ARTICLES

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.

Liberals: How Strong Is Your Support for Transgender Equality?

June 14, 2016

SLATE | Apr. 27, 2016 | In the wake of draconian laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi restricting which restrooms transgender people can use, much of the attention has focused on the economic and political backlash to anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Sometimes, public pressure is the best or only tactic that works, and it’s heartening to see economic and political costs imposed on supporters of these odious laws. But it’s easy to forget just how important private conversations can be to securing lasting social change, especially in a campaign where winning hearts and minds is a key goal.

Why attacks on same-sex parenting depend on flawed research

December 4, 2015

LOS ANGELES TIMES | Dec. 4, 2015 | Now that the Supreme Court has found a constitutional right to marry for same-sex couples, it seems logical that the parallel national debate over same-sex parenting might also be over. After all, the two issues were proxies for each other. Social conservatives had argued that marriage equality would increase the number of motherless or fatherless households, a climate they argued was bad for kids. Once gay and lesbian couples could marry — strengthening their parental ties — their opponents would seem to have less room to challenge their right to be parents.

What We Know—Really—About Lesbian and Gay Parenting

February 19, 2015

SLATE | Feb. 12, 2015 | Last week a new study was published, concluding that Dutch adolescents with lesbian moms “showed no significant differences” from their peers with opposite-sex parents. This week, another new study was published, concluding the opposite: “Emotional problems were over twice as prevalent … for children with same-sex parents than for children with opposite-sex parents.”

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