C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Out in the Country

Country music star Ty Herndon, 52, came out yesterday in an interview with People magazine - read the full interview here.

Ty's warm and oh-so-studly voice was a favorite of your Head Trucker's back in the late 1990's, so I'm glad he's out and proud now. Here's one of his sexier hits, for those of you who aren't familiar with his work:

Sure works for me. Here's what I'm talkin' 'bout:

And there's more: emboldened by Herndon's revelation, 26-year-old fellow country artist Billy Gilman also came out yesterday in a video posted to YouTube:

What can I say but - Yeehaw!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Obama's Speech on Immigration

A very fine address.  I was moved by these words from his conclusion, emphasis mine:
Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger –- we were strangers once, too.

My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal -– that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.

That’s the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless this country we love.
Full text here.

More Marriage News

Current map of U. S. marriage equality per Wikipedia.
Click to enlarge.

Wow, take your eyes off the headlines for just a day, and you miss so much. But here's the skinny:

South Carolina's first same-sex marriage happened Wednesday.

And Montana will soon have them too, if the AG's appeal to the Supremes doesn't work.

Good news - enjoy it fellas, before we plunge into the deep darkness of another fascist Republican era, now fast approaching. All bets will be off then.

Update, 6:15 p.m.:

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied South Carolina's request for a stay, so couples all over the Palmetto State began marrying shortly after 4 p.m., mirabile dictu.

You Yankee boys should understand - South Carolina is deeply conservative, even more so than Alabama or Mississippi.  They have lovely manners, but they are Bourbons who refuse to advance beyond the 19th century.  There's a reason why South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.  This will fry all their tomatoes.

And in Montana:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 111714

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Drive: Tucumcari

Just for fun, here's Jimmie Rodgers singing with the Great Schnozzola in a clip from 1959:

And here's a poignant 2010 interview with Jimmie talking about his struggle with a disabling illness:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Uniformly Gorgeous, Part 2

A guest post by my truckbuddy Tim from England, now resident in Spain:

Tim’s Take on Spain
Uniformly Gorgeous Pt 2 – What I did on my day-off!

I thought it was time to have another look at our boys in uniform, and the image of young Mr Gyllenhaal above captures today’s theme nicely – a uniformed man taking some time off. Although most Spanish lads love to wear a uniform, what do they get up to when they have some down-time? How do they look in civvies compared to fatigues? My research suggests that many like to slip into something more comfortable – so read on!

By the way, it’s not always easy to finding matching images of the same person in and out of uniform. Indeed, currently proposed government legislation will make it illegal to photograph members of the military and police when on duty; it’s already a sensitive issue. But I have done my best to find photos that at least capture the right look.

October 12th was Columbus Day, and in Spain it is also celebrated as the Diá de la Fiesta Nacional, a celebration of Spanish values and culture, including its relationship with the worldwide Hispanic community. It is also the national armed forces day, when the serving and fallen members of the armed forces are remembered. My eye was caught by the image of a handsome young soldier in the advertising for the event.

And I did manage to find a better close-up. What a studly young man he is!

Unfortunately, he remains anonymous, but he does appear in this video made to promote the event, appearing at the end of the short clip. (Also look out for a guest appearance by the Editor at 0:12!) So on his days off, soldier boy seems to like the countryside and hiking, but prefers to stay in his uniform. However, with that engaging smile and designer stubble, he would certainly have a great career in modelling, and I’m sure his personal weapon would be very photogenic!

Fortunately for us, other Spanish men in uniform are less anonymous. So let’s see how the police are doing. First we move on to our local bobbies, usually dressed in black and yellow, and wearing the obligatory sunglasses, the Policía Local. These guys are funded through local government in most large towns or municipalities; and are responsible for minor criminal matters, local traffic control, crime prevention and the enforcement of local laws. The officers in my area of Mijas seem to be hand-picked for their looks; it’s rare to see one you wouldn’t mind accompanying to the station. This one is packing something!

Enter local policeman Jorge Martin from nearby Cártama. When not in uniform, he enjoys sport as his hobby, and last year came second in the ‘Mister Model’ category of the Mr Universe competition held in Germany. Jorge is 2nd left – nice abs!

I can only agree with one Cártama resident who said she now wouldn’t mind being pulled over for speeding around the town. And I hope he has his posing pouch as well as his truncheon and handcuffs when I visit. Here’s a close-up of our policeman ‘pumping’ - Woof! And in typically Spanish fashion, even his hair is tanned and ‘pumped’ – LoL!

The Policía Local forms the bottom tier of the three main levels of policing in Spain. At the top are the Policía Nacional, they deal with major crime and public order. Sandwiched in between are the Guardia Civil, still part of the armed forces; they live in barracks, often with their own schools, and receive about half the pay of their civilian counterparts! Needless to say successive governments have turned down their requests to be civilianised. Famous for their shiny black tricorn hats, the tricornio, as it is called, is now only ceremonial. They are equally famous for their zero-tolerance approach to most offenders and offences; and are the main policing force throughout the country, including many specialist branches such as mountain rescue, coastal patrol and bomb disposal.

Surprisingly, the Guardia were one of the first forces in Europe to adopt gay equality and to accommodate same-sex partners in a military installation. One of the first officers to come out in 2002 was Joan Miquel Perpinyà, shown here on the cover of gay magazine Zero at the time.

