In 2004, George W. Bush initiated a war over gay marriage when he was running against Kerry, and Karl Rove helped to extend that battle to states in 2004 and 2006, according to Bush Campaign Chief and Former RNC Chair, Ken Mehlman (previously, twice). GWB won in 2004, and voters passed all 11 bans on gay marriage. The latter shook Tim Gill, a quiet and successful software entrepreneur, who had been a political activist since 1992.
Gill became radicalized. “I got depressed and angry,” he says. “But, in the end, my response was to say, ‘Well, how am I going to fix this? These were political defeats. The way you fix political defeats is through politics. And so I thought, ‘These people are in office. We can’t have that. How do we go about undoing it?’ ”Bloomberg Politics: America’s Gay Corporate Warrior Wants to Bring Full Equality to Red States. [more inside]
Meet the most important legal scholar you’ve likely never heard of: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is this Supreme Court's liberal hero, but her work sits on the shoulders of Dr. Pauli Murray [more inside]
From October 1950 to January 1952, the Mexican American miners at the Empire Zinc mine in Bayard, New Mexico were on strike, protesting the racial discrimination between them and their Anglo counterparts in pay, safety standards, and quality of life in company housing. Two events make this particular strike stand out from similar strikes at other mines are the involvement of the miners' wives in both requesting better living conditions and later in taking to the picket lines themselves, and after the strike was over, the feminist and pro-labor docudrama made by blacklisted Hollywood film makers, Salt of the Earth (YouTube; lower quality on Archive.org; Wikipedia). [more inside]
Sunday evening, some of the most prominent organizations that work against LGBT equality joined together in Houston, Texas to rally in defense of “religious freedom.” The event included screening of parts of One Generation Away; Santorum's Docudrama comparing the plight of American Christians to those suffered under Nazi Germany. And a Duck Dynasty star telling Christians that equal rights would lead to them serving prison time. Meanwhile, Houston's LGBT community countered with Positive Impact Day collecting winter clothes.
Small South Carolina town rallies for fired lesbian police chief
LATTA, S.C. (AP) -- When openly gay police chief Crystal Moore was fired by a mayor who condemned her lifestyle as "questionable," she feared her two decade career in law enforcement in this town was over. Then, this conservative, small town rebelled.
The people of Latta, who voted overwhelmingly for a state amendment banning gay marriage eight years ago, turned against the mayor, stripped him of his powers and the town council rehired Moore. They said her dedication to the town mattered more than her sexual orientation.
Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase! A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
Following the state Supreme Court's decision in Griego v. Oliver [pdf], New Mexico has become the 17th U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. [more inside]
Conservative Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) came out in favor of marriage equality today, in an interview on CNN and an Op-Ed in the Columbus Dispatch. This reversal comes via Portman's son, who came out as a gay man to his parents two years ago. Reaction has been mixed.
Republican state rep. Maureen Walsh (WA, 16th District) gives a heartbreakingly earnest speech on behalf of marriage equality.
Three years after California voters approved a ban on gay marriage in California, a Ninth Circuit court has ruled (in the appeal case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger) that Judge Vaughn Walker's previous decision is valid, maintaining that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and in violation of California's due process and equal protection rights. The decision came down to a 2-1 vote in favor of Judge Walker's decision. [more inside]
45 years ago yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that birth control (for married women) was legal and that the US Constitution guaranteed privacy to women seeking reproductive services. That privacy ruling was instrumental in subsequent cases [pdf]regarding the legality of birth control and pregnancy termination. And while many states are pushing through new termination restrictions; some states are now pushing through "Personhood" laws that grant constitutional rights to zygotes and fetuses. These laws ban abortion without exception, ban certain forms of birth control, ban in-vitro fertilization, and forbid the treatment of pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancies. The legislations are being marketed by a "Conceived by Rape" bus tour. [more inside]
Charles Barkley on homophobia in sports It bothers me when I hear these reporters and jocks get on TV and say: ‘Oh, no guy can come out in a team sport. These guys would go crazy.’ First of all, quit telling me what I think. I’d rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can’t play.”
