That is what Samantha Bee, host of the TBS show “Full Frontal,” said last night in a righteous rant about the massacre in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning and I’m with her. There is no reason for any civilian to own an Ar-15 or any weapon similar to it. “Well, here we are,” Bee began. …
Jun 14 2016
“Yes, I DO Want To Take Your Guns Away!”
Jun 13 2016
You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught
You’ve got to be taught To hate and fear, You’ve got to be taught From year to year, It’s got to be drummed In your dear little ear You’ve got to be carefully taught. You’ve got to be taught to be afraid Of people whose eyes are oddly made, And people whose skin is a …
May 15 2016
The Great American Bathroom Controversy
Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) gave a pointed and memorable speech about the latest tempest in a teapot, the controversial North Carolina Bathroom law that dictates which bathroom transgender people go to the bathroom. MYOB, common sense and decency. I am all for government rebuilding roads, addressing wage inequality, regulating industry, banks, etc. but not where …
Aug 25 2015
LGBT Rights: The Battle For Equality Has Just Begun
In a passionate plea, John Oliver, the host of “Last Week Tonight,” explains why the need for the federal government must put an end to the discrimination that the LGBT community faces. He does it like no else could.
Jul 07 2015
I Am No Man
Jul 02 2015
A Long Way to Go for Transgender Rights and Respect
Last week’s victory for the LGBT community was historic but the transgender community still faces staggering challenges. John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” tackles the “T” in LGBT.
Jun 30 2015
LGBT Equality Fight Not Over
Another battle for equality for the LGBT community was won with the Supreme Court Ruling that gives them marriage equality in all 50 states. However, the war for equality has only just begun. As Scott Lemieux in The Guardian points out. “The language of the ruling means that states cannot discriminate against same-sex marriages. The same cannot be said for LGBT people as a whole – yet.” He discusses Justice Anthony Kennedy vague opinion that leaves the door open on other forms of discrimination
The problem with Kennedy’s judicial vagueness is that public officials and lower courts need to know whether classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to heightened scrutiny, like those based on race or gender, or whether such classifications require only a “rational basis”, like economic regulation. If heightened scrutiny applies, states can only use sexual orientation classifications in law if it they are closely related to a compelling state interest – a test states usually fail. If states need only a “rational basis,” courts are generally very deferential to the state. After Friday’s opinion, it seems obvious that heightened scrutiny is being applied in practice, but Kennedy inexplicably refuses to say so. The refusal to define sexual orientation as subject to heightened scrutiny will lead to unnecessary confusion, and possibly permit federal and state judges to deny LBGT rights claims that even Kennedy might think should be upheld.
By not being more specific about his rationale for forcing all states to recognize and perform same-sex marriages, Kennedy leaves open the legal possibility that marriage is the only form of discrimination against same-sex people that is covered by the 14th Amendment. But LGBT people face many other types of discrimination – in public accommodations and in employment, for example – that now may have to be fought out case by never-ending case in the lower courts.
The LGBT community will now be focusing its energy on state laws that permit discrimination in housing, employment, commerce and the Transvestite communities special issues. To discuss those topics Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman was joined by Jennicet Gutiérrez, undocumented trans activist from Mexico and a founding member of Familia: TQLM and Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry.
Transcript can be read here
Jun 27 2015
June 26, 2015 Postscript: I Love Rainbows
I don’t think I can actually describe the emotions I’ve felt today; they’ve run the entire gamut. I’m not LGBT, so technically, this ruling legally doesn’t affect me directly, but I have really felt strongly today. Strongly proud. Strongly jubilant. Strongly angry at a select few.
The decision came down around 9am Central, just as I got to work. My phone, with its many news notifications, went absolutely nuts. I did my first work stuff, then got online and it was so early it wasn’t even in my regular newsfeeds. But I got to Facebook. That graphic of the guy with the rainbow coming out from his computer – that was it – that captured the moment perfectly.
I was very emotional. This surprised me. I don’t even think I can adequately convey it in words. I got really choked up. I’m still really choked up, but this morning was just something else.
Jun 10 2015
The Valedictorian Speech You Didn’t Hear
Eighteen year old Colorado high school valedictorian Evan Young was barred from giving his speech when his school found out that he planned to announce to his coming out as Gay.
Evan Young, 18, initially planned to come out to his peers as gay during his May 16 graduation speech at Twin Peaks Charter Academy High School in Longmont, Colorado. However, after administrators learned of his intentionsnot only was he barred from delivering his address — and not recognized as valedictorian at the ceremony — but administrators outed Young to his parents.
Young previously stated that he wanted to come out during his graduation address in order to show his peers that they “should not be ashamed of who they are.”
This week, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group Outextended the opportunity for Young to deliver his graduation address to hundreds of people during a fundraising event in the backyard of a private residence. Democracy Now! captured Young’s speech — the same speech originally intended for his peers — on video for an exclusive broadcast.
Evan also appeaqred on Comedy Central’s “Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” where he gave an abbreviate version of the speech for a national audience.
He did give his speech at an event sponsored by a local LGBT group, Out Bolder