Friday, May 15, 2009

Matt Titone and Danny O'Donnell Do It Up in Albany

While I do not believe that Barack Obama should take up the mantle of Captain Queer Marriage Crusader, I absolutely applaud those men and women, on the ground, that are fighting for the right of queer folks to marry if they so choose. Now, many of the queer folk I know would rather drill holes in their skulls and squeeze the juice of live jellyfish into them than join the marriage train, but I don't know anyone in our community (from the radical faeries to the Log Cabin Republicans **barf**) that doesn't get their thongs in a twist when Christian (and Jewish) fundamentalists make the choice FOR us that we shouldn't be able to marry.

Like my Mama used to say, “Tell me that I can't do something and that is the first thing I am going to go right on out and do.”

This week the New York State Assembly voted 89-52 to pass same-sex marriage legislation. The Assembly passed a similar bill back in 2007, and this bill passed with the support of some assemblypersons that voted against the 2007 bill.

Speaking eloquently from the Assembly floor was openly gay Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell, the bill's sponsor(and brother of comedienne Rosie O'Donnell). When confronted by Republican Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick about the bill being a vehicle to force religious based civic organizations to accept queer marriage, Mr. O'Donnell replied, "This is not about anybody's religion," O'Donnell continued. "I am entitled to the same paper you have, Michael, whether you want me to or not."

Score one for Assemblyman O'Donnell, who, incidentally, totally flirted with me at the Dugout several weeks ago just after a softball practice. A politician has to work whatever angle they got going. I was flattered. Though we did differ over a recent performance of “And I Am Tellin' You,” where Jennifer Hudson brought Jennifer Holiday onto the stage and Jennifer Holiday lost her damn mind and oversang the song. Mr. O'Donnell didn't agree. We will work out the final resolution in committee.

But, the other hero of the morning was Staten Island (really...who lives there?) Assemblyman Matt Titone—openly gay and the 16 year partner of my friend and co-Rookie (my softball team) Josh Pugliese. Assemblyman Titone spoke passionately about the death of his Mother. As his Mother lay dying, and the family gathered to say their goodbyes, his partner, Josh, had extreme difficulty being with the family in the hospital because of the lack of legal standing of Mr. Titones and his long-term relationship. That, ladies and gentleman, is what I call pure and utter bullshit. Love, not a piece of paper, makes a family. Unfortunately, in America, pieces of paper have more value and importance than a commitment between two people of the same gender.

Mr. Titone shared how his love and his relationship was, on the Assembly floor, compared to bestiality, incest, and pedophilia and other morally bankrupt behavior. That Assemblyman that made the reference, Dov Hikind, an orthodox Jew, said it would take an act of God for him to vote for this legislation. Assemblyman Titone then made a point that every religious wignut in this world needs to eat, chew, swallow and digest: EVERY PERSON ON THIS PLANET IS A GIFT FROM GOD.

The next time a Bible, Torah, or K'oran toting hate monger vomits their self-loathing into a space where I am standing, I am going to snatch up their holy book and beat them in the face with it until they meet their God. And when they get to the other side, I hope He smacks the Hell out of him or her and sends them back to Earth with a clear understanding that the Abrahamic faiths, which command Love, are incompatible with hate. I also hope they wake up with a big old imprint of God's hand on their ass and SHUT THE HELL UP tatooed on their foreheads...oh yeah and missing their tongues.

It's not a hate crime if God does it.

Sorry...I took a turn onto Tangent Road and got off at the Pissed Off Exit. Breathe...1...2....3.... the end the legislation passed with more support than it had in the past. With most of New England on the bandwagon, it is obvious that the Clam Chowder States are going to be chock full of married's just a matter of time (for New York and the rest of the country). The bill now goes to the Senate where passage is in now is the time for you kiddies out there in the Empire State to put in those phone calls to your Senators. While it is hella strategic for Obama to keep his mouth shut on this is not helpful for you to do the same. Get off the couch, grab that iPhone and give your legislator a ring. I will even help you out, you can find your Senator's contact information right here.

(Some of the information in this article was garnered from an article from the Politicker)

(P.S. New York has four openly queer Assembly Members. In addition to Matt and Danny are Deborah Glick and openly bi-sexual member Micah Kellner).

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