One of my biggest fans wrote quite the scathing commentary on me the other day. She can’t stand the fact that I called her out on her prideful comments that she has given more money to charity than someone else. Here is another award-winning comment from Stacy about me and Doug:
And again, I am happily married – not a fake “marriage” or “partnership” like you have with your guy.
Of course she is correct that I am not married to Doug, since the law will not allow it (yet!). She is also correct that my Domestic Partnership with Doug, in California, is not like being married (yet!). Of course she is wrong that it is fake. But I would expect nothing less to come out of her mouth (and just look at how prideful that sounds–it is almost up there with ‘I give more money than you do to charity!’)
I find her comment very interesting and particularly nasty, coming from someone who is usually shouting at the top of her lungs how righteous she is. This is coming from a woman who actively works to keep gays and lesbians from being able to marry, and then turns around to make a nasty comment about me not being married to Doug. To me, that is like hearing Thomas Jefferson state that black people are dumber than whites, while making sure that his black slaves were not taught to read or write. It is like other anti-gay activists who complain that gays and lesbians can’t keep a relationship going while denying them the right to have a legal relationship, or deny them the right to adopt, or work, or live. It is like the Nazis saying that the Jews were dirty and disgusting while packing them into trains and sending them off to the concentration camps without bathroom facilities. There is no difference between these people and Stacy Harp–their reasoning is the same.
And although I can’t get married to Doug just yet (and it will happen Stacy, you just watch!), we will be able to file joint California state taxes just like Stacy and her husband this upcoming year. I hope she thinks of me while she is doing her taxes, since I will certainly be thinking of her as we file our first joint tax statement, and we can thank the Republican governor of both of ours, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And The Terminator also signed into law an amazing eleven gay friendly bills just this year! In case you missed them Stacy–here is a list:
The Fair and Equal Taxation for Surviving Partners Act (SB559), authored by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), retroactively grants domestic partners exemptions from property tax reassessment after the death of a partner.
SB105, the Joint Income Tax Filing Implementation Bill authored by Senator Carole Migden (D-San Francisco), which simplifies the process for domestic partners filing their 2007 state income tax returns next year by creating a simple worksheet to calculate their joint income from their separate federal returns.
He also signed AB102 by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) that allows couples to take the last name of either partner at registration of their domestic partnership. Dubbed the Name Equality Act, it also makes it easier for a husband to take his wife’s last name upon marriage.
Several bills aimed at protecting LGBT youth in schools also received the governor’s signature. The Student Civil Rights Act (SB777), authored by Senator Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) protects students from harassment and bullying in public schools by making sure teachers and school administrators fully understand their responsibilities to protect youth. It restricts a teacher from giving instruction, and a school district from sponsoring any activity, which reflects adversely upon students based on their sexual orientation or gender. The bill exempts religiously affiliated schools and does not go into effect until January 1, 2008.
A second bill authored by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), known as the Safe Place to Learn Act (AB394), further strengthens LGBT youth protections by mandating state education officials monitor schools to ensure they have adopted and are following anti-discrimination and anti-harassment requirements.
Schwarzenegger also approved AB629 by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica). The bill enacts the Sexual Health Education Accountability Act, which requires schools’ sexual health education programs receiving state funds teach "medically accurate, current, and objective" curriculums. It also bans teaching or promoting religious doctrine and bias against any person on the basis of gender or sexual orientation in sex-ed classes.
Another Migden-authored bill supported by the governor, SB518, the Juvenile Justice Safety and Protection Act, will protect all young people, including LGBT youth, from abuse and discrimination in the state’s justice system. It requires the Department of Juvenile Justice to distribute a youth bill of rights to all young people in custody during their orientation and post the document where youth can see it. It also creates a toll-free hotline youth can call if they feel their rights have been violated.
Schwarzenegger signed two AIDS-related pieces of legislation: Migden’s sperm-cleaning bill SB443, which makes it possible for HIV-positive men to have children through artificial insemination, and AB682, which changes the process for patient permission to get an HIV/AIDS test. The bill removes the need for informed consent before an HIV test can be administered and now requires a patient to give simple consent in order to be tested.
He did sign AB110 by Assemblyman John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), allowing agencies to use state funds to buy hypodermic needles for clean needle exchange programs.
Laird also saw his AB14, the Civil Rights Act of 2007, become law. The bill increases or clarifies protections for LGBT people in a variety of situations such as jury service, the issuance of credit cards, voter registration programs, delivery of emergency services, awarding of public contracts, food stamp eligibility, and the use of public beaches. It also outlaws the ejection of someone from a horse-racing track due to their sexual orientation or marital status.
And even more good news:
Since becoming governor Schwarzenegger has signed 30 LGBT-related bills, more than any of the past California governors combined, noted Log Cabin.
So there is some hope for at least those of us who live in California that one day, the religious beliefs of some people will not affect those who do not believe the same things. I have a feeling that day will come much sooner than these anti-gay activists hope.