June 26, 2009

Matthew Sheppard

The Hate Crimes Bill is attached to The Defense Authorization Bill. The Defense Authorization Bill passed the House today, by a 389-22 vote. It goes to the Senate then to President Obama. President Obama, along with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates do not want to waste money on programs we don’t need. Each Raptor costs approximately $140 million dollars. The House bill includes an additional $1.75 billion for the Raptors.
But here’s the real kicker: President Obama has threatened to veto any bill that comes to his desk with funding for the F-22 Raptors.
So, assuming all goes as planned, our Democratic-controlled Congress will pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill but attach it to the Defense Authorization Bill and President Obama will veto it and go down in history as soft on defense and soft on crime. And soft on gay rights.
The obvious question is, with friends like these…

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June 21, 2009

Obama DOJ to meet with Gay Rights Lawyers

Special extraordinary, the Gov says

Gov. Patterson calls for extraordinary special session on tuesday if on monday the senate can not come to agreement. The Governor said that he will keep them in session until 5-10 bills that were crucial or important would be voted on. We hope that gay Marriage is one of those.

In a reversal, gay couples will be counted

White House: Census to better count gay couples
By LISA LEFF – 1 day ago
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — U.S. Census Bureau officials said Friday that married same-sex couples will be counted as such in the 2010 national tally, reversing an earlier decision made under the Bush administration.
Steve Jost, a spokesman for the Census Bureau, said officials already were identifying the technical changes needed to ensure the reliability of the information, but remained committed to providing an accurate tally of gay spouses.
"They will be counted, and they ought to report the way they see themselves," Jost said. "In the normal process of reports coming out after the census of 2010, I think the country will have a good data set on which to discuss this phenomenon that is evolving in this country."
Same-sex couples could not get married anywhere in the United States during the last decennial count. But last summer, when two states sanctioned gay unions, the bureau said those legal marriages would go uncounted because the federal Defense of Marriage Act prevented the federal government from recognizing them.
Since President Barack Obama took office, his administration has been under pressure from gay rights activists to take a fresh look at the issue. The White House on Friday announced that its interpretation of the act, known as DOMA, did not prohibit gathering the information. Gay marriage is now legal in six states, although the first weddings have not yet commenced in three of them.

June 20, 2009

NYS Bar Association changes to recognize gay marriages

The New York State Bar Association now backs gay marriage.

Delegates for the association adopted a resolution Saturday asking state legislators to give full marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The Association said New York's Domestic Relations law should also be changed to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Bar Association president Michael Getnick says the reform is needed to ensure equal legal rights for gays and lesbians.

The Bar's previous position on gay marriage was that the state could take other actions to guarantee those rights, like recognizing domestic partnerships or civil unions.

The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary bar association in America.

Can we get along???Less confrontational tone from W.H.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' tone showed a marked difference to previous press briefings when the news regarding the census and other LGBT issues came up today.

Watch it, with transcript, AFTER THE JUMP...

Also, the Justice Department has scheduled a private meeting for next week with LGBT groups:

"At the meeting — which hasn’t been announced and is expected to include leading gay rights groups like GLAD and Lambda Legal — both sides are expected to hash out how to proceed with pending DOMA cases. It remains to be seen, however, whether the meeting will achieve in a long term sense what gay rights lawyers told me they were and are looking for — an ongoing, less-confrontational interaction with the administration in the context of specific cases."

And two top White House officials, Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina and Political Director Patrick Gaspard, are reportedly holding an emergency conference call with the LGBT caucus of the DNC:

"The call will include important updates on the Administration's LGBT agenda and how we move forward."

Two more jump ship from DEM. Fund raiser

Two more LGBT leaders have pulled their support from next week's Democratic National Committee fund-raiser dinner in continuing fallout over a brief filed by the Obama administration last week in support of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Representatives from the National Stonewall Democrats and attorney Mary Bonauto of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders are the latest to have backed out of attending a June 25 fund-raiser with Vice President Joe Biden. Software mogul and philanthropist Bruce Bastian, activist blogger Andy Towle, longtime Democratic figure David Mixner, and a handful of others had previously pulled out of the $1,000-per-plate fund-raiser.

June 19, 2009

Sen Gillibrand co sponsors DADT repeal

This from LET'S GET REAL:
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand To Co-Sponsor DADT Repeal
Tagged with: Bill Clinton Colin Powell Don't Ask Don't Tell Harry Reid Huffington Post Kirsten Gillibrand Olympia Snowe Rachel Maddow
Writing today on the Huffington Post in support of Lt Dan Choi, a US Military Academy graduate who was discharged after he came out on the Rachel Maddow show in May, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand pledged to be among the original co-sponsors of the bill to repeal when it’s introduced…
“I am firmly committed to repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. To that end, I am working closely with Congressman Murphy and Senator Kennedy’s offices to develop support for repeal legislation and will be among the original co-sponsors of the bill when it’s introduced.”
The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, crafted by Gen. Colin Powell was introduced as a compromise measure in 1993 under then President Bill Clinton and prohibits Gay and Lesbian service people from disclosing their sexual orientation.
Gillibrand also promised to help Lt. Choi repair the damage that has been done to his career.
In 2003, Choi graduated from West Point with a degree in Arabic. Since graduating, Lt. Choi has served a deployment in Iraq where he was a combat platoon leader. Choi was the first Arabic-speaking specialist to be dismissed by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy under the Obama Administration.
Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine may be another co-sponsor for the bill.
“We do not have a DADT bill introduced in the Senate yet, but a number of senators are working on a bipartisan approach to get DADT repealed,” the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement Tuesday. “We would welcome a legislative proposal from the White House on repeal so as to provide clear guidance on what the president would like to see and when. With presidential leadership and direction, I believe we can find the time to get repeal done in this Congress. We need all the troops we can get right now.”

