S/he said: Cathy Renna, Laura Ricketts, Suzanne Goldberg

By |2018-01-16T03:08:04-05:00November 12th, 2009|Opinions|

Compiled by Howard Israel

“This idea that gay people are coming to eat your children is a long-standing tactic of the right wing. The response to those ads that not only has more truth, but more integrity, is that we live in a diverse world and our kids know that and it’s irresponsible for us not to talk about the world we live in, in age-appropriate ways. Dismissing them as lies actually does a disservice, not only to the people in our community, but to the public that knows better. Same-sex marriage supporters need a different comeback to the kids-and-schools argument.”

– Cathy Renna, a public relations consultant who is married to a woman and has a 4-year-old daughter, in an article titled “Schools emerge as new tactic in gay marriage votes,” about Maine and California voters being swayed by the notion that same-sex marriage will be a corrupting force among children, Associated Press, Nov 6.

“A milestone of professional sports has been reached with the Cubs’ new owners, though it’s not one many in the sporting world will likely take notice of. On the other hand, perhaps a few players will. Among the members of the Ricketts family is Laura Ricketts, an out lesbian, making the Chicago Cubs the first professional sports team to have a gay owner. Not only has there never been an openly gay sports team owner before, but there have been next to no gay players – at least none who were willing to admit it before their retirement. Perhaps with a lesbian now on the board of a Major League team, some athlete will be able to come out of the closet while still working in a pro sport and not lose their job.”

– From a news report titled “Cubs 1st Team to Have Gay Owner – Laura Ricketts is out, proud, and first lesbian to own a pro team,” http://www.nbcchicago.com, Nov. 1. Laura Ricketts lives with her partner in Chicago, Ill. and is one of four family members serving on the board of directors for the Cubs.

“I think what the campaigns tell us is that the tipping point is in sight. That for people who want marriage equality for same sex couples the glass is nearly half full. And if we look at the campaigns not just in the moment but in a broader frame, what we see is that the change has been steady and that it’s really just a matter of time before we get to the point where gay and lesbian couples can marry freely. Apart from the president, there are plenty of figures both national and local in every jurisdiction and around the country who are speaking out. What we see is that number was very small just a few years ago, and it has ballooned so that the cultural conversation along with the political, the legislative and the judicial conversations are changing.”

– Suzanne Goldberg, Columbia Law Professor and Director of The Gender and Sexuality Law Program, in an interview titled “What’s next for same-sex marriage,” about the upside of Maine’s No-vote on same-sex marriage, Public Radio International http://www.pri.org, Nov. 5.

“There is no question in my mind that the vast majority of the LGBT community is ready to move forward with new visions and new tactics. What is happening to us with this expanding system of Gay Apartheid in America cannot be allowed to continue and if it does, we cannot go quietly into the night enabling such abuse anymore. How can we have any dignity, honor or pride in ourselves if we validate this continued process of ballot box terrorism? How can we stand tall next to each other if we explain away another’s cowardliness? How can we allow people to dehumanize our relationships and our very integrity if we give people passes to sit out the battle for our very freedom? No longer are political timelines a reason for delay, no longer are incremental approaches acceptable and no longer can the political process expect us to be patient and wait our turn. Our turn came long ago and there will be no more waiting. Our national organizations should be put on notice that we expect more from them and that we want more accountability and more dynamic leadership. Holding organizations that ask for our money and support accountable is not divisive, it is common sense.”

– David Mixner, in his blog titled “What Now,” calling on donors to stop the funding organizations and politicians who don’t fully support equality for LGBT people, http://www.davidmixner.com. Nov. 5.

“It was very effective. It’s drawing on the fears of the unknown. There’s no evidence that it’s going to happen, but there’s very clear evidence that it’s an effective campaign tactic.”

– Sandy Maisel, director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Maine’s Colby College, in an article titled “Schools emerge as new tactic in gay marriage votes,” about Maine and California voters being swayed by the notion that same-sex marriage will be a corrupting force among children, Associated Press, Nov 6.

“And now we’re in a pickle. Most gays are progressive and support the broader agenda of the Obama presidency of economic recovery, health care reform, action on global warming, immigration renewal and more. If we withhold our votes and dollars in the future, we’ll contribute to conservative gains that will derail our own aspirations. Indeed, even otherwise progressive Americans have rolled their eyes at complaints by the gay community about Democrats’ failure to deliver on gay equality. Some think we’re a selfish special interest willing to put our narrow agenda above the good of the whole. Of course, gays are not a special interest like the insurance industry, real estate brokers, or even teachers’ unions or farmers, who are all generally seeking money or special concessions from the government. We are simply people who are reminded every day, by our very existence, of the right action that’s required of a just society, and the wrong that’s perpetrated against us as we are proactively denied the exact same rights as our fellow citizens.”

– Nathaniel Frank, in a column titled “President Obama and Gay Rights: Forgetting the Lessons of the Campaign,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com, Nov. 5.

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.