Gay Primary Source

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Prez Plans Repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

"We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we're all created equal; that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it; if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else. We must continually renew this promise. My administration has a Civil Rights Division that is once again prosecuting civil rights violations and employment discrimination. We finally strengthened our laws to protect against crimes driven by hate. This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It's the right thing to do." President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, January 27, 2010.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

San Francisco Mayor Reiterates Support

"To the Editor: Re "Newsom Is Eclipsed in Marriage Movement" (news article, Bay Area edition, Jan. 17): From the moment we issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples six years ago, I knew we were beginning a long-term battle that would ultimately be taken up one day in courtrooms in California and Washington. The federal trial in San Francisco this month is the latest chapter in that battle and a logical result of the events that have unfolded since San Francisco wed more than 4,000 same-sex couples in 2004. But victory in the fight for marriage equality is as much about changing people’s hearts and minds as about changing the law. That’s why we first married Phyllis Lyon and the late Del Martin, together for more than 50 years, to give a much-needed human face to the struggle for marriage equality. In that sense, your article is correct that I have been "eclipsed" in the fight for marriage equality. Indeed, all of us, whether politician or lawyer or advocate, are eclipsed every day by the stories of Phyllis and Del and the thousands of same-sex couples who have married since 2004. Because the fight for marriage equality is about them — the men and women whose loving, committed relationships are still treated as unequal in the eyes of the law. I have never been prouder of our decision in 2004 to defy California’s unjust marriage laws and do our part to carry the banner for civil rights. And we will never step back from our commitment to marriage equality until justice prevails in California and in our nation’s capital." Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco, Jan. 20, 2010. Letter to the Editor of The New York Times, published January 22, 2010.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Portugese Parliament Okays Same Sex Marriage

"Casamento de pessoas do mesmo sexo é marco na luta contra a discriminação
O casamento civil entre pessoas do mesmo sexo «reconhece direitos a cidadãos a quem esses direitos eram negados, mas não prejudica nem diminui nenhum direito dos demais; abre novas oportunidades de realização pessoal e familiar a pessoas injustamente privadas de tais oportunidades, mas em nada afecta a situação e as opções das outras pessoas; alarga um direito civil, mas em nada questiona ou perturba a convicção de quem quer que seja; acaba com o sofrimento inútil, sofrimento esse que só o preconceito, a intolerância ea insensibilidade permitiram que durasse tanto tempo."

[translation] Marriage to same sex is a landmark in the fight against discrimination
The civil marriage between same-sex 'grants rights to citizens to whom these rights were denied, but shall not affect or diminish any rights of others, opens up new opportunities for personal and familiar to people unjustly deprived of such opportunities, but does not affect the situation and the choices of other people, extending a civil right, but not in any way question or disturb the conviction of anyone, just to unnecessary suffering, suffering that only prejudice, intolerance and insensitivity led to lasting so long.

Prime Minister José Sócrates, January 8, 2009, on Parliament's approval of the bill legalising same sex marriage in Portugal.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Jersey Governor Admonishes Senate

"While I appreciate the Senate's willingness to publicly debate the marriage equality bill, I am deeply disappointed by the final tally on this common-sense measure that would have assured equal rights for all New Jerseyans. Most assuredly, this is an issue of civil rights and civil liberties, the foundation of our state and federal constitutions. Denying any group of people a fundamental human right because of who they are, or whom they love, is wrong, plain and simple. As was the case when Americans faced legal discrimination on the basis of their race or gender, history will frown on the denial of the basic right of marriage equality. I regret that the state's recognition of equal justice and equal treatment under the law will be delayed. Certainly this process and the resulting debate is historic, but unfortunately, today's vote was squarely on the wrong side of history." New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, January 7, 2010, after failure of the New Jersey Senate to approve marriage equality legislation.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gay Marriage a Reality in New Hampshire

"Beginning on New Year's Day, January 1, 2010, at 12:01 AM, New Hampshire will have marriage equality within our laws for all of our citizens. I have expressed my thanks in the past months to so many people in and out of government who have made that day possible. At the moment that House Bill 436 becomes effective, it will have been the result of twenty, even thirty years of advocacy for equality by many people throughout New Hampshire -- thousands of people, some whom are no longer with us except in spirit -- who have brought us to this point. And as we all know, work still needs to be done. Writers and bloggers on contributed greatly to the success of HB 436. On the dark days when the votes were too close, or when the bill stumbled, BlueHampshire hampsters came to the front. Beginning on March 18th, we had 14 core votes on the bill in the House and Senate: an initial House Judiciary Committee vote of 10-10, a House floor defeat a week later of 182-183, followed minutes later by a victory of 186-179, then a Senate Judiciary Committee vote of 2-3, followed by a Senate floor vote of 13-11, and numerous other close votes followed on related "religious protection" bills. But we won despite our opponents putting up every parliamentary roadblock they could think of. On this issue, every supporter made a difference along the way. There are many heroes of marriage equality. I do try to keep my Blogposts non-personal - but on a personal note, although I haven't talked about him much in recent years except to a few people, I've been thinking a lot during the past few weeks about my longtime partner, Darryl. He died after an auto accident two days after our 10th Anniversary. It was quite some years ago, so the good memories remain. I'm pretty good at visualization, so I felt that Darryl was next to me when I was standing behind Governor John Lynch as he signed HB 437, the Civil Unions bill, on May 31, 2007. And I also felt Darryl standing with us as the Governor signed HB 436, marriage equality, on June 3rd of this year. He had a wonderful smile that day. I'm fighting off a cold right now, but at the moment I'm hoping to be at the State House on New Year's Eve. Wherever I am at that minute just past midnight, or if I'm there in the audience looking up at the ceremonies of several couples being married, in my mind Darryl will be there with me. We'll be holding hands. I know we would have been among the first to be married if he was still here -- we often joked that we were married long before it seemed possible. We'll be together again eventually, but that moment of 01/01/10 - 12:01 AM will bring a special smile to me. And for that, I offer a very special thank you to everyone who helped make this possible -- for the dialogue, for the passage of marriage equality, and for your acceptance." New Hampshire Rep. Jim Splaine, December 30, 2009.