First Lady Michelle Obama’s response to a gay protester who heckled her during a Democratic fundraiser was reported in many different ways today, and I’ve been inundated with e-mails from friends in the LGBT community about it.
Obama was 12 minutes into a planned 20-minute speech at a couple’s home when a woman standing at the front of the small crowd interrupted, demanding that President Barack Obama sign an executive order on gay rights.
“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” the first lady said before walking down from the lectern and approaching the protester, according to a pool reporter covering the event.
Obama told the woman that people gathered in the backyard tent could “listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving,” before telling the crowd, “You all decide. You have one choice.”
You can read more here.
Hillary Clinton Supports Gay Marriage
Former First Lady and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, posted a video on Youtube in support of Gay Marriage this month. You can view it with a link below, and I’ve posted it to the blog post previous to this one if you scroll down.
“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones,” said Clinton. “They are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage.”
The announcement from Clinton comes just after a high profile Republican, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, announced his experience with his gay son had led him to support same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court is set to hear challenges to California’s Prop. 8., which banned same-sex marriage in that state, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton and denies to same-sex couples survivor benefits and other federal preferences for married heterosexual couples.
Former President Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and their daughter Chelsea had endorsed gay marriage in recent years, but Hillary Clinton, who was serving as the nation’s top diplomat, had not. As a presidential candidate in 2008 Clinton opposed same-sex marriage but endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples.
It’s nice to see that kind of support starting to surface so openly, especially from someone like Hillary Clinton who really doesn’t have to come out and support anyone or anything at this point in time.
Here’s the article in full, where you can also view the video.
I wanted to update my post about legalizing gay marriage in NY. Since then, I’ve had a variety of e-mails from friends all over the country with interesting opinions. An old friend in Palm Springs posted this photo from his days in New York. I love it because I was only 8 at the time and I missed all these things.
Here’s the caption: This picture was taken of me in NYC for the Pride March in June 1978. We marched up 6th Avenue then. (We were not allowed to march up 5th Av. thanks to the Catholic Church). The placards we were holding were for the city of New York to pass an anti-discrimination bill for housing and jobs for gays and lesbians. We have come a long way since 1978. We still have far to go, but tomorrow will be an incredible day in New York.
The one thing everyone agrees on is this is a good thing. It’s a step forward toward equality on a federal level, and a lot of people worked hard to get it passed.
And on a romantic, emotional level, there aren’t words to express how gay couples in NY feel about being able to validate their relationships. Many of the gay characters in my books get married, in spite of whether it’s legal or not. I’ve been to tons of gay marriages myself in the past twenty years, and although all these couples would have liked to have had their unions validated in a legal sense, they still wanted to get married anyway. And each celebration was filled with love and joy. And, more than that, all of the gay couples I know who got married are still married.
So there’s still a long way to go from a legal standpoint. My very legalese friends tell me there’s still a way to challenge this new law in NY…it has something to do with the way they bargained for it. Nothing would surprise me anymore. One day I thought marriage was legal in California, and the next it wasn’t. But for now, it’s a step closer to not only legal equality, but emotional and romantic equality, too.
I’ve been writing (and reading) gay romance for a lot longer than m/m fiction has been considered a trendy thing to write. And I’m sure, without a doubt, that I’ll be writing it long after the trend has died down. When someone reads my books or my short stories, they are reading fiction that I have based on my own personal experiences as a gay man. I know discrimination on a personal level and I don’t have to go out and research it for a book. All I have to do it draw from my own personal experience and it’s there.
I also don’t have to go around the Internet today posting about how disappointed I am in Maine and leaving heartfelt comments on blog threads about how I wish the characters in my books weren’t so far away from realizing their dream of obtaining the same equal rights every American citizen has. I live the for the dream every single day of my life, and it is a given that I have always fought for, and always will fight for, the civil rights of gay Americans.
And while I’m extremely disappointed in Maine today. I’m not giving up hope yet, because I truly believe that there are just as many people who disagree with Maine as there are who agree with them. We just have to fight a little harder next time.