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.
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.
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.”
SLATE | Jul. 10, 2014 | You might think that a researcher who was repudiated by his own department, caught lying about the role of funding in his research, and generally made the laughing stock of serious scholars in his field would lay low for a while. If this researcher had any desire to rehabilitate his career, you might assume, he would avoid repeating the same line of ungrounded, politicized, and harmful claims about LGBTQ families that badly marred his career in the first place.
SLATE | Jun. 18, 2014 | Ted Olson is not a historian. He is a conservative superlawyer and former solicitor general who became a household name first for arguing the Bush v. Gore case that put George W. in the White House, and later for teaming up with his adversary in that case, David Boies, to overturn Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage statewide.
SLATE | May 12, 2014 | Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Sunday that the ban on transgender service members should be “reviewed” and that “every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity” to do so. Although military spokespeople havesaid before that the policy is regularly under review, the remarks by the Pentagon chief, in which he said he was “open” to reassessing the policy and reiterated that service members should be judged by their performance abilities, appear to signal a new level of commitment to reconsidering the trans ban.
SLATE | Apr. 22, 2014 | One fall day in 1990, Ninia Baehr found herself with an ear infection and no health insurance. When the pain became unbearable, she and her partner, Genora Dancel, called Bill Woods, a lawyer at a Honolulu gay and lesbian community center, to see if there were any options for domestic-partner insurance benefits. Woods said no, but as it happened he’d been looking for couples to challenge the Hawaii law barring gay couples from getting married. He asked Baehr and Dancel if they’d join. Dancel, who wasn’t out to her family, was hesitant, and thought hard about it. “I said to myself, ‘This is what my life has led up to,’ ” she recalled. “I’m tired of being treated differently, and I have as much right as anyone else to get married.” The next morning, Baehr and Dancel, along with two other couples, applied for a marriage license from the Hawaii Health Department. They were denied. So they decided to sue. A revolution had begun.
SLATE | Apr. 1, 2014 | In reversing its policy on the hiring of married gay employees, Christian mega-charity World Vision has a consistency problem. Citing the need to be “consistent … with the authority of Scripture and how we apply Scripture to our lives,” the group’s president, Richard Stearns, offered an unctuous apology for a policy issued just two days earlier, which had briefly allowed the hiring of married gay people. “We did inadequate consultation with our supporters,” Stearns told reporters and backers. “Our board acknowledged that the policy change we made was a mistake … and we're asking you to forgive us for that mistake.”
SLATE | Mar. 28, 2014 | Bisexuality has been the subject of chatter lately, since the New York Times Magazineran a cover story on the quest to prove it exists. There was a time when I used to dread this topic. I’m one of those people who, when pressed, identifies as bi, but far more often says I’m gay. And I’m not alone: When surveyed, a majority of LGB people say they’re “B,” but how many self-identified bisexuals do you know? Most Americans have gay or lesbian friends and associates, but many fewer seem to have bisexual ones that they know of, despite their statistical ubiquity among LGB people.
SLATE | Mar. 21, 2014 | A federal judge in Michigan today struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in a closely watched case that challenged both the state’s marriage ban and its restrictions on adoption by same-sex parents. Judge Bernard A. Friedman of Federal District Court in Detroit, a Regan appointee, ruled that the anti-gay law “impermissibly discriminates against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause because the provision does not advance any conceivable legitimate state interest.”