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All Gays Are Damaged, And That’s OK

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Neal BrovermanMy boyfriend was sent to conversion camp. An ex was beaten by his gay-hating father and brothers on a regular basis. My father wouldn’t let me take bubble baths because they were too “gay.”

These experiences are not life-affirming. So, during a recent conversation regarding the disquieting behavior of some LGBT peers, it seemed entirely innocuous to note, “All gay people are damaged.” A fellow editor agreed but mentioned many folks would take offense at that. That blew my mind.

Who could argue with that? How could we not be emotionally harmed by a society that tells us we’re screwed up at every turn? I don’t know one gay guy who never had “fag” hurled at him, or many lesbians never told they could switch teams if they wanted to. That’s a cakewalk compared to the beatings and killings we’re still subjected to on the streets or the fear most of us have walking hand-in-hand with our partners and spouses, even in big cities. Most disturbing is that our experiences, as Americans, are much less frightening than those experienced by LGBT people in most of the world.

Authored By Neal Broverman – See the Full Story at The Advocate

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UK, England/Wales: History of the Marriage Equality Fight

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

London ParliamentAlthough we are now drawing to a close for the final decision regarding the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in England and Wales, UK marriage equality has had a longstanding history.

Stretching as far back to the 1960s, before the Bill could even be thought possible, the lobbying for gay and lesbian equality has been fought both tooth and nail throughout the decades.

The following PinkNews History of England and Wales Marriage equality aims to highlight just a part of the rich and diverse history of this campaign, tracing those individuals both in opposition and in favour of the Bill, as well as the expansive surrounding history of LGBT equality that has since snowballed into the climactic turning point we are today witnessing for civil justice.

To begin, however, a brief history of marriage itself.

Authored By Aaron Day – See the Full Story at Pink News

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France: Understanding the Fight Over Marriage Equality in France

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

ParisAfter the divisive battle over the marriage equality bill in France, US News and World Report has a great recap that dives into the history of the fight, along with a Q&A:

Almost a year after the election of Francois Hollande as the president of France, the country has been facing a series of visceral crises. But none of them has been as dividing and politicized as the one regarding same-sex marriage.

The massive manifestations taking place throughout France in January, and especially on May 26, 2013, opposed to same-sex marriage and advocating for the protection of the traditional heterosexual family have raised important questions about French society. What is the degree of acceptability of the French society? Is French society a bastion of conservatism wrapped in liberalism?

On April 23, 2013, the French Parliament adopted a law on same-sex marriage that was later approved by the Constitutional Council. The first official French gay marriage took place on May 29 between Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau in Montpellier.

Interestingly, according to the French polling agency IFOP, the issue of same-sex marriage is predominantly perceived as a secondary issue, as opposed to the questions of deindustrialization and national debt. And the people who say they are concerned about same-sex marriage are mostly in favour of it, but evenly split on the question of adoption by gay couples.

It’s been amazing to watch the fervor over marriage equality in France, which has an image of being very open to sexuality and “non-traditional” relationships.

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How We Got Here on Marriage Equality

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Gay WeddingNineteen ninety-eight was a watershed year in the battle for gay rights in America — in a bad way. Bill Clinton had in 1997 nominated James C. Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg. But his nomination as the first openly gay U.S. ambassador stalled the following summer. Hormel, born during the early 1930s, had been a dean at the University of Chicago Law School and also a leader in creating gay institutions in his home town of San Francisco. In 1991, he endowed the Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library, which would go on to bear his name when it opened.

His nomination snagged on the Republican leadership in Congress, then busily seeking President Clinton’s impeachment over his affair with Monica Lewinsky. An even bigger obstacle was their disgust over Hormel’s homosexuality.

Senator Jesse Helms, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman well known for his public opposition to the “homosexual lifestyle” and the people he called, in Newsweek in 1994, “degenerates” and “weak, morally sick wretches,” vowed to block the appointment. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi on June 15, 1998, added fuel to the fire, comparing being gay to a condition “just like alcohol…or sex addiction…or kleptomania” — a pathology in need of treatment. House Majority Leader Dick Armey chimed in to support Lott, affirming, “The Bible is very clear on this.” Assistant Senate Majority Leader Don Nickles of Oklahoma told “Fox News Sunday ” on June 21, 1998, that Hormel “has promoted a lifestyle and promoted it in a big way, in a way that is very offensive.” Against that backdrop, the comments of Republican Chuck Hagel, U.S. senator from Nebraska, didn’t stand out as idiosyncratic. Ambassadors “are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay — openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel — to do an effective job,” Hagel, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said after meeting with Hormel, according to a July 3, 1998 Omaha-World Herald story.

