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.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

GOP Translator

Don't leave home without it:



Honk to Truth Wins Out.

Grandparents for Marriage Equality

You know, guys, I'm getting really tired of hearing the mindless catchphrase "Religion ruins everything" bandied about, and another day I will rant more on that subject. For right now, I just want to say that religion can also help a lot of things get much better, as witness this short clip of the Rev. John and Dorothy Ruitan, married 70 years, grandparents of nine, including two gay grandsons - as they speak out for equal marriage.




Which, by the way, shows there is no reason to give your relations a pass on this subject just because you think "oh they are so old, they just can't get it." Nonsense. Of course they can. It's whether they want to get it, that's the question.

In Memoriam: Davy Jones, 1945-2012

The Monkees in 1966, Davy in the red swim trunks

Sad news: Monkees lead singer Davy Jones, British-born cutie, is dead at the age of 66 from a heart attack at his home in Florida.  It's hard to believe, when I remember him so young.


The Monkees in 2011

I had - still have - the album pictured on this clip, which somebody gave me for my 12th birthday.  Can't tell you how many million times I played it over the years - this song is still one of my favorites. Davy's British accent and sexy baritone are still ear candy to me, still a delight after all these years.



And here's the group (minus Michael Nesmith) performing the song in June 2011 at a concert in Indiana. Be sure to wait for Davy's punch line at the end, guys.

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie


Steve Hayes reviews the 1969 film:
Maggie Smith won her first and much deserved Oscar for the screen adaptation of Muriel Spark's novel, "The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie." Directed by Ronald Neame, the film takes place in Edinborough, Scotland, in the 1930's and deals with the legacy of a charismatic teacher who has a tragic influence on her pupils. It also stars Smith's then-husband Robert Stephens, Celia Johnson, Gordon Jackson, and the extraordinary Pamela Franklin as the one pupil not completely taken in by the Brodie mystique. It's a fascinating coming of age film that will have you laughing, crying and fascinated by the powerhouse performance of the great Maggie Smith.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Give 'Em Hell, Barry

The President channeled some of Harry Truman's spirit in a speech to the United Auto Workers yesterday, and in his even-tempered way lowered the boom on the Republicans.  About damn time.





Honk to David Mixner.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lesbian Denied Communion at Mother's Funeral


From a friend of the family at Addicting Info, presumbly a straight woman:
My friend Barbara, the daughter of the deceased woman, was denied communion at her mother’s funeral. She was the first in line and Fr. Guarnizo covered the bowl containing the host and said to her, “I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church.” To add insult to injury, Fr. Guarnizo left the altar when she delivered her eulogy to her mother. When the funeral was finished he informed the funeral director that he could not go to the gravesite to deliver the final blessing because he was sick. . . .

I am not about to paint all Christians with a broad brush. There are those out there who understand that the teachings of Jesus boil down to one thing. And that thing is Love. For if you love, you do not deny a person the solace of communion with the Creator, if that is their belief. You judge not, lest ye be judged. Only God knows the true heart of any person and in the end, if there is to be judgment, it will not come from some misguided, prejudiced priest who needs to go back to the seminary and learn the basics. And if he can’t find them there, then he needs to get down on his knees and pray to his Jesus to forgive him the terrible trespass he visited upon a grieving woman on the occasion of the death of her mother.

This is but one small story but it is indicative of the battle raging in America today. It is an ugly battle and one I never thought I would see. But it is here and we must deal with it. We must keep politics out of religion and religion out of politics. Perhaps if we can get back to a place where the separation of church and state are once again accepted as one of the founding principles of this country, stop trying to out-Christian each other, stop vilifying other religions and other people based on purely human and not godly concepts, we will begin to mend the fractures that are tearing us apart today. To do that, the Father Guarnizos and the Rick Santorums of the world will have to undergo a radical change of heart and I don’t think they have it in them. So it is up to the rest of us.

