President Obama: "I Think the Equal Protection Clause Does Guarantee Same-Sex Marriage" In All 50 States
President Obama’s evolution on marriage equality continues, as he discusses in an interview with the New Yorker.
The New Yorker reports:
Obama opposed marriage equality until May of 2012. He told me that he now believes the Constitution requires all states to allow same-sex marriage, an argument that his Administration has not yet made before the Supreme Court. “Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states,” he said. “But, as you know, courts have always been strategic. There have been times where the stars were aligned and the Court, like a thunderbolt, issues a ruling like Brown v. Board of Education, but that’s pretty rare. And, given the direction of society, for the Court to have allowed the process to play out the way it has may make the shift less controversial and more lasting.”
How many other Americans are now shifting their views on the subject, now that things are moving so quickly?Add a comment Add a comment
WE NEVER thought we’d see marriage equality come to Wyoming in our lifetime. But in a wave of judicial rulings allowing same-sex couples to marry across the country, this week a federal court ruling granted our neighbors the opportunity to make history at the altar. The lives and rights of LGBT people in the “Equality State” are rarely thought about without reflection on the 1998 hate-crime murder of our 21-year-old son Matthew. His abduction, beating, and death changed the way this country and the world responded to anti-gay hate, eventually leading to a federal hate-crime law that bears his name.
In Wyoming, there is much still to do. The state continues to allow employers to fire these newlyweds for their sexual orientation and gender identity, and the reality is that they — and their children — may face social rejection simply for being who they are. We are keenly aware of the progress left to be made, but today, we celebrate this incredible step forward.Add a comment Add a comment
Join hundreds of walkers & runners at Woodward Park to raise awareness & community support for this worldwide epidemic in our third annual Fresno AIDS Walk as presented by WestCare California. All proceeds will benefit The Living Room, a project of WestCare, Fresno's only HIV/AIDS social support center. Sponsors, vendors, walkers, & supporters are needed!
We welcome walkers and runners of all ages, and we encourage you to create teams of 2 or more to truly rally support for this event. This year's event will feature a 5K run.
Although it is FREE to walk and run, we encourage you to raise funds for this very worth cause:
If you are a registered participant, it's never too early or too late to secure donations in support of AIDS Walk! Donors can contribute online by clicking HERE for our secure PayPal page.
Supporter checks should be made payable to 'WestCare California.' Please add The Living Room OR Fresno AIDS Walk in the 'for' line
Checks should be accompanied by a Donation Form (link to donation form on website) with the participant name on it. To guarantee proper attribution, the walker name should also be noted on the check's memo line.
Checks should be sent to PO Box 12107, Fresno, CA 93776, ATTN: The Living Room. Please do not send cash by mail. All donations are tax-deductible.
A. Event Location
Fresno AIDS Walk will begin & end at the Park View shelter of Woodward Park in Fresno. Please enter the main entrance on Audubon Drive.
B. Event Schedule
Fresno AIDS Walk 2014 will take place the morning of Saturday, November 22nd.
Same-day registration begins 10:00am
AIDS Walk begins 12:00pm
Stick around for our post-Walk celebration with great musical performances and recognition of our top fundraising individuals and teams!
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BEING A VOLUNTEER? Our deadline for volunteer registration for the day of the event is Friday, November 7th.Add a comment Add a comment
Although there are a few Flat-Earthers out there who still believe gay marriage can be stopped, everyone else has accepted (or celebrated) it as an eventual inevitability. So now the question is: what’s next? Not just what’s next for LGBT equality–but also, what’s next for marriage?
Earlier this year, I took up this question and asked whether marriage will change gay people (by domesticating and normalizing us) or whether gay people will change marriage (by mainstreaming non-monogamy and lessening gender roles).
A new poll shows strong support for the US Supreme Court action on marriage equality, mirroring an earlier poll by the same organization on marriage equality in general.
ABC News reports:
Most Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll support the recent U.S. Supreme Court action allowing gay marriages to go forward in several states – including a bare majority in the 11 states in which such marriages have begun in the past week and a half. Overall, 56 percent of Americans support the court’s action, while 38 percent oppose it – exactly matching opinions on whether or not gay marriage should be legal, asked in an ABC/Post poll in June. These results reflect the public’s dramatic shift in support of gay marriage the past decade.
