Post(s) tagged with "lgbtq"

Judges Signing Up for Sunday Duty at Gay Weddings - NYTimes.com ⇢

On a summer Sunday, Justice Thomas D. Raffaele of State Supreme Court in Queens would usually be in a bathing suit at the Jersey Shore. Instead, on July 24, the Sunday that New York’s same-sex marriage law goes into effect, he plans to be in his judicial robes at the city clerk’s office on Queens Boulevard, ready to marry people, possibly in large numbers.

“I’ve heard there are a lot of people who are very excited,” he said.

As one of several dozen judges across the state who have volunteered to play an official role in the new law’s first day, Justice Raffaele is part of one of the most unusual judicial mobilizations in years. From Buffalo to the Bronx and pretty much everywhere else in New York, judges are signing up for rare Sunday duty.

If same-sex couples want to marry that Sunday, only judges would have the authority to dispense with the 24-hour waiting period required by law. And those judges could then officiate on the spot.

Another of the volunteer judges, Sherry Klein Heitler of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, said she was expecting something of a party at the city clerk’s office. “I think there will be a lot of people,” Justice Heitler said. “I think there will be a lot of emotion. I think there will be a lot of happy tears.”

The Pride Line: Boston GLASS Community Center ⇢

I was volunteer at GLASS a little over 10 years ago and count among some of my closest and dearest friends the people that I met there.  It is a wonderful and vital community center.  Check them out online at Boston GLASS

theprideline:

If you’re in Massachusetts, and especially the Boston area, the Boston GLASS Community Center is there just for you. You can access their website here.

Boston Glass is a community center that offers a variety of resources, from being a safe and welcoming place to hang out to people to speak…

Bloomberg to Preside at Gay Aides’ Wedding - NYTimes.com
By MICHAEL BARBARO
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg summoned his chief policy adviser, John Feinblatt, to his desk at City  Hall a few days ago for what seemed like a routine conversation with the  boss. “Let’s get a cup of coffee,” the mayor told him, motioning to the  office kitchen.
There, Mr. Bloomberg made an unusual offer. He did not know if Mr.  Feinblatt and his longtime partner, Jonathan Mintz, the city’s  commissioner for consumer affairs, wanted to marry. But if they did, and  were looking for somebody to officiate, he knew just the man for the  job. “If you’d like me to do it, I’d really love to,” Mr. Bloomberg  said.
Mr. Feinblatt, thrilled by the offer but wary of unilateral  decision-making in matters of the heart, said he needed to consult with  Mr. Mintz, who quickly gave his approval.
City Hall’s first gay wedding was on.
“The mayor and John,” Mr. Mintz recalled, “popped the question.”
Mr. Bloomberg, who delivered speeches, held fund-raisers and lobbied lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, is now punctuating his official advocacy with a personal  gesture: hosting and presiding at a gay wedding on the first possible  day, in one of the grandest possible settings.
On July 24, on the lawn of Gracie Mansion, under a tent packed with city  officials and food from around New York State, Mr. Bloomberg will  pronounce Mr. Mintz and Mr. Feinblatt husband and husband.
The mayor is a reluctant nuptials officiant who has presided over just  two previous weddings — those of his daughter Emma and his predecessor,  Rudolph W. Giuliani — and has pointedly forsworn performing weddings for  anyone beyond his other daughter or another former mayor.
But he is now making an exception, he said, because of his close  personal connection to Mr. Feinblatt and Mr. Mintz and the role they  played in personalizing the issue of same-sex marriage for him.
“John and Jonathan are two of the smartest and hardest-working people in  our administration,” Mr. Bloomberg said on Thursday. “This just felt  like the best way for me to say thank you.”
Mr. Mintz, 47, and Mr. Feinblatt, 60, met 14 years ago on a blind date  that began, perhaps inauspiciously, with a tour of a Midtown court for  quality of life crimes that Mr. Feinblatt founded, and ended, rather  romantically, with a walk through Central Park and a drink at the  Royalton Hotel.
“It was a classic first date,” Mr. Mintz said.
Not long after, Mr. Mintz relocated from Rhode Island to New York City,  the couple bought a house in the West Village, and, with the help of a  surrogate, fathered two children: Maeve, now 8, and Georgia, 6.
They both took jobs in the Bloomberg administration. Mr. Feinblatt  became the city’s criminal justice coordinator, leading a nationwide  campaign to rid city streets of illegal guns. Mr. Mintz took the helm of  the city’s consumer arm, battling fraud and counseling the poorest New  Yorkers on how to achieve financial independence.
The couple had long talked about marrying, but stumbled over where to do  it. Mr. Feinblatt’s stepmother had a house in Massachusetts, where  same-sex marriage became legal in 2004. But New York was home.
“Our relationship is about New York, choosing to raise our kids here is  about New York, our jobs are about New York,” Mr. Feinblatt said.
So they waited. And waited. And, then, two weeks ago, the waiting was over.
On Sunday, Mr. Mintz gathered his daughters at the family’s weekend home  on Long Island and asked them a question. Wasn’t it time that he  married their father?
The girls jumped up and down and screamed “Yes!” Mr. Mintz then grabbed a  fistful of flowers from the yard and called Mr. Feinblatt outside. With  the girls standing a few feet away, Mr. Mintz bent down on one knee and  made it official.
“He said yes,” Mr. Mintz recalled. “It would have been pretty awkward if he hadn’t after 14 years.”
Later that day, the two men took their daughters ring shopping.
In the days since, Mr. Feinblatt has shuttled Maeve and Georgia across  the state to find the perfect dresses for the occasion. Wedding  invitations are being drawn up. And a meeting with the caterer is  scheduled for next week.
With 17 days to plan, much remains unresolved. Like a honeymoon.
“I suspect we will be at work on Monday after taking the kids to camp,” Mr. Feinblatt said.
“Really?” Mr. Mintz replied. “We will have to discuss that. I am hoping that changes.”
He paused. “Not that I don’t love my job.”

