compiled by Howard Israel
“I’m the same person I was last year and the year before, but I am transgender and will now come to school as a boy. You may not agree, but I hope you will respect me and my right to get a good education.”
– Tye Clark, a high school senior, interviewed in an article about transgender youths titled “Teens in Transition,” reminiscing about his announcement, as an eighth grader in the fall of 2004, to a series of four assemblies of students in middle school in suburban Philadelphia, http://www.philly.com, Oct. 20
“Our only agenda is a children’s agenda. I can’t be any more direct than that. My job is to advocate for kids. We have only one agenda and that is finding good qualified homes for our foster children.”
– Janie Huddleston, deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services and the director of the department’s Children and Family Services Division, which supervises foster care, responding to an accusation from the Family Council, a group which “promotes, protects and strengthens traditional family values in AR,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Oct. 11. The AR Department of Human Services recently announced it would repeal a rule banning gays and unmarried people from being foster parents. The Family Council said it’s “proof positive of a gay agenda in AR” and voters need to “stop gay activists and gay-friendly bureaucrats from using foster children to advance the gay agenda.” Currently, in AR on any given day, about 3,700 foster children are in state custody with roughly 1,100 foster homes.
“…the use of certain ‘bad’ words in gay and lesbian communications really sets me off. For me, the term ‘sexual preference’ is right up there with ‘choice’ and ‘gay lifestyle.’ It’s really simple: as LGBT people, we don’t ‘prefer’ to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, we simply are. Without wading into the debate about whether or not being gay is a ‘choice,’ let me simply say that being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is not a ‘lifestyle,’ but a life. We are who we are, and using thinly-veiled code words – even in jest – only supports the notion that we’re some ‘other’ group of people with a mysterious, misunderstood ‘lifestyle.’ ”
– Ben Finzel, commenting on his blog, http://www.fhoutfront.com, Oct. 21.
“Sarah Palin is in favor of a federal ban on gay marriage. (She) basically wants to change the constitution. If you’re wondering how I feel about this – I don’t like. I don’t agree. Maybe it’s because I’m gay that I think we should all be equal. but I feel that we’re all equal. I don’t know what people are scared of – maybe they think that their children will be influenced. I gotta say I was raised by two heterosexuals. I was surrounded by heterosexuals…just everywhere I looked heterosexuals. I mean I dabbled in high school, who didn’t? Everyone dabbled. People are gonna be who they’re gonna be. We need to learn to love them for who they are and let them love who they want to love.”
– Ellen DeGeneres, voicing her opposition to Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin’s support of a federal amendment to ban same sex marriages, on her show, http://www.EOnline.com, Oct. 22
“The council’s ruling is not legally binding because it has not been passed into law, but tomboys should be banned because their actions are immoral. It doesn’t matter if it’s a law or not. When it’s wrong, it’s wrong. It is a sin. Tomboy (behavior) is forbidden in Islam.”
– Harussani Idris Zakaria, the mufti of northern Malaysia, after a gathering at which The National Fatwa Council, Malaysia’s main body of Islamic clerics, issued an edict banning tomboys in the Muslim-majority country, Associated Press, Oct. 24. Under the edict, girls are forbidden to sport short hair and dress, walk and act like boys and boys should also not act like girls.
“I could care less about gays getting married…it makes me no difference one way or the other. They aren’t hurting me, they aren’t taking my husband away from me, and they pay their taxes just like everyone else so why is this even an issue? Heck, I would be more concerned about the high adultery rate on marriages than of gays being able to marry.”
– Posted on a blog by “ACORN,” http://www.iReport, Oct. 24.
“It’s up to the next president to lead the way (in championing gay rights in American foreign policy). One of the key uses of presidential power is ‘to show moral leadership.’ Saying something about gay rights would be an incredibly powerful message.”
– Scott Long, head of the LGBT program at Human Rights Watch, in an article titled “Back to the Bully Pulpit” about gay rights in American foreign policy, http://www.advocate.com, Nov. 4.