Archive for the 'Gay Rights' Category

The DADT-repeal Sequel That Everyone Can Feel Good About

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

For whatever reason, the homophobic bigots seem to have a bigger problem with public displays of male-on-male affection than they do with the occasional girl-on-girl smooch. So presumably even the homophobes were relatively unthreatened by this fun event: The first-ever traditional “first kiss” for a homecoming sailor in which both parties were of the same gender:

Oh hey, look: The fabric of the nation did not come apart just because we let two people who happen to be wired differently than the majority be who they are. Good.

More backstory, courtesy of reporter Corinne Reilly (Lesbian couple’s first kiss at homecoming a first for Navy, too):

It’s Wednesday morning around 10:30 when the Oak Hill finally comes into view, its steel-gray bow peeking out from behind a grove of green trees at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek.

It’s been three months since the dock landing ship left home for Central America, and all of the usual fanfare is waiting to greet its crew: crowds of cheering families, toddlers dressed in sailor suits, and the lucky, excited woman who’s been chosen to take part in a time-honored Navy tradition, the first homecoming kiss.

In this case, that woman is 22-year-old Citlalic Snell. She’s a sailor herself, assigned to the destroyer Bainbridge, but today she’s in civilian clothes – jeans, boots and a stylish leather jacket. Watching pierside as the Oak Hill pulls into port, she absentmindedly twists the small diamond ring on her left hand.

A uniformed liaison who is with her explains how it’s going to work: Snell’s sailor will be among the first off the ship, and when it’s time, Snell will be escorted onto the pier for the kiss.

The liaison asks if she’s nervous.

“Sort of,” Snell admits.

As it starts to drizzle, the brow is finally lowered. A handful of top officers are first off the ship, and then comes a young woman in dress blues, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta.

Snell cracks a wide smile.

“That’s her,” she says.

When Gaeta spots her, she smiles, too. They embrace. With all eyes watching, they keep the kiss short, and the crowd cheers.

Capt. Matthew Phelps on the End of Not Asking, Not Telling

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Sometimes I feel compelled to post because I’ve noticed a particular lie being told, and it bugs the crap out of me until I’ve shared it with the half-dozen of you who read this. But this item isn’t about a lie that’s being told. It’s about a lie that has stopped being told.

Matthew Phelps is a logistics captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. Until September 20, 2011, he was also (of necessity) a closeted gay man. His account of what it was like to live that lie, and how DADT’s repeal has changed that, made me teary-eyed: On Marines, equality, and my date to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball.

Congratulations, Capt. Phelps!

Plait on Weiner’s Drolly Spreading an Uplifting Message Courtesy of Homophobes

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Phil Plait tells a very fun story about Zach Weiner, Destroyer of Homophobes.

James Randi Figures Out How to Say It

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Apropos of my recent obsession with high-profile skepticism, and claims in the comments that I’m insufficiently sensitive to victims of homophobic verbal abuse, I thought this was interesting: noted skeptic James Randi has come out: How to say it?

Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted.

I’m gay.

Tutu: I Would Never Worship a Homophobic God

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Desmond Tutu tells it like it is: In Africa, a step backward on human rights:

“But they are sinners,” I can hear the preachers and politicians say. “They are choosing a life of sin for which they must be punished.” My scientist and medical friends have shared with me a reality that so many gay people have confirmed, I now know it in my heart to be true. No one chooses to be gay. Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family. Isn't it amazing that we are all made in God's image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love?