The Daily Agenda for Friday, June 24
June 24th, 2011
TODAY’S AGENDA (OURS):
New York Senate Vote on Marriage Equality (?): Albany, NY. Will the Republican caucus finally succeed in blocking a vote on marriage equality in the state Senate? That appears to be the growing realization late Thursday. Only two Republicans have joined twenty-nine Democrats in publicly declaring their support for marriage equality, one short of a majority in the sixty-two member chamber. But more significantly, marriage equality supporters are a distinct minority in the thirty-two member Republican caucus, which will collectively decide whether to allow a vote on the measure on the Senate floor. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who himself has said he will vote against marriage equality, insists that the discussion will take place soon and promised an all-nighter in order to wrap up the Senate’s business. That didn’t happen; the Senate adjourned shortly before 11:00 p.m. and will reconvene this morning at 10:00 a.m. One marriage equality supporter, Sen. James S. Alesi (R-Monroe Co.) told The New York Times:
“I don’t see how the conference doesn’t bring this to the floor at this point,” Mr. Alesi said. “I respect the collective will of my conference, but I believe on an issue as important as this to the Republican Party as well as to the L.G.B.T. community, I feel our conference has to bring this bill to the floor.” But Mr. Alesi added, “Albany is not a place to make predictions.”
Just after midnight Eastern Time, NOM sent out a lengthy message to its email list with a link to the entire Republican caucus asking them to put marriage equality up for a referendum. NOM also is targeting these state Senators:
- Stephen Saland: (518) 455-2411
- Andrew Lanza: (518) 455-3215
- Mark Grisanti: (518) 455-3240
- Greg Ball: (518) 455-3111
- John Flanagan: (518) 455-2071
- Joseph Addabbo: (518) 455-2322
- Shirley Huntley: (518) 455-3531
The last two are listed as “yes” votes for marriage equality. Saland and Grisanti are listed as undecided. Lanza is a “lean no” and Ball and Flanagan are both “no.” Empire Pride also wants all New Yorkers to call their senator’s office right now. You can use their simple click-to-call tool to make your voice heard.
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Anchorage, AK; Antwerp, Belgium; Augusta, GA; Barcelona, Spain; Baton Rouge, LA; Berlin, Germany; Casper, WY; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Columbia, SC (Black Pride); Dublin, Ireland; Durango, CO/Four Corners; Harlem, NY; Houston, TX; Knoxville, TN; Lexington, KY; Lisbon, Portugal; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Mexico City, DF; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Oklahoma City, OK; Omaha, NE; Oslo, Norway; Outer Banks, NC; Panama City, FL; Paris, France; Prince Albert, SA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Fe, NM; SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil; St. Louis, MO; St. Petersburg, FL; St. Petersburg, Russia; Seattle, WA; Valencia, Spain and Wichita, KS.
TODAY’S AGENDA (THEIRS):
Florida Awake!: Naples, FL. Florida is firmly in the hands of a tea-party governor and with the GOP holding 70% of the state Senate and two-thirds of the House, the state is very firmly in conservatism’s tightest grip. And yet for all of that, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver thinks “Florida must rise up and take back its state!” (Exclamation point in the original.) That’s why he will be joining discredited “historian” David Barton for an evening of sheer lunacy tonight at the First Baptist Church of Naples.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Sydney Police Block Pride Parade: 1978. This was supposed to be Sydney’s first Gay Pride Parade, known locally as Mardi Gras, and was planned as a night-time celebration after a morning march and commemoration of the Stonewall riots. (You can see film of the morning march taken with a super-8 camera here.) While homosexuality was still against the law in New South Wales, organizers had obtained all the necessary permits for the celebration beforehand. The evening celebration began simply, with a small crowd walking down Oxford Street on a chilly Australian winter day. The idea was to encourage people to come out from the bars and join the fun. But the crowd aroused suspicions of the police, which had gathered around the group.
By the time the small crowd, estimated at between five hundred and a thousand, reached the end of the street, the police confiscated the sound system, removed their identification badges and turned on the crowd. One participant recalled, “There was, you know, pretty serious bashing and kicking and all sort of things going on. It was a real riot.” Fifty-three marchers were arrested. One marcher recalled that while in police custody, he was beaten so badly he began to convulse on the floor.
“They took me along a long corridor in the police station through a U-shaped route into a room and then just beat the hell out of me. There were two police officers who did that – one in particular – bashing me with their fists in the head and saying ‘you’re not so smart now are you’.” Mr Murphy said he was beaten solidly until a blow to the solar plexus floored him. He was thrown into a solitary cell where he could hear protesters gathered outside chanting his name. “They tried to break my leg but fortunately the bones didn’t snap,” he said. “I was (literally) pissing my pants.”
Although most of the charges were dropped, the Sydney Morning Herald published the full names of everyone who was arrested, outing many to their family, friends and employers. Many lost their jobs. More than thirty years later, many of those surviving original marchers are still waiting for an official police apology.
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