Marriage Equality -- The Journey

This blog will hopefully chronicle our quest for recognition of our marriage by my employer, the state, and the nation. For a peek into my life other than this lawsuit, check out my personal blog at http://milindoe.blogspot.com

Monday, October 02, 2006

The end

I've decided that it's time to end this part of my blog. Our Journey is mostly over, except for the appeal, so any new updates will be on the main blog.

      

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

News Updates

I guess it's been a while since I posted here. I've had a lot going on in my personal life, so I hope y'all will forgive me.

Without further adieu...

Hevesi Plans “Vigorous Defense” of Retirement System Recognition of Canadian Same-Sex Marriages After Conservative Group Files Lawsuit

State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi said today that he would undertake a strong defense of the State Retirement System’s recognition of Canadian same-sex marriages after the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed suit against the Comptroller’s office to halt the practice.

The Comptroller’s office administers the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), which includes 334,000 retirees and 648,000 current employees. In response to an October 2004 inquiry from a state employee who was contemplating marriage in Canada to his same-sex partner, it was determined that such marriages would be recognized by the Retirement System under the principle of comity, a legal doctrine which has been followed by New York State for many years.

Surviving spouses of NYSLRS retirees can potentially receive certain benefits that are not provided for non-spousal partners: An accidental death benefit awarded in certain situations and a cost-of-living adjustment to monthly pension payments.

“We plan a vigorous defense because the law is clear: In New York State, we recognize marriages that have been conducted in Canada in accordance with Canadian laws – and that now includes same-sex marriages,” Hevesi said. “I have for many years believed that lesbians and gay men should have the right to marry in New York. But our October 2004 decision was a strictly legal determination based upon statutes and case law, not on my personal opinion.”

ADF brought the suit in State Supreme Court in Albany County. The named plaintiffs in the case are four residents of Westchester County. According to its website, ADF provides case funding, strategy and coordination, attorney training, and litigation to oppose efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, to keep abortion legal and other issues.

The NYSLRS includes state employees and retirees as well as employees and retirees from local governments throughout New York State, not including New York City. The State Comptroller is the sole trustee of the NYSLRS and the $140 billion Common Retirement Fund.

Click here for the October 2004 letter from the Retirement System to the state employee who was contemplating marriage in Canada to his same-sex partner, in which the determination that such marriages would be recognized by the NYSLRS is outlined.

This is the retirement system that I am a part of and, in 2004 when Mr. Hevesi announced that Canadian marriages would be recognized for this retirement system, we were all jubilant.

The ACLU (NYC types) is contemplating dropping our case for fear of "making bad law" if we lose. I reminded them that all the rulings the Lovings received in their case prior to the Supreme Court decision in Loving v Virginia was "bad law" as well. But if we just retreat for fear of creating "bad law," then how do we get the bad laws changed?

If you ask me, this case against Hevesi and the NYS Retirement System could generate "bad law," which will have serious implications for all GLBT members of the system.

And then these nutcases divert the blame and attention to us, saying that "Christianity is under attack." No, it's the other way around -- Christianity is attacking us. Or rather, some folks that forgot what REAL Christianity is are attacking us.





      

Thursday, August 03, 2006

New "Trend" for Homosexuals

(New York City) An organizer for the conservative Renew America is under fire for linking homosexuality with infant pedophilia.

"The newest thing in Chicago, it's becoming a trend, and you're gonna find this hard to believe...sex with infants," Guy Adams told an Internet radio show hosted by fellow conservative Stacy L. Harp.

Adams (pictured) offered no evidence to back up his claims of infant pedophilia.

He appeared on Harp's program on Wednesday to discuss the recent Gay Games in Chicago and embarked on a nearly 30 minute conversation with Harp to attack gays.

"It's not enough that they have...you know when you engage in perversion, and homosexuality is perversion, we don't hate the gays mind you, we don't hate them, we hate what they're doing...pretty soon that perversion is like addiction, it's not enough, so you need to graduate to something else. You need to move on. So now they're having sex with animals, a small group that's getting bigger, sex with infants, sex in the street in Chicago out in the open, it's just getting more and more perverted."

Adams dismissed the contributions of GLBT people to society by saying, "what contributions, AIDS, pornography?"

He also referred to gay people as "a very angry and violent group when confronted with the truth."

Renew America is run by Alan Keyes, the conservative talk show host who attempted to run for the Senate from Illinois.

An advocacy group that counters right wing misinformation campaigns called for Keyes to fire Adams.

Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne Besen called Adams remarks on the program "a new low in gay bashing."

"The slurs by Adams are a shameful attempt to dehumanize an entire community and he has taken anti-gay propaganda to a disgraceful nadir," said Besen.

