Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

Random Friday Thoughts — May 31, 2013

Happy Friday everyone!  Another weekend is upon us and I hope you have a nice one planned.  Today is Gretel’s last day of school and her last day as a sixth grader!  I think she wants to go out to lunch at Osaka Buffet, one of our favorite places to eat.  I should do it because tomorrow is June 1st and that is the date that Ray and I agreed upon to eat healthier, limit our buffets, and exercise more.

This is also Pride weekend in the Quad Cities.  We might go and check it out.   The late, great Miss ABBA and I went to a couple of the festivities.  This picture is from the 2010 Quad City Pride.

May 2013 005

I’ll have to check with the weatherman to see which day would be better! 🙂

ONE LESS RAT IN THE RAT RACE

Early Wednesday morning, I got the best news that brought a smile to my face.  There will be one less rat in the 2014 “rat race” election season.

Failed Republican presidential wannabe and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann announced that she will not be seeking re-election.  She said, “I fully anticipate the mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin on my decision not to seek a fifth term.  They always seemed to attempt to find a dishonest way to disparage me. But I take being the focus of their attention and disparagement as a true compliment of my public service effectiveness.”

michele bachmann

The woman is, how do you say it, bat-sh*t crazy.  She’s currently being investigated because of her campaign spending and in the last Congressional election spent a lot of money and barely won re-election with less than two percentage points.  Her competitor in that race, Jim Graves, recently announced that he would be running again in 2014.

Now, if I didn’t filter how I really felt, I’d say she came to realization that American handily told her we didn’t want her for president, that it took a lot of money to barely convince Minnesota to keep her in office the last time, and keeping her husband in the closet is a full-time job!   But, that would be mean and that is just a rumor about her husband — for now! 🙂

Marcus Bachmann

I would say good riddance, but Bachmann vows to continue fighting for traditional marriage and family values.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

SHARKCrazyStalker

We The People

GALLUP POLL

A recent Gallup poll shows that gay or lesbian relations are accepted by 19% more people today than just 12 years ago.  Today, with twelve states and the District of Columbia with marriage equality (and Illinois is considering it), 59% of Americans polled find gay or lesbian relationships acceptable.  In 2001, only 40% did so.

Also, Americans find having babies and having sex outside of marriage much more acceptable today than a decade ago.   Even divorce and polygamy are 9% and 7% more acceptable today, respectively, than just a decade ago.

Gallup Poll

Of the 20 topics surveyed, the most unacceptable now compared to 2001 is medical testing on animals.  It’s down 9% in the past decade.  Also seeing a decrease in acceptability today, compared to 2001, is doctor-assisted suicides.  That is down 4%.

REMEMBERING “DR. DEATH”

While more Americans find doctor-assisted suicides less acceptable today than a decade ago, according to that recent Gallup poll, I’m taking a moment to remember the man whose name is synonymous with that subject.  He died two years ago next week.

Kevorkian

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan born pathologist, gained national attention in late 1998 when he allowed CBS News’ “60 Minutes” to air a videotape he made two months earlier of the voluntary euthanasia of 52-year-old Thomas Youk, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating disease that causes progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, muscle spasms, difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

After a two-day trial, a Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder.  After serving time, he was paroled eight years later.

He may have been involved in more than 130 deaths and Kevorkian told “Time” magazine, “My specialty is death.”

So, what is your view on doctor-assisted suicides?  Feel free to tell me, even if we disagree.

I’m all for it.  I’ve seen people wither away to almost nothing in so much pain. I look at their lives and I see that some have no quality of life.  My mother died of a sudden heart attack at age 47.  While we were unable to say goodbye, I’m thankful that she never suffered for a long period like some people do.

