Monthly Archives: October 2010

Prop. 19 and the legalizing marijuana debate – latimes.com

California voters will be voting on whether or not to legalize marijuana this fall. Personally, I am split on this issue. For the most part, I think marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed. However, there is a small part of me that dreads this. For some reason, second hand marijuana smoke gives me a headache on the better days and a migraine on the worst days.

Will California lead the way into breaking the prohibition on pot? Will the federal government crack down and attack California citizens if Prop 19 does get passed? With so much going on here (including the Prop 8 fiasco), California citizens are once again in the spotlight. Where are you standing on this issue?

People on both sides of the marijuana legalization debate have strong feelings about Proposition 19, the California ballot initiative that promises to regulate, control and tax cannabis. But science and empirical research have been given short shrift in the discussion. That’s unfortunate, because the U.S. government has actually funded excellent research on the subject, and it suggests that several widely held assumptions about cannabis legalization actually may be inaccurate. When the total body of knowledge is considered, it’s hard to conclude that we should stick with the current system.

One important question is whether laws criminalizing marijuana have effectively reduced supply and use. It would appear from available data that they have not. Despite billions spent on anti-cannabis law enforcement and a 30% increase in the number of arrests in California since 2005, marijuana remains the most frequently used illegal drug. Nationally, an estimated $10 billion is spent each year enforcing marijuana laws, yet an ongoing study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse has concluded that over the last 30 years, the drug has remained “almost universally available to American 12th-graders,” with 80% to 90% saying the drug is “very easy” or “fairly easy” to obtain.

via Prop. 19 and the legalizing marijuana debate – latimes.com.

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Feds appeal Mass. rulings against US marriage law | News Story on 365gay.com

This is not really that surprising. the U.S. Department of Justice is required to defend our laws in court (even if they are stupid laws). However, based on the judge’s ruling, this will be hard for the Federal Government to win, even if they were trying their hardest.

 

(Boston) The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday defended the federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman by appealing two rulings in Massachusetts by a judge who called the law unconstitutional for denying federal benefits to gay married couples.

In two separate cases, U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro in July ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, is unconstitutional because it interferes with a state’s right to define marriage and denies married gay couples an array of federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns.

My favorite line from the judge is:

“Congress undertook this classification for the one purpose that lies entirely outside of legislative bounds, to disadvantage a group of which it disapproves. And such a classification the Constitution clearly will not permit,” Tauro wrote.

via Feds appeal Mass. rulings against US marriage law | News Story on 365gay.com.

National Coming Out Day

Today is National coming out day. With so many spot lights on gay issues around the world, this day is very important. Today is day for everyone, not just GLBT people that are in the closet.

Today is a day to tell people who you are inside. Are you secrectly gay? Tell someone! Are you a closeted Project Runway fan? Get that off of your chest. Do you secretly spend 8 hours a day playing Farmville? Come on out.

Life is short. Take today seriously. Be who you are, not who others want you to be.

Come out, come out, whoever you are!

Oh Brothers and Sisters. Sex in My City: Zander on Gilles Marini

I have to say that I was quite shocked to find out that Samantha’s neighbor from the Sex in the City movie showed up in Brothers and Sisters. This man has a stunning smile. I also find it funny that his character on Brothers and Sisters is becoming an underwear model.

Eastwick: Zander on Johann Urb

I wish Eastwick would have continued on for a few more seasons. There were a lot of good reasons to watch to shows. Below you will see some of my favorite reasons, but this was also a clever show that was very entertaining. But alas, the show was canceled and now we have to rely on other sources for this beautiful vision. You can see him in the upcoming film Pornstar where he plays a character by the name of Cannon Balls. Pun intended?

Tennessee Fire Ignites National Debate on Public Services

I don’t even know what to say about this. How could anyone just let a person’s house burn down? How could professional firefighters just let this house burn to the ground because the owner didn’t pay the fee? Put the fire out and then work out the details and fines.

When Lance Cranick burned trash in a barrel behind his grandparents’ house, he probably didn’t expect to ignite a national debate on the services municipalities need to provide for their citizens. Yet that’s exactly what happened on September 29, when the sixteen-year-old resident of Obion county, Tennessee left the fire unattended while he took a shower. When he returned, a nearby shed was aflame. Despite his efforts to stop the fire with a garden hose, it soon spread to his grandparents’ home.

Lance’s grandfather, Gene Cranick, called the nearby South Fulton fire department to request assistance. But, despite his increasingly frenzied calls and his offer to pay for help, the fire department refused to send trucks to the scene: apparently, Cranick hadn’t paid his yearly fire subscription, a $75 fee that some rural residents in Obion have to pay in order to get fire department service. As a result, firefighters left his house to burn.

via Tennessee Fire Ignites National Debate on Public Services – DailyFinance.

Why no prayers for Bishop Long’s accusers? – CNN.com

I could not have said this better myself. I have long thought that Christians have lost sight of what being a Christian  means.

Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) — Long before Focus on the Family, the 700 Club or even the Bible, there was a basic spiritual hunger: A hunger to know where we came from, a hunger to know what happens when we leave, a hunger to know if there is a God.

And somewhere along the line, that hunger was spun into religion, and soon the desire to find God became mutated by the desire to protect a particular belief system about God. Religion became monetized, politicized and militarized as the hunger to know the meaning of life slowly was replaced by rules by which we are to live our lives.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-religion. In fact, I love my church. But as Sen. John Danforth said in his book “Faith and Politics,” “If Christianity is supposed to be a ministry of reconciliation, and has become instead a divisive force in American political life, something is terribly wrong, and we should correct it.”

via Why no prayers for Bishop Long’s accusers? – CNN.com.

Schwarzenegger expands unemployment benefits for gay couples | News Story on 365gay.com

This from the guy that vetoed gay marriage twice. I guess now that he cannot run for governor again he suddenly has a conscience?

From Equality California:

(Sacramento) Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Unemployment Benefits Act (AB 2055), which ensures that same-sex couples in California have access to unemployment benefits. The bill was introduced by Assemblymember Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate) and sponsored by Equality California.

“We thank the governor for signing this bill, which will provide same-sex couples who plan to enter into a domestic partnership with access to benefits that heterosexual couples who are engaged already enjoy and that affect the wellbeing and security of their families,” said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California.

“Although this legislation helps chip away at the discrimination same-sex couples face, the fact is that domestic partnerships are not the same as marriage, and the only real solution is to restore the freedom to marry in California so that same-sex couples are truly equal under the law. We thank Assemblymember De La Torre for his advocacy and leadership.”

via Schwarzenegger expands unemployment benefits for gay couples | News Story on 365gay.com.

GLBT History Month Video

This video will change daily. Please check back every day for the new video. After October 31st, the video will feature an overview of all 31 Icons. Again,  thanks to David, Mike and the Queer Network for introducing me to this project.

http://www.glbthistorymonth.com/glbthistorymonth/2010/video_player/syndicated_video_player_small.swf

QN supports GLBT History Month | Queer Networks

For those of you that haven’t check out the Queer Network blogs, you really should. They have 12 local blogs including Queer Oakland. In honor of GLBT History Month, they are utilizing their entire network of blogs to help support this project.

“In honor of GLBT History Month, sponsored in part by Equality Forum, we have placed a link to glbthistorymonth.com on each of our metropolitan area blogs. We currently host and manage 12 local blogs in 5 different states and we’re excited to lend a hand to such a great project! We hope to continue and leverage even more of our resources for GLBT History Month in the future.”

via QN supports GLBT History Month | Queer Networks.

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