There was a unanimous decision in the drafting committee to include it in the platform…everybody was for it.Retiring Rep. Barney Frank • On the inclusion of gay marriage as part of the official Democratic Party platform. The 15-member Democratic Party platform draft committee unanimously approved language supporting marriage equality, and according to Frank, a member of the committee, the vote wasn’t even close. The draft still has to be approved by the full platform committee, which meets in two weeks; then, delegates at the Democratic National Convention will have to vote in favor of it it. Huffington Post, which talked to two sources on the matter, claims that “the deal is more or less final.” Reacting to the news, the president of the National Organization for Marriage said that Democrats “can kiss the presidential election, the House and now the Senate goodbye.” What do you think—will this help or hurt Democrats in November? source (via • follow)
» A grand gesture by Amazon’s founder: With Bezos’ donation, the man who created Amazon from nothing will now be one of the largest donors to same-sex marriage efforts in the country. So what got him to support the effort? An e-mail from a very early employee who is now a lesbian mother of four. “I want to have the right to marry the love of my life and to let my children and grandchildren know their family is honored like a ‘real’ family,” wrote Jennifer Cast, who left the company in 2001. “We need help from straight people. To be very frank, we need help from wealthy straight people who care about us and who want to help us win.” Cast’s e-mail helped make Bezos the largest individual donor in the effort to pass Referendum 74.
Very happy to announce that as of this morning, Heather and I are legally married (at least in DC). 20 years to the day after our first date.Dick Cheney’s daughter, Mary • Revealing that she got married to her longtime partner, Heather Poe, on Friday. The couple, which has two children, lives in Northern Virginia, but got married in Washington DC, one of the areas where gay marriage is legal. Congrats guys!
David Blankenhorn’s evolution on marriage equality is emblematic of the paradigm shift we are experiencing as a country on this issue. Loving gay and lesbian couples should not be denied the ability to make the same lifelong commitment as everyone else and Blankenhorn’s agreement with that proposition puts him in the mainstream of American opinion.Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin • Discussing David Blankenhorn, a once-star proponent for California’s controversial Proposition 8, and his shift towards supporting marriage equality, which he expressed in an op-ed in the New York Times, which you can read here. Blankehorne founded the Institute for American Values and testified in favor of Prop. 8 during the trial in California. source (via • follow)
DOMA Arigato, St. Joseph. A NY woman legally married last October to another woman (known as Jane Roe and Jane Doe, respectively) is suing her employer, Catholic hospital St. Joseph’s, for not extending insurance benefits to her wife. Because St. Joe’s is self-insured, they have freedom under DOMA and the federal government to not extend medical benefits to same-sex couples. This may well be the first case of its kind to take on both the federal government and a Catholic institution, and its decision could have far-reaching consequences —especially for religiously affiliated institutions — nationwide. source
[I have] a lot of friends who are individually gay but are in partnerships with loved ones, and they are as stable a family as my family is and they raise children. And so I don’t see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country.Former Secretary of State Colin Powell • Voicing support for same-sex marriage on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” Powell, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy went into effect, also said that policy was needed at the time due to political pressures. ”It was the Congress that imposed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ it was certainly my position, my recommendation to get us out of an even worse outcome that could have occurred,” he said.
» The nitty-gritty: The bill was co-sponsored by 23 senators, including one Republican (Susan Collins of Maine). It passed the committee easily, via a bipartisan voice vote, and is actually rather narrow in scope: It only provides benefits for unmarried, same-sex domestic partners of federal workers. Married same-sex couples—and unmarried opposite-sex couples—are not included. The range of benefits provided, though, is pretty huge: medical, long-term care, disability, life insurance, workers’ comp, retirement, and more.