April 2, 2014
Harvey Milk Stamp
A black-and-white photograph of Harvey Milk (1930-78) will be used for the central design of the forthcoming United States commemorative forever stamp honoring the San Francisco political figure and gay rights activist.
The stamp will be issued on Harvey Milk Day, May 22, in a location or locations yet to be determined. Both Washington, D.C., and San Francisco are potential first-day cities.
U.S. Postal Service officials announced the stamp subject in October 2013 but have not formally revealed the image.
The stamp design includes the pride flag colors as six different color squares stacked vertically in the upper left corner.
The stamp is likely to be issued in a pane of 20.
March 29, 2014
Layer After Layer Of Stupid - Kind Of Like An Onion
Edward Farrell is the Vice Mayor of Maricopa, Arizona. His little bio there indicates he moves among civic leaders, so I suspect he reads a newspaper once in awhile and can turn on a TV, even if it's only to find Fox News. Nevertheless, he's got some apologizing and backpedaling to do. He says he did not know that The Onion is a satirical website. (If all of my readers would take a few minutes to email every one of their electeds with just a short message telling them that they should believe nothing they read on The Onion a lot of potential embarrassment could be avoided.) Also, he never heard of Fred Phelps until he died. (That one is pretty much beyond belief.)
Which is how he happened to write on his Facebook with a link to The Onion "We need more Fred Phelps in this world. May you rest in peace sir."
He went on to say "I am just having a hard time with all of this gay and lesbian rights thing. It has never been an issue until these kind of people made it an issue."
Yeah, and we could've avoided the Civil War if those negroes hadn't been such whiners.
Mr. Farrell assures us he has "many, many gay and lesbian friends." Usually the defense is more like "some of my best friends are gay/Jewish/black/Muslim/Communist spies" or whatever. I think it becomes double-double homophobia when you insist you have "many, many."
This just in: The Pinal County English Majors & Fascists Alliance is considering charging him with run-on-sentence-ism: "What just irritates me the most is when these 10% want to change the law through the constitution that our founding fathers made before us with the fear of God in all of their hearts, souls, and minds while making these laws….if I have offended anyone, please accept my apologies, that was not my intent at all." I believe the complete quote ended with either "Amen" or "Play ball!"
March 28, 2014
Marriage Comes To England And Wales
Equal rights for gay couples came to England and Wales about 2½ hours ago as I write this. If this BBC article is fair and representative then we can say that Brits get a lot more dressed up for their marriages than Americans do. A BBC survey shows that 20% of Britons would turn down an invitation to a gay wedding. Useless information until we get more data (or an odds maker) to tell us what are the realistic chances any of those 20% would ever be invited to a gay wedding.
March 25, 2014
The Seeds Of Ignorance Sprout Quickly
The thugs that have been allowed free rein to attack gay people in Russia have a little difficulty distinguishing between a gay identity and an Irish identity. But they resolve that confusion by beating the shit out of whoever is handy.
This is a flash mob of students forming up in Irkutsk on St. Patrick's Day. People wearing kilts and green shirts must be gay, right? The police said "The Easy School members were wearing historic costumes, particularly kilts and their opponents mistook them for representatives of non-traditional sexual orientation."
March 22, 2014
Michiganders Rush To Get Married
Some Michigan county clerks opened for business today and the info I got about a 3-day waiting period must have been wrong, because more than 200 couples got married. 323 licenses were issued until the Sixth Circuit issued a short stay that will last until Wednesday. So now Michigan's position is even more like Utah's. Some are married. There's a stay. There are people with licenses who have yet to marry.
March 21, 2014
Still Can't Get Stoned In New York
The ATLAH World Missionary Church in Brooklyn put the following message on their sign:
Jennifer Louise Lopez saw that and dutifully brought herself in to be stoned. It went like this:
If you're curious, it is explained that God spoke to Pastor Manning and told him that the new name for Harlem would be "ATLAH." It means "the land where the people shall walk barefoot, because the land is holy ground."
Michigan Going The Way Of Utah?
