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Day of Silence

The daughter will be participating in today's Day of Silence at her hight school.

The Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in collaboration with the United States Student Association (USSA), is a student-led day of action where those who support making anti-LGBT bias unacceptable in schools take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment -- in effect, the silencing -- experienced by LGBT students and their allies.

I'm proud of her for taking part of this, and her devotion to Gay-Straight alliance at her school.

Of course, where there's gay activism, there will be opposition. This article at the ever-tolerant family.org claims that Day of Silence is nothing more than a way to promote homosexuality. Of course. The kids will also be walking around with pamphlets on how to become a homosexual in just three easy steps! And if you join today, you bypass the initiation fee!

Conservative and Christian groups will be countering the Day of Silence with their own Day of Truth:

Irked by the success of the nationwide Day of Silence, which seeks to combat anti-gay bias in schools, conservative activists are launching a counter-event this week called the Day of Truth aimed at mobilizing students who believe homosexuality is sinful.

The teens participating the Day of Silence are trying to bring attention to the bullying and harrassment aimed at gay students. The Day of Truth people are, in turn, telling the gay students that they are sinners. That pretty much proves the point of Day of Silence, doesn't it? The Day of Truth FAQ is some interesting reading.

Kevin Jennings, GLSEN's executive director:

"The Day of Silence was an event conceived of by students themselves in response to a very real problem of bullying and harassment they saw on their campuses," Jennings said. "The Day of Truth is a publicity stunt cooked up by a conservative organization with a political agenda; it's an effort by adults to manipulate some kids.

That organization would be the Alliance Defense Fund, who want to bring you "the Truth" as well as "family values," and prayer in public schools. I guess praying in school also covers casting stones upon those who they perceive to be sinners in the eyes of their God. More on the ADF here.

You can find out more about the Day of Silence here, and the history of the day here. More here. And here's a blogger participating in the Day of Silence at his school.

Also: Darkness of Light, Common Sense Blog.

[cross-posted at blogcritics]

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» Maybe the adults should bow out ... from Darleen's Place
Michele at ASV writes a review of a couple of today's activities that will be taking place at many high schools across the nation. Today you'll find on one hand those participating in Day of Silence, as a witnessing demonstration... [Read More]

» The Day of Moralizing Asshats from The Zero Boss
The witty, biting, and ten-times-more-popular-than-me* Michele has a great post up about the Day of Silence, which I wrote about last April. Social conservatives are countering the day - which they say "promotes homosexuality" - with their own Day of T... [Read More]

Comments

Didn't you know being gay is a curable disease? We got billboards to tell us all about it now!

http://orlando.metblogs.com/archives/2005/04/more_fun_with_b.phtml

Before the ceremonial religion bashing begins -

my views on homosexuality tick people off from every side of the spectrum. There's two parts to it:

1) It takes an incredible amount of logical gymnastics for a Christian or Jew to conclude that homosexual acts are not a sin. Occam's razor: they therefore are (a sin).

2) So are gluttony, adultry, gossip, promiscuity, incest, murder, intent to murder, theft, and any other enumerated wrongs listed in the Torah/Bible. However, in general, "religion" spends entirely too much time and energy pointing out and combating this ONE sin, to the exclusion of the others, and almost NEVER in a spirit of love, as we are commanded. It's embarrasing.

I sure as heck don't consider myself morally superior to a homosexual - I've committed more sins than I wish to speak of. I'll have to answer for them one day. I'm too busy trying to get myself right before God to worry about someone else.

There was a REASON Jesus didn't get into politics.

Do they have a day of silence for the fat kids and the geeks? I'm all against being mean to people, but when I was in school, the odd-ducks certainly received a lot more hate than the suspected gay kids. And, there certainly were a lot more of 'em.

Dude where can I get a "How to be gay in three easy steps" pamphlet? That would almost certainly double my time in the sack! Sweet!

Michelle,
That is a very courageous thing for your daughter to do. Its a tough thing being young and "different", and I'm sure that those who are affected appreciate the solidarity. It also takes courage to stand with those that are not the "norm". I'm glad that you're proud of her. For what its worth, and I know that its not worth much, but I'm proud of her too.

Michele,
Sorry for mis-spelling your name.