What I say:  Your Head Trucker is going to repeat:  It boils down to one thing - Love.

And love is not what you say.  It's what you do.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lovelight: This I Promise You




Wishing all my truckbuddies this kind of love. Have a good one, fellas.

Gay Marine Homecoming

All right, as much as I hate to admit being so damn sentimental, this picture made your Head Trucker lose it.  But they were tears of joy - the unthinkable has become the reality, as hard as it is to believe my own eyes.   Catch the story at Joe.My.God.



And I have lived to see this day, Lord have mercy.


Update:  Channel 2 news in Hawaii has this short interview with the couple. Apparently, Marine officials are not only okay with the photo, but are actually quite pleased at the publicity it has gotten the Corps. Way to go, Marines!

The Next Big Thing, Oh My



Andrew Sullivan reports that the future keeps on rolling towards us like a tsunami wave. It's bad enough that now no one under 40 can take a step outside the house, or in some cases even from one room to another within it, without some iPoot in their hot little hands to assure them that yes, they are alive and yes they are befriended by the whole world - and that everybody who's anybody now has that goddamn squawking box on their dashboard a-telling 'em every 5 seconds where they are and where they should have been going.

No, my friends, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Listen to this:

Meanwhile, by the end of this year we will have Google glasses that act like a smartphone and look like Oakleys:

They will also have a unique navigation system. "The navigation system currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click," [blogger Seth Weintraub] wrote this month. "We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users." ... The glasses will have a low-resolution built-in camera that will be able to monitor the world in real time and overlay information about locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby, according to the Google employees.

Good golly, Miss Molly. I strongly suspect that by the time the young generation reaches middle age, they won't a one of 'em be able to scratch their nose or wipe their ass without some machine telling them just exactly when and how to do it.  (The ex-roommate has had to lay down the law to his adult kids:  at family get-togethers, no cell phones in sight.)

Please, people: are you live, or are you just Memorex?

Oh and don't think the techies have left the most important thing out of their devious cogitations: in no time at all, sexbots will be the next essential appliance - coming soon to a big box near you, just like microwaves and VCR's did - remember how amazing that seemed, that you could actually record a TV program at home?  The Japanese are already way ahead on the project, and you know how successful they were with transistor radios and color TV's.

But once everybody has their own custom-programmed, variable-gender, stain-resistant, Windows-compliant, UL-rated sexbot at home (will they sync your favorite playlist and automatically update your Twitter feed every time you fuck, I wonder?) what will happen to all the gay chat rooms? And will you have to pay a cover charge to bring your sexbot to the bar with you? Or will you have to park him outside, like your Toyota?

O brave new world, that has such machinery in it!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sunday Drive: Keep on the Sunny Side

A classic hymn in these parts, performed by the famous Carter family - though confidentially, fellas, a little of that bluegrass twang goes a long way, if you catch my drift.  Still, it's a happy little tune, and if you ain't never heard it before, why, here you go boys:





PS - In case my truckbuddies were wondering, I was away from the Blue Truck yesterday and yes, I did the date wrong when I made this post in advance.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Waitin' for the Weekend

Mon Dieu, quel beau mec:  Matthieu Charneau.





J'aimerais une partie de cette, bien sûr . . .




Maryland Legislature Approves Equal Marriage


The state senate approved the measure 25-22 last night, the state house having already passed it by a vote of 72-67 last week.  Governor Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, has promised to sign the measure into law.

However, as with Washington state's passage and signing of a similar law earlier this month, the law will face a referendum by voters this coming November, and who knows how that will turn out.  Still, every little step forward is good news.  Now we only have about 42 other states to drag into the 21st century . . . if the Supreme Court doesn't beat us to it.

But somehow I have a feeling it just won't turn out that simple and easy.  Not in this decade, at least. 

Oh well, one day it will all come together.  At least we can see the first rays of dawn now, even if us old-timers don't live to walk in the sunshine.

