Tag Archives: Marriage Equality

Newt Gingrich…Be a MAN! DOMA is a CROCK!

Yeah, Newt, use your BRAIN!

This morning as I was driving in wee early hours, watching the windshield wipers blur my vision, I was listening to talk radio and heard something that made my ears perk up.

They were talking about Newt Gingrich apologizing to Evangelical Christians for his extra-marital affairs. His reasoning? He did it because of his “allegiance to the flag”, suggesting his “long hours” serving the Nation led him down the dark road of sexual temptation. Give me a break, Newt! Be a MAN…own up and take full responsibility for your actions instead of making excuses and blaming it on something else! (read all about it).

“Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has claimed that he had an affair with a colleague because he was working too hard.

The twice-divorced Republican politician was married to his second wife Ginther when he embarked on an affair in the mid-90s with blonde Castilla Bisek who is 23-years his junior.

Gingrich was at the time an outspoken critic of President Bill Clinton who had a notorious affair with 22-year-old White House intern Monical Lewinsky.”

Here we have a politician who serves our country in his THIRD marriage and who fully supports DOMA. What’s that, you ask? DOMA is the Defense of Marriage Act that President Bill Clinton (yeah, him!) signed back in the 90’s which keeps marriage between a man and a woman.

In 1998, I wrote my English 101 college term paper on same-sex marriage. I had to research BOTH sides and even back then I saw what a big crock it was.

You have people who have had numerous marriages, countless affairs, telling other people that love each other they can’t get married because they are the same sex?

I heard a great quote once where someone said, “How about we tell them if we can’t get married, then they can’t get divorced.”

Even as a married trans man, I still am irked to no end by the ignorance and hypocrisy of this as I look to my brothers and sisters who are deeply in love, have been a couple for years, and still are refused legal marriage.

Some opposite-sex straight couples refuse to take the plunge until there is marriage equality, like musicians Tristan Prettyman and Jason Mraz. They are not alone, either.

Yes, today I’m on my soapbox! I’m P.O.ed that a drunk guy can marry a stripper in Vegas and wake up the next day and not even remember it, let alone know each other’s names! That’s marriage they are trying to DEFEND? Where’s the “sanctity” in that?!?

If you want to defend marriage and make sure there is sanctity in it – make ALL couples undergo 6 months of marriage counseling prior to marriage and have it signed off by a qualified official!

Other countries are WAY ahead of us, even the Canadians! Yet, the US of “Nay” remains in the dark ages due to people holding us back.

Oh! And I’m going to go there…guess what other minority votes AGAINST gay marriage? African Americans! People who know first-hand what it’s like to be treated like a second-class citizen. Am I comparing the civil rights movement to the gay rights movement? NO. I’m comparing the fact that minorities should atleast have the decency to stand up for one another.

Ignorance and FEAR is what breeds HATE. I have read plenty of comments directed to myself and even my wife telling us, “I hope you die of AIDS” ( and in reference to being Transgender) “That’s scary!” First off, I guess they think we’re running around having unprotected sex with random people and that’s how we will get AIDS? They don’t “get it” that we are a married couple in a monogamous relationship. But, the part that get’s me is the “scary” part. They are SCARED of what they don’t understand and instead of educating themselves, it’s easier for them to cower down and say a hateful comment to ease their “petrified” little minds.

Last time I checked, those who say cruel things remind me of elementary school kids who haven’t reached a maturity level to speak with intelligence and have enough self-control to contain their feelings, instead of igniting malicious behavior.

BACK to the subject at hand…President Obama isn’t my favorite guy who ever slept in the White House, but he has made some progressive changes for the GLBTQ community. Recently, he would not resign DOMA saying it was unconstitutional, so I’m hoping marriage equality will be around the corner! (read all about it). I want to be able see my best friends share the legal freedom to love each other and commit the rest of their lives.

Newt Gingrich suggested impeachment of President Obama over the DOMA issue stating, “President Obama overstepped his constitutional bounds when he announced he would no longer defendDefense of Marriage Act in court.” (read all about it).

New York also recently passed a law that allows Transgender couples to marry without conflict, another step in the right direction. As it stands now, there is a lot of footwork, legal changes, surgery and more in order to be able to legally get married if you are Transgender. (read all about it).

