Tag Archives: Equal Rights

Marriage Equality

I’ve posted about it before, but the issue is actually being debated in Rhode Island’s General Assembly as I write this. Yesterday after work, I attended a marriage equality rally held by some of the students at the college. They had various speakers that included a gay Catholic priest (not Roman Catholic), some students, and some faculty. I didn’t get to stay to the end as I had to get home to make dinner for my wife, but it was a great rally. Continue reading Marriage Equality

Yet Another Reason to Boycott Wal-Mart

Low prices come at a cost to someone, somewhere. In the case of a gay couple from Michigan, it was the well-being of their twin sons.

Wal-Mart Bans Gay Couple for NOT Shoplifting

This is yet another reason why I have been boycotting Wal-Mart and have not stepped foot in one in several years, the one exception being my trip out west because I was 1 of 7 in an RV trying to save costs (if I had it my way, we would’ve gone elsewhere). This story puts me over the edge though. I will now never step foot in one again. They don’t deserve my business, nor do they deserve anyone else’s, as far as I’m concerned (that is, of course, unless you’re a gay-hating, homophobic redneck).

Of course, another big FUCK YOU should go to the Niles, MI police department who sided with Wal-Mart on the issue. Those officers should lose their badges, and if I were that couple, I’d be in court suing the town.

So join me in my boycott. Vote with your wallets. Boycott Wal-Mart.

Why hasn’t RI legalized gay marriage?

Massachusetts was the first state in the country to legalize gay marriage through a lawsuit in which the judges ruled that it was unconstitutional for gays not to marry. Connecticut, a very Puritanical state, was the second state in New England to legalize gay marriage through a similar lawsuit. Vermont just recently became the first state in the country to legalize gay marriage through the legislature, meaning the people cannot complain that unelected officials made the decision. New Hampshire is about to legalize gay marriage through the same means. That leaves only two states in New England, one of the most progressive regions of the country, where same sex couples cannot be legally married – Maine and the more progressive Rhode Island.

Come to find out, after reading an article on New Hampshire’s recent decisions, Maine’s legislature is considering a bill that would legalize gay marriage. That leaves Rhode Island, the smallest state in the country, the bluest state in the country, the most urban state in the country, as the only state in New England not currently considering allowing gay marriage.

How can this be? In a state where the general assembly and the governor never see eye-to-eye, why is it that the general assembly doesn’t just write up a bill legalizing gay marriage and pass it? It would be passed with a veto-proof margin, similar to the medical marijuana bill. The governor will veto it, and the next day, the general assembly will override the veto.

Could it be because the general assembly is too busy working on pet projects? Could it be because Rhode Island is also the most Catholic state in the country? Could it be because the bishop of Providence makes all the social decision for the governor?

Whatever the case may be, if Maine legalizes gay marriage before Rhode Island, you can rest assured the Rhode Island is also the most backwards state in the country. This one is a no brainer. They tried to teach me in my pre-Cana class that gay marriage is bad for marriage. The bishop regularly makes statements against it. The governor has come out against it. However, the people just wouldn’t care. The people of Rhode Island are just as backwards as the government. They complain at every little thing. They complain about things that deserve praise, such as when an investigative journalist digs up a story on wasteful and deceitful practices in the Providence Parks Department. But that shouldn’t matter. The general assembly doesn’t listen to the people anyway.

So I ask all of you Rhode Island legislators… Why are you dragging your feet on this issue? It’s a no-brainer. Legalize gay marriage and be done with it!

All you people out there, support Marriage Equality RI. Help get gay marriage legalized in Rhode Island. Help make New England, all of New England, the most gay-friendly region of the country.

Big Win for Democracy, for America, for Equality

Last night was a huge win for the people of the United States.  As I am sure you have heard by now, Barack Obama won the presidential election by an unquestionable margin.  He will be the first non-white president this country has seen.  States that haven’t voted democratic in a long time voted in favor of Obama.  It can truly be said that this was a nationwide election and he was elected by a good cross section of our country.

Many republicans are asking themselves what went wrong, what could McCain have done better, what mistakes they should fix in 4 years.  The truth is, they did nothing wrong.  Sure, there were some gaffes, but those were not limited to McCain’s campaign.  Sure, Sarah Palin was an easy target, but she was not the main reason for their loss either.  The reason Barack Obama won is simply because the American people are not happy with the direction the country is headed.  If McCain made any mistake, it was that he is associated with George W. Bush’s failed policies.  Obama energized the people.  He gave them hope, something not seen in a presidential candidate in a very long time.  He brought people together.  His campaign was truly a grassroots effort.  People who had never before been involved with politics were involved in his campaign.  People who had always felt left out were excited that they actually had a voice.  He reached out to everyone.  His campaign was for everyone and involved everyone.  It didn’t matter who you were.  This campaign was for you.  This is not just a victory for Obama and the democratic party.  This is a victory for the American people, for everyone.  Nothing John McCain could have done would have stopped this.  It’s almost as if GOP supporters feel that presidential campaigns are like some kind of game or sport.  It’s as if there are strategies and ways to win, and moves McCain and the GOP could have made that would have pushed him ahead.  The truth is, however, that it is not a game.  It is not a sport.  They sent out the dogs to try to bring down Obama.  They pulled every last trick in the book.  They told lies and half-truths about him to bring him down.  The American people proved that they are sick of dirty politics.  Obama ran a clean campaign.  He didn’t use any low blows.  He didn’t try to attack the character of his opponent.  He ran a campaign on the issues.  And in taking the high road, he came out on top.

