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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Drive: Once in Royal David's City

Altarpiece:  The Adoration of the Magi by Peter Paul Rubens, 1641.

The choir of King's College, Cambridge, sings in last year's Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a tradition begun in 1918:

The Reverend Dr. Jeremy Morris, Dean of King's College, gives the bidding prayer:

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Millions of Queers (Our Homo America)

There is no chief, sole reason for homosexuals. “God made them, as part of his universe” is still the best and blindest answer to “why”. Don’t call on an M.D.; knock at Heaven’s Gate for enlightenment. . . .

Why is there homosexuality? Because there is pleasure in it. Because it is natural. Because it always was and always will be, as part of the universe. Because God so wills.

--Allen Bernstein, 1940

The other day, while poking around the intertubes looking for something else, your Head Trucker stumbled by chance upon a remarkable document of gay history: Millions of Queers (Our Homo America), written in 1940 by Allen Bernstein, a 27-year-old Jewish gay guy from New England. Although it's a long read at 140-plus pages, I heartily recommend it to all my truckbuddies as a vivid time capsule from our gay past.

And yes, Bernstein uses the word gay, as well as gayness, exactly as we do today - proof positive that the word was indeed current among our kind in the 1930's, and probably well before that.

Why have you never heard of this work before now? Because although Bernstein wrote several essays and some poems on gay subjects, none of them were published in his lifetime. But after he was arrested and booted out of the Army in 1944 with a Section 8 (psychiatric) discharge, as was required by law at the time for anyone discovered to be a homosexual, he immediately wrote to Army authorities appealing the decision.  They turned him down, of course, but he kept on appealing for the next 37 years, until finally the Army relented in 1981 and granted him a retroactive honorable discharge. 

Along with his first appeal in 1944, Bernstein sent a copy of his magnum opus, which was of course ignored - and somehow ended up in the archives of the National Library of Medicine in Washington, D. C., where it was discovered in 2010 by Richard Sell, a professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health. The typescript was published on OutHistory.org last March, along with a biography by Professor Sell and an analysis by gay historian Jonathan Ned Katz.

Bernstein's life story is very interesting in and of itself: born in New Hampshire and growing up in Salem, Massachusetts, after graduating from high school he went on to college and after that to the University of Chicago, where he earned a master's degree in history in 1934. Somewhere along the way, he became familiar with
the nocturnal admirers of the juggling Jackson statue in front of the White House, the inhabitants of Boston's Public Gardens or Common, or of New York's or Chicago’s numerous parks, or the patrons of selected beer joints or restaurants in any large city, or the seatchangers in the grope theaters in every metropolitan area (viz. 42nd St.), many residents in Y.M.C.A. furnished rooms, . . .
and became what society would have called a practicing homosexual. In the introduction to his essay, he credits "a few close friends and many chance acquaintances whose phrases, experiences, or lives are included here."

But while he does limn the outlines of gay life in 1930's America, Bernstein also goes far beyond that. His wide research and reading in historical, literary, and legal sources shine from nearly every page of the typescript in quotations and references where he gives a broad outline of homosexuality in the Western world from ancient times to modern. As far as I know, such an extensive survey of gay life through the centuries was not attempted again until Katz published his landmark Gay American History in 1976, a work I have had on my bookshelves for many years, and I'm sure many of my truckbuddies have too.

Indeed, Katz himself in a review of Millions of Queers remarks:
Reading Bernstein’s rendering of homosexual American history in “Millions” I was personally and deeply moved to realize that he had found and consulted the same old, dusty bibliographies and quoted many of the same old documents that I had to rediscover three and four decades later . . . .
Bernstein's apologia has its flaws, though - as the much-marked typescript shows, it has the feel of a work-in-progress, a little rough around the edges and uneven in tone: sometimes erudite, sometimes slangy, and permeated with views long outdated now in light of our greater understanding of biology and psychology, and the progress we have made legally and socially. Katz observes:
Bernstein accepted many of the negative clichés about homosexuals, but argued that they should not be persecuted under the law. . . .

By calling “Millions” a homosexual defense I don’t mean that it’s a radical gay liberation manifesto of 1969, a liberal gay rights tract of the 1990s, or a 2014 critique of sexual neo-liberalism. Bernstein offers a libertarian argument that homosexuals don’t hurt anyone, should not be criminalized and stigmatized, and should be left alone to work out their difficult, non-conforming lives by themselves. Bernstein argues that the state (lawmakers, police, judges, and jailors), the medical establishment (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists), the media, parents, and citizens, should stop harassing homosexuals.

