I had to say goodbye to one of the most intrinsic parts of my life this last year. It was something that was there on my darkest days, my most celebrated moments and during nearly every major life event. It was there when I took repeated shots of courage and came out to my dad, the first, second and 10th time I got my heart broken, and when I met what’s-her-name, my first one-night stand. When all else felt bleak, and I wanted to feel surrounded by friends, I would head to my local lesbian bar, T’s in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, and patronize a place that had become like my second home.
Most recently it served as the place where I held my 30th birthday party, where we closed it down only to discover that it would not be reopening again the next day. Imagine it as Cheers: less a few gentlemen with more armband tattoos and a constant loop of “The Real L Word” reruns playing on huge flat screens and there you have it, the local lesbian bar that can be found in cities across the country. Now, still thinking of a place where everybody knows your name, take away the physical bar and there goes the sense of community, the place to socialize, the place to make mistakes, the place you felt most comfortable being yourself. Keep reading »
As, you’ve no doubt heard, Russia recently enacted an anti-gay law, banning all “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations [in front of minors], and makes any expression of real or perceived homosexuality – even something as innocuous as same-sex hand-holding – potentially illegal.” The Russian government has warned that this law against homosexuality will apply to anyone attending and/or participating in the the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
So in response, the sports/human rights group Pride House International has asked everyone to take any opportunity to hold hands in public during the Olympic games. Keep reading »
Sandy Rios is both an American Family Association talk show host and a Fox News contributor, so naturally when she spoke with anti-gay Chicago pastor, Erwin Lutzer, some pretty offensive words were exchanged.
The two both oppose same-sex marriage and use the bogus argument that homosexuality is like pedophilia in that even though there is “love” in these relationships, the people involved should not be able to get married. According to Right Wing Watch, Lutzer said, “A pedophile I’m sure says that he loves children — as a matter of fact, he does — but you can see how destructive that love is.” That comparison is nothing new in the anti-gay argument, but Sandy Rios then went on to make a new and uniquely offensive comparison. Keep reading »
With all the fuss over DOMA and, oh, treating gay people like equals, bigots are starting to feel really neglected. Don’t worry, folks, because the Family Research Council —famous for its anti-gay agenda — is hosting a dinner in Washington, D.C. for “former homosexuals” to celebrate their return to the straight and narrow. The dinner would be in honor of something called “Ex-Gay Pride Month,” which is proposed to start July 31st. Keep reading »
Fallon Fox received a lot of attention and abuse in March after she was forced to come out as a transgender woman. Fallon had been a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter for six years, but as soon as she came out, she was faced with a barrage of transphobic comments, and many people accused her of having an unfair advantage because she was once physically a man. Some argued that she had more testosterone in her body than a cisgender (people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth) woman. Others claimed that she would have larger or denser bones than a cisgender woman.
These assumptions and accusations do not just apply to Fallon Fox: lots of trans athletes are discriminated against because there’s an assumption that e a trans woman must have some physical advantage over cisgender women — but science says otherwise. In fact, an article on Outsports debunks a couple of these myths.
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The striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act is an enormous victory for same-sex marriage. Alas, there are always several assholes out there to remind us that ignorance and homophobia are still alive and well. On Wednesday, openly gay Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat from Philadelphia, was not permitted to speak about DOMA on the floor of the Pennsylvania House. Why? Because bigots wouldn’t let him. A procedural maneuver in the PA legislature requires just one legislator to shut down such impromptu remarks and Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe announced:
“I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law,”
Yes, you read that correctly. Sims was not allowed to speak in a government building because he maybe was going to say something in violation of “God’s law.” Welcome to America! We have separation of church and state here, people. Later, Rep. Metcalfe told the AP, “For me to allow him to say things that I believe are open rebellion against God are for me to participate in his open rebellion. There’s no free speech on the floor.” Keep reading »
After three months of deliberation, the Supreme Court of the United States is due to give rulings on the cases of Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry this Thursday June 27. These two cases mean very different things for the fate of same-sex marriage in America.
Windsor v. United States is a case that challenges the constitutionality of The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. The case was brought forth after Edith Windsor of New York lost almost $400,000 in federal estate taxes just because she was married to a woman instead of a man. Windsor legally married her partner of 40 years, Thea Spyer, in Canada in 2007. When Spyer died a few years ago, Windsor inherited the entire estate, but that estate was subject to taxes that would not have applied to a heterosexual couple.
In lower courts, DOMA was deemed unconstitutional because it violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws with regard to same-sex couples married legally in states that allow same-sex marriage. Although Spyer and Windsor were married in Canada, New York is one of the 12 states in which same-sex marriage is legal.
Now in the Supreme Court, this case will decide how the federal government will treat legal same-sex marriages. DOMA could either be supported by the Supreme Court or overturned. If DOMA is overturned, same-sex couples already in civil unions will be afforded the same rights as married heterosexual couples in federal laws and programs such as Social Security benefits, income tax, estate tax, and immigration. These rights will also apply to future, legal, same-sex marriages.
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