Archive | 2012 Elections RSS feed for this section

When did you last see history being made?

6 Dec

Hillary Clinton made this soon-to-be-historical speech to the United Nations today. Please watch it as opportunities to truly see history being made are exceptionally rare.

Michelle Bachmann Campaign Chair: “Gay Marriage leads to…Eiffel Tower Marriage.”

25 Nov

As we’ve discussed here before, Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann doesn’t care for the gays too much.

Well, a few days ago, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s recently appointed Iowa campaign co-chair Tamara Scott had a little conversation with virulently anti-gay Bob Vander Plaats in which she makes the incredible leap from gays and lesbians marrying to someone marrying…wait for it…the Eiffel Tower.

While I too am enamored by the Eiffel Tower – like many other adults, I understand that I cannot marry it. One can only hope that this idiocy will be the final nail in Bachmann’s candidacy (in which she’s now polling at 3-4%).

How One Person Coming Out Can Change the World

11 Oct

Raymond Miller (photo by Jamie McGonnigal, EqualityPhotography.com)

It is my belief that a pretty large majority of the people who read this blog have come out to their families and friends. Many of you are also out at work, at church, to your local businesses and everyone you meet. And some of you may read this blog and others like it as your only outreach to the LGBT community.

Today is National Coming Out Day and we want to be certain that our readers understand the importance of being out. We’ve created a little survey of our own here that we’d love for you to take so we can get an idea of who’s reading and some of your stories.

In 2009, Gallup conducted a survey which told us many things, but primarily it told us that those who know us, are far more likely to vote for our equality. On the question of marriage, the number of those who do not think we should have marriage equality dropped from 72% to 47% among respondents who didn’t know vs. those who knew someone who is gay or lesbian.

With simple acceptance of our relationships, those who didn’t personally know someone who is gay or lesbian, 57% said that our relationships should be illegal. Among those who said they personally knew one of us, that number dropped to 29%:

A good friend once asked me if there was anyone in my family that didn’t know I was gay. I told him that my grandmother didn’t know because she was so old and why would I upset her at her age? He simply asked: “Does she vote?” Yes, she did. If these numbers are correct, than it tells us that people may vote for us nearly 2-to-1 when they know one of us (as Harvey Milk once said).

But it goes farther than that. A few years ago, I asked friends on facebook to use their Thanksgiving family gatherings to tell their families who they are. And to those who were already out, to use the time around the table to ask their families to do more. We need allies, so asking your families and friends to be not only allies, but advocates for your equality can double or triple the number of people affected by your coming out.

That Christmas, I went home and was doing my Christmas Eve gift wrapping with my sister-in-law. There was a brief pause in our conversation and she said “You know, I did what you asked me to do and I brought up gay marriage with some co-workers.” She went on to say she was “surprised” by some of her co-worker’s attitudes on equality, but continued to discuss it nonetheless. Did she change everyone’s minds just by bringing it up? Probably not. But is it possible she made some people think about what equality really means to them and perhaps consider voting for it? It’s very likely.

When the Gallup survey came out, Andrew Sullivan used it as a rallying cry so that people would “accelerate the coming-out process.” It’s clear that coming out makes a difference in how people vote and that those still living in the closet can actually hurt our progress. The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission used the Gallup survey to ask Christians to stop knowing gays and lesbians. Because hey, if you don’t know us, you won’t vote for us, right? It’s this kind of bigoted rhetoric which causes statistics like the nearly 1/3 of all homeless teens being LGBT.

So, we are issuing this request. Challenge yourself. If there is anyone in your life that you are not out to, and you can safely come out to, do it. You don’t have to do it today (despite the awesomely perfect excuse you have today), but make a commitment today and give yourself a deadline to tell everyone in your life who you are – including your banker and dry cleaner – they vote too.

