Showing posts with label it gets better. Show all posts
Showing posts with label it gets better. Show all posts

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Observations 9.20


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 20, 2012

Statement by the President on the One Year Anniversary of the Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

A year ago today, we upheld the fundamental American values of fairness and equality by finally and formally repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’   Gay and lesbian Americans now no longer need to hide who they love in order to serve the country they love.  It is a testament to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform that this change was implemented in an orderly manner, preserving unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness.   As Commander in Chief, I’ve seen that our national security has been strengthened because we are no longer denied the skills and talents of those patriotic Americans who happen to be gay or lesbian.  The ability of service members to be open and honest about their families and the people they love honors the integrity of the individuals who serve, strengthens the institutions they serve, and is one of the many reasons why our military remains the finest in the world.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Observations on the 2012 Election

This video was released by the Obama Campaign yesterday ....


link

"Glee star Jane Lynch narrates this documentary about LGBT rights in America. The video features a candid interview with President Obama, who speaks about the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, why he supports marriage equality, and what's at stake for the LGBT community in this election."

Join LGBT Americans for Obama

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Observations from the Window 4.11

Jay Hayes is the senior captain of the men’s volleyball team at New York University who organized and directed this "It Gets Better" video featuring the coaches and athletes of NYU. Jay is also gay. This is only the second in the It Gets Better campaign done by a major university’s athletic program, the other is Northwestern University.

What the fuck Penn State?


link

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Observations 2.9 Updates

I'm trying something a little different here. Usually if I want to update a post I do just that and than change the post date if I want it to go out in the email. The problem with that is it messes with the original flow if there are more than one posts on a subject. I'm just going to try it this way for now.

In my 2.6 post about Miley Cyrus I mentioned how I was pleasantly surprised to find out Disney was such a gay friendly company. A friend reminded me of Gay Days which is a loosely organized event in which LGBT people and their families spend a day at Disney World. It began with a few thousand people on a single day in 1991 but now has grown to a week long event and over a 100,000 people. Disney in no way endorses the event but at the same time it does nothing to stop it.

In my 2.7 post I wrote about states that are currently considering gay marriage legislation. Yesterday (2.8) the Washington State House passed a bill legalizing gay marriage which had previously been passed by the state senate. The bill now goes to Govenor Chris Gregoire who is expected to sign it next week making Washington the 8th state to legalize gay marriage.

I also have this video I have been wanting to share but events got in the way and I never got around to using it. During the debate before the Washington Senate vote on its marriage equality bill State Senator Ed Murray takes the floor and announces he will soon marry his partner Michael Shiosaki. He also told his colleagues before the vote "regardless of how you vote on this bill, an invitation will be in the mail" to their future wedding.

link

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Observations from the Gallery 2.7

After the euphoria of last years legalization of gay marriage in New York wore off the subject slipped to the back of my mind a bit. The fight was never buried too deeply just pushed aside by the swirl of other events. That suddenly changed in the past week as the Washington State Senate passed a bill legalizing gay marriage last Wednesday and today the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals ruled California's Prop 8 was unconstitutional. The court ruled that as gay couples had all the rights of marriage, via civil unions, the state had no good right or reason to take away the word marriage. That narrow ruling, effecting only California and other civil union states, makes it possible for the Supreme Court to wash its hands of equal rights and leave it to the states. You can read the Court's complete 128 page ruling here, good luck with that.

So where does the battle move next? First up is Washington where the Senate passed a bill legalizing gay marriage and the House is expected to do the same this week. Govenor Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, is the force behind the bill and has said she would sign it immediately. Opponents are working to schedule a referendum on the November ballot which would determine whether gay marriages could actually take place.

In Maryland a bill permitting gay marriage was introduced by Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and a committee vote is expected in a few of weeks. In New Jersey supporters are working to get the votes necessary to override Republican Gov. Chris Christie's expected veto of a bill also permitting gay marriage. In a massive cop out Christie wants to leave the decision up to voters but Democrats don't appear ready to humor him.

In May North Carolina voters will vote on whether the state constitution will be amended to define marriage. If passed the ammendment would virtualy outlaw gay marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. In Minnesota a November ballot question would also ammend the state constitution to ban gay marriage in a state where there is already a law making it illegal. Asshats north and south.

Finally there is Maine where a law was passed three years ago legalizing gay marriage. It was signed by the Govenor only to be repealed by the voters in a 53% to 47% vote. With changing attitudes in the state Equality Maine submitted signatures last month to again place the referendum on the ballot this November.

Still, all things considered, as Lambda Legal Director Jon Davidson said after today's decision, "The tide is not turning, it has turned." 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The End

Text of the memo ending "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in the U.S. Army. DADT ends throughout the military at one minute after midnight tonight, or 00:01 AM, 9.20.2011.

