"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy News

From NYT:

In a decision that could have far-reaching effects on immigration cases involving same-sex couples, federal officials have canceled the deportation of a Venezuelan man in New Jersey who is married to an American man, the couple’s lawyer said Wednesday.

The announcement comes as immigration officials put into effect new, more flexible guidelines governing the deferral and cancellation of deportations, particularly for immigrants with no serious criminal records.

Immigration lawyers and gay rights advocates said the decision represented a significant shift in policy and could open the door to the cancellation of deportations for other immigrants in same-sex marriages.


Let's hope this is the start of a trend.

What Were They Training Them To Do?

A WTF? moment, courtesy of the FBI:

The top brass at the FBI only found out about the Westboro invitations after more than 200 officers and agents had attended the sessions. Almost immediately afterward, the officers and agents sent memos asking why the group had been invited.

The FBI official responsible for bringing in the church group did not want to be identified by name. He said he found the group personally distasteful, but thought police and FBI agents needed to learn how to engage people they disagreed with and find ways to build relationships with them.

He conceded that inviting a group that pickets military funerals to a military base was, at best, problematic. Officials said it was one of the reasons the fourth session took place at the FBI facility in Manassass.


The relationship has been severed.

I can sort of understand the rationale -- training agents and police officials do deal with awful people (they've invited representatives of the KKK in the past), except that given the recent history of police raids in Dallas, Atlanta, and most lately, New York, you have to wonder if the police really disagree with the Phelpses.

And inviting someone from a "church" that pickets military funerals to speak at a military base? What were they thinking?

One wonders.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's Starting To Sink In

Steve Benen has a good piece on just what the Republicans are up to with their economic brinksmanship.

Regular readers know that we’ve been keeping an eye on the “sabotage” question, wondering whether congressional Republicans would consider hurting the economy on purpose, for purely partisan reasons.

Just this month, some high-profile, mainstream pundits have begun exploring the issue, and just last week, two of Congress’ most powerful Democrats broached the same subject.

Michael Tomasky went even further the other day, arguing that Democrats should start “saying openly what has been clear for months or even years now — that as long as economic recovery would work to the political benefit of Barack Obama, the Republicans have been, are, and will be in favor of sabotaging the economy.” Tomasky added this is “obvious,” though many consider the question to “impolite” to repeat.


And for an added treat, here's Rachel Maddow's segment on this very question:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


I have to admit that I'm a little surprised that this particular idea is gathering steam. Not that there's anything wrong with the idea that the Republicans, who famously cast their agenda in 2009 as making Obama a one-term president -- their entire agenda, mind you -- would stoop so low. As we've seen again and again from their "social conservative" wing, nothing is too low. What surprises me is simply that "mainstream" commentators are willing to mention it. Maybe "Republican" is finally getting radioactive.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reviews in Brief: Hori Tomoki's Crimson Snow

I meant to post this yesterday and forgot. Sorry.

Crimson Snow is another collection that caught my attention after a notice at Yaoi Rose (now alas, defunct -- Rose, like so many of us, has discovered that the demands far outstrip the time available to meet them). It's sort of a mixed bag.

The title series, "Crimson Snow" parts I-III, involves a wounded yakuza, Kazuma, rescued and nursed back to health by the illegitimate son of a tea ceremony master, Yukihiro. They fall in love, but Kazuma decides he must pay his debt for killing a man. The final story, "Garance," portrays their reunion years later.

"At First Sight" is a school-boy romance, lamentably brief, as Liam Blake discovers that the boy he's been watching, Maddox Suns, has also been watching him.

In "Cry for the Sun," Ethan sees a face he almost remembers at his father's funeral, and starts wracking his brain trying to unearth the memories. He finally remembers his father's former lover, Oliver, and then realizes the feelings that were buried with the memories.

Tomoki's drawing is appealing, although her uke tend to look very young. Her style is very open and clear, and although there's nothing really radical about the page layouts, they are loose enough to be interesting.

The stories, alas, need much more development, particularly the title series, which could easily make a full-length manga itself. There's a lack of tension throughout that is, I think, the result of the surface treatment, although it's easy to see the potential in these stories, although "At First Sight" seems like a filler.

