In the World… Wednesday, Apr 1 2009 

Congrats to Sweden for marriage equality!  Way more progressive than the USA.

http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/3/article_7278.php

Sweden approves same-sex marriages

Posted in: International Daily News
By GayNZ.com Daily News Staff – 2nd April 2009

Gender-neutral marriage legislation has been adopted in Sweden, passed by a broad majority in parliament after a sex-hour debate.

 

“The decision means that gender no longer has an impact on the ability to marry,” the government said on its website.

 

The new legislation will come into effect on Friday 1 May, replacing law approved in 1995 which allows same-sex couples to form a union in Sweden via a registered partnership.

Also, congrats to Switzerland’s newly elected lesbian mayor, Corine Mauch!

http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/3/article_7271.php

Switzerland’s second largest city has elected a lesbian mayor.

 

Zurich’s new mayor Corine Mauch, a member of the left-leaning Social Democrats, was elected by a large majority at the weekend.Her opponents had attempted to use Mauch’s sexuality against her in a heated campaign.

“Being a lesbian is an advantage, Zurich has a large gay community and the city people generally want to show you that they are open minded,” one Swiss academic opined, according to PinkNews.co.uk.

 

mayor.jpg

Marriage Equality Vs. Unhappy Exes Tuesday, Mar 10 2009 

  I have been reading many different articles where people have left comments about how they “would have voted for gays until their spouse decided to leave them to become gay”.  I would have thought them utterly without merit until I actually spoke to a real live co-worker who had the same feeling (talk about shock!)  So for all of you who were hurt by an unsuccessful marriage because your partner “came out” late in life, I would put forth to you that such unhappy endings would occur less often if same sex couples could marry and have/adopt children with minimal difficulty.  For example, an ex-gf of mine told me that she had to break up with me because she “had to get married and have kids” and THEN she “could go back to women”.  Yes, I attended her wedding followed by a divorce a few years later because she was only trying to make her family happy to begin with and that never works out well.

   I realize that some of these exes may not prize monogamy, but then not all heterosexuals are capable of sustaining a healthy marriage either.  Would you punish all of us because one person did you wrong?

   While California is dragging its heels, Vermont seems ready to put marriage equality to their legislature and–guess what–the Mormons aren’t winning Vermont. 

http://lezgetreal.com/?p=5142

A new Rutland Herald editorial for 8 March even asked these questions: “Have eight years of civil unions in Vermont harmed you or your state? Have civil unions harmed the marriages of heterosexual Vermonters in any way?” The answer, of course, it no. Vermont has not been harmed by having civil unions, and heterosexual marriage has not completely collapsed while it is in existence.

The battle for marriage equality in Vermont is beginning to look one sided. The Vermont Health and Human Services Professionals released a statement concerning the impact of sexual orientation on any children of a same-sex couple. Not surprising, they found that having two parents of the same sex had no impact on children. In fact, they stated that there was no scientific evidence that being raised by two parents of the same sex had any impact on children. However, they pointed out that the discrimination endured by same-sex couples, including not having the right to a civil marriage, was detrimental to children.

—————–

  In other news, the One has shown that he really likes women *cough* by appointing a lesbian to the Office of Political Affairs.  Her experience is that of a “field organizer” (is that like a community organizer?) and a “senior strategist”, but hey, it’s not like she’s auditioning for the office of President *cough*.

http://www.southernvoice.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=24429

President Barack Obama recently appointed a lesbian to serve as a regional director in the Office of Political Affairs, according to the National Stonewall Democrats.

Campbell Spencer, the new appointee, started her role as director of the office’s Midwest desk a couple weeks ago and will act as a liaison for the region’s Democratic governors and state Democratic parties.

During the presidential campaign, Spencer was a national co-chair of Obama’s LGBT steering and policy committee. She also has worked on the unsuccessful presidential campaigns of Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. She was director of LGBT outreach and base vote director for the Democratic National Committee.

Margaret Brent: First American Woman to Request the Right to Vote Tuesday, Dec 30 2008 

  Margaret Brent emigrated to Maryland at the age of 37.  She never married, thus becoming a thriving businesswoman and landowner.   Upon the death of Governor Calvert, the Proprietor of Maryland, Margaret–not her brother Giles–was named executor of his affairs and charged with handling his debts, including those to soldiers under his command.

   She went to the General Assembly, knowing that they wished to repeal the tobacco tax, probably hoping that with her vote and voice she could convince the colony to pay the soldiers who protected them with the tobacco tax.  When she was denied a vote, she publicly protested all proceedings that took place.

