In the following, "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage."
News during 2008-JUL:
2008-JUL-03: American Family Association (AFA) advocated boycotting
McDonalds: The AFA is advocating that Americans boycott McDonald's
restaurants because McDonalds supports equal rights and marriage equality for
homosexuals and bisexuals. The OneNewsNow information source, which is
run by the AFA, says that the AFA's main concern is "... McDonald's refusal
to remain neutral in the culture war." It appears that the APA believes that
religious groups can take a stand in favor of discrimination against minorities,
but companies -- at least fast food companies -- cannot take a stand opposing
APA president,Tim Wildmon, said:
"We're saying that
there are people who support AFA who don't appreciate their dollars from the
hamburgers they bought being put into an organization that's going to fight
against the values they believe in."
McDonald's USA spokesman Bill Whitman said:
"Hatred has no place in our culture. That includes McDonald's,
and we stand by and support our people to live and work in a society free of
discrimination and harassment." 1,2
The AFA has created a website "Boycott McDonald's" The home page appears to
violate copyright law by displaying McDonald's golden arches. 3
2008-JUL: Proposal to repeal racist law: To date, about 11,000
same-sex couples have married inMassachusetts.
The state has
had a type of anti-miscegenation law on the books since 1913. It prohibits
couples from out of state from marrying in Massachusetts if they are unable
to marry in their home state. The original intent of the law was racist: to
prevent interracial couples from outside Massachusetts from coming to the
state, and getting married. However, when same-sex marriages (SSM) came
to Massachusetts, the previous governor, Mitt Romney (R), insisted that the
law be obeyed for same-sex couples. He warned that repealing the law would
make Massachusetts the "Las Vegas of gay marriage."
With the election
of Deval Patrick (D) as governor, and with the support of Democrat leaders
in the state House and Senate, support is gathering momentum to repeal the
2008-JUL-27: TN: Homophobic unemployed truck driver shoots nine people shot at Unitarian Universalist
church: A lone gunman shot nine people at about 10:15 AM ET in the
Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN. Two died.
Police found a note that indicated
he targeted the Unitarian Universalist congregation out of hatred for its
liberal policies, including its acceptance of homosexuals.
2008-JUL-29: MA: Bill to repeal racist law passes Legislature:
The Massachusetts house voted 118 to 35 to repeal a 1913 racist law
that was originally created in order to prevent interracial marriage to out
of state couples. It has since been used to prevent out of state same-sex
couples from marrying in Massachusetts.
2008-JUL-31: MA: Governor Deval Patrick signed the bill into
law: Governor Deval Patrick signed the bill repealing the racist
1913 law. Same-sex couples who do not live in Massachusetts can now go to
that state and marry. This is of particular interest to residents of New
York state, whose state will recognize same-sex marriages contracted outside of New
York. More info.
2008-AUG-01: USA: One News Now breaks with tradition: A
near-universal convention by religious and social conservatives when they
refer to same-sex marriage is to enclose the word "marriage" in quotation
marks. The drop the quotation marks when referring to marriage by a man and
In their report titled "Pondering the impact of MA's
same-sex 'marriage' decision" they preserved the tradition of denigrating
same-sex marriage in the article title by enclosing the word "marriage" in
quotation marks. But at the end of the second paragraph, they wrote:
The Bay State now joins California in legalizing same-sex marriage"
Note the missing quotation mark ahead of the word marriage. We
are unsure whether this is a simple typo, or whether they are attempting to
gradually wean their readers to a new convention of regarding all legal
marriages as marriages. We Emailed them to find out. As expected, we did not
receive a response.
2008-AUG-16: CA: Ellen DeGeneres marries: On her TV
DeGeneres, 50, announced her engagement to Australian actress Portia de
Rossi, 35, during her TV show on JUN-20. She had given her partner a pink
diamond engagement ring. She said:
"It's something that we've wanted to do, and we want it to be legal, and
we are very, very excited. ... I can't wait to be married. I feel like
it is long overdue. And I think someday people will look back on this
like women not having the right to vote and segregation, and anything
else that seems ridiculous that we don't all have the same rights."
