So France is going to legalize marriage equality
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It’s no secret to anyone that when the United States reached major milestones in civil rights, like the abolition of slavery or women’s right to vote, those milestones did not come by way of popular vote. Why should we treat the fight for marriage equality or the end to workplace discrimination any differently?
In this brilliant CNN column, LZ Granderson argues that we’re doing society a disservice by voting on gay rights - or, as we like to call them, civil rights. The oppressive majority will rarely vote in favor of granting rights to a minority, LZ argues, and they shouldn’t be left with the responsibility of deciding on measures as fundamental as the right to work or marry.
What LGBT people are asking for is nothing radical at all, LZ says. The so-called “gay agenda,” therefore, can be found in its entirety in the Constitution.
It is human nature to resist change, especially change that may bring significant inconvenience to the vast majority of the people, those who are enjoying the spoils of the status quo. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” was never said by the community that was demanding their rights.
It was always the mantra of those who liked their slaves; who liked their women barefoot and pregnant; who felt uncomfortable working next to someone with cerebral palsy; who get squeamish at the thought of two men falling in love.
We elect members of Congress to lead us, not appease us. This is why our history has so many civil rights victories come by way of Congress or the courts and so few if any civil rights victories by election. When it gets right down to it, culturally we’re like children who have to be forced to eat our vegetables.
This is a short piece, but jam-packed with great one-liners and moments that prove we really have longer to go than we like to think. Give it a read for a political argument that should be common sense, but that some people haven’t quite gotten.
Last week, LGBT people in Washington, D.C. saw the grand opening of Casa Ruby, an LGBT center for Latinos/Latinas.
Located in Columbia Heights, the center will offer immigration-related services, HIV testing, and other services in Spanish and English. All are welcome, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status or country of origin. The center will be open from noon to 8pm, has seven staffers and 40 volunteers, and is funded by private donations.
More perspectives, as reported in the Washington Blade:
Roxana Olivas, director of the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, applauded Corado for her work on behalf of Latino LGBT Washingtonians.
“How proud I am as a Latina; how proud I am as a woman; how proud I am as a woman to have a place like this,” she said as she translated from Spanish to English. “We are here to support. We are here to be here with you by your side.”
Dulce Misterio de la Cruz told the Blade that she did not know anyone and did not have a place to live when she first moved to D.C. She credits Corado as one of the first people in Washington who helped her.
“In our community, there are many people who need help,” said Cruz. “Casa Ruby is bringing this help [to them.]”
Congratulations to all involved here - what a huge accomplishment!
The signatures have been counted: anti-marriage equality activists in Maryland have officially gathered enough signatures to put marriage equality to a vote in November.
Maryland passed a law for marriage equality earlier this year, but opponents immediately organized. They needed to gather more than 55,000 signatures to put a possible repeal on the ballot, and more than 70,000 valid signatures have been counted. But that doesn’t mean marriage equality advocates aren’t gearing up for a fight:
Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the coalition leading the campaign, announced today a long list of moves it has made to stop the repeal. It includes opening two campaign offices, hiring 12 field staffers, expanding its social media presence, and commissioning a poll that found Maryland voters overwhelmingly on the side of equality. Public Policy Polling found that 57% of voters would uphold the law and that African-Americans had made a huge swing after President Obama announced his support for marriage equality.
The “faith team” has already recruited a stable of religious leaders who are on its side to counter voices on the right who claim a monopoly on biblical views. It’s a similar tactic to one being employed in Minnesota, where dozens of faith leaders are speaking out for marriage equality as just another example of the “love and commitment” that all marriages represent. That message has resulted in a 10-point swing in four months, according to a PPP poll, with independents driving fresh support for same-sex marriage. Now 49% of voters are against amending the Minnesota constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Okay, Maryland readers. Looking at you on this one. We can’t let this go. We can win this.
Members from different organizations of Jewish LGBT people marched in the 64th Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, marking the first time an openly gay group has been allowed to participate.
A little bit of history on the parade from the Jewish Week:
In 1999 and 2000, the LGBT synagogue Congregation Beth Simchat Torah was allowed to march in the parade after they brokered a deal with the Parade Committee by which they were included in a group of other Manhattan synagogues with after school programs, but they were not allowed to put the words “gay” or “lesbian” on their banner, according to a website run by Rick Landman, a CBST member. Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum could not be reached for comment before Shabbat.
Participants in the LGBT group that [marched] on June 3 include Jewish Queer Youth, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah and a number of others, according to a press release from JQY, a support and advocacy organization.
What great news for the start of Pride month! This is a huge step for people in these communities. Congratulations to all.
“If we want to protect our society, marriage licenses must hold more equity and value than the equal recognition of driver’s licenses. Being a human with the freedom to love and marry according to orientation must be more important than the DL card in my wallet. Otherwise, I’m not a fully-recognized U.S. citizen with inalienable rights.”
“Plaintiffs challenge their exclusion from civil marriage, and seek to end the stigmatization and disrespect the State imposes upon them and their children by relegating them solely to the inferior status of civil union.”
I’m so fired up for marriage rights in my state.
Laura Jane Grace, the singer-guitarist from Against Me! who was formerly known as Tom Gabel, made her debut in her first performance since coming out as transgender.
Grace and the band performed in San Diego and played six new songs, including one titled “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.” She earned wild applause during a particular line of another song that goes, “If I could have chosen / I would have been born a woman.”
Though Grace says she’s open to having a dialogue about her transition with fans, she kept stage banter to a minimum and never brought up her coming out or new name in between songs. Since many of the concertgoers were Cult fans who weren’t familiar with Against Me!, the show wasn’t exactly ideal for a punk-rock heart-to-heart.
For his part, longtime fan Jimmy Gomez, 23, doesn’t think Grace needs to explain anything.
“She did it for herself, not for anybody else. This is about her,” he said. “She’s doing something she really loves now and she’s really happy – that’s really awesome.”
Good for her. It takes some serious strength to get up there and take center stage like that. Call me corny, but she really is a rock star.