From BLU. (Also, sadly, now defunct in North America -- Tokyopop has closed its Los Angeles office, which was the center of its efforts here, and the licensing is apparently up for grabs, which tends to happen in the industry.)

Lame

The White House Statement on the New York marriage vote:

“The president has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples,” [White House spokesperson Shin] Inouye said. “That’s why he has called for repeal of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ and determined that his administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts. The states should determine for themselves how best to uphold the rights of their own citizens. The process in New York worked just as it should.”

Inouye issued the statement via e-mail in response to an inquiry from the Washington Blade.


Cuomo for President.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Marriage In New York: The Story (Updated, Updte II)

Good piece at NYT on how marriage in New York state actually happened. There are lessons here for everyone, I think, starting with the gay groups who lost the Prop 8 fight in California:

Mr. Cuomo was diplomatic but candid with gay-rights advocates in early March when he summoned them to the Capitol’s Red Room, a ceremonial chamber with stained-glass windows and wood-paneled walls.

The advocates had contributed to the defeat of same-sex marriage in 2009, he told them, with their rampant infighting and disorganization. He had seen it firsthand, as attorney general, when organizers had given him wildly divergent advice about which senators to lobby and when, sometimes in bewildering back-to-back telephone calls. “You can either focus on the goal, or we can spend a lot of time competing and destroying ourselves,” the governor said.

This time around, the lobbying had to be done the Cuomo way: with meticulous, top-down coordination. “I will be personally involved,” he said.

The gay-rights advocates agreed, or at least acquiesced. Five groups pushing for same-sex marriage merged into a single coalition, hired a prominent consultant with ties to Mr. Cuomo’s office, Jennifer Cunningham, and gave themselves a new name: New Yorkers United for Marriage.


I'm reminded of the beginnings of Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, when HRC et al. were criticizing AFER for launching the case, and then turned around and asked to participate. Saying "no" was one of the smartest things Boies and Olson did, and they did it for the right reason: HRC and the rest of the Gay Inc., legal team would probably have lost the fight for them.

Speaking of HRC, the lesson they could learn from this is how to reach a goal. You don't do it by going to a meeting with a presidential advisor and listening. Not when the president and his advisors don't give a rat's ass about your goals, you don't. You get them on board, or you don't talk to them. GetEqual did it without the president, if you'll remember.

And as for the president: this is what "fierce advocacy" looks like. But it's not just a lesson on same-sex marriage. It's a lesson on getting anything done.

Update II:

Maureen Dowd seems to agree with me:

But for the president, “the fierce urgency of now” applies only to getting checks from the gay community, not getting up to speed with all the Americans who think it’s time for gay marriage.

As with “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” Obama is not leading the public, he’s following. And worse, the young, hip black president who was swept in on a gust of change, audacity and hope is lagging behind a couple of old, white conservatives — Dick Cheney and Ted Olson.

As a community organizer, Obama developed impressive empathetic gifts. But now he is misusing them. It’s not enough to understand how everybody in the room thinks. You have to decide which ones in the room are right, and stand with them. A leader is not a mediator or an umpire or a convener or a facilitator.

Sometimes, as Chris Christie put it, “the president has got to show up.”

Update: An interesting post from Bmaz at Emptywheel on how the New York event relates to Perry, ith some predictions:

As you may recall, the issue of standing was punted by the 9th down to the California Supreme Court, where the matter is currently pending.

Between last night’s marvelous happening in New York, the clear cut and admirable new policy by the Obama Administration, and the ever enlightened movement of society, I think the writing is on the wall for the California Supreme Court, and I think they will indeed find that the D-Is have the requisite standing, the 9th will roll with that and away we go to the United States Supreme Court. I truly believe the New York passage will leave such a marker that will carry all this through, and that is a beautiful thing.

As I am going out on a limb here, let me go one step further out. The Supremes will seal the deal. If you read Lawrence v. Texas, penned by Anthony Kennedy, and are a Kennedy watcher, it is extremely hard to see how he will not maintain consistency with his Lawrence decision and vote for marriage equality. I think that was the case from the start, and the action of New York, and, yes the Obama Administration, makes it almost certain. Justices do not want to look like asses in history, the way things are going, the margin may be even more favorable than 5-4 if we get to that point. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?


