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Archives – January, 2011

Update on the Progressive Slate

By Adam Bink

I wrote this past weekend about free corporate money for causes like GLSEN and GLAD via the Pepsi Refresh Everything contest. As of then, we were in a strong position to win.

This just came in over e-mail:

Hi Adam,

We wanted to let you know that GLSEN, our 10th partner, just moved into the #2 spot to win $250,000 this month! That’s the largest grant in the contest and one we’ve never been able to win. If we can keep them there tonight and through tomorrow, it will mean a quarter of million dollars dedicated to helping protect LGBT youth from bullying and harassment.

If you haven’t voted today, cast your votes now! You can also send in a text message to vote for GLSEN. Simply text “105532” to the number 73774.

This is it…the final 28 hours of the contest. Today and tomorrow are the last chances you have to vote!

Thanks for everything!
Everyone at the Progressive Slate

Cast your ten online votes…vote for all 10 of the groups you see listed! If you get a “connection error”, simply try reloading the page
Double your votes by voting again on Facebook…follow the link and then copy & paste the two searches: 

  • lgbta naei01 fourth.wall beth.meyer
  • 10,000.schools.safer glad2 uncommon.good get.inspired.power new.leaders.council
Send in a text message vote ! If you have a cell phone and the ability to send in text messages, you can vote one more time! Simply text “105532” to the number 73774.

This is fantastic news. Let’s go vote!

You can vote here.

11 Comments January 31, 2011

New Hampshire marriage repeal bill introduced

By Adam Bink

Just today, as reported in the Concord Monitor, repeal language was introduced, which can be found here (and copied below). It’s every bit as nasty as you expected it to be.

The legislation does recognize marriages performed in the state since the freedom to marry became a reality, but any out of state marriage performed after the time at which this law would be enacted is not recognized. E.g., New Hampshire gay and lesbian couples cannot travel to Massachusetts and wed.

Per the article, a response from NH Freedom to Marry:

The New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition criticized Bates for focusing on gay marriage instead of the economy. “Rep. Bates has planted himself firmly, and proudly, on the fringes of American life,” Mo Baxley, executive director of New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, said in a statement. “His need to divorce committed couples and to prevent other couples from getting married is strange. So much for family values.”

Bill text:


In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT relative to the definition of marriage.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Marriage; Marriages Prohibited; Recognition of Out-of-State Marriages. RSA 457:1 – RSA 457:3 are repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

457:1 Purpose. The legislature finds and declares that:

I. Marriage is not a creature of statute but rather a social institution which predates organized government. As the United States Supreme Court has noted, marriage has roots that are “older than the Bill of Rights – older than our political parties, older than our school system.” Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 486 (1965).

II. As many scholars and experts have noted, marriage, understood as the legal union of a man and a woman, serves and supports important social goods in which the government of New Hampshire has a compelling interest.

III. The vast majority of children are conceived by acts of passion between men and women – sometimes unintentionally. Because of this biological reality, New Hampshire has a unique, distinct, and compelling interest in promoting stable and committed marital unions between opposite-sex couples so as to increase the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by both of their natural parents. No other domestic relationship presents the same level of state interest.

IV. A child has a natural human right to the love, care and support of his or her own mother and father, whenever possible. Marriage is the primary social institution that promotes that ideal and encourages its achievement.

457:2 Marriages Prohibited; Men; Women.

I. No man shall marry his mother, father’s sister, mother’s sister, daughter, sister, son’s daughter, daughter’s daughter, brother’s daughter, sister’s daughter, father’s brother’s daughter, mother’s brother’s daughter, father’s sister’s daughter, mother’s sister’s daughter, or any other man.

II. No woman shall marry her father, father’s brother, mother’s brother, son, brother, son’s son, daughter’s son, brother’s son, sister’s son, father’s brother’s son, mother’s brother’s son, father’s sister’s son, mother’s sister’s son, or any other woman.

457:3 Recognition of Out-of-State Marriages. Every marriage legally contracted outside the state of New Hampshire, which would not be prohibited under RSA 457:2 if contracted in New Hampshire, shall be recognized as valid in this state for all purposes if or once the contracting parties are or become permanent residents of this state subsequent to such marriage, and the issue of any such marriage shall be legitimate. Marriages legally contracted outside the state of New Hampshire which would be prohibited under RSA 457:2 if contracted in New Hampshire shall not be legally recognized in this state. Any marriage of New Hampshire residents recognized as valid in the state prior to the effective date of this section shall continue to be recognized as valid on or after the effective date of this section.

