[Image: A photo from an equality rally of a group of light-skinned people with dark hair holding up a banner that reads, “Psicologos Mums por la Diversidad”]
Marcha por la NO discriminación, MUMS. Stgo. de Ch. 190512.- 18 (by chilefotojp)
“Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has signed the historic same-sex marriage bill into law, making Maryland the eighth state to allow same sex marriage and the first on the East Coast below the Mason-Dixon line.”
A city official married the first couple in New York City to wed under the state’s new law allowing same-sex marriage Sunday.
Phyllis Siegal, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85, were married in a chapel at the city clerk’s office as a crowd of onlookers cheered.
Hundreds of same-sex couples heard the news Friday that they made the cut in the marriage lottery that New York state instituted for Sunday when the state’s Marriage Equality Act took effect. (via First gay couple weds in New York – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs)
Sokola said 27 Democrat and Republican delegates have signed the bill as co-sponsors, according to Delaware Online.
More than half the businesses in the Fortune 500 already grant benefits to gay couples. Sokola said Delaware is “playing catch-up.”
Lisa Goodman, President of Delaware Equality, helped draft the bill and will work for its passage. “We want to protect and provide for those we love,” she said in Delaware Online. “We believe that the law should protect us and our relationships.”
Delaware Equality says that through the legislation “civil unions would be parallel, but not equal, to marriage,” meaning out-of-state civil unions and same-sex marriages would be recognized in Delaware, but only as civil unions.
Senators voted 57 to 40 against proceeding with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contained language ending the ban, as Republicans held firm on a vow to block any legislation that does not address tax cuts or government spending.
(CNN) — A decorated flight nurse who had been dismissed under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy, will be reinstated with the U.S. Air Force, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington announced Tuesday.
The ACLU of Washington represented Maj. Margaret Witt in a four-year-long lawsuit seeking her reinstatement.
In September, the U.S. District Court for Western Washington ordered the Air Force to reinstate Witt. The court found that Witt’s sexual orientation does not negatively impact unit morale or cohesion. On Tuesday the government filed an appeal of that ruling, but it is not seeking a stay of the order to reinstate Witt, clearing the way for her to rejoin the service.
Kanako Otsuji…is a Japanese LGBT rights activist and former member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly (April 2003–April 2007). One of only seven women in the 110-member Osaka Assembly, Otsuji represented the Sakai-ku, Sakai City constituency.
In August 2005, Otsuji published an autobiography Coming Out: A Journey to Find My True Self, and in doing so came out as Japan’s first lesbian politician, the day before 2005 Tokyo Pride.
“The openly lesbian South African soccer team, Chosen Few faces discrimination and danger every day despite the liberal South African constitution. Chosen Few is forced to practice on a makeshift dirt and gravel police parking lot, they have been banned from playing on the nearby grass fields because they are lesbians. The team, part of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women is practicing for the Gay Games in Germany.”
Israeli army Maj. Yoni Schoenfeld, right, listens to his partner, Noam, during an interview with the Associated Press in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Asking and Telling In Israel
… And so, oddly enough, it was my military service that helped me make sense of my sexual orientation. By the time I became a young officer, I’d come out of the closet to my family and friends and had a steady partner. I did not pin a gay-pride flag on my duffel bag or hang one at my base; I don’t think that would have been appropriate in the military, given the diversity of opinions and beliefs. But I never lied about my preferences, and by the time I became a senior officer in an elite unit, most of my fellow officers knew my story. Yes, I was a gay officer in a special-forces unit—and a damn good one, at that.
As Israelis, we are taught from a young age to admire the United States. The American dream offers an alternative to the somewhat harsh reality of life in the Middle East. But that dream has been betrayed by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that governs gay and lesbian service in the U.S. military. Repealing it will help America fall in line with what many other countries have already accepted—that, in the 21st century, sexual preferences should not be a matter of shame or secrecy, not even in the military. The thought of living a lie while serving—of not being able to share one’s personal life with fellow fighters and commanders—is hard to bear. (And it’s ridiculous: if Israel, a nation that is forever on high alert, can defend itself just fine with open homosexuals in its defense forces, then any other nation’s army should also be able to integrate.)
I was lucky—I had the distinction of serving under a two-star general with an extremely open mind. To him, my sexual orientation was never an issue. He believed that work and personal life are separate matters. In this environment, I felt comfortable bringing my partner to various events. And just as before, the other members of my unit, in general, reacted positively.
More recently I have served the Israel Defense Forces as editor in chief of its weekly magazine, Bamachane. Less than a decade ago, before my tenure began, the magazine caused a public outcry when it put a photo on the cover of an out-of-the-closet officer waving a gay-pride flag. The military responded by suspending publication for a few weeks; the establishment didn’t think the image was becoming of someone high-ranking. But last June, during Israel’s gay-pride week, the IDF asked me to appear in front of foreign reporters and share my story—a sign of even further cultural acceptance of gays in the military since the early ’90s. That week, for our main feature, we profiled a gay officer named Josh who wed his partner in Canada (gay marriage is not yet legal in Israel). In the piece, we wrote about a recent promotion he’d received. His new rank was bestowed on him with his Orthodox commander on one side, and his partner, Lior, on the other.”
Schoenfeld, A Major, Has More than 16 Years of Combat Service.
(In Israel, all citizens are required to serve a certain number of years in the military.)
As an American, I generally dislike the military, but I am going to be so glad when dadt is repealed. With dadt gone, it will be possible for military culture to become more tolerant, although I’m pretty sure social activism is frowned upon within militaries. But people just knowing LGBTQ-identified people is an important factor in getting rid of homophobia (and transphobia? I have no clue how the U.S. dadt-repealed military will respond to transgender-identified people.)