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This Day in My History

2000:  On the Frazzle
2001:  Rumpelstiltskin
2002:  Hot Enough For You?
2003:  What a Great Job!
2004A Dog in Search of a Dog Park

2005:  More Adjustments

"Have Camera, Will Vlog"

Books Read in 2006
(newest books added 7/5)

"The Plague"

The Plague

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Mefeedia Video Archive

My Favorite Video Blogs

Desert Nut

(for others, see Links page)

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Look at these videos!
Quick Change Artists
(this one is absolutely amazing!)
How to Peel a Potato

Tattoo Remover
A Most Famous Work of Art
Piano with Balls
Steve Sings at Ephesus

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4th of July 2006

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Support liberty and justice for all

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11 July 2006

The e-mail from Shelly and Ellen showed up in my mailbox two days ago:

This makes me sick to my stomach. It's hard to believe that these judges believe that we should be treated as second class citizens.

(New York City) The Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York State, ruled Thursday that the state "Constitution does not compel the recognition of marriages between members of the same sex."

In its ruling the court said that "Whether such marriages should be recognized is a question to be addressed by the Legislature."

"First, the Legislature could rationally decide that, for the welfare of children, it is more important to promote stability, and to avoid instability, in opposite-sex than in same-sex relationships.

"Heterosexual intercourse has a natural tendency to lead to the birth of children; homosexual intercourse does not."

Shortly after I heard from Shelly and Ellen, I heard from Jason Hungerford, one of "the Jasons," a wonderful couple who were part of the group which sought to get a ruling from the New York Court of Appeals:

Today the NY Court of Appeals (the state's highest court) ruled 4-2 that the "New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex. Whether such marriages should be recognized is a question to be addressed by the Legislature."

To read the entire 70-page ruling, including the beautiful dissent by Chief Judge Kaye go here.

This was our final step in the judicial branch. Any future legal right to marriage is now left in the hands of our state legislature.

Jason continued in his blog...

I'm beyond disappointed with today's ruling. I'm angry, and frankly, a bit surprised that the court ruled this way. It essentially amounts to court-sanctioned state-sponsored discrimination, in a state that prides itself in embracing equality for all and for posessing progressive attitudes and for having a long history of demonstrating ultimate fairness and common sense justice. Today's ruling goes against all of that.

The court, which is supposed to be the protector of civil rights and personal liberties, has instead, left our rights under the Constitution vulnerable to a mere vote by a few hundred legislators. My rights should not be left up to a vote....
[emphasis mine]

This fight was not just one of principle or a bunch of activists doing what activists do. Quite the opposite, especially for those plaintiffs in the Ithaca 50. We're normal, ordinary, every day citizens who each day are denied basic rights that most people just don't even think about. We are taxed unfairly, we are treated differently in hospitals and medical offices, many of us fear for our children's safety, or fear our home could be taken away should one of our partners die. These are just a few things. There are literally hundreds of rights on the state level, in addition to thousands of rights on the federal level that are routinely denied to us.

Today, the court said that that was OK. Today, the court said that it is up to the legislature to make things right for us. Today, they said equality and basic fairness in New York is subject to debate and a vote by a bunch of mostly out-of-touch people in Albany.

There are all sorts of arguments which can be made against the court's ruling, but I've made them all here many times.  However, the one that I have not brought out before is one that was brought home to me recently by Ellen and Shelly, who attend demonstrations and are constantly brought into contact with homophobic/anti-gay people. 

In this area there has been a large immigration of people from Russia.  When we went to the Valentine's Day demonstration in Woodland this year, it was the Russian men, hate etched in their faces, who were there to protest, who had to be ejected by the police.  This ethnic group is becoming a stronger and stronger presence at gay events in this area and have snarled at gay people, "In our country we would kill people like you in your sleep."

Every time a governing body says that the rights of a group of people is open to negotiation it trivializes and marginalizes that group and it gives people like the Russian men the power to think that doing violence to anybody who belongs to the group is somehow OK with society.

While my friends are living their lives like every other married couple, there are people out there who believe that they would be better off dead, that the world would be better off if they were all killed, and the government, by its refusal to uphold their rights as American citizens, are tacitly giving them permission to hold those feelings.

But nobody in a position to effect any sort of change seems to care about that.


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Not deserving of equal rights

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