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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A win for the transgender community! Coy Mathis, a transgendered 6-year-old from Fountain, Colorado has won a case against the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, allowing her to officially use the girls’ bathroom.
Coy had been using the girls’ bathroom at her school because she identifies as a female. Although she was assigned the male gender at birth, she wears girls’ clothing and is identified as female in both her passport and state identification.
In December, the Eagleside Elementary School principal asked Coy to use the boys’ bathroom, gender-neutral faculty bathrooms or the nurse’s bathroom. Coy’s parents, Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, filed a complaint back in February, with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, citing discrimination. Keep reading »
On Wednesday afternoon, the president of Exodus International, one of the largest “ex-gay” organizations in the world, issued an apology to the LGBT community. “I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage,” Exodus President Alan Chamber wrote in a sincerely worded letter. “But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek. My beliefs about these things will never again interfere with God’s command to love my neighbor as I love myself.” Hours later, Chambers announced that Exodus would be closing its doors permanently, after 37 years in operation. I felt two distinct reactions to this news: relief for LGBT people who have felt attacked and abused by the social and political messages perpetuated by Exodus, and hope for what this change means for both gay and “ex-gay” people alike.
I have some first-hand experience with Exodus – not as a participant, but as an observer. In November 2007, I attended the organization’s North Atlantic Regional Conference in upstate New York. At the time, I was producing a short documentary film, “Just As I Am,” which explored the “ex-gay” movement through two opposing perspectives: an active Exodus ministry leader, and an ex-”ex-gay” minister who belonged to Exodus in the 1980s. BK, the ministry leader, was going to the conference to lead the music during the worship services, so she brought me along. Keep reading »