Gay Primary Source

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gov. Brown Declares Harvey Milk Day

"As one of the first openly gay politicians to hold office in the United States, San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk is remembered as a hero in the movement for acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. His courage in facing a hostile public and his insistence on being treated the same as anyone else contributed greatly to the advancement of this cause. Milk succeeded because he was not just a gay leader but a champion for his district, a brilliant coalition builder and community organizer who brought the real concerns of ordinary people to city hall. His legacy lives on in the vibrant neighborhoods of San Francisco, which he helped restore to vitality at a time when American cities were in crisis.

Today, on the 83rd anniversary of his birth, I urge all Californians to remember Harvey Milk for his contributions to the more open, free and honest society that we live in today. We should also remember how he died, at the hands of a fellow supervisor, a killing that Milk himself had anticipated because of the virulent opposition he faced. On this day, let us rededicate ourselves not only to the cause of equal rights for all people, but also to the peaceful and democratic process envisioned by our nation’s founders.

NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2013, as “Harvey Milk Day.”

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 21st day of May 2013."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Governor Signs Minnesota Freedom to Marry Law

"What a difference a year and an election make in Minnesota! Last year, there were concerns that marriage equality would be banned forever. Now, my signature will make it legal in two and one-half months.

First and foremost, I want to thank the people of Minnesota, who voted last year to defeat a very destructive Constitutional Amendment, and also to elect courageous legislators, who would support this monumental social advance.

I want to thank the activists, all of you here tonight and the thousands more throughout our state, who worked so long and so hard to win this extraordinary victory.  

At the risk of leaving out many deserving leaders, special recognition should go to Richard Carlbom, who brilliantly masterminded last year’s and this year’s campaigns.

Congratulations to the chief authors, Representative Karen Clark and Senator Scott Dibble, who shepherded this bill along an often difficult path – and who have now succeeded, to the amazement of some and the delight of many.  

Thank you to the House and Senate leaders: Speaker Paul Thissen, Majority Leader Tom Bakk, Majority Leader Erin Murphy, and Asst. Majority Leader Katie Sieben for supporting and guiding this legislation.  

And I want to express my utmost admiration to the Republican and Democratic legislators, who voted for this bill. Many of them are standing behind me, and they deserve to hear our gratitude.  

Last week, I suggested that you legislators read John F. Kennedy’s book: Profiles in Courage. Instead, you wrote its latest chapter.  

By your political courage, you join that pantheon of exceptional leaders, who did something extraordinary – you changed the course of history for our state and our nation.

Our country’s founding principle was stated 237 years ago in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

That principle was later embodied in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Unfortunately, our nation’s founding fathers had bold aspirations, but a bad implementation. They wrongly denied those equal rights and protections to women, African-Americans, and other racial minorities.  

They also left out GLBT men and women, if you believe, as I do, that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness certainly include the right to marry the person you love.

Since then, our country’s most important progress has been to extend those equal rights and protections to everyone. That progress has often been difficult, controversial, and initially divisive. However, it has always been the next step ahead to fulfilling this country’s promise to every American.

It is now my honor to sign into law this next step for the State of Minnesota to fulfill its promise to every Minnesotan."

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, May 14, 2013. 
 Watch also on Youtube

Monday, May 13, 2013

St. Paul MN "Freedom to Marry Week"

“The State of Minnesota is about to write history. Becoming the first Midwest state in the country to legislatively legalize the freedom to marry for all committed couples is an event worth celebrating. Today, we line the Freedom to Marry Bridge with pride flags to show the importance of this legislation to the City of Saint Paul, the families that live here, and to those who have been waiting for this day for many years. Connie and I have been married for 24 years and it is time all of our friends and neighbors have recognition for their love from the state they call home.”

Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, May 13, 2013.

Mayor Coleman issued a proclamation proclaiming May 13 through May 17 “Freedom to Marry Week” in the City of Saint Paul. Pride flags now line the Wabasha Street Bridge, which has been temporarily named the “Freedom to Marry Bridge.”

Delaware Enacts Marriage Equality

"I know many of you here today, and many up and down our state, have waited years and decades for this day to come. I know many of you know others who had hoped for years and decades to see this day come, but who passed before their right to marry the one they loved was recognized by the state they called home. I do not intend to make you wait a day longer.

It is in moments like this that it is truly humbling to hold this office. I spoke in my Inaugural Address in January about great Delawareans who have changed history and made our state better for generations to come. Those of you who have worked tirelessly for years to make today possible, who started working to make this day possible before today was even imaginable, have joined the ranks of those great Delawareans. You have advanced the cause of liberty, equality, and dignity in our time.

