Tag Archives: california
Proposition 8 is an issue that I am very much interested in seeing resolved. Being a lesbian myself, with a wedding planned for 6 months from today, I want nothing more than to be able to LEGALLY wed my fiancee on that day. Unfortunately, even though same-sex marriage was legalized in California, it had been overturned on appeal and a final decision is being considered as of now. In fact, the hearings have already begun and a decision is to be expected by the end of June. I am very hopeful that this day will happen and I will truly be marrying the love of my life as opposed to showing a symbol of our affection (at the same cost ha).
[for more information on the case, scroll to below the video]
The video below is of a young man, Daniel, who was adopted by two gay fathers. This extraordinary kid decided to write a letter to Chief Justice Roberts, after discovering that he, too, adopted two young kids.
The justices will hear arguments Tuesday on Prop. 8′s constitutionality, followed a day later by a hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that denied federal benefits to married same-sex couples. Rulings are due by the end of June.
The court said Tuesday that it would release same-day audio recordings of the hearings in both cases, the first time it has done so since last year’s arguments on the federal health care law. It does not allow hearings to be televised.
The Obama administration will take part in both hearings, arguing that laws discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation should be considered suspect because gays and lesbians have been subject to persecution.
Despite recent gains, they are still unable to marry in most states, are unprotected by discrimination laws in many states and lack substantial political power, the Justice Department said.
That argument was disputed Tuesday by Prop. 8′s sponsors, a conservative religious coalition called Protect Marriage.
While “gays and lesbians have been subject to a regrettable history of discrimination,” the prejudice has “waned dramatically in recent years,” the pro-Prop. 8 lawyers wrote.
“Aside from redefining marriage, it is difficult to identify any objective that gays and lesbians in California have not achieved,” the lawyers said, citing the state’s domestic-partner and antidiscrimination laws.
Lower federal courts have ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional, saying the denial of marriage to gays and lesbians would not benefit opposite-sex couples or the institution of marriage and was ultimately based on moral disapproval of homosexuality. Backers of the measure disagreed.
Marriage was never intended to be “genderless” and was meant, instead, to “channel potentially procreative sexual relationships into enduring, stable unions” to raise children, the Prop. 8 lawyers said.
Expedia has shared its support for same-sex couples before, but this time, they have come out with a rather heartfelt video that definitely made me cry. This video is a portion of Expedia’s “Find Yours” ongoing campaign, and shares Artie Goldstein’s story. This father explains how he feels a bit uneasy when traveling to his daughter Jill’s same-sex wedding in California, but then goes on to show his support.
“My expectations of what Jill’s life was going to be included a husband,” Goldstein recalls. “So when Nikki came to ask permission to marry our little girl, that startled me. I told her, ‘This is not the dream I had for my daughter.’ I didn’t say yes, I didn’t say no.” Stunning footage of Jill and Nikki’s nuptials accompany Goldstein’s emotional narration. “You come to terms with it…it’s supposed to be this way,” Goldstein observes.
The two beautiful brides wrote to HuffPost Gay Voices and shared their appreciation of Expedia featuring their journey in this campaign.
“Our hope is that all families can experience this type of closeness and support, regardless of sexuality,” Nikki and Jill Weiss-Goldstein said. “We are extremely proud of our father and his personal journey that has led him to his understanding.”
Expedia was able to portray a message of tolerance, understanding, and family all entangled with the unique experience of travel. They didn’t focus on the physical journey that Artie Goldstein took, instead paid more attention to the emotional journey he was embracing. Goldstein was able to overcome his unease and make a trip to walk his little girl down the aisle. Thanks to the love for his daughter and the ease of Expedia getting him where he needed to go, you see how this man’s journey was a good one, all while highlighting Expedia’s support for same-sex couples.
Well done Expedia, well done.
Great News SoCal: Pot Ban Lifted After Impassioned Plea From Cancer Patient, Councilman Bill Rosendahl
Obviously, this doesn’t help the federal crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries, but it does show that Californians are willing to work at a state level and attempt to keep the dispensaries open and the regulations more clear.
In a faint and gravelly voice, Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl delivered an impassioned plea Tuesday asking his colleagues to lift the ban on pot dispensaries, asking them: “Where does anybody go, even a councilman go, to get his medical marijuana?”
Minutes before the council voted 11-2 to rescind its recently passed ban on storefront pot shops, Rosendahl said the council’s decision had created “a very emotional moment” for him. Rosendahl has been battling cancer for the past three months and relying on medical marijuana during that time.
