous “(I Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum”.  Thanks, Jimmy Kimmel.

TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT MY BIRTHDAY?

While my birthday is still more than three months away, I don’t think it’s too early to think about it.  I mean, last year, we bought tickets to see Madonna in Las Vegas in February for my birthday, October 13th, which was still eight months away.

This year, I think I’ll hint to Ray that I want to see the Pet Shop Boys in Chicago in late September.  While the 1980s new wave duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe may be absent from American radio, they’ve been recording new music for the past thirty years and their new album, “Electric” comes out in mid-July and the single, “Axis” is fantastic!!!!!  Check it out

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

It’s very interesting how the music scene works on each side of the Atlantic.  Since exploding on to the music scene in the mid-1980 with their #1 international hit, “West End Girls”, the Pet Shop Boys have only scored five more hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.

Four of the other five hits made the top ten:  “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) (#10, 1986), “It’s A Sin” (#9, 1987), “What Have I Done To Deserve This” with Dusty Springfield (#2, 1987), and “Always on My Mind” (#4, 1987).  They also reached #18 with “Domino Dancing”.  Since then, the duo has scored many Billboard Dance hit.

However, in England, the Pet Shop Boys have scored 42 Top 40 hits with 22 of those reaching the Top Ten and 4 reached #1.

Here’s the song that kicked it all off around the world, “West End Girls”.

CELEBRITY REACTION TO THE DEATH OF “DOMA”

DOMA Lady Gaga

Dan Savage DOMA DOMA Ben Affleck DOMA Piers Morgan  DOMA Neil Patrick HarrisDOMA Jack

BY THE WAY, WHO IS JACK MACKENROTH?

His tweet about DOMA was funny, so who is he?  Well, he’s a 44-year-old American swimmer (winning medals in the Gay Games), model, and was a contestant on the fourth season of the reality show, “Project Runway”.

Jack Mackenroth

Mackenroth is also a HIV/AIDS activist.  He was diagnosed as HIV-positive in August 1990 and has lived openly about his status to combat the stigma of  having HIV.

He says, “I am most proud of the fact that I was open about my positive HIV status on the show and exemplified that a person can manage HIV and live a successful life.  Every time a person with HIV is open about his or her status it helps everyone who is living with the disease…. I am a living testament to what you can accomplish by letting go of shame and being your own advocate.”

AND, WE OWE IT ALL TO EDIE

And, as I conclude my blog this week, I dedicate it to Edie and to the memory of Thea.

Thea and Edie

Thea Clara Spyer and Edith “Edie” Windsor were together for 40 years when they got married in Canada in 2007.  It was two years later that New York state began recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states..  And, it was also the year that Thea Spyer died.

After Thea’s death, Edie, now 84, was required to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance of her wife’s estate.   However, if Thea had been a man and the two were married, or if DOMA was not a federal law, Windsor would have qualified for an unlimited spousal deduction, and paid no federal estate taxes.

Edie got the ball rolling toward the Supreme Court in the summer of 2012 and now the rest is history.

Edie Celebrating Decision

After the ruling, Edie replied, “One of the things I felt did not have to do with the money but had to do with…with my country is not giving dignity to this beautiful person I lived with.  And today, my country gave dignity and appreciated who she was.”

Edie, I’m so proud of you and the fight you fought for your wife and your rights.  Thank you for all you’ve done for every one us that will now benefit from your determination.

Now, we have 38 more states to win over for every American to have the same rights.  The fight is far from over.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts.  Let me know what you think about any or all of it and have a great weekend!

Anthony

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Random Friday Thoughts — March 29

It’s “Good Friday” and to me, that’s the same as any Friday.  I try to be good. 🙂

“HAPPY EASTER”

Kidding aside, it’s Easter weekend and I wish all of you a “Happy Easter”.  We’re having friends over for dinner Saturday night (not Easter-related) just for fun and then on Sunday, we’re making ham and having my sister over for Easter brunch.

