Admittedly, we’re still in a bit of a shock after Tuesday’s successful turnout for the first annual National Marriage Equality Day. Our team is still trying to bring ourselves back down from Cloud Nine …
We had close to 40,000 RSVPs to the Facebook event, tons of press coverage and countless posts from supporters. Our Twitter and Facebook were flooded with photos all around America (and some across the pond!) of people celebrating and we even had a few celebrity tweets! (Thanks, Charlize Theron!)
At the end of the day, our editor in chief, Kirsten Palladino, wrote, “It's been a beautiful day, friends. Last week, my heart was heavy as I watched Atlanta news channels and news feeds cover hordes of bigots holding up their chicken sandwiches in solidarity of hetero supremacy. Today, I've had a good bit of my faith in humanity restored. Thank you for believing in marriage equality. Thank you for believing in civil rights for all, not just for some. Thank you for believing that my marriage is just as good as your marriage.”
And while our everyday choices should make each day Marriage Equality Day, it’s nice to designate a special day for others to come to together in celebration. And you better believe we’ll be doing it again!
I threw my diet out the window and enjoyed a Starbucks white chocolate mocha Frappuccino (mmm!) and hit up Schnippers, a local New York City chain that is donating $1 to Marriage Equality USA for every Chicken Filet sandwich sold (take that Chick-fil-A!). I also wanted to show my appreciation to Freedom to Marry, one of the many organizations that are tirelessly fighting for equality.
For new friends who are finding us for the first time, we encourage you to stay and play—we update our site daily with marriage equality headlines, wedding planning tips and beauty and fashion trends for LGBT couples. Be sure to like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and stay up-to-date on next year’s event by liking our brand spankin’ new National Marriage Equality page. For those of you who are old buddies, we’ve got some surprises in store for the near future, so stay tuned!
Don’t let Tuesday’s momentum and excitement for change grow stale. Bring it with you when you shop and when you vote. The storm is rolling out soon, folks. I think I see a rainbow beginning to peek through the clouds.
Our slideshow is just a small percentage of the fabulous photos we received throughout the day (we wish we could include them all!). And feel free to add a comment to any of the images in the comments section under each individual photo.Thank you to all who participated and congratulations on a successful Marriage Equality Day. We’ll see you next year!
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A congratulations is in order for MSNBC news anchor Thomas Roberts. The TV personality who was the first cable news anchor to come out after making an appearance at a 2006 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association event has become engaged to his partner of 12 years, Patrick Abner.
The nuptials will also be a first for the industry, as the handsome host will become the first cable news anchor to get married to someone of the same sex.
As they prepare for their Manhattan fall wedding, he jokes of his stereotypical lifestyle changes upon getting engaged and beginning the inevitable weight loss plan. “I was on the treadmill for three miles this morning. I will be on it for three miles tomorrow. I had a Red Bull for lunch and I eat gum. I’m the typical groom!”
After coming out, his career at CNN suffered, but by mere coincidence, he tells the New York Observer. “CNN was going through some changes at the time—CNN is perpetually, always going through changes … When I came back [from Miami], I was told my schedule was being switched. It was just ill timing.” He ensures that his MSNBC gig will not be affected, mainly because of his outlook. “I am not objective when it comes to equality. And that means for all. I want it for you, for me, for everybody … It’s written in our Constitution: life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, and what’s wrong with talking about that? Nothing.”
Yesterday, a federal judge, U.S. District Court Judge Alan C. Kay, ruled against two Hawaiian women requesting a marriage license, the Associated Press reports, handing a victory to opponents of gay marriage in the state, including Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy and Hawaii Family Forum.
Natasha Jackson and Janin Kleid say they filed the lawsuit because they need to be married in order to receive certain federal benefits. Co-plaintiff Gary Bradley wants to marry his foreign national partner to help him change his immigration status. While Dale Schowengerdt, an attorney representing Hawaii Family Forum, said, "the ruling affirms that protecting and strengthening marriage as the union of one man and one woman is legitimate, reasonable, and good for society," the actual court ruling was a little bit more vague, really dodging the bullet of decision.
"…Hawaii's marriage laws are not unconstitutional," the ruling states. "Nationwide, citizens are engaged in a robust debate over the divisive social issue. If the traditional institution of marriage is to be reconstructed, as sought by the plaintiffs, it should be done by a democratically elected legislature or the people through a constitutional amendment."
Jackson and Kleid's attorney, John D'Amato, said the couple will appeal.
"We had hoped that Judge Kay would open his eyes to what we believe to be obvious discrimination against gay couples," said D’Amato following the decision. Governor Neil Abercrombie went on record saying that he disagreed with the ruling and would join the couples if they do indeed appeal.
We’ve all heard the arguments, even more so this past week after the Chick-fil-A debacle and even on our National Marriage Equality Day Facebook event wall (Tuesday, August 7, mark it on your calendars!). It’s resulted in threads of thousand-count comments from both sides of the battlefield.
Admittedly, it’s easy to come up with retorts from the comfort of your computer, allowing yourself however long you need to give an articulated answer, but this YouTube user went to straight to the opposition sources, live, on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, and politely asked those that stood in line for a greasy chicken sandwich why they didn’t support gay marriage.
Shedding light on how the other side thinks, the results may or may not surprise you. For me personally, watching it live just hit home how brainwashed our country is, as individuals spouted off biblical “facts” to support their beliefs, (sorry lady, but nowhere in the Bible does Jesus voice his stance on gay marriage), kids showed up because their parents told them to and others couldn’t respond when asked “So you believe that your religious beliefs should affect the government?”
I should note that she has publicly apologized for using the term “redneck.” “This video was not intended as hard-hitting journalism. It was just something funny for my friends,” she states. “I never expected so many people to see it. I think the video would have been more effective had I allowed them to speak for themselves.” Also, Lady Gaga's Born This Way blasts a little too loud, so I recommend turning on the captions (just press the little cc button at the bottom right of the player).
Ironically, their answers give me hope because they are so absolutely outlandish that I can’t imagine our modern day government defending their stance for too long. But only time will tell.
Here's the video. Tell us what you think in the comments below!
Four states will be voting on the fate of same-sex marriage within their boundaries this November. In Maine, the legalization of same-sex marriage is on the ballot. In Minnesota, the vote is whether or not to ban gay marriage in the state constitution, a la North Carolina. And in Maryland and Washington, voters are being asked to affirm the legislatively passed marriage equality laws.
As with all pushes for change, it comes at a cost—campaigns, promo videos and ads aren’t cheap, after all. Fortunately, the Human Rights Campaign has decided to invest a whopping one million dollars in the four states facing marriage-related ballot measures. The cash infusion brings HRC’s contributions to legislative and electoral marriage issues in the 2011-2012 cycle to $4.8 million.
"These ballot measures are the critical issues in November for our community, besides reelecting the president" and a small handful of specific races, said HRC's Michael Cole-Schwartz. "And part of why they're a big deal is because our opponents have rightfully had the talking points that all of these states have banned marriage for same-sex couples [in the past]."
Each state will receive $250,000. In addition to the funding, HRC has hired about 30 staffers who are working on the ground in the various states. This chunk of change follows the hefty donation from Amazon.com's founder, Jeff Bezos, to Washington's Referendum 74.
"This is the year where we really think that we have the opportunity to be the victors," he added, saying, "We want to stand up and be leaders ... and spur more investments in these campaigns as well."