’90s Flashback — Who Opposed DOMA [video]

A few stunning voices speaking out against DOMA in 1996, assembled by Lawrence O’Donnell for MSNBC. Worth a listen, for sure — but especially to Georgia’s John Lewis, the grandfather — the godfather — of agitating for social change in America. From rising literally “bloody but unbowed” to walking the Edmund Pettus Bridge and nearly being killed, to simply and eloquently refusing to sit down, Rep. Lewis, rightly called “the conscious of Congress,” remains one of the true champions of what America should aspire to be.

H/T to Andrew Sullivan, who first embedded this in a great piece on The Dish.

Stuart Milk On LGBT Rights: ‘We Still Have A Long Way To Go’

“There’s a misconception that we have now achieved everything but marriage equality, and that’s just not the case. We still don’t have societal equality,” Milk said. “You can ask any African American, any Latino, if they were not treated equally somewhere along the line. Whenever you have a group that can be marginalized, you have to be vigilant in protecting those rights. Equality requires constant vigilance and it doesn’t end with same-sex marriage.

“We can legalize all day long, but we need to change the conversation,” Milk added. “For so long we’ve taught the message of tolerance. But tolerance is such a low bar. Who really wants to be tolerated? As I always say, we need to celebrate diversity, not just tolerate it.”

via Stuart Milk On LGBT Rights: ‘We Still Have A Long Way To Go’|Huffington Post

I agree. Then again, tolerance is something. By and large, we are edging away from tolerance and into general acceptance, but it’s a progession. It’s immensely frustrating to be sure, but it’s happening. And, actually, it’s happening on an astonishing pace, not only in the U.S. but throughout the developed world.

Unfortunately, it remains important that Stuart Milk must prompt us to remember that the pleas of his uncle, Harvey, for gay people to come out, to stand out, to be proud, and to serve as models are still extremely important to our daily lives. But, thus far, we’ve been so successful in changing minds and opinions, we can have a day where this picture is (rightly) celebrated!


Tenacious LGBT heroine Edith Windsor, 84, took her fight against DOMA to the Supreme Court of the United States and won. Here she is holding a fan bearing her image at the New York City gay pride parade just days after her June 26, 2013 victory. | Craig Ruttle/AP Photo

Supreme Court Rulings Loom On Affirmative Action, Gay Marriage, Voting Rights

Supreme Court Rulings Loom On Affirmative Action, Gay Marriage, Voting Rights.


SCOTUS – Image: Wikimedia Commons

The gay media world is all a-twitter over when the DOMA and Prop. 8 rulings are going to be handed down. There’s not a lot of time left, either. One suspects that the Supremes are going to issue these opinions on the very last day of the term — which will be June 27 — and run for the door until the first Monday until October because, I don’t know, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a timeshare in the Berkshires?

Why Rachel Maddow Is Right To Be Outraged

Why Rachel Maddow Is Right To Be Outraged.

Excellent piece by Saeed Jones on BuzzFeed. If you’re not familiar, the great Maddow went over the top on the air (and rightly so) criticizing Politifact for refusing to actually say that Martina Navratilova was correct — even after they checked the facts and found out she was correct — and called her response “half true.”

No one does righteous indignation as good as Maddow. This is probably because it is the province of the uber-smart and witty, which absolutely describes Maddow to a tee.

But Jones is no slouch, it seems, in that department. Here’s how he sums up:

And I have this unfortunate habit of needing to write essays when I’m angry. I sit at my computer, grating my teeth, hearing Zora Neale Hurston say over and over again, “If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”

Supposedly objective dismissal of inconvenient facts as “half truths” or dramatics is more than galling; it’s oppressive. The questions, “Why does this matter?” and, “Why are you so angry?” are conjoined twins, both hissing that we don’t even have a right to our own outrage.

How The Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling Could Upend The Immigration Debate

This is a decent analysis by Chris Geidner on BuzzFeed. It takes a very complex legal issue (made overly complex by the masters of over-complexity, the U.S. Congress) and makes it easy to digest.

