Earlier this month James Peron wrote a great article in the Huffington Post entitled Courtesy is not political correctness.
In the article Peron points out that what many are griping about has less to do with censorship than it does with manners; which ironically, is something many who complain about political correctness bemoan the lack of in society. Peron’s article focuses on John Stossel from Fox News who recently ranted that a Duke University public awareness campaign to encourage people from refraining from using language like “that’s so gay” is an attack on free speech.
I think Peron put it best in his article when he wrote, “Being aware that certain terms are insulting was once called manners or etiquette, now the Right labels it “political correctness.” Encouraging people to avoid using terms such as “bitch,” “fag,” or “no homo” is not soliciting censorship.“
I recognize that we have all had instances where our words were twisted by someone who takes offense by our ‘lack of sensitivity’, but those situations aside, asking for communities to strive to be more civil and understanding seems like something we should all work towards.
Ten years ago today Massachusetts joined Belgium, The Netherlands and some provinces in Canada, recognizing the rights of gays and lesbians to marry their partner.
As you might expect, at the time most of America was outraged and conservatives used coded language to hide behind their homophobic opinions. What a difference a decade has made.
Source: Susan Symonds photo “Homo Sex Is In”
Sip the Rainbow cocktail reception on Friday marks the opening of the Boston Center for Adult Education photo exhibition The Hard-Won Fight: America’s First Legal Same-Sex Marriages by Marilyn Humphries and Susan Symonds and Marriage Equality / 10th Anniversary Portraits by photographer Joel Benjamin.
Sip the Rainbow: Friday, May 16th 6:00 – 8:00 PM
$15 in advance / $20 at the door
Includes 3 cocktails from Ki Bar Event+Cocktail Design
Purchase Tickets Here
The legal battle Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health is etched in my mind. Not only did I follow this local story, but I also stood outside the Massachusetts State House in the months that followed the ruling showing my support in the freezing cold to offset the hundreds of people who came from all over the country to protest and pressure our State Legislature to reverse the State Supreme Court’s ruling.
This is part of our story. Be proud of what started here in 2004. We set the country on fire with this debate and have proven that the criticism that this would destroy the institution of marriage is nothing but homophobic rants; a decade later and Massachusetts continues to have the lowest divorce rate in the country. #InconvenientTruth
I don’t care what your political preference is or if you like / dislike US Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. I can’t understand why Sen. Warren is the only one asking these questions.
My dream ticket: Clinton-Warren 2016.
And that was a game changer. The LGBT community no longer had to justify their intentions to make marriage equality part of the national agenda; not just something to be discussed in a handful of progressive states. Public opinion everywhere shifted (and quickly) within days. More importantly the African American community for the first time united behind the concept that the right to marry is a civil right (Obama’s endorsement unites black and gay communities).
After President Obama shared what was essentially a personal opinion, it changed everything (at least for me). Obama set a standard that all future Presidential nominees will now be found wanting if they don’t support marriage equality. Thank you President Obama (President Obama support for same sex marriage is a game changer).
Don’t believe me? A 2014 Washington Post/ABC News poll shows 59% of voters nationwide support the freedom to marry and 50% or more of Americans in every region of the country support the freedom to marry.
Long-shot candidate J.D. Winteregg, a Tea Party-oriented primary challenger to Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is running a web ad that is inspired by erectile dysfunction TV commercials. I doubt I agree with any Tea Party-oriented candidate, but I love this guy’s sense of humor, and it may go down as the funniest election ad I’ve ever seen.
Boner Bonus points to Mr. Winteregg for the play on words with Speaker Boehner’s last name. I’m sure the writers of SNL are kicking themselves for not thinking of this first.
What a sad commentary on the direction the Republican Party is heading. When I first read this headline I thought I was reading The Onion, a satirical online website, but sadly this is all too true.
Yesterday, in an op-ed published by the Christian Post, Phyllis Schlafly — the founder of the Eagle Forum — suggested that increasing the pay gap will help women find suitable husbands when she wrote, “The best way to improve economic prospects for women is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap.” You can read more here.
This sort of thing really makes me mad. Feminism isn’t an ugly word. I’ve included the deliciously handsome PA State Rep, Brian Sims, who like me considers himself a feminist and supports equal pay. I’m sure I speak for Brian too when I say I’d like to tell Ms. Schlafly to close her mouth and go away, but I doubt she’d listen to me (or Brian) so I’ll just use my corner of the internet to point out that equal pay for equal work shouldn’t be an issue and the fact it is really irritates me.
Nearly 10 years ago Massachusetts became the first state to legalize “gay marriage”. At the time only The Netherlands, Belgium and parts of Canada had a similar law (source). Massachusetts was ridiculed and derided and while it gave many in the LGBT community a sense of pride and hope, we all felt terrible when after a brief window of opportunity in California, Prop 8 passed (source).