My Student, the 'Terrorist' If this were a movie, the story might end with a triumphal courtroom scene, or an intrepid Washington Post reporter breaking the story. It might have a sentimental ending, with a conservative Muslim family and community locking arms with Christians and Jews and atheists and turning the country back to its commitment to civil rights. The government, shamed, would reform its practices. But this is not a movie, and inhumane treatment is well protected in post-9/11 America. [more inside]
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES -- By this memorandum, I request that you take the following steps: 1. Initiate appropriate rulemaking, pursuant to your authority under 42 U.S.C. 1395x and other relevant provisions of law, to ensure that hospitals that participate in Medicare or Medicaid respect the rights of patients to designate visitors. It should be made clear that designated visitors, including individuals designated by legally valid advance directives (such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies), should enjoy visitation privileges that are no more restrictive than those that immediate family members enjoy. You should also provide that participating hospitals may not deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The rulemaking should take into account the need for hospitals to restrict visitation in medically appropriate circumstances as well as the clinical decisions that medical professionals make about a patient's care or treatment. -- BARACK OBAMA [more inside]
"We know it's a little clichéd – but here's what we want to tell the census: We're here. We're queer. And we want you to ask us about it."
The 2010 United States Census will be able to count gay marriages and partnerships. George Takei and his husband tell you how. Even with the restrictions placed on that data by the Defense of Marriage Act, that's good news for the LGB part of the spectrum, but what about T? If you're transgender, despite what the Census might tell you, it's not so simple to be counted. (hat tip to nadawi) [more inside]
Though the District of Columbia just welcomed its first same-sex married couple under its new marriage equality law, neighboring Virginia is dealing with the possibility of further restrictions to GLBT residents. The newly-minted state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is advising (read: instructing) Virginia's public colleges and universities that, because the state assembly has refused to add sexuality to its classes of discrimination, that for public colleges and universities to use discrimination policies which include gays and lesbians would be beyond their authority. Gov. McDonnell rescinded previous executive orders from Govs. Kaine and Warner in order to remove sexuality from the list of discrimination protections, but today responded to the controversy by directing state agencies not to discriminate against gays. And it all has something to do with Fortune 500 Company Northrop Grumman.
Fairy Tale Weddings for all -- Disney, under fire for discriminating at its parks, opens up its popular (and expensive!) Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons to same-sex couples.
Know Thy Neighbor --playing hardball with those who sign a petition amending Massachusetts' Constitution to end same-sex marriage there. All who sign it will have their names and addresses posted on the site. It's the brainchild of Thomas Lang and Alexander Westerhoff, one of the first gay couples married in Massachusetts. A little more here, including this: ...altering the state Constitution is a big deal, and if the backers of this (or any) constitutional amendment can't find 66,000 Massachusetts residents who feel strongly enough about doing so that they're willing to make their support public, then maybe the measure shouldn't be on the ballot after all. ...
Wedding Bells in NYC?? -- with a beautifully-written ruling, NY Supreme Ct. Justice Doris Ling-Cohan states that denying marriage to gay and lesbian New Yorkers is unconstitutional: ... There has been a steady evolution of the institution of marriage throughout history which belies the concept of a static traditional definition. Marriage, as it is understood today, is both a partnership of two loving equals who choose to commit themselves to each other and a State institution designed to promote stability for the couple and their children. The relationships of plaintiffs fit within this definition of marriage. Similar to opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples are entitled to the same fundamental right to follow their hearts and publicly commit to a lifetime partnership with the person of their choosing. The recognition that this fundamental right applies equally to same-sex couples cannot legitimately be said to harm anyone. ...
Women In Iran With the slogan of "Women's Right Is Human Right", the website tries to tell the story of struggles, issues and successes of Iranian women, and in this way we would like to extend our hands to and welcome all those who believe in the social and intellectual equality of women and men.
Welcome to the Relativist Fallacy. Conservative blacks in the United States are objecting to recent comparisons between the gay marriage and the 1960s civil rights movement, which fought segregation against blacks, arguing that sexual orientation is a choice.
Women's group asks CBS to drop The Masters golf tournament With all the issues facing women today in America, I have a hard time believing that getting a female member into the Augusta National Golf Club will help the cause of women's rights. It now appears that the National Council of Women's Organizations are also going after the employers of club members. Have they never heard of the old saying: "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Wouldn't fighting for equal pay in the workplace for women do more for the average female than getting female members into Augusta National Country Club?
Today is International Women's Day. Amnesty International has a few important stories about the horrors women face abroad. Or, you can send an IWD card to someone you love. Just don't bother visiting iVillage (you know, "the Women's Network"), because they must never have heard of it.
The gender gap : do women make less wages due to discrimination, or is it their own choice? Or a combination?
While you were sleeping, gay people were getting married in Vermont. Beginning at midnight last night, people began flocking to their town clerks [some of them] and signing pieces of paper that would allow them to visit their partners in the hospital and file state taxes jointly. While I have yet to see a news photo of a happy couple [no thanks to the AP] I'm sure today is going to be an interesting day in town.