I will never forget the first year I gave my second mom, Liz, a Mother's Day card. She was so touched that she began to cry. I told her that even though she wasn't my birth mother, she'd always be my mom and that I loved her.
My moms have been together for eight years now and I am still amazed at the love they have for each other, for my siblings, and for me. They support me unconditionally and I would like to be able to give them a card that shows my appreciation for what they both have done for me and for my family. A card that reflects their unconditional love for each other.
That's why I'm asking Hallmark to make greeting cards for families with same-sex parents.
A few years ago, Hallmark led the industry by releasing wedding cards for same-sex couples. As the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States, Hallmark has the opportunity to lead the industry again by providing cards that reflect the lives of all families.
Having two moms or two dads doesn't make a family any less loving or special. We laugh together. We cry together. And we celebrate together. I know it would mean so much to my moms -- and moms like mine all over America -- if Hallmark made cards celebrating families like ours.
Please join me in asking Hallmark to make Mother's Day and Father's Day cards for same-sex parents.
BRASILIA, Brazil -- Brazil is guaranteeing gay couples' right to access assisted fertilization.
The wording of the an earlier decree governing who has the right to use such techniques was vague, and some courts here had blocked same-sex couples from using in-vitro fertilization and other assisted fertilization methods in the past.
The new decree stipulates that such techniques must be permitted for both gay couples and single people. It appears in the government's official gazette on Thursday.
The head of the Federal Medical Council says the new decree is in step with current social mores.
A 2011 decision by Brazil's high court recognized same-sex civil unions, although it stopped short of legalizing gay marriage.
'Some great news': Charlie Crist now supports gay marriage, lauds Delaware for legalization this week
Posted by by former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to his Facebook page:
Some great news: On Tuesday, Delaware became the 11th state to allow marriage equality. And just a few days ago, Rhode Island adopted a similar measure, which followed victories last fall in Maine, Maryland and Washington. I most certainly support marriage equality in Florida and look forward to the day it happens here.
Crist, now a Democrat rumored to be running again for governor, has apparently evolved since the last time he ran for public office in 2010 as a GOP senate candidate. During that campaign, he told CNN like then-opponent Marco Rubio he supported a constitutional ban against marriage equality:
"I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will. But I do believe in tolerance. I'm a live and let live kind of guy, and while I feel that way about marriage, I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don't have a problem with that. …
… when it becomes to the institution of marriage, I believe that it is between a man and a woman, it's just how I feel."
May 09, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Video | Rachel Maddow trashes PolitiFact after it brands Navratilova claim about gay firings 'half true'
On Sunday, retired tennis star Martina Navratilova appeared on CBS' Face the Nation and declared that in 29 states gay people could be fired just because they are gay.
The Tampa Bay Times' PolitiFact (a Miami Herald news partner) put Navratilova's assertion through the "Truth-O-Meter," confirmed that 29 states don't have laws protecting gay people from being fired because of their sexual orientation -- and on Tuesday declared Navratilova's statement "half true."
That night, Rachel Maddow trashed PolitiFact in a segment on her MSNBC program titled, "PolitiFact sullies fact checking again with inexplicable rating."
PolitiFact looked into it. Employers can fire you if you're gay or they think you're gay. State law in 29 states. That's true. They published a map of the 29 states, proving when Martina said 29 states have those laws, that was a true statement. The retired tennis lady says that's true of 29 states, they fact check that statement. It finds what she said was true about the 29 states, and so then PolitiFact with the name fact in its name revealed that statement to be true. They rated it half true because they checked what they said and found it was true, then rated her half true, because they are PolitiFact. This is why the fact checking is pointless when we need it to mean something. It exists and branded themselves arbitrator of fact and they're terrible at fact checking.
Watch the video above to view Maddow's complete PolitiFact segment.
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Forensic accountant David Richardson, Florida’s first openly gay state lawmaker, planned to take things slowly when he got to Tallahassee this year for his legislative debut.
Then, the first time Richardson addressed the House, he discussed life as a gay man.
“The first time I spoke on the floor was when I filed an amendment to a foster care bill,” said Richardson, 56. “There I was making my first argument about why a gay foster kid should be protected in our state foster care system.”
“I am that child,” the freshman lawmaker told colleagues in an emotional statement later posted to YouTube.