One could argue it was that demoralizing vote back in 2008 that made marriage equality the social justice and civil rights issue of our day. Lines were drawn and sides were taken and ever since that day, opponents of marriage equality have watched those lines continually be redrawn as more Americans (and now a majority) support the right to marry who you love.
However, back in 2008 and certainly in the years that followed, one could never imagine that the support of such a hateful law could come back to cause one to lose their job, but that is what happened today when Mozilla’s CEO, Brendan Eich, was forced to step down after employees of that firm drew attention to political contributions Eich made in 2008 opposing same-sex marriage.
The Washington Post has more about it here.
As the nation gets more accustomed to referring to “gay marriage” and “same sex marriage” by it’s proper name, marriage equality, those barely concealed homophobic laws enacted in the first decade of the 21st century banning gays and lesbians from marrying, seem to be falling faster than ‘Born Agains’ at a baptism. Erik Eckholm from The NY Times wrote an excellent piece this past weekend, Wave of Appeals Expected to Turn the Tide on Same-Sex Marriage Bans, that is worth reading.
Eckholm writes, “Legal experts say the country is entering what one called a “marriage spring” and predict that several of the circuit courts, which hold sway over a group of states, will rule that state laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman are unconstitutional.”
Give the article a read if you missed it and are interested in this sort of thing. It is brief and very easy to follow. You can read it here.
As the Crimean crisis has evolved it seems like some Republicans have been making rather odd comments. Last week The Daily Show pointed out how Bill O’Reilly, Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin (among others) have been publicly praising Putin’s “strong leadership”. These comments seem to coincide curiously with more conservatives deriding President Obama’s “weak leadership”. Has the world is suddenly gone upside down? Conservatives are usually hyper-patriotic and more likely to demonize countries like Russia than admire them from afar; let alone publicly proclaiming America as a wimp.
I can appreciate disappointment in Presidential leadership (I’m still traumatized by eight years of George W. Bush) so I won’t judge these conservative critiques of Obama too harshly. However, it does seem odd to deride your own country’s leadership while simultaneously “admiring” Putin.
I will admit I’m no expert on foreign affairs or the Crimea, but I don’t understand why America should be considered the primary check to Putin’s ambitions. Russia’s aggression is happening on Europe’s turf – if anyone should be playing tough it should be Europe. Russia’s economy is far more tied to Europe and European markets than America. It is the 21st Century and I’d like America to retire from policing the world and let the rest of the world community step forward and start to take more responsibility for policing itself. If that is perceived as “weakness” then so be it. I’d prefer to focus on “strengthening” America.
Last week ABC News and The Washington Post released findings from a marriage equality poll. The findings show that support for marriage equality is at an all time high with 59% of those surveyed indicating their support; up from just 32% in 2004 when Massachusetts first legalized same-sex marriage.
More interestingly those opposing marriage equality has dropped by 13% in the past two years. The poll also found that 81% of respondents oppose allowing businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians. You can see the results of the poll’s 8 question survey here.
Did you happen to read Monday’s New York Times article “Republicans From the West Give Support for Gay Marriage“? The article notes that 20 Republicans including former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, a longtime supporter of gay rights, and former Senator Nancy L. Kassebaum of Kansas, who said last year that she had reconsidered her former opposition to same-sex marriage, would send a brief urging a federal appeals court to declare gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma unconstitutional.
I find this interesting because as the Times journalist writes, “The brief was the latest sign of widening cracks in Republican opposition to same-sex marriage, even deep in the country’s conservative heartland.” With the majority of the public now supporting marriage equality a growing number of Republicans find themselves at odds with the more conservative elements of their party.
A fissure along social policy is a rare thing to see among Republicans, but I’m not about to celebrate this move until more prominent individuals come forward. If this continues to gain traction it could create for a feisty Republican Presidential primary, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Move over Alabama, it appears that Arizona would like to be the poster child for intolerance and religious zealotry in the United States.
Not quite content with their checkered past with regards to race relations; remember how Arizona lost their bid to host the 1993 Superbowl because their refusal to recognize MLK day or the xenophobic immigration legislation from 2010 that raised eyebrows and the ire of Latinos? This past month Arizona turned its bigoted gaze on ‘the gays’ when the state legislature passed SB1062, legalizing discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.
I’m not fooled by Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of this bill. Pressure from politicians (from her own party), the business community and the public made Gov Brewer’s veto inevitable. Well done Arizona – you’re quickly becoming our most backward and bigoted state.
What an inconvenient truth.
I would have no issue making religious institutions pay taxes the same as any other business and making all ‘donations’ to such institutions no longer tax deductible. If people want to support such organizations I have no issue with that but why such financial contributions should be tax deductible is a mystery to me.