poll-250x199It may seem surprising given the masculinity and violence often displayed by professional hockey players, but they are the most supportive of all the major sports of marriage equality, according to a new survey. Chicago Now reports:

Should the U.S. Legalize Gay Marriage? 62 professional athletes from the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB, responded to this survey done by ESPN. 61 % of NFL athletes and 92% of NHL athletes responded “yes”, while 46% of NBA players and 45% of MLB athletes agreed. This research was reported on October 14, 2012 by Jim Buzinski in SB Nation Outsports, an online news magazine, which writes on GLBT issues and the sports world.

While the small survey size means it may not be representative of the leagues as a whole, it’s still a fascinating glimpse into pro sports and gay marriage.

Why should I personally go forward as a trans activist pushing for change? Why do anything for trans and LGBT community members when I have received a significant amount of pushback through the years from the religious right, LGBT community members, radical lesbian feminist separatists and even transsexual separatists?

I’ve written in the past about why there is trans activism and what are the major goals of trans activism, but have never really spelled out what motivates me personally.

I began by blogging and archiving LGBT stories for the SD-GLBT and transgendernews Yahoo groups. At the time I was studying for an information systems undergraduate degree – that degree being a feeder degree for a library science graduate degree. Archiving articles that dealt with gay and transgender issues was a way to combine my interests in current events and library work, and combining these with my then recent coming out as trans.

Authored by Autumn Sandeen – See the Full Story at LGBT Weekly

BillySalutations readers, I am Billy (Billie) Lewis
Artist / Writer / Photographer / Actress / Multifaceted in other areas that do not define me.
I am a 43 years young, male to female transgender in her early stages and growth towards my true self.  I am Lady Katherine’s ball and chain, for whom I have spent the better part of ten years together, six of which being legally padlocked. She is my anomaly, being the only woman, that feelings were genuine. She has proven to be the best friend a mentally messed up man and future Goddess can ever pray for. Claiming to stand by my side, with no foreseeable plans to leave, claiming not to have the strength or desire to housebreak a new partner.

I am an abuse survivor.  I have spent my time in the hell trenches of families, friends, bullies and self. Over three have past since I had enough of carrying the baggage from the past and lying and hurting the people I cared for the most, including myself. Honesty has greatly improved my life, allowing my vocal support for our community to leave the nose bleed section and place myself at the 50 yard line. And has allowed for me to find definition of my true self.

Also I am an avid reader, and consumer of many forms of musical entertainment. The eclectic taste of music carries over to my cinematic tastes. Recently I have lost faith in television and it’s programming, so I have uprooted the potato on the couch and replanted it into the pot of life.  Clicking off the television has helped me with finding the heart of information as it comes in.  I can go online and read about the happening and surf around for the same news but from another source and compile the facts with out too much between the lines issues.

I do have my faults, so of which has to do with being dyslexic and attending schools when I a child that considered me retarded.  So most of what I know I have had to teach myself, so if typos are caught in my writing, please be kind.  My other fault is that my analytical mind doesn’t allow for B.S. and has lead me to be to quick with my temper.  I no longer seek out physical fight, my wars are on the verbal battle grounds.  But as I have grown in my honesty, so has my maturity and the work I do.  I am learning that a lot of my anger has slipped on by and that words can be as strong as a rock, with out using a fist or words that would make a sailor blush in shame.  So if you, the readers are for my insight, I am ready to share.  Thank you.

congress-250x250Senate Democrats are considering offering an amendment to include gay and lesbian binational couples to the immigration reform bill on the floor instead of in committee. The Washington Blade explains:

Late Thursday, Politico reported that Democrats are asking the White House to tell Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to withhold amendments for bi-national same-sex couples until the larger measure reaches the Senate floor — where passage will likely be more difficult. “They’re increasingly uneasy about risking Republican support but reluctant to tell gay rights advocates that an amendment allowing American citizens to seek green cards for their same-sex foreign partners may not get a vote in the Judiciary Committee,” Politico reported. Concern over the amendments follows remarks from Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — as well as comments from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to the Washington Blade — that including the pro-gay language would kill immigration reform.

Their mistake was to not include it in the original bill, where it would have been much harder to strip out. Senate Dems must be hoping the US Supreme Court will step in with their DOMA decision and take this decision off their hands.

mormon-church-250x250The Mormon Church has been strangely quiet over the last year or so as marriage equality bills and laws have begin passing across the USA. Mother Jones reports:

But after the Mormon involvement in Prop. 8 was fully exposed, the backlash was severe–and apparently unexpected. The church became a target for public protests, and lost a considerable number of members who were unhappy with its involvement in a political issue that had caused individual LDS families a lot of grief. In the campaign’s aftermath, a top church leader even apologized to gay church members for the pain they’d suffered.

This is not to say that the Mormons have had a change of heart about gay marriage. The church is still adamantly opposed to it. On April 6, during the LDS’s annual conference, Boyd Packer, who is next in line to assume the church’s top leadership post, warned, “We need to be careful of the tolerance trend trap, so that we do not get swallowed up in it. The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate and legalize immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequence that is the result from a violation of God’s law of Chastity.” That said, the church seems to have returned to focusing on homosexuality as a personal issue rather than a political one.

It’s a fascinating article… if only the Catholic Church would take the same approach…

poll-250x199Another detail from that new NBC News/Wall Street Journal marriage equality poll that came out this week. Think Progress reports:

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that nearly two-thirds of voters (63 percent) support the federal government recognizing same-sex marriages when they’re legal in states, while only 34 percent oppose this recognition. This is the question the Supreme Court is weighing in a case about the Defense of Marriage Act. The poll also found that a majority (53 percent) continues to support same-sex marriage, while only 42 percent oppose it.