*deep breath*

I needed to vent and appreciate you listening to me. NEVER stop fighting for your rights. NEVER take less than what you deserve.

Written by TRISTAN “SHIMMER” SKYE
President and Co-Founder of TQ Nation

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“Two Steps Forward, One Step Back” for Marriage Equality

May 9, 2009 marked a joyous day when the governor of Maine officially signed same-sex marriage into law.

“I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage,” Maine Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, said in a statement released as he signed the bill.

“This law is simply about making sure that loving, committed couples, and their families, receive equal rights and responsibilities. This is a step that will strengthen Maine families,” Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said in a written statement.

6 months later, voters appear to have a change of heart as the state of Maine today joins the 30 other states that reject same-sex marriage.

Again, this is a moment where the GLBTQ community are given rights just to have them ripped away. In my personal opinion, marriage equality will continue to be a back-n-forth game until this important issue progresses beyond the States and is firmly planted on  Federal ground.

I have never before heard of this type of yo-yo law making until this particular issue was uprooted and put on the political platform. I do not hear of state’s granting abortions, then taking that right away. That is because the issue of abortion made its way into the federal courts, surpassing the mere state legislation. We take “two steps forward, one step back” when we deal with decision makers that rank under the “big dogs” that reside in our nation’s capital.

As I “spouted out” in my previous post, how can we expect to have equal marriage when our military still remains in the closet? They can defend our country and die, yet cannot be gay, lesbian or transgender. President Obama only in recent weeks signed the Hate Crimes Bill into law. These are the “baby steps” we need in order to climb steadfastly up the equality ladder. Abolishing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is our next baby step.

Since the word “marriage” seems to enrage people of a closed mind, have we thought of pushing for “civil unions” / “domestic partnership” first? Baby steps.

Sure, I agree we are discriminated against, but we cannot “change” the minds and opinions of these people no matter how many letters we write or protests we march as activists in. Those are great to show we have a voice and are not going away, but in order for us to truly progress, I am a firm believer in “baby steps”. To us, we are asking for nothing more than equal rights. To them, we are asking for something HUGE. So, why not start asking for smaller things to help pave the way to larger things? Just my thoughts.

Next in the political arena today we have elected an openly  homophobic politician to share power in Virginia. Ken Cuccinelli’s win as attorney general is another step back for the GLBTQ community.

Ken Cuccinelli

Cuccinelli was quoted recently in the Virginian-Pilot to state, “homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that.”

The fight turns now to New Jersey where Democrat and marriage equality supporter Jon Corzine was unseated by Republican and marriage equality opposer Christopher Christie. Two months remain for legislature to pass a marriage bill with Corzine finishing his final days of his term. Even still, the Garden State must wait a minimum of four years to gain full marriage rights.

In my opinion, Washington is the state that is taking the correct “baby steps” as voters accept and pass a Domestic Partnership (DP) law (tagged “everything but marriage”), while the voters reject the law for “marriage” time and time again.

Most people are not startled by the term “domestic partner” and might be open to grant recognition for our relationships; however, the term “married” still stirs havoc in the minds that can only acknowledge “one man, one woman” and cannot see past that. Of course, I should make the point that it is “one BIO man, one BIO woman” that they can handle. God forbid we try to open their minds further to the transgender community just yet.

“Never let your head hang down. NEVER GIVE UP AND SIT DOWN AND GRIEVE. Find another way.” – Satchel Paige

In the face of adversity is when you must fight the hardest. When you have a hard time standing back up, that is the time to grab your neighbor by the hand and trudge forward together. In the chaos and the screaming, stay calm in your heart, but raise your voice and be heard. When they come against you, do not lower yourself and come back against them. Believe in the great and wonderful person you are and keep standing, keep moving forward and never give up fighting for a brighter tomorrow.

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. ” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I find it important to note that the consensus reveals that many anti-marriage equality voters are African American. This is why I chose a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. — a man who died to bring equality to a minority. I only pray that the ones who choose to now HATE a minority (as they once were) will open their eyes and one day see the light of never restraining freedom from another human being. This time it’s not about the color of skin, but about whom they choose to love. We must remember it’s not about skin color, sexual orientation…but, by the “content of one’s character” we define a man.

