Health and Human Services makes an incremental change for the better..

One of the key rights denied to LGBTQA partners is the implicit right to visit one’s partner if they are in hospital.

If you are dealing with a hospital run by a bigot, or perhaps under the instruction of a conservative religious group… if you are lucky you may have the same rights as a stranger, but effectively you are treated as a non-entity.

Thankfully now if your hospital receives Medicaid or Medicare dollars, from the federal government, they will have to give you the same respect as any other partner.

Its a tiny step but a good move on the part of the US government to stand up for one more piece of equality.

Opinions on the right about DADT

I realize that this story and opinion does not reflect the publicly stated view of the American Right, however I do not doubt that this reflects the opinion of many in the Religious and Social Right who imagine that all a lesbian needs is “a good man”.

The idea was postulated by Joe Rehyansky, that lesbians should be allowed to serve so that the men could “show them the light”. He’s not a serving judge, but the idea that someone could publicly advocate corrective rape, and then a prominent conservative blog could publish it, I find shocking.

In some ways I feel speechless, but then again I know that sentiment still exists in so many minds…We have so many hearts and minds to change…

Found via AlterNet

First Legal Gay Marriage in Texas!

So maybe it wasn’t legal due to the illegal and immoral DOMA, but a gay couple in Texas were not going to let the bigots stop their nuptials in their home state.

Using the wonders of modern technology and a Judge in Washington DC, Mark Reed and Dante Walkup now have their marriage and relationship recognized by law.

This is one more step in the road to marriage equality, maybe its just a small step but its a step forward.

We’re back

After a couple of weeks, we had a few technical difficulties rebuilding our server. The tech girl was on a timeout, she’s back on form and has now built us an exceptionally shiny server configuration that should be very resilient.

New articles will be coming shortly.

What happens when we have conservative justices

The Iowa decision is very upsetting to me, because people don’t realize you have to have judges that rule what is right, even when what is right challenges the status quo.

Throughout American history when the court has decided the conservative way, civil rights, and people have suffered.

The first one I’ll go into detail, may be considered to be one of the most important, but most often forgotten court decision in legal history. Its result was one of the lynchpins in heading towards the civil war, and it betrayed the principles of equality the US were supposedly founded on. Its name lives in infamy as “Dredd Scott”.

Dredd Scott, appealed to the courts be declared free, due to the fact that despite currently residing in a slaveholding state he had been taken as a slave to free states and resided there. After several levels of decisions, the law reached the supreme court.
On March 6, 1857, the court gave the opinion that
1. Those of any African descent were not citizens of the US, be they free or slave.
2. Non whites could not be granted citizenship or freedom by existing federal law
3. The Missouri Compromise’s provisions for excluding slavery from free states were invalid.

The second I want to talk about is another horrific decision, “Plessy vs Ferguson” which enshrined the “separate but equal” provision that still haunts the US today.

Essentially in an effort to challenge the enforced separation of accommodations in Louisiana, a civil rights group sent one of their members, Homer Plessy, to test the legal situation. The court on May 18th, 1896 the court ruled that separation was allowed, and to claim that the facilities for African Americans were inferior was due to their own flawed perceptions. Following the decision, many other similar laws to Louisiana were enacted
across the south.

There are numerous decisions which show similar conservatism including “Korematsu vs United States”, “Bowers vs Hardwick”, “Schenck vs United States”, “Roth vs United States” and “Boy Scounts of America vs Dale”. If the justices are prepared to rule what is just then we get decisions like “Brown vs Board of Education”, “Roe vs Wade”, “Loving vs
Virgina” and “Lawrence vs Texas”

Maybe there can be mistakes made, but i’d rather have Justices that view their role as one of providing justice rather than supporting the status quo.

The Christian Right sets its sights on rolling back Civil Rights

The election fiasco is barely over, and already the Christian Right is rubbing its hands with glee at the prospect for not only holding back the future of civil rights, but actually rolling back the hard won civil rights we have worked so far for.

