A few days ago, Robin McGehee (co-founder of GetEqual.org) gave an audio interview to Joe Mirabella wherein she reiterated her belief in civil disobedience as a critically important tool in the fight for LGBT equality.
Not willing to just talk the talk, today at 1:00 PM in Las Vegas, Nevada, McGehee, Lt. Choi (of White House fence chaining fame) and a number of other GetEqual members blocked eight lanes of traffic at one of the busiest intersections on the Las Vegas Strip, and were arrested for their efforts.
They were protesting the lack of action on ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act), and chose to do it in the home state of Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, who has yet to schedule debate on the matter.
(As an aside, this is the first time, to my knowledge, that Lt. Choi, known for his civil disobedience with regard to Don't Ask Don't Tell, has participated in an organized ENDA protest. If this signals a recognition that it's all one fight, I glad of it)
While we leave Robin and Dan to the tender mercy of the Las Vegas police, and
nothing continues to happen rapidly with respect to legislating LGBT rights as Congress prepares to take its August recess and then go into full Midterm election inaction) the battle continues apace across the globe.
Argentina legalized same sex marriage just a few days ago, and the first marriages are scheduled to be performed on August 13th.
The first union was authorized by municipal officials in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires for actor Ernesto Rodriguez Larrese, 60, and Alejandro Vanelli, 61, who have lived together for 34 years.
The couple had been denied a request to wed at the same location three years ago.
In fact, the Mexico City Tourism Agency announced that the first Argentinian couple so wed would receive an all-expenses paid honeymoon to Mexico City (which made marriage equality law back in March).
Watch here as, around 5:00 AM in the morning, the Argentine Senate completes its 33-27 vote for marriage equality, and the crowd goes wild:
You might think that Argentina's passage of marriage equality would be a catalyst for other countries in Latin America, and you would be correct:
((In Paraguay)) The gay rights group SOMOSGAY (we are gay)... went on to say they'll lobby for passage of a gay marriage bill in October...
((In Chile)) Senator Andres Allamand announced Tuesday he will introduce a bill that recognizes gay couples with civil unions... recently elected Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has backed the measure.
Alas, all is not positive in South America, at least the landlocked part. Apparently, a new Bolivian Constitution approved early this year would make the Christian Right here in the US salivate uncontrollably, because it
... prohibits gay marriage and specifies that marriage is only recognized when it is between a man and a woman.
In Europe, also both good and bad:
This past Friday, Luxembourg started down the path to full marriage equality.
... Luxembourg has begun to work on their own legislation to provide same-sex couples both marriage and adoption rights.
The adoption of the platform for same-sex marriages and adoptions took a strong step forward when the Council of State, an advisory body to the Chamber of Deputies, adopted the suggestions about marriage equality and adoption rights in the nation.
Slovenia is also moving towards equality, despite apparent disapproval by a large majority of its citizens.
In December 2009 the center-left Government of Slovenia approved the new Family Code bill which envisages the full equalization of same-sex unions with other family unions, gay marriage and adoptions by gay couples, and sent it into discussion at the Slovenian National Assembly. The Assembly is expected to vote on the new Family Code bill by the end of 2010...
The latest polls show roughly 2/3 of Slovenian voters oppose same-sex marriage & adoptions by gay couples.
Speaking of majority disapproval, out of Poland, where thousands marched in support of civil unions, comes some rather astounding statistics:
Opinion surveys show that 80 percent of Poles oppose gay marriage and 93 percent believe gay and lesbian couples should not have the right to adopt children. Two out of three Poles oppose gay demonstrations.