Breaking: Rhode Island Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage 26-12

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/breaking-rhode-island-senate-passes-same-sex-marriage-26-12/news/2013/04/24/65885

by David Badash
on April 24, 2013

The full Rhode Island Senate this afternoon passed a same-sex marriage bill by a vote of 26-12, bringing the state to the edge of becoming the tenth state in the nation to extend marriage to same-sex couples. The bill now travels back to the House for a procedural vote to mesh the two versions of the bill, and assuming passage there, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chaffee’s promised signature.

Governor Chaffee, now an Independent, was the first Republican U.S. Senator to support same-sex marriage.

All five Republican state senators voted for the bill.

As expected the most outspoken opponent was Democratic Senator Harold Metts, who spoke for nearly ten minutes, quoting Leviticus, misquoting Biblical passages and mis-quoting the Ten Commandments. Senator Metts during last month’s Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill claimed there is “a cosmic battle between God and Satan” as his reason for opposing same-sex marriage, “whether we like it or not.”

Senator Metts also claimed that the rise of China’s financial fortunes may be because America is moving away from traditional religious beliefs, ignoring that China makes religion all but illegal.

Senator Metts also said he could go home tonight and change his sexual orientation.

The bill’s chief sponsor is Democratic Senator Donna Nesselbush, who is openly-gay, and quipped at the beginning of the debate that the issue was so important to her that she “even wore a dress.”

Continue reading at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/breaking-rhode-island-senate-passes-same-sex-marriage-26-12/news/2013/04/24/65885

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HBS: Play Ground for Frauds, Bullies and Self-Loathing Transsexual-Transgender People and wannabee Transsexuals

Yesterday I posted a piece titled: Django Unchained: House Slaves Like Stephan and the “Girls” of HBS.

I’ve gotten really sick of these bullies claiming some sort of right to decide who is or isn’t transsexual based on some sort of purity test that they, themselves would likely fail.

I first came on line in the summer of 1996, back in the days of search engines like Alta Vista and the Usenet/News Groups.

It was kind of a free for all and I joined in.  After a few months, the deliberate cruelty on the part of too many participants drove me away.  I was being drawn into the same sort of behavior.

One thing I noticed even then was how many of the people engaging in this sort of viciousness hid behind aliases and created sycophant sock-puppets, evil trolls to do their dirty work.

Having this happen in a community where there are way too many people who have suffered from abuse and bullying seemed totally fucked up.

I’ve seen the damage of all the abuse and bullying play out across the various trans-communities.  I’ve seen the suicides, I’ve seen the substance abuse.

I’m still alive because I stopped doing drugs back when Reagan was President and they stepped up the War on Drugs.  I was never into the prescription drug abuse so many of my friends were.

Now I’m still here while most of my friends from the 1970s are dead, their deaths brought on by the years of drug abuse.

I fought my own battles with the bottle and haven’t had a drink in over a dozen years.  People now ask me for advice on getting sober.

Along the line I took stock.  Figured out the abuse of people for being transsexual/transgender had to stop.

It was bad enough coming from the Christo-Fascists and Neo-Nazi right wing not to mention the Rad Fems.

Too have the gaggle of wannabees, virtual reality TS/TG KKK dancing around behind masks spewing hate is really disgusting.

They preach to their own circle and are surprised when their sock-puppets aren’t allowed to post.

They scream censorship while having their blogs as platforms to spew hatred from.

To Jennifer Usher’s credit she doesn’t hide behind a mask to spew her hatred and bigotry.  Others do.  Andrea James hunted down a bunch of the fakes including Kiira Tirea and Cheryl Chase at one point. Back by popular demand: internet fakes

Many of us were raised with a burden of guilt and shame regarding being TS/TG.  This leads to self-hatred.

Much of homophobia comes from people who are closet case gay men and lesbians.  So too for the virulent hatred spewed by the HBS faction of TG/TS people.

I’ve seen photographs of a number of them.  Andrea James has exposed others. Most seem to have rather sad isolated lives and are lashing out at people who are having more successful lives than they are.

Oddly enough the more they spew, the more elaborate their fantasy lives the easier they are to see through.

Time is not on their side.

There are too many bright, talented and together TS/TG men and women along with some marvelously eccentric and transgressive TS/TG folks out there who are actively organizing for their right to have lives of equality and dignity.

Time is not on the side of the HBS bigots and trolls.  Even a place like Idaho, home to all sorts of strange survivalists and right wing kooks has amended their policy on issuing gender congruent driver’s licenses and ID cards.  See: Idaho Amends Policy for Changing Gender Marker on Driver’s Licenses

Perhaps the HBS holes will someday learn some self acceptance and stop projecting their internalized pathologies onto others.

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Transgender rights: the next big political movement

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/23/transgender-rights-movement-gaining-momentum

Akin to the marriage equality effort, there is a coalition forming to end discrimination and misunderstanding of the trans community


guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 23 April 2013

Recently we’ve been inundated with images of gay couples holding hands, demonstrating their commitment to one another and protesting the marriage ban. But while the push toward marriage equality sits in the spotlight, there’s another movement underway, one that’s gaining momentum and promises to grow into a leading political contender, but you may not know it yet. I’m talking about the transgender movement.

