Yesterday we learned that the New York State Senate is a God-awful place for someone with OCD or anyone who has trouble dealing with surprises/anarchic chaos. This morning, while on the phone with Marriage Equality Sponsor Senator Tom Duane's office, I learned that the Senator was less than optimistic about the bill's chances now. Everyone was sure the show was over for Marriage Equality in the Empire State.
What a difference a day makes.
What a difference a day makes.
Apparently now, the NEW President of the Senate, Democrat Pedro Espada Jr.--the first Latino to ever be elevated to that position--AND the new "majority" Leader/VP of the Senate, Republican Dean G. Skelos have BOTH stated that Marriage Equality is GETTING its floor vote. Bloggers are just now catching on to this morning's New York Times City Room article--that apparently I had read before anyone in the New York Senate had--that quoted both as saying they were discussing the timing of bringing this bill up for a floor vote before the end of the Legislative Session. According to the HRC, more details about the timing could be out by the end of the day.
The Empire State Pride Agenda has released a statement demanding that this get voted on soon to give LGBT New Yorkers the peace of mind they deserve on the issue.
On an unrelated note, in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce rang the closing bell on the NYSE last Friday.
Hate Crimes is finally seeing the light of day in the Senate, and may get passed--as an Amendment to another bill, that is. This would keep it immune to revision. There is a lot of debate about whether or not this is good, as passing the bill as a stand-alone will allow us to know where our Senators stand on the issue. However, it will also open the bill up to paralyzing amendments. That said, do we really want it attached as an amendment to a bill that will allow gun owners to carry their concealed weapons over State lines? This strategy failed in 2007, will it win today?
March on Washington: With all of the haranguing over the fallacies of the national equality organizations in the internets, it looks like the grass roots organizers and the HRCs out there agree on one thing--the March on Washington in October is not a good idea. There are many reasons why its a bad idea--Congress will be in recess, the President will be out of town--but there are also many arguments for having a march... just in every state, rather than in D.C. The March on Washington organizers have also shown a total lack of professionalism and organization--first there was the whole thing about the National Mall already being booked, now we find out their publicized email isn't even set up. No wonder our most trusted LGBT voices think this is just plain stupid. Both HRC and the NGLTF have released statements through Joe.My.God about their own hesitation to support the march. Grassroots movements need to give HRC the benefit of the doubt--there's more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one strategy to Equality. They aren't trying to hurt us, and if you don't agree with their strategy give to the organization that you DO agree with. While you have to applaud the vigor and tenacity of grassroots movements, they also have less experience and sometimes can make a mess of things--like whosigned.org in Washington.
DADT: Joe Solmonese was on Hardball discussing how to end the policy, along with the executive director of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, Lorri Jean.
FEDERAL PROP 8 CHALLENGE: David Boise was on Charlie Rose to discuss the challenge. George Stephanopoulos loves the challenge. Meanwhile, look who is on the board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, who is posing this Federal Challenge.
WHITEHOUSEWATCH: Rachel Maddow hits the President hard on his campaign promises to end Don't Ask Don't Tell, using his own words squarely against him. Meanwhile, Dan Chois is back on Anderson Cooper 360 to talk about Obama's silence and the Supreme Court's decision NOT to hear the DADT challenge. Sadly, the White House argued FOR the policy in the case, despite the fact that Obama campaigned on a platform of REMOVING it. LawDork tells us what the rejection means (not much) to the movement. Meanwhile EVERYBODY favors ending the policy--including Conservatives and Republicans. Why not just issue a "stop loss" order? However, US Rep John McHugh and Army Secretary designate has no interest in excluding gays from the military! When Obama arrives in Moscow on July 7th, LGBT advocates from around the world will be there to confront him on his silence on anti-gay and anti-trans violence abroad, Moscow's own discrimination and campaign of hatred against gays, and America's inability to advance any pro-gay legislation on the Federal level. The Mayor of Moscow is in trouble for condemning gays. If you can't be in Moscow, you can still tell the President how you feel--join in Operation Flip Flop and tell the President NOT to flip-flop on the Defense of Marriage Act.
STATE2STATE: FINALLY I get to blog something good about my HOME STATE OF MICHIGAN!!! Apparently, views on Marriage Equality have completely flip-flopped there since Proposition 2 writing discrimination into the Michigan Constitution was passed in 2004. According to the Glengariff group, 63.7% support Civil Unions and 46.5% support FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY! With Illinois, Wisconsin and now Michigan becoming more and more LGBT friendly, this has us asking--will the Great Lakes become the next New England? Also out of Michigan, openly gay TV anchor, Charles Pugh plans to become the first openly gay City Councilman in Detroit! While New York is a mess still today, over in NEW JERSEY, Governor Jon Corzine--a Marriage Equality supporter--spoke at Asbury Park Pride this weekend. He's facing a tight reelection against discrimination supporter Chris Christie. NEW JERSEY must enact Marriage Equality by November to avoid getting the Governor's signature of the bill embroiled in the drama surrounding this tight campaign. In more wacky gay CALIFORNIA news, the Prop 8 Plaintiff has refiled his case with the California Supreme Court. Leaders of the Fresno march are being called to task for their closed-door strategy meetings and unwillingness to release results of crucial polls. Remember all of the Sponsors that were pulling their ads from that trans-phobic radio show? Well now the show has issued and apology and will be having two trans experts on to discuss the complexities of the issues! I just hope its not going to serve as fodder for more jokes at the trans community's expense. RHODE ISLAND Legislators are big stupid-heads. INDIANA removes AIDS funding for white men. In ALASKA, the Anchorage anti-bias measure is going to be an uphill battle. The WEST VIRGINIA Supreme Court granted a lesbian couple there adoption rights and custody of their foster child, ending adoption discrimination in WV (unless they pass some sort of Constitutional Amendment, of course). In OKLAHOMA a well-respected and tenured teacher was terminated for SUGGESTING the school do more to protect LGBT students from bullying. MINNESOTA may not only become the first state with an openly gay Governor, but an openly gay REPUBLICAN Governor at that!
AROUND THE GLOBE: The UAE Muslim version of the Sunday Night Sex Talk lady... except she doesn't approve of anal. China prepares for its first major PRIDE event.
OFF THE MAP: PRIDE hits World of Warcraft! Bette Middler now FOR Marriage Equality--and thinks its FABULOUS! IKEA adds a gay-dads elevator. Adam Lambert COMES OUT AS STRAIGHT--JUST KIDDING! LILO AND SAM GET BACK TOGETHER!
TOAST TO MY MICHIGANDER PEOPLES!