Even the 11 states affected by the non-decision decision show majority support, at 51%. But more importantly, this poll refutes the results of an earlier Pew Poll, which seemed to show a drop in national marriage equality support. That poll is looking more and more like an outlier.
October 11, 2014 • 10am – 9pm
The Voice Shop
Join us for our first ever LGBT+ Leadership Summit! This summit will be like no other. Workshops are being presented in a fun way for you to interact with the topics being discussed with leadership ice breakers throughout the day. Come meet new friends and learn from community leaders to bring back new knowledge to your school. After all workshops are completed, students will have fun at our end-of-summit social!
Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club leadership are strongly encouraged to attend! Lunch, Dinner, snacks and refreshments will be included with registration.
Workshops being presented:
Moderated by My Lgbt Plus
LGBT+ Domestic Violence Awareness
Hosted by Melissa Knight, Fresno State
Hosted by The Trevor Project
Take the Power Back! Grassroots Organizing 101
Hosted by Californians for Justice
Hosted by Jena Adams, Fresno County Department of Public Health
Hosted by Gay Central Valley
Knowledge is power! With our new, interactive marriage equality maps, you can instantly find out what you need to know – an overall picture of the movement in addition to court cases, legislation, ballot initiatives and current polling!
Our maps are divided into 5 categories: State of the States (the current status regarding marriage equality for each state); Legislation; Litigation/Lawsuits; Ballot Initiatives; and, Polling. You can download each map, resulting in a clear, attractive PDF.
Did you know that via our State of the States Map, you can find the 10 states that ban marriage equality via the state constitution and also have a state law banning same-sex marriage?
Or, that on our Legislation Map you are able to see see which 7 states legalized marriage equality via state legislation, not the courts or the ballot box.
By using our Litigation/Lawsuits Map, you can find the 4 states with marriage equality cases at the state court level, and each state with a case at the federal level.
On the Ballot Initiatives Map you can locate the state which banned same-sex marriage via a ballot initiative, and which now has an initiative pending to legalize same-sex marriage.
And, our Polling Map shows you the states that are just about to break 50% support for marriage equality! As well as the 1 U.S. Territory with marriage equality polling on record.
I hope you enjoy perusing our map data – definitely feel free to share this!Add a comment Add a comment
Gay Central Valley is pleased to announce that we are a recipient of a Covered California grant, aimed at underserved populations in the state. This grant is part of a larger grant through the Health Access Foundation. The grant money will, in part, pay two individuals from Gay Central Valley's board of directors to reach out to LGBT people and others over the next few months to sign members up through the Covered California program for medical insurance. Outreach will cover Fresno and Merced counties in the Central Valley. Grant money will also be used for office space, equipment, supplies, etc.
From Covered California: "Building on high enrollment in 2014, Covered California launched its community outreach campaign for 2015 on Monday, including new grants to community groups and a comprehensive advertising program aimed at attracting new consumers and encouraging them to enroll in the state's health benefit exchange.
The campaign includes $46 million in new statewide advertising and $14.6 million in new community outreach grant funding. Selected organizations will receive between $50,000 and $750,000 in grants, based on their experience with special populations defined by common characteristics – such as language, ethnicity, geography and employment sector – and their ability to effectively educate and enroll Californians and help individuals with Covered California renew their insurance."
The program runs from October 1, 2014 to June 30th, 2015. Open enrollment is from November 15th 2014 to February 15th, 2015.Add a comment Add a comment
Facebook changed directions on its “real names” policy yesterday in response to continued and blistering criticism from drag queens and the threat of mass defections to Ello and other services.
Think Progress reports:
Facebook officially apologized Wednesday for enforcing its “real name” policy for users against drag queens and other members of the LGBT community. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, acknowledged that the policy has been a “painful” experience for the many individuals whose profiles were suspended and promised to do better. “I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that we’ve put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks,” Cox wrote. He explained that an individual user had reported several hundred accounts as fake, and they didn’t notice the pattern of how drag queens and other LGBT people might have been targeted for their identities rather than because they were trying to impersonate, bully, or troll others — as is the case for most fake accounts Facebook suspends.
