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Thursday, December 6, 2012

And Now for Some Good News: Progress

There have been great advancements in the US and neighboring Mexico for the limited same-gender freedom to marry! This brings us closer and closer to full marriage equality.

In last month's US election, the people of three US states voted FOR this freedom to marry, and the results are taking effect! Check out this Associated Press article at mynorthwest.com...
Two by two, dozens of same-sex couples obtained their marriage licenses in Washington state early Thursday, just hours after Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage.

King County, the state's biggest county, opened the doors to its auditor's office in Seattle just after midnight PST to start distributing marriage licenses. But hundreds of people had lined up hours earlier, snaking around the downtown Seattle building on a chilly December night. By 10 a.m., 364 licenses had been issued and the line was gone.
When are the weddings?

Because the state has a three-day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday. 

Yay!
"This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington," Gregoire said before signing the measure that officially certified the election results. "For many years now we've said one more step, one more step. And this is our last step for marriage equality in the state of Washington."
Eh... not quite. It is a great day for some same-gender couples. But there are still some same-gender couples who can't marry, and polycules of any gender or sexual orientation formations can't marry. It's a great day for freedom, but it isn't marriage equality because equality just for some is not equality.

Last month, Washington, Maine and Maryland became the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote. They joined six other states _ New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont _ and the District of Columbia that had already enacted laws or issued court rulings permitting same-sex marriage.
More to come!




Maryland's law officially takes effect Jan. 1, however couples can start picking up marriage licenses on Thursday, as long as the license has an effective date of Jan. 1. Whether clerks of court issue a postdated license is up to them, however. They are not required to do so. Maine's law takes effect on Dec. 29. There's no waiting period in Maine, and people can start marrying just after midnight.

Exciting.

There is coverage at cnn.com, too from Michael Martinez.

Pete-e Petersen (left), 85, and Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, have been a couple for 35 years.
Pete-e Petersen (left), 85, and Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, have been a couple for 35 years. 


With 162 years between them, Petersen and Lighty can recall the dark days of being gay in America.
"Of course, we were in the so-called closet," Petersen said. "Fortunately, we're blessed by nice looks so people didn't know right off the bat we were gay or homosexuals."
They can leverage the unpleasant moments into humor.

For example, Petersen was an Air Force nurse in the Korean War. Stationed in Japan, she flew all kinds of air missions to retrieve wounded troops in Korea and take them to Tokyo -- similar to what television's "M*A*S*H" depicted.
She was eventually promoted to captain in the Air Force and also was put in charge of a clinic in San Antonio, Texas.
During that time, she recalls the military hunts for gay men and women. Military brass never suspected her, she said. Lighty enjoyed the same illusion as a young woman.
"I was fortunate," Petersen said. "We passed."
"People would come up in the hospital, and they were always hunting for gay people," she continued, talking about the military.
Captain, the investigators asked, "Do you have any ... people being gay here?"
"I said, 'Not a one,'" she recalled.
"It was just awful. It was a witch hunt, just really trying to oust people. If a military person, like an airman first class (woman), had short hair or walked like a tough person, they were questioning them and always quizzing them," Petersen said.
Thankfully, that has changed.

Andrew Sullivan notes the progress in Mexico.
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