While Obama’s victory was truly a great victory for the United States, there were a few other local issues that were not so great.  The states of California, Florida, and Arizona all voted to ban same sex marriage.  The state of Arkansas voted to ban same sex couples from adopting.  These truly hateful measures show just how far we still need to go to become a country based on true equality.

Other measures that can be applauded are Massachusetts’ measure to decriminalize marijuana, Michigan’s initiatives to allow medical marijuana and stem cell research, Washington’s initiative to allow doctor-assisted suicide, Colorado’s voting against a measure to define human life at the time of conception, and South Dakota’s voting against limiting abortion to cases where the mother’s life is in danger or rape/incest.

All in all, last night was a great night for America and for equality.  However, with the ballot measures that passed in various states, it seemed like a “2 steps forward, 1 step back” kind of deal.  One can only hope for the future.  Barack Obama’s victory last night offers just that… hope.

Same Sex Marriage

I may lose some readers (not that I have many) and I may gain some readers because of what I’m about to write.  But I really don’t care.  I support same sex marriage.  Sure, I have a gay brother, but that has absolutely no effect on my views.  The underlying issue is equality under the Constitution.  This country believes in equal rights for all citizens.  The Constitution doesn’t care about skin color, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.  While it doesn’t say anything about marriage, I firmly believe that banning same sex marriage, regardless of whether or not it is a state or federal issue is unconstitutional according to the federal Constitution.

A few states offer civil unions for same sex couples.  These are not the same as marriage and do not give same sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.  Massachusetts was the first state to allow same sex marriage.  It took a lawsuit that ended with judges, not activists, declaring that the state constitution does not explicitly deny same sex couples the right to marry in Massachusetts.  California was the next state to have something similar happen, and most recently, Connecticut did the same.

This is not a religious issue.  The United States offers freedom of religion.  It means you can practice any religion you like and that the government will not force certain religious views on you.  Marriage as we know it in our culture is primarily of a Judeo-Christian tradition.  Man meets woman.  They fall in love.  They get married.  They have children.  It’s simple.  However, that comes from a religious viewpoint.  Our country offers a separation of Church and State.  Religious issues do not belong in the hands of the government.  The issue of whether or not same sex marriage is moral is a religious issue.  The issue of whether or not same sex marriage should be legal is an equal rights issue.

People opposed to same sex marriage offer a whole slew of reasons why it should be illegal.  Unfortunately, they are all based on religion.  I have heard things as silly as “it would force churches to perform marriage between two men”.  This is simply not true.  I was raised Catholic.  According to our current laws, a Jewish heterosexual couple can get married.  However, if they walk into a Catholic church, the church will not allow them to marry.  Religions have their own rules for what can and cannot go on.  We are not looking to force religions to change their views.  They can continue hating gays all they want and continue to perform only heterosexual marriages.  That is within their legal rights.  We are looking to force state marriage, performed by a representative of the state, not the Church.  There is a big difference there.  I was married in a Catholic church by a Catholic priest.  I had the option of getting married by a justice of the peace.  This would have given me the legal rights and benefits of being married, but not the religious rights and benefits (which are mostly intangible).  The rights that gays want are those legal rights from the state and federal government.

Currently, because this issue is left up to the states to decide (as I do feel marriage should be), same sex couples married in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or California are only given the rights in their respective state.  They do not get the same rights from the federal government that heterosexual couples receive.  In my opinion, this is unconstitutional.

I have heard some crazy reasons for being against same sex marriage.  The problem with all of these reasons is that they are either based on religion or based on some crazy idea that giving a subset of the population more rights will take away rights of other members of the same population.  The latter is simply not true.  You are still within your freedom of speech to say that same sex couples are immoral.  You are within your freedom of religion to not allow same sex marriages to take place in your church.  You are well within your rights to hold your own personal beliefs on what is and what is not marriage.  However, these beliefs should not be present in law in this country.  Offering equal rights to all citizens is part of the reason this country was created.  Denying rights to a subset of the population is simply unconstitutional.

If you live in California, vote no on Proposition 8.  If you live in any other state, vote against any efforts to define marriage as that between a man and a woman.  In a country that touts freedom as our biggest reason for being, it is sad to see that such a large population of people wish to remove freedoms from others.

For more pathetically ridiculous reason why same sex marriage should be banned, you need not look any further than the wonderful people of California (at least those in favor of Prop 8).

I leave you with this quote.  You’ve probably seen it before.

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.

Reflect on that for a while before commenting.