After DOMA | Lambda Legal

After DOMA | Lambda Legal.

In case you missed it, some very important information from Lambda Legal about life for LGBT couples after Section 3 of DOMA was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Especially important if you are/want to be married.

Bookmark this link.

The Marriage Equality Map You Need To Know

The Marriage Equality Map You Need To Know.

Interesting map courtesy of BuzzFeed regarding the proliferation of marriage equality cases in the various Federal circuits. We are everywhere, it seems.

Speaking of, do you subscribe to the American Foundation for Equal Rights’ weekly marriage equality updates? You should. It’s a good quick two-to-three minute YouTube digest each week. We should all be keeping up with this. Here’s an embed of the most recent one.

That was the Gay Week That Was

The Week of February 10, 2014 is really one for the history books. The LGBT history books, for sure.

February 10 would have also been my dad’s 84th birthday. I wonder if he would recognize this brave new world?

Red EqualsMy old home, the Commonwealth of Virginia, had its constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage struck down this week. This comes after the new Virginia attorney general determined that he could find no legal foundation, since the Windsor decision, to support upholding the statute, outraging conservatives.

The courts also held this week that Kentucky had to recognize same-sex marriages of Kentuckians who were married in Equality States but who resided in the commonwealth. Now same-sex couples are asking that Kentucky allow same-sex marriages to happen within its borders. So, keep a weather eye out for this; still a developing story.

Also in Nevada, the Silver State’s attorney general said that his state’s constitutional same-sex marriage ban was “no longer defensible.” An about-face from a state where the constitutional restriction was put in place more than a decade ago.

Of course, this comes on the heels of recent decisions in Utah, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

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#52 from Mizzou, Michael Sam comes out. |Image: nbcnews.com

College football’s best defensive end, an odds-on favorite in the upcoming NFL draft, boldly came out this week before the draft. Michael Sam‘s decision set the entire sports world on its ear and prompted lots of conversations about gays in pro sports in places where they normally wouldn’t talk about such things. Good on him.

It also elicited this:

Dale Hansen is my new hero. Other people think so, too, which is how he got a trip here:

The magnificent Ellen Page came out at an HRC event and gave a terrific, moving and uplifting speech. Overnight, she has gone from quirky young star to just full-on awesome.

It wasn’t all good LGBT news, of course, because it seldom is, when you are fighting for what is right. The legislature in Indiana passed the first round of a same-sex marriage constitutional ban. The only good thing about this is that the earliest it could possibly go before Hoosier voters is 2016. Hopefully by that time, it will be so out-of-step with the rest of the country that it won’t go forward.

KansasPostcard

Kansas: Trying to become the Inequality Heartland of America

And in Kansas — Oh, Kansas, moan ‘Friends of Dorothy’ everywhere — the legislature was caught up in a time-travel drama that sent their collective consciousness back to concocting Reconstruction Era policies. Some say the Kansas bill to enshrine LGBT discrimination into law under the (laughable) guise of being non-discriminatory — I know, I know — won’t pass, but I am afraid that stranger things have happened.

And there’s Sochi, and Nigeria, and, and, and ….

But, on Valentine’s Day, daytime television’s only gay supercouple, Days of our LivesWill and Sonny, officially got engaged. I am fairly confident that this is a first for daytime, although some have said that Kyle and Oliver of One Life to Live were the first. I’m not sure that’s correct, but I’ll happily be proven wrong. We’ve come a long way since January 2009 when As The World Turns’ Luke and Noah, daytime’s very first gay male couple finally consummated their relationship, but were never shown in bed together! DAYS gets a gold star in my book for the way they’ve been treating these guys. Here’s a sample:

I wonder what next week will bring? An early spring? Please? Anyone?

What’s the Deal with Bathrooms? | Part I

Maine Court Rules In Favor Of Transgender Pupil.| Huffington Post Jan. 31, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — School officials violated state anti-discrimination law when they would not allow a transgender fifth-grader to use the girls’ bathroom, according to a ruling by the highest court in Maine that’s believed to be the first of its kind.

The family of student Nicole Maines and the Maine Human Rights Commission sued in 2009 after school officials required her to use a staff, not student, restroom.

“This is a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people,” said Jennifer Levi, director of the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders’ Transgender Rights Project after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling on Thursday.

This is the latest round of judicial tug-of-war over transgendered persons and use of restroom facilities.

I AM COMPLETELY BAFFLED BY OUR SUDDEN WORRIES OVER PEEING!

I’ve more to say on this — perhaps that’s obvious as this is labeled “Part I” — but if you have anything to say on the subject, please leave a comment below or send me a tweet.

Hawaii Says “I Do” to Marriage Equality

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill Wednesday legalizing gay marriage in the state that kicked off a national discussion of the issue more than two decades ago.

Now, the island chain is positioning itself for a bump in tourism as people take advantage of the new law and the state provides another example of how differently marriage is viewed in the nation.

via Hawaii Governor, Neil Abercrombie, Signs Bill Legalizing Gay Marriage In State.

I remember back in 1993 when all this “gay marriage” business started. And it started in Hawaii. It was a kickstart to a decade of slow-growth acceptance of an idea that there might one day be a place for same-sex couples to wed. In Massachusetts, the actual fact of marriage equality became a reality in 2004. Now, Hawaii will beat Illinois to the punch to become the 15th state with same-sex marriage. The dominoes keep falling.

Hawaii

Aloha Oe. Waikiki Beach is a little more crowded today than in this retro image from the early 1950s, but it still will be the perfect backdrop for many island nuptials that are coming thanks to marriage equality.

Newly out in 1993, I marched on Washington for gay rights that year in what is still the largest crowd I’ve ever seen on the National Mall — and I went to plenty of rallies and two inaugurals in my nearly two decades in the national capital area — and it gave me hope for the future. I just never expected marriage.

35395753Today, I’m reminded of the late Howard Crabtree’s hysterical 1996 musical revue, When Pigs Fly, written when a “gay Hawaiian wedding” was seen as something that might have been. There’s a marvelous song in Act II called “Hawaiian Wedding Song” and it’s as downright hilarious as the rest of the show. I’m sorry Howard didn’t live to see the day. Swine are winged today in his honor!

John Boehner Opposes ENDA, Dealing Blow To Bill’s Chances

But for all the nothing-to-see-here protestations, the timing of Boehner’s statement of opposition was indeed newsworthy. Coming amid growing support for ENDA in the Senate, it deflated the optimism of LGBT rights advocates.

“The Speaker, of all people, should certainly know what it’s like to go to work every day afraid of being fired,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “Instead of letting the far right trample him again, it\’s time for Speaker Boehner to stand with the majority of everyday Republican voters and support ENDA.”

via John Boehner Opposes ENDA, Dealing Blow To Bill’s Chances.

John Boehner is an inhuman asshole of the first order. This is why you have to vote, people. This is why you have to learn about the issues.

Gay Couple Legally Wed in Oklahoma Despite Statewide Ban

Gay couple in Oklahoma legally wed despite state ban on same-sex marriage – LGBTQ Nation.
My new favorite tribe! Congratulations!

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In this photo provided by All Shots Photgraphy, the Rev. Floyd Black Bear, left, officiates the wedding of his son, Darren Black Bear, second from left, to Jason Pickel, second from right, at Fort Reno in Oklahoma. They are the third same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes since 2012.| Brandi Duvall AP

Despite a gay marriage ban in the Oklahoma Constitution, Darren Black Bear, 45, and Jason Pickel, 36, wed before about 50 friends and family members at the Fort Reno chapel after being granted a marriage license from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.