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    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? eBook on Amazon

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    Reflections on Occupy Wall Street, with photos, fun, and good wishes for the future. eBook, Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? (Only $.99 !) In the eBook, the Occupy movement is explored through original reporting, photographs, cartoons, poetry, essays, and reviews.The collection of essays and blog posts records the unfolding of Occupy into the culture from September 2011 to the present.  Authors Kimberly Wilder and Ian Wilder were early supporters of Occupy, using their internet platforms to communicate the changes being created by the American Autumn.

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Same sex marriage passes in NY!

After-the-news-update: At the Gotham Gazette, there is an interesting story of things that happened behind the scenes during the same-sex marriage vote, which those of us watching and celebrating were not privy to. It seems that even when our government is doing some things fairly, they employ games and locked doors to make sure things go according to plan. The story: Why Senator Kevin Parker Got Mad

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Along with about 25,000 people, Ian and I hovered around our computer, watching live-streaming of the NY State Senate. What an exciting evening. And, the speeches, and the diplomacy of the Senate were fascinating.

It is really hard to believe that same-sex marriage is a reality in New York. Though, it is. The bill passed. 33 votes (when 31 were needed).

Congrats to our friend Lisa Votino-Tarrant, who has been a 24/7 cheerleader for marriage equality for a few months, now.

Congrats and thanks to Jason West, Rebecca Rotzler, and the New Paltz Greens, who many years ago, started all of this by changing the culture with same-sex weddings.

Congrats to all of the couples and families who now have more rights, more security, and more equality.

When the bill passed, it felt like New Year’s Eve. There was such cheering in the Senate chamber. And, people started chanting U-S-A, U-S-A, like they do at sporting events. Though, I think they may mean that the battle will continue until same-sex marriage is a national right.

Extra notes and little observations:

Ian – “Though I am over-joyed it passed, I fear it was used by Governor Cuomo to provide cover for his Tea Party financial agenda.”

State Senator Grisanti made a politically brilliant speech. I truly respect how he acknowledged that his position changed. And, he explained the process of research and reflection that led him to change his mind. He also helped nudge the vote towards a yes, by noting that some version of same-sex marriage was destined to pass soon, and the way it was now, was good for people who are religious Conservatives, because of the clauses exempting religious institutions from having to perform ceremonies, etc.

I have some fear that the bill could be killed shortly in the courts. The religious exemption is so strong, and they added a clause making the bill inseverable. So, if a court says the exemptions are unconstitutional, the whole bill could be thrown out.

Ian: “Were there protections already, for religious institutions, that refused to marry heterosexual couples who did not meet their religious tenents? So, I am wondering how similar situations have been handled in the past, haven’t religious institutions always had these rights that were inserted into the amendment? For example, if a non-Jewish, heterosexual couple went to a Hassidic Rabbi to get married, and he said ‘NO’, would his denial ever have been a civil rights violation?”

The machinations on the floor of the Senate were so interesting. Senator Ruben Diaz tried to get more than is his two minutes to comment. He was really milking it. And, the President of the Senate had to interject and cut him off. Then, Senator Duane spoke, and clearly went over his time, too. So, the President of the Senate had to be fair and try to cut him off. But, Duane had a lot to say, and made cutting him off nearly impossible. Later, there was an amusing (possibly unintentional) in-joke to these incidents, when Senator Carl Kruger said, “As my colleague, Senator Duane said so succinctly…”

LOL! It was hard not to laugh at that.

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