LGBT FINALLY!!! There actually is a "Gay Agenda"

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Sam Gamgee, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    National GLBT rights groups issue historic joint statement


    An unprecedented joint statement from 22 national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organizations was released on Wednesday. The statement urged people to get involved, to talk to their families, and to fight for equality in their communities. It also outlined specific areas of focus in the movement for GLBT equality. A complete list of the organizations involved follows the complete text of the statement, which follows:

    Civil Rights. Community. Movement.

    The histories of America's civil rights movements--and their successes in securing equal protection of the law for those denied it--have always been shaped by the complex interweaving of legal victories, political progress, and advances in public opinion. So when we look at the state of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights today, we have every reason to be optimistic. Our movement is strong, it is determined, and it is gathering momentum every day.

    It has been only 18 months since the Supreme Court struck down the last remaining state laws that branded us as criminals, little more than a year since Massachusetts's top court ruled that same-sex couples could not be denied full equality in marriage, and mere weeks since California enacted the nation's most expansive domestic partnership law.

    All the while, public support for LGBT equality continues to grow. Gallup has reported that 89% of Americans support equal employment opportunity for gays and lesbians. Polls also show nearly two thirds support the same opportunities for transgender Americans. Nearly four in five--up from 57% just a decade ago--support openly gay military service members; and amid the enactment of antigay constitutional amendments in 11 states this past November, exit polls showed that 60% of voters favor legal recognition for same-sex couples.

    The speed with which our movement is advancing on all fronts is absolutely historic --and it hasn't happened by chance or by accident.

    The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community crosses all borders. We are born into families as diverse as our nation. We are of every race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, class, educational background, ability, and party affiliation. We live in cities, towns, and neighborhoods across this country, in red states and in blue. We, literally, are everywhere.

    Yet because that rich diversity often goes unseen, ignored, or forgotten, we remain vulnerable to inaccurate stereotypes manufactured by a small but powerful group of antigay extremists. Wrapping themselves in cloaks of "family" and "values," these groups are spending tens of millions of dollars to confuse, distort, and subvert the public debate that continues to change hearts and minds about our right to equality as it opens America's eyes to the true family values that LGBT couples, parents, and families are living and demonstrating every day.

    This public debate serves another purpose as well: it reveals the unjust realities our community faces. If we must take time to care for an ill partner, we can lose our jobs because we are denied the protections of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Surviving gay and lesbian partners can find their families imperiled by laws that deny inheritance, child custody rights, and Social Security survivors' protection. Binational LGBT couples and families can be cruelly torn apart by deportation and immigration laws that treat them as legal strangers.

    The manifest unfairness of these and countless other discriminations is one reason why support for LGBT equality continues to rise. It's also why we must commit to creating of our diverse community a truly inclusive movement--one that is represented by and pursues justice for the diverse lives that give it substance.

    The groups represented here are parts of a large civil rights orchestra. We play different instruments--lobbying, electoral politics, impact litigation, grassroots organizing, public education, media advocacy, and more--and we are dedicated to playing them well. While our organizations vary in focus and strategies, we share a number of common priorities that will help shape and unite our work in the months and years to come. Among them:

    * We must fight for equal employment opportunity, benefits, and protections--and the federal and state laws that safeguard them.

    * We must fight against anti-LGBT violence and for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal hate crimes law that already protects Americans based on race, religion, and national origin.

    * We must fight--in both the private and public sectors--for better access to health care and insurance. We must advocate for HIV/AIDS policies--including age-appropriate, LGBT-inclusive comprehensive sexuality education--that effectively address this epidemic at home and abroad.

    * We must insist on safe schools, where youth can learn free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.

    * We must fight for family laws that give our children strong legal ties to their parents.

    * We must work to overturn the military's discriminatory anti-LGBT ban, which dishonors service members who serve their country with valor and distinction.