 Came Mrs Margarett Brent and requested to have vote in the
howse for her selfe and voyce allso for that att the last Court
3d Jan: it was ordered that the said Mrs Brent was to be lookd
uppon and received as his Lps Attorney. The Gour denyed
that the sd Mrs Brent should have any uote in the howse. And
the sd Mrs Brent protested agst all proceedings in this pfit
Assembly, unlesse shee may be pnt. and have vote as aforesd

  Using her authority as the executor for Governor Calvert, Margaret then made a bold move: she began selling off cattle to pay the soldiers and prevent an uprising.  Lord Baltimore objected, but the General Assembly stuck up for her and wrote this letter as commendation:

We do Verily Believe and in Conscience report that it was better for the Collonys safety at that time in her hands than in any mans else in the whole Province… for the Soldiers would never have treated any other with that Civility and respect and though they were even ready at several times to run into mutiny yet she still pacified them… She rather deserved favour and thanks from your Honour for her so much Concurring to the publick safety then to be justly liable to… bitter invectives.

  Historians speculate that Lord Baltimore never forgave her over the cattle, and thus she moved to Virginia,  She acquired a large tract of land in Virginia, which she named “Peace” and lived there until her death in 1671.

Sources:

http://mdroots.thinkport.org/library/margaretbrent.asp

http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/speccol/sc3500/sc3520/002100/002177/html/brochure.html

http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/speccol/sc3500/sc3520/002100/002177/html/mbrent2.html

http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000001/html/am1–215.html

Election Promises or The Real Deal: Sarah Palin Wednesday, Dec 10 2008 

Governor Palin announced her health priorities for Alaska and is continuing to work on them…seems her focus on special needs children was not a campaign stunt after all. (Note the sarcasm: I never believed it was a campaign stunt unlike my colleagues)  Her ability to work with foreign companies and knowledge of energy is evidenced by her most recent funding of a natural gas pipeline.  Governor Palin remains popular to the media’s extreme frustration and confusion.  The people overwhelmingly believe that John McCain made the RIGHT CHOICE in Sarah Palin.

America has let the media pundits spin the truth for far too long.  Has anyone actually asked Sarah Palin why she went to multiple schools before finishing her degree?  Maybe she simply wanted the *best* education for her major and kept switching because she was dissatisfied with the lack of difficulty.  At least she finished her degree, which is more than I can say for millions of Americans.  Of all Americans who enter college, only about 53% graduated (2000 statistics from The Educational Trust).

In many cases, experience trumps education.  Governor Palin makes decisions everyday that affect millions of Alaskans.  Her real world experience far outweighs her lack of a Harvard degree.  In fact, her lack of a Harvard degree makes it easier to relate to her as wanting to serve the people rather than just seeking power.

Caroline Kennedy has power and name recognition and a Harvard degree, but minimal experience as an elected official.  Thus, there are many more qualified women available to fill a high level New York Senate position.    Once she gains some of that experience, maybe I would consider voting for her–but I would never vote for someone just because I recognized his/her name.

More Choices for the Illinois Senate Seat with Resumes Sunday, Dec 7 2008 

Tammy Duckworth, Illinois Veterans Affairs Director

–Disabled Iraq war veteran

–Major in Illinois National Guard

–Coordinator of Center for Nursing Research

–Fluent in Thai and Indonesian

–Manager at Rotary International handling offices in Tokyo; Seoul, South Korea; New Delhi; and Sydney, Australia

–Helped open a rotary club in Afghanistan

–Unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2006 and was promoted by Obama during that run

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General

–Attorney General since 2002

–Served in Illinois Senate

–Litigator for Chicago law firm

–High school teacher in South Africa during apartheid

–Community advocate, developing after-school programs to help keep kids involved in education and away from drugs and gangs

–Received recognition from Illinois Center for Violence Prevention, the American Cancer Society, the Illinois Drug Enforcement Officers Association, Equality Illinois, the American Association of Retired Persons, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Illinois Environmental Council.

Janice Schakowsky, Congresswoman (see previous post for links)

–U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 9th Congressional District

–Appointed by Nancy Pelosi as Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Leadership team.

–Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee

–Sponsoring legislation that would prevent violence against immigrant women, establish transitional housing for women and children who are victims of abuse, and commemorate International Women’s Day

–During the 110th Congress, Schakowsky serves as Democratic Vice Chair of the bipartisan Women’s Caucus

–8 years as Representative for 18th District in the Illinois General Assembly

–Director of the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens from 1985-1990

–Program Director of Illinois Public Action (1976-1985)

Not on the Short List but Should Be:

Judy Biggert, Illinois Congresswoman, Moderate Pro-Choice Republican who is for Human Rights

–13th district of Illinois

United States Congress

   * Ranking Member: House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit   
   * Co-Chair: Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus  
   * Subcommittee Assignments: Housing and Community Opportunity (Financial Services); Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit (Financial Services); Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education(Education and Labor); Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness(Education and Labor); Energy and Environment (Science & Technology), Technology and Innovation (Science & Technology)

   * Elected Republican Co-Chair of the Caucus on Women’s Issues

Accomplishments

   * Increasing Corporate Accountability: Wrote law that makes executives repay their ill-gotten gains and bans officers who abuse their power from serving on another corporate board

   * Enhancing Lakefront Security: Secured $2 million in federal funding to help construct a new marine safety facility at Navy Pier in downtown Chicago

   * Improving Education: Wrote law that removes barriers in current federal law preventing homeless children from receiving an education

   * Protecting Our Children: Wrote law that improves law enforcement’s ability to investigate incidences of child exploitation on the Internet

   * Fighting the War on Drugs: Wrote law that increases penalties for traffickers of club drugs such as Ecstasy and creates an information campaign on Ecstasy

   * Looking Out for the 13th District: Secured largest budget increase in five years for Argonne National Laboratory in fiscal year 2001; and settled six-year-old dispute between DuPage County and the Department of Energy leading to the payment of one million dollars owed to DuPage County schools

* Rooting out Waste, Fraud and Abuse: Initiated General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation of Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS) that revealed thousands of lost case files from the Chicago office; led effort to reform Department of Education’s student loan program that has lost more than $75 million in loans

Illinois House of Representatives

   * Represented Illinois’ 81st district from 1993 to 1998

* Named Assistant Republican House Leader in 1995, after serving just one term

Professional Experience

   * Attorney specializing in real estate, estate planning, and probate, 1975-Present

* Clerk to The Hon. Luther M. Swygert, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1963-1964

Education

   * Northwestern University School of Law, JD, 1963 (Member, Board of Editors, Law Review)

   * Stanford University, BA (International Relations), 1959

* New Trier High School, 1955

Civic Experience

   * Chairman, Village of Hinsdale Plan Commission, 1989-1993

   * Steering Committee, Citizens for Property Tax Accountability, 1990-1993

   * Chairman, Visiting Nurse Association of Chicago, 1989-1991

   * President, Board of Education, Hinsdale Township High School District 86, 1983-1985

   * Chairman, Hinsdale Assembly of the Hinsdale Hospital, 1987-1988

   * President, Junior League of Chicago, 1976-1978

   * Treasurer, Women’s Board of Brookfield Zoo, 1970-1971

   * President, Chicago Junior Board of Travelers Aid Society, 1969

   * Board of Directors, Salt Creek Ballet, 1990-1999

   * Chairman, Hinsdale Antiques Show, 1980

   * Board of Governors, Illinois Lincoln Series, 1994-Present

   * President, Oak School PTA, 1974-1976

   * Sunday School Teacher, Grace Episcopal Church, 1974-1984

* Assistant Soccer Coach, American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), 1983

