Defending the Long Gay Line

February 3, 2010

by Maureen Dowd | New York Times

I’ve had high hopes for Adm. Mike Mullen ever since I learned that his mom was an assistant to Jimmy Durante and his dad was a Hollywood press agent whose clients included Bob Hope, Ann-Margret, Phyllis Diller, Jimmy Stewart, Carol Burnett and Dyan Cannon.

That’s the dream U.S.O. tour.

On Tuesday, the craggy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff showed that a lifetime in the military has not knocked all the showbiz pizazz out of him.

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Less Than Two Weeks

January 7, 2010

New York Times editorial

After weeks of maneuvering and delay, the New Jersey State Senate will finally vote on Thursday on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. The Senate needs to approve the bill, and the General Assembly needs to follow — quickly. Gov. Jon Corzine has pledged to sign the legislation into law; his soon-to-be-successor, Gov.-elect Christopher Christie, has vowed to veto it. The transfer of power takes place in less than two weeks on Jan. 19.

Polls show that a majority of New Jersey’s citizens accept the idea of same-sex marriage. There also is wide agreement that New Jersey’s current civil union law does not live up to the standard of equal protection mandated in 2006 by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

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U.S. Job Site Bans Bias Over Gender Identity

January 6, 2010

by Brian Knowlton | New York Times

The Obama administration has inserted language into the federal jobs Web site explicitly banning employment discrimination based on gender identity.

The protection is expected to apply to the small transgender population — people who identify their gender differently from the information on their birth certificates — and it merely formalizes what had been increasingly unchallenged government practice over several years.

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Hate Begets Hate

January 5, 2010

New York Times editorial

Uganda’s government, which has a shameful record of discrimination against gay men and lesbians, is now considering legislation that would impose the death sentence for homosexual behavior. The United States and others need to make clear to the Ugandan government that such barbarism is intolerable and will make it an international pariah.

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Gay Candidates Get Support That Causes May Not

December 28, 2009

by James C. McKinley Jr. | New York Times

When an openly gay woman won the mayor’s race here this month, it was the latest in a string of victories by gay candidates across the country, a trend that seems to contradict the bans on same-sex marriage that have been passed in most states in recent years.

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Houston Is Largest City to Elect Openly Gay Mayor

December 14, 2009

by James C. McKinley, Jr. | New York Times

photo of Annise Parker by David J. Phillip/AP

Houston became the largest city in the United States to elect an openly gay mayor on Saturday night, as voters gave a solid victory to the city controller, Annise Parker.

Cheers and dancing erupted at Ms. Parker’s campaign party as her opponent, fellow Democrat Gene Locke, a former city attorney, conceded defeat just after 10 p.m. when it became clear he could not overcome her lead.

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New Jersey’s Marriage Moment

November 30, 2009

New York Times editorial

There can come a moment in a politician’s career when doing the right thing requires summoning the courage to buck strong voter sentiment. The drama over same-sex marriage in a lame-duck session of the New Jersey State Legislature is not that kind of moment.

Doing the right thing — promptly enacting legislation discarding inadequate civil unions in favor of full marriage equality for same-sex couples — requires no gargantuan amount of courage or risk-taking on the part of rank-and-file New Jersey legislators or their leaders.

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The Church and the Capital

November 23, 2009

New York Times editorial

Gay people will eventually win full civil rights — including the right to marry — throughout the United States. Between now and then, there will be many more disputes like the one unfolding between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and the District of Columbia City Council over a bill recognizing same-sex marriages that could be voted on as soon as next week.

City lawmakers who are negotiating with the archdiocese over the language of the bill should try to settle it without acrimony — but not by abandoning the District’s equal-rights tradition or by selling out same-sex couples.

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Seven Tips For Dissolving Gay Unions

November 18, 2009

by Tara Siegel Bernard | New York Times

In a previous post, we talked about the problems that same-sex couples may face if they decide to untie their various legal knots — whether they’re married, part of a civil union or in a registered domestic partnership.

When a heterosexual married couple splits, they have access to divorce court and are entitled to the tax-free division of their property. With gay couples, that’s not necessarily the case. Depending on where they live, they may not have access to divorce court. Even if they do, they may face higher costs because their unions aren’t recognized by the federal government.

So we asked several experts on same-sex issues what gay couples need to think about before legally partnering, and what they’ll probably need to consider should they decide to split.

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Changing Your Name After Marriage When You’re Gay

November 17, 2009

by Jennifer Saranow Schultz | New York Times

While changing a name after marriage can often be a struggle for heterosexual women and men, it’s a lot harder if you’re gay.

Couples who live in states that don’t allow or recognize same-sex marriage or its equivalents (civil unions, for instance) generally can’t just rely on a marriage certificate as proof of a name change and instead have to go through the in-court name change process. This means they will have to pay a $100 to $400 fee to file a petition at court, publish a notice in a local newspaper and get a court order officially changing their name and that they can use to change everything else (just one more area where being gay can cost you more).

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