2 Marriageable. Amend RSA 457:4 to read as follows:

457:4 Marriageable. No male below the age of 14 years and no female below the age of 13 years shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage [that is entered into by one male and one female], and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void. [No male below the age of 18 and no female below the age of 18 shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage between persons of the same gender, and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void.]

3 Marriage; Solemnization of Marriage. RSA 457:31 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

457:31 Who May Solemnize. Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the peace as commissioned in the state; by any minister of the gospel in the state who has been ordained according to the usage of his or her denomination, resides in the state, and is in regular standing with the denomination; by any member of the clergy who is not ordained but is engaged in the service of the religious body to which he or she belongs, resides in the state, after being licensed therefor by the secretary of state; within his or her parish, by any minister residing out of the state, but having a pastoral charge wholly or partly in this state; by judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution; by bankruptcy judges appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution; or by United States magistrate judges appointed pursuant to federal law.

4 Solemnization of Marriage; Exceptions. RSA 457:37 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

457:37 Exceptions. Nothing contained in this chapter shall affect the right of Jewish Rabbis residing in this state, or of the people called Friends or Quakers, to solemnize marriages in the way usually practiced among them, and all marriages so solemnized shall be valid. Jewish Rabbis residing out of the state may obtain a special license as provided by RSA 457:32.

5 Repeal. The following are repealed:

I. RSA 100-A:2-b, relative to marriage.

II. RSA 457:31-b, relative to solemnization of marriage; applicability.

III. RSA 457:45, relative to civil union recognition.

IV. RSA 457:46, relative to obtaining legal status of marriage.

6 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

150 Comments January 31, 2011

Illinois' Gov. Quinn to sign civil unions legislation

By Adam Bink

In another episode of “elections matter”, Gov. Pat Quinn, re-elected in a not as tough as others but still tough fight this past November, will sign legislation enacting civil unions for same-sex couples today. And he’s doing it with some gusto. Via the Sun-Times (h/t AMERICABlog):

Gov. Quinn will enact legislation that will allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions during a bill-signing ceremony Monday that could go down as one of the largest in state history.

The governor’s office has been publicizing the bill-signing for a week and expects as many as 1,000 people to show up at the ceremony, which will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.

“We knew there was going to be a lot of interest in participating in what is a pretty historic moment. There’s only a limited number of states that allow civil unions, and a smaller amount that allow gay marriage,” Quinn spokeswoman Brie Callahan said.

“What we wanted to do was just make it as public as we could, and the response has been overwhelming,” she said.


“The turnout is going to be beyond anyone’s expectations,” said Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), the bill’s chief House sponsor. “What people are saying to me is this is going to be a historic moment. I had a couple of women tell me they had waited 28 years for this and wanted to be there when it finally happens.

We should know our champions not just by pen to paper, but by the visibility they grant to our issues. Good for Gov. Quinn. And now the push for full equality at the state level will begin, too.

82 Comments January 31, 2011

Hey, NOM: why not support marriage?

By Adam Bink

Courtesy of Jeremy at Good As You, here’s the highlight of NOM’s latest e-blast:


Nice. You might try seeing the film.

Jumping over to their blog, we see this:

It’s a typical Hollywood fantasy.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the kids are not doing that well.

“What’s the matter with kids today? A great deal more than you might realize,” begins a USA Today editorial, “One-third are overweight or obese. Nearly a third drop out or can’t finish high school in four years. All told, 75% are in such a poor state that they are ineligible for military service for reasons ranging from health to drugs to criminal records to lack of education. Last month came bad news about the rest: 23% of those who try to enlist fail the basic entrance exam.”

Hmm. Okay. To what does NOM attribute this calamity?

And as USA Today, to its credit, points out, a lot of that is due to the decline of marriage as a child-rearing institution. Quick, what’s the proportion of children born outside of marriage?

Answer: a record-high 41 percent.

As USA Today concludes, “Our view on kids: When unwed births hit 41%, it’s just not right.”