“an individual user had reported several hundred accounts as fake” — and that, in a nutshell, is the problem with Facebook. Someone can lodge a complaint against you, and you often end up suspended or worse without any recourse, unless you can mount a mass media campaign in your own defense. FB is notoriously terrible at dealing with user issues – ever tried to get help from a FB employee? Which is as much a function of FB’s sheer size and limited staff as anything else. Maybe they should put a few more of their billions of dollars they earn from our information into customer service.
And BTW, has this individual who targeted drag queens been suspended from using Facebook?
The U.S. Supreme Court has just officially turned down all of the same-sex marriage cases it was presented. Here's why this is good news.
The U.S. Supreme Court this morning began its fall session, and in a stunning development announced it will not take up any of the same-sex marriage cases from the five states it was presented, Utah, Oklahoma, Virgina, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Many court watchers had expected the nation's top court would hear at least one same-sex marriage case.
But now, with today's announcement, all stays on same sex marriage will "disappear," to quote NBC News' Pete Williams, albeit not overnight.
The lower court rulings will now go into effect for all same-sex marriage cases, meaning same-sex marriage is now or will shortly be legal in Utah, Oklahoma, Virgina, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
In addition, same-sex marriage will become legal in eleven more states, by virtue of them being in federal circuit court regions.
"Other states under the jurisdiction of appeals courts that struck down the bans will also be affected, meaning the number of states with gay marriage is likely to quickly jump from 19 to 30," Reuters reports. "The other states would be North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado."
The Supreme Court could take up a same-sex marriage case in the future if a Court of Appeals rules a marriage ban is constitutional, which no appeals court has ruled to date.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court leaves in force five favorable marriage rulings reached in three federal appellate courts, ensuring the freedom to marry for millions more Americans around the country," Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement. "The Court’s letting stand these victories means that gay couples will soon share in the freedom to marry in 30 states, representing 60% of the American people. But we are one country, with one Constitution, and the Court’s delay in affirming the freedom to marry nationwide prolongs the patchwork of state-to-state discrimination and the harms and indignity that the denial of marriage still inflicts on too many couples in too many places. As waves of freedom to marry litigation continue to surge, we will continue to press the urgency and make the case that America – all of America -- is ready for the freedom to marry, and the Supreme Court should finish the job.”Add a comment Add a comment
My favorite story of the week:
Nine days after transgender student Maria Muniz was fined by school officials for wearing a skirt, a group of her Colegio Pedro II classmates decided to stage a protest: both male and female students would all wear skirts on the same day. Soon after their demonstration an ecstatic Muniz learned that the school’s decision was overturned, reports the UK’s Orange News. Pedro II’s principal told Brazil’s Globo that the school will consider relaxing their dress code. After the protest, school officials posted a picture of their male and female students wearing wearing skirts to social media, where it became widely shared. Supporters have been writing their support to Muniz using the hashtag #VouDeSaia.
I mean, how cool is that?Add a comment Add a comment
Today is the first day the US Supreme Court could actually choose a case or cases in the marriage equality fight this year.
NBC News reports:
The justices, who will meet in a closed-door conference on Monday, will consider whether to hear any of three same-sex marriage lawsuits during the next term, which officially starts Oct. 6. If they decide to review one or more of the cases, a ruling could be reached by July on whether same-sex marriage must be allowed nationwide. If they choose not to hear the cases, the decision would allow gay nuptials in the ten states covered by the three lawsuits. The court could also wait for a circuit court to disagree with the others and support the state bans. The justice have until January 2015 to make their decision. Both opponents and supporters of gay marriage predict that the justices will hear at least one of the cases.
Which case do you think they will take, if any? Utah, Oklahoma, or Virginia?Add a comment Add a comment
Here are the official details: Saturday, Oct. 4th at The Big Red Church 2131 N. Van Ness in Fresno, CA. will be the date and venue of Reese Ramirez's celebration of life! The celebration will be from 5-10pm. There will be a small service with a speaker on behalf of the family. Appetizers will be provided by the family, and drinks will be sold as a contributions toward non-profit organizations such as: (Trans E Motion, Fresno Pride, Suicide Watch). If you would like to submit pictures for the slideshow, please send them to
We are putting on a drag show in Reese's honor, as this is something he loved to watch and do as well! You will be encouraged to tip the performers, as all will be donated to our wonderful organizations. Shirts will be here in about a week, I will post details asap. All are welcome to join us in wearing the shirts at the service. Entry is FREE. Thank you everyone.