I am curious just how persecuted a gay person could be in a public school in the bluest of blue states. Seriously curious.

BTW,

Carin is right. Even here in the South, the fat kids and geeks truly are persecuted, FAR mor than the suspected homosexuals - and they don't have a FKGSN (Fat Kid-Geek Education Network) for support.

The blue state comment is pretty funny. It seems to imply that kids in high school walk around saying: "Hmmm, I live in a blue state - that means I do not bully those who are different from me."

Uhm - bullying crosses political and state lines. It's just an unfortunate part of being a teenager. Doesn't matter - red state, blue state - if there's a kid in your class who is different from the other kids, or fat, or overly geeky, or who smells bad - teenagers will be vicious.

I don't think rallying for the fat and geek kids are in this year. One cause at a time.

I'm very proud of my daughter, Siobhan, who along with her gay friends was one of the founding members of her high school's GSA.

Funny thing is, there is little/no friction between them and either the Christian club or Muslim Brotherhood club on campus. (truth be told, there is more friction between the jocks and geeks than another other demographic)

Is it me, or is it the adults from BOTH sides that are making the political fuss of this?

Darleen, where are the adults from the gay alliance side making a fuss? All I see is the adult christian/conservative alliance people making a fuss.

Why don't they do a day of silence aimed at the bullying and harassment aimed at any student?

I'm with Jay.

One issue at a time folks.

It's gay-rights turn now. In the past it was people of color, and women.

Michele - please pass on my support to your daughter and her friends.

But, Mark - my point was more to the idea that it will never be trendy (or important - or timely) to advocate the fat, the pimpled, and the ugly. They have always been persecuted, and always will. Because - believe me, the OC (or whatever trendy teeny-bopper show is on now-a-days) is never going to showcase these marginalized people in it's glam shows.

Way to go Nat! The apple didn't fall far from the tree, thank goodness.

I had no idea supporting gay rights was about trendiness. Color me informed! And trendy!

Michele

I would call Jennings remark denigrating the DoT as a "publicity stunt" as ratcheting up the rhetoric. And since an adult organization such as GLSEN is organizing/coordinating the event (which is their right) they need to be careful of sniping at any other adult organization that also is organizing/coordinating campus events.

I'm foresquare behind campus GSA's and the DoS event, but I don't think it helps when adults are saying that other students on campus that don't behave inappropriately towards gay students shouldn't hold a personal view that homosexuality is a "sin" or even express that view.

Mark

The fat and/or pimply kids won't be a sexy political demographic, so you can forget having adults getting worked up about it.

Sheesh... I forgot to add

IMO the Do"T" may indeed be "just a publicity stunt" and by NOT giving them ammo by attacking them is the best way to have this be the first and only event they ever organize. Jennings shouldn't be tossing red meat their way.

Repeating what I left in the comments at Darleen's blog:

The gay/straigh alliance kids started the Day of Silence. The adults from Alliance Defense Fund, which bills itself as a conservative/Christian group decided to come up with a counter protest. Maybe if they left it alone, there wouldn't be any need for the sniping you talk about.

And I don't see why so many people are having a problem with the fact that the gay/straight alliance has called attention to the plight of gay students while there are no equivalent days for fat, ugly, or geeky people. Can't one issue just stand on its own without someone decrying the fact that not all issues are represented? Feel bad for the fat, ugly and geeky kids? Go start a club for them and then have your own Day of Silence. I give a lot of credit to the kids who spend a good portion of their after school hours trying to promote an understanding between gay and straight students. Too bad there will always be people who will feel the need to knock what they're doing because it's not enough.

I'm obviously not decrying the GSA or its Day of Silence. And the issue CAN stand on its own.

But let's face it, when schools DO run a more generalized "tolerance of our differences" type assemblies, they just doen't generate the column inches this does.

It certainly doesn't allow the AP to run with headlines about a minority far-right groups as "Conservatives counter gay event"

The school isn't running anything. There are no assemblies. The school only had to agree to let the GSA do it. No one HAS to participate.

And Dobson himself has referred to the ADF as a conservative group.

I'm not decrying anything, really. But, from what I've heard of schools - tolerance for gay kids is at an all-time high. Being gay is no big deal, and kids are pretty far out of the closet. My cousin was on of the most popular kids at her school. Pretty and lesbian.

