NY marriage equality Hub

New York Marriage Equality Survives Weird Legal Challenge

2632141304_68d62da931On Friday, New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms -- whose name is not, as far as I know, a conscious attempt at irony -- lost their challenge to New York's marriage equality law on Friday.

HuffPo explains the nature of NYCF's complaint :

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms said Cuomo and another gay marriage supporter, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, met behind closed doors with the Senate's Republican majority in violation of the open meeting law.

... New York's open meeting law requires public access to the deliberations of legislative bodies, but [Attorney General Eric] Schneiderman argued that the Republican caucus with invited guests was exempt, even if the guests aren't in the same party. In a 5-0 ruling, the court agreed.

Anti-marriage New Yorkers were famously shocked and appalled at having been out-maneuvered by pro-marriage Democrats and their allies last summer, in the run-up to the marriage vote. (New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan openly complained that his own back-room dealings with state politicians hadn't trumped the opposition's similar back-room dealings.) NYCF's complaint was the final manifestation of that frustration, and if NYCF had won, it would have essentially meant that no Democratic and Republican lawmakers could ever again chat about issues of import without the whole world watching.  The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court realized such strictures wouldn't be especially conducive to smart governance. From HuffPo:

"In the event that we were to adopt plaintiffs' limited definition of `guests,' it would be impossible for a Democratic member of a governor's office, such as a budget director, to speak to a majority Republican caucus," according to the [Appellate court's] decision.

Top Republican Fundraiser Starts Marriage Equality Super PAC

Paul E. Singer, billionaire and massively influential Republican donor and fund-raiser, has committed $1 milion to creating a pro-marriage equality "super PAC."

From the New York Times's Frank Bruni:

Named American Unity PAC, its sole mission will be to encourage Republican candidates to support same-sex marriage, in part by helping them to feel financially shielded from any blowback from PaulESinger
well-funded groups that oppose it.

In an interview on Tuesday, [Singer] told me that he’s confident that in Congressional races, which would most likely be the super PAC’s initial focus, there are more than a few Republicans “who could be on the verge of support” or are “harboring and hiding their views.”

“And this kind of effort could be catalytic in generating some more movement,” he said.

As Andy previously reported, Singer is straight, but has a married gay son. Singer has contributed massive sums to pro-equality efforts before -- he was instrumental in bringing Republican support to the cause of marriage equality in New York -- but he's also contributed to the campaigns of anti-gay political candidates. He's a big Mitt Romney fan, and last month hosted a Romney fundraiser which brought the candidate $5 million.

NEWS: Dumb Florida, Dumb Jocks, And Love In The Big Apple

FloridaStupid+A Road Florida lowered FCAT language requirements to keep two thirds of the state's kids from failing. Half failed anyway.

Road New York's most senior gay public servant was married today:

Christine Quinn, New York's highest-ranking openly gay official and the leading candidate to be the city's next mayor, married her longtime girlfriend on Saturday, walking down the aisle to Beyonce's "Ave Maria."

Quinn, the speaker of the New York City Council and a vocal advocate of same-sex marriage, wore a full-length, cream-colored gown designed by Carolina Herrera and a hair comb fashioned with family heirlooms.

Quinn's wife, New York lawyer Kim Catullo, wore a cream silk evening suit designed by Ralph Lauren. Catullo, who like Quinn is 45, walked in to Bruce Springsteen's "If I Should Fall Behind."

Cuomo, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly were among the 275 guests.

DOM1 Road Fourth-rate NBA player Dominique Jones really dislikes gay people.

Road In the Hardin County school system, straight teens are punished for wearing LGBT-supportive apparel; the Southern Poverty Law Center sues.

Road In Michigan, representatives and senators sign awards for "women of accomplishment" -- unless those women are lesbians.

Road "Family values" legislator dons bikini, gets hot bod pictured in Maxim.

Road "The 20 Biggest Consequences of Same-Sex Marriage"

Road Nick Stahl, lost and found.

Road Of gays and the boobtube:

Some producers say they have marveled at how fast the opinions of television viewers have changed, even as gay rights activists have marveled at how voters across the country have shifted on gay marriage.

“What this is about, really, is how far America has come, not how far television has come,” said Christopher Lloyd, a co-creator of “Modern Family.”

Shonda Rhimes, the “Grey’s Anatomy” producer, recalled having to “go to the mattresses with broadcast standards and practices” at ABC in 2006 to insist on preserving a steamy shower sequence with three female doctors. That sequence was just a fantasy in the mind of one of the male characters — but now six years later, in the show’s version of reality, two female doctors are married. “Nobody even blinked” at the relationship, Ms. Rhimes said.

The only outcry she recalled came when one of the doctors, Arizona, flirted with a man. “It was from lesbians who said, ‘How dare she sleep with a man!’ ”

Road Any Towleroad readers following the NBA playoffs? Know this: The Onion's sports coverage is no joke.

Nuptials Cost Missouri Man His Job

Welcome_letterCongrats to Al Fischer and Charlie Robin, who were married yesterday in Central Park, in New York, on the occasion of their 20th anniversary. 

Here's hoping the ceremony was lovelier than the circumstances preceding it. Fischer and Robin live in Missouri, where Fischer for years taught music at a Catholic school (St. Ann) and served as part-time music director at a Catholic church (St. Rose Philippine Duchesne). He was always open about his sexual orientation, and about his relationship with Robin. As the couple prepared to fly to New York for their ceremony, Fischer announced his plans at a school staff meeting. There was applause.

But one fellow in attendance, a representative of the St. Louis Archdiocese, probably did not clap. He reported the news of Fischer's impending nuptials to his superiors, and the next day Fischer was fired. 

