State’s Rights POTUS Obama Arrives In Los Angeles: Clooney’s Pals Show Him the Money, But Will LGBT?

Gridlock will greet homebound Angelenos as BarackSame sex couples should be able to get married…but I support the concept of states deciding the issue on their ownObama makes his way to one of George Clooney’s palatial homes for a celebrity and high-donor filled event. The Los Angeless Police Department to residents of Fryman Canyon to stay home all day or make other plans, and whole business areas have “no parking” signs. The traffic situation is so bad it’s been dubbed Starmageddon, but hey, it’s expected to raise $15 million for Obama.

Obummer’s  calculated personal decision to support marriage equality (the day after North Carolina voted against it) is also expected to raise money. Oscar winning writer Dustin Lance Black, who previously was so angered by the President’s lack of action on LGBT issues that he spoke about sitting out this election (bad idea, everyone should go to the polls and vote for their local ticket!), is thinking about holding an all-star LGBT fundraiser for Obama and  said

I am moving from a position of little enthusiasm to a position of strong support, and that means you will see me contributing financially and repeating my efforts of 2008 by knocking on doors in states where he wants me to knock on doors. When you ask for something big and you get it, you have to show your gratitude.

Obama is the first Democratic president since Harry Truman to assert state’s rights. Dustin, please research what that phrase actually means. Because it kinda sucks. Massively.

photo 1 and 2: screen shots “Falling Down

photo 3: screen shot: “Hollyscoop”

photo 4: Zazzle.com

Rick Perry Pledges to Increase Size of Government, Spend Taxpayer Dollars

Bowing to the pressure of special interest groups, Rick Perry signed National Organization for Marriage’s anti-marriage pledge, joining fellow GOP hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney in their promise to increase the size of government by creating

a presidential commission on religious liberty;

spending taxpayer dollars by sending a

a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification;

and by defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Additional government spending will be required to

“advance legislation to return to the people of the District of Columbia their vote on marriage.”

How un-Republican. It is horrifying that the GOP candidates for president are groveling for the votes of extremists and vowing to appoint judges that will legislate from the bench. I am shocked, absolutely shocked!

Morgan Freeman, Marisa Tomei, Christine Lahti Do “8″

Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s play 8 covering the Proposition 8 hearings and starring Morgan Freeman, Anthony Edwards, Cheyenne Jackson, Christine Lahti, Rob Reiner, Yeardley Smith and Marisa Tomei hits Broadway on September 19th in a one-time staged reading at the Eugene O’Neil Theater to benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Tickets start at $500.

AFER was formed specifically to fund the legal challenge against Proposition 8. A previous fundraiser, featuring a full length concert with Elton John was held earlier this year in Los Angeles.

8 is based on the California Supreme Court trial transcripts, and Milk screenwriter Black, who spent six months writing the play, told the New York Times:

I mined the best arguments on both sides, trying to capture everything on their side that was a winning point and anything on our side that was a winning point.

Luckily Black didn’t have to deal with these kind of arguments found on Facebook.

Wow, what’s next, blaming gays for hurricanes? Oh wait the heterosexual Rick Perry’s buddy/partner in Jesuspalooza, James Hagee has already done that.

8 will also be staged at Carnegie Mellon University, Northwest, and the University of Michigan.

[Thanks, Pam Spaulding for FB tip; h/t OnTopMagazine]

photo: creative commons, Mary McTavish

Sir Elton John and David Furnish Adopt Son, Sir Elton Fundraising for CA Marriage Equality

Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish have a adopted a baby, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, the couple told Us magazine exclusively. ZJLF-J was born via surrogate December 25. The couple’s bid to adopt a Ukranian baby was rejected last year.

Sit Elton and Furnish have been together since 1993 and were joined in a civil partnership December 21, 2005  the first day civil partnerships became legal in the United Kingdom. While the media has often referred to the UK unions as gay marriage, they are technically/semantically not marriage.*

The media is currently reporting that Sir Elton and his partner are “married,” and have used that language in the past.

During the 2008 Prop 8 election Sir Elton famously said:

I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. The word “marriage,” I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.

At the time, Sir Elton seemed unclear in the difference between the U.S. and UK civil unions. His words were used by Yes on Proposition 8 as part of their anti-marriage campaign in California.

But since then Sir Elton appears more aware of lthe difference between the limited (states’) rights granted same-sex unions in the US — in which over 1,000 federal rights are denied to couples — and UK same-sex unions which accord couples equal rights across the board. Equal rights — both state and federal — are what the piece of paper should provide, here in this land where all were created equal.

And now in a show of support for marriage equality in California, Sir Elton is performing a fund raising concert January 19 to benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights. AFER is The sole sponsor of the landmark federal case against Proposition 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger (Teddy Partridge has been liveblogging the court cases including the anti-equal righters’ appeal for Firedoglake.com)

There’s a Facebook sweepstakes (entry is free) to win tickets to the Elton John AFER concert concert plus airfare and hotel, but I have poor impulse control and never win contests anyway — so full disclosure –I bought a ticket weeks ago. It’s a cause I support, and a once in a lifetime experience. OMG, Elton John! At a private home! I am soooo excited!

I hope AFER expands their efforts beyond California into other states and turns up the heat on repealing DOMA.

On Christmas Eve day, Vice President Joe Biden told ABC News that

I think the country is evolving. There is a inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage

in America. Biden also said that President Obama’s attitude towards same-sex marriage is evolving. Well, this clergy-gal can dream (and prays daily) that she’ll be able to officiate at the marriages of her same-sex friends, and that those marriages will grant federal rights.