If I’m ever in a terminal health situation where there is no chance of recovery (short of a miracle) and I’m in unimaginable pain, I’d welcome being euthanized.  Why is it that we’re in a position in this country where we have to watch our loved ones suffer until they die naturally, but we can do the “humane” thing to keep our beloved pets from immense suffering when they reach that point of no return by euthanizing them?

february-3-2012-daddy-a-abba

On February 3, 2012, Miss ABBA, our golden retriever that was just like a child to us, took that final R-I-D-E in the car.  I carried her to the car that morning and into the vet’s office.  I sat on the floor holding her when the doctor administered the two shots and she peacefully crossed over the “rainbow bridge”.

Many of you already know that Miss ABBA lived ten fantastic months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer when she was only given two to three months to live.  She never got sick or down until the day before she died.

I’m blessed for the almost 12 years Miss ABBA and I had together.  I’m so glad that she never had to suffer and that I had that option to ease her pain when her quality of life ended.  I would want the same for myself or for my human counterparts.

RICK SPRINGFIELD ROCKS!

Let me lighten the mood now by saying last Friday night’s Rick Springfield concert in the Quad Cities was incredible.  The ’80s heart throb played for about two hours and he still sounds as good as he did back in his heyday when “Jessie’s Girl” was #1 and he had other top ten hits like “I’ve Done Everything For You”, “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, “Affair Of The Heart”, and “Love Somebody”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“DEXTER SEASON 7 IS AWESOME!”

We are eight episodes into season 7 of “Dexter” and I absolutely love this season.  Only four more episodes to go and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.  Please don’t spoil it for me or for anyone who hasn’t seen this season, but I hope Joey Quinn bites the dust.  I’m over his character. 🙂

As for “Dexter”, fans already know that the new season begins on Showtime June 30th and this will be the final season!!!!!!!!  😦

Who’s going to be my favorite serial killer then?  And, how will I handle not seeing sexy Michael C. Hall?

Dexter-michael-c-hall

So, what are your favorite seasons?  Other than season seven, my other favorites are seasons one, four, and six!

SPEAKING OF SERIAL KILLERS

Good news!!!!  The Hollywood website, deadline.com, is reporting that “Hannibal” has been renewed for a 13 episode second season!

hannibal

There was concern that the graphic drama about our favorite cannibal might be cancelled because it only brings in a rating of about 4.7 million people weekly.

But, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke says, “We’re so proud of Bryan’s [executive producer Bryan Fuller] vision for a show that is richly textured, psychologically complex, and very compelling.  There are many great stories still to be told.”

And, here’s an interesting fact.  NBC says that “Hannibal” is the youngest drama on NBC, CBS, and ABC, with a median viewer age of 45.7 years.

AMAZING ALBUM I KNOW YOU PROBABLY DON’T HAVE!!!

While I love all genres of music, I’m partial to dance and 1980s.  I’ve moved away from country music.  I mean, no country radio without new Reba and Patty Loveless music is boring.  You can take your Taylor Swift and… what was I saying? 🙂

I have to highly recommend an album that came out last fall that I just can’t stop listening to and it’s been nine months.  It’s “Push Rewind” by Chris Wallace, the former lead singer of the Chicago band, the White Tie Affair.  I saw them at Market Days in Chicago a few years ago and Chris is amazing.

Push Rewind

I totally agree with “Entertainment Weekly” when it said “Push Rewind” was “the best pop album you probably haven’t discovered yet.”  Meanwhile, iTunes called “Push Rewind”, the “best breakthrough pop album of 2012” and his first solo hit, “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, one of the “best songs of 2012”.

“Remember When (Push Rewind)” reached #25 on the Billboard “Pop Songs” chart, which is based on radio airplay.

If you liked the first single, you’re going to love the CD.  “Keep Me Crazy” (the second and new single), “Hurricane”, and “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” are all fun upbeat dance numbers.  If those are a little too dance-oriented for you, you’ll love the mid-tempo tracks “Don’t Mind If I Do”, “Best Mistake”, and “Invincible”.

