You can change their minds. You can win them over.

A Maryland Republican has done the unthinkable. He has gone from supporting those odious marriage-as-one-man-one-woman acts to opposing them practically overnight. Why? He met some gay couples, and learned they’re human beings.

In an effort to get the bill to the House floor, a special joint committee was formed and legislators were left scrambling for seats. Kach, who had previously backed attempts to define marriage as between one man and one woman, found a space right next to the witness table.

“I saw with so many of the gay couples, they were so devoted to another. I saw so much love,” he said. “When this hearing was over, I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for.”

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Betty Bowers on Traditional Christian Marriage

Yup, pretty much spot on. Considering the full-throated Republican and evangelical assault on gay marriage claiming that “traditional marriage” is between one man and one woman, Betty Bowers, “America’s Best Christian”, goes back to the source materials to show that the common conception of traditional marriage is one that is very much at odds with the one written in everyone’s favorite source for morality.

Gay marriage doesn’t threaten our marriage

I’m reblogging a post in full by an esteemed fellow Canuck, George Waye, who has asked for help in spreading the word on this laudable cause.

Photo of Derek and Tessie Forgie, holding a sign reading 'Gay marriage doesn't threaten our marriage.'

Derek and Tessie Forgie

I’d like you to meet Derek Forgie.  I’ve known Derek for almost twenty years- we were both involved in the arts community here in North Bay for many years before Derek moved down to Toronto in search of fame and fortune.  Well, mostly fame.

Derek is the most motivated guy I know.  When he wants to do something, he just does it.  When he moved to Toronto he started HSSE, Heterosexuals for Same Sex Equality, a group whose mission statement is to advocate for LGBT issues from a heterosexual angle- and to get the message out that human rights are everyone’s rights.

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Happy anniversary, dear

A day late, but yesterday was spent on cuddles and sushi so I hope you’ll forgive me for posting this today. My wife Jodi and I just celebrated our second wedding anniversary. Video of the ceremony is available, and of course, if you’re interested in the proposal, visit Stephanie’s, where she very much played Cupid, with an assist from that old softie PZ Myers himself.

Stephanie’s husband Ben helped take a picture that we never got on our wedding, of the necklace that the amazing, talented and amazingly talented Bohemian Weasel, Soni Alcorn-Hender, made for her. Considering all of the artistic talent, and the model, of course I feel the need to highlight it here.

Professional photograph of Jodi wearing Soni's necklace

Photo © Ben Zvan Photography, used with permission (for obvious reasons)

Serial adulterer Newt Gingrich wanted an open marriage

Via ThinkProgress, more hypocrisy amongst the Republican candidates, this time by Newt Gingrich. How is it hypocrisy, you ask? Well, he believes marriage should be legislated and mandated by law to be one man, one woman.

But for his own marriage, he wanted one man, multiple women instead.

Of course, he wasn’t actually arguing for polyamory, just for the ability to cheat with impunity. And thank goodness, because I have a good deal of sympathy for the idea of polyamory — how consenting fully informed adults arrange their sex lives is nobody’s fucking concern but theirs, thankyouverymuch. I would hate for the movement for recognizing polyamory as a legitimate lifestyle to gain such a notable skeezoid as its new poster child.

ABC has apparently entered into a full-scale civil war over whether to air the interview with Marianne Gingrich immediately, or wait until AFTER the Repub primary in South Carolina. I guess they feel bad about scuttling Gingrich and damning the Republicans to Romney. Such a shame, where Gingrich was doing so well after his calling Obama a “food stamp president” in a not-at-all racist manner.

Let love reign supreme

Homosexuality is very likely biological, an emergent property from a confluence of genes that were selected for other reasons. That doesn’t make the people who are homosexual any less fully human, and my heart sings out that a federal judge in San Francisco has struck down California’s infamous Proposition 8 as unconstitutional in that it abridges the rights of those fully human individuals to marry, and to benefit from the same legal protections afforded by the institution as heterosexual couples. Not only did he strike it down, but he wrote several pages explaining all the ways Prop8 is horrid:

Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians, including: gays and lesbians do not have intimate relationships similar to heterosexual couples; gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals; and gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of society.

Well-known stereotypes about gay men and lesbians include a belief that gays and lesbians are affluent, self-absorbed and incapable of forming long-term intimate relationships. Other stereotypes imagine gay men and lesbians as disease vectors or as child molesters who recruit young children into homosexuality. No evidence supports these stereotypes.

Proposition 8 perpetuates the stereotype that gays and lesbians are incapable of forming long-term loving relationships and that gays and lesbians are not good parents.

Preach it!

And then, as though to harsh my buzz, along came a certain detestable piece of offal to bloviate about the news.
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Jodi and I Owe Bora

Sadly, I don’t owe Bora Zivkovic (whom I have fondly referred to as William Tockman in the past, if you’ll pardon the geek reference) nearly as much as some of his compatriots in the scientific blogosphere. But he helped with Jodi’s geeky proposal trail that started over at Stephanie’s, and for that I owe him a debt of gratitude. Not for helping me get started as a blogger, or for helping me find my place in the scientific community, or any number of other acts of kindness, both large and small. Nor have I participated in ScienceOnline, at least not yet. But the impact Bora has had on the science community is obviously far-reaching.

Now that Bora has left ScienceBlogs in the wake of the Pepsi blog ridiculousness, he needs to support his family, as their income is severely impacted. Considering how many good turns he’s done the community, the community is understandably speaking up, telling him what they owe him — and showing him, however possible.

I honestly wish I had more to say here, but the man’s largess should speak for itself. The fact that he has been unable to adequately monetize his actions is a failing of society — where merit alone does not win one a decent living. I also wish we had the finances at the moment to be able to show, rather than say, how high my opinion of him is. But if you have benefited from Bora’s kindness, large or small, you could donate and show that you recognize that kindness, and want to do him a kindness in return. Likewise, you could visit their store and see if there’s anything you’re interested in, or anything at his Zazzle store while you’re at it. I’m sure whatever you do will be appreciated.

Valentine’s Day: video of our wedding ceremony

I finally have video to share, and on the traditional day-to-buy-things-for-your-loved-ones at that! Sorry it took so long. I didn’t really do any editing for the sound quality, and I certainly can’t edit out Dave’s back through the first part, though luckily someone was smart enough to move it halfway through the vows. After the march is over, you’ll have to crank the volume.

Rumor has it that there’s a second video of the ceremony proper floating around amongst Mark’s family. If I can get my paws on it, I’ll upload it as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Remember, there’s nothing special about today outside the commercial drive to buy chocolates and flowers — every day with people you love should be a day you celebrate. (And Scicurious points out, tomorrow is the day smart people celebrate chocolate-buying, since it’ll all be half off!)