Friday, September 20, 2019

We Stood By Them, Will They Stand By Us?

When marriage was on the line, we stood by them.

When they were fighting to be in the military, we stood by them.

Will they stand by us?
We’re Fighting a New 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' All Over Again
The Advocate
By Stephen Peters
September 20, 2019

Eight years ago today, the deeply discriminatory law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) officially came to an end. September 20, 2011 was a day of incredible celebration as gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members were finally able to serve our nation openly and authentically. But after such tremendous progress, little did we know that only seven years later, there would be a new “don’t ask, don’t tell” forced onto the military in the form of a transgender military ban.
But today, we face a new form of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” this time targeting transgender servicemembers. In June 2016, the military updated the outdated regulations that prevented transgender people from serving authentically, finally allowing these troops to also serve openly with pride. But nearly a year later, a new occupent of the Oval Office decided to single out these brave Americans and target them for discrimination based on nothing more than bigotry.
At MMAA [Modern Military Association of America], we immediately sprung into action. Representing transgender servicemembers, qualified transgender recruits, the Gender Justice League and the Human Rights Campaign, we joined with Lambda Legal and Winston & Strawn to file a lawsuit against Donald Trump and his ban. Challenging this un-American policy in the courts and on Capitol Hill, together we’re determined more than ever to ensure that justice and equality ultimately prevail and transgender patriots are once again able to serve authentically.
We can’t fight this by ourselves we need the support of our gay brothers and lesbian sisters to stand with us along with our allies.

One of the places that the LGBTQ+ communities needs help with is in the polical arena.
Where do 10 candidates stand on LGBTQ issues?
Gazette looks at presidential candidates' pasts before Friday's forum
The Gazette
By Erin Jordan
September 19, 2019

With 10 Democratic presidential candidates gathering Friday evening in Cedar Rapids for a forum on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer issues, The Gazette reviewed their past comments, votes and other actions on LGBTQ issues. Here is a synopsis:

Joe Biden
In 1993, Biden voted to ban gay Americans from serving in the military. President Bill Clinton modified that in 1994 with “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which allowed gay men and women to serve if their sexual orientation was secret. President Barack Obama signed the repeal of that ban in 2010.

On same-sex marriage, Biden voted in 1996 for the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing these unions and preventing same-sex partners from the same benefits of other married couples. States started making same-sex marriage legal (the Iowa Supreme Court did in 2009, making it the third state to do so) and the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.
Biden said in June he would make the Equality Act his No. 1 priority if elected president. This bill, passed May 17 by the U.S. House, would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes in federal civil rights law.
Cory Booker
The New Jersey U.S. senator long has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ issues after writing in 1992 in the Stanford Daily newspaper he’d evolved to that position.
The city of Newark, which Booker led as mayor from 2006 to 2013, displayed a rainbow flag for Gay Pride Month in 2007 before it was trendy for many cities and companies to use the symbol.

That gesture stuck out to Kyla Paterson, the first transgender chair of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Stonewall Caucus and an Iowa City resident. Paterson this week endorsed Booker.
Well we pretty much know where Pete Buttigieg stands on LGBTQ+ issues.
Julian Castro
Castro has said he used his positions in city and federal government to help LGBTQ people avoid discrimination.

On the San Antonio City Council for four years before becoming mayor in 2009, Castro signed an ordinance in 2013 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for employment, housing and public accommodations, reported Pink News in January. This protected San Antonio residents who had no federal or state anti-discrimination laws, the news outlet noted.

As U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Obama administration, Castro helped expand regulations to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ community, he recently told the National Center for Transgender Equality. He spoke specifically about services and advocacy for LGBTQ teens who are homeless.
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard, a U.S. representative, has made a dramatic reversal on LGBTQ issues.

The Hawaii native grew up supporting the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, an organization run by her father, Mike Gabbard, which opposed gay rights.
The article goes on to list the other candidates stands on LGBTQ+ rights.

The other news articles that caught my attention wasn’t about politics.
Despite protests elsewhere, Hartford library hosting a Drag Queen Story Hour as part of its LGBTQ-themed Big Read
The Hartford Courant
By Susan Dunne
September 18, 2019

Drag Queen Story Hour, which has swept the nation since being introduced in San Francisco in 2015 but has drawn protests in some cities, is coming to the Hartford Public Library for the first time, with two events on Sept. 28 as part of the library’s Big Read program.

The nationwide story hours have been controversial in cities such as St. Petersburg, Florida; Spokane, Washington; and most recently in Chula Vista, California, where protesters failed to stop a story hour at the library. The St. Louis Public Library has a Drag Queen Story Hour scheduled the same day as Hartford, and protests are expected there.
The Big Read is the library’s annual focus on one book for the entire city. This year’s Big Read is “Advice from the Lights,” a book of poems by Stephanie Burt, a transwoman who is a professor of English at Harvard. The kids’ Big Read is “George,” a story about a young transgirl.

“This year we wanted to focus on LGBTQ literature and start it at the same time as the citywide celebration of pride,” says Liz Castle, the library’s programming and events manager. Two of the books to be read — “Pink is for Boys” and “Julian is a Mermaid” — are LGBT-themed.

And speaking of “Julian is a Mermaid”
A children’s book about a trans mermaid just won a prestigious prize
Pink News
By Vic Parsons
September 12, 2019

A children’s picture book about a trans mermaid called Julián has won the prestigious Klaus Fugge prize.

Jessica Love, the author of Julián Is a Mermaid, was named the winner on Wednesday, 11 September. The prize goes to the most exciting and promising newcomer to picture book illustration.

Judge and former children’s laureate Anthony Browne called the book “astonishingly beautiful”.
“Julián Is a Mermaid reminds us that picture books can make us understand the world differently and better; that they are for everyone. It is a groundbreaking book,” said Julia Eccleshare, chair of the judges.
Thank you for stopping by. Have a good weekend!

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