Looking for a loving cause to spend your fall break on? Look now farther! Vivianne Swerdlow ’13 writes in:
Tired of Partisan Politics? Just want to spread love? Donate your fall break to do so!
Come to Maine for fall break, and spend your time on a historic campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples at the ballot for the first time!
Mainers United for Marriage is looking for Wesleyan students willing to donate their fall break for a life-changing experience. You will be trained and work side-by-side with experienced campaign staff and other volunteers to do critical work to ensure a win in November. Not only will you walk away with memories of amazing fall foliage, but you will come away with new or honed campaign skills and friends in Maine. Who doesn’t want that?
Dates: Oct 12-16
Place: Portland, ME
I said I would not make Wesleying posts from abroad, broke my rule to post about the Walden student forum, and find myself breaking my own rule again to post about this letter from Chris Kluwe to state legislator Emmett C. Burns, Jr. because, frankly, it was just too awesome to not share.
The situation: as early as 2009, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo publicly supported gay marriage in a Huffington Post op-ed, and has consistently spoken out in favor of same-sex marriage, including speaking out in favor of Maryland ballot initiatives granting same-sex marriage twice (links here and here).
In response, Democratic Maryland state legislator Emmett C. Burns, Jr. sent this letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti on August 29, 2012, stating that he finds it “inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo, would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically, as a Raven football player.” The succinct letter goes on to state that such a view “has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement.” Key is the final paragraph, visible past the jump:
Yes, we already do have gay marriage. However, as with all other states allowing gay marriage except for Vermont, we have it as a result of judicial action rather than legislative action. In the eyes of many people, this makes it less “legitimate” than a decision from our elected officials who represent us more directly.
However, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Love Makes a Family are trying to pass SB 899: An Act Implementing the Guarantee of Equal Protection under the Constitution of the State for Same-Sex Couples. According to the HRC:
The bill would remove demeaning anti-gay language from Connecticut statutes, provide a means for merging civil unions and marriages by October 2010, and provide for recognition of marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships from other states.
National right wing organizations have moved into Connecticut with ads and robocalls aimed at scaring voters into believing that marriage equality is harmful. Please take action today and help protect the right to marry for all Connecticut couples in a loving, committed relationship.
To easily send a letter to your state representative and senator online (Rep Joe Serra, Senator Paul Doyle if you use your Wesleyan address) , use this handy-dandy “Take Action” form online. Make sure to use a Connecticut address. The bill is being voted on in the Senate *today*, so do this ASAP (if it conforms to your political beliefs, obviously).
[Update 8:56 pm] According to theday.com, the Senate voted 28-7 tonight to approve SB 899 (woohoo!!) The House is debating it now, so still write to your representative! Way to go, CT Senate!
[Update 12:40 am] AP is reporting that the House also approved the bill 100-44. They’re also reporting that Jodi Rell (our Republican governor) will sign it. It passed! Wooo! Thanks to everyone who supported it. I’m proud of Connecticut.
So recently Vermont’s House of Representatives and Senate both voted to pass a bill to legalize gay marriage. In that vote, the House results were 95-52. Governor Jim Douglas, however, vetoed the bill when it got to his office. Today, the House voted 100-49 to override the veto and pass the bill into law (the veto had already been overridden in Vermont’s Senate 26-4). With that, Vermont becomes the first state to allow gay marriage through legislative action. The law will take effect in September. This news comes a few days after Iowa also began to allow gay marriage; on Friday the Iowa Supreme Court voided a state law banning same-sex marriages.
The discussion in Vermont was particularly personal; “gay and lesbian lawmakers took to the House floor last Thursday and told their own personal love stories.”* I can’t say I have been following this closely, so I will refrain from saying anything more than that it seems Vermont has taken a big step in the fight for equal rights for same-sex couples and, while opponents will probably continue to fight against marraige equality in Vermont, the significance of the law passing though the legislature, not the courts, likely a sign of more equality in the future.
For more coverage of the battle over same-sex marriage, check out:
*The news report on Vermont’s legislation
The news report on the Iowa Court Ruling
The NYTimes Topics Page for Same-Sex Marriage
Congrats to all the same-sex couples in Vermont who will now have the opportunity to wed.