Sunday, 26 February 2012

What's Happening, Hot Stuff?? 26/2/2012

Welcome to this week's WHHS! If you have seen our blog posts over the last few days you may have noticed that we’ve had significant week in the world of Sprezzatura! We've hit 10,000 views, gotten our first award, 100 posts, and we have big news - we've finally gotten a Facebook Page!! Please please PLEASE check it out and 'Like' it - we'd love that! 
(See our FB Page HERE)

But on with what’s been happening in the rest of the world….

We mentioned last week that Maine is due to hold a referendum to legalise gay marriage – this will now happen in November. Voters will vote on whether same-sex couples should be able to get married in their state. The secretary of state this week confirmed that marriage equality activists have gathered 85,216 verified signatures required for a ballot measure - far more than the 57,277 required. 'Same-sex couples want to marry for the same reasons other couples want to marry: because they love each other and want to spend their lives together,' said Betsy Smith, the executive director of EqualityMaine.  'There’s no question that momentum is growing for same-sex marriage in Maine.' 
Maine State House
The last time Maine voters went to the polls on this issue, things did not go well for gay marriage proponents. Both houses of the state legislature had passed a law legalising the marriages in 2009 but it was overturned in a statewide referendum! It was good to hear Pastor Michael Gray of Old Orchard Beach United Methodist Church come out and say that people's feelings on the issue have evolved just as his have. 'More and more people in Maine are coming to understand that loving, committed same-sex couples should not be denied the freedom to marry,' Gray said.

The developments in Maine come during a time of momentum for the marriage equality movement in various states. Same-sex couples can currently marry in the District of Columbia, New York, Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Washington, California and New Hampshire. We just need them to change the federal law so that our marriage would allow Laura to bring Sarah home!

In Australia, last Friday marked the first civil unions between same-sex couples in Queensland history after sixteen gay and lesbian partners tied the knot. Each couple lined up outside the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages to officially have their relationship legally recognised. One couple, Dave Mildren and Collin Dubery, who have been together for 21 years, were SO happy that they could finally prove and justify their relationship in a legal and official sense. ‘It's wonderful to have a legal recognition of our relationship, the reason being that for the first time we are confident that we don't have to prove our relationship. Our neighbours recognise our relationship, our siblings recognise our relationship, our friends recognise our relationship, our parents recognise it, and now finally the State will recognise it too.”
Dave & Collin in Queensland
There is good news in Ireland too -equal marriage advocates have welcomed a poll which puts public support for allowing gay couples to marry at 73%. Kieran Rose, Chair of Ireland’s Gay and Lesbian Equality Network said: “The poll confirms the openness of Irish people and their support for further critically important progress to achieving equality for lesbian and gay people." Moninne Griffith, Marriage Equality’s Director said: “The results of today’s Red C poll are vitally important. It shows that not only are Irish people in favour of marriage equality, but they are also in favour of its inclusion in our Constitution. That is a huge step forward in our work to achieve equality for same-sex couples and families all over Ireland’’.

On UK soil there has been high profile support for the LGBT community as all three main British party leaders sent messages of support as LGBT students gather in Brighton for Student Pride.
Organisers have received a letter of support from Prime Minister David Cameron, deputy PM and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and leader of the opposition Ed Miliband and the local Brighton and Hove MP and leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas. David Cameron says: ‘As you gather in Brighton, I hope you will reflect on the role each of you can play in bringing about change in your communities. Role models are hugely important when tackling homophobia. Homophobia can prevent people from realizing their dreams and we cannot allow prejudice to prevail. Everyone has a voice and collectively we must challenge unacceptable behaviour and attitudes.’
Nick Clegg uses his message to emphasise the coalition government’s role in tackling homophobia in schools. He says: ‘Homophobia sadly rears its ugly head too often in our society – in our schools, workplaces, sport and playgrounds. That is why we’re investing more money in tackling homophobic bullying in schools, helping head teachers to ban it from their grounds, and working with clubs and organisations to tackle homophobia in sport.’

Labour leader David Miliband praises Britain’s National Union of Students, which is 30 this year, for its ongoing support for LGBT rights in his message. He goes on to emphasize the UK’s role in promoting LGBT equality worldwide: ‘I want Britain to be seen as a beacon of hope on LGBT equality, speaking out against injustice and prejudice at home and in other parts of the world. Together we can build a more equal and just society.’ – this may be the best thing he’s said in a while!

