British government ready to implement full marriage equality in the UK

They already had civil partnerships, but our mates across the pond are ready to leave the U.S. in the cultural dust again.

The British government is expected to announce full marriage equality for gays and lesbians under reforms to marriage laws expected to be announced later this week by the Liberal Democrat equality minister, Lynne Featherstone.

The announcement will also include the time table for civil partnerships to be held in religious buildings. The reported move will end the final major legal discrimination against gays and lesbians in Britain.

The reaction from faith groups:

The Quakers and Liberal Judaism have already stated that they wish to conduct same sex marriages.

Although the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, gave the reports a guarded welcome telling the BBC that he “believes in a liberal democracy, and actually wants equality with everybody,” the Church of England does not support the introduction of gay marriages or civil partnerships being held in churches. A spokesman said: “Given the Church’s view on the nature of marriage, the House of Bishops has consistently been clear that the Church of England should not provide services of blessing for those who register civil partnerships.”

The spokesman said the change will “lead to inconsistencies with civil marriage, have unexplored impacts, and lead to confusion, with a number of difficult and unintended consequences for churches and faiths”.

“Any change could therefore only be brought after proper and careful consideration of all the issues involved, to ensure that the intended freedom for all denominations over these matters is genuinely secured.”

The Catholic Church and those representing the Muslim faith are also opposed to gay marriage and holding religious civil partnerships.

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Ready for secession (again): South Carolina may adopt its own currency

When I saw the headline at TPM, I had to email our resident Palmetto State barista, Alvin McEwen to ask: “Alvin, what is going on in your state?!”

Picking up on the ancestral tradition, South Carolinians have spent much of the last two years asserting various forms of independence from the federal government and attempting to block different federal laws. Now a state senator from the Palmetto State has decided it’s time for South Carolina to create its own currency.

State Sen. Lee Bright (R-Roebuck) says that federal spending and increased monetary intervention by the Fed have placed the entire US Federal Reserve system on a path to monetary collapse. And when the crash comes, state residents will need to rely on the stable South Carolina currency to weather the storm.

“If folks lose faith in the dollar, we need to have some kind of backup,” Bright told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal on Friday.

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Jane Lynch: America Isn’t Ready For Gays To Play Straight. And It Might Never Be

I don’t know when or if [gay actors in leading roles] will ever happen. I think because since most of the world is straight — and maybe we'll get to a place where this will happen — most of the world is straight and we want the audience to project their hopes and dreams for love and romance onto those actors. And if it’s not in some way possible, maybe never probably, in their mind that it could never happen, then they're not going to do it. You know, most people are straight, and I think that’s probably why…. This is a business of projection and desiring people from afar. And watching people go through trials and tribulations, so there has got to be some truth to it, in terms of, "I could see myself with that person." Because the leading man and lady are the person we want them to fall in love with, and most of the audience is straight. So for right now, we can only use straight actors.

—Jane Lynch, who doesn't think audiences are ready for gay characters playing straight lead roles, evidently disagrees with Will & Grace creator Max Mutchnick, who doesn't "think the audience is as homophobic as the media" — and Jane Lynch — "would have us believe." [via AE]


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Video (and cocktail recipe): Gov. Chafee ready to give us sixth state

A little after midnight on the New Year’s Even/New Year’s Day transition, an unexpected email hit this writer’s iPhone. It was from a Rhode Island state senator, emailing to say that he plans to proudly vote in favor of marriage equality. A good way to start 2011 (Especially when coupled with yummy Praline Bourbon cocktail I was drinking when I read it. It’s just a good quality bourbon, on the rocks, splashed with a bit of Monin praline syrup. Seriously — a def recommend!).

Now, thanks to a friendly new state governor, that senator’s anecdotal support might just translate into greater civil peace:



Watch: R.I. Governor Lincoln Chafee Calls for Marriage Equality in Inaugural Address [Towle]

**

*REMINDER: Rhode Islanders, contact your state senators. NOM already did the grunt work for you.




Good As You

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Obama: ‘At This Point’ He’s Ready To Let Gays Die For America, But Not Marry

Barack Obama said yesterday, before signing the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, that he was "not going to make more news" by trumping this week's big gay news by stating he was suddenly going to back same-sex marriage, an issue on which he's said his views are "evolving." Asked about that position again at Wednesday's post-repeal presser, Obama repeated that his "feelings are constantly evolving" — but still believes is between a man and a woman. Which means, for the time being, Obama publicly supports gay men and women who want to die for their county, but not gay men and women who want to marry the ones they love.