They were married on AUG-16 in a small ceremony at their home, attended by
19 guests. They had been dating for four years. 11,12,13
2008-AUG-19: Argentina: The government has passed
legislation giving same-sex couples the right to inherit their partner's
pension if they are widowed. The surviving spouse will have to prove that
they lived together for at least five years and show proof of joint
2008-SEP-02: NY: Court upholds SSM: The fundamentalist Christian legal group,
Alliance Defense Fund, challenged
the governor's decision to have the state recognize legal out-of-state same-sex
marriages. They had the support of several state senators -- all Republicans.
State Supreme Court Judge Lucy Billings issued a statement on SEP-02 rejecting
the suit. She wrote that a decision by homosexual couples to wed represents:
"... a personal expression of emotional devotion, support and
interdependence and a public commitment. With that validity, they expect equal
treatment with other married couples."
She referred to the policy of recognizing SSM as a:
"... permissible, if not mandated, step toward the objective
of equality for a group for whom legal as well as practical barriers to equality
In addition, she wrote that not recognizing SSMs legally performed elsewhere
is "antithetical to family stability." 8More details
2008-SEP-09: MD: Referendum cancelled by court: On
2007-NOV-13, the Montgomery County Council in Maryland unanimously
passed an act that added gender identity to the county's civil rights law.
This extended existing prohibitions in the county against discrimination on the basis of
gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. to include transgender persons.
Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG) attempted to collect signatures on
a petition to prevent the law from taking effect.
Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that a referendum petition would not be
included on the November ballot. Apparently, the regulatons governing such
petitions were not followed. The referendum would have prevented the law
from going into effect.
Natalie Chin, Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal, said:
"The bottom line is that the court said a petition sponsor shouldn't be
allowed to cut corners and circumvent legal requirements to get a referendum
attacking minority protections on the ballot. We are very happy that this
duly enacted law can take effect and protect a vulnerable group of
Montgomery County residents."
Dan Furmansky, Executive Director of Equality Maryland, said:
"This long overdue, crucial law is all about assuring that unchecked
bias is not allowed to inhibit our neighbors' abilities to make a living
or rent a home, and as a Montgomery County resident, I breathe a sigh of
relief that this campaign to roll back anti-discrimination protections
is now over. While we were ready to make our case to the voters of
Montgomery County, it is far better that our transgender brothers and
sisters be spared the rhetoric that the referendum proponents have
subjected them to over the past year. Equality Maryland thanks Lambda
Legal, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the law firm of Arnold
and Porter, and the many volunteers who came together to assure that our
laws in Montgomery County are on par with the 100 other jurisdictions
nationally that protect residents from discrimination on the basis of
gender identity." 9
2008-SEP-14: CA: "Sulu" of Star Trek fame marries:
George Takei, 71, who played the role of Mr. Sulu in the initial Star Trek
series and on later movies married Brad Altman, 71. They had lived together
over 21 years and were among the first same-sex couple to apply for a
marriage license as soon as they became available in June. Nearly 200 people
attended the Buddhist ceremony at the Japanese American National Museum
in Los Angeles, CA. As a child, Takei and his family of origin were among
120,000 other Japanese-Americans who were interned during World War II.
2008-OCT-02: USA: Tenth anniversary of the crucifixion of
Matthew Shepard: The assassination of Matthew Shepard had some of
the same effects on the gay rights movement as the assassination of four
girls about 35 years earlier girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church in
Birmingham, AL on 1963-SEP-15 by a white supremacist bomber. Both were acts
of such viciousness that they galvanized public support in favor of equality
for minorities. None of the five died in vain. In the years since Shepard's
assassination, his parents had founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation
and had many achievements "at the forefront of the fight to replace hate
with understanding, compassion and acceptance." See:
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