They are crowing about the removal of the Iowa judges, and using it as an example of justices who rule against their bigotry. New Hampshire is in their sights, however hopefully even with republican majorities in the state house and senate there will be no efforts to overturn gay marriage.

Those watching the Oklahoma struggle should also be concerned because the intent of the law is to prevent international law from being used in court arguments, which could include such things as DOMA, DADT and other civil rights issues.

While the 2010 republican campaign did not directly target gay rights, the candidates from the tea party are nearly all social conservatives and the party has moved the the social right. Any hope of a legislative repeal of DOMA is impossible with this homophobic republican party in control of the house.

Thankfully given that the trend of American values seems to be towards Gay equality it is unlikely that the hopes of a federal marriage amendment will come to fruition. This is of course exert pressure to stop the Democrats continue selling us down the river.

However currently 19 states have constitutions banning marriage and civil unions, 6 state constitutions ban marriages, 7 states by law ban gay marriage, 9 states are in legal flux including California, 2 states are neutral, 1 state recognizes out of state gay marriages, and a paltry 5 states actually have marriage equality. Those 11 states are battleground states, and even in the states where we have equality there are movements trying to reverse those hard won gains.

Just as with every other civil rights progress, we cannot leave it to the states, or even the legislature, we need the supreme court now to get the equality we deserve. There are court cases across the US that hopefully will take the battle and hope that the court realizes that justice will prevail.

Keith, an Ally in trouble

Many of you have read about Keith Olbermann being in trouble with his bosses at MSNBC. It has come to light that he made political contributions to 3 candidates whom he’d had come on his show.

MSNBC like other news organization has rules about News people making donations to political campaigns and candidates. It should be noted that Fox News has no such rules, and the hosts often make such contributions.

Honestly I get that Keith broke the rules, and I understand their need and value, I understand that he’s been suspended without pay, I can even agree with the principle, while disliking the effect. I don’t understand why Keith made those contributions because I feel like his contributions by giving a progressive compassionate viewpoint in our news is far more effective than any donation he could make.

Yes Keith did wrong, and yes a lot of people on the right want him fired, and I’m sure people like me feel a little bit betrayed, but we need his voice, we need a compassionate voice and viewpoint like his.

He has been one of the strongest allies the LGBTQA movement has had in the mainstream media, and he’s put things into calm perspective that connects to everyone.
Keith, we need your perspective, we miss your viewpoint, do your penance as is needed and come back as soon as you can.

I hope I don’t overextend myself by saying I say this on behalf of the LGBTQA community.

Picking up the pieces?

So like the rest of the LGBTQA community, except the self-hating log cabin republicans the world isn’t as nice as it was on November 1st.

Yes it could have been a lot worse, and maybe the fact of the economy made this inevitable, but we still have to live with the consequences of this election and see what it means for the LGBTQA community and LGBTQA youth in general.

Thankfully the most extreme candidates, Joe Miller, Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle have been kept from power, but their extreme views on LGBTQA rights was given a free pass by the media.

So what do we have to look forward to for the lame duck session and the next session of congress.

What I’m imagining will be passed in the lame duck session,

  • Defense Authorization Bill with DADT but not DREAM act.
  • Obama Tax Cuts

What I’d hope to see in the lame duck session but no democratic backbone for acting to implement change.

  • Repeal of DOMA
  • Trans-inclusive ENDA
  • Immigration reform, giving immigration benefits to same sex partners.

We know the Republicans are going to give the Democrats nothing they could use, and LGBTQA civil rights improvements would be a big coup for the Democratic base so that will not happen. What will happen will be a gridlock, which would be fine provided the Democrats actually made enough progress prior to the end of this session of congress.

However LGBTQA rights have been on the back-burner for the Democrats, barely with a
flicker of a flame, not to mention the anti-trans provisions in the healthcare bill.

So for now, we’re still screwed over by the Democrats, and its unlikely anything good will come our way for at least another 2 years. What kind of message does that send to our vulnerable youth?