Years ago, one great man had a dream. Today, I have a dream. I have a dream that one day those who once had thoughts of killing a gay man will invite him over for dinner. I have a dream that one day the preacher that once condemned the lesbian to hell will marry her and her wife. I have a dream that one day the person who beat transgenders will drop to his knees and beg for forgiveness. I have a dream that the bully who drives gay teens to suicide will instead come to their rescue and be their support. Yes, I too have a dream. This is only a small piece of it. A piece of a large puzzle that I hope one day will all be put together.

Baby steps, my family…baby steps.

Written by Tristan


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You DON’T Have Wait On People OR the Government for EQUAL MARRIAGE?

Today the state of Maine decides whether or not to keep marriage equality. The polls are almost dead even. Yesterday, activists gathered to rally at Monument Square to defend the rights of the citizens of the state of Maine. The “No on 1 Campaign” posted an ad on October 31st showing a woman named Jill going door to door asking for Diane’s hand in marriage. Asking everyone in the state of Maine would be equivalent to asking 275,000 people! This truly illustrates to people how outlandish voting on this law truly is because of the power it gives one person over another. I could only imagine if everyone in the land of the free and home of the brave had to ask that many people for something that was created as a God-given right…the right for two people to love and dedicate the rest of their lives together.

Follow Project Maine Equality on Twitter for the latest updates from the ground.

Tristan’s Personal Spout Out: Is it just me or is it humorous that many people think the GLBTQ community will make a joke out of same-sex marriage when they are the ones making a joke of marriage for us. They allow states to give us equal rights, just to strip it away. Here you go, we will hand you the golden keys of legal marriage. Oops! Just kidding! *slaps forehead* What in the gay mecca were WE thinking??

These people forget who we are. We are comprised of your doctors that save your mother’s life, the teacher who provides education to your kids, the police officer that locked up the town rapist, the firefighter that went into your burning house and saved your spouse. We are people too. Just like everyone else. We want the same things. We want love and deserve nothing less than the ability to legally protect our marriage the same as our heterosexual friends and family. We have children, too — and I’m sure my dad would have felt awkward having to adopt me instead of me just being legally his when I was born.

These people do not think past their prejudice and religious values. Last time I checked, God is LOVE – not HATE.

I’m transgender, so technically I am a man that is married to a woman – YET, behold, I still cannot get legally married? What is the issue with that? They now carry measuring sticks for between men’s legs before you can be a “real” man? *insert smirk* I can assure you that I have proven to be more of a true man than many biological men I have encountered.

How to Make Your Marriage as Legal as Possible:

I suggest to all of you OUT there that is “married” in the GLBTQ community to MAKE IT AS LEGAL AS YOU CAN BY YOURSELVES. This is what my wife and I did. Look up all of the legal rights marriage gives you. View the list HERE. First off, one of you needs to take the other’s last name legally (or both of you should do a joint last night with a hyphen or SOMETHING). Next, you need to create living wills, power of attorneys and have them signed, notarized and kept in a safe place (give a copy to someone you trust not to be opened unless both of you pass on at the same time). These first two things are CRUCIAL and need to be done as soon as you get married (have it already done prior to your wedding just to be sure since a name change can take up to two months sometimes — ALSO, you don’t need to hire a lawyer for a legal name change — go to the county courthouse and do the leg work yourself. It will cost you more like $200 instead of $400+). Next, join EVERYTHING together…bank accounts, insurance…anything and everything you can. Most insurance companies will also list you as domestic partners even if that is not recognized in your state. When they ask your marital status – tell them “domestic partner” – don’t be afraid!


Tristan and Sicily on our beautiful wedding day

Don’t tell me that we can’t have what everyone else has. Don’t tell me that all of my childhood dreams can’t come true. They can only keep it from you if we allow them to. Sure, we can’t legally have ALL of the same rights, but by golly, we can come close.

I must further address that I have always firmly believed equal marriage will not happen until the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is erased from our military. If you still cannot serve your country and die for the citizens and be openly gay, then how can we expect equal marriage?

The road to freedom is long and is paved with rocks along the way. One thing I know is that when you finally get something you fought so hard for, you hold on to it tightly and cherish it forever. I believe the GLBTQ community will one day be able to show the world that marriage is NOT a joke to us and we will be the ones to rebuild the broken foundation left by the others who had the right before us. It’s time for the divorce rate to DECREASE.

 

Written by TRISTAN

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