How Clueless Straight White Guys Excuse Religious Homophobia

December 8, 2017

Slate | Dec. 8, 2017 | Why does it seem that, every time a national debate erupts about the place of minorities in American life, a gaggle of Straight White Guys with little connection to or understanding of these minorities holds forth on how they should or shouldn’t resolve their grievance about unequal treatment? This week’s version came in response to Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Division, the Supreme Court case of Jack Phillips, a Christian baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Phillips is seeking a license to discriminate based on artistic and religious freedom.

The Supreme Court wedding cake case isn’t about cake

December 4, 2017

Washington Post | Dec. 4, 2017 | The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in the case of a Colorado baker, Jack C. Phillips, who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. Although Colorado law bans discrimination in public accommodations, some may feel tempted to sympathize with Phillips, who argues that the First Amendment protects both his religious and expressive freedom to choose who buys his cakes.

Attention progressives: Take a lesson from LGBTQ successes and learn to 'speak conservative'

June 23, 2017

Los Angeles Times | June 23, 2017 | Democrat Jon Ossoff’s loss in the Georgia special congressional election has demoralized progressives who hoped it would signal an anti-Trump wave that could turn the House from red to blue in 2018. The left is fractured, with disagreements between the Bernie and Hillary wings of the Democratic Party threatening to undercut its ability to turn out the base, appeal to independents and win over disillusioned GOP voters. The question remains whether the so-called resistance can transform itself from a throng of angry voices into a majority capable of creating lasting progressive change.

For a Kentucky Judge, “Personal Bias” Against Gays Is a Legitimate Reason to Ignore the Law

May 1, 2017

SLATE | May 1, 2017 | A Kentucky family court judge announced last week that he will not grant adoptions to same-sex parents because of personal religious objections to homosexuality. Although both state and federal law guarantee the right of same-sex couples to adopt, Judge Mitchell Nance will recuse himself from all relevant cases because he believes it is not in the “best interest” of children to have gay or lesbian parents.

The Problem With Gay Conservatives Isn’t Political Ideology, It’s a Lack of Empathy

April 28, 2017

SLATE | Apr. 28, 2017 | On Thursday, I attended an event at the Metropolitan Republican Club of Manhattan in which four conservative gay white men sat on a panel on Manhattan’s tony Upper East Side to sing the praises of Donald Trump and the contemporary GOP. The panelists included Fred Karger, a gay Republican who ran for president in 2012; Gregory Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans; Chadwick Moore, a former Out editor who recently came out as conservative; and Lucian Wintrich, a disciple of the disgraced Milo Yiannopoulos, and a fellow gay provocateur who now covers the White House for the right-wing blog, Gateway Pundit. The question of the evening was whether conservatism, with its alleged emphasis on individual liberty, is a more natural home for LGBTQ Americans than progressivism. (Spoiler alert: It’s not.)

At the Dawn of Gay Liberation, Same-Sex Marriage Was a Radical Idea

April 25, 2017

Slate | Apr. 25, 2017 | In the queer urban enclaves of the 1970s, many of those who were active in LGBTQ politics and socializing shared the view that marriage was not for them—or for their movement. Some dismissed marriage as a bourgeois, exclusionary institution, an ill-advised shackling of their hard-won sexual freedoms. (Adapted from Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America by Nathaniel Frank, published by Harvard University Press, $35. Copyright @ 2017 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.)

Army Secretary Nominee Mark Green’s Anti-LGBTQ Bigotry Is Only the Start of His Disqualifications

April 11, 2017

Slate | Apr. 11, 2017 | In the days just before and after the White House announced the nomination of Mark Green as Army Secretary on Friday, progressive advocates (including me) condemned the Tennessee state senator’s extremism in pushing draconian laws that require or allow discrimination against LGBTQ people.

The Quiet Allure of the Rainbow Flag

April 3, 2017

SLATE | Apr. 3, 2017 | For many years, I had mixed feelings about the rainbow flag, whose creator, Gilbert Baker, died on Friday. Growing up in the 1980s as a closeted bisexual, I chose, if only half-consciously, to align myself with other identities that allowed me to avoid any allegiance to a scorned minority group, of which I had mostly negative images. The rainbow seemed cheesy as an LGBTQ symbol, conveying in my mind a forced, overly sentimental vision of diversity then being celebrated in my progressive high school.

Bridging the Divide: Thoughts from a Conversation with a Trump Voter

November 16, 2016

In the wake of last week’s election upset, demoralized progressives set about debating what explains Trump’s victory—and even whether we should try to understand the forces responsible for it. It was the revolt of the white working class, say some, against demographic and cultural changes that have left its members feeling acute status loss. Commentator Van Jones dubbed it “whitelash.” It was “economic anxieties,” a phrase which some use earnestly while others only deploy to connote veiled racism masquerading as economic struggle. It was a level of misogyny so pervasive and often unconscious that even millions of women voted to send an amoral, womanizing buffoon to the White House instead of a brilliant, highly capable, battle-tested woman. It was Hillary Clinton’s flawed candidacy and campaign. No doubt each of these played a role.

To the Republican Parents of My Gay Best Friend: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Vote for Trump

November 4, 2016

SLATE | Nov. 4, 2016 | Four years ago, I wrote you an open letter, arguing that, while I could appreciate your long loyalty to the Republican Party, voting for Mitt Romney meant voting against the interests of your gay son, my best friend since college. This year, the stakes for our nation and the world are even higher than they were then, and Donald Trump’s record on LGBTQ equality can seem insignificant considering his record—and character—when it comes to so many other critical issues.

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