"These remarks are intended to incite hatred and Alan Keyes should make it clear that Renew America does not support such rhetoric by immediately distancing the group from Adams."

Keyes has not responded to the demand for Adams' firing.

Last year Keyes' daughter came out (story). He has refused to discuss publicly his estrangement from Maya Marcel-Keyes but he has not shied away from attacking gays.

In March 2005 he told a St. Augustine, Florida audience that allowing a judge to rule that same-sex couples can marry is a form of tyranny.

But, his most incendiary remarks came at the Republican National Convention when 365Gay.com commentator Michelangelo Signorile interviewed him for his Sirius radio show. (story)

Keyes said that homosexuality is "selfish hedonism." Signorile then asked Keyes, the GOP candidate for the US Senate in Illinois, whether he considered Mary Cheney, the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, a "selfish hedonist."

"Of course she is," Keyes replied. "That goes by definition. Of course she is."
It's this type of bullshit that causes the dull-witted homophobic bigots to take baseball bats to the heads of innocent gays that are walking down the street, minding their own business.

If this isn't inciteful language, then it damned well should be, and should be punishable under the hate crimes laws.

Fuckin' putz.



      

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Decision is in



Well, the "Have Bullshit Judge Will Travel" Phenomenon came to a theater near me. Our ruling is in. No big surprise that the ultra-conservative judge would rule against us, but I love the fact that they have to support their decisions in writing. Check it out:

MartinezDecision.doc

We have 35 days to file an appeal.


      

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Have judge will travel

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Apparently the same idiots that made the New York ruling taveled to Washington to deliver that ruling as well...

Brings to mind an image of a bumper sticker I saw that said "Arguing with them is like running a race in the Special Olympics. They might win, but in the end, they're still retarded."


(Olympia, Washington) The state of Washington's ban on same-sex marriage is not unconstitutional the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

In a 5 - 4 split decision the justices ruled that only opposite-sex couples are biologically capable of having children and the legislature acted reasonably and in the best interests of children.

The court did, however, say that the legislature could repeal DOMA and pass legislation allowing same-sex marriage.

"We see no reason, however, why the legislature or the people acting through the initiative process would be foreclosed from extending the right to marry to gay and lesbian couples in Washington," the ruling said.

"It is important to note that the court's role is limited to determining the constitutionality of DOMA and that our decision is not based on an independent determination of what we believe the law should be."

In a dissent, Justice Bobbe J Bridge said that " if the DOMA is really about the 'sanctity' of marriage, as its title implies, then it is clearly an unconstitutional foray into state-sanctioned religious belief. If the DOMA purports to further some State purpose of preserving the family unit, as the plurality would interpret it, then I cannot imagine better candidates to fulfill that purpose than the same-sex couples who are the plaintiffs in these consolidated actions."

Gay and lesbian couples denied marriage licenses filed suit in 2004. Two lower courts ruled that the state law barring gay marriage was unconstitutional and the the high court heard arguments in the case in March 2005. (story).

The American Civil Liberties Union, representing the same-sex couples had argued that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional - pointing to a 34 word clause in the state constitution.

The key passage is Article 1, Section 12, which says, “No law shall be passed granting to any citizen ... privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.”

LGBT civil rights groups were quick to denounce the ruling.

"The American family is strengthened when the legal responsibilities of marriage which protect children, stabilize homes and secure relationships are provided equally to all couples," said Jo Wyrick, National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director. "Washington State has an economic and social interest in promoting the stability of the family, and it is stunning that the Washington State Supreme Court would base its ruling on personal opinion rather than on law."

Had the court struck down the existing law it could have been more important that the Massachusetts high court ruling that allowed that state to become the first in the national to allow same-sex marriage.

In Massachusetts a state law going back to the days when interracial marriage was illegal has been used to prevent same-sex couples from outside the state from going there to marry.

The state of Washington has no such law.

Earlier this month the highest court in New York State ruled that the state "Constitution does not compel the recognition of marriages between members of the same sex." (story)

A decision is also awaited in the state of New Jersey. Arguments in that case were heard in February. (story) Garden State Equality said today's ruling in Washington will have no effect on the New Jersey case.

"On LGBT rights as well as on other social issues, New Jersey law has long been different from the laws of other states" said the organization's chair Steven Goldstein. "Additionally, New Jersey courts have been among the most fair-minded in the country, from allowing same-sex couples to adopt jointly to holding that the Boy Scouts may not discriminate against a gay scoutmaster.
A midlevel appeals court in California heard arguments July 10 in a series of cases challenging that state's ban on gay marriage. (story) The issue is expected to reach the California Supreme Court next year.