compiled by Howard Israel
“In December, Barack Obama reminded us that he had been a ‘consistent’ and ‘fierce advocate of equality for gay and lesbian Americans.’ But at the end of its first 100 days, his administration has been neither. What makes this especially disappointing is that it comes during a crisis-driven ‘change moment’ in our country’s history that not only cries out for leadership but presents a particularly good climate for making substantial progress on gay equality. Recent victories on gay marriage, a youth-driven paradigm shift in public opinion and the election of our first African-American president make this a uniquely opportune moment to act. I understand that the president has his hands full saving the economy. But across a broad spectrum of issues – including women’s rights, stem cell research and relations with Cuba – the Obama administration has shown a willingness to exploit this change moment to bring about dramatic reform. So why not on gay rights?”
– Richard Socarides, in a commentary titled “Where’s Our ‘Fierce Advocate’?,” commenting on President Obama’s “uniquely opportune moment to act boldly” on his campaign promises regarding LGBT rights, http://www.washingtonpost.com, May 2.
“Some people are saying, wouldn’t it be amazing that in the same year that the first African-American president took office in the U.S., we also elected the first gay and/or bisexual ‘American Idol?’ I don’t think that’s comparable. Rather than being surprised, I am thinking ‘Wow, have we really got this far without having one yet?'”
– Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture, Syracuse University, commenting on Adam Lambert, the American Idol contestant favored to become the first gay or bisexual singer to be handed the “Idol” title by millions of Americans, http://www.Reuters.com, April 30.
“I feel remarkably valid as a person, and I think that shows. It’s about the self-confidence that comes from knowing who you are and not apologizing for it. When I came out to my mother, who is now deceased, she was worried. She thought, ‘Here’s another crisis in your life.’ I told her, ‘Mom, you don’t understand. This is the solution to what has been my lifelong crisis.’ ”
– Amy Hunter, lifelong Kalamazoo area resident, talking about her life as a male to female transgender person, Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com, April 16. Hunter, the support-services coordinator for the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, is the facilitator of Trans*cend, a support group for people who think they may be transgender and a resource for counselors and doctors who specialize in transgender issues.
“Forty-two percent of Americans now say same sex couples should be allowed to legally marry, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. That’s up nine points from last month, when 33 percent supported legalizing same sex marriage. Support for same sex marriage is now at its highest point since CBS News starting asking about it in 2004. Twenty-eight percent say same sex couples should have no legal recognition – down from 35 percent in March – while 25 percent support civil unions, but not marriage, for gay couples. As has historically been the case on this issue, liberals are more likely to support same sex marriage. Sixty-nine percent support the idea, while conservatives generally favor either civil unions (28 percent) or no legal recognition (44 percent).”
– A CBS poll taken April 22-26, from a random sample of 973 adults nationwide, weighted in proportion to the racial composition of the adult population in the U.S. Census, CBS News, April 27.
“As LGBT Americans and co-chairs of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, we are disturbed and shocked at allegations that Ministry of the Interior Security Forces may be involved in the mass persecution and execution of LGBT Iraqis. The persecution of Iraqis based on sexual orientation or gender identity is escalating and is unacceptable regardless of whether these policies are extrajudicial or state-sanctioned.”
– In a letter from U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the three openly gay members of Congress, sent to U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, calling on the U.S. embassy in Iraq to urge the Iraqi government to end the executions of LGBT Iraqis, http://www.Advocate.com, April 30.
“Definitely a woman. I’m done with the man thing. I did that. I need to move on in life. It’s a part of being true to yourself. That’s been a challenge for me. (Coming out as a lesbian was) an ongoing process from the time I was probably 12.
– Kelly McGillis, actress best known as Tom Cruise’s girlfriend in the movie Top Gun, in response to being asked if she’s looking to date a man or woman, http://www.people.com, April 30.
“The hate crimes bill that’s called the Matthew Shepard Bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. This hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.”
– Rep. Virginia Foxx, Republican congresswoman from North Carolina, speaking from the floor of the House of Representatives about the Matthew Shepard Bill which would add sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability status to the federal hate crimes statute, www.wxii12.com, N.C., April 30.