DOMA

NC Pride 2013

North Carolina's annual Pride event is coming up this weekend. It's the first NC Pride since the pro-equality Supreme Court decisions this summer, so there should be a lot of energy out there. The main event is of course on Saturday with the fair grounds style tent set up, speakers, and marches around the Duke East Campus and 9th street areas. It's a lot of fun, and you should check it out if you've never been.

Celebration of progress towards equality

There was a great array of speakers in Raleigh tonight at the celebration and info session around today's marriage victories at the Supreme Court including legislators, speakers from Equality NC, and the ACLU. My very preliminary understanding of the ruling is that there wasn't standing for Prop 8 which means marriage equality returns to California and puts about a third of the country's population in marriage equality states. And with the ruling against DOMA that means federal benefits will now be extended to same-sex married couples in states that recognize marriage equality.

Decision day is coming this week

Decision day is coming this week. We don't know which day, but we know it's coming. Discriminatory laws like DOMA and Prop 8 could both be put to rest by the Supreme Court this week. Even though that would leave a long ways to go on the marriage equality issue and other LGBT equality issues, it would still be the biggest advancement for LGBT equality thus far in my lifetime.

This is why DOMA must die.

This is why DOMA must die. This is why same-sex married couples must be a part of any truly comprehensive immigration reform.

3 days left

The countdown continues. Only 3 days left until this historic Supreme Court freedom to marry case. Lines have been forming out side the Supreme Court for days now. The polling is moving in our favor at a rapid pace. Even a hundred some prominent republicans have made the jump to supporting marriage equality. There are some big events in DC, but you don't have to go that far to have a piece of history with this landmark case, because events are being held all across the country and across North Carolina.

SCOTUS taking Winsdor DOMA challenge and Prop 8 cases

The Supreme Court is taking up the Winsdor DOMA challenge and the Prop 8 Case. Depending on the ruling, and how broad or narrow it is, this could potentially end amendment 1, DOMA, and marriage discrimination all across the country.

On Why Method Matters, Or, Lawrence O’Donnell, Let’s Talk About DADT

I had the MSNBC on last Thursday night, and Lawrence O’Donnell was talking to Ari Berman of “The Nation” about the new Obama Campaign Chief of Staff, Jim “Not Part Of Loggins &” Messina.

In the course of that conversation O’Donnell said something about the recent repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) legislation that suggests to me that he could use a short reminder of how that legislation fits into the larger view of what the LBGT community is looking for as the march toward true civil rights continues.

Luckily for Mr. O’Donnell, I am available to help him out on this one; that’s why today we’re going to audit “LBGT Agenda 101”—or at least the “Cliff’s Notes” version, anyway.

On Asking Experts, Part One, Or, Do Democrats Really Understand Their LBGT Problem?

Stories begat other stories, or at least they do for me; this two-part conversation came from a comment that was made after I posted a story suggesting that voting matters this time, especially if you don’t want environmental disasters like the recent Hungarian “toxic lake” that burst from its containment and polluted the Danube River happening in your neighborhood.

Long story short, we are going to be moving on to ask what, for some, is a more fundamental question: if you’re an LBGT voter, and the Democratic Party hasn’t, to put it charitably, “been all they could be” when it comes to issues like repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” or the Federal Defense of Marriage Act...what should you do?

Now normally I would be the one trying to develop an answer to the question, but instead, we’re going to be posing the question to a group of experts, and we’ll be letting them give the answers.

And just because you, The Valued Reader, deserve the extra effort, for Part Two we’ve trying to get you a “Special Bonus Expert” to add some input to the conversation: a Democratic Member of Congress who represents a large LBGT community.

Is the Greensboro N&R hiding behind state DOMA to exclude gays from its wedding contest?

This is one of those local stories that has to get out there because it shows the cultural shift of inclusion of LGBTs into daily life is hit and miss not just from state to state, but from city to city.

Take these various local couples and wedding contests or notices in the paper of couples marrying. Including LGBTs is a breakthrough because these are your neighbors, fellow readers of the regional newspaper. Visibility matters and the editors of those newspapers have to make some tough decisions in a difficult economic climate about whether to "rock the boat" for the sake of fairness.

The Greensboro News & Record is "throwing a wedding for one lucky couple in the Piedmont Triad," announced on the N&R's Editor John Robinson's blog page...

On A Pair Of Victories, Part Two, Or, DOMA Ruled Unconstitutionally Irrational

We are back, just a bit late, to wrap up the discussion we began about the pair of rulings issued in Boston by Federal District Judge Joseph Tauro this week that declare the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.

In the first half of the conversation, we examined the ruling in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today we examine the companion case, Gill v Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

I don’t usually tell you the end of the story at the beginning, but this time I will: there are a lot of happy Plaintiffs this week, and the Federal Government, as Defendant (whom I will refer to as “the Feds” from time to time), is not so happy at the moment.

As with last time, there’s a lot of ground to cover, and the sooner we get to it, the better.

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