I hope the Easter Bunny brings you plenty of chocolate and fun candy if that’s your thing!  But, after seeing this earlier in the week, I hope he doesn’t leave you a bunny as a pet.

Easter Bunny

I remember getting a “chick” (the animal, not a girl) one year for Easter when I was a kid and it died a couple of days later.  No thanks, candy is fine with me.

EQUALITY IN THE HEADLINES

There’s been a lot of talk in the news this week with what I call “marriage equality” and what many, even in the media, call “gay marriage”.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California’s gay marriage ban.  And, on Wednesday, they heard the case of Windsor vs. United States, which tackles the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which basically states that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Edie

If you don’t know about Edith Windsor, the 83-year-old woman at the center of this Supreme Court debate, check out this heartwarming story.  It’s only three minutes long, but it shows you what true love is and that love knows no boundaries!

It may be months before we get a decision from the SCOTUS, if they even decide.  Edie and California, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Marriage Equality

Cow SnowmanDiet   GI Joe    Oreo SpeedwagonSarcasm

SLEEP AND MY STRANGE WORK HOURS

Since I work 2-10 a.m. Monday through Friday and get roughly three to four hours of sleep each weeknight (I get more on the weekends), it always frightens me when I hear news stories about all of the health issues that people develop when they don’t get a good night’s sleep.

Putting that aside, I read in the September 2011 “Men’s Journal” there’s something better than becoming over-caffeinated to stay awake and alert when I start to drag.  Dr. Bob Arnot says “studies show that just 10 minutes of shut-eye can net you 155 minutes of mental clarity.”

“PEEPS’ ’80S FRIDAY FLASHBACK”

In the early 1980s, when this country boy moved away from that musical genre, I moved quickly and it was all about “New Wave” music starting with Kim Wilde and Soft Cell.  The English band, A Flock of Seagulls, was at the top of my list, too.

I mean, seriously, Mike Score’s  (the lead singer) hair was incredible.  I know if I had the nerve then, I would have been a hit in Mayfield, Kentucky, but then again, I would have probablygotten beat up , too.

A Flock of Seagulls’ first hit in America was also their biggest.  “I Ran (So Far Away)” was released in October 1982 and it made it all the way up to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

While the two follow-up singles, “Space Age Love Song” and “Wishing (If I Had A Photograph of You)” both cracked the Top 40 in America, they only made it to #30 and #26, respectively.

“Wishing” was also featured in the aforementioned movie, “Edge of Seventeen”.

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

It was two years ago this week that Miss ABBA was diagnosed with a terminal cancer and given only two to three months to live.  She was a fighter and never got down and sick until the day before she went to puppy heaven ten months later on February 3, 2012.

These pictures were taken on April 1, 2011, just days after having a non-malignant “fatty tissue” removed during that terminal diagnosis (notice the cute shaved leg!), when she received a package in the mail from my friends Tracy and Steve Weinberger.  They were friends from my old neighborhood in Moline and they knew that Miss ABBA loved Peeps.  Whenever they’d walk by with their little girl, Miss ABBA would always share Peeps with her.

As you can tell, ABBA loved opening her own gifts and presents and was very excited when it turned out to be an edible treat — Peeps!

04012011 ABBA Opening Package04012011 ABBA Anthony  04012011 ABBA Peeps

MY GOLDEN, ABBA, HAS A NEW FRIEND IN “PUPPY HEAVEN”

A few weeks ago, I blogged about Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine’s golden, Frankie, crossing over the “Rainbow Bridge” to play with Miss ABBA and now Ginger has joined them, too.

Ginger, like ABBA, also died of cancer, as so many goldens sadly do.

