"I believe in social dislocation and creative trouble." -Bayard Rustin, openly queer organizer of the '63 March on Washington
"This endorsement came down to the issues of education and healthcare and the draining of resources from our state in order to fund the war in Iraq," said Sharon Palmer, president of AFT Connecticut. "Ned Lamont understands these issues and agrees with our positions."
"Our educational system has been pushed to the limit by the requirements under No Child Left Behind which has been underfunded by forty-five billion dollars," said Palmer. "Ned Lamont will support students and teachers by fighting to fully fund this federal mandate."
"With more than one in ten people in Connecticut uninsured and many more underinsured, our state is facing a health care crisis of epic proportions," said Palmer. "Ned Lamont supports universal health care that will provide high quality health care for all."
"More than two hundred and fifty million dollars a day is being diverted into the war in Iraq," said Palmer. "Money that could have been used to improve public services in Connecticut. Ned Lamont understands this and will stand up to the Bush Administration. That's why AFT Connecticut is proud to endorse Ned Lamont for U.S. Senate. Ned Lamont will fight to improve education, healthcare and public services for Connecticut's working families."
The second objection to gay unions comes from those who argue that marriage is a holy sacrament whose dimensions have for most of human history been set by religious communities.
This concern is also legitimate, but it should be met with a different answer than banning same-sex marriage. Instead, marriage ought to be taken out of the state's hands entirely. Let people be wed in the private realm with no official legal sanction. Then, religious communities that oppose gay marriage will not sanction them, and those like mine that sanction the practice will conduct it. Rather than issuing marriage certificates or divorces, the state would simply enforce civil unions as contracts between consenting adults and enforce laws imposing obligations on people who bring children into the world.
This approach is far more likely to be a winning strategy for those who wish to beat back the assault on gay rights.
This is the desire for normalcy at its worst. And this is the face of a movement that truly threatens to turn back gains made in schools over the years. This bullshit needs to be taken on in every school board across America. These programs are so psychologically unsound and so unsafe that they cannot possibly be considered healthy.
It's high time a new push was made to get queer issues addressed in middle and high schools across the nation. Where they're not addressed, we need to work hard to get them included in health/safe-sex curricula as well as highlight, as California may soon do, the contributions of gays and lesbians in history (expect this to be the subject of another post). Where queer issues are addressed, we need to pre-emptively defend them against ex-gay challenges. The 3,000 Gay-Straight Alliances around the country seem perfectly positioned to lead this fight. We have to recognize that it's not enough just to have a support group in a school, and that it's not enough to have a day of SILENCE once a year. The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) should organize students in GSAs to start organizing parents and each other, and become true forces for change in their communities.
We should not be timid or afraid of appearing to push too strongly a "gay agenda" - for unless we do, the ex-gay agenda will destroy much of the already incredible progress we've made in schools, which would be a disaster for the LGBT movement.
We need to recognize that the leaders of the forces of political and religious intolerance are not driven primarily by anti-gay animus, even though it often feels that way. Instead, under their frame, anti-choice, anti-environment, anti-welfare, anti-sex, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT philosophies not only fit together but are all intertwined...Those of us on the other side, however, lack this overarching and elastic frame. We're all desperately fighting defensive battles to protect our own very narrow slices of an ever-diminishing pie. By ignoring Ben Franklin's advice to all hang together, we are most assuredly in imminent danger of hanging separately, each in our own silos.
This is a stark reality for our own community. At between 4-6 percent of the population, we are simply too small to win equality by ourselves. That means we must build alliances and relationships of trust with other communities and causes. Building these kinds of alliances requires more than words, it requires reciprocal work.
The stacking of the courts has emboldened those who wish to turn back all progress in the area of civil rights, privacy rights, and of course reproductive rights. The attack on Roe in South Dakota was predictable and a direct consequence of the confirmation of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. The strategy to pack the courts with right-wing judges who are committed to overturning Roe is no secret. Yet, Senator Lieberman is one of seven Democrats who have promised not to filibuster any of President Bush's judicial nominees, except under "extraordinary circumstances." Well if packing the Supreme Court with abortion opponents like John Roberts and Samuel Alito is not an extraordinary circumstance, then we don't know what is.
These are precarious times for women. We cannot be satisfied with a senator who votes for women much of the time, or even most of the time. We need courageous leaders who will protect and advance all of our rights all of the time. The winner of this election will have profound influence on national policy which directly affects women and girls in Connecticut, in the nation and throughout the world. We are confident that we have found principled leadership in Ned Lamont and are proud to endorse his candidacy for U.S. Senate.
"Sen. Lieberman's strong support of fairness for all Americans -- gay or straight -- dates back three decades to a time when few of his peers were standing by his side," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.