Gays And Lesbians Decide To Support Marriage Equality, Oppose Discrimination

Over the weekend, singer Rufus Wainwright reversed his controversial position on gay marriage. While he says he previously “I wasn’t a huge gay marriage supporter before I met Jorn because I love the whole old-school promiscuous Oscar Wilde freak show of what ‘being gay’ once was,” he’s now come out in favor of marriage equality in light of his five-year relationship with a man who’s not a US citizen. “I have been with Jorn for five years and he’s the light of my life. He’s my inspiration, support and he’s good in the sack, too! But I am very aware of living in the U.S., of the conundrum that you can’t marry your gay partner and give him citizenship.” Wainwright’s partner is an arts administrator and theater producer from Germany, and

It’s easy to feel frustrated with Wainwright – his mainstream success has made him a fairly visible face of the queer community, and a lot of us wince to hear any queer person talk about a “promiscuous freak show” to a public that’s already pretty skeptical about our moral fiber. As Pink is the New Blog says, it’s also easy to feel “a bit disappointed that Rufus didn’t decide to lend his support to marriage equality until he felt the need to marry.” All those feelings are legitimate. But regardless of what you think of Wainwright, I feel like there’s an important life lesson here – people start to care about things when they’re directly affected by them. They all of the sudden want to work to change them. This isn’t something to look down on people for, this is something to capitalize on. With Wainwright, this wasn’t a hard leap to make – he was always a gay man, and was then suddenly a gay man who wanted to get married. With other people, like straight people, it might be a little harder to convince them that this is an issue that matters to them. But if you can do it – if you can, say, convince your uncle who has a framed picture of Glenn Beck above his bed that the niece he loves is honestly devastated that she can’t marry her girlfriend – then bam, you might have another, arguably more important reversal of position. We talk about this a lot – visibility, the importance of coming out, people are more likely to vote in favor of gay issues if they know a gay person – but we don’t always take it as seriously as we should. Do us all a favor today and make sure that what matters to you matters to someone else too. (@aceshowbiz)(pinkisthenewblog)

Houston mayor and out lesbian Annise Parker, who presides over a city in which she and her partner can’t legally marry, signed her first piece of gay-related legislation – an executive order banning discrimination against LGBT employees. The Dallas Voice is saying it may actually be the most comprehensive in the country. “The sweeping order, which was signed March 25 and took effect immediately, includes gender identity and gender expression protections. It enforces the policy among contractors, vendors, and city agencies. The order makes it a violation “to fail or refuse to hire, recruit, appoint, promote or train any individual” based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s also a violation “to discipline, demote, transfer, lay off, fail to recall or terminate” or to “or to limit, segregate or classify employees or applicants” for those reasons.” (@theadvocate)

In light of the mounting anti-gay government sentiment in African countries like Uganda and Malawi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has joined over 60 human rights groups in calling for Uganda to rescind its horrifying anti-gay legislation. Western criticisms of the “kill the gays” bill have often been dismissed as the voice of cultural imperialism; hopefully Archbishop Tutu’s support will make a difference. (@guardian)

Speaking of anti-discrimination, Salt Lake City has passed a landmark ordinance that protects gays, bisexuals and transgenders from discrimination in employment and housing. “John W. Bennett, who is gay and a nephew of Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, praised the capital city for taking the lead in offering the protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. He recalled being fired from a state government job in 1986 for his sexual orientation. “This is truly a good Friday. Today I’m ecstatic,” Bennett said.” (@abc4)

Professional wrestler Chris Kanyon (real name Klucsaritis), who came out as gay after leaving the WCW and WWE, was found dead of apparent suicide on April 2nd, seemingly having overdosed on prescription pain pills. He was closeted during most of his time wrestling, and is said to have battled depression and bipolar disorder. (@gather)

Amazingly, there still exists a law on the books in California that requires physicians to “seek the causes and cures of homosexuality.” It apparently dates back to the 1950s, when a child molestation and murder caused widespread gay panic even though the perpetrator wasn’t gay. California assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal is trying to get it removed, and her bill will face its first hearing on Tuesday. (@theadvocate)

