Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State will have marriage on the mind this November when voters in support of equality are being instructed to “Vote Yes on 1” in Maine; “Vote for Question 6” in Maryland; “Vote No” in Minnesota; and “Vote to Approve R74” in Washington State.
Here in Washington State, a few dozen politicians didn’t pass marriage equality. We the People passed marriage equality in Washington State. The law was signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire on February 13, 2012. Surprisingly, no straight people were harmed with the passage of marriage equality on this day — or the many that followed.
Allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry their partners does not threaten heterosexual marriages or cause children to be born with three ears and five eyes on the tops of their heads.
I believe that fear is the root of so many anti-gay movements in this nation. Our counterparts are so concerned with their livelihoods being threatened that they don’t even notice that their daughter’s best friend in elementary school has two moms; that the firefighter that died saving their husbands’ lives left behind a partner with no means to financially survive; that their son or daughter was killed in the line of duty without ever being able to share with them their true identities; and that one teenaged kid was beaten down to shreds emotionally because he “just never fit in” …
At the end of the day, we will not remember the acronyms to the organizations that have shunned our lives and loves for generations. No, we will remember those who have stood beside us and have fought for our denied freedoms as if they were their very own. We will remember the effort, stamina, chutzpah, and resiliency it took to effectively win equality in all four states. And then, when December rolls around, we will start all over again. In the United States of America, no one is equal until all of us are equal.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is betting on the probability that voters will be confused this November… and that assumption might be an accurate one to anyone not paying extremely close attention to the wording on their state’s ballot.
NOM President Brian Brown said he thought anti-gay marriage opponents would prevail across the country this election. In fact, he told SiriusXM OutQ, “I think we’re going to win all four. But say we were to lose one — but still, we lost [just] one. Will there be a huge amount of media saying the country now supports same-sex marriage? Of course there will. The mainstream media is in the pocket of the same-sex marriage advocates. Anyone who looks as an objective observer will still be able to say, if we lose one state, the record still shows that [we’ve] won, whatever, 35 out of 36.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), “NOM sometimes displays a sense of aggrieved victimhood, picturing itself and other religious opponents of same-sex marriage as under assault by powerful and devious forces. In an August update, NOM President Brown described a ‘jihad’ by ‘those who wield scorn and hatred as a weapon to suppress the truth and those who speak it.’ He said that gay marriage advocates want ‘second class status’ for their opponents, adding, ‘we are looking into the face of a movement which wants … to take away your rights.’”
Essentially, NOM is a bully.
We in this country have stood up against bullying — promoting Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project and other pro-health/anti-discrimination initiatives in the past several years. So do we have anything to be concerned about, truly?
“Vote Yes on 1” in Maine; “Vote for Question 6” in Maryland; “Vote No” in Minnesota; and “Vote to Approve R74” in Washington State. Tell your friends and family members to do the same. Equality is not created in a vacuum.
Originally published by ParentMap magazine.
The band fun. and designer Rachel Antonoff have joined forces to create The Ally Coalition (TAC), a partnership devoted to encouraging and inspiring the music, fashion, and entertainment communities to take action in support of LGBTQ equality.
The Ally Coalition believes it is the responsibility of all “allies” to use their voices and influence to fight discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer (LGBTQ) people through education, awareness and advocacy. An “ally” supports equal civil rights, gender equality, and LGBTQ social movements, while also actively challenging homophobia and transphobia.
The Ally Coalition aims to have an across the board presence in music, fashion and entertainment and will work individually with members from each community to raise both awareness and funds in support of LGBTQ equality. The first of these endeavors will be with fun. on the upcoming REVERB Campus Consciousness Tour. The tour – presented in partnership with non-profit group REVERB and Ben & Jerry’s – will hit an array of colleges across the country this fall (for itinerary visit www.ournameisfun.com).
fun. – whose RIAA gold-certified Fueled By Ramen debut album, “Some Nights” is among this year’s biggest breakthrough releases – has long been active in supporting LGBTQ equality and other civil rights issues. The band’s Jack Antonoff recently published a powerful essay on The Huffington Post, encouraging straight Americans to ally themselves with the cause.
New York-based designer Rachel Antonoff has long been active in the fight for LGBTQ equality. Recently the company began an initiative to donate a percentage of proceeds from each collection to support various organizations with the same goal.
In addition, fun. and Rachel Antonoff have offered support to a number of leading LGBTQ equality organizations, including GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, The Trevor Project, and Freedom To Marry.
For more news and information, check out www.theallycoaliton.org, www.facebook.com/theallycoaltion, www.twitter.com/theallycoaltion, www.ournameisfun.com, and www.rachelantonoff.com.