When Wallace slows it down for the ballads “I’ll Be There” and “Ready To Fall”, his soulful voice just captivates you.

He closes the disc with the perfect slow-building mid-tempo “Do It All Again”.

There aren’t too many albums where I love every song.  This is one of them.  I sure hope that radio and America learn who Chris Wallace is and that he becomes the star he should be.

GRADE:  A

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Two years ago this week on June 4, 2011, we went to the Chicago suburbs to celebrate Gretel’s 10th birthday by seeing “Glee” in concert.  Gretel absolutely loves the show and Kurt is her favorite character.  And, while he was walking by, sexy crooner Darren Criss, who plays Blaine, shook hands with me!

Gretel June 4 2011Darren Criss June 4 2011

And, this week last year, we were in Spirit Lake, Iowa, for the week of Memorial Day.  We had a fantastic time just chilling by the Lake.  We also did a little boating, fishing, and we visited Arnold’s Park, an amusement park.  That’s where we took this cute family photo.

Arnolds Park May 30 2012

“PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK”

Canadian Bryan Adams has scored 22 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

After reaching #10 with his first American hit, “Straight From The Heart” in 1982, his follow-up, “Cuts Like A Knife” reached #15.

Of his 22 hits, 11 of them reached the Top Ten here in the U.S.  Of those, four reached #1:  “Heaven” (1985), “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” (1991) from the motion picture, “Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves”, “All For Love” (1993) , and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (1995) with Sting and Rod Stewart, from the movie “Don Juan DeMarco”.

ENOUGH FOR THIS WEEK

With the severe weather Thursday and working until after 6 p.m., I had to cut this short a little.  But, it’s enough for one week.

Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for checking out my blog of random thoughts!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 17

It’s Friday and it finally feels like spring and summer!  Can you believe this crazy weather?  It was 90° here Tuesday, but the story gets even crazier in Sioux City, Iowa.  Sunday morning, it was a frosty 29°.  Two days later, they hit an all-time May record high of 106°!  These other cities hit record highs for the date.

Tuesday Record HIghs

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be emceeing the kick-off to the Heart Walk in Rock Island, Illinois, and then I’m lying low this weekend to catch up on movies, television shows, and spending some time with Ray, Gretel, and Tammy.  We still have to take her out to brunch Sunday for a belated Mother’s Day gift since she worked last Sunday.  I hope you have a great weekend.  Here are the random thoughts on my mind today.

QUIET WEEKEND UNTIL SUNDAY NIGHT

Just a quick heads up that the weather could become a little scary Sunday night into Monday.  Severe thunderstorms with large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes are possible.  Here’s the latest Storm Prediction Center map of the threatened area.  I’ll touch on this topic again Saturday or Sunday.

7am Sunday - 7am Monday

WHY INVEST TIME IN NETWORK SHOWS?

Either I pick crummy shows to watch or networks don’t allow a show to breathe these days and find an audience.  I was fortunate that “The Following”, “Elementary”, “Nashville”, and “American Horror Story” were both renewed.  However, in the past week, “The New Normal” and “Malibu Country” with Reba were cancelled!

The-New-Normalmalibu-country

A few years ago, I invested in “Invasion” and “Commander In Chief” and both of them only lasted one season on ABC.  “Eli Stone”, another favorite of mine, made it to two seasons before being cancelled.  Luckily, I can get my Jonny Lee Miller fix these days on “Elementary”!  It seems that only reality TV can find an audience!

On a final television note, I’m thinking that “Hannibal”, another one of my favorites, may be cancelled, too.

REBA’S FUTURE

Now that “Malibu Country” has been cancelled, I hope Reba gets to work on picking out fantastic songs for a new album.  While I’m hopeful, I don’t even care if country radio embraces new Reba music.  I know I would enjoy it and so would her fans.

