"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Gay Blogging

This may be brief -- this is one of those short mornings -- but a couple of things I wanted to comment on. This may become a work in progress, as I discover things to include over the course of the day. (Sorry, it's also a busy writing time -- I'm buried in comic books right now, all of which I have to read and write about by Sunday. Yes, comic books. Don't ask. Just be sure to tune into GMR on May 31.)

First, via Digby (who has a good, strong post on it), the Dallas Principles. I actually saw this on Pam's House Blend the other day (Pam Spaulding was one of the participants). Digby, as always, goes for the heart of it:

Keep the pressure on. This is an issue that affects every single person in this country, no matter what your sexual orientation or attitudes about marriage and the military. The simple fact is that until all Americans are are treated equally, none of us are.

There is the statement of principle:

The following eight guiding principles underlie our call to action.

In order to achieve full civil rights now, we avow:

1. Full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals must be enacted now. Delay and excuses are no longer acceptable.

2. We will not leave any part of our community behind.

3. Separate is never equal.

4. Religious beliefs are not a basis upon which to affirm or deny civil rights.

5. The establishment and guardianship of full civil rights is a non-partisan issue.

6. Individual involvement and grassroots action are paramount to success and must be encouraged.

7. Success is measured by the civil rights we all achieve, not by words, access or money raised.

8. Those who seek our support are expected to commit to these principles.

I'm going to join Digby and urge you all to sign on.

One thing about this that I find very interesting: the mainstream liberal blogs are picking up on gay issues now -- along with the MSM. While they've been sympathetic in the past, and there were one or two commentators you could figure were going to be paying attention, it's really been a sometimes sort of thing. Until now. I'm seeing more coverge of gay issues in places like Hullabaloo, Obsidian Wings, Crooks and Liars, and their ilk. There's some sort of critical mass that's been reached here. Good.

A note from overseas:

I have a correspondent from Singapore who provided some information on the status of gays there. Although he was not terribly positive about it, this article seems rather more judicious than the sort of crap we get here. I think the government's stance is really quite reasonable (I mean, think about what's happening in Jamaica and Uganda). I'm particularly impressed by this:

He added that as Singaporeans become more educated and informed, and more space is being opened up for people to express alternative views, there will be more tussles between people holding different points of views.

If any group pushes its agenda aggressively, there will be strong reactions from other groups.

As for the AWARE controversy, the government was worried about the disquieting public perception that a group of conservative Christians — all attending the same church, which held strong views on homosexuality — had moved in and taken over AWARE because they disapproved of what the organisation had been doing.

Hence, he was gratified that the National Council of Churches of Singapore issued a clear statement that it does not condone churches getting involved in the AWARE dispute, and that leaders of different religious faiths came out to reinforce the NCCS message.

Mr Wong said the government has to maintain order impartially. It encourages the development of civic society, and gradual widening of the out—of—bounds (OB) markers. But it will not stand by and watch, when intemperate activism threatens Singapore society.

It's a message that I've been espousing here for quite some time: you're free to believe what you will. You're not free to use that as an excuse to make me a second-class citizen.

I'm also impressed by the fact that the Prime Minister actually made a definite statement rather than dodging the issue, which is what we're getting from Obama.

New Hampshire note:

Timothy Kincaid has a post at BTB that echoes my thoughts on the New Hampshire situation:

It may well be that they objected to what they saw as partisan support for protecting a Democratic Governor from risk while they shouldered threats from within their party. They too may be chaffing at being handed wording from the executive office and told to rubber stamp it.

But from the words of these “no” votes, it seems likely to me that wording can be achieved that meets Gov. Lynch’s requirements but also can be seen as originating in the legislature. I think that the delay is simply that - a brief delay in passage.

I've said before that Lynch's move was purely CYA, and that legislatures don't particularly like being dictated to by governors. This seems to bear that out. Also note the quotes that Kincaid includes from some Republican legislators -- very interesting.

Squeaky wheels note:

Looks like it's still true that if you kick and scream, you get results. From AmericaBlog:

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, who earlier in the week said that DOD wasn't doing anything at all with regards to the President's promise to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT), yesterday reversed course:
"President Obama has been clear in his direction to Secretary Gates and Chairman Mullen that he is committed to repeal the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy. He has also been clear that he is committed to do it in a way that is least disruptive to our troops, especially given that they have been simultaneously waging two wars for six years now. Although this will require changes to the law, the Secretary and Chairman are working to address the challenges associated with implementation of the President's commitment."

It's like what Digby said in the post I linked to earlier: keep applying pressure. It's the only thing that's going to work.

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