“On the 20th of July, I had an MRI that was very, very serious. And the bottom line on that was, they didn’t give me much time to live. And I said, ‘No, no no no, I’m not ready to go. I certainly want to live a long time,’” said Rosendahl, who has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments and relying on a walker to move around in recent days.
Rosendahl, 67, said he began taking medical marijuana a decade ago to manage his neuropathy, a stinging pain in his feet, taking it “occasionally at night.” But on Tuesday, he put the issue in the context of his battle with cancer, which has made it difficult for him to speak above a whisper.
“If I can’t get marijuana, and it’s medically prescribed, what do I do?” he asked his colleagues.
Rosendahl criticized President Obama’s handling of the issue and spoke against some of the recent federal raids of dispensaries. And he said Los Angeles should work with state lawmakers to make California law regulating medical marijuana clearer.
[UPDATE] Killer Has Been Identified, As Well As Possible Motive: Shooting At Oakland, CA Christian Univeristy
UPDATE: April 3rd, 2012 @ 12:00 PM – The shooter is being identified (allegedly) as 43-year-old, One L. Goh. According to some, he was often made fun of for his poor English speaking skills. As far as the authorites believe, Goh was looking for a former female administrator that had expelled him from Oikos University, earlier in the year. After realizing that she wasn’t there he went into an acupuncture room and told the students to “Get in line and I’m going to kill you all.” Although he has surrendered and been cooperative, he seems to be lacking remorse. It is believed that the death of his mother, brother and being expelled along with debt piling up, is the possible motive.
UPDATE: April 2nd, 2012 at 4:05 PM – 7 people are being confirmed dead after the shooting that took place this morning. The suspect has also been identified as a man in his 40′s and has been taken into custody by police. Along with the seven fatally shot, 3 other people were wounded as well. Pastor Jong Kim, the University’s founder, did verify that the suspect was enrolled at the school as a nursing student, but was no longer enrolled.
Although it hasn’t been verified yet, it is assumed that at least five people are dead after a man opened fire at Oikos University, a Christian school in Oakland, California at 10:30 this morning. Police are not letting people know how many are dead and/or wounded, but from the aerial shots, 5 bodies can be seen with sheets covering them.
Police described the suspect as an Asian male, 5-foot-9, wearing tan pants, according ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco.
- Shooting erupts at Oakland religious school (sfgate.com)
- Four victims treated at one Oakland hospital (itv.com)
- Police respond to shooting in East Oakland (mercurynews.com)
- Oakland Rapper T-K.A.S.H. Running Marathon To Stem Gun Violence (allhiphop.com)
People have no respect for anybody these days. As I’m sure all of you know, Whitney Houston, 48, has passed away after an incident that occurred at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Apparently she mixed a deadly amount of Xanax and alcohol. After doing this, she got into the bathtub and this is where she took her last breath. Now that we’re all caught up, let’s continue.
So many people are talking about how Ms. Houston was a washed up drug addict that because of her money, was capable of getting herself better. People that have dealt with addiction and know people who have dealt with addiction, are well aware that it is not that easy. We think we know these celebrities because they and their families are harassed with paparazzi and they air some of their private lives in order to gain an income. Then, once they pass away, we feel we have a right to judge what they did right, what they did wrong, and yet have no sympathy for the real scenario that is playing out.
Whitney Houston not only had a daughter, but she had an entire family and tons of friends who supported her and were standing by her side as she attempted to make changes. Beyond that, we don’t know what led her to use drugs in the first place. Some people handle traumatic instances differently than another and can’t judge the other person for not dealing with it in the same way they would have. That is just ignorant to believe that there is one way, and one way only, to react to any given situation. That is utter bullshit.
Dealing with an addiction is a hard thing to do, and personally, I don’t feel it’s our right to judge. Yes, many people in America deal with this issue and many of those people do end up on the streets. But let me ask you one thing: What would you do if your son and/or daughter, for whatever reason, turned to drugs and had a nearly impossible time turning away? Would you disown him/her and think of him/her as a washed up drug addict? I would hope not.
