Here's a nice piece of meat to go with your Labor Day barbecues, a new still of Zac Efron as a chiseled fratboy in the upcoming film Neighbors.
It's not just in the United States that marriage equality is making leaps and bounds, it's taking off on the international stage as well with Mexico, Great Britain, and New Zealand all legalizing gay marriage in the past year. Scotland, having been accused of letting their own equality legislation slip behind schedule, have now decided to fast-track the legalization of gay marriage.
The Catholic church has, naturally, expressed their distaste, with spokesman John Deighan saying,
You can only see this as undue haste. It looks like a bandwagon that no-one has been minded to take in the right direction. They ought to remember that if you make law in haste you do not get the best legislation.
Despite the finger-wagging, consideration of the bill to legalize gay marriage will begin next Thursday with two sessions representing each side of the issue. The first will have members from Stonewall Scotland, LGBT Youth Scotland, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the Equality Network, and the Scottish Transgender Alliance. The second, the Muslim Council of Scotland, the Methodist Church in Britain, Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office, and the Evangelical Alliance Scotland.
Though dissenters are being allowed their voice, it would seem they are in the minority. A Scottish Government spokesman said,
The Bill is proceeding on schedule with wide cross-party support. The Scottish Government is committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we believe same-sex couples who wish should be allowed to marry as soon as possible.
If the bill is approved, it is projected to have Royal Assent for legislation by March.
Yesterday in a White House press conference with Joe Biden at his side, President Obama expressed is outrage at Syria's use of chemical weapons and said that he would take the case for military action to the American people and the world, but most importantly, seek approval from Congress:
Now, after careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope. But I'm confident we can hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out.
Our military has positioned assets in the region. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. Moreover, the Chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. And I'm prepared to give that order.
But having made my decision as Commander-in-Chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I'm also mindful that I'm the President of the world's oldest constitutional democracy. I've long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And that's why I've made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in Congress.
Watch his remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...
A little over two weeks ago we told you about the Pentagon extending social security benefits to same-sex couples, even if they were just couples in states where their marriage was legal. Last week, we told you about the Alaska State Personnel Board changing the definition of 'family' to include same-sex couples, and early this week we informed you that the Texas Supreme Court will be hearing a case this November to determine if the state will recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages as legal. Today is California's turn.
Plaintiffs Tracey and Maggie Cooper-Harris brought their case before the California Supreme Court in February 2012, alleging that DOMA and the resulting denial of veteran benefits to same-sex couples were discriminatory and unconstitutional. On Thursday Judge Consuelo B. Marshall ruled that the definitions in Title 38 of the U.S. Code that limit provision of veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples have no rational basis. This is a major step forward for members of the armed forces in legal same-sex marriages as their husbands and wives are now entitled to all of the VA benefits and protections that are normally given to the spouses of heterosexual spouses. According to the Defense Department, same-sex couples can start receiving these benefits this Tuesday on September 3rd.
And the dominoes keep falling.