Same-Sex Marriage in the Garden State

By Stephfon Guidry

NJ

Jersey boys grab your tuxedos, wedding gowns, and book the chapel’s because marriage equality is coming soon! Judge Mary Jacobson of Mercer County Supreme Court ruled this past Friday that Same-Sex Marriage is set to happen LEGALLY in the Garden State of New Jersey on October 21st 2013. No longer will Jersey residents need to cross the bridge into Manhattan to tie the knot, they will be able to perform their own nuptials at home.

Judge Jacobson ruled in favor of Same-Sex Marriage after reviewing the United States v. Windsor case. She wrote a 53-page opinionated essay detailing her views on the matter of legalizing same-sex marriage.  “Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution,” said Judge Jacobson to press on Friday.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie publicly opposes same-sex marriage equality on the stance that he is following the will of the voters.  Spokesman Michael Drewniak for Governor Christie commented on the matter saying, “Governor Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day.” While Governor Christie’s camp gears up to appeal and possibly freeze this ruling, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) seeks to change Gov. Christie’s mind on the matter altogether. Menendez stated, “I am thrilled this court decision now brings us closer to fulfilling our nation’s promise of equality and I urge our governor and state attorney general to accept this ruling and finally give same-sex couples in New Jersey the equal rights they deserve.”

DOMA and more states than ever have developed their views on marriage and love. These political victories for civil rights represent the progressive culture of America. The battle for Same-Sex Marriage and civil liberties is still on going but for the moment it seems Jersey boys can count this a win as they are ready to hear wedding bells.

Corey Kelly “Can’t Live Without You”

By Melvin Browne

R&B Singer/Songwriter Corey Kelly created an Alternative/Gay Version of his Music Video “Can’t Live Without You”. The Music Video is his act to support Marriage Equality and his commitment to his husband Tyree Williams-Kelly who wed in May of 2009.

“Can’t Live Without You” is a song about love and overcoming the obstacles within it. In the black gay community it’s the stereotype that most gay men have no interest in love or relationships.  In the Video the Kelly Couple are seen living their individual lives and struggling to intertwine them.

Corey Kelly does an amazing job with the song and music video. I personally love “Can’t Live Without You” and the message behind his voice and lyrics. Get into the Video Below and Enjoy!

It’s Good to be Gay in 2012?

By Stephfon Guidry

Love is in the air as February rolls into view during 2012; Gay Marriage is more than an afterthought in the minds of many it is a movement. The movement seems to be headed in a positive direction as politicians are heading to the altar, states putting in positive votes; it looks like love does conquer all.

It seems that Washington State may soon be passing Gay Marriage legislation and while that is promising its good news to hear the support of the nation’s largest coffeehouse chain, Starbucks in support of the cause. The Seattle Times published a statement of Kalen Holmes, Executive Vice President of Starbucks Coffeehouse, “Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples” (HuffingtonPost.com)

Out, proud and retiring Congress Democratic Mass. Rep Barney Frank is now engaged to his longtime partner Jim Ready and they are ready to jump the broom. Harry Gural, spokesman for Frank, told CNN the couple plans to marry in Massachusetts. Wedding Bells will be heard from Mass to NYC since, Daniel O’Donnell NY lawmaker and advocate of the Gay Marriage law that past last June will now be tying the knot! O’Donnell and his long-term partner of 31-years are officially fulfilling their vows of love and commitment on January 29, in East Manhattan.

Good news for Gay Marriage and Gay Support has gone Global as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon advocated for gay rights in Africa recently. Moon spoke with African Leaders in Ethiopia, for an African Union summit, saying discrimination based on sexual orientation, “had been ignored or even sanctioned by many states for far too long”. (HuffingtonPost.com)African leaders have not publicly made statements in response to his strong views as of late.

As 2012 moves along it seems good to be gay so far this year!

The Wedding and the Wedding Cake!

By Chef LoveJones

“THE MOST DANGEROUS food a man can eat is wedding cake.”—20th century Americana. The “Big Day” haunts all life partner engagements; however, choosing the wedding cake seems to be the most challenging.  Here are a few tips on the best way to achieve your goal, sans the climactic drama.

  1. Upon choosing your color scheme and fabrications, be sure to bring your story-board to the cake designer/caterer.
  2. Selecting your flavor profile is key! The celebratory cake is not only a symbol of your union, but will make a light statement of who you are as a couple.  Be confident and wise in your choices.
  3. Fondant, butter cream, chocolate plastic or royal icing are the finishing options that will determine how elegant you cake will look.  Don’t forget to consider cake an esthetic of edible flowers, ribbon and/or small sculptures (cake topper).
  4. Your cake’s presentation table can be specially decorated as well.  Floral arrangements, fruit and/or candles can be a fantastic and final touch, so heavily consider the event space for inspiration.

