Oklahoma. This was a place where Kathryn's workplace had a cussing jar, a quarter per swear, and the words written on it, “Let Go and Let God.” Here, Christianity was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and Oklahoma football was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and people could be decent and kind and judgmental, sometimes all at once, which was why, when Tracy told some Rotary Club friends that she and Kathryn were getting married, she kept her eyes planted above their heads so she wouldn't have to look at their faces.
"Putin needs external enemies and internal enemies. The external enemies are the U.S. and Europe. Internal enemies, they had to think about. The ethnic topic is dangerous. Two wars in the Caucasus, a third one, nobody knows how it would end. Jews? After Hitler, it's not kosher. We—" she waves a hand at herself and Zhenya—"are the ideal. We are everywhere. We don't look different, but we are. It's our turn. Just our turn." A GQ reporter visited Russia to speak to gay rights activists, and also to their enemies (some of whom, warning, describe committing acts of violence). Previously.
After years of speculation and stagnation, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was reportedly passed by Uganda's parliament. Early reports indicate the bill passed despite a possible lack of quorum. A full history of the bill and additional context on LGBT rights in Uganda can be found here.
"I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place." Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu, former chair of independent advisory group The Elders, was in the papers today. "I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this." Also reported by BBC News and The Mail on Sunday.
The Guardian has published a compelling interactive graph about where the 50 United States stand on LGBT rights. [more inside]
During his tenure as George W. Bush's campaign manager and later as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Ken Mehlman helped push an anti-gay agenda which eventually led to legislation that banned same-sex marriage in 21 states. He came out of the closet in 2010. Since then, he's openly supported gay marriage. Now, his newest endeavor, Project Right Side, is trying to attract conservatives to the fight for marriage equality. He discusses the non-profit's goals in a WSJ editorial: Making the Same-Sex Case. [more inside]
However long it takes for a real victory to be certified—no matter what happens on Election Day, it will be too early to unfurl a "Mission Accomplished" banner—the once ragtag march of lovers has acquired an air of inevitability. Edith Eyde's prophecy is almost fulfilled: gays are more or less regular folk. All the same, many who came out during the Stonewall era are wondering what will be lost as the community sheds its pariah status. They are baffled by the latter-day cult of marriage and the military—emblems of Eisenhower's America that the Stonewall generation joyfully rejected. The gay world is confronting a question with which Jews, African-Americans, and other marginalized groups have long been familiar: the price of assimilation.—Love on the March by Alex Ross. [more inside]
Obama evolved. The NAACP evolved. The NCLR has evolved. How do you get your friends and family to evolve into support for LGBT rights? The Movement Advancement Project's excellent Talking About LGBT Issues series gives research-driven rhetorical and messaging frameworks that work best for meeting reluctant folks where they are. They include warnings about civil rights framings, how to hit emotional marks that emphasize commonality and cover things like adoption, marriage, transgender etiquette and employment protections.
"Portia Simpson Miller, the former and newly re-elected Prime Minister of Jamaica and representative of the People's National Party, recently took an historically significant position by openly supporting GLBT legal protection in Jamaica, a country internationally notorious for a "culture of homophobia." Miller's statements come at a time of great cultural change in both Jamaica and dancehall music. This is for her." This is a mixtape of dancehall music and some of it is NSFW.
The Gay Rights Movement in 7 minutes. [SLYT]
A progressive Australian political advocacy group have produced a 2-minute advertisement showing their support of Marriage Equality Down Under. Warning: May pull heartstrings. [more inside]
On Saturday, Scott Anderson became the first openly gay person to be ordained as a minister by the Presbyterian Church (USA), the nation's 10th-largest denomination. But the ceremony actually marked his second ordination, after he was forced to step down from the pulpit, under threat of blackmail, 20 years before. At the time, Anderson had donated his pastoral stole to the Shower of Stoles Project, including over 1000 items representing LGBT people of faith barred from the ministry. Saturday's ceremony also marked the first time that a donated object was returned to its owner. [more inside]
"I finally said, you know what, I'm going to tell my story. The first American injured in the Iraq war is a gay Marine. He wanted to give his life to this country." ~Eric Alva, 40, former Marine and veteran of Operation Iraqi FreedomTell: An Intimate History of Gay Men in the Military [more inside]
The New Republic examines what they're calling "America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle" and asks, "What will it take for America to accept transgender people for who they really are?" [more inside]
Photos of US soldiers and vets engaged in non-violent protest against "DADT" in front of the White House.
Record-breaking numbers of Finns leave the national church of Finland following a gay rights panel discussion on TV. [more inside]
With a ruling scheduled today on Prop 8 — the California ballot measure that took away the right to marry from same-sex couples — Dave Fleischer has an in-depth analysis of all of the polling data on Prop 8, and his findings include some counter-intuitive numbers, like that the confusing wording actually ended up helping the No vote more than the Yes.
Annise Parker, current City Controller of Houston, has defeated Gene Locke in a runoff election for mayor. She is the first openly gay person to lead a major U.S. city.
Arkansas 5th grader refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance until gays and lesbians have equal rights. CNN and The Huffington Post pick up the story.
Duanna Johnson broke the news in June when vidotape of her (alleged) beating by Memphis police was leaked (youtube). According to Johnson, the provocation for the (alleged) assault was asking to be called by name rather than as "faggot" or "he/she." Involved in a lawsuit against the Memphis Police Department, she was murdered on Sunday. Answering a call for donations for funeral expenses, the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition raised $5,300 in four hours. There are nagging questions about the circumstances of the case and the level of coverage this case has received in comparison to Prop. 8 protests. (More coverage: bilerico, feministing, the HRC, questioning transphobia.)
Lillian Ladele, a Christian registrar, has won her discrimination case after refusing to conduct same sex civil partnerships. " Islington Council cared too much about the "rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual" community, the panel ruled. "
If it looks like a duck and it smells like a duck and it sounds like a duck it's a . . . . Holy Union?