    * We must continue to expose the radical right's efforts to advance a culture of prejudice and intolerance, and we must fight their attempts to enshrine antigay bigotry in our state and federal laws and constitutions.

    * And we must continue our vigorous fight for the freedom to marry and the equal protections, rights, and responsibilities that safeguard our families, strengthen our commitments, and continue to transform understanding of our lives and our relationships.

    In December, People [magazine] asked President and Mrs. Bush about civil unions. "Is a couple joined by that kind of legal arrangement as much of a family as, say, you two are a family?" "Of course," President Bush replied. Bush's acknowledgement (despite his support for an antigay federal constitutional amendment) has set an important new minimum standard for future dialogue surrounding same-sex couples and families, one that reflects an evolving public respect for our relationships that even those who seek to codify discrimination against us cannot easily ignore.

    This revolution in understanding and respect has been made possible by millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans who are coming out, being out, and living the truth of their lives for others to see. By families unafraid to publicly declare their love for and commitment to one another. By people unwilling, by word or deed, to tell future generations that our relationships are deserving of anything less than acceptance, respect, and celebration. And by an orchestra of organizations committed to the strategic advancement of our movement.

    But at the end of the day, our movement must be more than a collective noun. It must also be an action. Even the most vibrant, vital community can, over time, settle into a status quo. A movement cannot. And the success of our movement is measured not only in the hearts and minds we change, the allies we engage, and the civil rights we secure, but in the strength of our collective commitment to the pursuit of enduring social, political, and legal change that moves us ever closer to true equality. Each of us. Each of you.

    Get involved. Learn more about the work of our movement's local, state, and national organizations. Invest in that work. Encourage your straight friends and family to do likewise; give them the opportunity to invest in our future--and theirs. Champion equality and respect in your community. Engage new allies at home, in your workplace, in your place of worship, at your school. Stand up. Spread the word. Share your story.

    By virtue of who we are, we're a community. But it is by virtue of the decisions we make that we become part of a movement--a civil rights movement working together to create a better, more hopeful world limited only by our ability to envision its promise and experience all that it has to offer.

    [Signed,]

    American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian & Gay Rights Project

    Equality Federation

    Freedom to Marry

    Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

    Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

    Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute

    Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network

    Human Rights Campaign

    Lambda Legal

    Log Cabin Republicans

    Mautner Project

    National Association of LGBT Community Centers

    National Black Justice Coalition

    National Center for Lesbian Rights

    National Center for Transgender Equality

    National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs

    National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

    National Youth Advocacy Coalition

    Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

    Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

    Sigamos Adelante: National Latino/Hispanic LGBT Leadership

    Stonewall Democrats
     
  2. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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    damn. Now the breeders really do have something on us. :noes:
     
  3. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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  4. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    I just finished reading the 8pg thread you started in OT with this. It still astounds me how stupid some people can be. I'm not just saying they're stupid because they don't agree with me. It's just that most of the people who don't agree can't even back up their arguments well. The same thing happened when I got into another gay thread this morning that lasted like 14 pages. :hs:
     
  5. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    As I said to NOVAJock in a PM, these people exist everywhere.
    It's up to us to continue stating our point of view and try to educate people on our feelings and points of view.

    I fear that this will be a hard battle, and a long battle...

    But, I like hard, long things, so I'm in this for the long haul.*
    We will gain equal rights... in time... with work.






















    *assuming I don't move to Canada first and say "fuck the USA and it's backwards "morality"
     
  6. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    ...my ex was recently talking to me about moving to Canada, as that's where he's from.
     
  7. mamoru

    mamoru New Member

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    then again, that thread starter is heavily christian...and well, whatever, I won't say anything else from here...

    But...Chris is right, the stupid people do exist everywhere, and the way they think is just ass backwards...they can't back up anything they say because they know that denying rights to people is wrong...but they are scared of what they do not understand...

    Canada? Germany...Yeah, I might make it there soon...
     
