Tag Archives: homophobia

Rhetoric, shmetoric

It’s nice to have a president who can actually string two sentences together.  It’s nice when he says things like this:

While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.


These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Read the full proclamation here.

But what good are those words, when his Department of Justice writes things like this:

To deny federal recognition to same-sex marriages will thus preserve scarce government resources, surely a legitimate government purpose.


As a result, gay and lesbian individuals who unite in matrimony are denied no federal benefits to which they were entitled prior to their marriage; they remain eligible for every benefit they enjoyed beforehand. DOMA simply provides, in effect, that as a result of their same-sex marriage they will not become eligible for the set of benefits that Congress has reserved exclusively to those who are related by the bonds of heterosexual marriage.


DOMA does not discriminate against homosexuals in the provision of federal benefits. To the contrary, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited in federal employment and in a wide array of federal benefits programs by law, regulation, and Executive order…. Section 3 of DOMA does not distinguish among persons of different sexual orientations, but rather it limits federal benefits to those who have entered into the traditional form of marriage.

Read the full brief here.

Please join me in expressing disappointment about this brief.

Contact the President


via Twitter @barackobama or @whitehouse

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Contact the Department of Justice, including Attorney General Eric Holder.

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001


Department of Justice Main Switchboard – 202-514-2000

Office of the Attorney General – 202-353-1555

Contact your legislators.

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Filed under homophobia, LGBT, Politics

LGBTQ youth suicides & violence

You might have heard that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning youth are four times more likely to commit or attempt suicide than their straight peers.  They face disapproval at home and bullying at school.  Though some churches are gay affirming, many others demand that gays be celibate and/or attend conversion therapy.  Their self-esteem plummets as everyone around them bombards them with messages that their feelings are wrong, unnatural, and immoral.

And the problem doesn’t stop with these kids hurting themselves, they’re also being hurt by their peers at school.  And I don’t just mean emotionally.  The 2007 National School Climate Survey found that 44% of LGBT students reported being physically harrassed and 22% reported being physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation in the past year.

Adults should be helping protect these vulnerable children, but in the case of Sacramento radio hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States, they did just the opposite.  During their May 28 show on KRXQ 98.5FM, the two spent half an hour talking about what attention-seeking “freaks” and “idiots” transgendered children are.  They encouraged parents to verbally degrade children who experiment with gender expression.  States said if his son ever wanted to wear high heels that he’d beat him with a shoe, “Because you know what? Boys don’t wear high heel shoes. And in my house, they definitely don’t wear high heels.”  They suggested that shock therapy could “cure” transgendered kids.  Huffington Post has a good article about the show. During their June 3 broadcast, they insisted their comments were a joke.  Rashad Robinson,media programs director for GLAAD, said they were not satisfied with the response.  He said these types of remarks dehumanize LGBT people and “it sends a dangerous message that this kind of defamation against our community is OK.”  Barbara O’Connor of California State University, Sacramento’s Institute for the Study of Politics and Media sees it differently and says the effect is limited.  She said, “It reinforces existing attitudes of the listenership. … It doesn’t incite them, just affirms them.”  O’Connor is probaby right that a show like this wouldn’t change a tolerant parent into an intolerant one.  But listeners who hold these views shouldn’t be affirmed, and I think that was part of Robinson’s point.

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Why do gays and their allies…

… find it so important to convince everyone that being gay is not a choice?

One of my (gay) friends asked me this last week.  He had a good point: Religion is a choice, yet it’s a protected status.  I also saw the question come up on Yahoo! Answers.

I’ve been pondering this amidst all the hoopla surrounding the Prop 8 decision.  Supporters of Prop 8 and opponents of marriage equality in other states make this argument about how the legalization of same-sex marriage will affect their children’s education.  Kids will be taught that it’s *gasp* okay to be gay and okay to want to marry someone of your own gender.  What these arguments say to me is that these people fear their children will become homosexual if they learn that being homosexual is okay.  So here’s where the “being gay isn’t a choice” argument comes in.  Don’t make some BS argument about protecting your kids from being “indoctrinated” and “turning gay.”  So, in my mind, that’s why it’s important for people to understand that you don’t just “turn gay” because you wanted to.

2-13% (research varies) of the population is gay.  Your kid might be one of them.  They might come out sooner and be happier about who they are because they learned that it’s not wrong to be gay, but learning about it didn’t make them be attracted to people of the same sex.  Straight people didn’t need to learn about traditional marriage to cause them to be attracted to people of the opposite sex.

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Filed under LGBT, Politics