Saturday, June 25, 2011

In and Out of the Pink Closet

New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, 

Becoming Largest State to Pass Law

Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York signed a same-sex marriage bill into law late Friday in his office at the State Capitol. More Photos »

ALBANY — Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.

Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
Senator Stephen M. Saland explained his vote to support legalizing same sex marriage on the floor of the New York State Senate on Friday night. More Photos »
The marriage bill, whose fate was uncertain until moments before the vote, was approved 33 to 29 in a packed but hushed Senate chamber. Four members of the Republican majority joined all but one Democrat in the Senate in supporting the measure after an intense and emotional campaign aimed at the handful of lawmakers wrestling with a decision that divided their friends, their constituents and sometimes their own homes.

With his position still undeclared, Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo who had sought office promising to oppose same-sex marriage, told his colleagues he had agonized for months before concluding he had been wrong.
“I apologize for those who feel offended,” Mr. Grisanti said, adding, “I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”
Senate approval was the final hurdle for the same-sex marriage legislation, which was approved last week by the Assembly. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the measure at 11:55 p.m., and the law will go into effect in 30 days, meaning that same-sex couples could begin marrying in New York by late July.
Passage of same-sex marriage here followed a daunting run of defeats in other states where voters barred same-sex marriage by legislative action, constitutional amendment or referendum. Just five states currently permit same-sex marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.
At around 10:30 p.m., moments after the vote was announced, Mr. Cuomo strode onto the Senate floor to wave at cheering supporters who had crowded into the galleries to watch. Trailed by two of his daughters, the governor greeted lawmakers, and paused to single out those Republicans who had defied the majority of their party to support the marriage bill.
“How do you feel?” he asked Senator James S. Alesi, a suburban Rochester Republican who voted against the measure in 2009 and was the first to break party ranks this year. “Feels good, doesn’t it?”
The approval of same-sex marriage represented a reversal of fortune for gay-rights advocates, who just two years ago suffered a humiliating defeat when a same-sex marriage bill was easily rejected by the Senate, which was then controlled by Democrats. This year, with the Senate controlled by Republicans, the odds against passage of same-sex marriage appeared long.
But the unexpected victory had a clear champion: Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who pledged last year to support same-sex marriage but whose early months in office were dominated by intense battles with lawmakers and some labor unions over spending cuts.
Mr. Cuomo made same-sex marriage one of his top priorities for the year and deployed his top aide to coordinate the efforts of a half-dozen local gay-rights organizations whose feuding and disorganization had in part been blamed for the defeat two years ago.
The new coalition of same-sex marriage supporters brought in one of Mr. Cuomo’s trusted campaign operatives to supervise a $3 million television and radio campaign aimed at persuading several Republican and Democratic senators to drop their opposition.
For Senate Republicans, even bringing the measure to the floor was a freighted decision. Most of the Republicans firmly oppose same-sex marriage on moral grounds, and many of them also had political concerns, fearing that allowing same-sex marriage to pass on their watch would embitter conservative voters and cost the Republicans their one-seat majority in the Senate.
            Leaders of the state’s Conservative Party, whose support many Republican lawmakers depend on to win election, warned that they would oppose in legislative elections next year any Republican senator who voted for same-sex marriage. 
Just before the marriage vote, lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly approved a broad package of major legislation that constituted the remainder of their agenda for the year. The bills included a cap on local property tax increases and a strengthening of New York’s rent regulation laws, as well as a five-year tuition increase at the State University of New York and the City University of New York. 
But after days of contentious discussion capped by a marathon nine-hour closed-door debate on Friday, Republicans came to a fateful decision: The full Senate would be allowed to vote on the bill, the majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, said Friday afternoon, and each member would be left to vote according to his or her conscience. 
            “The days of just bottling up things, and using these as excuses not to have votes — as far as I’m concerned as leader, it’s over with,” said Mr. Skelos, a Long Island Republican who voted against the bill. 
            But Republican lawmakers spent much of the week negotiating changes to the marriage bill to protect religious institutions, especially those that oppose same-sex weddings. On Friday, the Assembly and the Senate approved those changes. But they were not enough to satisfy the measure’s staunchest opponents. In a joint statement, New York’s Catholic bishops assailed the vote. 
            “The passage by the Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply disappointed and troubled,” the bishops said.
Besides Mr. Alesi and Mr. Grisanti, the four Republicans who voted for the measure included Senators Stephen M. Saland from the Hudson Valley area and Roy J. McDonald of the capital region.
Just one lawmaker rose to speak against the bill: Rubén Díaz Sr. of the Bronx, the only Democratic senator to cast a no vote. Mr. Díaz, saying he was offended by the two-minute restrictions set on speeches, repeatedly interrupted the presiding officer who tried to limit the senator’s remarks, shouting, “You don’t want to hear me.”
“God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage, a long time ago,” Mr. Díaz said.
The legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States is a relatively recent goal of the gay-rights movement, but over the last few years, gay-rights organizers have placed it at the center of their agenda, steering money and muscle into dozens of state capitals in an often uphill effort to persuade lawmakers.
In New York, passage of the bill reflects rapidly evolving sentiment about same-sex unions. In 2004, according to a Quinnipiac poll, 37 percent of the state’s residents supported allowing same-sex couples to wed. This year, 58 percent of them did. Advocates moved aggressively this year to capitalize on that shift, flooding the district offices of wavering lawmakers with phone calls, e-mails and signed postcards from constituents who favored same-sex marriage, sometimes in bundles that numbered in the thousands.
Dozens more states have laws or constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. Many of them were approved in the past few years, as same-sex marriage moved to the front line of the culture war and politicians deployed the issue as a tool for energizing their base.
But New York could be a shift: It is now by far the largest state to grant legal recognition to same-sex weddings, and one that is home to a large, visible and politically influential gay community. Supporters of the measure described the victory in New York as especially symbolic — and poignant — because of its rich place in the history of gay rights: the movement’s foundational moment, in June 1969, was a riot against police inside the Stonewall Inn, a bar in the West Village.
In Albany, there was elation after the vote. But leading up to it, there were moments of tension and frustration. At one point, Senator Kevin S. Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat, erupted when he and other supporters learned they would not be allowed to make a floor speech.
“This is not right,” he yelled, before storming from the chamber.
During a brief recess during the voting, Senator Shirley L. Huntley, a Queens Democrat who had only recently come out in support of same sex marriage, strode from her seat to the back of the Senate chamber to congratulate Daniel J. O’Donnell, an openly gay Manhattan lawmaker who sponsored the legislation in the Assembly.
They hugged, and Assemblyman O’Donnell, standing with his longtime partner, began to tear up.
“We’re going to invite you to our wedding,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “Now we have to figure out how to pay for one.”       Re-blogged from The New York Times   
     Romance novel icon Dame Barbara Cartland died in 2000 just short of her 99th birthday. She dressed almost always in pink and understood early on the power of being a recognisable writer.
     By 1995, the eternal coquette had sold more than a billion books with titles such as The Duke is Deceived, The Earl Elopes, A Heart of Stone and A Heart of Love. She wrote an astonishing 723 titles and left a staggering 160 unpublished manuscripts. 

