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.
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.
"I cannot prevent anyone from getting angry, or mad, or frustrated. I can only hope that they’ll turn that anger and frustration and madness into something positive, so that two, three, four, five hundred will step forward, so the gay doctors will come out, the gay lawyers, the gay judges, gay bankers, gay architects … I hope that every professional gay will say ‘enough’, come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help."
— Harvey Milk (1978)
"Marriage equality is alive and well in every borough of New York City right now."
— Christine Quinn, speaker of the New York City Council.
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.
The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a previous ruling that allowed the gay military ban to continue even after the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law was abolished, to allow the Pentagon to draft new rules.
A three-judge panel in San Francisco said DADT must be lifted since the Obama Administration ruled in December that discriminating against gays in the military is unconstitutional.
The removal of the ban was brought about by the Log Cabin Republicans, an organization to represent gay Republican Party members.
"The ruling… removes all uncertainty," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper.
"American servicemembers are no longer under threat of discharge as the repeal implementation process goes forward," he added.
Republican Senator Greg Ball is turning to Facebook and Twitter to let Americans have a say in swaying his vote on gay marriage! You can tweet at him to vote YES on Marriage Equality @ball4ny.
Or ‘Like’ his Facebook page and leave a comment urging the Senator to vote YES!!
“On Twitter, the feedback is overwhelmingly in favor of a yes vote on the bill, which has yet to be formally introduced by the state senate’s GOP leadership. On Ball’s Facebook page, where users are generally less anonymous and more tend to be residents of his Hudson Valley district, response is more mixed, with Ball estimating a 50-50 split.
And in Ball’s district office, he said, calls and letters are running about 60-40 in favor of a no vote.
In the 62-member GOP-controlled state senate, 29 Democrats and two Republicans have pledged to support the bill. It is seen as not likely that Republican leadership will allow the chamber to vote on the bill if only one more Republican votes yes, thus a scramble is on to secure at least two more GOP votes for the bill, sources told POLITICO Monday.”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57366.html#ixzz1Pu5qLzNT
"You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn’t black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I’m trying to do the right thing, and that’s where I’m going with this."
— Roy McDonald, Republican Senator (NY) on his stance for gay marriage (via aphobicsteve)
Anonymous asked: TRUE LIFE: I'm a converted homophobe
Perhaps homophobe is a little strong, but I did at one point in my life fundamentally believe that “there is no such thing as being gay.” I was raised a good Christian girl, in a big red state where any sort of gender ambiguity is frowned upon and what the Bible says, goes.
I remember once telling my friends that God meant for people to be straight because he gave men and women the biological pieces to fit together perfectly. So you know, “You can’t have babies, it can’t be right” thing. In other words, general ignorance.
I even distinctly remember a conversation I had with my two teachers, one who I know now to be gay and the other a straight married women, where I explained how I felt that being gay was a lifestyle choice. And while the woman was quite rude in her response to me, the man was very understanding and listened carefully to my viewpoint before responding in kind. Keep in mind, I was only 13 at the time and most, if not all, of my opinions at that time had been influenced by my parents.
I think he understood that and had weathered enough criticism during his lifetime to be prepared to answer them. To this day I appreciate the way that he responded to me gently, as it gave me more reason to listen.
As I got older, I was more exposed to LGBT people and my friends for the most part all adopted liberal views on the subject. Little by little, I opened my mind and allowed myself room for doubt. I discussed this with some of my religious leaders and said, “I just can’t see how being gay is so wrong. I mean, they’re just trying to love each other.”
The religious leader responded, “Well God calls on us to love them but he intended men and women to be together…” But that was it. The epiphany that I needed. Even in the Bible, it says that the greatest of all these things was love, and yet I didn’t feel very loving when judging other people for what makes them happy. I hadn’t forgotten that bit about casting the first stone either… For the first time, it just didn’t make any sense to me to keep spreading hate as I had done when acceptance just felt so much better to give.
Fast-forward a few years and my circle of friends is dominated by LGBT individuals and when one of my close family members came out to me, and I accepted him immediately. In a few years, I’ve gone from a homophobe to a strong advocate of LGBT rights. So any time you’re losing hope in people, and frustrated with the ignorance, never forget that everyone has the capacity to change.
(Sorry I'm posting this in your ask box because I'd prefer to remain anonymous. My tumblr blog is too personal so I like to keep it private. Thanks for giving me this outlet to tell my story though.)
Absolutely! Thanks so much for sharing. It’s really wonderful to hear a story from this perspective because it is very easy to feel angry and frustrated when faced with these kinds of strong critical opinions, but we appreciate your submission. It is encouraging to hear that, as you’ve said, people can change because it can get pretty easy to lose hope in that when it seems like so few people actually do.
Your story also raises some good points about how to approach hate speech and criticism because it does seem that sometimes a soft touch can do the greatest good. It takes a build up of little moments to truly change someone, especially when they are set in their ways. It’s a gradual process, but it’s possible. Hence why we established this blog to be another means of exposure to help speed that process along. Thanks so much for your support and we hope you’ll continue to advocate and keep that open mind in the future!