by Anthony Glassman
Sacramento, Calif.�Gov. Gray Davis signed into law on October 14 a bill granting domestic partners many of the benefits accorded to married couples in the state.
The measure builds on the state�s domestic partner registry. Until now, that simply entered relationships into the legal record with no benefits, much like a similar law in Hawaii.
The bill was introduced by Assemblymember Carole Migden, who called the signing "truly something to celebrate" in the Los Angeles Times.
"The provisions in this bill are in keeping with the attitude of the broad base of fair and decent-minded Californians," she said, "and we�re very appreciative of this significant step forward."
Among the rights granted to registered domestic partners under the new law are the ability to sue for the wrongful death of a partner. This is of special interest to Sharon Smith, whose partner Diane Whipple was mauled to death last December by two dogs. Smith and Whipple�s mother filed wrongful death suits against the owners of the dogs.
Other rights include making medical decisions for a hospitalized partner, stepparent or second-parent adoptions for the children of partners without needing a court order, sick leave to care for a partner, to act as a conservator for an ill partner and to relocate with a partner without losing unemployment benefits.
Opponents of the bill argued that it undermined Proposition 22, an initiative passed by voters last year defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
"In one fell swoop, Gray Davis has cheapened every marriage in the state," said Randy Thomasson, executive director of the Campaign for California Families, an organization opposed to the new law that ran television and radio ads asking the governor not to sign the bill.
"They�re irrational," Migden said of the law�s opponents, "and being hit by their insults is part of the indignity of this process."
After the September 11 attack on New York, the new partner rights have taken on new significance as partners of gay men and lesbians who were killed find that, under the law, they have no estate rights or benefits from their relationships.
Underscoring that point was the presence at the signing ceremony of Paul Holm, the former partner of Mark Bingham, a gay man who was among the passengers overpowering the terrorists on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11.
"Mark believed in fair treatment for all people, regardless of their orientation, and I know he would have wanted to be here for this," Holm said.
The law also requires health plans to offer domestic partner coverage similar to that granted to dependents of heterosexual policyholders.
Beside California and Hawaii, the only other state to recognize gay and lesbian relationships is Vermont, which last year granted same-sex civil unions the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.
Seven nations worldwide, including Canada, France and Germany, recognize same-sex couples at varying levels. The Netherlands this year became the only country to include lesbian and gay couples in their regular marriage laws.
Ohio marriage ban opponents pack Statehouse
by Eric Resnick
Columbus--Opponents of an Ohio "Defense of Marriage Act" packed a committee room at the Statehouse October 17, to give the Ohio House Civil and Commercial Law Committee reasons to defeat the bill.
Opponent testimony was given by 25 community leaders including attorneys, psychologists, and community activists following the proponent testimony given October 10 by ten activists who support passage of the bill, officially known as H.B. 234.
The proponent testimony followed sponsor testimony given by lead sponsor Rep. Bill Seitz, a first-term Cincinnati Republican, by one week.
If passed, the bill would deny recognition in Ohio of same-sex unions made in other states and same-sex marriages done in other countries.
Seitz�s bill, introduced May 2, is a collaborative effort between the House Republican caucus and the Citizens for Community Values of Cincinnati, which organized the 1993 petition drive to put that city�s anti-gay Issue 3 charter amendment on the ballot.
Opponents gave the committee several points to consider in defeat of the bill. Cleveland attorney Tim Downing, representing the Ohio Human Rights Bar Association, told the committee that since Ohio law already reflects a public policy against same-sex marriages, the bill is unnecessary, divisive, and potentially harmful.
"In addition to its clearly anti-gay discriminatory intent, H.B. 234 should be labeled as the �Unmarried Families and Children Discrimination Act of 2001� because it attempts to thwart provision of any �specific benefits of legal marriage�," said Downing.
Frank November of Cleveland Heights added, "As an American, I am embarrassed that H.B. 234 has even been introduced to this institution for your consideration. I urge you not to allow Ohio to adopt legislation that would resemble the failed pre-civil-war-era policies of this country when two classes of citizens with unequal rights and responsibilities was the law."
Some of the opponents chose to refute and discredit the proponent testimony heard by the committee the previous week.
