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S/he said

By |2009-04-23T09:00:00-04:00April 23rd, 2009|Opinions|

Compiled by Howard Israel

“I’m the victim of this propaganda. This day is meant to silence the Christians. I came here for freedom, and what I got was oppression. The Day of Silence is pro-gay propaganda.”
– Viktor Choban, student council member, American River College, a two-year community college in California, commenting on the passage of a student council resolution declaring its opposition to the Day of Silence, asserting that the day “has been used to silence and harass religious students at local public schools for expressing their viewpoints,” The Sacramento Bee, April 17.

“WE ARE NOT A GAY BAR!!”
– A sign, in bright yellow capital letters, in the window of a karaoke bar, downtown Peoria, Ill., mobilized the LGBT community into action, responding with public demonstrations by LGBT citizens and allies, http://www.chicagotribune.com, April 17. The bar owner issued an apology after the city council notified him that the sign violated state law.

“The current law that prohibits GLB individuals and same-sex couples from adopting children reduces the number of children who are adopted each year in Florida. In 2008, we estimate that 165 children would have been adopted from Florida DCF care, but were not because of the ban. Because these children remain in foster care, the state of Florida incurs a cost of $2.5 million in one year in costs associated with continued stays in foster care and recruitment of adoptive parents. This is a conservative figure, which assumes that fostering rates in Florida would not change as a result of the ban being lifted. We estimate that if the ban were lifted, both adoption and foster care by GLB individuals and same-sex couples would increase to the average United States level, leading to 219 children being adopted, and saving the state of Florida $3.4 million dollars in the first year.”
– The conclusion drawn from a report titled “The Cost of Florida’s Ban on Adoption by GLB Individuals and Same-Sex Couples,” written by Naomi Goldberg and M. V. Lee Badgett, Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/home.html, Feb. 2009

“An awareness of dichotomous belief patterns may lessen exclusionary behavior towards bisexuals and give them not just a letter in our acronym, but create a real space under our rainbow. In an ideal world, we would live in a gender-blind society, and people would simply fall in love with other people. The ideal isn’t possible until we achieve equality for everyone. That needs to start within our community.”
– Kathryn Martini, in her column “Looking bi- the Wayside,” LGBT News from Portland, OR, http://www.justout.com, April 17.

“…Ms. Sedgwick argued that assigned categories like ‘homosexual’ and ‘heterosexual,’ not to mention ‘male’ and ‘female,’ don’t begin to capture reality. Sexual desire and sexual identity exist on a continuum, spilling over the neat labels we create to contain them. What’s more, she asserted, the failure to openly acknowledge these flawed definitions impairs ‘an understanding of virtually any aspect of Western culture.’ The word ‘queer’ itself means across, Ms. Sedgwick wrote, referencing its connection to the German ‘quer.’ She reached across set categories and conventions – sexual, political, scholarly – to explore the often strange spaces in between. Queer theory challenged people to question definitions and frames of reference they previously would never have thought twice about.”
– In the obituary of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, co-founder of the influential scholarly field known as queer theory, who died of breast cancer recently at age 58, New York Times, April 19.

“Yet easy to mock as ‘Gathering Storm’ may be, it nonetheless bookmarks a historic turning point in the demise of America’s anti-gay movement. What gives the ad its symbolic significance is not just that it’s idiotic, but that its release was the only loud protest anywhere in America to the news that same-sex marriage had been legalized in Iowa and Vermont. If it advances any message, it’s mainly that homophobic activism is ever more depopulated and isolated as well as brain-dead.”
– Frank Rich, in his Op-Ed column titled “The Bigots’ Last Hurrah,” examining the cooling down of the opposition to same-sex marriage as indicated by the TV ad, “Gathering Storm,” produced by the National Organization for Marriage, a right-wing, anti-gay, anti-same-sex marriage organization, http://www.nytimes.com, April 19, 2009.

“We have all known the wrath of discrimination. We have all felt the pain and the insult of hatred. This is why we are all standing here today.”
– New York Gov. David A. Paterson, in a speech announcing a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, placing same-sex marriage in the historical context of slavery, disenfranchisement of women and shunning the disabled, New York Times, April 17.

“…aggression and hatred are learned behaviors. If a child is taught to hate and fear diversity, then the next place he or she expresses that hate is at school. Ten percent of all hate crimes occur at schools and colleges. If hate is learned, then it lies on the shoulders of our schools, church officials, parents, teachers and communities to teach our young kids acceptance before they continue hurting each other, and before they become adults who will likely pass their hatred to the next generation.”
– Jason Mannino, posted in a blog titled “Homophobia Is Killing Our Youth,” commenting on the National Day of Silence, the national protest against the anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools, Huffington Post, April 18.

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.