Happy Valentine's day from Justice Scalia: (video) how his dissent in DOMA case US v. Windsor (PDF here) helped lead to recent rulings against state gay marriage bans.
"According to a photo published to the 'Wipe Out Homophobia" Facebook group, Chick-Fil-A has announced a voluntary recall of Jim Henson's Creature Shop Puppet Kids Meal toys, and is blaming it on safety issues. There's no information on when the notice was allegedly put up, but the 'recall' is backdated to one day before the Jim Henson Company cut ties with Chick-Fil-A for its donations to anti-gay groups."* All this comes on the heels of Chick-Fil-A's COO, Dan Cathy, owning up to the company's contributions to anti-gay causes in a recent interview: "Well, guilty as charged." [more inside]
A progressive Australian political advocacy group have produced a 2-minute advertisement showing their support of Marriage Equality Down Under. Warning: May pull heartstrings. [more inside]
"I finally said, you know what, I'm going to tell my story. The first American injured in the Iraq war is a gay Marine. He wanted to give his life to this country." ~Eric Alva, 40, former Marine and veteran of Operation Iraqi FreedomTell: An Intimate History of Gay Men in the Military [more inside]
The New Republic examines what they're calling "America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle" and asks, "What will it take for America to accept transgender people for who they really are?" [more inside]
In a first for Latin America, Mexico City's legislature voted to legalize gay marriage Monday night, changing "the city's civil code definition of marriage from the union of a man and a woman to the 'free uniting of two people.'" [more inside]
Thirty years ago yesterday (November 27, 1978) San Francisco Board of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor. Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the U.S. Prior to his death he championed a movement against a California proposition (Proposition 6, dubbed the Briggs Initiative) which sought to ban gays and lesbians, and anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California's public schools. In the midst of a national right-wing, conservative, religious movement heralded by folks like Anita Bryant the proposition was soundly defeated. Fast forward to today. A new film "Milk" [trailer] (starring Sean Penn in the title role) is garnering critical acclaim and is relevant to current events. "Harvey came up against a lot of obstacles, which I think is the case for any gay man now," says Brolin, who plays Dan White [in the film]. "The irony is that Prop 8 is now what Prop 6 was then."
Prophets and politics. "The Mormon Church works to ban gay marriage in California, even as gay people in places like Rexburg, Idaho, come out of the LDS closet."
Judge rules same-sex marriage ban in Maryland unconstitutional. The progression towards equal rights moves ever on--NPR offers further coverage and an overview of current gay rights cases in the US. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma a reminder of why this fight must be won.
Redefining Rights in America: The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration, 2001–2004 -- This very thorough report (PDF) finds that President Bush has neither exhibited leadership on pressing civil rights issues, nor taken actions that matched his words. The US Commission on Civil Rights presents something for everyone, from Gay and Lesbian Rights on page 129 to Voting Rights and the 2000 Election on page 40, to Faith-Based Funding on page 157...from page 9: In fact, the faith-based initiative’s only civil rights significance may be that it actually allows employment discrimination. ... this initiative reflects the President’s desire to recast civil rights in a manner that suits his narrow agenda and, as such, has been highly controversial.
Sticking to the gay stuff: The ACLU is threatening legal action against a middle school in Arkansas whose administrators have gone to extraordinary lengths to punish a student for being gay, including outing him to his parents, forcing him to read passages of the Bible, calling him "abnormal" and "unnatural," and disciplining him for mentioning between classes to a female friend that he thought another boy was cute. (via CalPundit) [more inside]
The same-sex domestic partnerships bill in Vermont has been approved by the state's lawmakers. "The continued denial of these legal protections, benefits and responsibilities to a small but vulnerable class of Vermont's citizens diminishes their humanity, dignity, freedom and independence." It's about damn time, hopefully other states will soon follow suit. Oh, and if you have a problem with this, listen to this and let me know why you continue to have problems with it.