Spain passed nationwide approval of gay marriage today, beating out Canada as the third country in the world to approve it!! Sorry Canucks, you’re shooting for #4.
Clearly on top of their game, Canada’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to legalize gay marriage across their entire northern nation. They’ve joined Belgium and The Netherlands as one of three nations in the world to do so. This isn’t a huge change; 7 of their 10 provinces had already adopted the policy. Talk about moral victory.
The fun part is that a bunch of Roman Catholics (the dominant religious affiliation in Canada) even said that despite their personal beliefs on gay marriage, no law should prevent any Canadian the right to marriage. While the clergy - and the conservative arm - still oppose it, the law should go into effect within the next month. Of course, no change without controversy: the Cabinet minister for economic development in Ontario resigned b/c of this legislation. But who needs him?
Canucks rule, n’est pas?
A training camp video for the players meant as a prep course in how to deal with the media has caused an uproar in San Francisco:
The 15-minute film, featuring racist jokes, lesbian soft-porn and topless blondes, features the team’s public relations director, Kirk Reynolds, impersonating San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in the mayor’s office and other city scenes.
Now the mayor and the city’s gay leaders are outraged, the team’s owners are embarrassed and Reynolds is leaving the organization. The Chronicle described the film and published an image showing Reynolds with the half-naked women under a screaming headline on Wednesday. …
Reynolds said he made the video to coach players on handling media questions in diverse San Francisco — and never meant it for public consumption.
[Um, ya think?!? Pretty dumb to think it wouldn’t actually get leaked at some point, though. –Ed.]
The video was shown to players last August during training camp in Santa Clara, where it was part of a diversity workshop.
“I certainly offended people and I never intended to offend anybody,” Reynolds said. “Anybody who knows me, that’s not a reflection of who I am. I did something for a certain audience that got out of hand. … It was contradictory to my values and beliefs and contradictory to the team’s values. I completely apologize to anybody who was offended.” …
Reynolds opens the film sitting behind the mayor’s desk, then goes to Chinatown, where a 49ers team consultant uses racial slurs about the Chinese community. Next comes a topless, lesbian wedding filmed at a strip club and officiated by Reynolds, again impersonating the mayor.
“I know the courts say we can’t do this,” Reynolds says before the happy couple engages in heavy petting. “We make our own rules here in San Francisco.”
[Well, at least he’s not lying. –Ed.]
Reynolds then goes to SBC Park, where acting as “mayor” he throws out the opening pitch, then takes a bribe from the catcher, who thanks him for supporting “hookers and booze.”
“You do something controversial, you say something controversial, it will have an impact on this team. So remember, be mindful of your actions,” Reynolds says, wearing only a towel before joining three topless blondes for a group hug in a strip club’s dressing room. “What you do is not only a reflection of yourself. It’s a reflection of the San Francisco 49ers.”
[I think we have ourselves a winner for the 2005 Hypocrite of the Year! –Ed.]
Predictably, the San Francisco 49ers organization and the NFL are denouncing the video and claiming no prior knowledge of its compilation. Personally, I found the video to be extremely amusing, as well as incredibly stupid. Good luck finding a new job, “Mayor” Reynolds!
(You can view the video here. Warning: NSFW!)
UPDATE FROM THE WEBMASTER: Here’s the top of the Chronicle’s Wednesday front page:
…and it runs toward freedom. Even Pat Buchanan can see the writing on the wall:
“We say we won a great victory by defeating gay marriage in 11 state-ballot referenda in November,” he says. “But I think in the long run, that will be seen as a victory in defense of a citadel that eventually fell.”
No, it’s not horrific television violence. It’s not terrible city services. And it’s not a high crime rate that’s corrupting our youth.
It’s drive by porn, the newest way to create awkward parent-child moments.
Drive by porn is a phenomenon brought about by some jerk’s stupid idea to put DVD players in cars to distract drivers, errrr, to entertain kids. Naturally, horny megalomaniacs get a hold of this technology and because they are the only people who exist in the world, they want to watch their damn porn.