In other news, Equality Maine has succeeded in collecting enough signatures to get a referendum on equal marriage on the November ballot this year.  My truckbuddies will recall that the Maine legislature and governor enacted marriage equality in 2009, but the law never went into effect, suffering a "people's veto" at the polls later that year.  Our side thinks with the changing attitudes in that state, they can turn that around now, and I hope they're right.

Click here for an updated map of same-sex union laws around the country.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Arc Bends Further

Karen Golinski and wife Amy Cunninghis

Yesterday, in a major advance for equality, another federal judge ruled DOMA is unconstitutional.  Judge Jeffrey White of the federal District Court for Northern California held, in the Golinski case, that
DOMA, as applied to Ms. Golinski, violates her right to equal protection of the law under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution by, without substantial justification or rational basis, refusing to recognize her lawful marriage to prevent provision of health insurance coverage to her spouse.

Accordingly, the Court issues a permanent injunction enjoining defendants, and those acting at their direction or on their behalf, from interfering with the enrollment of Ms. Golinski's wife in her family health benefits plan.
More on the story here and here. Text of Judge White's ruling below, which applies very nearly the same judicial reasoning found in the ruling by Judge Joseph L. Tauro in the Gill and Massachusetts cases in 2010:  it just ain't right to discriminate without good reason, and the other side has no damn good reason.  Period.

3:10-cv-00257 #186


In other news, what looks to me like a delaying action: the backers of Prop 8, who got a big ol' bitch slap from a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court last week have asked to have the case reheard by the entire bench of judges - this instead of moving on directly to the Supreme Court. Guess they want to string their losing game out as long as possible, ya think?

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Truth about Mardi Gras



I know all you boys are gearing up for your big Mardi Gras celebrations tomorrow . . . aren't you? While you're picking out beads and feathers and dusting off your sequined pants (use a little club soda on that embarassingly stubborn stain), here's a few educational clips for you to think on.

First, there's still time to get your king cake made, and don't forget the plastic baby:




And if you really want to know, here's the scoop on those Mardi Gras colors:




And remember, all you city boys: it ain't no real Mardi Gras without a chicken chase:




Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Starry Night - In Motion

Gee-mo-netty, it sure is amazing what all they can do with pictures nowadays, sorta takes my breath away sometimes. Lookit this:

Sunday Drive: Sunrise Serenade

Good Morning, Good Morning, you sleepyhead,
Stop yawning, stop yawning, get out of bed . . .

Saturday, February 18, 2012

That's So Gay: Advertising

Some magazine ads from the pre-Stonewall era that were, um, a bit ahead of their time, shall we say?  Click to enlarge:





Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Loving Story and the Wedding Dance

A couple of new films your Head Trucker recommends.

The first one, I'm a little behind time on: it premiered Tuesday night on HBO. Using newly discovered archival footage, it brings to life the principals in the landmark case of Loving v. Virginia, which by a unanimous Supreme Court decision invalidated all remaining laws against interracial marriage in 1967.




The second one is a complete short film by Eliot London, and you will need a hanky for sure.




Support London's new feature-length film about a bullied gay teen here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Pork Boys Do Valentine's Day


So the ex-roommate had a hankering for fajitas, and asked if I wanted to drive down and have some too. Silly man.

He used a big wok I gave him a long while back to make two batches of meat mixture, beef as well as chicken. He also made a skilletful of Spanish rice from scratch. By the time the soft tacos were warmed up, we had shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese, and set salsa and sour cream on the table to go with it.

Not to mention taco chips and queso dip to pour over them.

OH MY. It sure was good, fellas, larruppin' good to tell you the truth.

For dessert, M.P.'s homemade cinnamon rolls that he made two big pans of, one for me to take home along with some fajita leftovers too.

So I will eat well again today. Wish you coulda been there, boys, it was a fine supper, I tell you what.