But of course, NOM doesn’t support marriage in support of raising children if the parents are of the same sex. And that’s the real infuriating bottom line- NOM addresses those receiving its e-blasts as “marriage supporters”, but NOM isn’t a marriage supporter.

So why not support child-rearing by married parents of any gender? Because that doesn’t fit NOM’s worldview. I wonder if Brian would rather these kids be raised in foster homes or orphanages than with caring, loving parents, of which one is perhaps a biological parent, be they wed or unwed.

It’s sad when doctrine is more important than children.

And this really gets me:

Many, many single moms struggle–and succeed!–to be good mothers, and some fathers sacrifice a lot to try to stay close to their children when they are not married. I am a child of divorce; I know that.

But I also know this: Without a powerful commitment to marriage, the job of parents becomes immeasurably harder, the number who succeed becomes smaller, and the children grow up in a world where the prospects for reliable love look bleaker and bleaker. Many suffer, and some are permanently damaged.

So again, Brian, why not support marriage?

82 Comments January 30, 2011

Free corporate money for pro-equality causes

By Adam Bink

No kidding.

Some allied organizations are competing in the Pepsi: Refresh Everything contest. It’s simple. Pepsi gives away tens or in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars to non-profits. Last year, a group called the Progressive Slate, made up of progressive non-profits, won hundreds of thousands for their projects. No kidding. 11 of the 12 non-profits won $500,000 in November. For more, my former colleague, Mike Lux at OpenLeft, wrote about the contest from his point of view as a person who’s spent considerable time trying to develop funding streams for progressive organizations.

This time around, the Progressive Slate is competing for more cash, and more equality organizations are participating. GLSEN, Equality Pennsylvania, GLAD, and the PROMO Fund (to create a community wellness LGBT group in Missouri) are part of the Progressive Slate competing.

Your help is easy. Simply cast your ten votes today, tomorrow, and Monday.

Daily voters receive a short email each morning in the month of August with a link where you can go and cast 10 votes each day for all the organizations on the Progressive Slate (that’s what they’re calling all of our groups working together).

Just your e-mail is needed. You can even unsubscribe if you need to. It really works- $500,000 worth of Pepsi’s money just went to progressive non-profits two months ago. I just voted myself for this round.

Plus, Center for Progressive Leadership, an ally of Courage Campaign’s, is going to help Courage Campaign get onto the slate for the next round- so you can be all signed up in advance for that round, too! Therefore, a two-fer, and I love two-fers.

You can vote here.

20 Comments January 29, 2011

Dear NOM: You're going to lose the hubris war.

Cross-posted at Good As You

By Jeremy Hooper

This from NOM Blog:

Mike Gronstal, the Democratic Majority Leader in the Iowa Senate is practically throwing his body in front of the door to the voting booth, promising to block a state marriage amendment no matter how many Iowans want it. And yet today he had the chutzpah to accuse Republicans of “[stopping] at nothing to take away the constitutional rights of Iowans”?

Mike, the constitution of Iowa gives the people the right to change their constitution–by a vote of both houses in the Iowa legislature two years running. Right now you are the one man taking away the right of Iowans to vote for marriage.

Mike Gronstal, Are You Kidding Us? [NOM Blog]

Women’s right to vote.

Eighteen-year-olds’ right to vote.

Heterosexuals’ right to marry independent of race.

Atheist heterosexuals’ right to marry without a church ceremony.

Nondiscrimination laws or various stripes.

Etc. etc.
The issue, NOM, is that you always talk about the people’s “right” to change the constitution, but never mention the actual implications of changing the constitution in this way! If we were talking about a public, 50% + 1 vote wherein the majority might feasibly rollback the high court-tested right of any other population, you all would (rightly) be talking about what such a vote would mean in terms of our shared society and its fair recognition. But since it’s gay people? Eh — let “the people” vote against those people.

It’s beyond hubris, NOM. You are trafficking in cruel and discriminatory ideas, passing them on in the vehicle of marriage through a carefully-worded campaign…


…meant to mask all reality behind a layer of false “protection.” It’s PR, passed off as good citizenship.

And unfortunately, NOM, we don’t have to ask whether or not you all are kidding, the way you’ve asked Mike Gronstal in your contrived blog post. We’ve more than felt the punch of your unfunny lines! Personally. Painfully.

65 Comments January 29, 2011

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