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It Always Involves the Bathroom

Friday, November 1st, 2013

bathroom“Jim Crow states passed statutes severely regulating social interactions between the races,” states a Web page for the Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. “Jim Crow signs were placed above water fountains, door entrances and exits, and in front of public facilities. There were separate hospitals for blacks and whites, separate prisons, separate public and private schools, separate churches, separate cemeteries, separate public restrooms and separate public accommodations.”

“Some places had three restrooms; one labeled ‘white ladies,’ another ‘colored women’ and the third for ‘white men,'” is what the 2000 documentary film Out Of Obscurity, stated about restrooms in Jim Crow America.

Somehow African American men were considered sexual predators of white women, and that about a quarter to a third of lynchings were for alleged rapes of white women. “If it takes lynchings to protect [white] woman’s dearest possession from drunken, ravening beasts, then I say lynch a thousand a week,” said the first woman appointed to the U. S. Senate in 1897, Rebecca Latimer Felton. She was expressing her feelings about the alleged rapes of white women by African Americans.

Authored By Autumn Sandeen – See the Full Story at LGBT Weekly

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Gay Movie Review – “The New Black”

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

The New BackJust got back from our final film at the Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. This one is called The New Black, and it covers the intersection of the black community and gay rights.

Set mostly against the backdrop of the fight for marriage equality in Maryland in 2012, the documentary follows several black lesbians as they work to help pass the marriage equality referendum that was sent to the voters after the state legislature approved the initial bill.

It offers a great insight into the behind-the-scenes machinations of both campaigns, and into the split among African Americans when it comes to marriage equality and to gays in general.

One of the most interesting scenes in the film is when one of the activists confronts an aunt at home over family dinner. Her relative spouts off something about the world changing but the bible never does, and her lesbian niece points out that the bible says a lot of things that we no longer believe. They hug, but her aunt refuses to let go of her religiously inspired bigotry.

In another scene, a black Baptist preacher explains to his flock why he decided to support marriage equality, that none of us are free until all of us are free.

Out gospel singer Tonéx is also interviewed for the film, and the footage from the TC interview where he comes out is amazing. The female Christian host keeps asking leading questions, as if determined to push him back into the closet, and he stands his ground and affirms he is still attracted to men and is happy with himself. You should see how she stares daggers at him.

It’s a powerful film that draws the curtain back on the fight going on for the soul of the black churches between marriage equality activists and their opponents, who seek to divide and conquer.

One of the women said it best when she said that marriage equality and LGBT rights are the unfinished business of the black civil rights movement.

USA, New Jersey: Governor Christie Won’t Change Mind on Marriage Equality

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

New Jersey Governor Cris ChristieGovernor Chris Christie insists he won’t change his mind on marriage equality.

On Top Magazine reports:

As Christie, a possible 2016 Republican candidate for president, pressed the flesh at the Edison Diner, Bert Bueno, a straight woman, asked: “How come you’re in opposition?” “Listen: Lots of different people have different views on this,” Christie is quoted as saying by The Star-Ledger. “I think marriage is between a man and a woman. My view is: If you want to change it, put it on the ballot. Let everybody decide.”

Queerty elaborates in the conversation:

“But this is different than gun control or taxes,” Bueno interjected.

“No, I don’t think it is different,” the governor said.

“It’s a human rights issue,” Bueno insisted.

“Says you,” Christie responded.

And there you have it: for Christie, marriage equality is not a human rights issue.

Not surprising, but kinda sad.

USA, New Mexico: Attorney General Says Marriage Equality Is a Civil Right

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

New Mexico Atorney General Gary K. KingNew Mexico Attorney General Gary King is stepping up his support of marriage equality.

The Albuquerque Journal reports:

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said Friday that same-sex marriage is a “civil rights” issue that should be decided by the courts, not a statewide vote. In a memo released by his office, King, a two-term Democrat, cited three historical landmarks – the Emancipation Proclamation, women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights Act – that were enacted despite not being voted upon by the general electorate. “I maintain that the best way to resolve this issue is for the New Mexico Supreme Court to decide whether our current law is unconstitutional,” King said in his memo.

The state Supreme Court has planned a hearing next month to decide the issue.

