I’ve noticed that our numbers have been dwindling since a few people tried to take over and turn the club into a far too formal setting, so I decided that this would be an awesome idea to do so we can brig people back in with fun, but also teaching them too! I’m gonna start giving lessons on different queer related topics starting next Wednesday with Trans* issues! I’m nervous, but excited at the same time! I really want everyone to enjoy coming and not alienate anyone by being too formal or being too “fun”. Here goes nothing! Wish me luck everyone!
The decision comes after “years of homophobic refusal of City Hall to support the JOH and its activities (and) almost five years of legal struggle. The direct result of this groundbreaking ruling is that no official body within Jerusalem will be able to discriminate gays, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people as a policy.”
Of course the ruling was met with some criticism by those who don’t approve of the LGBT community, but the court’s ruling was aimed at making all citizens, regardless of personal beliefs equal, as they don’t view personal beliefs as a foundation for discrimination.
The White House officially announced on Wednesday the administration’s new LGBT liaison will be a gay former Defense Department official involved in the effort leading to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.
Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, said Gautam Raghavan, formerly a deputy liaison to the White House at the Pentagon, has become an associate director of public engagement in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Inouye said Raghavan will serve “as the point of contact for the LGBT community in his new role.”
Ryan Witmer (left) and Jhonmar Castillo wait with other couples to exchange vows in a civil union ceremony June 2 in Chicago’s Millennium Park. New data from the U.S. census may reveal as much about changing attitudes as about changing numbers.
As bans on gay marriage and civil unions spread across the majority of America in the past decade, new U.S. Census figures reveal a starkly different trend: The number of same-sex partnerships skyrocketed even in the most prohibitive states.
Some 646,464 gay couples said they lived together in last year’s census, an increase of 80 percent from 2000, according to revised figures released this week. Same-sex couples make up just 1 percent of all married and unmarried couples in the U.S., but as a group they nonetheless made large gains in every state.
The results include the first estimate of the nation’s gay married couples. More than 131,000 same-sex couples identified themselves as husbands or wives, accounting for about 1 in every 5 gay couples who live together.
But the new numbers may not represent a real increase in gay couples as much as a change in attitudes. Some demographers say the stigma of homosexuality is easing, emboldening more people to disclose their same-sex partnerships. As evidence, some of the biggest increases in gay couples occurred in unlikely places.
Same-sex marriage is a temporary aberration that will dissipate, Newt Gingrich said here today.
“I believe that marriage is between a man and woman,” Gingrich said. “It has been for all of recorded history and I think this is a temporary aberration that will dissipate. I think that it is just fundamentally goes against everything we know.”
Gingrich, who has been married three times and has previously admitted to being a past adulterer, made the statement in response to a question from the audience during an event he held at a Best Western hotel conference room.
One Iowa, a civil rights group, said Gingrich’s statements are offense and disrespectful to thousands of gay and lesbian Iowans who are loved by families who belong to all political parties and play active and productive roles within the state’s communities.
“Mr. Gingrich’s comments are out-of-touch with Iowans and I don’t think that he is the right person to be lecturing Iowans, or anyone, about loving, committed marriages,” said Troy Price of One Iowa.
As the founder and director of the Palm Center, a research institute that focuses on areas of gender, sexuality, and the military, Aaron Belkin has long has been one of the nation’s leading experts on and advocates for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” In addition to having delivered more than 30 lectures on the subject at military universities across the country, Belkin is the author of How We Won, a new eBook published by The Huffington Post.
In the book, Belkin shares an insider’s perspective on the strategies he and others used to convince the public that openly gay and lesbian soldiers would not harm the military — a tactic that he says was essential in convincing Congress to repeal DADT.
The Advocate: What is the most important lesson we should take from the repeal of DADT? Aaron Belkin: Those who opposed allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly rarely admitted the true basis of their policy positions, namely intolerance. Because they were afraid of being honest about their views, they invented the phony argument that repeal would undermine unit cohesion. One key lesson of the repeal campaign is that if you tell the truth again and again — and back up your position with research and evidence — you can triumph over the forces of intolerance.
How can we apply the lessons learned from DADT to other equality issues? I’ll speak as a progressive, though I understand that many in our community identify as conservatives. Progressives have been advised to get smarter about messaging and “framing,” but I think that our main problem isn’t packaging, but rather having the courage to stand up behind our ideas. Take national security. I think most progressives understand that excessive military strength is dangerous. Consider, for example, that American military support for dictators who torture their own people enrages main street in the Middle East, and sometimes incites people to become terrorists. But how often do you hear progressives making that point? Because we sometimes shy away from our ideas, we fail to provide cover for our leaders, and it should come as no surprise that many Democratic office holders believe that they have to appear to support military strength. If we believe that spending more on the military than all of our enemies combined undermines our security, we have to use research to confirm that notion, and then and then engage in a long term conversation with the public.
What kind of effect do you think the repeal of DADT will have on the future of the Defense of Marriage Act? In most countries that allow gay marriage, the repeal of the military ban came before the extension of marriage equality. This doesn’t mean the lifting of a ban automatically ushers in marriage equality, but it can certainly play a facilitative role. When gay service members come back from war and explain to the public that their spouses are not entitled to death benefits or health care, this could have an important impact on the debate. Do you foresee any disastrous effects to the military as a result of gay soldiers serving openly? There may be isolated adjustment problems, but the research is quite clear that overall, there will be no negative impact on readiness, cohesion, morale or any other aspect of military performance. Moving forward, what will the Palm Center be focusing on? We’re doing some research on transgender troops in Canada, and we’re monitoring whether or not the Pentagon’s implementation of repeal goes smoothly. We won’t go out of business but we’ll probably scale back.
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The New Hampshire House Judiciary voted this week to endorse a bill repealing the state’s gay marriage law and replacing marriages with civil unions.
Marriage equality has been the law since Jan. 2010. The new bill would reverse this and would allow both straight and gay couples to form civil unions – unlike the first bill, which banned those as well. However, the bill also states that any individual, business, association or school could choose not to recognize civil unions.
The House can’t vote on the bill til 2012, says the NH Union Leader.