California Upholds Proposition 8 Gay Marriage Ban

Complicated State Ruling Adds to Federal Frustrations for Same-Sex Couples

San Francisco, CA — May 26, 2009 — The California Supreme Court issued its ruling on the validity of the Proposition 8 ballot initiative today and upheld a voter-mandated ban on same-sex marriage. The 6-1 decision will allow the state constitution to define marriage as only that between a man and a woman.

In an effort not to have the Court’s 2008 decision permitting same-sex marriage undermined, the justices agreed to let the more than 18,000 same-sex marriages performed in California between June and November last year remain intact.

“This ruling only further underscores the need for same-sex marriage to be recognized at the federal level,” said Mickey Lim, vice president and co-founder of Out4Immigration, a grassroots organization that works closely with same-sex marriage groups for recognition of same-sex binational couple rights tied to federal immigration policies.

“We see same-sex binational couples torn apart every day due to lack of federal protections for gay and lesbian relationships. While it is good news that the 18,000 California couples will be protected by the state, these couples, like all other gay and lesbian couples in this country remain legal strangers in the eyes of the U.S. government.” (Read more)

Reviving the Traditional Press Release

From Brian Solis, PR 2.0, an in-depth examination of the reinvention of the Press Release:

The press release is over 100 years old and for the most part, its evolution is mostly stagnant for the majority of its lifespan. However, the press release has evolved more in the last decade than it has over the century thanks to the proliferation of the Internet and most notably, the Social Web. The tired and oft disregarded press release is finally tasting reinvention as it transforms to chase the new channels of influence as well as adapt to the rapidly shifting behavior of content discovery, consumption and sharing. (Read more)

Silicon Valley Psychic Predicts Steve Jobs Will Return to Apple (But Not for Long)

Speculation on whether Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs will ever return to the helm of one of Silicon Valley’s best-known companies runs rampant these days, especially after Jobs (who is on a 6-month medical leave) will not be coming back in time to deliver an important June keynote. While everyone who is anyone in Silicon Valley journalistic circles (and that includes bloggers in this neck of the woods) has made a prediction, one writer, Leander Kahney has asked a psychic. And, she’s not just any psychic, mind you. She’s Barbara Courtney, a corporate psychic known as the “Seer of Silicon Valley.” She charges upwards of $200. And, she predicts Jobs will return to Apple, but not for long.

Why should we believe her? Well, it appears Courtney was the only one who predicted Jobs’ return to Apple back in 1997. (Read more)

Source: Leander Kahney, Cult of Mac.

Marfa, Texas

My professional photo work typically consists of photographing people at events — speakers at conferences and rallies, activists in marches, conference attendees at panel discussions and cocktail receptions. All great gigs I enjoy. Every once and a while though it’s great to break loose from the fluorescent lighting and crowds and work with natural lighting and a subject that’s not moving. Here’s my favorite photo from a recent trip to the art community of Marfa, Texas. And talk about challenges — my photography skills are nowhere near ready to try and capture the famous Marfa Mystery Lights after dark, some 9 miles out of town.

19 Reasons You Should Blog and Not Just Tweet

I have to admit, sometimes the day-to-day of blogging gets to me. Not that I blog every day (witness this blog last week). Over the past few months I have toyed with the idea of ditching this blog and those I maintain for some of my clients and say, “C’mon, let’s just Twitter!” Somewhere, deep inside, I knew this was the wrong attitude — the way you felt about Cliff Notes back when you were an English major…or maybe steroids, back when you played professional baseball alongside Manny Ramirez…you get the gist.

Twitter is great — and it does appear that it enhances performance (of your blog). But it is no substitute for the real deal — real thoughts and real opinions.

Thanks this morning to Adam Singer and his blog TheFutureBuzz for “19 Reasons You Should Blog and Not Just Tweet” for pointing out to the bloggers of the world that our efforts do count and the Twitterverse is no substitute for an original and insightful blog post (like this one, of course). The Cliff Notes version of Adam’s blog post would probably be “9 Reasons You Should Blog and Not Just Tweet” — but if you read only that you might miss reasons like:

#2. Old articles are valuable and still read years later, given infinite life by the engines. Old Tweets live in archive purgatory where a majority will never be seen again.

#7. Twitter is in a sense social sticky notes, or the SMS of the Internet (however you want to consider it). It’s snack-sized content. Are you or your business interesting enough to provide the full course? It’s telling who engages deeper vs. those who simply choose to engage 140 characters at a time.

#16. I don’t even know why some people consider for a second that Twitter and FriendFeed will kill blogging, these ideas are pure linkbait and show a lack of understanding of the motivation of people on the open web.

Btw, blogging and Twitter mean never missing a chance for a little self-promotion. You’ve found my blog, now follow KazzaDrask Media on Twitter. Just click here.

UCSF LGB Immigration Barriers Panel

University of California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Immigration Barriers Panel, April 29, 2009. From left to right: Amos Lim, co-founder of Out4Immigration, Melanie Nathan, founder of Private Courts Mediation, Gang Wang, Director of UCSF Services to International Students and Scholars, and Chris Waddling, panel moderator, Binational Couple Outreach, Marriage Equality USA. Lim, Nathan and Waddling were among the many activists and advocates who came together on the Shirley Tan case last month and through an emergency private bill sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein were able to stop the deportation of a Filipino woman with a same-sex American partner and two American children.

Photo: KazzaDrask Media.