LoveJones Yellow Cake Recipe

  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Cup Baker’s Fine Sugar
  • 2 ¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ Cup Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. Meyers Rum

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, measure out all ingredients, and prepare three 8” inch pans (buttered and lined with Parchment paper). Mix sugar and softened butter and cream cheese together until smooth, now add eggs one at a time for proper emulsification. Slowly add flour, salt and baking powder to mixture,followed up with buttermilk. Mix on medium speed until thoroughly smooth. Evenly pour in pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

WEDDING CAKE RESOURCES:

For specialty cake success stories, check out Chef LoveJones Presents at Lovejonesepicure.wordpress.com

Wedding Bells after Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’s END!

By Stephfon Guidry

A Groom, an Officer and a Gentleman…

14,000! Approximately that many men and women serving our country in 1993, under the Bill Clinton administration lost their jobs as military servicemen to “Don’t Ask Don’t tell”. As of September 20, 2011, DADT has officially been repealed. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was a policy created by the Defense Department that mandated that no openly homosexual servicemen were enlisted and sexual orientation was not discussed for enrollment in military duty. Silence, seemed such a powerful government policy for almost a decade and now in 2011 as states vote for and against same-sex marriage DADT is now repealed.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal sparks many celebrations. Military men are becoming married men or at least planning on it as the repeal on DADT goes into effect. “It’s a reminder that — as broken as Washington is and as long as change can take — people and organizations can do amazing things when they work together and never waver from the vision that unites them,” Jim Messina. Campaign Manager, Obama for America.  President Barrack H. Obama promotes positive change in his campaign and as election season comes with his repeal of DADT.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell may be gone but the war is not over now in the coming days, weeks, and months it’s time for many of these closeted Military men and women to find the courage to be open. As there is more visibility and voice from military personnel there will be more of permanence to the repeal. Because as CNN.com writes, “Though repeal of DADT was won, there are Americans, specifically some GOP presidential candidates, who would reinstate it”.

Now that gay military personnel can be visible, in my view, they should be. In short, with “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” gone, it’s time to tell.” As the doubts roll in on who will come out of the closet, many military personnel have already taken bold steps like a 25-year-old Air Force officer, named Lt. Joshua David Seefried. Lt. Joshua David Seefried took his muted voice, as DADT was still in effect, and began Outserve, the underground network for gay military personnel. In lieu of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Lt. Joshua David Seefried updates his Facebook to reflect his sexual orientation and boldly stated, “Those are things I feel like I should do because I guess that is what a leader would do. If we all stay in the closet and don’t act brave, then the next generation won’t have any progress” Know that change is something that takes time, needs dedication, and requires tenacity thanks to many military men and women of all sexual orientations protecting our freedoms and rights I can say it gets better!

“I do” “I do” N. Carolina says “I don’t”

By Stephfon Guidry

N.C. places anti-gay ballot on May 2012 Primary

So I typed in “Gay Marriage” on Bing images and got everything from porn to Wonder Woman. The isle to the altar for Gay Marriage has made many strides since 2004, currently six states allow same-sex marriage, two states allow civil unions, and six states allow same-sex couples to register as domestic partners. As monumental as these minute strides maybe currently 36 states have constitutional amendments explicitly prohibiting same-sex marriage while 30 states have statutes prohibiting same-sex marriages. Yesterday, North Carolina has voted to say “I don’t” in a very rushed anti-gay ballot initiative on September 13, 2011.  The North Carolina State Senate voted 30-16 after the House made an expedient 75 -41 margin on Monday, September 12 (According to EdgeBoston.com).

The Senate voted to place an anti-gay ballot in the 2012 primary in May. Ultimately this legislation would place a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, civil union, or domestic partnerships in the state of North Carolina, adding to the growing number of states with constitutional amendments against same-sex unions. Alex Miller, present interim executive director of Equality North Carolina had this to say via(EdgeBoston.com) “While the proponents of this harmful, divisive, shameful legislation may have succeeded in throwing up a temporary barrier against the inevitable tide of acceptance and equality, our struggle continues and the campaign to defeat this amendment at the ballot box begins today.”  In opposition Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said (CNN.com) “We think the people of this state – not judges, bureaucrats, or politicians – should define marriage, which I personally believe should be between one man and one woman” Interesting enough many of the members of the North Carolina Senate and House were in conflict with the bill being voted on in the session while feeling that this anti-gay initiative would take away focus on Hurricane Irene relief efforts and move the focus from economic problems like creating more jobs.