I'm not sure I have that much faith in the Supreme Court, not after their most recent decisions, but since there are no major corporations being sued, it could happen.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's Almost an Anti-Climax Updated, Update II, Update III)

New York did it.

New York becomes the sixth state where gay couples can wed, doubling the number of Americans living in a state with legal gay marriage. Pending any court challenges, legal gay marriages can begin in New York within 30 days.

The bullies at NOM, of course, will be pouring secret money into the next election in New York State to try to punish Republicans who voted for the bill. There's also talk of law suits, but I can't think what grounds anyone would have to sue on -- bruised homophobia?

Anyway, congratulations to New York for moving in the right direction. Illinois, are you paying attention?

Update:

Great commentary from Keith Olberman:



and this is what passes for fierce advocacy from the President of the United States (full text at Towleroad):



Update II:

Here's the background from NYT.

Update III:

And finally, some information on those "religious protections" from The Advocate.

Apparently Maggie Gallagher was trumpeting the "people's vote" bullshit again, but my understanding is that in New York, any ballot question has first to make it through two sessions of the Legislature before it goes on the ballot. Good luck, NOM.

Maybe they'll hire Peter LaBarbera to circulate a petition.

Friday, June 24, 2011

This Sort of Says It All


You can bet the militant homosexual activists don't have an answer for that one.

Via Joe.My.God.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another Reality Check for the Anti-Gay Right

I hate to be the one to call attention to someone as thoughtful and knowledgeable as David Tyree saying something stupid, but when I run across something like this, it stops me:

"If I have my child at a public school and I'm totally against same-sex or homosexuality, now they have the right to teach my child that this is something normal, or true."


The only problem with Tyree's objection is that homosexuality is normal. It's very normal. It's a human behavior found, to borrow one of the right's favorite generalizations, in "all places, all times." In fact, it's found in more places and times than "traditional" marriage.

And don't ask me to explain the conflation of "normal" with "true." I can't begin to fathom what he means. I doubt he can, either.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sex and porn

An interesting article (with a somewhat lurid headline) from The Age (Australia). The part that jumped out at me was this:

The researchers have dismissed moral panic that argues pornography is encouraging men to pursue degrading and perverse sexual habits. Ogas said porn was a reflection of male desires rather than a creator of male desires and erotica generally functioned to liberate and satisfy male sexual interests.

My reaction was "Well, duh!" I left a comment in the group that directed me to the article to the effect that the idea that somehow pornography is in control seems to come from those "moral crusaders" whose world view depends on authority for human actions. Basically, it seems they believe that people do not direct their own actions because people have no authority to do so, so it must be god or the devil. I suspect that's why free will is such a knotty problem for them.

The other point of interest was how many commenters (male) objected to this:

"The four body parts that both straight and gay men are wired to find sexually interesting are: chests, butts, feet and penises. Heterosexual men are very interested in looking at penises, especially large penises."

Orgas said heterosexual men searched for penises almost as often as they search for vaginas and out of the top 35,000 most popular adult sites, roughly 1000 were devoted to large penises.


A couple of the comments ran "Well, they must be wrong -- I'm not interested in penises." Obviously these guys have forgotten being teenagers in the school locker room -- I find it hard to believe they weren't interested in what kind of heat the other guys were packing. And there's always at least one show-off.

And of course, there were the usual suspects who would prefer to believe that the world is corrupt rather than that interest in sex is normal and healthy.

It's apparently a relatively new study, but I don't see anything earth-shattering in the conclusions -- unless, of course, you believe that pornography is the work of the devil and takes control of men's minds. (And why is it always men who are corrupted by pornography?)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New York Note

It seems that NY Sen. Greg Ball is open to suggestion on how to vote on New York's equal marriage bill -- he's tweeted asking for opinions. The responses, as you might guess, are rather lop-sided.

But really -- did he have to ask?

I have a strong suspicion that the Republicans will try to dodge the issue and not bring it up for a vote in the Senate.

Here's a report from CNN and a "debate" between Danny O'Donnell and Brian Brown.



A couple of interesting things -- Don Lemon, the host, actually challenges Brown on the "religious freedom" bullshit. And then Brown comes back with a letter signed by, among other, Robert George, "one of the foremost legal scholars" in the country. George might, with proper supervision, be able to reason his way through a grocery list.

