Changes by Lorie Kay Frye
|Available on Amazon for electronic readers and paperback|
I love my first review: “Who does not enjoy a sexy vampire book? I cannot get enough! And Lorie Frye nails it with this one!”
However, Changes is about more than vampires. The story includes a professional drag queen ranch hand and a subject very dear to me; the rescue of American wild horses. The main character is a middle aged lesbian struggling to carry on without her love.
Becky Sanders thinks her life is over when her partner Ruth dies. What will it take for her to realize her life is not over and accept the changes? Incredibly, stopping a blood thirsty vampire will restore her confidence.
Think Tank: Thank Your Grandparents for Marriage Equality Poll Surge
This year might bring the first-ever statewide vote in favor of marriage for same-sex couples — and for that you have your grandmother to thank. Why? Because contrary to conventional wisdom, Americans born in the 1940s have been changing their minds on the marriage issue faster than nearly any other age group. And they are in good company.
Some marriage advocates have posited that the mammoth growth our country has seen in support for allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry has been primarily caused by younger, more accepting voters replacing older ones in the population. But new data released in our new report, The Big Shift, shows that this phenomenon only explains one quarter of the total movement since 2004, while 75% of the shift was caused by Americans of all ages — including your parents’ and grandparents’ generation — changing their minds.
By compiling data from 98 public surveys taken between 2004 and 2011, with a total of more than 128,000 responses, we were able to dig deeper into the question of exactly who has changed their position on marriage, and how quickly. The answers are stunning: support for marriage has risen at a rate of more than 2 points a year since the low point in 2004, gaining 16 points by 2011 — the most recent year for which we have numbers. Who moved the most quickly? Moderates, whose support went from 33% to 54% over that seven-year timeframe.Add a comment
After Electoral Wins, Gay Activists Await the Supreme Court
The historic votes of four states this week in favor of gay marriage — an apparent sea change in U.S. public opinion — have sparked the hopes of many Californians who want to turn the tide in the Golden State. But that doesn’t mean advocates of gay marriage want to see Californians vote on another ballot measure here. Instead, they’re counting on a relatively conservative U.S. Supreme Court to make same-sex unions legal throughout the country.
“We shouldn’t have to go state after state after state — it’ll take forever,” said gay marriage activist Billy Bradford of Castro Valley. He said activists are hoping for a ruling similar to the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended all restrictions on interracial marriage, “so we can move on to other things that face this country.”
Bradford said there is also widespread hope in the gay community that the high court will decide this month not to take a case involving Proposition 8, the 2008 California initiative that banned same-sex marriage. If that happens, gay couples in California could be tying the knot very soon. That’s because a federal judge and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have already struck down Proposition 8.Add a comment
Why Do Many Corporations Embrace Marriage Equality?
In the afterglow of Tuesday’s election, the term “historic turning point” for LGBT rights is hardly an overstatement. The passage of equal marriage rights by popular vote in three states, the blockage of an anti-equality constitutional amendment in a fourth (after losses in 30 other states), plus the reelection of the first president to ever publicly ally himself with same-sex marriage equality, demonstrates a dramatic shift in public attitudes.
Equally dramatic, however, and perhaps even more significant, has been the willingness of large businesses and major corporations to lend both their names and dollars toward the cause. In Washington State, in particular, a blue-chip list of high-profile companies — Starbucks, Nordstrom, Amazon, Microsoft, REI, to name just a few — took a prominent stand in support of the marriage-equality referendum. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos tossed in $2.5 million of his own toward the campaign. Bill Gates wrote a check for $100,000.
Less than 20 years ago, in 1994, Senator Edward Kennedy’s staff had a difficult time trying to convince corporate executives to testify on behalf of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the first attempt to bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at the federal level (a measure that still has not passed.) Their companies had successfully implemented internal policies that did the same; the executives were even on record saying they thought it was a good idea. But testify before Congress? No, thanks.Add a comment
Improving Transgender Visibility in Elections
It’s fair to say that the 2012 elections were a big victory for the LGBT community, in terms of both issues and candidates, but that is much more true for the LGB than it is the T. Certainly the transgender community can benefit from same-sex marriage laws; some states will recognize their gender identity and others won’t, confusing who they can legally marry based on their identity documentation. Ideally, lawmakers who claim to be allies will also support transgender issues, but there is no guarantee. Vice President Joe Biden told a constituent recently that transgender justice is the “civil rights issue of our time,” but progress can only be made with visibility.