Like I said, each person in this world has incidences in their life or a family history of addiction that led to their demise. Those who have a history we can’t understand (molestation, rape, abuse of any kind, and so on and so on) have trouble coping. Just because you’ve been a success in life and may have a stronger will that keeps you from going down the wrong path, doesn’t mean that you have a right to judge those you don’t understand. I have MANY friends and family members who have dealt with being addicted to something, some of which have died. They were and/or are good people, who when off of drugs, were/are kind, caring, great, talented people. They were/are NOT washed up drug addicts. She had money, yes, but she still had deep-rooted emotional issues. Money can’t buy you happiness. This story of Whitney Houston’s death is proof.
The insensitivity that many people have had after hearing the news of an icon baffles me. She had provided this generation as well as many others with entertainment for many years and what do you do? Laugh when you discover that she was unable to kick her habit and instead died after years of struggle. And again, she DID NOT die from crack like many of you have implied. Although, to me, that wouldn’t make a difference because she’s still responsible for many accomplishments in her life.
The only PERSON (celebrity or not) that I have ever said something bad about after their death was Michael Jackson. I’m saying this because I want this article to reflect my exact opinions. I spoke poorly of Mr. Jackson because I feel he was guilty of the molestation charges that were brought against him. I know he was an icon and an amazing musician who had a very troubled childhood. He also was very into drugs, just no one really cared, because these drugs weren’t illegal. And neither were the ones that Whitney took on the night she passed. Just thought that was worth pointing out.
My message to you: have some respect and imagine if she were someone you knew, not someone you THOUGHT you knew.
- Whitney Houston Dead at 48 (thenewx1023.radio.com)
- Rewind: Wendy Williams’ Tearful Breakdown Over Whitney Houston’s Death (crunktastical.net)
- Tony Bennett’s Response to Whitney Houston’s Death: Legalize It [Whitney Houston] (gawker.com)
- Whitney Houston Dead At 48 (alan.com)
- Whitney Houston, Dead at 48 (collegecandy.com)
- Whitney Houston’s death unleashes mourning, produces questions (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Whitney Houston death: Bathtub drowning among scenarios probed (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
Today is a day to celebrate. The 3-judge panel of the US 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals has made the obvious decision that banning gays from getting married is unconstitutional. Although many of us already knew this, we were dreading the fact that the ‘YES On 8‘ campaign had taken it upon themselves to appeal the original ruling of being unconstitutional.
For more, there is a copy of the court’s decision here.
Santa Clara University constitutional law Professor Margaret M. Russell said the ruling overturned Proposition 8 on “the narrowest grounds possible,” which makes it less likely that the U.S. Supreme Court would review it.
The fact that it may not go to the Supreme Court is actually a good and bad thing. If it doesn’t make it to the Supreme Court then it may make it possible for gay Californians to get married sooner than later. On the other end of the spectrum though, I was hoping that it would be taken to the Supreme Court, because if there ruling was that it was unconstitutional, it would help to legalize gay marriage in every state in the United States. And for me, that is equality. When every state treats homosexuals with dignity and respect in the eyes of the law, that’s when we will have succeeded.
Either way, today is a day worth remembering and worth being excited about. One more ruling in our favor is just one step closer to a full victory.
- Court: Calif. gay marriage ban unconstitutional (newsok.com)
- Appeals court to rule on California’s Proposition 8 (cnn.com)
- Prop 8: California appeals court to rule on legality of gay marriage ban (guardian.co.uk)
- Calif. same-sex marriage ban ruling near (abclocal.go.com)
- The Ninth Circuit has ruled that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional!!!! (perezhilton.com)
- Ruling on Calif. gay marriage ban due from court (cbsnews.com)
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (KABC) — A suspect armed with a crowbar was shot outside of a Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Monterey Park on Monday morning. Authorities say the incident began with the suspect breaking windows at Carl’s Jr. in the 1200 block of Avenida Cesar Chavez just before 9:30 a.m. The suspect then walked inside, while workers and customers ran outside. Police arrived as the suspect was exiting the fast-food restaurant. After repeatedly telling the suspect to drop the weapon, the suspect was Tasered. Police said the Taser was ineffective, and the suspect swung the three-foot metal bar at officers twice. At least one officer opened fire on the suspect. The suspect was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No one else was injured in the incident. The officer-involved shooting is under investigation.