"Today marks the end of "Don't Ask Don't Tell." The law is repealed. From this day forward, gay and lesbian Soldiers may serve in our Army with the dignity and respect they deserve. Our rules, regulations, and policies reflect the repeal guidance issued by the Department of Defense and will apply uniformly without regard to sexual orientation, which is a personal and private matter.

For over 236 years, the U.S. Army has been an extraordinary force for good in the world. Our Soldiers are the most agile, adaptable, and capable in history and we are ready for this change.

Over the last several months our Leaders, Soldiers, and Department of the Army Civilians have discussed, trained, and prepared for this day. The President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs have certified that the repeal is consistent with military readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention. Your professionalism, leaderships, and respect for your fellow Soldiers will ensure that this effort is successful.

At the heart of our success is adherence to the Army Values. The standards not only infuse every facet of our culture and operations, but also guide us as we adapt to change. Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage are not mere words - they are the very principles by which we live, train, and fight.

Accordingly, we expect all personnel to follow our Values by implementing the repeal fully, fairly, and in accordance with policy guidance. It is the duty of all personnel to treat each other with dignity and respect while maintaining good order and discipline throughout our ranks. Doing so will help the U.S. Army remain the Strength of the Nation."

It was signed by Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, United States Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno, and Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

Not that I am turning religious or anything of the sort, it just seems to fit. Happy Easter everybody, now get out and find those golden eggs ....



Thursday, March 31, 2011

Observations

Alye Pollack, a 13-year-old girl in Connecticut, posted an absolutely haunting video where she, without ever speaking a word, describes the bullying she has endured every day since 6th grade. Titled "Words are worse than Sticks and Stones," the video has had more than 150,000 hits since it was posted on March 14.



"For inquiries, please send an email to wordsdohurt@gmail.com
and not directly to Alye. Thank you, her family."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Observations

My primary resource on these things, the Urban Dictionary, defines hero as “Someone who helps without anything expected in return. Their gesture may be big or small, profound or not, it doesn't make im' any less of a hero.”

In his speech in Tucson tonight President Obama said “We are grateful for Daniel Hernandez, a volunteer in Gabby's office who ran through the chaos to minister to his boss, tending to her wounds to keep her alive. We are grateful for the men who tackled the gunman as he stopped to reload. We are grateful for a petite 61 year-old, Patricia Maisch, who wrestled away the killer's ammunition, undoubtedly saving some lives.”

And so I give you a hero ….



Complete text of President Obama's speech.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Observations from the Window 10.22, It Gets Better

So I get pissed at the guy for all too may reasons, than he does something like this and I remember why I voted for him in the first place. I'm still pissed off at him but maybe not as much now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Observations from the Window 9.29, on the Recent Gay Suicides

Sometimes I get caught in my own world and forget that I am also part of various larger communities. I am a woman, I am an artist, and I am gay. I read as much as I can, keeping up with whatever news I find important or interesting, but still I missed something outright terrible happening during the last few weeks. I only know now because of a random tweet I saw and had to look into. “All these gay suicides this week. So much waste in the name of small-minded hatred. Please, reach out. I promise we are listening” said the tweet.

What I found was so disturbing I almost screamed ….

Two weeks ago Bill Lucas, 15, after another day of bullying during which he was told he should kill himself, went home and hanged himself in his grandmother’s barn. A Facebook page set up to remember him includes classmates’ comments making fun of the way he died and calling him anti-gay slurs.
A week ago Seth Walsh, 13, hanged himself from a tree in his backyard after years of anti-gay bullying. And last Wednesday Asher Brown, also 13, came out to his father in the morning, went to school where he had long been bullied for being gay, than returned home and shot himself. It both cases school administrators knew of the bullying but didn’t do a thing to stop it.
The final one I had seen on the news but didn’t know the circumstances. Also last Wednesday Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped off the George Washington Bridge. The Rutgers freshman had been caught on hidden cams having sex with another male student. Two other students posted these videos online. Both have been arrested and could spend up to five years in jail.

Of the estimated 5,000 teen suicides a year one third are gay which means a gay teen is 300 percent more likely to kill them self than a straight teen. The fear of losing friends, be kicked out of their home, and a society that makes them feel as if something is wrong with them all must take a toll. I have no clue and don’t pretend to know what the answer is, or for that matter what the question should be. I just know it’s such a waste, such a god damned waste.

I’m just thankful I had such supportive parents and I can never say how much that meant to me. It’s one of the few things I can’t put into words.

Please read ….

“There are several things that can help reduce the suicide risk factors for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. All of us can make a commitment to making the environment a safer place for them. Heterosexuals who read this can do a lot. Stop laughing at or ignoring the bigoted jokes and insults that are frequently made about sexual and gender minorities. Go a step further and confront those who make these remarks, telling them that you do not find them appropriate. Additionally, you can continue your own education about all sorts of people who are different than you, including sexual and gender minorities. Open your mind and your heart further. Communicate your caring to those around you. Support the struggles of this population to obtain the same basic civil rights you have, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Paul Cody, PhD, UNH Counseling Center

And watch ….