Tag Archives: Marriage

NOM Targets Grisanti, Voters Think Differently

15 Aug

An extremist religious political sect, which misleadingly calls itself the “National Organization for Marriage“, is sending out lying mailings to voters in the 60th state Senate district. Apart from containing hatred and lies, the mailers ask people to send ready-made postcards to Senator Mark Grisanti, threatening to punish him at the polls for his vote to legalize same-sex marriage.

Some voters in the overwhelmingly Democratic district are choosing instead to send modified versions of NOM’s postcard to Senator Grisanti. This appeared in my Facebook feed on Saturday:

Congratulations to Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd

22 Jul

On Sunday morning at 12:01 AM, Buffalonian same-sex marriage advocates, and longtime partners, Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd will be wed at a public ceremony on Goat Island in Niagara Falls, New York. The Falls will be illuminated in the colors of the rainbow for the event.

They will be the first couple to be legally wed in the state of New York, in recognition of their tireless efforts to bring about the legalization of same-sex marriage, which becomes law on July 24th. Among the guests will be Senator Mark Grisanti and former Assemblyman Sam Hoyt.

You may remember Lambert and Rudd from February 2010, when they applied for a marriage license at Buffalo City Hall but were refused.  In protest, Lambert picked a perfect, male, stranger to wed and promptly received a license.


Of that, I wrote this:

Our society is so backwards on this that our government has no problem in granting a marriage license literally to two complete strangers who met a moment before, but will not  grant a similar license to a committed same-sex couple.  A complete sham marriage between a gay woman and gay man is perfectly legal, but Kitty and Cheryl are second-class citizens.

This is heart-rending and infuriating…

It’s great that those days will soon be over.  Congratulations to the happy, historic, activist couple.


Marriage Equality Coda

27 Jun

There were cheers and celebrations throughout the state – one of the most touching Tweets I saw on Friday night was from a man in New York City who simply wrote, “he said yes”.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/timcarvell/status/84449544347193344″%5D

I let those three simple words sink in, and thought how Earth-shattering this all is. It was, after all, a mere decade ago when then-Governor Howard Dean of Vermont was thrust into the national spotlight when that state made history by legalizing civil unions. Vermont made history then, and was the first state to legislatively legalize same-sex marriage in 2009. In just ten years we’ve gone a long way towards what happened Friday here in New York.

What’s fantastic is that every single wedding-related business in the state is looking at a bump in bookings thanks to an entire new class of person who is now entitled to have one. Not to mention the $40 fee for a marriage license that local clerks charge for marriage licenses – that’s another revenue windfall.

The reaction from people I follow on Twitter and Facebook has been overwhelmingly positive, which means I’m largely following and friends with the right kind of people. I had to go hunting to find some negativity. One local hate-filled website went on and on about what the Bishop thinks about all this, accusing Mark Grisanti of selling out in exchange for a vote on SUNY 2020. It’s an explosive diarrhea of ignorant hatred and moralization from the immoral.

I saw a local Republican former-blogger Tweet some concern-trolls about how it’s a shame that the legislature wasn’t paying attention to real problems like taxation. Funny thing about that? The “Big Ugly” bill that passed earlier addressing property tax caps and mandate relief.  Albany just had its most productive legislative session in God knows how long, implementing loads of real reforms – people who don’t know that aren’t paying attention.

I saw a Paladino confidante express despair for this “God-forsaken” state. Presumably, he and his wife remain married despite teh geys being able to do the same, and his traditional marriage stands unmolested by last week’s legislation.

I heard an ignorant Christianist moralizer on the local wingnut station defame homosexuals all afternoon on Saturday. It helped make clearer the fact that “love the sinner, hate the sin” really means “hate the sinner”. Did you know that same-sex marriage’s passage now means that idiot Christianists like her won’t be able to defame and bash gay people anymore? Why, it’s a God-given right for her to bear arms and hate the homos.

On Sunday night, I Tweeted something snarky about how passage of same-sex marriage must make for awkwardness between noted angry fan of “traditional marriage” Carl Paladino and his nephew, Jeffrey Hannon. Hannon replied to me, culminating in an apology from him for insulting me back during the gubernatorial campaign. I never thought I’d see the day, and I accepted it with best wishes and congratulations to him for his newly acquired full citizenship status.

But turning back to Dummy / Hatey from Williamsville, I tried to get some people to call in en masse on Saturday to set this cretin straight, but BuffaloComedy.com‘s Kristen Becker had a reply that was short, terse, accurate and opened my eyes further to the reality of what happened on Friday:

I can’t even muster the energy. Mainly because I don’t have to anymore, I’m protected by my state.

Kristen and the love of her life, Stacey, are planning their wedding right now. I’m tremendously happy for them.

Have a great week, everyone. I’m so proud of my state for what it did on Friday. It hopefully made it ok for other states to do the same. Don’t let the haters get to you.

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Government Shouldn’t Tell You Who to Love, or Who to Marry

23 Jun

And that line was uttered by a Republican.  See how proponents for marriage equality appeal to fairness, equality, and love:




Here is an ad issued by the leading national lobbying organization against marriage equality. It speaks for itself with fear and falsity.


A vote in the State Senate is expected before the end of the week, although nothing is set in stone. The Senate will work out the massive reform bill being referred to as the “big ugly”, dealing with mandate relief, a property tax cap, and rent control issues before taking up (possibly) same sex marriage.  Shocking that raising the income threshold for rent control from $175k to $300k is holding up a bill to make a class of New Yorkers no longer be second-class citizens, but that’s why you never want to actually pay attention to any legislature, ever, anywhere.