Bernstein’s defense will disappoint anyone judging it against today’s dominant defense of homosexuals as “normal” exemplars of “mental health.” He takes seriously many of the damning judgments that cursed homosexuals in the U.S., in 1940. Bernstein’s essay documents an archive of bad feelings, the trauma of persons and a group despised and discounted, that he and other homosexuals suffered and had to transcend to survive
Thank goodness we got beyond all that; but this work, written long before "gay liberation" and all that followed from Stonewall, gives the reader a "You Are There" feeling - yes, you have all your modern ideas and attitudes about who you are as a gay man or woman, out and proud and a little bit loud sometimes - but would you really have felt the same way, truly, had you lived back in Bernstein's time? It's very, very hard to swim against the tide, to be the outsider, often isolated and alone, whom all the world hates and despises and quite literally damns to the fires of eternal hell - as some of us still remember from our youth, though the young people of today have no real clue about all that.

Bernstein married a woman in 1946, and told her when he proposed that he was gay; she accepted him anyway, and apparently they had a happy, harmonious marriage until her death in 1991. They also produced two sons, to whom Bernstein came out after their mother died, who have supported Professor Sell's research into their father's life and writings.

And there's an even happier ending to the story: Bernstein lived to age 95, and was able to see the progress of gay rights and even the first legal gay marriages in this country before he died in 2008. As Katz notes:
In 1940, speaking of the criminalization of homosexual acts and the imprisonment of homosexuals, Bernstein says:
It will probably be continued in most American communities for another century or three; let's be realistic, and stop day-dreaming about repeal of sodomy statutes.
Given his original pessimism, it’s nice to note that Bernstein lived long enough to witness the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, in effect, declaring U.S. sodomy laws unconstitutional.
But really, when you read between the lines of this cri du coeur, you see that, at bottom, Bernstein and his friends way back there in the 1930's felt pretty much the same way about themselves as we do - which I'll summarize as "we're not hurting anyone, what we do is none of your business, so leave us the hell alone." 

Well, enough prologue - go read the essay for yourself, a well-researched and candid contribution to gay history, which deserves to be part of the corpus of required reading for the gay generations to come.

Here's the link to the table of contents page at OutHistory, from which you can find the original typescript or, if you prefer, a cleaned-up, searchable and easy-to-read text version; Katz's critique is also listed on the table of contents. Enjoy.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Waitin' for the Weekend

Bob Hager

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Something To Be Thankful For

Due to unavoidable delays, the Pork Boys won't be eating Thanksgiving dinner until Monday; but in the meantime, your Head Trucker joins in the feeling of gratitude and amazement expressed by Freedom to Marry:

Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia, plus assorted Indian tribes - my word, whodathunkit just a year ago? Of course, it's always wise not to count one's chickens before they hatch - but sure seems like we are on track for a full 50 states by this time next year, maybe.

All of which comes too late to do your Head Trucker any good - but it warms my heart to think of all that it means for these happy couples, and all the others we've seen tie the knot around the country in the last few years. In the midst of all that's wrong with the world, do try to keep an attitude of gratitude in your hearts, fellas. It's important.

Because no matter how bad things may seem right now, they could be worse - you could be living in Russia, or Uganda, Iran, Jamaica, or some other hellhole, which but for an accident of birth or the grace of God, you aren't. So enjoy that turkey dinner and the company you keep today - with true thanks in your heart for all that is right in your corner of the world.

Latest marriage map from Wikipedia; click to enlarge.
Legend here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Marriage Wins in Arkansas and Mississippi

Marriage equality came a giant step closer to reality yesterday in two Deep South states, as Freedom to Marry reported overnight. Just amazing to this native Southerner.

1. Arkansas:
Today, November 25, U.S. District Court Judge Karen Baker ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Arkansas, declaring the state's Amendment 83, which limits the freedom to marry to different-sex couples, is unconstitutional. The ruling is staying pending a presumptive appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.