Dr. Doug Beech, a psychiatrist, and Howard Fradken of the Ohio Psychological Association refuted the claims made a week earlier by Greg Quinlan, an "ex-gay" and president of the anti-gay Pro-Family Network, who told the committee that "homosexuality is a clinical gender identity disorder."
Columbus attorney and Human Rights Campaign board member Mary Jo Hudson also refuted Quinlan�s claim that he founded the HRC committee in Dayton, "in [Quinlan�s] attempt to justify being gay."
Hudson also told the committee that none of the 35 other states that have passed similar measures go as far as Ohio is proposing. Seitz�s bill would deny benefits of marriage to all unmarried couples, including divorced heterosexual ones.
"The only thing that comes close is a constitutional amendment proposed in Massachusetts," said Hudson. That amendment has not been ratified.
Speaking about the people who testified in support of the bill, Hudson added, "They are using Ohio as a testing ground to see if they can cut off all benefits to families they don�t like."
Ohio Freedom to Marry co-founder Karen Anders, who with her partner Dorrie Mills were the first Ohio couple to have a civil union in Vermont, testified that there is no "loophole" in Ohio law that may require Ohio to someday recognize Vermont civil unions, as Seitz claims.
"No employer and no agency in Ohio recognizes our civil union," said Anders.
Holding their certificate, she added, "Our civil union certificate is extremely important to us, but it is just a piece of paper to the state of Ohio."
Anders told the committee members that Seitz�s bill "does nothing to your family, but it does nothing but humiliate mine.
Members of the committee questioned both proponents and opponents, but under the leadership of chair John Willamowski, a Lima Republican who co-sponsors the bill, opponents were more aggressively challenged than proponents, especially by Seitz.
"I want to give everyone a chance to ask what they want," said Willamowski, "but my personal inclination is on the side of those who want to pass this bill."
The committee is expected to hear more testimony, then will vote on whether or not to send the bill to the floor of the House.
by Anthony Glassman
Cleveland Heights�Councilmember Jimmie Hicks, Jr. has found himself at the center of a controversy sparked by an e-mail he sent opting out of the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats� endorsement process.
"As a minister in the Church of God in Christ, I respectfully decline admission to your endorsement process," the message reads. "I will continue to work for all resident[s] to ensure that everyone is protected by laws that govern our great nation."
"If laws are changed to support your issues, I will uphold them, however I will not support nor endorse any proposals to change laws, just to fit your lifestyle," the e-mail continues.
"Please do not assume that my decision is made out of fear or hate, because it is not," it concludes. "I simply will not forsake my beliefs and teachings from Jesus Christ, for the sake of additional votes."
Hicks also gave permission for the e-mail to be read at the Stonewall Democrats� October 17 endorsement meeting.
While many are concerned about Hicks� comments, others are questioning the fact that Mayor Ed Kelley and Councilmember Nancy Dietrich have linked their campaigns with Hicks. All three seek re-election November 6.
According to Patrick Shepherd of the Stonewall Democrats, however, there is no question about Kelley�s commitment to diversity.
"After the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats formed, Kelley was one of the first people to call us," Shepherd said. "The mayor is a good friend of our community and this group."
Kelley was also a supporter of a 1995 measure to add "sexual orientation" to the city�s fair housing code. Council passed the measure 6-0, with one member absent.
According to Shepherd, Kelley seemed surprised when apprised of Hicks� comments.
Hicks, while not stepping back from his avowed beliefs, thinks that some of what he wrote was misconstrued and could have been phrased better.
"I think instead of support I should have written embraced," Hicks said. "I would not be the spokesman or the advocate."
Asked if he would vote for an additional gay equal rights ordinance in the city, he said, "It depends on what it was saying, what it would do. There are different things that can be considered gay rights," including hate crime legislation and measures prohibiting discrimination.
"Everything that I am would go into making that decision," Hicks concluded. "I don�t advocate discrimination of any type."
Kelley was not surprised by the remarks, having spoken with Hicks before about gay civil rights.