Truth be told, this just infuriates me. I simply do not understand what the Republicans think they have to gain by ruining these peoples families.

Because the Defense of Marriage Act bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages, binational gay and lesbian couples — those where one partner is not a U.S. citizen — have been denied the ability to seek a green card that straight couples have been eligible to obtain for their spouse in a similar situation.

The legislation aimed at addressing this issue is the Uniting American Families Act, and it would create a new category, called “permanent partners,” that would make same-sex couples eligible for green cards. The “Gang of Eight” senators did not include the measure in their immigration reform bill, but LGBT advocates have been pressing for Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy to add the provision into the bill during the committee markup, which is slated to begin May 9.

via How The Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling Could Upend The Immigration Debate.

Rhode Island Legalizes Gay Marriage


Image: glaad.org

Rhode Island Legalizes Gay Marriage.|Huffington Post

Rhode Island became the tenth U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage Thursday with a 56-15 vote.

Just before he signed the legislation into law, Gov. Lincoln Chafee took to the steps of the Rhode Island State House, where he told a jubilant crowd, “Today we are making history … we are living up to the ideals of our founder.”

He went on to note, “When your belief and heart is in something, it’s easy work. I am proud to say that now, at long last, you are free to marry the person you love.”

By the way, the official name of the smallest state in the Union is the longest: the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The state bird is a chicken: the Rhode Island Red hen, and the state drink is “Coffee Milk,” which, I believe, is something like a coffee flavored milkshake.

The state motto is “Hope.” We hope that the next 4/5ths of the United States will follow Little Rhody’s lead down the trail of equality.

Then There’s This Douchebag….

Although the governor opposes marriage rights and civil unions for lesbian and gay Ohioans, Nichols said the governor is opposed to discrimination.

“He’s opposed to discrimination against any Ohioan and, while he may have used the term ‘civil union’ loosely in this instance, he recognizes the existing rights of Ohioans to enter into private contracts to manage their personal property and health care issues.”

via Spokesman: Ohio governor misspoke when he said he supported civil unions – LGBTQ Nation.

Translation: I don’t discriminate against anyone that it’s not currently lawful to discriminate against in the state of Ohio.

Gay Marines Talk About Falling in Love

Let’s Watch Two Gay Marines Talk About Falling in Love and Go on a Nut-Gobbling Adventure: VIDEO| News | Towleroad.


Jonathan Russell, right, “Your Favorite Gay Marine,” known as Russmarine2014 on YouTube, and his boyfriend, Matt, open up about their lives in a round of “Boyfriend Tag.” Image links to his YouTube channel.


I had already discovered “Russmarine2014” on YouTube before Towleroad and Huffington Post Gay Voices posted, but this piece deserves a reblog.

Why? Because it is the perfect example of how much the world has shifted since the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on Sept. 30, 2011. That’s barely 18 months ago, if you’re keeping track.  Imagining a military — a Marine Corps — that allows gay men and women to flourish being who they are is almost unbelievable to this 48-year-old, who in a much, much younger guise carried, in the 1993 March on Washington for Gay Rights, a sign that said “Stop Discrimination: End the Military Ban.” What we got was DADT. It took nearly two more decades before we achieved real, honest-to-God equality.

What Russ is doing, by showing those outside of the military his life as an out Marine, by showing his audience straight Marine allies who are ambivalent about his sexuality, by talking about parents who are not as welcoming as he had, perhaps, hoped, he is educating all of us through sharing his experiences. It is a rich, potentially groundbreaking (however unwitting) example of “the new normal.” And he’s to be commended for it.

(Also, he’s just stinkin’ adorable.)

Former Senators: We Were Wrong On DOMA

No shit.

Former Senators Bill Bradley, Tom Daschle, Christopher Dodd and Alan Simpson — all of whom voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 — told the Supreme Court Friday that “the original justifications for DOMA can no longer be credited today,” concluding that “our constitutional commitment to equality does not tolerate such discrimination.”

via Former Senators Bradley, Daschle, Dodd And Simpson: We Were Wrong On DOMA.|Buzzfeed