The 4 most important Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender news stories of the week ending December 30, 2012.
1. Marriage Equality The Law In Maine and Maryland Is NextMaine's marriage equality law took effect at the stroke of midnight on December 29th, 2012, and LGBT couples throughout the state waited in line to apply for their marriage licenses, so that they could legally be married.
The voter approved marriage equality ballot measure was approved by Maine voters on November 6th, 2012, as voters in Maryland and Washington state, passed similar measures. Washington state’s marriage equality law took effect December 9th, 2012., and Maryland’s is effective January 1st, 2013.
The Associated Press described the excitement:
In Portland, the mood was festive with the crowd cheering and horns sounding at midnight as Bridges and Snell began filling out paperwork in the clerk's office in Portland City Hall. There were free carnation boutonnieres and cupcakes, and a jazz trio played.Congratulations to those who worked so hard on the campaigns for equality in Washington state, Maryland, Maine, and Minnesota.
Outside, the raucous group that gathered in front of the building cheered Bridges and Snell as if they were rock stars and broke into the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love."
Fourteen couples received marriage licenses, and five of them married on the spot, a city spokeswoman said. Many of those who received their marriage license were middle-aged, and some said they never envisioned a day when gay couples could wed just like straight couples.
"I came out years ago and the only thing we wanted was to not get beaten up," said Steven Jones, 50, who married his partner, Jamous Lizotte, on his 35th birthday.
To the couples getting married and making history, BRAVO! You are brave pioneers and trailblazers. Be proud and stand tall, and know that you have the love and support of the LGBT community that stretches from coast to coast.
2. Pope Benedict XVI reaffirms his commitment to homophobia and unequal rights.Pope Benedict XVI made inflammatory remarks about marriage equality that fanned the flames of homophobia, and was roundly criticized in the press.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell attacked the Pope and his misguided and troubling remarks about marriage equality, and the LGBT community around the world (video below).
Clare King of MSNBC.com writes:
[The Pope believes] same-sex couples are fundamentally different because they cannot biologically reproduce. But MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell points out that “the Vatican sees nothing wrong with heterosexual couples who cannot biologically reproduce getting married.”
O’Donnell states that the Vatican, full of “guys who have taken a lifetime vow to remain tragically ignorant about marriage” is wrong again, not only on gay marriage, but also about socialism.
Naomi O'Leary writing for Reuters, described a protest by LGBT activists in Vatican City.
A group of demonstrators protesting against the Roman Catholic Church's stance on homosexual marriage tried to enter St Peter's Square in the Vatican on Sunday as Pope Benedict was giving his weekly address to pilgrims.
The protesters - who were kept out of the square by police - were upset over a speech by the pontiff on Friday in which he appeared to include efforts to legalize gay marriage among the threats to peace in the world.
"We find intolerable the assertion that gay unions are dangerous to the world. Weapons are much more dangerous," Gianfranco Mascia, 52, an activist who organized the protest told Reuters. "No to arms, yes to rights for everyone,.
The group of about 15 people held up signs reading "Gay unions don't harm peace, weapons do" in various languages.
As I wrote last week, the anti-gay pronouncements from the Vatican, and the anti-marriage equality message in L’Osservatore Romano , are incorrect and morally wrong on every level, and do not follow the example set by, or the loving spirit, of Jesus.
3. Professional Sports Teams Are Not Open To A Gay TeammateThe Los Angeles Times reporter Kevin Baxter takes a look at homophobia in professional sports. Professional gay athletes come out after their playing career is over, and Baxter implied that even with advances in LGBT civil rights and marriage equality, that there are many in pro sports who aren’t “ready” for an active professional gay male athlete to come out. His story is entitled “In pro sports, gay athletes still feel unwelcome.”
No active player in the NFL, NBA, major leagues or NHL has ever come out as gay. Some say it would be career ending. Others say it will happen someday.This is a story that needs to be told, and I’m confident that we will see progress sooner rather than later.
And it's not hard to see why. Even though public opposition to same-sex marriage and gay rights is rapidly eroding, the locker rooms and clubhouses of the country's four major sports leagues remain among the last bastions of homophobia in the U.S.
Consider the numbers. About 4,000 players spent time on active rosters in the NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball in 2012. With the best estimates of the gay/bisexual population in U.S. ranging from 2% to 10%, it's likely many of those 4,000 athletes are gay or bisexual.
Yet not one has come out of the closet. Not this year, not last year, not ever.
4. Republicans In Congress Tell American People to F*ck OffThe approaching “Fiscal Cliff” and Republicans obstructing a tax increase in Congress, as the GOP continues to thumb their nose at public sentiment, while willfully ignoring the will of the people,to raise taxes on individuals earning over $250K a year, is a strong signal that this political party doesn’t care about the people who are affected by their intransigence.
New members of Congress will be sworn in next week, and there is no indication that they will behave any differently in 2013.
Discrimination in our tax code, because the federal government does not recognize marriage equality, mandates that LGBT families pay more in taxes than heterosexual families. Married opposite-sex couples can file their income taxes jointly, while same-sex couples cannot.
Many in the LGBT community probably don’t think that what ‘s going on in Congress has any effect on our community, when it has a big impact on all of us.
I find it very difficult to understand why the GOP is insisting on draconian cuts to social programs right now. Why do they want to hurt the poor, and take food from the mouths of the hungry? The cuts to entitlement programs do NOT reduce our debt, it slows down growth., and that will cripple our economy.
Let your member of Congress know exactly how you feel about their inability to compromise. Though House Republicans are likely to say f*ck off. They’re pathetic.
© 2012 JIVEINTHE415.COM