The results are in and Toledo, Oregon will have an all female city council and mayor. Congratulations to the new Toledo Mayor Billie Jo Smith, and new council members Terri Strom, Michele Johnson, and Julie Rockwell. In other races in Lincoln County, Oregon we also want to congratulate Waldport Mayor Susan Woodruff who ran unopposed, Newport Mayor Sandy Roumagoux who was reelected for a second term, new Newport City Council member Wendy Engler who received more votes than any other city council candidate, new Lincoln City city council member Susan Wahlke, Yachats city council member Barbara Frye, and Depoe Bay city councilor Jo G Fisher-Brown.
Waldport City Councilor Greg Holland has married his domestic partner, Carlos Lazaro at a ceremony on November 12th in Long Beach, California. The two had been domestic partners for 26 years and have resided for 8 years in Waldport.
Greg has been collecting signatures to help get a marriage equality proposition on the November, 2014 ballot in Oregon.
The two decided to not wait for Oregon to pass the initiative, especially when the Oregon Department of Justice has filed an opinion that Oregon must recognize gay marriages performed in other states, even though Oregon presently doesn’t allow gay marriages.
The couple have faced the problems that a domestic partnered couple face; hospitals refusing to allow the domestic partner to make decisions about his partner’s health until the parents approve. Taxes Greg had to pay on the portion his employer paid, on Carlos’ behalf, for medical insurance. Domestic partners have no right to survivorship benefits from Social Security. All in all there are over 1,000 new rights that married couples have now that they didn’t have when they were domestic partners.
Greg welcomes your well-wishes and offers support to other couples that are thinking about taking the plunge. He can be reached at email@example.com
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg marries Michael M. Kaiser, left, and John Roberts in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday. Kaiser is president of the center; Roberts is an economist.
Saturday marked the first time that a Supreme Court member conducted a same-sex marriage ceremony.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at the marriage of a longtime friend, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts President Michael M. Kaiser, to economist John Roberts in the atrium of the center in Washington.
Kaiser has been president of the center since 2001.
A representative of the center said the wedding was not a gala event – “just a ceremony followed by a dinner” – but added that the guest list included more than 200 attendees.
Ginsburg, who turned 80 this year, was among the majority in a Supreme Court decision earlier this summer declaring that people in same-sex marriages are entitled to the hundreds of federal benefits that couples in opposite-sex marriages have.
Thirteen states and Washington, D.C., have passed laws legalizing same-sex marriages.
NY Comptroller Asks President To Order a ‘Place of Celebration’ Standard For Marriages | The New Civil Rights Movement
Toward that goal, Comptroller DiNapoli has written to President Obama, asking him to direct all federal agencies to adopt a “place of celebration” standard, recognizing the place where the couple was married and not the couple’s state of residence, as the determining factor when making the decision whether or not to grant federal benefits to that couple. He observed that many corporations adopt as their company policy whatever the federal government directs, and after the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision, they are looking to Washington for direction.
Opponents of the comptroller’s financial activism have criticized DiNapoli’s plan to invest pension funds only in companies which don’t discriminate. ”It seems very political,” complained one such detractor. “DiNapoli should be more focused on getting a better return on the pension fund and not focus on these social issues.” But DiNapoli insists his policy is good investment judgement. Companies which don’t discriminate tend to do better than companies that do. In his letter to the president DpNapoli wrote:
“I have become increasingly concerned that companies that refuse to protect their employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and those that exclude same-sex spouses from employee benefit plans that are available to opposite-sex spouses, are hurting their financial bottom line.”
There are 49 other states in the union, and all of them have multi-million dollar pension funds. Money talks, and big money shouts. Let’s hope other states follow DiNapoli’s lead, and weed out from their portfolios any companies that discriminate against same-sex married couples. Applying economic pressure may just be faster than waiting for Washington to act.
DiNapoli sent his letter to the White House today. We will let you know if the president responds.
Photo from Twitter