Wonk’s Saturday Reads: NY sends forth a Tiny Ripple of Hope

Click to view larger; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on June 23, 2011. (State Dept./ Public Domain)

Morning, news junkies. I’m under the weather, so forgive me if this is scatterbrained.

Marriage equality has arrived in NY. Last night, the New York senate legalized same-sex marriage in a 33-29 vote, and Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law, making NY the largest state where lesbian and gay couples can tie the knot. What an epic moment of pride and history, especially during Pride month, and as Queer Talk blogger Joyce Arnold notes, this is the first GOP-controlled state legislature to pass gay marriage. (Also, remember what Huntsman said about the law earlier this week when asked about it.)

At times like these, Bobby Kennedy’s words at Capetown in June ’66 always come to mind for me.

As dismal as the last decade of political leadership in DC has been, ultimately it could not stop the million different centers of energy and daring that came together on Friday to sweep down the barrier to marriage equality–in the state that sparked the modern LGBT movement to begin with, no less. That’s hope in action, years of activism coming to fruition, putting the idea of change you can “believe in” to shame. What has happened in NY is change that the constituents of that state can now experience–and change that the rest of the country can see (and follow in the footsteps of!)

I only have one quick note on Madame Secretary this time. On Monday, June 27th, Hillary will be hosting an LGBT Pride event at the State Department called “The Human Rights of LGBT People and U.S. Foreign Policy.” Go Hillary! If only someone would hold a WH event called “The Human Rights of LGBT People and U.S. Domestic Policy.” (Obama’s half-assed speech on Thursday to LGBT donors does not count.)

My Nifty graph pick for the week: If Congress Does Nothing, The Deficit Will Disappear (via TPM).

New Deal 2.0’s Bryce Colvert has posted an excellent interview with Roosevelt Institute’s Senior Fellow Ellen Chesler on Wal-Mart v. Dukes: “The Simple Answer is an Equal Rights Amendment.”

Amanda Marcotte on Using the War on Contraception as an Opportunity:

It’s true that anti-choicers are linking contraception to abortion in order to attack contraception, but we can turn that strategy on its head. If they’re going to link contraception and abortion, then pro-choicers should embrace that. And we should use the fact that contraception is widely accepted and even popular to help change the framing of abortion.

If you missed Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas’ piece “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” earlier this week, go read it now!

Mark Kelly and Gabby Gifford are going to be writing a memoir.

Indian American paper honors Nikki Haley as Person of the Year.

Via Huffpo, Women In Power: Annemarie Goedmakers, The Woman Who Brings Light To The Darkest Corners Of Africa. Goedmakers’ advice for young women:

“You cannot do everything on your own. You need people that like you, or like your ideas. It might be your boss, a friend, or a group of women that pushes you for a certain post. It’s essential to have these kinds of sponsors around you. They give just the push at moments where on your own, you wouldn’t be a success.”

That’s what the Sisterhood is for.

Speaking of which, did you hear that Gillibrand and other female legislators beat the Washington press corps in a game of softball on Thursday night and dedicated their win to Gabby Giffords? It’s a nice story… definitely check it out if you need a pick-me-up.

I’ll leave you with a fun and intriguing item before I wrap up with today’s historical trivia.

Earlier this week I saw CNN’s Ali Velshi interview two investigators from the Wellman Center for Photomedicine (at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital). Velshi basically introduced the segment by saying that humans might get to have a glowing pointer finger like ET. I’ve been around as long as ET, so in my lifetime we’ve gone from a sci fi special effect to something that may have practical applications in cancer treatment:

Maybe most promising, however: the Harvard physicists say that the technology could be used to help destroy cancer. While lasers are already used in certain treatments to battle malignant tumors, the ability to aggressively and precisely target cancerous cells from deep within the affected body tissue — using bio-lasers — would represent a major breakthrough in oncology.

Here’s more from SciAm’s writeup last week: Green Fluorescent Protein Makes for Living Lasers.

Today in Women’s History (June 25)

In 1881, Crystal Eastman was born. Teaser, via National Women’s Hall of Fame:

Crystal Eastman, co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, struggled throughout her life for equal rights and civil liberties for all. Acquiring her law degree from New York University in 1907, Eastman was one of only a few hundred women lawyers in the early twentieth century.

Well, that’s it for me. What’s on your blogging list this Saturday?

[originally posted at Let Them Listen; crossposted at Sky Dancing and Taylor Marsh]