April 29, 2010 | by Kevin Naff
Feedback for April 30

Re: “Rematch in Maryland” (editorial by Kevin Naff, April 16)

Gov. Martin O’Malley deserves support from Maryland’s LGBT community.

As we approach the gubernatorial election of 2010, I believe the LGBT community needs to assess the progress that has been made during O’Malley’s term as governor and support him for his re-election bid:

O’Malley signed domestic partner bills into law in 2008 and 2009. Without these bills, LGBT Marylanders would be without important relationship protections. Also, a bill specifically protecting LGBT students was signed into law by O’Malley in 2008.

Maryland state employees were provided with domestic partner Benefits in FY 2010 by regulatory changes implemented by the O’Malley administration.

In addition, O’Malley has directed Maryland state agencies to respect and implement Attorney General Doug Gansler’s recent opinion that state law should recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages.

And through an executive order, O’Malley reaffirmed employment protections to Maryland state employees based upon sexual orientation and extended employment protections based upon gender identity for the first time.

I ask LGBT Marylanders to review the advances made under Gov. O’Malley’s administration and support his bid for re-election in 2010. —Judd Vickers, Cambridge, Md.

Re: “’Precious’ deserves praise from LGBT groups” (op-ed by Julie Enszer, April 16)

It was with hesitation that I went with my husband to see the movie “Precious.” My hesitation, based on reviews and synopses that I read, was my belief that the film would be too depressing and negative. The only reason I agreed to see it is that my husband wanted to see it and since I love my husband I went along.

What I found was a movie that certainly had its depressing and negative aspects, but that was ultimately very positive and uplifting in its portrayal of this intelligent and marginalized young woman seeking to escape from her situation and make something better of her life. One flaw, in my opinion, is the scene in which it was revealed that Precious’ teacher is a lesbian. My reaction was that this scene was totally gratuitous, reeked of political correctness, and could have been deleted without taking anything away from the film.

I disagree with Enszer’s conclusion that “racism, pure and simple” is the reason that those associated with “Precious” are not recognized by our national LGBT organizations. Personally I don’t have such a definitive conclusion for this lack of recognition but I leave open the possibility that racism may be a factor.

However, I do believe that your conclusion in and of itself is just too “pure and simple” and that the real reason for this lack of recognition is much more nuanced, with perhaps one factor being the criticism that “Precious” received from some quarters that the film was racist due to its very limited and negative portrayal of African-American life. That type of criticism may just make “Precious” too hot to handle for some LGBT organizations.

Overall I enjoyed the film “Precious,” if you can use the word “enjoy” for such a disturbing piece, and recommend that people make the effort to see it. Perhaps then they can draw their own conclusions regarding the lack of national LGBT group recognition of this film and its associates. —Charles Gravitz, Silver Spring, Md.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

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