Archive for the gay marriage Category

After Prop. 8, Some Say ‘Gay Is The New Black’

Posted in gay marriage, Uncategorized with tags , on December 4, 2008 by sweetangel16175

After Prop. 8, Some Say ‘Gay Is The New Black’

NEW YORK (AP) ― Gay is the new black, say the protest signs and magazine covers, casting the gay marriage battle as the last frontier of equal rights for all.

Gay marriage is not a civil right, opponents counter, insisting that minority status comes from who you are rather than what you do.

The gay rights movement entered a new era when Barack Obama was elected the first black president the same day that voters in California and Florida passed referendums to prevent gays and lesbians from marrying, while Arizonans turned down civil unions and Arkansans said no to adoptions by same-sex couples.

Racism was defanged by Obama’s triumph, leaving gays as perhaps the last group of Americans claiming that their basic rights are being systematically denied.

“Black people are equal now, and gay people aren’t,” said Emil Wilbekin, a black gay man and the editor of Giant magazine. “I always have this discussion with my friends: What’s worse, being a black man or a black gay man?”

“Civil rights have come much further than gay rights,” he said. “A lot of people in the gay community have been condemned for their lifestyle and promiscuity and drugs and sex, so it’s odd that when they want to conform and model themselves after straight people and have the same rights for marriage and domestic partnership and adoption, they’re being blocked.”

In a cover story for the Advocate magazine titled “Gay is the New Black,” Michael Joseph Gross wrote, “These past few years we’ve made so much progress that we’d begun to think everybody saw us as we see ourselves. Suddenly we were faced with the reality that a majority of voters don’t like us, don’t think we’re normal, don’t believe our lives and loves count as much or are worth as much as theirs.”

Yet even some gay leaders are reluctant to directly tie their fight to the African-American legacy. They acknowledge significant differences in the experiences of gays and blacks, ranging from slavery to the relative affluence of white gay men to the choice made by some gays to conceal their sexual orientation, which is not an option for those with darker skin.

“I believe we are very much in a modern-day civil rights struggle,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights organization.

“We liken some of the experiences that we have had and will have to the (black) civil rights struggle. We also are enormously respectful of the differences,” he said. “What we are best served doing is when we take lessons from the civil rights experience and apply them to our work.”

Complicating the issue is the domination of minority politics by blacks and Latinos, who can be less than friendly to gay issues.

In the vote on Proposition 8 in California, which repealed gay marriage, about 70 percent of blacks favored the ban, according to an exit poll; Latinos’ close vote may have favored it, though the poll’s small sample left some uncertainty. In Florida, 71 percent of blacks and 64 percent of Latinos favored a similar ban.

Opposition to gay rights often has a religious basis, and blacks and Latinos are more churchgoing than society at large. Twenty-six percent of blacks attend religious services more than once per week, compared with 16 percent of Latinos and 14 percent of whites, according to a 2007 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

“I do not consider (gays) to be a minority in legal and adjudicated terms, the same way people who only like to eat broccoli with butter aren’t a minority,” said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “We can’t categorize things according to behavior. It’s based on ethnicity, on who we are rather than what we do.”

“Who am I to say that you weren’t born that way … (but) sexual activity, what you do, who you sleep with, is your business,” Rodriguez said. “That’s between you, your lover, and the good God Almighty in heaven. I don’t want to know. Let’s leave sexual activity in the bedroom. The government shouldn’t be legislating what we do behind closed doors between two consenting adults. And to compare it to the African-American struggle, to me that’s an abomination.”

So is gay the new black, or did the election define a new and unique set of gay challenges?

“The gay fight for marriage has its own integrity, its own background,” said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University. “The experience of blacks in the United States is very different. … I don’t think it helps the fight for equality to make that claim.”

Cherlin says that fight began in the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic unfolded. Gay partners had few rights to help their ailing loved ones, visit them in hospitals or inherit their property, which led to the push for civil unions.

Today, only Connecticut and Massachusetts permit gay marriage, and a few states allow civil unions or domestic partnerships that grant some rights of marriage. Galvanized by the stinging Nov. 4 defeat in liberal California, the marriage movement is now as much symbolic as practical.

“There was a shift in the ’90s, from rights to the symbolism of being married,” Cherlin said. “This is not primarily a battle about rights now. If it was, all you’d be hearing about is domestic partnerships. Now it’s at two levels simultaneously. One is the level of rights; the second is the level of symbols.”

One symbol that some see missing from the gay rights movement is a figurehead. There are famous people who are out and proud, such as Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., or Ellen DeGeneres. But “we don’t have our Martin Luther King or Malcolm X or Barack Obama,” Wilbekin said.

Yet the nature of activism has changed since the days when King proposed the idea of a mass march on Washington. The recent nationwide gay protests were instigated by a Seattle blogger who set up a Web page three days after the California vote.

And in some ways, gays see Obama himself as a symbol of gay progress — even though he opposes gay marriage.

Obama is in favor of civil unions, and during his victory speech, when he included gays in his description of America, it made them feel part of the historic racial milestone.

Solmonese said that the election defeats of Nov. 4 have inspired a level of gay activism not seen since the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

“That is buoyed by equal parts anger and rage about Proposition 8,” he said, “but also hope and inspiration about doing something that for a long time we didn’t think possible — like electing Barack Obama as our president.”

