Monday, December 28, 2009

A Wrap

A daily wrap:
* There is marriage among LGBT people in Argentina! Argentina? Yeah, Argentina.

Two Argentine men were joined Monday in Latin America's first same-sex marriage, traveling to the southernmost tip of the Americas to find a welcoming spot to wed.

Gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre were married in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego state, exchanging rings at an informal ceremony witnessed by state and federal officials.

"My knees didn't stop shaking," said the 41-year-old Di Bello. "We are the first gay couple in Latin America to marry."

The slim, dark-haired couple previously tried to marry in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires but were thwarted by city officials citing conflicting judicial rulings. Argentina's Constitution is silent on whether marriage must be between a man and a woman, effectively leaving the matter to state and city officials.

This time around, they traveled to a remote seaside fishing village at the end of South America that is closer to Antarctica than Buenos Aires. The ceremony took place during the region's brief summer thaw.

Tierra del Fuego Gov. Fabiana Rios said in a statement that gay marriage "is an important advance in human rights and social inclusion and we are very happy that this has happened in our state."

Click here for more.

So Argentina, a very CAtholic country, has gay marriage.


* From Minneapolis' Star Tribune:

Minnesota’s next U.S. Marshal will be Minneapolis’ openly gay Assistant Police Chief Sharon Lubinski. Her confirmation by the U.S. Senate was announced Monday morning by Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, who recommended her.

Lubinkski was formally nominated for the post in October by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in a flurry of pre-holiday legislative activity last week.

A good day for marriage equality AND employment.

And this from the NYT:

* One key to victory for gay politicians has been building reputations in their communities as candidates well qualified for the job. Voters who may be uncomfortable with homosexuality in the abstract are often willing to vote for a gay individual they feel they know, political strategists said.

During her first race for sheriff in 2004, Lupe Valdez, a former federal agent, won a bitter campaign in Dallas County in which her Republican opponent, Danny Chandler, made sure voters knew she was gay and accused her of promoting a gay agenda. It was a year in which Republicans, led by President George W. Bush at the top of the ticket, romped to victory in Texas, and same-sex marriage was a hot topic that favored Republicans.

Yet Ms. Valdez still won a narrow victory. When Mr. Chandler tried to draw attention to her sexuality late in the race, she followed the advice of strategists from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund in Washington. She pointed out she had always been honest about her sexual orientation and asked what it had to do with law enforcement.

Last year, after four years in the public eye, Ms. Valdez — a 62-year-old former agent for the Customs Service, where she did undercover, drug and fraud investigations — easily defeated her Republican challenger, Lowell Cannaday, for a second term. The main issue was her handling of the jails, not her sexuality.

“It’s like anything else,” Ms. Valdez said in an interview. “When it becomes close and personal, it’s not hateful anymore.”

Being honest in marriage, in jobs, and in politics as LGBTQ people.

Quite a day.



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