By Abby Soto / This article was originally posted on The Seattle Lesbian
The Mormon-owned Salt Lake City affiliate of NBC, KSL-TV, has decided not to air the soon-to-be-released television show, The New Normal, which features a gay male couple who are having a baby through a surrogate.
In a blatant nod to so-called “family values,” Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL-TV’s parent company, Bonneville International, told local papers, “For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”
This is not the first time the station has chosen to preempt primetime shows it felt were controversial. According to deadline.com, Last fall, it dropped period drama The Playboy Club for “objectionable material.” [The series was picked up by MyNetworkTV’s station in the Salt Lake City market.] KSL’s previous NBC casualties include NBC’s racy comedy Coupling and the religious-themed animated comedy, God, the Devil and Bob. Both, as well as The Playboy Club were quickly cancelled.
“Same-sex families are a beloved part of American television thanks to shows like Modern Family, Glee and Grey’s Anatomy,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “While audiences, critics and advertisers have all supported LGBT stories, KSL is demonstrating how deeply out of touch it is with the rest of the country.”
Graddick added, “We invite Jeff Simpson to sit down with GLAAD and local LGBT families. We know that if he would, he would see that not only are our families normal, but by citing ‘crude and rude’ content and refusing to affirm LGBT families, KSL and Mr. Simpson are sending a dangerous message to Utah. They should make that right.”
That KSL-TV made this decision was not a surprise to Joshua Howard Behn, President of the national Gay and Lesbian Mormon Group, Affirmation. Though not an official comment from the group, Behn spoke for himself as a gay activist within Utah telling The Seattle Lesbian, “This is Utah, and while it’s not as wildly conservative here as many outside the ‘Zion Curtain’ think [Salt Lake is fairly progressive with a thriving LGBT nightlife scene, the highest concentration of Gay/Lesbian couples in the US according to the last census report, and several city ordinances which ban discrimination in housing] there are cases every now and then where battle lines get drawn.”
By: The Seattle Lesbian
Today Lambda Legal announced the resolution of a discrimination complaint with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) against the City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Youth Study Center (YSC) among others. Lambda Legal filed the complaint on behalf of L.P., a now 18-year-old transgender woman who was physically attacked by other residents and verbally abused by staff every day for almost a year and a half when she lived in the youth facility.
“Youth Study Center’s new policies and trainings adopted as a result of this settlement will help to ensure that other transgender youth under the facility’s care are safe and don’t face discrimination because of who they are,” said Flor Bermudez, Youth in Out-of-Home Care Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. “The resolution of this case means that transgender youth in Philadelphia have one more safe space where they won’t be abused and discriminated against but respected and kept safe.”
Read more here!
Brought to you by The Seattle Lesbian
By: McKenzie Morrell
I had an amazing opportunity to chat with Katy Lin, from Katy Lin & the Moonlight Riders and what better way to promote this extremely talented group than to share with you?
Q: Describe Katy Lin & the Moonlight Riders.
A: Upbeat, swamp blues alt country without any vocal twang. Professionals. We play stone cold sober. [We are] musicians who continue to play together because we all love and appreciate the sound that is being created. Good friends. We will engage you with our smiles and our hip shakes, and all the obvious fun we have on stage.
Read more here!
Brought to you by The Seattle Lesbian
By: Charlene Strong
Putting one’s experiences on paper can bring a light that has not been considered before. This is just one of those moments. My editor-in-chief asked me to speak on a part of my life that has rarely been shared with anyone.
Now is a time to share. I lost my father over 15 years ago and it was the catalyst for dealing with my personal homophobia and pain.
I was holding my dad when he died, his once handsome face was being ravaged with the very visible cancer that literally ate at him with a very cruel suffering, the likes of which I hope to never witness again.
When I laid him back in his bed for the first time since he was admitted a month earlier, the machines were all turned off, the quiet a gift. The calmness that came over me was strange, just an hour before I was screaming into a towel in the bathroom begging for the suffering to stop. Was it that someone heard that scream and silenced the struggle? I removed his St. Christopher Medal to give to my mom. As I sat quietly in the room with him until the funeral home came to receive his body, I felt clarity of needing to make some changes in my life. I felt at that moment that I was moving through life without any life. I was onto my second marriage and my husband was nice enough, but by writing that assessment I knew my days were numbered on this one.
I rushed into this marriage after much heartache. My first marriage was a sad and damaging moment in my life. I married a very handsome young man when both of us were far too young to know who we were. Had we spent time in the same city while engaged perhaps we would have figured it out. That’s really just conjecture, so we married.
Shortly into our marriage the intimacy stopped and the more I pushed the farther he pulled into his own world. I would sit up wondering if he were ever coming home and calling the state patrol to see if there was a truck in a wreck that matched the description of his truck. When he would arrive home he would often be bedraggled and not in the mood for explanations which only fueled our arguments.
Read more here!