A Day Without Gays

Posted in gay marriage with tags , , , on November 26, 2008 by sweetangel16175

http://daywithoutagay.org/

The worldwide media attention surrounding our massive grassweb efforts for gay rights has been tremendous. Join the Impact was a HUGE success and will continue to thrive because of our efforts.

We’ve reacted to anti-gay ballot initiatives in California, Arizona Florida, and Arkansas with anger, with resolve, and with courage. NOW, it’s time to show America and the world how we love.

Gay people and our allies are compassionate, sensitive, caring, mobilized, and programmed for success. A day without gays would be tragic because it would be a day without love.

On December 10, 2008 the gay community will take a historic stance against hatred by donating love to a variety of different causes.

On December 10, you are encouraged not to call in sick to work. You are encouraged to call in “gay”–and donate your time to service!

December 10, 2008 is International Human Rights Day. CLICK HERE to join us, and search or add to the list of human rights organizations that need our help RIGHT NOW.

If you are a non-profit in search of volunteers on December 10, 2008, post your info here, or email us at info@daywithoutagay.org, and we’ll add information about your group.

Prop 8

Posted in gay marriage, prop 8 with tags , on November 13, 2008 by sweetangel16175

You are a bigot or ignorant if you vote yes on Prop 8. Here’s why.

First of all, I’d like to say I’m shocked and appalled by this proposition.  To think, in a time after civil rights have been won and equality for everyone is supposed to be, I can turn on my television and see right wing extremists posting commercials that schools by law must teach children about gay marriage, or that telling children that gays exist is somehow a bad thing and these people should be swept under the rug is beyond words.  I’m ashamed of my state, and I’m ashamed of the 48% of California who are about to be defeated by this proposition failing.

1. This proposition was made by religious extremists.  They are religious extremists, this proposition was put forward by ADF an extremist Christian group of lawyers that purports that the U.S. government is against the church and demands religion be taught in schools, and posting in every government building.  Before this league of hate was formed, they didn’t classify as a group and were known as the LDS, or the layman would know them as the “Mormon Church”.  This same group had to be sanctioned in 1978 by the U.S. supreme court to stop their discrimination against blacks.  Now they’ve returned to discriminate against gays and lesbians by hiding behind their newly formed goon squad of lawyers, the ADF.

2. They claim that children -will- be taught in schools about gay marriage and this is a fact because its “already happened in Massachusetts.”  There is extremely limited information about whether this is actually being taught at length to any students in Massachusetts aside from a few isolated incidents sensationalized by the ADF.  Moreover, the California education system is run completely differently than Massachusetts.  Teaching in the classroom is determined by the California Education Code, Teachers Association, and Parent involvement.  If our students are taught gay marriage its because our educators, legislators and overall parents believe it needs to be taught.  This means 66% of the power comes from you as a voter.  You vote the legislators in, and the PTA has a voice in what’s taught.  End of story.

3.  Another argument made by the ADF is that children can’t “opt out” of this instruction.  I’ve already established that this instruction doesn’t exist unless teachers, legislators and parents want it, but I’ll address this anyway.  This has already been disproven by a press release by the school who hosted the field trip found here.  This footage is shocking, be warned but please note that TWO students did opt out of this education, contrary to what the ADF would have you believe.  In every educator I know, every student I know and my experience, marriage was taught very little, if at all.  It was so minor neither I nor any student I’m familiar with has any recollection of any marital education.  Its a sidebar and mentioning that gay marriage exists and happens isn’t something students should get opted out of.  Students aren’t taught anything more than it exists.  Similar arguments like this have been used by religious nuts whenever something new and scary comes around, like interracial marriage.  Its not different, its the same.

4. The scary argument by the ADF is that churches might lose their tax exemptions if this proposition fails.  The document they cite to support this says that if a Church is to become overly involved in governmental politics they can lose their tax exemptions.  This is true whether gays can or can’t marry, it has nothing to do with the argument.

5.  The ADF claims that the 4 extremist judges were wrong for overturning the voters decision and “ignored” their wishes.  This is blatantly false as anyone who has remotely read the transcripts from this case can tell you.  It was at the heart of the debate.  The simple fact is if the people want something that is unconstitutional, the justice system has an obligation to fix it, regardless of the people’s wishes.  Remember at one point we wanted slaves, then we wanted separate by equal.  Other extremist judges?  Brown v. The Board of Education, Roe v. Wade.  These are taught to children as the pinnacle of our accomplishments as a fair and just society.  I salute these judges for doing the right thing and making one more page in history against oppression.

6. Lastly, the ADF purports that according to the law churches can be sued for bigotry against certain groups.  In the court case that overturned the 2000 anti-gay legislation, it was specifically stated that there would be no sanctions to churches or any other religious groups for beliefs that conflicted with the right to gay marriage.  Forget the countless court cases that have ruled for churches under the protection of the first amendment rights.  As a matter of fact these laws protecting churches are so extreme and overprotective that churches like the Westboro Baptist Church can tell grieving mothers of killed soldiers that their sons are burning in hell at their son’s funerals.  Churches are in no danger from prop 8 failing.

Do the right thing.  Stop being a dumbass and see this legislation for what it is.  Vote no, and be a part of the group that 30 years from now people will look back and say “they had the right idea”, not the group of racists and bigots that fought against fundamental human rights.