Lord Carey
Unfortunately a former Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken out against the prime minister’s support of equal marriage rights for gay couples, calling it undemocratic and ‘one of the greatest political power grabs in history’. Writing in the Daily Mail, Lord Carey said marriage was not ‘owned’ by the state or any religion but pre-dated both as a cultural institution. As a result, he argued, no one should be allowed to alter it. The Archbishop was pledging his support for a new Coalition for Marriage, which has been created to oppose marriage equality efforts. Lord Carey talks about the importance of the marriage relationship for society and speaks of his own wife’s long support of him. But he argues that gays should not be able to marry because equality does not “mean being the same”. Instead, he recommends the two institutions of marriage and civil partnerships be maintained. Allowing gay couples to marry, he adds, would change the institution “beyond all recognition”. Schools, he writes, “will be forced to teach children the new definition of marriage (ohno) – which will run counter to the wishes of many parents”. The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu said David Cameron’s support of gay marriage with the actions of a dictator earlier this year. As a result, a protest was held outside his cathedral, York Minster. The Coalition for Marriage hosts a petition on its website opposing “any attempt to redefine” marriage.

To end here is something that made us smile, a teenage YouTube user in the US has recorded the conversation in which he comes out to his mother and posted it online saying he hopes it will be an “inspiration”. On arriving home his Mom senses that he wants to discuss something and Thompson replies: “I’m gay”. His mother replies, “Daniel, Daniel,” before hugging him. He adds: “I know you probably already know, but I want to make it official.” She says: “You know what, I am so proud of you.” She goes on to discuss coming out in the modern world where prejudice still exists. In the video description, he writes: “Finally got the strength to come out to my mom. My Mom has been extremely supportive. I could not ask for anyone else. Love you. Every circumstance is different and you will know when the right time to come out is." - Sarah may have shed a tear or two when watching this!!

In contrast, here’s how Sarah’s conversation when with her Mum when they met up in Bali after not seeing each other for 5 months:

S’s Mum: ‘‘You look really well and really happy’
Sarah ‘’I am….like the happiest I’ve ever been and it’s not just living in Australia’’
S’s Mum ‘Oh well, I’m glad you are happy’’
Sarah ‘Thanks. The thing is the reason I’m so happy is I’m with Laura – as in a couple with Laura’’
S’s Mum ‘Er, no you’re not, that’s SO wrong –why would you say that to me, I can’t believe you just said that – take it back – never say that again!'
Sarah ‘But Mum it’s true – I love her and we are so happy!’
S’s Mum – 'No-one else knows, do they? Don’t tell anyone – this is so devastating it can never leave this room, no-one can know, what will they think?? – Just go back to Oz and change your mind then you can come back and we’ll forget this ever happened.’
Sarah ‘This isn’t a stage, this won’t go away – I want to be with Laura and I will want to come home at some point and bring Laura – Australia is temporary, Laura is not.’
S’s Mum ‘What did I do wrong??!? – I love you but I can’t, won’t accept this – it’s breaking my heart, it will destroy your Dad. You have to change! That American has ruined our family!!!!!’
We have been together almost 3 years and Sarah’s parents' opinions remain the same, it’s a sad but true fact that while society is changing, her parents remain firmly against our love. We will persevere, and we sincerely hope there are more stories like Daniel’s than like Sarah’s.

To end on a high, we found out that the commercials Ellen DeGeneres has made for JC Penney will premiere during the Academy Awards telecast on Sunday (26 February- tonight!). 'I can't tell you how excited I am about them,' DeGeneres said to her talk show audience Friday. 'There are five different ones that run throughout the Oscars.  I had so much fun making them. I'm proud of them. ... They're beautifully done.' The group OneMillionMoms had tried to get retail chain JC Penney to fire DeGeneres as their spokesperson because she is a lesbian. But the company stood by DeGeneres and more than 43,000 people have signed a Stand Up For Ellen petition on Well done JC Penney!

Phew that was quite a round up. We hope you've enjoyed it!

Enjoy the last week of February!!
Laura & Sarah xo


  1. Another outstanding post. Especially the video. EVERY Mother of a LGBT child should watch. Sarah, if you were my Daughter I would be very proud of you and Laura. You both are incredibly bright and funny and kind and loving. Mothers should be proud of their children who can express and share their love. As a Human Being, who doesn't know you, I am very proud of you both.

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment Mary, it means a lot. I wish that more people thought like you - thankfully the friends I have told have been incredibly supportive and Laura's family have been amazing so we count ourselves lucky. Sarah xo

  2. Loving that video!
    Mothers and fathers should always love their children. That's part of the job description. It's lovely to see that you girls support each other and don't let the disapproval stand in the way of your relationship.

    Stephanie and Corrine xox

  3. Great post, wow! Just FYI... Marriage is not quite legal in California. It was for a short time in 2008 but it has been stuck in the courts every since. We're in California, wedding is coming in June. We were hoping but it doesn't look like it will be legal for us. But it sure will be everything else! :)

  4. The way Sarahs mum is makes me SO sad! :( but seriously its amazing you girls have stuck through and come out stronger than ever <3

    P.s dinner time with your mum soon? LOL

    M x


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