"It was an issue Jimmie and I discussed in 1995 when a gay rights ordinance was proposed, but Jimmie was not on the council then," Kelley said. "I think in this situation, I accept Jimmie�s difference in opinion. This is one situation where Jimmie and I agree to disagree."
Kelley did, however, stress that he thought Hicks� views would not interfere with the passage of gay-friendly ordinances.
"When we do have [gay] issues, I will lobby Councilman Hicks very hard to vote the way we want him to vote," he noted.
The Cleveland Stonewall Democrats have already endorsed Kelley, fellow incumbent Bonnie Caplan and newcomer Judith Botwin for the Cleveland Heights City Council. The group may endorse a fourth candidate, since four council seats are open.
All council seats in Cleveland Heights are at-large, and the four candidates with the most votes will be elected or returned to council.
by Bob Roehr
Washington, D.C.--"High jack this fags," read the message scrawled in chalk on a bomb slung under an aircraft wing. The bomb was in a photo taken aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise as it cruised in the Arabian Sea, launching planes bound for Afghanistan.
The photo was sent out by the Associated Press on October 11, but quickly pulled when voices rose in protest.
"The message is insulting and inappropriate," said Sharra E. Greer, legal director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. "It is also in clear violation of the United States military�s stated policy on harassment and morale."
"The United States Navy would never allow racial epithets or derogatory graffiti based on gender or religion to be scrawled on American property," she said.
Arizona state representative Steve May, who successfully fought expulsion from the Army Reserves under "don�t ask, don�t tell," said the Navy was "stupid" for having let the photo be sent off the ship through its communications facilities.
SLDN sent a letter to Secretary of the Navy Gordon England on Friday, October 12. Spokesman Steve Ralls said they had not received a response by late Tuesday, October 16. Given other priorities, he thought it reasonable to expect a response within a week to ten days of sending the letter.
"We are waiting to see if someone is going to be held accountable," said Ralls. "The message was an insult to the gay and lesbian victims of the attacks of September 11." It also undercuts morale of gays and lesbians who continue to serve in the military in the closet, he added
Simon Langley of the Armed Forces Lesbian and Gay Association in England, told the Rainbow Network, "The U.S. military is fighting a war against extremism and religious intolerance, but at the same time they are promoting their own brand of prejudice."
The British, and all of the NATO allies except Turkey and the U.S., allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.
"The message equates gays with the �enemy,� it places gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members who are serving as honorably as anyone else at this time at risk, and dishonors them," said Richard Haymes, executive director of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project.
Some had other concerns. "Yes, the graffito in question is deplorable," said New York activist Bill Dobbs. "But then there is the slight matter of the bomb itself" when it explodes. He argued that Haymes� critique "sends the message that the bombs and the dropping of same is fine as long as there is no bad graffiti on them."
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation chastised the Associated Press for pulling the photo.
"This image should be explained and discussed, not hidden from view," said executive director Joan M. Garry. "By pulling the photo rather than exploring its content and context, the AP sends the message that anti-gay bias should be swept under the rug, not exposed and confronted."
The organization had several exchanges with AP prior to issuing their statement.
The Associated Press will not permit newspapers to print the photo, but at press time it was still on Yahoo�s news site at http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/p/ap/20011011/wl/1002789017attacks_military_xent191.html .
by Eric Resnick
Salem, Ohio--Columbiana County Common Pleas Judge David Tobin overruled the Salem Civil Service Commission�s decision to suspend a transgendered firefighter, but, like the commission, did not deal with the gender stereotyping and discrimination issues underlying the case.
Tobin ruled October 11 to reverse the commission�s May 21 decision to allow the one-day suspension of 20-year veteran Lt. Jimmie Smith.
Salem fire chief Walt Greenamyer suspended Smith for "gross neglect, conduct subversive to the good order of the department, and willfully disobeying the lawful order of the department" on April 25, for not dispatching first responders on a call that was a non-emergency EMS transport.
The judge found that Greenamyer did not promulgate his policy clearly.
"Any statute or rule or regulation by any public entity not promulgated in accordance with established procedures is not effective," wrote the judge. Tobin also ruled that Smith broke no ordinance of the city, as he was originally charged.
