This year at we are doing a black & blue holiday theme. If you have any decorations that are black, blue and/or silver (especially blue lights or snowflakes) that you can donate, please let us know (also anything that could be painted black or blue). Also, if you have good quality bookshelf-size speakers that you are not using and would like to donate, we need several sets to upgrade our sound system.
The Finnish Parliament voted on Friday afternoon to allow gender-neutral marriage, 105-92. The vote had been expected to be closer.
The gender-neutral marriage bill was seventh on the list of 15 votes. Four MPs out of the 200 MPs were absent on the first vote, concerning a reform of language laws, and two on the second vote, on car taxation. The third vote, on child subsidies, was also a vote of confidence in the government – which survived by a margin of 100-97. Only two MPs out of the 200 MPs were absent.
The unprecedented outcome marks the first time that a citizens’ initiative has received lawmakers’ blessing to be written into the law books. It also allows Finland to finally catch up with its Nordic peers, all of which have already legalised gay marriage.
The result was a sweet triumph for the thousands of supporters of marriage equality who gathered around the Parliament this afternoon. Many of them waved rainbow-coloured flags and banners. Shouts of “I do!” – the battle cry of the movement – echoed through the streets. Opponents of the measure also turned out for the session, but found themselves vastly outnumbered.
Parliamentary Speaker Eero Heinäluoma tightened security ahead of the vote, calling for calm on what has been a polarising subject both inside and outside the chamber. However there were no reports of disruptive behaviour – with one Yle correspondent describing the scene as having a Carnival-like atmosphere.
The reform will force wide-ranging changes in other legislation, which will take well over a year to finalise. The law will therefore not take effect until 2016 at the earliest. Finland has allowed registered partnerships since 2002.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the flight to San Francisco.
Touko Laaksonen, the man who would become known by the name, “Tom of Finland”, was born in Finland on 8th May 1920 and named for the month in which he was born (the month of May in Finnish is toukokuu). He chose “Tom” for his mark since it is closer to “Touko” than any other name in English.
Touko was born in Kaarina, at the southwestern tip of the country, near Turku, the ancient capital of Finland. The modern seaport of Turku has grown so much since his birth that Kaarina is now a dynamic, thriving town of its own, but back in the ’20s the area where he grew up was more country than town, a checkerboard of fields and forest.
Spinning the tunes: DJ RocketManLA, with over 100,000 songs!
$25 suggested donation at the door.
Scholarship funds available.
Coordinator: Miguel Angel Reyes
Miguel’s art has been exhibited throughout the U.S including – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Alaska. Miguel has created murals for the Los Angeles MTA, and bus ad campaign for LA County Office of AIDS – AIDS/Living Responsibly campaign. His work is in the collections of LACMA print collections, Laguna Art Museum, Watts Towers Arts Center, University of Austin, TX, and Fine Arts gallery Museum, Chicago.