Facebook co-founder speaks out on North Carolina’s anti-LGBT constitutional amendment
North Carolina native, and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has written a letter against the constitutional amendment that would ban marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships between same-sex couples.
Hughes is openly gay and argues that this restriction would hurt businesses in North Carolina and his letter has been distributed to the media and the 170 members of the North Carolina General Assembly. The proposed anti-LGBT constititutional amendment is one of many that will come up for debate in the special fall session.
“As the co-founder of Facebook, I have some experience with the challenges of attracting the kind of driven, dynamic and diverse employees it takes to build a fledgling start-up into a fullfledged economic success story,” Hughes wrote. “Companies like Facebook, Google and Apple are the future of our global economy. But the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment signals to these and other major employers, as well as their mobile, educated employees, that North Carolina does not welcome the diverse workforce that any state needs to compete in the international marketplace.”
He also wrote about his own experience growing up gay in Tar Heel, North Carolina, saying, “Growing up in a conservative atmosphere in Hickory, North Carolina, I felt first-hand the stigma of being different in a Southern state—a feeling that made it clear to me that I was not welcome in North Carolina,” he said. The next Facebook or Apple or Google could be created by another North Carolinian. Be mindful of how you treat them and their families.”
We really hope that this amendment does not get passed. It would completely restrict the freedoms of many North Carolina natives who are already likely experiencing the same difficulties that ChrisHughes had and they shouldn’t have to be driven outside of their home state to live happily with the partner of their choosing.
First gay military magazine to hit bases in anticipation of DADT repeal
Gay military magazine, OutServe, will be distributing thousands of copies to military bases around the country. The magazine seeks to give servicemen a means to talk about the issues that they’ve previously been unable to share.
"Our first objective with the magazine is to let all the gay, lesbian, bi, and trans members currently serving know that they are not alone," said OutServe's co-director, an active-duty officer who goes by the pseudonym JD Smith. “We also want to communicate to all troops that there are capable gay military members serving honorably, and that accepting that and moving on will make our military stronger.”
The September issue will also include a photospread of about 100 men and women who will be coming out to their colleagues for the first time. We wish everyone the best of luck with this transition, and know that it will come as welcome relief for many honourable servicemen who deserve the same freedoms of speech that they are fighting for.
Marriage Equality USA has put out this helpful chart showing the 2012 presidential candidate’s positions on gay rights issues. There are an estimated 31 million LGBT voters in the US. Will this data affect how you vote in the next election? Did any of these candidate’s views surprise you?
This is one of the great things about America, this diversity," Robinson said. "I’m so proud to be an American today, but I’m particularly proud to be a New Yorker.
Douglas Robinson, one of the first gay men to get married in New York on Sunday.
Republican candidates reject anti-gay marriage pledge
Republican candidate Mitt Romney has refused to sign a pledge that included a promise to oppose gay marriage. The pledge, called “The Marriage Vow” is being circulated by Christian-oriented political advocacy group, The Family Leader. The advocacy group has also lead in the successful recall of 3 Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality.
In an apparent reference to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Marriage Vow has a candidate promise support for “safeguards” for military personnel from “intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.).” And one footnote contends there is no “empirical proof” that same-sex “inclinations are genetically determined, irresistible and akin to innate traits like race, gender and eye color…”
According to Romney’s spokesperson, the GOP candidate “felt this pledge contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign.”
Jimmy LaSalvia, head of GOProud, a national conservative gay group, said Romney “should be praised for those comments, and for keeping his campaign focused on the issues that the American people care about the most – jobs and the economy.”
R. Clarke Cooper, head of the Log Cabin Republicans, the national gay Republican group, said the pledge is “outside the scope of mainstream views.” Cooper advised, “Republican presidential candidates seriously seeking to win the general election are wise to avoid such an extreme position… Divisive and sometimes off the wall rhetoric on social issues will obscure a solid conservative fiscal message. Americans will not vote for somebody who has demonized their family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.”
Romney joins former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Utah governor John Huntsman in not signing the pledge.
The only two Republicans to have signed the pledge are Rep. Michelle Bachmann and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and both have come under heavy scrutiny for having done so.
Romeny says of his mormon faith affecting his views on marriage, "I separate quite distinctly matters of personal faith from the leadership one has in a political sense," he said. "You don’t begin to apply the doctrines of a religion to responsibility for guiding a nation or guiding a state."
In some small part, this is good news for the progress of gay marriage in the US. It means that most candidates are at least willing to consider the will of the people before blindly imposing their personal views.