The Daily Agenda for Saturday, June 7
June 7th, 2014
Marriages Continue in Wisconsin: Milwaukee and Madison. Soon after yesterday’s ruling came down declaring Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, the county courthouses in Madison and Milwaukee stayed open late last night to handle the rush for marriage licenses. This was something of a surprise since Federal District Judge Barbara B. Crabb’s ruling wasn’t accompanied by an injunction ordering the state to make marriage licenses available to everyone everywhere. That’s not expected until sometime after June 16. Yet her decision did say that Wisconsin’s prohibition on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. So that seems to leave county clerks neither required nor prohibited from issuing licenses to same-sex couples. And so 68 couples got married at the Milwaukee County Court House, along with another 61 at the Dane County Court House in Madison. Both courthouses will reopen again this morning at 9:00 a.m.
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Albany, NY; Athens, Greece; Bergen, Norway; Boston, MA; Birmingham, AL; Cambridge/Kitchener/Waterloo, ON; Charleston, WV; Cheyenne, WY; Davenport, IA; Dayton, OH; Detroit, MI; Des Moines, IA; Edmonton, AB; El Paso, TX; Fresno, CA; Hannover, Germany; Honolulu, HI; Indianapolis, IN; Innsbruck, Austria; Lille, France; Los Angeles, CA; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Maplewood/South Orange, NJ; Milwaukee, WI; Oxford, UK; Philadelphia, PA; Plano, TX; Rome, Italy; Salt Lake City, UT; Seoul, South Korea; Söderhamn, Sweden; Spencer, IN; Split, Croatia; Tulsa, OK; Washington, DC; Youngstown, OH.
Other Events This Weekend: Razzle Dazzle Dallas, Dallas, TX; Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Hartford, CT; AIDS Walk, London, UK; Cinépride LGBT Film Festival, Nantes, France; Gay Days Disney, Orlando, FL; AIDS Life Cycle, San Francisco to Los Angeles, CA; Seoul LGBT Film Festival, Seoul, South Korea; Tel Aviv LGBT International Film Festival, Tel Aviv, Israel.
TODAY’S AGENDA is brought to you by:
TODAY IN HISTORY:
► Miami Voters Rescind Gay Rights Ordinance: 1977. The Dade County Commission approved an ordinance in January of 1977 that would outlaw discrimination against gay people in employment, housing and public services (see Jan 18). Miami joined about 40 other communities around the nation had similar anti-discrimination laws in effect.
Reaction from local Christian conservatives was swift. Former beauty queen and Florida Orage Juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant learned about the ordinance when it was denounced from the pulpit at Northwest Baptist Church. She sprang into action, creating a group called “Save Our Children” to overturn the ordinance at the ballot box. Fearmongering about “access to children” would be the group’s main focus. She told one audience, “Some males who would become teachers even want to wear dresses to work and flaunt their homosexuality in front of our children.” To another, she warned, “When the law requires you to let an admitted homosexual teach your children and serve as a role model for them, it’s time to stop being so tolerant.” She also blamed homosexuals for the weather. “Do you know why California has a drought? Because a Southern California city passed a gay rights ordinance. That’s God’s way of punishing civilizations that are tolerant of homosexuals.”
Bryant’s mean-spiritedness reportedly cost her a planned syndicated television series when producers backed away from the controversial singer. This gave her a chance to reveal her persecution complex. Declaring that “the blacklisting of Anita Bryant has begun,” she claimed that in losing that job, “it destroys the dream that I have had since I was a child.” Gay rights leader and local businessman Bob Kunst relished the irony. “She wants to cause gays to lose their jobs and she complains because she has lost a job. The lady is a hypocrite.”
Days before the vote was to take place, Florida Gov. Ruben Askew was asked about the Miami campaign at a news conference. “If I were in Miami,” he responded, “I would have no difficulty in voting to repeal that ordinance.” He also said that he had no known gay people on his staff, and he wouldn’t hire any. Askew had been seen as being among a new breed of open-minded Southern Democrats, and his name was often mentioned as a potential Presidential contender.
The final vote wasn’t even close. When the special election came around, the final tally was 202,319 to just 89,562. Dade County voted overwhelmingly to jump onto Anita Bryant’s bandwagon. Bryant responded, “The laws of God and the cultural values of man have been vindicated,” and she announced that she would take her campaign to other cities across America.
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And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?