One of the biggest news topics of the day on the topic of gay rights occurred in New York late yesterday. From Voice of America News:
The U.S. state of New York has approved same-sex marriage, handing American gay rights advocates a major victory in their quest for equality.
After extensive debate, the New York State Senate approved the legislation Friday night by a vote of 33 to 29, as two previously undecided Republican lawmakers cast the deciding votes in favor of it. A short time later, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation into law.
With the final approval, New York became the sixth U.S. state where gay couples can wed, and by far the largest state. Gay couples can begin marrying in the state in 30 days.
As the right to marry spreads from state to state across the nation, perhaps the adult perspective and realization of shared humanity will help quell further foolish attempts to discriminate against others due to factors like race, gender, religion or sexual identity.
Some people may be unable to evolve and grow up, and thus never accept the growing, expanding realization of common humanity that marks an advancing civilization's mental and ethical state, but as more people through the nation are introduced to the concepts of equality it will be just that much more difficult for isolated bubbles of self-interest and hatred to propagate.
Congratulations, New York.
For our second topic: have you ever been in, or witnessed, poverty in the United States - or anywhere, for that matter? Did you realize that poverty in the United States is on the rise, or the impact that it has on individuals and families? Did you know that it's actually more expensive to be poor than not? This is a topic that gets a bit of a review by teacherken of Daily Kos in a piece called Poverty is brutal, consuming and unforgiving. It strikes at the soul. He draws upon a recent piece by Charles Blow and adds his own heartfelt commentary. Here's a bit of it:
America is increasingly becoming morally corrupt. Those who are wealthy and powerful are not even punished when they are caught - they are allowed to pay a relatively small portion of their ill-gotten gains and somehow keep the rest. Hello, Wall Street, and not just Goldman Sachs.
Poverty is brutal, consuming and unforgiving. It strikes at the soul.
And not just the souls of those we are condemning to remaining in poverty. It strikes at the very soul of the nation, and should strike at the soul of every person who is part of We the People.
That it does not so strike is to my mind a moral condemnation of America.
You should check out the whole piece here. After reading it, please also check out the comments from some of the insightful commenters.
That's it for this Open Thread. If you've got some news to share, or if you'd like to comment on either of the topics listed here, or something else, the comments are open. You know what to do.