Big Mama comes out

In celebration of Pride Month, Big Mama Capretta has revealed her daytime identity: Vincent Capretta, also known as Father Anthony, a practicing Catholic priest. He said that he was happy being who god intended him to be "A Gay Priest."

June 18, 2009

2 more dessertions: NO marriage No Dinero

Two more high profile gay figures have decided not to attend next week's Democratic Party LGBT fundaiser, joining those who opted out earlier this week.
This was reported by Towleroad

Senators in Albany, make them accountable!

This list of Senators in Albany has been provided by ABS (Anything but Straight). Pleaase email ALL of these senators and educate them of the fairness of Equal Marriage.

Would vote "Yes" (Email All Supporters)

Eric Adams, D-Brooklyn: Email | Facebook
Neil Breslin, D-Delmar: Email
Martin Dilan, D-Brooklyn: Email | Facebook
Thomas Duane, D-Manhattan: Email
Pedro Espada, D-Bronx: Email
Craig Johnson, D-Nassau: Email
Jeffrey Klein, D-Bronx/Westchester: Email
Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan: Email
Velmanette Montgomery, D-Brooklyn: Email
Suzi Oppenheimer, D-Westchester: Email | Facebook
Kevin Parker, D-Brookyn: Email
Bill Perkins, D-Manhattan: Email
Diane Savino, D-Staten Island/Brooklyn: Email
Eric Schneiderman, D-Manhattan/Bronx: Email | Facebook
Jose Serrano, D-Bronx/Manhattan: Email
Malcolm Smith, D-Queens: Email | Facebook
Daniel Squadron, D-Brooklyn/Manhattan: Email
Toby Ann Stavisky, D-Queens: Email | Facebook
Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Westchester: Email | Facebook
Antoine Thompson, D-Buffalo: Email

Would vote "No" (Email all NON-Supporters)

Darrel Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent: Email
John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse: Email | Facebook
Ruben Diaz, D-Bronx: Email | Facebook
Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna: Email
John Flanagan, R-Suffolk: Email
Charles Fuschillo, R-Nassau/Suffolk: Email
Martin Golden, R-Brooklyn: Email | Facebook
Joseph Griffo, R-Rome: Email
Shirley Huntley, D-Queens: Email | Facebook
Carl Kruger, D-Brooklyn: Email
Andrew Lanza, R-Staten Island: Email
William Larkin, R-Cornwall: Email
Kenneth LaValle, R-Suffolk: Email
Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton: Email
Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury: Email | Facebook
Carl Marcellino, R-Nassau/Suffolk: Email
George Maziarz, R-Newfane: Email | Facebook
Michael Nozzolio, R-Seneca Falls: Email | Facebook
George Onorato, D-Queens: Email
Senator Onorato sent me a personal email explaining he believes marriage is between a man and a woman. Tell him you disagree!
Frank Padavan, R-Queens/Bronx/Nassau: Email
Michael Ranzenhofer, R-Amherst: Email
Joseph Robach, R-Greece: Email | Facebook
Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie: Email | Facebook
James Seward, R-Milford: Email
Dean Skelos, R-Nassau: Email
William Stachowski, D-Buffalo: Email | Facebook
Dale Volker, R-Depew: Email | Facebook
George Winner, R-Elmira: Email | Facebook
Catharine Young, R-Olean: Email | Facebook

Undecided (Email ALL Undecided Senators)

John Bonacic, R-Mt. Hope: Email | Facebook
Brian Foley, D-Suffolk: Email
Ruth Hassell-Thompson, D-Bronx/Westchester: Email
Owen Johnson, R-Suffolk: Email
Kemp Hannon, R-Nassau: Email
Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga: Email | Facebook
Hiram Monserrate, D-Queens: Email
John Sampson, D-Brooklyn: Email
David Valesky, D-Oneida: Email

Wouldn't Say (Email ALL Senators Who Wouldn't Say')

Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens: Email
James Alesi, R-East Rochester: Email | Facebook
Vincent Leibell, R-Westchester: Email
Thomas Morahan, R-Rockland: Email

Download ALL Senators' Email Addresses (Text File)

Obama Announces limited benefits to gay federal employees

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President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday offering limited benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees failed to quell growing anger in the gay community that gay rights issues were getting short shrift at the White House.
In fact, Obama’s promise to offer ancillary employee benefits — such as long-term-care insurance and the right to use sick leave to care for domestic partners — while still denying more valuable benefits, such ashealthinsuranceand retirement funds, may have further agitated gay and lesbian activists who were already fuming over other perceived snubs.
Obama said he also favors extending health and retirement benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees but that such a move is currently prohibited by the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which passed in 1996.
“Are they kidding us? Domestic partnership benefits WITHOUT health insurance because of DOMA?” gay fundraiser and activist David Mixner told POLITICO in an e-mail. “It is like rubbing salt in the wound.”


Basic Fairness

Email being sent to Senators in Albany:
Dear Senator..............,
I urge to please reconsider your opposition to gay marriage. As many argue, this is not a case of "one man, one woman." That's a tradition rule like there are many which we either follow or don't. But on those traditions that deny basic human rights to an entire class of people, tax payers, decent law abiding people like the right to get a government license to marry. On that case to hold a tradition more important that the right of the people is truly fundamentally wrong and unfair!
I hope you join the voice of reason and support the equal marriage bill when it comes up and support bringing to the vote.

I believe that fair man and woman, once they understand the issue of fairness will be fair.
Adam, a voter.

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