New York Senate votes down gay marriage

I can’t say I’m terribly surprised, but it is disappointing, especially that 8 Democrats voted against the bill, including Sen. Hiram Monserrate, who once slashed up his girlfriend’s face with a broken glass.

Also, California’s second most prominent marriage equality group, the Courage Campaign, has backed away from their earlier promise for a 2010 ballot repeal of Prop 8. To be honest, I don’t think a 2010 effort would succeed at this point, but I worry about the recent tide of events and start to become defeated and complacent. Then I get pissed off that we’re even arguing about marriage at all when so many other, more pressing concerns plague our country.

Watching Sen. Diane Savino does instill me with a sense of hope, however. She’s very eloquent and funny, remarking on the “sacred institution” of marriage that brought us such shows as “Bridezillas” and “The Littlest Groom” where 30 desperate women competed for the hand of a midget.

i think i love al sharpton

“There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people’s bedrooms and claim that God sent you,” Sharpton told a full house on Sunday.

“It amazes me,” he said, “when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being [relegated] into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners.”

via PageOneQ

"you can forget my taxes"

This is perhaps the first awesome thing that’s come out of Melissa Etheridge’s mouth in about a decade. Come to my window, Mel!

Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

Okay, cool I don’t mean to get too personal here but there is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too. Wow, come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We’re gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now single, married, divorced, gay, check here if you are gay, yeah, that’s not so bad. Of course all of the waiters and hairdressers and UPS workers and gym teachers and such, they won’t have to pay their taxes either.

what a difference a gay makes

Last night I was in Grant Park, amid the throngs of bursting Chicagoans hoping to get a glimpse of Barack Obama as he made his acceptance speech in what is arguably the most momentous election in our nation’s history. People weeping uncontrollably, hugging strangers, choreographed dancing and singing in the kind of camaraderie I’ve never seen in this segregated city. Police officers in riot gear took off their helmets and put down their shields, as waves upon waves of people took to the streets in celebration, flooding downtown city streets in a mass of human heat that made the alienation and the loneliness of America’s third largest city unrecognizable. I didn’t cry though. Not last night. Even though the chorus of “yes we cans” hummed in my ears and a warmth unlike any November in Chicago pressed down upon my skin.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “But tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”

In the excitement of it all, I momentarily forgot how truly divided we are as a country because the next morning I woke up and read the following:

Proposition 8 in California: Passed. Banning same-sex marriage for the second time.

Amendment 2 in Florida: Passed. Yet another gay marriage ban.

Proposition 102 in Arizona: Passed. Arizona became the first state in the nation to reject an anti-gay marriage amendment in 2006, passed the measure this year, now that it has been stripped of language that also denied domestic partnership benefits to hetero couples.

Act 1 in Arkansas: Passed. Now gay couples are unable to adopt or foster-parent children. This from a state with 3700 children in the foster-care system, and only 1000 foster homes.

I’m trying not to be bitter about this, but it’s extraordinarily difficult to view Obama’s victory with triumph and exaltation when it comes at the expense of its marginalized citizens.

AND, insult to irony: every pro-choice initiative passed, as well as the decriminalization of marijuana in Massachusetts and the approved use of medical marijuana in Michigan.

I’ve never been wildly excited about marriage – I’ve taken too many women’s studies classes to not have reservations about the institution as a whole and the government being in any way involved with my vagina. But Ellie and I were at a wedding recently (in California, of course) and one of the caterers asked us if we were married. That gesture alone made me really happy. The thought that I COULD get married to someone I love very much made me mildly euphoric. Say what you will about marriage rights – the thousand-some-odd privileges one incurs solely by being married – but when it comes down to it, this is a civil rights issue. And when we vote to take away someone’s rights, it’s hugely demoralizing. And the reasons that anti-gay supporters are using to back up this discrimination are even more insulting.

My relationship is a threat to their children. Remarkably, murder, assault, drugs, poverty and lack of education all tied for second.

My life is destroying the moral fabric of society. Especially when reality shows like The Bachelor have made a mockery out of marriage long before drag queens could ever get their acrylic nails on it. And let’s not forget the Mormon Church, Prop 8’s biggest financial supporter. The irony of a religion with polygamous roots and ideals supporting a ONE man, ONE woman law is the icing on this bitch-slap cake.

Then there’s the ridiculous public education argument – that gay marriage will be taught in schools. When has marriage ever been taught in schools? Forgive me, I went to public school, was that after the unit on how Columbus invented America? Or was that Al Gore…?

I’m sickened that, in what is perhaps the most progressive election of our time, we are still moving one step forward, one step back. I’m sickened at the thought that Arkansas has now denied gay couples (and straight, unmarried couples) the right to adopt children. I’m outraged at Arizona, but I have been for a long time, so that’s pretty tepid at this point. But mostly I am sickened by the fact that yesterday I had such faith in the American people, naively sure, but now I am just deflated. The hate legislation has rained all over my damn parade and it sucks. It just sucks.