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman issued his decision today that Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. As in Utah no stay was issued. Unlike Utah, the decision was announced after 5 PM, so most county clerk's offices were already closed. Expect lines on Monday morning.
Michigan's Attorney General will ask for a stay. The decision didn't address a stay, so I would assume the defendants didn't request one. Whether this was due to incompetence, as in Utah, or some other reason, I can't say
If you want to read the full decision, click here.
For the first time since Judge Vaughan Walker's decision overturning Prop 8, the judge insisted on a trial of the facts; i.e., prove that it will harm children, prove that it will harm opposite-sex marriages. The couple who filed the case are raising three children, so the opponents would have had to prove that it was better that those children be raised in a household with unmarried parents, while all other children do better in households with married parents. It's a tricky balancing act that the opponents of same-sex marriage have practiced often, but always failed at.
I've temporarily lost count. How many states/districts/territories does this make now?
UPDATE: Rumor comes that some county clerk's re-opened their offices. One reader says Michigan has a 3-day waiting period, so the state could act quickly enough to prevent any actual marriages from occurring, if the judicial system is also so inclined.
This report says that the Attorney General has appealed the ruling the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, meaning every state in the Sixth Circuit has a same-sex marriage decision on appeal. That would be Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan.
March 20, 2014
I imagine Nike and Kansas State briefly thought about initiating some sort of legal process against Phelps and quickly decided to let it go.
March 19, 2014
You may recall that when Illinois approved same-sex marriage three Republicans in the state House crossed party lines and voted along with the Democrats for the approval. Did heads roll? No. In yesterday's primary all three won. One is running for Treasurer, but the two others ran for re-election in their districts. In one race the margin of victory is less than 200 votes, so it may go to a recount.
March 13, 2014
Wall Street Journal's View Of Same Sex Marriage
"I can have whatever ring I want on my finger," says Douglas Marshall, a writer in New York whose fiancé gave him an emerald-cut diamond engagement ring with tapered baguettes, set in platinum, in December 2013. "My ring is nicer than some of my girlfriends' [rings]," he says.
"A survey by gay and lesbian market-research firm Community Marketing Inc. and the Gay Wedding Institute of about 1,000 same-sex couples found that 66% of female and 19% of male same-sex couples purchased engagement rings."
The article specifically mentions Mervis Diamonds where you can find this page where they say "At Mervis Diamonds, we proudly serve the gay community. We live to connect those in love, no matter what your preferences are." They are, however, not so proud as to make that page available by following links on their website. I could find it only by Googling for the word "gay" on their site. You can, however, get to the Why Mervis page where they say this:
Mervis Diamond Importers is a third generation family business founded on old -fashioned values. When you shop with us, you’ll be treated warmly and respectfully. You’re more than a client — you’re a member of the Mervis Diamond family.
Mervis doesn't seem to mean it this way, but "family Values" is usually a code word for anti-gay policies.
What it boils down to is that Mervis is in the closet about selling to gay people.
I searched to see if I could find any news stories of jewelers refusing to do business with gay people and found none. If you know of any, give me a reference. The businesses that I do find refusing to do business with gay couples are bakeries (oh, lots of bakeries), photographers, wedding venues, limo services; IOW, generally smaller businesses.
Here's a page where you can read about the dilemma this poses for some people. Some imagine it might conflict with their religion to sell a car to a gay couple. The impression I get is that for some small business people the business is secondary to making a list of the sorts of people they don't have to be kind to. If that's how they want to run their business that's fine, but I think they should start off their initial business transactions with a survey to find out if this potential new customer is gay, or has ever had an abortion, or thought impure thoughts, or whatever the business owner has as screening criteria. This avoids the discomfort and embarrassment of discovering this essential information later in the process after commitments have been made.
On websites like that one, analogies will be made to inter-racial couples or to couples engaging in kinky sex or pornography. Why, I wonder, do they never address how they resolve the issue of doing business with Jews, atheists or Muslims? Those people deny the divinity of Christ, and I would expect that to be a much greater offense than any of the other everyday stuff they talk about.