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Illinois, USA: Democratic PAC Leader Goes After Attorney General Madigan for Marriage Equality Support

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

IllinoisIt’s true – we are our own worst enemy. Rikki Jones, president of a political action committee called Cook County Democratic Women, took offense at state Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s support of marriage equality. DNA Info reports:

Yet Rikki Jones, president of a political action committee called Cook County Democratic Women, is disseminating “an open letter to Lisa Madigan” calling it “very disrespectful to say the least” to “equate” marriage equality with civil rights. “As a Christian who believes in the Bible, I feel what you are doing is taking my rights as a Christian and sacrificing them for the gay and lesbian community. How could you?” the letter said. It continues with references to Biblical condemnations of homosexuality.
The letter goes on to say allowing marriage equality violates the Constitution because “you have no business insinuating yourself in the church’s business.” It concluded: “You have gotten out of your lane and got in God’s lane! Have you lost your mind? Yours arms are too short to box with God!”

Lovely. I’m so sick of this “my civil rights are better than your civil rights” idiocy. Can’t we just agree that everyone’s civil rights are important, even if one size doesn’t fit all?

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Illinois, USA: Governor Quinn Calls Marriage Equality Today’s “Paramount” Civil Rights Issue

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

illinois-governor-pat-quinnGov. Pat Quinn arguably could be one of the top allies pushing for same-sex marriage in Illinois.

But, then again, he’d rather not call it same-sex marriage or gay marriage. Instead, he prefers marriage equality because that’s what it’s about: equality and fairness under the law, he said.

As activists, advocate organizations and other proponents across the state continue to ramp up efforts to pass a bill that would legalize the recognition of gay and lesbian nuptials after it stalled in the lame duck session early this month, Quinn said he too is “pushing hard” to get the bill passed in the first few weeks of the new legislative session beginning Feb. 5.

Authored By Tony Merevick – See the Full Story at the Chicago Phoenix

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USA: Southern Baptists Adopt Resolution Saying Marriage Equality Is Not a Civil Right

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Southern Baptists Adopt Resolution Saying Gay Marriage Is Not a Civil RightThe Southern Baptist Convention today, at its annual meeting, adopted a resolution saying same-sex marriage is not a civil rights issue.

The resolution, passed nearly unanimously, reiterates the denomination’s long-held belief that marriage is “the exclusive union of one man and one woman” and that “all sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful,” the Associated Press reports. It also says, “It is regrettable that homosexual rights activists and those who are promoting the recognition of ‘same-sex marriage’ have misappropriated the rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement.”

The denomination’s new president, Fred Luter, discussed the issue on CNN’s Starting Point this morning as well. He expressed his disagreement with President Obama, saying, “God has specifically spoken about marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s biblical. No president, whether it’s a president in the White House, no governor, no mayor, no one can change that. God has already established marriage between a one man and one woman. So I would stand for that because that’s what the word of God says and that’s what I believe in.”

Full Story from The Advocate

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Nebraska, USA: Opponents of Lincoln LGBT Civil Rights Ordinance to Force Repeal Vote

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Lincoln Gay RightsOpponents of a new city ordinance that would expand the civil rights protections to include its LGBT citizens, said Tuesday they had collected enough signatures of registered voters to force the city council to either repeal the measure or place it on the November ballot for a city-wide referendum.

On May 14, the city council approved the “fairness ordinance,” which would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.

But under the Lincoln city charter, citizens can seek a referendum on any newly passed ordinance by collecting enough signatures in a 15-day period.

Full Story from LGBTQ Nation

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European Court Says Marriage Equality Not a Human Right

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that same-sex marriage is not a human right and concluded that “if gay couples are allowed to marry, any church that offers weddings will be guilty of discrimination if it declines to marry same-sex couples.”

The decision throws a wrench into the British government’s plan to legalize marriage equality, as it has maintained that “no church would have to conduct gay weddings.”

“The European Convention on Human Rights does not require member states’ governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage,” the court found in a case “involving a lesbian couple in a civil partnership who complained the French courts would not allow them to adopt a child as a couple.”

Full Story from Think Progress

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NJ: Did Governor Christie’s Gaffe Help Pass Marriage Equality Bill?

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Chris Christie and Marriage EqualityGovernor Christie’s civil rights gaffe earned him more than a few news cycles of bad publicity. It also may have had the ironic, unintended consequence of helping convert fence-sitting African-American lawmakers into supporters of the same-sex marriage bill, which passed the Assembly last Thursday with just one extra vote to spare.

Without their votes, the bill — and the same-sex marriage crusade in New Jersey — would have gone down in flames.

This is one theory several Assembly Democrats and officials advanced in the wake of last Thursday’s vote. As I said, this is a theory, but there is no doubt Christie’s gaffe set off a lobbying campaign that would enlist John Lewis, the civil rights-era hero and Georgia congressman, as its most prominent voice.

Full Story from

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