ARTICLES

Will Obama Sanction a Policy on Transgender Military Service that's at Odds with Science?

May 12, 2014

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.

The Gay Marriage Story Jo Becker Needs to Hear

April 23, 2014

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.

World Vision Tongue-Tied on Anti-Gay Religious Hypocrisy

April 1, 2014

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.”

Bisexuality Is Really Not That Complicated

March 28, 2014

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.

Michigan Courtroom Deals Fake Anti-Gay Research Strategy A Stinging Blow

March 28, 2014

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.”

Is Opposing Gay Marriage More Rational Than Opposing Interracial Marriage?

March 18, 2014

SLATE | Mar. 17, 2014 | “If you’re against gay marriage, is that the same as racism?” asks Slate’s William Saletan. His answer is “no.” The question is part of a larger debate that’s recently taken on new fervor in what may seem like the twilight of the fight for gay equality—a question Saletan asks in a related post: “Is everyone who opposes gay marriage a bigot?” He also answers that question “no.”

There’s No Medical Reason to Keep Transgender People Out of the Military

March 13, 2014

SLATE | Mar. 13, 2014 | When the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy ended in 2011, the ban on transgender service remained in place, contained in a different set of regulations distinct from the DADT law. For some, targeting the transgender ban was a logical next step, while others cautioned that the military wasn’t ready or that years of education and lobbying would be required before it could become a political reality. Still others, of course, remain opposed to any kind of LGBTQ service.

Out, and Serving: A New York Times Photo Essay

March 13, 2014

NEW YORK TIMES | Mar. 9, 2014 | The United States military’s ban on openly gay service members ended two and a half years ago, its demise one in a succession of triumphs for gay rights. But for more than two centuries, homosexual conduct was a punishable offense in the armed forces. Although “don’t ask, don’t tell” was supposed to be a step forward — the compromise reached after President Bill Clinton’s failed effort in 1993 to end the ban altogether — in many ways it made things worse, prompting a new fixation on sexual orientation in the military that contributed to spiking rates of harassment and expulsion of gay and lesbian troops.

How I Felt When the NBA’s First Openly Gay Player Put on My Borough’s Jersey and Took the Court

March 13, 2014

SLATE | Feb. 24, 2014 | Although the game was in Los Angeles, it felt unexpectedly near, here in Brooklyn. Maybe I should have known it would be this moving to witness my borough, my city, my country, with apparent effortlessness, send the first openly gay player into a major American team sport. But I was caught off-guard, in part because the Nets signed Jason Collins just hours before the game began, 10 months after he announced he’s gay.

How the Mind Rationalizes Homophobia

March 13, 2014

THE ATLANTIC | Feb. 21, 2014 | For gays and their allies—who now make up a majority of Americans — the past year has been a time of heartening election results and Supreme Court victories. But for the substantial minority of Americans who continue to oppose gay marriage, a siege mentality has taken hold. Some go so far as to argue that if gays were ever the victims of prejudice, the tables have now turned.

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