Apparently that "all time high" isn't enough if there are still groups who want to spread the world that homosexuality is EVIL.

And that's the other thing. People aren't running around saying that fat or ugly or geeky kids are evil or sinners or going to hell. There aren't entire organizations who devote a good portion of their time to "stopping the spread of the ugly people!" No one is spreading rumors about the Geek Agenda and no one is accusing the pimply faced kids of destroying the moral fabric of America. What gay kids face is WAY different than that the other kids face - and I was one of those geeky kids, so I know of what I speak. How many pimply faced geeks have had to face the fact that a good portion of their fellow citizens want to legislate their love life?

AP didn't say "conservative group" did it? My daughter is a "conservative" and she helped found the GSA group on her campus.

I didn't say there was a DoS assembly...I'm just talking about how media chooses WHAT events they are going to cover

The "if it bleeds it leads" mentality.

Carin

I think a lot of the credit does have to do with people like Michele's and my daughters. They have put in the sweat equity in getting people to understand gays as "people" first and not judge them solely by orientation.

But, the event was aimed at campus tolerance, not the outside influences (of religious groups.) It was aimed at kids respecting and treating each other as human beings - which is a pretty universal idea (one that could be spread to the fat and ugly kids.) My thought was that gay kids have it easier than the geeks. I have to go no further than my family to see this truth. Pretty gay cousin who was really really popular vs. brother who was "outside" of the norm and has always been persecuted.

The problem I have with things like this is that it treats the issue as though it's some kind of national epidemic and therefore, deserves special attention. I have serious doubts as to Mr. Jennings claim that this was something brought upon by the students themselves. He's the Executive Director of GLSEN and they have an agenda. This isn't just a little high school 'club' activity.

Meanwhile, there are far more kids in schools across the country that are harassed, bullied and picked on for a multitiude of reasons other than there are those who face similar circumstances due to being gay or transgendered.

Big props to both Michele and Darleen's daughters.

As far as these "Christian" groups doing public gay-bashing, they'll be sorry to hear that pairs them up with Bill Clinton.

Ok, so it's "Hey gays, I know you have problems and you get picked on but you don't get picked on as much as some other kids therefore, you don't deserve this special attention until EVERYONE who has ever been persecuted, picked on, etc. has their special day, too!"

As far as GLSEN goes, it was up to the individual GSA clubs if they wanted to participate or not, and their schools had to approve it. Again, it's not like they are forcing EVERY kid in the school to participate. It's a CHOICE. Why are you coming down so hard on a CHOICE that SOME kids have made to support their gay friends. Jesuschristonafuckingpogostick, some people have such problem with gay people that they have to knock any attempt to support them. I'm sure if this was a Day of Silence to support High School Republicans or something like that, none of you would be claiming that the High School Democrats aren't getting their fair share of the day.

I have no such problem with gay people- and I'm not knocking this (am I?) I just find it ironic, because a lot of the gay kids are, now-a-days, the "cool" kids.

Michele, I really don't like any of these kinds of events where one particular group singles themselves out for victimhood status. If tolerance in school is a virtue that our kids should be taught, then they should be taught tolerance for all other kids.

With regard to GLSEN, who's accusing them of forcing anybody to do anything? All I'm saying is that they have an agenda and that they are clearly behind this effort with regard to organization, funding and direction.

Jesuschristonafuckingpogostick, some people have such problem with gay people that they have to knock any attempt to support them.I'm sure if this was a Day of Silence to support High School Republicans or something like that, none of you would be claiming that the High School Democrats aren't getting their fair share of the day.

Now you're just being silly. Like I said, I don't care for any of these kinds of events. I have a similar disdain for Christian groups that talk about how students are 'persecuted' on high school and college campuses for their beliefs. I just think there's more creative and constructive ways for these kids to spend their time.

This isn't going to accomplish anything other than getting GLSEN a boatload of attention and press.

If the kids want to get involved, why not have them become truly involved. Have a day where they examine the laws that are on the books, write letters to local legislators, school boards and local newspapers. It's much more effective than a single day of symbolism.

I got no problem with gay people - hell, some of my best friends have sucked my cock.

