Just Married: Cheyenne Jackson Weds Longtime Partner in New York 
Cheyenne Jackson married his longtime partner, Monte Lapka, today in New  York, taking advantage of the state’s new marriage equality law. "It’s official, after 11 years together, Zora’s no longer a bastard," Jackson wrote on Twitter, joking about the couple’s dog, who was there at the beach in the Hamptons for the event. "Just married the best man I’ve ever known," Jackson wrote.The Broadway star and member of the 30 Rock cast has been thinking about this moment for a long time. He mentioned  it back in 2010 after California’s Proposition 8 ban was ruled  unconstitutional in an early court ruling in that ongoing storyline. "California dreaming, indeed," he wrote at the time. “Makes me feel prouder than ever to be a strong gay man.  Now come on, home state of New York … We all know that you’re the  ‘concrete jungle where dreams r made of,’ so make mine come true and  take the necessary steps to allow me to make it legal with my man. Step  up, we believe in you.”New Yorkers began marrying in June when the state’s new law took effect. Jackson will continue his activism for marriage equality by taking part in an upcoming reading of 8, Dustin Lance Black’s play about the Prop. 8 trial. The one-night-only event happens on September 19.

Just Married: Cheyenne Jackson Weds Longtime Partner in New York

Cheyenne Jackson married his longtime partner, Monte Lapka, today in New York, taking advantage of the state’s new marriage equality law.

"It’s official, after 11 years together, Zora’s no longer a bastard," Jackson wrote on Twitter, joking about the couple’s dog, who was there at the beach in the Hamptons for the event.

"Just married the best man I’ve ever known," Jackson wrote.

The Broadway star and member of the 30 Rock cast has been thinking about this moment for a long time. He mentioned it back in 2010 after California’s Proposition 8 ban was ruled unconstitutional in an early court ruling in that ongoing storyline.

"California dreaming, indeed," he wrote at the time. “Makes me feel prouder than ever to be a strong gay man. Now come on, home state of New York … We all know that you’re the ‘concrete jungle where dreams r made of,’ so make mine come true and take the necessary steps to allow me to make it legal with my man. Step up, we believe in you.”

New Yorkers began marrying in June when the state’s new law took effect.

Jackson will continue his activism for marriage equality by taking part in an upcoming reading of 8, Dustin Lance Black’s play about the Prop. 8 trial. The one-night-only event happens on September 19.

Source: advocate.com

Hello there! My name is Kelly and I'm writing a paper for my college English class about the topic of "family". Our thesis can be about anything we want, and I've chosen to write about LGBT relationships & how a family dynamic is created regardless of sexual orientation or gender. I would love to use some examples from real couples in my paper, so I was wondering if you could ask all your followers who have a story they'd like to share to contact me via Tumblr! Thank you so much! (ILOVEYOURBLOG)

This was submitted while I was traveling so I hope it’s not to late! Please contact Kelly if you are interested. Sounds like a great project.

Good luck Kelly!!

A Breakdown of Gay Marriage Support by Religion - National - The Atlantic Wire

A Breakdown of Gay Marriage Support by Religion - National - The Atlantic Wire

Source: theatlanticwire.com

(via Daily Kos: A technical explanation for the DC-area earthquake)

(via Daily Kos: A technical explanation for the DC-area earthquake)

Source: dailykos.com

weddingequality:

Unnamed Couples, March 8, 2011

Wuhan, China

These couples married publicly as a form of activism on behalf of equal rights. China does not legally recognize same-sex marriages. 

