29 April 2013

Marriage, Murder, Videophone and Television

* Early Wednesday morning, Colorado will have its first civil unions.  Polling showed that this measure providing for marriage in all but name under state law, had 70% public support.  May 1st will likely be one of the biggest days for weddings in state history.  It is a step that makes the entire gay rights movement more secure because any effort to repeal the law will have to confront the vested interests of those already married. 

Those planning outdoor weddings should plan on relocating to indoor venues.  There is wet snow in the forecast.

* Rhode Island has adopted a gay marriage bill, becoming the last of the New England states to permit gay marriage.  Pennsylvania is the last holdouts in the Northeast without either gay marriage or civil unions.  Alaska is the last Pacific State holdout.  Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois are states in the nation's interior with gay marriage or civil unions and President Obama has largely tipped the balance at the federal level in favor of gay rights, although there are some loose ends to resolve there.

I have little doubt that Colorado will amend its state constitution to allow for same sex marriage sometime in the next few years, probably via a citizen initiative as too many Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly oppose it for the change to be introduced via the legislature at this point.

No state that was formerly a part of the Confederacy has civil unions or gay marriage.

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in the United States
Same-sex marriage1
Unions granting rights similar to marriage1,2
Legislation granting limited/enumerated rights1
Same-sex marriages performed elsewhere recognized1
No specific prohibition or recognition of same-sex marriages or unions
State statute bans same-sex marriage
State constitution bans same-sex marriage2
State constitution bans same-sex marriage and some or all other kinds of same-sex unions

1May include recent laws or court decisions which have created legal recognition of same-sex relationships, but which have yet to enter effect.
2See the article on
same-sex marriage in California for the status in California. [A lower court invalidated a measure overturning California's stance permitting gay marrriage.  It was appealed and the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the relevant case and have not decided it on the merits at this point.  The outcome is quite uncertain.]

From here.

* Chris Haney, 26, a bartender at the Gothic Theater was shot and killed at about 3 a.m. on Saturday at the Denny's at Sante Fe Boulevard and Alameda in Denver.  Two suspects, Robert Bernal, a twenty-five year old man and a juvenile, have been arrested.  It isn't clear if the man was a bystander caught in the cross-fire or the intended victim.  (I was unable to find the story, which appeared prominently on the first page of the Denver and West Section of today's Denver Post on the newspaper's website even using its search function.)

He is survived by a wife and a five year old daughter.  He lived nearby.  Until recently, so did I.  The story strikes me as notable because I go to that Denny's now and then.  In particular, in the two or three rare occasions that I needed to get out of the house to blow off steam and keep myself from saying something rash after an argument with my wife, that was where I would go.

* I had a second successful Skype-Facetime communication from my home with the assistance of my children.  Even though this technology has been anticipated as a logical outgrowth of prior technologies for eighty years or so, actually having home videophone technology is still pretty cool.  It works well enough that I suspect that it is only a matter of time before it replaces in person depositions and hearings for many purposes in the court system, and in meetings with rural or homebound clients.

* Echoing a previous post about how far forgotten broadcast TV is, a company that sells digital antennas has run a full page age proclaiming how amazing it is that "federal law" allows you to get "Free TV channels with no cable, satellite or internet connection and no monthly bills" simply by buying their $49 antenna.  The silly ad lists every ZIP code in Denver as a place you can get it if you "immediately call" their 1-888 number.  Broadcast television has definitely jumped the shark.

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