thistlerose: (rainbow/good wishes)
What a day for US politics. First, I was - and still am - extremely pissed off about the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. The idea that we no longer need these protections because times have changed and racism is dead is just ludicrous. I'm very nervous about how this will play out in the next election cycle.

Last night I went to bed at 11:30. I felt bad about turning in before Senator Wendy Davis finished her filibuster, but I was just so tired and not feeling well. (I'm still not feeling well. I think it's the hot, humid weather. Yesterday they sent me home early because, as my co-worker said, "You were just standing there and you changed color.") I crawled into bed with a sense of dread, but was surprised and extremely gratified to learn, upon waking, that Davis had succeeded. There's more information on Davis here. She's my heroine, a woman who quite literally stood up (for nearly thirteen long hours, without a break) for women's rights.

Then, a little later this morning, the Supreme Court ruled on DOMA and Prop 8, and while things are far from perfect, they went much better than I'd anticipated. I'm so very happy for my gay and lesbian friends, who'll now - or soon, anyway - have their marriages recognized by the federal government, and enjoy all the accompanying benefits.

Of course, the fight is far from over. There are still 37 states that forbid same-sex marriage, but this is heartening. A bunch of my married gay and lesbian friends have been re-posting their wedding pictures over on Facebook. ♥ I say we celebrate today, and resume the fight tomorrow.

_____

I think I may go home early today too. There isn't a whole lot going on, and I just feel kind of woozy. I don't know what's wrong with me.

But I'm excited because one of my friends from Baltimore (whom I've actually known since high school) is coming to visit in October. We're going leaf-peeping and we're going to the Keene Pumpkin Festival. Pumpkins are serious business here.
thistlerose: (celebration)
Equality marriage just past in Minnesota, and Governor Dayton is supposed to sign it into law tomorrow. Ya sure, youbetchya!

That's 12. I wonder if California or Illinois will be next.
thistlerose: (Default)
Depressed, but not too surprised by the vote in North Carolina.

Heartened by President Obama's endorsement of equal marriage rights.

Annoyed that it took him so long to get here.

Impressed that he didn't wait until after the November election.

Ultimately, proud of my president for speaking out in favor of equality.

I had a whole thing in my head about same-sex marriage. A rant of epic proportions. But now I don't have the energy.

_____

Spent much of the day working on a lesson plan, of sorts. Went to the gym. Came back in time to babysit the housemates' seven-year-old, who wanted to go for a bike ride (this is our thing) and then a walk in the park. Finished reading the first Sookie Stackhouse book. Honestly, I like the television series better, at least the first season. Charlaine Harris's writing is really not that great, and the book is missing the over-the-top-ness that made the series so much fun initially. And also )

Oh, well. I have the next four books (I got them at a book sale, where it was a dollar for all the books you could fit in one bag) and "Dead Until Dark" was entertaining enough, so I'll stick with the series a bit longer.

_____

Anyway. I'm tired. So I'm going to eat the last of the mint julep cupcakes, catch up on The Daily Show and Glee, finish S1 of BtVS, then maybe work on my fic until it's time to sleep.
thistlerose: (Default)
Prop 8 declared unconstitutional.

Damn right.

"Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort."
thistlerose: (minnesota)
Vienna Teng and Alex Wong were amazing in Minneapolis last night. They mostly played songs from "Inland Territory" (including "Antebellum," which is currently my favorite of Teng's songs) and some of her older pieces, remixed to include Wong's vocals and percussions. They also played random bits of Disney songs, which, believe me, was more awesome than it sounds.

They finished with "City Hall," which always gets to me, but which was especially poignant in light of the utter fuckwittery going on at the state Capitol last night.

*sigh* So now we're going to vote on whether or not we should write discrimination against same sex couples into the state constitution. You know... The only reason the Republicans (not all - but most, and a few asshat Democrats) are doing this is to drum up fear in their base, get them to the polls on Election Day, and distract them from the fact that they have done jackshit about the economy. This is how they hope to hang onto their power, by appealing to the very worst in people and exploiting it. Fuck this shit.

_____

Sorry. That got soap-boxy and I know I'm preaching to the choir.

_____

I need to drive back up to Saint Cloud, but the weather is really gross. We had a thunderstorm this morning, and the sky still looks quite ominous. They're on a tornado watch southwest of here. Granted I'm going to be driving north, but I hate driving in the rain. Not sure if I should leave now or wait a bit and see if it gets brighter. It might or it might not. :(

eta: Oh, now they're having a tornado warning in the counties I would be driving through. Lovely. Think I'm going to go get a cupcake and catch up on "The Game of Thrones" or maybe watch some Trek.
thistlerose: (wonder)
Senate voted to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell.

It's about fucking time. That law was a disgrace and an insult to all our men and women in uniform, gay or straight.
thistlerose: (Default)
If this story doesn't disgust and enrage you and break your heart ... it really, really should. This isn't just illegal, it's blatant discrimination and hateful, hateful behavior:

Greene v. County of Sonoma et al.

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling: without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold's lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home. Because of the county’s actions, Clay missed the final months he should have had with his partner of 20 years. Compounding this tragedy, Clay has literally nothing left of the home he had shared with Harold or the life he was living up until the day that Harold fell, because he has been unable to recover any of his property. The only memento Clay has is a photo album that Harold painstakingly put together for Clay during the last three months of his life.

With the help of a dedicated and persistent court-appointed attorney, Anne Dennis of Santa Rosa, Clay was finally released from the nursing home. Ms. Dennis, along with Stephen O'Neill and Margaret Flynn of Tarkington, O'Neill, Barrack & Chong, now represent Clay in a lawsuit against the county, the auction company, and the nursing home, with technical assistance from NCLR. A trial date has been set for July 16, 2010 in the Superior Court for the County of Sonoma.