We're still having technical difficulties with cameras and such, so above and below, a couple of approximations of what we had to eat, just to give you the general idea.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dad Shoots Laptop

Down south here, we pride ourselves on being polite and friendly people, but there's a point beyond which you just best not push us.  Once you cross the line, that's it, and Katy bar the door.

There's an old, very old, joke my father used to tell about a man who was walking down a country road and found a farmer sitting in his wagon, taking a big load of corn to market, and the mule who was supposed to be pulling the wagon was in the traces but had sat down in the middle of the road. The farmer yelled, begged, pleaded, and cursed at the old mule, but nothing he said would make him budge.

Finally, the farmer got down off the wagon, picked up a two by four, walked around to the front and and blam! hit the mule a good smack on the head right between the ears. Then the farmer got back up on the wagon, the mule stood up, and began to pull the wagon.

The passer-by asked the farmer, "Say, friend, why'd you hit the mule like that?"

The farmer replied, "Well, he's a good mule, and he'll pull this wagon all day long, anywhere you want to go. But first you have to get his attention."

I'm sure most of you by now have seen this viral video made by a completely exasperated dad, Tommy Jordan, of Albemarle, North Carolina, in which he has come to the point of metaphorically knocking the mule in the head:




Which has generated a lot of criticism from dainty-minded ain't-it-awful types all around the country - but your Head Trucker mainly just finds it very amusing. Even though I've never raised a child, I can totally relate to a man who has lost all patience with ingratitude, flippancy, self-centeredness, and egregious disrepect. I tell ya boys, if I was in his boots, I would have been very tempted to do the exact same thing.

I'm reminded of the joke above, and the saying I quoted here on the Blue Truck from RuPaul a while back: "I always try to come from a place of peace, love, and understanding . . . but sometimes you just have to break it down for a motherfucker."

The only thing that concerns me is that Dad may have wasted nine bucks' worth of bullets. If the girl is so oppositional, so out of control, that she has driven him to this act of desperation - and I see it as an act of love, he still actually cares about the person she is and the person she will be - then probably nothing he does or says will reach her. Rebellious kids are nothing new, I could take you back through history all the way to the ancient Greeks and show plenty of examples of that, and it's probably a necessary stage of child development when you hit your snotty teens - and of course, we were all snotty brats for a while there, weren't we.

But there is a terribly ugly, I-don't-give-a-fuck and you-can't-make-me attitude among a lot of young people today that is just above and beyond anything that's come before. I'll spare you the recitation of cases I've observed at close range with my own eyes, but it's a serious problem and says a lot about the dark side of our modern culture. It's something in the air, and probably has a lot to do with all the out-of-control adults that programming and media people just love to show, over and over, to make a buck by appealing to the lowest human instincts.

I hope Tommy's action will get the little girl's attention; but the way things are these days, who knows. She may still end up a few years from now, like many another out-of-control teen queen with two or three illegitimate kids by two or three drugged-up, lawbreaking dudes, and then you and I will be paying her rent money and grocery bills for the next two or three decades.

I'm not exaggerating about that; I could tell you stories. It's a sad thing, but I admire this guy for at least trying one last time to break through that hard-headed, hard-hearted stupidity. I hope it works.

PS - I also very much admire Dad's attitude in this note he left on his Facebook page - it shows he's a man of integrity and real principles:

(read it after the jump)

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: Sabrina



Steve Hayes reviews the 1954 classic, a favorite of your Head Trucker's:
Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden get the Billy Wilder romantic treatment in SABRINA. Set in the wealthy background of the Long Island rich, Sabrina is a comic update of the classic story of The Prince and the Beggar Maid, but with a Wilder twist. Audrey has never been more beguiling or looked more chic than in her Givenchy wardrobe, which Edith Head took the Oscar for! Holden is dreamy with his blond hair, sexy smile and white tuxedo. But the big surprise is Bogart, who steals the picture in a role tailored for Cary Grant. It's champagne entertainment all the way and perfect for that Valentine's Day "post romantic stress disorder."




