New Hampshire to LGBTs: Happy New Year! Now Die.

The “Live Free or Die” State is about to choose option B for its LGBT citizens. In November Republicans were elected in veto-proof majorities to both Houses of their Legislature — 19-5 in the Senate, 298-102 in the House — and it is their stated intention to repeal the marriage equality law that went into effect a year ago today. Taking away their citizens' freedom to marry, the state's motto leaves them but one other choice: death.

Already four Legislative Service Requests (precursors to formal bills) with intent to redefine marriage solely between a man and a women have been filed by members of the new legislature. It seems all but certain that one such bill will be brought up and passed in the coming session, vetoed by Democratic Governor Bill Lynch, and then a veto override attempted.

What will it take to sustain the Governor's veto? Assuming all remaining Democrats would vote to sustain the veto, it would take four Republican Senators, for a total of 9 votes of out 24, or 32 Republican House members, for a total of 134 votes of out 400 to deny a two-thirds supermajority. My understanding is that the former (finding four Republican Senators) is considered extremely unlikely, leaving it to defenders of marriage equality to round up at least 32 House Republicans (and possibly more, if there are Democratic defectors) — approximately 11% or one in every nine Republican House members.
 

Crossposted from Daily Kos

I certainly don't know if that can be done, and nothing I've read on the subject is making any predictions at this point. But according to SeaCoastOnline, Jim Splaine, who sponsored the existing law, has done some calculations:

Splaine looked at the numbers and said, if those who support marriage equality can find 50 or 60 Republicans “who will join the Democrats in upholding any veto,” he believes they will succeed.

That's seriously depressing, if true, but math doesn't lie: it mean that he believes that at least 18 Democrats would defect and vote for repeal.

So what happens if such a law is enacted?

While the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New Hampshire did not take effect for more than six months after it was passed, there is no guarantee that there would be any such delay if a repeal were to become law. In New Hampshire, each bill contains the date that it will take effect; there is no mandatory waiting period.

No one knows yet whether the language in such a law would completely annul existing same-sex marriages, turn them into civil unions or leave them as is. The language may be vague enough, as was California's, to force a court to ultimately decide what the fate of the approximately 3,000 same-sex couples who have been married since January 1, 2010 is to be.

Another question is whether enacting such a law will trigger a new federal suit, similar to Perry v Schwarzenegger. It too would claim that revoking marriage equality violates the United States constitution. Unfortunately, it seems like such a claim would be a lot harder to make stick, since it will be much harder to point to animus on the part of the Legislature than it was in the Perry trial. In Perry, the defendant-intervenors were the group that organized and campaigned for the Proposition 8 ballot initiative. Unlike Perry, there will be no television ads seething with hatred to cite, no innuendo that gays are out to steal children for their agenda to point at, and no campaign websites spouting lies and bigoted attitudes to present as evidence.

If the Republicans touting this bill are sane (which they will not be, and thank something for that) all there will be will be speeches of the floor of the New Hampshire House and the Senate defending the 'sanctity of traditional marriage.'  Seems hard to prove animus in a court of law from just that. Are national LGBT organizations or others willing to sponsor such a lawsuit without as strong a case, despite the success (so far) of Perry v Schwarzenegger?

Perhaps more importantly, are national LGBT organizations up to fighting these bills-to-be before they become law in any sort of serious way? So far I've seen little to suggest that national organizations like the Human Rights Campaign or the Courage Campaign are focusing effort on New Hampshire. Did they fail to learn the lessons of California in 2008, and then again, of Iowa in 2010 where the battle was never even joined?

From notes on their web site, the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry group seems to be organizing, but I suspect they will be outgunned, outspent and outpeopled by NOM and other hate groups unless there is aid and assistance from national groups.

Opponents of equality will stop at nothing to gain the victory they so desire: a rollback of human rights in New Hampshire. It's time for the LGBT Community and supporters to wake up from the pleasant dream that was the vote on Don't Ask, Don't Tell's still-to-be-realized repeal and smell the stench that is about to rise in New Hampshire.  However badly I mix metaphors.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Happy New Year!