Also, although I’ve seen Reba in concert twelve times, I want her to do something she hasn’t done since the late 1990’s.  I want her to do a large concert production with multiple sets and costume changes.  I know it’s a lot of work, but if Madonna, who’s in her 50s, and Cher, in her 60s ,can do it, I know “Red” can do it.

Since I’m placing my order, Reba, how about a resurrection of  “The Singer’s Diary”, which I never got to see when it was presented about 15 years ago.

SPEAKING OF REALITY TV

I never watched “Jersey Shore” in its six seasons on MTV, the network that was fun when was actually “music television”!  However, even having never watched it, you couldn’t escape the train wreck of a cast.  But, I have a confession — while skanky, Snooki is adorable!

Snooki

I was reading an old “Rolling Stone” (August 5, 2010) and I have to share this Snooki quote:  “To be honest with you, I Google myself every single day.  The negative stuff?  I get off on it.  Because the only reason why people talk negative is because they’re jealous.  Every time they call me a midget, Oompa-Loompa, orange, they’re just jealous.  It makes me want to be more ridiculous and more stupid”.

Let your freak flag fly, mama!

One last thought about “Jersey Shore”, you have to admit that Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is a hottie.  And, didn’t Snooki make him mad by insinuating that he was gay? 🙂

mike_0644 the-situation

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Ann Coulter

Absolut-ely  Got Milk Secrets

WAY TO GO, MINNESOTA!

Have a Gay Day

Minnesota becomes the 12th state (along with the District of Columbia) to vote in favor of marriage equality.  After the 37-30 state Senate vote Monday, Governor Mark Dayton signed it into law Tuesday afternoon.  Same-sex couple will be able to marry later this summer.  In just the past two weeks, three states (Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota) have made it possible for everyone in the state to marry!

While watching and listening to the state senators talk before the vote, here’s what I posted on my Facebook page Monday:  “I’m listening to Minnesota senators talk about why they’re for/against marriage equality before taking a historic vote. I’ve smiled several times, but I also realize that in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, there must be a lot of big rocks near those lakes that some of these politicians have been living under!”

patricia-torres-ray

A couple of the senators really touched me like Patricia Torres Ray.

Speaking in English and Spanish (her native language for the first time on the Senate floor), Torres Ray said her faith would lead her to vote for marriage equality, “Many people may ask why a Catholic, immigrant woman feels so strong about this and why it is I have been so vocal about this campaign and why I stand in strong support.  My commitment to work on their behalf here and on behalf of all issues that i consider to be fair and just. I hope I get invited to their wedding now. I hope I’m able to celebrate their relationship, see their children having children, and continue on this journey of loving our kids, loving our partners together.”

In Spanish, she added for her family that didn’t necessarily support her beliefs for marriage equality, “Son las mismas cosas … Es sobre egualidad,”, which basically confirmed her commitment to all issues that would promote equality for everyone.

MEANWHILE IN MINNESOTA, A NOT SO HAPPY ENDING

Just one month after linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was released from the Baltimore Ravens, punter Chris Kluwe was cut from the Minnesota Vikings.

Now, professional players get cut from teams all the time or leave teams to become free agents.  However, I find it a little odd that both players, both straight men with wives and children, and very strong advocates for marriage equality, were cut so close together.

Brendon Ayanbadejo

Ayanbadejo and Kluwe have both been longtime and a very loud voices for the LGBT community.  Both vow to keep fighting for equality.

Kluwe

After Kluwe was cut from the Vikings, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said he “doesn’t feel good” about the decision and he made this accusatory statement, “public officials should be honest about what’s going on.”

Was the heat too hot in the kitchen for the teams with high visibility athletes supporting marriage equality and the LGBT community?  I think it was a huge factor, but Cyd Zeigler, the co-founder of the gay website, outsports.com, doesn’t think that LGBT advocacy was a factor.  Will we every really know?

Nevertheless, Brendon & Chris, thank you for your support and good luck!

KATY PERRY:  A LITTLE OUT THERE OR AWESOME?