- Suspect with Crowbar Shot by officer (disclose.tv)
- Police Officer in Atlantic County injured by crowbar, fires shot in scuffle (nj.com)
- Man shot dead by San Jose cops was robbery suspect (sfgate.com)
- Cops Shoot Suspect in 4 a.m. Machete Attack (laist.com)
- Give a Cop a Taser, He Will Taser Everybody [Police] (gawker.com)
A friend of mine sent this to me and said that I should share this with others. After reading this letter and the story that coincided with how Zac felt, I couldn’t see why I wouldn’t share such a compelling letter and story. My girlfriend and I are in the process of having a child and I could only hope that we can make them understand what Zac has understood. We want to love and raise a child to be the best person that they can be despite the fact that we are two lesbians. Thank you Zac for sharing your story with others.
On his eighth birthday, Zac found himself surrounded by police.
The woman whom he now refers to as his “birthmom” was arrested because, as Zac states, she had “many boyfriends and she did a lot of drugs and partying.”
During the next three years Zac lived in 12 different foster homes before he was given some great news. A loving couple living in Berkeley, Calif. wanted nothing more than to adopt him — two gay, would-be dads named Arturo and Dave.
Zac’s first thought: “Well, I never had a dad, now I get to have two!”
This past Christmas, Zac decided to read the following note to his dads, Arturo and Dave (lovingly referred to as “Dad” and “Dadio”), and his adopted brothers, Nick and Derrick, before they opened their presents.
Zac’s note tells the story of his tumultuous upbringing, the anger and destructive behavior that resulted from the negative experiences he endured as a child, and, ultimately, the appreciation and love he has for his two dads, not to mention his adopted brothers, Nick and Derrick.
With the permission of his fathers, we share Zac’s heartfelt letter with you.
To my Family,
This is the first Christmas letter that I have ever written. I feel like since I am getting older, I should start writing a letter to the family or just talk about how I thought the family’s year has gone until Christmas.
Ever since I ended up in this family people have told me that I was lucky. I have always known that I am lucky, especially when I have two dads that love me so much as Dad and Dadio. My family is very special to me. Even when we fight and even when we argue, I know they will always love me. Yes I am a lucky boy to have ended up here after spending so many years in foster care and not knowing if I would ever have a family.
I didn’t grow with a dad. My birthmom had many boyfriends and she did a lot of drugs and partying. My sisters and me were taken from her on my eighth birthday. It was not fun to have police in my room on that day. It made me sad and this sadness I carried for many years and it got me in a lot of trouble. Then I landed in a great foster home after having lived in 12 different homes in three years. It was when I lived there that both my foster mom and social worker told me there was a family that wanted me. There was a catch: it was two dads!
Honestly, it didn’t matter to me. I told them, “well, I never had a dad, now I get to have two!”
The start was tough and rough, and I put them through hell and back. I did awful and nasty things to them both. I stole their credit card and spent thousands of dollars online. When we went on my first vacation out of the country, I stole stuff from a souvenir stand – they found out and made me go back to the shop to return the souvenirs and made me pay the lady who owned the shop for the stolen property which then I had to give to a local kid. I didn’t get it and thought they were being mean.
When I stole their American Express and maxed it buying stuff online I was only 12 years old. They were very upset, but Dad made sure I got the message of how serious this was. He took me to our local police station and reported me to the police captain for having stolen again. I was taken to an interrogation room and talked to by three police officers. All the time there I only wanted my Dad to come in and bring me home. I wanted to turn time back to before my stealing so I would not be there and I would not have hurt my parents so much. I learned my lesson and NEVER stole again!
But Dad and Dadio brought not just me into this family. They also added my brother Derrick. What I can say about Derrick is that he is really cool, he is funny, he is an awesome gay guy, he is a one of a kind guy, he is my bro. Next they added Nick. Nick can get on my nerves sometimes, but in the end he is pretty cool. He is a fast learner when it comes to math and multiplying numbers. And with that said, I will go to the roots of the family.
Dad and Dadio. They are my parents and they are always here when I need them.
When it is dark they are the light,
When I feel frightened and chill’s,
They are the warmth I feel.
When I am hungry they cook my meals.
I did not put a lot of time into the poem, but in the poem you see my parents. The people that show me the light. The people that warm my heart when it gets dark. The people that cook my meals. If I could only ask for anything for Christmas I would only ask for my family.
- There’s Still Time to Win This Zac Posen Abbey Satchel! (fabsugar.com)
- Do Good While You Gift With Zac Posen’s Chic Charity Holiday Card (fabsugar.com)
- Zac Efron Brings Charlie St. Cloud to St. Louis (popsugar.com)
- Zac Travels and Trains With His Birthday Girl Vanessa (popsugar.com)