Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thank You Governor Doyle For The WI Domestic Partner Registry!

Governor Doyle has included in this year's budget a provision for setting up a statewide domestic partner registry. This is great news for the thousands of same-sex couples living in Wisconsin. According to Fair Wisconsin, the statewide domestic partnership registry will grant access to 43 rights, protections, and privileges to same-sex couples who choose to register.

In his address, Governor Doyle stated:

If we want our economy to flourish – if we want to help attract and retain talented workers – it is also time to make sure our state takes some basic steps toward fairness and decency. First, we can make sure that domestic partners who work for the state have access to benefits. We can also make sure that a committed couple has visitation rights at a hospital, and the right to take the appropriate leave if one has a serious illness. This isn’t an issue of being gay or straight – we are not judging people’s lives here. But I don’t want the state to stand in the way of someone being able to care for their long-term partner. And I don’t want the state to be less competitive at our university and other institutions because we don’t treat people fairly.

When you break down that absurd second sentence of the amendment which bans civil unions and marriage for gay couples.. never mind the debate whether or not a registry (in other words a list) creates a legal status. It goes without saying that the "legal status identical or substantially similar" clause is far-reaching and meant to include "civil union." In fact Appling herself has made it quite clear that the amendment was intended to ban gay marriage and not to limit domestic partner benefits.

Take into consideration Webster's definition for the word substantial. Mathematically, 43 out of 200+ is not even close to a majority. I cannot see how 43 rights, privileges, and protections are considerable in quantity or significantly great compared to the 200+ that can be granted to heterosexual couples automatically at the stroke of a pen. This is far from substantial.


In simplest terms its about equal treatment under the law. 43 out of 200+ may fall short of full equality, but its far better than having nothing. Besides: government should be granting rights, privileges, and protections and not eliminating them. Among the protections the new registry will grant are requiring hospitals to allow visitation of domestic partners and requiring businesses with 50 or more employees to allow family leave in the event of the death or serious illness of a domestic partner.

These are issues that we should not be worried about in times of emergency, and I cannot wait to find out more about the other 41 rights, protections, and privileges.

Thank you Governor Doyle for several things. You've given us the choice to register our long term relationships if we desire to do so. You've eased the burden we face in order to establish legal protections for our relationships. You've freed up time, money, and energy which we can now spend elsewhere.

Most of all -- thank you Governor Doyle for granting rights, protections, and privileges for the same-sex couples of Wisconsin!!

(but first the budget has to pass.. hopefully the beancounters out there can see the potential new revenue source here, no?)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where Were You When Bush Was Whisked Away?

I've been looking forward to reading Crawford's Take regarding the inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama. Be sure to stop by Renee Crawford's blog to read about her adventures in Washington D.C. Read about the tangible joy that was felt by two million people converging into one town to celebrate the departure of President Bush and the welcoming of President Obama. Two million people. People from countless different walks of life, from countries all over the world, with different sexual orientations, with different gender identities, of different cultures.. you name it they were probably there.

Read about the collective sigh of relief from two million people as they waved goodbye to now ex-President Bush. About the missed media opportunity on that fateful day.

When Bush was whisked out of Washington D.C, I was at work. I happened to have my phone turned on so I got to hear some of the live coverage. Reading Crawford's Take I remembered being able to actually hear cheers from the massive crowd of people as Bush was carried away on Executive One. I remembered feeling a remarkable sense of relief at that precise moment.

Click here to read all about the cheer from two million people which was kept surprisingly quiet by the media on that fateful day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Man Robs 7-11's With (Klingon) Sword

Trekkies on the rampage. What is the world coming to? What's next, Star Wars fans robbing banks using lightsaber replicas? And I'm not talking those toy plastic ones!

Seriously folks I'm not sure where to go with this one. Anyone up for a poll on what is more sad?

1. A Trekkie committing an armed robbery with a.. "sword"..
2. The robbery victims recognizing that it was a Klingon Bat'leth
3. Me, blogging about a robbery by Klingon Bat'leth at a 7-11

Click here for full details including video and commentary.

Tornado Rainbow Triangle