You tell Nat that if she ever wants to be a fag hag to an Aussie shirt lifter, all she got to do is call, LIIIZZZAAAAAAA and I'll come running. Well, mincing quickly.

I was made fun of in school for being too silent. There should be a day of silence for the silent.

First off, kudos to Nat and the rest for taking part in this event.

Second, suppose we did have a special day in the school year for tolerance towards nerds and geeks. How do you define who is a geek and who isn't?

Besides, everyone knows that after high school, geeks and nerds rule the world.

Besides, everyone knows that after high school, geeks and nerds rule the world.

I know I do.

Really michele, the GAY thing doesn't seem to be the objection here. It's the "Look at me, I'm a victim" mentality. This is not to cast aspersions on your daughter. She's not an apathetic slacker, and that's something to be proud of.

But you always struck me as a "Of couse life sucks, quitcherbitchin and get on with it" type of person.

As a homo, I don't really have a problem with the Day of Truth. It's a public school, & some parents have real moral opposition to homos. Kids need to learn to defend their beliefs from opposing viewpoints. How else will they grow up to become bloggers??

Ya know, the last time I read The Bible, the only place where homosexuality was mentioned was in Leviticus, and that's simply man shall not lie with man...I guess lesbians shoudl get a buy to begin with.

Now call me whacky but I'm thinkin' when Constantine and the gang were deciding which books should make the cut...that one should have been left behind because I don't know a man, woman or child who hasn't broken one of Leviticus' rules, including most Christians I know.

Hmmm, if I were a teacher I'd be a little ticked off at the idea of a day of silence in high school; the Socratic method doesn't work well without responses from the students.

It's good that your daughter's got some idealism in her; but the notion that LGBT students are "silenced" any more than other students who don't fit in is a tad ridiculous.

You think, Brainster? Geeks and nerds have no problem admitting they are such - they often join clubs that boldly say what they are. But there are many, many teens who are afraid to come out because of the fear of ridicule. I don't think there are many people afraid to tell their friends and familyl that they are really into Star Wars and the AV club.

Just wondering... did anyone bother to read the FAQ Michele linked to, or did people just stop and wince at the word 'sin'? I noticed two distinct points that seem to have been ignored - first, an admission is made that as humans, we are all guilty of sin and deserve condemnation; and second, it's the responsibility of the Christian to admonish and teach, but do so compassionately and with regard to every individual's uniqueness and value in the eyes of God.

In the culture we have today there's no more 'alternative' viewpoint than Biblical Christianity. Stick a Christian in one of these comment groupthinks as well as a homosexual, and let's see who gets stereotyped, bashed, insulted, et. al., first.

Remember the Gay activist slogan Silence = Death? It just so happens that Christ commissioned believers to that same belief.

"For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die." - Phil. 1:20

Brianster

After my last post here I dropped off my daughter at school and then I went onto work (where we do not have 'net access)... She's being "silent" today, but she IS ready for anyone who wants to "confront her"... she showed me the index cards she had printed up last night with Matthew 7:1 on them to hand to those that confront her.

BTW, Michele? I've told Siobhan I'd like her to guest blog on my site this evening after the Day on Silence. She had heard that some students were coming with "straight pride" t-shirts but she was unaware of any organized efforts.

The support for DoS was strong enough on her campus they ran out of t-shirts!

whoops.... should be Brainster

sorry about the dyslexic fingers.

"Geeks and nerds have no problem admitting they are such - they often join clubs that boldly say what they are."

Well, that's certainly a change from when I was in high school. Not saying you're wrong, just admitting I'm pretty much out of touch. And there are no LGBT clubs?

Darleen, I'm not sure what part of my post you're replying to there.

your daughter rocks.

1) It is illogical to use one's own experience as the sole support for a general statement. Gay kids were popular at your school? Wow isn't that sweet. Now cough up the reasoning that somehow makes you and some odd family member's experience representative of a country or even a state. Fine you don't see any evidence that it is a "national epidemic" and maybe you did look, but talking about popular lesbian cousins or whatnot certainly doesn't debunk that theory (I mean really).