It has taken us time to know and recognize what the children of gay and lesbian parents in committed relationships have long known – that the people they love and look up to, who have dedicated their love and lives to raising them, are their parents, are there family. By extending the dignity of marriage to their parents’ relationships, we recognize what they know – that they and their parents are family – in terms that are unmistakable and undeniable.

Marriage equality would not have become a reality here in Delaware were it not for the extraordinary efforts of Equality Delaware, under the amazing leadership of Lisa Goodman and Mark Purpura. They are passionate advocates, consummate professionals and, most important of all, kind and decent people. They exemplify the virtues of active citizenship in a state of neighbors.

Marriage equality also would not have become a reality in Delaware without the courageous and principled leadership of Representative Melanie George Smith, Senator David Sokola, the Pro Tem, and the Speaker.

It is my distinct honor today to sign this legislation into law - to make marriage equality the law of Delaware. Delaware should be, is and will be, a welcoming place to live, love, and raise a family for all who call our great state home."

Delaware Governor Jack Markell, May 7, 2013. Statement from Marriage Equality Bill signing ceremony. Watch also on youtube.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Governor Signs Rhode Island Marriage Equality Act

"My fellow Rhode Islanders, Today, Rhode Island is making history.

We are living up to the ideals of our founders who believed so deeply in the words etched behind me in marble: "to hold forth a lively experiment, that a most flourishing civil state may stand and best be maintained..."

In January 2011, I stood before you in the same spot where I stand today. I said then: "When marriage equality is the law in Rhode Island, we honor our forefathers who risked their lives and fortune in the pursuit of human equality." I believe those words just as much today as I did then, and I am proud and humbled to make the Marriage Equality Act the law of the land in Rhode Island.

We would not be where we are today without the Rhode Islanders who for decades have fought for tolerance and freedom over discrimination and division. People such as David Cicilline, Gordon Fox, Rhoda Perry, Frank Ferri, Donna Nesselbush, Michael Pisaturo, Myrth York, Josh Miller, Art Handy, and Sue Sosnowski. I am so pleased that many of them are here celebrating with us this evening. Sadly, some of them, such as the late Julie Pell and June Gibbs, are not. But they are certainly here in spirit. This legislation also would not have passed without the extraordinary efforts of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, with Ray Sullivan at the helm. The doors that were knocked on, the conversations that took place, the calls that were made to legislators - this is what pushed us over the finish line. I want to thank all of the staff, supporters, and volunteers for their hard work and commitment to a worthy cause. I also want to commend Speaker Fox, who has been a leader in this struggle for many years, for his decision to call a House vote in January. That vote was 51-19. And I give great credit to Senate President Paiva Weed for calling the roll and allowing her members to vote their conscience. That tally was 26-12 ......

In closing, I want to say a few words to our many, many LGBT family members, friends, and neighbors all across Rhode Island. I know that you have been waiting for this day to come. I know that you have loved ones who dreamed this would happen, but did not live to see it. But I am proud to say that now, at long last, you are free to marry the person you love. Thank you."

Governor Lincoln Chafee, Providence, RI, May 2, 2013, Marriage Equality Act signing ceremony.

Senate Passes Rhode Island Marriage Equality Bill

"I am always proud to be a Rhode Islander, but never more so than today. After yesterday’s Judiciary Committee vote, I expressed my hope that the full Rhode Island Senate would pass a bill that chooses tolerance and fairness over division and discrimination. In passing the Marriage Equality Act, they have done just that. I thank the Senators who have taken a stand to move Rhode Island forward and commend the Senate President for calling the roll. Great credit should go to Ray Sullivan, everyone at Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, and the countless volunteers who knocked on doors and participated in phone banks. Finally, I want to applaud the pioneers, such as the late Julie Pell, who for decades have fought for the fundamental rights of gay and lesbian Rhode Islanders. This day would not have been possible without their efforts. Pending the final vote by the House of Representatives, Rhode Island will no longer be an outlier in our region. We will have the welcome mat out. We will be open for business, and we will once again affirm our legacy as a place that is tolerant and appreciative of diversity."  Governor Lincoln Chafee, April 24, 2013, statement regarding Rhode Island Senate passage of the Marriage Equality Act.

Senate Committee Advances Rhode Island Marriage Equality Bill

"I am pleased that the Committee members have chosen to move Rhode Island forward. Marriage equality legislation has now come farther than ever before in the Rhode Island Senate. Rhode Island currently stands as an island of inequality in our region. At this time of intense economic competition, we cannot afford to lag behind our New England neighbors and New York in this important area. There is still work to be done. Over the next 24 hours, I encourage Rhode Islanders to contact their Senators to urge passage of a bill that chooses tolerance and fairness over division and discrimination. I believe that when the roll is called, marriage equality will become law in Rhode Island."  Governor Lincoln Chafee, April 23, 2013, Statement regarding Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Marriage Equality.