Video: Redefining Marriage

Brilliant parody of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) from Rob Tisinai on youtube.

“Fighting for our freedom… to control other people.”

Magic Johnson Supports Gay Son

Magic Johnson supports gay son, and discusses his reaction when he came out to Magic.

Quote of the Day

“He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”

Douglas Adams

Watch: An Open Letter to SCOTUS from Same Sex Family

Watch/Read this beautifully written and moving letter from a gay dad to Justice Scalia and his fellow justices.  Powerful and moving.

Below is the text, but watch the video – what a beautiful family!

Published on Mar 30, 2013

Dear Justice Scalia as well as your distinguished peers serving on the Supreme Court,

First let me thank you for hearing the historic cases this week on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). My husband, Kelly Vielmo, and I adopted three beautiful siblings from DC’s foster care system last year. Being an inter-racial, same-sex family we are used to being conspicuous and sometimes the center of attention on a local level depending on where we happen to be. With the cases being heard in the Supreme Court this week our family is now on debate at the national level. With that said I am following with interest your ruling on these cases. One comment that stuck with me was the speculation of potential “deleterious” effects of kids having same-sex parents. After I looked up deleterious (adj. causing harm or damage) I had to reflect on the harm and damage that has been done to my children. I know that you are listening to these cases from a nationally-scaled legal point of view, but the intent of this letter is to offer you the lens and point of view of one individual family your rulings will affect.

Children who are placed in the care of foster systems throughout this nation have suffered from either the neglect or the abuse of their biological families. For all intents and purposes, we will call this deleterious parenting. Sadly my children were born into these circumstances. They further had statistics against them. The adoption rates of both African American children and sibling pairs (not to mention trios) are greatly reduced. When my husband and I looked at our options for growing our family, DC’s Child and Family Services Administration seemed to be our natural choice. We knew we wanted siblings, had no racial preference for our children, and living in the District were able to help our local community at the same time.

I do not want to go into too much detail of my childrens’ history for the sake of their privacy. When our children arrived we welcomed a five-year-old who was not potty trained, a two-year-old who was withdrawn, and an almost two-year-old who never learned to walk. Please understand that there were no biological impediments to the development of these children. Their situation was entirely brought on by deleterious parenting. Since their arrival our children quickly graduated from the need of any additional services to include physical, speech, and play therapy. They are now happy and active members of their community.

I do not tell you these facts to paint ourselves as the saviors of these children. These children have done more for us than we have for them. Having the extraordinary privilege of watching these childrens’ souls grow and thrive despite the obstacles placed before them has been the lesson of our lives. I tell this story to establish myself as an expert witness to the effects of deleterious parenting. As you prepare your response on Proposition 8 and DOMA you now have the opportunity to decide what further obstacles will face these children. What are the deleterious effects your decision will have on my children? What states within our nation can these children live in and still declare their family legal? Next year during tax season will their parents have to hire a CPA to determine who and how to list the children as dependents? When the first of their parents passes away will their family’s assets and property be preserved and passed between parents as a married family or be treated as legal strangers?

I am not naive enough to think that any verdict of your court will change the opinions or hearts of the individuals we encounter on a daily basis. I accept that the stares our family receives walking down the street on a daily basis elicits both judgment and inspiration. What I do not accept is that the United States of America is willing to devalue my childrens’ family more than others and have a separate grouping of laws and benefits. I pray that as you rule on these cases that you keep Cardel (6), Raine (4), and Ravyn (3) in your hearts and do all in your power to keep deleterious obstacles from their lives.

Respectfully Yours,

Jack Montgomery

 

A Condensed (and hilarious) Version of the SCOTUS Arguments on Prop 8

SCOTUS

Don’t have the time to read the full transcripts of the SCOTUS Prop 8 oral arguments?  You’re in luck.  Courtney Milan has made a “Truncated Transcript”.  It is very funny helps us read between the lines of Tuesday’s historic event.

Among my favorites:

BREYER: I’m going to ask you an extremely long question riddled with nonspecific nouns, and you’re going to have to guess what I mean by it.

COOPER: I’m pretty sure the answer is no? But let’s stop talking about whether I should be allowed to talk, and get on to what I’m going to be talking about. Which is: nostalgia. Nostalgia for the good old days of traditional, bedrock values. Man, back in 1971, this Court said there was no federal question as to same-sex marriage. Those were the fuckingdays.

GINSBURG: The Supreme Court hadn’t even recognized gender-based classifications then.

COOPER: Are you harshing on my nostalgia?

FANTASY GINSBURG: I was alive back then, and trust me, I am not feeling particularly nostalgic for the time.

And…

COOPER: Traditional bedrock of society. Let me say the words traditional and bedrock a couple more times. It’s really all about the tradition. And the nostalgia. The tradition of marriage is one of rearing children together, you know. And we don’t want to disrupt society by making marriage about anything else, like love or affection between two adults.

SCALIA: Tell me, Counsel. Gay marriage: Bad for children, or the worst for children?

COOPER: We really don’t know. Gay marriage is so new. We have no evidence. It could be that gay marriage will cause aliens to descend on this planet and eat the flesh of all children under the age of sixteen. Or maybe not. We just don’t know. We have to think of the children.

KENNEDY: This is extremely persuasive to me.

The whole thing is here and definitely worth your time.

 

Watch: Old People Marriage!