One important victory took place this week in New Hampshire: the state elected its first openly transgender lawmaker. Stacie Laughton (D) easily beat two Republican candidates for an open seat in Ward 4. She told the Nashua Telegraph that she believes the LGBT community “will hopefully be inspired,” but in her campaign she also advocated for the homeless, people with disabilities, and strengthening public schools. A seat in the huge New Hampshire House of Representatives is not the highest profile position, but Laughton’s election is a notable milestone for trans visibility.
The primary struggle facing trans people remains discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has languished in Congress for decades, and with Republicans maintaining control of the House, its status is not likely to change. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is the perfect example of a Republican who opposed ENDA specifically because it included transgender protections.Add a comment
UPS ends support for Boy Scouts
The UPS Foundation posted the following on its site:
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The UPS Foundation seeks to support organizations that are in alignment with our focus areas, guidelines, and non-discrimination policy. UPS and The UPS Foundation do not discriminate against any person or organization with regard to categories protected by applicable law, as well as other categories protected by UPS and The UPS Foundation in our own policies. These include, but are not limited to race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or military status, pregnancy, age and religion.
President Obama "Absolutely Delighted" Over Marriage Equality Victories
Obama Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett said the President was “so absolutely delighted” that marriage equality votes in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota “all came down on the right side of history.
These were the first public comments (made during a conference call Thursday night with supporters of the Human Rights Campaign) on the President’s reaction to the historic decisions in Maine, Maryland and Washington where same-sex marriage was legalized through popular vote and in Minnesota where voters opposed an amendment banning gay marriage.
What's Next for LGBT Equality?
Relax and take a week off as we savior our enormous and historical victories from last Tuesday. After all, we must continue to celebrate them to make them real to us. The election was filled with ‘gifts’ to us and we would be foolish to not embrace those victories before proceeding forward.
Then the LGBT community has more work to be done in our epic struggle for full equality. Let’s review quickly some or our priority agenda.
Because the House of Representatives is still controlled by right-wingers we will have some difficulty passing positive LGBT legislation. However there might be some willingness now among traditional conservative Republicans to stand up to the Tea Party types and pass ENDA.Add a comment
Harnessing Marriage Equality Momentum
Without a doubt, election night was a landslide victory for equality. Watching the historic results roll in on issues and candidates that matter to the progress of civil rights for LGBT people was truly a snapshot of just how much, and how quickly, this country has changed on social issues.
Obviously the reelection of President Obama is a huge win for LGBT equality.
Bringing back the first sitting President who not only came out in support of marriage equality, but also signed comprehensive hate crimes legislation and ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, proved that supporting and legislating equality isn’t the political suicide opponents said it would be.
In fact, out-of-touch views on social issues like LGBT rights was actively used as an attack on the defeated Mitt Romney, who was endorsed by groups like the bigoted National Organization for Marriage. The President’s reelection proves that vocal support for our rights can now be seen as a political plus and regressive policies about equality are damaging.Add a comment
New Marriage Equality Book Released
The relationship between religious belief and sexuality as personal attributes exhibits some provocative comparisons. Despite the nonestablishment of religion in the United States and the constitutional guarantee of free exercise, Christianity functions as the religious and moral standard in America. Ethical views that do not fit within this consensus often go unrecognized as moral values. Similarly, in the realm of sexual orientation, heterosexuality is seen as the yardstick by which sexual practices are measured. The notion that “alternative” sexual practices like homosexuality could possess ethical significance is often overlooked or ignored.
In her new book, An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage, political scientist Emily Gill draws an extended comparison between religious belief and sexuality, both central components of one’s personal identity. Using the religion clause of the First Amendment as a foundation, Gill contends that, just as US law and policy ensure that citizens may express religious beliefs as they see fit, it should also ensure that citizens may marry as they see fit. Civil marriage, according to Gill, is a public institution, and the exclusion of some couples from a state institution is a public expression of civic inequality.