But the judge failed to address the issues of harassment and gender stereotyping that Smith and his attorney, Randi Barnabee of Macedonia, believe are at the root of a plan they say the chief has to force Smith to resign from the force.
The Civil Service Commission dodged the issue in May, as well.
Smith contends that Greenamyer violated his confidentiality regarding some medical information he shared with his captain last spring. Smith is undergoing treatment for gender identity disorder, and does not always exhibit gender role conformity.
The chief discovered the information, and convened a meeting with other city officials, including law director C. Brooke Zellers.
According to Smith, word of his condition spread rapidly through the department and has resulted in harassment.
Smith and Barnabee maintain that the disciplinary actions, which they see as "arbitrary," came about as a result of the chief�s meeting, and cite another disciplinary action Greenamyer has taken against Smith since the civil service hearing, as an attempt to "cover [Smith] in bad paper."
Barnabee welcomes the judge�s ruling, even though it did not address what she believes is the core of the complaint.
Smith and Barnabee are still considering a federal lawsuit against the city and individual employees. Such a suit would fall under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Barnabee, who is also transgendered, believes that the case has potential to set federal legal precedent that will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees from workplace discrimination.
by Eric Resnick
Euclid, Ohio--School administrators reversed an earlier decision on what constitutes a couple at a school dance, allowing a bisexual sophomore to take her girlfriend to the homecoming dance October 13.
Sophomore April Kilian, 15, took her girlfriend to the Euclid High School dance following complaints from her mother and assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Initially, Kilian said that she was refused tickets to the dance by principal Ronald Seymour because her date was not male, as dictated by a couples form required to be turned in when tickets are purchased.
According to Kilian�s mother Rhonda Kilian, the form has two parts, one labeled "male," the other, "female."
Principal Ronald Seymour, said that in his mind, the issue had nothing to do with the gender of Kilian�s date. He said Kilian represented to the school that she wanted to bring a girl from another school district, but never used the word date.
"We don�t know these people," said Seymour, "and we can�t let students bring people we don�t know to the dance."
Seymour said, "I know the law. I know I can�t stop her from bringing another girl as a date, but she never clarified that this was a date."
Seymour said he is not sure about the form used to purchase couples tickets, "but if it defines a couple as a boy and a girl, it should probably be changed."
Seymour said he had no idea Kilian, who is also pregnant, was bisexual.
Upon hearing the school�s initial decision, Rhonda Kilian contacted the ACLU, who told her of the 1980 Aaron Fricke case in Rhode Island.
Fricke was told by his principal Richard Lynch that he could not bring his date Paul Guilbert to the prom because heterosexual students would be offended.
Fricke sued Lynch and won in federal court, setting a legal precedent nationwide defining school dance couples as either same-sex or different-sex.
According to ACLU litigation coordinator Eleni Zulia, Euclid High reversed its decision immediately once it received Rhonda Kilian�s letter in support of her daughter.
"The school system did the right thing," said Zulia.
Euclid High School, in an eastern Cleveland suburb, has 2,000 students. According to Seymour, the school does not have a gay-straight alliance, or offer any special programs or opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students.
Compiled from wire reports by Brian DeWitt, Anthony Glassman and Patti Harris.
Spingola�s own tape may bring new charges
Columbus�A street preacher facing charges for burning a rainbow flag at last June�s Pride Holiday may face new charges after he gave prosecutors a videotape of the same act a year earlier.
Tom Condit, a defense attorney representing Charles Spingola and his co-defendant Thomas R. Meyer, handed over the tape of the 2000 Pride Holiday event showing Spingola burning a flag.
Condit wanted to show that police officers did not care about the open burning violation then. At the 2001 Pride Holiday, the men were warned by police at least twice not to burn the flags they had brought with them.
Prosecutors are currently deciding whether they will file additional charges.
"We are looking at other options in this case," said Scott Varner, spokesman for city attorney Janet E. Jackson, including whether it would be more effective to file additional charges or focus solely on convictions for the ones Spingola and Meyer already face.
"Mr. Meyer, during the hearing, informed us in court that he was the one pouring oil on the flag that was burned," Varner said, "bolstering our case against him in the illegal burning. He gave testimony that his co-defendant was the one who lit it."
