Thursday, June 23, 2011

New York marriage equality vote is now at the crux of history

 Editor's note - Dear readers, I wrote this Thursday night but I feel that because of what it says, it should stay as the main blog post of attention for at least a few more hours, with a few alterations of course.

In a huge shocker,last night's all night NY Senate session, in which marriage equality was possibly going to be decided, has been reconvened until tomorrow morning.

There were several explanations given for this, but none of them matter.

We are now at a point that marriage equality in New York has to be voted on because after over a week, this situation has reached epic proportions.

A yes for marriage equality vote would have been historic in itself. But the fact that the Republican led NY Senate has stalled and stalled on this bill for over a week - for whatever reason be it religious exemptions or otherwise - has now given this vote a page in American gay history

What will the end result be? Marriage equality in New York was approved or marriage equality in New York was voted down after over a week of suspicious stalling by the NY Republican party?

Those are the two choices regarding the stories which will be told to future generations. And for the NY Republican Party, there is no third choice.

We are now at the point where actualities and technicalities don't matter.

Because of what happened just now, marriage equality in New York must be voted on in this session.

I'm personally hoping that it will be approved and in all honesty, it would be in the best interest of the NY Republican party that this be the case.

Votes come and go, but a reputation for shadiness (whether earned or unfairly given) will stay with you forever.

And trust me when I say that neither history nor the lgbtq community will not forget the ongoing proceedings. Neither history nor the lgbtq community will forget the nervous waiting, the burst of optimism at positive rumors that the vote is coming soon, nor the despair over negative rumors that the vote has been delayed over and over and over again.

The National Organization for Marriage isn't going to be able to throw enough sugar over these proceedings to make them palpable should marriage equality fail to pass. My guess is that the organization itself will be running for cover over the negative publicity after a while.

So the question now to the Republicans  in the NY Senate is a simple one - how do you want history to remember you?

Lastly, I want to send a message to my lgbtq brothers and sisters in New York.  Don't give up. Don't give in to frustration or anger. Lgbtqs throughout history have faced great odds and have persevered. It is the stock we are made of. We sacrificed ourselves to bring down  mighty armies in Ancient Greece. Our genius helped to save the world during World War 2, our organizational skills brought together one of the greatest marches in the history of United States in 1963. And a whole bunch of us, considered outcasts by so-called normal society, taught the country how to stand up and be counted in a little corner bar in New York during the summer of 1969.

We are a people who have endured so much, whether they be lies under the guise of religion or blows struck at us in wanton hate.

But the one thing we aren't are quitters. Don't start now. You will win this by the strength of your endurance and the capacity of your love.

Never give up.

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Maggie Gallagher greets St. Peter at the Pearly Gates

Not surprising, we didn't get a "we shall overcome" moment from President Obama during his speech. And meanwhile, the argument over the marriage equality vote in NY still continues.

But let's have a break from the tension with a little levity from the following video. It's meant to showcase the hypocritical stances of Maggie Gallagher and the National Organization for Marriage:

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The hard lesson behind Obama's 'evolution'

Word has come down that during his speech tonight in front of lgbtq donors, President Obama will address the situation regarding the New York marriage equality bill.

However, the rumors continue, that it will not be a forceful mention. Already some of us wanting marriage equality is calling whatever he may say to be a failure.

As for myself, seeing how rumors flew around the NY vote this week, I will reserve judgement until I hear what exactly he will say.

However, if Obama's words exactly as milquetoast as some are predicting, color me not surprise.

It's not really a knock against Obama but just a hard lesson that many of us - whether we be lgbtq or not - should remember when it comes to historical figures, especially those who become president.

Eisenhower is remembered for calling the troops to enforce desegregation in Little Rock, AK after the Supreme Court decision. But he did so after Governor Orval Faubus laid down the gauntlet by disrespecting his power as president.

Kennedy is remembered for Camelot. However his record on civil rights protections for African-Americans isn't really that strong. Also, it is rumored that had he not been assassinated, he was going to distance himself from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Johnson is remembered for his steadfast pushing of civil rights legislation. However, he did try to sabotage the testimony of Fannie Lou Hamer during the 1964 Democratic convention when she spoke on how the Democratic party in her stae was violently disenfranchising African-Americans.

And even Robert F. Kennedy, who will always be remembered for what he could have accomplished as president had he not been murdered, was the same fellow who, as U.S. attorney general, allowed FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap Dr. King.

