Monday, March 24, 2014

Gay News Roundup. March 24/14

Cute, eh? This kid's almost old enough to serve in Kony's Army.

Harold C. Jones

Appeals court halts gay marriage in Michigan.

“A federal appeals court issued an order Saturday preventing more same-sex couples from getting married in Michigan for at least several more days.”

“The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said it issued the stay because it needed more time to consider the state's appeal of a judge's ruling Friday overturning Michigan's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The court said its stay would last until at least Wednesday.”

“Earlier Saturday, dozens of same-sex couples in at least four Michigan counties wasted no time in getting hitched, uncertain of how the appeals court would act.”

It’s one of those kinds of issues, like abortion or euthanasia, that as soon as one court rules, someone’s already foreseen the circumstance and prepared for the event. By the time this round is hashed out, both parties will have learned more about the weaknesses and the strengths of their own and the oppositions cases and prepared accordingly.

You don’t need to be John Grisham to see that.

“On Friday, federal Judge Bernard Friedman overturned Michigan's gay marriage ban, the latest in a series of decisions overturning similar laws across the country.”

“Two Detroit-area nurses who've been partners for eight years claimed the ban violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution. Nearly 60 percent of state voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage only as between a man and a woman.”

“Seventeen states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex marriage. Since December, bans on gay marriage have been overturned in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but appeals have put those cases on hold.”


Ellen Page shames pastor for offering salvation for being gay.

"I'm here today because I am gay," she told the crowd. "And because ... Maybe I can make a difference.

"To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility."
Page said that she had suffered for years because of having to hide her sexuality while in the public eye.

"My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered," she said.

"And I'm standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain."


Joe Biden calls for end to workplace harassment and discrimination against gays.

“It’s outrageous that the country is even debating the subject.”

“Speaking to supporters of the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign on Saturday, Biden said it's 'close to barbaric' that in some states, employees can be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

"Imagine 20 years from now as America looked back and say 'How in the hell can that ever been allowed?' 
The country's moved on, the American people have moved on."

“He said it was time for Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — known as ENDA — which would bar employers with 15 or more workers from using a person's sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for making employment decisions, including hiring, firing, compensation or promotion. Religious institutions and the military would be exempted.”

“Biden also criticized Russia's ban on so-called gay "propaganda" and its military actions in Ukrainian territory.”

Why are we even having this conversation.


All Hail the Lesbian Avengers.

“The death of arch-homophobe and foamer-at-the-mouth Fred Phelps has led to polarized feelings: do you dance on his grave, simply say “good riddance to bad rubbish,” or just think of him with pity? His Westboro Baptist Church picketed funerals with his ridiculous and vile “God Hates Fags” signs: how can we outdo that for his own? Or do we just turn away from his end-of-life spectacle, and in so doing repudiate the extreme homophobia and prejudice he represented?”

“These thoughts occur while reading Kelly Cogswell’s Eating Fire: My Life As a Lesbian Avenger because when the direct action group of the book’s title was hot in the early to mid 1990s, that kind of explicit, vicious homophobia was the norm. It’s why the Avengers was set up. This was a time, Cogswell reminds us, of advances and setbacks: greater visibility in the media, yes, but still anti-gay ordinances being set up in cities and states, still a depressing litany of queer-bashings and anti-gay murders.”

The Avengers, as their flyers and publicity materials made clear from the beginning, wanted to be different to the earnest activists of yore. Their message was serious, their activism was witty and fast, like their direct action antecedents, ACT UP! and Peter Tatchell's Outrage! in the UK.”


Barack Obama presses Uganda to repeal anti-gay legislation.

“President Barack Obama is cutting U.S. aid for the poor African country of Uganda and blocking a health survey, because its elected government signed a popular and harsh law against homosexual conduct.”

“The punishment was revealed in the 12th paragraph of a Washington Post story about an expensive new effort to track down a roving warlord near northern Uganda.”

“The penalty spotlights the administration’s top-level and hard-edged effort to punish countries that disagree with its gay rights agenda.”

“‘We need you to combat restrictions… [and] in countries transitioning to democracy, we must help them navigate the difficult choices they must make, without dictating the outcomes,’ National Security Adviser Susan Rice told an D.C. assembly of senior U.S. diplomats in March.”

Interestingly, the U.S. is stepping up efforts to locate Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

There may be a bit of the carrot-and-the-stick style of diplomacy at work. What may cause resentment on the part of Ugandan officials and negative comments in conservative circles domestically is probably the only way you’re going to get anything done.

Mr. Kony has a little bit of explaining to do anyhow.