Last week HRC Communications Director Brad Luna had his position “eliminated,” and today his departure from the organization was confirmed. It’s unclear whether the HRC’s decision had anything to do with the publicity they received after Dan Choi’s demonstration of civil disobedience and subsequent criticism of HRC’s approach. The HRC’s choice of a replacement Communications Director (or their choice to discontinue the position) might say a lot about the direction they plan on going from now on. (@joemygod)

A lot of people have a lot of feelings about the Tea Party. Liberals critique them for being belligerent, uninformed, and alarmist, as well as overwhelmingly white. But it’s also maybe a good idea to look at the criticisms of the Tea Party from within the conservative community. Lenny McAllister writes at The Root about how he as a black conservative views the Tea Party, and why he doesn’t count himself as a member. “Unless we speak a language to black voters that denotes respect and commonality, black conservatives cannot effectively show that they understand the issues that face black America – and how Republican solutions make sense for black voters. If recent statements are any indication, the fringes of Black conservatism are merely repeating the mistakes of their conservative forerunners. An example was the black Tea Party member talking on national television about how African Americans refused to engage the Tea Party because they were “hypnotized” by President Barack Obama. That kind of talk is not a language that will bring diversity to the movement.” (@theroot)

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


    • He’s the shit. I remember learning all about him and the apartheid and thinking how great he was back then. Glad to see he is still fighting for what is right (he is 78!)

    • are you talking about the wainwright picture? b/c i feel the same way, i especially love how jorn looks like a sexy gay burt reynolds

  1. HRC shake-ups make me nervous, because they have a bad history of coming in the form of tossing some group under the bus (most notably transpeople). Just makes me wonder who’s next at the chopping block, and what group Brad Luna might have supported that’s too outre for management.

  2. Yes, Wainwright clearly saw the light when he realized his own house was dark. But that’s okay, because its truly out of necessity that people change their views.

    Homophobes and supporters of inequality sometimes wake up with its a loved one under their boot. So, great lesson for all and a loud cry for visibility.

    I am real sad to hear about Chris Kanyon’s suicide. I remember him back in the good old days of the WWF vs WCW/ECW. Yes, I was a wrestling fan. I would still be one if there weren’t so damn pg-13.

  4. Wainwright changed his opinion when he realized it would affect his life because people change their minds when it becomes personal.

    • Sad but true. So we gotta make sure everyone becomes gay and finds their lifemate, that’s the strategy.

    • I would love to be part of the grope, i naver expose my sexuality befor, i at the moment i need a help, i was deported last year to a coutry i left when i was 16 years,wille i was there i was dating women and i nearly get killed,so i run back to the u.k,plaes where i allways lived and what-evar i date man ou woman i have naver had problems, the immigration wants t deport me back to that country son i am scared to die and besaide my kids ind my ex-grill friend are devestaited,they need proofs to comform i am gay, please tel m what can i do, please call m on:07424539307.

  5. Thank God someone in my home state of Texas is finally making strides for homosexuality! Usually they just shoot first and ask questions later. Annise Parker is a pretty cool broad.

  6. I actually loved that Rufus Wainright quote about liking “old-school” gayness!

    I assumed that he was not encouraging seeing queer people as freaky-in-a-bad-way but actually saying something kind of in line with more radical queer theorists’ views on gay marriage – like, of course everyone ought to be able to get married to whoever, but the way it is talked about and made a front and center agenda item can kind of take the queer out of being queer, making normalcy (which by definition is straight a goal (NOT that we shouldn’t have/want access to normal things), and further marginalizing people whose lives don’t fit into marriage, nuclear families, etc. Kind of a la that book “The Trouble With Normal”? No? Just me? I’m not that into Rufus personally and I totally want my future to include privileges that now are only available via marriage – but I feel like when I see gay/queer marriage/anything talked about in mainstream media outlets or in other watered-down contexts it becomes like “gays are just like you, straight people, in every way except one tiny little one! don’t worry they will not actually make you uncomfortable at all!!” and my experience is that being queer IS different and there is power and possibility in the difference.


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