Tussle Over Gay Marriage In Colombia Heats Up

I hope our sisters and brothers are ultimately triumphant in this matter.

WASHINGTON — Claudia Zea and Elizabeth Castillo’s September wedding in the Colombian city of Gachetá was a legal triumph. They were among the first to secure marriage licenses under an order of the Constitutional Court.

But now they, like all the Colombian same-sex couples who have secured marriage licenses in the past few months, are facing a special type of legal action to have their marriage annulled. And this legal counter-offensive is shaping up to be a referendum on the independence of the judiciary and its historic role of protecting the rights of minorities.

The legal vehicle gay marriage opponents are using is especially galling to Castillo, who is a lawyer. The method, known as an acción de tutela, which has no U.S. equivalent, is specifically intended to provide emergency relief to those who’s rights are violated — but in these cases is being turned on its head to reverse rights.

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Once Devout Mormons Lead Push To Change LDS Church Stance On Homosexuality

This is amazing! I’m so thrilled that the NALT movement seems to be sprouting up even in the most unlikely of places. I have a friend who is a Mormon and though she is about as unconventional as one might be within the LDS church, we don’t talk about my relationship at all. She knows I have a girlfriend, but that’s about it. It’s an interesting friendship, to be sure, but I’m very fond of her and we have a mutual respect that we both can live with.

I also remember meeting a girl online a few years back who was Mormon and a little more devout, yet she was bisexual and saw no problem with it. Probably because she and her boyfriend/husband (can’t remember which he was) were into the whole poly-marriage thing and she’d have plenty of ready partners all around. To each her own, I suppose.

SALT LAKE CITY — SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Wendy and Tom Montgomery went door-to-door in their California neighborhood in 2008 campaigning for the passage of an anti-gay marriage proposition. They were among thousands of faithful Mormons following the direction of a church that spent millions on the cause.

Then they learned last year that their 15-year-old son is gay — a revelation that rocked their belief system.

Now, Wendy Montgomery is leading a growing movement among Mormons to push The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to teach that homosexuality isn’t a sin.

They are hopeful. The Utah-based church’s stance on homosexuality has softened considerably since it was one of the leading forces behind California’s Proposition 8. A new website launched this year encourages more compassion toward gays, implores them to stay in the faith and clarifies that church leaders no longer “necessarily advise” gays to marry people of the opposite sex in what used to be a widely practiced Mormon workaround for homosexuality. In May, church leaders backed the Boy Scouts’ policy allowing gays in the ranks. Some gay Mormons who left or were forced out of the church say they are now being welcomed back — even though they remain in same-sex relationships.

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Think Pink

breast-cancer-ribbonI feel terrible that it’s the close of the 8th day of this month and I haven’t mentioned Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Unfortunately, breast cancer doesn’t care if you’re gay or straight. It also doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. Yes, men can and do get breast cancer, though obviously far less common than women do. According to the American Cancer Society, in this year alone, 2,240 men will be diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer. Of those, 410 will die.

Whether you’re gay or straight; male or female, we need to support all women (an any men) who may come to learn that they have breast cancer. With luck, they will discover it early enough to avoid the worst, but many won’t.

Do what you can to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The simplest way is to help raise money. Pink merchandise is available all month long, usually for just a few dollars, but those few dollars combined with the other monies raised will help.

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Let’s Talk About Sex

Don’t worry; this isn’t a post that will be NSFW by any means. It’s more of an observation about the ways in which we talk about sex – or don’t. The phrasing we use, if you will.

For the most part, I don’t talk about sex. It’s a private act between two individuals in love, or two total strangers. Either way, what goes on in my bedroom is no one’s business but mine and my girlfriend’s. By the same token, I don’t want to know what goes on in anyone else’s bedroom. That’s your private time, to be kept to yourself. To be honest I’ve even felt awkward about commenting on a photo of a male friend’s new bedroom even though I only commented because I was with him the day he bought his new bedding set.

I was scanning various articles on the Huffington Post’s website earlier and this headline caught my eye: TV’s Newest Hated Character. Curious, I clicked on the link. It’s about a television show I do not watch: ‘Homeland’, but based on the little I know about the show I didn’t think it would have any characters that people would come to hate so quickly. Apparently the character is a minor one, but whose presence is apparently over-done. This is the sentence which caught my eye:

Episode 2 of “Homeland” saw Dana running back to the boy she met in therapy and sleeping with him in the laundry room.

Sleeping with him in the laundry room, eh? We all know that sleeping is rarely involved, especially when sex happens in a laundry room of all places. But why can’t we simply state that they had sex in the laundry room? There’s no need to be explicit by any means, but I think it’s perfectly acceptable to say she had sex with him in the laundry room and leave it at that. Sleeping with someone is such a lame euphemism and I think we should be at a point here in the 21st century where we can state something simply and matter-of-factly without being graphic or explicit.

Just my opinion.

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Transgender Teenager, Crowned Homecoming King

Congrats to Mr Ramsey for his crowning and three cheers for his school mates who voted him in by a landslide. 🙂

In a historic moment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens everywhere, a transgender New Hampshire teen has been voted Homecoming King by a “landslide” victory at his local high school.

