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The Daily Agenda for Thursday, February 14

Jim Burroway

February 14th, 2013

Today is the traditional Feast Day of St. Valentine. Which Valentine is anybody’s guess. One tradition, as laid out in Legenda Aurea, has it that the day commemorates Valentine the Presbyter (also known as Valentine of Rome), although very little is known if him. Pope Gelasius I in 496 included him as among those “whose names are justly reverenced among me, but whose acts are known only to God.” It is said that he was martyred in about 269 during the reign of Claudius II, after having been arrested and imprisoned for marrying Christian couples who were then under persecution in Rome at a time when Christians were seen as a grave threat to civilization, to all the traditions that made the nation great, and to the natural order of things. But there is no written record of his being associated with romantic love until Geoffrey Chaucer wrote Parlement of Foules in 1382:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

(For this was Saint Valentine’s Day
when every bird comes there to choose his mate)

When the notoriously romantic Victorians got hold of St. Valentine’s Day in the nineteenth century, all hell broke loose on the love-dovey front, and it hasn’t let up since then.

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Events this weekend: Arizona Gay Rodeo, Laveen, AZ; Sydney Mardis Gras, Sydney, NSW.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
San Francisco Establishes Domestic Partnership Registry: 1991. The idea had been tossed around since 1979, when gay rights activist Tom Brougham proposed a new category of relationship called “domestic partnership.” His cause was taken up in 1982 by San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt, who had taken the seat of slain Supervisor Harvey Milk. Britt’s bill authorizing domestic partnerships was vetoed that year by Mayor Dianne Feinstein, It would be passed again in 1989, but that law was repealed by a voter initiative in 1990. Fortunately, that same year city voters approved Proposition K which established a modified version of domestic partnerships which allowed same-sex and opposite-sex couples to register. Fittingly, on February 14, 1991, the brand new registry was established in San Francisco allowing partners to register. San Francisco however wasn’t the first city to provide domestic partnerships. That honor went to West Hollywood in 1985.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

Comments

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noldrussell
February 14th, 2013 | LINK

Here is an animated video version on history of valentine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGx7q4O6w2w
It tells exactly how Valentine was captured by Claudius, and was executed, right after he wrote the eternally remembered ‘from your Valentine’ letter.

Feel free to embed the video, it is using CC attribution.

Hunter
February 14th, 2013 | LINK

Valentine’s Day — damn, almost blipped on it.

On another note, I realize I’ve been reading the gay blogs more and more and skipping the political blogs, probably because they’re so depressing. The only good news is on the gay blogs.

Timothy Kincaid
February 14th, 2013 | LINK

So Valentine was arrested for performing non-traditional marriages, banned by the state, contrary to the prevailing religion, and a threat to the stability of society.

Maybe I don’t hate his feast day after all.

Donny D.
February 15th, 2013 | LINK

Hunter wrote,

On another note, I realize I’ve been reading the gay blogs more and more and skipping the political blogs, probably because they’re so depressing. The only good news is on the gay blogs.

I’ve been doing exactly the same thing, for the same reason.

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