The ruling is the second landmark decision in favor of marriage in Arkansas in less than 6 months, following a May 2014 ruling in state court, which is now currently being considered by the Arkansas Supreme Court. In May, following the state ruling, more than 500 same-sex couples from across the state received marriage licenses over the course of the week before the ruling was put on hold pending the appeal to the AR Supreme Court.

The case today was in Jernigan v. Crane, filed in July 2013 by Little Rock-based attorney Jack Wagoner of Wagoner Law Firm. The case before the Arkansas Supreme Court is Wright v. Smith.
Text of the ruling here.

2.  Mississippi:
The latest in a landmark string of court victories for the freedom to marry came today, November 25, from Mississippi, where a federal judge has ruled the state's constitutional amendment denying the freedom to marry to same-sex couples unconstitutional. The ruling is stayed for 14 days pending appeal.

U.S. District Court Judge Carlton W. Reeves ruled today in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant, a federal legal case challenging Missisippi's anti-marriage amendment. The judge struck down the marriage ban, the 56th court ruling since June 2013 in favor of the freedom to marry. Just four courts - most notably, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit - upheld marriage discrimination. Plaintiffs from the 6th Circuit cases, out of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, are now seeking review from that out-of-step ruling from the United States Supreme Court. The plaintiffs in a case out of Louisiana, where a federal judge upheld marriage discirmination in September, are also seeking Supreme Court review.

The case in Mississippi was brought on behalf of two same-sex couples and the Campaign for Southern Equality by private counsel, including Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Mississippi attorney Robert McDuff of McDuff & Byrd, based in Jackson. In 2013, Kaplan led Windsor v. United States, the case that brought down the core of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act at the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2013.
Text of the ruling here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


This excellent documentary series, produced by Thames Television in 1980 and narrated by James Mason, covers the rise and development of Hollywood from nickelodeon days to the end of the silent era, and includes interviews with many performers, writers, directors, and film crew from the period.  A must-see for film buffs.  Here is part 1:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 11/24/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:

Better late than never: Congrats to Dan Hunter and Randy Paul, who were among the first couples to marry in Butte, Montana, last Thursday, the Montana Standard reports. The guys have been a couple for 22 years.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Drive: Autumn Leaves

From the album Je m'appelle Barbra, 1966:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Don't Let the Bullies Get You Down

Ever feel like the world is ganging up on you and biting your butt big time?  Well then, maybe you will take heart from this video filmed by visitors to a game preserve in Zambia last week:

The astonished watchers promptly dubbed the little guy Hercules in admiration for his victory. Yes, he got away safely, with a great story to tell the folks back home.

Moral:  Don't fuck with the elephant, fellas.  He will kick your ass good.

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!

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":

Barbs from the Bard

When only the best will do:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 11/10/14

Matt Baume, in a nicely pressed shirt this week, reports:

Update, 10:40 p.m.: SCOTUSblog reports on the situation in Kansas, where a federal district judge's order would have allowed couples to marry after 5 p.m. tomorrow:
Justice Sonia Sotomayor has blocked the federal judge’s order, calling for a response by the same-sex couples to be filed by 5 p.m. (Eastern time) on Tuesday. The delay, temporarily preventing issuance of licenses to same-sex couples in Kansas, will remain in effect until there is a further order either by Justice Sotomayor or by the full Court.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

All God's Children

First in a new series of videos produced by the Human Rights Campaign to bolster support for LGBT Mississipians:

Fellas, when we get outspoken, upscale, "Bible-believing" white women like that on our side, you can believe the battle's all but over - in the matriarchal South, anyway.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Waitin' for the Weekend

Sixth Circuit Upholds Marriage Bans

Two judges of three on a panel of the Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Cincinnati yesterday agreed to uphold marriage bans in the four states comprising their circuit: Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton wrote the opinion, which says in part:
What remains is a debate about whether to allow the democratic processes begun in the States to continue in the four States of the Sixth Circuit or to end them now by requiring all States in the Circuit to extend the definition of marriage to encompass gay couples. Process and structure matter greatly in American government. Indeed, they may be the most reliable, liberty-assuring guarantees of our system of government, requiring us to take seriously the route the United States Constitution contemplates for making such a fundamental change to such a fundamental social institution.

