Tag Archives: same sex marriage

The Lost Prophet

28 Aug

Bayard Rustin with Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1956What with the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the more recent, controversial SCOTUS decisions, Hollingsworth v. Perry and U.S. v. Windsor, offering Federal recognition to same-sex couples in states legalizing same-sex marriage and removing legal obstacles for homesexual Californians to marry, it’s a propitious time to reevaluate Bayard Rustin.

For those who have heard of Rustin, few understand the immense contributions he made to the civil rights movement. In 1963, he spent only ten weeks planning the March on Washington, still one of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history. Most credit King for adopting Gandhi’s tireless tactics of non-violence. But Brother Outsider, an award-winning documentary about Rustin’s life, showed he introduced King to these ideals. Rustin also reportedly came up with the idea of selling buttons, at 25 cents each, to fund the march — a tribute to the power of his grassroots organizing.

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In light of the changing attitudes of recent times, Rustin may finally receive the attention owed to him for his substantial contribution. At this year’s 50th anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington, President Obama decided to award Rustin posthumously with the Presidential Medal for Freedom, the highest civilian honor. “As an openly gay African American, Mr. Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights,” the White House said of the President’s decision to honor Rustin this year.

But what really makes Rustin a compelling figure was his commitment to Gandhian non-violence.

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Sore Winners

14 Nov

Same-sex marriage supporters are cautiously cheering the victory in four states of three ballot initiatives supporting same sex marriage and another banning same-sex marriage. The pain caused by lifetimes of discrimination is not leading to reconciliation with a broader society and same-sex marriage opponents who themselves have considered the implications of a country where individuals and families disagree about the meaning of marriage.

As an example, this ugly spectacle could not been more fitting, and E.J. Graff and Maggie Gallagher manage to demonstrate why supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage need eventually to find common ground on the overall meaning of marriage, whether it’s commitment or procreation. As it is now, Thomas Peters, of the National Organization for Marriage, views the political situation as temporary.

Well, I think victory after victory can bring complacency.

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Statistical Pockets of Same-Sex Marriage Support

4 Jan

According to Angus Reid, only 45% of Americans nationwide support same-sex marriage.

Civil union and domestic partnership laws in Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey grant same-sex couples all state-level rights and obligations of marriage—in areas such as inheritance, income tax, insurance and hospital visitation. Other forms of domestic partnership exist in California, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oregon and Washington State. There are more than 1,000 federal-level rights of marriage that cannot be granted by states.

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