From the Times:

Two weeks later, after news of his firing made headlines, he was terminated from his second, part-time job as music director for the Roman Catholic church where he and his partner, Charlie Robin, have worshiped for more than six years.

“I didn’t expect any of this,” said Mr. Fischer ... “I didn’t understand it would be, ‘click, you’re done,’ but it was.”

Fischer's firing prompted a storm of protest from parents at St. Ann's, but it did no good: Fischer had previously signed a statement promising to never take a "public stand" against church tenets, and marriage was considered such a stand. (Fischer has long served as the director of a gay men's choir; why that never counted as a "public stand" is unclear.) Fischer reports that his former colleagues have been supportive. From the Times:

Even with his firings, he received nothing but support from the pews. Even of the people who fired him, he said: “These are good people in a tough situation, having to toe a particular line. If they supported me they’d be making a statement against the tenets of the church. They signed the same witness statement that I did.”

Fischer has already received offers of employment from a secular school, where he'll begin teaching next semester. In the meantime, he and Robin are enjoying their weekend in New York; this evening they'll take in a performance of Priscilla: Queen of The Desert.

The Year In Review


Watch AFTER THE JUMP as Talking Points Memo does the year in 100 seconds.

Continue reading "The Year In Review" »

NEWS: 'The Guardian' Explains Our Poverty, Michael Moore Hates Barack Obama, Rick Santorum Has A Blank Wall In His Head, Jimmy Fallon Is The Lizard King

Road The Guardian crunches the numbers: It's really more like 99.99%.

Road John Waters talks Christmas:

“I liked Santa but I would get confused as a child whether I was supposed to pray to him or William Castle [the B-movie director], or Jesus,” he says, before skipping to another thought about “living crèches” – Christmas cribs re-created with real people. “They’re begging for Diane Arbus to come back from the grave to take a picture of them. What parent would give their child to be baby Jesus, with straw and candles and mules that kick … ? I’m telling you, I think living crèches are some of the most horrifying things.”

Road A gay marriage in Zucotti Park!

Road Margot Adler reports on the homeless queer youth of New York:

"The day after my 18th birthday this year, my adopted parent kicked me out," says [Jeremiah Beaverly, late of Illinois]. "At the time, I was really infatuated with this guy, and she was listening to my phone calls. She started telling my family, 'He is this, he is that, he is gay,' and talking about me as if I wasn't part of the family."

Road Christopher Walken opened up about Natalie Wood's death way back in '97, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"She had gone to bed before us, and her room was at the back. A dinghy was bouncing against the side of the boat, and I think she went out to move it. There was a ski ramp that was partially in the water. It was slippery – I had walked on it myself. She had told me she couldn’t swim; in fact, they had to cut a swimming scene from [Brainstorm]. She was probably half asleep, and she was wearing a coat."

Road How do you know what you know?

Road Should a candidate's religion matter?

But suppose Santorum replies — as he has — that he would seek to ban gay marriage (in fact, he also supports anti-sodomy laws). The question then is why he thinks this is the right thing to do.  If his only reply is that his Catholic religion condemns homosexuality, then we’ve hit a blank wall. Debate is the life-blood of a democracy, and this means that leaders must offer discussable reasons for what they propose to do.  To say, “My religion says so” may explain why you believe something, but it has no function in a discussion with people who do not accept your religion.  Such an appeal to religion is, as Richard Rorty once put it, merely a "conversation stopper."

Road That's light! Scientists invent metal material that's 1/100th as heavy as styrofoam. 

Road Faith2Action believes it can disprove evolution in less than 300 words.

Road Michael Moore is as ridiculous when discussing President Obama as he is the rest of the time. Hunstmawkward

Road He's reasonable! He's sane! But dammit, Jon Hunstman just never looks relaxed.

Road A powerful letter demanding the resignation of UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi. (Whose walk of shame you may witness here.) Excerpt:

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

This is what happened. You are responsible for it.

You are responsible for it because this is what happens when UC Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse peaceful protesters through the use of force: students get hurt. Faculty get hurt. One of the most inspiring things (inspiring for those of us who care about students who assert their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly) about the demonstration in Berkeley on November 9 is that UC Berkeley faculty stood together with students, their arms linked together. Associate Professor of English Celeste Langan was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground, and arrested. Associate Professor Geoffrey O’Brien was injured by baton blows. Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, was also struck with a baton. These faculty stood together with students in solidarity, and they too were beaten and arrested by the police. In writing this letter, I stand together with those faculty and with the students they supported.

One week after this happened at UC Berkeley, you ordered police to clear tents from the quad at UC Davis. When students responded in the same way—linking arms and holding their ground—police also responded in the same way: with violent force. The fact is: the administration of UC campuses systematically uses police brutality to terrorize students and faculty, to crush political dissent on our campuses, and to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly. Many people know this. Many more people are learning it very quickly.

You are responsible for the police violence directed against students on the UC Davis quad on November 18, 2011. As I said, I am writing to hold you responsible and to demand your immediate resignation on these grounds.

Road The story of "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic."

Road "A jar of change on a dresser is sadly factoring into a number of financial decisions."

Road Jimmy Fallon as Jim Morrison, singing the Reading Rainbow theme. Incredibly bizarre, shockingly good. Watch it AFTER THE JUMP ... (HT: Shakesville)

Continue reading "NEWS: 'The Guardian' Explains Our Poverty, Michael Moore Hates Barack Obama, Rick Santorum Has A Blank Wall In His Head, Jimmy Fallon Is The Lizard King" »


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