LGBTQ News Roundup: The Kids Weren’t Alright, and Neither Were All of The Adults

Unfortunately, autostraddle dot com was down until recently (Did you know Autostraddle was down?) Chances are, you noticed and you emailed Riese, and not Tess, or asked someone about it on, but did not email Tess. While you were doing homework and contemplating abandoning the internet, and our domain, forever despite continuing to reload the page and oh my GOD why isn’t it loading still? (stay tuned for a post on the topic of there being no posts later this evening), we were keeping track of the things we wanted to tell you.

While Autostraddle was down, a lot of things happened.

Some of them centered around teenagers:

+ At a few schools, homophobia got a big thumbs-up: on Tuesday, Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Chicago, was told by a District Court judge that administrators could not limit the “free speech” of their students – and therefore upheld the right for students to wear shirts reading “Be Happy, Not Gay,” and “Be Happy, Be Straight.” My guess is that these shirts make gay people and nice straight people unhappy. (The shirts were made to combat kids participating in Day of Silence, which was commemorated with a tee shirt.)

+ Students at Harding University calling themselves the “HU Queer Press” launched a website to talk about the gay/lesbian experience at their Conservative Christian school on Wednesday morning. By four p.m., school administrators had already blocked the site.

+ Meanwhile in Texas, the validity / importance / existence of “Gay/Lesbian Clubs” is being called into question.  Rachel wrote about this and you can read it here.

Some of them were about adults acting like “lovestruck teenagers” instead:

A lesbian Army captain in the U.K. Royal Military Police, Karen Tait, was sent home from Afghanistan because of a relationship she had with a Sergeant prior to deployment. She is openly gay. Tait denies that the relationship continued while she was on tour, and also denies that it clouded her judgment. But it may be too late, because she was caught in the SCANDAL OF ALL LESBIAN ARMY SCANDALS. Yes, that’s right, Karen Tait was seen running sunscreen into the Sergeant’s hand. And because of this, she now faces a military tribunal. Tait claims that her forced leave of absence, and the way her relationship is being treated, is really about discrimination based on her sexuality. (SURPRISE!) You can judge by reading some excerpts of the gossip her colleagues spilled to the Guardian:

The staff sergeant said the two ‘selfish individuals were out for themselves’ and Cpt Tait was a ‘disgrace’.

Another experienced officer said they were ‘so wrapped up in themselves it’s nothing short of criminal’.

Do you think this sounds like a legitimate conflict of interest for these two ladies, or do you think this sounds like the Sergeant needed sunscreen and her colleagues are jealous? Right now, you have the room to think about it. The ruling by the tribunal has not yet been reached.

And lastly, there is a new bunch of news concerning adults:

+ Prop 8: In California, the gay marriage debacle is clearning up – with some help from the Attorney General. Kamala Harris on Tuesday requested that marriages be granted in the state once more, beginning immediately. This is, quite obviously, a blow to the backers of the gay marriage ban in her state. Her decision comes for a few reasons, including the recent Obama decision on DOMA. She also feels that the fight over Prop 8 will ultimately be “fruitless,” no pun intended, and that it is a waste of time to let it continue.

+ Adoption: And in the ultimate case of turning the world upside down, a heterosexual couple in Britain was denied the right to adoption because they disapprove of homosexuality. Yes, you heard that right. Potentially the best thing you missed while Autostraddle was down was the imagery of a social worker taking that couple to town because they inteded to teach their kids that the gay lifestyle is “immoral.” In today’s Britain, after the passage of the Equality Act 2006, that is considered religious discrimination. The law also makes it impossible for Christian adoption agencies to deny service to gay couples seeking out children. (They reacted by closing down.) So, um, double yay! It seems as though the law has made life better for all of the gays in Britain – leading me to wonder what good a similar piece of legislation could do here.

+ In Maryland, two delegates expected to vote yes on same-sex marriage have um, disappeared.

So, while Autostraddle was down, indeed a lot happened. You looked great the whole time. And now that we’re back, we’ll always have you covered.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. “a heterosexual couple in Britain was denied the right to adoption because they disapprove of homosexuality.”

    Um, woah.

    • I actually made this insane screechy noise of amazement when I saw the article on the BBC a few days ago. \o/

  2. Also regarding the whole Maryland thing — one of the cosponsors of the bill is denying that he ever intended to vote for it, which is, to put it lightly, ridiculous.

    People are calling him out on it, and hopefully he’ll listen (although it doesn’t look good, since he’s apparently deleting all of his past twitter posts regarding his intention to support the bill). If you want to help, more information is here:

    His contact info is:
    Twitter: @Sam_Arora
    (410) 841-3528, (301) 858-3528
    1-800-492-7122, ext. 3528 (toll free)
    e-mail: [email protected]
    fax: (410) 841-3011, (410) 841-3528, (301) 858-3528, (240) 245-0018

    Go, autostraddlers, go!

  3. Honestly, the idea of denying adoption to people because they don’t approve of gayness seems a little… extreme to me. And I don’t know why. Like, that should make me totally happy but it doesn’t.

    • It seems extreme until that child has grown up to be gay and consequently kicked out of their home by parents that don’t support them, leading to a whole new set of issues for the child.

  4. I love the adoption situation – when I first found out I was just blindsided by awesome. Sometimes my country IS decent, and it’s nice to have a reminder that religion is forced to take a back seat to gay rights. <3 I barely even give a SHIT about that couple, I am sorry. It's just too amazing.

    Now if only the Church hadn't split during the women bishops situation, and they would actually bother to introduce religious gay marriage, because moving to allow civil partnerships to take place in religious places and use religious material WITHOUT being given the technical term 'marriage' is such bullshit…

  5. I’m a straight, ex-army bloke.

    Yes, that’s right, Karen Tait was seen running (sic) (you mean rubbing?) sunscreen into the Sergeant’s hand.

    When I was in the army, mid ’70s to mid ’80s, we were taught to put on cam(ouflage) cream, sunblock etc to each other… it was called the Buddy System. So you’d get hairy-arsed squaddie warriors putting make-up/sun cream on each other, all approved and nice, like…

    Just thought I’d mention that

    • I was in basic for the army two years ago. They insisted that we do whatever we had to for our “battle buddies” up to and including “checking each other’s assholes for ticks”

      So yeah. The hetero’s act gayer than we could ever imagine cuz we’re scared of being outed and losing our income. It’sa big joke to them.

  6. Um, there’s court precedent for schools limiting the free speech of students in terms of not allowing them to wear hateful shirts. Schools have made students go home for wearing racist shirts and courts have upheld that, saying free speech can be limited in a school environment… it’s political speech that is protected in the Tinker v. Des Moines case, not hate speech. This is hate speech.

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