Catch more fabulous movie reviews at Steve's YouTube channel.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

In Memoriam: Steve Walker, 1961-2012



Canadian artist Steve Walker died unexpectedly at his home in Costa Rica last month, according to an announcement on the web site of the P-town Lyman-Eyer Gallery, which has had a long association with the artist.  It's a great loss to the world of art and to the gay community.

I've blogged about Steve's work a few times here on the Blue Truck. You can surf through his web site to see more examples, or check out this lovely montage of his work, made by Steve himself, which I can't embed but which is well worth looking at.

Four Hands, One Heart

Friday, February 10, 2012

Waitin' for the Weekend

Blake Harper

Full pic here.

Tyler Clementi's Brother Speaks Out

In an interview on Anderson Cooper's AC360:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Washington State Passes Equal Marriage Bill

The Seattle Times reports:
Legislation legalizing gay marriage is on its way to the governor after passing the state House by a 55-43 vote.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, who supports the measure and watched as lawmakers voted, has five days to sign it after the bill arrives. She hasn't set a date yet.

There was never any doubt the legislation would be approved in the House. More than 50 lawmakers announced support for the bill before it came up for a vote.

The biggest hurdle was the state Senate, which has conservative Democrats opposed to the measure. Even there, it passed last week with a 28-21 vote.
However, antigay activists have promised to gather enough signatures to force the issue to be placed on a ballot this November, so the implementation of the law may be delayed pending the outcome of the referendum.

Washington state enacted a broad domestic-partnership law in 2007.  When same-sex marriages are performed there, Washington will be the seventh state (plus the District of Columbia) currently allowing such unions.


Bonus: In an emotional speech during yesterday's House debate, Republican state representative Maureen Walsh explains why she voted in favor of marriage equality, one of only two Republicans to do so.

"My Haters Are My Motivators"

Ellen talks about yesterday's Prop 8 ruling, and slams the so-called One Million Moms who are calling for a boycott of JC Penney for hiring her as their spokeswoman:



On the other side of the coin, more and more rightwing conservatives and religious extremists are muttering about "civil disobedience" and revolting against the government. Here's born-again Christianist and convicted Watergate felon Chuck Colson, mouthing about the Manhattan Declaration, which among other things states, "No one has a civil right to have a non-marital relationship treated as a marriage."



And here's devout Catholic, serial adulterer, and open-marriage advocate Newt Gigrich making a threat against the Supreme Court on his campaign website:
The Constitution of the United States begins with 'We the People'; it does not begin with 'We the Judges'. Federal judges need to take heed of that fact. Federal judges are substituting their own political views for the constitutional right of the people to make judgments about the definition of marriage. Should the Supreme Court fail to heed the disastrous lessons of its own history and attempt to impose its will on the marriage debate in this country by affirming today’s Ninth Circuit decision, it will bear the burden of igniting a constitutional crisis of the first order.
Matt Staver, head of the rightwing Liberty Counsel legal group, is on board the same train of thought:
This is a travesty of justice and it undermines the legitimacy of the judiciary. When judges find that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it's absolutely absurd. . . . . I think this is the unraveling of the actual judiciary. It is the very seeds, as Thomas Jefferson said, of tyranny.
Ditto Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and just about everybody else in the GOP, ranting and raving about yesterday's ruling taking away the rights of millions of (straight and homophobic) American citizens to enact discrimination into law. I suppose if the citizens of a state voted to reintroduce slavery, all these God-fearing, patriotic Republicans would likewise demand that the people's vote be the last word on the subject, and no "activist judges" allowed to intervene there, either.

Which brings me to a question I want to ask my truckbuddies: what about your nearest and dearest? Where do they really stand right now, in the face of an incipient fascist-theocratic revolution? Do they really have your back? Or are they just tolerating you, for sentimental reasons?