Well, it was quite eventful year for this here website thingy. We saw over 15 million hits on just under 8000 posts where all you crazy kids left about one million comments. As a friend of mine likes to say, blogging is like a homework assignment that’s never done but always due. But somehow after almost seven years of JMG, I’m having even more fun than ever, thanks largely to hugely participative nature of what we do here and all of your emails, tips, and hard work.

Here’s just a few highlights from a very busy JMG year: We got some nice recognition from a major media personality for our part in bringing down a loathsome homophobe. We freeped polls, crashed the website of an anti-gay gubernatorial candidate, and sent uncountable minions demanding redress from corporations. We were thrust unexpectedly into the national media due to the hate speech of a Senate staffer whose equally homophobic boss was forced into a public apology. I made my network television debut and cohosted my first fundraiser for a U.S. Senator. For the cherries on 2010, I was humbled to be honored by the Ali Forney Center and to be named Best Political Blog by the Village Voice.

And I was lucky enough to meet hundreds of you great folks at JMG meet-ups in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia, and Montreal and New York! Whew! I’m grateful to all of you for continuing readership, for your unflagging commitment to equality, and for your, ahem, vociferous participation here in the JMG community. Tonight, I’ll be raising my glass to each and every one of you. I’ll be raising it a lot! Thank you all.

Joe. My. God.

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ABBA’s Happy New Year

Wow, I’d never seen this before. Seriously gay.




AMERICAblog Gay

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Watch: 2011 Rolls into Sydney, Australia – Happy New Year!

Sydney

Sydney rang in 2011 with a massive fireworks display.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP

Happy New Year to all our readers. Thank you for making it a great year for us. We wish you health and happiness, peace, prosperity and equal rights in the coming year.



Towleroad News #gay

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Happy Thanksgiving and a health update post-alien fibroid uterine removal

UPDATE: Just got labs back from blood work done just before surgery, and in fact my blood count was lower than the norm (as in I bleed way too much during my period). Duh, I could have told them that without a test. I don’t know whether the doctor will put me on iron on or not, but it’s likely to bounce back on its own over time.


Happy Turkey Day! It’s time to give thanks for what good we have in our lives. I am thankful for my family, my friends old and new – online and offline — and for readers who have been kind and generous. A special shout out to others in the hysterhood, who gave me good pre- and post- surgery advice.

Our Thanksgiving was relatively quiet, we were home and I was unconscious most of the day, getting up at regular intervals (about 4 hours or so), to take pain meds. The doggies loved having us home. My follow up appointment with the surgeon is on 12/7.

The surgeon has me alternating doses of ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory) and hydrocodone (hard core opiates). Both work ok, though pain relief is never as good as you receive in the hospital. I am usually able to ditch the pain meds after a couple of days, but post-hysterectomy pain is way worse than when I had my gall bladder removed.

Details below the fold.
If you missed following my Facebook and Twitter updates, I was released from the hospital yesterday, only after I was able to do #1 on my own. Otherwise I was either going to be sent home with a catheter or stay another day and be re-cathetered. Both were bad options, but around 2PM yesterday I was finally able to go. It’s kind of a surrealistic experience – you feel the urge to go, your brain is sending the signals to go, and then nothing happens. At all. This went on every few hours as I would attempt it. I thought I was losing my mind. Anyway, once I did, I got dressed and was outta there.

Whack-a-mole holes in the gut

I was left with five holes in my abdomen from the laproscopy, including one entry point in my navel, which will probably be one of the last to heal. As I mentioned yesterday, one of the complications of my surgery was some tearing of vaginal tissue as the uterus was removed in one piece after it was severed from the fallopian tubes/ovaries. Since the largest fibroid was the size of the uterus itself, it’s not surprising it wasn’t going out easily.

