A Promising Week for Advancing LGBT Rights

All in all, it’s been a good week for us.

With President Obama in the White House (and finally President rather than President-Elect Obama), I finally feel like there’s an ally for LGBT rights in the White House. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new White House website yet, visit this page and scroll down to the section on LGBT rights. President Obama is calling for a repeal of DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, civil unions affording LGBT partners the same legal rights and privileges that married couples enjoy, and a pledge to fight hate crimes and workplace discrimination. I know that what lies ahead won’t be easy, but I feel that our voices will be heard in this new era that was so dramatically ushered in on Tuesday.

If you missed the inspirational words of Bishop Gene Robinson, who kicked off Sunday’s We Are One concert with an invocation, you can read it here or view it here. Unfortunately, many people missed it, as HBO’s coverage of the concert, though available to all cable TV subscribers, didn’t include the invocation. You can view reactions to that here or even add your own.

In the meantime, consider what you can do in the weeks and months ahead to help advance LGBT rights. Encourage your family and friends to join Atticus Circle to keep up-to-date on our calls to action. Wear a T-shirt that encourages discussion of these vitally important issues. We are in what could be a pivotal era for the advancement of LGBT rights — but it won’t happen if we sit idly by and wait for change. This week’s inauguration is the end result of a campaign that involved millions giving time, energy, and money to turn “Yes We Can” into “Yes We Will.”

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5 Responses to A Promising Week for Advancing LGBT Rights

  1. Thanks for the hard work you do for equality. We enjoy Atticus Circle and have put a link to you on our , couples (caffection) website. You will find your link in the Vision section of the “What’s Caffection?” page. We know many people will use your great resources.
    Best regard,
    Mariah & Byron Edgington

  2. Clarence says:

    I know that what lies ahead won’t be easy, but I feel that our voices will be heard in this new era that was so dramatically ushered in on Tuesday.

    Of course, what you say is true, but so many of us in the GLBT community (including our wonderful straight allies) have gotten used to the idea that our struggle “won’t be easy.” My own life has shown me that nothing worth having is ever easy. As impatient as I get sometimes, I have no doubt that our cause is just & that we will win this fight one heart at a time. For those of us who have yet to realize our full value as American citizens & even as human beings,there is no Plan B. If we stand by believing that the hill we must climb is too steep, and if we let the fear of failing prevent us from doing what we know must be done, then we are doomed to spend our lives in the Valley of the Shadow of second-class citizenship. As with any minority, if we continue to accept less than full equality, then “less” is what will always be offered us.

    As for our new President, of course, I feel the hope that most Americans feel now, even in spite of our current economic circumstances. For the first time in nearly a decade, I feel as if I am not the enemy.

    For me, that’s huge, and I am deeply thankful, but here’s to bigger & better things for our community in 2009 & beyond!

  3. Marian and Byron:

    Thanks for linking us! We’ll be sure to stop by your site and check in! (Love the name.)

  4. Clarence:

    Great point about the dangers of accepting less than full equality. Thanks for your comment — look forward to hearing more from you on the blog.

  5. Clarence says:

    Thank you for the kind response to my post!

    Thank you, too, for simply being here. After “living” in the closet for the first three-quarters of my time on this planet, and after ever giving up hope for anything more than the miserable existence I came to know so well, it’s so wonderful to know that I am truly, truly not alone.

    I am not sure I could ever form the proper words to thank all the wonderful straight people who helped me out of the deep, dark hole I had dug for myself. My first step out of that closet was a trip to PFLAG, where I spoke to moms & dads who helped me to understand that there is REAL life outside that closet door. I had allowed the “world” to very nearly mortally wound me & I had lost all interest in carrying on the charade that my sad “life” had become. I found no joy in my so-called “life” and I felt like a stranger no matter where I went. It felt like I was always on the outside looking in. Hope became a dangerous thing for me, because I knew I had no real reason to hope & I had no plan to make my “life” stop hurting.

    Though I had heard most of my life that people like me were not welcomed by God & could never have a relationship with God in our persistent state of “sin”, the PFLAG’ers (who meet in a Methodist Church in Orlando, by the way:-) helped me start to understand that the only thing wrong with me was that I never gave my parents (and my Heavenly Father) enough credit. They were right, of course, and–while my voyage to wholeness is still not done–it was when I met those wonderful heterosexual angels of PFLAG in that church all those years ago, that I finally understood how important straight people are to the Good Fight we must fight every, single day.

    I remember when I was not strong enough to stand up for myself, and I know what it’s like to be scared to open my mouth in the slightest defense of my own humanity…and I know that there are still so many of my GLBT brothers & sisters out in that big wide world who are still frightened to open their hearts and their mouths. I know I have passed the darkest days of my own personal hell, but I know that the struggle isn’t just about me. It’s about all of us. It’s about knowing our own value, and knowing that we deserve the same respect & the same rights as any other human being…even if we don’t think we do. To those who talk about how people like me seek “special rights”, I like to say, “All I want is the same ‘special rights’ you have.”

    I apologize for the ramble, but I wanted to make sure you knew that what you do for those of us who sometimes can’t speak up for ourselves is nothing short of inspiring. I also wanted you to know that I appreciate all the hard work you do & the love you show to people you will probably never even meet, and the real lives you are saving by doing what you know is right. The value of Atticus Circle & groups like it in the fight for equality & in affirming the lives of those of us who have felt the need to hide our lives, is immeasurable.

    I am deeply humbled & eternally grateful that you angels at Atticus Circle have so publicly opened your arms & your hearts to those of us who, for so long, have felt so horribly alone & so irreparably broken.

    As I said before, “THANK YOU” could never, ever be enough…but, in the absence of more accurate verbiage, to quote the Golden Girls song, “THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND…”

    🙂

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