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S/he said: Ross Douthat, Butch Voices, Kathleen Sebelius

By | 2018-01-16T17:54:40-05:00 November 5th, 2009|Opinions|

compiled by Howard Israel

“The secular arguments against gay marriage, when they aren’t just based on bigotry or custom, tend to be abstract in ways that don’t find purchase in American political discourse. I say, ‘Institutional support for reproduction,’ you say, ‘I love my boyfriend and I want to marry him.’ Who wins that debate? You win that debate. If I were putting money on the future of gay marriage, I would bet on it. The conservative opposition to gay marriage is a losing argument, (asking rhetorically) if committed homosexual relationships ought to be denied the legal recognition accorded without hesitation to the fleeting enthusiasms of Britney Spears and Newt Gingrich.”

– Ross Douthat, conservative op-ed columnist, in a panel discussion titled “Meet the Neo-Cons: They’re Young, They’re Bright, They Tilt to the Right,” http://www.observer.com, Oct. 21.

“We are Butch Voices. We are woman-identified Butches. We are trans-masculine Studs. We are faggot-identified Aggressives. We are noun Butches, adjective Studs and pronoun-shunning Aggressives. We are she, he, hy, ze, zie and hir. We are you, and we are me. The point is, we don’t decide who is Butch, Stud or Aggressive. You get to decide for yourself. We are at times stigmatized in the communities we call home because of our gender identities, and how we may present. We are different, they say. Sometimes they even call us ‘inappropriate’ women, because of the way our female born bodies emanate masculinity. It’s time we had a say in who we are, and how our community is perceived.”

– From publicity for the “Butch Voices” Conference that took place last August, as a gathering of people representing a spectrum of gender identities and sexual orientations in attendance – both masculine identified and otherwise, http://www.butchvoices.com, Aug. 2009

“Experts estimate that as many as 1.5 to 4 million LGBT individuals are age 60 and older. Agencies that provide services to older individuals may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the needs of this group of individuals. The new Resource Center for LGBT Elders will provide information, assistance and resources for both LGBT organizations and mainstream aging services providers at the state and community level to assist them in the development and provision of culturally sensitive supports and services. The LGBT Center will also be available to educate the LGBT community about the importance of planning ahead for future long term care needs. The LGBT Resource Center will help community-based organizations understand the unique needs and concerns of older LGBT individuals and assist them in implementing programs for local service providers, including providing help to LGBT caregivers who are providing care for an older partner with health or other challenges.”

– U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in an announcement about plans to establish the nation’s first national resource center to assist communities across the country in their efforts to provide services and supports for older LGBT individuals, http://www.hhs.gov, Oct. 21.

“I once read a tell-all book about ‘Saturday Night Live,’ in which Anne Beatts, one of the female writers from the early days of the show, described the gender disparity in comedy writing rooms by saying that ‘(the men) had to spell ‘cat,’ and (the women) had to say when the Edict of Nantes was revoked.’ Well, that’s kind of how I feel about the gay vs. anti-gay debate. Our side rails off reasoned, principled point after reasoned, principled point, and our opposition (and far too much of the public) feels like it’s perfectly suitable to counter those carefully studied, thoroughly lawful, intensely measured points by using nothing more than their own personal faith views about what is and is not a suitable family.”

– Jeremy Hooper, on a his blog titled “I’m sorry this debate is happening at all,” about a talk radio debate between supporters and opponents of marriage equality in Maine and Question 1, the ballot referendum seeking to invalidate the marriage equality law that was passed in Maine earlier this year, http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you, Oct. 29.

“This law honors our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters whose lives were cut short because of hate. Today’s signing of the first major piece of civil rights legislation to protect LGBT Americans represents a historic milestone in the inevitable march towards equality. Although this is a major step in fighting the scourge of hate violence, it is not the end of the road. As a community, we will continue to dedicate ourselves to changing not only laws but also hearts and minds. We know that hate crimes not only harm individuals, but they terrorize entire communities. After more than a decade of advocacy, local police and sheriffs’ departments now have the full resources of the Justice Department available to them. … This marks the first time that we as a nation have explicitly protected the LGBT community in the law. And this law sends a loud message that perpetrators of hate violence against anyone will be brought to justice.”

– Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign president, responding to President Obama’s signing into law the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act,” which adds sexual orientation, gender, disability, or gender identity to existing Federal hate crimes laws, http://www.hrc.org, Oct. 28.

“Faggot Kid! You don’t know what real marriage is!”

– A retired teacher and school volunteer at school activities, shouting at a student after being caught in the school library pulling down posters for Equal Love Rally, a rally for equal same-sex marriage rights in Victoria, Australia, http://www.samesame.com.au, Oct. 20. A politically and socially aware student at the school had been putting up posters but they were being ripped down by the volunteer teacher. The school volunteer has since resigned from his role.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.