 

Fox News’ Van Susteren Defends Married Binational Gay Couple

11 Aug

Bradford Wells and his husband Anthony John Makk (photo by Noah Berger, Special to the SF Chronicle)

We posted the other day about the tragic story of Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk, a binational couple being split up by our federal government. Makk, an Australian citizen has been with his American husband for 19 years. This week, the Obama administration made the decision to deport Makk who was legally married to Wells in Massachusetts in 2004.

In addition to being legally married, Makk is Wells’ primary caregiver through his AIDS treatment. Their heartbreaking story is making the rounds on the internet and was featured on CNN:

http://youtu.be/tgPV8pw05nk

And in this storytelling and sharing of the couple’s life, minds and hearts are being changed. Coming from an unlikely source, Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren took to her blog defending the couple in a post titled: “THIS IS CONFUSING: PRESIDENT OBAMA SENDING MIXED SIGNALS TO GAY AMERICANS”

One other personal, not legal, observation…these two men have been together 19 years….do you have any idea how many phoney applications are made by heterosexual foreigners who come to the USA, find a spouse (sometimes money is exchanged), marrying, getting a green card and then divorcing? It is a racket. We sure don’t try and stop those fraudulent relationships/marriages with any vigor. These two men, whether you are for or against, gay marriage, have been together 19 years (and yes, paying taxes!)

Of course the blog post is just a veiled attempt to attack President Obama and vilify him to the LGBT community, but the substance of it is clearly in support of protecting our rights. Minds can change so long as we continue to talk about equality.

UPDATE: After a little research, it seems Greta is talking out both sides of her mouth (which would be an accomplishment as she usually only uses one side). Greta invited John Boehner onto her show back in March to discuss Obama’s decision to stop defending DOMA in court. In the interview, she clearly sides with Boehner and claims that Boehner (in defending DOMA) is “doing the job that the Executive branch won’t do.” So this is just another case of someone using the LGBT rights movement as a political football. Either she believes that this couple should not be separated or she believes that DOMA should be the law of the land. Talk about mixed messages…

19 Anti-Gay House Democrats You Should Watch Out For

8 Jul

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)

Yesterday, under the leadership of Rep. Virginia Foxx (you know, the one who called Matthew Shepard’s murder a “hoax” in front of his mother), the House of Representatives needlessly spent time re-affirming the fact that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was the law of the land. It was equivalent to re-affirming the fact that Snooki is a celebrity. Even though it’s horrible, saying it out loud doesn’t make it more or less true.

DOMA has now been found unconstitutional in 14 courtrooms. It has lost every battle it has come up against in recent years because it denies equal rights to LGBT citizens. Yesterday’s vote was a case of the GOP grandstanding and trying to show that they have some power, despite Obama’s wanting to see it overturned.

But what I found most interesting is that technically, the vote was bipartisan. There were 19 Democrats that voted along with the lockstep Republicans to announce that they are still bigots and that their constituents do not deserve equal treatment under the law.

Now, personally I know that Republicans are a lot worse generally on LGBT issues than Democrats, but it’s also really important that we don’t automatically and blindly trust someone just because they are a Democrat. If you are represented by one of these elected officials, please make a call to their office and demand an explanation as to why they would so boldly and uselessly re-affirm their prejudiced and bigoted views. Let them know that they do not have your support in the next election and that you will fight for a primary opponent next time around. We can’t let Democrats off just because they are Democrats. Here you go – visit this link to find out who your representative is and how to contact them. Here are the Democrats who voted to “re-affirm” DOMA:

Jason Altmire (D-​Pa.), John Barrow (D-​Ga.), Sanford Bishop (D-​Ga.), Dan Boren (D-​Okla.), Ben Chandler (D-​Ky.), Jerry Costello (D-​Ill.), Mark Critz (D-​Pa.), Henry Cuellar (D-​Texas), Joe Donnelly (D-​Ind.), Gene Green (D-​Texas), Tim Holden (D-​Pa.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Dan Lipinski (D-​Ill.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), James Matheson (D-​Utah), Collin Peterson (D-​Minn.), Nich Rahall (D-W.V.), Mike Ross (D-​Ark.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).