Bloomberg to Preside at Gay Aides’ Wedding - NYTimes.com

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg summoned his chief policy adviser, John Feinblatt, to his desk at City Hall a few days ago for what seemed like a routine conversation with the boss. “Let’s get a cup of coffee,” the mayor told him, motioning to the office kitchen.

There, Mr. Bloomberg made an unusual offer. He did not know if Mr. Feinblatt and his longtime partner, Jonathan Mintz, the city’s commissioner for consumer affairs, wanted to marry. But if they did, and were looking for somebody to officiate, he knew just the man for the job. “If you’d like me to do it, I’d really love to,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

Mr. Feinblatt, thrilled by the offer but wary of unilateral decision-making in matters of the heart, said he needed to consult with Mr. Mintz, who quickly gave his approval.

City Hall’s first gay wedding was on.

“The mayor and John,” Mr. Mintz recalled, “popped the question.”

Mr. Bloomberg, who delivered speeches, held fund-raisers and lobbied lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, is now punctuating his official advocacy with a personal gesture: hosting and presiding at a gay wedding on the first possible day, in one of the grandest possible settings.

On July 24, on the lawn of Gracie Mansion, under a tent packed with city officials and food from around New York State, Mr. Bloomberg will pronounce Mr. Mintz and Mr. Feinblatt husband and husband.

The mayor is a reluctant nuptials officiant who has presided over just two previous weddings — those of his daughter Emma and his predecessor, Rudolph W. Giuliani — and has pointedly forsworn performing weddings for anyone beyond his other daughter or another former mayor.

But he is now making an exception, he said, because of his close personal connection to Mr. Feinblatt and Mr. Mintz and the role they played in personalizing the issue of same-sex marriage for him.

“John and Jonathan are two of the smartest and hardest-working people in our administration,” Mr. Bloomberg said on Thursday. “This just felt like the best way for me to say thank you.”

Mr. Mintz, 47, and Mr. Feinblatt, 60, met 14 years ago on a blind date that began, perhaps inauspiciously, with a tour of a Midtown court for quality of life crimes that Mr. Feinblatt founded, and ended, rather romantically, with a walk through Central Park and a drink at the Royalton Hotel.

“It was a classic first date,” Mr. Mintz said.

Not long after, Mr. Mintz relocated from Rhode Island to New York City, the couple bought a house in the West Village, and, with the help of a surrogate, fathered two children: Maeve, now 8, and Georgia, 6.