As I was catching up on my old “Rolling Stone” magazines, there was a really good article about Katy Perry’s very religious background and her using a sexy image to sell fun, pop music (August 19, 2010).

In the article, she says, “I still believe that Jesus is the son of God.  But I also believe in extraterrestrials, and that there are people who are sent from God to be messengers, and all sorts of crazy stuff.  I look up into the sky and I’m just mindf**ked — all those stars and planets, the neverendingness of the universe.  I just can’t believe that we’re the only polluting population.  Every time I look up, I know that I’m nothing and there’s something way beyond me.  I don’t think it’s as simple as heaven and hell.”

Whoa!  Beauty, brains, boobs, and fun music that makes you want to dance.  I admit that I was late becoming a Katy Perry convert, but she’s incredible and “Teenage Dream” is definitely a must have album.

By the way, “Teenage Dream” spawned an incredible 8 Top Three hits, with six of them topping the Billboard Hot 100.   Katy also tied Michael Jackson as the only artist to have five consecutive #1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 from one album.  She did it with “California Gurls”, “Teenage Dream”, “Firework”, “E.T.”, and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).  Michael did it with 1987’s “Bad” album and the singles, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man In The Mirror”, and “Dirty Diana”.

And, “Teenage Dream” is the only album ever to have 9 songs top the Billboard Hot Dance Club Song charts.  In addition to the eight radio hits, “Peacock” topped the dance charts!

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

These two pictures were taken on May 19, 2011.  In the front yard, Miss ABBA found the perfect place to beat the summer heat by hiding out in the shrubbery.  And, in the back yard, we had a visitor that was just passing through in the ravine.

May 19 2011 ABBA Hiding Out May 19 2011

SHE’S AMAZING AND “SHE’S SO UNUSUAL”

80s pop star Cyndi Lauper is still touring, making music, and writing soundtracks for Broadway!  (“Kinky Boots” is nominated for 13 Tony Awards this year).  She’s a strong ally to the LGBT community and is a strong advocate for HIV/AIDS education and awareness.  Lauper says, “Having never been a person who was afraid to speak up, I knew I had to help make some noise and do whatever I could to make a difference. You fight fear and ignorance through education and awareness.”  (It seems that I have, at least, two things in common with Cyndi —  being unusual and speaking out about things I believe in!)

Cyndi Lauper

Lauper says that while people are not dying from AIDS like the 1980s and the 1990s, we can’t stop the fight now and must continue to educate people.  She says, “the biggest challenge today is that people don’t think HIV is that much of an issue anymore. While the drug therapies have done an incredible job of keeping people with HIV alive, it is an arduous journey for people taking the drugs. The side effects are significant. The public does not see HIV as a death sentence anymore. We need to continue to reinvest in prevention efforts and to put all the resources we can into ending the epidemic.”

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Cyndi Lauper’s debut album, “She’s So Unusual” turns 30 years old this October (it was released just one day after I turned 19-year-old)!  Don’t do the math. 🙂

In the 30 years since, she’s sold 50 million albums, more than one million DVDs, and over 20 million singles.  On the Billboard Hot 100, Cyndi has scored 11 Top 40 singles.  Of those, all but two have hit the Top Ten.  Six of them have reached the Top Three:  “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” (#2, 1983), “Time After Time” (#1, 1984), “She Bop” (#3, 1984), “We Are The World (#1, 1985, as part of USA For Africa), “True Colors” (#1, 1986), and “Change of Heart” (#3, 1987).

She’s had so many amazing songs to choose from, but I picked one of my favorite performances and a song that was never officially released as a single.  Cyndi performed the Prince classic, “When You Were Mine”, at the 1985 American Music Awards.

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.   I love doing this segment.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

I’m Imposing A Political Gag Order on Myself

This is it!  I’m done with it.