The area with the stitching to close that up is somewhat swollen, which inhibited my ability to void. So it’s a small miracle I didn’t have to do another day in the hospital.

Needless to say, even on the percocet I was on in the hospital, I was still in some pain, just not excruciating. The nurses were wonderfully attentive in giving meds to me upon request and kept checking my pain levels.

So once home, what I can report is that I’ve done little else except sleep, get on and FB and tweet when I’ve had to test my blood glucose and take my needles/pain meds. Kate has the alarm set to every four hours to wake me to take the pain meds and to test. So I’m getting more sleep than at the hospital, but it’s still interrupted sleep. Good thing I am testing regularly, since my lows have been around 72. So I’d pop a few prunes and go back to sleep.

There is a L&O marathon on TNT today, so I watch some random episodes that I fall asleep on. I am too weak to be bored, so that’s a good thing. As you might imagine, the worst part is standing up and lying down. Your abs simply don’t want to work after this kind of surgery. The only comfortable position is flat on my back, which is crappy since I’m a side/tummy sleeper, but I’m so drug-addled I don’t even care. I just want to sleep.

Today’s adventure — my first shower since arriving home. Kate took all of my dressings off — three abdominal incisions required stitches, two were glued shut — and I feebly got in the shower and, well, it was a painful experience washing that area. But it was good to get clean. I will have to do this for a while, so Kate can help with the dressings. My abdomen is very swollen due to the surgery and the 4 IV bags of fluids I took in. That added another 10 lbs over night. Argh.

The only clothing that fits comfortably at this point are my sundresses with a shirt under them or my night gowns. The elastic waist pants that I thought would be a good choice post-surgery hurt like hell.

I’ve taken to shooting up my insulin in my arms since my abdomen is so sore. All of this sucks but at least I wasn’t blindsided — I was told to expect this. My appetite is not very good. I can eat solid food, but clear broth soup is better digested.

I expect to feel about this bad for a week, with each day getting a little better. I did try stairs today. That was a mistake. Oh god that hurt. Going down is worse that going up. Guess I just like testing my (in)abilities. Bad blogmistress.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Happy Thanksgiving From Louise, Snooky- and Keori!

For the first time ever, our daughter Keori is able to be “Home For The Holidays”- and Snooky, Mary, Jean and I could not be more thrilled.

Last night we had a quick “Breakfast for Dinner”, as she was pretty tired when she got here- later this morning, we will have a yummy breakfast of Eggs Benedict with choice of lobster or Canadian bacon and mimosas. Then all of we women shoo out of the kitchen as Snooky roasts the bird, makes the dressing with chestnuts, sausage, cranberries, apples, onion and celery, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and the traditional sweet potatoes with marshmallows the size of the cat’s head.

Seriously- I have NEVER seen marshmallows this big before and have no idea where he found the darned things!

2 days ago he made the turkey/veggie stock and yesterday was “Pie Day”- pumpkin and mince. As well as homemade cranberry/orange relish.

Keori is making something she calls “Mulled Cider”- it involves apple cider, pineapple, oranges, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and ginger. I can’t wait; sounds DELICIOUS.

And what do I do, while all of this is going on? Easy- my long standing tradition is to go out to the barn, dig out all of my bird feeders (if I haven’t put them out already), feed my lil winged pals, then commence on setting up the Christmas lights on every single fence and branch that will support weight. It will take me about 3 weeks to accomplish, many cold hours of muttering and troubleshooting problems, and will be able to cause air traffic diversions when I am done! :D

So, a very H-a-p-p-y T-h-a-n-k-s-g-i-v-i-n-g to the Blenders from all of us the in the TRUE frozen tundra (as opposed to Seattle! ;)

Open Thread Time: What are your plans and favorite menu items? What traditions, what menu items- whatcha up to?
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Happy National Adoption Day!

Today is National Adoption Day. As you read this, families are celebrating the finalizations of their adoptions in courts across the country. In fact, according to the National Adoption Day website, since 2000, more than 30,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on this day!