They both took jobs in the Bloomberg administration. Mr. Feinblatt became the city’s criminal justice coordinator, leading a nationwide campaign to rid city streets of illegal guns. Mr. Mintz took the helm of the city’s consumer arm, battling fraud and counseling the poorest New Yorkers on how to achieve financial independence.

The couple had long talked about marrying, but stumbled over where to do it. Mr. Feinblatt’s stepmother had a house in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage became legal in 2004. But New York was home.

“Our relationship is about New York, choosing to raise our kids here is about New York, our jobs are about New York,” Mr. Feinblatt said.

So they waited. And waited. And, then, two weeks ago, the waiting was over.

On Sunday, Mr. Mintz gathered his daughters at the family’s weekend home on Long Island and asked them a question. Wasn’t it time that he married their father?

The girls jumped up and down and screamed “Yes!” Mr. Mintz then grabbed a fistful of flowers from the yard and called Mr. Feinblatt outside. With the girls standing a few feet away, Mr. Mintz bent down on one knee and made it official.

“He said yes,” Mr. Mintz recalled. “It would have been pretty awkward if he hadn’t after 14 years.”

Later that day, the two men took their daughters ring shopping.

In the days since, Mr. Feinblatt has shuttled Maeve and Georgia across the state to find the perfect dresses for the occasion. Wedding invitations are being drawn up. And a meeting with the caterer is scheduled for next week.

With 17 days to plan, much remains unresolved. Like a honeymoon.

“I suspect we will be at work on Monday after taking the kids to camp,” Mr. Feinblatt said.

“Really?” Mr. Mintz replied. “We will have to discuss that. I am hoping that changes.”

He paused. “Not that I don’t love my job.”

Shame on you Republican Rep. Foxx (NC) & shame on the House for unnecessarily taking a vote to reaffirm DOMA!

Moments ago, the U.S. House voted 248-175 for an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) that reaffirms the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA already states that “in determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies,” marriage is limited to the union of a man and a woman.

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese released the following statement: “This amendment is completely unnecessary and only serves to cloud the debate over ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal by pointlessly injecting the issue of marriage equality into the conversation. Since Pentagon officials have made it clear that they are bound by DOMA like every other federal agency, it’s puzzling why Rep. Foxx would question whether our military leaders understand this point.

“House Republican leaders seem to have no end to their desire to play politics with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people instead of tackling real problems. It will be up to the Senate to reject the House’s return to using LGBT Americans as a wedge issue.”

Source: hrcbackstory.org

It is encouraging that New York has joined the movement to grant equal marriage rights to its citizens. But it is each American’s Constitutional right to marry the person they love, no matter what state they inhabit. No state should decide who can marry and who cannot. Thanks to the tireless work of so many, someday soon this discrimination will end and every American will be able to enjoy their equal right to marriage.

-

—Brad Pitt, exclusively to PEOPLE, on the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State.

Brad Pitt strengthens his stand on marriage equality - CNN.com

CNN

No Deportation for Immigrant in Same-Sex Marriage ⇢

In a decision that could have far-reaching effects on immigration cases involving same-sex couples, federal officials have canceled the deportation of a Venezuelan man in New Jersey who is married to an American man, the couple’s lawyer said Wednesday.

The announcement comes as immigration officials put into effect new, more flexible guidelines governing the deferral and cancellation of deportations, particularly for immigrants with no serious criminal records.

Immigration lawyers and gay rights advocates said the decision represented a significant shift in policy and could open the door to the cancellation of deportations for other immigrants in same-sex marriages.

“This action shows that the government has not only the power but the inclination to do the right thing when it comes to protecting certain vulnerable populations from deportation,” said the couple’s lawyer, Lavi Soloway.

Women's Soccer and Homophobia Still Linked and A Major Issue in Africa ⇢

gayinnj:

On a continent where homosexual behavior is widely considered immoral, lesbians are sometimes ostracized and subjected to beatings. In countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe, some women are raped in a so-called corrective treatment for homosexual behavior.

In one high-profile case in South Africa, a top female soccer player and lesbian activist, Eudy Simelane, 31, was murdered in 2008. Although one of her attackers testified that robbery was the motive in the stabbing death, Simelane’s death became the focus of a campaign to draw attention to violence against gays and lesbians.

Last year, Nigeria, which is making its sixth appearance in the World Cup, accused Equatorial Guinea, another Cup participant, of using at least one and perhaps two male players on its team because of their supposed masculine appearance. Soccer officials from Equatorial Guinea called the charge unfounded, saying it stemmed from an “inferiority complex” among rival African teams…

N.J. gay couples to file lawsuit demanding partnerships be recognized as marriages ⇢

A New Jersey gay rights organization, seven same-sex couples and several of their children say they will file a suit in state Superior Court today demanding the partnerships be recognized not as civil unions, but as marriages.

The lawsuit comes days after New York signed gay marriage into law, which will go into effect next month.

NHL agent who made anti-gay marriage remarks loses client ⇢

It’s been a rough few days for NHL agent Todd Reynolds: Over the weekend, the state of New York passed a bill that grants the same rights to married couples regardless of their gender, of which Reynolds is an outspoken critic.

Now, with the start of NHL free agency less than three days away, Reynolds has lost a client because of past comments. Minnesota Wild forward Andrew Brunette, a potential unrestricted free agent, fired Reynolds and replaced him with Don Baizley, Michael Russo of Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on Twitter.

Good for him!  Everyone has freedom of speech, but you still have to deal with the consequences of what comes out of your mouth.  I hope more male athletes start to speak out in favor of LBGTQ inclusiveness and marriage equality.  We are definitely headed in the right direction there!

It Gets Better Message of Hope from the United States Senate

A video for LGBT youth around the country and the It Gets Better Project, featuring U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

First LGBT Parent in Congress: Out U.S. Rep. Jared Polis to Become Dad ⇢

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and his partner Marlon Reis are expecting a baby in September, reports the Denver Post. That will make him the first out LGBT parent in Congress.

Polis has refused to tell the press how he and Reis will be creating their family—and I give him a lot of credit for that. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with discussing how we create our families, should we choose to do so—and it can even be an educational opportunity. At the same time, much mainstream media coverage of LGBT parents seems to focus too much on the mechanics of family creation. Unless a journalist is making a point related to how the family was created—say, to discuss the particular concerns of families with children adopted from another country, or the role of a surrogate or donor in the child’s life—there’s really no need. It’s like mentioning a person’s race or religion when it has no bearing on the story.

If Polis and Reis choose to keep it a personal matter, to protect their child’s privacy or for any other reason, I admire their resolve. Let’s hope they continue to find a good balance between privacy for their child and the visibility that LGBT families need to move closer to acceptance and equality.

(via Mombian)

Yesterday was the 42nd Anniversary of Stonewall.  Let us not forget where it all began!
The riots following the June 28, 1969 police raid on New York City’s  Stonewall Inn did not start the discussion on gay rights, but it  certainly became the catalyst for a national movement. When the  mafia-owned bar that offered a safe place for gay men and lesbians to  drink and dance was shut down as part of a citywide crackdown on  homosexual life, Greenwich Village erupted into several days of riots.  Violent police beat downs and open mocking of the authorities by the  protesters escalated the neighborhood protest into a full-scale rally  for acceptance and equality. Prior to the Stonewall riots the gay rights  movement had been mostly underground; only two years later there were  organized groups within every major city in America.
Stonewall’s legacy lives on today. After the New York State Senate  voted in favor of same sex marriage on Friday night, revelers from  around the city congregated in front of the bar to celebrate.
(via Stonewall Inn, 1969 - Top 10 Most Influential Protests - TIME)

Yesterday was the 42nd Anniversary of Stonewall.  Let us not forget where it all began!

The riots following the June 28, 1969 police raid on New York City’s Stonewall Inn did not start the discussion on gay rights, but it certainly became the catalyst for a national movement. When the mafia-owned bar that offered a safe place for gay men and lesbians to drink and dance was shut down as part of a citywide crackdown on homosexual life, Greenwich Village erupted into several days of riots. Violent police beat downs and open mocking of the authorities by the protesters escalated the neighborhood protest into a full-scale rally for acceptance and equality. Prior to the Stonewall riots the gay rights movement had been mostly underground; only two years later there were organized groups within every major city in America.

Stonewall’s legacy lives on today. After the New York State Senate voted in favor of same sex marriage on Friday night, revelers from around the city congregated in front of the bar to celebrate.

(via Stonewall Inn, 1969 - Top 10 Most Influential Protests - TIME)

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