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About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 21, 2005)
Civil rights. Community. Movement.
Civil rights [n. ]
The rights belonging to an individual by virtue
of citizenship, especially the right to due process, equal protection of
the law and freedom from discrimination.
community [n.J A group of people with a common characteristic
or interest living together within a larger society.
movement [n.J An organized effort to promote or attain an end;
the act of moving.
he histories of America’s civil rights movements—and their
successes in securing equal protection of the law for those
denied it—have always been shaped hy the complex inter
weaving of legal victories, political progress and advances in
So when we look at the state of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
civil rights today, we have every reason to be optimistic. Our movement
is strong, it is determined, and it is gathering momentum every day.
It has been only 18 months since the Supreme Court struck down the
last remaining state laws that branded us as criminals, little more than a
year since Massachusetts’ top court ruled that same-sex couples could not
be denied full equality in marriage, and mere weeks since California
enacted the nation’s most expansive domestic partnership law.
All the while, public support for LGBT equality continues to grow.
Gallup has reported that 89 percent of Americans support equal employ
ment opportunity for gays and lesbians. Polls also show nearly two-thirds
support the same opportunities for transgender Americans. Nearly four in
five—up from 57 percent just a decade ago—support openly gay military
servicemembers, and amid the enactment of anti-gay constitutional
amendments in 11 states this past November, exit polls showed that 60
percent of voters favor legal recognition for same-sex couples.
The speed with which our movement is advancing on all fronts is
absolutely historic—and it hasn’t happened by chance or by accident.
A joint statement by 22 national organizations
• We must fight against anti-LGBT violence and for the inclusion of
sexual orientation and gender identity in federal hate crimes law that
already protects Americans based on race, religion and national origin.
• We must fight—in both the private and public sectors—for better
access to health care and insurance. We must advocate for HIV/AIDS
policies—including age-appropriate, LGBT-inclusive comprehensive sexu
ality education—that effectively address this epidemic at home and abroad.
• We must insist on safe schools, where youth can learn free from
bullying, harassment and discrimination. •
• We must fight for family laws that give our children strong legal ties
to their parents.
• We must work to overturn the military’s discriminatory anti-LGBT
ban, which dishonors servicemembers who serve their country with valor
• We must continue to expose the radical right’s efforts to advance a
culture of prejudice and intolerance, and we must fight their attempts to
enshrine anti-gay bigotry in our state and federal laws and constitutions.
• And we must continue our vigorous fight for the freedom to marry
and the equal protections, rights and responsibilities that safeguard our
families, strengthen our commitments and continue to transform under
standing of our lives and our relationships.
n December, People asked President and Mrs. Bush about civil unions.
“Is a couple joined by that kind of legal arrangement as much of a fam
ily as, say, you two are a family?” “Of course,” President Bush replied.
Bush’s acknowledgment (despite his support for an anti-gay constitu
tional amendment) has set an important new minimum standard for
future dialogue surrounding same-sex couples and families, one that
reflects an evolving public respect for our relationships that even those
who seek to codify discrimination against us cannot easily ignore.
This revolution in understanding and respect has been made possible
by millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans who are
he lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community crosses all bor
coming out, being out and living the truth of their lives for others to see.
ders. We are bom into families as diverse as our nation. We are of
every race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, class, educational background, By families unafraid to publicly declare their love for and commitment to
one another. By people unwilling, by
ability and party affiliation. We live in cities, towns
word or deed, to tell future genera
and neighborhixjds across this country, in red states
F rom the P ublisher
tions that our relationships are
and in blue. We, literally, are everywhere.
n Jan. 13 I joined representatives from gay and les deserving of anything less than
Yet because that rich diversity often goes unseen,
publications across the country in a conference acceptance, respect and celebration.
ignored or forgotten, we remain vulnerable to in
phone call rruxlerated by GLAAD executive director
And by an orchestra of organizations
accurate stereotypes manufactured by a small but
Joan Garry. The purpose of the call was to announce a
to the strategic advance
powerful group of anti-gay extremists. Wrapping
of unprecedented unity in the gay rights
ment of our movement.
themselves in cloaks of “family” and "values,” these
But at the erid of the day, our
groups are spending tens of millions of dollars to
A total of 22 of our community’s leading advocacy
movement must be more than a col
confuse, distort and subvert the public debate that
groups came together to take a leadership role of purpose lective noun. It must also be an
continues to change hearts and minds about our
and focus: American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian &
action. Even the most vibrant, vital
right to equality as it opens America’s eyes to the
Gay Rights Project; Equality Federation; Freedom to
can, over time, settle
true family values that LGBT couples, parents and
Marry; Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; Gay &
into a status quo. A movement can
families are living and demonstrating every day.
Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; Gay & Lesbian
And the success of our move
This public debate serves another purpose as
Victory Fund and Leadership Institute; Gay, Lesbian and ment is measured not only in the
well: It reveals the unjust realities our community
Straight Education Network; Human Rights Campaign;
hearts and minds we change, the
faces. If we must take time to care for an ill partner,
Lambda Legal; Log Cabin Republicans; Mautner Project; allies we engage and the civil rights
we can lose our jobs because we are denied the pro
National Association of LGBT Community Centers;
we secure, but in the strength of our
tections of the federal Family and Medical Leave
National Black Justice Coalition; National Center for
collective commitment to the pur
Act. Surviving gay and lesbian partners can find
Lesbian Rights; National Center for Transgender Equali suit of enduring social^politicai and
their families imperiled by laws that deny inheri
ty; National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs;
legal change that moves us ever
tance, child custody rights and Social Security sur
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; National Youth
to true equality. Each of us.
vivors’ protection. Binational LGBT couples and
Advocacy Coalition; Parents, Families and Friends of
Each of you.
families can be cruelly tom apart by deportation and
Lesbians and Gays; Servicemembers Legal I3efen.se Net
Get involved. Learn more about
immigration laws that treat them as legal strangers.
work; Sigamos Adelante: National Latino/Hispanic
the work of our movement’s local,
The manifest unfairness of these and countless
LGBT Leadership; and Stonewall Democrats.
and national organizations.
other discriminations is one reason why support for
In the wake of 2004’s election results, it is cnicial that Invest in that work. Encourage your
LGBT equality continues to rise. It’s also why we
we, as a whole, clearly understand what lies ahead in our straight friends and family to do
must commit to creating of our diverse community
struggles for full equality—and the responsibilities
likewise; give them the opportunity
a truly inclusive movement—one that is represent
incumbent upon each of us individually. —Marty Davis to invest in our future—and theirs.
ed by and pursues justice for the diverse lives that
Champion equality and respect in
give it substance.
your community. Engage new allies at home, in your workplace, in
The groups represented here are parts of a large civil rights orchestra.
your place of worship, at your school. Stand up. Spread the word.
We play different instruments—lobbying, electoral politics, impact litiga
Share your story.
tion, grassnxits organizing, public education, media advocacy and more—
By virtue of who we are, we’re a community. But it is by virtue of the
and we are dedicated to playing them well. While our organizations vary in
decisions we make that we become part of a movement—a civil rights
focus and strategies, we share a number of common priorities that will help
movement working together to create a better, more hopeful world limit
shape and unite our work in the months and years to come. Among them:
ed only by our ability to envision its promise and experience all that it
• We must fight for equal employment opportunity, benefits and pro
has to offer. jm
tections—and the federal and state laws that safeguard them.
Just Out is published on the first and third Friday of each month. Copyright © 2005 by Just Out No part of Just Out may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher Editorial
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the in publication for the out population
Founded 1983 • Jay Brown and Renée LaChance
Vol. 22 No. 6
January 21, 2005
18 THE BEST MEDICINE
Gail Hand is laughing through life’s ups and
Cascade AIDS Project clients thrive in a class
that asks the big questions; Equity Foundation
establishes Paul Higgins Endowment Fund;
Queer blogs: DIY publishing on the Internet
D.C. meeting galvanizes-AIDS activists; U.S.
Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to
Florida gay adoption ban
Nelson Mandela’s son dies of AIDS; Nepal gets
a gay newspaper
ARTS AND CULTURE
Rock, read and listen at benefits for In Other
Words; On the Verge; Out on the Slopes; The
Tragedies; Hot Flash Dance Party; Gus Van
Sant joins Oregon Film and Video board
Queer mystery writers explore the trail blazed by
the late Joseph Hansen
Solid documentary celebrates queer poet and
counterculture hero Allen Ginsberg; Ethan and
Leo need to grow up; Elektra kisses a chick;
Dianetics killed the movie star; zebra earns his
Stripes in kid flick; director pokes fun at herself
in Sex fs Comedy; Kevin Bacon plays a paroled
pedophile in The Woodsman
It takes a village
29 MS. BEHAVIOR
Mushroom cloud nine
38 JIM’S CLOSET
PUBLISHER & MANAGING EDITOR
ARTS AND CULTURE EDITOR
Kari Tate, Ashley Austin, Cshea Walker
Austin Ault, Kathy Beige, Stephen Blair,
Meryl Cohn, Meg Daly, Jodi Helmer,
Timothy Krause, Andy Mangels,
Christopher McQuain, Gary Morris.
Rebecca Ragain, Bob Roehr, Floyd
Sklaver, Tori Stratton, Rex Wockner,
Kristine Ashton, Allison Benn,
Lisa Benson, Brian Boucher