Source: whatsontianjin.com

N.J. bridal salon slammed for refusing to sell gown to lesbian
(via latimes.com)
A New Jersey bridal salon is getting a surge of publicity, but  perhaps not the kind it wanted. Here Comes the Bride is making news for  refusing to sell a gown to a lesbian who plans to marry in neighboring  New York, which legalized same-sex marriage earlier this summer.Alex  Genter has complained that the manager at Here Comes the Bride in  Somers Point, N.J., lectured her about her gay lifestyle after Genter  crossed out the word “groom” and replaced it with “partner” and her  fiancee’s name on paperwork she filled out for her planned purchase.  “She said she wouldn’t work with me because I’m gay,” said Genter,  according to the Philadelphia Daily News.  “She also said that I came from a nice Jewish family, and that it was a  shame I was gay. She said, ‘There’s right, and there’s wrong. And this  is wrong.’ “Genter visited Here Comes the Bride this month along  with her parents and other family members for a day of dress-shopping,  according to the article. She is planning to marry next summer in New  York, which in June became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage.
The decision has prompted thousands of couples in neighboring states  that don’t recognize same-sex marriage, such as New Jersey, to plan  their nuptials in New York. But as Bernadette Coveney-Smith, who specializes in planning gay weddings,  explained last month to the Los Angeles Times, it can be a struggle for  couples to find dress shops, florists and other vendors who are  comfortable working with same-sex couples.Since the New Jersey incident made news, Here Comes the Bride has been hammered by hundreds of scathing reviews on Yelp, and a Facebook page called Boycott Here Comes the Bride has attracted 433 followers. The  woman who refused to work with Genter, and who has been identified as  “Donna,” told a Philadelphia Daily News columnist that she had indeed  rejected Genter’s business but accused the angry bride of “stirring up  drama” by going public about the incident.Donna said she was  trying to arrange a meeting with Genter’s parents in an apparent attempt  to smooth things over, the Daily News said, but she didn’t say anything  about meeting with Genter herself.
The Yelp reviews, meanwhile, have become so rabid that Yelp reportedly is considering removing those that don’t abide by its policy of commenting on a business, not employees’ beliefs.

N.J. bridal salon slammed for refusing to sell gown to lesbian

(via latimes.com)

A New Jersey bridal salon is getting a surge of publicity, but perhaps not the kind it wanted. Here Comes the Bride is making news for refusing to sell a gown to a lesbian who plans to marry in neighboring New York, which legalized same-sex marriage earlier this summer.

Alex Genter has complained that the manager at Here Comes the Bride in Somers Point, N.J., lectured her about her gay lifestyle after Genter crossed out the word “groom” and replaced it with “partner” and her fiancee’s name on paperwork she filled out for her planned purchase. “She said she wouldn’t work with me because I’m gay,” said Genter, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. “She also said that I came from a nice Jewish family, and that it was a shame I was gay. She said, ‘There’s right, and there’s wrong. And this is wrong.’ “

Genter visited Here Comes the Bride this month along with her parents and other family members for a day of dress-shopping, according to the article. She is planning to marry next summer in New York, which in June became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage.

The decision has prompted thousands of couples in neighboring states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage, such as New Jersey, to plan their nuptials in New York. But as Bernadette Coveney-Smith, who specializes in planning gay weddings, explained last month to the Los Angeles Times, it can be a struggle for couples to find dress shops, florists and other vendors who are comfortable working with same-sex couples.

Since the New Jersey incident made news, Here Comes the Bride has been hammered by hundreds of scathing reviews on Yelp, and a Facebook page called Boycott Here Comes the Bride has attracted 433 followers. The woman who refused to work with Genter, and who has been identified as “Donna,” told a Philadelphia Daily News columnist that she had indeed rejected Genter’s business but accused the angry bride of “stirring up drama” by going public about the incident.

Donna said she was trying to arrange a meeting with Genter’s parents in an apparent attempt to smooth things over, the Daily News said, but she didn’t say anything about meeting with Genter herself.

The Yelp reviews, meanwhile, have become so rabid that Yelp reportedly is considering removing those that don’t abide by its policy of commenting on a business, not employees’ beliefs.

Los Angeles Times

Sesame Street On Marriage

anthromommieone submitted this old Sesame Street clip. I had seen this some time ago and forgotten about but LOVE the simple message.  So wonderful!\

Thank you so much for sending it over again!!!

Source: youtube.com

I love your background image. It is very beautiful. That is all.

Thanks so much! 

The photo is actually a cropped version of a much larger view from our wedding in 2002. I am in the white and my wife is wearing the black wedding dress. 

It’s one of my favorite photos from the church as the full version shows us, our attendants, the officiant, and all the guests in the amazing Arlington St. Church in Boston.  Sadly, I cannot publish the full photo publicly because our officiant defied directives of her church (Roman Catholic) by being a part of our marriage.