20 Jun

I’ll give WBEN a link today, because the septuagenarians who make up its target audience are likely to vote against marriage equality on the idiotic “webpoll” that’s up today.  I’d urge people who support the idea of legalizing committed, loving same-sex unions to blast this poll and make sure fairness and love trump hatred and bigotry.

Just look at the way the poll is worded:

It gives you four – count them four – reasons to vote against same sex marriage. Once on religious grounds, once on “moral” grounds not otherwise counting as religious, once because gay sex is icky, and “all of the above”. For people who truly, deeply believe in – and advocate for – marriage equality, the best they get is “I’m ‘OK’ with gay marriage”.  In other words, even the selection that enables you to voice your support for equal rights is packed with equivocation and wiggle room, implying that you still think it’s icky, you still think it’s immoral, and you still think it offends God and the Church, but you’re “OK” with it.


Shame on WBEN for such a blatantly nonsensical “poll” which serves merely to further enhance its listenership’s confirmation bias.  I know other stations aren’t busy pitting one local group against others today.

Also, feel free to contact General Manager Tim Wenger and let him know – politely – how awful and hateful this poll is.

BTW, a few updates.

Firstly: Tim Wenger has replied to me, but will not permit me to publish his reply.

Secondly: Tom Bauerle is on air right now discussing this issue and is actually doing a good job explaining why people should support same-sex marriage, and isn’t doing so in a facetious way. Because someone made him aware of this post, he’s now bringing Obama and his opposition to same sex marriage into the “discussion”, which is somewhat beside the point since we’re talking about state legislation, not federal action. I can’t call in to Bauerle’s program because he has specifically forbidden me to contact him in any way because he’s a coward.

Thirdly: There is a link in this post to an act.ly petition. If it isn’t showing up, click here instead to sign it.

Fourthly: WBEN is futzing with the poll results.

Here is what appeared at 10:35am (redacted to show only the poll results & time stamp):

Here is what appeared at 10:36 am (redacted to show only the poll results & time stamp):

Here is what appeared at 10:41 am (redacted to show only the poll results & time stamp):

And here is what shows up at 11:06, indicating perhaps the poll is being shown adequately after I Tweeted that I had proof of tampering:

New York State Marriage Equality Vote Friday

15 Jun

In the middle of yesterday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo submitted a bill to the legislature that would provide equal marriage rights to gay couples. The bill is expected to make its way through the Assembly, and then move on to the Senate, where a dramatic vote is likely on Friday.

The bill exempts religious institutions from being compelled by the state to recognize or solemnize same-sex marriages. The bill memo is here. The text is here:


Cuomo had indicated that he wouldn’t submit the bill until he knew he had the votes for it to pass.  But that’s what they said in 2009 when the “Democratic”-led Senate tried it.  At that time, however, it was set up right before an election and was defeated because some senators of both parties saw it as a direct threat to their ability to obtain the Conservative Party endorsement.

As of right now, 31 Senators have expressed support for the bill – one shy of passage. Locally, Senator Mark Grisanti has gone from a “no” vote to “undecided”, indicating that he’s philosophically in favor of the law, but his Catholicism is making it difficult to vote for it.

If you have a moment, call or write your state Senator – especially if it’s Grisanti – and urge him or her to vote in favor of passage of this bill.  Here’s what I wrote on Grisanti’s Facebook wall:

Senator, I’m not a constituent, but I’m a pretty moderate Democrat, just like you’re a pretty moderate Republican. I know you think that civil unions is the same thing as marriage, but it’s not. The proposed statute specifically exempts religious institutions who oppose the concept, so there is no trampling whatsoever on religious freedoms. This is about the freedom of loving couples to legalize and, if they wish, solemnize their lifelong union and commitment. Making that happen would be a huge leap for liberty, freedom, and equal rights as promised at the founding of this country. I urge you to vote in favor of legalizing love.

When Kitty Met Ed

11 Feb

I’m a day late to posting this, but PinkBflo writes about an act of civil disobedience-ish behavior that took place in Buffalo:

local LGBT activist Kitty Lambert received a marriage license to a stranger named Ed at Buffalo’s City Hall today, after being denied a license to marry her same-sex partner.

A small group gathered in the lobby before proceeding to the 13th floor. Entering the City Clerk’s office, Kitty and long-time partner Cheryl attempted to apply for a marriage license. Armed with the appropriate documents City employees informed them due to New York State law, they would be unable to grant them a license. As the clerk’s office employees gathered to watch, a tearful Lambert explained the benefits only available to straight couples with a marriage license.

With news cameras rolling, Kitty then turned to the crowd and asked for any male who would be willing to get married to her. A gay man named Ed stepped forward and volunteered. They briefly exchanged information and presented the appropriate documents along with $40. City staff verified the information, and proceeded to give them a marriage license.

Our society is so backwards on this that our government has no problem in granting a marriage license literally to two complete strangers who met a moment before, but will not  grant a similar license to a committed same-sex couple.  A complete sham marriage between a gay woman and gay man is perfectly legal, but Kitty and Cheryl are second-class citizens.

This is heart-rending and infuriating:


Wouldn’t it be great if people like Bill Stachowski and Ruben Diaz and Dale Volker and George Maziarz were forced to explain to Kitty and Cheryl why they are not treated the same as any other New York resident?