When Australian prime minister Tony Abbott paused on the lawn of Parliament House to engage a group of high school students in conversation, he may have been hoping to impress some future voters. However, the questions fired at him by the 14-year-olds - about asylum seekers, gay marriage and why he has appointed himself Minister for Women - seemed to take him aback (warning: camera is level with Abbott's crotch.) The students involved later participated in the March in March – a series of protests against current government policies which took place in 29 locations across Australia over three days. Despite over 100,000 turning out, the protests was little coverage by mainstream media – leading to criticism even from within the media’s own ranks.
About the only place this book hasn't been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that's about to change. Because I'm going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that's how long it takes for a batch of my mother's Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I'm going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more. And I think it's fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote. - Dan Savage reviews Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.
Following the state Supreme Court's decision in Griego v. Oliver [pdf], New Mexico has become the 17th U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. [more inside]
The NFL's Modern Man: How Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin — a bike-riding, socially conscious, Animal Collective–loving hipster — is redefining what it means to be a football player.
The French Right Marches against Gay Marriage. Last month, France became the thirteenth nation to recognize same-sex marriage. A large religious and political movement continues to protest loudly against the Socialist government's "Mariage Pour Tous" (Marriage For All) law. [more inside]
The Seattle Times will run campaign ads supporting Washington Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and the state's pro-same sex marriage measure Referendum-74, paid for by the Seattle Times Co..
"Are Democratic politicians, like Andrew Cuomo, using social issues to distract from the economic status quo?" Article by David Sirota in Salon.
An awkward moment in politics. (YouTube) While campaigning in a New Hampshire diner, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spotted local Bob Garon, a regular to the diner, eating his breakfast while wearing a Vietnam veteran's cap. “Vietnam veteran!” Romney greeted Bob, as he slid down onto the diner seat for a little chat. Unfortunately for Mitt, Bob was dining there that morning with his husband, and had to explain to Bob that his husband didn't deserve any of the benefits he fought for, and that the makers of the Constitution held marriage to be between a man and a woman. (Which doesn't really explain Mitt's great-grandfather Miles and his wives Hanna, Caroline, Catherine, Alice, and Emily, but stilll...)
Australian Labor Party's 46th National Conference starts today in Sydney. Key agenda items - Gay marriage, refugees, and Uranium sale to India. Follow it live.
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]
Why A Heterosexual, Married, North Carolinian Father Of Three Cares About LGBT Equality. Married father of three boys writes eloquently about the reasons why he opposes the proposed constitutional amendment banning any legal relationship recognition for same-sex couples. The amendment goes before voters in May primary election, when heavy Republican turnout is expected. Meanwhile Senator Goolsby says that it is all about "empowering voters" "so no activist judge is able to decide on his or her own what marriage is." [original]
"This is it." This week, the final push is on for marriage equality in New York and it looks like the state is closer than ever. [more inside]
The Douglass Blvd. Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky has voted to stop signing marriage licenses until gay marriage is legalized by the state.
ReturnTheDVD.org "Dear Archbishop Nienstedt, We write to you as a small group of faithful Catholics. This letter, however, represents the voices of thousands of families who were as disheartened as we were by the DVD Preserving Marriage in Minnesota..." [more inside]
Pope Benedict XVI has announced the establishment of a new Vatican department dedicated to tackling what he called 'a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church." The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation will (per Archbishop Vincent Nichols,) focus on countries "in which, even though the Christian Gospel has shaped an entire culture," secularism now reigns, in what the Pope termed an "eclipse of a sense of God." [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]
News is breaking that the New York Senate will pass marriage equality legislation today, despite media reports that the legislative push was "stalled" from as late as last week. (The State Assembly repassed the same bill shortly after midnight last night to facilitate the Senate's vote today.) This has all happened largely under the radar—though Markos "Daily Kos" Moulitsas was apparently in the know, hinting at this "big news" in his Twitter feed on Monday night. Today he writes: "So by the end of the week, gay marriage should be legal in New York. And there are no citizen initiatives in NY to overturn it."
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."
Orson Scott Card on gay marriage, which he says "marks the end of democracy in America". Not everyone is too happy about that.
The New Yorker suggests that Bush is being pushed by his advisors to fight against gay marriage when he really has no strong feelings either way. According to Bush's close unnamed friend, "I don't think he gives a shit about it." An inspired take on strategic political distraction.
Same-sex marriages in Canada may be coming soon, but that's nothing. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that it's OK to masturbate in front of your windows! (Full ruling here, previous mefi discussion here.) The Conservatives in Canada worry that all this moral decadence may lead to polygamy, but Canada's had a polygamist community for some time now. Still, the government does seem to be examining the issue. Meanwhile, parents in Atlantic Canada are outraged their children are learning about mutual masturbation and oral sex. What's next -- adults-only barbershops? Oh, wait....
During a question-and-answer period, someone says they'd once heard Johnston call for the execution of gays and lesbians. He vigorously denies the charge. Later, he tells me that the decision to put gays to death is a matter best left up to the states.Ohio's precedent-shattering new ballot initiative and the people behind it. (Salon, ad req'd.)
"They have no business debating the efficacy of gay marriages, any more than they should be debating the pullout of troops from South Korea" North of Detroit, a county commissioner and avowed Christian Conservative pushed a resolution supporting an amendment to the Michigan state constitution, declaring marriage to be a strictly man-and-woman affair. It passed in Oakland County's Board by a narrow margin. But the county executive, a longtime prominent conservative, won't let it go without a fight, and says that with an urban county seat, Pontiac, they should have better things to do-- like their jobs. Is a county board seat an appropriate forum to push another agenda, or should they be more concerned with fixing roads and economy? Does such a resolution at such a low level of goverment even mean anything? Meanwhile, some couples are saying heck-with-it and making that trip 'cross the Ambassador Bridge.
A restaurant's advertisement runs during a special on gay weddings, which causes a christian conservative group to mention said restaurant in a story on their web site, which might alienate some of the restaurant's patrons. So the restaurant tells the AP that the advertisement was not meant for that programming, and that the restaurant only supports "non-controversial" programming, which brings the ire of an even bigger minority group. Applebee's just can't seem to win when it comes to courting the non-mainstream market.
Get the petition. They need one million signatures before April 20 to get it back on the November ballot. If you're in California, print out the petition and start drumming up support today. It's not so often you get a second chance like this. Show the country that California does indeed, rock.