Tags: marriage


How the 2010 Census Is Like No Other Census

This year's census is like no other previous census. For the first time, the US government is counting people who consider themselves to be married as married, regardless of if they have a marriage certificate and regardless of if they are opposite or same sex. This could have a profound impact moving forward. But, why listen to me, when instead you can listen to George Takei, a.k.a Mr. Sulu and his husband.
church and state

Protesters Trapped my Truck

I went to get a burrito tonight and came out to find my truck trapped by about 50 protesters at the corner of 18th and Castro.

Maine Protesters in San Francisco
The group was obviously a lot smaller than last year's protest and seemed rather disorganized. There were a lot of confused people standing around watching them from the sidelines as they took over the middle of the intersection. It must have been the social event of the evening because even the 12 Galaxies guy was there.

12 Galaxies are for same sex marriage

After a few minutes of chanting I heard one of the lead organizers tell another organizer that it was time to move everyone to the sidewalk because SFPD was going to arrest them soon. They self moved onto the sidewalk, but one guy refused to budge.

Protest of One

None of his fellow protesters helped him out or joined him. Eventually the guy gave up and left. The traffic dissipated and I retrieved my truck. Why do protests keep happening *after* the results are in?

More pics are at my Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cop4cbt/sets/72157622737024382/

So goeth Maine

Using very similar tactics as the Yes on Prop 8 campaign in California last year, Maine has voted to repeal the same sex marriage law, handing GLBT folks another defeat.

California Yes on 8Maine Yes on 1

The UK Guardian reports that out of 31 such measures that have appeared before voters in the US, all 31 have gone against same sex marriage. I didn't know there have been 31, did you?

With midterm elections coming up next year and voter anger rising, I forsee a potential rise in the number of these measures appearing on the ballots next year. The "Protect Marriage" groups have already announced that their next targets are New Jersey and New York for 2010.
church and state

Where's the Outrage??

From the SF Examiner:


California lesbian couple allege discrimination at Fresno hospital

"As I was laying there all alone, I wondered how many people from the LGBTQ community die by themselves because they are denied a basic right. The thought frightens me."

That's what Kristin Orbin, 29, said about her ordeal at Fresno Community Hospital and Medical Center on Saturday, May 30th.

Orbin and her partner of 3½ years, Teresa Rowe, 30, who live in Northern California, were in Fresno for Meet in the Middle 4 Equality, an event protesting the California Supreme Court's ruling upholding Proposition 8.

After marching 14 miles in Central Valley heat, Orbin (who is epileptic) collapsed and suffered three grand mal seizures. A doctor at a first aid center had difficulty finding her pulse, so he called 911.

Orbin said the discrimination started as soon as the paramedics arrived.

"By that time, I was going in and out of consciousness. The paramedics wanted nothing to do with Teresa and she had to practically fight them to be allowed to ride in the ambulance. I remember one of them was very nice and agreed to let her ride with me in the back. Once we got to the hospital, they wheeled me into a hallway and left me, refusing to allow Teresa to be with me."

Orbin said the paramedic told the nurse on duty that she had collapsed after marching 14 miles for civil rights, and the nurse gave her a dirty look and said "ooooh." She continued, "I asked if Teresa could come back with me, but the nurse told me I was in a no visitor zone. When I asked her why everyone else had visitors, she said 'those people are different'."

Orbin said she went to sleep at that point, but she was awakened by a nurse giving her the benzodiazapine Ativan, a drug that causes her to have severe migraine headaches. It was then that she discovered just how bad the situation had become.

"Teresa was finally able to make her way up to the front desk and convince them to get a cell phone to me. When I talked to her, she said she had told the nursing staff not to give me Ativan, but they refused to listen to her. They refused to take my medical cards from her. They refused Teresa's offer to have my advance directive and power of attorney faxed over from UCSF."

Orbin said she asked the nurses several times if Rowe could join her, but each time they refused.

"They just kept looking at my Marriage Equality shirt and giving me dirty looks," she said.

Orbin and Rowe were not reunited until a doctor intervened a few hours later.

"When the doctor arrived, I asked him if Teresa could join me," Orbin said. "He asked me why she wasn't already with me, and I told him the nursing staff told me I was in a no visitor zone. The doctor gave me an odd look and said, 'I will take care of that'. He left the room, and a few minutes later Teresa came in, but she said she was told by the front desk that she could only stay for a few minutes."

However, Orbin said the nursing staff suddenly had a change of heart while the doctor was present and allowed Rowe to stay with her until she was discharged. "They finally figured out that we were not happy and one of the nurses came up and told Teresa that she could stay," she said. "Once she was back there people started being more kind to us, but I truly believe they were just trying to cover themselves."