The other interesting thing, which flows from the first, is that it looks like the day when some blowhard like James Dobson or Tony Perkins -- or Brian Brown -- could go on the air and spout their lies unchallenged are over. There's been a fundamental shift in the approach to gay issues in both the print and broadcast MSM -- aside from the non-Fox outlets, at least, and even Fox is showing signs of cracks in the facade. The tone here is definitely supportive of legalizing SSM. Granted, Lemon is gay (and now, "openly gay"), but I don't think that affects my conclusion here -- five years ago, or even two years ago, he would not have been able to challenge Brown like that.

One problem I have with these kinds of reports on the news is that they are always rushed, and I'll admit it -- people like Brian Brown can spout so much absolute bullshit so quickly that anyone who relies on actual facts to make a point is simply not going to have the time to counter their "arguments." Brown's comments are typical of the breed -- red herrings, straw men, tangents, fact-free assertions, all in one nauseating mix. (I'm actually surprised that I managed to sit through the whole thing.)

But it's a strong positive sign that these fact-free screeds are being challenged -- and by the hosts, not other guests.

Swimming Pool Update

Kentucky is not Tennessee. I noted yesterday the story of the two developmentally disabled gay men being evicted from a public swimming pool. The city has taken action:

An employee at a public swimming pool in eastern Kentucky was suspended for a week without pay after telling two disabled gay men to leave, city of Hazard officials said Saturday.

In Tennessee, they would have passed a law making it illegal for gays to swim.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's Stuff Like This

that points up how pointless the Republican Party has become -- they have nothing to offer, they just spend their time trying to muck up whatever someone else (read "that black Kenyan Muslim usurper in the White House") is trying to do:

A group of 23 Republican members of the U.S. House wrote President Obama on Thursday asking him to hold off on certification of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal until Congress can review the Defense Department’s policy changes that would lead to open service.

“Given the necessity for congressional review, which has been limited to this point, we respectfully request that you refrain from transmitting certification until Congress has had sufficient time to review pending legislative matters of policy and law,” the letter states.


"Limited"? Hey, asshole, you voted on the bill that laid out the process. Maybe you don't like the idea, but let me remind you of the favorite right-wing congressional mantra from the Bush years: The Majority Rules.

They had a vote and your side lost. Man up and offer us something that might help fix some real problems.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It would be nice

if we could just consider Congress irrelevant and go on with out lives. But they're in a position to do too much damage.

You can tell I've been reading the news again, and am pretty disgusted. But this story made up for it.

The parents deserve every nasty name you can think of. I don't understand anyone who would throw their own kid out on the street, for any reason. Scum.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Not Real Surprising

Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling on the unconstitutionality of Prop 8 was not vacated.

Here's the opinion:

797 (1)

As noted, I'm not really surprised at this. I followed the live blogging at Prop8TrialTracker, and Judge Ware was not too impressed with Charles Cooper's arguments, that much was apparent. Here's a notice from P8TT.

Really, what did anyone expect? The motion was completely frivolous.

Gay, Inc.

A discussion between Tanya Domi and Clinton Fein on the disaster that the national gay advocacy organizations have become.

They say pretty much everything I'm thinking.

I Give Up

This statement by President Obama just floored me.

In an interview airing Tuesday, the President tells NBC’s Ann Curry, “Ultimately there’s going to be a decision for him and his constituents. I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign.”

“Because public service is exactly that, it’s a service to the public,” the President says to Curry. “And when you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can’t serve as effectively as you need to at the time when people are worrying about jobs and their mortgages and paying the bills, then you should probably step back.”


I wrote my congresswoman asking her to pass the word along to Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership to let go of this and get down to business, which is not Anthony Weiner's tweets. So Obama steps up and hands the Fox News/Breitbart/GOP industrial complex another stone to throw.

Leave this sort of thing to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who handled it very well by calling RNC chairman Reince Priebus on the Republican double standard. I'm not embedding the video because too little of it is taken up with Wasserman Schultz's rebuttal of Priebus and too much with Priebus slamming Obama for the Republican economic failures of the past few years.

At any rate, as far as Weinergate in concerned, taking notice of this sort of thing is beneath the president.

