Surprising support for gay marriage in south

The South is warming to gay marriage, writes Robert P Jones in The Atlantic. The reasons are complicated and regional, but it reminded me a little of how some British conservatives evinced a similar "surprise" support a few years go. If you can't beat them, normalize them? I guess memories are shorter than the sentences in Leviticus.

Same-sex marriage clears last hurdle in UK

Following an earlier vote by British legislators to allow same-sex marriage, the plans cleared both houses of Parliament this week. USA Today:

Now, all the bill needs is official assent from Queen Elizabeth II, which is expected to come later in the week.

Like the Queen would say no, even if she may! It'll be next year before marriages start taking place, though, due to legal formalities. (Update: Scotland's version of the bill is expected to pass there presently)

Billboard: "Gay Marriage = Gay Clutter"

Gayclutter

"It's funny cause it's true," says my pal Jason Tester who posted the photo to his Instagram feed @guerrillafutures.

Prevent divorce — with science!

Back in 2002, psychologists studying how couples argued found four different behaviors that correlated strongly with future divorce. In fact, in a small sample of 80 couples, the combination of those behaviors could be used to predict who would divorce over the next 14 years with 93% accuracy. The good news: While these behaviors are all things that people probably do sometimes, it's the frequency of behaviors that matters ... and, better yet, they're all things that you can change. At PsySociety, Melanie Tannenbaum uses the amazingly spot-on example of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries to illustrate how unhealthy arguments can lead to relationship collapse.

Last wish of married lesbian soldier dying of breast cancer: "Let DOMA die before I do"

Charlie Morgan, a 47-year-old career soldier in the late stages of metastatic breast cancer, says she hopes to live long enough to see the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) overturned, so that her wife will receive the benefits that a widow in a hetero couple would receive. “I’m praying that they take it up soon,” Morgan told the Washington Post in a phone interview from her home in New Durham, NH “It’s my motivation for staying alive. I really need to be alive when they actually do overturn DOMA, otherwise Karen is not guaranteed anything.” Read the rest here.

Minnesota defeats discriminatory marriage amendment

Last night, Minnesota became the first state to vote against a constitutional amendment banning gays and lesbians from marrying. We still don't have marriage equality in this state. But two other states — Maine and Maryland — voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage and a third, Washington, looks like it might do the same. Meanwhile, Iowans voted to retain a judge who played a role in making same sex marriage legal in that state.

To celebrate — especially on the Minnesota front, where we also rejected a voter ID amendment — I present this video of the Swedish Chef making meatballs.

A perfect political ad (Video)

I love firemen! I love brotherhoods! I love gay marriage! This ad has everything!

Seed artists support marriage equality

I've written here before about seed art at the Minnesota State Fair. Every year, Minnesotans glue thousands of tiny seeds to heavy backing material to create some surprisingly elaborate examples of portraiture and political commentary. Oddly, given that this is folk art at a state fair in the Midwest, most of that political commentary is solidly liberal.

I wasn't able to make it to the Minnesota State Fair this year, but Minnesota Public Radio's Nikki Tundel was there. At least four different entries in this year's seed art competition feature marriage equality themes—responses to the coming election when Minnesotans will decide whether or not to enshrine discriminatory marriage laws into our state constitution. It's safe to say: Minnesota's seed artists want you to vote "No".

You can see all the marriage equality seed art at the MPR News Tumblr blog

Via the Stuff About Minneapolis blog, and Andrew Balfour

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Obama Sparks Creationism Controversy With "Evolution" of His Gay Marriage Position

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“$9.99 every six months to support one of my all-time favorite comics. Boom, done.” -John Gruber, Daring Fireball, INNER HIVE member since four weeks ago

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TOM THE DANCING BUG: What Mischief Does Li'l Mitt Get Into This Time?

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“My only argument with Ruben B.

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When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite

Gwinna at anthropologist.livejournal.com writes: "Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual. Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the 'Office of Same-Sex Union' (10th and 11th century), and the 'Order for Uniting Two Men' (11th and 12th century)." (via @joshuahol)

Open thread: "Same sex couples should be able to get married"—Barack Obama, May 9, 2012

Photo: At a bar in San Francisco, Horst Linsen of Germany watches TV as President Obama voices support to same-sex marriage. (Reuters)

U.S. President Barack Obama said today he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, taking a stand that is likely to please his political base and upset conservative voters. Your thoughts on the news, and what it means for the presidential election season in America, are welcome in the comments.

Married lesbian couple rescued 40 teenagers from drowning during Utøya shooting

Irene says, "Among the tourists who were near Utøya on July 22, during the terrorist attack, were Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen, a married lesbian couple from Finland who deserve the title of heroines. When they heard the gunshots, they went in their boat to help. They made four trips in all, and were able to rescue about 40 teenagers from probable death."
“We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake,” says Dale to HS in an interview.

The couple immediately took action and pushed the boat into Lake Tyrifjorden.

Dalen and Hansen drove the boat to the island, picked up from the water victims in shock in, the young and wounded, and transported them to the opposite shore to the mainland. Between runs they saw that the bullets had hit the right side of the boat.

Since there were so many and not all fit at once aboard, they returned to the island four times.

Why does it matter that they're married? Well, because in some jurisdictions, when the question of gay marriage comes up, those who object to it say that gay marriage is associated with low moral character and a general erosion of public ethics. It's a belief you'd have to be mad or terrified to embrace, but perhaps some of those scared or crazy people will have their hearts softened by this incredible example.

Married lesbian couple rescues 40 kids during Norway shooting rampage (Thanks, Irene!)

(Image: cropped, downsized thumbnail from Helsingin Sanomat, taken by Maija Tammi)