Video: Clergy for Marriage Equality in MD

A great video from prominent clergy in Maryland arguing that CIVIL marriage is “right, just and fair.”  They debunk the myth spread by the bigots on the right that churches would be required to perform same-sex marriages.  That has never been the case… churches in this country have always discriminated and will always be allowed to discriminate.   But the government should not be allowed to.

 

Video: Marriage News Watch for 10-15-12

Anti-gay lies continue… Polling shows growing support… Obama Administration eases deportation on married bi national couples… and France may have marriage equality in 2 weeks!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG1zdE9PCcg&feature=g-user-u

Wonderful Wedding Video

Robert and Nathaniel know how to throw a wedding… an somebody put together a killer video.  Love the see the love!

Maine Firefighters Support Marriage Equality

This fall, Maine voters will decide whether or not to allow same sex couples equal rights in the state.  These firefighters, weigh in on the side of equality.

These kinds of ads are so important.  They show people that men in traditionally “macho” jobs really don’t care if someone is gay.  They care about getting the job done.  My dad was a captain on the Denver Fire Department for 25 years.  I know he would have felt the same way.

Watch: AFER Video re: Prop 8 and SCOTUS

Matt Baum discusses the cases being considered by the Supreme Court as well as two other cases being heard in lower courts.

Am I Better Off Now? – Post two

Last week I posted about whether I was better off now than I was four years ago as a gay man.  You can read that post here.  The answer was an absolute “yes”.  Now I need to really look at my live from a financial standpoint and ask the same question.

Am I better off now financially than I was 4 years ago?

The first area to look at is income.  I am a private practice speech-language pathologist working with disabled children in their homes.  I have recently started a greeting card business, but that is still in the start-up phase, so we’ll take that out of the equation.

My income is approximately the same.  I got divorced in 2010, but I was paying my ex-wife the same alimony and child support as I was in 2008, when we were legally separated.  So although my taxable income is less since my ex-wife and I no longer file jointly, the overall income between the two of us is the same.  My husband’s income from his part-time job is about the same as well.  As a foreign student here from Canada on a student visa, he is only allowed to work 20 hours, which works out well since he is in school full-time.

Tax rates have not changed, thanks to President Obama fighting to keep taxes low until the economy has improved.

My outflow has increased because my daughter has started college, but my child growing up cannot be blamed on any political party.  My husband’s tuition has increased, but that tends to happen regardless of the economy.  So my outflow is more, but not because of any one policy.

Taxes – Here’s where I have an issue.  Before 2011, I filed jointly with my ex-wife.  Now, because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law the  Obama administration has refused to defend because it is unconstitutional (as has been found by numerous federal judges), I am not allowed to file jointly with my lawfully wedded husband.  I understand that, since there is a constitutional amendment in Colorado, my marriage cannot be recognized here, but state taxes impact me far less than federal taxes.  Because we cannot file jointly, I miss out on many deductions afforded straight married couples, including claiming Michael’s tuition and medical expenses (he had a serious surgery in 2011 which has been a huge out of pocket expense).  I cannot even claim him as a dependent.  Basically, even though we have a valid marriage license from the state of New York, we are treated by the government as complete strangers.

The impact on my personal taxes in 2011 was huge.  Can I blame Obama for that?  No.  Who can I blame?  John Boehner and the other GOP leaders who are using large sums of tax payer money to defend a law that is, according to liberal and conservative justices alike, based solely on animus toward the LGBT community.

So I guess overall I am not better off than I was four years ago, but be sure I will never vote for someone who not only does not recognize my rights as an American citizen, but has pledged to the religious right that he will do everything in his power to make sure that those rights are denied by a Constitutional Amendment.  Do we really need a leader who wants to right discrimination into our constitution?  I sure don’t.

Marriage News Watch – September 10, 2012

Baltimore Sun Calls Out the Lies of Antigay Arguments

The Baltimore Sun published a great opinion peace that spells out the lies, misinformation and scare tactics anti gay opponents have used forever.  This is great that their lies are being exposed.

“The opponents are resorting to spurious arguments to convince voters that the law will somehow be unfair to those with objections to gay marriages because they don’t want to face the real question of fairness at stake. Should the law treat people differently because of their sexual orientation? Or should everyone be treated equally? Maryland’s gay marriage ordinance doesn’t require anyone to violate their religious beliefs or personal conscience. As much as we hope the debate over this issue will persuade everyone in the state of the value of acceptance and tolerance, the law doesn’t force anyone to change the way they think. All it does is to remove a major vestige of discrimination from state law, and that is something all Marylanders should be able to support.”

 

It’s a great article… check it out here.

Video: Marriage News Watch for August 27th, 2012

Proposition 8 Plaintiffs Ask Supreme Court to Not Hear Case

 

The Plaintiffs in the case against Proposition 8, the law prohibiting same sex marriage in California, have filed a brief withthe Supreme Court asking them to not hear the case, according to the Advocate.  Lower courts have ruled that the law is unconstitutional as it is based on “animus” (or prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will)  towards gays.  If the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, the lower courts decisions stand, and the law will be reversed, making same sex marriages legal in California.

In part the brief states, “”The Ninth Circuit found that eliminating the ability of gay and lesbian couples to have their relationships designated as marriages — and relegating them to separate and unequal domestic partnerships — achieves nothing except the marginalization of gay and lesbian individuals and their relationships, and therefore cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”  The brief was written by ” plaintiffs’ attorneys Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, who famously argued against each other in the Bush v. Gore case in 2000.

A review of the case so far can be found here.

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