Diversity

I used to live just a couple of blocks from here. Now it seems that not only are the people a real mix, but the wildlife is no longer limited to squirrels and rats.

A mother deer found an unlikely home -- the heart of Boystown — and gave birth in recent days to two fawns, who are now living near Belmont and Halsted.



Yep -- Briar, east of Halsted. I used to walk down that street occasionally, just because it's a nice quiet street.

Watch for tourism to go up.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Obama Just Lost My Vote

In 2008 I held my nose and voted for him -- at least he was talking a good game. But I'm a Chicagoan, remember -- I know what our politicians are like.

So now, as a "stimulus" measure, he wants to cut taxes again -- the employers' side of payroll taxes.

Targeting the employer side of the payroll tax could both attract Republican support and spur job growth, said Christina Romer, who was Obama’s first chairman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers.

“A cut in the employer side of the payroll tax could absolutely help accelerate job creation,” Romer, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, said in an interview. “In addition to the usual beneficial effect on demand, this tax cut would make hiring less expensive.”


OK -- the idea being floated is for a "temporary" cut. First off, we know what "temporary" means in Washington when you're talking about tax cuts -- "now and forever." Second, if you take "demand" to mean consumer spending, how does a tax cut for business stimulate that? And as far as stimulating hiring -- no other tax cuts have done that, why should this one -- especially if it's supposed to be temporary? Do they think employers aren't smart enough to figure that in a year or two, payroll taxes won't go back up? (Of course, maybe they are -- since I doubt that payroll taxes will actually return to present levels.)

And of course, Obama has now bought in to the "destroy Social Security" meme long a favorite of Republicans. Since cutting benefits is so unpopular, being a Chicago Democrat he has another angle -- we'll just eliminate the revenue earmarked for Social Security and Medicare. Two birds, one stone.

Elegant, no? Just what you'd expect from a U of C professor.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Monday, June 06, 2011

Good News

Catholic Charities in the dioceses of Rockford, Peoria, and Joliet are leaving the adoption business because of Illinois' new civil unions law. As far as I'm concerned, that's a win-win, for the state and for the children. There are other, nonsectarian organizations ready and willing to step in, and I for one don't relish the idea of my tax dollars going to support a homophobic religious organization.

I do, however, wonder "Why now?" The equal rights law was passed several years ago, forbidding discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation. Being the cynic I am, I suspect that there's more to it than civil unions -- like reports that religiously affiliated adoption agencies were being audited by the state to insure compliance with non-discrimination laws. Heehee -- they wanted an exemption, and what they got was an investigation.

Maybe they'll think seriously about the First Amendment.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Honmeowner's Revenge

This should happen more often.

Full disclosure: I bank with Bank of America. They are marginally better than Chase. Marginally.

Prime Example

of the kind of self-serving bullshit coming out of the anti-gay right: a piece by one Richard E. Barnes, Executive Director of the NYS Catholic Conference, defending Ruben Diaz. Actually, now that I look at it again, it's not defending Diaz so much as attacking anyone who dares to criticize him or his methods. This little essay is so grossly wrong in so many ways that I hardly know where to start. How about here:

Another religious leader in this state has, likewise, been preaching and organizing against homosexual marriage, and at the same time for respect and the dignity of all people. He is the Reverend Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr.

No, Diaz has not been preaching for "respect and the dignity of all people" in any way. Here's a post by Tony Varona at PHB pointing out just one instance of Diaz' contempt for gays -- being gay is like drug addiction, according to Diaz. That's hardly preaching respect for people who were born that way. And Diaz goes on in that post to lie about the effects of same-sex marriage. So he loses points on honesty -- if he ever had any.

This one's choice:

We are unjustly called “haters” and “bigots” by those who have carefully framed their advocacy strategy. The entire campaign to enact same-sex marriage is conducted under a banner of acceptance, and equality and respect for others. Yet behind that banner of tolerance is another campaign – of intimidation, threats and ugliness.


Frankly, I can't see that calling the likes of Ruben Diaz and the Catholic hierarchy haters and bigots is at all unjust. They've earned it, in spades. As for "carefully framed" strategies, I think the shoe's on the other foot -- repeated campaigns of lies, distortions, and misrepresentations, all carefully designed to dehumanize gays, and many, if not all, funded at least in part by the Catholic Church. There's a phenomenon in psychology known as "projection," which means what it seems to: a person projects his or her own feelings or motivations onto others as a way of evading responsibility for them. It's a favorite tactic of the right. That, and claiming, as here, to be victimized by the very people they are seeking to marginalize.