Concord High School’s first transgender student to receive the honor, Ray Ramsey took the royal title to the sound of thunderous applause and cheers from his friends and peers. According to the Concord Monitor, Ramsey’s father greeted him after he accepted the crown, taking Ramsey by the shoulders and looking him in the eye, saying, “I am so proud of you.”

Nominations for Homecoming Court at Concord High School function through individual clubs and organizations. Ramsey received his nomination through Tide Pride, the school’s outlet for LGBT students and allies.

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Kristin Chenoweth

This weekend I had the singular privilege to see one of the greatest singers of my generation performing live: Kristin Chenoweth.

She was here performing at the gala opening of our grand old theatre and it was magnificent. I thought it was going to be something serious where she came out in a lovely ball gown or something to sing songs. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. During the first song, she smacked the ass of the conductor. I knew it was going to be downhill from then on. She’s funny and naughty (not raunchy) with a voice that is just as amazing to hear live as it is on CD.

But for me the best part of the night was when she brought two guys up on stage, presumably to talk about their charity organization. It quickly turned into a marriage proposal which I thought was a beautiful thing, even though gay marriage isn’t legal in this state.

Kristin also took the time to express that she is a NALT Christian. The “engagement” that happened on stage was reportedly her third. And then she went on to explain her position on homosexuals: “I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I was told that being 4′-11″ was a sin. I mean this is the way God made me!” On the Wikipedia article, she’s reportedly described as a “non-judgmental liberal Christian.”

I love Kristin Chenoweth!!

 

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Father Disowns Daughter for Disowning Her Son

This is simply amazing. A man writes a scathing letter to his own daughter after learning she disowned her own son who revealed he is gay. I’m sharing the text of the letter below. Think I will also be adding FCKH8’s website to my links on the side. 🙂

Dear Christine,

I’m disappointed in you as a daughter. You’re correct that we have a “shame in the family”, but mistaken about what it is.

Kicking Chad out of your home simply because he told you he was gay is the real “abomination” here. A parent disowning her child is what goes “against nature.”

The only intelligent thing I heard you saying in all this was that “you didn’t raise your son to be gay.” Of course you didn’t. He was born this way and didn’t choose it any more than he being left-handed. You however, have made a choice of being hurtful, narrow-minded and backward. So, while we are in the business of disowning our children, I think I’ll take this moment to say goodbye to you. I now have a fabulous (as the gays put it) grandson to raise, and I don’t have time for heart-less B-word of a daughter.

If you find your heart, give us a call.

– Dad.

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First Openly Gay Circuit Court Judge Confirmed By Senate

Congratulations to Mr Todd Hughes for making history. Apparently no one opposed his confirmation. In this day and age with so much division in politics, this is a feat unto itself.

WASHINGTON — The Senate made history on Tuesday by voting to confirm Todd Hughes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Hughes, who was confirmed 98 to 0, is the nation’s first openly gay circuit judge. He has been a deputy director in the civil division of the Justice Department since 2007.

Unlike some of President Barack Obama’s other key judicial nominees — namely those for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — Hughes cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with a unanimous vote. With Hughes now confirmed, that leaves 13 judicial nominees awaiting Senate votes: two D.C. Circuit Court nominees and 11 district court nominees.

Many of those nominees will likely sail to confirmation after their votes in the Senate. But Republicans are holding up the votes, allowing them proceed at a pace of about one to two nominees per week, said a senior Democratic aide.

Before Obama came into office, the Senate used to clear the calendar of non-controversial judicial nominees at the end of every work period, said the aide, but Republicans “won’t do that anymore.”

Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), pushed back on the idea that Republicans are holding up anyone. Four of the 13 nominees were only reported out of committee last week, he said, and the others were reported out within two weeks of the August recess.

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Same-Sex Partners Of Federal Employees To Get Equal Benefits Under Bipartisan Bill

Never thought I’d see the word bipartisan used in the same sentence as same-sex partners.

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate is introducing legislation that would ensure that same-sex partners of federal employees — even those in domestic partnerships or civil unions — will receive the same benefits offered to heterosexual spouses.

The Senate version of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act is cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Baldwin is the first openly gay lawmaker elected to the Senate, and Collins is one of the few Republicans in Congress who supports legislation barring workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The House version of the legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). Ros-Lehtinen is a vocal advocate in her party for marriage equality.

The bipartisan measure would provide same-sex domestic partners of federal employees benefits open to heterosexual married couples, no matter what state they live in or whether they are able to be legally married in their home state.

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Labor Dept.: Same-sex spouses have benefit rights

More great news on the work front. 🙂

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legally married same-sex couples enjoy the same federal rights as other married couples when it comes to pensions, 401(k)s, health plans and other employee benefits, even if they live in states that don’t recognize their union, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The new guidance is the latest effort by the Obama administration to clarify questions left unanswered after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in June which invalidated part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The interpretation is consistent with a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service last month that legally married gay couples can file joint federal tax returns even if they reside in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages.

“This decision represents a historic step toward equality for all American families, and I have directed the department’s agency heads to ensure that they are implementing the decision in a way that provides maximum protection for workers and their families,” said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.

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