Sorry for missing the last week; we get a double dose instead!
The Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal was passed by the U.S. House (250 to 175 on December 15) and Senate (65 to 31 on December 18) and then signed by President Obama on the 22nd. Though not immediately effective, the repeal of the policy will allow LGB persons to serve in the U.S. military. (Trans and intersex persons are still banned.)
While the Senate had been passing the repeal, they also blocked the vote on the DREAM Act, laments the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall has already moved to block the recruitment of LGB persons into the Virginia National Guard.
Queers for Economic Justice are not so happy with the partial end to anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the military. Their thoughts on the DADT repeal, which can be summed up to DADT repeal being not true economic justice for LGBTQ people.
Anyway, Metro Weekly reports on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have prohibited employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (the latter is included in the latest iteration of this act) on a federal level. It appears that some had decided the DADT repeal required the sacrifice of ENDA, which has not seen motion for a year. Representative Barney Frank has noted a need for additional education on trans issues. (Hopefully, this means he will stop being obsessed with trans people's genitalia.)
With no law against anti-gay discrimination in employment, the Forrest County Sheriff's Department in Texas has taken the opportunity to blatantly fire a gay employee. With the ACLU, the man is suing. The department points out there is no law against what they have done, while their defense attorney says that there are reasons for the termination outside of sexual orientation.
Media Matters, a media watchdog group, has launched Equality Matters, which will be focused on combating anti-LGBT bias in conservative media outlets. Equality Matters also asserts that the repeal of DADT was not the final step for the LGBTQ movement: "We believe the big battle is full equality, which is gay marriage." Marriage equality has been stated to be an inevitability by Vice President Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly last week voted to restore a resolution condemning the criminalization of homosexuality.
Sepp Blatter, president of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), had dismissed concerns about Qatar hosting the World Cup in 2022, raised because Qatar has criminalized homosexuality with a punishment of five years in prison. He said that travelers to Qatar for the World Cup should just "refrain" from sexual activity while there. He has since given a half-assed apology.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that the government will begin the process of wipe clean convictions of past gay sex offenses. Although gay sex was legalized in 1967, convictions remained on people's records and were required to be disclosed. Also in the U.K., the Equal Love campaign moves to challenge current marriage laws in order to legalize civil partnerships for different-sex couples and marriage for same-sex couples. They have taken the issue to the European Court of Human Rights.
More in education and LGBTQ students:
- LGBT-related books at Harvard Library had urine poured over them.
- Local resistance to Massachusetts state law with regards to bullying in schools.
- Kilgore High School is arguing that its faculty was legally obligated to out their lesbian student to her parents, in response to the thankfully supportive mother's lawsuit.
- Not directly related but this has to do with educational institutions and the fundamental rights and safeties of students: A cheerleader is suing her school for kicking her off the squad when she refused to cheer her rapist's name. Rape culture marches on with the Fifth District's September 16 ruling, but this case may go all the way to the Supreme Court.
Other articles or posts:
- Michael Hamar at the Bilerico Project argues that Tom Brokaw is wrong to provide equal coverage to anti-LGBTQ perspectives, by giving them equal credence and not interrogating misinformation. (Tom Brokaw has also tried to throw Jeremy Scahill out of a conference for not letting the US Ambassador to the UN go unquestioned.)
- The Task Force reports on the readiness of agencies to meet the needs of LGBT older adults (.pdf file).
- Despite having apologized for supporting anti-LGBTQ politicians, Target continues giving money to such politicians.
- Adele Starr, Founding President of PFLAG, dies at 90.
- "No Homonationalism"