An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage is a passionate and timely treatment of the various arguments for and against same-sex marriage and how those arguments reflect our collective sense of morality and civic equality. It will appeal to readers who have an interest in gay and lesbian studies, political theory, constitutional law, and the role of religion in the contemporary United States.
Emily R. Gill is Caterpillar Professor of Political Science at Bradley University. She is the author of Becoming Free: Autonomy and Diversity in the Liberal Polity and coeditor of Moral Argument, Religion, and Same-Sex Marriage: Advancing the Public Good.Add a comment
Exit Polling on Obama and Marriage Equality
Exit polls have a lot to say about the role LGBT issues plyed in the election, and on how President Obama’s support for marriage equality might have resonated with the electorate.
Lesbian, gay and bisexual voters sided heavily with Obama, for example, helping to propel him to a commanding win. Exit polls conducted for The New York Times and other media outlets indicated that 5% of voters were gay, lesbian or bisexual. (Voters weren’t asked whether they are transgender.) Of those, 76% voted for Obama. While that number is high, it’s also a six-percentage-point increase over the 2008 election for the president.
Where marriage equality was on the ballot, exit polls offer insight into whether it helped or hurt the president. The Associated Press reports that exit polls in Maryland, where voters approved legalizing same-sex marriage, show those who sided with equality broke strongly for Obama, while those opposed joined Romney. It was Obama and marriage equality that prevailed.Add a comment
Where Next for Marriage Equality?
With Tuesday’s sweeping pro-LGBT victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington state, marriage equality will be the law of the land in eight or nine states and the District of Columbia. Another five states have civil unions laws. The National Organization for Marriage, along with other anti-equality organizations, have lost their principal talking point and can no longer claim that every time voters considered marriage, equality loses — so it seems likely the number of states recognizing same-sex couples will continue to climb in the upcoming year.
Here are some states that could consider the issue in the near future:
1. Colorado: While a 2006 constitutional amendment prevents the state legislature from enacting marriage equality, a civil unions bill was only defeated this year thanks to stunning maneuvers by Colorado Speaker of the House Frank McNulty (R) to thwart the majority in his chamber. McNulty lost his majority Tuesday and his likely successor as Speaker, openly gay Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D), is the bill’s chief backer. Polling shows 70 percent of Coloradans support legal recognition for same-sex couples, so movement on this appears likely in 2013.Add a comment
Women Lead the Way in Votes for Marriage Equality
Exit poll data revealed a massive and decisive gender gap in voting on the marriage equality ballot measures that just might put to rest once and for all some old gender adages. Women have all too often been cast as the more conservative sex. Nothing could be further from the truth. Women, on the average, want change more than men and are sick and tired of discrimination that has hurt them.
Women’s votes, according to state exit polls, determined the historic outcome of the 2012 marriage equality ballot measures. Same-sex marriage was approved for the first time by general election votes in three states: Maine, Maryland, and Washington state. In Minnesota, voters struck down a proposed state constitutional amendment “to recognize marriage only between one man and one woman.”Add a comment
State Residents Give Big to Marriage Equality Rights
In 2008, big money flowed into California from other states in support and opposition to a gay marriage ballot initiative. In 2012, big money is flowing out of California toward similar initiatives elsewhere.
About 2,000 Californians have given a total of almost $1 million in support of gay marriage initiatives in Washington, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, according to campaign finance records. Californians have given only about $25,000 in opposition to gay marriage in those states.
Most of the money has flowed into Washington and Maine, the two states where many polls show the most support for approving gay marriage. Some of the biggest financial support has come from Silicon Valley and Hollywood.Add a comment
Poll Says 60% of Latinos Support Marriage Equality
A new poll from NBC Latino/IBOPE Zogby finds that 60 percent of Latinos support marriage equality, including 48 percent who “strongly” agree that same-sex couples should have the right to marry.
Only 38 percent disagreed. Disturbingly, a full 10 percent said that being gay, over being a drug addict or being sent to prison, would be the biggest disappointment when it comes to their children.Add a comment