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Frank: U.S. Not Ready for Gay President

BARNEY FRANK 20100521 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMCongressman Barney Frank said that discriminatory laws like DOMA prove that America is not yet ready for a gay president.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Powell: Don’t pressure Congress to vote if it ‘isn’t ready’ and the DADT study is in

WTF? Let’s see…Gen. Colin Powell’s turn on this is bizarre. While he, as one of the architects of DADT, is now for repeal, apparently the midterm scare is goosing him to urge the political slow-walk now.

Last time I checked, what he’s calling “pressuring” — a.k.a lobbying, calling and holding direct actions to urge Congress to act on legislation before it — is what citizens are encouraged to do. What is the point of electing people to represent you if you aren’t supposed to let them know how important passing a bill or addressing an issue is?

Or do the sensitivities of military homophobes who are queasy about soap dropping in the shower/homos seeing my pee-pee supercede this? Via Igor Volsky @ The Wonk Room:

POWELL: My position has been, it has been 17 years since we put that policy in place. Lots of things have happened. Attitudes have changed within our society. But i always believe, as I believed in 1993, that we have to take into account the views of our military leaders who are responsible for the well-being of the armed forces.

KING: So you support the McCain’s view?

POWELL: Yes. But, you know, our military leaders have now spoken. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, there is some, some difference of opinion among the chiefs that will have to be resolved. But I wish that we would just let that study be finished, let it be published and let everybody read it and not leak parts of it. And so I share Senator McCain’s view that we ought to let the process unfold and not try to intercept it with court rulings or with people trying to get a vote out of the Congress when the Congress is not ready to vote on it.

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Pentagon Releases Angry Statement: No Information to Be Released on ‘DADT’ Report Until They’re Ready

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell released the following statement late today regarding leaking of information related to its report on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' which appeared in a report earlier this week, as well as demands from activist groups to release the study early.

Gates "Secretary Gates is very concerned and extremely disappointed that unnamed sources within the Department of Defense have selectively revealed aspects of the draft findings of the Comprehensive Review Working Group, presumably to shape perceptions of the report prior to its release. 

"The Secretary launched this review in March to objectively ascertain the impact of potential repeal of the ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ law on military readiness, effectiveness, recruiting, retention, unit cohesion and families. He made it clear then and throughout this process that it was ‘critical that this effort be carried out in a professional, thorough and dispassionate manner.’ He has also stated clearly that ‘given the political dimension of this issue, it is equally critical that…every effort be made to shield our men and women in uniform and their families from those aspects of this debate.’ 

"For nearly nine months the Working Group has operated in strict accordance to that mandate.  Anonymous sources now risk undermining the integrity of this process.   

"The Secretary strongly condemns the unauthorized release of information related to this report and has directed an investigation to establish who communicated with the Washington Post or any other news organization without authorization and in violation of Department policy and his specific instruction. 

"The full report will be made public for all to review early next month. Until then, no one at the Pentagon will comment on its contents.”

They certainly wouldn't want it to have any impact on DADT repeal passing in the lame duck Senate.


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Openly gay Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet is ready to unseat anti-equality Mary Bono Mack

Kudos to Adam Bink for taking the discussion of the mid-terms in a different direction.

I have gotten somewhat tired of hearing the woes of Dems this cycle from folks reading Politico and assuming the majorities will all but evaporate. There’s an intentional ignorance in the traditional media to forget about open Senate seats ripe for pickup in New Hampshire, Missouri, Ohio and Kentucky, and competitive seats in North Carolina and elsewhere. For a variety of reasons, there hasn’t been as much attention on the House, where I’m focusing on CA-45, a district where Obama won and we have a candidate that can do the same.

CNN has a profile up about Steve Pougnet, the openly gay mayor of Palm Springs, CA who is running to take down Mary Bono Mack, the Republican incumbent. Steve, who I profiled earlier here, would be the first married, openly gay parent elected two Congress (he and his partner are raising twins, Julia and Beckham).

We met Steve while at Netroots Nation this year (above photo), and this is one seat that is winnable, and Steve is a well-known and much respected official. Bono Mack is severely underperforming for her district; she’s simply not doing the job and thinks no one is looking. Even worse, she’s painted as some sort of moderate Republican. Don’t be fooled. This is not moderate:

* She voted against repeal of DADT;

* She has not co-sponsored ENDA (or even say whether she will support it;

* She supported the 1999 Largent Amendment that would have banned same-sex adoption in the District of Columbia;

* She even voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

If you see our friends at GOProud and LCR endorsing her, it’s a fair question to ask why her anti-equality positions are acceptable in 2010. Meanwhile, take a look at Pougnet’s first ad:

And the pitch…

Chip in on ActBlue here.

You can also tweet a donation to the campaign:

@adamjbink Donate @StevePougnet via @ActBlue to help air his first TV ad: http://bit.ly/bF5Lhy #LGBT #gay

Pougnet for Congress.
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