Spingola was also arrested September 6 for attempting to strangle a gay man on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, where Spingola and several others had gone to preach against homosexuality and abortion.
Rights foes have 4 times the money
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.�Opponents of Broward County�s gay equal rights ordinance have raised four times as much money supporting a petition drive to repeal the ordinance than the forces pledged to keep it in place.
Equal Rights Not Special Rights collected $116,473 in their efforts to force a ballot issue to repeal the measure, almost $95,000 of it in the last three months of the petition drive.
In addition, an arch-conservative church donated $50,000 of services from National Petition Management, a professional signature collection company, to the group.
In contrast, Americans for Equality, the group opposing the initiative, raised $27,222 through the end of September.
The signatures gathered by Equal Rights Not Special Rights have not yet been verified by elections officials, and allegations of wrongdoing in the petition drive may invalidate the effort.
Helps Ministries and Coral Ridge Ministries, who donated the signature service, also donated $83,509 to the repeal effort--71% of the total raised.
County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin and Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners Cindi Hutchinson and Gloria Katz all donated to the efforts to keep the ordinance in place.
Rights group warns of Egypt abuse
Cairo, Egypt�An international human rights group warned the United States against embracing Egypt as a close ally in the war against terror, saying it would send the wrong message about Cairo�s alleged human rights abuses.
Linking up with Egypt "despite its poor human rights record could be even more countereffective after Sept. 11 than it was before," Human Rights Watch said in an October 10 statement.
The rights group accused Egypt of trying to manipulate Washington�s efforts to build an alliance in its war against Osama bin Laden and the Afghanistan Taliban regime that shelters him. The United States accuses bin Laden in the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington.
The rights group, together with the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, has protested the trial of 52 Egyptian gay men prosecuted on charges of obscenity and insulting religion.
State security forces have issued conflicting reports about the men, especially Sherif Farhat, the lead defendant. While charging him with engaging in homosexual acts and contempt of Islam, security forces also claim that he is a member of the militant Islamist terrorist group Jihad, which has ties to Osama Bin Laden. However, Islamic fundamentalists condemn homosexuality.
Pataki orders partners to be paid
New York City�Gov. George Pataki has made an executive order issuing payments from the state�s Crime Victims Board to domestic partners of gays and lesbians killed in the September 11 destruction of the World Trade Center.
The move, which Pataki announced October 4 at the Empire State Pride Agenda�s fall dinner in Manhattan, would make the partners of those killed eligible for up to $30,000 in assistance for those illustrating common households, shared budgeting or other financial interdependence. The order marks the first governmental move to include the partners of LGBT people killed in the attacks in relief efforts.
Independent agencies like the Red Cross and Safe Horizon have provided relief based on need, not marital status, which has brought strong reactions from liberal politicians and religious right activists.
Lou Sheldon, executive director of the Family Research Council, called the assistance an attempt to change the definition of marriage, while Sen. Hilary Rodham Clinton, speaking at the Human Rights Campaign�s national dinner October 6, said that gay partners of victims should be entitled to all the benefits available to heterosexual spouses of victims.
Gay victims� partners are currently excluded from workman�s compensation and social security benefits; partners of police and firefighters would also get much smaller compensation that their heterosexual counterparts. A fireman�s widow would have a lifetime pension of her husband�s final annual pay, while a gay fireman�s partner would get a one-time payment of roughly $50,000.
According to Pataki�s office, the governor is looking into expanding aid to partners of gay victims of the attacks.
�Anyone but Scouts� pledge urged
Columbus�Elliot Fishman, an openly gay attorney and former Boy Scout, is leading an anti-Boy Scout United Way campaign.
Upset with the scouts� policy barring gays from leading or membership in troops, he has inaugurated a "United Way yes, but no B.S." campaign.
Where others have called for boycotts of United Way pledge drives when the agency donates to local Scout troops, Fishman instead wants people to earmark their donations to any non-profit other than the Boy Scouts.
Fishman especially likes the thought of specifying gay or gay-friendly organizations like the Columbus AIDS Task Force, Kaleidoscope Youth Coalition or Stonewall Columbus.
Last year, the United Way of Central Ohio gave $513,000 to the Simon Kenton Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which has programs in 23 counties.
