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S/he said

By | 2009-04-30T09:00:00-04:00 April 30th, 2009|Opinions|

compiled by Howard Israel

“This group came together with one voice. Our message is that people are dying and suffering unnecessarily because the money has not been put in the community where the needs are the greatest. We need a whole new paradigm and this bill begins to move us in that direction.”
– Reverend Calvin O. Bitts III, chairman of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, speaking at NBLCA’s summit of representatives from the clergy, health care, pharmaceutical industries, and government to discuss actions to fight HIV and AIDS, which infects African-Americans at a substantially higher rate than whites,, April 27.

“Answers to other survey questions about homosexuality do show greater acceptance. For example, should homosexuality be legal? Forty-three percent gave that response to Gallup in 1977; 55 percent did in 2008. Should homosexuality be considered an acceptable alternative life style? Again from Gallup, 34 percent agreed in 1982, 57 percent do today. Should homosexuals have equal rights in terms of job opportunities? Fifty-five percent said yes in 1977, 89 percent in 2008. And what about gays in the military? Two-thirds support it, up about 10 percentage points from a decade ago. Beyond that, two-thirds or more now say that inheritances, Social Security benefits, health insurance and hospital visitation should be available to gay and lesbian partners.”
– Karlyn Bowman, in a column titled “Gay Marriage And Public Opinion,” noting that legislatures and courts have made more progress on the gay-related issue than public opinion,, April 27.

“It’s huge to be here first.”
– Grant Lan, 35, and Andrew Mahoney-Lan, 32, were the first couple in line to apply for a marriage license at the Polk County administrative offices in Des Moines, Iowa, Associated Press, April 27. Officials said the Polk County recorder’s office had received 57 marriage applications from same-sex couples by 11:30 a.m.

“I got married. I’m very, very happily married. People focus too much on ‘same-sex’. It’s just a relationship. They’re all the same. One likes to talk a lot, the other one pretends to listen.”
– Wanda Sykes, host of the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles dinner, during her opening remarks,, March 14.

“Carl and Jaheem, I will never forget you. I am the father of 11 year-old twins. I will give them extra hugs and kisses tonight in memory of you. I will teach them to be even more tolerant, in memory of you. I will make sure that they know that I am always there if they need an ear or a shoulder, in memory of you. I will let them know, when the waters get choppy, that the storm will always pass, in memory of you. And, I will make sure that they know in no uncertain terms that whomever they grow up to be, I will love them always and forever. This too I will do in memory of you.”
– Charles M. Blow, in a column titled “Two Little Boys,” about Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera, two 11-year-olds who committed suicide because of relentless homophobic taunts at school, New York Times, April 24.

“It’s incredibly important that parents be very aware. Such events only ‘honor’ alternative lifestyles. When a parent finds out about this kind of event, they need to take immediate action, join with other parents. They need to go to the school board. They need to be persistent, and very discerning about what’s really going on and who’s advocating this. We need to be very concerned about the enormous harm, for our own children and all of these children. Under such indoctrination, we are creating barbarians. Parents want something other than barbarians living down the street. They need to care about their own kids. They need to take this seriously. Your kids are learning to respect this behavior.”
– Linda Harvey, president and founder of Mission America, an Christian organization dedicated to researching what social trends mean to Christians, commenting on the 13th National Day of Silence, organized by the GLSEN,, March 8. Mission America is a member of NotOurKids Coalition, a group of Christian organizations that urge parents to boycott the Day of Silence by keeping their children out of school on that day.

“I have never met a more loving community in my life than the GLBT community. Obviously, there are exceptions in any community, but in general I’ve found that GLBT people don’t care if you’re skinny, hairy, fat, pimpled, a millionaire or dead broke; there is room for everyone.”
– In the Quote of the Day column, on the Dallas Morning News religion blog, April 26, quoting Andrew Marin, author of the book “Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community,” about his experience as a heterosexual evangelical who moves into a predominately gay Chicago neighborhood.

“Contrary to what many supporters of gay marriage seem to believe, the opposition to gay marriage is not motivated, as a general rule, in large part or small, by bigotry. I am aware there are many gay marriage advocates who refuse to accept that there really can be a legitimate difference of viewpoint on the issue. These are the same people who, let me suggest, are not so much concerned about how they live their own lives as they are with forcing other people to accept how they live, to validate the lives they have made for themselves. And that’s what inspires the first conservative objection to gay marriage, the one born out of respect for society and those social traditions that, over time, have demonstrated that they exist for everyone’s benefit.”
– “Glenallen Walken,” a conservative, former Bush official who chooses to remain anonymous, in his “Ask a Wingnut,” column, answers questions about why conservatives do what they do, in a recent column titled “Do right-wingers really think that legalizing gay marriage will destroy our social fabric?,”, April 20.

“I think a part of coalition building is really getting a different worldview where we see ourselves as partners in the larger framework of civil and human rights movement and social justice movement. In the 21st century, isn’t it time that we talk about LGBT liberation and rights in the same breath as we talk about other civil and human rights? Instead of having our issues being seen (or us presenting them) as secondary to other issues, coalition building is about working together in a larger movement and seeing all of our issues as essential and core to each other.”
– Andrea Shorter, recently hired by Equality California, a statewide organization advocating for same-sex marriage, as their coalition coordinator, in an interview,, April issue.

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