Mark October 18th on your calendar because unless something happens over the next few weeks to tick me off, I’m not going to mention the race for the White House again until I breathe a sigh of relief on the evening of Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

I’ve made it clear that President Obama has my vote and I admit that he’s had a rough four years.  It also should come as no surprise that I think Republican presidential wannabe Mitt Romney is having an equally hard time keeping his stories straight to even know what he thinks or believes.

On election night, I’ll be glued to the television just like I did when I was younger watching the returns come in from around the country.  I will waiting to see if America chooses to re-elect President Obama (which I think they will by a small margin) or if Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States.

However, that is just one race that I’m concerned with this year.  I’ll be watching to see how the great people of Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington vote on making marriage possible for all residents in their respective states.

In Maryland and Washington, the governors of those states initiated this process and things look good for marriage equality.  A SurveyUSA poll in Washington show that 55% support marriage equality and 40% are opposed.

And, in Minnesota, things are looking good for marriage equality for the first time this election season.

On the ballot this November is a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.  The latest poll from Public Policy Polling show that only 46% support this ban and 49% are opposed!

Independent voters are credited with the swing in the polling.  52% now oppose the ban.

Another race that is important to me is also in Minnesota.  I want to see former failed Republican presidential candidate (and whack job) Michele Bachmann voted out of office.

The latest poll from SurveyUSA/KSTP shows Bachmann leading her Democratic opponent, Jim Graves, in the race for the 6th Congressional District by a margin of 50-41%.

What is shocking to me is that Bachmann has an 18% lead among the men polled, while Graves leads in women polled by 1%.

Graves is definitely feeling the momentum in this race and there’s no disputing the fact that Bachmann feels threatened in her re-election campaign.

I was very vocal last spring about Bachmann’s anti-gay rhetoric when she was a contender for the Republican nominee for president and that is why I want her voted out of office in Minnesota this fall.  This woman is mean.

Bachmann’s lesbian stepsister, Helen LaFave  says that she’s “hurt and disappointed that my sister is leading this charge.”  LaFave and her partner, Nia, have been together for almost 25 years.

In the past, she sent Bachmann a letter that the candidate never responded to and said, “You’ve taken aim at me.  You’ve taken aim at my family.”

Family is everything and everyone should do whatever they can for their family.  Bachmann’s children have campaigned for her and I sense that the congresswoman loves her family — as long as your family is not gay.

Anthony

 

Allies Come Forward in the Fight, While Opponents Preach The Same Tired Story

“Should marriage be redefined in our state, the very foundational nature of marriage for the good and strength of human society would be harmed beyond repair.”  Those are the words of consistently anti-gay Washington Bishop Peter Sartain.  (He was a Chicago-area bishop until 2010 when he moved to Seattle and I’ve posted an interesting link at the bottom of the blog on why this man should not really be casting stones and living in a glass house!)

Washington is one of four states that can make marriage equality a reality for all of its residents in November and this has some pushing the panic button to scare people.

The last time I checked Iowa was still a state and it had not fallen into the Mississippi River.  As a matter of fact, with over three million people, the population has increased 4.6% since the 2000 census.  Since the state legalized same-sex marriages in 2009, people are not leaving Iowa in droves for California and North Carolina, two states that recently voted down marriage equality.

When Americans go to the polls in November, the biggest contest will be to re-elect President Barack Obama or replace him with Mitt Romney.  This race is important to me and so are four other ballot measures that I cannot even vote on because they are in other states.

Voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington will decide if marriage equality is important to them and if every loving couple that live in their state should have the same rights.    Six states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New  Hampshire, and New York) and the District of Columbia already allow same-sex couples to marry.

Those rights were awarded by legislation or court rulings.  When voters in the previously mentioned four states go to the polls and approve marriage equality, history will be made and the tide will turn.

Sarah Warbelow, state legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy group, says, “We’re feeling positive. The reality is, we haven’t won a ballot measure on marriage yet.  I think it’s very reasonable and realistic to expect that we’ll win one or more of these ballot measures; certainly the polling suggests that all four are … a possibility.”