Of course, this brings up a good question. If you are watching porn in a regular SUV and a school bus full of children stops next to you and the kids watch your porn, should you have to pay a fine? Same scenario, except your car has darkly tinted windows. Now what? See no evil…
What with Himself on another Moratorium for to review the material for Finals, I figured I’d better Man (so to Speak :) the Irishtrojan Queer Desk, here. :) (Yes, again. Yes, people are starting to Talk. Not that there’s Anything Wrong With That. :)
See now, here’s a Case Study in why it can be a Challenge for us liberals to Respectfully Reach Out (as I have more than once Advocated & still do) to the very sincere and unsimpleminded citizenry of the CRA (Christianicist Republic of America) ~ and most especially to its Deep Southernmost affiliates. From the March 26 Evening News ~
(CBS) A college production tells the story of Matthew Sheppard, a student beaten to death because he was gay.
And soon, it could be banned in Alabama.
Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.
“I don’t look at it as censorship,” says State Representative Gerald Allen. “I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children.”
[There ya Go. / ~ the guestblogger]
Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker’s novel “The Color Purple” has lesbian characters.
Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can’t define what a classic is. Also exempted now, Alabama’s public and college libraries.
…in book after book, Allen reads what he calls the “homosexual agenda,” and he’s alarmed.
“It’s not healthy for America, it doesn’t fit what we stand for,” says Allen. “And they will do whatever it takes to reach their goal.”
Hat Tip: the self-imposed-Moratorium-bound Brendan Loy. :)
Connecticut on Wednesday became the second state to recognize same-sex civil unions, and the first to do so without court pressure.
About an hour after the state Senate sent the legislation to her desk, Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed a bill that will allow thousands of gay and lesbian couples in Connecticut to be given the same rights and obligations as heterosexual couples, but not an actual marriage license.
“The vote we cast today will reverberate around the country and it will send a wave of hope to many people, to thousands of people across the country,” said Sen. Andrew McDonald, co-chairman of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, and one of a few openly gay state lawmakers.
Last week, the House of Representatives amended the bill at the governor’s urging to define marriage under Connecticut law as existing between one man and one woman.
The Senate gave final legislative approval to the amended bill Wednesday afternoon on a 26-8 vote.
“I have said all along that I believe in no discrimination of any kind and I think that this bill accomplishes that, while at the same time preserving the traditional language that a marriage is between a man and a woman,” Rell said after signing the bill into law…
…The Family Institute of Connecticut planned a rally for Sunday in opposition to the bill. Brian Brown, the group’s executive director, said they will still gather, but with a new focus.
“From now until 2006, our mission will be to let every person know in the state of Connecticut which lawmakers voted to redefine marriage, and which lawmakers voted to protect marriage,” he said.
Actually, every single member of the House majority that voted For the bill as Amended, and of the overwhelming Senate majority that did the same yesterday, voted to explicitly Redefine Marriage as being between one Man & one Woman only. As did the Governor when she put Pen to Parchment on Wednesday.
But Nevermind about that Now, I’m just Sure the Family Institute of Connecticut will sort it all out eventually.
Another gay Republican, working for change in his state and his party.
Less gay-friendly than the State Senate which passed the bill 27 to 9 unamended, the House approved it 85-63 today but only after attaching the one-man-one-woman Definition of Marriage provision which the other chamber had rejected. So now it goes back Upstairs as a Disagreeing Action.
Presumably the Senate will bite the bullet and pass the amended bill In Concurrence with the skittish House. The Marriage Is Between Heteros clause, though superfluous at present (our liberal-Democrat A.G. having formally opined that that’s exactly the state of the current law), removes any excuse for Governor Jodi Rell to veto the measure ~ since she’s on record as favoring civil unions in principle, so long as they don’t threaten the Sacrosanctity of Straights-only Marriage.
