human rights

We won our #dignity and #freedom as #LGBT in America

I am still in shock. My body is shaking, unsure whether I should laugh or cry, dance or scream. Maybe there is a way to do it all at the same time. 

Honestly, I never thought this day would come.  I remember how I felt the day my state banned my rights by constitutional amendment. It hurt, but I knew that my state and country default to hate and denial of dignity. We have never been good at respecting basic human rights.  

I want to feel like this is a victory, because it is, but I still don't feel like I am awake.  Reality has merged with my dreams in a way that I can't believe happened.

This feeling, smiling while on the verge of tears, is one of the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced.  Today, I am finally a full citizen in my country.

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times,” Kennedy wrote in the 34-page opinion. “The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.
Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of Gay Marriage - US News

The tide of progress marches forward, and our understanding of liberty and oppression grow over time.  As science continues to offer us a better understanding of the world as it is, we see the foolishness of past generations in the clear light of wisdom.  All humans are equal.  All humans.

It is now clear that the challenged laws burden the liberty of same-sex couples, and it must be further acknowledged that they abridge central precepts of equality … Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm. The imposition of this disability on gays and lesbians serves to disrespect and subordinate them. And the Equal Protection Clause, like the Due Process Clause, prohibits this unjustified infringement of the fundamental right to marry.
Justice Kennedy, “The Ideals Of Love,” And Other Key Quotes From The Huge Supreme Court Victory / Queerty

To read the court calling the discrimination I have lived with my entire life "unjustified infringement" is one of those moments beyond words.  I have been married to the person I love for almost two decades.  Married in the eyes of God, but not in the state I live in.  To be told that our relationship was a danger to the country hurt.  Now, we can start planning a wedding...

These words now cover my community too:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
— Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

It is hard to express my joy.  I am sure this post makes me sound like a rambling idiot, but I had to say something, and I had to say it now.  I am an equal citizen in my country.  After 37 years of second class citizenship, I am now equal. We are now equal.

Day without a Gay

DaywithoutagayThere is a movement to get all GLBT people to take December 10th off, and spend it volunteering in a way to make an impact against the hate and homophobia that swept the elections.

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 (Day without a Gay).

Hmmm... It is an interesting idea, but I don't think it is the best idea to call in. Maybe just take the day off if you want to be involved.

For me, I think it would be best if I should up for work, and posted about equal rights that day. Spread the word. Besides, I know my readers are allies or in the community.

How do you think we should protest and raise awareness?

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Prop 8 Broke Our Hearts

Op-Ed from Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese

queer_sf You can’t take this away from me: Proposition 8 broke our hearts, but it did not end our fight.

Like many in our movement, I found myself in Southern California last weekend.  There, I had the opportunity to speak with a man who said that Proposition 8 completely changed the way he saw his own neighborhood.  Every “Yes on 8” sign was a slap. For this man, for me, for the 18,000 couples who married in California, to LGBT people and the people who love us, its passage was worse than a slap in the face.  It was nothing short of heartbreaking.

But it is not the end.  Fifty-two percent of the voters of California voted to deny us our equality on Tuesday, but they did not vote our families or the power of our love out of existence; they did not vote us away.

As free and equal human beings, we were born with the right to equal families.  The courts did not give us this right—they simply recognized it.  And although California has ceased to grant us marriage licenses, our rights are not subject to anyone’s approval.  We will keep fighting for them. They are as real and as enduring as the love that moves us to form families in the first place.   There are many roads to marriage equality, and no single roadblock will prevent us from ultimately getting there.

And yet there is no denying, as we pick ourselves up after losing this most recent, hard-fought battle, that we’ve been injured, many of us by neighbors who claim to respect us. We see them in the supermarkets, on the sidewalk, and think “how could you?”

marriage By the same token, we know that we are moving in the right direction.  In 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22 by a margin of 61.4% to 38.6%.  On Tuesday, fully 48% of Californians rejected Proposition 8. It wasn’t enough, but it was a massive shift.  Nationally, although two other anti-marriage ballot measures won, Connecticut defeated an effort to hold a constitutional convention ending marriage, New York’s state legislature gained the seats necessary to consider a marriage law, and FMA architect Marilyn Musgrave lost her seat in Congress.  We also elected a president who supports protecting the entire community from discrimination and who opposes discriminatory amendments.

