I'll admit it. When the Steve Grand video "All American Boy" dropped in 2013 with the tagline "first openly gay country artist," my teeth clenched. I had been working on unveiling my band Indiana Queen as the first openly gay country band for months.
In 2014, the Boy Scouts of America finally began to allow openly gay youths into its organization. As of today, no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone. It was a great victory indeed.
My lesbian wedding was turning out to be much more traditional than my first one -- to a man. Yes, we were beautiful Southern brides getting married. To each other. In a church. Surrounded by friends and family. And perfectly legally.
No matter how you slice or present this slippery slope argument against gay marriage, it makes no sense.
Being gay isn't something you choose, but you do face choices about whether and how to discuss it. I was well into adulthood before I was prepared to acknowledge the simple fact that I am gay. It took years of struggle for me to recognize that it's just a fact of life, like having brown hair.
With lesbians, gays, and bisexual service members now having equal opportunity protection in the military, one question that I hear all the time in the Special Warfare community is, "How do I work with somebody who is gay, or I think is gay?"
I grew up thinking Billy Graham was a hero. My family was Baptist; my dad, a Baptist preacher. I was an adult before I realized Graham wasn't exclusively Baptist though by then he might as well have been because conservative Christians seemed, largely, to have let go of doctrinal differences in favor of ideological absolutes.
This isn't an issue about choice or religion -- these are real people, losing their livelihoods, their sources of income, and they're more likely to become impoverished because we still have not extended protections to many LGBT people. Demanding the right to fair employment and fair workplace treatment is not demanding special treatment or advantages over others
Graham's version of Christianity is little more than an ideology that seeks cover under the language of love. The fact is that Graham's brand of religion is more of a "threat" to gay and lesbian individuals in the United States than the "radical Islam" that he sees lurking around every corner.
He, obviously, wants to follow the trail Bush blazed from the Texas governor's office to the Oval Office. However, this will be the second run for Perry, and he'll have to improve significantly on his previous performance to even have a chance of doing so.
While LGBT pride events occur throughout the year, the summer is always a big time of year for the community to celebrate life and promote equality. The U.S. recognizes June as LGBT Pride Month in honor of the Stonewall Inn events that occurred in New York City more than 45 years ago.
Franklin Graham took to Facebook to announce he is moving his accounts to another bank to protest the Wells Fargo commercial featuring a lesbian couple. He is boycotting Tiffany's because they are selling wedding rings to gay couples. So is it safe to assume that he will be moving his Facebook and Twitter and Google and YouTube accounts to other media? Friendster, maybe?
As the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage bans looms, the right wing has begun their assault on reason and intellect with the standard dire warnings, threats, and fear mongering in the form of corporate boycotts and revolt. As usual, their claims include flagrant misinterpretations of their favorite documents, the Constitution and the Bible.
Ironically, Sister Pat taught me to have faith. Not in God, but in people. Because there are people out there who are just amazing through and through. Who do good everyday for all the right reasons. And for me, that's even more impressive than an all-powerful being.
I doubt the people who took a stand on a hot summer evening at the Stonewall Inn knew their acts of defiance would usher in a new era of LGBT rights. Oh how I wish we could go back to that day in 1969 to tell all those people what was ahead.
TIME magazine just published its "25 Moments That Changed America" list, focusing on the 20th Century. I agree with most of the selections and am impressed with the essays that explain the choices.