Reading newspapers, watching the anti-gay videos people share on Facebook and listening to the hate being spewed on some TV and radio shows is often enough to get my blood boiling. You get tired yelling back at the TV when listening to the nonsense, half-truths and outright lies spouted on Fox News by the likes of Sean Hannity and Breitbart news editor Ben Shapiro.
The world is a more difficult place to navigate than ever before and it has made me more passionate about some issues. Thankfully, after getting riled up about hateful rhetoric, there comes along a riveting and positive video or story that has me feeling really positive about the future. One such video appeared on Facebook recently. It was a rap by a 15-year-old brought up by lesbian parents (http://www.upworthy.com/15-year-old-bypasses-the-awkward-teen-phase-and-skips-straight-to-genius?g=3)
After watching, you can’t help but feel positive about the future knowing there are kids like him in the world.
A recent story sure to depress was the murder in Clarksdale, Miss., of an openly gay mayoral candidate, Marco McMillian. That there are people in the world who will hate you just because you are gay should make us redouble our efforts to gain our civil and human rights.
A recent column I wrote led to criticism by some for using too strong language in telling D.C. residents why they shouldn’t vote for Patrick Mara for Council-at-large seat in D.C. Some were offended that I had the temerity to call him a hypocrite. I assume he has been called worse in his life. But some felt that was too strong a word. Yet, I didn’t even criticize him for his support of school vouchers. Mara, on the State Board of Education is responsible for improving our public schools yet supports spending scarce public funds on private education. In D.C., the schools that receive more than 96 percent of that voucher money (including money from hard-working members of the LGBT community) are parochial schools that can and do discriminate against LGBT teachers, students and parents. This is just one more example of Mara supporting a policy at odds with his claimed support of the LGBT community. Today at forums he spouts Republican doctrine suggesting D.C. refund money to taxpayers rather than use it to deal with the issues of homelessness, affordable housing and education. Clearly, that doctrine didn’t work out so well for the nation when George Bush proposed it.
An up moment came this week with a press release from Whitman-Walker Health announcing it will honor Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) at the annual spring benefit “Be the Care” on April 18 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Another up moment was Bill Clinton’s op-ed in the Washington Post calling on the Supreme Court to strike down DOMA as unconstitutional. Some say better late than never but then we must remember how different times were 17 short years ago.
Another positive piece of news this week was that both Walter Dellinger, former acting solicitor general in the Clinton administration, and respected gay attorney Paul M. Smith of Jenner and Block, have agreed to participate on a panel tentatively titled, “After the Arguments,” to be held at HRC on Monday morning April 15 from 8-10 a.m. It will be a discussion of the Supreme Court cases on DOMA and Prop 8 organized by the D.C. chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.
Good and bad news these days comes fast and furious but because of the work of so many in the LGBT community and our allies we continue to make progress. Now if only the Supreme Court would catch up with the majority of people in the country and accept that marriage equality is not only here to stay but should be considered protected by Constitution of the United States.