Awards

• “NORD Health Leadership Award” – National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), 2007
• “Distinguished Public Service Award” – Dystonia Advocacy Coalition, 2007
• “Champion of the Merit Shop” – Associated Builders and Contractors, 2007
• “Distinguished Service Award” – National Energy Resources Organization (NERO), 2007
• “Benjamin Franklin Public Policy Award” – The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), 2007
• “AIMBE 2007 Congressional Award” – American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), 2007
• “Certificate of Excellence” – National Breast Cancer Coalition, 2007
• Special Recognition Award from International Titanium Powder on Judy’s dedicated efforts to bring about a domestic titanium manufacturing industry to the benefit the U.S. Department of Defense and American way of life, 2007
• Distinguished Community Health Superhero – National Association of Community Health Centers, 2007
• Champion of Public Education” – FED ED, 2006
• Guardian of Small Business Award – National Federation of Independent Business, 109th Congress
• Decade for Change Award – National Domestic Violence Hotline, 2006
• Exemplary Legislator Award – National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2006
• Congressional Award for fighting drunk driving – The Century Council, 2006
• “Friend of the Shareholder Award” – American Shareholders Association, 2006
• “Guardian of Worker Freedom” – Alliance for Worker Freedom, 2006
• “2005 Hero of the Taxpayer Award” – Americans For Tax Reform, 2006
• “Small Business Champion” – Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, 2006
• Certificate of Appreciation – National Network to End Domestic Violence, 2006
• President’s Award – The Arc of Illinois, 2006
• Alumni Merit Award – Northwestern University, 2006
• “Thomas Jefferson Award” – International Foodservice Distributors Association, 2006
• Spirit of Enterprise Award – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, March 2006
• Humane Appreciation Award – The Humane Society of the United States, 2005
• Legislator of the Month Award – The Population Institute, 2005
• 2005 WISER Hero Award—The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement
• “Eagle Award”, Associated Builders and Contractors, 2005
• “Legislative Leadership Award” National Association of Realtors, 2005
• “Federal Legislator Award” Jumpstart Coalition: Financial Smarts for Students, 2005
• “Perfect Voting Record Award” National Association of Wheat Growers, 2004
• “Friends of the National Parks” National Parks Conservation Association, 108th Congress
• “Friend of Farm Bureau” American Farm Bureau, 2004
• “Humanitarian of the Year” Giant Steps Illinois – Autism Center for Excellence, 2004
• “Thank you for your support of Old Glory and the Flag Protection Amendment in the 108th Congress” The Citizen Flag Alliance and the American Legion, 2004
• “Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence” National Association of Manufacturers, 2004, 2003
• “Guardian of Small Business Award” National Federation of Independent Business, 2004
•“2004 Friend of the Shareholder Award”, American Shareholders Association
•108th Congress “Small Business Advocate”, Small Business Survival Committee
•“2004 Hero of the Taxpayer Award”, Americans for Tax Reform,
•“Champion of Science”, The Science Coalition, 2004
•“Crain’s 100 Most Influential Women”. Crain’s Chicago Business, 2004
•“2004 Lifetime Civic Volunteer Award”, Committee of 100, 2004
•“Chicago’s 100 Most Powerful Women”, Chicago Sun-Times, 2004
•“Woman of Distinction for outstanding commitment to the community”, Suburban Life Newspapers, 2004
•“Legislator of the Year”, P.E.4LIFE Institute, 2004
•“A Special Thanks”, Fairmont School, 2004
•National Breast Cancer Coalition Legislative Award 2003 and 2004
•“Leadership Award for Women’s Health”, Jacobson Institute, 2004
•“George E. Brown Science-Engineering-Technology Leadership Award”, Science-Engineering-Technology (SET) Work Group, 2004
•“Our Children’s Advocate of the Year”, Our Children’s Homestead, 2004, 1999
•“Thomas Jefferson Award”,  Food Marking Institute and International Foodsevice Distributors Association, 2004
•“Legislator of the Year”, Suburban Area Agency on Aging, 2003
•”American Chemical Society Award for Public Service”, American Chemical Society, 2003
•”One Nation Under God”, Exchange Club of Naperville, 2003
•“Outstanding and Inspiring Leadership Award”, Consul General of India, 2003
•“Excellence”, Naperville Community Unit School District 203, 2003
•”Excellence in Education”, National Association for College Admission Counseling, 2002
•”Friend of Education”, Illinois Education Association and National Education Association, 2002
•“You made a Difference Certificate of Appreciation”, International Rett Syndrom Association, 2002
•”Activator Friend of Agriculture”, Illinois Agriculture Association, 2002
•”Manufacturing Legislative Excellence”, National Association of Manufacturers Award, 2001  
•”Citizens for a Sound Economy Jefferson Award”, Citizens for a Sound Economy, 2002
•”Champion of Small Business”, Small Business Survival Committee, 2002
•”Chairman’s Award”, DuPage Workforce Board, 2002
•”Outstanding Leadership to Homeless and Victims of Domestic Violence”, Chicago Public Schools, 2002
•”Distinguished Achievement” for Protecting and Expanding Education Opportunities for Children and Youth Who are Homeless, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, 2002
•”Certificate of Appreciation for Homeless Education”, Illinois State Board of Education, 2002
•”Passes the Moral Test of Government”, Illinois Coalition to End Homelessness, 2002
•”Award of Appreciation”, for Service to Business Community, National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB), 2002
•”Friend of Technology”, Smart Signal, Inc, 2002
•”Certificate of Appreciation”, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 2002
•”Voting for the Flag Amendment”, American Legion (11th District), 2002
•”Mayslake Village Honoree”, Mayslake Village, 2002
•”Friend of the Shareholder”, American Shareholders Association, 2002, 2000
•”Hero of the Taxpayer”, Americans for Tax Reform, 2002, 2000
•”Friend of Agriculture”, American Farm Bureau and Illinois Farm Bureau, 2002, 2000, 1996
•”Guardian of Seniors’ Rights”, The 60 Plus Association, 2002, 1998
•”Special Recognition Award”, National School Board Association (NSBA), 2002
•”National Republican Legislator of the Year”, Illinois State Crime Commission, 2002
•”Congressional Leadership on behalf of Homeless Children and Youth”, National Association for Education of Homeless Children and Youth, 2001
•”100 percent” Voting Record, National Association of Manufacturers, 2001
•”In Great Appreciation” for Interest and Support, American Legion Post #43 and VFW Post 3873, 2001
•”Dedicated Public Service”, Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, 2001
•”Guardian of Small Business”, National Federation of Independent Business, 2000
•”Advocate of Small Business”, Small Business Survival Committee, 2000
•”Spirit of Enterprise”, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2001, 1999
•“Service Award”, Architects in Action, 2000
•“Special Thanks for Participation on Arbor Day”, Darien Park District, 2000
•“Thank you for support of the Flag Protection Amendment”, Citizens Flag Alliance, 1999-2000
•“In Appreciation”, Giant Steps, 2000, 1999
•”100% High Tech Voting Record”, Information Technology Industry Association, 1999
•”A+” Rating, National Foreign Trade Council 1999 Congressional Report Card
•”Super Friend of Seniors”, 60 Plus Association, 1999
•”Bharat Misra” (Friend of India), Indo-US Political League, 1999
•”Governmental Leader of the Year”, DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference, 1998
•”Legislator of the Year”, Illinois Association of Community Mental Health Agencies, 1998
•Inducted into Hinsdale Central High School Hall of Fame, 1997
•”Legislator of the Year”, Women’s Cable Association, 1997
•“Certificate of Appreciation”, Illinois Library Association, 1997
•One of “100 Women Making a Difference”, Today’s Chicago Woman, 1997
•Named “First Friend” of Wellness House, 1997
•“Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding cooperation and assistance in furthering the purpose and principles of the Coast Guard Auxiliary”, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, 1997
• “Champion Legislator”, Hinsdale Hospital, 1996
•“In Appreciation”, Inside Insights, 1996
•”Voice of Employers”, Management Association of Illinois, 1996
•“Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding contributions on behalf of the people of Illinois”, Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, 1996
•”Woman of the Year” in Government, Politics and Civic Affairs, DuPage YWCA, 1995
•“In Appreciation”, Community Hospitals Against the Medicaid Provider Tax (CHAMP), 1995
•Illinois Division Merit Citation, American Cancer Society, 1995
• “A World of Thanks”, O.P.A.C.C.
•“In Appreciation”, Hinsdale Surgical Center
• “Honorary Smile Ambassador”, Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation
• Who’s Who of American Women

