Justice Blocks Names in Gay Rights Ballot Measure

October 19, 2009

by Matthew Daly | Associated Press

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has temporarily blocked Washington state officials from releasing the names of people who signed a ballot measure on gay rights.

Kennedy’s ruling Monday temporarily blocks a federal appeals court ruling last week that ordered the release of the names. Kennedy said his order would remain in effect while he considers a request by a pro-marriage group that asked him to reverse the appeals court ruling.

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Kalamazoo Plays Host to Struggle Over Gay, Transgender Rights

October 19, 2009

by David Alire Garcia | Michigan Messenger

One Kalamazoo

With the constant din of volunteers talking and phones ringing behind him, City Commissioner David Anderson sat on a metal folding chair at campaign headquarters and explained his reluctant entry into the battle over a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance in this southwest Michigan city.

“I didn’t run to work on this issue,” he said, referring to Ordinance 1856, which he helped write. “Quite frankly, this was not on my radar.” He added that the local advocacy group Kalamazoo Aliance for Equality did the initial pushing.

But the fledgling ordinance needed a sponsor. “As it turned out, I was the one who stepped up,” Anderson said.

In less than three weeks, voters in Kalamazoo will decide the fate of the ordinance that seeks to add anti-discrimination protections for city residents who are gay or transgender. The measure has inspired an intense, if mostly underground, opposition.

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Marriage Equality’s False Divides

October 19, 2009

By Dennis W. Wiley and Robert M. Hardies | Washington Post

As the struggle for marriage equality moves to the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia is debunking many of the myths surrounding this important human rights issue.

For instance, few would expect the two of us — a straight, black Baptist minister from east of the Anacostia River, and a gay, white Unitarian minister from Columbia Heights — to share the same position on same-sex marriage. Our solidarity exposes two of the myths perpetuated by opponents of marriage equality and by the media. Let’s call these myths “God vs. gay” and “black vs. white.”

Opponents of marriage equality would like us to believe that one cannot be both pro-God and pro-gay. Yet we lead a coalition of nearly 200 D.C. clergy who support marriage equality precisely because of our commitment to God’s inclusive love and justice. Our clergy are black, white, Latino and from every ward in the District. We are Baptists and Jews, Catholics and Methodists, who have worked side by side for years on issues ranging from peace to affordable housing, and who now stand together again to raise a faithful voice for justice. Let us be clear: God vs. gay is a myth we reject. God vs. injustice is a truth we affirm.

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Support Maine Families: Vote ‘No’ on Question 1

October 19, 2009

Portland Press Herald editorial

Sometimes the law has to move quickly to keep up with a reality that has developed over time.

Maine voters will be faced with that kind of change on Nov. 3, when they are asked in Question 1 to reject a law that would extend civil marriage status to same-sex couples.

While this change in the law could seem abrupt to some Maine voters, it reflects the way people are really living now in cities and towns all over our state. That’s why we urge people to vote “no,” to allow this reasonable law to go into effect.

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Hundreds Protest Hate Crimes Against Gays at College Point March

October 19, 2009

By Clare Trapasso and Brendan Brosh | NY Daily News

Hundreds of protesters marched on College Point, Queens, Saturday to demand an end to violence against gays – just a week and a half after a brutal assault on a neighborhood man.

“Nobody should have to worry about looking behind their backs,” said Joseph Guarneri, 45, of Bayside, whose brother Jack Price was savagely beaten on Oct. 8. “Parents have to teach their kids. They learn hatred and all that stuff at home.”

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Watch Rep. Baldwin’s Senate Testimony on the Domestic Partner Benefits & Obligations Act

October 19, 2009

On Thursday, October 15, 2009, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (WI-02) testified in front of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on behalf of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, H.R. 2517.

This measure would put the federal government on par with a majority of Fortune 500 companies by extending employee benefit programs to cover the domestic partners of federal employees to the same extent as those benefits cover spouses of federal employees.

read more about the hearing