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Old 06-15-2007, 08:31 AM   #16
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So does Mitt Romney actually hate gay people, or does he just want them at the back of the bus? Someone please enlighten me
Nether-he just wants to be President and he thinks that's one way to get there in the Republican party. Google what he used to say about gay rights, how he was more liberal than Ted Kennedy in that area blah blah blah. That's when he was running against Ted for the Senate and he was trying to appeal to the "liberals" in MA, the people he disparages now

Personal stories changed minds

By Lisa Wangsness and Andrea Estes, Globe Staff | June 15, 2007

Representative Richard J. Ross, a Republican from Wrentham, had a revelation Wednesday afternoon after meeting with a gay Republican who presented him with this challenge: As director of his family's funeral home, Ross had surely treated every family the same, no matter what their race, religion, or sexual orientation. So why would he do anything else in his other job, as a lawmaker?

For Senator Gale Candaras, it was the 6,800 phone calls, letters, e-mails, even faxes, from her district that left no question in her mind what her constituents wanted her to do. One letter came from an 82-year-old woman who worried that one of her young grandchildren might grow up to be gay and might not be able to marry the person he loved.

Senator Michael W. Morrissey, a Democrat from Quincy, said he ignored the lobbyists and the power brokers who wanted to talk to him and sought counsel from his wife, his family, his oldest friends, and a few constituents. He made up his mind moments before walking into the House chamber yesterday.

"People's ability to be happy is fundamental," he said. "To pass judgment on that, in the end, I found hard to do."

The nine lawmakers who switched sides on gay marriage yesterday came from both parties, different parts of the state, and they traveled different ideological paths to their decision s . But in interviews yesterday, they seemed to share something in common: a desire to listen to all sides and a concern about hurting gay couples and families who they believed in many cases had experienced discrimination. The lawmakers spent hours, even days at a time during the last five months, meeting gay couples and their friends and relatives. Their personal stories made the difference more than anything else , the lawmakers said.

"I listened and I listened and I listened," said Representative Robert J. Nyman, a Democrat from Hanover who switched his vote after spending all day Tuesday meeting with constituents on the issue. "I just felt at this point, I was not comfortable putting people's human rights on the ballot."

Arline Isaacson, cochairwoman of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Caucus, said gay rights advocates working to defeat the amendment had put out urgent calls asking the gay community across the state to communicate directly with their lawmakers, and they did.

"It made a big difference," she said. "They were telling the story of their own lives, a story that a lot of these legislators didn't really know."

Amendment opponents also benefited from a new freshman class that proved far more receptive to gay marriage than the lawmakers they replaced. Retirements, defeats, and resignations eliminated nine of 62 lawmakers who supported the amendment in January. At least four of the newcomers were thought to be supporters of the amendment, but only two of them voted for it yesterday.

Representative Geraldo Alicea, a Democrat from Charlton, is a freshman who once promised to vote in favor of the amendment. But after he was elected, he said, "I thought it was best to be open-minded."

He spent many nights over the past five months meeting with gay and straight constituents. They included a couple who had been together for 28 years, and who, before they were married, had not been able to see each other at the hospital when one of them was seriously ill.

He also spoke to a young lesbian couple who had adopted 4-year-old twins, and he said he found it difficult to imagine casting a vote that could hurt that growing family.

Representative Paul Kujawski, a Catholic Polish-American who represents a conservative district in southern Worcester County, switched his vote after months of soul-searching.

What changed his mind, he said, was meeting a lesbian couple from his district who helped him understand what it meant to them to get married after more than two decades together.

"It was nothing more than that -- wanting people to live happily," he said.

The couple came to the State House yesterday for the vote and found Kujawski in the crowd after it was over.

"There were really no words," Kujawski said. "Just hugs and tears."

Candaras had voted for the amendment when she was a House member representing a relatively conservative district with a large number of elderly people in Hampden County; now that she is a senator, she said, her new, much larger constituency made its sentiment clear to her.

Some constituents wrote saying that they had changed their minds, like the elderly woman who said she previously asked Candaras to support the ban.

"But since then, Gale," the woman wrote, as Candaras told it, "this lovely couple, these two men, moved in next door to me, and they have a couple of children and they're married, and they help me with my lawn. And if they can't be married in Massachusetts, they're going to leave -- and then who would help me with my lawn?"