The same year, the United Way of Central Ohio raised $51 million, only 12% of which was designated for specific charitable organizations.
Fishman also thinks it would be a good idea for those comfortable with the idea to use the "United Way yes, but no B.S." slogan on pledge cards, letting the United Way know how much of an effect those opposed to the scouts� policy can have.
Working for world peace is the best source of security, says Holly Near
by Doreen Cudnik
If you�re a lesbian over 35, chances are you have a Holly Near album--or two, or more--in your collection of memories.
Chances are that it is well-worn, a familiar friend, like that favorite pair of Levis that you can�t quite fit into any more, but you hang onto anyway because they remind you of the first anti-war or pro-choice rally you attended as a wide-eyed college freshman. If you�re a lesbian, chances are that you�ve seen Near perform year after year at women�s music festivals. Chances are you know all the words to the songs that gave you the courage to come out.
For people of all ages, races, ethnicities and sexual orientations, it is not a stretch to say that Holly Near has achieved legendary status. A singer, songwriter and peace activist since the early seventies, Near has performed her music around the world, and has lent her name and talent to many worthwhile causes, from AIDS research to opposition to the death penalty to, currently, a call for calm to prevail in this time of trial for our country.
Near�s musical roots were watered by folk legends like Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Paul Simon, but also by women like Judy Garland and Mahalia Jackson. She helped establish "women�s music" when there was no such thing as women writing, producing and performing songs for women, about women�s experiences.
Along with Cris Williamson, Linda Tillery, Ronnie Gilbert, Ferron, Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock, and many others, Near had a large part in creating a genre, and gave music lovers a glimpse at what the world might look like if only we would commit ourselves to the ideals of peace, justice and equality for all people. As a result, Near is firmly established as one of the nation�s finest political artists.
It�s no surprise that the events that changed our world on September 11 have been very much on Near�s heart this past month. As always, she remains staunchly committed to peace and justice.
"I think working for world peace is actually the best source of security we can offer now," Near said. "I have always believed and continue to believe that there is a higher ground offered to human beings. We are the only planet we know of with life on it like ours and we have a huge opportunity to work with this life. All through history, brave and courageous people have stepped up to that higher ground. I see people in our nation really trying. In one town we were in there were signs in homes and businesses that said, �This is a hate-free community. No racist attacks.� It was beautiful."
Near recognizes that these are trying times for many in the gay community, since, she says, so many of our tribe works in the airline industry and the military. She opines about the attacks on the World Trade Center in a piece on her web site titled "WTC--I Still Believe" (www.hollynear.com). It is a moving essay, much like so many of the lyrics she has penned over the years. In it, Near says she does not want her safety to "come from bombing a village" and she calls upon "culturally informed world negotiators, facilitators, mediators and artists to lay the ground work for trust, civility, and peace."
"And if our leaders do not know how to take this path," Near writes, "then we, the people, have the historical and constitutional right to do so. It is not a stand against one�s country to take a vigilant stand for peace."
Near�s three Ohio appearances--on October 13 in Cleveland, October 14 in Dayton and October 15 in Columbus--came on the heels of National Coming Out Day (October 11). Much has changed since she came out in the mid-seventies, she said, but it�s always important to welcome others into a safe, nurturing LGBT community.
"I try to keep singing and talking about coming out. I feel it is very stressful for people to live secrets," Near said. "Even with as much middle-of-the-road attention to gay issues, which is quite different than when I came out in the mid seventies, there are still people who live in fear, in shadows, and feel alone. I try to encourage people to look around and see who doesn�t feel part of a community, whether a peace community or a gay community . . . whatever, and invite them to a concert. There is something so powerful about looking around and seeing that you are not alone."
No matter what lives we live, Near said, it is important to recognize that we all have a "global component."
"This is a good time to think as a world citizen. We need each other and for as long as there is such a discrepancy of who has and who doesn�t, and I don�t mean just money . . . I mean access to ideas and love and decency and respect and food and shelter . . . then there will be war in the air. Each little thing we do for the good can alter the outcome. It is hard to believe that, but it is true. All the little things add up and the world shifts."
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