Affairs of the Heart in the Heartland: Evan Wolfson to Speak in Midwest about Marriage

Freedom to Marry Executive Director Evan Wolfson will be speaking next week at both the University of Michigan and Ohio State University.

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Editorial: Fair Courts in the Cross-Fire

The New York Times editorial board criticizes campaigns against justices around the country, including an anti-gay campaign against the three Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of marriage for lesbian and gay couples in the state.

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Wyoming and nine other states file anti-gay Amicus Brief in Prop 8 Appeal

Wyoming and nine other states have filed an anti-gay amicus brief in the Prop 8 appeal case saying the Constitution does not require marriage to include same-sex couples and that states, not federal courts, have final say in whether to honor the freedom to marry.

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Voice for Equality: Eminem comes out in favor of the freedom to marry

Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, answers questions about his new album which features a more confessional, less violent tone.

When asked in June of 2010 about his gay-bashing lyrics in the past and what his current view is on marriage equality, he answered, "I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want."

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One very gay time

Deb Price writes about the changes in her personal relationship and America in general since the beginning of her ground-breaking nationally syndicated column in a mainstream newspaper about life from a gay perspective.

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Op-Ed: COLUMN: Setback for Gay Rights in Maine, But Hope Elsewhere

The Detroit News
November 16, 2009
Deb Price highlights advances for LGBT equality in Wash. state, Kalamazoo, Mich., and other areas of the nation during the 2009 election: "Momentum is now on the side of equality, even when setbacks make the biggest headlines." [Link]

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Voice for Equality: Michigan House Speaker Pro Tem, Pam Byrnes

Speaker Pro Tempore Pam Byrnes, is serving her third term in the Michigan House of Representatives. Her colleagues unanimously elected her to the position of Speaker Pro Tempore of the House this year, giving her the responsibility of running each session of the 110-member body from the rostrum. As Chair of the House Transportation Committee, a key leadership position, Byrnes focuses on the development of Michigan's mass transit systems and improvement of our infrastructure. She also is a member of the Regulatory Reform Committee and the Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee. As a member of the House Committee on New Economy and Quality of Life, Byrnes is working to promote job growth by attracting and nurturing high tech businesses to Michigan. She also was recently appointed to the Biosciences Subcommittee which will focus on helping grow the bioscience industry in Michigan. Learn more here.

Following up on an announcement originally made in June of 2009, on November 4, 2009, Speaker Byrnes announced she was introducing legislation to roll back a 2004 constitutional amendment which bans same-sex marriage in the state of Michigan. In announcing the move, she stated:
This really boils down to treating all people with the dignity and respect everyone deserves. So many of us were raised to treat others how we’d like to be treated — it’s about time we start actually doing that. Last time I checked the Golden Rule didn’t say ‘treat others how you’d like to be treated, unless they are gay or lesbian. [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes Pam Byrnes as a Voice for Equality! See other Voices for Equality here.

If Speaker Byrne's support inspires you - get involved!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Byrnes Calls for Repeal of Michigan’s Ban on Marriages between Same-Sex Couples

The Michigan Messenger
November 4, 2009
Michigan House Speaker Pro Tem, Pam Byrnes, on Wednesday announced she had introduced legislation to roll back a 2004 constitutional amendment which bans marriage equality in the state. “This really boils down to treating all people with the dignity and respect everyone deserves,” she said. [Link]

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Kalamazoo Residents Approve Nondiscrimination Ordinance

One Kalamazoo
November 3, 2009
Kalamazoo residents approve nondiscrimination ordinance

“Our campaign started with a very basic idea, and today voters confirmed that we are One Kalamazoo,” said Campaign Manager, Jon Hoadley.

With only absentee ballots outstanding, 65 percent of Kalamazoo voters have approved Ordinance 1856 by a vote of 6,463 to 3,527, adding protections for gay and transgender people to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance. This margin is larger than the number of outstanding absentee ballots that are currently being counted.

“I am elated with the outcome of the election,” says Yes on Ordinance 1856/One Kalamazoo Steering Committee member and local resident Janice Brown. “This vote reinforces what our campaign set out to prove – that our fellow residents of Kalamazoo share the belief that all people should be treated fairly and equally, including gay and transgender people.”

The outcome of today’s vote confirmed that all hardworking people in Kalamazoo should have the chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families without fear of being fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance.

“Kalamazoo is a great place to live and the passage of Ordinance 1856 makes the city an even better place,” says local resident Rev. Matt Laney, Pastor of the First Congregational Church. “I am proud to live in a city that recognizes that all people deserve fairness and respect.”

The Yes on 1856/ One Kalamazoo campaign in support of the nondiscrimination ordinance involved hundreds of local volunteers and contributors, and had the endorsement of over 30 local religious, social, business, and political organization. The campaign would like to thank the Kalamazoo community for asserting their belief in the inherent equality of all Kalamazoo residents, and the countless volunteers for their hard work and dedication in recent months – and in some case, years – to ensure the passage of the ordinance.

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Gay Rights Advocates Closely Watching Kalamazoo Vote

The Grand Rapids Press
November 1, 2009
Some LGBT equality advocates are viewing Kalamazoo, Mich.'s, upcoming vote on an inclusive non-discrimination ordinance as a small barometer of the progression of public opinion on issues of concern to the LGBT community. [Link]

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