  8. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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    Yeah, but after a while, I get tired of this. When you run up against idiots that are so fucking stupid and you constantly hear the same fucked up shit inside their head and the reasoning (if that's what you want to call it) that they have for feeling the way they do about homosexuals...my tolerance level drops way off.

    You've gone through this phase in the past Sam so you know what I'm talking about. I'm just at a point right now where I'm too busy making myself happy and creating a happy, constructive life for me. I no longer associate with people that waste my time with drama and fucked-up ways of thinking. If someone wants to think badly of me because of who it is I fall in love with and want to share my life with - that's their problem.

    I'm tired of feeling like I have to fight a battle - and it is just that: a constant battle.
     
  9. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    I'm beginning to get a little jaded with the whole issue myself. I mean, I've encountered way more stupid people then smart ones trying to argue my position on this. The best they can come up with is usually :mb: "evolution this" or "God that" I never thought I'd see the day when Darwin and God were apparently on the same side of the argument.

    I dunno, I'm beginning to wonder if it's even worth the effort. I might just stay out of those threads from now on.
     
  10. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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    Well, it's not only that, but I get so tired of hearing the same fucking arguments from the people here on OT that argue the same thing: Gays want special rights...gays want this....gays want that. And when you correct them on it, and try to explain to them that gays don't want special rights, and you provide links and data to them, it's like talking to a fucking cement wall. I feel like I'm typing in Chinese.

    They are not leaders in their thinking. They are followers. They follow the majority, and the majority of the asshats here on OT have this fucked up belief system about homosexuality based upon ignorance. I've said it before and I'll continue saying it: it's a hell of a lot easier to think with the majority, then it is to pull yourself out of the box, and actually think for yourself. We laugh about peer pressure in high school, but I honestly believe, peer pressure doesn't go away as you get older....it just sort of changes form and involves bigger and more important issues.

    We laugh at the phrase: "If Joe-schmo jumps off the Empire State Building, are you going to do the same?" It's a very simple statement that drives a very important point home. The problem is, most people still dislike homosexuals, think it's a disease, label it and look upon it as most of this country used to look upon Blacks 50-100 years ago. As long as the majority still feels that way, it will continue for God-only knows how long.

    There are days when I don't mind arguing with people about homosexuality, but then, there are days, when I have no desire to and my general attitude is "fuck off and leave me alone". Those days are growing greater in number as I get older.
     
  11. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    I don't know guys.

    I can see their points. I don't agree with them at all, but I understand where they are coming from.

    I know it's frustrating, but silence = death

    Martin Luthor King, Jr didn't stop speaking because he was sick of the intolerant assholes out there.
    And it got him killed
    But he still risked his life for equality.

    The least we can do is try to educate on a messag board.
     
  12. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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  13. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    religion will always be a factor in our society.
    But, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't stop fighting.
    And here is why...

    Religion is becoming huge now because baby boomers are getting to retirement age.
    And those people are scared shitless about dying.
    So, they are going to church in droves so that they can get into heaven
    (My mother calls is "cramming for finals")
    So, when they all die, there is going to be a new generation (the baby boomers' kids) who are going to be running the world. And it's those people that we need to talk to. And it's those people on this website.

    Yes, it sucks. But, time is on our side and we need to keep fighting.
     
  14. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    I think one of the key issues that bothers me is that most of these people claim to know everything about homosexuality...and they're ALL STRAIGHT. They couldn't possibly have a fraction of the understanding of it that we do, yet the persist on claiming to know better than we do and judging us.

    I know this might sound harsh, but if those people could be gay for a week, or even just a day, the smart ones would grow from it, and the dumb ones would kill themselves.

    I am grateful that there are those OT members out there who have actually have something constructive to say about the issue, and I'm even more grateful for those who don't agree with homosexuality but don't feel it's correct to deny us our rights. However, it's the stupid ones whose justification for persecuting us is unfounded and won't listen to anything that annoy me.
     

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