compiled by Howard Israel
“The more hateful his rhetoric, the more Catholics see how in conflict with our core values he is. He has issued some of the most hurtful and extreme rhetoric against our community of any religious leader in history, and we want to call him into account for the damage that he’s done. Our focus is the grassroots Church. The institutional Church is decades if not centuries behind the grassroots. Polls show 64 percent of rank-and-file Catholics support either same-sex marriage or civil unions.”
– Marianne Duddy-Burke, director of Dignity USA, commenting on Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the U.S., in an article titled “Is the Pope Catholic?”, Gay City News, Apr. 10, 2008.
“If you are not a different sex from your partner, basically, you are strangers under federal law.”
– Lara Schwartz, Legal Director, Human Rights Campaign, commenting on the disparities faced by same-sex couples in filing federal income taxes, who often pay higher taxes because they don’t get the federal tax benefits that go with marriage, in an article titled “Tax filing more complex for gay couples”, http://www.CNN.com, Apr. 10, 2008.
“Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment. This year’s DOS is held in memory of Lawrence King, a 15 year-old student who was killed in school because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.”
– The statement printed on speaking cards during the Day of Silence, http://www.dayofsilence.org , hundreds of thousands of students will participate in the 12th annual Day of Silence for Safer Schools on Friday, April 25, 2008. The Day of Silence is held by students to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment.
“These signatures visibly demonstrate that love and commitment are values we all share and it is our hope the government will legally recognize same-sex couples.”
– Bin Xu, a lesbian and head of the Chinese gay advocacy group, Common Language, commenting on the exhibition of 10,000 petition signatures from Chinese citizens who support the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, Washington Blade, Apr. 4, 2008. With the heightened attention on China because of the Olympics, gay activists hope the display will educate people about the concerns of China’s gay community. In recent times, there have been increased police crackdowns on gay people meeting in public places.
“Meaningfully reaching the GLBT audience is a tricky but essential proposition. Rather than following the status quo, it is known for defining ‘the cool.’ To quote the oracle of modern metropolitan culture – Sex and the City – ‘first come the gays, then the girls and then the industry.’ Per capita, the GLBT audience has a purchasing power verging on $690 billion, according to a 2007 study. In short: diversity as a profound revenue turbine. Consumer demand is a profound change agent capable of up heaving even entrenched industries. Given its sheer economic and promotional power, longevity-minded marketing people know that bigotry is not something they can afford.”
– Jonathon Feit, media consultant, commenting on the “mainstreaming” of GLBT-focused marketing campaigns, in a column titled “A Quiet Media War”, Media Week, Apr. 7, 2008.
“Social changes have a lot to do with Thomas Beatie’s emergence into the public spotlight. Gender roles are shifting, and it’s often hard to say what it means anymore to be a ‘real man’ or a ‘real woman.’ The vast majority of people may have a common-sense definition of masculine and feminine, but even those definitions have changed a lot over the past 50 years. Maybe medical technology is just now catching up with cultural shifts, or maybe cultural shifts are pushing us to use technologies we’ve had for a while in new gender-blurring ways. All I know is that biotechnology is making theories of gender fluidity concrete, making ideas into flesh.”
– Annalee Newitz, commenting on public appearances of pregnant transman, Thomas Beatie, in her column on http://www.AlterNet.org, April 10, 2008.
“What do we do to ensure a safe environment for our kids that is conducive to learning? How can anyone expect GLB students to learn in this hostile environment? Are the students – our kids – failing us or are we failing them? Do they see graduation as a happy event? Will they even see graduation at all? What about after graduation? Where is the outrage?”
– Michael Sessa, chair of DC Crystal Meth Working Group (DCcmWG) and president of The Center-Home for GLBT in Metro D.C., responding angrily to the 2007 youth risk behavior survey conducted by the D.C. Public Schools and the Centers for Disease Control, that found that 1 in 4 GLB students in D.C. public schools have used ” meth” and ecstasy at least once (10 times more than that of heterosexual students), used marijuana more often, 1 in 10 students have been harassed because someone thought they were GLB, some being threatened or physically assaulted, Washington Blade, Apr. 11, 2008.
“Homosexuality isn’t illegal in Egypt, though it is a convenient target. Meaningless crackdowns have become a regular thing. If not gays, then devil worshippers. If not devil worshippers, then apostates. The government needs to outbid Islamic opponents as guardian of morals.”
– Hani Shukrallah, executive director of the Heikal Foundation for Arab Journalism in Cairo, commenting on the efforts by governments throughout the Middle East to out-moralize Islamic parties that have denounced the perceived depravity of Arab societies under autocratic rule, http://www.Bloomberg.com, Apr.11, 2008.