Immigration Judge Closes Deportation Case Against Married Gay Man 
Attorney Lavi Soloway writes, “San  Francisco Immigration Judge  Marilyn Teeter has granted [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement] Motion  to  Administratively Close Deportation of gay Venezuelan Alex  Benshimol,  ending the nightmare faced by Alex and his American husband,  Doug  Gentry.”
Soloway  — the co-founder of Stop the Deportations and lawyer representing  Benshimol — notes that the decision was dated August 11 and received  today.
In July, Teeter had put off a decision on the case until 2013, but had given the U.S. government 60 days to  decide whether it was going to continue with Benshimol’s deportation.
Soloway writes, “According to the documents received today, ICE moved quickly to notify the court by the beginning of August requesting that the case be   dropped. A few days later, the Judge granted the government’s motion and   closed proceedings.”
This is at least the second time ICE has taken such an action in a  case. Earlier this year, in a case involving another Venezuelan, Henry  Velandia, and his husband, Josh Vandiver, the ICE office in Newark,  N.J., took a similar action, noting that Velandia’s case “is not an enforcement priority at this time.”
The move appears to be in line with the plan laid out earlier this week by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet  Napolitano for focusing on the “highest priority” deportation cases.

Immigration Judge Closes Deportation Case Against Married Gay Man

Attorney Lavi Soloway writes, “San Francisco Immigration Judge Marilyn Teeter has granted [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement] Motion to Administratively Close Deportation of gay Venezuelan Alex Benshimol, ending the nightmare faced by Alex and his American husband, Doug Gentry.”

Soloway — the co-founder of Stop the Deportations and lawyer representing Benshimol — notes that the decision was dated August 11 and received today.

In July, Teeter had put off a decision on the case until 2013, but had given the U.S. government 60 days to decide whether it was going to continue with Benshimol’s deportation.

Soloway writes, “According to the documents received today, ICE moved quickly to notify the court by the beginning of August requesting that the case be dropped. A few days later, the Judge granted the government’s motion and closed proceedings.”

This is at least the second time ICE has taken such an action in a case. Earlier this year, in a case involving another Venezuelan, Henry Velandia, and his husband, Josh Vandiver, the ICE office in Newark, N.J., took a similar action, noting that Velandia’s case “is not an enforcement priority at this time.”

The move appears to be in line with the plan laid out earlier this week by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for focusing on the “highest priority” deportation cases.

Source: metroweekly.com

Hoorah for Maine Marriage Equality Actitivsts

The state’s largest gay rights group EqualityMaine gathered more than 5,000 signatures on Saturday, the first official day of petition-gathering. To qualify for the 2012 ballot, supporters need to collect the signatures of 57,277 registered voters.

The proposed text of the question reads: “Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples that protects religious freedom by ensuring no religion or clergy be required to perform such a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs?”

Those are fantastic first day numbers.  Many hopes that they can keep up the momentum and that Mainers continue to be supporters of equality, sign the petition and vote in favor of equality.

Source: towleroad.com

Provincetown Carnival 2011

Provincetown Carnival 2011

Vacation Time

Hi Lovely Followers,

Civilly Unioned will be posting a little infrequently over the next two weeks as I travel first for a much needed vacation and then for work.  I will cover any big news and answer questions as I have internet access and (likely) posting photos as we celebrate Carnival in the uber gay and fabulous P-Town.

Happy August All!

Civilly Unioned

Rhode Island gay-rights advocate, ACI guard, dies at 55 
By Maria Armental Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Pat Baker emerged as a face of the gay-marriage debate in Rhode Island.
Struggling with terminal lung cancer, Baker — a longtime  correctional officer at the Adult Correctional Institutions — twice  dragged herself, oxygen tank in tow, to the State House in March, where  she testified at a Senate hearing.
“I worked for those benefits,” Baker said then. “And when I say worked, I worked hard. You name it, it’s happened. I’ve  found inmates hanging; I’ve found inmates dead from suicide. I’ve been  traumatized mentally and physically, only to get to this point in my  life when I’m terminally ill … and I find out my wife is being  begrudged $1,861 a month.”
"This kind of bigotry has to be rectified," Baker said in an interview at her home, vowing to fight until her last breath.
Baker, 55, died Sunday at Kent Hospital.  She is survived by her wife of six years, Deborah (Baker) Tevyaw, whom  she married in Massachusetts; two brothers, Richard Baker and Frederick  Divers; one sister, Deborah Baker; and her beloved dog, Hooch.
"Rhode Island has lost a great champion for civil rights and we have all lost a dear friend," said Martha Holt, Marriage Equality Rhode Island Board chair.  "Pat Baker personified courage and demonstrated remarkable strength in  her lifetime. Her gentle, determined voice became synonymous with the  equality movement, and she demonstrated to all that love truly does make  a family."

Rhode Island gay-rights advocate, ACI guard, dies at 55 

By Maria Armental
Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Pat Baker emerged as a face of the gay-marriage debate in Rhode Island.

