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Category Archives: News

From Prop 8 to DOMA, Same-Sex Marriage Is on the Move February 22nd, 2012
From Prop 8 to DOMA, Same-Sex Marriage Is on the Move

Same-sex marriage has had quite the eventful past few weeks. On February 7, the infamous Proposition 8 in California was ruled unconstitutional in a federal appeals court. To the great surprise of no one, supporters of Prop 8 (making marriage solely between a man and a woman) have contested the decision to repeal, and the decision is now facing appeal. On February 13, Washington state governor Chris Gregoire signed the bill legalizing same-sex marriage in her state. A referendum has been filed, and if the amount of needed signatures is reached, the issue will be put on the ballot in the fall. On February 17, Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey vetoed a bill that would legalize gay marriage in his state. He believes an issue this large should be decided by the people. I do not stand alone when I say that the rights of the minority should never be left to the tyranny of the majority, but then again I am not an elected official. In even more recent news, A U.S. District Court in California just decided Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in the case Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management. Karen Golinski fought for the ...

Washington Looks to Join the Ranks February 11th, 2012
Washington Looks to Join the Ranks

Although gay marriage is not the necessarily the be-all end-all of the queer community, many regard it as a very important stepping stone in the equal rights process. Just last week one state came one step closer to becoming the 7th state to recognize same-sex marriage. The state senate of Washington voted through legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, and this past Wednesday the House did as well. Same-sex marriage is already legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia, with debate coming up this year for New Jersey and Maryland. Same-sex marriage could quite also possibly find itself on the ballot this fall in Maine. Washington state currently recognizes an “everything but marriage law” that was sustained by voters after opponents filed a referendum (to put it on the ballot for direct vote) to challenge it. From 2007 to 2009, Washington recognized domestic partnerships,. If the law is passed, opponents have already announced a challenge will be filed to put the issue on the November ballot. This measure requires 120,577 signatures, and will postpone gay and lesbian couples the ability to wed to November after the election results, if they are favorable. If the signatures are not ...

Ryan James Yezak – the man behind Second Class Citizens February 10th, 2012
Ryan James Yezak – the man behind Second Class Citizens A second class citizen is defined as: a person whose rights and opportunities are treated as less important than those of other people in the same society. It’s also the name of Ryan James Yezak’s upcoming documentary that, according to the Kickstarter page, will explore “the many areas in which gays, lesbians & bisexuals” are discriminated against within the United States. What should we expect? At this point, I’d be shocked if you hadn’t seen the viral video (above) that was released on Martin Luther King Day. This beautifully assembled video gained one million views within the first 24 hours and the campaign, which originally had a goal of collecting $50,000, has raised three-fold that - $153,500 at the posting of this article. To say that this campaign was a success may be the biggest understatement of the century. But fame and notoriety inevitably brings its fair share of criticisms. Within hours of the viral video’s release, activists were already calling into question if Second Class Citizens would be representative of the entire movement, due the video’s lack of queer women, people of color and trans folk. It was not Yezak’s intent to exclude queer women or people of color from the video. “I ...

Creating Change: Day One January 25th, 2012
Creating Change: Day One

If you follow us on twitter than you know we've been experiencing tons of fun and growth here at Creating Change. The goal of live-blogging, at least in my opinion, is to get resources and tools to folks who are unable to attend. If you're all up in our twitter, you also know that we attended the racial justice institutes. And we have some questions to pose to you all: 1. How do you show up in spaces? 2. Have you thought about your race story? 3. How do you process your own racial privilege/marginalization? 4. Do you assume peoples' ethnicity and culture based on the color of their skin? 5. Have you thought about the racial make-up of your close friends? 6. Who do you date? What are some of the reasons, outside of sexual orientation, that your family may not approve of someone you're dating? 7. How do you understand the concept of intersectionality? 8. What does it mean to be your whole self? We're going to leave you with questions as opposed to answers because finding out the answers for yourself is half the fun. By asking these questions of yourself and those around you, you will learn so much more than ...

