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On Other Blogs Today: Gay Marriage, the Surveillance State, and More

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By Erica C. Barnett June 7, 2013



1. Pam's House Blend celebrates the first six months of legal same-sex marriage in Washington state, noting that the new law has allowed thousands of couples, many of them together for decade, to formalize their relationships and obtain all the rights and responsibilities associated with marriage. 

2. If you're concerned about today's news that the federal National Security Administratoin has been spying on ordinary Americans' email, the Puget Sound Business Journal's TechFlash blog has a guide to show you how to get around the surveillance, with one major caveat: "If they really want to look at your email, they will." 

3. As someone who used to cover a far more corrupt state legislature ($100 steak dinners? Come down to Texas sometime, son), I'm less than shocked at the revelation by NPR's Austin Jenkins that numerous Washington state house and senate members have accepted free dinners from lobbyists. At any rate, here's the news: "Dozens of state legislators frequently accept meals from lobbyists. And many of them do so even while collecting taxpayer-funded per diem payments." 

4. Over at Seattle Bike Blog, Bicycle Alliance of Washington policy director Blake Trask argues that if the state fails to reach a deal to fund bike and pedestrian projects as part of a comprehensive transportation package, it will have failed to fund major projects that "matter to Washington's economy [and] safety [and] address congestion problems, and make us healthier."

The state legislature is debating a deal that would help pay for billions of dollars in statewide transportation funding needs; although it's heavily weighted toward new roads, the proposal includes $114 million in bike infrastructure investments. 

5. Take that, "traditional" marriage: According to the AP, more than 20 percent of the couples who've married since the past December have been same-sex partners. Most of those—66 percent— have been lesbians, the AP reports. Only four of Washington state's 39 counties have not had same-sex marriage registrations. 


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