Monthly Archives: October 2011

3 Years Ago, Candidate Obama Was For Marriage Equality

Every once in a while I pull this video back out to puzzle over it. It’s an interview President Obama gave with NBC News’ Brian Williams on October 30, 2008, just five days before the election. I have it cued up to the relevant portion (1:38 – 2:01), but the entire question regarding Supreme Court Justice nominations is embedded if you want to see the context.

I mean, the— the right to marry who you please isn’t in the Constitution. But I think all of us assume that if a state— decided to pass a law saying, “Brian, you can’t marry the woman you love,” that you’d think that was unconstitutional. Well, where does that come from? I think it comes from a right to privacy— that may not be listed in the Constitution but is implied by the structure of the Constitution.

I’m not the only one who sees the direct contradiction between this and “God is in the mix,” am I?

Incidentally, I’ve long thought we should be using the “right to privacy” argument instead of the “love is love” one when talking about the right of civil marriage. It doesn’t hit people’s emotions as well, though, so we’ll just struggle along with “love is love.”


[CORRECTED] Ohio High School Had Anti-Bullying Assembly Just Days After Anti-Gay Attack

[box type=”note”]Josh Gunderson sent me a note correcting the date of the attack. His program at the school was two days after the attack, not before. I have corrected the headline accordingly. Thanks, Josh, for the correction.[/box]

By now, you’ve probably seen the news report from Chillicothe, Ohio (about 75 miles from me) that rocketed across the internet yesterday (hat tip to Equality Ohio) about a 15-year-old student who was brutally attacked in school this week because he’s gay. (Trigger warning, just to be safe.)

See Dan Savage’s column for my reaction to this story. Cosigned, 100%.

Coincidentally, the school had a big assembly (screencap) about online and offline peer abuse just last Wednesday. Speaker Josh Gunderson addressed the students, ending his presentation by directly addressing suicides caused by peer abuse. Here is Gunderson’s It Gets Better video:

See Gunderson’s Youtube channel to get an idea what he does. It looks like a good program, and we need more of that kind of thing to reach students, but the abuse won’t stop until the adults in charge recognize that this is a real and urgent problem, not one you can just talk about for an hour and then forget for another year.

It’s important that adults treat peer abuse and the accompanying physical attacks without kid gloves. These are serious life-and-death issues. Zach has a concussion and is in a danger zone for self-harm and suicidal ideation right now because of this attack by a peer.

In fact, his attacker is probably back in school today, potentially sitting in the same classroom as his victim. Obviously, this will only exacerbate the attack’s long-term effects.

Union-Scioto School officials must act swiftly, both to make Zach whole and to make it known throughout the community that peer abuse, specifically peer abuse against LGBT people, are not accepted in their schools. Local officials in the sheriff’s and prosecutor’s office must treat this attack seriously and seek real penalties in order to rehabilitate the attacker.

Failing to do that will send the opposite message that attacking and abusing LGBTs is okay, and that’s a message we can’t afford for them to send.

VIDEO: Documentary ‘Miss Representation’ Trailer; Must See Television Premiere Tonight!

A friend linked me to this trailer for the documentary Miss Representation a few weeks ago, and I’m totally stoked that the film is being aired on television. Filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom has gathered an impressive group of leaders and experts to explain the very real problem of the inequity women face.

Miss Representation will premiere tonight at 9PM Eastern/8PM Central exclusively on OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s (relatively) new network, so set your DVRs!

(If you don’t have time for the full eight-minute trailer, here’s a shorter version.)

From the official Miss Representation website:

miss-representationIn a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only three percent of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65 percent of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.

Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective.

Honestly, it’s killing me that since I don’t have access to OWN, I won’t be able to see Miss Representation until the DVD eventually comes out. I’m counting on all of you to fill me in, so get to watching!

Why Values Voter Summit 2011 Should End Presidential Campaign 2012

Last weekend, every Republican Presidential candidate with a chance of winning (plus Rick Santorum) appeared on stage at the Values Voter Summit, a meeting sponsored by two certified hate groups on par with (and one with ties to) the Ku Klux Klan and the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Family Research Council and American Family Association have both been considered hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center for some time now, and with good reason; both groups push their shared agenda with dangerous propaganda and outright lies about LGBT people.

To repeat: Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum all accepted the invitation of these hate groups (as they have for years), hoping to get their endorsements and the votes of like-minded individuals.

Do you really need more information before you cast your vote in the 2012 presidential election? What stance on which issue could possibly make it okay to vote for a candidate who has actively courted bigotry?