2) Legitimate points about "victimhood" and suggestions of more productive ways of achieving aims aside, I really can't buy the idea that a group is being 'compassionate' by labelling a march carrying an anti-discrimination, anti-harassment message part of the "homosexual agenda" (with all the negative connotations that carries for them). I mean what's their argument: that in fact homosexuals in high schools across the US are living in a utopia of harmony (or if there are any problems it's negligible, see my lesbian cousin for details) and this is all a front?

Or is it

You are God's children and we appreciate the fact that you might get beat up some, but your gay, sorry, I can't support any tolerant message that's in connection with you. If we explicitly imply that beating up on gays ain't right, while at the same time disapproving your sexual lifestyle, you'll be marrying and adopting children by next month!

or is it

You're my neighbour, I love you, but could you quit it about your problems? Your not the only one, ya ain't special. Oh what is it you say, let's do a march for all the discriminated and harrassed? Sure I can get in on that, as long as you're straight. Much love.

I have no problem with them marching, free speech and all that but their reasoning, I'm just not get the reasoning.

A very small percentage of people ever openly admit to being prejudiced. It's always "I don't like the way they call attention to themselves" or "I don't like the way they cultivate a culture of victimhood" or some other similar load of crap.

Major religious leaders in the year 2005 are saying gays are a source of EVIL in the world. Political leaders are ranting about the pernicious effects of gays upon our society, and talking about passing restrictive laws and Constitutional Amendments to prevent the spread of the supposedly radical and dangerous idea that gays are just ordinary people who should be free to live their lives the same as anyone else.

If you can't understand why - within that sort of climate - some kids who haven't yet had all the idealism drummed out of them would want to express solidarity with those who are being singled out as targets, then you're exactly who Michele's kid is fighting against.

Arthusa - I don't know what I said that stuck in your craw so much. Honestly, I don't care what kids do, I home school anyway. But, see - it's ok to make SOME people feel like shit in school, because they are not a political movement. As for my lesbian cousin ... well, sorry, I guess she is just cool (and thus popular.) It doesn't "prove" anything, but it certainly has some meaning, doesn't it?

But, see - it's ok to make SOME people feel like shit in school, because they are not a political movement.

So you're saying the GSA, in the process of having this Day of Silence for gay students, is saying that it's ok to make anyone else feel like shit? I am so not following your logic.

And no. Your gay cousin has NO meaning in this story, because she is one person out of how many? She is the exception to the rule. Assuming that every high school in America is like the one your cousin goes to means you do not understand in any way, shape or form what a large percentage of gay kids go through.

I'm not the Mark who posted above. MikeR, who are these "major religious leaders? major political leaders" Without names and quotes it's just more blah blah blah. I'm with Arethusa - or as my DI put it: "Everybody's got problems, get over it."

I'm just saying that it would be nice if populations that also are persecuted everyday (over something they cannot control) had "their" day. Or- if neither had their day. Here's an idea - let's treat our kids to be accepting to EVERYONE. People give a lot of lip service to that idea, but it's BS.

Also, I made no such assumptions regarding what every gay person goes through in every high school in the US, but I do have some knowledge about what some kids go through. But, then again, I might know a little - since two of my good friends growing up are now in a relationship. Really, I find it interesting that instead of people saying "hey, it's great" that gay people are accepted in some areas - it is immediately trounced as having no meaning or relevance.

I'm only saying it has no relevance here, in this particular instance. And I don't buy into that "let everyone or no one have their day" thing. Let me repeat what I said before:

I'm sure if this was a Day of Silence to support High School Republicans or something like that, none of you would be claiming that the High School Democrats aren't getting their fair share of the day.

"But, see - it's ok to make SOME people feel like shit in school, because they are not a political movement. As for my lesbian cousin ... well, sorry, I guess she is just cool (and thus popular.) It doesn't "prove" anything, but it certainly has some meaning, doesn't it?"

