Hawaii passes same-sex marriage bill
Star-Advertiser: The Hawaiian state Senate, in a 19-4 vote, approved a marriage equity bill on Tuesday, sending the measure to Gov. Neil Abercrombie who has vowed to sign it and make Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.
It’s expected that same-sex couples will be permitted to marry in the state as soon as Dec. 2.
Tuesday’s 19-4 vote, while historic, was a somewhat anti-climatic end to the 16-day legislative special session that included more than 55 hours of public testimony, followed by two day-long sessions in the House where lawmakers approved the bill late last Friday.
Let us not just be dreamers this day, let us be doers.
Washington Post: “William Allison, 92, came to today’s march with same sign he marched with in ‘63 pic.twitter.com/qT3kL8VlEP via @HamilHarris #MarchonWashington”
You cannot stand by. You cannot sit down. You have to stand up, speak up, speak out and get in the way. Make some noise. The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It’s the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society and we’ve got to use it. Back in 1963 we didn’t have a cellular telephone, iPad, iPod, but we used what we had to bring about a non-violent revolution. And I said to all of the young people, you must get out there and push and pull and make America what America should be for all of us. We must say to the Congress, ‘Fix the Voting Rights Act.’
Three weeks after SCOTUS decision, GOP throws in the towel on marriage fight.
Buzzfeed: House Republican leaders announced in a court filing Thursday that they will not defend remaining statutes similar to the Defense of Marriage Act that ban recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages.
The move comes three weeks and one day after the Supreme Court ruled in Edith Windsor’s case that the federal definition of marriage in DOMA was unconstitutional because it banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages.
“[T]he House has determined, in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Windsor, that it no longer will defend that statute,” lawyers for the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), controlled by House Republicans, wrote about veterans’ benefits statutes that similarly ban recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages.
"After millions of taxpayer dollars wasted defending discrimination, it’s a historic sign of the times that the House leadership is dropping its pointless quest to maintain second-class status for lesbian and gay couples," said Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin. I wish I could agree. It’s not a "sign of the times" that Boehner’s caucus dropped the suit, it’s that it had finally become hopeless. Republicans have not accepted equality. If there was any hope at all of forcing the VA to discriminate against same-sex spouses, you know that the House GOP would still be in that courtroom, plugging away.
Montgomery, AL police chief apologizes for his department’s appalling civil rights history.
Rep. John Lewis (R-GA) was moved to tears on Saturday by an apology from a police chief in Montgomery, Alabama, who said his department utterly failed to protect civil rights marchers as they disembarked from a Grayhound bus into a segregated terminal in 1961.
Lewis was one of 21 protesters who stepped off that bus and into an angry melee as more than 300 white southerners attacked the group with baseball bats and other blunt objects. Despite an order by U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy to protect these so-called “Freedom Riders,” police backed off in Montgomery and let the mob have its way.
Appearing with Lewis on Saturday after a symbolic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge near Selma, Alabama — where 600 civil rights marchers were brutally attacked by police in 1965 — Montgomery Chief of Police Kevin Murphy formally apologized for the bus terminal incident and presented Lewis with his badge.
“It means a great deal,” Lewis said, according to MSNBC. “I teared up. I tried to keep from crying.”
it pays to point out that Chief Murphy was in no way responsible for what his predecessors did in ‘65. Yet he apologized anyway. And there’s a lesson here for anyone who’s ever argued “I didn’t do ____, that happened a long time ago. Why should I be held responsible for ____?”
They’re not being held responsible for the act, they’re being held responsible for the consequence. America’s history of slavery, segregation, and racism has left this a profoundly unequal society and that inequality benefits whites. You may not be responsible for the crimes of the past, but you benefit from them — whether those crimes are slavery or Native American genocide or the conquest of Mexican lands or any of a raft of other crimes. No one’s asking anyone to give anything back. No one’s asking anyone to be punished for anything. All that’s being asked is that people acknowledge a simple fact — that they would not be where they are today if it weren’t for the crimes of their forebears and that many of the privileges they take for granted come at the expense others who were less fortunate in the parentage sweepstakes.
It’s about looking at the world with a measure of realism and recognizing that history influences all of our lives, for good or for bad,