NCLR has a pdf of the official complaint.

ETA: The local paper (The Press Democrat)'s email address is letters@pressdemocrat.com and also there's a petition here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/sonoma-county-ca-separates-elderly-gay-couple
thistlerose: (pissed off)
Damn it, Maine. :(

I was going to launch into a rant, but I still have this power point presentation to throw together. Just ... argh. I'm so pissed off.
thistlerose: (raineth)
I really love Hillary Clinton sometimes: The Secretary of State defends the Obama Administration's stance on reproductive rights.

_____

Wow, it's really raining! And yesterday was so beautiful. Actually, today is rather beautiful too in a wild, glad-I-don't-have-to-go-out way. My cats aren't at all perturbed by the thunder, but their little ears prick up when my neighbor opens and closes his door. :P

Gah, it's raining in, but I don't want to close my window.

I feel like reading and/or writing a ghost story.
thistlerose: (femslash)
Frank Rich has a good editorial on equal marriage rights in today's NY Times. It's worth reading. He's very hopeful and so am I.
thistlerose: (Bite Me/Will/pissed off)
Amazon.com is deleting the sales ranks of books with GLBT themes. More information and here. The ostensible of this particular dick move is to protect the site's "user base" from "adult materials." "Adult materials" such as Heather Has Two Mommies, EM Forster's Maurice, and James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room. Books containing explicit heterosexual content are, of course, unaffected.

I think I'll be taking my business elsewhere.

Meantime, Googlebombing is only one of several things we can do.

ETA: I haven't bought books from Amazon in a while. Instead, I've been using Better World Books. Free carbon neutral shipping in the US, wide selection of used and new books, and they raise funds for global literacy projects. Plus, they sent me chocolate on Valentine's Day. (I've been buying my music and DVDs from Amazon, though. I'll have to find an alternate source for those. Or, you know, hold off for a while because I'm an unemployed student.)
thistlerose: (femslash)
IOWA!

I had no idea! You rock hard. May your aura of awesome spread to Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, and the rest.
thistlerose: (Bite Me/Will/pissed off)
Prop. 8 sponsors seek to nullify 18k marriages.

This is just hateful. It's cruel. It's spiteful. Come on, people. Despite appearances, I do try to be fair-minded. But this? I just can't see the other side. If these bigots are allowed to hurt people any more than they already have, I'll... I don't know. They'd just better not.
thistlerose: (Default)
Over at the NY Times, Judith Warner has a thoughtful, heartbreaking (wait til you get to the part about Liza and Katie) opinion piece on Prop 8 and similar legislation: What it felt like to be equal. (People do get a little MORE OPPRESSED THAN THOU in the comments, unfortunately.)

There's going to be a nationwide protest tomorrow. At this site, you can find out if one's happening in your city. I'm going to try to get to the one in Milwaukee tomorrow, if I can shake this bug. (I feel like crap. *sigh*)
thistlerose: (femslash)
They haven't called it yet, but it's highly likely that the Hate Amendment - i.e. Proposition 8 - will pass in California. What the fuck, people? Fail, California. And fail, Arkansas and Florida.

But here's my question. Supposing it does pass, what's to keep the California Supreme Court from saying, "Uh, guys? What part of unconstitutional don't you understand?"

But I still have hope - now more than ever, really - that we'll see such bans struck down. Maybe not this year. But in my lifetime. I hope.

(Props to Michigan and Massachusetts on marijuana, to Washington on assisted suicide, and South Dakota and Colorado on reproductive rights.)
thistlerose: (facepalm)
First of all, [livejournal.com profile] penknife has an excellent post on where McCain and Obama stand on matters of equality. It recommend it highly.

Secondly, Alternet.org has more on the McCain Spain gaffe, which might not have been a gaffe after all?? This is seriously pissing me off. Palin making light of fighting Russia was bad enough, but now McCain is - deliberately? - insulting a NATO ally that's been hit by Al Qaeda and has troops in Afghanistan? How dare he? (He insults Germany and France on the second page.)
thistlerose: (Bite Me/Will/pissed off)
19 New Cat Food, 9 New Dog Food Brands Recalled.

And, China Makes Arrest in Pet Food Case. )

_____

In other news, James Dobson is a fucking idiot. All right, I guess that's not news.

House Votes to Expand ‘Hate Crime’ Protections
By DAVID STOUT

WASHINGTON, May 3 — The House of Representatives voted today to extend “hate crime” protection to people who are victimized because of their sexuality. But the most immediate effect of the bill may be to set up another veto showdown between Democrats and President Bush.

Read more... )

I've been thinking about this and I don't really see what's constitutionally questionable about the bill, especially if it already covers crimes spurred by race, ethnic origins, religion, and color.

This bears repeating, because it's so fucked up: According to James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, the bill's real purpose is "to muzzle people of faith who dare to express their moral and biblical concerns about homosexuality."

And their "moral and biblical concerns" about murder?
thistlerose: (hope)
From The New York Times, Harvey Fierstein has a short essay on prejudice and hypocrisy, which I think is worth reading. I've reposted it here:

April 13, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor
Our Prejudices, Ourselves
By HARVEY FIERSTEIN

AMERICA is watching Don Imus’s self-immolation in a state of shock and awe. And I’m watching America with wry amusement. )
thistlerose: (puppylove)
STFU, Pat Robertson. Mass killings. You'd like that, wouldn't you? You'd feel quite smug and superior if that happened. I hope someone drops a house on you.

Oh, bite me, Massachusetts. Don't be an asshat. Bravo to the new governor for speaking out against the amendment.

While I'm on the subject of gay, I chose a good time to give Torchwood another try. )

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