Archive for Gays
Every election season when gay marriage makes its way to the ballot, race is always an issue. The gay community loses its battle at the polls and the media rushes to print to prove (falsely) that African Americans, once again, screwed over the gay community. Even though African Americans are only (comparatively) a small percentage of the vote, the media will imply that African Americans, and African Americans alone, are the reason that the gay community lost the fight for equality – again.
But election 2012 was drastically different for the gay community. There were very few disappointments at the polls. Tammy Baldwin, an out lesbian, became the first woman from Wisconsin AND the first out gay person to win a senate seat in United States. Maine, Maryland and Washington state voters passed same-sex marriage laws that allow gays and lesbians the right to marry. Minnesota struck down a ban on same-sex marriage.
So, where’s the conversation on race?
Let’s discuss race. On May 9, 2012, President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to express support of same-sex marriage. He’s Black (in case you didn’t notice). A Black president, who planned to run for re-election, already facing much opposition from groups like the tea party and the conservative religious right, and needs as much support as he can get from the Black church (you know, the church that gay white men claim is sooooooo homophobic) publicly expressed support for gay marriage. That takes some balls – and apparently, it’s balls the 43 white presidents before him didn’t have. (I’m calling it like I see it. We ARE talking race, here.)
In the months following his announcement of support for same-sex marriage, the right hated Obama even more – that was expected. But, the gay white bloggers who hated on him for 3 years continued hating and doubting while Black political leaders spoke to leaders of Black churches and begged them not to withdraw their support of the president simply because he believed that all people should be treated equally under the law.
Fast forward to the election. On election night, the gay community witnesses an historical night of victories for our community. Coincidence?
I’m not suggesting that Obama’s support of same-sex marriage is the reason the gay community fared so we well on election night. What I am suggesting is that Obama’s vocal support of same-sex marriage opened up a national dialogue, one that should have started many, many presidents ago. Yes, former presidents and their family members have expressed support for same-sex marriage, but they’ve done so long after their political equity has run out and only after they have little to lose. Only the Black guy did it when it mattered.
That’s the race conversation the media won’t have. This time around, the Black community isn’t the bad guy. This time around the gay community didn’t lose the battle and there’s no need to find someone to blame. This time around, the media knows that the Black guy gave it his all and the Black church didn’t screw it up for him – and that doesn’t make great news, now does it?
Told ya. There’s always a race discussion:
According to an ABC News poll, a majority of Latinos supported same-sex marriage in the four statewide ballot initiatives Tuesday night.
Hispanic voters were more likely than other voters to say they would approve if their state recognized same-sex marriage, according to preliminary exit poll results.
Nearly six-in-ten Latino voters (59%) said their state should legally recognize same-sex marriage while 32% said their state should not. But among all voters, about half (48%) favored legalization of gay marriage while nearly the same share said they would oppose it (47%).
While African Americans mostly supported marriage equality in their states (52 percent compared to 40 percent opposed), it was non-Hispanic whites who were most likely to vote against equality for same-sex couples. ABC News reports that 47 percent of white voters supported same-sex marriage at their state’s ballot box but 50 percent opposed equality for LGBT couples.
I find this interesting. Why is it that when the gay community wins the battle, then (and only then) does the media admit that it’s really the non-Hispanic whites who are most likely to vote against equality for same-sex couples?
Ryan Andresen, a gay Boy Scout who was kicked out of his local Boy Scout troop and denied his Eagle Scout Award because of his sexual orientation, delivered more than 400,000 petition signatures today to the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council in Pleasant Hill, urging the Council to allow him to receive his Eagle Award.
Ryan was joined by his mother, Karen Andresen, who started the petition on Change.org urging the Boy Scouts not to deny Ryan his Eagle Award. During the petition delivery event, Ryan and Karen said that it wasn’t fair to punish Ryan because of his sexual orientation — especially after Ryan had given more than 12 years of service to the Boy Scouts and completed all of the requirements necessary to become an Eagle Scout.