Here is what Ginger’s “humans” posted on Ginger’s Facebook page March 19th:  “Ginger’s cancer was very aggressive and she was declining rapidly. We couldn’t let her suffer anymore, and with the help of a vetrinary [sic] oncologist made the decision to put her down this afternoon. Our family is heartbroken, but we know she ran up to heaven on the wings of your prayers and well wishes. Thank you all for your support. Many of you mentioned you have gone through it before or going though it now. Our hearts are with you. It has been a cold and snowy few days here in Michigan. We took Buddy for a walk a bit ago and the wind got really strong and we looked up and suddenly the sun peaked through the sky, just for a little bit. We like to think that was Ginger lighting up heaven with a grand entrance! Thank you again for your support and friendship.  With deepest gratitude, Scott and Barb ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥”

SEASON ONE OF “MALIBU COUNTRY” IS OVER

The first season of one of the shows that I watched this fall, “Malibu Country” with Reba and Lily Tomlin, came to a close last week.  ABC hasn’t announced whether it will be renewed for a second season.  However, I feel that it will since it is the highest rated new comedy on network television.

RebaLily

While the show is uneven and copies a lot of the jokes from Reba’s former “WB” and “CW” show “Reba” (2001-2007), I love seeing Reba and Lily Tomlin, as her marijuana loving mother.

If the show is renewed, I hope Reba sings more and that we see less of her daughter, June, and her puppy love crush on the boy next door, Sage.  And, if Sage is going to be front and center with his singing career next season, cut his hair!  Please!

And, Reba needs to start dating Mr. Bata, the head of the record company.

‘THE FOLLOWING”

With five more episodes to go (season one finale is April 29th), this show is testing my loyalty.

The Following

While I know I won’t stop watching since I’ve invested ten weeks into it, but I want some fun things to happen.  Yes, the deaths are brutal, shocking, and clever.  But, the FBI really needs to win one in the game of cat and mouse with the serial killer, Dr. Joe Carroll.

Or, at least let us know who in the FBI is working for Joe and not let it be revealed to his/her colleagues until the season finale.  And, it had better not be Mike Weston!  My money is on Agent Parker or the new guy brought in to head up the capture of Carroll.

Emma must die at the hands of Jacob!!!!  And, while I’m voicing what I’d like to see, how about a crossover with ABC’s “Nashville” so that one of Joe’s “followers” can take Scarlett out, too! 🙂

What a way to end a blog on Easter Sunday weekend.

Have a great one.

Anthony

More Than Two Months To Go And I’m Already Over It

Over the next two weeks, Democrats and Republicans will have their time in the spotlight with their respective national conventions.  Honestly, I can’t wait for it to be over.

Like many of you, I already know who I’m voting for and I don’t need a convention or speeches to convince me.  However, I’m sure there are many people out there that are indifferent or unhappy with the past four years of what President Obama has or has not accomplished and are considering the Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan ticket.

While I’m confident that President Obama will win the 2012 election, I know that it’s going to be very close.  Here is how the last election played out and I do expect to see more red on the map this time.

Yes, I know that Mitt Romney could win the election and no, I’m not ready to move to France if he does.  I would never move to a foreign country without first knowing how to speak the language.  While I plan to visit Paris in 2015 and learn some French before them, I might need to speed up my tutorial. 🙂

I know that regardless of wins on election night, he’ll encounter a very difficult road just as President Obama has faced since 2009.  It’s hard to get things done when you have Republicans and Democrats so dead set on making everything a pissing match.  I wish that we had a real third-party to get people motivated to really make a change.

It’s going to get very ugly before the November election.  Marriage equality will be a hot button topic this year and for the first time, it will be pushed because it’s the right thing to do and not just something that Republicans are throwing out there to scare their flock into donating money and spreading the fear that gay people are diminishing their marriages.

However, when you have Republican candidates (at the state level) speaking or misspeaking (ha!) about “legitimate rape”, it really makes you wonder how he and his Democratic opponent were virtually tied in the polls prior to his ill-fated biology lesson.

There are bad Republicans and there are bad Democrats.  I really think we have more good politicians than bad ones, but we have such a large number of Americans that vote out of misinformation, fear, or ignorance which allows these bad politicians to make our lives more difficult.

It’s time that we make our elected officials do their jobs for us and not what is good for their next re-election campaign.

