This week, we honor the passing of three powerful advocates: marriage equality pioneer Richard Adams, AIDS activist Spencer Cox, and pro-LGBT Hawaiian senator Daniel Inouye. We also join the Indiana Stonewall Democrats in wishing peace and a quick recovery for their president, Aaron Schaler, who was injured in an accident in Indianapolis on the 19th.
In U.S. News, General this week we have a gem of an illustrative snapshot of the state of the country with the two news items out of Montana. The first story is about a how bill to grant same-sex married couples the same benefits as heterosexual married couples was narrowly rejected by the state supreme court as being “overly broad” and the second story, from 24 hours later, tells the tale of the state capital Helena’s unanimous city council vote in favor of a nondiscrimination ordinance to ban LBGT housing/employment/other discrimination. Slowly but surely and from the ground up — change has to start with the conversations we have every day.
More good news on the Marriage Equality front: the state of São Paulo in Brazil will be legalizing same-sex marriage and Rhode Island announces it will join in the U.S. queue for equality with a vote expected next year. From Illinois, which also expects to have a vote in January, we hear the inevitable news that a new scare-tactic religious group has formed to fight the effort but the follow-up story which tells of the hundreds of religious leaders who have joined forces to support equality and the Chicago Sun-Times‘ editorial “Legalize Gay Marriage Now” seem to provide a much better indication of what the majority of the state is thinking.
In our Transgender section, we have not one but TWO articles on the challenges and rewards of transgender parenting. The stories about parenting-while-LGBT or raising LGBT children seemed to come out in force this week as Christmas and New Year’s Eve loom. Those of you who haven’t seen the blog “Raising My Rainbow” where “C.J.’s mom” details her family’s journey to support four-year-old C.J. in developing his identity are in for a treat. Her lovely entry “My Son’s Christmas Dress” can be found in this week’s Holiday Related section.
Vatican City came out swinging this week in Opponent Watch with the Pope’s festive Christmas rant about gender roles and the Church’s official newspaper editorial that claims gay people inhabit a “different reality” because of our inability to engage in closed-loop procreation with our chosen partner. *SARCASM ALERT*We’re expecting a follow-up any day now on what that logic means for cis men and women who marry after childbearing age or infertile straight couples who use a surrogate or adopt.
My personal favorites from this week’s batch include the report about Chicago’s Center on Halsted low-income senior housing project, Nate Phelps’ “Dear Maria…” letter to a Christian friend about the harm she’s unintentionally doing by giving only “qualified love,” and (because of my strong opinions on identity expression) I was also very interested in Guy Branum’s reaction to (OUT.com’s person of the year) elections wizard Nate Silver’s claim of being “sexually gay but ethnically straight.”