We live in a culture of disrespect towards trans people, only compounded by laws on the books that fail to uphold justice equally. But this isn’t just about a distant minority, the status of trans people in this country matters not only because we are a marginalized minority – though that is in itself significant – but also because it has broader implications for who we are as a nation. How do we treat each other? To what standard do we hold our government?

One of the biggest issues is discrimination, which holds transgender people back in a myriad of ways, primary among them being in employment. It’s shocking to learn that transgender people are nearly four times more likely than the general population to make less than $10,000 a year, according to Injustice At Every Turn (pdf), the largest study ever conducted on transgender people in the US. This is due in large part to public attitudes. Transgender people are often denied jobs or promotions, keeping us on the bottom of the economic ladder. There’s no federal law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, and only 16 states have stepped up to fill the void. That leaves 34 states where it is perfectly legal to fire someone for being transgender.

We’re also face discrimination in the streets – confronting violence and harassment, including from the police, who are the very ones sworn to protect us. Hate crimes go under-reported, or cases aren’t taken seriously, and survivors are frequently disregarded and disrespected. In the study Injustice at Every Turn, over one-fifth (22%) of respondents who have interacted with police reported harassment by officers, with much higher rates reported by trans people of color. In fact, trans people are often targeted by law enforcement as “suspicious”. In another study, almost 60% of trans Latinas stopped by police in Los Angeles said they were stopped while doing everyday things like “coming back from the grocery store” and “waiting for the bus” – hardly criminal activities. Considering police mistreatment, the last thing you want is to be caught “walking while trans”, especially if you’re a trans woman of color.

But in the face of such rampant discrimination, transgender people are coming together to create a bona fide political movement. Formal organizations are starting up, creating infrastructure to make demands of those in charge and hold them accountable. A critical mass of us are moving past getting angry and moving on to getting politically savvy, building a network of activists pushing for social change. We’re starting to rake up smaller victories that lay the groundwork for larger culture shifts. For example, of the 16 state laws protecting trans people against employment discrimination, 14 of them passed within the last decade, representing a groundswell of political organizing and public education.

Continue reading at:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/23/transgender-rights-movement-gaining-momentum

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Gay vs. Trans Cultural Influence, and the Slow Evolution From Ignorance to Acceptance Within the LGBT Community

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-beyer/gay-vs-trans-cultural-influence_b_3118538.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

04/22/2013

Over the past few weeks there have been several music-related media stories making the rounds in the LGBT community: the homophobic rant by Michelle Shocked and the subsequent fallout, and the Indigo Girls’ commitment to stand with the trans community at the iconic Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MWMF). The way these two stories developed exemplifies the difference in power and influence between the two communities, gay and trans, which are united except when they’re not.

Once Shocked’s rant went viral, fans boycotted her shows, and promoters cancelled her performances. She was so infuriated that she herself lashed out with some performance art and the usual unapologetic “apology.” The consequences of her words led to what now seems an unremarkable, well-organized response from the gay community and its allies. The well-oiled machine that is the gay communications “war room” primes a community that is no longer willing to tolerate abuse and puts into motion with remarkable efficiency a potent campaign response. It works, the mission is accomplished and the story fades, and one hopes that others with feelings similar to those of Shocked, like Dr. Ben Carson, stop and ponder their beliefs and begin to change their behaviors.

The recent contretemps with the MWMF, however, was a much more placid affair, one that has played out many times over the past 20 years since the actively trans-exclusionist policy of the festival was made public. Change, if it happens, will continue to be incremental, a slap on the wrist and not the kind of punishment meted out to Shocked. A change.org petition made the rounds, the Indigo Girls made a statement and Lisa Vogel, the MWMF’s only director for the 38 years of the festival’s existence, replied with a non-apology. This included a comment about the event’s desire to “recognize and honor diverse gender expression among womyn,” a remarkable statement that persons who were assigned female at birth (obviously only on the basis of their perceived genitalia) and then raised as girls are uniquely “womyn-born womyn” and constitute a unique gender identity in themselves. She also highlighted in her response the fact that at the time the festival was created, “the mere idea of a female identity autonomous of male identity was revolutionary.”

And therein lies the rub. Ms. Vogel has not evolved over the past four decades from a second-wave-feminist, Manichean worldview that sees two warring camps, male and female, and she follows the so-called “feminist” philosophy that trans women are simply tools of the patriarchy. It is also doubly ironic that when modern feminism developed in the mid-20th century, the fundamental point was that reproductive biology was not destiny, and yet today we have “feminists” lauding the beauty and function of their reproductive systems as the reason to exclude trans women from the set of all women.

I support the right of all to freely associate. That includes lesbian separatists as well as bigots. As former Vice President Dick Cheney memorably said, “Freedom means freedom for everyone.” If our community accepts this overt bigotry, however, we send the wrong message.