Comments and memories may be posted by commenting below. We'll be sure to pass them along to the family.
The US Supreme Court has asked the petitions be ready for all seven marriage quality cases that have reached the court.
Scotus Blog reports:
Matching the speed of lawyers and lower courts in handling the same-sex marriage controversy, the Supreme Court on Wednesday set the stage for its first look at all of the pending cases, when the Justices assemble on September 29 for a private Conference. Seven petitions — three from Virginia, and one each from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin — will be submitted to the Justices at that session. There is, of course, no certainty that they will act on any or all of them at that point, but the option is there. With all sides agreeing that the time to rule is now, it would be a surprise if the Court opted to bypass the issue altogether in its new Term… Together, the petitions raise two constitutional questions: do states have power to refuse to allow same-sex couples to marry, and do states have power to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states? In all of the federal appeals courts’ decisions being challenged in these cases, state marriage bans of one or both of those kinds were struck down under the federal Constitution, either under equal protection or due process guarantees, or both.
Another set of cases before the Sixth Circuit could be decided soon.
…the Supreme Court could have more cases headed its way very soon. Many are focsued on 4 pending cases before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, a court some legal analysts suspect is more likely than others to uphold marriage bans: “If that happens, it’s a virtual certainty that the Supreme Court would step in and resolve the disagreement.”
The cases awaiting Supreme Court consideration on 9/29 are from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.Add a comment Add a comment
TO WIN A WAR, YOU HAVE TO START ONE.
StageWorks Fresno Presents
A Special Performance of
THE NORMAL HEART
in conjunction with the Bulldog Pride FundThurs. Sept. 25th • 8:00pm
Bonner Auditorium • Fresno Art Museum • 2233 N 1st St
$30 per person • Limited Seating
Purchase your online tickets now
Includes post-performance champagne and dessert reception with director and cast
The story of a city in denial, THE NORMAL HEART unfolds like a real-life political thriller—as a tight-knit group of friends refuses to let doctors, politicians and the press bury the truth of an unspoken epidemic behind a wall of silence. A quarter-century after it was written, this outrageous, unflinching, and totally unforgettable look at the sexual politics of New York during the AIDS crisis remains one of the theatre’s most powerful evenings ever. Winner of the 2011 Tony Award® for Best Revival of a Play.
Fresno Premiere. Contains adult content.
Please note: This is the stage play, not a screening of the HBO film.
THE FRESNO BEE review: http://fresnobeehive.com/archives/36668#more-36668
• Additional performance dates of THE NORMAL HEART are September 26-28.
• Tickets: http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/eventSearch.jsp?event_id=1001001
Local trans activist and community member, Reese Ramirez passed away overnight. A facebook post by his mother states:
Friends of Reese Ramirez.......
This is his mom, Denise Michelle Ramirez. Reese has many, many friends throughout CA and beyond, and this is the only way I can reach most of you.
It is with deepest sorrow that I have to let you know of his passing. We believe it to be related to natural causes.
We will keep you updated on the date and location of the service, as I know Reese would want you there to celebrate the wonderful and rich life that you were a part of.
Our family and I truly look forward to meeting each one, of his very special and valued friends.
Comments and memories may be posted by commenting below. We'll be sure to pass them along to the family. Funeral service details will be available on his page in the coming days.
I picked up my 20-something son, David, at the Metro a few weeks ago. After he got into the car, he put out his hands towards me, and asked:
“Do you like this color? Kind of a deep purple. I get a lot of compliments on it.”
Yes, David wears nail polish — bright, glossy, frequently-changing-colors nail polish. And it doesn’t bother me. In fact, I like the deep purple shade.
When David first told us he was gay in his junior year in high school, my husband and I were somewhat surprised, but when we thought about it, it began to make sense. At first I worried about the increased chances that he would develop AIDS and I was concerned about problems he would likely face being accepted as a gay man in the less tolerant world we lived in a decade ago. But the gay part? We had an inkling. Okay, more than an inkling. (What parent doesn’t?)
As an avid reader and news-watcher, I did have some knowledge of the evolving gay community. I was aware of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, I remember when Barney Frank became the first U.S. congressman to come out as gay in 1987 and when a New York Court ruled in 1989 that it was legally possible for a same-sex couple to constitute a family.Add a comment Add a comment