Yet on Proposition 8 we lost at the ballot box, and I think that says something about this middle place where we find ourselves at this moment. In 2003, twelve states still had sodomy laws on the books, and only one state had civil unions.  Four years ago, marriage was used to rile up a right-wing base, and we were branded as a bigger threat than terrorism.  In 2008, most people know that we are not a threat.  Proposition 8 did not result from a popular groundswell of opposition to our rights, but was the work of a small core of people who fought to get it on the ballot.  The anti-LGBT message didn’t rally people to the polls, but unfortunately when people got to the polls, too many of them had no problem with hurting us.  Faced with an economy in turmoil and two wars, most Californians didn’t choose the culture war.  But faced with the question—brought to them by a small cadre of anti-LGBT hardliners – of whether our families should be treated differently from theirs, too many said yes.

But even before we do the hard work of deconstructing this campaign and readying for the future, it’s clear to me that our continuing mandate is to show our neighbors who we are.

Justice Lewis Powell was the swing vote in Bowers, the case that upheld Georgia’s sodomy law and that was reversed by Lawrence v. Texas five years ago.  When Bowers was pending, Powell told one of his clerks “I don’t believe I’ve ever met a homosexual.”  Ironically, that clerk was gay, and had never come out to the Justice.  A decade later, Powell admitted his vote to uphold Georgia’s sodomy law was a mistake.

Everything we’ve learned points to one simple fact: people who know us are more likely to support our equality.

In recent years, I’ve been delivering this positive message: tell your story. Share who you are.  And in fact, as our families become more familiar, support for us increases. But make no mistake: I do not think we have to audition for equality.  Rather, I believe that each and every one of us who has been hurt by this hateful ballot measure, and each and every one of us who is still fighting to be equal, has to confront the neighbors who hurt us.  We have to say to the man with the Yes on 8 sign—you disrespected my humanity, and I am not giving you a pass.  I am not giving you a pass for explaining that you tolerate me, while at the same time denying that my family has a right to exist.  I do not give you permission to say you have me as a “gay friend” when you cast a vote against my family, and my rights.

Wherever you are, tell a neighbor what the California Supreme Court so wisely affirmed: that you are equal, you are human, and that being denied equality harms you materially.  Although I, like our whole community, am shaken by Prop 8’s passage, I am not yet ready to believe that anyone who knows us as human beings and understands what is at stake would consciously vote to harm us.

This is not over.  In California, our legal rights have been lost, but our human rights endure, and we will continue to fight for them.

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A Comment on Roseanne's Words

Let the controversy begin, here is what Roseanne Barr said:

"They don't care about minimum wage. They don't care about any other group other than their own selves -- because, you know, some people say being gay and lesbian is a totally narcissistic thing, and sometimes I wonder. I've never heard any of them say anything except for, 'Accept me 'cause I'm gay (What you said: Was Roseanne right? -- Queer Lesbian Gay Opinion -- Gay.com)."

ok, Let me start with the obvious rebuttal:

  1. The Rachel Maddow Show: I wish Rachel actual talked more about Queer issues, but she is focused on so many liberal causes that she rarely talks about our community.
  2. The Michael Signorile Show: Everything, every cause, smart and to the point.

'Nuff said...

Well, not really. To be honest, I have to kinda agree with Roseanne. While most of the individuals in the community are interested in multiple issues, our advocacy organizations are not very good at expressing our interests.

Queer issues are gender issues. People have issues with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered community because we challenge the cultures basic concept what it means to me a male or a female. So we should be involved in the feminist movement.

Employment is a major issue. As someone who has in the past been fired for simply being gay, I am a big advocate for employment reforms. But we should not be focused on equal employment for our people alone, we should work with other minority groups to make all our jobs safe, equal, and capable of supporting a family.

School bullying is a horrid really for our community and others and should be a major focus of our community.