Of course it has some meaning. But exactly what point and relevance does it have to the present discussion? I'm sure someone on the street somewhere could point to instances where a gay relative wasn't quite so popular in school: does that somehow negate your cousin's experience? Of course not. Does it mean that US high schools are dens of homosexual prosecution? No. It doesn't really mean anything at all in the big picture unless you can tie it in. All you've got is some friends. If you're going to criticise and imply that a group of protestors are making a fuss about nothing, you're going to have to come up with something better than that

"Also, I made no such assumptions regarding what every gay person goes through in every high school in the US, but I do have some knowledge about what some kids go through. But, then again, I might know a little - since two of my good friends growing up are now in a relationship. Really, I find it interesting that instead of people saying "hey, it's great" that gay people are accepted in some areas - it is immediately trounced as having no meaning or relevance"

Michele already addressed this. Please cut the poor me i'm cheering gays and no one's being positive, line. These kids are doing this march because that isn't the situation for everyone. You posted implying that their issue isn't really a big deal and pointed to some relative and a few friends, so naturally that ridiculously small pool of experience you've waded in there is being challenged. In other words it's not relevant to the discussion nor does it change the experience of others. Michele's post isn't about how all gays are downtrodden nor is the march.

Again this doesn't mean that I think the march is the most productive way of achieving their goals, but to imply that it has no credibility or validity because they're not representing every marginalised sector og high school society is ridiculous. People are quick to highlight overweight and nerdy students as "victims" but I bet some of those pretty popular cheerleaders have stories of their own. But hey, you don't have a point, you didn't mention that group.

Apologies if I came on too strong, but the "personal experience to support general truth" line of arguing is a particular pet peeve of mine. Please note that "general truth" doesn't encompass "everything", that's not what general means.

The logic behind the bible's stance on homosexuality is very simple, but christians miss the point: It's NOT because it's morally degenerate, but because it is a WASTE OF SEED. The Essenes teach that Jesus himself said, essentially, "it is not okay for a man to lie down with a man, for the seed would be wasted. It IS okay for a woman to lie down with a woman, for there is no seed involved."
Spot on, Jesus!

Didn't mean to pick on the Catholic Church with that example - anyone who claims not to have heard the fundamentalist Protestant anti-gay drumbeat could only be described as profoundly deaf. Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Ralph Reed, Don Wildmon, Pat Robertson - it's a very long list.

MikeR

I grant you many religious leaders preach homosexuality as a sin. But let me ask you about "Political leaders are ranting about the pernicious effects of gays upon our society, and talking about passing restrictive laws "Outside of the debate over Same-sex marriage (and there are reasonable arguments for and against it) exactly what "restrictive" legislation aimed at gays are you talking about?

Be proud, michelle. I'm proud of her and I don't even know your daughter.

Come on Darleen, you can't possibly be unaware that many fundamentalists and their politician allies are not satisfied by the idea of simply banning gay marriage. There are already laws on the books in some states banning gays from adopting children, or from having ANY legal rights relative to one's spouse/significant other. If you don't believe that Tom Delay and his cohorts would like that sort of stuff to be the law of the land, there's a bridge in Brooklyn I need to talk to you about.

U.S. judge upholds Florida gay adoption ban

Tell your daughter that she is very brave to wear her beliefs on her shirt like that. There are some of us who can not do so because of society still to this day. This is a good first step.

Last time I looked, gay people couldn't work in religious schools or organisations, couldn't join the scouts, couldn't (depending on states) have their joint property given to their partner after death, often couldn't get their partners on their health care programs, couldn't teach in kindegardens and preschools for fear of outrage, many can't even start up school straight gay alliances because the school then bans all types of extra-curriculur on campus activities to placate the outraged, they couldn't get communion in church, they often can't get on superannuation, in australia they can't get family benefits despite qualifying as family when it's two partners and kids, and religious organisations opearting government services like welfare and job agenicies have the right to discriminate against them. But apart from that, we cocksuckers live pretty much like everyone else.

oh and I forgot - for you nerds and geeks and trainspotters and fans of the OC and all the other tortured minorities pissed off at fag day, we're an equal opportunity minority - just get on your knees, open your mouth and you too can be a homo for the day. If everyone were engagine in a pot of delightful cunnilingus or some fellatio near the fountain, ain't noone be bullying my queer ass. Respect and represent.

MarkR

Did you read that article? I don't agree that gays should be banned from adopting but 1) adoption is not a right 2)states have a right to define "best interest of child" 3)the plaintifs did not disagree that married straight families are indeed the ideal place for children

Loads of conservatives have little problem with gays adopting kids. I certainly don't as long as married straight couples are the first choice, and that includes first choice over singles regardless of orientation, too.