Born Like This & Creating Change 2012 #CC12 January 24th, 2012
Born Like This & Creating Change 2012 #CC12

Hello Born Like This readers! The 24th annual Creating Change is happening this week and Born Like This will be there keeping you updated on all of the amazingness! "What's Creating Change? Only the premier annual organizing and skills-building event for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their allies. The conference is run by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and attracts more than 2,500 people from all over the country every year. Presenters and participants come from all walks of life and include members of the business community, elected officials, students, faith leaders and staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations. Our five-day program features over 250 workshops and training sessions, four plenary sessions, and tons of networking opportunities." --Creating Change Website Born Like This will be delivering you nightly recaps as well as live tweets throughout the day! If you are on twitter be sure to chat with us @BornLikeThisOrg. Keep up on the trending topics with #CC12 and #LGBT. And if you aren't following us on Twitter, what in the world are you waiting for? And remember "Power is Sexy"

Obama Administration: LGBT Progress Report January 19th, 2012
Obama Administration: LGBT Progress Report

It is remarkable to think that the first four years of the Obama administration come to a close this year. As for what is next, we must wait and see come November 6th. Since 2009, the LGBT community has mad considerable advances all over the United States- advances toward genuine equality. We celebrated the welcoming of marriage equality to new states, and equally so we celebrated having our strongest ally yet in the white house. So what has the Obama administration done? I've pulled some highlights, but the complete list can be found on the Obama Blog here. 2009 -Extended key benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. -Awarded Harvey Milk the Medal of Freedom. -Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act 2010 -Lifted the ban that prohibited people living with HIV/AIDS from entering the country. -Recorded an "It Gets Better" video. -Signed the repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell". 2011 -Declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. -Hosted a bullying prevention conference in the White House. -Implemented the repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell". Will 2012 prove equally inspiring?

The Gay Man Behind Martin Luther King Jr. January 16th, 2012
The Gay Man Behind Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., a man whom we memorialize for his non-violent activism and tireless dedication to the rights of African Americans. There is no denying MLK Jr.'s contribution to the advancement of civil rights, but I want to draw your attention to the man behind Martin Luther King Jr you may not have heard of. A man who so happened to be gay. Bayard Rustin, a black civil rights pacifist, recognized Martin Luther King, Jr.'s leadership early on, and helped to organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to strengthen King's leadership. Rustin was also the chief organizer for the March on Washington, where Dr. King uttered those famous words: "I have a dream". After the passage of the civil-rights legislation of 1964–1965, Rustin focused attention on the economic problems of working-class and unemployed African Americans. Rustin was gay during a time in history when homosexuality was criminalized and stigmatized. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Rustin was attacked as a "pervert" or for his "immoral influence" by political opponents, fellow civil-rights leaders, segregationists and Black power militants. For this very reason, Rustin operated behind the scenes and only rarely served as a public spokesperson. ...

California Couple Granted Two Year Stay In Deportation Case January 5th, 2012
California Couple Granted Two Year Stay In Deportation Case

For the past few months, Bradford Wells and Anthony Makk have been battling the Department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to stop the deportation of Makk, who is an Australian citizen, and therefore is not covered by federal marital rights and responsibilities. You might have heard about similar cases in the news, and there has been a significant amount of  attention brought to this matter because of how it destroys lives. Wells and Anthony met in Australia 19 years ago, and were legally married in Massachusetts in 2004. In order to stay in the United States, Makk started a business in San Francisco and invested in rental property to meet visa requirements. Last year, however, Makk’s visa expired, and when the couple applied for permanent residence, the Department of Homeland Security denied him and cited the Defense of Marriage Act which was passed in 1996. The couple was left with essentially three options: Wells and Makk could remain here, with Makk residing here illegally, or they could move to Australia, or they could separate. None of the options are particularly good. The backlash to this case has been far reaching. Former speaker of the house and representative Nancy Pelosi personally intervened ...

Codebreaker Alan Turing gets “stamp of approval” January 4th, 2012
Codebreaker Alan Turing gets “stamp of approval”

Alan Turing, the English gay mathematician who helped break the Nazi's Enigma code in WWII, is to be honored on a stamp in the United Kingdom - exactly 100 years after his birth. Turing, despite his great contribution to WWII, was convicted of "gross indecency" in 1952, when homosexual acts were illegal in the UK, and sentenced to chemical castration. It shouldn't come as a surprise that he committed suicide two years later. In 2009, the then prime minister Gordon Brown issued an unequivocal apology on behalf of the government to Turing, describing his treatment as "horrifying" and "utterly unfair". Brown said the country owed him a huge debt. No Shit. But, hey, having a stamp dedicated to you totally makes it all alright, right? Right? Turing is also credited with helping to create the world's first modern day computer.

Marriage Equality causes record marriage spike in NYC. January 3rd, 2012
Marriage Equality causes record marriage spike in NYC.

The numbers are in on marriage licenses issued in New York City during 2011—and the results are inspiring. More than 4,000 additional licenses were handed out this year, which marks a 14% increase from 2010. While there's no way of knowing for certain, since the city doesn't require couples to disclose their gender on the marriage application, officials have credited LGBT couples as the main reason for the jump. Considering Marriage Equality only passed a few months ago, I wonder how big of an increase we should expect in 2012? On a somewhat related note, check out the Year in Review of Marriage Equality in 2011 below: