by Howard Israel
“It pains me that we have come to a point in this country where we use the ballot box to address the civil rights of our people. If President Johnson had to take a vote, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would not have passed. If Congress took a vote in 1920, women may still not have the right to vote today. And if President Lincoln went to the polls, blacks would definitely have endured many more years of slavery. We trusted our government to make the right decision and protect the minority, and yesterday we, as a nation, failed. …And as an African American, I urge my own people to take a deep look at our own struggles and not wish them upon anyone else. Simply, civil rights for all is about being connected as humans, united, tolerant, loving and brave.”
– Russell Simmons, Editor-in-Chief of hip hop web site http://www.GlobalGrind.com, in a commentary titled “It Is Not A Matter of If, But Only A Matter of When,” about his optimistic vision for the future of same-sex marriage, Huffington Post, May 27.
“Right now, same-sex marriage is recognized in fewer than 10 states, so this is not a good time for the U.S. Supreme Court to be jumping in either way – it’s premature. By 2020, a majority of states will have recognized gay marriage or civil unions – most of them by legislative rather than court decisions – and at that point, or probably earlier, it will all be over and the Supreme Court will require Mississippi and Arkansas and a handful of others to follow the rest of the national consensus.”
– William N. Eskridge Jr., Professor of Law, Yale University and a leading scholar of same-sex marriage, quoted in an article titled “What’s a Liberal Justice Now?,” about the type of people President Obama might nominate for the Supreme Court, New York Times, May 31.
“The Gallup Poll shows conclusively that many views toward gay and lesbian issues are related – in some instances, strongly so – to personal experience with individuals who are gay or lesbian. There are two plausible explanations for this relationship. One is that exposure to gays and lesbians leads to greater acceptance, regardless of one’s ideological leanings. The second is that people who are more accepting of gays and lesbians are more likely to put themselves into situations in which they are exposed to gays and lesbians – in terms of cities and regions of residence, as well as workplace and social choices. Both of these processes are at work, though it is difficult to say which is more important. Whatever the direction of causality, the data do make a strong case that knowing someone who is gay or lesbian fosters more accepting attitudes on many of the issues surrounding gay and lesbian relations today.”
– Lymari Morales, summarizing the Gallup poll titled “Knowing Someone Gay/Lesbian Affects Views of Gay Issues,” http://www.gallup.com/poll/118931, May 29.
“‘Until the 1940s, it was illegal for disabled people to get married,’ recalled Linda Kwizdak of San Diego Blind Community Services. ‘People were fearful of disabled people, and now they are very fearful of homosexuals. …I’ve had a lot of arguments with people who voted for Proposition 8 who say that homosexuality is a ‘choice.’ It’s not a choice to be what you are; it’s only a choice to express what you are.’ Kwizdak’s point was echoed by a woman in a wheelchair who spoke to the group inside the clerk’s office and said that her parents had had to fight for her right to attend normal schools instead of being shunted off to separate schools for people with disabilities.”
– A excerpt from a blog written by Mark Gabrish Conlan titled “Why Can’t Michael and Brian Get Married?,” about the protest and sit in at the San Diego County Clerk’s office the day after the California Supreme Court ruling that upheld the ban on same-sex marriage, http://www.zengersmag.blogspot.com, May 30.
“Fundamentalist Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr addressed Iraq’s ongoing violence toward LGBT people in Iraq by urging Iraqi people to reject killing LGBT people, which has become a nationwide epidemic, with several dozen men being murdered in the past few months because of their sexual orientation (or their perceived sexual orientation). The downside to all of this? Sadr took the occasion to call homosexuality fundamentally evil, and preach conversion therapy through Islamic preaching and teaching. Kind of an odd thing to say, since most of the people murdering LGBT people in Iraq are doing so in the name of radical Islamic teaching and preaching.”
– Michael A. Jones, in his blog titled “Iraq’s Position on LGBT Rights: ‘Homosexuality is a Disaster,'” about Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr’s order that the “depravity of homosexuality in Iraq be eradicated,” but warned against the anti-gay violence, while his zealot colleagues called homosexuality a “corrupt phenomena from the West,” http://www.gayrights.change.org/, May 29.
“At one time, prom may have been a big popularity contest where the best-looking guy or girl were crowned king and queen. Things have changed and it’s no longer just about who has the most friends or who wears the coolest clothes. Sure, I’m not your typical prom queen candidate. There’s more to me than meets the eye. I didn’t really know if the school approved. I thought ‘Why can’t I do it?’ I see myself as a boy with a different personality. I don’t wish to be a girl; I just wish to be myself.”
– Sergio Garcia, a senior at Fairfax High School, in his campaign speech to the school to be elected Senior Class Prom Queen, Los Angeles Times, May 28. The newly elected Prom Queen, openly gay during his high school years, responded to being asked how he felt when he won: “I felt invincible.”
“I would ask every man and every woman who’s had the blessing of having children, ‘Would you deny your son or your daughter the ecstasy of finding someone to love?’ Society has made gay relationships hard enough without the added burden of making marriage illegal. To love someone takes a lot of courage. So how much more is one challenged when the love is of the same sex and the laws say, ‘I forbid you from loving this person’?”
– Maya Angelou, in an article titled “Celebrities Champion State’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill,” about New York’s Empire State Pride Agenda, which has enlisted the assistance of celebrities to make phone calls and visit state senators to urge their support for marriage equality, New York Times, May 29.
“It’s clear that if we legalize gay marriage, then we’re heading down a road where people will have sex with ducks! I look at it this way. If gay marriage is legalized, then when someone tells me to go fuck a duck, I can do it! Right in front of them, so they can see me do exactly what they’re telling me to do. No fear of bestiality anymore! I’ll make that duck quack like there’s no tomorrow.”
– Tony Wang, in an open posting titled “Anti-Gay Marriage Advocates Are Right!,” in response to two women who produced a pro-gay marriage YouTube music video in response to Pat Robertson’s quote that the “ultimate conclusion” of same-sex marriage is legalizing sex with animals, http://www.open.salon.com, May 28.