     Because of her concern for the environment, she requested to be buried in a cardboard coffin. This request was honored and she was buried at her estate under a tree that had been planted by Queen Elizabeth.    re-blogged from Alfredo Spaella                                         

I see absolutely no resemblance whatsoever.


Broadway's Not Just for Gays Anymore


Re-blogged from Leathermen

Gayman to the rescue...

  Re-blogged from Mattadore

...or Batman

Oh, I think his heart's in it all right.

I always suspected something was going on between those two! 

Holmes A Homo?

"Sherlock Holmes, lends himself to gay interpretation. Holme’s hauteur, emotional oddity and repression and sudden burst of flamboyancy (particularly in Jeremy Brett’s portrayal). The disdain for women. The penchant for dressing up. And of course there’s the Holmes-Watson partnership – which has a secure place in the popular consciousness. Two men living together, in what is an emotionally turbulent relationship. Watson subtly undermined, ever subject to Holmes’s whims, yet whenever Watson eventually rebukes him Holmes declares his fondness and admiration for his chum."      Robbie Hudson, The UK Times & Gay Sherlock Holmes
Art by Mike Williams. Art: Playboy, September 1976
The light-in-the-loafers leap & lunge 
gets the bouquet every time.

Meanwhile, at the Backyard Cookout

 "Oh, Christ," thought Carol, grimly setting the picnic table for yet another disastrous barbeque. "There goes another batch of hamburgers. Sometimes I wish those two would just screw and get it over with. And get Shirlee, with her goddam surprised act. If she hasn't figured it out yet about her Ed, then I'm going to have to draw her a picture."  Re-blogged from Expatriato   

Nothing more needs to be said, is there?

Nice Package

Vintage Package

And he insisted he wasn't gay!

Wrestling is sooooo gay!

Gotta love this...

John Wayne in hot pants  (photo: Phil Stern)

John Wayne in hot pants, showing off his camel toe and carrying a manbag! 

(photo: Phil Stern)

Suggestive or what???

  Series Re-blogged from Mattadore

However, it worked for the boys!

Re-blogged from Funny Forum

Re-blogged from Almost Dumb

This Gay Bestiality Ad is Crazy 

...Even for France

If Bill O'Reilly was upset about a harmless gay-themed French commercial for McDonalds just wait until he sees this insane spot for Orangina where a humanoid mountain lion shaves and then embraces his gay lover. Um, what?
So we see a mountain lion made to look like a man shaving his face, but instead of shaving cream, he uses Orangina, the sticky sweet carbonated beverage that is the European equivalent of Sunkist. That's strange enough, but what sends this over the edge is that his hunky boyfriend comes over and feels how smooth his shave is at the last second. What does this all mean? Did France allow gay marriage and it lead to bestiality after all, like all the holy rollers said it would?
This seems to be part of a series of commercials that company made that has talking animals doing crazy things with the product, like a giraffe lady mopping the floor or a chameleon man putting it on his zits. This seems to be a repeat of a 2008 series of commercials that caused a bit of a stir in the UK with its anthropomorphic and sexualized animals. The company that made the campaign told gay French blog Yagg that the spot isn't going to air which, as nutso as it is, makes us a little sad. If we can get the world to embrace queer mountain lions who shave with soda, gay marriage should be a snap!                                 Re-blogged from

And finally, as if we already didn't know...

G is for gay.

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Spooooky Reading...

What lies beneath...

Re-blogged from Tales of the Sissy

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