Calls to Fresno Community Hospital and Medical Center for comment have not been returned.

The couple said they have never experienced such blatant discrimination. They are both so upset over the incident that they have contacted the ACLU for legal advice. Orbin said it was particularly upsetting that the hospital staff continually refused to acknowledge Rowe as her spouse, and failed to treat either of them with kindness or respect.

Another reminder of just how much work needs to be done to achieve true equality in the United States.

church and state

Information Wants to be Free

One of my mantras has always been that information wants to be free. I've always loved the book Fahrenheit 451 and found it ironic that a book that is often associated with censorship has been subject to censorship itself. Restricting information rarely works over the long term. Eventually it will get out. The question becomes do you want to control how the information is released or do you want to deal with the consequences of an uncontrolled release later. The Internet has proven to be a great magnifier of information dissemination.

Here in California we have a political donation disclosure law that requires public release of donation information for any amount over $100.00. I seriously doubt that the drafters of this law would have ever dreamed where this has lead. Some people have decided to use this public information along with Google maps so that now you can see who in your neighborhood donated to help Proposition 8 to win. Ironically, the people who created this site are attempting to maintain their anonymity.

The site has already created a bit of a stir. Some people have used it to "harass" their neighbors. There is talk about modifying the California law to prohibit disclosure of individual donations or to prohibit usage of this type of information in this form. I personally think this would be a travesty. I think sites like this are great. I hope to see more of them in the future and I think more disclosure is better. What do you think about this trend?

You can find this site at http://www.eightmaps.com/. It covers the entire United States. Enjoy.

Day Without A Gay


A few days after the election, I was still very depressed, but I decided to take some action. In light of the surge in online grassroots protests I decided to register all the domains for daywithoutgays.* Yesterday, JoinTheImpact.com, the ones that organized today's rallies, posted their idea for a "Day Without A Gay" on December 10th, 2008 to concide with International Human Rights Day. I contacted them earlier today and told them I would happily donate all my domain names to them.

On December 10th, 2008, GLBT folks everywhere are being asked to call in "Gay" to work and donate their time to some volunteer effort. Will it work? I don't know. I hope so because I hope this momentum continues to grow.

More information can be found at www.daywithoutagay.org.

church and state

An Afternoon Stroll Thru Austin

I went to the Austin Gay Rights protest today. There was about a 1000 people. I called my friends in New York City and San Francisco from the rally and talked to them at their respective rallys. I thought it was interesting that the protests were all coordinated so that they started at the same time across the United States.

It was quite odd for me to be in Texas and protesting against a California Initiative. It was also quite odd to see Texans protesting against a California Initiative. The majority of protesters were young and many of them were straight.

In Front of Austin City Hall

There were about 4 speakers and afterwards the crowd kinda morphed into a blob that hung out along the street waving at cars and such. Eventually a few people in the blob yelled out "March to the Capital Building". And so began our walking tour of Downtown Austin.

We're Off to Go Somewhere

The amorphous blob started wandering toward the State Capital building about 10 blocks away. All the years of barking orders came in handy as I became one of the defacto "chant leaders" yelling out "What do we want......When do we want it?", repeated ad voice hoarseum. We mixed that one with some others including "No on 8, No on Hate", and "Gay, Straight, Black or White, Marriage is a civil right".

When we got to the State Capital building, nobody seemed to want to cross onto the Capital grounds, so the amorphous blob stood in front of the gates, turned around and chanted at the passing cars for a while.

Amorphous Blob in Front of the Texas State Capital Building
After about 30 minutes of doing that, a few people decided to direct the group back towards downtown Austin so we once again did a walking tour of downtown Austin. I tried to get them to do some chants from the 70's, including "Civil Rights or Civil War, Gay Rights Now" but the only one that really caught on was "We're here, We're Queer".

We wandered about downtown Austin for about a half hour a bit aimlessly. I had no clue where we were going. When we all started bunching up in front of a parking garage I think everyone else started realizing it was a march looking for a destination. Luckily, we soon passed right in front of my hotel so I bid the crowd adieu at that point. The last I saw of them they were still marching down 6th street. I don't know where they were headed.

Bidding the Crowd Adieu as They Passed By My Hotel
The local media was there and they followed us around a bit. As we wandered around downtown, a bunch of cars honked in support. We only had one person who yelled at us from his car, but the group drowned him out. There were no cops to be seen anywhere.

There are a few more pictures I took at my Flickr page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/cop4cbt/sets/72157609149649075/