Is the Supreme Court listening?

Picture-6-550x528A new chart released by the Williams Institute at UCLA shows the huge increase in Mexico party support state-by-state between 2004 and 2012. The Dallas Voice reports:

The study found that the country’s overall support for marriage quality had an average increase of 13.6 percent, with more than 50 percent of citizens in 12 states and the District of Columbia supporting it. Based on the current trend, the study estimates that 20 states and the District of Columbia will support same-sex marriage at or more than 50 percent by the end of 2014.

This is the same study that we reported on last week, but this new chart makes it easier to see the shifts by state, and where each state falls overall.

gopThere’s lots being written out there today about and by the GOP on marriage equality. Let’s start with this charming quote from Rush Limbaugh, as reported in Gay Star News:

Limbaugh asked his caller, ‘What do you say to people who say – “you know what … you’re old fashioned, you’re stuck in the past. We can never go back to it, it wasn’t what it was. It’s all fuddy-duddy, and you’re going to have to modernize or society is going to leave you behind”?’ Limbaugh them summed up the progressives’ view of marriage as ‘Its all based in love – everybody loves each other and so what ever happens is fine. I love my sofa and I sit on it every night. And it loves me back … If I could marry my sofa I might think about it. I would. And maybe in a few years it could be possible? You never know.’

You gotta feel for that sofa.

Over at MSNBC, Emma Margolin thinks the GOP is afraid of “going wobbly” on gay marriage:

Here’s another example. On Monday morning, at a press conference to review the RNC’s 2012 “autopsy,” chairman Reince Priebus had some kind words for Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who recently came out in favor of same-sex marriage…
But later that same day, in a National Review article headlined, “Social Conservatives to RNC: Don’t be ‘Pandering Idiots,’” Ralph Reed cautioned against any softening on gay rights, saying, “If the Republican party tries to retreat from being a pro-marriage, pro-family party, the big tent is going to become a pup tent very fast… I am concerned that some in the party are going wobbly on this issue.”

At Slate.com, David Weigel wonders if gay marriage will end up splitting the party:

“Committed Christians make up a huge voting bloc within the GOP,” said A.J. Spiker, the 32-year-old chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. The “Ken Mehlman sliver of the party,” he said, didn’t play in Iowa. “We can’t win elections without committed Christians staying engaged. I suppose the argument is that young people won’t vote Republican unless the party changes on marriage, but I don’t hear young people advocating for gay marriage. I was the co-chair of Ron Paul’s Iowa campaign, a liberty-minded group, and I don’t hear it.”

Over at The Washington Post, Jena McGregor takes the longer view:

As a result, the recent bluster against same-sex marriage carries big risks for GOP leadership. The quick increase in support for gay marriage among voters has already made them look somewhat out of touch with the views of a majority of Americans. If the Supreme Court, in one swift blow, makes it legal for gay and lesbian couples to marry, they will look even more so, at least to the growing number of Americans who support that right.

Over at Think Progress, they’re reporting that RNC Chair Reince Priebus is suggesting Mike Huckaby for outreach to the LGBT community. Yes, that Mike Huckaby. Some of his views:

Being gay is a public health risk. “I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk”

Being gay is a sin. “Well I believe it would be — just like lying is sinful and stealing is sinful. There are a lot of things that are sinful. It doesn’t mean that a person is a horrible person. It means that they engage in behavior that is outside the norms of those boundaries of our traditional view of what’s right and what’s wrong. So, I think that anybody who has, maybe a traditional worldview of sexuality would classify that as an unusual behavior that is not traditional and that would be outside those bounds.”

Marriage equality will lead to polygamy. “If we change the definition to a man or a man and a woman and a woman, why can’t we accommodate a man and two women or a woman and three men.”

And Adam C. Smith at the Tampa Bay Times says history has already passed the GOP by on this issue:

Even if traditional marriage activists win the court battles, though, it looks more and more as if they have already lost the war. Public opinion in America has undergone such a rapid sea change that opponents of same-sex marriage increasingly look as if they soon will hold the fringe position. A growing chorus of conservatives argue that what only a few years ago was a fundamental plank of the GOP platform — opposing gay marriage — has now became a major liability.

When will the GOP come around?

karl-rove-250x250Not that we really care about anything this little man says, but it’s interesting that even this architect of the wedge strategy using gay marriage against democrats is conceding the sea change the country has gone through on the issue. Towleroad.com reports:

…on ABC News’ This Week this morning: “Karl Rove, can you imagine the next presidential campaign a Republican candidate saying flat out ‘I am for gay marriage,’” asked Stephanopoulos. “I could,” said Rove, before turning the discussion back to the Supreme Court’s hearing on the issue.

Rove was the one who pushed George Bush and the GOP to use divisive anti marriage equality initiatives in Ohio and other states in 2004 to divide democrats and bring out conservative voters. He, more than any other republican, is responsible for taking DOMA and spreading it like so much manure around the USA.

Perhaps turd blossom is an apt nickname for this odious man

california-attorney-general-kamala-harris-250x250A strong proponent of marriage equality, California state Attorney general Kamala Harris refused to defend Prop 8 in Court. Now she is on CNN laying out the case for marriage equality. Think Progress reports:

California Attorney General Kemala Harris gave an impassioned, pithy defense of marriage equality during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s hearing on whether California’s Proposition 8, which overturned the state’s marriage equality law, is itself constitutional.

 

Kamala is a rising star in California democratic politics. She survived a squeaker of an election in November to become attorney general, after serving for seven years as a San Francisco DA.

She’s the model for the modern democrat – fierce, smart, outspoken, and strongly supportive of LGBT rights.

Are you listening, Teresa Paiva-Weed?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.