Jamie Pedersen Hub

News: India, Gordon Fox, Cockroach, Party Crasher, Dolphins

 road Azaad Bazaar, first gay-themed gift shop, opens in Mumbai, India.

Dolphin  roadScientists: Because of their intelligence, dolphins should be treated as non-human persons.

 roadBoise State football player is majoring in 'Cummunication'.

 roadI Love You, Phillip Morris to be screened at Palm Springs International Film Festival.

 roadDenise Williams, who became spokeswoman against hate crimes after her transgender son Simmie Williams was murdered in February, 2008, dies at 40. Simmie's case is still unsolved.

 roadA third alleged White House state dinner party crasher has been identified as Carlos Allen, a D.C. party promoter. Allen denies that he was there: “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t know why people are saying that."

 roadMichael Cera gets a makeover from Jersey Shore's Pauly D.

Fox  roadGay Rhode Island lawmaker Gordon Fox front-runner to become House Speaker: "If his fellow representatives choose him as speaker, Fox will become one of the state’s most powerful politicians, leading the Democrat-controlled House as it struggles with the worst financial mess in decades. He has competition from his party’s more conservative flank. Fox’s legislative priority list aligns him with the party’s more liberal wing. An openly gay man, he is a staunch advocate, for example, of same-sex marriage."

 roadMemphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center receives anonymous $50K endowment.

 roadDaytime confidential declares Scott Evans and Brett Claywell from One Life to Live, and Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia from Guiding Light, among 10 best soap couples of 2009.

Pavelka  roadThis is probably all of The Bachelor you really need to see.

 roadNew cockroach species discovered in New York.

 roadWashington lawmaker Jamie Pedersen prefiles bill that would recognize legal same-sex unions from out-of-state.

 roadBritney Spears to release new album in March?

 roadBefore New Year's I posted that the police were interested in talking to the ex-girlfriend in the hit-and-run dragging death of Leticia Martinez. That ex-girlfriend has since been arrested and charged with the murder.

 roadA memorial will be held Friday, January 15, at 5 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 2120 North Fee Lane in Bloomington, Indiana for slain professor and author Don Belton. Hundreds attended a New Year's Day candlelight vigil.

Washington Domestic Partner Bill Under Attack Before It's Signed

Larry Stickney, President of the Washington Values Alliance, yesterday filed a referendum intended to send Washington's recently passed "everything but marriage" domestic partnership bill to the voters. The bill which provides same-sex partners nearly all of the rights of married couples, is expected to be signed into law shortly by Governor Christine Gregoire.

Stickney The Spokesman Review reports: "On Monday, Stickney filed Referendum 71, which would overturn the law. He and other members of what he described as a broad coalition have until July 25 to gather the more than 120,000 voter signatures needed to get it on the November ballot...Opponents of the changes say that the latest round is de facto same-sex marriage. 'We consider it marriage,' said Stickney. And even if not, he said, the legislation almost certainly sets up a court challenge that could throw out the state’s ban on gay marriage. Across the country, Stickney said, 'we’re seeing marriage achieved by judicial fiat. And this kind of legislation kind of tees it up for the courts to act.' Stickney was clearly caught off guard to find several reporters waiting for him at the secretary of state’s elections office when he filed the measure Monday afternoon. He would only answer a few questions, saying that more details would come out later in a news release."

Fuiten The Stranger reports that Stickney's allies are leaving him: "Pastor Joe Fuiten, a director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington—the state wing of Focus on the Family—sent an email to his flock yesterday denouncing the referendum. First, Fuiten weighs the benefits of support, including 'making a statement of belief.' Fuiten then enumerates a longer, more cogent list of reasons not to run a referendum." According to The Stranger's Dominic Holden, Fuiten cites several reasons for his denunciation: the referendum would be rejected by voters, the last signature-gathering effort failed, people don't care about taking away gay rights, people don't have the money for the fight, and the group is afraid to look like out-of-touch bigots.

Desperation in WA as Domestic Partner House Vote Nears


Dominic Holden of Slog reports on the rally held by anti-gay religious folks on the steps of Washington's Capitol Building in Olympia yesterday in anticipation of the House taking up a Domestic Partner bill that has already been approved by the state senate and has more co-sponsors in the House than it needs to pass.

