It hasn’t been that long: Loving vs. Virginia #MarriageEquality

As the US Supreme Court prepares to decide on marriage equality cases, taking a look back to one of the first cases fighting for the right to marry becomes all the more important.

In 1967, not even 50 years ago, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Loving v. Virginia case. For those who don’t know, the aptly named Loving couple, Richard and Mildred, committed what was then considered an unlawful act; the couple — a white man and a black woman — fell in love and married.… [Read more]

LGBT Rights and the Supreme Court

Much progress towards full LGBT rights was achieved last year; marriage equality was won in several states, bringing the total to nine (Maryland, Iowa, Maine, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington — as well as the District of Columbia). Additionally, a hate crimes law was enacted, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ended and, for the first time ever, a sitting President stated his full support for marriage equality and instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which was enacted in 1996.… [Read more]

Can the Law Make Us Better People?

It was the day of the election and we were talking about gay marriage.

“I think what really needs to happen is that people need to educate each other on tolerance and acceptance, because even if the federal government passes a law legalizing gay marriage, it won’t change people’s minds,” she said.

Then, after gay marriage won victories in Maine and Maryland, I was talking to another friend about the same thing.… [Read more]

Your Move, America: Vietnam and a Gay Rights Decision to Shake the World

The Vietnamese Justice Department may be sparking a continental revolution. Coming under consideration this month, with a final decision due next May, Vietnam is officially considering the legality of same-sex marriage. If the bill passes, they will be the first in the continent to legally acknowledge such unions, joining eleven other nations worldwide.

While they may not be the first country to come to mind when you think about a champion of gay rights in Asia, they are less hostile to the idea, at least.… [Read more]

Protecting Free Speech or Supporting Bigotry?

On the issues of censorship and free speech, the erudite liberal thinker John Stuart Mill wrote “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” For, he argued in his treatise On Liberty, that “if the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

The liberal thinker John Stuart Mill was a strong proponent of free speech and expression.… [Read more]

Why the Bible ≠ Outlaw Gay Marriage

Let me start by saying that I think it’s okay if you don’t like gay relationships.

It would bother me to know that you have a problem with them, but there’s nothing I can do about your opinion in that case. Some people are uncomfortable with the concept, and that’s okay. I don’t know what kind of upbringing you had or what kind of culture you’re part of,  but if gays just aren’t your thing, that’s perfectly fine with me.… [Read more]

“Eat Mor Chikin” – Nah, I’m good.

My Beef with Chick-fil-A

Today is my early day.  Ideally, I’d go home to drop off my things, and head to the Chick-fil-A on Exit 13 – it’s my favorite location. The nuggets there are always fresh, waffle fries are always crisp, and when I order a ‘half and half, more tea than lemonade,’ they make it perfectly every time.  … [Read more]

Neither Here Nor There

It’s a classic story of boy meets boy.

Boy goes to party he doesn’t want to attend, sees French Boy there. French Boy also doesn’t want to be at party.

Boy…wait.

This is going to be confusing. Let me start again.

Mark and Fred met over 20 years ago at the party of a mutual friend.… [Read more]

Watch Where You Throw Your Money…

We all grew-up tossing coins into the ubiquitous Salvation Army kettles around Christmas time and shoving our old clothes into their boxes. They rang their bells and cheered us with their brass ensembles, but what does The Salvation Army do with the money we give them and the profits they make from their various enterprises, such as their surplus used clothing business?… [Read more]

Seeing the Light: Ex-opponent of Gay Marriage Changes His Mind

Welcome to the light of fairness and equality, David Blankenhorn! As the founder and president of the Institute for American Values, and the author of  “Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem“ and “The Future of Marriage,” Mr. Blankenhorn has long been an active opponent of marriage equality…and he’s had a change of mind; he’s taking a leap into the future.… [Read more]

Bob Page: Doing What’s Right

Bob Page is the the courageous founder of Replacements Limited, the world’s largest dealer in new and used china and silverware. Mr. Page’s company is losing business…because he publicly supported gay rights and, specifically, marriage equality in opposition to North Carolina’s Amendment 1. He is proof that although standing up for equality may come at a price, it’s the right thing to do.… [Read more]

The World Won’t End if Gays Marry

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines marriage as:

  • The state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law

And

  • The state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage.

Historically, marriage wasn’t about the love factor either.… [Read more]

In Defense of Reason, Part 2: Bending Over Backwards

On May 9, 2012 President Barack Obama, in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, became the first president in U.S. history to publicly support marriage equality, stating that “for me personally –- it is important…to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” President Obama’s announcement came on the heels of Vice President Joe Biden’s interview on Meet the Press three days earlier, where the Vice President said he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay marriage.… [Read more]

Grow a Pair

The internet has been on fire since Wednesday’s announcement that President Obama supports marriage equality. I’ve received several IMs, texts and email messages cheering the news, with several friends and family members pointing out that I must be so elated over this development. Actually, I don’t really give a shit.… [Read more]

Dear Republican Friends

Dear Republican Friends:

We disagree on much. We have different philosophies on just about everything. However, for those who share my curiosity of people and desire to understand and know more, we enjoy these differences. We argue, debate and learn from each other. I enjoy these discussions and truly value opinions that differ from my own.… [Read more]

Obama, Gay Marriage, Hey!

President Obama:  I have only five words from my inner gay man to respond to your comments on the gay marriage issue yesterday.

“Hey girl. Hey girl. Hey!”

As a proud ally and supporter of the LGBTQ community and its fight for equality, the impact of the discussion between ABC News  and the President hit close to home.… [Read more]

Gay Marriage: A Rite That Should Be a Right

President Obama, I applaud you, sir, for the big ballsy, brave step you took by “coming out” in support of marriage equality for gay couples. Your Republican opponent Mitt Romney has, of course, come out in opposition to it. Romney has stated that he believes marriage should be between “one man and one woman.” Romney, who is of the Mormon faith, of all people should know that church beliefs can, and should, evolve over time.… [Read more]

The Romanticized South Redux: I’m Looking at You, North Carolina

Being a Southerner in a major city has made me acutely aware of what I appreciate about my heritage, and those qualities I loathe about it. When I moved to the DC metro area 5 years ago, folks knew immediately that I wasn’t from around here. I learned quickly that the ease of my smile was welcomed precisely because warmth is an unfamiliar character trait around these parts.… [Read more]