Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gay Vets No Spousal Benefits; HRC Apologizes; Big Brother Homophobia Again

Gay Vets No Spousal Benefits

A US House Committee knocked down legislation today that have provided military benefits for same sex couples who aren't yet recognized on a state level...the same benefits all straight married couples received from the US Government. Many same sex marriages in the US are still not considered legal on a state level, but they are on a federal level. All this has to do with a law written a long time ago.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act last year allows the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages and generally provide gay and lesbian married couples with the same benefits as straight ones, but a law governing veterans’ benefits poses an obstacle. That law, Section 103(c) of Title 38 of the U.S. Code, bases marriage recognition on the state where the couple lives, not the state where the marriage took place. So same-sex spouses of veterans cannot receive benefits if they live in states that do not recognize their marriage.

You can read more here. The votes followed party lines, of course, with one lone Republican who voted in favor of granting the benefits. The American Military Partner Association issues a statement stating "It’s a sad reflection on the state of our Congress when our elected officials cannot put aside their differences to end this discrimination.”

Evidently, we're going to have to be a lot more careful in the upcoming elections to see who supports what now. I used to vote according a winning candidate. Now I vote to keep certain candidates out of office.

HRC Apologizes

The Human Rights Campaign made a formal apology to the transgender community.

'I am sorry for the times you have been underrepresented or unrepresented by this organization,' HRC President Chad Griffin said over the weekend at the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta.

'What happens to trans people is absolutely central to the LGBT struggle,' Griffin added. 'And as the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, HRC has a responsibility to do that struggle justice, or else we are failing at our fundamental mission.'

I think the trans population is highly underestimated. If you think it's hard to come out as gay, it's probably ten times harder to come out as a transgender person. At least that's what I've been told by my trans friends. I actually know a gay man who is a drag performer and his family accepted him as gay, but he still has not admitted to them he's a drag performer...and he's not even a full transgender person.

You can read more here.

Big Brother Homophobia...Again

I'm not even going to link to all the posts I've written about homophobic comments made by Big Brother reality show house guests. I'm too over it and too lazy. This new one alleges that on Celebrity Big Brother in the UK house guest James Jordan, best known for dancing, can be added to the homophobic list. He doesn't think men should be dancing with me.

‘Latin dancing is about a man and a woman dancing with each other… not two people of the same sex.'

When White asks him if Strictly is allowing same-sex couples on its current season, he replies, ‘No, I don’t believe it that either.

'Just because you're gay doesn't mean you can't dance with a woman.’

 He went on to defend his stance by saying that one of his former dance idols had been gay, but that he just didn’t like the idea of men dancing with men.

'My dance idol growing up was as camp as a butcher's hook… He was totally gay. But he was the most masculine dancer you could ever meet. Why would you want to dance with men? Men with men?'

Well it's not about gay men not dancing with women. We don't mind that. It's about gay men being able to dance with other men, in public, without shame. We do mind that. I won't even dignify the butcher's hook comment.

I'm actually not blaming this on Big Brother anymore. A huge part of this show is about social interactions and how people react to them. I'm actually starting to think that Big Brother is teaching us all a few valuable lessons and they might not even know it.  James Jordan might have been the one to say it aloud, but how many others are actually thinking the same thing.

You can read more here.

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