Obama Speaks of Gay RIghts in Inaugural Address

gay_rightsIn what will surely become an historic inaugural address, President Barack Obama made two strong mentions of gay rights.  According to Politico, Obama “became the first president to use the word “gay” in an inaugural address in reference to sexual orientation, making two references to gay rights as he began his second term.”

The first reference, mid way through his address, was to Stonewall and the riots that took place there in 1969.  The riots were spurred by a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located in Greenwich Village.  The Stonewall riots were a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement.

Obama referenced Stonewall in the same sentence in which he also referenced  Seneca Falls (the site of the 1848 Women’s Rights convention) and Selma (where Alabama state troops attacked civil rights marchers in 1965).

The second reference came in the next section of the address:

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

I am overjoyed that President Obama acknowledged the struggles of the gay and lesbian community not once but twice in his inaugural address.  This is a good day, America.

Watch the video on Politico.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2013 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.

LGBT Fast Friday News 7/13/12

I was away last week and upon returning, found myself too busy to post.  I trust you will forgive me, faithful readers.  Here it is, Friday the 13th (for the superstitious among us) and the weekend is about to begin.  In the meantime, enjoy the Fast Friday offerings.

Anti-Gay Group Plans Google Boycott: ‘This Is Going To Be A Tough One’  [Think Progress]

Lesbian Couple Kicked Out of Kentucky Park, Calls for New LGBT Anti-Discrimination Oridinance   [Family Equality Council]

Bryan Fischer: The Real Haters Are Gay Rights Supporters   [On Top Magazine]

NOM Defends Kirk Cameron’s Condemnations Of Homosexuality [Includes video]

In Sleepy Minnesota Suburbs, Church Ladies Launch Gay Marriage Crusade [Believe Out Loud]

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.

LGBT Fast Friday News 5/11/12

Fast Friday is a weekly feature in which I provide links to news items and other resources of interest to the LGBT community.

Only 34% showed up to vote … the most, supposedly, in North Carolina’s recent history … I guess the homophobes took time out to vote?

Official Tally for North Carolina’s Amendment One  [NC State Board of Elections]

Joe Biden: ‘I am absolutely comfortable’ with same-sex marriage:

“Look, I am Vice President of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights. All the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that. […]

“People fear that which is different, and now they’re beginning to understand.”

[Meet the Press]  Watch the video here.  (Be sure to press the PLAY button)

Undeterred by AG’s opinion, [Lincoln, Nebraska] City Council will consider anti-discrimination ordinance  [Journal Star]

President Obama’s gay marriage endorsement needs legal action  [Washington Post]

Professors Franke and Goldberg Laud Obama’s Support for Marriage Equality [Gender & Sexuality Blog]

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Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. 

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski

News from the LGBT World: Fast Fridays Feature

Starting with today’s post, I’m going to try out a brand new feature.  I call it Fast Fridays.  Whenever possible, I’ll use the Friday space to post links to articles I think you might find interesting but on which I have not had the time to blog during the previous week.  Enjoy!

Barack Obama, Gay Rights Groups Struggle Over Democratic Platform    [Huffington Post]

Delaware Superior Court Issues Order Protecting Same-Sex Couple Under Civil Union Law   [Lambda Legal]

Russian Orthodox Church urges nationwide ban on ‘promotion of homosexuality’   [Washington Post]

Rutger’s student who spied on now-dead gay roomie with Web cam could face deportation  [America Blog Gay]

Lesbian Denied Communion at mother’s Funeral:

Durham NC’s Mayor William Bell Speaks Out Against Amendment One:

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski

Gay Activist Killed in Uganda

It’s a sad day when a person is murdered for no other reason than being gay.  It’s happened many times in the United States, which continues to shock my sensibilities because this is supposed to be a civilized and enlightened country.

Yesterday, it happened on another continent.  David Kato, who was an activist with Sexual Minorities Uganda, was beaten to death outside his home.  News sources report that he was repeatedly struck with what may have been a hammer.

In Uganda, lesbians and gays literally take their lives in their own hands if they dare to admit their sexuality.  They will face harassment and violence.  Gay activists like Kato have been trying to stop the hatred and violence.  For Kato, the sacrifice was his own life.

Last year, Rolling Stone (not related to the U.S. magazine) published a list of persons believed to be gay.  Kato and two other activists petitioned the court to ban the publication from continuing the discriminatory – and dangerous policy – and they won.  However, the damage had already been done and violence against gays escalated.

As if this were not sad enough already, it appears that the upswing in violence and hatred toward gays was infused by three anti-gay evangelists from the United States who visited Uganda in 2009 with the sole purpose of pushing for a law that would make homosexuality illegal.  They believe that homosexuality can be “cured” and spewed forth enough lies about lesbians and gays to turn the climate into one of fear.  This is obviously not a new concept for anti-gay zealots but it’s time those same zealots took responsibility for how their anti-gay rhetoric takes innocent lives.

Please take the time to read the following articles and pass them along to others.  Together, we can spread awareness that hate kills.

Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Slain After Being Named on ‘Hit List’ [AOL News]

Americans’ Role Seen in Uganda Anti-Gay Push [NY Times]

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UPDATE 1/28/11:

David Kato, Slain Ugandan Gay Activist, Funeral Marred By Commotion

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski

A Compendium of Recent News Items

Here are some interesting blog posts and news items that you may be interested in reading. Some are from the last couple of weeks or so, others are older but still worth a read:

Are Marriage Equality Opponents Bigots? — Change.org

Illinois schools still flunk out on LGBTQ equity — Windy City Times

Florida Gay Adoption Still Banned Despite Headlines — Atlanta Divorce Law Blog

Federal Court to Hear DOMA Challenge — Beyond Chron

The Rights of Gay Employees — NCLR Blog

Canadians Love Their Gay Marriage — Gay Agenda

Disclaimer:  The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice.   I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2010 Irene C. Olszewski

California Will Celebrate Harvey Milk Day on May 22, 2010

The State of California will commence celebration of Harvey Milk Day on May 22nd, which would have been Milk’s 80th birthday, had he lived. Milk is remembered for his historic campaign to become San Francisco’s first openly gay City Supervisor. He was assassinated inside City Hall on November 27, 1978 by Dan White, along with Mayor George Moscone.

Anti-gay activist, Ken Mettler, is pressuring the Kern High School District to pass a resolution banning commemoration for Harvey Milk. According to Mettler, “Harvey Milk does not rise to the level of a special day of recognition.” Mettler was active in the fight against gay marriage in California and served as Kern County chairman for Yes on Prop. 8 – Protect Traditional Marriage. That should give you an idea of his rationale.

In 2009, Harvey Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A biographical film of his life, titled ‘Milk‘ was released in 2008. Milk was portrayed by actor Sean Penn.

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice.   I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2010 Irene C. Olszewski