No matter your city or state same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships are an issue, if you are interested in this issue stay informed and stay active and be a part of the change. North Carolina NAACP released a letter saying this: “A vote on the same-sex marriage amendment has nothing to do with your personal opinion on same-sex marriage but everything to do with whether or not you believe discrimination should be codified and legalized constitutionally”  All Love NoH8!

Family First Candidate Wendy Francis Apologizes to Gay Community

By Katrina Robinson

Wendy Francis, 49, is the Family First Senate’s top candidate in Queensland. And she recently tweeted that legalizing gay marriage was similar to “legalizing child abuse.” The original tweet stated: “Children in homosexual relationships are subject to emotional abuse. Legitimizing gay marriage is like legalizing child abuse.”

Wow. Those are some harsh words, Wendy.

I supposed Francis’ publicist alerted her to how harmful that statement could be to her image, as the candidate issued a public apology. She stated, “I sincerely and unreservedly apologize. Those who know me personally know that I would never intentionally offend any person. It pains me to think that although unintended, I have caused distress to others.”

While I find Francis’ statement disgusting, I have to give her some sort of props for having the guts to own up to her mistake (whether she sincerely means it or not). And it looks like the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby agrees with me. They have said that while they accept the apology, Francis’ original comments were “offensive and homophobic.”

Prop 8 Ruled Unconstitutional in San Francisco

By Katrina Robinson

Thank goodness there’s a place in California that finally realizes that the homosexual marriage ban in unconstitutional.

On Wednesday, August 4, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker overturned proposition 8. This ruling could lead to further investigation in the U.S. Supreme Court as to whether or not the proposition is constitutional.

Judge Walker wrote in his 136-page opinion, “Proposition 8 singles out gays and lesbians and legitimates their unequal treatment. Proposition 8 perpetuates the stereotype that gays and lesbians are incapable of forming long-term loving relationships and that gays and lesbians are not good parents.”

But don’t get too excited. The judge wants to decide whether his ruling should be suspended while those who want to can pursue an appeal. Both sides of the argument are to submit written statements by Friday.

Since the ruling has been announced, celebrations have erupted throughout the country. I, for one, heard about the good news through Facebook—looks like social networking actually does come in handy once in a while!

Can’t Get Legally Married? Visit Portugal

By Katrina Robinson

The fight for marriage equality has been going on for decades. Only recently have we begun to see specific states in our country legalize homosexual marriage. Maybe that’s soon to change, as it seems that the entire country of Portugal has legalized same-sex marriage.

Portugal is officially the sixth European country to legalize homosexual marriage. While the country is over 90% Catholic, it seems as though the people of Portugal are starting to be a little more liberal in their laws. In fact, it was only in 2007 that the country liberalized their outrageous abortion laws.

As you can guess, not everyone was keen about the passing of the law. In fact, Pope Benedict himself spoke out against Portugal’s legislation, calling it an “attack” on the “natural differences between men and women.”

Hmm…I’m sitting here, sorting through my brain, and I just cannot find one way in which same-sex marriage attacks the differences between men and women. Sorry, Benny, but you’re overruled.

D.C. Council Approves Gay Marriage

 

By Andrew Shepard

 On Tuesday the city council of Washington D.C. passed a measure legalizing same-sex marriage. This makes the nation’s capitol the first jurisdiction below the Mason-Dixon Line to allow same-sex unions.

The bill allowing same-sex marriage will inevitably face opposition but, the initial vote to pass the bill came down to a decision of 11 to 2. When the bill goes to congress the landslide decision will hopefully be looked upon and help the legislation pass. Many advocates for same-sex marriage are hopeful that same-sex marriage will become law in D.C. by spring. Many see Tuesdays vote as a victory not only for gay and lesbian rights but as a victory for equality for all.

 Opponents have vowed to have the bill overturned by the means of referendum or turning the vote over to Congress which has a month to review the measure and make a decision once it has been signed. Legislative methods are also being considered by Republicans and conservative Democrats.

Even with the forces being presented by a strong opposition this is an astounding moment in the movement for equality. With the nation’s capital falling in line now and allowing same-sex marriage the Internet whispers are coming about on sites like Twitter, Myspace and Facebook that a snowball effect may happen. With the hope that since the nation’s capitol first recognized same-sex marriages and is now allowing that maybe the same trend will happen with states that initially banned the notion completely.

 Count this victory as a shining beacon of hope for the fight of equality and a major step forward for us all. Only time will tell of the outcome but with hopes high as a community we can proceed forward and continue the good fight for a better life. It has taken years to get to this point and many people see this as the moment that we have been waiting for consider this a call to action and to show your support. With the hope that at the end of this journey victory will ring loudest in the name of equality.