I should say that seeing something like this from the Catholic hierarchy is no real surprise -- they have a long history of talking out of both sides of their mouths, and reality doesn't really apply in their universe. Any organization that claims to be preaching "respect and dignity" toward the very same people it has at the same time condemned as "intrinsically disordered" can't really be taken at face value. Coming to the defense of a vitriol-spewing professional homophobe is part of the game plan.

As for Diaz -- please. The man is vicious, he's a liar, and he has no respect for his oath of office. And to the Catholic hierarchy, he's a shining hero, unjustly accused of being exactly what he is.

Thanks to Clarknt67 for the alert.

Update:

Ruben Diaz aside, this is the kind of thing we're hearing from the right on gays, and same-sex marriage in particular, courtesy of The New Civil Rights Movement:

From a pastor in Harlem:

“If children start to believe it is okay to be gay, they will think it’s okay to be a pedophile or have sex with animals,” Ferguson says[.]


This is from a Teabagger congresswoman -- you know, that "grass roots" group that's only interested in the economy:


At least she didn't bring up marrying your dog. But then, she's not a former Senator from Pennsylvania. I am perennially amazed, however, at the propensity of the religious right to assume that if you change one little aspect of "The Rules," all bets are off and there will be no standards whatsoever. I also find it highly amusing that once again, an evangelical Christian is condemning polygamy, which has ample Biblical foundation.

But I digress. . . .

Another congresscritter, this time from Florida, winner of the Alabama of the 21st Century Award:

Because, you see, according to West, “The term ‘gay marriage’ is an oxymoron. Because marriage is a union and a bond between a man and a woman to do one single thing: the furtherance of society by procreation, through creating new life. Have you ever read the book America Alone by Mark Steyn? It’s about demographics. And if we continue with a cycle of debt and punishing our unborn then it just becomes a matter of time before you don’t have society.”

God told him so, I guess. It's sort of odd, the stretches these people will make to link together all their favorite evils, which basically have nothing to do with each other and make wild predictions on the basis of nothing. I guess it must be easy if you believe in black helicopters.

I could probably go on with this all day -- they're getting more and more deranged, and more and more entertaining -- except that someone is going to listen to these goofballs and pick up a gun and start shooting. That's not a prediction, that's based on past behavior.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

I have no oomph left

Partly I'm just really, really tired. Partly it's the the news is more of the same -- the Republicans want to destroy the economy, and the middle and working classes along with it (you start with the unions, you see), so that they can party with their campaign contributors. Obama has yet to demonstrate that he has the balls to stop them. (After all, he's looking for money from the same pockets.) The corporate media will support the Republicans because it is, after all, the corporate media. The professional gay-bashers are getting more and more shrill, which to me indicates that they know they're losing, but I'm just too tired to rejoice.

And the climate has gone down the toilet.

I think I'll just ignore it all and sit in the back yard and watch anime.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

It Started Yesterday (Updated)

Yesterday, civil unions took effect in Illinois. It's Step 1, and no one is pretending otherwise. How long it's going to take for full marriage is a guess, but I'd say within a couple of years. Here's an outline from Jill M.Metz of the ACLU on what civil unions do and don't do. And from the Chicago Tribune, some stories:

In Cook County, Janean Watkins and Lakeesha Harris camped overnight outside the Daley Center to be the first in line as the state's new civil-unions law kicked in.

"It's historic," said Watkins, who has been with Harris for 10 years. "We wanted to be first. We wanted to make a statement. For us, for our kids. It really means something."

The couple has six children who will all be in attendance at a formal civil union ceremony tomorrow.

Watkins and Harris were followed by more than 100 other couples who arrived early to get licenses.



The ceremonies start today.

Update: I just checked the print editions of both Chicago dailies -- both have front-page stories, very straightforward and very positive coverage with a strong focus on actual couples. Think back ten years and what the reaction would have been in the local press -- if there had been a reaction at all.

Maggie? You're losing.