LOI, Vietnam — They had no plan to break barriers or cause trouble. But 30 years ago in this bucolic village in northern Vietnam, the fierce determination of one group of women to become mothers upended centuries-old gender rules and may have helped open the door for a nation to redefine parenthood.
When Bill Met Shelly Bill Ott will always remember the moment he met Shelley Belgard. It was in spring 1988. He was 12 and sometimes shy. Into music, sports and, suddenly, girls.
Get Your Shit Together helps you do what it says on the tin. After her husband died in a 2009 bike accident, Chanel Reynolds created the site as a step-by-step toolkit to help keep track of important life documents and tasks. Four days after its launch, the New York Times got in on the action. [more inside]
Ada Laurie Bryant, 97, and Robert Mitchell Haire, 86, were married last Saturday. The two met in 2007 at their retirement community and were widow and widower. They began going on regular lunch dates after they both realized they hate going to dinner alone, even though they knew it meant they might be labeled a "couple" by the other residents. The bride is keeping her name.
Following an incident at Fort Bragg where Lt. Colonel Heather Mack's wife, Ashley Broadway, was told she could not join the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses, the Marine Corps has issued guidance that spouses clubs operating on its bases and installations must offer membership to the same-sex spouses of gay and lesbian service members. [more inside]
In 2009, William Marotta, donated his sperm to a lesbian couple. Although they did not go through a licensed physician, per Kansas state law, the three signed an agreement relieving Marotta of any financial or paternal responsibility. The women, who co-parent 8 children, broke up in 2010, and the state of Kansas is now attempting to get Marotta to pay child support. [more inside]
A remarkably non-sensational report on polyamorous families. Bookended by 50 Shades of Grey and Gigolos, this 20/20 "special report" on Sierra, Martin, Molly, David, Aaron, Romy, Mark, and J provides a lovely counterpoint to the usual moralizing hand-wringing one finds in media coverage of open relationships.
The Gay Marriage Plot: On November 6, four states -- Maine, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota -- took the side of gay marriage in ballot referenda. The improbable sweep for an issue that spent decades as an across-the-board political loser has already changed the landscape for gay rights in America -- and could provide a new framework for other causes.
Paul Harris is the head of the Marriage License Department for Clark County, in the American state of Washington. Today, after 40 years with the same man, he can finally apply for his own marriage license. [more inside]
“Commitment vows are very powerful, even in a cynical era when people aren't afraid of getting divorced,”
Families in Flux:"As household arrangements take new directions, scientists attempt to sort out the social effects" [more inside]
Remains of the Day. "Wedding photographers tend to assume we have the best clients—impervious to things like divorce and disease. But despite the unending blog posts by photographers about the “honor” of shooting so-and-so’s nuptials, we know about as much about our clients as they do about us... Which is another way of saying not much."
In a private conference this morning, the Supreme Court of the United Stated discussed ten petitions relating to the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. [more inside]
During his tenure as George W. Bush's campaign manager and later as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Ken Mehlman helped push an anti-gay agenda which eventually led to legislation that banned same-sex marriage in 21 states. He came out of the closet in 2010. Since then, he's openly supported gay marriage. Now, his newest endeavor, Project Right Side, is trying to attract conservatives to the fight for marriage equality. He discusses the non-profit's goals in a WSJ editorial: Making the Same-Sex Case. [more inside]
It happens after you've ran out of things to talk about with your partner, after you get your sh*t together and have talked about plans for a family. It is time to get engaged, send out the invitations, and start planning the wedding. NSFW audio
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
On May 18, 1970, two Minneapolis men made a shocking request. They applied for a marriage license. Minnesota Public Radio explains how we got from 1970 to now, when a week from Tuesday, Minnesota will vote on Amendment 1. [more inside]
You are likely already familiar with many of the arguments for and against marriage equality but here are cogent arguments for precisely why it is needed, unthreatening, and beneficial; patiently explained by a gay philosopher who recently spent quite a bit of time hanging out with NOM’s co-founder, Maggie Gallagher. [more inside]
My mother finished with, “If Jesus came to you and said that he had found your perfect spouse, what would you say to him?” She paused for effect. “Now, how much more is Father?” Photographer Jen Kiaba writes a first hand account of courtship and a mass wedding under the direction of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church. Not every arranged marriage story is unhappy, but inside and outside observers are curious to see what happens to the organization (and its finances and investments) after Moon's death this past September. Oh, and of course there is a goofy TLC special. Previously. (And previously, on the Moonies and the Washington Times.)