And, while polling numbers before an election can be off and misleading, there is definitely reason for optimism.

In Maine, a mid-September poll showed 53% support marriage equality, while 44% are opposed.

Last February, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire pushed forward and made same-sex marriage legal in that state.  However, enough signatures were gathered to force a vote in November.  The good news is that an early September poll shows that 56% are for upholding that law and making marriage equality a reality there, while 38% want it overturned.

The same thing happened in Maryland.  On March 1, 2012, Governor Martin O’Malley made same-sex marriage legal, but opponents got enough signatures to put it on the November ballot.  In a July poll, 54% of those polled are for marriage equality and 40% are against it.

However, in Minnesota, the current home state of conservative whack job Michele Bachmann, the race is much closer with 48% wanting to ban same-sex marriage and 47% for it.  While Bachmann has never been shy with her anti-marriage equality rhetoric during her failed presidential bid, she is facing stiff competition for her congressional seat in Minnesota from Jim Graves.

Graves states, “My stand is, I’ve been for 39 years in a loving and committed relationship.  I’m very fortunate. It’s been the best thing in my life and, by gosh, everybody in America has the same rights under the law and everyone should be able to marry who they want to, when they want to. As far as what churches want to do, or synagogues, again, I believe in separation of church and state. I don’t care what the Catholic Church wants to do. I happen to be born a Catholic. But under the law everybody has the same rights and I believe very strongly in dignity and respect for everybody.”

And, Graves isn’t the only high profile ally we have in Minnesota and in Maryland.

Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a father of two, is for marriage equality.  He has been fighting for it since 2009.

Once Maryland’s governor signed marriage equality into law this year, Ayanbadejo’s support meant even more.  This provoked Maryland state assembly delegate Emmett Burns enough that he wrote a letter to the owner of the Ravens on official state letterhead demanding that he “take the necessary action … to inhibit such expressions from your employee.”

The Ravens’ owner and president responded with “we support Brendon’s right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment” and Brendon vowed not to remain silent.  And, while football is a tough contact sport, Ayanbadejo got support from another NFL  player halfway across the country in a state where the fight for marriage equality was also being waged — in Minnesota.

Minnesota Vikings’ punter Chris Kluwe, a married father of two, wrote the most eloquent letter defending Brendon and marriage equality and blasting Burns.  And, he added a new phrase to lexicon of gay life! 🙂

Kluwe wrote, “I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful c–kmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population.”

If you are Catholic, please don’t take this the wrong way.  However, I really have issues with people like Bishop Sartain.  Here is more of the quote I posted at the beginning of this blog:

“We urge our Catholic people to uphold our consistent Catholic teaching on marriage for the good of the Church, society, husbands and wives and their children. Therefore, we bishops reject the redefinition of marriage as a ‘civil contract between two persons.’ … Redefining marriage as a means of dealing with important issues of equality and respect for all persons will not achieve the goal of defending the rights of all and would overturn centuries of common law. To suddenly change the God-given and time-honored understanding of marriage would be a very harmful thing for our state and for the world. … Should marriage be redefined in our state the very foundational nature of marriage for the good and strength of human society would be harmed beyond repair.”

Bishop Sartain should not be condemning marriage equality and talking about how “human society would be harmed beyond repair” for two men or two women to get married.  According to this blog, he has other skeletons that he should be working to get out of the closet rather than fighting against same-sex marriage.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/09/j_peter_sartain_new_seattle_ar.php

It’s nice to know we have people like Governor Gregoire, Governor O’Malley, and Governor Andrew Cuomo (New York), Brendon Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, Jim Graves, and people like you (I know I have many friends that support marriage equality)  on our side, the right side of history, and I wish we had fewer people like Bishop Sartain and his followers that speak out against equality while closing their eyes and ears to indiscretions in their own house.

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