Fifty years ago, activists Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny organized an Annual Reminder Day of picketing in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. This video touts the commemorative events being planned.
The U.S. Institute of Peace held a forum on May 26 featuring LGBTI campaigners from Kenya, South Africa, Ireland, Fiji, and Grenada to discuss the topic "Expanding Constitutional Rights to LGBTI Communities: International Activism and U.S. Diplomacy." The keynote speaker was Ambassador Randy Berry, U.S. Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons. The panel was co-hosted by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA). Content in the video above begins at about 13:00. Below are some photos I took.
Matt Baume of AFER has the latest on the struggle for marriage equality.
Hopefully now everyone really gets how out of touch the homophobes who run NYC's St Patrick's Day Parade are with Ireland— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) May 23, 2015
Joe Sudbay is right. It is time for the aggressive homophobia of so many American Hibernian organizations to be challenged more and more to end their anti-gay bigotry. Their attitude was just overwhelmingly rebuked back in their motherland.
Saturday's acquittal of a Cleveland police officer who jumped onto the hood of a car and fired 49 shots through the windshield at an unarmed couple demonstrated the near-impossibility of getting justice against out-of-control police even after the most outrageously excessive use of deadly force.
Below are some illustrative tweets from yesterday regarding the bench-trial verdict and the protests that followed. I note that nonviolent protests were met with phalanxes of riot-geared officers who seemed determined to thwart constitutional speech and provoke unrest in order to justify their habitual brutality. Meanwhile, officials called for citizens not to be violent, when the clear problem was police violence. Wake up, America.
Judge finds Brelo’s use of force to be constitutional. All of it. He’s been fully exonerated. Good Lord. #BreloVerdict— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) May 23, 2015
You can officially jump onto the hood of a car and riddle two suspects with bullets, as long as your fellow cops are also shooting them.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) May 23, 2015
This started because a Cleveland officer believed a car backfire was a gunshot.— Syan Rhodes (@SyanRhodes) May 23, 2015
To clarify, there is no rioting, gunfire, looting, etc. heavily equipped officers methodically arrested protesters while locals watched.— Sam Allard (@SceneSallard) May 24, 2015
I'm standing at the spot where #TamirRice was killed and the video doesn't convey just how suburban and chill this neighborhood is. At all.— deray mckesson (@deray) May 23, 2015
At such a joyous moment, the proper mode of celebration for a true son of Ireland (and on my mother's side I am a Gildea and a Fitzgerald) is to play a beloved old air and have a good cry. Here, then, is "In Derry Vale," sung by the lustrous Maureen Hegarty.
Oh, Derry Vale, my thoughts are ever turning
to your broad stream and fairy-circled lea.
For your green isles my exiled heart is yearning,
so far away across the sea.
The National Review slams Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for officiating at the May 17th Dupont Circle wedding of Michael Kahn and Charles Mitchem, despite the fact that civil marriage equality has been the law in D.C. for more than five years, a fact unaffected by the SCOTUS marriage ruling expected by the end of June. Their denunciation of RBG is based on the fact that she is not shy about displaying her views on the subject of marriage equality.
Where is their outrage at the openly and repeatedly demonstrated contempt for the rights of gay people on the part of Ginsburg's colleague Antonin Scalia? They are silent on that. As the saying goes, they can take several seats.
Time and again over the past few decades, the loudest anti-gay defenders of "family values" have turned out to be adulterers and sexual predators themselves. A big chunk of the blame must be shouldered by the media who have given them a platform. One example, as our friend Joe Sudbay notes below, is the TLC Network.
Breaking News: Boy Scouts’ President Calls for End to Ban on Gay Leaders http://t.co/mjhd8hB3Ot— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 21, 2015
Gates talks about letting local chapters determine their own policy, a nod to the fact that churches with anti-gay doctrines run many chapters. So this would not be a uniform change across the country, but it would allow chapters who want to allow gay leaders to do so. It is a big step forward.
Some very encouraging numbers from Gallup. It should be noted that the GOP presidential candidates will not be running in a national primary, and the primary voters they do face will be subsets of the voters in one party. But the national poll numbers are encouraging for supporters of equality, though we still must work for it.
My latest Blade column is about continuing the fight for equality amid the far right's increasingly hysterical backlash. Here is an excerpt:
On behalf of my friend Dorothy Gale, I wish to apologize for gay tornados.
Lately, "the gays" have been blamed for a long list of ills, both real and imagined. The looming prospect of nationwide marriage equality has sent some social conservatives around the bend. It is not just twisters for which we are on the hook. The catalog of cataclysms includes droughts, hurricanes, autism, ebola, economic recession, 9/11, the Amtrak wreck, 900,000 abortions, wiping out Christianity, even the Rapture.
As Rev. Jerry Falwell said after 9/11, "You helped this happen."
The nuns at St. Catherine's, who were always punishing us unjustly, told us unearned suffering was redemptive. So in a spirit of Christian fellowship, and to avoid the national trauma of a long trial, I have started confessing to everything anyone blames on LGBT people. I answer each idiotic charge with an abject apology: "There I go again. What was I thinking? I am so sorry."
I fear St. Dominic Savio, patron of the falsely accused, would weep at my irreverence. Forgive me. As Mae West said, "I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."
I celebrated the news after Ugandan activist and trans man Pepe Julian Onziema won a GLAAD Media Award for his interview last year on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, but I hadn't seen the video. Here it is. Jussie Smollet of Fox's musical drama Empire presented the award. Pepe's poise, eloquence, and courage are once again on display here. What an asset he is to his country, his continent, and the world. Congrats again, @Opimva.
Today was the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Here are a few observances. Check out the hashtag #IDAHOT for more.
Congrats to Derrick Gordon and Seton Hall. This young athlete's character and spirit are a joy to behold. Good luck to him in the coming year.
May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, hashtag #IDAHOT. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says of this video:
This video from the United Nations Free & Equal campaign celebrates the contributions that millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people make to families and local communities around the world. The cast features "real people" (not actors), filmed in their workplaces and homes -- among them, a firefighter, a police officer, a teacher, an electrician, a doctor and a volunteer, as well as prominent straight ally and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Observances of #IDAHOT around the world are taking many forms. Here is one, from London.
With a week to go, here's an update on the Yes Equality Campaign in Ireland from Co-Director Grainne Healy.
A conspiracy by police and clergy to cover up child rapes and a murder by a Baltimore high school chaplain is unraveled decades later by alumna of the school.