Of course the House amendment buys time for the Opposition to take another Whack at civil unions as such. But turning around that 3 to 1 Senate vote is going to be a Tall Order. They need to peel 10 votes off of the bipartisan 27 who said “Yea” the first time - or, at bare minimum, 9 votes to produce an 18-18 Tie & Pray that Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan, D-West Hartford and a Gubernatorial candidate Himself :), will have a sudden Epiphany and vote Nay. Which I doubt. Sully is a progressive fellow, plus the Polls show that most Voters support civil unions. :)
By the way, some lazy media accounts that the bill confers on civilly-united gay couples “all the benefits of marriage” ~ and thus the opposition argument that it’s simply “marriage by another name” ~ are factually incorrect, according to NBC Channel 30’s report tonight. Various Health-insurance & Tax-status & Family Sickleave & Other tangible benefits available to Married persons, would NOT be applicable to the Civilly United, it said.
Here again is the NBC Channel 30 story.
In a sure sign of the Apocalypse, Boi From Troy praises UCLA athletes and the Daily Bruin. Why? Because they had the courage to tackle the issue of gays in college sports head-on:
“My coach has made homophobic remarks,” said a gay varsity male athlete at UCLA, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “He said that if there were any faggots on the team he would kick them off.” …
One male UCLA varsity athlete, who also wished to remain anonymous, is open with his family and friends back home, but said that he has remained in the closet with his Bruin teammates and coaches. Though he is tempted to divulge his secret, the fear that his teammates might ostracize him or even harm him physically has kept him silent.
In light of the Catholic “love the sinner, hate the sin” teaching, I trust that openness and anti-discrimination in this area is a gay-rights cause we can all support.
For what it’s worth, I think it’s wrong for Bill Clinton to say that a gay Republican is “self-loathing.”
Although, I suppose I can understand him getting all pissed off because the particular gay Republican in question is saying mean things about his wife. (Of course, that assumes that his marriage to Hillary is something other than a made-for-politics sham… I personally think it is, but that’s a whole different discussion.) I mean, I sometimes say slightly irrational things when people insult Becky. :)
But still, you shouldn’t label people as “self-loathing” (or any other generalized label) just because they belong to a particular political party and have a particular sexual orientation. That’s what we call a stereotype. As BoiFromTroy says:
Yes, Bill, all gay Republicans are self-loathing… All Irish are drunks… All African Americans like fried chicken and watermelon… All Jews are avaricious… And all hillbillies are ignorant.
Well, with statement like this Clinton might be trying to prove the last of these tired, false stereotypes true. Either that or he’s been hanging out with the Bush family too much!
On an unrelated note, Boi has been getting a lot of attention for a post about — of all things — boobies. Go figure! :)
P.S. Speaking of Bill Clinton and boobies, here’s some advice that the former president may want to take, if he and Hillary share a computer… :)
I haven’t heard too many people argue that gays and small town Kansas go together. But this guy was trying to break the stereotype by creating a little cubby of acceptance. He failed and if he’s smart, he’ll leave his small town before some misguided, Bible-thumping hick kills him.
April 7, 2005
By MARK PAZNIOKAS, Courant Staff Writer
The state Senate produced a landmark victory for the gay rights movement Wednesday, voting 27-9 to approve civil unions for same-sex couples.
With surprising ease, the Senate passed and sent to the House legislation that would extend the equivalent of marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.
Half the Senate’s 12 Republicans and all but three of its 24 Democrats voted for the measure. The bipartisan vote puts Connecticut on a path to become the first state to approve civil unions without court intervention.
“This sends a huge message not only to the state, but to the entire country,” said the bill’s leading proponent, Sen. Andrew J. McDonald, D-Stamford.
This ruling will be appealed, of course, but for now, let us rejoice in the obvious truth of the court’s statement that there is “no rational purpose” for a law decreeing that two consenting adults, who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together, can’t get married (in the eyes of the state, not of a church, mind you) simply because they happen to be of the same sex.
(Hat tip: Andrew/BoiFromTroy.)