When it comes to marriage equality, it’s no contest between Obama and Romney; a landmark decision on DOMA by the Third Circuit; and other recent LGBTQ news selected by Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska, with additional info from Bent Alaska.
Obama v. Romney
Obama endorses same-sex marriage initiatives in three states
Seattle, Reuters, October 26, 2012
President Barack Obama on Thursday endorsed state ballot initiatives to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state, Maryland and Maine as he sought to galvanize gay and lesbian enthusiasm for his re-election bid.
Statements issued by the Obama campaign in those three states urging voters to approve the gay-marriage measures on their respective November 6 ballots came five months after Obama became the first U.S. president to express support for the right of same-sex couples to wed.
President Obama: How to End Marriage Discrimination (Spoiler Alert: It’s Freedom to Marry’s Strategy)
Huffington Post, October 27, 2012
In an MTV interview on Friday, President Obama reiterated his support for the freedom to marry, recounted the many steps his Administration has taken to stand up for gay families and equality under the law, and shared some thoughts on how the law and history suggest America will end marriage discrimination.
Romney Still Supports Federal Marriage Amendment
Advocate, October 21, 2012
A surrogate for Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign has clarified that the presidential candidate supports an amendment in the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage for only heterosexual couples
Romney – Hospital Visitation Is ‘Benefit,’ Not A Right For Homosexual Couples
Sodahead, October 22, 2012
In his latest move in what is seemingly a war on the LGBT community, Mitt Romney has stated that hospital visitation is a benefit, as opposed to a right, for homosexual couples. In stark contrast, Obama’s move two years ago was to mandate that hospitals must treat homosexual couples the same as heterosexual couples. This includes (but is not limited to) visitation rights. Visitation rights are also described under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Ellen DeGeneres: Mitt Romney is scary
Politico, October 23, 2012
And what if Mitt Romney wins instead? “If you’re a woman, you should be very, very scared of that, for many reasons,” she said. “And obviously as a gay person he doesn’t believe in me having the same rights, so of course I’m not happy about that.”
DOMA: Windsor v. United States decision
Federal Appeals Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional in Windsor Case
New York, Advocate, October 18, 2012
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act today in the case Windsor v. United States, involving the lesbian widow Edith “Edie” Windsor, marking the second time a federal appeals court has found the 1996 law unconstitutional.
Appeals court rules against Defense of Marriage Act
New York, Reuters, October 18, 2012
The ruling by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals was in favor of Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old woman who argued that the Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against gay and lesbian couples, violating equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
Victory for lesbian, years after her longtime partner’s death
New York, CNN, October 19, 2012
It was a wonderful life. That’s how Edith Windsor describes her partnership with Thea Clara Spyer. Theirs was not a fleeting romance — the women were together 42 years sharing ups and downs, laughs and tears.
From the editor: This decision is highly significant. The judge who wrote the opinion, Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs of the 2nd Circuit, is extremely conservative. The opinion itself is based on legal reasoning with a strong effect. As Greg Sargent of the Washington Post blog The Plum Line wrote,
This bodes well long term for ending DOMA for good. Prominent gay rights advocate Richard Socarides explains to me what it will mean if that happens: “The government will give full federal recognition to same sex marriages in the states where that is now allowed. That means couples that are married, for instance, in New York will be entitled to all the federal benefits that any other married couples are entitled to.”
Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress expands:
This is a really big deal. Jacobs is not simply saying that DOMA imposes unique and unconstitutional burdens on gay couples, he is saying that any attempt by government to discriminate against gay people must have an “exceedingly persuasive” justification. This is the same very skeptical standard afforded to laws that discriminate against women. If Jacobs’ reasoning is adopted by the Supreme Court, it will be a sweeping victory for gay rights, likely causing state discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to be virtually eliminated. And the fact that this decision came from such a conservative judge makes it all the more likely that DOMA will ultimately be struck down by the Supreme Court.
More on this case from the ACLU, which is representing Windsor in this case; from Freedom to Marry; or at Wikipedia.
Other marriage equality news
Catholic Church, NOM Responsible for 60% of Funding to Fight Marriage Equality
Advocate, October 18, 2012
The Roman Catholic Church, its affiliate the Knights of Columbus, and the Catholic-based National Organization for Marriage are responsible for more than 60% of the funding behind anti-equality campaigns in the four states with marriage-related questions on the ballot this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Op-ed: Thank Your Grandparents for Equality Surging in Polls
Advocate, October 28, 2012
This year might bring the first-ever statewide vote in favor of marriage for same-sex couples — and for that you have your grandmother to thank. Why? Because contrary to conventional wisdom, Americans born in the 1940s have been changing their minds on the marriage issue faster than nearly any other age group.