“My son Ryan is my hero. He’s so incredibly brave, smart, and talented. It hurts me so much to watch Ryan suffer for being who he is, because to me, he’s perfect,” Andresen said outside of the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council office this afternoon. “Ryan has worked for nearly 12 years to become an Eagle Scout, and nothing would make him more proud than earning that well-deserved distinction.”
Ryan’s capstone project involved assembling a “Tolerance Wall” at a local middle school to address bullying. But despite meeting all of the Eagle Scout requirements, officials with the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council still decided to kick Ryan out of the Scouts because of his sexual orientation.
Ryan said during today’s petition delivery that he was delivering the Change.org petition to the Council’s office not just for him, but for scores of Scouts who have suffered under the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders.
“In defending their hurtful policy against gay people, the Boy Scouts are pushing young men like me away– young men who really need the Boy Scouts. I wasn’t the first person to suffer under this policy, and until the Boy Scouts change their policy, I won’t be the last,” Ryan said.
Joining Ryan and his mother at today’s petition delivery were Ryan’s father, Eric Andresen, who resigned a volunteer leadership position with the Boy Scout troop after his son was denied his Eagle Scout Award, as well as Matthew Kimball, a gay Eagle Scout and member of the national group Scouts for Equality, who has been collecting pins from Eagle Scouts in the community to give to Ryan. California Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner was also in attendance, and publicly recognized Ryan for his courage in standing up to the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policies.
After delivering the 400,000 petition signatures, officials with the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council met with Ryan and his parents for a short meeting. Earlier this month, officials with the Council sent Ryan a letter telling him that he was being removed from the Boy Scouts’ membership roles because of his sexual orientation. A copy of that letter is publicly available here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/
“This campaign is far from over. We’re going to keep fighting until all wonderful young men like Ryan are treated equally in Scouting,” Karen Andresen said.
Ryan and Karen offered to help the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council stand up against the national ban on gay Scouts, though for now Council officials told Ryan and Karen that they were planning to stand by the national Boy Scout policy barring gay Scouts from participating.
Live signature totals from Karen Andresen’s petition:
To view photos of the petition delivery outside of the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council:
Ryan Andresen’s interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show:
NEW YORK, June 11, 2012 - NuVo Condoms is seeking gay couples who are interested in getting hitched with an all expenses paid wedding at the NYC PrideFest on June 24, 2012. Are you a gay couple that has been looking to tie the knot with your partner? Wait no longer — NuVo Condoms wants you to take the plunge! In honor of the 1st year anniversary of the legalization of gay marriage in New York, NuVo will be sponsoring the FIRST WEDDING ever at PrideFest for one lucky couple.
This is the opportunity of a lifetime to have an all expenses paid wedding at the legendary NYC PrideFest. The Out NYC Hotel, the first gay hotel in NYC, will provide a one-night stay for the couples wedding night. The ceremony at Pridefest will be officiated by Celebrant Kim Kirkleyand include complimentary catering from Markie B’s Jamaican Cuisine of East Elmhurst, N.Y and floral arrangements by Mr. Bokay Flowers. In addition, NuVo Condoms be donating $1,000 to the couple to be put towards the honeymoon of their choice.
Any couple interested in participating in the contest can enter by posting a 60-second video describing why they deserve to be selected to NuVo Condom’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/NuVoCondoms or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo of you and your partner along with a brief paragraph on why you should be selected. Please include your contact information- name, phone number and e-mail in case you are selected as the winner! Submission deadline is June 18th at 12PM. The winning applicant will need to obtain a marriage license before the ceremony.
In She Said, She Said #88, Genia and Andrea discuss how the religious right and hate groups have used divide and conquer to take families away from gays and lesbians. It’s time for Minnesota gays and lesbians (and the LGBTQ community everywhere) to stand up and fight back. To defeat the Minnesota same-sex marriage amendment up for vote on the 2012 ballot, gays and lesbians need to have a conversation with their family members and ask them, “Do you really want to make me less equal than other people in the family?”