Struggling with terminal lung cancer, Baker — a longtime correctional officer at the Adult Correctional Institutions — twice dragged herself, oxygen tank in tow, to the State House in March, where she testified at a Senate hearing.

“I worked for those benefits,” Baker said then. “And when I say worked, I worked hard. You name it, it’s happened. I’ve found inmates hanging; I’ve found inmates dead from suicide. I’ve been traumatized mentally and physically, only to get to this point in my life when I’m terminally ill … and I find out my wife is being begrudged $1,861 a month.”

"This kind of bigotry has to be rectified," Baker said in an interview at her home, vowing to fight until her last breath.

Baker, 55, died Sunday at Kent Hospital. She is survived by her wife of six years, Deborah (Baker) Tevyaw, whom she married in Massachusetts; two brothers, Richard Baker and Frederick Divers; one sister, Deborah Baker; and her beloved dog, Hooch.

"Rhode Island has lost a great champion for civil rights and we have all lost a dear friend," said Martha Holt, Marriage Equality Rhode Island Board chair. "Pat Baker personified courage and demonstrated remarkable strength in her lifetime. Her gentle, determined voice became synonymous with the equality movement, and she demonstrated to all that love truly does make a family."

Source: newsblog.projo.com

Did TOMS' Blake Mycoskie Really Not Know About Anti-Gay Focus on the Family? ⇢

Ever since I read the first story about the TOMS’ founder and Focus on the Family something did not seem totally right.  How could he not know who they were…  I mean, really?!  It sounded more like a convenient excuse to cover that he knew who they were but just did not want anyone to know that he was doing an event with them.  Now it seems this was not his first foray into the anti-gay evangelical groups.  I get that he wants as many people as possible helping share shoes with the world…  but this just makes it look like he has some hidden motive.  The writer says it well, “Sometimes it’s the cover up that comes back to haunt you the most.” 

Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, landed in a heap of trouble when news broke on Friday that he spoke at a June 30 Focus on the Family event in Orange County.

Focus on the Family’s longtime anti-gay agenda is ugly and widely known.

Soulforce, the gay rights organization that exposes anti-gay religious groups, notes in a special report that FOTF has pushed such ideas that homosexuality is a mental disorder caused by family problems and bad parenting, that gays want to destroy marriage and the family, that same-gender parents are unfit and seek to hurt children, that homosexuality can be prevented by parents and cured through ‘reparative therapy,’ and that gays are sick, ungodly people who want ‘special rights,’ not civil rights.

Mycoskie, who lives on a sailboat in Los Angeles, says he simply didn’t know about these things.

"Had I known the full extent of Focus on the Family’s beliefs," Mycoskie writes in a recent blog post, “I would not have accepted the invitation to speak at their event.”

TOMS has a large gay clientele — take a walk in any gay neighborhood and you’ll see someone wearing a pair of the slipper-like shoes — and is now ripe for a very public boycott.

Folks on Facebook and elsewhere are willing to take Mycoskie’s word that he made a mistake and didn’t properly vet Focus on the Family.

Guess a handsome, rich guy with a friendly smile thinks he can charm his way out of this brouhaha, but his excuse doesn’t quite pass the smell test.

First of all, in this age of Google — when it’s second nature to do a quick, Internet search of someone or some group — it’s hard to believe no one in his company didn’t check out Focus on the Family.

Secondly, Mycoskie is no stranger to the evangelical Christian world, in which FOTF is widely known as a powerhouse.

A Christianity Today article points out that the TOMS founder visited and held a TOMS-related event at Texas-based Abilene Christian University last year.

That college refused to allow a gay-straight alliance to form and was featured in a recent New York Times article titled "Even on Religious Campuses, Students Fight for Gay Identity."

Mycoskie also accepted a 2010 invitation to speak with members of Willow Creek Community Church, a mega-church in Illinois led by senior pastor Bill Hybels. That church promotes the idea that gays can change and become straight. Willow Creek also suggests that if gays can’t do that, they should be celibate.

Soulforce targeted Willow Creek and Bill Hybels during a 2008 national tour, which sought to educate leading evangelical ministers in the United States on gay issues.

If Mycoskie would have turned down Focus on the Family, why didn’t he do the same for Willow Creek and Abilene Christian University? Did he not vet them either? Or did he not really care all that much about their policies toward gays?

Sometimes it’s the cover up that comes back to haunt you the most.

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