His suggestion “failed on voice vote, after the Republican bill sponsor announced it was an ‘unfriendly’ amendment,” said Richardson, a Miami Beach Democrat. “However, it was a success in just having the issue debated on the House floor.”
Richardson and two straight, gay-friendly politicians, U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia and Miami-Dade Commission Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa, will be honored Friday by SAVE Dade, the county’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights group.
SAVE Dade strongly supported Richardson in his first political campaign last summer. Voters elected him without Republican opposition in August. Joe Saunders, a gay man from Central Florida, was elected to the House in November’s general election.
“David’s major accomplishment is breaking the lavender ceiling in the state of Florida,” said C.J. Ortuño, SAVE Dade’s executive director. “We always knew his election, albeit exciting and history making, was only the beginning. The real work is the work he’s putting in day in and day out as a lawmaker.”
Richardson said his biggest achievement this session was not gay related: He filed a House bill to require an inspector general for Citizens Property Insurance.
“In the end, the language of my bill was rolled into an omnibus Citizens Property Insurance bill and that’s the bill that was passed by both the Senate and the House,” he said. “My bill was heard and passed unanimously by the House of Representatives.”
SAVE Dade “knew we were not sending a gay-rights activist to Tallahassee,” Ortuño said. “We were sending a businessman who happened to be gay.”
Ortuño also spoke highly of honorees Garcia and Sosa.
“Joe has been a longtime supporter, way before he was an elected official,” Ortuño said. “As a Cuban-American leader, he alone made a tremendous amount of progress within that community, a community that traditionally has been at odds with our issues.”
Garcia, former executive director of the Cuban American National Foundation, lobbied in favor of a countywide gay-rights ordinance, passed in 1998 and upheld in a public vote four years later. “He did Spanish radio for us and he had conversations in our community on behalf of us. He was a messenger in our community at a time when there weren't too many straight Cuban-American allies speaking up,” Ortuño said.
Sosa, a Republican who holds a nonpartisan commission seat, also has been a dependable ally, Ortuño said.
“As a county commissioner, she has a pro-equality voting record and voted in favor of the domestic partner ordinance and registry. She also, as the chairwoman, will be one of the sponsors of the trans-inclusive human-rights ordinance we are working on.”
Sosa is an example of someone who has personally “evolved” on gay rights, Ortuño said. “There are some folks who know her who would say that where she is, she might not have been 30 years or so.”
IF YOU GO
SAVE Dade’s Champions of Equality reception is 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Hilton Miami Downtown hotel, 1601 Biscayne Blvd. Tickets $100. www.savedade.org/champions.
Point Foundation, a national organization that raises money and gives scholarships to financially needy LGBTQ students, held a reception Tuesday at Miami Beach Botanical Garden.
The reception, co-hosted by Jorge Diaz and co-sponsored by his brother, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz (both above), brought together Point scholars, alumni and members of South Florida's gay community.
The host committee: Karen Chamuel, Jerry Chasen, Milton de Trinidad Masis, Jasmine Devynelsyt, Shelley Freeman*, Doug Guinan, Scott Guzielek**, Bill Murphy, Shobha Nagaprasanna, Tobias Packer, Damian Pardo, Clay Petre*, Barry Preter, Bert Saville, Elizabeth Schwartz, BJ Spice, Markus Thiel *Point Regent **Point Trustee.
Other sponsors included Northern Trust, Beacon Default Management, Inc., FYI Online, Jackson Health System, Lydecker Diaz and Wells Fargo.
DJ Danilo de la Torre (aka Adora) provided music; 42Below the liquor; and Lee & Maries the catering. Faculty and students from Florida International University also volunteered.
Click here for more pictures from the reception. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
May 08, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Minnesota poised to legalize gay marriage; would make it 12th state after Delaware with marriage equality
BY PATRICK CONDON, ASSOCIATED PRESS
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota appears poised to legalize gay marriage, as the Democratic speaker of the state House said Tuesday that a gay marriage bill endorsed by the governor and likely to pass in the state Senate also now has enough backing in his chamber.
The House will vote on the measure Thursday, and if it passes, the Democratic-led Senate could vote on it as soon as Saturday.
House Speaker Paul Thissen, of Minneapolis, said that the 73-member Democratic majority he leads will produce at least the 68 votes needed to pass the bill. Senate leaders are also confident of passage, and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has promised to sign the bill, which would allow gay couples to marry as of Aug. 1.
