Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gay Marriage Ruling; Tea Dance Gay Culture



Just to be clear on the gay marriage ruling today in the Supreme Court, I wanted to post something short for those who don't always understand these things at a glance (like me).

The victory means the federal government must recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples married in the 12 states that allow same-sex marriage, plus the District of Columbia, and give them the same benefits that they had been previously denied under the struck-down law, the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA).

This means those who are fortunate enough to live in states where same sex marriage is legal are now protected by the same laws as straight married couples. And what used to be a small victory for gay couples who lived in states that did legalize gay marriage is now a huge victory or them and for equality.

84 year old widow, Edith Windsor, is a new hero of mine.

Windsor launched her lawsuit after getting a bill for $363,000 in estate taxes after her wife, Thea Spyer, died in 2009 – two years following the couple's marriage in Canada. She noted that if her spouse had been named “Theo,” she wouldn't have received that bill.

Windsor will now get that money back as a result of this ruling.

Tony and I have known more than a few gay couples who have been faced with these taxes upon the death of a spouse. In many cases it has wiped the survivor out. Unfortunately, Tony and I still live in Pennsylvania where gay marriage is not legal, and if that stands we may be forced to leave our home and move to a state where it is legal. So there's still a long way to go for most gay couples, and there's still a lot to do before we are all considered equal. But I think now, after this ruling today, things will move faster in a lot of other states.


Tea Dance Gay Culture

This morning I received copy edits from the publisher for one of my Bad Boy Billionaire Books, The Palm Beach Stud, and I thought it would be the routine revises I've come to expect. But this time I noticed something unusual. The book is set in Palm Beach, FL, and I'd mentioned the characters were all going to Tea Dance on a Sunday afternoon, which is still popular at clubs in South Beach...and other gay venues all over the country. I didn't elaborate on this because I didn't think I had to.

However, the editor left a question mark in tracker, and then she highlighted every other place I'd mentioned Tea Dance. So I was curious, and I put a question out on facebook to see how many other people didn't know about Tea Dance in gay culture. And I found out there are many who don't know. So I figured I would put it in a post and give links right now. I also gave a strong explanation of Tea Dance in the book and sent it back to the publisher with the revise. I probably should have known better, but I thought everyone was familiar with it. I'm just glad the copy editor caught it before it was released. One more reason you need an editor.

This is from Urban Dictionary:

Tea dance, often abbreviated as just "tea", is a term for "happy hour" used among men and women in the gay community. Not necessarily just one hour.
The term can also be qualified by "hight" and "low" to qualify the time of day it occurs. Low tea typically takes place earlier in the evening. High tea is later. And in some larger gay resorts, such as Fire Island, there is even mid-tea which takes place between the two.

In places like Provincetown, MA, Tea Dance is something gay tourists look forward to...sometimes every day of the week. In New Hope, there's a Tea Dance at The Raven restaurant/bar every Sunday all year long...even in the winter. We go from about 5 in the afternoon until about 7 in the evening. This link to Wiki also gives a good explanation, and gets into the origins of Tea Dance. I know more than one gay couple where Sunday revolves around Tea Dance...or as they say, "Sunday Tea."



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