March 25th, 2014

detcon-1-2014

Detcon 1 Rates To Go Up

All part of the service to keep you informed about this summer's Detcon 1 NASFiC in Detroit -- membership rates are going up on April 1st...

Preparations are well underway for Detcon1 - the 2014 North American Science Fiction Convention, July 17-20, 2014 at the Detroit Renaissance Center Marriott. Register now and save on a weekend full of Science Fiction and Fantasy fun! Learn more at http://detcon1.org/

I really hope that a lot of people will take advantage of this North American Science Fiction Convention, since WorldCon will be in London UK.

And It's A Bargain, Too!

A NASFiC may not be a WorldCon, but it's a big deal. And much cheaper. When I did Chicon 7 in 2012, registration was $175 versus $65 (if bought in the next week) and the hotel was $145/night versus $118/night at the Marriott Renaissance Center.

Going to WorldCon in London anyway? The dates are set up so you can still come to Detroit, too. (grin)

Dr. Phil
lesbian-wedding-detroit

About Michigan And Weddings

I've avoided posting about this, simply because I was waiting to see if the Attorney General was going to come to his senses and Do The Right Thing. Yeah, I wasn't holding my breath.

What is it with people of a certain so-called conservative persuasion that they are so het up against gay and lesbian weddings? How on earth are THEIR marriages affected by any other marriage? Me, I'm offended by brides who are just in it for the dress, celebrities who will be divorced in 22 minutes after the wedding, arranged marriages with child brides, grooms who just want to get laid and sham weddings for "the sake of the children". But they don't affect MY marriage, which is in its 30th year, thank you very much. In fact, nearly all the couples I know -- gay and straight -- are still with their people years and years later.

There have been multiple issues of same sex marriage, domestic partnerships and recognition of unions from other states. A 2004 referendum in Michigan on a state constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage passed by the voters -- at the time something like 17% supported gay marriage and 42% recognizing civil unions. But ten years is a long time and frankly many of the people who now support same sex marriage were not old enough to vote in 2004. So, settled law? Hardly.

Last week a judge ruled the ban unconstitutional. Our esteemed (*ahem*) Attorney General advised county clerks not to do anything so rash as to hand out marriage licenses to "those kind" of citizens coming in to request them -- the general reaction of some county clerks was, "we don't work for you." So by Saturday, about 300 marriage licenses had been issued to same sex couples before an appellate court imposed a stay until the appeal could be reviewed. Because of course the willothepeople had to be upheld, so yes, there is an appeal.

But First Amendment! Religious Freedom! Our church is being persecuted!

Uh, no. Your religion, even if it decides to call some people bad or evil, is not in danger. You can preach what you want. You are free to worship in the way you want. Your church can decide not to host gay weddings. What you aren't free to do is to impose your religion on the rest of the people. Or to declare that courts have to rule in your favor because your marriage is tainted because of a marriage between Joan and Jen or Bob and Bill.

Frankly, a marriage license is a civil document, not a religious one. There are church documents and your church can do what it wants.

If you choose to be a bigot or racist or a sexist, you can. But you can't cry FOUL! if you get called on it. But you hold your belief sincerely? Fine. But outside your congregation, you do not have veto power.

Deliberately putting a ban on certain people getting married, but not others, seems to me to violate the spirit of the constitution. But that's going to allow people to marry pigs and multiple marriages and child abuse and... No. Courts are smarter than that. In ruling that people can bear arms, as is their Second Amendment right, no court has ruled that this includes anti-tank weapons and nuclear bombs. Marriage is a civil act between two people of consenting and legal age. It can have a religious ceremony if you like. You can have both a civil marriage and a church wedding -- and you choose to celebrate your anniversary on either of both of those. We do.

Frankly I have found this state's rights issue to be something of a crazy situation. Either the Constitution of the United States applies to all its citizens or it doesn't. Black/White, North/South, Gay/Straight, Male/Female. Slice it however you like and I come down on the side of recognizing freedom.

Even for idiots who get married for all the wrong reasons and end up divorced. Or miserable.

Their choice.

Dr. Phil
michigan-up

Yooper

You can look it up. Or at least you can in one dictionary next month.

The word Yooper for some who lives in Michigan's Upper Peninsula will be in the new Merriam-Webster dictionary for 2014. What started out as a challenge in a Scrabble™ game, became a ten year mission, proving its use was not just a regionalism, but a widespread word.

The term for Upper Peninsula residents will be included in the 2014 version of Merriam-Webster set to hit the shelves in April, said Gladstone resident Steve Parks, who began penning letters to the dictionary's editors in 2002.

The word will appear as: yoo-per: noun \ ‘yu-(,)pər\: a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan – used as a nickname.

Yay. About time.

Dr. Phil