Deaf university roiled by gay marriage controversy
Washington, Associated Press, October 19, 2012
Gallaudet University is under fire from both proponents and opponents of gay marriage after placing an administrator on leave for signing a petition to put Maryland’s gay-marriage law on the ballot.
Two Women Kiss In Front Of Anti-Gay Protests In Marseille, France
Huffington Post, October 23, 2012
This is the image from anti-gay marriage protests in France that many will remember above all others: two young woman kissing in the middle of angry demonstrators.
The picture, taken by AFP photographer Gérard Julien, went viral on social media and has all the ingredients to become a symbolic image of the movement in favor of marriage equality.
Outing v. reporting
Forced Outing’: Dragging Gay Politicians Out of the Closet, for a Cause
Takepart.com, October 11, 2012
Publicly outing closeted politicians who block gay-rights legislation is an effective tool in the push for LGBT equality, according to Michael Rogers, a former blogger who ran stories purporting to out several prominent Republicans in recent years, including representatives David Dreier and Ed Schrock and South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer….
Rogers, a Washington, D.C.-based gay-rights activist, doesn’t like to call what he did “forced outing.”
“I did what I like to call reporting,” says Rogers, now the managing director of news site Raw Story.
Foster Kids Do Equally Well When Adopted by Gay, Lesbian or Heterosexual Parents, Study Suggests
Science Daily, October 18, 2012
High-risk children adopted from foster care do equally well when placed with gay, lesbian or heterosexual parents, UCLA psychologists report in the first multi-year study of children adopted by these three groups of parents.
3% of U.S. population is homosexual, bisexual or transgender: Gallup poll
New York, Associated Press, October 18, 2012
A new Gallup survey, touted as the largest of its kind, estimates that 3.4 percent of American adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
The findings, released today, were based on interviews with more than 121,000 people. Gallup said it is the largest study ever aimed at calculating the nation’s LGBT population.
Boy Scouts of America
“Perversion files” show locals helped cover up
Portland, Oregon, Associated Press, October 2012
An array of local authorities — police chiefs, prosecutors, pastors and town Boy Scout leaders among them — quietly shielded scoutmasters and others who allegedly molested children, according to a newly opened trove of confidential files compiled from 1959 to1985.
Transgender Voters Left in the Cold
Good Morning America, October 9, 2012
A study from the Williams Institute, an LGBT think tank at the University of Los Angeles, estimates that about 25,000 transgender Americans could be disenfranchised in the upcoming election because of a patchwork of voter ID laws.
And it’s not just voter ID requirements that are the problem.
Deployed soldier begins sex change
Advocate, Army Times, October 15, 2012
Call her Keith. That’s the name this 26-year-old specialist, now deployed to Afghanistan, plans to take when she completes a transition begun several months ago when she started giving herself testosterone injections every other week, under the direction of a civilian doctor who specializes in gender changes.
The World’s First Transgender Bellbird Discovered in New Zealand
New Zealand, Advocate, October 17 2012
Workers at Zealandia, an eco-sanctuary in New Zealand, have announced that they’ve discovered the country’s first transgender bellbird (which is also known by its Māori name korimako). They have dubbed it ”butch bellbird,” according to the Dominion Post News, because its DNA tested as female but the bird acts like a male and has a mix of each sex’s plumage. The korimako are native to New Zealand, so this may be the only transgender bellbird in the world.
Man Files Petition to WHO – ‘We Are Trans, Not Sick’
London, Good Morning America, October 19, 2012
Maxwell Zachs is on a global crusade to normalize what until now has been considered a mental illness — being transgender…. [H]e has filed a petition with change.org demanding that the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminate the diagnosis “transsexualism” from the mental disorders section of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). He says the designation only contributes to discrimination.
Blind, Lesbian Opera Singer Inspires With Her Story
Out.com, October 22, 2012
Blind since birth, mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin tells her empowering story in memoir ‘Do You Dream in Color?: Insights from a Girl Without Sight‘.
Cruz wins first fight since announcing he’s gay
Kissimmee, Florida, San Francisco Chronicle, October 19, 2012
These last two weeks have weighed heavily on Orlando Cruz.
But as soon as he walked out to a cheering crowd displaying flags of his native Puerto Rico, boxing’s first openly gay fighter could finally breathe and do what he came to do, slugging his way to a victory by unanimous decision over Jorge Pazos.
Olympic Figure Skater Matt Savoie Marries His Partner
Massachusetts, Advocate, October 24, 2012
Former Olympian Matt Savoie married his partner on October 7 in Massachussetts. Savoie, who competed alongside Johnny Weir and represented the U.S. in the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, met his husband while both were students at Cornell Law School.
Photo credits: (1) Pres. Barack Obama & former Governor Mitt Romney in the second presidential debate, 17 Oct 2012. Photo from broadcast. (2) Thea Spyer (left) and her widow, Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in Windsor v. United States. Courtesy ACLU.