Since I was a child he hounded me. She stalked me. I was bullied, intimidated, tormented not by a single person, but by a throng of thoughts. Why did another child, adolescent, nay adult ever bully me. What was it about me that kept me safe from harm or a persecutor’s pointed proclamations?
Also from the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit (paprogressivesummit.com), I’d like to bring you a few videos form a panel simply entitled ‘Marriage Equality’. On this panel, the speakers discussed the benefits, issues, and consequences or allowing homosexual couples marriage rights equal to those of heterosexual ones. The panelists and approached the topic from a variety of angles. Some spoke about the legal issues equality, both in the PA state legislature and in the constitution, others talked about the religious aspects, especially from the Christian and Jewish traditions, and others talked about the moral and human rights aspect of the debate.
The clips below go into many of the arguments against marriage equality and gay marriage and why most of them struggle for validity. The first video, PA state senator Daylin Leach, who sponsored a bill in the PA state legislature in support on marriage equality, goes into many of the arguments against gay marriage that he has heard while debating the bill. As he says, no one has debated him twice, because no one has presented him an argument with any validity. The second video looks at many of the religious issues brought up by the marriage equality debate. Many think that religion has no part of the legal debate over gay marriage and often when religion is invoked, it is done so incorrectly. Finally, the last clip discusses why marriage equality supporters should want legalized gay marriage and not civil unions. Civil unions seem like an acceptable compromise, but really they are impractical and still discriminatory.
Last week I posted a diary about LGBT legislation before Congress, suggesting that all was not doom and gloom in the fight for LGBT rights. Now there’s more good news coming down the pipeline: on Friday the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) posted on its website the words that activists have been waiting years to see:
Title: Medical Examination of Aliens: Removal of HIV Infection as a Communicable Disease of Public Health Significance
With this we move one significant step closer to getting rid of one of the worst and most discriminatory bits of immigration law currently on the books: the HIV travel ban.
Without rehashing the last weeks’ debates over President Obama’s relationship with the LGBT rights movement, I wanted to outline a list of legislation that is currently in play, along with recommendations about what we can do to help speed the processes along. There’s nothing worse than the feeling that we have no say in the political process, but here are four opportunities to get vocal in a concrete, direct way:
1. the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligation Act
2. the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
3. the Matthew Shepard Act
4. the Military Readiness Enhancement Act
And the best part is, you really can help. All four of these bills are before Congress (or about to be introduced), and your representatives are waiting to hear from you.
Have you heard the reasons why many people believe Prop 8 passed this past November? It’s the bigoted voters, say some, and they can’t be trusted! It was a failed campaign by the gay community, say others. And others still say it was the huge amount of money spent by out-of-state players like the Mormon Church.
But all of those explanations are ignoring an essential part of the story of how the initiative passed. In light of the upcoming California Supreme Court ruling, I thought I’d tell you about the missing part of the Prop 8 story.
Crossposted at Dailykos.com and Congressmatters.com
Whether tomorrow’s Prop 8 decision affects you directly or not, it’s likely to be a big moment for the LGBT movement, insofar as so many married and wanting-to-right-to-be-married couples are heavily invested in the outcome.
I won’t waste words on the background of this issue since so much has been written already. But if you value equality and want to be part of what happens next, I’ve put together a list of events and links that should be useful.
The number of reported attacks against LGBT people increased 24 percent in 2007 over 2006, and they were expected to jump in 2008, said Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.
Not everything in the gay, lesbian, transgender, and otherwise queer world is about marriage and inauguration prayers. But understanding these things in the context of fear and violence can help us come to terms with the anger and frustration that a lot of queer voters are facing. Follow me below for more stories and statistics.
How well do you know LGBT history in the United States?
I put together a short (15 question) quiz addressing different facts, figures, and facets of this long and diverse history. See how many you know, then join me for a discussion in the comments section below.
It’s an old argument. Old as the hills. Older than some kinds of dirt. But then, so am I.
The thinking goes like this:
It is totally wrong to discriminate against someone because of something they had no control over.
Nobody could disagree with that. Surely I don’t. But as someone who taught logic for a quarter century, I am all too aware of human frailty in this matter. Some people read that as having the implication that it would not be wrong to discriminate against someone because of what they did choose.
There’s the culprit: thinking that it is okay to discriminate against people.
Though the Olympics aren’t quite over, I thought it’d be good to bring people’s attention to the openly queer athletes who’ve succeeded in Beijing, despite the stigma often attached whenever sports and sexuality cross paths.
Stories like theirs often slip between the cracks, despite 24/7 coverage of the games. But as long as stereotypes exist about the ability of gay, lesbian, bi, and trans athletes to perform at the same level as their peers, we need their stories to remind us that they can and do succeed.
Here’s a quick roundup of athletes who are not only at the top of their game, but also open members of the LGBT community.