Candaras said that after living with gay marriage for three years, many Massachusetts residents have grown accustomed to it, even those who once had reservations.

"It's a cultural change, and for older people, it is a difficult cultural change," she said. "But I think people are coming to understand the issue and coming to appreciate the fact that the world is changing -- and that these people deserve to enjoy . . . the same rights of marriage."
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:23 AM   #17
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Personal stories changed minds


and this is why gay people must be out.

notions of "traditional marriage between a man and a woman" become utterly bogus when you meet any long term gay couple. you realize that it's the same fear that once led people to oppose mixed-race marriages.
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:02 PM   #18
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I agree, and that's why I appreciated that article and think it's important.
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:25 PM   #19
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Nether-he just wants to be President and he thinks that's one way to get there in the Republican party. Google what he used to say about gay rights, how he was more liberal than Ted Kennedy in that area blah blah blah. That's when he was running against Ted for the Senate and he was trying to appeal to the "liberals" in MA, the people he disparages now

The cynical opportunism of this man is just staggering.
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:53 PM   #20
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and this is why gay people must be out.

notions of "traditional marriage between a man and a woman" become utterly bogus when you meet any long term gay couple. you realize that it's the same fear that once led people to oppose mixed-race marriages.
Gays are stealing our women
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:31 PM   #21
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^ No, more that it's a 'crime against the natural order' of society.
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:25 PM   #22
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Should he ask his fellow Republicans who've been divorced several times, many due to extramarital affairs, all about what an institution it is?

Yeah.
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:18 PM   #23
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Just one personal story, among many, that shows why we need national marriage equality.

The Olympian

Lacey woman shares tale of denial at bedside of her dying partner
Venice Buhain

OLYMPIA — Four months ago, Lacey resident Janice Langbehn, her partner Lisa Pond and their children Katie, David and Danielle, ages 10 to 13, were set for a relaxing cruise from Miami to the Bahamas.

But Pond, Langbehn’s partner for nearly 18 years, was stricken in Miami with a brain aneurysm and died. The family says the way they were treated by hospital staff compounded their shock and grief.

Langbehn, a social worker, said officials at the University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital did not recognize her or their jointly adopted children as part of Pond’s family. They were not allowed to be with her in the emergency room, and Langbehn’s authority to make decisions for Pond was not recognized.

“We never set out to change the world or change how others accept gay families,” Langbehn told the crowd at the Capital City Pride on Sunday. “We just wanted to be allowed to live equally and raise our children by giving them all the same opportunities their peers have.”

While Washington is one of a half-dozen states to recognize same-sex partnerships in some fashion, Florida is not.

Langbehn said that the pain from losing Pond is still fresh, but she spoke at the gay pride event Sunday because the issue of legal recognition of homosexual families was too important to let go.

“I want people to be able to hold their partner’s hand in their moment of death,” she said.

Pond suffered the aneurysm just before the R Family Vacations cruise ship left Miami for the Bahamas in February, Langbehn said. After Pond was taken to the emergency room, Langbehn said she was informed by a social worker that they were in an “anti-gay state” and that they needed legal paperwork before Langbehn could see Pond.

Even after a friend in Olympia faxed the legal documents that showed that Pond had authorized Langbehn to make medical decisions for her, Langbehn said she wasn’t invited to be with her partner or told anything about her condition.

She said she wasn’t allowed to see Pond again until a priest arrived to give Pond the Anointing of the Sick, also commonly known as Last Rites.

“I was shocked. It never would have been on my radar that we wouldn’t be allowed to say goodbye,” Langbehn said. “When I was an emergency room social worker at Mary Bridge (Children’s Hospital and Health Center in Tacoma), if someone had said they were an aunt or a partner, I would have let them say their last goodbyes.”

Langbehn says she still has not been given Pond’s medical records from the hospital nor her death certificate directly from the county or the state, which affected their children’s Social Security benefits.

But she has received support from the local community and from former talk show host Rosie O’Donnell, who has e-mailed her to offer support and said she was angry over the way the family was treated. O’Donnell’s partner, Kelli O’Donnell, is a co-founder of R Family Vacations.