Today, the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that "we conclude that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates equal protection and is therefore unconstitutional" [PDF of decision]. Plaintiff Edie Windsor has also petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear her case. [more inside]
Earlier this month Australian Christian Lobby head Jim Wallace suggested a homosexual lifestyle was more hazardous to health than smoking, but he was not was not comparing homosexuality with smoking. Smokers were offended. Last night, on the ABC's Q&A program (Transcript) the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, backed the comments, claiming ''It's very hard to get to the facts here because we don't want to talk about it, and in this country censorship is alive and well.". But Wallace's claims were based on a 25-year-old study by a discredited researcher. [more inside]
Equality Matters' Carlos Maza goes undercover at the National Organization for Marriage's Student Conference
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has ruled for the first time that a civil union must be treated as equivalent to marriage. The full decision is here.
The Scottish Government has announced that it intends to legalise same-sex marriage, and will produce a draft bill for public consultation within the year. [more inside]
In an interview published yesterday, Dan Cathy, president of Chick-Fil-A, tells the Baptist Press that Chick-Fil-A is "very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit." Also this week, Cathy told radio host Ken Coleman "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say 'we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage." This is a change in Chick-Fil-A's corporate position; in 2011, responding to criticism that the company and its charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, support organizations that work against LGBT rights and marriage equality, Cathy stated that the company "will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family." Chick-Fil-A is a fast food chain of franchises that operates in 39 US states; in 2011, annual sales exceeded $4 billion USD. The company is privately held.
“I never thought I’d be able dance with a man like this on a military installation.” Erwynn and Will: The unlikely story of the first gay military union.
A Magazine article on when to take off a wedding ring after a marriage fails generated a large response from readers. The feature asked when it was appropriate to remove the band, and explored the symbolism of doing so. Here, readers share their stories about the dilemma of what to do with a symbol of marriage once the relationship has broken down.
"'whether a domestic traditionalist can also be an organizational egalitarian?' The answer we posit is 'no.'"
Researchers found [.pdf], after a series of four studies that "husbands embedded in traditional and neo-traditional marriages (relative to husbands embedded in modern ones) exhibit attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that undermine the role of women in the workplace." The potential resistors focused on are husbands embedded in marriages that structurally mirror the 1950s ideal American family portrayed in the “Adventures of Ozzzie and Harriet” sitcom. [more inside]
Obamacare: One Less Reason to Get Married. Erin Gloria Ryan of Jezebel writes: Insurance Marriages had become to the 21st century what shotgun weddings were to jokes about hillbillies. Back in 2004, the LA Times wrote about couples that married for insurance, couples who for varying reasons had not wanted to marry, but who had been driven to marriage by financial necessity. ABC News posted its own roundup of With This Policy, I Thee Wed-style couples in 2008, as did the New York Times. In 2008, 7% of couples who married reported doing so primarily for the insurance benefits. [more inside]
As a marriage advocate, the time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do. I’d like to explain why.
The founder and president of the socially conservative Institute for American Values has changed his mind on same-sex marriage. If not much else.
The founder and president of the socially conservative Institute for American Values has changed his mind on same-sex marriage. If not much else.
A gay-straight marriage story from a member of the LDS church. "About a year after my divorce, I was chatting with my new bishop, who I had known for several years prior to that. He asked me, "So, Ashley, why did you and Matt get divorced?" I replied, "Matt is a homosexual." I just looked him in the eye after I said this and waited a few seconds while he absorbed it. Then he asked, "Well, was there another problem as well? Like drinking? Or gambling?" I looked him in the eye a second time and replied, "Nope. Just that." He was genuinely confused."