Other issues that we need to focus on are the war, infrastructure, and government reform. How often have you heard these issues mentions by the predominate voices of our community?

I know that our community has many of its own challenges, especially from a growing religio-fascist movement that wants to use us as a scapegoat for all of the ills their policies are bringing upon our people, but we need allies, and we need to be more than we are.

Marriage under Fire: The Ban, The Evangelist, and the Fraud

C.E. Dorsett As I read the news this morning, I thought to myself: I hope and pray that someday soon, I will have no stories of hate, bigotry, or discrimination to blog about. I get worried sometimes that I sound like a broken record, because the same divisive tactics are being used over and again from state to state, and internationally. If you ignore the problem, it only grows. So here we go again:


The Ban:

Wisconsin has become the seventh state to place a constitutional amendment banning legal recognition of same-sex couples on the 2006 ballot.

Passed by the state Assembly by 62-31 on Tuesday night, the amendment takes the familiar route of defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but goes on to outlaw recognition of “any legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals (Gay.com).”

Don't you just love how it is no longer acceptable among fear- and hate-mongers to just be against same-gender marriage, they have to ban the segregated versions of it too. What do these people have against the family?


The Evangelist:

A longtime Presbyterian minister and avowed “lesbian evangelist” faces a church trial Thursday over allegations that she violated church mandates by marrying two lesbian couples (Gay.com).

Now, they are attacking ritual marriage too? Well, guess this destroys their argument that people can at least have the rite even if they don't have the rights. I hope she is not removed from office. She is doing God's work.


The Fraud:

The Massachusetts attorney general's office is launching a criminal investigation into whether signatures on an anti-same-sex marriage petition were forged, the Associated Press reported (Gay.com).

They attack the institution of marriage and the clergy who support it, and they will even commit fraud to undo equal rights in Mass. It makes you feel sorry for these people in a way doesn't it. They are so lost in their own prejudice that they would break the law to see it forced on others. It's sad, and a little scary.


A Note:A certain bow-tied idiot on MSNBC has blogged about how Gay marriage will legalize Polygamy...Why it would not legalize Polyandry as well, I do not know, but he has his knickers in a twist about this. This apples and oranges thing is wearing thin. Plural marriage has a negative emotional and economic impact on those involved. It is a separate issue. [Ugh] If Rachel Maddow were not on his show, I wouldn't even know it was on.

Marriage under Fire: The Ban, The Evangelist, and the Fraud

C.E. Dorsett As I read the news this morning, I thought to myself: I hope and pray that someday soon, I will have no stories of hate, bigotry, or discrimination to blog about. I get worried sometimes that I sound like a broken record, because the same divisive tactics are being used over and again from state to state, and internationally. If you ignore the problem, it only grows. So here we go again:


The Ban:

Wisconsin has become the seventh state to place a constitutional amendment banning legal recognition of same-sex couples on the 2006 ballot.

Passed by the state Assembly by 62-31 on Tuesday night, the amendment takes the familiar route of defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but goes on to outlaw recognition of “any legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals (Gay.com).”

Don't you just love how it is no longer acceptable among fear- and hate-mongers to just be against same-gender marriage, they have to ban the segregated versions of it too. What do these people have against the family?


The Evangelist:

A longtime Presbyterian minister and avowed “lesbian evangelist” faces a church trial Thursday over allegations that she violated church mandates by marrying two lesbian couples (Gay.com).

Now, they are attacking ritual marriage too? Well, guess this destroys their argument that people can at least have the rite even if they don't have the rights. I hope she is not removed from office. She is doing God's work.


The Fraud:

The Massachusetts attorney general's office is launching a criminal investigation into whether signatures on an anti-same-sex marriage petition were forged, the Associated Press reported (Gay.com).

They attack the institution of marriage and the clergy who support it, and they will even commit fraud to undo equal rights in Mass. It makes you feel sorry for these people in a way doesn't it. They are so lost in their own prejudice that they would break the law to see it forced on others. It's sad, and a little scary.