And to prove the point, officer Ángel Fernández was Mr Gay Pride for the province of Murcia last year. Here he is receiving his award, and definitely looking very proud in his off-duty clothes! He says he works out everyday, either in the gym or swimming, and on his days off enjoys his family, friends and his dog – good man. So well done Joan and Ángel. And well done the Guardia Civil too for being so enlightened.

Back to the army and another Mr Universe contestant, Rubén Lopéz, who won the most handsome man category in this year’s competition – good choice!

And here is Rubén in uniform – and that obligatory designer stubble. Grrr!

He has been a model since he was 14 years old. He’s only 22 now and whilst remaining in the army; carries on with his modelling career during his spare time. He’s also studying for a degree in physical education, I think he’ll pass. Here’s a link to a piece on Rubén with a short video clip of him at work, including a shot of him erecting his aerial – he’s in a signals unit!

Like his brothers in uniform, Rubén also seems happy to slip into something more comfortable on his days-off. Any more comfortable and Russ wouldn’t let me use the image! How does he fit it all in? The work load I mean!

And what about yours truly I hear you ask? What did I do on my days off? Well, Dear Reader, when not in flying gear and upholding the finest traditions of the Royal Air Force with my crewmates as pictured here . . .

. . . I naturally slipped into something more comfortable myself, and practised my beach-boy look, of course. Though it’s probably just as well I didn’t enter for Mr Universe at the time!

In a future ‘Uniformly Gorgeous’ I shall concentrate on the Spanish Legion. With their sage green uniform of open-neck shirt and tight trousers, they certainly need and deserve a post all to themselves, as you can see from the studly chap below. They are even allowed to grow huge, full beards, not just stubble, so that will please Russ! [Russ says: it certainly would!]

I couldn’t resist closing with this wonderful image of a young drummer boy also from the Legion, or El Tercio, as it is commonly known in Spain. Isn’t he gorgeous? I don’t know what he does on his days off; perhaps he plays the bongos at night in some camp bar? Whatever, he could certainly be my Mr Universe!

To play us out, a cautionary tale about love for a soldier and his drum. I don’t know exactly what he did on his day off to lose all his clothes, but I can think of a few possibilities! ‘Soldier, Soldier, will you marry me?’  Sung here by Jimmie Rodgers; and one of the songs my mother used to sing to me when I was a child. I was always her ‘little soldier’. There’s just the one image to the video I’m afraid, so enjoy another look at the ones above whilst you listen! Hasta Luego!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Waitin' for the Weekend

I don't know this poor baby's name,
but I'd love to be his daddy.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Against the Odds

You just must go watch the video and read this beautiful story in Sports Illustrated about the two gay dads who adopted a crack baby and raised him to be captain of the West Point basketball team. Yeah, I know - sports - but still, just do it. You can thank me later.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

South Carolina Marriage Ban Struck Down

Freedom to Marry reports:
Today, U.S. District Court Judge Gergel ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in South Carolina, striking down the state's ban on marriage between same-sex couples. This ruling came after the United States Supreme Court denied review in five cases involving the freedom to marry, including a case in Virginia. Because Virginia is in the 4th Circuit, the ruling is binding for the entire circuit, including South Carolina. Since this ruling, West Virginia and North Carolina have secured the freedom to marry. The ruling is stayed until November 20 at noon.
Judge Gergel's ruling reads in part:
The Court finds that [Bostic v. Schaefer] controls the disposition of the issues before this Court and establishes, without question, the right of Plaintiffs to marry as same sex partners. The arguments of Defendant Wilson simply attempt to relitigate matters already addressed and resolved in Bostic. Any effort by Defendant Wilson or others to overrule Bostic should be addressed to the Fourth Circuit and/or the United States Supreme Court.
Full text of the ruling is here.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has already announced he will immediately appeal the ruling.

--And in other news--

Update, 6:45 p.m.: Kansas couples are free to marry. Late this afternoon, the Supreme Court denied a stay of a federal judge's ruling striking down the Sunflower State's marriage ban. SCOTUSblog reports:
Because the judge’s ruling had been on hold only because of a temporary Supreme Court order issued Monday, the Kansas ruling took effect when the Justices’ new order lifted the earlier postponement. State officials are now under a federal court requirement to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Court has issued a series of orders in same-sex marriage cases over the past eleven months, but the Kansas order marked the first time that members of the Court had recorded dissents. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas noted only that they would have granted the delay sought by the Kansas attorney general.

Kansas officials had attempted to show that their case was different from others that the Supreme Court had chosen to leave undisturbed, arguing that the federal judge’s order was an invalid attempt to second-guess a Kansas Supreme Court order delaying the issuance of same-sex marriages. The federal judge had rejected that claim, but it may have been the one that drew the implied support of Justices Scalia and Thomas.
Today's order from the Supreme Court in its entirety.  Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Living Children of Civil War Veterans Speak of Their Fathers

Memories live on:  This is thought to be a prewar photograph of your Head Trucker's great-great grandfather, who joined a Mississippi infantry company and was killed in the War, probably at the disastrous Battle of Franklin, just about this time of year, 150 years ago.  Click to enlarge.

Amazing but true:  about 35 children of men who fought in the Civil War War Between the States are still living.  Here are two of them remembering their fathers in a video posted today by the National Geographic Society:

You can read more here.

While we're on the subject, here's a great clip from the Library of Congress of some Confederate veterans doing the rebel yell at a reunion in the 1930's - note that it's not at all a cowboy "yeehaw":

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