Lesbian and gay parents are raising 4 percent of all adopted children in the U.S. and an estimated 2 million LGBT people are interested in adoption. Are you interested in adoption? Get your questions answered and join HRC as we close our celebration of National Adoption Month for this year! Here’s how:

Join us on November 30th at 4 PM EST for a live online showing of the film Gay Parents Speak (watch trailer). After the film, we are hosting a virtual panel during which experts will answer your questions on adoption. RSVP Today! Share on Facebook!


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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By and large, I’m happy with Washington State

I live in one of the most securely Democratic Congressional districts in the country, District 7 represented by Jim McDermott.

My state legislative district, 43, is represented by two openly gay men, Ed Murray in the Senate and Jamie Pedersen in the House (our other representative, Frank Chopp, is Speaker of the House.) Only Chopp drew any kind of opposition; Murray and Pedersen sailed through both the primary and the general election unopposed.

In 2008, the Washington Legislature had six openly gay members including Rep. Marko Liias (D-21), Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-33), Rep. Jim Moeller (D-49) and Sen. Joe McDermott (D-34); the five who stood for re-election (all but McDermott, whose term ends in 2012) will be returning to office along with a new member of the caucus: Laurie Jinkins (D-27) (mentioned here at PHB. Congradulations, Laurie!)

(Correction: Joe McDermott withdrew from the state Senate to run for the King County Council, District 8. He won that seat by a comfortable margin, so the gay caucus in the Legislature remains at six with the addition of Jinkins.)

Our Senate race for the other Washington is a bit of a squeaker, with Democrat Patty Murray currently leading Republican and perennial loser Dino Rossi by only a few votes: both are now listed as 50% with Murray holding a 4,000 vote lead. For all my griping, I did vote for her rather than writing someone else in. Wow, my vote might actually mean something.
Most of our incumbent Congresscritters are on their way to re-election. The only exception is District 2, between incumbent Democrat Rick Larsen and Republican challenger John Koster. Right now both are listed with 50%, with Koster holding a lead of about 400 votes.

The state initiatives are what I would have expected. We foolishly passed I-1053, which will require a 2/3 supermajority in both houses to pass any tax increases. We tried this before, and it was struck down by the state Supreme Court: our constitution allows the Legislature to pass all bills by a simple majority, and the constitution cannot be amended by initiative. Still, it will take time and money for this to get overturned, and it will end up further polarizing our conservative extremists.

The only other initiative result that I find disappointing is I-1098, which would have cut state property taxes, increased a credit that allows businesses to deduct federal taxes from their state Business and Occupation tax, and impose a small income tax on persons with an adjusted gross income of 0,000 individual or 0,000 joint. Meaning that Washington retains one of the most regressive taxing systems in the country.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Dan Savage is seriously not happy with the White House

I’m pretty sure this is in response to White House adviser Valerie Jarrett’s speech at the ironically-named HRC “No Excuses” dinner. You’ll recall that during that speech Jarrett plagiarized Dan’s “it gets better” campaign name, and didn’t even bother telling people that the phrase came from an anti-bullying campaign, let alone that Dan created it. In essence, she chose words over deeds. She could have helped the cause of bullying immensely by actually talking about Dan’s campaign, rather than simply plagiarizing its name, but instead she went for the sound bite over substance.  That’s the unfortunate metaphor for so much in this administration.




AMERICAblog Gay

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Happy Celebrate Bisexuality Day!

How, exactly, does one celebrate National Bisexuality Day? Because that's what today is (or rather, it's "Celebrate Bisexuality Day"), I have just realized in a glaring oversight of my bi brothers and sisters. It's the 19th annual celebration of Malcolm X, Marlene Dietrich, and Lord Byron types, and a chance for heterosexuals to insist there's no such thing as bisexuality. So do whatever it is us queers are supposed to do on holidays that celebrate our queerness: get drunk and take somebody home. Or is that just the proper behavior for gay pride parades? Ugh, sometimes I have no idea how to be LGBT.


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