Posts Tagged ‘glbt’

Dispatch Magazine

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

I just got a copy of July’s issue of Dispatch Magazine, which is local to Maine and New Hampshire. My boss had actually saved it out for me because she recognized my picture on the first page (see full spread below). My friend Jesse and I went down to Portland and stayed for Pride weekend. I had a good time and this was the first Pride we’ve had since the passage of marriage equality in Maine, so it was even more special this year.

In more recent GLBT news, the Federal 9th Circuit Court just today upheld the ban on reparative therapy, a type of “counseling” intended to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian people. For now the ban only applies to minors, but I believe it will soon be extended to all adults, especially if opponents appeal the decision and it goes before the US Supreme Court. Following the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions, I think it’s pretty clear how our nation’s highest court feels about gay and lesbian people, so I have no concerns. Republican Governor Chris Christie recently signed a similar ban into law in New Jersey, a further indication that conservatives and the GOP are beginning to embrace equal rights for all.

Prop 8 supporters lost their last appeal a little while ago, meaning Prop 8 is permanently dead. As to the DOMA decision, there was some ambiguity about whether same-sex couples living in non-equality states who got married in an equality state, would receive federal marriage benefits. Today the IRS announced it would in fact extend federal marriage benefits to all same-sex spouses, regardless of their state of residence. That means a couple from Texas, for example, can vacation and get married in Maine, then return to their home in Texas and continue to receive federal marriage benefits. The IRS decision, combined with the current Supreme Court position, new litigation across the country, and public acceptance of marriage equality, leads me to believe same-sex marriage in every state is only a few years away.

YES on 1

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Voting is coming up soon, with only a couple weeks left to make a decision. I already voted by absentee ballot because I’m currently away on vacation with my family. Before leaving, we reconstructed and repainted our giant marriage equality sign from 2009. Look for it on route 1 in Belfast, near Dairy Queen / EBS / Circle K / Pizza Hut.

The consensus from last night’s debate seems to be that Obama won, which gives him 2 out of 3. For the first time in history we have a president who is openly in favor of marriage equality. Three other states besides Maine will be voting on this issue in November. Prop 8 and DOMA are both in the high courts and I expect the US Supreme Court will rule on nationwide / Federal marriage rights within the next year or two. That will no doubt have a blanket effect akin to Loving v. Virginia, but it would still be symbolic if Maine were the first state to legalize same-sex marriage via popular vote.

If you are a Mainer or live in one of other three states that will be voting on this issue next month, I hope you will vote in favor of equality. Marriage equality will not affect anyone except the already existing families that wish to have civil recognition under state law. This won’t have any impact on churches or other individual freedoms – in fact, the law actually protects religious freedom by specifically stating that no organization, entity, or individual will ever be forced to perform a marriage ceremony if such a ceremony would conflict with their religious beliefs. Please Vote YES on 1.