A Note:A certain bow-tied idiot on MSNBC has blogged about how Gay marriage will legalize Polygamy...Why it would not legalize Polyandry as well, I do not know, but he has his knickers in a twist about this. This apples and oranges thing is wearing thin. Plural marriage has a negative emotional and economic impact on those involved. It is a separate issue. [Ugh] If Rachel Maddow were not on his show, I wouldn't even know it was on.

Equal Marriage Roundup

C.E. Dorsett Those who push hate and bigotry found an ally in in Bill “I can misdiagnosis you from a distance, give me a cat” Frist:

The Senate is planning on a vote this year for a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage (Gay.com).

Oooo, they want to get peoples bigotry or lack there of on record so they can use it against them. While they will probably get away with this blatant act of gay baiting, I can only hope they get called out and held accountable for using hate as a political tactic. It is frankly, unconscious able that we allow this to happen in this country.

There is a bright light out there:

Same-sex couples across the United States applied for marriage licenses at their city and county offices Tuesday as part of an annual campaign for marriage equality (Gay.com).

I wish I was in the loop on this. As someone who has a licensed domestic partnership in the state of California, who has found himself living in Missouri dreaming of Massachusetts, I find the confusion in law concerning my personal relationship to be more than confusing... I can only hope that more protests shine a light on these issues.

This is about more than a piece of paper:

Gay marriage and civil partnerships are good for the health of lesbians and gay men, researchers said Tuesday in London (Gay.com).

What else is there to say? Equal Marriage is necessary.

A Dark Night in the Heartland

Reaction to Bush's Speech

[Thu 9-2-2004 at 10:14 PM CST]

  • Extending the frontiers of freedom??  Freedom to pursue your dreams??

Does he really think people are that stupid?  He has done more to eliminate civil liberties and to dash human rights than anyone short of the real dictators, but he has his dreams.  Good grief.

  • Frivolous Lawsuits??

What frivolous lawsuits?  O, do you mean the one my father can't file for being fired after being injured on the job because the republicans have rigged the legal system in such a way that he can't?  O, please ihr Führer, save those corporations and doctors from any responsibility for any harm they cause.

  • Ownership Society, What a crock of lies!!

Okay, ihr Führer, tell me again why poor people should help rich people become richer while taking away the only safety net they have.  I am afraid to say it, but if it wasn't for social security, I don't know what my parents would do.  {sigh} I am just to upset to talk about this right now.

  • Testing every child with no funding.

What a brilliant idea!  First of all, bulimia is not good for models, and it's not good for the mind.  Test scores mean nothing.  What is more important is that our students learn to APPLY what they learn.  I can spout off quite a few facts about quite a few things, but if I can't USE that knowledge it counts for nothing.  Dogs can memorize and repeat tricks on command, but they can't build a computer.  Applied Knowledge is what we need to find a way to instill in our kids.

  • Faith Based BS

As someone who was brutalized physically and psychologically by "Faith Based" institutions, I have to say I don't think religious labels count for much.  It's what is in a person's heart that matters, not what they call themselves.  Having said that, I have to tell you, FAITH BASED CHARITIES COULD ALWAYS GET THE FUNDS, they just couldn't use it to proselytize or to fund worship services.  If we really want to help people we need to look at RESULTS as much as methods, and only fund constitutional charities that work.

  • Protecting Marriage at the cost of Human Dignity

What are you protecting marriage from?  Brian and I have bee together for seven years in a monogamous relationship that we consider a marriage.  You just want to feel special because you can visit Laura if, God forbid, she were hospitalized.  Or maybe you want to make sure Brian can't inherit if something happened to me.  I don't know what you think you are protecting.

All you are doing is depriving me of my basic human rights.  Love is love Ihr Führer, accept that.

  • Protestors are so cool!!!

They chanted "Bush lied people died!!!"  Bush looks like he did during the now infamous 7 minutes in Fahrenheit 9/11.  He just doesn't know what to do.  LOL

  • The Crosses on the Podium

Read the Bible.  Compare the actions of the Bush administration with what Jesus taught, especially Matthew 5-8, and see if Bush comes close.  You make Jesus weep Mr Bush!  How does that feel?