Capital City Pride co-chair Anna Schlecht said that Langbehn’s story drives home the reason why gays and lesbians continue to lobby for national legal recognition of their partnerships and families.

“When Janice told me the story over the phone, I started crying,” she said. “Death is hard enough. I can’t imagine having my children barred from me in the last moments of my life.”

Langbehn said attitudes changed when doctors in charge of organ donation recognized Langbehn and Pond as a couple. They accepted Langbehn’s signature on the consent forms, she said. They also allowed the children to visit with their mother, who was kept on life support while organ matches were found.

Pond, who was a volunteer with her church and with the Girl Scouts, as well as a foster mother, wished to donate her organs because she wanted to continue to give to people after her death, Langbehn said.

“I heard from the heart recipient last week,” she said. “Now he’s able to play with his grandkids again and he definitely would like to meet our family.”
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:42 PM   #24
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^Heartbreaking. I just don't understand how anyone with a shred of morality could not see the injustice of this.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:10 PM   #25
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Because people get lost in the agenda. People always get lost.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:36 AM   #26
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By Marisol Bello, USA TODAY 6/20

States that have banned gay marriage are beginning to revoke the benefits of domestic partners of public employees.

Michigan has gone farthest, prohibiting cities, universities and other public employers from offering benefits to same-sex partners. In all, 27 states have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as the legally sanctioned union of a man and a woman.

A Michigan court ruled in February that public employers may not offer benefits to unmarried partners, gay or straight, because of a 2004 amendment defining marriage. Government employers there had offered benefits only to gay couples.

Kalamazoo and the Ann Arbor school district have notified employees that they will end domestic partners' benefits. An appeal is before the state Supreme Court.

Kentucky Attorney General Gregory Stumbo ruled this month that the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville may not offer benefits to domestic partners, gay or straight.

A U.S. appeals court last year upheld Nebraska's amendment barring government employers from granting benefits, including health insurance, to same-sex couples. It didn't address benefits for unmarried heterosexual couples.

Ohio state Rep. Tom Brinkman, a Republican, has filed a lawsuit to bar Miami University of Ohio from offering benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

"We're in kind of a giant race, a historic race, with all these court cases," says Matt Daniels, president of Alliance for Marriage, which lobbies for a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. "When the dust settles, we'll have a national standard for marriage. What is going on in the states is a dress rehearsal."

Gay-rights activists say they are fighting for families, too.

"Anti-gay organizations have tried to attack currently existing protections for gays and lesbians and unmarried couples for a long time," says Camilla Taylor, an attorney for the gay-rights organization Lambda Legal. "They don't want to limit marriage between a man and a woman — they want to attack the protections that exist and make life difficult for non-traditional families."

Most of the 27 state amendments were passed after a 2004 Massachusetts law allowed gay marriage. An additional 17 states passed marriage laws but did not amend their constitutions.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:52 AM   #27
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By Marisol Bello, USA TODAY 6/20
A Michigan court ruled in February that public employers may not offer benefits to unmarried partners, gay or straight, because of a 2004 amendment defining marriage. Government employers there had offered benefits only to gay couples.

Kalamazoo and the Ann Arbor school district have notified employees that they will end domestic partners' benefits. An appeal is before the state Supreme Court.


can anyone, anywhere, name me something that is any more anti-family than this assault on committed relationships?

don't you feel good, all you "proponents" of "traditional marriage"! you've gotten rid of someone's benefits! you've degraded a relationship! you've quantifiablly HARMED someone!

way to FUCKING go! way to "defend" marriage by hurting people!
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:57 AM   #28
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I can't believe people really think they're saving my marriage by denying health benefits to lesbian couples.


Who would Jesus deny health benefits to?
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:01 AM   #29
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I guess it's ok in the minds of some people to hurt others and their relationships because they're just not the right kinds of people and/or the right kinds of relationships.

No honestly I can't think of anything that's more anti-family than that kind of assault on committed relationships. Meanwhile all kinds of non-committed relationships (involving adultery and lack of love, abuse, etc. ) between heterosexuals are protected just because they're straight relationships.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:04 AM   #30
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I guess some people get a sick enjoyment out of making other people's lives hell.

"Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike" (Oscar Wilde)
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