Friday, June 1, 2012

June 2012

We are living in dizzying times, Poppets, and not in the good way. More often than not these days, I feel like a pin ball, bouncing faster and faster between bumpers. DADT is repealed; DOMA is still in effect. North Carolina votes for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage; the President comes out in favor of same-sex marriage. The federal government stops defending DOMA; the House of Representatives reaffirms its commitment to the law. The governors of Rhode Island and Illinois come out in favor of same-sex marriage; a Mississippi legislator quotes Leviticus (which, in case you don’t know, calls for gay men to be put to death). And need I say that issues unrelated to marital status are even more dizzying? No, I didn’t think so.

According to a wicked cool graph sent to me by one of my best friends, the core issues of hate crimes, housing, and employment break down as confusingly as same-sex marriage. While 31 states have protections against hate crimes due to sexual orientation, only 14 states protect against those same crimes based on gender identity. Housing protections are afforded to LGB peoples in 21 states, and only 17 to the Ts in our alphabet soup. Finally, only 22 states protect employment based on orientation, and 17 based on identity. (

It’s loud, chaotic, and confusing. Given the noise, it is more important than ever to be diligent, especially in an election year. Know your allies and your enemies.

Each side has its own spin, and if you don’t listen too closely, they might sound pretty good. That doesn’t mean they are. Do your own research; figure out your own priorities. Know what – and who – serves your best interests.

Federal elections take center stage, and that’s okay. But pay close attention to your state elections, as well. What the federal government doesn’t legislate, the states will - and our rights are being addressed at both levels.

Same-sex marriage is an important issue. It’s not the only important issue. Federal elections are important every election year. State elections are just as important this year. Don’t let them bounce you back and forth between bumpers. Don’t be distracted by the lights and the noise.

We’re on the right path, Poppets. Let’s stay there.

Until next month, Poppets, take care of you.

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