Sure, Granny or dear old Aunt Sally always gives your partner a big smile and a hug around the neck when the two of you visit at Christmas, and she always serves his favorite peach cobbler.

But the rest of the year, does Granny ever open her sweet little mouth to say one good word for the gays in her Sunday-school senior class? Does Aunt Sally or Uncle Joe ever take up for the gays when somebody makes a belittling remark at the Garden Club or on the golf course?

All those people who say they love you - oh, and your, uh, friend too, of course! - do they really, actually, truly mean it?

Or are they just being nice? There is a difference. A big, fat difference.

Love is not what you say. It's what you do.

If you want to find out, just try something simple like asking them to forward Ellen's video, or something like that, to their uptight, goody-goody Republican church friends, and see what their reaction is.

You'll find out quick enough, all right. Just listen to the excuses that come tumbling out of their mouths.

"Marriage Is a Conservative Value"

Last night, Rachel interviewed Ted Olson who, along with David Boies, is lead counsel for plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case.




Over on the PBS Newshour, David Boies took the stuffings out of one of NOM's lawyers:




Finally, some of you guys may find Salon's in-depth investigation of Maggie Gallagher's sexual and marital history very, very interesting. An excerpt:
With Gallagher, it is not that the personal is political but that the personal gave birth to the political. They were umbilically linked, and they are related, but they are separate. Two anima live within her; when you are talking with her, sometimes the personal answers back, sometimes the political. The personal is uncauterized emotion; the political is pure thought, almost autistically so. The personal facts do not always impinge on the political conclusion. Gallagher’s family life is a cobbled-together, junk-strewn, happy, loving mess: absent baby-daddy, later husband (of a different religion), separation then reunion, two sons by two fathers, and an annoyed biological grandmother on Facebook. But Gallagher’s political philosophy brooks no uncertainty.

“I have no doubts who will win in the end,” Gallagher says. “One hundred years from now the globe will not be full of societies that endorse same-sex unions as marriages. What happens between now and then is going to be less certain and full of struggle. In the long struggle, I’ll bet on human nature to overwhelm ideology. The thing about same-sex marriage is it’s based on a fundamental untruth: same-sex unions are not the same as opposite sex unions. They are not marriages.” . . .

Same-sex marriage is just a big lie, she believes, like Communism. It is weak at its foundations, like the Iron Curtain. It may get built, she seems to concede — in 10 years, or 20, there may be more states that recognize same-sex marriage, more shiny, happy couples raising rosy-cheeked, well-adjusted children, children who play with dogs and go to school and fall from jungle gyms and break their arms, children often adopted after being abandoned by the heterosexuals who did not want them or could not care for them — but in time (big time, geological time, God time) the curtain will be pulled back, or it will fall. Because it has to. It cannot be otherwise. Because a son, as Maggie Gallagher will tell you, needs a dad.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Court Strikes Down Prop 8



Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted.

Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.
A three-judge panel of the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today struck down California's gay-marriage ban as violating the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Consitution.  The court's opinion was written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, joined by Judge Michael Daly Hawkins.

The San Jose Mercury News reports:
Judge N. Randy Smith dissented, saying there were "legitimate governmental interests" in restricting the definition of marriage to a union between a man and woman.

Proposition 8 backers can now ask the 9th Circuit to rehear the case with an 11-judge panel, or proceed directly to the Supreme Court. Smith's dissent could be a strong indicator there will be some support within the court to take a second look at the case.

The appeals court also rejected the argument that Walker's ruling should be scrapped because he did not disclose he was in a long-term same-sex relationship while he was handling the case. Smith joined in that part of the ruling.

As a result of the continued legal wrangling, same-sex marriages are not expected to resume in California any time soon, with further appeals likely to stretch at least into next year.

In the ruling, Reinhardt, considered one of the nation's most liberal judges, relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court's 1996 decision striking down a Colorado law that stripped gays and lesbians of protections against discrimination there.