Certainly there are groups that wish all sorts of legislation that will never be passed...and that means, what? There are a lot of pro-polygamists trying to use the "marriage is a right" argument, too.

There is little outside of Fed tax benefits that gays cannot achieve via contract..that includes inheritance, power of attorney, etc.

And "g"? Learn to distinguish between public policy and private associations, ok?

when the public institutions and the law don't discriminate against me because of what I do quite privately with my privates, then I'll learn to distinguish between bigoted institutions using religion to affect their policy aims, and bigoted people in government using those institutions to affect their religious aims.

So according to Florida, and at least a couple of other states, it's in the best interest of a child to go to the crappiest, most ill-suited straight couple in the state, rather than ANY gay couple, no matter how ideal they might be. I don't have any trouble with adoption agencies giving a LIMITED preference to straight couples, but an absolute preference - in complete disregard of all other factors - is irrational and unjustified and should be unconstitutional.

As far as all that contract stuff - Does ANY straight person reading this want to have to go hire a high-priced lawyer just to be able to visit their loved one in the hospital? I sure don't.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the equal protection clause doesn't say "except for gays".

"g"

Marriage isn't a right. It IS a public institution, just like the military, and not everyone meets the criteria to belong.

So what?

Ya think you are NOT covered equally by the Law... what, there is a special gay law that means you get speeding tickets more than straight drivers? Or was that you pay higher property taxes than your straight neighbor? Or was that higher sales tax for the laptop than the straight guy infront of you for the same purchase?

You know, at my courthouse, when we file domestic violence charges it doesn't matter the orientation of the couples involved... straight/gay/lesbian ... we file equally because a victim of violence is a viction of violence.

You are, and should be, free to do what you like in private as long as it doesn't present a public danger (like cooking meth in your garage)

Very few people could care less who you bed.

MikeR

Who has to hire a high priced lawyer to draw up and execute a durable medical power of attorney? Jaysus on a Pony, you can download the forms ONLINE!

You know, you'd make a lot more sense if you dropped the histrionics.

MikeR

PS

The equal protection clause deals with THE LAW not private relationships.

I eat meat, as my choice. It doesn't mean I have a RIGHT to sit down at a table in a Vegan Restaurant and DEMAND a steak, rare.

Whoops... (sorry Michele) but one more thing

CT gets it right on gay civil unions

My only "problem" with the Day of Silence is that as far as I can tell it's a pointless waste-of-time feel-good near-slacktivism thing.

By which I mean, what's it going to actually do? I can't imagine a highschooler who was going to oppress/tease/beat/whatever a gay student suddenly thinking "hey, these gay kids and some of the straight kids (who I will now start calling gay because they joined in) were silent for a day! Maybe I should stop attacking or despising them for being gay? Because people were silent for a day?"

The cause is a good one (though a protest for intolerance for any sort of harassment or violence, even not directed against gay people, woudl be better), but I don't see that a Day of Silence will have any significant effect whatsoever. I certainly don't see it changing anyone's mind or behaviour.

sure darleen - I get where yr coming from, but hell, black folk got to ride the bus, I can't see what they were getting so upset about either. Sure they didn't qualify for seats - but it's public transport I guess, and if they had their own rides...

plus I wasn't talking about marriage, but now you mention it, equality before the law in terms of relationship status might be nice. and re domestic violence treatment, many of the LBGTQIwhatever community, at least in Oz, had to fight very hard for the law to even pay attention to their domestic violence issues, and I seem to remember a certain person being returned to Jeffrey Dahmer because the cops thought it was just two fags having a spat. Perhaps things have changed, and I agree in some major metoropolitan areas they have,but unless you know what it's like to be queer in a redneck town, it's difficult to convey the impotence of the law in the face of hostility and hatred. If you read some of ALthusser's work (forget that he defenestrated his wife), it explains how non-violent institutional apparatuses work to encourage a type of hegemonic ideal that surface improvements don't even begin to address. It's a bit like women in today's society - sure they have equal access to education, health care and work, but why is it that they keep getting the shitty end of the stick in terms of average income, domestic violence, graduate salaries, executive positions, etc.