Speed Read: Tuesday 29 October 2013

1-    BIG WAVES IN HAWAII: More than 1,800 people lined up to testify about a proposed marriage equality bill before the Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee Monday. While a great many testified in favor, many opposed it. Most opponents expressed concerns related to their religious beliefs. But at least two said the bill was an attempt by “homosexuals” to “dominate” society, and another said it would lead to having “radical books about the homosexual lifestyle” forced upon school children. One man said marriage equality in Massachusetts resulted in young school children being shown photos of same-sex couples kissing.

2-   END OF THE WORLD SERIES? Parents who let their children watch the World Series Sunday night enabled them to see same-sex adults kissing. The Fox television airing of post-game interviews showed one Boston Red Sox player giving a friendly smooch to a teammate who had hit the game-winning home run. That topped off a broadcast filled with numerous commercials for erectile dysfunction treatments, even during hours when many young baseball fans, especially in Hawaii and on the west coast, were almost certainly still tuned in.

3-   ENDA BEFORE TURKEY: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed, during his remarks on the floor Monday, that he will bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to the Senate floor during the current Senate work period. Reid wasn’t specific about timing, but most believe that will be in the next few weeks. Tico Almeida, founder and president of Freedom to Work, a national LGBT organization focused on passing ENDA, said in a press statement he is confidant there are 60 votes to defeat any attempt to block a vote on the measure.

4-   TO RUSSIA WITH RAINBOWS: Russian lesbian activist Masha Gessen has an idea for how corporate sponsors of the Olympics in Sochi can register their support for the LGBT community: Put rainbows and other LGBT symbols on their products in Russia for the winter games in February. Gessen shared her idea in an interview with Democratic gay political activist and writer Richard Socarides in a blog essay for The New Yorker magazine Monday. “It will be a lot more effective to put a rainbow on every Olympic Coke can,” she told Socarides, “than for an American athlete to say something that won’t get broadcast or translated on Russian TV.” She also urged high profile visitors to the games, such as First Lady Michelle Obama, to withdraw from attending the opening ceremony. “Putin,” she said, “should be in the [opening ceremony] box by himself.”

5-   PUTIN’S PROMISE: Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Monday that both participants and guests to the Winter Olympics will “feel themselves comfortable …regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation,” according to an Associated Press report.

6-   LOVING THE ECONOMY: A Gallup Poll report released yesterday says people who are married spend significantly more than people who have never been married. Gallup polled more than 135,000 adults nationally to see how much each person spent the previous day. Individuals who were married spent an average of about $102 per day. The never marrieds spent only about $67 per day. The three percent of people in domestic partnerships spent an average of $98 per day. Gallup suggested “if more Americans are married, and fewer are single/never married, overall spending might increase” and “such a change could be expected to give a boost to the economy….”

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