The ruling, however, was focused on California's circumstances, notably the fact Proposition 8 took away the right of same-sex couples to marry that had been established in a 2008 California Supreme Court decision.

The 9th Circuit did not declare a fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry, a broader definition that could have undercut bans on gay marriage in four other western states.
The Los Angeles Times makes this observation:
The 2-1 decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will have limited effect outside California because it is based on voter repeal of a right a minority already enjoyed.

"The people may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment and strip them, without a legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry," the court said.

Santa Clara University constitutional law Professor Margaret M. Russell said the ruling overturned Proposition 8 on “the narrowest grounds possible,” which makes it less likely that the U.S. Supreme Court would review it.

“It is very much anchored in the role of Proposition 8 in California’s history,” the professor said, adding that it would have little effect outside of California.

The court will not allow same-sex marriages to begin again in California until the deadline has passed for proponents of Prop 8 to appeal today's ruling or an appeal has been denied, a process that could take months, according to the folks at Prop 8 Trial Tracker.

Full text of the ruling below.

10-16696 #398_Decision

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sixty Years a Queen

The famous Coronation portrait of the Queen
by photographer Cecil Beaton.  (Another kind of queen.)
The encyclopedia I had as a child used a full page for this lovely
portrait, which has been engraved on my memory ever since.

Today marks the diamond anniverary of the Queen's accession to the throne upon the death of her father, George VI, in 1952. At the moment she became Queen, aged only 25, the then-Princess Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, were in Kenya on the first leg of a planned tour to Australia and New Zealand. In that pre-jet era, it took more than 24 hours for the royal couple to return to England via BOAC airliners.

Below is a documentary of the first days of the Queen's reign, including the famous footage of her first steps on her native soil as Queen, greeted by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other members of the Cabinet.



Fast-forwarding to the modern era, here is a BBC documentary on the monarchy, filmed in 2007, which on YouTube is divided into 27 clips, covering four episodes, which you can watch in sequence beginning with this one.  It's really very well done, featuring many behind-the-scenes shots of such things as the royal kitchens and stables, as well as interviews with participants and bystanders, and I recommend it to my truckbuddies.



The big celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is planned for the first week in June of this year, including a flotilla pageant on the Thames, a concert at Buckingham Palace, and culminating on June 5th with a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral.  More details at the official Diamond Jubilee website here.

After the jump, for those of you who, like me, enjoy historical footage, a contemporary color documentary of the the beginning of the "New Elizabethan Era," as it was then called.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Drive: Chopin, Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2




My late husband was a past master of the piano as well as the organ, and this lovely piece - a favorite of his - is one I have listened to many times in his memory since I lost him seven years ago today.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Comparing Notes

With somebody I used to know.
Today would have been our twentieth anniversary.

Yesterday, the ex-roommate wrote me with a new video he came across that speaks to the pain of love and loss and whatever that we have each been through in the past.  In some ways, our lives have paralleled each other's, so we can relate on all that heartache stuff and the craziness that follows.   But I'm a little bit whole lot country, he's a little bit rock 'n' roll - you know how that goes - so the song doesn't grab me the way it does him.  But I can appreciate what the young'uns are attempting to do there, and I am honestly impressed that three people can play one 12-string at the same time:  quite a feat, kudos to them.

I responded with a couple of songs I used to listen to over and over at a certain time in my life that caught my feelings then.  So here's all three, maybe if one of you guys needs a broken-heart song for some reason one lonely night, one of these will fill the bill.  

P.S. - Boys, listen to the old man here.  If ain't broke, don't fix it.  If it is broke, don't spend more than two weeks, max, crying in your beer.  Does you no damn good at all, and doesn't mean a thing to him.  Just turn the page and Move.Fucking.ON.

And don't look back.  Trust me on this, will ya guys?






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