Watch this hilarious ad from The Daily Dolt

say no to gray marriage

“Put ‘em up! put ‘em up!” Is the Supreme Court Cowardly?

20130327-081856.jpg

In Maureen Dowd’s column, she discussing the reluctant justices from yesterday’s oral arguments on Prop 8.

If this court doesn’t reject bigotry, history will reject this court.

Read the column here

Supreme Court Hears Both Sides on Same-Sex Marriage

Breaking News! CNN brings us the latest update as the Supreme Court hears both sides on same-sex marriage. An excerpt of the CNN article is below.

Washington (CNN) — As partisans argued pointedly over same-sex marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court building, either hoping for or dreading a landmark decision, justices inside seemed reluctant Tuesday to extend a sweeping constitutional right for gays and lesbian to wed in all 50 states.

In the first of two days of hearings on cases that have the potential to fundamentally alter how American law treats marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy — considered the likely deciding vote on the divided court — questioned whether justices should even be hearing the issue.

“This was a deeply divided Supreme Court, and a court that seemed almost to be groping for an answer here,” said CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who watched the arguments over California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage.

Voters approved the proposal 52% to 48% in November 2008, less than six months after the state Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a fundamental right that must be extended to same-sex couples.

The court will listen to arguments Wednesday on a separate challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which — like the California law — defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

The overriding legal question in the California case is whether the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection under the law prevents states from defining marriage as that state has.

Regarding allowing same-sex couples to marry, Justice Elena Kagan, a liberal member of the court, asked, “What harm is there to the institution of marriage?”

But more conservative members of the court took a go-slow approach. Justice Samuel Alito said the law on same-sex marriage is too new.

“There isn’t a lot of data on its effect” on children and the institution of marriage, he said.

While the justices were clearly torn on the larger constitutional questions, they may be poised to dismiss the appeal on jurisdictional grounds.

A key question is whether the private citizens who put Proposition 8 on California’s ballot have standing to defend it in court when the state’s governor and attorney general have refused to do so.

If the court dismisses the appeal on those grounds, it might mean lower federal court rulings declaring the proposition unconstitutional would stand.

But it wouldn’t allow for a broader, final rule outlining the power of states to say who can or can’t get married.
Kennedy admitted the law’s supporters are “not just any citizens.”

But he later raised concerns about whether the possibility of same-sex marriage was enough to establish they had suffered harm, a key jurisdictional hurdle allowing them to appeal in the first place.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said it is the state’s responsibility — through its elected leaders — to defend laws in court, and that private individuals could not establish “how their injury was separate from everyone else.”

Attorneys who represented the two couples seeking to overturn Proposition 8 said they couldn’t tell how the court would rule.

“We are confident where the American people are going with this,” said Theodore Olson. “We don’t know for sure what the United States Supreme Court is going to do, but we’re very, very grateful they listened, they heard, they asked hard questions, and there’s no denying where the right is.”

Andrew Pugno, general counsel for the Protect Marriage Coalition, the group defending Proposition 8, said their attorney had “credibly presented the winning case for marriage.”

“We think the hearing went very well,” he told reporters.

Two of the key plaintiffs are Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, a Burbank, California, couple who want to marry but can’t because of Proposition 8. They say the state is discriminating against them for their sexuality.
“It’s as simple as that,” Katami said after the hearing. “It’s our constitutional right and I cannot wait to start my family with Jeff.”

The court is unlikely to announce its decision until June.

Read the full article from CNN here.

How Did We Get Here? DOMA’s Journey to the SCOTUS

DOMA/s Journey

 

via United for Marriage

Ethos Equality Fund for LGBT Elders

Issues for elders are numerous and the challenges facing LGBT elders are even more so.

Take a peek at the Ethos Equality Fund for LGBT Elders, or read more about the organization below.

Today, few groups age with more challenges than lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs). Less likely to be partnered, more likely to be childless and too often estranged from their own families, LGBTs face significant barriers to healthy aging. Isolation, depression, substance abuse, and suicide are major risks.

The challenge of LGBT aging is one Ethos has eagerly taken on. A co-founder of the LGBT Aging Project, it is proud of its work helping LGBTs age with dignity and respect and has been a leader in addressing LGBT issues, namely:

-the first eldercare agency in the state to go through LGBT staff training,
-the first to open LGBT-friendly elder lunch sites,
-the first to offer LGBT-friendly volunteers, and
-the first to host support groups for LGBT caregivers, as well as those grieving the loss of loved ones.

While other mainstream aging services organizations in the state may finally be embracing the challenge, no other has shown as much leadership on LGBT issues as Ethos. We are also painfully aware of how much more needs to be done:

-more venues for older LGBTs to socialize and learn,
-more support for stressed-out and grieving LGBT caregivers,
-more LGBT-trained home care aides and personal care attendants,
-more support for LGBTs aging with HIV/ AIDS, and
-more safe LGBT-affirming housing opportunities are all desperately needed.

The announcement of the launch of the Ethos Equality Fund on Thursday, February 16th, 2012 will take place at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, where we’ll be screening the award-winning documentary Gen Silent (filmed in Boston.) The Fund will be a resource to initiate, improve and expand aging services for LGBTs throughout greater Boston and will mark a significant step-forward for equality for older LGBTs and their caregivers.

Determining life’s final course should be a question of choice, not sexual orientation or gender identity.

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