Religious Affiliation
# Member, Grace Episcopal Church, Hinsdale, Illinois

Personal
# Birthplace: Chicago; Husband: Rody P. Biggert; Children: Courtney Caverly, Alison Cabot, Rody P. Biggert, Jr., and Adrienne Morrell; and Grandchildren: Martin Bray, Gillian and Grant Patterson Caverly; John Henry and Matthew Cabot; and Greer Morrell.

Women in the Senate Sunday, Dec 7 2008 

A great deal of interest has been generated over the possible female appointees to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, but we forget that we could also make gains with Obama’s upcoming vacant Senate seat (likely to be vacant regardless of the Natural Born Citizen outcome).

So who are the female Illinois Congresspeople?  Yes, all of them endorsed Obama, but he is from their home state after all.

We have Janice Schakowsky, a far left Democrat, with more experience in Congress, whose focus has been Energy and the Environment, and has been called a friend to Israel.

Second, we have Judy Biggert, a moderate  Republican, whose focus has been on Education, and who is pro-choice and voted NO on the FMA and was endorsed by the HRC against her Democratic opponent (which NEVER happens).

We have moderate Democrat, Melissa Bean, who has served on various financial committees, who has the greatest chance of helping in this economic mess, although she only has 3 years of experience in Congress.

Do a little research and tell me which of these three you would pick to support for Obama’s Senate seat.