Authored By Garance Franke-Ruta – See the Full Story at The Atlantic

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USA: Behind the Prop 8 Marriage Equality Case

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Prop 8In a new video, AFER goes behind the scenes on the Prop 8 lawsuit to bring marriage equality back to California. Towleroad.com reports:

The American Foundation for Equal Rights has released a poignant behind-the-scenes video about the days before and after the Supreme Court’s hearing on the Prop 8 case. Among those interviewed in this clip are of the several plaintiffs and their families, David Boies, Cleve Jones as well as Dustin Lance Black, who ends the video with the following quote: “We’re not done in this movement for LGBT equality. Next is, let’s get back to work and keep fighting to make sure the next generation’s lives are better than ours.”

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Marriage Equality: Standing on the Middle of History

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Gay WeddingWitnessing a historic moment is such an odd and exhilarating thing. It is hard to register the full scope of it because you are chest deep in it.

That is how I feel about the gay-marriage arguments made before the Supreme Court on Tuesday and Wednesday.

However the court rules on California’s Proposition 8 and the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act, there is no denying that something historic has just happened: an aggrieved group has taken a stand and given voice once again to the American — and indeed Democratic — ideals of justice and fairness and freedom.

Authored By Charles M. Blow – See the Full Story at The New York Times

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USA: Religious Right Tries to Rewrite Stonewall History

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Because of President Obama’s inaugural speech, the famous Stonewall Riot of 1969 has officially taken its place as one of the great moments in American history.

However, some people have taken it upon themselves to demonize what exactly happened at that bar in 1969 which helped spark the modern day gay rights movement even to the point of rewriting history.

Authored By Alvin McEwen- See the Full Story at Pam’s House Blend

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The History of Marriage Equality

Friday, September 7th, 2012

The History of Marriage EqualityOn Tuesday, the Democrats adopted a plank in their platform calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage. This came on the heels of President Barack Obama’s announcement earlier this summer that he supported same-sex marriage. While we’re still a long way from full national recognition of same-sex marriage, the event still represented a milestone in the quest for equal rights for the LGBT community.

Polling trendlines make it almost inevitable that same-sex marriage will be legalized sooner or later; generally speaking, younger voters are overwhelmingly in favor of allowing two adults to marry, and there are more younger voters every day. It’s easy to forget the long and difficult road that we’ve traveled to get to the cusp of marriage equality.

Early Activism Yields Little

In 1970, less than a year after the Stonewall Riots, gay rights activists Jack Baker and Michael McConnell applied for a marriage license in Hennepin County, the Minnesota county anchored by Minneapolis. At the time, no state laws prohibited same-sex marriage, but the license was still denied on the grounds that common law assumed marriage was between a man and a woman. The pair appealed the case to the Supreme Court, but lost.

Authored By Jeff Fecke – See the Full Story at Care2

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Maine, USA: The Evolution of Marriage Equality

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Maine, USA: The Evolution of Marriage EqualityWhen I was in high school in Portland in the 1960’s, the only thing we knew about anything having to do with sex besides a boy and girl getting it on in the back seat of somebody’s Chevy was that there were “queers” , or maybe “homos”, who hung around Deering Oaks, otherwise known as ” Pickle Park”, so you shouldn’t go there alone. Oh, maybe for a baseball game, but be very careful when you go chasing after a foul ball, day or night.

Then after high school came the counter-culture and we found ourselves flocking to third floor crash pads where we sat on the floor around glass-topped lobster traps drinking Chiante wine, smoking local green, and listening to Bob Dylan tell us that “the times they are a’changin”. Society as we knew it was being upended. Long hair on males, hair everywhere on females, and, lo and behold, “gays”. People who out and out declared their sexual preference for others of their own gender, and who refused to demean themselves by haunting public places looking for cheap thrills.

Centuries of custom don’t evaporate overnight though. There was an avant-garde who declared their “gay pride” very openly, yes, but the notion that there were people who were “naturally” homosexual or lesbian and that they were not inherently immoral or deviant didn’t enter mainstream thinking until quite a bit later.

Authored By Cliff Gallant – See the Full Story at The Portland Daily Sun

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New Zealand: The Marriage Equality Bill – How We Got Here

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

It’s Parliament that decides who we can and can’t marry. It’s not decided by a committee of clergy. Or handed down by Holy Writ.

The regulation of marriage in New Zealand began with an ordinance in 1842 and the first Marriage Act was passed on the establishment of Parliament in 1854.

Our present Marriage Act dates from 1955. It sets out the rules for who can and can’t marry. For example, the act prohibits a man marrying his former wife’s grandmother or his daughter’s son’s wife. It’s fortunate that Parliament thought of such possibilities and prohibited them.

Authored By Rodney Hide – See the Full Story at the NZ Herald

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