Said state senator Ed Murray, the bill's sponsor in the senate, of the rally: "I think the rally is probably more of an attempt by certain organizations to find a reason for being, to fill their own coffers and keep their own organization going. They are down in polls and down in the legislature. It is not a happy time for them."

The measure would provide virtually every right of marriage but the name. That, Murray has hoped, would be the next step.

(image: ryan leisinger - slog)

Murray talks about the bill, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Desperation in WA as Domestic Partner House Vote Nears" »

Washington State Domestic Partner Bill Passes Senate 30-18

Despite fierce opposition and deceptive television commercials from the religious right, a domestic partnership bill has passed the Washington state senate and is headed to the House:

Pedersen_murray "Not since the Legislature debated and passed the state's Defense of Marriage Act a decade ago, defining marriage as between one man and one woman, has a gay-rights issue generated such frenzy in Olympia. Religious and traditional-values groups are waging campaigns to derail the measure, which passed 30-18 Tuesday night. In commercials broadcast on cable outlets and posted on YouTube, in a newspaper ad, and through phone calls to state lawmakers, they're targeting legislators and voters in swing districts, warning that the bill redefines traditional marriage. They've packed legislative hearings and flooded the offices of state lawmakers with telephone calls. They plan a rally in Olympia next week to get their message across."

The bill was introduced in January by openly gay Senator Ed Murray and (the House version) openly gay Rep. Jamie Pedersen.

Said Murray: "Morally, we hope this discussion leads to marriage. Legally it does not. My partner and I have been together 18 years and would love the opportunity to marry. Domestic partnership is as close as we can get without being granted marriage."

There are 5,111 couples already registered in the state's domestic partner registry, according to the Seattle Times, and the bill would extend "marriage-like" benefits to them: "Under Senate Bill 5688 and its companion, House Bill 1727, all remaining areas of state law that now speak only to married couples would be amended to provide domestic partners benefits in such areas as workers' compensation, pension, unemployment and the use of sick leave to care for one another. The bills would also require same-sex partners to go through the same process as married couples when dissolving their unions. The measures would not confer federal benefits to registered domestic partners — such as filing a joint income-tax return — and in most other states, these Washington benefits would be invalid."

The House bill appears ready to pass easily, according to Slog.

One of the deceptive ads the religious right has been running, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Washington State Domestic Partner Bill Passes Senate 30-18" »

Washington State 'Everything But Marriage' Bill Introduced

Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) and Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle) introduced a measure in the Washington legislature yesterday that would offer same-sex couples the same rights and benefits of heterosexual married couples, the Seattle Times reports:

Pedersen_murray"The 110-page bill makes changes to all remaining areas of state law where currently only married couples are addressed. The bill would add same-sex domestic partners to state statutes ranging from labor and employment to pensions and other public employee benefits."

Said Pedersen, who is gay: "This is everything but marriage. Although we view this as an improvement that provides real and concrete protections to same-sex partners, it's an inadequate substitute for marriage. Our hope is that the continuing success of this legislation helps people understand what marriage is, and that it gets them more comfortable with treating all families with equality dignity and respect...It's entirely possible that next year, enough things might have changed that we feel like it's time to make a run at the marriage bill. We're not there now. But it's not out of the question."

Murray and Pedersen are two of six openly gay members of the Washington legislature.

Washington Legislature Votes to Expand Domestic Partner Rights

A bill proposed by openly gay Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, extending 170 new rights to domestic partners in Washington State, passed the state senate by a vote of 29-20 Tuesday:

Justregistered"The bill grants same-sex couples additional rights -- including the ability to share bank accounts, the right to hold common property and immunity from testifying against one's partner in court. Divorce rights -- including child-custody provisions -- were also granted. The measure now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is expected to sign it into law. Republicans decried the bill for whittling away at the institution of marriage, saying the deterioration of marriage between a man and a woman would lead to a rise in crime, juvenile delinquency and parents working long hours."

The expansion of rights is seen as a step toward full marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Gay couples win new rights in bill [seattle post intelligencer]

Washington State Domestic Partner Law Takes Effect [tr]
Somehow, "Just Registered" Doesn't Have the Same Ring To It [tr]
Gay Rights Champ Pedersen Wins Key Seattle House Race [tr]


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