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Should states’ rights decide gay rights? Or any rights?

| Sunday, July 21, 2013
ftm-states-410
The citizens of each state want what they want. The people with the money have the power, and they want to mold their cities and towns to their own little standards, with their own little rules, their own little prejudices, and their own little innuendos. Those who struggle to keep their heads above the water have no money which means they have no power and their voice is very rarely, if ever, heard. They are considered “the other,” and the laws are never structured to their benefit ... LGBTQ citizens fall into “the other” category.

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For Carlos Vigil, whose fate could have been my own… Rest in peace, my friend

| Thursday, July 18, 2013
Carlos Vigil
Initially I could not understand why Carlos Vigil's story had elicited such a strong emotional response from me. Perhaps it was our shared interest in government and public policy? Maybe it was the clear articulation of his frame of mind that day through a posting I had read on his Twitter account? Or perhaps it was my empathy for his family and what they must be going through during this harrowing moment in their lives? As I pondered these questions I quickly came to the realization that selfishly, my feelings had little to do with Carlos or his family. It was because of me...

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New studies: It’s not about gay parents, it’s whether a family is happy

| Monday, July 15, 2013
gay-family
My family, more by happenstance than by design, falls into the characteristics described in studies for healthy families. My sons were planned for years before they arrived. They have never been cared for by a parent who was disgruntled about the role in which he had to undertake and who resented the duties he was called upon to perform. Our home has always been vibrant and vital. Depression is not a factor. We did not need a study to tell us to be this way. None of the LGBT familes I know, and that number ranges in the dozens, have had to be told to be affirming...

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Gay country singer’s video portrays gay men as sad, predatory drunks

| Monday, July 8, 2013
Steve Grand
Gay men drink too much, feel sorry for themselves, and come on to straight dudes when their girlfriends aren’t around: that’s the message from the music video of newly-minted gay country singer Steve Grand. And gay media is too busy fawning over the young stud to notice...

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Hello, Mr. President? The ‘ex-gays’ called, they would like their pride back…

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013
ex-gay
Bear with me while I ask this question: If you are ex-gay, are you not straight? And if you’re straight, do you not have every right and privilege given to every straight person in America? I only ask because Christopher Doyle, the co-founder of a group called Voice of the Voiceless, requested a meeting with President Obama or a senior member of his civil rights staff to “discuss tolerance for the ex-gay community and how the White House can ensure equal access for ex-gays in the nation’s capital, which is the only jurisdiction that recognizes ex-gays as a legally protected class.”

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An open letter to all my friends who did not live to see this day…

| Sunday, June 30, 2013
gay-marriage-holding-hands
This is an open letter that will never see the inside of a mailbox. It is a letter from my heart, being sent to hearts that no longer beat. They are now in the space of the spirit, but I think of them just as I would if they were still beating on the other side of town. The fight for equality that culminated with an enormous milestone this last Wednesday at the U.S. Supreme Court has been waged for a long, long time...

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DOMA is dead – but the haters live on

| Saturday, June 29, 2013
holding-hands-rainbow-flag
I don’t believe I understood how much I was holding inside of me, until I no longer had to hold on to it any longer. When Pete Williams of MSNBC announced that DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act, was dead, I broke into tears. Not just a few tears – I couldn’t stop them from coming. It was in that moment that I realized that in the eyes of my government, I am no longer a second class citizen.

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Get ready for new benefits in wake of Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage

| Thursday, June 27, 2013
Mathew Sumner, APLarry Pascua carries a rainbow flag at a celebration for the U. S. Supreme Court's rulings on Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act in the Castro District in San Francisco, on Wednesday, June 26, 2013.
Two bad laws died on June 26. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a state and a federal law that defined marriage as something for heterosexual couples only. For the 130,000 legally-married couples in the U.S., this means an end to second-class status and end to a stigma in the law. ... And while the right to marry is not in the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has, in at least 14 cases since 1888, ruled that marriage is a fundamental right.

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ANALYSIS: What happened Wednesday at the U.S. Supreme Court

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Noah Berger, APJohn Lewis, left, and Stuart Gaffney embrace outside San Francisco's City Hall shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California on Wednesday.
Wow. No doubt about it. Today was a momentous day. The Supreme Court this morning overturned Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had required the federal government to treat legally married same-sex couples as single. The Court also held that the proponents of Proposition 8 had no right to appeal the federal district court ruling that the California initiative is unconstitutional, thereby keeping that court’s injunction in place, so that the freedom to marry will soon return to California.

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Historic Supreme Court decisions set the stage for winning the freedom to marry

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Rich Pedroncelli, AP
Ellen Pontac (left) and her wife Shelly Bailes, celebrate after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage in California Wednesday in Sacramento, Calif.
By any standard, the Supreme Court’s decisions striking down Section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and clearing the way for the end of Proposition 8 in California are landmarks in the struggle for LGBT equality. Not since the Court’s decision 10 years ago that laws criminalizing same-sex sexual intimacy violate the freedom of LGBT people to control their lives and define their relationships has the nation’s highest court offered such a resounding affirmation that governmental discrimination against LGBT people is incompatible with the guarantees of our Constitution.

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