Of all the ways to resolve this question, one option is not available: a poll of the three judges on this panel, or for that matter all federal judges, about whether gay marriage is a good idea. Our judicial commissions did not come with such a sweeping grant of authority, one that would allow just three of us—just two of us in truth—to make such a vital policy call for the thirty-two million citizens who live within the four States of the Sixth Circuit: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. What we have authority to decide instead is a legal question: Does the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibit a State from defining marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman?
Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey dissented strongly, saying:
These plaintiffs are not political zealots trying to push reform on their fellow citizens; they are committed same-sex couples, many of them heading up de facto families, who want to achieve equal status -- de jure status, if you will -- with their married neighbors, friends, and coworkers, to be accepted as contributing members of their social and religious communities, and to be welcomed as fully legitimate parents at their children's schools. They seek to do this by virtue of exercising a civil right that most of us take for granted - the right to marry.

For although my colleagues in the majority pay lip service to marriage as an institution conceived for the purpose of providing a stable family unit "within which children may flourish," they ignore the destabilizing effect of its absence in the homes of tens of thousands of same-sex parents throughout the four states of the Sixth Circuit.

Instead of recognizing the plaintiffs as persons, suffering actual harm as a result of being denied the right to marry where they reside or the right to have their valid marriages recognized there, my colleagues view the plaintiffs as social activists who have somehow stumbled into federal court.
Full text of the ruling and dissent here. The ACLU has already announced that they will immediately appeal to the Supreme Court, which you may recall declined to make any ruling last month because at that time all the federal appeals courts had upheld same-sex marriage as a fundamental civil right; now the Supremes will have to deal with the question directly, it seems to me.

Freedom to Marry reports:
The decision flies in the face of a nearly unanimous string of 49 rulings issued since June 2013 in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Just three lower court rulings in the past year and a half have upheld marriage discrimination.
Click here to see pics and read the stories of several of the plaintiff couples affected by the Sixth Circuit's decision.

Wikipedia makes this observation:
Decisions issued by the Sixth Circuit were reversed by the United States Supreme Court 24 out of the 25 times they were reviewed in the five annual terms starting in October 2008 and ending in June 2013 — a higher frequency than any other federal appellate court during that time period.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Meet Me in St. Louis, Louie

Marriages are happening in the Gateway City as I type, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
Denying Missouri's gay couples the opportunity to marry is unconstitutional, a judge ruled Wednesday. As a result, St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison said in his decision, marriage licenses can be issued throughout Missouri beginning today. In St. Louis city, four license were issued immediately after the ruling.

"The Court finds and declares that any same sex couple that satisfies all the requirements for marriage under Missouri law, other than being of different sexes, is legally entitled to a marriage license," Burlison wrote.

He said the Missouri Constitution violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, the state attorney general said he will appeal the ruling to the Missouri Supreme Court. Burlison's ruling comes more than four months after four couples were married at St. Louis City Hall, even though there is a 10-year-old state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Full text of the ruling, which it seems applies only to the city of St. Louis, is here. Freedom to Marry has pics of several happy couples tying the knot at the courthouse.

In other news, with most local races now fully counted, Republicans have retained their majority in the House of Representatives and gained majority control of the Senate. Crap. This bodes no good.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Brokeback Down Under

From Queensland comes this charming vignette of Dan and Miki, two Australian cowboys living their dream life together in what looks a lot like the Texas Hill Country:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 11/3/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:

And here's an update on Tim Bostic and Tony London, successful plaintiffs in the lawsuit that brought marriage equality to Virginia last month:

Update, 11/4:   Add Kansas to the list.  Freedom to Marry reports:
Today, United States District Court Judge Daniel D. Crabtree ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Kansas, issuing a preliminary injunction that forbids state officials from enforcing the ban on marriage for same-sex couples in Kansas. Judge Crabtree placed the ruling on hold until November 11 at 5:00pm - but if the state says it will not pursue an appeal, the stay could be lifted sooner.

This ruling comes less than a month after the Supreme Court denied review of five cases involving the freedom to marry, including cases in Oklahoma and Utah. Because Oklahoma and Utah are in the 10th Circuit, these rulings are binding throughout the circuit, including in Kansas.
Full text of the ruling here.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Drive: Vivaldi, Autumn

Julia Fischer performs:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Why Marriage Matters

A lovely video from Freedom to Marry featuring two Alabama moms, Jessica and Chi, who want the protections of marriage for themselves and their daughter:

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