The point is this - those elected president do so with lofty rhetoric about soaring on eagles' shoulders.

When elected president, they tend to find out that they have to tone it down a bit.

That's unfortunate but it is a fact of life.

So while I await to hear what Obama says, I fully support those of us who merely seek to remind him of the hope and change he helped us believe in.

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Tyree pulls the 'won't someone think of the children' card and other Thursday midday news briefs

Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson breaks it down rather nicely on Anderson Cooper on CNN

Meanwhile . . .

David Tyree: ‘I Don’t Want My Kids To Think Homosexuals Are Normal’ - David Tyree continues to make himself look as bigoted as he claims he isn't. Pulling the "teaching children that homosexuality is normal, ergo recruiting children" card, David? Tacky, tacky, tacky. Tyree thinks that his children are more important than the children in same-sex households. That's just wrong.

Related post: White supremacist praises David Tyree on anti-gay marriage stance

GLAAD Board Announces Resignation of President Jarrett Barrios and Board Member Troup Coronado - They both needed to go.

NY Senate Repubs. meeting today to decide if marriage equality bill will get a vote - Keep prayers consistent and fingers crossed.

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Catholic Church declaring full scale WAR on marriage equality

 As we wait on the marriage equality vote in New York, we remember the words of MLK - "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice."

I'm all for that, but why does it have to take doggone long!

One thing missing from the fight over marriage equality in New York is the how the New York State Catholic Conference feels about the negotiations going on about religious exemptions. According to the New York Daily News, they have not seen the language of the bill and are being left out of negotiations.

Naturally they aren't happy over it:

"Obviously, this is an issue of grave import to the Catholic Church," said Catholic Conference spokesman Dennis Poust. "Were this bill to pass, we would need protection in order to continue our ministries. We raised the issue, and now it seems like we've been cut out of the loop."

With all due respect to the NY State Catholic Conference, they shouldn't be involved because they don't like marriage equality in the first place. Any move they make would most likely be to sabotage negotiations.

Meanwhile, according to Andy Birkey of The Colorado Independent, regardless of what happens in New York, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are preparing to hit against marriage equality with huge amount of its resources:

Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of the Subcommittee for the Defense of Marriage said the Roman Catholic church would push back in the war of “language,” which he said same-sex marriage proponents were winning with words like “hate” and “equality.” The church is planning a video campaign in both English and Spanish, and its efforts have already been felt in states like Minnesota where the church was successful in getting an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot.

“Strategies of language are crucial here, and what we see happening in the marriage debate with terms such as ‘equality’ is similar to the manipulation of language found in the pro-abortion rhetoric of ‘choice,’” Bishop Cordileone said at the Bellvue, Wash., conference.

Cordileone, who was appointed to the Subcommittee for the Defense of Marriage in January, says the church plans to increase production of a series of videos intended to change Catholics’ minds on same-sex marriage.

“To be considered and labeled a ‘bigot’ or ‘discriminator’ by the government and by law has serious implications for the religious liberty of both institutions and individuals and their freedom of conscience,” he said. “The video will seek to demythologize popular claims and call attention to what is really at stake.”

That video, “Made for Freedom,” is part of a five-part video project by the church. The first is “Marriage: Unique for a Reason,” which was produced last fall. Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis used that video in an anti–gay marriage DVD package that was sent to 800,000 Minnesota Catholics just before the 2010 election.

The Colorado Independent said that "elements" of this video has already appeared in Minnesota:

Pastor Sergio Choy of Ministerio Evangelistico Mundial Maranatha in Bloomington testified at the House Rules Committee. He said, “To redefine marriage is like trying to redefine water. Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, and marriage is made up of one man and one woman.”

That line is very similar to the DVD created by the Catholic Church. In it, a husband said that the marriage of a man and a woman is like water, “two completely different things, like hydrogen and oxygen, and combining them to make water, something entirely new, unique.”

This is a dangerous new development - not for the lgbtq community, but to the Catholic Church. There are already rumors as to just how deeply is the Catholic Church involved in the efforts of the anti-gay group,  the National Organization for Marriage, and whether this involvement is the reason as to why NOM fights so hard to keep from disclosing its funding sources.

The Catholic Church is playing fire by courting potentially devastating publicity. Does it really want to be seen as a less of a body of Christ and more of an ominous force out to deprive millions of families of their rights and protections as Americans?

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