I’ve very excited that I’m not working this election night.  I get to sit on my couch and watch the returns come in across the country as we await the outcome.  I remember doing the same thing in 1980.  Back them, we had very old and cheesy graphics and I had to watch my beloved President Jimmy Carter lose to Ronald Reagan.

While the last election was historic with the first black person chosen as president, this year is going to be just as important to the future of this country.  It’s even more important to me because for once, I have a president that believes that I should have a right to marry, even if we haven’t gotten rid of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

I fear that if Romney-Ryan are elected, I won’t have to worry about the DOMA, I’ll be more concerned about my basic rights as a gay man and not just as a married gay man.

Please educate your friends before November and convince them to get out and vote.

Anthony

I’m A “Second Class Citizen”

Update:  January 20, 2013

I’m still a “Second Class Citizen”.  While the overall picture hasn’t changed on a federal level from when I first wrote this for my blog one year ago, there are more court decisions that agree that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as that between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.  And, this spring, the U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled arguments to hear a case that may finally put to rest the debate that DOMA is wrong and that decision may force DOMA to be repealed just as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was in the fall of 2011.

Also, in the past year since writing this, three more states, Maine, Maryland, and Washington now allow marriage equality.   This is huge because it wasn’t decided by politicians or court-appointed judges.  This measure was voted on and passed by the great people of those states in an election.  And, in Minnesota, while marriage equality wasn’t voted on, people there voted NOT to add that marriage should be between a man and a woman to the state constitution.  That sets the stage in the future for a vote that would allow same-sex marriage!

More states are preparing to make marriage equality and civil unions a priority this year!

Even with these accomplishments, we still have a long way to go.

For instance, this past November, voters in two Kansas cities (Salina and Hutchinson) repealed gay-inclusive anti-discrimination laws that had been adopted by the cities’ government early in 2012.

And, that isn’t all.  Kansas state lawmakers also tried to pass the “Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act”, which would allow anyone to discriminate against LGBT people if they think that it violates their “religious freedom.”  Luckily, it died when the session ended and the Senate did not vote on it.  Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said that he would have signed the bill.

I’ve always said that LGBT activists alone will not win these fights, our straight allies will be the catalyst for success.  But, my friends, here is my original blog from one year ago with the most amazing and compelling video.  I hope you take the time to watch it and understand why I do what I do.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  January 8, 2012

To my friends, some think I’m first class, but to the federal government and 44 states, I’m a second class citizen. But, because of our constant fight for equality and great people like you being open-minded and working with us, we’re making progress for equal rights.

While only Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and the District of Columbia have marriage equality, three other states:  Maryland, Rhode Island, and New Mexico officially pledge non-discrimination against marriages between same-sex couples from other states.

“Freedom to Marry” reports that there are other protections, short of marriage, in other states:  civil unions in Illinois, Hawaii, and New Jersey, and broad domestic partnership in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California. Smaller packages of protections for same-sex couples are available in Maryland, Maine, Colorado, and Wisconsin.

And, recently Washington Governor Christine Gregoire introduced a marriage equality bill by saying, “Some say domestic partnerships are the same as marriage. That’s a version of the discriminatory, separate but equal argument of the past….We must tell these children and their families that they’re every bit as equal and important as any other family in Washington state.”

We’re making advances, but with all of hate being spewed by many Republican Presidential wannabees and hate groups like National Organization of Marriage, the Family Research Council, and many religious groups spreading misinformation about how gay people will undermine the institution of marriage and families, we have to work harder.

“Freedom to Marry” reports that over 35% live in a state with either marriage or a broad legal status such as civil union/domestic partnership. That also means that about 65% live in a state where I would be treated as a “second class citizen”.

Take a minute, well, seven minutes to watch this amazing video put together by Ryan James Yezak.  It shows you why I’m so vocal about equality and why I fight for my rights.

Peace, my brothers and sisters.  One person at a time, one day at a time, and one state at a time.

Anthony