The Chula Vista (California) Veterans Home hosted its first gay marriage this past week.
John Banvard, 95 and a World War II veteran, married his partner of 20 years, Gerard Nadeau, 67, who served in Vietnam, at their home of three years, the Chula Vista Veterans Home.
Fox 5 reported, “Many of the couple’s friends who live at the veteran’s home attended the small and simple ceremony.” However, the facility also held a town hall meeting prior to the ceremony “to address concerns from other residents.”
You can read the article and see a short video at http://fox5sandiego.com/2013/09/12/senior-facility-holds-first-ever-gay-wedding/#axzz2f53QhYTe
And another one falls!
A California judge has ruled that the portion of the U.S. Code governing veterans benefits is unconstitutional and unenforceable in its definition of marriage, which excludes same-sex couples.
The ruling will enable same-sex military couples to access benefits available to other married couples.
The article is available at http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/federal-judge-strikes-down-law-barring-same-sex-couples-from
This week the Advocate has — count ‘em! — THREE articles on old LGBT people!
“Prime Timers: A New Age for Activism” profiles 25 LGBT people aged 65 and older, including large photos of each. The list is heavy on actors and authors, most of whom have been out as LGBT issues for decades, but also contains some long-time activists and a few who became out and/or active only after passing what’s thought of in the U.S. as “retirement age.”
“9 Tales of Young Love and Old Memories” interviews nine residents of Triangle Square, an LGBT-focused housing project in Los Angeles operated by Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing, all of whom discuss their “first love.” Some first loves were fleeting, but others lasted decades.
In the hard news category is “HHS Offers Benefits, Joint Placement to Married LGBT Seniors on Medicare.” This article reports on a new Department of Health and Human Services ruling that legally married LGBT elders on Medicare will be eligible for equal benefits and joint placement in nursing homes around the country, regardless of whether or not they are currently living in a state that recognizes their marriage.
Tomorrow the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is scheduled to take up — and expected to send on to the full Senate — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a long-pending bill that would outlaw employment discrimination against LGBT people.
In honor of this new ENDA push, we dusted off our copy of “An Ally’s Guide to Issues Facing LGBT Americans,” a guide that was collaboratively produced by a number of LGBT organizations. It addresses what some would call “The Gay Agenda,” giving data and background on the following LGBT wish list: Continue reading
I’ll admit it: I love Edie Windsor, the woman who is standing up in the Supreme Court on behalf of same-sex marriage. So I’d want to call your attention to another article about her no matter what (especially one that has a spiffy new picture of her!).
But what struck me even more about this article is how it shows how committed Edie is to continuing to learn and grow. It ends with this exchange:
“Did you participate in the Dyke March the day before gay pride?”
“Well, I loved it, I thought it was great. I sang with them. Some went topless. I used to wish they would put on clothes. I was once saying something about disliking some of the extreme stuff to a straight friend, and she said, ‘Edie, somebody has to keep pushing the envelope.’ I said: ‘I think you’re right. I apologize for everything I thought.”
You can read the whole interview at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/magazine/edith-windsor-takes-back-what-she-said-about-topless-gay-activists.html?ref=magazine&_r=0
They met in 1965, when David Richard was assigned as a student teacher to Del Thusius in Portage, Wisconsin. It was love at first sight.
Their life partnership ended on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court was debating gay marriage, when Thusius died in a Plainwell nursing home at the age of 85. In between, they loved, taught in the same school district, lived together…and entered places separately. “One of us would go in and the other would stand behind the door for a minute and then walk in,” Reichard recalled.
They also evolved. For much of his life, Thusius struggled with his sexual orientation. Yet on Reichard’s most recent birthday, Thusius gave him a very special gift: a wedding ring.
You can read more at http://www.mlive.com/opinion/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2013/03/julie_mack_love_story_of_two_r.html
“They are in their mid-60s now — about the average age of a Supreme Court justice.”
So begins a USA Today article (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/03/10/supreme-court-gay-marriage-stonewall-inn-obama/1964933/) on how the Stonewall Generation views same-sex marriage, a topic the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up next week. As makes sense in as diverse a community as ours, there is little consensus. Some have decided getting married is a good thing, while others are marrying only because they must to keep benefits they had under previous arrangements when marriage wasn’t an option.
The article also discusses chronological age may impact one’s politics and priorities. As one person who was 20 in 1969 put it, “I was forced to meet people in bars that were owned by the Mafia. I was basically pushed into a criminal environment. Society pushed us underground. All I would have told you is that ‘I want to get back in the bar and dance.’ I wasn’t aware of what I didn’t have.” Now he says of the potential Supreme Court decision: “If the court denies me my basic rights, they will probably this time see a bigger riot on their hands than they did that night at Stonewall.”
They’re not all of older couples, but the title of the collection is right on: “20 Photos That Could Change Someone’s Mind About Gay Marriage.”
Surf over to http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/20-photos-that-could-change-someones-mind-on-gay-marriage to get your smile on.
Gay Marriage? That’s so 1960s….
Same-sex couples have been getting married for decades. The law may not have considered their marriages legitimate, but the couples that married certainly did. Ben Klassen, a young, queer research assistant studying same-sex marriage and union blessings before 1980 under the supervision of a professor at Simon Fraser University, is seeking interviewees.
“If you ever heard of or participated in such an event, or if you considered yourself married to your same-sex partner but did not have a ceremony, I would very much like to hear from you. I am also interested to hear from trans folks who, at the time, thought of their marriage as a ‘same-sex’ marriage. Finally, if you are lesbian, gay or trans and objected to same-sex marriages in the pre-1980s period for political or other reasons, please drop me a line.”
“Your contribution, no matter how small, is really important. By sharing your story and knowledge, you can help me document this lesser-known aspect of American history. You can provide information anonymously, or, if you choose, you can be identified by name as a contributor in any publication that includes information provided by you.”
“If you can spare a little time and have information to share, please contact me by email at bjk8 [at] sfu [dot] ca. Thank you!”