Thanks for stopping by to read about blog entry about what is going on in my life? I know the news for all of us as Americans has not been great lately.
So first, let's talk about some good news for gay and lesbian relationships. Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay couples have the right to marry, making the state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions. The ruling comes just weeks before Californians go to the polls on a historic gay-marriage ballot question, the first time the issue will be put before voters in a state where same-sex couples are legally wed.
The 4-3 ruling is the first time that a state that had willingly offered an alternative to marriage was told by a court that civil unions aren't enough to protect the rights of gay couples. Connecticut was the first state to voluntarily pass laws to affirm civil unions.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the ruling goes into effect Oct. 28 when it is implemented by action of the of the Superior Court. There will be no appeal, he said. I guess my thought is how can gays and lesbians screw up the institution of marriage any worse than it already has been? But if people object to the term marriage, I personally am fine with whatever as long as we have the same legal rights and protections as married Americans.
I was married to a previous partner at the March on Washington DC 2000 in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The day after the ceremony, we were part of the featured story about the event on CNN Headline News. For 24 hours, CNN played coverage of us saying our vows and then kissing for almost 45 seconds after our "I Dos." At the time, it was the longest man to man kiss aired on national television. We were getting ready to leave our hotel room for the march and caught the coverage on the television. A good friend of mine, Dave, gave us a copy from CNN of the coverage as our wedding present. We also had the privilege of meeting some celebrities like Cher, Margaret Cho, Judith Light and Cindy Lauper all because we stood up for our rights.
Now for some more bad news, the Stock Market for the past two days were another disaster. Stock prices careened lower Friday in Asia and Europe and gyrated wildly in the United States, extending a stampede of selling that began on Wall Street a day earlier and deepening a global financial crisis that has defied all efforts to stop it. President Bush tried to reassure Americans afraid for their life savings and their jobs.
This week's coordinated interest rate cuts by the world's central banks to thaw frozen credit markets and boost investor confidence have fallen flat as markets remain gripped by fears about the scale and depth of the likely global recession. Stock prices were swinging sharply on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrials fell nearly 700 points soon after trading began, regained all of that deficit temporarily then slid to a loss of more than 300 points shortly after Bush's remarks.
The $700 billion federal bailout legislation enacted on Oct. 3 cleared the way for the government insurance limit for bank deposits to be temporarily raised from $100,000 to $250,000 in cases where bank or savings and loans fail. That guarantee covered $5.2 trillion of deposits, but another $1.8 trillion is not presently covered, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Asian markets followed Wall Street's cue, as key market gauges dropped 9.6 percent in Japan, 8 percent in India and 7.2 percent in Hong Kong. European stocks slumped by midday with key market barometers losing 7.3 percent in London, 7.7 percent in Germany and 7.5 percent in Paris.
Wall Street has been teetering on the brink of panic for a month now, vulnerable to any bad news. Thursday's sell-off was triggered when a major credit rating agency put General Motors Corp. and its finance affiliate under review to determine whether it should be downgraded.
For the Dow, it has been nothing short of a free fall:
The point decline Thursday was the third-worst in Dow history. The worst, 778 points, came less than two weeks ago.
Of the last 19 trading days, there have been 11 tripledigit losses including the unprecedented six straight. The six gains have all been triple-digits, and only one of them was enough to make up the losses of the day before.
In percentage terms, Thursday's drop in the Dow exceeded the day the markets reopened after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was not close to the 22.6-percent decline on Black Monday in 1987, the last stock market crash.
Paper losses for the year though Thursday add up to an staggering $8.3 trillion, according to preliminary figures measured by the Dow Jones Wiltshire 5000 Composite Index, which tracks 5,000 U.S.-based companies representing almost all stocks traded in America.
So the declines, of course, are now worldwide as we get deeper into a worldwide recession. It will be interesting to see what happens during the next year to not only fix the problems but also hold those responsible accountable.
I hope you had a great week and have made some great plans to treat yourself this weekend. Whether it is taking a walk with someone special or spending time reading a good book, remember to live your life. Life is not a dress rehearsal.
Wishing you health, hope and happiness.
Big bear hug,