In 'unusual' turn, Cook County state's attorney supports lawsuits questioning constitutionality of gay marriage ban
"The fight for same-sex marriage rights in Illinois took an unprecedented turn Thursday as Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez conceded that the state's ban on gay marriage violates the Illinois Constitution, essentially agreeing with a pair of lawsuits her office was expected to oppose. It marks the first time a state has refused to contest a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of a gay marriage ban. The Illinois attorney general's office, which would be next in line to defend the state's constitution, already had announced plans to file a brief in support of the lawsuits brought by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois."
In the early 19th century, a man named Charles Fanaye and his lover Marie-Hélène sought to wed in Southern France. He was a former Napoleonic soldier, back from the Campaign in Egypt. She was an Ethiopian woman who had rescued him from the Mameluks and followed him to France. Like many other interracial couples, Charles and Marie-Hélène begged for an exception to the 1803 decree that banned marriage between blacks and whites. It was only after 16 years, when the ban was silently lifted in 1819, that they could finally marry. A (long) paper by Jennifer Heuer on the arbitrary definitions of race in post-Revolutionary France and on "the persistence of certain couples in legitimizing their bonds".
But the reason I do this is because I love you, whoever you are, and I want to share my situation so that you can know further truth: I am gay. I am Mormon. I am married to a woman. I am happy every single day. My life is filled with joy. I have a wonderful sex life. And I’ve been married for ten years, and plan to be married for decades more to come to the woman of my dreams.
In 1971, "decades before any state had seriously considered legalizing gay marriage, long before anyone had thought of creating—never mind repealing—a policy called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” before Reagan, before AIDS, before the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness, and before half the people currently living in America were even born, a man named John Singer stepped into the King County marriage license office in Seattle." Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist who pioneered the fight for same-sex marriage in Washington State, 41 years ago. Via.
Today, the 9th Circuit said a majority of its 26 actively serving judges has voted not to revisit a three-judge panel's 2-1 decision declaring the voter-approved ban to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians in California. Now that en banc rehearing was denied, the proponents have 90 days to file a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court, seeking review of the decision striking down Proposition 8. Oral argument would follow a few months later, and then a final decision would be issued by June or July 2013.
Need a blast of pure joy to start your holiday weekend? Here's Isaac's live lip-dub proposal.
Marriage may have changed, but love has not. It still makes people say crazy things. And it’s still a glue that no one has control of.
The New York Times' "Vows" column is turning 20. Lois Smith Brady revisits some of the first couples covered in the column which she has written since its inception (alone for the first decade, and as one of several writers in its second). A companion article describes how the column came about and how it (and the couples it covers) have changed over the years. [more inside]
When the Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia in 1967 declared laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional, the last affected state in which a legal interracial marriage occurred was South Carolina in January, 1969, in the city where the Civil War started. What most people don't know is the bride was a transsexual. [more inside]
A preacher rebukes North Carolina media over asking the wrong questions about marriage. North Carolina votes today on Amendment 1, which states that, "Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." Here are some of the people who would be affected.
File under: Romantic Wedding Videos (2:14, single link Vimeo)
The Swedish Chef (Muppet Wiki) is the incomprehensible preparer of foodstuffs for The Muppet Show. A rather literal variation of the Live-Hand Muppet concept, the Swedish Chef is a humanoid character, with human hands rather than gloves. An annotated list of every televised appearance of the Swedish Chef is after the fold... Børk! Børk! Børk! [Click here to view the thread translated fully into Mock Swedish] [more inside]
Stephanie Coontz: The M.R.S. and the Ph.D. "Is this really the fate facing educated heterosexual women: either no marriage at all or a marriage with more housework and less sex? Nonsense. That may have been the case in the past, but no longer. For a woman seeking a satisfying relationship as well as a secure economic future, there has never been a better time to be or become highly educated... The most important predictor of marital happiness for a woman is not how much she looks up to her husband but how sensitive he is to her emotional cues and how willing he is to share the housework and child-care. And those traits are often easier to find in a low-key guy than a powerhouse." [more inside]
Marriage is a luxury good [NYT] After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage. [more inside]