"I think it's in line with the tradition we've had in Minnesota about respecting people, making sure everybody is included in our community and the fullness of participation in that," Thissen said.
If the bill passes, it would mark a stunning about-face on the issue in Minnesota, where only six months ago voters were asked whether they wanted to enshrine the current gay marriage ban in the state constitution. They didn't.
No House Republicans have committed to vote for the bill. Thissen said while their votes are not needed, they would be appreciated. "It's not a partisan issue. You've seen many prominent Republicans speak out on this issue," Thissen said. One Senate Republican, Branden Petersen of Andover, publicly supports the bill.
On Tuesday, gay marriage became legal in Delaware, making it the 11th state, plus Washington, D.C., with marriage equality.
From an Associated Press article by Erica Werner about the upcoming immigration bill:
The test will begin Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. As of Tuesday evening's deadline for filing amendments, some 300 had been offered by Democrats and Republicans. A number of them, particularly from the GOP side, would strike at the heart of the bill in a way supporters say would destroy the fragile agreement between four Republican and four Democratic senators who wrote the legislation. ...
Perhaps the biggest potential trouble for the bill loomed from the Democratic side, in the form of two similar measures filed by Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to extend immigration rights to gay citizens and permanent residents, allowing them to petition for U.S. residence for their partners just as straight married Americans can.
All four Republican members of the Gang of Eight have voiced serious concerns about such a provision, saying it could kill the bill or cost their support. Those objections are why it was left out of the bill in the first place, despite vigorous advocacy from gay-rights groups.
Just after the Delaware Senate passed marriage-equality legislation, Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill into law.
That will make Delaware the 11th state, plus Washington, D.C., to legalize gay marriage.
WASHINGTON – Today the Delaware state Senate passed marriage equality legislation, putting the First State on track to become the eleventh state in America where gay and lesbian couples can legally marry. The legislation, which passed with bipartisan support in both houses, will be signed into law by Gov. Jack Markell later today. Same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses July 1st of this year.
“As America waits for rulings from the Supreme Court on two historic marriage cases, Delaware today took decisive action and guaranteed equality for the thousands of gay and lesbian couples of that great state,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Chad Griffin. “Thanks to principled impatience from state leaders in Dover, the momentum for LGBT equality continues unabated.”
The nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, HRC has been an integral financial and strategic player in winning marriage in each of the eleven states and DC. In Delaware, HRC has provided significant financial investment, staff and technical resources over many years to help establish and support Equality Delaware, the statewide equality organization in the First State. In 2013 alone, HRC sent nearly 30,000 emails to members and supporters in the state, generating nearly 2,400 messages to legislators. Total HRC financial and staff contributions in 2013 exceed $160,000.
"In the years of hard work we have undertaken in Delaware, HRC has been an invaluable partner,” said Equality Delaware president Lisa Goodman. “Their expertise and financial contributions have been a huge part of getting us where we are today."
A strong majority of Americans support marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples including 70 percent of those born after 1980, according to a recent Pew Poll. Last week Rhode Island became the tenth state with marriage equality and the first since a series of sweeping victories at the ballot box on Election Day 2012 in Maine, Maryland and Washington. Today over 50 million Americans – 16 percent of the population – live in states that allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. The state legislatures in Illinois and Minnesota are presently both debating marriage equality bills.
The passage of marriage equality in Delaware comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down decisions on two marriage-related cases by the end of June. Hollingsworth v. Perry challenges the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, and United States v. Windsor, challenges the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Video | Martin Gill, son in Washington as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen reintroduces Every Child Deserves a Family Act
News release from U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York:
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representatives John Lewis (D-GA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) will announce bicameral introduction of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, legislation that would open more homes to foster children by working with states to end discrimination against adoptive and foster parents based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status.
The Congress Members will be joined by Mary Keane and her daughter Anni from New York, Philip McAdoo, Sean Cavanaugh and their son Zaden from Atlanta, and Martin Gill and his sons from Miami to tell their stories.
Nationwide, there are an estimated 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, and there are more than 104,000 children currently waiting to be adopted, including 6,400 in New York. LGBT couples or individuals who want to adopt or become foster parents still face discrimination in more than 30 states.
Graphic from Family Equality Council