Sir Elton, thank you for supporting the effort for equal rights. And now that you’re a dad, I hope in addition to working for civil marriage equality, you’ll turn your attention to adoption laws in order to insure that LGBT adoption is legal in every state.

*UK Civil partnerships provide the legal consequences of marriage, including the the same property rights as married opposite-sex couples, the same exemption as married couples on inheritance tax, social security and pension benefits, and also the ability to get parental responsibility for a partner’s children. Civil partnership also incurs responsibility for reasonable maintenance of one’s partner and their children, tenancy rights, as well as granting full life insurance recognition, and next-of-kin rights in hospitals, and other rights. There is a formal process for dissolving partnerships akin to divorce.

Nice Day for a Green Wedding! Ireland Okays Same-Sex Unions!

On December 23, Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern signed the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, legislation recognizing gay couples and allowing civil unions  in the Irish Republic. The law, which secures a range of rights over shared homes, maintenance payments and pensions, goes into effect January 1.

But under Irish law all couples, whether gay or straight, must give three months’ notice to their local registrar, so the first ceremony is expected to be in April. The waiting period, however, can be waived under extenuating circumstances such as illness. Any couple wishing to legally unite must also pay a notification fee of €150.

Justice Minister Ahern said:

Gay couples, whose relationships have not previously been given legal recognition by the State, may now formalise their relationships in the eyes of the law and society at large. Their relationships will be legally recognised and protected.

Top Gun Actress Weds Longtime Girlfriend

Actress Kelly McGillis, who starred opposite Tom Cruise in the 1980s war-is-good-fun-and-gets-you-laid propaganda film melodrama Top Gun (whence issueth the phrase “wingman”), married her long-time girlfriend Melanie Leis in a New Jersey civil ceremony.

The actress, who has two children with her ex-husband Fred Tillman, came out in 2009 after her children had left for college, telling the New York Times this week:

That was one of those moments when somebody asked me a question, my kids had gone from home, so I really didn’t have to protect anyone by skirting the question, and I just decided to be absolutely honest.

Here’s to a happy marriage. And the hope that one day, that everyone can have civil marriage equality with full benefits state and federal, and express who they are without fear of repercussions.

Christian Superstars For Same Sex Marriage

Miley loves Perez

Perez Hilton has been making good use of his Twitter feeds, getting messages of support from celebs regarding his gay marriage question during the Miss USA pageant.

Miley Cyrus who is very active in her church Twittered back:

Jesus loves you AND your partner and wants you to know how much he cares! thats like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz hes gay and that is WRONG and very sad! like i said everyone deserves to be happy.

A little later the teen super star added:

am a christian and i love you [Perez] – gay or not. BECAUSE you are no different that anyone else! we are all gods children! i am not saying this so would be nice on your site (though that would be nice jk;) but because the LORD has spoken ‘love cuz god loves’.

Heidi Montag, one of the stars of The Hills–who is marrying co-star Spenser Prett on Saturday in Pasadena after eloping  to Mexico five months ago–sent Perez this message:

God says in the bible that we should love our neighbor and he created us all as equals. I know in my heart that gays and lesbians should have the same government rights that Spencer and I will when we get married. So, yes, this blonde Christian believes in gay marriage and I hope to one day go to YOUR wedding, Perez!!!

And fellow blonde Brintey Spears, who was raised Christian, Twitted Perez:

Love is love! People should be able to do whatever makes them happy! -Britney

Stars Gather in “Gaythering Storm” Video

Jane Lynch, Alicia Silverstone, Lance Bass, the oh-so-married George Takei and friends take on the gathering storm of gay marriage in this video from Funny or Die

Wayback Machine: Obama Supported Gay Marriage in 1996

feb-08-2007-vid00075_1.thumbnail.jpgIn 1996, while the tormented post-teens of Beverly Hills 90210 were dealing with secondary characters like Joni and her stripper daughter Lily and Tara-the-psycho-Kelli-wanna-be, Barack Obama was running for Illinois state senator.

As part of his campaign, he answered  a questionnaire for a Chicago gay and lesbian newspaper Outlines (now merged with the Windy City Times) and another for IMPACT which was then “Chicago’s main GLBT political action committee.”

His responses, part of  1996 article were never challenged or corrected by Obama. The original questionaires were recently uncovered by editor-in-chief Tracy Baim while she was going through some old boxes of papers. Eureka!

In his typed answers to the Outlines questionnaire, Obama clearly stated he was in favor of same-sex marriage, which he has since opposed on the public record during both his U.S. senate run and his campaign for president:

I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.

At the same time, Obama completed another questionnaire for IMPACT which discussed a pending same-sex marriage resolution. Obama, in his own handwriting, wrote:

I would support such a resolution.

In 2004 during his bid for the U.S. Senate, Obama sat down with Tracy Baim at Windy City Times for an interview. Here are some excerpts:

WCT: But you think, strategically, gay marriage isn’t going to happen so you won’t support it at this time?

Obama: What I’m saying is that strategically, I think we can get civil unions passed. I think we can get SB 101 passed. I think that to the extent that we can get the rights, I’m less concerned about the name. And I think that is my No. 1 priority, is an environment in which the Republicans are going to use a particular language that has all sorts of connotations in the broader culture as a wedge issue, to prevent us moving forward, in securing those rights, then I don’t want to play their game.

But as Baim points out in this weeks’ cover story about the questionnaires and interviews:

civil unions are not “marriage” unless 100 percent of the benefits are the same across all states and the federal government.

In the 2004 interview, Obama also comes out against a Constitutional amendment against gay marriage, saying:

I would oppose that.

Which gives hope that DOMA will be repealed–if it can get through the House and Senate.

[H/T Ben Smith at Politico]


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