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Archive for the ‘glbt’ Category

congratulations to Maryland, the 8th state to legalize marriage equality

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While our political culture continues its slow march down hyperbolic lane towards the upcoming election, another march continues.

So, congratulations to Maryland for passing marriage equality. The legislation now goes to Governor O’Malley, who sponsored the bill and will thus likely sign it. Maryland will become the 8th state in the Union to allow full equal marriage rights.

As an LA Times story highlights, it gets pretty hard to oppose gay marriage when one becomes familiar with and involved in the lives of gays and lesbians who are seeking only the same rights as straight couples. Sit down and look honestly at the opposition, and hey, minds can be changed.

A chance shake-up of Maryland House of Delegates seating assignments brought Republican Wade Kach face to face with gay couples who had come to make the case for a gay marriage law, and might have proved decisive in its final passage through the state’s General Assembly on Thursday.

In an effort to get the bill to the House floor, a special joint committee was formed and legislators were left scrambling for seats. Kach, who had previously backed attempts to define marriage as between one man and one woman, found a space right next to the witness table.

“I saw with so many of the gay couples, they were so devoted to another. I saw so much love,” he said. “When this hearing was over, I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for.

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Written by Christopher ZF

February 24, 2012 at 11:23

Posted in gay marriage, glbt

Tagged with ,

Anoka-Hennepin School Board replaces Neutrality Policy with Respectful Learning Environment Policy

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Last week at TRC we posted a link to the Rolling Stone article on the Anoka-Hennepin School District and its neutrality policy that has garnered national attention in the wake a string of tragic student suicides. This issue is very emotional and very contentions in the district, throughout MN and around the country. Check my inbox for evidence.

Yesterday, the School Board for the Anoka-Hennepin School District voted 5-1 to replace the neutrality policy with the ” Respectful Learning Environment Curriculum Policy.”

Whether the new policy will result in an improvement remains to be seen. But it does at least seem to provide a new starting point for teachers and others who work in schools, and will hopefully provide those men and women more confidence as they seek to provide an equally safe environment for all students. Let’s hope the vote is a first step towards resolving this divide, moving towards equality and protecting everyone in the halls of high school, which can be a very difficult environment.

As the outspoken, local  anti-gay activist Barb Anderson told the School Board just yesterday:

You are the gatekeepers…This decision will affect our children and grandchildren and will have a ripple effect for years to come. On this one issue you will be remembered forever for your vote.”

True. Thankfully, they did not listen to Barb Anderson.

Written by Christopher ZF

February 14, 2012 at 10:05