ARTICLES

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.

How Facts and Figures Led to the End of DADT

February 19, 2014

THE ADVOCATE | Feb. 19, 2013 | As LGBT advocates continue to press their agenda forward, they rightly look back at the past to learn what works. While some view “the past” as meaning the start of the Obama administration, understanding the true, long-game strategy that was necessary to secure our advances in recent years is critical to building on those gains, both for LGBT issues and other kinds of progress.

Winning the Hearts and Minds of Even Our Most Ardent Opponents

February 5, 2014

THE ADVOCATE | Nov. 19, 2012 | The LGBT movement has made enormous progress in recent years, in large part by focusing, laser-like, on what’s come to be called the “movable middle.” We identified that third or so of the American population that was not hateful toward LGBT people but was uncomfortable with full equality. They were not yet with us but were open to change if we allayed their anxieties by reassuring them that we wanted no more or less than what they wanted — equal opportunity, fair treatment, safety, security, and dignity.

AP Pronounces Them Wife and Wife

February 5, 2014

Los Angeles Times | Feb. 22, 2013 | Facing intense criticism, the Associated Press announced Thursday that it would revise its influential stylebook to include a single standard when referring to gay and straight spouses. It will add this entry for "husband, wife": "Regardless of sexual orientation, 'husband' or 'wife' is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. 'Spouse' or 'partner' may be used if requested."

The Narcissism of Today’s Homophobia

February 3, 2014

SLATE | Feb. 3, 2014 | Rapper Macklemore took heat from both the left and right for singing his pro-gay anthem, “Same Love,” at the Grammys last month. Now, in the latest challenge to the wrongly besieged musician, Christian rapper Bizzle has released an anti-gay version of the song stressing biblical rationales for stigmatizing gay people. In an era when even Glenn Beck favors gay equality, it’s become almost bold to publicly oppose it. Which makes full-throttled expressions of homophobia like the Bizzle riff an excellent opportunity to unpack just what’s going on in the minds of America’s shrinking but persistent anti-gay population.

Has Support for Gay Rights Confused Our Understanding of Morality?

January 20, 2014

SLATE | Jan. 16, 2014 | There’s a lot to love about this week’s federal court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban. Among other things, it dismantles the crucial but thin argument that banning gays from getting wed does anything to protect marriage: “Excluding same-sex couples from marriage has done little to keep Oklahoma families together thus far, as Oklahoma consistently has one of the highest divorce rates in the country.” It also rigorously reviews the relevant history of the state’s anti-gay law and notes that its champions defended the law by calling it an effort to “uphol[d] morality” and ensure that only “what God has ordained as traditional marriage” would be recognized by state law—both constitutionally impermissible rationales for a law.

Note to Mary Matalin’s Gay Friends: She Won’t Hide You in a Gay Holocaust

January 20, 2014

SLATE | Jan. 20, 2014 | My Bubbie and Zada used to tell me my gentile friends wouldn’t hide me in another Holocaust. I like to think they were wrong (and that there won’t be another Holocaust). But that won’t stop me from invoking their wise spirit with a warning to conservative pundit Mary Matalin’s gay friends: She won’t hide you in a gay Holocaust. The famously crabby GOP strategist shrugged off a growing human-rights crisis in Russia on Sunday with a glib dismissal of even discussing the anti-gay policy and violence there, just as the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games have finally brought much-needed mainstream media coverage to the problem.

Should You Respect Gay People If You Find Homosexuality Immoral?

January 9, 2014

Slate | Jan. 6, 2014 | Of late, many opponents of gay equality have taken pains to insist that, whatever they think of homosexuality, they not only love gay people, they also respect them. It’s the latest incarnation of “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Defending himself against allegations by punter Chris Kluwe that he went on an anti-gay tirade in the Minnesota Vikings locker room, special teams coach Mike Priefer released a statement denying that he said gays would burn in hell and claiming he was “respectful of all individuals.” Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida who is now running to re-take the office as a Democrat, gave an interview to an LGBTQ website apologizing for his earlier anti-gay positions. “I love everyone!” he giggled, explaining that his parents “raised us to love everyone” and be nice to everyone until you no longer could. Even the pope has now said that Catholics should not judge gay people, despite official church doctrine.

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