Lupita Nyong'o at the Oscars.Alfonso Cuaron is the first Latino director to win Best Director — in fact, as far as I can tell, he’s [Correction:] the first non-white person one of two non-white artists to win Best Director (the other being Ang Lee, who has won twice; thanks to Piper for noting my commission), in 86 years of the Academy Awards. Lupita Nyong’o is the first black African to win an Oscar. Steve McQueen is one of three black men ever nominated for Best Director, and black screenwriter John Ridley of 12 Years A Slave took home Best Adapted Screenplay. Robert Lopez is the first Filipino American to win an Oscar. Sunday’s show contained a significant portion of the awards taken home by non-white artists in the Academy Awards’ 86 year history.

Not that there’s not a long way to go.

Pope Francis says that the Catholic Church could support some kinds of same-sex civil unions, and even though Vatican spokespeople promptly tried to walk his remarks back, the fact remains that the head of the Church didn’t straight-up condemn some kind of official recognition of same-sex relationships.

Not that there’s not a long way to go.

Lammily, a Barbie-style doll modeled on the average body type of American teenage girls with the specific goal of promoting realistic beauty standards in young girls, has gone viral. Nickolay Lamm, the designer and artist, has already raised twice his fundraising goal for putting Lammily into production.

There’s a long way to go, but that’s a damn good first step.

Correction: Indiana continues to enforce sane-sex marriage ban, otherwise avoids new douchebaggery

A sharp-eyed friend (thanks Andrea!) pointed me towards this article, which clarifies what the updated laws actually are and what their effects are. A quote:

The Marriage Application
The consternation for this law is coming about because of a change in how Indiana processes marriage applications. As part of an overall effort to modernize and digitize all state public records, Indiana has been switching – county by county – to a digital marriage license application form.

On the digital form, there are specific gender designators for male and female that cannot be changed. Previously, on the paper form, one could mark out male or female and write in the appropriate gender to make the form correct. On a digital version, this isn’t possible.

So, some enterprising reporter put two-and-two together and wrote up a story about how there was a new law (no, it’s an updated law that only changed the penalties) that would criminalize the act of any same-sex couple who filled out the electronic form because they would, by default, have to lie about the gender of one of the applicants.

The Confusion
Here’s where it gets confusing for most folks, including the reporter who wrote the original piece: the law specifically criminalizes “knowingly providing false information” – in other words, when there is an intent to defraud the state, you have committed a crime. As several Indiana lawyers, including my friend and fellow blogger, Doug Masson, have pointed out, the simple act of writing (male – not female) or (female – not male) after your name should suffice to make your intent clear.

Me again. I see that this has made it to Tumblr, so if someone wanted to post a link to this article, that’d be much appreciated. Nothing I hate more than misinformation.


Extreme, ridiculous, funny yet horrible: Indiana makes applying for a same-sex marriage license felonious

Please click here for a correction to this post. Thanks to Andrea for the article!

Extreme, ridiculous, funny yet horrible: Indiana makes applying for a same-sex marriage license felonious

Want to hear something that is so ridiculously extreme I have to laugh at it?

A same-sex couple applying for a marriage license in Indiana will be guilty of a Level 6 felony, punishable by 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.


The new law also makes it a Class B Misdemeanor for a clergyman, judge, mayor, city clerk or town clerk-treasurer to perform a same-sex marriage, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Silly me, I was under the impression that the LAST thing same-sex marriage opponents wanted was the government legislating what kind of marriages could be performed, because then the government would surely FORCE good heterosexual evangelical Christians and Catholics to perform same-sex weddings. Forcing everyone to not perform same-sex weddings, on the other hand, is apparently totally fine. Doesn’t set up a precedent for charging people with misdemeanors for performing or not performing a specific kind of marriage at all. As Sadly, No! says, It’s Always Projection.

I can’t help seeing this as the final, violent death throes of the opposition to same-sex marriage. When you have to start splitting hairs to this point (“Because Indiana marriage license forms have a space for ‘male applicant’ and ‘female applicant’, any same-sex couple filling out the form would automatically violate the law [against furnishing false information on a marriage license]”) then you’re losing. And a year and a half jail sentence for applying for a marriage license? It’s so over-the-top and draconian that it’ll never stand up to legal scrutiny or public opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, this law is terrible, and I feel awful for same-sex couples in Indiana — where same-sex marriage is already illegal under state law, I should point out. This law is kicking a group that’s already been down in Indiana for a while. But I really do think it’s one of the last flailing, foaming-at-the-mouth convulsions of this kind of legislative hatred. It is unquestionably terrible to watch and terrible to be in its range, but it won’t last forever.

A somewhat hopeful closing from that same article:

Although same-sex marriages are currently banned by state law, the Republican controlled General Assembly is considering submitting an amendment to the state constitution for a vote of the people next year. The decision will be made in the January-March 2014 legislative session. It is unclear whether such an amendment would survive a popular vote, as recent polling finds a majority of Indiana residents are now against a constitutional amendment forbidding marriage equality.