Now I will wade in more deeply. MWMF is simply the tip of the cultural iceberg. I wish that Lisa Vogel and Janice Raymond and Julie Burchill and the rest of them were simply a small group of loud outliers. Unfortunately, they are not. While we have a remarkable group of cisgender lesbian allies, my experience, and that of many of my 50-plus-year-old trans women friends, is that many cis lesbians do not view trans women as women, nor do they view trans men as men, which is probably even more offensive.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-beyer/gay-vs-trans-cultural-influence_b_3118538.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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Amid Much Tumult, France Approves ‘Marriage for All’

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/world/europe/france-approves-same-sex-marriage.html?ref=global-home&_r=1&

By SCOTT SAYARE
Published: April 23, 2013

PARIS — With a definitive vote by the lower house of Parliament, France on Tuesday became the world’s 14th nation, and the third in just two weeks, to approve marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The legislation is expected to be approved by the Constitutional Council and signed into law by President François Hollande in time to allow the country’s first same-sex weddings this summer.

Passage of the “marriage for all” law, sponsored by Mr. Hollande, a Socialist, came after months of sometimes angry debate and a series of major protests, rallies that drew Roman Catholics from France’s rural regions and received the backing of Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, as well as the conservative political opposition. Homophobic violence had risen in recent weeks, with a handful of attacks on gay couples reported across the country.

The legislation was approved by a vote of 331 to 225 in the National Assembly, the lower house, where the left holds a strong majority. Eleven legislators from the center and right broke with party lines to support the law, though there were indications that some of those votes may have been cast by mistake. There were 10 abstentions.

“It is a generous text that you’ve voted for today,” Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told legislators on Tuesday evening, calling the law a “very beautiful reform.”

Opposition to the law, which also opens adoption to same-sex couples, remained strong and vocal even after the vote. Members of Parliament from the country’s main opposition party, the center-right Union for a Popular Movement, had earlier announced that they would challenge the legality of the new law before the Constitutional Council, a high court that rules on matters of constitutionality. And organizers for an opposition movement called La Manif Pour Tous, or Protest for All, said they intended to continue to demonstrate.

On Tuesday night, hundreds of demonstrators converged on the National Assembly, where opponents have held daily protests. Several dozen violent protesters, some wearing balaclavas, clashed with the riot police there, French news media reported, but most remained peaceful.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/world/europe/france-approves-same-sex-marriage.html?ref=global-home&_r=1&

See Also: Gay Star UK: France passes same-sex marriage, adoption

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Delaware House passes marriage-equality bill

From The San Diego Gay and Lesbian News:   http://sdgln.com/news/2013/04/23/delaware-house-oks-marriage-equality-bill

DOVER, Dela. – The House voted 23-18 today to approve a marriage-equality bill.

The bill, HB 75, will be considered next by the state Senate. Both the Senate and the House are controlled by Democrats. Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, proposed the bill and promised to sign it into law if passed.

Gay-rights advocates and allies are optimistic that there are enough votes for passage.

“The history-making vote in the House represents just how ready for marriage equality Delaware is,” said Lisa Goodman, Equality Delaware president. “Constituents from up and down the state are reaching out to their lawmakers to express their support for treating everyone equally under the law. And legislators are hearing that message, from both Democrats and Republicans, loud and clear.”

Delaware legalized same-sex civil unions in 2011, and that law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France (this summer), Iceland, the Netherlands (and the Caribbean island of Saba), New Zealand (August 2013), Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay (this summer).

In Mexico, same-sex marriage is available in the Federal District (Mexico City) and in the states of Oaxaca and Quintana Roo. The marriages are recognized nationwide by Supreme Court order.

In Brazil, same-sex marriage is legal in the states of Alagoas, Bahia and São Paulo. Elsewhere in Brazil, same-sex couples can enter into a “stable union” then go before a judge and convert the union into a full marriage.

Continue reading at:  http://sdgln.com/news/2013/04/23/delaware-house-oks-marriage-equality-bill

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BREAKING: Rhode Island senate committee advances gay marriage bill

From LGBTQ Nation:    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/04/breaking-rhode-island-senate-committee-advances-gay-marriage-bill/

Staff Report
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Rhode Island state Senate committee on Tuesday voted to advance a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the measure by a vote of 7-4 moments ago, sending the bill to the full Senate, which could take up the measure as early as Wednesday. The House passed the bill in January.

The committee also voted 5-6 not to put forward a proposal by Sen. Frank Ciccone (D-Providence), which sought to place a marriage referendum on the 2014 ballot.

The Senate has long been seen as the true test for gay marriage in Rhode Island, now the only state in New England without gay marriage.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an Independent and supporter of same-sex marriage, has promised to sign the bill if passed by the legislature.

Earlier on Tuesday, all five members of the Rhode Island Senate Republican Caucus announced their support for the bill, becoming the first unanimous legislative caucus in the nation — of either party — to support marriage equality.

Rhode Island is one of four states that could legalize same-sex marriage this year — the others are Delaware, Minnesota and Illinois.

See Also: Pivotal vote on same-sex marriage bill looms in Rhode Island

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